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Entry #1 – October 1st, 2012 Elf Cosmetics Summary: Elf Cosmetics (Eyes. Lips. Face.) is ramping up a whole new level of mass marketing by upping the production of new product offerings and expanding in the discount cosmetics market. Elf first launched online in the e-commerce business but soon after the test market had a positive reaction, Elf decided that it was necessary to have the makeup line sold in retailers so they put their foot in the door with Target and Walgreens in order to introduce the product in the brick and mortar retail world. The Elf cosmetic line has exponentially taken off and is said to be about a $50 million dollar business with 70% of it’s sales generated in stores, and the other 30% being ecommerce sales. Elf is positioned as being a professional make-up line at an affordable discount make-up price. Elf plans to up the production of products, having 144 stocked products on the shelves at Target and Walgreens. The products range from nail color; holiday sets, make-up tools and “chubby” lop stains to BB Creams and other corrective skin care. Although Elf is penetrating into the retailing world, they still remain strong and committed with their e-commerce efforts. E-commerce offers Elf the opportunity to sell more products and assortments that the stores can’t accommodate with their limited shelf space. Before Elf comes out with 144 new products, the company wants to be sure that the products will be a “big hit” to consumers. Elf will test the market by introducing the new make-up products via e-commerce. The majority of Elf products range from $1.00 to $3.00, but Elf has been able to up sell consumers to their “Studio” line, costing approximately $6.00 on average. These prices are not driving down profit dollars because consumers tend to buy more and build a bigger basket because of being driven by the low price incentives.

Point of View: Personally, I am drawn to the Elf cosmetic line because they offer professional quality make-up at discount make-up prices. Elf did a great thing by making an affordable, mass marketed, and quality make-up line. There was an opportunity open in the cosmetic market for “cheaper than drugstore” make-up and Elf grabbed that opportunity and dominated it. It was an excellent idea to introduce the Elf cosmetic line via e-commerce because it was not known that the concept would take off. By introducing Elf (Eyes. Lips. Face) via e-commerce, they found out that cheap, professional quality make-up must be in high demand for consumers. After hitting the test market and finding out that it was a huge

hit, it was a smart decision for Elf to go ahead and introduce their make-up line into high volume, busy, and reputable mass market stores such as Target and Walgreens. Target and Walgreens are currently the test market for their product sales in the brick and mortar environment style retailer. By choosing Target and Walgreens, Elf was spot on with the demographic that is going to purchase the Elf cosmetics which is price conscious consumers who shop at big bin stores for affordable prices. It is great to finally have a cosmetic line that has high quality makeup at “more than affordable” prices. From my positive experience with Elf, I am enthused about new products coming into the market and the expansion of Elf cosmetics into a wider variety of retail stores other than Target and Walgreens. When a consumer sees products at a lower price, he/she is more likely to buy more. So although people may think that Elf is not making any money on selling cheap cosmetics, it is actually a completely opposite effect, in that people buy more when driven by lower prices. This causes consumers to actually spend more in the long run. Elf seems to be a very innovative and smart company by opening up into a whole new type of cosmetics market. They took the chance by taking the initiative of opening up into a test market, only to find out that Elf is going to be a big hit. From my experience and opinion, Elf will continue to grow and become a well known make-up brand.

Article: Critical Mass: E.l.f. Ramps Up New Product Offerings NEW YORK — Breaking into the mass-market color cosmetics business is not for the faint of heart. Even powerful players have tried to introduce new color brands and failed — Procter & Gamble Co.’s Olay brand, and Revlon’s Vital Radiance and Jane Cosmetics, which at one point was owned by the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. Against the odds, the up-and-coming brand E.l.f. Cosmetics (Eyes. Lips. Face.) is gaining traction by taking the road less traveled. The brand launched online first and is building its retail business. “We’re disruptive because we do things differently,” said E.l.f. founder and chief executive officer Joseph Shamah. Industry sources estimate that E.l.f. is about a $50 million business, and roughly 70 percent of its sales are generated in stores. It counts Target and Walgreens among its retail partners. E.l.f. Studio, which is positioned as a professional makeup artist line, will be featured in an exclusive department at a Walgreens set to open in Hollywood. Next year could prove to be the real test of Shamah’s disruptive course. The company plans to unleash its largest collection of new items to date: 144 stockkeeping units across a number of new categories. The brand also is looking to expand beyond Target and Walgreens to other discount and drugstore and even food chains. In some cases, the brand aims to gain a foothold with new retailers with seasonal programs. The company’s

