Monday, October 29, 2007

More bad GAP press...

What a suprise - GAP (NYSE:GPS) is getting more bad press, this time for child labor it apparently uses to produce its clothing line. What an awesome company. Private-Equity should buy out the entire company and just cut the entire GAP product line and start again from scratch. Maybe they can take a small hint from Mango, Zara, H&M, or Forever 21 going forward...

As much as we don't like to think about it, sweatshops are a reality. After all, there is a reason we can buy our clothes so cheap -- it's because somewhere, someone is getting paid a few dollars a day to make them.

It turns out Gap is no exception. The UK's Observer newspaper found that the company employs children as young as 10-years-old, who work in "conditions close to slavery." All this in spite of the company's attempts to rid their production processes of this kind of illegal child labor.

Granted, it's not as if there's malnourished pre-teens working in the back of your local retail outlet. These kids were discovered in the dark alleys of New Delhi, hired by subcontractors -- seemingly without the knowledge of Gap corporate executives.

Under the current policy, when child employees are discovered, the contractor that hired those children is not only supposed to take them out of the workplace, but also give them money, access to school, and a promise that they can come back to the job when they're old enough.

But that policy apparently isn't working. And as such, Gap will be pulling tens of thousands of items from store shelves later this year rather than look unethical by selling clothes made by the hands of abused, starving children.

But be honest, do you really care? Today the company's website prominently features their Product Red campaign -- designed to raise money for AIDS programs in Africa (just to prove they're not totally evil). Will this affect your shopping? Do you try and buy clothes from retailers that do good, or do you just want cute looks at better prices?

-Via. Styledash

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Gossip Girls: Fashion Designer

Everyone seems to be in love with CBS's new television show Gossip Girls- not only with the entertaining plot, but with the clothing and outfits prominently shown off during the show. Blog My Fashion Life had a great article about Abigail Lorick, one of the designers for Gossip Girls. Enjoy!


If you’re already a fan of the new TV hit Gossip Girl, then you’re probably just as addicted to the clothes as you are the compelling plotlines. But did you realize that the outfits “designed” by Blair’s mother, Eleanor Walfdorf, are actually created by former Ford model turned designer Abigail Lorick? Here, we get the scoop on the show, her collection, and lessons she learned on the runway…

How did your clothes get on Gossip Girl?
I’ve had a long standing relationship with the wardrobe department, and when they heard I was launching my first collection, they thought it would be a great fit for the show.

What’s it been like to have your designs on the show?
Wonderful. The press has been phenomenal and it was a true delight to see the LORICK collection on television.

How was your experience working on the set? (In case you missed it, Lorick played a beautiful blonde fashion assistant in the last episode…)
It was an enticing glimpse into the world of television entertainment. I learned so much from working with the crew, meeting the producers, and talking with the directors. Margaret Colin (who plays Eleanor Waldorf) is an extraordinary actress. I was honored to meet her and watch her work. And Leighton Meester (who plays Blair) was so much fun to be around. Rumor has it that I have more cameos to come…

On the show, Eleanor Waldorf is credited as the designer of your clothes. What do you think of her character?
Blair’s mother is one of those women whose work is so important that she has disregarded her personal life. This sort of character is ever present in this city as well as in this industry. I must say though, Margaret Colin is a lovely person and an amazing actress.

What has being a model taught you about clothes?
So much! Clothes are meant to be played with. Each article is a piece to a puzzle and there should be joy in putting them together.

What were the best and worst outfits that you wore on the runway?
A lady never tells.

What is your design philosophy?
Timeless, classic, fun.

What is your go-to outfit for a night out or a special evening?
I do have a favorite dress. It’s a gold baby doll dress with pleats around the shoulders and layers of chiffon. That and a pair of black pumps always works. Oh, and I never leave without a coat.

Favorite designers?
Miuccia Prada, Rodarte, Alber Elbaz for Lanvin, and Nicolas Ghesquiere for Balenciaga.

What’s next for you?
The LORICK collection will mature and evolve alongside its fabulous ladies, from season to season.

