August 24, 2010

Now and Then

[Nina Garcia's book is the] latest example of how Ms. Garcia is building her own brand by stretching the parameters of what a fashion editor is.
It’s a complicated time for the grandes dames atop the mastheads of fashion magazines. They face an advertising base shaken by a lingering recession, and the rise of bloggers and Web-savvy fashionistas...who are eating away at the once-uncontested influence of magazine editors to shape trends.  
“The fashion editor as it used to be has changed,” Ms. Garcia said, over lunch in the cafeteria at the Hearst Tower on West 57th Street, where Marie Claire is published. [...] “Now you have to wear many hats, and whoever tells you differently is wrong. Now you’re on TV, whether you want it or not.” 
An interesting if not very analytical look from the New York Times at Nina Garcia's career up close and also the role of fashion editors in today's media landscape. 

Editors as brands are an area of interest to me, because it's a fairly recent phenomenon (at least away from the top of the masthead) and one which is both very logical and yet impractical, in my opinion. On the one hand, it's amazing publicity and critically important for the media outlet to have photogenic, telegenic, articulate brand ambassadors out and about, taking over responsibilities beyond market work, writing, styling, and editing. On the other hand, the irony and reality is that all those TV segments, reality show episodes, reader events and additional pr-generating activities are extremely time-consuming, which may in some cases take time away from the initial editing workload.

The bottom line, though, is that these branding activities create added value for the employer, while empowering editors to become highly visible and individual entities for readers, and therefore much more difficult to replace. We imagine these shifts are here to stay.

Dear readers, how many mastheads have you memorized? Can you match the junior market editors to their Sartorialist snaps?

August 22, 2010

In Bloom

I'm loving this editorial from the September issue of Numero!! Makes me want to reenact the whole thing next spring at the Cherry Blossom festival in Brooklyn...just kidding!!


PS. What my normal cherry blossom photos look like!

August 19, 2010

Fashion GPS Takes Over the World

As they move to Lincoln Center, the runway shows, which will take place from Sept. 9 to Sept. 16, are turning the invitation and check-in process over to a computer system. Instead of creating lavishly designed paper invitations, many fashion houses will send email invitations and bar-coded confirmations. If all goes according to plan, guests won't have to swarm around clipboard-wielding assistants but will line up at airport-style kiosks to receive their seating assignments.
The new technology is designed to make admitting guests faster and more orderly—and possibly more resistant to gate-crashers. But with thousands of fashionistas using the system for the first time, it also may introduce more confusion, as well as the possibility of computer glitches delaying guests.
I'm really interested to see how this experiment at New York Fashion Week will pan out. No more gate grashers? Or chaos?

I've always liked getting the hard invitations, but carrying them around was always a pain. Fashion GPS revolutionized the way that samples and also rsvp'ing for events has happened in the past few years, and this may be another point of no return for the industry. Stay tuned!

Source: WSJ

August 15, 2010

Shop Til You Drop

This week, for work, I literally had to spend days (I know, poor me) and days shopping. Online, in department stores, and at boutiques throughout New York City. There were firm guidelines of what to look out for, but almost no budget...and the most interesting thing about the entire exercise was it allowed me to get a glimpse into how differently the wealthy shop compared to the way that I (and most of my friends) do. While these perks might seem common to you, dear reader, they are not part of my normal shopping experience.

Instead of messy sale racks and long queues for crowded sample sales, there are private dressing rooms, cool glasses of ice water served with a slice of lime on a silver tray, and a tailor and multiple sales staff attending to your every need. Sizes not on the floor are procured instantly, whether from the stock room or shipped overnight from the Chicago boutique. At select designer boutiques, regulars can be heard requesting that their favorite items be made in alternative fabrics, colors, patterns.

Besides being exceedingly pleasant, the experience made me really wonder about the rise of e-commerce within the luxury sector. Finally, I understand first-hand the hesitation that so many designers and fashion houses had (and that some still hold) about selling their wares online. As lovely as sites like Net-A-Porter and are, for the most dedicated clientele the experience can't exactly compare to the attention and assistance they are given when they stop by their favorite boutique. No matter how pretty the shipping box may be.

August 8, 2010

Dream a Little Dream of Me

One of the most interesting look books I've seen in a while, from Them Atelier. Who cares if you can't see the clothes when the models look so dreamy?
More and source.

August 6, 2010

Consumer Reports

I just finished reading the cover story on a recent issue of Bloomberg Business week, entitled "The New Abnormal: American Consumers are Cutting Back. Except When They Are Not."

Basically the article attempts to discuss and gauge the current mood of the great American consumer, to see if how it influences spending patterns and the overall economic health of the consumer goods industry. It questions, but doesn't manage to explain, the seemingly contradictory signs currently coming out of patterns of consumption. Specifically, why is revenue for "luxury" or discretionary brands such as Apple or Starbucks on the rise when shoppers are financially insecure enough to be clipping coupons and switching to store brand toothpaste en masse.

The answer (and I'm sure you know this already, perhaps from personal experience) is simply that humans are not rational creatures, and we make "deals" with ourselves that are more emotional than factual, and have become accustomed to the idea of consumption as a "treat" and reward against the monotony of daily life. Which explains, exactly, why I might have bought a very expensive pair of leopard-print Louboutin boots at the same time that I canceled our household Netflix account (which costs less than $10 a month).

How has your spending patterns changed (if at all) during this recession?

August 4, 2010

Smile Like You Mean It

I had the chance to work with Lindsey last week, and she was so sweet and adorable. I love this story that she was featured in for the Spring issue of Pop - styled by Vanessa Reid and shot by Paul Graham. I usually love more broody, romantic images...but there is something so refreshing about enthusiasm and joy. Love her!

Source (and to see the rest of the images).