close ties to the apparel business through Shamah’s family also enabled E.l.f. to distribute its color products in stores such as Forever 21, Urban Outfitters and Ross. The brand is moving full-throttle ahead, said retail executives, with an arsenal including more nail color — holiday gift sets with 15 colors for $15 — new eye shadow quads, “chubby” lip stains, an eye refresh item with a roller ball and potentially BB creams and other corrective skin care. E.l.f. also remains committed to e-commerce. Its digital effort allows for deep product assortments that stores can’t accommodate, said Shawn Haynes, vice president of retail sales. The devoted E.l.f. consumers serve as a “test” market to identify the biggest hits, which can roll out to stores, he said. For instance, Studio Mascara & Shadow Shield — an item so hot that one can’t even be found in E.l.f.’s New York showroom — was a hit online first. The tool is held below the eye during makeup application to reduce smudges and shadow overflow. Other items aiding online sales included baked eye shadow palettes, High Definition Blush and Mineral Primers in the Studio line. In the same vein, E.l.f.’s online business can sift out failures and eliminate them quickly instead of having a flop in stores. While e-commerce provides a testing ground, Shamah doesn’t believe it detracts from demand in stores. “It is a different consumer online and for those who like the products in the store, they can go online to find more of our items. We have thousands of stockkeeping units online,” he said. The majority of price points range from $1 to $3, but E.l.f. has been able to trade consumers up to its Studio line priced at $6. However, Shamah said the moderate price points inspire more multiple sales. “If retailers ask, ‘Aren’t the lower prices driving dollars down,’ we can show that people buy more and build a bigger basket,” he said. Shamah said one retailer moves four times the pieces of E.l.f. than many other makeup brands producing inventory turns for the line that are at least twice the industry average.

Entry #2 – October 5th, 2012 Chicago Tribune Article Summary Amazon is the largest internet retailer and decided to sell more fashion and clothing this year as they took on selling new high-end brands such as Trina Turk and Calvin Klein. Amazon needs to take on more prestigious and high-end brands in order to succeed. Luxury brands are looking for quality and authenticity which Amazon needs to focus more on in order to reach out to the target high-end fashion consumer. Exclusivity might be one of the main reasons that a consumer chooses to visit the high-end retailers as oppose to e-commerce shopping. Designers such as Burberry say that “they will be the only ones to sell their product”. This poses a hurdle for Amazon trying to expand into the high-end, high-fashion market. While some stores such as Burberry may oppose to selling online, stores such as Dior would love the opportunity because of the sales decrease in their brick and mortar stores due to the down economy.

Point of View: Personally I feel that high-end stores such as Dior, Burberry, Chanel, Ferragamo, Prada, etc. should not sell their merchandise on Amazon. I think that it is wrong for the simple fact that it seems to take away the “class” and positive experience of the brick and mortar stores. One of the largest problems that shopping on Amazon poses for high-end brands is the fact that there is a lot of counterfeit items trying to be sold. For example, Loius Vuitton purse sellers are notorious for being scam artists in that they are selling counterfeit merchandise, which in the long run, hurts the actual Louis Vuitton brand image. Personally, I just do not believe that high-end brands should take a change to potentially ruin their image by selling on e-commerce websites such as Amazon. While I love Amazon, it should be kept for certain purchases such as books, toys, appliances, house ware, etc.

Article: Amazon looks to luxury fashion 1:28PM CDT, October 26, 2012 – (02:18) Buying luxury used to mean visiting boutiques. Now even high-end products are just a click away. Amazon is best known for its low-priced books, DVDs and toiletries. But it's looking to get a piece of the fashion market. This article featured the following video

Entry #3 – October 5th, 2012 Vogue Fashion Trend Summary: Designer Derek LAM has created a fall collection called “The Library”. This collection features pieces such as the extraordinary ivory shearilng peacoat. Lam concluded that the shearling peacoat is just too easy of a choice for the runway so he decided to make it tough and find more environmentally conscious alternatives. Lam set off and found unprocessed, naturally colored pelts in Turkey that are actually second-use sheepskins. Lam proceeded to shade and texture the natural shearling while being sure not to take away the realness and naturalness of the fabric.

