Fashion Journal by Mona Johanna Thelemaque
Table of Contents Entry #1: Milani Cosmetics…………..………………………………………………………….3 Entry #2: Garbage Fashion………………………………….……………….……………….….6 Entry #3: Magnification……………………………………………………………………...….9 Entry #4: Fashion Observation…………………………………………………….……....…..11 Entry #5: Trend Spotting………………………………………………………………….…...13 Entry #6: Trend Report Review………………………………………………………….…….16 Entry #7: Fabric and Color Trends………………………………………………………….….20 Entry #8: Trend Forecast…………………………………………………………………….....22 Entry #9: Visual Displays………………………………………………………………….…...30 Entry #10: Mad Men-inspired Fashion……………………………………...…………………..34 Entry #11: Espaco Fashion……………………………………………………….………...…...38 Entry #12: Job Responsibilities……………………………………………………………….....40 Entry #13: Fashion Don’ts…………………………………………………………………...….42 Entry #14: Career Opportunities………………………………………………………………...46 Bibliography……………………………………………………………………………..…...…48
Entry #1 Women’s Wear Daily – March 2, 2012
Milani Cosmetics In 2002, the US-based cosmetics company
multicultural collection Milani. Its target customer is not defined by a certain age or ethnical background, but it reaches out to all women that value quality, fashionforward color trends and affordability – all at the same time. Its competitive advantage is the wide range of hues it offers to women of color, not found at competing brands, while still appealing to Caucasian women by offering traditional color pallets as well – all at a price under $5.00 for most stock-keeping units. Critics expressed doubts about their broad market positioning in the beginning, but Milani’s success has proven that its concept works. According to ACNielsen, Milani experiences an impressive sales growth across all of its distribution channels, including food, drug and mass doors. “In total, sales exceed $50 million, a rise of 2.3 percent versus last year. ACNielsen data also show Milani is the number-one multicultural brand in mass and it is the number-five-selling brand in dollars by point of distribution.”
â€œWith African-American, Asian and Hispanic consumers accounting for more than onethird of the U.S. population, cosmetics aimed at this market are expected to expand, According to Mintel Research. Mintel estimates the spending power of this group will surpass $4.2 billion by 2013 and the research firm said non-Caucasian women continue to spend more on beauty products.â€?
Milani certainly proved some courage when it started to offer non-conventional, innovative color pallets. Ultimately, it helped the brand to carve out its niche. Something “ordinary” will most likely not survive in today’s market environment that offers excess of all kinds of products and services. Taking risks is therefore inevitable as a company to reach the top. In essence, Milani’s positioning is very clever and unique compared to competing brands. All the seemingly different customer groups have one important common denominator: Color. Those consumers all want color that matches their unique skin tone. With Milani, a brand was established that unites all those women, from African-American, Asian, Caucasian and Hispanic. The product range seems to satisfy all their different needs. That way, Milani manages to benefit from the purchasing power of all those customer groups at once. Even though the product is affordable customers do not want to forgo luxury and Milani has taken that into consideration, for example, by designing beautiful product packaging. For the complete look, cosmetics is just as important as fashion itself. The fact that the source of inspiration stems from high-end runway fashion and color, makes the brand even more attractive to fashion-forward customers. And because Milani offers great value at a low price, I believe it will continue to be successful: Milani products seem to be a great economical and fashionable choice at the same time.
Entry #2 Business Week – March 20, 2012
Garbage Fashion Brooklyn Industries sells graphic T-Shirts that are made from recycled plastic water bottles, by spinning them into a type of polyester yarn. They feel soft and look like any other “normal” T-shirt. The shirts have been such a success that this year, 500,000 to 750,000 units are planned to be produced.
However, as of today, the T-shirts cannot be transformed into plastic bottles again “due to health and safety regulations on recycled plastics in food packaging.” In order to ensure that the garments can be reclaimed, Brooklyn’s Seattlebased manufacturer Rethink Fabrics, plans to launch a program with national retailers next year to recycle the T-Shirts into new ones.
The Ethical Fashion Forum, a London-based nonprofit organization, claims that polyester is difficult to dispose and its manufacturing causes global warming. However, Brooklyn Industries has two main reasons why it produces Polyester anyway: It uses less water than cotton and virgin polyester and it helps them realize their overall goal which is to minimize contamination of oceans and landfills with plastic bottles.
