Marketing to Women: Astrology & Horoscopes

Estee-Lauder-Zodiac-Compact-4Photo Source

Who doesn’t love reading their horoscope? Apparently 70 million people check their horoscope every day. According to a study conducted for iVillage, one third of women horoscope users turn to their daily reading before making personal financial decisions.

Whether they are hardcore astrology believers or just want to add some fun to their daily routine, millions of women check their horoscopes every day and share them with friends online. Research reveals that over one third of American women read their horoscope at least once every month. In addition to doing so, before spending money, women horoscope readers also check before job interviews (33 percent), entering relationships (35 percent) and buying lottery tickets (34 percent).

The study also revealed that of women who use horoscopes:

* Nearly as many (37 percent) check horoscopes as they research personal health information (45 percent) on a monthly basis.

* Two-in-five (41percent) share their horoscopes with their friends.

* More than one-in-four (28 percent) say their horoscope can change their mood depending on what it says.

* Nearly one-in-three (29 percent) sometimes chalk up others’ shortcomings to traits of their zodiac signs.

* Fifty-nine percent say they have a lucky number; with seven topping the list, followed by thirteen.

* Twenty-one percent of moms believe that people of certain zodiac signs have better sex lives.

* Nearly 40 percent check their husband’s horoscope, 25 percent check their child’s and 22 percent check other family members.

With millions of women tapping into astrology every day, many sites are designed to be more female-focused and provide instant access to personalization and fun tools such as spinning a wheel for a quick view of love & sex, home & family, mind & body and more.

Not only are astrology sites cashing in on this multi-billion dollar industry, designers and global brands like Estee Lauder, Rebecca Minkoff and Charlotte Olympia are personalizing their products according to the zodiac. zodiac-2-w724

Photo Source

Whether consumers are superstitious or not, brands have always incorporated astrology into their designs due to its mystical nature. The excitement over the theme’s fortune forecasts is an aspect brands can put their own creative spin on. It’s an attractive concept that inspires and evokes spirituality that many consumers can relate to.

 

Sources: Huffington Post

 

What to Wear on Valentine’s Day

Can you believe it’s almost February? You’ve been working hard all month on your new years resolution work outs and now it’s time to show off your hard work on Valentine’s Day! Whether you’re doing a romantic dinner with your sweetie or a night out with your girlfriends, we picked out a few Valentine’s Day outfits for inspiration.

And don’t forget to take a mani lunch break, you deserve it!

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The Haute List: The App Edition — Ten of our favorite Apps

With the app store growing by 20,000 new apps per month, it’s hard to navigate through the ever changing madness. We’ve handpicked 10 of our favorite apps that we think you should download if you haven’t already.

1. Uber

Requesting a ride has never been easier. With Uber’s new uberTAXI and uberX, you can compare rates for different vehicles and get fare quotes in the app. At a party and don’t know the address? You can easily set up your pickup location, without having the exact address. You’re able to check the progress of your Uber and be notified when they are there.

2. CamMe

Get the perfect selfie or group shot with CamMe, a hand-gesture driven camera app that lets you take amazing pictures from a distance without touching the mobile device.

3. Find My iPhone

I

t’s happened to all of us, and no matter how many times it happens, you still have a small panic attack everytime. Losing your phone can feel like losing an arm, even if it is stuck between the couch pillows. Find My iPhone eases that anxiety by allowing Apple users to sign on to an online account to get the GPS coordinates of your phone’s location.

4. ShopStyle

ShopStyle makes online shopping quick, easy, and fun, giving you access to millions of products and brands from top retailers on your phone or tablet. Browse the latest trends, shop the hottest sales, and dress for every occasion. Whether you’re filling your wardrobe wish list, hunting for a great deal, or just browsing the latest trends, ShopStyle is the perfect way to get your shopping fix on the go.

5. Textalyzer

Sometimes you have one too many cocktails. Sometimes you text your ex. Most times, you absolutely regret it the next morning. Textalyzer creates a “Don’t Text” forbidden list that prevents you from texting anyone on the list unless you complete a series of puzzles and mind tests. If you fail, the app saves your text for 12 hours before you can hit send. The best friend you always wanted.

6. Evernote

The standard notepad that comes with your smartphone just doesn’t cut it. Looking for an upgrade? Evernote is the super notepad that allows you to keep text, voice, and photo notes accessible from any desktop or device.