Point of View: I think that Lam did a great thing in targeting today’s consumers and their concern for environmentally friendly and natural products. It is amazing that Lam went through the effort of investigating a more environmentally conscious way of going about producing a typical shearling peacoat… which is a staple item for every man and women for the fall and winter season. I think that not only is this a great idea, but Lam will also be a leader in environmentally conscious clothing. It is one thing to be a dedicated designer, but it is another to have an awareness for the market of environmentally conscious consumers and to be concerned about the wellness of the environment. Lately, I feel that people are more aware of our environment and that “environmentally friendly” merchandise is becoming a huge trend.

In The Marketplace: Not only do we go to a grocery store and lately see a lot more environmentally friendly and “green” products; but now it is becoming a huge trend within the fashion industry. As well as Lam, I have seen many other sources of natural, environmentally friendly, or domestically produced clothing. Some retailers which focus on the same ethics as Lam include: American Apparel, Lululemon, Alternative Apparel, and botiques and designers such as Study NY, Alabama Chanin, Titania Inglis and Carrie Parrie.

Entry #4 – October 16th , 2012 Fall 2012 Fashion Observation Studded with style Studs are a big trend for women this 2012 Fall for. Studs are not only seen on boots and shoes, but they are on blouses, jeans, leggings, gloves, earrings, sunglasses, and many other garments and accessories. These studs range in color from the bronze and brass grungy look to shiny silver and gold. My fashion observation was not made merely on garments or accessories, but it was based on an up and coming style amongst teenagers and young adults. I would say that most of the studded apparel and accessories were seen on women 18-35 years old, meaning that this is a younger style, however, a few older women were wearing studs on their fabulously sophisticated heels. I have noticed that studs can be “dressed down” and casual, or “dressed up” and flashy. In Fall 2011 few people were wearing studs, it was more the grunge and punk styled individuals, but in 2012, it has been an accepted trend for all styles.

Entry #5 – October 17th, 2012 Fall 2012 Dominant Store Trends Nordstrom: Tribal Print – This trend is seen in various garments in the mens’s, women’s, and junior’s departments. I would describe this print as being almost like an “aztek” style print. It is more commonly seen in the woman’s and junior’s section on clutches, purses, scarves, and dresses. Leather – Leather is a dominant trend in every area of Nordstrom. Men’s features leather jackets, gloves, hats, and bags. Women’s features leather pants, jackets, blazers, gloves, purses and even leather accessories and jewelry. Juniors features a lot of faux leather apparel such as pants, blazers, and purses. Oxblood color – The most common trend in colors that I had seen across all sections of Nordstrom was this Oxblood color. Although a lot of fall colors such as navy, dark green, and burnt orange are common, this new “Oxblood” color is the new fad. It is a maroon color, almost exactly a blood red color. It is seen mostly on denim throughout the various sections of Nordstrom. It is also somewhat seen on leather purses and shoes. Studded apparel – This Fall seems to be a big season for studded apparel. Although studs are not commonly seen in men’s apparel, it is dominant on women’s and juniors apparel and accessories. Throughout the store I spotted studs on shoes, purses, hats, headbands, clutches, blazers, jeans, and tops. Velvet – Velvet was the least common trend, yet the next most noticeable. Velvet was common in men’s pants, women’s pants and blazers, and junior’s pants. Velvet was not seen in any purses or accessories, and it was most commonly seen on trousers and pants.

Entry #6 – October 21st, 2012 WGSN Trend Reports WGSN states that bold and playful all-over conversationals remain a popular print option and that print and pattern is set to impact. This reinforces all of the tribal Aztec printed items that I had spotted. WGSN also states that Smooth, supple black leather dominates autumn's fashion fabrics. WGSN states that colors in trend for Fall 2012 are electric blue, Oxblood, and tangerine. Oxblood is a classic alternative to the usual black or tan. WGSN mentions that intricate details such as lace, studs, and embroidery are the trend for fall 2012. Every trend that I found at Nordstrom seems to be in check with WGSN trend reports, which means that Nordstrom is a great place to shop for the fashion conscious consumer who desires to shop the latest trends and styles. Nordstrom obviously has great merchandisers and keeps up to date with the latest fashion industry news.

