Stuart Weitzman has a passion for giving that extends as wide as the brand’s selection of specialty shoe sizes. Jane Weitzman, Stuart’s wife, spearheaded a partnership between the company and The New York Asian Women’s Center (NYAWC), an organization that helps women and their children overcome domestic violence.
The collaboration coincided with the release of her new book “Art & Sole”, all sales of which went to benefiting the organization.
Flipping through the coffee table piece, you’ll discover fantastic illustrations and finished footwear made from some of the strangest materials in designs you might find in a Dalí painting.
From cardboard Gaga-esque wedges to curved metal ankle straps resembling Frank Gehry’s architecture; these shoes are true works of art commissioned to adorn Stuart Weitzman’s Madison Avenue storefront.
Despite being married to a shoe designer, Jane isn’t particularly obsessed with shoes as one would think. She sticks to Stuart’s because “I see him as a generous giving person. A special person.” Although with C-width feet, Stuart’s selection happens to be very accommodating.
Her jet-black razor bob bears a similarity to Anna Wintour’s coif for a reason. Angelica Cheung, Vogue China’s Editor-in-chief, spoke about fashion in China on MSNBC and why she doesn’t really have to fly out to attend a single fashion week event because “the designers come here anyway.”
Sales reaching approximately $5.6 million is reason enough for them to make it out to the East, and with wealth and popularity only growing in China, designers may want to brush up on their dialects.
I love dichotomy and irony so it was really interesting to hear that she was a brought up wielding a Mao Tse Tung book but turned to her tailor grandfather to create clothes, so that she was the best dressed amongst her peers.
And that whole stereotype of the “fierce” fashion editor she says is just an unfair singling out by movies. There’s fierce people like that in every industry, you just watch too many movies
Watch the full video at CBS
Cool kid Nicola Formichetti is partnering with Diesel on a capsule collection to celebrate the brand’s 35-year history. I met the stylist star at Diesel’s SoHo, New York City location and had the chance to ask him some questions.
I’ve always known Diesel by the Mohawk icon, what about Diesel influenced you when designing the capsule collection?
The Mohawk, for me, was also an inspiration. The collection is all about the history of diesel and the founder Renzo Rosso, who created that Mohawk icon, so that was a very important inspiration.
[Obviously] Denim is made from cotton. Can you cite the other materials or innovations you used to create this collection?
It’s all about denim. I personally added the patchwork with badges and stuff. The second collection that will launch in February is leather and denim.
You seem to be very rooted in Internet culture that previously was not en vogue till recent years; was that something you started liking early on and then got into fashion or vice versa?
I was a late starter on the internet, but now its so natural to use it. We used the iPhone for the campaign, we create GIFs, apps, it’s great. People say digital is normal now.
Do you follow tech or fashion tech startups?
I’m really into Fancy. I like everything new. I get inspired by new ideas and fun. Fashion is old fashioned and boring, it hasn’t changed for thousands of years and it’s time.
What fashion tech innovations excite you most? Fabrics or devices etc?
I don’t mean to brag about Diesel, but the office scientists have crazy ideas. They are constantly developing new kinds of denim and pushing the boundaries of the material.
Work Style Tips from Lawrence Zarian
Reinventing your career wardrobe; although it sounds like the beginnings of the new Acura commercial, it lies at the heart of all we do, especially since we spend a good portion of our lives at work.
Macy’s recently hosted Lawrence Zarian’s “Five Career Essentials” runway show with tips of the new rules of career-wear. I had a brief one-on-one with the lifestyle expert on some specific style conundrums.
I chose to come/partner with Macy’s because they have something for everyone; every style, every budget, everything.
Is it smarter to invest in your work wardrobe early or later in your career?
Earlier because you know where you want to go in your career.
In Glenda Bailey and Harper Bazaar’s “Elements of Style”, it states that flaunting a luxury handbag early on in your career doesn’t leave a good impression, what do you think?
I think it shows an element of having too much too soon. You could wear that bag on the weekends and something more subtle, that’s still from same designer, at work.
If you’re unemployed, what should you be wearing?
If you’re unemployed, first find what your bliss is and what you want to do and go from there. Kind of work backwards.
If you’re interviewing to work at a fashion brand or store do you need to wear something of theirs?
Yes, you should because what if they say to you “I like your outfit. Where is it from?” Try to wear at least one piece from the store it could be as simple as a scarf!
By Dana Rosenwasser
See more photos of the event c/o Greg Partanio of Manhattan Society.
By Dana Rosenwasser
"You don’t know me, but trust me" — it’s what beauty companies strive to communicate in all their marketing campaigns, but when it comes from Rebecca, one of the spokespeople for the luxurious and eco-friendly skincare line Indie Lee, it seems as genuine as advice from a friend you’ve known since junior high school.