7. Nike Training Club

There are a multitude of fitness apps on the market. However, Nike Training Club encompasses all your workout needs. The app features cardio, core, strength, balance, and flexibility exercises, workout videos, a training schedule, and even allows you to create your own workouts.

8. Poynt

Dinner? Movies? Shopping? Gas off the freeway? Poynt is a local search app that let’s you find businesses, movies, restaurants, gas stations, and events near you whenever and wherever you need them. It’s so easy, that they provide the phone number, address, directions, and even movie showtimes and trailors to find a movie fast, plus gas prices show up when you want to find the best price.

9. Lulu

Want to research the guy you’re about to go on a date with? Want to share how you feel about a guy, anonymously? Want to help your guy friend get a date? Well this is the app for you if you love a good ol’ entertaining, gossip app. You can review that hookup from last month anonymously, save heartache from a player, or read informing things about a man you just met.

10. tripadvisor CityGuides

This is the ultimate travel app for traveling abroad. Don’t have wifi or a roaming plan? Not to worry– you download the city that you’re in and it has all the information already downloaded so you don’t need to use data while sightseeing. The only con with this app is that it only has major cities, so smaller cities will not be listed.

Roundup List of the Best Black Friday 2013 Sales for Fashionistas

Black Friday Sales 2013 For FashionistasPhoto Source: Reuters

Admit it. Even though you’re a fashionista with a taste for pricey luxury items, you still can’t resist a good sale. When it comes to shopping your favorite stores – the four Bs: Bergdorf, Barneys, Bendel and Bloomingdale’s – a few bucks off that $1,000-plus Marc Jacobs tote or $500 Rag & Bone Newbury booties means extra cash in your Burberry wallet, or maybe some extra dough for that luscious Tom Ford lipstick for $50 you’ve been eyeing but couldn’t justify buying.

Lucky for you, the shopping event of the season, Black Friday, is nearly here, with countless opportunities to score discounts at sales by your favorite department and boutique stores, just in time for the holidays.

But don’t pigeonhole yourself into just those elite upscale shopping havens like Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Lord & Taylor; many flash sale sites, discount stores, clearance outlets and other sartorial sanctuaries are having sales that we could only classify as ridiculous this year, beginning on Thanksgiving Day.

And, best of all, the holiday sales don’t end on Black Friday, Cyber Monday or even free shipping day. IBTimes spoke with an expert about the best deals on Black Friday, and according to Steve Schaffer, CEO of Offer.com, when it comes to designer goods, it might be best to wait.

“Cyber Monday is a better time to buy clothing because you’re going to find storewide sales and storewide offers,” Schaffer said. “So 10 percent off on everything at X,Y,Z stores. For designer clothing, my recommendation is to shop the off-brand stores like Bluefly, 6pm, Haute Look, Neiman Marcus Last Call. … You’re going to save the most money.”

So, whether you choose to start now, shop on Thanksgiving, Black Friday or Cyber Monday, or hold out until after the shopping extravaganza concludes, you’ll want to check out this roundup of the best designer sales to make any fashionista salivate.

DEPARTMENT STORES:

Bergdorf Goodman

WHAT: 5F Fall Frenzy Sale with 40 percent off contemporary, ready-to-wear, shoes, handbags, jewelry, men’s and more. WHERE: Online and in stores. WHEN: Now until 11/28/2013.

Bloomingdale’s

WHAT: Big Brown Bag sale with up to 50 percent off select items; In store, $15 bMoney gift card for every $100 spent; Online-only, take $25 off every $200 spent; 30 percent off designer handbags; Free shipping on online orders until 12/21/2013; Loyalists get double Bloomingdale’s points until 12/1/2013 WHERE: Online and in stores (see previous details). WHEN: Now until 12/1/2013

Henri Bendel

WHAT: Extra 20 percent off sale items using code “FSEXTRA20”; Free shipping with no code needed; Sign up for emails and receive 10 percent off your next order; 20 percent off orders of $100 plus, 25 percent off orders of $200 plus, 30 percent off $300 plus using code “PARTYGUIDE” WHERE: Online. WHEN: Now until 12/4/2013

Saks Fifth Avenue

WHAT: 40 percent off designer items; 60 percent off Diane von Furstenberg; Free shipping with code “HOLIDAY” at checkout. WHERE: Online. WHEN: Now until 6 p.m. EST on 12/22/2013.

Neiman Marcus

WHAT: Up to 40 percent off select contemporary/cusp, dressed and more; Up to 25 percent off select regular-priced kids’ items; Sign up for emails and get 10 percent off until 11/30/2013 for new subscribers only. WHERE: Online and in stores. WHEN: Now until unknown.