Being “green” has become a true movement, a trend even. People show stronger awareness of environmental issues and they care more about how companies actually conduct business. They way in which business is done has a powerful effect on a company’s image and can even help create a competitive advantage. Ultimately it may even determine if a business is successful or not in the long term. Because a company’s actions are in the public eye, CSR, social engagement, fair labor conditions, green production procedures, etc. have become more important than ever. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “just 14 percent of clothing, footwear, and other textile products were recovered for recycling, and less than 30 percent of plastic bottles in the U.S. were recycled.” In the light of this, Brooklyn Industries’ mission seems to be even more important. The green movement used to be associated with a rather “hippie-like” lifestyle or “tree huggers”, something that people have ridiculed often times in the past. It therefore carried a somewhat negative connotation. Today, being green is hip and trendy, especially among younger generations. It can be observed that more and more designers engage in the “green business”. I think it is essential to be part of that trend, in order to cast a positive light on one’s own business and also to addresses all those many environmental-conscious customers out there. The entire production process of an environmental-friendly garment is quite complex and expensive. That might be a reason why Brooklyn Industries decided to partly outsource its production to Guatemala. It needs to ensure fair labor conditions though, in order to avoid bad publicity.
Overall, the engagement in the green business seems to be a double-edged sword, besides the cost and manufacture factor mentioned previously. It seems like something’s got to give. As it says in the article, even though Brooklyn Bridge pursues an honorable objective, it is arguable if polyester is a sustainable material at all. However, I think Brooklyn Bridge and its manufacturer Rethink Fabrics should be appreciated for their efforts of transforming “garbage” into something useful and with that giving something back to the environment. There are still many businesses out there, that don’t take environmental issues into consideration in their all day procedures at all. I hope this movement goes on and expands, because our environment has paid the price for human ignorance/inconsideration/recklessness since a very long time now. Brooklyn Bridge and Rethink Fabrics are a great example of companies that manage to combine profitability with sustainability.
Entry #3 Vogue –April 2012
Magnification I read the article “The Big Idea” by Mark Holgate in the April 2012 issue of Vogue. The trend described is magnification applied on both, tops and bottoms. This trend has started to become obvious in spring 2012 collections and now the idea is carried all the way into pre-fall and next winter’s collections by many designers. Céline, Chloé, Nina Ricci and Balenciaga are only a few examples of designers going for this trend of enlargement. According to the author, a widely spread phenomenon in this decade seems to be the development of something rather oddlooking becoming something absolutely normal and widely accepted, such as dressing in a multicolored print ensemble from head to toe. This is the case because girls nowadays dare to wear the most unexpected garments. At Chloé this trend is all about maximizing one part of the body while minimizing another, about the fascination with opposite proportions. Nina Ricci’s designer Peter Copping emphasizes the importance of the right balance when complying with the trend in order not to end up looking like a single “mass of fabric”. First success is already
recorded with this trend: Jonny Johnson of Acnes states that oversized spring pieces are already selling. Personally, I donâ€™t like when a look tends to either extreme â€“ the extremely oversized or the extremely tight. I believe those looks work on the runways only and only there, they are fun to look at. First of all, magnification is not a trend for everybody. It goes best with tall, rather slim people, like the models on the runway. For my part, I always look for the right balance in my outfits, so I like to wear skinny-fit bottoms and wider tops or vice versa, which allows me to emphasize one part of my person and make it really stand out. Now that I think about it, I have actually done this ever since I can remember. It has always been important to me that at least the vague silhouette of my body is still visible. That is why I adopt the oversized look only within certain limits. It also helps to add some sophistication and more laid back character to a look. I have actually seen this trend emerging last year already. I have witnessed it on the streets of Germany, France and the Netherlands. And I do believe that many fashion-forward people love and actively seek this trend. It is fun to play with opposites â€“ after all it is proven that opposites attract - and additionally, it is comfortable.
Fashion Observation Relaxed tailoring and sheer fabrics are the core elements of the Urban Bohemia Look 2012. For the trendy city girl this Spring 2012 trend is all about dressing light, loose and floaty, for example with the Row. The predominant presence of pleats, for example in the Celine Spring Collection 2012, is a hint of the 70â€™s revival this spring season. In the Burberry, Peter Pilotto and Helmut Lang collections we can also spot the power of the trouser for women with a slight masculine twist.
Burberry Prorsum, CĂŠline, The Row, Helmut Lang, Peter Pilotto
This trend has definitely made its way from the runways to the streets of Chicago this spring. I always keep my eyes open when I step outside and observe what people are wearing. Probably the most striking look of the above mentioned trend are maxi dresses and skirts, often with pleats. They are all-around this season. They mainly feature filmy sheer layers over short yet opaque bottoms. I love this feminine and ethereal look created by the transparent revelation of parts of a womanâ€™s body, such as the legs, which is why I have quite a few of those clothing items in my wardrobe. This look is chic, sophisticated and comfortable at the same time and can be worn to a many different occasions.
Trend Spotting The department store I chose to search for trends was Macyâ€™s on State Street. It houses both, hard line merchandise, such as electronics equipment, cars and household appliances, and soft line merchandise, sometimes referred to as nondurable goods, such as apparel, home furnishings and paper products.
