Shopping

The See-Now-Buy-Now Experiment

Luxury labels like Tom Ford are shaking up the fashion timetables and experimenting with See-Now-Buy-Now business models. Traditionally, designers show their clothes a full season before they will be available for purchase in stores. High-street fashion stores like Zara and H&M have always sold in season clothing and designers are starting to catch on. How will this new business model affect the brick and mortar and online department store buyers’ relationship with the brands? How can these brands possibly fulfill the buyers’ orders in such a short turnover? Moreover, will this lead to more overstock if designers are too optimistic with their production? Or, will they be nervous and underproduce and drive up demand that leads to bidding wars on ebay?

 

Update Sep 8:

Tom Ford’s runway presentation from last night is already available this morning on Bergdorf’s website. This leads me to believe that buyers saw these clothes and placed their orders several months ago. Were the editors given the same sneak peak? Does this new business model make runway shows a mere formality? The shows are an expensive marketing tool for designers to build excitement and demand for their product for several months before the clothes become available. As consumers, we see the show images online and in magazines and build wishlists and obsess over them for months. Where’s the excitement and anticipation in See-Now-Buy-Now?

Sponsored Bloggers: Buyer Beware

In 2013, The New York Times published an editorial piece by legendary fashion editor, Suzy Menkes, titled “The Circus of Fashion,” in which she laments the onslaught of fashion bloggers peacocking before the shows and shamelessly accepting free gifts from designers. Peacocking refers to the bloggers wearing ridiculous outifts to get noticed by the streetstyle photographers. Menkes believes this “circus” takes away from what’s going on inside the tents and she describes a pre-Internet fashion week, where editors dressed in head to toe black moved unnoticed from show to show.

Fast forward a few years and there is a bigger problem than bloggers dressing crazy and accepting free gifts. Designers and big brands are actually paying bloggers to promote their products online, and until now there has been virtually no government regulation. Consumers browsing Instagram and Facebook or watching Youtube are being misled because their favorite bloggers generally aren’t revealing the fact that they are sponsored.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is starting to crack down on bloggers by enforcing a strict set of guidelines– and using a “#sponsored” amongst dozens of other hashtags may be insufficient. The ad agencies who pair bloggers with big brands are furious, but they had to know they could not go unregulated forever. The bloggers basically carved a new industry and the government was bound to catch on. And shouldn’t consumers know the truth?

The bloggers created jobs for themselves in a time when the government and the economy failed them. They accepted free clothing and paraded in front of the shows because they couldn’t get the traditional editorial jobs in fashion, often despite their qualifications and experience. They hustled and they posted tirelessly to gain followers and create a new branch in the fashion industry. And while I understand why Suzy Menkes is disheartened with the blogger movement, the fact remains that times change and the fashion business is no exception. That said, I believe the bloggers should want to be better than the previous generations that failed them and ruined the economy, and they should be loyal to the millions of followers that gave them a livelyhood. It’s as simple as revealing to your followers that they are viewing sponsored content.

Read more about the FTC guidelines and their affect on the fashion industry at The Business of Fashion.

Death Of a Shoe

We’ve all owned that one shoe that was so comfortable, so stylish, so perfect, it became our signature. We literally wore it to death. Such is the tale of my first pair of Jimmy Choo slingbacks. The year was 2002. I was browsing the annual sidewalk sale at Ruth Shaw at Cross Keys Village in Baltimore. There they sat, as if the heavens had descended, and a bargain on sale for $275. They were black with perforated leather and a 3 inch heel, not too high, but high enough to make my legs look long and lean. I wore them with everything, from jeans to dresses, casual to cocktail. I wore them my first day of classes at law school (I’m like a brunette Elle Woods!) and walked home in them for two miles after getting on the wrong bus, without getting so much as a single blister. My Choos were basically the luxury version of the Easy Spitit Pumps the women played basketball in from the 1993 ad.