Lord & Taylor

WHAT: Big Sale with 30 percent to 50 percent off regular-priced sportswear, 50 percent off coats and 30 percent off select dresses; In-store, print this coupon for 20 percent off sale and clearance items until Nov. 25; Online-only, save 15 percent off regular-priced items and 10 percent off sale and clearance items with promo code “BIG.” WHERE: Online and in stores. WHEN: 11/30/2013.

Macy’s

WHAT: Thanksgiving Day sale with 30 percent to 75 percent off items and sale continues through Saturday; WHERE: Online and in-stores. WHEN: Thanksgiving Day sale begins 8 p.m. 11/28/2013.

OUTLETS:

Shopbop

WHAT: Spend $250, save 15 percent; Spend $500, save 20 percent; Spend $1,000, save 25 percent. WHERE: Online. WHEN: 11/26/2013 to 12/2/2013.

Bluefly

WHAT: Blue Friday cold weather event with 30 percent off outerwear; Free shipping on orders of $75 or more until 12/31/2013; 25 percent off with email sign up until 12/31/2013. WHERE: Online.  WHEN: Now until unknown.

Neiman Marcus Last Call

WHAT: Extra 30 percent to 40 percent off women’s and men’s apparel; 30 percent off handbags and jewelry. WHERE: Online and in stores. WHEN: Now until 11/25/2013, online until 11/26/2013 until 8 a.m. CT.

Saks Off Fifth

WHAT: 40 percent to 50 percent off entire purchase for a total of 70 percent in savings; Free shipping on all purchases using code “FREESHIP”; Buy one pair of Women’s Denim and get another pair of equal or lesser value free; Buy one pair of Men’s Denim and get another pair of equal or lesser value free; Buy one Men’s Suit, Sportcoat or Dress Pant and get another of equal or lesser value free; An extra 50% off Men’s & Women’s Outerwear, Cashmere Sweaters, Hats, Gloves & Scarves. WHERE: In stores and online. WHEN: Now until 11/29/2013

HauteLook

WHAT: Mystery Black Friday sales. WHERE: Online. Follow the HauteLook Twitter page for clues. WHEN: 11/29/2013.

STORES:

Gap

WHAT: Early Black Friday Sale with 40 percent off regular-priced items using code “GAPEARLY” or 50 percent off for those with a Gap Card using code “BFCARD”; $25 in GapCASH for every $50 spent with a $125 max until 11/22/2013. WHERE: Online-only. WHEN: Now until 11/23/2013. BONUS: Fabsugar.com said there will be a 50 percent off sale on 11/29/2013 and 40 percent off storewide 11/30/2013 until 12/2/2013.

Tommy Hilfiger

WHAT: 40 percent to 60 percent off the entire store. WHERE: Unknown. WHEN: Unknown.

Opening Ceremony

WHAT: 40 percent off select merchandise. WHERE: Unknown. WHEN: Unknown.

Nicholas K

WHAT: 30 percent off. WHERE: Online-only. WHEN: 11/29/2013.

J.Crew

WHAT: 25 percent off winter favorites for women, men and kids using code “WINTER.” WHERE: Online. WHEN: Now until 11/24/2013 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Ann Taylor

WHAT: 50 percent off all cashmere. WHERE: Online. WHEN: 11/29/2013.

Old Navy

WHAT: 50 percent off the entire store. WHERE: Online and in stores. WHEN: 7pm on 11/28/2013 through 11/29/2013. (Plus 40 percent off the entire store on 11/30/2013, 30 percent off the entire store 12/1/2013 and 12/2/2013).

Source: International Business Times

Fashionisto of the Month: Fashion Consultant & Entreprenuer, Colin T. McDonald

Photo Credit: Carrie Geiger

Our Fashionisto of the Month is a Stylist, Host, Writer, and Entrepreneur that goes by the name of Colin T. McDonald. From Upstate New York, he moved to NYC 5 years ago and began working towards his goal of creating an agency to help brands and designers gain exposure in a hard industry to be noticed in.

What does fashion mean to you? It’s a way for people to express themselves - an art form. I have a powerful fashion mantra that I use all of the time: image + confidence = style. Anyone can take an image or style and if they have the confidence to pull it off, they can inspire others and be a trendsetter.