Fabric Trend: Lace
A predominant fabric trend is lace which penetrates into many different areas of the store, such as apparel, accessories and home furnishings.
Texture Trend: Exotic Skins Exotic skins include reptile, including crocodile, which is probably one of the most popular, fish, deer and hand-burnished calf. They add a very sophisticated, professional and clean cut look to an outfit while being absolutely fashionable.
Exotic skins are big in footwear, accessories, such as wallets, handbags and belts, and furniture.
Detail Trend: Pleats The prominent presence of pleats, especially accordion and delicate plissé, is a hint of the 70’s revival this spring season. Pleats are visible in apparel, particularly in maxi skirts and dresses, accessories, i.e. in scarves and clutches, home fashion, i.e. in draperies and even in footwear.
Motif Trend: Florals There are no boundaries this season when it comes to florals; they are literally everywhere and cross-over into every department of Macy’s.
Flower Theme Display at Macy’s
Color Trend: Brights This season it is all about bright, vibrant and lively solid and pastel colors, such as oranges, yellows, blues and greens. Brights are great differentiators. Those colors are often combined with neutrals and denim or worn with other colors to achieve a color-blocked look. Such confident color statements add newness to classic and standout shapes and pieces. Pastel hues convey a low-key, ladylike vibe. According to the Pantone Fashion Color Report Spring 2012, Tangerine Tango, Solar Power and Cabaret are some of the hottest colors this spring season. Neon colors, such as lime, acid yellow and pink, can also be seen all around, especially in sportswear. This is another trend, that I observed crossing-over into all departments of Macyâ€™s.
Trend Report Review Within the trend reports on color & material for S/S 2012, WGSN dedicates several sections of reports to lace and its versatile applications. It also introduces different forms of lace, underlining its dominance in this season. Peacock feathers are imitated using short and long eyelash laces, lustre or metallic effects can be added to lace using iridescent polyester yarns and raw, unruly and organic structures inspire the creation of lace hybrids, for example. Additionally, there are numerous images of Vogue issues featuring beautiful lace garments, footwear and accessories of the current season. Louis Vuitton, Valentino and Oscar de la Renta are only a few examples of the many designers that have incorporated lots of lace in this seasonâ€™s collections.
Designer Fashion is in love with the skins of fish, fowl, and reptile this season. Items made of exotic skins come in a variety of hues besides the classic neutrals and are often times styled with relatively tame apparel and neutral colors. Croc skin or croc-embossed leather is probably the most popular exotic skin type this season, often named as collection highlight by WGSN editors. Many WGSN trend reports for 16
2012 list exotic skins, i.e. the “Milan and Paris Men’s Accessories Presentation”, where they are often used to exemplify the understated luxury of a brand, i.e. at Tod’s. The “Women’s Footwear and Accessory Brands Presentation” report published on March 2, 2012 and various collection analysis, state exotic skin as seasonal direction and therewith emphasize its dominance. Here is a quote from the report on women’s footwear and accessory brands: “Seasonal direction: the extensive range of exotic skins such as toad skin, springbok fur and ostrich leather. Suitable for a bold statement during both day and evening”. In the report “Live from: Pure, London – Footwear & Accessories” published on August 9, 2011, exotic skins are defined as number one trend this season: “1. Skins: From luxurious eel to printed snake, exotic reptile skins feature throughout many of the spring/summer 12 collections”. The “S/S 12 Women’s Wear and Inspiration: Primal Futurism” report highlights fish skins used to create dyeable, resilient sea leather made from salmon skin, as a Spring 2012 trend. It was just recently discovered that fish-skin leather is sustainable material because it is a byproduct of the fish processing industry and therefore it has regained interest. Designers like Roberto Cavalli, Trussardi and Espacio Fashion are showing off the exotic trend on the runway.
Pleats are everywhere and come in all colors and fabrics, even leather, this season. In the color & material section at wgsn.com, lots of reports include sections about pleats as a predominant detail this season. Grecian pleats, for example, are seen in fluid dresses. Different forms of pleats for different effects, such as plissé for a dramatic boudoir aesthetic, are introduced. Designers this season experiment with pleated net, silk organza, cotton and matt viscose, just to name a few. Chloé, Lanvin and Dior have clearly fallen for this trend this season.