That year I wore my Choos so much I questioned why I even owned other shoes. I wore the heels down several times and had them repaired by a cobbler (are they still called cobblers?). Then one day I got the call. My shoe guy phoned to tell me he could no longer fix my shoes- that it would literally be unethical for him to fix them again and let me try and walk in them. The structural integrity of the shoe had completely deteriorated. All that was left was leather scraps. If they were a car, they’d be totalled. If they were a person, they’d be on life support with no signs of recuscitation. RIP.

To this day I’ve searched high and low, scoured the internet, across continents even, looking for another perfect shoe. Alas, the perfect shoe is a myth, its a mirage, or a legend. And I’ve got the blisters to prove it.

 

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Fendi’s New Mascots

Fendi recently introduced two furry mascots known as the Fendiruma, life sized versions of two of their newest bag charms. The Fendiruma are making the rounds, celebrating Fendi pop up shops and store openings, and even attending the Fall 2016 runway show. The mascots are heavily influenced by Japanese culture and love of all things kitsch (and according to W magazine, the Japanese pop duo, Kigurumi).

My problem with the Fendiruma is they seem off-brand. Fendi recently showed a stunning and immaculately detailed collection post couture week at the Trevi Fountain in Rome. The show was breathtaking and the models walked on a runway of clear glass suspended over the fountain, with Kendall Jenner opening the show and Bella Hadid closing. So, how does Fendi go from ethereal beauty to tacky telletubbies?

Fendi should leave the Fendirumi in Japan and let the clothes speak for themselves. The western world has embraced Fendi’s furry bag charms, but the Fendirumi are garish and tawdry. This is not a smart move for an atelier that, in their own words, revolutionIzed fur.

 

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Last Will and Testament

I , Elisa D, being of (somewhat) sound mind and body, declare this to be my Last Will and Testament. I revoke all wills and codicils and any shit written on a napkin or the back of an old Starbucks receipt previously by me.

I appoint my bestie, Molly, as my Personal Representative to administer this Will and make sure that my enemies do not loot the contents of my closet.

I direct my Personal Representative to pay out of my estate whatever I still owe to the bloodsuckers at Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. Why don’t I just give them my first born while I’m at it?!

I devise, bequeath, and give my Fashion Photography Collection to The Philadelphia Museum of Art, with instructions that they put up a bigass plaque with my name on it and throw a gala to celebrate my generosity and fabulous taste. But to my gay BFF, Ryan, I leave any photos that show a woman’s tits so that he may enjoy the sweet irony. He also gets dibs on anything leather or remotely kinky in my closet.

I give my television and my shitty DVD player from Target to my building’s concierge, Wellington, so that he has something to entertain him now that I’m gone. Just put my stack of DVD’s by the curb and see if anyone wants them. If no one takes my copy of Weekend at Bernie’s, consider that the downfall of society.

I give my squash racket to my personal trainer, William, but hope that he would feel too guilty to ever play again with anyone else because it just would not be the same because I am one of a kind.

I donate my sexy lingerie and corset collection to whichever of my female friends are divorced at the time of my death and need them to woo a new man because let’s face it ladies, you aren’t getting any younger and you need all the help you can get (I kind of have a hunch who all will get divorced but I better keep my mouth shut).

I give my furniture, specifically my cat-pee stained mattress (thanks Blackberry) and a rickety nightstand to my friend Adam because he won’t give a shit that it sucks he just likes taking my things.

And now for the good stuff. I give my Rick Owens runway vest to Ayumi because you totally get the whole Rick Avant Garde thing. Ayumi can also have all my fashion and art books if she can arrange a way to schlep them home.

I give my Alaia dresses to Terry because i was a total ass about not lending them to her after that time she borrowed one and it came back smelling of perfume which I’m legit allergic to.

I give my Chanel thigh high boots to…wait nevermind, I wanna be buried in those bad boys.

I give my Chanel clothes, hats, fingerless gloves, and headbands to my BFF and Personal Representative, Molly, because she will either totally appreciate them or she will sell them in her store and totally appreciate the cash.