What made you start your company & blog? Working in fashion 7 years (PR, styling, commentary, fashion editing, blogging, YouTube (Style TV), hosting Jennifer Hudson, Billy Baldwin) I wanted to create an agency to help brands and designers gain exposure in a hard industry to be noticed in. All those clients under the agency  use different mediums to get exposure and influence press which helps gets them out there even more.

Where do you get your inspiration? Magazines, art galleries, streets of NY (street style), internet (bloggers/social media).

Do you consider yourself an artist? Somewhat. I’m always looking to create things and help brands advance and grow.

What is your greatest accomplishment?  I’ve also interviewed Jennifer Hudson and Billy Baldwin - it’s very cool to have people share their personal stories with me. Most recently, I’d say starting my agency/blog a little over a year ago and being mentioned on Fox News, as well as my YouTube channel, Style TV. I give people the opportunity to have an all access look at the things they may not have the chance to see.

What are some of your goals? Short term: to grow my agency, gain more clients and brands, a bigger following for my blog/Style TV.  Long term: to take Style TV to national level (LA, NY, DC correspondents are already working). In a few years, I’d love to cover international fashion events as well as grow the blog, and have more features up - ultimately to be the premier fashion consulting agency in NY.

What are some of your biggest challenges? Being able to juggle everything. I have so many different hats to wear: styling, pitching a shoot to a client, coming up with blog posts, coordinating with Style TV, etc. Right now I’m a one man show, so maybe in the future I can hire someone to help me out with everything.

Who are your top three favorite designers? Tom Ford - I love him as a designer and trend setter. Christopher Bailey for Burberry - the distinguished, fresh, young look he brought to the collection is why it has been so successful. Most recently, Marisa Minicucci - the Grand Dame of Montreal fashion - who just expanded to the U.S. market and is getting lots of press features for her luxury, high-end jackets (MM: Minicucci x Marcanio).

What are some of your favorite fashion websites, magazines, or books? Harper’s Bazaar, In Style, GQ, ImageGranted.com (worked with him as DC style correspondent), The Glamourai, GrungyGentlemen.com, and Business of Fashion.

Three words that describe your style: chameleon (rocker, conservative) enjoy mixing styles, classic with edgy, classy with modern. likes to put own touch on traditional styles (cuffing pants, studded loafers, rolled up sleeves).

Any future projects or pieces we should look out for? I’m covering an event tonight for Style TV and interviewing Chanel Iman. I’m also covering an event handing out style awards for visual style center. On the blog, I plan on incorporating more look pieces and possibly partnering with upcoming designers.

Advice for other bloggers or fashion business owners? Fashion is one of the toughest industries to break into - it is a very small, select circle and trying to tap into it is hard. With knowledge, passion, dedication, and following thru. You will see progress. Just understand that things don’t happen overnight, and that having the passion and hard work to see things through/get out there is what will take you far. The industry is changing (online, magazines, blog, etc) so knowing how to incorporate these different channels into your business is a must.

 Colin's Haute List

green tea

gym (hour a day)

macbook (life takes it everywhere, can work from anywhere)

music (stress, can unwind and break away with pandora)

new york (inspiraton/meeting people luxury of the city)

boconi wallet (black alligator custom initial wallet)

calvin klein underwear

pierre hardy silver metallic high-tops

lanvin bermuda shorts

ray-ban aviators with green metallic finish

Get in touch with Colin:

Website: www.colintmcdonaldagency.com

Blog: www.stylesource.me

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Colintmcdonaldagency

Twitter: www.twitter.com/colintmcdonald

If you would like to be considered for a Fashionista of the Month,   please email info@hautevisual.com with the subject “Fashionista of the Month.”

Retailers Experiment to Leverage The Social Network Facebook

In 2011, major retailers in the US flocked to Facebook to build digital storefronts in hopes of capturing sales where so many socialized. But by the end of the following year, most high-profile players had closed their Fcommerce shops.

While some US retailers and brands forge ahead, the e-tailing group’s “15th Annual Mystery Shopping Study” found that what appeared to be a mass exodus did indeed happen. The number of retailers in the US with Facebook-enabled checkout dropped 63% between Q4 2011 to Q4 2012, to 6%.

Still, even as fewer “buy now” and “add to cart” buttons sprinkle Facebook’s newsfeeds and apps, US retailers know the importance of being on the site. According to a new eMarketer report, “Facebook Commerce: Evolving, Not Extinct,” the question is whether or not retailers can crack the commerce half of social engagement.