-Via My Fashion Life

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

In The Spotlight: Lululemon

The Fashion Investor's own Cameron Newland had a great post on his blog recently about Lululemon Athletica's (NASDAQ:LULU) stock. This is a great read for anyone interested in this recent IPO explosion with nearly a 100% gain in 3 months! Anyone interested on the company's brand momentum and business strategy should strongly consider reading it.

Today, I was reminded by a friend that a stock that my fund happens to own, Lululemon Athletica, was up 13% today, and is up over 34% since I bought it. Not to sound pompous, but this comes as no surprise to me.

ScarletStorm invests primarily in firms that show outstanding traction with consumers. We do all the necessary due diligence, research, and valuation on each possible investment candidate, but the firms that we end up buying stock of all share one trait: consumers are fanatical about them.

I was tipped off about Lululemon months ago by some friends of mine. What they told me was that Lululemon has built superstrong brand momentum with its core market (adult women), that their yoga clothes fit better than anything else (and more importantly, make the wearers look sexier), and that Lululemon clothing demands premium prices that customers are more than willing to pay. $80 for a pair of stretch pants. That’s their core product.

Formation of my Philosophy

My investment in Lululemon is a reflection of how I’ve been brought up to recognize prudent investments. Early in my life, I was lucky enough to learn a great lesson from my wise grandmother: we were walking out of QFC (a Pacific Northwest-based grocer now owned by Kroger) when she told me that she owned stock in QFC, and that she’d bought it because she likes to shop there herself. I was amazed. Right there in front of me stood a part-owner of the business! That made a strong impression on me, and from then on I would always remember her maxim: if you like spending your money somewhere, buy stock in the company. Building upon her teaching, I adapted a second rule that’s just as applicable: if people you know spend their money somewhere, buy stock in the company. It was this rule that lead to my purchase of some 25,000 shares of LULU late last month.

I’m so confident in the business. It’s differentiated from its competition (does it even have competition?). It’s in a growing market. It’s got premium product and commands premium prices. People are really excited when a new Lululemon store opens up, and that buzz increases the visibility of the brand even more. The company hasn’t oversaturated the marketplace like McDonalds and Starbucks have in their respective markets, there is plenty of room to grow. That’s what makes it such a desirable investment. The fact that it generates buzz and gets consumers talking (and gets them spending!) makes LULU worthy of an investment from ScarletStorm.

The moral of the story: listen to your grandmother.

-Via. Cameron

Hot Trenches for a Cold Winter

I Like Her Style blog had a great post about the ongoing trench fad this winter and some of the associated brands.

Halle Berry walks along the set of her new film, 'Perfect Stranger' with bodyguards January 30, 2006 in New York City.

Left to right: Trench Coat, $170,; Houndstooth Wool Coat, $59.80,; Belted Wool Trench Coat (also comes in black), $36.50,; Metallic Python Trench Coat, $39.50,
Left to right: Dolce & Gabbana Ruffled Trenchcoat, $1995,; Olivia Wool Trench Coat, $70.50,; City Style Trench Coat, $79.95,; Belted Trench Coat, $129,

The classic trench is a wardrobe must however, why not try something new and opt for a modern take on this coat. Metallics are still making the rounds this season so if you’re brave enough buy a deep bronze or shiny gold trench. Also consider hot pink, bright white and electric blue. The contrast of a shocking, crisp color and classic shape works well. Lastly, if you want something simple and long-lasting pick tweeds in brown or grey…. way more interesting than boring black.
-Via. I Like Her Style

Do you have any favorite branded trench coats?

Fur Still a Glamorous Fashion Statement?

Styledash posted a relatively controversial article today with regard to the use of real fur in fashion. Many would argue that in today's world of bountiful synthetic furs and materials that the use of real fur is unnecessary and cruel. There seem to have been multiple paradigm shifts over the last few years in determining the iconic value associated with fur fashion pieces, however the overall consensus (I thought) was that wearing fur is generally looked down upon in the US.