I give my Fendi and Dior clothes to my sister, Laura, even though her skinny ass will have to have them taken in several sizes. And i give my fur jacket and scarf collection to Ayumi. Wear them well, my friend. Wear them well.

As for any expensive jewelry my future husband is going to buy for me whether he likes it or not, I leave it all to my mom. Actually, my mom has dibs and first right of refusal on basically everything because I owe her gabillions of dollars.

To my friends I left nothing to, please know that does not mean I didn’t love you. I probably just didn’t love you enough to leave you any of my super cool stuff.

Also, I authorize Molly to pull the plug on me should I ever be hospitalized and no longer able to online shop. Please do not give my future husband plug pulling ability, as surely I will make him crazy and he will pull the plug on me for nothing short of a hangnail.

I know that Jews have closed caskets at their funerals, but if I’m having a good hair day feel free to give people just a peak.

Thank you and Peace Out.

Fall Trend Alert: Patches

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Patches are turning up everwhere for fall 2016. The new collection of canvas Gucci Dionysus bags feature colorful, embroidered patches of flowers, birds, and butterflies. At Marc Jacobs and Anya Hindmarch you can buy assorted patches and stickers for your hangbag and denim jackets. Too lazy to stick them on yourself? Mr. And Mrs. Italy has got you covered with patch heavy parkas and army inspired denim bomber jackets. You don’t have to be a girl scout to get in on the action this fall!

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Royal Baubles from Andrew Prince

This afternoon I met up with British jewelry designer, Andrew Prince, at the Kentshire boutique in Bergdorf Goodman. Mr. Prince brought with him several tiaras he designed for Downton Abbey. For those of you who are unfamilar with the BBC series, he also designed Miss Piggy’s wedding jewels in Muppets Most Wanted. He revealed that Miss Piggy is close to life-size, but he had to make a tiara small enough to sit between her ears. He also spent some time playing with my hair and fitting me with his gorgeous crystal tiaras.

For more information, visit http://www.andrewprince.co.ukimageimage

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Burning Guitars at Philly Fashion Week

Burning Guitars was the standout collection from this evening’s menswear show at The Ritz Carlton. Designer Smiley Jonez uses original textiles based on hand drawn designs. Many of the prints are quilted together using different textures and fabrics, from faux croc and metallics, to fair aisle knits and leather fringe. The collection offers new takes on classic pieces like letterman jackets and apres ski sweaters. There were references to musicians, cartoons, and pop culture icons, as well as influences from race car drivers, retro skating rinks, and Matisse’s cutouts. There was even a jacket with a built-in backpack– talk about functional! Burning Guitars is available at Joan Shepp in Rittenhouse and also makes designs for women with bold prints and figure-flattering lycra.

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Rittenhouse Fashion

It’s my first week living in Philly and my big first impression is this is a fashionable city. I live in Rittenhouse Square which is a major shopping destination. Barneys NY, one of my new neighbors, is in the midst of some major revovations, converting from a Barneys Co-Op to a full fledged Barneys store. This Barneys location carries contemporary clothing brands like Etoile Isabel Marant and Acne and bags from Proenza Schouler, Balenciaga, and Jerome Dreyfus. Soon, they will carry designer clothing labels like Chloe and possibly Alaia. They also have a small floor dedicated to menswear. Speaking of menswear, Boyds on Chestnut Street has some gorgeous custom Italian suits. And Goorin Bros on Walnut sells great hats for men and women. Walnut Street also boasts a Calypso St. Barths, Anthroplogie, and Intermix.

Joan Shepp on Chestnut is by far my favorite. Joan has been a staple of Rittenhouse for several decades and she is a local fashion icon. She’s known for always wearing black, so of course I met her the one day she was forced to wear head to toe white for an evening affair. Joan and her team of stylists have already made me feel very welcome and I especially adore Elaine, who has worked at Joan Shepp over twenty years. So far my purchases include a hooded coat by Ivan Grundahl and a black cap with a crystal skull from Thomas Wylde LA. And I’ve been drooling over the amazing pieces by Commes des Garcons, Rick Owens, and Lanvin.