According to the e-tailing group, 98% of US ecommerce merchants surveyed had a Facebook page in Q4 2012, and nearly the same number of respondents (97%) linked to Facebook from their site. It is also notable that sharing in general is on the rise—a tactic growing in popularity as social discovery becomes a bigger part of the shopping process.

And even if Fcommerce did not work out for plenty of retailers, they are still positive about the role Facebook plays in social commerce. A survey by RichRelevance demonstrated that Facebook retailers in the US consider Facebook with high regard: The site took up a significant share of user social commerce sessions compared with other social network sites in 2012.

RichRelevance also found that buyers coming from Facebook converted at more than twice the rate of Pinterest and Twitter and had the highest revenues per session. Pinterest, however, had the highest average order value.

Moreover, whether or not internet users go on Facebook with the intent to shop, it was the social network most likely to influence purchases among US internet users surveyed by Technorati in December 2012. Facebook nearly tied with blogs, at around 31%, and trailed only the more sales-focused brand and retail sites. The same study found that 21% of respondents followed brands on Facebook to make purchases.

Another way to leverage Facebook is to facilitate interactions among Facebook friends on an ecommerce site or app. And the key to encouraging this behavior is allowing Facebook Login, a tactic that’s not brand new yet only used by a small number of retailers.

Other approaches include tried-and-true deals, retargeted ads served via Facebook Exchange (FBX) and using the new Facebook Offers.

There are no set rules for how US merchants can leverage social commerce, and what’s possible is constantly evolving.

Source:

EMarketer.com

Online Sales Taxes and How It Could Affect You

Online Sales Taxes amazon.jpg

Photo Source: AP/Paul Sakuma

It’s far from a done-deal, but the days of mostly tax-free shopping on the Internet moved one big step closer to ending.

The Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act last month with bi-partisan support. The bill would allow a state that has a sales tax to require online retailers – those with more than a million dollars in out-of-state sales each year – to collect that sales tax from all of its customers in that state.

Under current law, Internet retailers don’t have to collect sales tax unless they have a physical presence in that state: such as a warehouse, office, showroom or brick-and-mortar store. The burden is on you, the shopper, to pay that sales tax if your state collects it – but few people do.

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about the Marketplace Fairness Act:

How soon could this happen?

Online merchants and states would have time to prepare for the changeover. Even if the House does pass the bill, nothing would happen until the fall.

How much tax would I be charged?

If you live in the five states without a state sales tax – Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon – you wouldn’t pay anything. Otherwise, the online merchant will add the state sales tax; just as they would if you shopped at a local store.

Will this hurt online sales?

It could slow sales a bit. After all, online commerce has greatly benefited from being a tax-free zone.

“Internet sales have been growing rapidly and it’s going to continue to grow rapidly because there are many advantages to buying over the Internet: convenience, variety and so forth,” said Alan Auerbach, a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley. “But there are some purchases that might be marginally discouraged if there’s a tax.”

Could this help sales at traditional stores?

Many believe it could, especially for purchases where the tax savings from shopping online are significant. It might be more convenient to pay the tax and walk out with the item, rather than wait for it to be shipped.

It might also cut down on “showrooming,” a growing problem for local stores. That’s when someone goes to a physical store to check out the merchandise, but then buys it online.

What about the cost of collecting and paying the taxes?

“For some small retailers it will clearly be a burden,” said Neil Bruce, professor of economics at the University of Washington“This will impose costs on some online retailers who’ve been selling online without collecting taxes.”

Some states don’t charge sales tax and those that do often tax different items. For instance, New York charges sales tax on clothing; Pennsylvania does not. And the tax rate varies from location to location.

Online merchants who have their site hosted by a bigger company should be OK, but those who run their own platforms and host their own shopping carts may have some technical challenges and added expenses to deal with.

Who supports the bill and who opposes it?

Brick-and-mortar retailers believe online stores that don’t collect sales tax have an unfair advantage.

Online powerhouse, eBay has lobbied against the bill which it believes will hurt some of its sellers. Ebay wants Congress to exempt businesses that have less than $10 million in out-of-state sales or fewer than 50 employees.

Amazon.com, which had always argued against an online sales tax, now supports it. The shift in position comes as Amazon expands operations into more states, requiring the online retailer to collect the taxes from customers in those states.

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Source:

Amy Martinez, Seattle Times

Herb Weisbaum, Today Money

Will The Online Fashion Resale Market Take a Flash Sales Nosedive?