I do admit, however, that having had worn fur in the past, I never personally experienced any negativity from other people in doing so...

Anyway, here is the original Styledash Article:

anna wintour fur coatFur gets a bad rap from activists and animal lovers alike, but that hasn't slowed fur down one bit. No matter how much "blood" gets thrown on them by angry PETA protesters, fur coats will never go out of style.

Fur coats and their other fashionable counterparts have been associated with wealth, class, and success for centuries. Fur was first used in prehistoric times for obvious reasons like warmth and protection – but they were also used for fashion and adornment. During the Middle Ages fur was used mainly for fashion purposes and was seen as a symbol for wealth and class affiliation. In those times fur was being used for coats, shawls, cuffs, and even on the hems of gowns.

Today luxury labels like Dior, Fendi and Gucci use fur in their designs, and we all know what class of women can afford those. For those of us who want the look of fur without harming animals or paying the massive price tag, there are plenty of "faux" choices out there for us that look pretty darn real. One of my favorites is this faux fur swing coat from Juicy Couture.

Styledashers, what do you wear: faux fur or the real deal?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Coach Stock Falls On Slower Store Traffic

Longtime American fashion stalwart Coach (NYSE: COH) is down some 12% right now, about an hour before the end of trading, as the company reported slower store traffic in its US retail stores. Could this be a sign that Coach goods aren't keeping up with the marketplace? Is Coach, as a brand, losing its cachet? What do you think?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Paris Reviews - Lanvin S/S 2008

Alber Elbaz pulled off a feat in his latest collection. He created one of the most refreshing, directional collections in Paris, all without resorting to the typical theatrics that lesser designers use to engage their audience. In fact, Elbaz created a collection of flowing, gathered shifts and gowns, and, here's the kicker, all in polyester jersey. The result was breathtaking. Using a palette that ranged from rich, conservative neutrals to modern, deeply saturated brights, Elbaz's fan base of gloriously chic women could easily replace their entire wardrobes. There were belted day dresses, easy blouses, and slick pencil skirts for work, incredibly airy gowns and sparkling sheaths for night, and a handful of satin shorts, tuxedos and trenches just because. Absolutely stunning and sure to fly out the doors next spring.

Lanvin is available in Seattle at Barneys New York, Mario's, and Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN).

Sunday, October 21, 2007

LA Fashion Week: Nerd Fashion is Bizzack!

We saw a lot of articles this week covering LA's Fashion Week having to do with new Nerd-inspired trends. Styledash had a pretty awesome take on the whole scene that seems to be developing...

LA Fashion Week street style is much different than, say, a New York Fashion Week's street style. In New York you would expect everyone to be impossibly thin, donning head-to-toe black, and to be very chic. In LA, the laid back style comes out to play, which often made me wonder if I was at Fashion Week or in line at nightclub Les Deux.

The eclectic style was somewhat refreshing and made people-watching that much more fun. I scanned the crowd while sipping my pomegranate cocktails to see if I could pick up on any emerging trends. One trend I picked up on was all of the man-candy rocking nerd glasses, which was so very hot.

It was clear that most of the guys sporting this trend were wearing fake glasses (how Bryant Gumbel of them), but it didn't matter because it looked really good. The frames I saw the most were black however I did see a pair of red frames that were very chic as well.

I think the best way for men to sport "nerd glasses" is to wear a very 1950s-esque suit with a slim tie. If you are good looking enough, jeans and a t-shirt will work, too.

-Via Styledash

My prediction is that people are going to have to hit up the thrift stores pretty hard to get the best of this stuff before its too late!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Polo Rugby Gains Transparency in Site Update

Polo Rugby (NYSE:RL) recently opened up their seemingly transparent line of clothing to the world by releasing some of the newest in-store trends and rugby shirt patterns on their website. While store locations still remain scarce throughout the US, those not close to a Rugby store can now glimpse on the classic styling which the store has provided over the last few seasons.