One thing I’ve noticed is the women in Rittenhouse have eclectic taste and dress less casual than what I’m used to in Baltimore- I think they might actually wear their LuluLemon to the gym! I was also surprised by how few Chanel and Louis Vuitton bags I’ve seen. A sales associate at Barneys told me very few woman carry Chanel in this area, with the exception of some Asian women who wear Boy bags. Apparently the women here also prefer Goyard to Louis Vuitton. According to one of the stylists at Joan Shepp, Balenciaga moto bags and Hermes Evelyne bags are extremely popular in this area. There is also a big demand for advanced European designer clothing, which I’m certain is Joan Shepp’s influence.

Overall, the women of Rittenhouse are well put together and have individual and eclectic styles. I’m definitely not missing the preppy girls in Baltimore and all those Louis Vuitton Neverful tote bags. But I may have to start a Chanel revolution.

Lauren Craft Collection Jewelry

“It is a business I will continue doing until the day I die. It is my passion and I cannot imagine doing anything else!”
-Lauren Craft

Baroque pearls and champagne diamond ring with 14k gold, silver and black-rhodium finish

Baroque pearls and champagne diamond ring with 14k gold, silver and black-rhodium finish

I’ve been on a total jewelry kick this summer and no one does unique and (relatively) affordable diamond and gemstone jewels like Lauren Craft. I first stumbled upon her delicious baubles on Farfetch where I purchased a triple-pearl and champagne diamond ring with 14k gold, silver, and black-rhodium finish.

Lauren Craft is a native Texan with an editorial background. She was an English major at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and started her career as a fashion and social editor at the top magazine in Houston. In New York City, she took a job at Alexis Bittar and discovered her passion for jewelry design. Though Craft was only at Alexis Bittar for six months, she speaks fondly of her time there and of Alexis Bittar’s business savvy: “I saw how Alexis built his brand. I was only there a very short time but I loved how involved he was with his team. From the design aspect to the PR aspect to the marketing aspect. He is a very smart man…”

Craft left Alexis Bittar to attend the Gemological Institute of America for certification in Computer Aided Design (CAD) and then travelled to India before returning to Texas to start her own collection. Her inspiration comes from her travels: “Traveling to India, Italy, Sardinia and the Carribean…Lots of my pieces have an Indian vibe that’s why I use champagne diamonds in the majority of my collection!”

Stylish celebrities including Charlize Theron, Jennifer Anniston, Miranda Lambert, Sheryl Crow, Rose Byrne, and Nicole Richie are among her biggest fans. Recently, the Lauren Craft Collection was given the fashion stamp of approval from style icon, Lauren Santo Domingo, when she featured the designer on her website, Moda Operandi.

Emerald ring with champagne diamonds, 18k gold, silver and black-rhodium finish

Emerald ring with champagne diamonds, 18k gold, silver and black-rhodium finish

Chalcedony and champagne diamond earrings with 18k gold, silver and black-rhodium finish

Chalcedony and champagne diamond earrings with 18k gold, silver and black-rhodium finish

Colored sapphires and champagne diamond bracelet with 18k gold, silver and black-rhodium finish

Colored sapphires and champagne diamond bracelet with 18k gold, silver and black-rhodium finish

Kyanite and champagne diamond bangle with silver and black-rhodium finish

Kyanite and champagne diamond bangle with silver and black-rhodium finish

Purple amethyst necklace with silver chain and 18k gold clasp

Purple amethyst necklace with silver chain and 18k gold clasp

Rubies, quartz, and champagne diamonds, 18k gold, silver and black-rhodium finish

Rubies, quartz, and champagne diamonds, 18k gold, silver and black-rhodium finish

Check out the complete Lauren Craft Collection on her website.