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Archive for the ‘In store’ Category

Lily Pulitzer Takes Over Bryant Park!

When I heard that Lily Pulitzer was doing a collab with Target I was a little skeptic because in the past a lot of Target Designer collabs look nothing like the actual brand;(Though I still use my Phillip Lin Target crossbody) So I was beyond excited when I heard that Target would set up a pop up shop and Lily fy Bryant Park for one day this past Thursday. The line had hundreds of Lily fans dressed up in Lily’s house line and when I finally got into the shop I was pleasantly surprised!
The collection is very well made and has the spirit of Lily; (though unfortunately none of her actual prints as Target chose artists to create prints that were inspired by Pulitzer and used those for the collection ) There is something for everyone as there are clothing, accessories, furniture, shoes and home goods all with the feel of being in Boca Raton,FL sipping on a Pina Colada!

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Promtimes launches new 2015 collection

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Ever so often we write about new brands and websites that create unique customer experience and go the extra mile in what seems the hardest feat in fashion today: creating universal fit structures for everybody type without limitations on style and perks.

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This site is one of the few sites that offers such a rare combination,  and even though we wrote about thier tailor service and wide range of sizes before, their new crop of 2015 dresses are so versatile, they can be used for different occasions past thier moniker. Yes, they sell dresses for prom but also bridesmaids,  brides and other events. Promtimes.co.uk is worth the time to peruse and you will reel at the selection and at the prices. Everything is always on sale with up to 75% off the original price.

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The new crop of dresses have a demure elegance that seem to extend it beyond the most obulent occasions.  We love the sleek fit and the subtle addition of exotic fabrics added to unique design details similar to what celebrities wear on the red carpet.

So stop by promtime.co.uk, not just prom dresses, a variety of sizes, styles and colors with a perpetual sale that is never ending. What more could you want?

Case Study: How NOT to morph from a designer to a brand

Some of these logos represent manufactured fashion brands. Can you tell which ones?

We watched over the years designers turn into brands and vice versa and wondered if it was ever a good idea. We heralded Target’s invention of the capsule collaboration but shunned the pop star turned designer ethos of K-mart. In any case, brands that embrace inspiration from high-end designers to TV shows (Olivia Pope for The Limited), brands thrive on reaching crowds through innovation and the constant need to look and dress like the ones we admire. However, it has not worded for designer brands like Noir. Juicy Couture and Betsy Johnson (who have both morphed into a brand) found that gimmicks destroy rather than increase loyal customers for designer brands. In this case study, we will explore what they did wrong and how you as a designer, can avoid the same fate.

Why not become a brand in the first place?

Some may argue that becoming a designed brand is possible but that is just fiction. Two aspects define a brand, they focus on trends of the market and the price is friendly to most of the population. Designers produce work unique to their point of view and the price reflects the uniqueness of their product. Crafters produce products with a unique point of view and a friendly price. If you happen to design your work on a raising trend with prices not too friendly to the consumer, you become a designer brand which is the kiss of death as Betsy Johnson found out. In retrospect, BJ never really found her niche market and worst her prices were too high to sustain general interest. A designer brand must go one way or another either lower cost and to compete with others who produce the same or similar products or limit distribution of your work to your niche market. In any rate; you will loose money the longer you stay in between until you either go out of business or sell. If you sell, you will be reverted into a brand as your products become manufactured and you will no longer have any influence in future production. You will no longer be a designer and your name will be attached to a brand. Nothing is more humiliating. So here are some points to make sure that does not happen.

Manufacturer brands can copy designs that can lead a designer to go out of business, the trick is to design items that are not worth reproducing because of cost or a niche market.

Discover your Niche Market and Expand it

The problem with designers is that they are increasingly fighting with manufacture brands for reproduction of designs that sometime borders on counterfeiting. So if you create broad trendy products like urban or kitschy (like Juicy Couture and Betsy Johnson respectively), you will be pushed out of the market as manufactured brands copy your looks for a cheaper price then you can afford. If you wish to continue your work then find another market where the style has not gone mainstream but still desired (BJ in Japan anyone?). Juicy Couture’s journey into a brand was also because urban chic became a staple in America but London is still on the rise and by expanding to that location could of saved them from becoming a brand.

Expanding to new locations does not necessary mean outside the US, you can move from Cali to NY if you create bohemian chic products since that trend is on the rise here but not mainstream as well as take urban chic to Chicago or Normcore to Seattle. In any rate, expand and save.

Too many sales or a sale at high percentages can hurt rather help your designer credit.

Keep your prices in the right market and don’t compromise

Lowering your prices only work if you want to become a brand and continue to produce trendy products while reaching that broader market. If you want to retain your name and make money from your designs then take a page from Michael Kors and limit sales. Do not let seasonal and holiday sales deter you from holding firm to your price points. If you do have sales limit them to no more than 25% so you do not seem desperate for sales. People are weary of sale items which now are damaged or faulty. Keeping sales few and between will increase customer loyalty. If you do need to clear away product, consider offering loyal customers a discount that others will not have access. This is a great way to build loyalty without sacrificing profit.

Create a consistent Voice

Some designers can feel detered from thier vision when sales take a downward turn and decide to go with gimmicky collaborations to entice new customers. I knew a designer who paired with a celebrity that not only did not take his brand into consideration but also put out a collection of questionable morality. Needless to say, it ended up not doing much for sales. It may have been better for him to take a look at his inventory for inconsistency.

