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

Sunday, June 7, 2015

"Your Battery is 20% Charged" Panic

Never stop exploring. Okay maybe lately I haven’t been hiking up and down mountains or skiing down some of the highest peaks but life has been very busy. This past term has been full of long days in the Urban Center of my eyes crossing as the Excel spreadsheets get corrected in order to prepare for the Drexel Fashion Show. Among all of this craziness, I thought it would be fun to stand on line at 3am for the Lilly Pulitzer Warehouse Sale. While I might have been very tired around noon, I regret nothing.

People often assume that because I went to this sale so early in the morning that I must be a huge fan of these brightly colored prints; I must be someone who wears Lilly all of the time. Nope. My roommates needed company and I wanted to see what was there, who doesn’t love huge discounts on designer items? Don’t get me wrong though, I love my Lilly planners and tote bags but, I love wearing black, like all of the time; after all, “Women who wear black lead colorful lives.”

Nonetheless, one of the items I am so excited was at the sale was a phone case with a battery pack inside. All you have to do is put it on and press the power button and voilĂ  your phone can charge on the go. Yes, they have been around for a while and it isn’t anything new but I couldn’t have bought it at a better time, or a better price! As we were running around at the Urban Outfitters HQ, setting up and running the fashion show, my phone battery never died and while it was in this bright and fun case. I wasn’t one of the people plugged into an outlet, sedentary in the corner, I was a girl charged and on the go. Nonetheless, my busy life, full of adventure won’t stop there, with graduation in one week this charged phone case will keep my phone charged to take pictures of all the places I will go after graduation.   

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Calm before the Storm

Have you ever felt so calm about something that it makes you nervous that you're not more worried? I'm currently feeling that right now: The 2015 Drexel Fashion Show is in two days, and I should probably be freaking out, but I'm oddly calm.

There could be several reasons for this:

The Google Drive: Forget when you're selling tickets? Can't remember if you've gotten your t-shirt? Should the Press Release be sent today? - Have no fear: somewhere, someone on the team has set up a beautiful Google Doc to tell you what is happening with who and when. 

Coffee: No explanation needed.

Netflix: See Coffee for reason.

And the Team, of course:

Our Faculty Director Catherine and Student Director Claire (or Their Royal Highnesses, the Queen and Princess of Producing the Drexel Fashion Show): These two women are so amazing and organized that even when you think there's no possible solution to a problem, they smile and tell you that something will work out - and it always does. They are leaders in every definition: empowering, managing, guiding, decision making. They have eyes on everything: a true talent. The show would not happen without these two.

Our Garment Coordinators, Julia and Courtney: If you want to see what extreme attention to detail looks like, find these two rockstars and ask to see their garment list. Over 200 garments are in the show and they know every one down to a beading detail on the strap of a dress. Magic. 

Our Model Coordinator, Ana: Whether she’s tracking down late models or finalizing details for the Show, everything is always under control with the Models as long as Ana is in charge. She keeps it drama-free: a real feat.

Our Ticket Sales Coordinators, Taylor and Diana: Those Google docs I mentioned earlier? Livesavers in terms of pushing ticket sales. These ladies kept track of online, in person and day-of sales while keeping numbers in check and making sure we had every opportunity to sell tickets. What’s a show without any ticket buyers?

My co-Marketing and PR Coordinator, Jaclyn: The creative mind of our team, Jaclyn has kept the glamour in our Marketing adventures. She’s a fabulous communicator and our skill sets have really complemented each other.  Take a look at our instagram @drexelfashion15  and see the beautifully curated images chosen by Jaclyn!

The Marketing Mavens, Kiersten, Jenna, Jenn and Nahir: This team is amazing: their guerrilla marketing ideas and creative skills took our social media and mini events to new levels. They were always present to take photos, generate excitement, and come up with amazing new ideas. Their support was so comforting. You can also catch Nahir walking in the fashion show- a man of many talents!

The Kiddie Queen, Paulina: Who was willing to volunteer to monitor the child models backstage? Saint Paulina. Not only is she revered for such a task, she’s also behind the printing and installation of the amazing designer sketches you’ll see at Urban HQ. Skills all around.

The Little Detail Queens, Evelin and Alex: Those amazing programs? The slideshow with your favorite designer’s logo? You can thank these two ladies for taking care of the finishing touches of our show. 

