Ready-‐to-‐Wear Final Project: Women’s Blazers
Hannah Turnbaugh Introduction to Fashion Business May 8, 2013
Table of Contents History of the Blazer – pg 3 Saks Fifth Avenue – pgs 4-6 Saks Fifth Avenue: The History – pg 4 Saks Fifth Avenue: The Experience – pg 5 Saks Fifth Avenue: The Garment – pg 6 Nordstrom – pgs 7-9 Nordstrom: The History – pg 7 Nordstrom: The Experience – pg 8 Nordstrom: The Garment – pg 9 Barneys New York – pgs 10-12 Barneys New York: The History – pg 10 Barneys New York: The Experience – pg 11 Barneys New York: The Garment – pg 12
The History of the Blazer
The blazer is recognized as “a sports jacket that is not worn with matching trousers”. A garment originally designed for sportsmen of the late 1800’s, the idea of a blazer for women began to catch on early into the 1920’s. Coco Chanel’s early designs helped popularized the concept of a stylish jacket option for women. Menswear for women soon caught on in the 1930’s, and the blazer stayed as a consistent staple throughout women’s fashion. The women’s blazer was especially influential throughout the 1970’s, which then fed into the 1980’s. Such success at that time has largely been credited to Ralph Lauren’s designs inspired by the English countryside, which included tweedy blazers. These designs were then extremely popularized by Diane Keaton in Annie Hall.
Woody Allen and Diane Keaton; Annie Hall, 1977
Saks Fifth Avenue: The History
Dreaming of a specialty store that was synonymous with a fashionable lifestyle, Saks Fifth Avenue was opened in 1924 by Horace Saks and Bernard Gimble. The store was opened on upper 5th Avenue in New York City, between 49th and 50th, which was primarily a residential area at the time. The department store underwent a redesign in 1926, which lead to a series of luxurious specialty stores within the department store. This space provided the finest in high quality men and women’s fashions. Since then, Saks Fifth Avenue has been recognized all over the world as the face of luxury American retailers. Today it still holds the same luxurious, fashionable, chic image that was dreamed of almost a century ago. It is recognized all over the world as one of the most important and influential designer department stores. There are now 43 stores, in 23 states, and 4 international locations. Some notable launches at Saks Fifth Avenue include America’s first Christian Dior Boutique in the 1970’s, and Donna Karan’s debut collection in the 1980’s.
Saks Fifth Avenue: The Experience
Visual Merchandising – The merchandising in Saks is impeccable. From the window displays, to the in store displays, all of the merchandise storylines were chic, well-‐planned visual stories. The displays and furniture add so much to the entire vibe of the space, they are understand and extremely elegant at the same time. Merchandise Presentation – All of the merchandise was organized, in place, and easy to sort through; everything was beautifully presented. Racks were nicely presented with no over-‐crowding or clutter. Customer Service – Customer service here was much better than I expected. I had been running errands in the area and was just wearing a light running jacket, yoga pants, and running sneakers, since I was in the area I thought I would swing in to check things out. As soon as I walked through the doors I immediately regretted entering in what I was wearing, however it didn’t seem to matter to anyone in there – especially the sales associates. Everyone was so friendly and warm, and more than eager to help me. Store Maintenance – The overall maintenance of the store was phenomenal. It is a huge store, but it was easy to navigate. The layout made sense, with dedication to different specialties in different areas/on different floors. The fitting rooms were slightly disappointing compared to the rest of the store, because they seemed a little average. They were, however, very clean and well maintained. Overall Experience – Overall I had a really amazing experience at Saks Fifth Avenue. It had been a couple years since I had been into a Saks, and I wasn’t spending any money (I’ve only ever been with my Mom who actually spends money when she goes), but I received the same level of customer service that she does when she goes. It is such a large, opulent space, however everything down to the smallest detail seemed to be in order.
Saks Fifth Avenue: The Blazer
Saint Laurent Wool Blazer Garment Description – Black wool fitted blazer with a white trim, double pockets, single button closure/buttons on sleeves, angular lapels, nipped waist Garment Label – Medium sized white label, black bold “Saint Laurent” writing with “Paris” underneath, possibly satin (not positive of tag material) Fiber Content/Care Instructions – Wool/dry clean only Country of Origin – France Suggested Retail Price -‐ $2,890.00 Size Range Offered – 36, 38, 40, 42, 44 Styling – Classic Signature Design Element – Signature black and white YSL classic look Target Customer -‐ The ideal customer is an individual over the age of 25 with a substantial income that allows them to frequently follow and invest in luxury fashion, most likely lives in an urban area as a working professional Found -‐ Hanging
Nordstrom: The History
In 1901 friends Carl Wallin and John Nordstrom opened a small shoe store in downtown Seattle, named Wallin & Nordstrom. The company quickly expanded both in size in merchandise, from shoes to apparel, to downtown Seattle and stores all across the Pacific Northwest.
In 1971, the company was officially renamed to Nordstrom, and after going
public the company became the largest-‐volume fashion specialty store on the West Coast. By 1988, the first East Coast store was opened in Virginia, and today currently operates 240 stores, with 117 full-‐line stores, and 119 Nordstrom Racks. They plan on opening their first Manhattan store by 2018.
