On Air: Colorado's Best & Breast Cancer Awareness

October is here, which means it’s the month in which we talk about Breast Cancer. On the one hand, it’s great to remind women the importance of being proactive with their health by getting annual mammograms and breast exams, while also honoring those women who’ve survived this horrible disease (my mother included – congratulations mom on reaching the 20-year mark!). On the other hand, the stark statistic that one in eight women will have breast cancer during their lifetime is still way too high. This morning, I was on Colorado’s Best chatting with hosts Paula Haddock and Joana Canals about how anyone can help raise money to aid further research and also assist survivors in this fight by being a conscientious consumer. Here's my roundup of products that give back a percentage of proceeds to an official breast cancer organization:

Read More

Industry Issues: The Fashion Supermarket & Spring 2018

I’m still in the process of checking out online the Paris Spring 2018 shows (to see my top picks for all four fashion weeks, please click here). Although I miss seeing the shows in person – it’s always helpful to see a designer’s full vision for his or her collection in context – I have to admit that I prefer showroom appointments. They’re more intimate; you can see clothing and accessory details not visible on the runway, plus you usually get an interesting backstory on the collection or even an individual piece.

Read More

15 Minutes With: Kirsten Kjaer Weis

My introduction to NYC-based makeup artist Kirsten Kjaer Weis’s self-named makeup line was back in mid-2015. That’s when Aillea owner Kathryn Murray showed it to me in her newly opened boutique in downtown Denver. I was over the moon about the product: I thought the packaging was gorgeous (more on that below), the pink and apricot blush tones were beautiful, and the foundation felt amazing on your face. Last year, I told Kathryn that if Kirsten ever wanted to do an event in town, I would be happy to host it for her.

Read More

Industry Issues: Why Are Fragrance Ads So Bad?

Vice gave me a good laugh the other morning reading Marianne Eloise's article "Why Are Perfume Adverts Always So Terrible?" So true. Most of them are really silly, and it was amusing to read an entire article - complete with comments from advertising pros - dedicated to pointing that out. For the record, my favorite perfume commercial is this one from Chanel, directed by Luc Besson (although I could just be biased, since I worked there at the time).

But it's not only perfume ads that have been terrible in fashion. When was the last time a fine jewelry ad stopped you from flipping the page in a magazine? It's always more or less the same: A naked or semi-naked women, and either a close-up of their face or a body part. 

Even after having (finally!) flipped through my March issues of Vogue and W, I think many fashion RTW and accessory ad campaigns look the same (possibly because almost all of the fashion houses hire the same photographers). In fact, right now I would say what's more notable is the list of designers and companies who either rarely advertise or skip it completely: Dries Van Noten, Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garçons, Undercover, Goyard, Maison Martin Margiela, Zara, Uniqlo... They may not all have large businesses, but they're all businesses that are respected, regardless of where they sit on the fashion spectrum.

Now what does that say about fashion advertising campaigns? 

  

Industry Issues: Fraud Stylists Are Still Working In The Fashion Industry

Late last night, I read the sad headline from Dazed regarding a fraud stylist on the loose. Now, several designers - many of them smaller houses - have lost several thousand dollars worth of samples. The most depressing part of this story? It's nothing new. It comes around every few years, maybe because people become too trusting (a rather disheartening thought) or are too desperate to get into the pages of a major title.

Read More

In The Words Of: Raf Simons

And it's only Monday!

“Everyone is paying attention to the wrong thing in my opinion. There’s this huge debate about ‘Oh my God, should we sell the garments the day after the show or three days after the show or should we tweet it in this way or Instagram it in that way?’… You know, all that is kind of bullshit. Will all that stuff still be relevant 30 years from now? I don’t think so. What we should ask is will we have enough creative people who are strong enough and willing to do what is necessary right now to follow that madhouse. Lots of people are starting to question it. My generation especially is shifting now… like me and Phoebe [Philo], Nicolas [Ghesquière] and Marc [Jacobs]. We’ve been around for 20 or more years. We know what fashion was and where it’s heading to. Now it’s a question of what we are willing to do and how we are going to do it.” -Raf Simons, The Telegraph

Industry Issues: Who Will Lead American Fashion?