I discovered the brand yesterday when my friend Amber (who I’ve actually known since junior high school) brought me to Indie Lee and Beautylish’s “Radiate from Within” Beauty DIY event at Penthouse 45.
The elegant penthouse featured stations where guests could make their own body scrubs, lip scrubs and bath salts from all-natural ingredients - instructions included, no less.
Although it may seem ironic that an event promoting higher-end products would teach guests how to make their own beauty essentials, it exemplifies what Indie and her brand are really about.
"A knowledgeable consumer is a powerful consumer," Indie says with a smile. This knowledge is especially important when you consider that she created the brand after undergoing surgery to remove a life-threatening tumor caused by environmental toxins.
"You know I’m only going to remember now. I won’t have any memories of past lives so I thought now is the time." The wrenching experience shaped how she would create the line which focuses on bringing "green glamour" through the use of pretty opaque glass packaging and top-quality ingredients sourced from all over the world. What’s even more admirable is her realistic take on eco-beauty. "I mean I’m wearing YSL lipstick right now. There’s a happy medium, but everyone has a choice. I know the risk and make the choice "
Finding and featuring emerging skincare and cosmetics lines like Indie Lee is one of the things cosmetic super-community Beautylish does best. We had the chance to chat with one of the co-founders Nils Johnsons who actually checked us into the event. "The exciting part of working with ground-up creatives is the passion and inspiration. It’s not just "I made lip gloss to make money"." Like Indie, he was very down-to-earth. One of the first things he said to us was, “what can we (as in Beautylish) do better? What would you like to see?”
The simple fact that the owner of Beautylish and Indie Lee herself were at such an intimate event really struck a cord, and thus, transformed Amber and I into advocates. We’ll let you know how our respective eye cream and toner works!
By Dana Rosenwasser
After reading a mashable “Social Media Fails to Drive Sales for Fashion Brands. Now What?" on why social media platforms don’t generate sales for fashion brands, I was prepared to hear the same conclusion from the Community Manager Meetup yesterday. “It doesn’t drive sales, but it’s an important marketing tool to have to engage possible consumers and increase organic search rankings.”
Elissa French of Pistolette, an emerging designer selling rompers and dresses out of her Brooklyn studio, was the first panelist who revealed that although in small quantities, she does receive orders via Instagram.
Pau, co-founder of OlaPic, elaborated that it’s the platform where the highest level of engagement for fashion brands is. He also pointed out that the average Twitter user spends $68, Facebookers $30 and Pinterest enthusiasts $179. His whole business model centers around helping companies curate their customer’s photos and videos. While he could not quantify how much the average Instagram user spends, he receives confirmation from his big-name clients that they have experienced growth in sales since using his service.
So how do fashion brands truly leverage social media for sales?
Here are their tips:
- Use platforms that are easiest to post images
- Facebook doesn’t make anything easy to find (something they should fix soon!). It’s especially important for emerging designers to be easily found.
- Post photos relevant to your brand’s identity. If you’re selling high-end product, make sure the photo isn’t blurry and that it communicates exclusivity based on your brand’s values. AKA teach your interns well.
- Instagram users especially are trained to ignore anything that looks like an ad. Posting big 20% off signs on your photos doesn’t help.
By Dana Rosenwasser
I’m a bit embarrassed to publicly state that the first Nine Inch Nails show I went to was supposed to be their last. Despite not being a heavy concert-goer in the past, I was determined to make it to their “Wave Goodbye” tour, and was well-rewarded.
I flew cross-country from New York to L.A. with my friend James. A twist of fate had it that our scheduled show was postponed to the last day of the tour and had thereby transformed an ordinary performance into 3 hours of guest appearances and songs that spanned so much of the band’s career and inspiration. At the end, our legs were shaking and knees were weak, but we earned our bragging rights and didn’t hesitate to boast to friends that we had seen Nine Inch Nails’ “last show ever” at the Wiltern in Los Angeles.
After the 4-year haitus where Trent had scored some amazing movies, he returned to the band, proving that performing on tour is the perfect drug.
A last-minute ticket situation had us once again traveling to see the band, this time at Budweiser’s Made in America Festival in Philadelphia, PA.
The event actually turned out to be the perfect opportunity for NIN fans to get closer to the band, as crowds were more concerned with mainstream radio acts. At 8:30pm we marched past the stage where Calvin Harris would drop a mix of his produced tunes with club favorites, and pushed and shoved our way to get 3 rows from the front. We waited an hour alongside fans, some with the band’s moniker shaved into the sides of their heads, while others, tattooed and pierced, stood behind anticipating to crowd-surf.