The floral pattern is a worldwide trend this spring. From New York, to Milan, Paris and London, florals penetrate into almost every clothing style this season:
It has even become a popular motif for
sportswear. There are modern as well as playful versions of the flower pattern, and a vivid array of colors, such as yellows and blues, add a particular feeling to a look and create a theme, such as the tropic thunder look in Proenza Schouler’s collection. Large motifs of garden inspirations frequently appear in different collections and create a fresh and trendy look. Three out of WGSN’s announced top five prints for women’s wear this season are floral patterns: The retro resort floral print comes in first, second is the artisan flower print and the tropical flower pattern comes in fifth. Many designers, like Alexander Wang, Prada and Dolce & Gabbana, could not resist the strong power of flowers. 18
Bright solids, pastels and neons are on the agenda for trendy fashion in 2012. Cheerful color blocking is served up for spring 2012 by numerous designers. WGSN features extensive reports on the powerful, confident color merchandising story of this season. Included in the family of the “WGSN’s ultra brights” are hot pink, zingy lime, acid yellow, canary yellow, orangeade, fuchsia and cool cobalt. They are a driver for a wide variety of apparel, such as trench coats, pants and blouses. The report “Design page 2: Miami pastels” published 10 February 2011. Michael Kors, Hermès and Marc Jacobs are a few examples of designers who feature those strong color choices in their spring 2012 collections. Preen is a great example of incorporating lots of neons and pastels into a collection with lots of classic items.
Fabric and Color Trends Spring 2012 Fabric Trends
Novelty Lace, 100% Cotton, USA
Glitter Tulle, 100% Nylon, USA
Jacquard, 100% Polyester, USA
Limelight Metallic Stretch, 96% Polyester, 4% Spandex, USA
N/A, 95% Silk, 5% Spandex, Italy
Organza, 100% Silk Organza, Italy
Fashion Burnout Knit, Cotton Polyester Blend, USA
Spring 2012 Color Trends
Trend Forecast I have done extensive research on the global trends around the world in order to make a projection of the future trends for the next two seasons. My forecast for A/W 12/13 will focus on women apparel. In order to back up my forecast, I have examined the predominant trends from three, culturally very different countries outside the USA: Germany, Japan and Brazil. Later on, my findings will complement the trends spotted in stores and the trends outlined in WGSN, to facilitate my forecast.
The S/S 12 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
predominant trends now visible in stores and on the streets in Germany. It is all about the
excellent tailoring. The application of super-luxe fabrics adds a soft and floaty finish to the garments.
Resort was the predominant season at Berlinâ€™s Fashion Week. Tailored shorts with rolled hems and tailored pockets as well as cropped capri trousers were largely incorporated into many collections and created a retro 50â€™s resort appeal. 22
Other shape trends included the graphic, structured and retro-futuristic T-shirt shift, a key dress shape, the sexy and feminine version of menâ€™s tailored shirts, and pajama dressing as overriding theme for relaxed, super-rich resort holiday pieces.
Color-wise, there was a strong emphasis on bright solids as well as pastels, such as custard hues, clean pillar-box red variations, deep blues, soft, smoky greys and aquatic hues. Top-to-toe looks were key. They were also often broken up with other colors for a color-blocked look or by fabric mixing. Both structured and graphic looks with minimal prints as well as playful patterns for a retro daytime feel proved a strong presence at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Berlin.
As indicated above, evening-wear fabrics, such as high-shine and sequined silk fabrics, to add luxe elements, wispy fabrics of chiffon and lace were paramount. Fabric overlays to achieve a cloud-like volume were popular. Sheer, soft and fluid fabrications created an ethereal look and added a sense of undulation and movement.
At the S/S 12 MercedesBenz Fashion Week in Tokyo, designers were likewise inspired by
feminine trend shapes were peplum dresses and hi-lo hems. Volume was also key: Full skirted dress shapes with emphasis on the waist prevailed. 23
Retro sports with a new take on materials and proportions, such as cropped or exaggerated silhouettes, and lots of uniform shapes and detailing, was a predominant theme. Besides summer whites, aquatic hues were the most popular colors at the S/S 12 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Tokyo, just like in Berlin. Basic stripes and checks were replaced by polka dots as a major print and pattern trend. Fabric favorites at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Tokyo were lightweight transparent fabrics and colored leather.
In the course of my review for global trends, I also studied the S/S 12 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Brazilian designers showcased strongly European-inspired collections: Minimalism, engineered silhouettes and androgynous dressing were predominant. The cigarette pants, cropped silhouettes for jackets and longer length tunic tops were part of the contrasting, layered silhouette trend that has starting to emerge in Brazil. Therefore, the trends coincide with most of the ones described at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Berlin. They are also similar to the ones in Tokyo.
At the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Sao Paulo, there were three overarching themes: Primal Futurism, Modernist Pop and Transparent Dressing.
Primal Futurism refers to primitive yet futuristic looks. Natural fabrics and crafted techniques played a major role within this theme. Key design details were beading, weaving and tufting. Block prints and overall pattern plays for simple dress styles were very popular. Again, contemporary shapes such as the peplum and the cigarette pants were a strong trend. A rich palette of colors, such as marigold, burnt orange, forest green and ecru, completed this overarching theme.
