Visualizing Happiness

 

Paris, March 31, 2015

By: Yana Blumenthal

For those who travel to Paris in April, one of the site seeing spots must be visual display at Printemps!

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One the oldest building in Paris the façade of Printemps Haussmann created theme of roses and flowers in its windows.

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To highlight its 150th birthday, Printemps, that also means Spring in English, has invited 11 artists from France and abroad for this special visual treat. Its emotional and beautiful! If just looking in the windows can evoke happy feelings, than the trip to Paris was worth it.

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Images courtesy: http://departmentstoreparis.printemps.com

So come and experience the creativity and imagination, of talented visual displays artists – free on the streets of Paris.

Thank you Printemps for sharing this very special occasion with all of us and a happy Spring!

à bientôt

Yanainparis

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Fabulous and for Goodwill, What More Do You Want from a Bag?

By Fatmé Fahda – Spring 2015 Lebanese designer Sarah Beydoun founded Sarah’s Bag in 2000. Sarah, among other Lebanese designers who came of age during the country’s seventeen-year civil war and are now rebuilding their country’s cultural life through their work in fashion, design, art and music is what inspired Sarah’s Bag to come to life.

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Image Courtesy of businessoffashion.com – Sarah’s Bag Showroom in Lebanon

During her studies, Sarah worked with a local NGO, House of Hope, which helps rehabilitate former prostitutes and ex-prisoners. Sarah was then moved to combine her work with underprivileged women with her love of fashion. Sarah’s Bag employs over 200 female prisoners and ex-prisoners in Lebanon and trains them as skilled artisans – its aesthetic gets more intricate and stronger with each collection. The women loved the plan, especially the upfront payment they received regardless of whether Beydoun sold the item. But everything sold.

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Image Courtesy of thebrander.com

 “The trick Sarah’s Bag pulled off was evolving from cause to legitimate fashion brand, and that was only ultimately possible by putting the story second and the fashion first.” – Business of Fashion

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Image Courtesy of thebrander.com – Iconic Sarah’s Bag clutch

Sarah’s bag proved that social entrepreneurship can be stylish and women across the Arab world acquired a taste for accessories that are unique, handmade and a celebration of Arab culture. The company’s success has reached Dubai, Kuwait, Amman, Jeddah, Cairo, and Riyadh. Through the long reach of Lebanese Diaspora, every year new points of sale for Sarah’s Bag sprung up in cities such as Los Angeles, London, Paris, and Marrakech.

Image Courtesy of: @Sarahsbag Instagram

Image Courtesy of @SarahsBag Instagram – Amal Clooney

As a brand renowned for its unique structure, every season, Sarah’s Bag seems to outdo itself. The spring designs feature vibrantly colored clutches and leather bags made with exquisite beadwork and woodwork, some of them adorned with tropical birds, fruits, and landscapes.

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Image Courtesy of @SarahsBag Instagram – Spring Summer 2015 Collection

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Image Courtesy of @SarahsBag Instagram – Spring Summer 2015 Collection

Sarah’s Bag is available online at http://shop.sarahsbag.com. Prices range from $15 to $950, though most items are between $100 and $300.

Bloggers: True Influencers, or Fashion’s Reality Stars?

By Stephanie Christofferson

Celebrity endorsements by fashion brands may be effective, but they are old news. Snagging a popular celebrity to act as the face of a new ad campaign is still one of the best ways to build brand image, awareness, and reputation – but there’s a new kind of celebrity in the fashion world, one that has been ensconced in a flurry of controversy for the past five years. As the Internet continues its omnipresent reach in our daily lives, blogs have transformed from public diaries for middle school girls to big money-making institutions. Bloggers themselves have become quasi-celebrities, with thousands of followers and fans. And brands have taken note of the enormous influence bloggers now have in the fashion world. One Instagram post by notorious fashion blogger BryanBoy reaches over half a million people. Since these bloggers make their names around their fashionable images, this means they are constantly endorsing brands and designers they love – either because of genuine loyalty, or business relationships. While most bloggers start as fashion-lovers sharing their passion on the Internet and slowly building followers, some have reached powerhouse status to the point where they pull in six-figure salaries, are flown out and featured at events, receive invitations to exclusive parties and coveted front-row seats at fashion shows, and are lauded with piles of free merchandise. To the chagrin of fashion journalists, bloggers now have priority spots at many events and fashion shows – simply because their audience is bigger.

Article in Net-a-Porter about the influence of fashion bloggers

Article in Net-a-Porter about the influence of fashion bloggers

So what does this blogging dominance mean for fashion journalism itself? Is it the end of an era, a time when everything is moving towards the blogosphere? A deeper analysis points to changing tides in society. Consumers enjoy authenticity; they enjoy blogs because they feel like a personal conversation, a true look into someone’s private life. These blogs are aspirational, and the bloggers fit the mold of the beautiful, charismatic “popular” kid in high school. But bloggers’ credibility lies in their perceived authenticity; sponsorships and relationships with designers may serve to discredit bloggers and turn away their audience. As bloggers become bigger and bigger, can they maintain their place in the fashion hierarchy, or will this be just one in a series of trends that sweep the fashion world?

Sandor Lakatos Menswear: A/W ’15-’16

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“The ability to create makes us immortal”, is the philosophy of Sandor Lakatos, a Hungarian fashion designer. His designs are known for sleek cuts and innovative use of patterns, though he prefers to not define his own style. Vogue Italia views him as ‘minimal’, ‘dark’, and ‘elegant’. Though an evolving brand, Sandor has been present in Paris showrooms for the past several years, and has been placed in many large scale magazine shoots.