In comparison, Abercrombie & Fitch's (NYSE: ANF) RUEHL No. 925 has not yet made the same sorts of accommodations online- forcing interested customers and buyers to seek out the nearest store.

We think that brand transparency is almost always excellent for mainstream momentum and the expansion- especially when the products are shown, but not always available for online purchase. A classic example of this sales model was Abercrombie & Fitch and their exclusivity to the US market- while Europeans could see the newest clothing online, they were not able to purchase it, leading to a higher product desirability. Of course, now that the Savile Row, London location has opened, American brand exclusivity and European unattainability has been compromised.

Fashion Rocks 2007

My Fashion Life did a great summary of this year's "Fashion Rocks"- a collaboration event combining the music and fashion industries in Westminster, London.

Fashion rocked its Prada socks off last night at the Royal Albert Hall as music met fashion for one of the most anticipated dates this year. Samuel L Jackson along with Uma Thurman played hosts as top artists from the musical arena collaborated with top runway designers. Line ups included The Gossip for Christopher Kane, Dame Shirley Bassey for Marchesa, Rosin Murphy for Gucci and Lily Allen for Chanel.

Highlights of the evening: Whitney Houston making a comeback to remember and Uma Thurman leaving hardly anything to the imagination in a see-through Valentino gown embellished with Swarovski crystals


More pictures after the jump.

Kate Moss arrived in a 1920’s cream flapper dress from her new Christmas collection for Topshop, also customised with extra trimmings from Swarovski. (The dress will be auctioned in aid of the Princes Trust)


Joss Stone opted for a clean, fuchsia figure hugging dress.


Heather Graham shone on the red carpet in a flattering strapless number.


-Via My Fashion Life

Interestingly enough, Uma Thurman's dress looks familiar to the Transparency Trend we spoke of earlier this week!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Lululemon earnings boost shares by 30%

Since CEO Dennis Wilson announced Lululemon's (NASDAQ:LULU) positive 3rd quarter earnings and awesome sales outlook yesterday, shares have jumped by 30%. As brand momentum for their stylish yoga and dance clothing becomes more mainstream in US and foreign markets, growth perspectives are likely to soar. Although, one must wonder if the whole yoga trend which is religiously associated with the brand may be a fad which could eventually bring the brand under.

However, for the shorter run, the latest expansions of stores by the Canadian retailer are sure to boost future prospects, as the momentum for the brand is still relatively in its early stages within the US sports clothing market. Strong future sales figures will also be boosted by the depreciating dollar against its Canadian counterpart.

PPR Head: "Luke, I Am Your Father."

Francois-Henri Pinault, CEO of French luxury goods powerhouse PPR (owner of Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent) has just been outed by the New York Post as the father of supermodel Linda Evangelista's baby, born just last year. This news comes as a shock to many, because Monsieur Pinault and his fianceé, Salma Hayek, have just welcomed their first daughter a month ago. I guess old dogs can learn new tricks.

Via New York Post.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Long Dresses

Style Bytes had an interesting piece on upcoming trends in Women's Dresses today...

"While I´m not sure whether I´m getting one of those one shoulder dresses (unless I found some great 80´s dress of the sort secondhand) I do know something else I want. I´ve been collection pictures of all the long light floral dresses popping up on the runway. I usually feel a little uncomfortable in long dresses and skirts, but if it´s something more in the line of these I think it can work even for me. It doesn´t have to be floral though, not all of these are, but at least with some sort of print. And so the search for the perfect dress begins… Sometimes you just know it will take forever so it´s a good idea to start looking as soon as possible.

dg michael kors nicole miller etro long dress spring 2008
D&G, Michael Kors, Nicole Miller and Etro.

blumarine just cavalli christian lacroix sue stemp
Blumarine, Just Cavalli, Christian Lacroix and Sue Stemp."

-Via. Style Bytes

What do you think?

Gap: American slump, European bounce?