Not to mention the help of our D&M faculty, Drexel PR connections, Freshmen volunteers, the Urban HQ team, Fashion Design Program Faculty, Hair and Makeup teams, the amazing Fashion Designers, family and friends, and other D&Ms who have selflessly volunteered.

This team is unstoppable and so ready for the show.  So many strengths were put together to showcase the work our Fashion Design counterparts. Not many universities can say that they have a student produced fashion show. Under Catherine and Claire’s leadership, we've dotted our i’s and crossed our t’s; packed our sewing kits, and have put on our game faces (which have flawless mascara, of course).

I’d say that it’s possible that they’re all the reasons why I’m so calm for this massive event…but I did just take a Pilates class and have some tea. So it’s probably the exercise and tea.  

Monday, June 1, 2015

The 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards

One of the most important events in the fashion industry, The 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards took place in June 1st at the Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln center.  This annual event recognizes the outstanding contributions made to American fashion by individuals from all areas of the industry and related arts.  This year’s winners for each category are:

Womenswear Designer of the Year: The Row, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen

Menswear Designer of the Year Award: Tom Ford
Accessory Designer of the Year Award: Tabitha Simmons
Swarovski Award for Womenswear: Rosie Assoulin
Swarovski Award for Menswear: Hood by Air
Swarovski Award for Accessory Design: Mansur Gavriel
The Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award: Betsey Johnson
The Media Award: Instagram
The Founder's Award: Millard “Mickey” Drexler
The Fashion Icon Award: Pharrell Williams 
The International Award: Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli of Valentino


Among the best dressed include winners Ashely and Mary-Kate Olsen and Tom Ford, Pharrell Williams. Last year's most talked about topics include Rihanna’s custom Adam Selman dress. This backless sheer dress is decorated with 216,000 Swarovski crystals. Rihanna boldly flaunts this “naked dress” and her body with a baby pink feather boa, gloves and a iridescent turban.

Further on the naked controversy, this year's most talked about topic is none other than Ms. Kim Kardashian West. Her post-pregnancy reveal dress is a see-through ankle-grazing that shows her underwear. This custom Proenza Schouler cinched waist dress is embellished with a studded turtleneck and feather puffs was paired with matching cutout heels. Kim told reporters on the carpet that she chose the design because of its slimming silhouette since she is suffering nausea due to her second pregnancy.

90's: Forever Trending

Something that I've heard a lot is that "fashion is constantly changing and it's changing quickly." Well... this is obvious, but just because it's "changing" does not mean that it is becoming something "new." In fact, I am here to prove that fashion is a "style recycler."

Growing up in the 90's consisted of many pairs of denim overalls, choker necklaces, plaid, jean jackets, side bangs and who could forget about those jelly sandals our mother's made us wear? Just before I thought that I would never see a jean skirt again, I look around campus and am suddenly stuck in an episode of "Dawson's Creek." I have to admit that I was not fond of the idea of bringing back certain looks from this grungy era, but it is definitely growing on me and now I am wishing that my mom had saved some of her infamous 90's pieces and regretting getting rid of my overalls. 

Here are a few 90's trends that have made a comeback in the past year. Who knows how long they'll last, but we might as well have fun and take advantage of these nostalgic styles while we can!









Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Macy's Backstage

The new trend in several of the major department stores has been creating an off-price retailer under their name.  Macy’s has recently taken the opportunity to hop on the bandwagon with the announcement of opening four off-price stores in the New York area in the fall.  The new Macy’s chain will be called Macy’s Backstage and they feel as though they will succeed because they already have been operating the Bloomingdale’s outlet stores. 

Macy’s said that turning to an off-price store would be inevitable because their in-store sales has been on a decline and their competitors are becoming Nordstrom Rack, Saks Off Fifth and even TJ Maxx.  Macy’s believes that opening in the New York area is a good move for them because they already have a strong presence and know the demographic.  A Business Professor at Columbia University comments that “Macy’s may have as many as a couple hundred stores that they ultimately have to close, that have increasingly lost their productivity.  The C and D mall are increasingly problematic.”  He also commented on the possibility of turning some of their struggling stores into off- price in the hopes that it will bring business back up.  