 

Photo Source: Shutterstock

NEW YORK, United States — There’s been a digital explosion in the market for pre-owned fashion. In the past year, we’ve seen a veritable land grab in the online consignment and resale space with the number of  “re-commerce” sites now exceeding 50 — and many more, no doubt, incubating in Silicon Valley, New York, London and beyond. Several market levels are being addressed: mall/high street (Threadflip, Tradesy), thrift (LikeTwice, NiftyThrifty), upmarket (TheRealReal), haute vintage (Byronesque) and boutique (ReFashioner, my own company).

It may seem like these sites are dealing in a mere by-product of the fashion industry. But no, this is the product. Everything that’s bought becomes pre-owned. A tidal wave is building and it has the power to undermine or even destroy. Indeed, the stockpile of merchandise is overwhelmingly vast. I did the math in 2009 for ReFashioner’s beta, a luxury fashion swap site: $880 billion trapped in closets. And that’s just high-end womenswear in the US.

Picture the slide in all those investor decks from 2011 to 2012, during which an estimated $172 million in venture money was poured into second-hand fashion extraction vehicles. That spectacular metric seemed to be the successor to the surplus inventory calculations of Gilt, HauteLook, RueLaLa, Ideeli  not to mention the doomed, exorbitant US launch of Vente-Privee. As with flash sales, the investor story in “re-commerce” is about monetising excess inventory.

But therein lies the rub. As with flash sales, this inventory is delimited by the retail market. And it’s wayward. The ROI sucks when every SKU is singular and inventory is locked up — literally — in houses. And there’s something of a standoff between buyer and seller: the non-professional seller, accustomed to seeing 100 percent mark-ups in the real world, wants top dollar for her career basics and contemporary designer wear, while the buyer wants Zappos-like service, Etsy pricing and Net-a-Porter merchandising. There are other issues too: resistance to higher ticket items without fittings, sketchy return policies, knock-off trading.

But there’s more. This merchandise is personal. It’s not just a numbers game, it’s about everything fashion means to us. It’s about honouring the past of the clothes and their place in our lives. If this is going to work, we need to add content and context. Idealistic, maybe. But idealism is how things get changed and idealism can work to the advantage of this category.

Remember, it wasn’t so long ago that shopping second-hand was contrarian. I remember, because I’ve always preferred pre-owned. It’s about the hunt and the history and the souls of objects; it’s about the superior construction of true vintage, about loathing trends and liking to look different. But then, suddenly, vintage was in vogue (and in Vogue).

Back to that tidal wave. All this new-old merchandise, if left to its own devices, could drown a lot of bottom lines. As the increasingly variegated and expanding pre-owned market cracks the above-listed consumer fears — and it’s happening — there’ll be ever-wider acceptance of actual vintage and of past season pieces. The fashion industry can try to ignore it or fight it, but it’s happening and embracing it is really the only option.

At first glance this tidal wave of owned merchandise, when it’s resold, contributes nothing to the bottom line of those who originally produced it. It seems to undermine the industry. But with a more systematic approach to valuation, we could create a secondary market that actually enhances the primary one. It’s resale value as a selling point; a designer’s archive as author’s back catalogue. The best work stays in print — or the best pieces retain (and maybe increase in) value. I’ve come to think of this as the ‘Blue Book of Fashion’  not the Corvettes and Cadillacs and Subaru Outbacks of different years, but the Birkins and Bumsters and Wrap Dresses of different vintages, and on through the ranks of fashion from haute to high street.

Such a ‘Blue Book’ would have the handy side effect of collating designers’ old work. And then quality past-season pieces of all price points can be recognised and properly valued. Conversely, trash can go cheap — no more Bangladeshi factory workers need die for fast fashion.

So how can such a massive task be achieved?

If all the clothes in the world come back to the market in a second (and third, and fourth…) round, who could possibly write that catalogue? Why, ‘the crowd’ of course. I envisage a structure into which the buyers and seekers and sellers and owners input each piece’s data — and an algorithm spits out its current value, according to factors like consumer desire, realised prices, original (adjusted) retail.

Why does this matter?

It matters because we, as a species, need to rethink our consumption. In all areas, including fashion, we must buy less, but buy better. Invest in quality that retains value. Gradually our mass taste buds will crave more haute flavours. And, if the pre-owned market is successfully stratified and organised, we’ll be able to purchase better quality items at several points in a garment’s lifecycle.