Nordstrom is consistently recognized for its high-‐level of customer service.
They also are frequently topping lists of “happiest employees” at corporate companies.
Nordstrom: The Experience Visual Merchandising – Personally, I didn’t find anything about the Nordstrom window displays very exciting. They seemed a little plain and under-‐styled for window displays. However, I thought the in store displays made a lot more sense. The storylines were simple, but did a great job of styling outfits that were realistic for the customer. Merchandise Presentation – The merchandise was all perfectly in order, and not cluttered at all. The merchandise was easy to navigate, and I thought they had a really good selection, as well. Customer Service – Every time I come to Nordstrom’s I can guarantee the service will be amazing. Time, after time, their sales associates are helpful, friendly, and attentive. Also from previous personal experiences (and experiences friends have had), they are always so easy when returning items. Store Maintenance – The store maintenance was great, everything was in place, decluttered, and organized, which made it easy to find whatever I was looking for. The dressing rooms were the least impressive of all the stores that I had visited, however they were still very well taken care of and clean. Overall Experience – Overall, my experience at Nordstrom was really nice – as always. Everything from the merchandise presentation, to the customer service really heightened my shopping experience and made me eager to return. I also walked away with some new outfit ideas from their in store displays, which I think is really cool if you can walk away from a shopping experience feeling inspired.
Nordstrom: The Garment
Zadig & Voltaire “Virginie” Floral Print Blazer Garment Description – Lightweight, mensware fitted, floral blazer, with double pockets, lapels, single button Garment Label – Large white rectangular tag with Zadig & Voltaire in a burnt orange, swirly font Fiber Content/Care Instructions – Cotton/linen; dry clean only Country of Origin –France Suggested Retail Price -‐ $855.00 Size Range Offered – 2/34, 4/36, 6/38 Styling – Trendy Signature Design Element – Strong shoulders and menswear style mixed with a feminine pattern Target Customer – Their target customer is 25+, working professional with a significant disposable income, likes in an urban area Found: Hanging
Barneys New York: The History
Barney Pressman opened the first Barneys New York in 1923, after pawning his wife’s engagement ring. The original store was a 500-‐sqaure foot space on 7th avenue in Manhattan, and Barney sold discounted clothing that were either samples, from other stores overstock, or from manufacturer closeouts. Pressman also used free parking, as well as free alterations to draw customers in. In a 1973 interview, the son of Barney, Fred Pressman, said that he and his father were never “fans” of the discount store, thus with his father’s blessing decided to give Barneys a facelift. They traded low-‐end discount clothing for high-‐ end luxury designers, however he decided to keep free alterations as a tribute to what made Barneys famous to begin with. In 1988, Barneys began opening stores outside of Manhattan, the first was in 1990 in Tokyo; a 1993 store in Beverly Hills followed quickly after that. Today there are 11 stores around the US, and 5 in Japan. The company also has several outlet stores and CO-‐OPs throughout the United States.
Barneys New York: The Experience Visual Merchandising – The visuals at Barneys are one of my favorites. Every story with the clothing not only makes sense and is effortlessly cohesive, but it is also just beautiful to look at. It seems like a lot of time and planning goes into merchandising the in-‐store displays. I wasn’t crazy about the window displays when I went, as they didn’t evoke my lust of their merchandise as much as they usually do! Merchandise Presentation – They merchandise presentation here is great. They do a wonderful job of making you feel like you’re in a boutique and not so much in a huge department store. Sometimes is can be a little tricky to navigate (there is so much!), but everything is so beautiful to look at, I’d gladly welcome getting lost. Customer Service – I’ve frequented Barneys many times and I usually have a great experience with the sales associates and brand representatives. However, this time I went I wasn’t particularly impressed. It took about 20 minutes of me being in there for someone to ask how I was doing – it was especially shocking that it took that long because it was a Tuesday afternoon (not very busy) – and when I was finally spoken to, when I mentioned I didn’t need any help there was a lot of attitude. Store Maintenance – Like most designer department stores, the store maintenance is impeccable. Attention is paid to every little detail to truly heighten the experience for the customer. Everything is clean, organized, straightened, and in place. Also, probably my favorite department store dressing rooms. Overall Experience – Overall I had a great experience. I was a little disappointed that the customer service was so off-‐putting (especially because I’ve had such great experiences in the past), however the rest of my trip to Barneys New York was really nice. There apparel has a much more youthful, playful vibe compared to Saks, which speaks to me a lot more. Definitely one of my favorites!
Barneys New York: The Garment
Laveer Striped Montage Jacket Garment Description – White blazer with double contrasting black stripes, lapels, open, padded shoulders Garment Label – Medium sized black label with LAVEER in bold white writing, a smaller black tag hangs from that with the size of garment Fiber Content/Care Instructions – Cotton and flax/dry clean only Country of Origin – United States Suggested Retail Price -‐ $530 Size Range Offered – 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 Styling – Classic Signature Design Element – Laveer’s bold contrast stripes Target Customer – The ideal customer is someone 21+, possibly a working professional with a high disposable income, or someone interested in splurging on luxury quality staple garments, lives in an urban/suburban area Found -‐ Hanging