Similarly to Tokyo, sportswear-inspired collections were big at S/S 12 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Sao Paulo. Modernist Pop revived 60â€™s sports-inspired silhouettes with an emphasis on dress styles. Key commercial items were the minimal shift dress, the shell top, the clean-lined mini and the tunic. A rich palette of brights made up the color story, including lots of color blocking and also the use of monochrome colors to emphasis a more sophisticated, grown up approach. Layering was used to add volume. Fabrics, such as matt and shiny satins and silks, soft leathers and wet-look performance shells or plastics, were predominant.
The application of sheer fabrics for layered transparent dressing and detailing was a commercial trend. Chiffon and voile were popular fabrics used for dresses, especially in the commercial maxi or midi lengths.
The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Rio de Janeiro featured two predominant themes, Resort Cool and Pajama Dressing. Relaxed and undone silhouettes, loose-fitting sportswear and well-tailored separates were key. The latter mentioned theme, Pajama Dressing, often featured looks with all-over prints in vivid colors or solid-colored bottoms in sheer and breezy fabrics. Bold and bright color-blocking with orange as a dominant color, was also a trend in Rio, just like in all other cities. Pattern-clash was either applied in one piece or through mismatching of paired tops and bottoms. There were lots of futuristic, nature-inspired and art-deco prints, as well as nautically inspired patterns. The reptile trend was either realized through the application of authentic reptile leathers or print manipulations.
It becomes obvious that the predominant trends of all three countries overlap, at least partially. Speaking from an even broader perspective, many of the above mentioned trends cross all major fashion markets around the world. By taking this information into account, I feel confident with my predictions for A/W 12/13: ď‚ˇ
Masculine vs. feminine shapes
Strong color stories
My first trend prediction is all about the presence of contrasting masculine and feminine silhouettes in womenâ€™s wear. With reference to the 50â€™s, I believe feminine shapes such as the peplum and hour-glass shape will remain strong elements in the upcoming collections. This will include lots of fabric layering to achieve volume as well as the emphasis on the waist. Lean and sparse lines of masculine-inspired tailoring will be the counterbalance to those feminine shapes. This shape will be particularly dominant in simple separates. As part of this trend, I think we will see key items such as the stove pipe pant, the cigarette pant and tuxedo-inspired styling.
Secondly, I am convinced that color will be a key driver in the upcoming seasons again. Especially during this current season, customers have not only started to get used to the lively, vivid colors all around in fashion, but they have also started to accept them as a trend. As a result, their color confidence has grown. Therefore, they probably do not want to miss out on them in the next two seasons. Colors are a great way to uplift a wardrobe, especially for the darker, cooler seasons. From bright solids, to soft winter pastels and even neons, A/W 12/13 will be filled with color. In this context, I also believe color blocking will remain extremely popular. Of course, the color palette will adapt to the cooler seasons and incorporate richer colors, such as wine red, pine green, purple and browns. Popular colors of the current season, such as cobalt blue, tangerine and yellow hues will be offset against darker colors, such as navy and black. Interesting color stories will be created through the application of patterns and prints, such as geometric and flocking patterns and florals, the most predominant pattern trend this spring, which I believe will therefore live on. According to the seasons, patterns will become more decorative with rich detailing, such as embroideries and jewel embellishment.
Finally, I believe designers will work extensively with contrasting fabrics in the upcoming seasons, like many have done this season. Lightweight fabrics, such as silk, lace and jacquard will persist. According to the cooler seasons, there will also be a widespread application of different kinds of leather such as velvet and reptile, and fur. Soft leathers have been popular this spring season already, and are suitable for cooler weather as well. As a popular transitional item, I believe knit will constitute a strong fabric trend for A/W 12/13. I envision that garments of contrasting fabrics will not only be layered or worn together, but contrasting fabrics will be worked together within the fabrication: Heavier winter fabrics, like wool, will be worked against softer, floaty fabrics, like sheer. Just like this spring, I believe that lightweight fabrics, such as satin, will also often be used for details to change the appearance of a look: Leather, for example, can be used to toughen-up a look.
All of those trends have become apparent in the collections of the current season, some even in the previous season already. I have spotted them myself when I was shopping Macyâ€™s for entry #5 and below are some pictures I took during my visit there to provide some additional evidence. An indication of the three trends for A/W 12/13 described above can even be found on a global scale: Brazil, Germany and Tokyo are great examples. I picked trends that overlap and that are dominant in all major markets to justify my opinion. I also had a glance at a few fashion shows for A/W 12/13, for example the ones in Paris, London and Milan and those three trends seem to play a major role on the runways.