Currently, pre-owned vendors in the midst of the current land grab are fighting Round One, competing for the glammest cast-offs, rooting through socialites’ spare rooms, hitting up the same stylists, editors, designers, bloggers — oh there’s plenty to go around, even if the scuffle is a little unseemly. But then comes Round Two, when the first resold pieces come back on the market and everyone wakes up en masse to the cash that’s sitting in their closets. We don’t want a bloodbath. We need a plan.

So let’s learn from the demise of flash sales and avoid a race to the bottom. The closet economy is a closed economy: let’s avoid inflation and set some standards. Let’s remember the true value of great design and good design and pre-loved ‘interesting’ design. Let’s work together to literally revalue the objects we spend our lives creating, styling, writing about and selling.

Source: Kate Sekules, Business of Fashion

Kate Sekules is the founder of ReFashioner.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Haute Visual.

 

Fashionisto of The Month: Dean Hall, Fashion Stylist & Blogger for Hall and Saks

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New Jersey bred, San Diego based fashion stylist Dean Hall is our June Fashionisto of the Month! In his spare time Dean enjoys reading all things fashion and looking for vintage pieces to add to his collection. Although he is inspired by various forms of art – including old films – Dean says he doesn’t really consider himself as an artist. “I feel like the word artist is so cliché, so I call myself a passionist – someone who believes if you aren’t passionate about it don’t do it.” We couldn’t agree more!

Tell me a little about yourself. 

Hmmmmm I could totally sum me up in one word, geek! I love collecting old pins so I can put them on my jackets and blazers, watching/reading crime scene investigative TV shows/books. In between styling editorials and personal clients I am also the style expert for Fox5, which I love! I used to be the fashion editor for the local magazine Fashion 5.0.

What’s your educational background? 

Finance, Ha! Bet you didn’t see that coming.

What does fashion mean to you?

Fashion isn’t clothes it’s a lifestyle. Fashion is in every part of life from where you eat, to where you vacation, and even the books you read. I always say true fashion will always be thought provoking.

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What made you start your blog?

My blog partner Adrienne Saks, and I (hence the name Hall & Saks) felt like San Diego needed a fashion voice from real insiders. Adrienne has flown all over the country styling both celebrities and athletes. I’ve styled TV shows and fashion shows so it only made sense that we collab! We also thought it would be nice to provide a blog that wasn’t one sided, by giving a guy’s and girl’s point of view.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

I got the chance to create a look for one of the main character for the entire season for the Vh-1 show titled Making Mr. Right. Styling for TV is my favorite thing to do. I think it’s because I know millions are watching my work and I love being able to get feedback from different parts of the country. Without feedback it’s impossible to grow.

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What are some of your goals?

Style another TV show, get into brand styling, and to start teaching style seminars.

What are some of your biggest challenges? 

Balancing a family life and my career is my biggest challenge to date.

Who are your top three favorite designers?

Lanvin, GAP, Prada

What are some of your favorite fashion websites, magazines, or books?

Style.com / V-Man / Vogue / Thecoveteur.com / WWD

What do you do when you’re not blogging or working? 

Watching Sex And The City reruns. Love the fashion and the bond between the girls, even though I know it’s not real.

Three words that describe your style:

Interesting, modern, and dapper

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What’s your favorite item in your closet?

My Prada sequin loafers. I’m sooooooo obsessed with them!

Favorite beauty product?

Love my Neutrogena burst face scrub it totally gives you this refreshing feeling I use it religiously!

Where’s your favorite place to travel?

That’s tough, but I would have to say New York.

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Who is your celebrity crush? 

Hands down Rihanna, she is MAJOR!!!!!

Any future projects or pieces we should look out for? 

Yes! I’m actually working on a small accessories line for both men and women, called S.A.M it will be launching early August. I’m nervous and excited about it. It will be beanies and tanks, think cool bad kids.

Advice for other bloggers or fashion business owners? 

Keep focused! The best piece of advice I heard, not sure where it came from but it has stuck in my head for the past two years. “What separates the great from the average is not talent, but discipline”.  Put the time in and really master your craft.

 

Dean’s Haute List

Dean Haute List

Starbucks Chai Tea Latte

I-Phone 5

V-Man Magazine

My Christian Louboutin Harvananas

My Tiffany & Co. silver ID bracelet

Instagram

Cinepolis (The movie theatre where they bring you food and drinks to your seat)

Porsche Panamera

Urban Outfitters Men’s Socks

White Cheddar Popcorn

Blog: www.hallandsaks.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/hallandsaks

Twitter: www.twitter.com/hallandsaks

How to Brand Yourself in Fashion

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Nowadays the face behind any given product, be that a blog, magazine or designer label, is just as important as the product itself–if not more so.