Hits from his menswear collections play with patterns for blazers and slim pants, staying congruent with a total black and white color scheme in the new collection.

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Sandor Lakatos Menswear: http://www.sandorlakatos.com/

Pictures courtesy of Sandor Lakatos Menswear

William DORN

The Modern Muse: Celebrity Culture?

Kendall Jenner D&G Runway SS15

Kendall Jenner walking for Dolce & Gabbana, SS15

Stephanie Christofferson, Spring 2015

While the rare supermodel may still exist, increasingly she is becoming irrelevant. Brands today are finding more success with using celebrities not only in their ad campaigns, but on the runway. To much acclaim, a couple of notorious characters from the Hollywood hit film Zoolander strutted the runway at the Valentino show this March at Paris Fashion Week; to a bit more mixed acclaim, Kendall Jenner of the Kardashian clan has begun to steal the spotlight in shows such as Chanel, Marc Jacobs, and Oscar de la Renta (to name a few). And celebrities aren’t just walking the runway; many are attempting to dominate it with lines of their own – from Victoria Beckham’s successful line to Kanye West’s decidedly more controversial one. We are living in the age of the actor slash singer slash model slash designer. While advertising has long been taken over by celebrity culture, now some of the tabloid’s most notorious faces are not only taking front row seats at fashion shows, but jumping out of their chairs onto the runway and behind the scenes.

Fashion, or hype? A look from Kanye West x Adidas Original Fall 2015 RTW

Fashion, or hype? A look from Kanye West x Adidas Originals Fall 2015 RTW

This marriage of celebrity culture and the fashion world is controversial, to say the least. While some fear it to be a dangerous mix that may dilute the authenticity of fashion, others believe it to be a collaborative meeting of great artistic minds. Whether it is good or bad for the quality and integrity of fashion, one thing is for sure, it’s marketing genius. Slapping a celebrity’s image onto your brand was always a lucrative move, but now PR agencies are getting more creative. Having the next viral video revolve around your line seems possible only with the help of some very well-known faces, as the Valentino house seemed to know before anyone else.

Miley Cyrus & mom Trish sitting front row at Rachel Zoe's Fall 2013 runway show (image via MyDaily)

Miley Cyrus & mom Trish sitting front row at Rachel Zoe’s Fall 2013 runway show (image via MyDaily)

The Next Big (Small?) Thing: VALD Agency

Stephanie Christofferson

In a world increasingly dominated by major brand names (Gucci, Prada, Chanel, anyone?) how does a new designer catch a break? More and more it seems that the most talented designers are lured away from their own brands and into positions working for global powerhouses with the hopes of clawing their way to the coveted creative director position.

But the tides may be changing for smaller designers; the past decade has seen a tidalwave of new technologies influencing cultural restructuring like never seen before. Physical borders have given way to digital ones, community transcends geography, and information flows in a fraction of a second. The digital age is upon us, and with it the emergence of nearly endless niche markets. The ability to access almost anything from anywhere has allowed smaller designers to reach audiences across the globe previously inaccessible to them, building communities and loyal followers online. Shopping online has revolutionized the fashion industry, making a digital presence quintessential to a successful brand. All of these changes have created an environment ripe for smaller designers, and VALD Agency understands this perhaps better than anyone else.

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Anne Sofie Madsen is one of seven womenswear designers VALD represents – this look is from her recent debut at Paris Fashion Week for RTW FW15 (NowFashion.com)

 

A boutique marketing and sales agency, VALD works intimately with a curated group of designers. Their overall goal is the bottom line – with 350 contacts in the retail world, they have the manpower to revolutionize global sales for their designers. But beyond this they act as consultants to designers on everything from branding to pricing to fabric choice. Founder Jacob Valdemar describes the relationship as “growing a brand…we help designers curate out from an idea, encourage originality that reflects their own generation, subculture, tribe, or time…everything is possible.”

The emergence of this kind of global network management is something made possible only by the digital age, and VALD has perfected the transition from digital community to physical sales. Permanent showrooms in Paris and Copenhagen are complemented by pop-up locations in New York, Milan, and Tokyo, allowing VALD to act beyond the role of strategic advisor and become a physical connection between brand and retailer. In a world where mainstream is becoming blasé, the niche or boutique designers are fulfilling consumer desire for quality, individuality, and unique personality. VALD’s strategic relationship is perhaps a new form of marketing, a way for the digital and the physical can unite in a lasting way that goes beyond a fleet of Instagram followers.

VALD Paris Showroom

VALD Paris Showroom

A close-up of one of the racks in the VALD Paris Showroom

A close-up of one of the racks in the VALD Paris Showroom

VALD uses an apartment to create an intimate, personalized, boutique experience for buyers

VALD uses an apartment to create an intimate, personalized, boutique experience for buyers

Fashion week is a time when the giants rule the headlines (and the internet). But it is also a time for Vald to build its empire, to make the physical global connections the digital world sorely lacks. The future of fashion may be online, but a click can only get you so far. Vald’s fusion of marketing, sales, and strategy transcends the digital trend into a lasting network of relationships that may ultimately serve as the model for keeping small designers alive in today’s fashion jungle.

The Age of Fashion

by Stephanie Christofferson

Joan Didion for Céline, 2015

Joan Didion for Céline, 2015

Fashion is an art that constantly lives in the future. Even as the snow melts away to reveal spring in February and March, young models strut the catwalks at fashion week wearing next fall’s looks. Muses and models start working as preteens, and feel like old ladies by the time they hit 30. But fashion’s relationship with age might be shifting. While there is nothing better than Continue reading