Earlier this year, the Business of Fashion visited a Central London outpost of the Gap, one of America's most well-known high street retail chains (NYSE:GPS). We left sorely disappointed with the product, the slow pace of change of collections (the opposite of 'fast fashion'), and the deep discounting that created detrimental expectations in the minds of Gap's core consumer base. Then, a few weeks later Paul Pressler was booted out of the CEO suite, a swift reaction to the financial results achieved under his tenure. To say the least, things have been looking pretty dismal indeed...

-Full Text Via Business of Fashion

No Clouds Over Luxury: Sales at LVMH Increase 10.3% in Third Quarter

Suggesting luxury has been unruffled by recent financial turbulence, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (EPA:MC) said sales accelerated in the third quarter, gaining 10.3 percent to total 4.03 billion euros, or $5.54 billion, versus 3.66 billion euros, or $4.67 billion, a year ago.

The world's biggest luxury group beat forecasts and posted double-digit organic gains across all business groups, trumpeting the "stellar" performance of Louis Vuitton and Hennessy cognac in the three months ended Sept. 30.

"I'm very pleased with the figures and they show both the strength of our brands and the underlying strength of the markets," Jean-Jacques Guiony, LVMH's finance director, said during a conference call on Monday.

Stripping out the impact of currency, which shaved five points off totals, the increase in the quarter stood at 15 percent, fueled by strong gains in Asia, the U.S. and improvements in Japan.

Guiony also cautioned against reading too much into Japan's improvements. "I think we have to remain cautious at this stage, even if we are experiencing some comeback in this market," he said.

"This clearly illustrates our view that consumer demand for luxury goods on average has been unaffected by the recent credit and real estate turmoil," Goldman Sachs analyst Jacques-Franck Dossin wrote in a research note, declaring the three-month period LVMH's best quarterly performance in two years.

Analysts also applauded the continued rebound in Japan. "We view this as great news given the overwhelming importance of Japanese purchases for the sector," Dossin wrote.

Despite the strong showing, especially for high-margin businesses like leather goods and liquors, LVMH did not ramp up its earnings guidance, reiterating its objective of a "significant increase" in results for the full year. During the call, Guiony balked at suggestions LVMH was being cautious. "We are simply realistic," he said. "The businesses are pretty strong, but the currencies are not particularly favorable."

Asia in particular is "booming," he said, citing an increase "in excess of 50 percent" for Vuitton in China in the first nine months of the year. In euro terms, sales in Asia vaulted 14 percent in the nine months, with a 20 percent gain in fashion and leather goods and a 22 percent rise in wines and spirits.

Analysts applauded strong growth in LVMH's core fashion and leather goods business, with third-quarter sales up 12.4 percent to 1.42 billion euros, or $1.95 billion. All currency conversions were made at average exchange rates for the respective periods.

At Vuitton, the entry-price Neverfull, Monogram Vernis Amarante and Damier Azur leather goods lines powered sales in the quarter, with new products generally accounting for anywhere from 20 to 30 percent of sales, Guiony noted.
"This clearly illustrates our view that consumer demand for luxury goods on average has been unaffected.­­"
Jacques-Franck Dossin, Goldman Sachs
The company disclosed plans to construct a new shoe workshop for Vuitton in Fiesso, Italy, to support the category, while noting footwear accounts for less than 5 percent of brand sales.

Fendi continued to post double-digit sales gains, with particular strength in the Middle East and Asia. On Friday, Fendi plans to reprise its spring-summer 2008 runway show on the Great Wall of China near Beijing, reinforcing strong growth of ready-to-wear designed by Karl Lagerfeld, as well as bags and shoes.

Guiony noted that all of LVMH's fashion and leather goods brands posted positive figures in the nine months, but gave special mention to the fastest growing ones: Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, Berluti and Loewe.

Watches and jewelry posted the biggest quarterly increase, up 13.1 percent to 199 million euros, or $273.8 million, a 19 percent increase in organic terms. LVMH cited double-digit gains for Tag Heuer, Zenith, Chaumet, De Beers and Montres Dior, whose rubber Christal model is a new bestseller. Robust growth at Guerlain and continued momentum at Parfums Christian Dior headlined a 12.4 percent rise in third-quarter sales for perfumes and cosmetics, to 697 million euros, or $958.9 million. LVMH cited strength in Europe and Asia, and successful launches for Dior's Midnight Poison and Guerlain's fragrance, L'Instant Magic.