Fall 2016 NYFW has come to a close. Although the season has been full of new clothes, it feels like the last several seasons: More of the same looks, trends and key pieces. In a piece for this week's The Cut, Cathy Horn asks who will lead American fashion:

"It sometimes seems, in fact, that the industry has splintered into three completely separate businesses — the celebrity lines, the trendy-casual stuff that consumes most of the space (and slowly kills you with its banality), and the elite brands like Oscar de la Renta. There’s no real leader, though, in American fashion. We have stars, bona fide talent (Narciso Rodriguez) and conceptual playmakers (thank you, Marc Jacobs), but what we desperately need is someone who can challenge and ignite the whole industry. Raise the bar, because it’s pretty low right now." - Cathy Horn, The Cut

Industry Issues: How To Fix The Fashion System

This round table chat between editor Tim Blanks, designer Erdem Moralioglu, blogger Susanna Lau, publicist Daniel Marks and editor JJ Martin was first published on Business Of Fashion's site this past Monday. There are many interesting fashion industry insights, but this excerpt regarding advertising and print media has to be one of the best. It just reinforces the reason why many major fashion magazines and designer brands look the same - and echoes the feelings of Tomas Maier in an earlier post (check out that one from December 18):

DM: One of the issues with brands is that advertising content is generic — same model, same photographers — all generic. And you have to be in a lucky position to afford all of that.

JJM: I’m shocked that the brands haven’t jumped ship from these traditional formulas. I think they don’t understand the alternatives.

SL: Or even know the alternatives.

TB: There’s never been a better time to be in fashion, there’s never been more of a need for storytelling in fashion. I call it the digital campfire, which is the ability to tell stories in a more successful and direct way. Who is doing that?

JJM: Right now there aren’t enough people doing that. I’m shocked that big publishing houses aren’t turning their editorial teams towards this. I’m surprised that there’s so much of a focus on print. And that’s going to keep happening as all the big brands keep giving the same-looking ads to those same magazines.

Industry Issues: Tomas Maier on Advertising

When I ask why he (Maier) began collaborating with artists and photographers for his advertising campaigns, he simply states: “Because I had the opportunity. I like photography, and there are a lot of different photographers that I like. I've looked at advertising, for 20 years, and everyone uses the same five people in this industry…” - Alexander Fury, Independent, Dec. 14, 2015

Industry Issues: The Broken Runway Show Schedule

Vogue UK reported yesterday in an online post that CFDA President Diane von Furstenberg has hired a consulting firm to help "reboot" the NYFW shows. Finally. The system has been broken for a number of seasons now. In fact, the shows have become so out of sync with consumer needs and more and more of a circus for press, I haven't even attended them in years (give me a showroom appointment over a show any day; I want to see the clothing and accessories up close - not seated in the middle of five rows of people, where I can't even see half the outfit coming down the runway).

Although they're considering numerous ideas, the best one - I still think - is the one I discussed with Nicole Miller during an interview several years ago: Transform the FW and SS current show dates into showroom appointments for buyers and press (like me) who need a six-month advance presentation (for editorial planning purposes). Then hold the runway shows right before the collection ships, opening them up to the public, and seat bloggers, celebrities and other VIPs in the front row.

Maybe this strategy will even allow for delivery dates to be pushed back a bit to maximize sales; It's crazy that Fall 2015 sale broke at the beginning of November, when it was just starting to get cold (even in Denver!). It would allow a bigger window of shopping for the buy now-wear now customer, instead of continuing to teach them to just wait until sale to shop for the season.

In The Words Of: Vanessa Friedman

...if we turn away from the luxury and fashion industries at a time like this because they are not “serious,” then we contribute to the goals of those who attacked France. When the terrorists opened fire on restaurants and nightclubs, they were not simply sowing fear. They were assaulting a certain kind of lifestyle, one that values conversation, self-expression, art and beauty, of which fashion is a part. To embrace those values is, now, a political statement. - Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, Nov. 18, 2015