Entry #7 – October 21st, 2012

Entry #8 – October 27th, 2012 WGSN Global Trends China Because of the latest ‘Gangnam Style’ phenomenon; brightly colored, crazy patterned, and mismatched suits may become “in style” for upcoming seasons. The big Chinese pop-star idol, Psy, features these brightly colored and vibrant suits in his viral ‘Gangnam Style’ music video. I hate to say it, but this may become a rising trend in the United States taken from China. Currently menswear stores do offer an array of different colors and textures for men’s suits, however, I believe that the selection and variety will change to include these brightly colored and vibrant pieces.

Brazil Take inspiration from the intoxicating allure of tropical Brazil and the party energy of carnival for this Next Nature trend influenced by exotic floral embroideries, botanical prints, vibrant saturated colour and fun, carefree styling. (WGSN) America might see an upcoming trend with tropical inspiration that comes from Brazil. This will feature garments with playful contours, exuberant colors, tropical foliage patterns, and expressive style.

Czech Republic Folkloric prints are to hit across different levels of the womenswear market, from caual, to luxury bohemian styling. Bohemian style comes from the Czech Republic where they wear tailored jackets and shift dresses. The United States is already getting into the bohemian trend by offering bohemian inspired patterned apparel, and scarves. Within the next few seasons, this will become a big trend in United States fashion.

Entry #9 – October 27th, 2012 Visual Displays Nordstrom


Nordstrom I love the Nordstrom winter themed windows that are on display. All of the display windows have what looks like winter wonderland scene with words saying “Once upon a holiday; gifts were given”. This visual creates the perfect image in my mind of what Christmas is about. I love the creativity within the scene and the whimsical looking holiday trees. I enjoyed how the snow looks very realistic and does not look like a bunch of cotton ripped apart on the floor. The outfits that were chosen for the mannequins seem to represent great winter clothing for the appropriate Winter 2013 trends. I also loved the MIU MIU shoe display that Nordstrom had put together. It featured numerous mannequins standing behind what looks like a wall; where only their fabulous heels are being shown. This display was extremely creative in the sense that whoever put it together realized that the main focus needs to be on the shoes rather than the outfit. I was quickly drawn to all of the colorful and fabulous MIU MIU shoes, and the display was extremely simple which left myself with plenty of room for imagination. I love displays that are a little out of the ordinary and extremely simple. It’s great when the retailer realizes that imagination is a great aspect to put into a visual display.

Anthropology Anthropology is widely known for their extremely creative in-store and window displays. The displays always look like they took the visual merchandiser a very long time to put together. Anthropology focuses on a ton of detail along with a whimsical, playful, and imaginative theme in their displays. The first display is in the “home” section of Anthropology. I loved the use of the color green in this display, which had an eye catching jungle theme. The use of the color green with the jungle theme featuring grass, animals, trees, and a lot of wood was a very appropriate choice for selling outdoor accessories, home goods, and furniture. This display really captured the feeling of being outdoors in a beautiful jungle-like garden. The other display that I really enjoyed was actually a window display for Anthropology. This is not the typical retailers winter scene display. This window scene features a bunch of rolled up balls of white yarn representing the snow, several birch trees, and a lamb wearing a knit sweater. I thought this was an extremely clever scene and really played on the “lamb’s wool” theme. Not only is the snow made of wool, but so is the sweater that the lamb is wearing. At first, this looked just like a normal winter scene, but when I had gotten up close to it and strategically thought about it, I had figured out that it was all associated with wool and winter sweaters, I love that this display made me think and it had an underlying correlation to the winter season.

Entry #10 – November 8th, 2012 Emerging Television Show Fashion Trend Prediction The Vampire Diaries Along with all other Vampire based television shows, I believe that they will set a fashion trend this winter and in the upcoming seasons. Just like the Vampire Diaries, all Vampire shows feature cast with darkly colored clothing, lots of leather, deep reds, and dark plum purple colors. Some of the fashion seems to tap into the whole “grunge” style and I believe that along with all of these shows, this dark grunge style will become a big fad. This fad will probably pick up really quick and then die off even faster as new shows come out and people stray away from the Vampire movies and television shows. Nina Dobrev seems to be the biggest fashion icon in the Vampire Series and she always features red or black clothing, and a lot of leather jackets. I think that rather than the “little black dress” maybe the “little red dress” will emerge from the fashion of Nina Dobrev. There could be several fashion trends that emerge from this television show, and I have actually already seen the Vampire-ish style already somewhat starting to emerge.