Luis Vuitton Christmas Window Display 2011
The first display I chose is the Louis Vuitton Christmas Window Display from 2011. Actually, I am a big fan of Luis Vuitton window displays in general, because they are often exquisitely arranged and really differ from the rest. Of course it is important for a brand to be authentic. However, in these times of online shopping, social media and access visual exposure in general, it is just as important to surprise people with the unexpected from time to time to stand out from the rest. And this is exactly what Luis Vuitton is doing with this circus-themed window display. It attracts pedestrian’s attention, and even more so it engages them.
The visual merchandise team uses unrealistic proportions: The elephant is too small compared to the mannequin representing a grown woman, when it really should be the other way around. The observer is also confronted with a paradox here: The display illustrates that the “woman” weighs more than the elephant as they stand on a teeter-totter. The concept applied catches people’s attention and even more than that – the contradiction gets them thinking. That again will cause people to actually remember this visual display and talk about it. What better promotion can you ask for as a retailer?
I like this display a lot, because it is not as simple and dull as many other window displays. It may not be the case for every beholder, but in my opinion the window display even carries a message: The portrayal of the mannequin weighing more than the elephant is a metaphor for the value and rich quality of Luis Vuitton products.
Even the mannequins themselves are placed in a creative and unique way, some hanging upside down. The window display is successful because it features maximum content while displaying a minimal product amount. But even though there are only few items on display, they are wisely chosen and represent three different categories of merchandise: Apparel, accessories and footwear. I appreciate that a luxury brand like Luis Vuitton had the courage to be somewhat bold and inject some humor into the creation of the display. It is fun to look at and the concept works. I am convinced it lives up to its purpose. Even though Luis Vuitton already has a strong brand image and status, window displays are a storeâ€™s signature and the first touch point with (potential) customers and therefore they should never be disregarded.
Victoriaâ€™s Secret In-Store Display Spring 2012
I took a picture of this in-store display at the Victoria’s Secret retail store at the Water Tower Place on Michigan Avenue. I like it because it is visually appealing and fairly simple and functional at the same time. The mannequins indicate what the customer can find on the table and, at the same time, give the customer a clearer idea of how the apparel looks like when worn. With the help of wooden boxes and the use of different heights, the merchandise is clearly arranged and nicely sorted by color. That way the customers can find everything easily and quickly, despite the fairly large amount of different merchandise displayed. The visual display is well incorporated into the rest of the store while still standing out. Its placement right at the entrance is strategically clever, because that way it almost functions as an in-store and window display at the same time and store visitors can’t help but notice it. I also like that the name of the product line, Pink, is clearly visible to the customer because it helps to create brand awareness. The sporty theme and the furniture used represent the image and core attributes of that particular product line from Victoria’s Secret. The colors theme also represents the sub-brand and partially even Victoria’s Secret as a whole. Therewith, this visual display creates a link between the customer and the brand.
Mad Men-inspired Trend AMC’s award-winning TV series Mad Men is a drama set in the early 1960’s about one of New York’s most prestigious ad agencies at the time and the men and women who work there. It focuses on the main character Don Draper, who is the firm’s talented executive and his secrets from the past and the present that constitute a thread to his work and family life.
Four seasons have aired on AMC so far, the fifth season just premiered on March 25, 2012 after a break of 17 months.
Mad Men is said to be responsible for a renewed interest in the fashion and retro culture of the early 1960’s. The previous seasons of the smash hit have already proven their strong impact: Fashion and interior design were clearly inspired by Mad Men’s set and wardrobe. Due to the show’s major success, its huge cult and popularity, I believe that the new season will further influence and inspire upcoming collections. Little had changed by the middle of the 1960’s decade and fashion was still highly influenced by the 1950’s and the Mad Men show has truly become famous for the fashion of the 1950’s and 1060’s. But because this Mad Men’s season takes place in 1966 where slightly higher hemlines, a dash of sportiness and bolder colors became popular, I also expect a comeback of elements of the art-house fashion movement besides the reserved polished look of the very elite of the 1960’s in upcoming collections. While some of the characters break from the traditional 50’s style in the show, slightly hinting at the drastic fashion changes that emerged in the late 1960’s, most of them stick with the more sophisticated style epitomized by US first lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Therefore, I expect to see collections inspired by the Parisian twist of the 60s with heavy lace, monochrome clothing with plenty of white cream and black and classic tailored suits with stylized lapels. Mad Men portrays the male vs. female gender struggles. Even though the power remains in the hands of men in the boardroom, women demonstrate strong, sexual confidence, specifically through the way they dress: Form fitting silhouettes and plunging necklines define parts their wardrobe. I can definitely see this empowering fashion of the 60’s a la Brigitte Bardot,
including cuts that draw in the waist, accentuating the bust and hips, full circle skirts or slim pencil skirts with high waists, emerge in the upcoming collections. I also believe that the Mad Men’s 60’s wave will inject a hint of vintage and retro elements into tomorrow’s fashion, welcoming back the 1960’s London with bright block colors, graphic prints and colorful geometric patterns, structured low-hemmed skirts and dresses, masculine flat shoes and chunky high heels for the warmer seasons. Those trends are actually predominant in the Spring 2012 collections and I believe they will still be around for a while. I can see swing coats and capes and lots of fur for fall and winter. Mad Man has given an impulse for the trends of the 1960s to roar back into prominence, also in men’s fashion: I therefore expect to see the contrasting styles of the traditional tight-fitted suits with a more tapered waist in muted, solid colors and crisp spread
Dolce e Gabbana Fall 2012 Collection
Etro Fall 2012 Collection
collars on one site, and the more daring and relaxed suit choices, including skinnier ties, pinstripes and more pronounced patterns on the other site. I also believe that the casual look will experience a revival through the new season’s premiere of Mad Men, including unmatched jackets and trousers and colored shirts.
