A fashion and lifestyle magazine and blog produced by Students in the Design and Merchandising program at Drexel University

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Style That's 100

On Tuesday, Time hosted their annual TIME 100 Gala at the Lincoln Center in New York City; in which they select and honor 100 of the most influential people in the United States. These aren't just people who volunteer their time to help others or head a local/national/global nonprofit. In fact, there are many celebrity honorees among these individuals who measured up to Time's standard of changing the world despite possible consequence. Here were a few of the impressively styled guest and honorees.
Dior and Em: Emma Watson in Dior (pay attention, because the film “Dior and I” featuring Raf Simons will be screening this weekend. Be sure to check it out here!)
The Power of Three: Lavern Cox looking stunning in her dress by Marc Bouwer // Kim Kardashian working a dress by Sophie Theallet // Naomi Campbell looking no less than fabulous in Jean Paul Gaultier
Vibrancy of Red: Diane von Furstenberg in her own design // Julianne Moore rocking a dress by Givenchy 
 So Perfect It Could Be A Sin: Kenza Fourati clearly also belongs in Style 100 as she captivates the cameras in a suit by The Row // Karlie Kloss gorgeously representing Alexander Wang

Catch the rest of the inspiring moments here

Monday, April 20, 2015

Social Commerce & Digital Malls

What are retailers concerned with? Two things: 1. Reaching the millennials 2. Mobile conversion

How do you do that? Social Commerce

What is Social Commerce? It is a subset of electronic commerce, involving social media networks to assist in online buying and selling of products in services.

Do you mean like shopping from Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram? No, they simply were not designed to be shopping platforms. Deena Varshavskaya, founder of social commerce shopping platform, Wanelo, says “We don’t go to there to shop.” She claims “If a user stumbled upon a desired item on Pinterest, for example, it’s hard to find if the product is in stock, if the store has it in their size and if it’s on sale.”

What is Wanelo? Think of Wanelo (“wah-nee-loh,” short for Want, Need, Love) as a digital mall, where people can curate, discover, and buy products on the internet. Wanelo has over 12 million products from over 350,000 stores, including independent boutiques and sellers you have never heard of.

Digital Malls vs. Regular Malls?
  • A regular mall has only 150 stores, while the number of online stores is endless.
  • In the Nineties, consumers visited malls about two times a month for about four hours at a time, driving $1 trillion in sales (Strugatz)
  • Today, 15% of malls are expected to shut down over the next decade (Strugatz)
  • 87% of Millennials never leave their phones and can spend up to three hours on social networks every day. One third of them don’t frequent malls, 84 percent hate advertising and 50 percent shop online nearly every day for at least an hour. (Strugatz)
How does this bridge the gap between online and store? To be determined, but Nordstrom recently rolled out Wanelo wall displays in 107 doors, featuring styles it already carries that were rated most popular by Wanelo’s users.

Why Wanelo?
  • The average product on Wanelo gets 140 saves and 19 buy clicks, versus Pinterest, where a pin typically sees about 10 repins. (Strugatz)
  •  Urban Outfitters’ Wanelo shoppers convert at a rate four times greater than any other social network (the store has implemented a Wanelo button alongside other social media action buttons on product pages). (Strugatz)
  • Sephora called the platform its “fastest-growing social platform.” (Strugatz)
  •  Farfetch said Wanelo converts five times greater than Pinterest. (Strugatz)
Why is it useful for users and retailers?
  •  Users èThe content on Wanelo is user-generated and users can only post items from verified retailer sites. Therefore, users go on Wanelo to shop accurate information on product availability and pricing. 
  • Brands èA brand can claims its page and once it does this it can editorialize collections to engage with fans. Brands like Urban Outfitters have more followers on Wanelo then they do on any other social media platform.

How does Wanelo successfully solve the two concerns of retailers? 1. With over 10 million users, it has continually reached Millennials 2. The website is primarily accessed via its mobile app and conversion is also completed here

Check out my virtual store: http://wanelo.com/anaprodanovich :) 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Coming Soon: Until S oon


My co-op experience was with my life-long favorite brand, Anthropologie. The way I got my co-op is a true networking success story. In 2012, I found out that the Chief Design and Merchandising Officer of Anthropologie, Wendy Wurtzburger, would be the alumni speaker that year at my little high school in Memphis, Tennessee. At first, the connection seemed too good to be true. After multiple phone calls and email exchanges, I managed to schedule a one-on-one meeting with Wendy at URBN’s headquarters. By the time my co-op cycle rolled around, Wendy had become the Head Curator for Anthropologie and I worked on her team with two others. Three months into my co-op, Wendy left the company. The experience was like watching a monument fall, but we all knew this wasn’t the last we would see of Wendy Wurtzburger.