Entry #11 – November 14th, 2012 Designer Collection

Vanentin Yudashkin This designer is Valentin Yudashkin. The collection is From Moscow Fashion Week and it is the Spring/Summer 2012 Ready-To-Wear Collection. I feel that this designer would best fit in a store such as Saks, Nordstrom, or Neiman Marcus. The style of this designer is very fashion forward, sophisticated, elegant, trendy, and neutral colored. The collection does not feature any controversial and “out-there� designs, but is still extremely stunning. Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Saks are all department stores that carry this type of high-end and ready-to-wear clothing for the sophisticated yet trendy individual. I love this design because it is predominantly white in color which allows the tan and gold statement pieces to really stand out. I love the texture and materials used on the skirt to create the fish-like scale appearance. I am highly drawn to neutral colors which is also another reason that this designers collection, and specifically this outfit, stands out to me.

Entry #12 – November 28th, 2012

Designer, Buyer, and Product Development Manager Fashion Designer A fashion designer is the brains behind the aesthetics of the garments we see. They create original clothing, accessories, and footwear. A fashion designer starts by sketching designs, selecting fabrics and patterns, and then giving specific instructions on how to fabricate the product or garments that they have designer. A fashion designer’s median pay is $64,530 per year and only needs to hold a high school diploma. This position however, does require long-term on-the-job training and competition to become a fashion designer is fierce.

Fashion Buyer A fashion buyer typically works for department stores, retail chains, independently owned stores or wholesale distributors. A fashion buyer is an individual who selects items that will be stocked in a store based on his or her predictions about upcoming trends and what will be popular amongst shoppers in the upcoming season. Buyers usually work closely with designers and their designated sales representatives. Buyers attend trade fairs, wholesale showrooms, and fashion shows in order to observe trends. A buyer must have excellent forecasting skills and be up to date with the most current fashion as well as future fashions. Some places require a fashion business degree in order to become a buyer but they are not mandatory. The starting average salary for a fashion buyer is about $42,000 per year.

Product Development Manager A product development manager is in charge of managing and coordinating product development projects. A product development manager evaluates and resolves technical feasibility, design optimization, and production issues. He/she ensures that labeling and marketing/promotional literature match product specifications. They also research and monitor existing client base and industry developments and identify potential new product opportunities. They develop vendor strategy in order to increase profitability and sales. A product development manager must have a wide degree of creativity and latitude. The median expected salary of a product development manager is $106,870 per year and a bachelors degree in business, marketing, or a field related to the product you will be developing; is required.

Entry #13 – December 1st, 2012

Designer, Buyer, and Product Development Manager Fashion Don’t #1:

A big fashion “don’t” would have to be printed leggings. If you desire to look slimmer, having brightly patterned and abstract prints on your leggings are definitely a fashion “don’t” because they will actually cause your silhouette to look extremely unflattering and wide hipped. These brightly colored leggings definitely do not belong with the neutral tops they have been paired with. As far as the leggings on the far right, the cutouts are unflattering when paired with the rest of the outfit. The style was supposed to be edgy and biker chique but ended up being way too overdone with textures. The hat and sunglasses in the far right outfit also took the whole ensemble way too “over-thetop”. I would recommend that these girls tone it down with the leggings and wear something more neutral colored on the bottom half in order to draw attention away from the bigger thighs and hips.

Fashion Don’t #2:

Ripped jeans were cool back in the day, but today they are a huge fashion “don’t”. I constantly see people wearing ripped jeans and believe that they completely ruin an outfit. If you are wearing a very nice top, paired with ripped jeans, the textures simple do not fit because if your top isn’t distressed and torn, why should your jeans be? Today it is fashionable to be sophisticated and edgy, and the ripped jeans just make it look like you cannot afford a good pair of jeans. Hobo Chique is in, but please throw away your ripped jeans!

Fashion Don’t #3:

I absolutely love the colors used in this outfit as well as the silk texture that conforms the outfit, however, let it be said that it is a major fashion “don’t” to wear clothes that improperly fit you’re personal silhouette. Everybody has a different body, shape, and form, therefore; you’re clothes should match it! Do not wear a shirt that reveals midriff if you personally lack a flat abdomen area. Kim Kardashion completely failed at this aspect when choosing to wear this ensemble. The high waisted belt may have been what set this fashion don’t “over-the-top” (literally), but regardless, this top would have been excellent if only it were a little bit longer and perhaps tucked in to cover up the stomach area.

Fashion Journal  
Fashion Journal  

My Fashion Journal for Introduction to Fashion Business at Columbia College Chicago