Cues of the Mad Men style can actually already be observed in the A/W 12/13 collections of numerous
Barbara Tfank Fall 2012 Collection
Chris Benz Fall 2012
designers, such as Barbara Tfank, Chris Benz and Irina Shabayeva (pictures on the right). And the cultural influence of the TV smash hit doesnâ€™t stop there: Retro is also back in eyewear, such as the round Gregory Peck style for men and the 50â€™s cat-eye and butterfly style for women at Black & Lizars.
From Irina Shabayeva's 2012 fall runway presentation
Espaco Fashion The design I chose is from the Spring/Summer 2012 Ready-to-Wear Runway collection by Espaco Fashion. It was very difficult for me to choose my favorite design from the above mentioned collection. I am actually a big fan of the entire collection and would wear close to any piece from it. The designer’s distinctive signature clearly runs through all the designs. They are exotic and reflect Brazilian’s vibrant and exciting atmosphere. I love the play of colors. I have been in Brazil and Belo Horizonte before and it seems as if the designer truly incorporated all the glorious colors from Brazil’s mighty landscapes, its flora and fauna. The collection seems very close to nature due to its colors and therefore “down-to-earth” despite its obvious sophisticated character. The reason why I chose this particular design is because I feel all the core elements design, fabric, color and texture - harmonize extremely well with each other. The garment is loosely fitted but still reveals a woman’s sensual body features, such as legs and back and emphasizes the waist. The details in the back are amazing and make me fall in love with the dress even more. The balance between the laid back and simultaneously feminine and sexy character of the garment is very appealing to me. The fabric flows nicely and complements the style of the short jumpsuit. I always look for extravagant garments that are wearable at the same time. I can think of several occasions to actually wear this particular outfit: I would wear to a beach party with flats, for a night out in the city or a more elegant event with high heels. The 38
colors contribute to its versatility. In addition, they complement my skin tone, especially when I am tanned in the summer. Again, I am fond of its link to nature that is established by the predominant brown, green and yellow shades. I can see this designerâ€™s work being included in the assortment of a luxury retail store, such as Barneys New York, Bloomindales and Saks Fifth Avenue. The collection could be sold in a chain of luxury department stores and/or specialty boutiques with high-end fashion merchandise that target customers with an affinity for exotic and colorful designs.
Job Responsibilities Most importantly, a Fashion Designer has to always stay abreast on contemporary styles, observe past and research new fashion trends. A Fashion Designer is responsible for fabric and color choices, sketching designs and the creation of samples. Nowadays, Fashion Designers shift their visuals to the computer, using Computer aided Design (CAD), to help make work more efficient. A Fashion Designer attends fashion shows, supervises and works with the design team. Depending on the size of the corporation, some Fashion Designers also perform business administration tasks. They are involved in several aspects of the production of the creations and play an essential role in the product marketing. In addition, they collaborate with the sales representatives, buyers and forecasters. Fashion Designers work in accordance with the companyâ€™s budget specifications and determine the prices for the various styles.
The main responsibility of a Fashion Buyer is the development of a conceptual direction, meaning the selection and the management of a companyâ€™s product range aimed at a particular target customer. Therefore it is important that a Fashion Buyer keeps track of past and present fashion trends to be able to forecast upcoming trends. A Fashion Buyer attends all meetings with the fashion designer(s), seminars, fashion shows, etc. and a Fashion Buyer has to stay informed about important fashion publications. Besides the actual, on time procurement of merchandise, a Fashion Buyer is in charge of quality and inventory management and the development of pricing and marketing strategies. A Fashion Buyer communicates with internal and external stakeholders of the company. Some of the numerous
departments a Fashion Buyer interacts with are the design, sourcing, planning and licensing department. A Fashion Buyer negotiates and liaises with suppliers. In addition, a Fashion Buyer establishes strong communication with clients to â€œattract them to the retail showroom.â€?