“Consumers today are buying into a lot more than just a commodity,” said Marc Beckman, co-founder of Designers Management Agency.

Consider Anna Wintour or Karl Lagerfeld–their personal brands are inextricably connected to those of the companies they work for. When people buy a Chanel lego bag, they’re buying into Lagerfeld’s kooky, high-fashion lifestyle almost as much as the brand itself.

A figurehead with a strong personal brand is not just a boon for the company; it’s a powerful asset for the individual, making them less dependent on any given organization. That’s why having a personal brand is even more important for entrepreneurs or free agents, like models and bloggers.

Whether you’re an editor, blogger, or designer, having a strong personal brand may be the key to success in the fashion industry.

“Developing a brand is important in that it goes hand in hand with developing your overall personal voice and point of view,” Raina Penchansky, Chief Strategy Officer at Digital Brand Architects, which represents brands and top bloggers, said. “Your brand is what gives you the ability to determine what you want your growth strategy to be and where you ultimately want to take your vision.”

“It is one of the most critical elements of building a sustainable long term business model,” said Beckman.

So how can you tap into your own personal brand? We’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how to effectively brand yourself, with input from industry experts like Beckman, Penchansky and Kelly Framel of the Glamourai.

1. Know That You Can’t Fake the Funk

Don’t try to come up with a personal brand that’s not, well, personal. Don’t fall in with trends or try to fill a perceived void just for the sake of doing it. Your personal branding strategy needs to feel intrinsic and authentic.

“A brand has to be rooted in something organic and authentic, it can’t be created from nothing or something disingenuous,” said Penchansky.

2. Have Talent, Skill and Dedication to Back it Up

“If it’s not a superior product, [consumers] will walk away,” said Beckman–no matter how snazzy your personal branding strategy.

Work hard, stay dedicated, and make sure you’re creating something that is high quality; file copy on time, update your blog constantly, tie up every last detail. Most importantly, you have to believe in what you do.

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3. Stand for Something.

Beckman recommends setting some time aside to think about what’s important to you, what appeals to you, and what you want to say. Ultimately, you need to figure out what you can bring to the industry that no one else can. This doesn’t mean you have to be the next Karl Lagerfeld or Cindy Crawford; simply having a unique point of view will do the trick.

4. Don’t Try to Appeal to Everyone
Whittle your branding strategy until it’s crystalized into a single, super-niche concept. And whatever you do, don’t try to appeal to everyone.

Penchansky said one of the most common mistakes aspiring bloggers make is to follow the pack too much. “Trying to edit yourself to fit into a trend might gain short term results but ultimately does not help with your long term growth as a blogger or brand.”

5. Write it Down.
The first thing Beckman does with all his clients is create what he calls a “brand soul” document.

“It analyzes every element, it defines the brand vision, the brand mission statement, the core values what the positioning statement is, what the competitive landscape is, and where they fit in it.”

It doesn’t necessarily have to get too technical. Writing down the basics, in your own words, will help you stay consistent and save time when you need to make tough decisions down the road.

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6. Communicate Your Brand. Again. And Again. And Again.
Once you’ve figure out what you want to say, and who you want to say it to, it’s time to get your message out there. In this day and age you have access to all sorts of platforms to express yourself–a blog, Twitter account or Instagram account being some of the more obvious ones.

When it comes to your social media and online presence, there’s no one right way to do it. The most important thing is that you stay on-brand and consistent.

7. Foster Brand Culture

“Just to have a strong personality and to look really good doesn’t mean you’re going to create a long term sustainable business,” Beckman said.

Ultimately what makes a brand successful is the consumers, the fans. Develop a personal rapport with your target audience, respond to messages and encourage discussion.

8. Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
So, about those tough decisions: Some of them will be about saying no. To really good offers.

Once your business starts picking up steam, you’ll start getting approached by other brands to partner up. These can be amazing opportunities–and often involve hefty paychecks–but be wary. One wrong partnership could alienate your audience and ruin your credibility for good.

Invest in your brand’s future, and wait for the right ones to come knocking.

9. Be Patient
“Brand development, if done the right way, takes time,” said Penchansky.

Don’t expect to come a sensation over night. Put in the work, stay on brand, and be consistent–don’t abandon your ethos when the going gets tough. It may take longer to develop, but in the long run, your brand will be the stronger for it.

 Source: Hayley Phelan, Fashionista.com