Examining set lists prior, we were prepared for “Copy of A” to start the comeback off.
Promptly at 9:30pm, in a Rick Owens drop crotch kilt, black tank top, and Doc Martens, Trent raced to his drum machine and, with the motions of a basketball player, started swaying from front to back as the crowd inevitably roared. Focused and engaged, beads of sweat started to drip off his scrunched forehead, trickling onto his brows that housed an ominous, vicious, and knowing gaze, and then to his chiseled arms, now beefier than ever.
We are, after all, talking about the epitome of masculinity that is Trent Reznor.
Before the show, I had already read Spin’s feature story “The Upward Spiral” where Trent said he wanted to play only the songs that felt organic to where he is in life, so when “Closer” came on, it was a very defining moment. Overall, the performance was balanced with track from each album and even some new personal favorites from Hesitations Marks, “Copy of A”, “Came Back Haunted”, and “Find My Way.”
Beyond the music, was also technical stage innovation that the band embraced. Panels of light would move along with the rhythm of the songs. My brother, who interned with Microsoft, coincidentally sent me an article about how NIN would use XBOX Kinect technology during the tour. This mimicked the same grainy effect as seen in the music video for “Only.”
The band’s next relatively local performance will be at Barclays in Brooklyn, but I highly doubt it will ever get me as close to the legends as this!
By Dana Rosenwasser
Online marketers seek to reach more engaged customers than a bridal expo. Why then, in the age of attention grabbing and brand humanizing, are we still relaying information to our colleagues through giving PowerPoint presentations?”
How to present information in a fun, engaging, and memorable way
1. FUN Interactive examples
While the Socratic method seems to be very effective in stimulating critical thinking, it’s often embarrassing and hinders the engaging philosophy we’re encouraging. So, what about making things fun? As previously mentioned, we always hammer down relating with our target audience, but why do all these principles fly out the window when presenting concepts in the office? A fun activity will reinforce our understanding of jargon-rich systems, and just maybe, our co-workers will like us a little more.
2. Visual Infographics
You don’t need to have a design team to use effective infographics. The first step is to find the data you need and see who might else be using it. You may be able to find it if it’s already been transformed into a pin. Also become a member of Visual.ly , who emails a list of hot infographics weekly. And if you don’t plan on illegally distributing it as your own, find one that inspires you, then ask your local photoshopper to make some edits.
3. Ask the Audience
Everyone learns differently, so before you even get started on designing and writing your presentation, go ahead and ask your coworkers, or whoever is managing the meeting, to pass around a survey that asks if they are auditory, visual, or kinesthetic learners. What might seem like a far out idea may get you brownie points for ingenuity and, get this, actually caring about your target audience. But the best part is, knowing how to present what you want to say will make making it a whole lot easier!
By Dana Rosenwasser
UPDATE: Refinery 29 interviewed H&M spokesperson Marybeth Schmitt and found the real reason, “Our goal was not to be first or the fastest. We always want to grow in a controlled way. Our focus over the past 13 years has been on expansion, with the opening of close to 300 stores across the country.” I think my guesses are just as good!
It was confirmed this morning by Glam.com that H&M has finally decided to launch its U.S. online shopping presence this August.
According to Daily Mail UK, it turns out that H&M had previously not been able to figure out how to handle providing free shipping and extensive customer services yet. If Zara and Uniqlo have leaped over these obstacles, why has H&M been so slow in adopting the same? I explore some alternative not-so-obvious reasons.
1. The site needed to be ready for collaborations
Unlike Zara, who it looks like will expand into a Forever21 of sorts, equipped with its own juniors line Trafaluc, H&M prefers to optimize for its famous collaborators. And for every high-fashion collection, they need to prepare with extremely stable servers. I can only think back to Target’s disaster with Missoni in which online shoppers were devastated with the site’s crash, while brick and mortar warriors won the designer pieces.
Takeaway: When creating a product, always consider brand strategy
2. They learned from the mistakes of others
Timing may be everything for budding eCommerce sites, but an established retailer raking in $262 billion from 269 stores can afford to make customers wait just a bit for a safe platform they’ll want to constantly return to. While security should always be priority in building a website, the personal data lawsuits Zappos and Amazon experienced surely warned H&M as to what issues would lie ahead.
Takeaway: Don’t speed at the expense of your customers
3. They needed to make it look and be more awesome
The current virtual fitting room on H&M’s dressing room is one of the most handy tools, but one downfall is that it only offers one body type. Seeing as though H&M will offer a plus size line to U.S. customers, they may have needed to make some adjustments. Also, this new website will probably offer a more curated (buzzword) experience Fashionistas gravitate towards to.
Takeaway: Every market is different so design accordingly