The very first Macy’s Backstage stores are set to open in Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, Queens Place in Queens and New Hyde Park and Huntington both located on Long Island.  The average store size will be around 30,000 square feet, a size that will qualify Macy’s for many locations.  These stores will sell women’s, men’s, children’s, shoes, accessories, houseware, home textiles, intimate apparel and jewelry.  Other features of Macy’s Backstage will be free Wi-Fi and a cafĂ©.  Macy’s plans to sell merchandise that are clearance in regular Macy’s stores as well as have some special buys from certain brands and the merchandise well sell anywhere from a 20-80 percent discount.  Macy’s believes that going off-price will significantly drive and improve sales.

Monday, May 11, 2015

What's Your Story?

Everyone has a story to tell. As if Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter weren’t enough, companies are looking for new online outlets to engage customers on a personal level. Meet Steller: an application that gives users the opportunity to create, explore, follow and share multi-page stories using photos, videos, and text. Steller has quickly become an outlet for brands to extend their message. Companies like Urban Outfitters are using this platform to share look books, recipes, and campaigns.

With the influx of social media, companies are doing everything they can to keep their brand image cohesive across all platforms. This poses a challenge for brands to keep their story consistent. It also allows them to be more creative, encouraging more image-based content. Applications like Steller and Instagram convey the image of the brand while allowing a personalized user experience.

Users have become significantly more attracted to social outlets that engage them on a personal level. As Ken Downings’ addressed in his speech, brands have to make customers desire the product. Without desire, it is just clothes. In order to create this endless thirst, social platforms have to speak the language of their target customer. One way companies aimed to achieve this is through blogging. Blogging has become an extension of a brand. This allows them to express their story beyond images or 150 characters on Twitter. Regardless, our generation is naturally inclined to use applications due to its ease of use. But with the invention of Steller, the user and brand will get exactly what they want. The user gets more ease, while the brand gains more traction and engagement.

Monday, April 27, 2015

They Still Got It: Fashion Edition

Recently, I attended a large family affair and celebration, a Bar Mitzvah party. On the dance floor, of course all the 13-year-olds were dancing the night away. But I actually found myself in awe of another enthusiastic dancer, a 70-year-old woman who I soon found out had just undergone a knee replacement. She was up shaking what her momma gave her to all the top 40 hits and refused to sit down. I felt incredibly inspired.

In recent years, there has been a similar unexpected enthusiasm toward chic, confident older women from the fashion industry. It seems the buzz really started with the popularity of Ari Seth Cohen’s blog Advanced Style, which highlights street style like that of the famed Sartorialist or Tommy Ton, but focused on the stylish over-60 set that had been largely ignored by the fashion system beforehand. He has now also released a book and documentary of the same name. In 2012, fashion brands started taking notice of this appeal, with American Apparel casting a 61-year-old in their ads, and Lanvin’s fall 2012 campaign featuring two ladies over the age 60. And with 93-year-old fashion eccentric Iris Apfel starring in ad campaigns for Kate Spade and Alexis Bittar for Spring 2015 as the much anticipated documentary about her is soon to be released, we have seen a new attitude in fashion that embraces beautiful women with immense energy and their own personal style that shines just as bright as any 22 year old working model.

But to me, what really celebrates this new attitude is the latest collaboration and campaign between edgy, snarky streetwear brand Dimepiece LA and 86-year-old social media sensation @BaddieWinkle in the “State of Mind” Campaign. A great grandmother from Kentucky, Baddie Winkle, with the mantra “Stealing your man since 1928”, gained social media buzz by posting selfies wearing clothing from brands of the same like covered in current pop culture icons and sassy slogans like “Bye Basic”, “Twerk”, and “Been Trill”.  Fitting outside the typical grandmother image, the social media mogul has proven just as saavy as any other teenage blogger to gain brand endorsement, and has earned 900,000 followers on Instagram, including the likes of Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, and Drake. In the "State of Mind" campaign photographed by Nikko La Mere, Baddie Winkle wears Dimepiece's signature streetwear, including slogan tees, mesh tunics, sexy swimsuits, and cat-eye sunglasses. She models poolside and poses with pineapples with that same ‘tude she’s become known for, proving you're "never too old to be the baddest bish in the room.”

Although the brand’s primary target market is females in their teens and twenties, BaddieWinkle captures the same fashionable but sassy attitude in a new and captivating way that is creating buzz everywhere, and proves once again that age is just a number.