New York


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16 July 2018

If you happen to work in fashion, you intend to work in fashion, or you just really love fashion, this post might make you just a little bit sad. Lately, there has been an avalanche of bad news when it comes to fashion and retail. As consumers or employees of these industries, we are in the odd position of being the sources, victims, and beneficiaries of these changes all at once.  Our relationship with the fashion industry? Well… the Facebook classification would be “It’s Complicated.” Brands themselves are trying hard to make sense of these tectonic movements, but I believe we as people must try to make sense of them too.

Here are some titles I came across just today:

How ‘Fashion’ Became a Bad Word
What’s Ailing America’s Fashion Darlings?
How Algorithms Are Threatening Fashion’s White-Collar Jobs
Influencer Ex Machina

Maybe reading just the titles alone won’t give you a full impression of what’s going on, so here’s a long (news) story short:

Fashion has fallen… well, out of fashion.

That’s it. Point blank. Fashion is no longer in vogue. How can I say that? Because evidence shows that we consumers are still spending money, but just not the way we used to. In the last year alone, the luxury market has experienced a 5% growth that has benefited not only them, but also digital upstart brands and direct-to-consumer companies. However, the cool kids of fashion from a couple of years back didn’t feel the same love. Brands like Narciso Rodrigues, Alexander Wang, Proenza Schouler, Rag and Bone, and Opening Ceremony, once encouraged by the enthusiastic response in their heyday, have hyper-expanded using the old-fashioned department store business model of distribution and are now struggling to understand the shift in the market. They’re scrambling to cut their losses and reposition themselves. Brands like Everlane that praise themselves for basic clothing and price transparency are the new cool kids.  Blame us, fickle consumers. It’s now trendier to spend money on wellness than on fashion.

Well-paying fashion and social media influencing jobs are filled more by AI and less by humans.

After years of education, internships, and endless efforts to make the right connections, you are finally ready. And then you read the news: more and more companies use artificial intelligence to design clothes, and to serve as buyers and merchandise planners. Some of us grew up dreaming to get a job in fashion and a few lucky ones have actually made that dream come true. But for those still dreaming, what shape do those dreams take now with these fewer options?  While the fashion industry was one of the first to export the manufacturing jobs overseas, it’s the first we hear of losing its white-color jobs to computers. So far it looks like machines are there only to “augment and automate tasks” and I understand companies’ efforts to be as efficient as possible, but I am not looking forward to a future where an algorithm decides what I buy, what I wear, and how I wear it. No matter my feelings about social media influencers (I’ve never been a fan, but that’s for another post), I still doubt that replacing them with computer-generated models will make me feel any better.



Posted by Staff Writer at 02:58 AM
Fashion: Trends, Style, and Business , Our Views and Opinions , Trends |


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19 June 2018

Reformation is a company that made its mission to be environmentally conscious while making you oh so West Coast chic. Its long-awaited sample sale has started today and this is what we know:

1) If there is one New York sample sale worth traveling for on a day like today (temperatures above 90 degrees), certainly it is this one.

2) Pictures supplied by 260 Sample Sale show racks of summer dresses that could be on the list of 50 styles to buy right NOW.

3) We are riveted. With prices ranging from $20 for T-Shirts to $100 for long dresses there is little to feel guilty about. Have we mentioned they are trying to save the planet?

REFORMATION SAMPLE SALE

WHEN: 6/19 – 6/24; Tue (9-8), W-Th (10-7), F-Sat (10-8), Sun (10-5)

WHERE: 260SampleSale
150 Greene Street
New York, NY 10012

 



Posted by Staff Writer at 02:48 PM
Our Views and Opinions |


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11 June 2018

Like most of us, I too have reacted with shock and disbelief at the news of Kate Spade’s death. The brand’s ubiquitous presence in New York made me feel somehow connected to the woman who had envisioned and created it. The moment I read the news I felt a painful sense of loss—the kind you’d feel for a friend. That got me thinking: she could have been my friend, a woman I could have learned from only if I’d had the chance to meet her. I mean, we were almost the same age, both transplants in New York, living just a couple of blocks away from each other. It could have happened, right? I know it’s absurd but grief wields immense power and often plants in us crazy seedling ideas that often begin with that small but might word, “If…”

I had been carrying this sadness around for the last two days, not knowing what to do with it. Today I realized that I could use it as fuel to raise awareness about other women designers and founders of successful companies on my little megaphone here… and while we’re at it, talk about their upcoming sample sales too, of course.

