Think Inside the Box
Retailing is beginning to take a drastic turn, from big box stores to baby box subscriptions. In September 2011, two Harvard grads started a whole new trend with their product selling approach, through their blossoming company, Birchbox.com.
Birchbox is a relatively new concept referred to as a ‘content-slash- commerce-slash-sampling site for beauty junkies.’ Basically, customers can enter the website and buy a subscription for $10 per month (or $110/ year). This provides subscribers with 4-5 high-end beauty samples each month in their own personalized box. If they like a certain product, they can easily purchase the full-size version on the website.
In sales, personalization is key in customer service. With Birchbox, each woman can complete a quick survey of her beauty preferences and regime, and her box will be geared towards those personal needs. From acne to frizzy hair, this company has got your skin and hair care worries covered.
Customers aren’t big on commitment these days, and always want to try on products before they buy, especially when committing to higher priced items. In beauty, the try-on method is limited to those old ladies at the cosmetic counters slapping on loads of expensive makeup, that can be quite intimidating. Instead, with Birchbox, you receive quality samples of well-known brands to try out yourself within the privacy of your own home. The benefit of this is that you aren’t harassed with countless products more fitted for your mother, and you can order products you like at your own pace after thoroughly sampling the merchandise.
Birchbox women’s has even expanded to goodies for men with the men’s boxes priced at $20 per month, and includes skincare, hair care, and accessories specifically geared towards males. Other companies have even created spinoffs like “Barkbox” that is exclusively for dogs, from toys to treats, which is also priced at $20. With more start-up companies adopting this selling technique, I feel like the market for this is ready for a boom, and the possibilitites seem to be endless at this point. I, myself have ordered my first Birchbox, and I am so excited for its arrival, along with its impact on the future of shopping.
Early morning field trip with my global sourcing class to the Georgia Ports Authority ⚓️ #georgiaports #savannah
This season, designers are looking to the sky for inspiration. The runways were sprinkled with stars and glitter galore. Jewelry from Lanvin, Dries Van Noten, and Alexis Mabille were some of the many collections hit by this galactic trend. The ‘celestial motifs, from sun to stars displayed prominently on fingers, necks and wrists.’ Each fashion line found a new way to incorporate these looks. Some of the featured sub-trends included both galaxy and metallics.
Lanvin’s Spring/Summer 2014 show highlighted this trend best. Model bodies shined with liquid metallics and shimmering accessories. Each ensemble was perfectly reminiscent of the night sky, from the sparkling dresses to the starry accessories. Other designers like Issey Miyake played off of the metallic elements with shiny skirts in futuristic looks. In stores, galaxy prints are thriving on every piece of clothing, from tanks and tees, to loud leggings. It’s great to see how the world of fashion can extend into the universe.
We are so fixated on having a connection to space, and I think fashion is a fantastic way to go about it. Using each of these elements, designers have so much to work with under this celestial craze. I think this trend has a great future because there are so many possibilities out there for it to expand in the market. From the models to the malls, these galactic looks are stunning and here to stay. What can I say, I love these looks to the moon and back!
Sporty spice is making a comeback, from the runway to the streets. Anywhere from H&M up to Chanel, designers are playing off of a more casual look of the 90s. They are featuring sporty elements like knee-high socks and team jersey inspired tops. On the runway, models tossed off their stilettos and laced up their sneakers. Who says style has to be painful? Comfort is in! Collections like Prada showed both fashion and function by incorporating rhinestone gems on their tomboy socks and sporty sandals.
Looking at the streets, fashionistas are incorporating catwalk components, from athlete-inspired footwear to headwear. They donned oversized jerseys, varsity jackets and ball caps, but with a feminine flare. Some women made their looks more girly by sporting strappy heels or a kicky skirt. I believe Stylesight.com said it best with their description: “Sport and luxury materials, details and silhouettes meld for a fresh take on active-inspired styling. Elevated aesthetics feature neoprene, perforation, velcro straps and embellishments.”
I am in love with this trend; it brings me back to my old high school game days. I think that anyone can incorporate sporty pieces in their wardrobe because there are so many options on the market right now. This is great because girly girls, tomboys, and even guys can wear this style. How many trends can you say that about in the fashion world today? I think that with all the possibilities and classic looks, this trend is here to stay. Now the only thing to decide is… how will you rock it?
Pop Art may have been popular back in the day, but it is now making a comeback in the fashion world. Andy Warhol was the front-runner on the Pop Art movement throughout the 1960s. Art and fashion have gone hand in hand since the beginning of time. Now designers have incorporated different pop elements, and put their own modern spin on it.
Prada debuted their spring collection, making use of several artistic elements. Bold prints across the venue were translated into each of the ensembles. These oversized powerful female faces that mesmerized the audience were captured through several of the dresses. Style.com said it best: ‘The way the clothes were infected by the mural art energized them.’
Trickling down to the retail front, Pop Art is still making a statement on designers like Phillip Lim and his collection for Target. The most popular looks were those with comic book inspired action words like “BOOM” plastered across each piece. Also, Victoria’s Secret phone cases now feature those ever-present word blurbs, reminiscent of these old comics. This aesthetic was based off of the works of Roy Lichtenstein, one of the many Pop icons of the 60s. Instead of visiting galleries we can now find Pop Art elements on the streets. What better way to wear art on your sleeve?
Looking at Chanel, one of my favorite things to do, I found their newest collection to be very directional for Spring 2014. We all know that art and fashion have always gone hand in hand, But Chanel brought it to more of a literal expression. Lagerfeld was able to transform the Grand Palais into a modern art gallery atmosphere. The runway was sprinkled with vibrant colors and ‘painterly’ knits.