Fashion Product Development Managers are responsible to plan, develop and present fashionable products to manufacturers and retailers with respect to a specific market. They may not only be responsible for the creation of new products, but also for the upkeep of already existing merchandise. In essence, Fashion Product Development Mangers supervise the product or product line's merchandise from conceptualization to design, construction, and distribution. Assortment, timing and pricing are key elements in this position. Some of the tasks involved in this position are analyzing costs, specifying materials, researching consumer behavior and creating and implementing quality control standards. Fashion Product Development Managers represent a link between the merchandising and the design department of a company. They also interact with product line managers, the materials/sourcing team and operations to guarantee product success. They are also responsible for establishing strong communication to vendors about production orders as well as about the status of preproduction and in-line production. Administrative tasks may include scheduling and tracking production, data entry, handling material specification sheets, and managing email correspondence with factories.
Fashion Don’ts Some of the most common fashion don’ts are probably wearing socks in sandals and wearing clothing that is improper for one’s size or body shape. In the following, I would like to present some other examples of fashion don’ts:
Tights and Leggings worn as Pants
Many women nowadays substitute their pants for tights or leggings. But no matter if one has the body to do so or not, it just reveals too much to the public. My suggestion is to have a look at some runway shows that feature tights and leggings worn properly. Combining leggings or tights with a dress, blouse or tunic that covers the bottom looks cute and much more ladylike. And just to be on the safe side, it is recommended to choose underwear that matches the color of the tights or leggings worn. 42
Pattern Overkill Even though it is classified to be a trend this season to mix match different patterns, it is often overdone and only few people can pull off this look. Patterns in general are difficult to wear for many people, let alone the combination of such different patterns as florals and stripes. It takes true skill and requires the right feeling to make this look work in order to avoid looking like Christmas wrapping paper. The different prints used in the outfits shown above are just too overwhelming. It often looks better if there are no more than three patterns combined and if they share some colors. Any accessories, jewelry or shoes worn with this outfit should be plain and solid and match the colors in the outfit, instead of adding more color and patterns just like in the pictures provided. Otherwise, one definitely runs the risk to look silly or like wearing a clownâ€™s costume. And even though I love to experiment with different looks, I donâ€™t think this kind of outfit is suitable for the everyday use but I would rather wear it to a theme party. 43
Lace Mismatching In my opinion. lace is an excellent fabric to complement classic, elegant and chic looks. Unfortunately, when matching lace a certain way it can be deprived of its sophisticated character. The pictures below demonstrate that lace is not to be worn like any regular, solid fabric. It is transparent and therefore has to be combined with a solid dress, a top or a skirt underneath - either in the same or any other matching color. Wearing nothing but underwear underneath in a matching or, even worse, in a different color than the lace, simply reveals too much and looks cheap.
The Deep V-Neck for Men V-necks have always been a classic neckline in men’s fashion. But today, the V-neck has plunged to an extreme, sometimes close to reaching the belly bottom. And whatever doesn’t work for the ladies, applies to the guys as well: It just reveals too much. Even though those deep V-necks may have been elevated as fashion trend by some designers, it just doesn’t look right. Men may as well wear unbuttoned tops. There is something pornographic about this look, especially when the guy has an extremely well trained upper body. If at all, I can see this look only as something worn on the beach, but I think if a guy wants to dress sporty and laid back, there are plenty of better, more sophisticated ways to do so.
Career Opportunities A Fashion Event Manager is responsible for planning, organizing and running catwalk shows and other related events. Typical tasks include the discussion of the client’s ideas, the budget and deadlines, as well as researching and booking venues and negotiating with suppliers, contractors and the media. Because I love to organize, coordinate, and to be creative, this job would be a good fit for me. I enjoy working with people and I can imagine this job being very rewarding when managing to put their ideas into practice. Additionally, I truly value the diversity in this position/a versatile work environment – no project will be like another, which makes this job very exciting to me.
A Creative Director basically helps the brand and company to “survive competition by upgrading their fashion statement” through the introduction of new trends, concepts and innovations in the field of fashion. And being responsible for the direction a company is taking sound very exciting to me. I enjoy working in teams and I hope to find myself in an interface position like this later on, because it allows me to take advantage of my communication, coordination and time management skills. In this position I can take advantage of my creative and my leadership skills at the same time. I welcome the challenge to manage creative minds.
Besides the actual procurement of merchandise, a Fashion Buyerâ€™s main responsibilities are the development of pricing and marketing strategies and inventory management. I appreciate the mix of analyzing, planning and creative tasks about this position. Communicating and negotiating are my strength and I am an opponent of routine, so I welcome a fast-paced work environment. The position of a buyer is powerful and contributes significantly to the success of a company. Since I work well under pressure and I am good at decision making, this position may be just right for me. Last but not least, it requires flexibility and the readiness to travel, which I would enjoy very much.
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