Fashionista of the Month: Kimberly E. Stone, Founder of Poshglam

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Our fashionista for this month is Kimberly E. Stone, creator of the innovative and highly popular site POSHGLAM. Kimberly has launched a unique platform that not only promotes emerging designers, brands and artists – but also includes a witty, engaging tone with valuable inside knowledge of the fashion industry.

What made you start your blog rather than be a designer? 

I still do design from time to time. I wanted to first pay homage to designers that already exist. I knew that paying dues is a large part of getting into the fashion industry and I did not feel that I was ready to put my designs out there at the time. Being successful in fashion requires a combination of things: talent, design, marketing, publicity, timing – and I found that I was more interested in the marketing side of the business and really delving into how the web is dynamically changing the way we consume products and interact with brands. I wanted to better understand the evolving product life-cycle and assist emerging designers in marketing themselves globally utilizing the web as a vehicle for catalyzation.

What has been your greatest accomplishment (so far)? 

It is very exciting, I’ve met some wonderful people that have changed my life and enhanced my love for fashion, style and luxury as well as built relationships with people all over the globe. I call them my “virtual BFFs”, I would do anything for them! My greatest accomplishment has been establishing a recognizable brand and doing what I love. Giving people just like me a voice in the fashion industry, I’m thrilled everyday!

What are some of your goals (short and long term)? 

My short term goal is to become more immersed in the art of design, I’m taking classes here and there, and developing my critical eye. I have an appreciation for all fashion & design but have begun to crystallize my opinions on not only what works, but why.

I’m also playing with the idea of growing POSHGLAM as a communal presence. My peers have launched their social platforms, some have been very successful, others seem to have launched prematurely before the market was ready. As I focus on making the site more robust, I make a point to ensure that the market timing is perfect and I don’t want to introduce anything that my audience isn’t receptive to yet, the web evolves everyday, and so does online behavior. As the world of web changes, we (POSHGLAM) focus on adequate and disruptive evolution as well.

What are some of your biggest challenges? 

The application of theoretical business versus real world practice and learning how to balance the two is something I’m working on. I also try to make sure that any advice I receive whether it is from people I interact with or things I read on the internet, applies in today’s real-time market.

Who are some of your favorite designers? 

Burak Uyan (shoe designer)

Angel Jackson (handbag designer)

Melody Ehsani (jewelry designer)

Rachel Roy (fashion designer)

Mara Hoffman (Swimwear)

CC SKYE (Jewelry)

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

British Vogue, Elle, Harpar’s Bazaar, I love graphic design…books on graphic design and imagery. I see art, design and fashion everywhere. It’s a cool perspective to have. My perception is altered by fashion, I guess it’s my filter, like rose-tinted lenses.

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

When I’m not working, I enjoy traveling as well as trying new foods. I also like to invent things – working with an engineer and coming up to solutions for problems. Everyone always wants me to be their “business coach”, I always decline. I’m really annoying when it comes to business and getting things done, and they are even more annoying, when it’s not done…adequately.

Three words that describe your style: 

I would say: Polished, Artistic, and Enthusiastic.

What are some of your favorite beauty products? 

Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Eye LinerGuerian has a great Terracotta , Chanel Foundation: VITALUMIÈRE-AQUA, Brownberry Spraytan (guilty pleasure)

Any future projects or pieces we should look out for? 

I still like to design for fun, I will be collaborating with emergent designers and creating various handbags, shoes, jewelry etc. Also, I’m getting back into modeling, stay tuned!

What advice do you have for other bloggers or fashion business owners? 

My advice for any entrepreneur would be to have a plan of action. Not necessarily a business plan which does have its place, but a plan for market integration – knowing when and how to start. If you have an idea, ensure that it’s authentic and then run with it – because if you wait eventually someone else will come up with that same idea and produce it. There really is no time like the present because there will never be a perfect time for you to put your idea out there.

 

Kimberly’s Haute List

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1. My Primpette Pillowcases

2. Merlot, A great glass of merlot full of aminos

3. Archipelago Candles

4. Ahava dead sea salt body wash

5. Cartier Stationary (can’t live without)

6. Sweet & Spicy Cocktails

7. Mussels (one of my favorite dishes)

8. A great business book (always buying them)

9. Guiseppe Zanotti Shoes (love them)

10. Narciso Rodriguez for her (best fragrance in history)

New York Fashion Week Recap: Zac Posen, The Row, Tommy Hilfiger and 3.1 Phillip Lim

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Photo Source: Washington Square News

It’s been a flurry of collections and hot new trends as New York Fashion Week took over the city. Haute Fashion is reviewing the luxury lines you love so you don’t miss a thing! Check out our recaps below and head over to Haute Fashion to see all our coverage as we go from New York to London and Paris!