1. Clean house: Remove products that are not selling and focus on the ones that are selling. Decide what is similar between all these products and develop a voice through these similarities. Alternatively, toss out all other products or re-invent them using your new viewpoint you just discovered.

2. Commit: Only produce the products in step 1. Even if you like a design, it is important to make a profit because that is what drives your future as a designer. It is how investors decide rather you are a risk or not and how you can file for grants or incubators.

3.Stay away from craft selling sites: Sites that have a variety of products will limit how many customers come your way because you will always be in competition with other designers as well as crafters who have more price friendly products. Build your own website to your voice so customer can get an idea of who you are as soon as they enter.

In conclusion, take care to create products that are unique and price within the market you want to attract. Stay away from producing products that has become mainstream or too trendy and hence picked up by brand stores.

Last And I Mean Last Minute Christmas Gift Fix!

Ok so I know it’s Christmas Eve and as I sit here sipping gourmet hot chocolate from my crystal encrusted mug I keep getting bombarded by emails from various stores who STILL want you to get that gift to your loved ones!

Sears-offers same day pick up until 6pm tonight!

Amazon-in certain cities (I know NYC for sure has same hour delivery!

Kmart-offers E-giftcards

Yankee Candle-Malls are open until 6 or 9pm tonight and Yankee candle is offering by 2 get 2 free!

New York & Co- all day door busters including ALL scarves, hats and gloves for $7.99!!

So hope you get out there and get those last minute gifts so you won’t have to look like a Scrooge lol! Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Shopping Smarter for Last Minute Gifts

We all work long hours and sometimes mass retail sales offer so much incentives to buy that we end up buying that scarf and hat set that every store has on clearance but what really makes a last minute gift special is the thought put into it. So here are some basic tips to make last minute still special…

GO FOR PERSONAL GIFTS

The packed stores, the absence of parking and the hoards of cheap discounts with “something for you” incentives are enticing but they can not predict the perfect gift for your family.

Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice. — Dave Barry

Instead, go to the many local holiday markets that offer scores of handmade gifts. In NY there are seasonal markets everywhere including Grand Central Terminal Holiday Fair, Shops at Bryant Park and Brooklyn Bazaar. Handmade gifts offer a special touch and even when shopping at the last minute, the thought is there and hence that “last minute” attempt is forgotten.

GO FOR IN-STORE PICKUP

Some sites drop things in hours depending on your location (Amazon.com offers 1 to 2 hour shipping in NY and LA) but if you are not lucky enough to live in those cities, shop online at stores that offer in store pick up like Macy’s which offers next day pick up. Target and Best buy are both great places to pick up the items in one day. JcPennys is one store that is not reliable for one day pickup. Nordstrom is new to the pickup in store crew and so we really do not know the time frame. Neiman Marcus, however, offers pick up in as little as two hours if you order by 4pm!

SHOP ON APPS

Most of these pick up stores also have apps so if you can’t make it to your computer, then download that app and start shopping for gifts. By not going to the store, you stop yourself from buying things you do not need and are able to focus on that perfect gift. The holidays are not really about the cost but the thought so save the hat and scarves from Old Navy for “Secret Santa”.

Need to know: Promtimes.co.uk

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We usually do not pick a site for review but with such price-friendly dresses, we thought this site, known for prom dresses and custom tuxedos can do double duty as a go-to for event dressing.

Feature – colors

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With about  30 colors for each design, there is an infinite amount of dresses to choose from at this site. We love that each color possibility is added in “swatches” on every page.

Feature – body conscious

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For each size above 22W, an additional cost of 2.00 pounds is added to the price, making this on of the few sites that offer a body-friendly choice to every consumer.

For consumers with less standard sizing the site also offers tailoring for a fees. It takes from 3 to 14 days but worth it for the best fit.

Not sure of your standard size, check out the size chart.

Feature – On demand

All dresses are created on order so no worries about products that may have sat too long in the warehouse. Even though it takes up to 22 days for the garment to arrive, the quality is worth it. It is true we have “fast fashion” tendencies but this has “couture” quality.  In an hurry, skip tailoring and go for standard sizing.

Feature – all on one page

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The website uses tabs to give you access to all information about  the website as well as other dresses you may love in one page !! Navigation is made easier and the look also makes the site mobile friendly.

So many choices and features, you must check out  http://www.promtimes.co.uk to get prices starting at 65 pounds in 30 colors.

Black Friday Fashionista Deals!!

Hey readers! We had to take a break from all the haute deals to let you know where you need to be this Black Friday!

Charming Charlie for those of you who don’t know is a boutique dedicated to all things accessories! They have the entire store organized by color and they even sell clothes and shoes! They are giving $10 deals, 2 for $10 cold weather accessories AND they are giving mystery reward gift cards with every purchase!

Jcpenney-$5.99 turtlenecks and 60% off LuLu by Lulu Guinness bags!! also first thousand people get free giftcards! Nicole miller clutches are $12.99!

Macy’s-$19.99

American Eagle Outfitters- free blanket and tote with $60 purchase,buy one get one free pjs and 40% off your total purchase!

Last Call Neiman Marcus- entire store is 40% off and clearance is extra 60% off!

Hot Topic-$10 tees