In selective retailing, a surge in Asian tourism drove sales at DFS, particularly in Hong Kong and Singapore, while Sephora continued to gain market share in Europe and America. In the nine months, like-for-like sales at Sephora were up 6 percent in the U.S. and 9 percent in France, Guiony said.

Sales of wines and spirits gained 12.6 percent to 759 million euros in the third quarter, or $1.04 billion, led by demand for rose Champagne and premium cognacs.

For the nine months, sales rose 7.6 percent to 11.45 billion euros, or $14.75 billion, from 10.63 billion euros, or $13.57 billion, a year ago. In organic terms, sales rose 22 percent for watches and jewelry, 14 percent for both fashion and leather goods and wines and spirits, 12 percent for perfumes and cosmetics and 11 percent for selective retailing.

In dollar terms, sales in the U.S. rose 13 percent in the nine months, while in yen, the increase in Japan stood at 4 percent. Analyzing the rebound in Japan, with sales up roughly 10 percent in the third quarter, dominated the question-and-answer session.

"The Japanese population is aging, so we should adapt," Guiony said. "The shape of consumption is changing from the Nineties, where people were buying nondurable goods."

Shares in LVMH rose 2.54 percent on Monday to close at 87.68 euros, or $124.33 at current exchange, on the Paris Bourse.

Separately on Monday, Christian Dior SA, parent of LVMH and the Dior fashion house, reported figures largely in line with the LVMH results, with nine-month sales totaling 12.0 billion euros, or $16.5 billion.

Sales at the Dior fashion house totaled 570 million euros, or $789.4 million, at the end of September, up 9 percent in reported terms or 13 percent outside of currency effects. The company cited strong sales of women's and men's rtw, and fine jewelry.

-Via. WWD

Monday, October 15, 2007

Trendspotting: Rorschach Blots

If there's one great truth about fashion it's that designers will look for inspiration anywhere. A case in point is the recent batch of clothing and accessories decorated with Rorschach blots. Don't worry, the trend doesn't indicate a neo-Freudian undercurrent in consumer culture; rather, fashion designers have picked up on what is an obvious fact when you take the Rorschach blot out of the context of a psychological evaluation -- they make for totally cool patterns.I admit, I love Rorschach blots. When I was living in Milan, I bought a t-shirt with a blot that looks like a squirrel, and I can't tell you the number of times people have asked me where it was from (uh, Zara) or how I got my hands on it (uh, debit card). If you want to try out the Rorschach blot trend, here are a few items to check out:
Bernard Maisner for Tray 6 Bring on the Rain Rorschach umbrella ($110)
Junior Raglan 3/4 tee from Cafe Press $22
New Buffalo Gestalt T ($25)
H Fredriksson Baby Doll Dress in Cacao/Black

-Via. StyleDash

Thursday, October 11, 2007

In the Spotlight: Roberto Cavalli at H&M

On November 8th, Roberto Cavalli is slated to release a designer line at H&M. With past headliners like Victoria Beckham and Kate Moss, Cavalli will be the first to release a line of clothing with the retailer. H&M plans to release a line of iconic menswear, 20 pieces, and womenswear, 25 pieces, including lingerie plus matching accessories - all by Cavalli.
Along with all the pizzazz that you’d expect from the Italian master, the range will be launched with an ad campaign starring a who’s who of the underground modeling world. Shot by the tragically cool Terry Richardson at Cavalli’s residence in Florence, the campaign features not one, but over 10 models including:

Theodora Richards (daughter of Keith), Erin Wasson, Julia Restoin Roitfeld (daughter of French VOGUE editor Carine), Jessica Stam, Nicolas Malleville, Sean Lennon (son of John), Jane Schmitt, Lydia Hearst, Astrid Munoz, Anouck Lepere, Ludovico Benazzo, and members of the Cavalli family.