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Runway Review: Zac Posen Fall 2013

Just as we saw at Reem Acra, Zac Posen’s collection for Fall 2013 was a preview of the Academy Awards red carpet we’ll see in just over a week. The designer made a foray into daytime wear, but the real highlight of the New York Fashion Week presentation was the dresses. See the full collection & review on Haute Fashion

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Runway Review: The Row Fall 2013

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen proved their fashion chops once again this season with their Fall 2013 collection. Shown off-site at an Upper East-side apartment during New York Fashion Week, the twins unveiled a Céline-esque collection of minimalist luxury. See the full collection & review on Haute Fashion

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Runway Review: Tommy Hilfiger Fall 2013

Much like Victoria Beckham, Tommy Hilfiger took a softer approach to power-dressing, ironically by taking a page from menswear. The designer’s Fall 2013 collection featured the preppy plaids, argyles and tweeds of House Hilfiger in a silhouette borrowed from men’s suits in the 80s. See the full collection & review onHaute Fashion

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Runway Review: 3.1 Phillip Lim

Consider it the yin to the yang of the ultra-female power dressing we saw from Prabal Gurung and Jason Wu earlier at NYFW. Phillip Lim’s collection for Fall 2013 was equally as strong, but viewed through a cooler, biker chic-aesthetic lens. See the full collection & review on Haute Fashion

To see all of Haute Living’s coverage of the Fall 2013 collection presentations in New York, London, and Paris, head over to Haute Fashion. Photos courtesy Style.com

Valentine’s Day Courtship Tips for Brands

Social-Media-Valentines-DayA staggering 72 million adults will buy Valentine’s Day cards this season. That’s 40% of all cards sold. And while that’s an impressive figure, 60% of folks are still untapped. We can only image what the numbers look like for money spent on dinners, flowers, chocolates, jewelry and more. Again, while huge, a large number of the adult population still doesn’t budge. In time for the big day, outlined are four Valentine’s Day courtship tips for brands to be more relevant to customers this season.

Don’t make the same mistake

It’s pretty obvious, but even a Harvard University study points to the fact that people are more accurate at predicting emotional reactions to negative events than positive ones they have experienced in the past. Just like humans try to avoid repeating terrible relationship mistakes, brands too need to learn from bad marketing decisions made in the past. The good news for brands is that through a variety of technological techniques and advances like predictive analytics, brands can now foresee what’s coming ahead and how to react. Again, making it easier to not only not make the same mistake again, but preventing one from ever happening in the first place.

Be relevant to your target

Don’t be scared to ride the wave of trends. In fact, marketers should leverage what’s happening during the season – whether it’s Gangnam Style, wedge sneakers, Pinterest, or the latest handbag, marketers have a better chance of making the sale if they stay on top of what matters to their target audience. Last year’s Michael Kors #fallinginlovewith campaign is an outstanding example of a brand that capitalized on being relevant and timely by tapping nearly every social media medium, including Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest and ultimately, bridging the gap between mobile and social.

Know what you’re doing

Too often, marketers carry out campaigns purely on a hunch or good idea. Smart marketers should go that extra mile and tap market researchers to reach out to community panel members for a gauge on how Americans will feel about specific marketing campaigns, themes, ideas, etc. prior to cupid’s arrival. As market researchers start reaching out to community panel members, it’s important for them to ask the right questions. Many researchers today are asking respondents for basic information that they should already know like their geography and general interests. As a result, response rates go down and the overall strategy falls through the cracks. Reexamining how to best ask meaningful questions will provide marketers with better insight into the attitudes and opinions of respondents so that they’ll know to plan for the big day, which is exactly what we help brands do here at Vision Critical.

Target the outliers

Almost half of Americans have negative feelings towards Valentine’s Day.  Most marketers are so busy focusing on how to sell to the population that enjoys it that often times they leave the non-lovers hanging. Marketers should consider a duel, or ubiquitous approach to targeting those in love (or like) and those that are single.