On March 4, 2015, Womenswear Daily published an article titled “Wendy Wurtzburger Unveils Until S oon.” The article explains that Until S oon is a high-end sweater collection that Wendy created with designer, Linda Trau, and producer, Michelle Gondolini (wwd.com). The 32-piece collection is partly inspired by ballerina dancewear and is made of luxurious materials such as cashmere and lambs wool. Wendy is quoted saying, “we wanted to create a collection that appeals to women who are culturally curious and passionate about good design” (wwd.com).  There is also an appreciation for artisan work seen in this collection. The space between the S and O in the brand’s name is meant to imply a dropped stitch or a similar imperfection that comes with handmade clothing. The name is also how Mitzi Wong, the previous Creative Director of Home at Anthropologie, signs letters. I smiled at this, as Mitzi signed her emails to me with “until soon” when we corresponded about must-see museums and boutiques while I was studying abroad.

I couldn’t have been happier reading this article about my old boss and her new project. As graduation fast approaches, I believe many of us D&M’s (myself included) feel that large corporate design and fashion brands are where we need to be. It is easy to forget about small operations, such as Until S oon, that are doing unique and exciting work. While I may want to work for a big brand name now, I see the appeal in working intimately for a small label with a different approach. This story also teaches me that hard work and vast experience can prepare someone to launch their own company. It is a difficult thing for me to imagine at this time, but who knows what could happen 25 years from now.

If you're curious, Until S oon will be in stores next fall at a price point ranging from $300 to $600. According to the article, the collection will be found in designer departments when it has its limited distribution. The complete lookbook can be found on untilsoon.nyc.

Works Cited:

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Here's the Skinny for the Future of Fashion

The fashion capital of the world just hopped on the ban wagon in order to no longer promote ultra skinny models. On April 3, French legislators passed a bill that prohibited designers from using models with a Body Mass Index (BMI) under 18.

In addition to bringing a pair of heels, models are now required to bring a medical certificate from the doctor, proving they are healthy enough to walk down the runway. If designers and agencies do not abide, they can face fines up to 75,000 euros.

France is the third country to take part in this health initiative, behind Spain, Israel, and Italy. These leading fashion nations are taking steps in order to end the advertisement of anorexia and other eating disorders. With these strides, we can hope to see more healthy, womanly figures strutting down the runway.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Ultimate Accessory

Technology is a huge part of our day to day life so it is no surprise that the Apple Watch is becoming a must have item not just for tech enthusiasts but also for trend setters world wide. The Apple Watch is no ordinary Apple product typically sold in Apple stores, Best Buy, or at your cell phone carrier’s store, it is taking retail to a whole new level.

Wearable technology is always something that we’ve anticipated would happen but never really thought about until now. With a 12-page spread in Vogue Magazine it is very clear that the Apple Watch is a big deal not only in the tech world but also in the fashion world. Apple plans to sell the watch in their own retail stores as well as with previews in the world’s most notable stores. Beginning on April 10th, the Apple Watch will be available to preview at Galeries Lafayette in Paris, Isetan in Tokyo and Selfridges in London. The stores will have shop-in-shops in highly visible locations that are custom designed to support the high standard of service that is expected to accompany the Apple Watch experience. In Apple’s own stores it is rumored that they will have a private room for the watch for customers to have a much more personable buying experience that usually comes with buying a high end watch. Along with this separate area within the stores, Apple has been rumored to be designing it with dark floors and a much more upscale environment because this watch is comparable to luxury watches and it’s retail environment is expected reflect that.

There is no predicting how well this watch will sell but Apple CEO Tim Cook is confident that consumers will react positively to its upcoming launch considering it is not ordinary watch. The watch promises an all-day battery life, it tracks fitness, and even works with Apple pay among many other things. It’s interchangeable bands and displays are sure to compliment any trendsetter’s look and is sure to be the must-have item of 2015.