Stacey Bendet of Alice + Olivia and her intricate esthetic are well known to New York shoppers. What started as a student’s search for the perfect pair of pants ended being a $200 million company of which Ms. Bendet is CEO and creative director. This year sample sale (we have pics!) presents a gorgeous colorful collection and we are certain the magical world of Alice + Olivia will draw a large crowd ; we hope that crowd will be less rowdy than it’s been in the past. As you might recall, last December a fight broke out at the Alice + Olivia sample sale that made headlines on “Page Six.” The Alice + Olivia Sample Sale starts today,  June 11th at 260 Fifth Avenue.

The La Perla name is synonymous with sexy so it might come as a surprise to you the fact that the company is over 60 years old. Ada Masotti, an Italian corset-maker, nicknamed “golden scissors” for her extraordinary talent, had dreamed to start her own company, and her dream became reality in 1954. Although the company is no longer managed by Ada’s family (they sold it in 2007), she should be acknowledged as a visionary that understood that lingerie is not only functional, but also fashionable and seductive. The good news for us, bargain aficionados, is that the company has new owners as of February, which means there is a good chance this is going to be a great sample sale. La Perla Sample Sale starts on June 12th and it is hosted by 260 Sample Sales at 260 Fifth Avenue.

The list continues. Pauline Nokios is the owner and creative director of Lilla P and Leo & Sage, their sample sale takes place at 32-34 Little West 12th Street, and it is starting on June 12th. Megha Mittal is the chairwoman and managing director of the German fashion luxury brand, Escada. The Escada sample sale will be hosted at Soiffer Haskin, 317 West 33rd Street starting June 9th. There are so many more incredible women with incredible stories behind these designer tags, so although our list of sample sales stops here, the exploration behind them doesn’t have to. Your legs might give out from shopping till you drop, but your fingers are nimble enough to Google more. Go forth, learn about these genius ladies, and may your closet overfloweth to honor them!

Click here to read previous articles



Posted by Staff Writer at 06:30 AM
Our Views and Opinions |


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14 March 2018

Hey, I get it: a sequel to Nor’easter is on its way, you’re a busy bee, and maybe the last thing on your mind right now is shopping. But if you’re anything like me, not even a blizzard can keep you from a good sample sale.

Still, when the weather is, well, this… you don’t have time or money to waste. This is that strange time of year when one day you are wearing your new slingbacks (a must for the trendy fashionista in the Spring of 2018) and the next day snow forces you back into to your wardrobe workhorse: the Uggs boots. And maybe you are a little discouraged too by the last sample sale you attended and its lukewarm outcome that didn’t quite meet the expectations of a real bargainista.

Impressed with my mind-reading abilities? Don’t be. I’m honestly practically quoting the majority of responders to our most recent poll who think that sample sale prices are too damn high.

Having to choose where to spend the little free time you have hunting for the perfect fashion bargain is sometimes daunting. That’s why I’m going to share with you my strategy in this post.

Let’s look at previous week’s NYC sample sales.

Step One: Go to our page entitled Sample Sales This Week.

Quickly look through this page to see if there is something you’’ve been waiting for or something new that pops out. Let’s say nothing does for the purpose of this exercise.

Step Two : Set your priorities straight.

What do you really want or need? It is true that sample sales are not strategically the best place to look for specific items because they cover a wide range and are sometimes oddly specific to something you don’t need. The key here is not getting swept away in a flashy impulse buy by setting wardrobe priorities first to ensure a more rational purchase.

At this point, check the categories listed on the same page. Are you looking for clothing, shoes, handbags, accessories, or home items?

Step Three: Clarify your style.

So, let’s take a previous week’s sample sales. Are you a Chloe girl (freedom, lightness, and femininity)? Are you a Jack Rogers girl (resort style, iconic sandals, Jackie O)? Are you a vintage girl (Chanel and Hermes)? Or are you a man looking for a classic look (Kiton)?

This will require some brand knowledge, so make sure you read the description of the sale on the event page at the bottom. You don’t know the name Clever Alice and you’re confused about the “multi-brand” description? No problem. Read who they are and what they do right here!

Step Four : Decide how far you want to travel.

On the same page, you will find a map that gives you a clear idea of where everything is located. This can help you decide how far you want to travel, which sample sales are nearby, and how many birds you can kill with one stone (how many sales with one trip!).

So…

While not every sample sale will rock your world, there are still great opportunities out there to score a bargain on a memorable piece that will stay forever in your wardrobe, and serve as undeniable evidence of your shopping skills and stellar fashion sense.

A successful sample sale outing requires you to be knowledgeable and open about what you want to really need. If you have something very specific in mind, and don’t have a lot of time to spare, a sample sale might not be your ideal hunting ground.

Happy shopping, lovelies.

xo M



Posted by Staff Writer at 12:58 AM
Our Views and Opinions |

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