“In keeping with the art motif, Lagerfeld based his lineup on vintage paint-swatch cards, which meant a runway alive with color.” The timeless Chanel elements of tweeds and pearls and interlocking Cs were still in place, but were brightly updated with a modern artistic flair. My favorite looks were those covered in the more literal scheme, with colorful brushstroke prints and complimentary accessories. The effortless artist look is a much more fun take on their usual professional tailored pieces. These pops of color certainly brought a young and fresh take on the classic Chanel aesthetic.
Key items in the collection ranged anywhere from mini skirts and wide leg pants, to low waisted knits and frayed hems. The dominating accessories seemed to be headphone- like pearly chokers along with paint sampled artist rucksacks. Color was important throughout, and seemed to almost reference a pallet consisting of the whole rainbow. The prints and patterns, visually were modeled after an antique German paint chart, an element that really impacted most of the looks. Being an artist, I can definitely appreciate his nod to the vibrant aesthetic of this craft.
Overall, I truly love the modern take on classic Chanel looks that Lagerfeld is expressing for spring. I think the artistic influences are so inspirational for 2014. Looking ahead, I am curious to see how other designers incorporate this trend into their future collections. All together, I find it quite stimulating how Chanel took the paint sample concept and ran with it, from tweed to their toe.
Handbags have gone through a lot of changes throughout this past decade, anywhere from shapes and styles to silhouettes. Handbags for women can vary depending on their lifestyle, whether they’re more into fashion or function. Since the early 2000’s, we have gone from huge carry-alls to impractical mini clutches and everything in between.
Back in my early school years, celebs like Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie were the rich-bitch type that we girls couldn’t help but to follow. These girls were all about oversized accessories, from their bug-eye glasses to their huge Juicy Couture sacks. I mean, where else are you supposed to put your Chihuahua with all those shopping bags in hand? More recently, we have moved into more manageable looks with the cross-body bag. I love them because they hold your basics, but you can shop and run errands hands-free without schlepping around a huge santa sack.
Looking at Fashion Week and fashion forecaster reports, it seems to be that we have slimmed down into simple clutches. From the runways to the streets, women have latched onto these little handbags that favor fashion over function. Clutches are not as useful for everyday wear, but now trendsetters are evolving into the double clutch. They are carrying a small one just for looks, and a larger one in the same hand for makeup and more practical items. In the future I think the clutch in clutch will be big, where a soft vinyl bag is encased in a clear hard shell bag. I definitely think this is the solution to combining style and utility in a more modern way.
All in all, the handbag has been through a lot over the years. It has shrunk in size and varied in styles. Who knows which direction we will move into next; will bags shrink into nonexistence, or will they blow up once again? I think with all the variations that have been created over time, the possibilities are endless!
The 90s called, they want their trends back! Many key items in Fashion week this year show a nod to several elements from this decade. Designers are bringing back the 90s by modernizing the key trends and refreshing them into new looks. Companies like Rag & Bone, Alexander Wang, and Rodarte were big players in the 90s game with their trendy throwbacks. From the streets to the runway, women rocked anything from plaid shirts and overalls to crop tops and bold graphics.
As I looked further into my research, I learned that street style is becoming more and more influential to designers and what they send down the runway. It’s interesting to see the trickle up theory taking place; usually it’s the other way around. The streets of New York streets these days are covered with girls in grunge gear. Then when you walk into the big shows you see similar 90s redux pieces on the models.
Alexander Wang’s sportswear inspired looks caught my eye because of all the bold graphics, logos and 90s elements. I thought he successfully captured this trend but in a subtle way. I believe that these expensive looks could be mass marketed very easily, all the way down to the Forever 21 and H&M crowd. These clothes are very relatable to their target age range because they grew up in this decade. For this reason I think they could pull off big sales across these fast fashion storefronts.
I am certainly looking forward to fashionistas bringing back my favorite decade. From the graphic tees to the jellies, the possibilities are endless! I think that reviving my generation is a marketing dream for these clothing companies. Looking ahead, I cannot wait to see how these elements are incorporated into all the spring fashions of 2014.
Being a Carolina girl I am all about the warm weather and spring clothes. On the other hand, some designers in New York seem to be stuck in an “eternal winter.” Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton are some of the few bold brands that chose dark edgy looks for spring. I’m not sure if I agree, but I was certainly interested to further explore their reasoning and inspiration behind these ideas. Knowing Marc has been the creative director for Louis Vuitton, it leads me to believe their inspiration and aesthetic similarities are more than just coincidence.
Marc Jacobs always gets mixed reviews on the runway, especially this season, for being a little controversial and certainly raising a few eyebrows. According to WWD, “The show sprung from a lamp shade, past collections, long-invoked influences, and the feeling that nanny oversight has taken the Goth out of Gotham.” These dark looks parading down this post apocalyptic beach scene certainly goes against everything we would envision for the upcoming spring season. He chose weighty fabrics and dark Victorian influences that threw the traditional spring dresses out the window. Louis Vuitton also had a feel for this dark magic for 2014.
The Louis Vuitton runway was full of intricate pieces in a dismal color scheme of blackened silhouettes. The garments consisted of less heavy fabrics but stuck with an all black theme topped off with light winter jackets. The lace embellishments were balanced out with fishnets and sheer elements throughout the collection. These so-called ‘sheer tulled, feathered and beaded goddesses’ along with their elaborate headdresses put each look over the top and definitely set them apart from any other show at Fashion Week.
All in all, dark winter pieces are very bold and controversial moves for these designers’ Spring collections, but they are making quite the statement whether you like it or not. When asked if his collection was too dark for Spring, Jacobs replied, “It doesn’t matter, all that matters is, do you want it or don’t you? Does it pull at your heart like fashion is supposed to?” I think this statement definitely gives the viewers something to think about when viewing these collections.