Holiday Communication

If you sell a product or service, think about a way to talk about what you sell in a way that might make it a great Valentine’s gift. Offer a sale or package price, particularly if it can bundled and wrapped. You might consider sharing some links to blogs and news articles relating to Valentine’s Day cooking, recipes, attire, decorations, crafts – anything you think your readers and fans will enjoy and share.

Holiday Images

When looking for images to share, it’s best to either purchase the image from a site like iStockPhoto (because yes, you are using it for commercial purposes), or use Flickr to find images that the owner has stated that the image can be used for commercial purposes. Go to Flickr.com, start a search, and then use the Advanced Settings to filter out the images that you shouldn’t be using (the setting is at the bottom of the page). Note that you still need to pay attention to each image and what the owner states – some require that you attribute the image to the owner, like Image courtesy of Mike Allton, Flickr. Sprinkle some of these quotes and images into your social media activity and marketing leading up to Valentine’s Day to keep your customers smiling. More importantly, look for ways that you can provide value to your readers and your efforts will be appreciated. For instance, you might offer some alternative ideas to the typical “dinner and a movie” that both husbands AND wives will appreciate. Poll your employees about their best and worst Valentine’s Days and then share those stories in a blog post for our readers to enjoy.

Sources:

iMedia Connection

Yahoo Small Business

Fashion 2.0 | Topshop and Google Plan Data-Savvy Digital Runway

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LONDON, United Kingdom — In recent cycles, fashion shows, once closed industry events, have become something of a spectator sport for the hundreds of thousands of people who follow the play-by-play online. Now, British high street brand Topshop has teamed up with technology giant Google to stage a realtime consumer extravaganza around the live stream of its Topshop Unique show — to be presented as part of London Fashion Week this Sunday — that promises connected fashion fans an unprecedented, all-access entertainment experience.

While megabrands like Burberry and Louis Vuitton have live-streamed their runway shows for several seasons now, the Topshop initiative, dubbed “The Future of the Fashion Show,” aims to bring consumers even closer to the action, employing wearable, high-definition micro-cameras and a slew of Google platforms, from YouTube to Google+ Hangouts, to let users virtually inhabit the privileged perspectives of fashion industry archetypes — the model, the guest celebrity, the retail buyer, even the designer — and experience the show through their eyes.

Realtime ‘model cams’ are set to capture and transmit what it’s like to walk the runway, while a “Be the Buyer” app will let fans compose, remix and share mood boards featuring their favourite pieces. A Google+ Hangout will give fans the chance to view and interact with the Topshop design team as they put the finishing touches on the collection.

There will even be something of a pre-game show in the form of a “red carpet hangout,” featuring celebrity arrivals at the impressive Tanks at Tate Modern show venue, broadcast on Google+ and YouTube, as well as in the digital window displays of Topshop’s Oxford Street flagship. Inexpensive souvenirs, like the beauty products and music tracks featured in the show, will also be available for immediate purchase.

“We wanted to create an experience for the many millions of Topshop fans all over the world that delivered part of the experience in the venue to the customer, but in a new and exciting way and one that would live beyond the moment,” Topshop’s chief marketing officer, Justin Cooke, told BoF.

Indeed, the experience is likely to attract a sizable audience and generate social buzz for the brand that will extend and sustain the marketing impact of the runway show. Last season, over 2 million people from over 100 countries tuned into Topshop’s digital runway.

“We gained so much insight by working with Google. We understand better than ever how people want to interact with content and the subtleties related to that interaction on different platforms at different moments,” said Cooke. “The Google+ team have worked on the US elections and some of the most engaging events in social media history and, so, using that insight, balanced with the creativity and excitement of our show, really opened up a new way of thinking.”

But driving social buzz is only part of Topshop’s strategy. Equally important is data. In fact, the large amount of data generated by millions of consumers interacting with the various elements of “The Future of the Fashion Show” has the potential to be valuable, if captured, sifted and analysed correctly.

Indeed, the brand’s “Be the Buyer” app alone promises to be a useful source of timely insight into what pieces resonate most with consumers long before they hit the shop floor, data that can be used to make more efficient business decisions, like how much of a particular type of product to manufacture and stock — and in what colours.

“With our unique customise the catwalk technology we see what looks customers engage with and share most; which colours they want. And the ‘Be the Buyer’ app will be a great indicator of their favourite styles,” said Cooke. “We learn so much because we are really putting the show in their hands.”

Vikram Alexei Kansara is Managing Editor of The Business of Fashion

Source: Business of Fashion February 13, 2013