-Via Missy Confidential

Commercial Preview

Trendspotting: Paris, Rue Saint Claude

Today's post come from a blog entitled "Stil in Berlin" which specializes in trend spotting all over cities in the US and Europe for interesting trends and styles. The following pictures are taken from their Paris photographer. Enjoy!

Karina Senyk, 30, stylist

Steve Le Mercier, 29, musician

Jannie Panourgias, 29, art student

Maroussia Rebecq, founder & art director Andrea Crews

Susanna Lau, Style Bubble

Betsy Lowther, Fashion is Spinach

Jamie Roy, Fabsugar

Lera Sorokina, F.A.D.

Adrian Corsin, Fashion is Verbatim

- Via Stil inBerlin

Trends: Pencil Skirts and Plaid

With all the Spring/Summer trends emerging from the catwalks it’s easy to forget that it is actually autumn…that is until you’re suddenly hit by a gust of cold wind. Worry not….this season is packed with its own exciting trends to play around with. Check out the video below from Bluefly and Ford models for a preview of some new autumn/winter trends from designers such as Alexander McQueen and Robert Rodriquez. The focus is on pencil skirts and plaid…

-Via My Fashion Life

Transparency in Spring/Summer 2008

Did we mention Spring's biggest trend is transparency?

lanvin BALENCIAGA S/S 08
Lanvin, Balenciaga
versace mcqueen s/s 2008
Versace, McQueen
PRADA S/S 08 dolce  & gabbana
Prada, Dolce & Gabbana

-via Fashion Addict Diary

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Rock and Republic Goes Cycling

Rock & Republic is known for high-end denim, and a collaboration with Victoria Beckham. But I bet you didn't know that the brand now has a professional cycling team.

Via StyleDash.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Luxury Shopping in Bellevue Update

Now that the Canadian dollar is on par with its American counterpart, it's (sadly) no longer practical for Seattleites to hoof it up to Vancouver and go for broke. Even as Vancouver's gorgeous new Holt Renfrew opens, there's still a lot to look forward to in our own backyard. For one thing, The Bravern, Schnitzer West's bid at building Bellevue's luxury status, has already confirmed Neiman Marcus as the anchor tenant. Now, Jimmy Choo and Hermès have both confirmed as retail tenants, with Ralph Lauren and Salvatore Ferragamo rumored to be looking into the project. At the same time, Kemper Freeman Jr., the man who created The Bellevue Collection, is also hoping to capture the luxury market. While plans for a Saks Fifth Avenue in Bellevue seem to have halted, Freeman is indeed still interested in bringing luxury retailers to the area, something he's been planning for a long time. Bellevue Square is about to undergo a much-needed facelift, and even mid-market stores like Banana Republic, Williams-Sonoma, and Pottery Barn will all be expanded. It seems like the sky's the limit for Bellevue upscale retail. So what does this mean for Seattle? Apparently, a rivalry is in the making. Who will win? The affluent consumer, sans doubt.


Part of the problem with the downtown Nordstrom getting Prada RTW would have been the proximity of other stores that carry Prada within two blocks. Namely, Mario's and Barneys pretty much have Seattleites covered in terms of their Prada needs. Mario's (just a block over) has carried Prada for quite some time, and their selection consists of several classic pieces that more conservative types like to wear, while Barneys (now across the street from Nordstrom) has a tightly-edited but more fashion-forward selection of Prada clothing. Between these two locations, there may not have been a need to oversaturate the two-block radius around downtown Nordstrom with even more Prada clothing. While there may be enough business to carry Prada shoes at all three of these places, the market for Prada RTW certainly requires a different kind of consumer.


Apparently, Aritzia and Lacoste are both coming to Bellevue Square in the next year, meaning the contemporary market is going to see plenty of growth in Bellevue, with Sway & Cake and Nordstrom's Via C, Savvy, and TBD departments already carrying many of the same brands.