Monday, January 31, 2011

Discovering the Zeigeist

Dominating Event: Woodstock
Woodstock Music&Art Fair was held at a dairy farm in the town of Bethel, New York, from August 15 to August 18, 1969. There slogan was "3 days of peace and music". During this music festival, 32 acts performed  outdoors in front of 500,000 people. It is regarded as one of the greatest events in popular music history.
This event has a great influence in fashion. What Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix wore on stage, and what the concert-goers wore set the hippie trend. This style involves long dresses of lightweight fabrics, suede boots with fringes, and oversize glasses. Flower prints can be seen everywhere.

Even today, the hippie style still comes back and forth in style. Last year was the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, so a lot of designers showed Woodstock influence in their collections.

Dominating Social Groups:Socialites
Ever since Paris Hilton became famous, many socialites entered the fashion scene. They are rich girls with too much money and too much time. They can afford all the designer clothing. People are interested in their lifestyle. Where they travel, what they eat, how they party, and all the dramas are all putting the socialites in the spotlight. Paparrazzis love following them. Thanks to that, we have so much chance to see what they wear every day.

Paris Hilton
Famous for her dramatic life, Paris Hilton makes herself a celebrity. It is hard to describe her style, it seems like she wears a little bit of everything.

Olivia Palermo
Growing up in the Upper East Side of New York, Olivia's style pretty much represents her background. She always looks elegant and chic. It is hard to see her wear anything that is too bold. She became famous when she appeared on the show The City. Now she is often featured in style sections of different magazines and web sites, because so many people like the way she dresses.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fashion Industry Articles

The three articles I found are all from California Apparel News.
1. South Coast Plaza Beefs Up Store Roster by Deborah Belgum, January 21 ,2011
This article talks about the new stores that will open in South Coast Plaza this year. Five of the stores will be exclusive to the OC area. Those five stores are Brunello Cucinelli, a high-end cashmere brand; Diane von Fursternberg; Longchamp, the French luxury brand for totes and luggage; Madewell, the J.Crew subsidiary; and Omega, the Swiss watch brand. Other brands include Lululemon Athletica, the brand for yoga-inspired athletic wear; Soma Intimates, seller of intimate apparel; Lego and Microsoft. There will also be a large XXI Forever by Forever 21 store. They signed a long-term lease for 43,000 square feet of space.
I find this article interesting because South Coast Plaza is one of my favorite places in California. Although I cannot afford most of the brands there, it is a nice place to go to. I look forward to the Forever 21 store opening this year. I think it will attract even more customers to the mall, because so many people shop at Forever 21.

2. Branded Retailers Look To Real Estate For 2011 Growth by Andrew Asch, January 28, 2011
This article talks about some brands' expansion plans in 2011. The 13th Annual ICR Xchange investors' conference was held Jan.11-13. At the conference, 116 companies outlined their plans for the upcoming year. The value-driven chain store Rue 21 is planning to open 110 more stores. The Wet Seal Inc., Joe's Jeans Inc., True Religion Inc., and Guess Inc., also announced retail expansion plans. Rising raw material and sourcing costs are also concerned at the conference. There is a way that retailers can beat such challenge. The financial services firm B.Riley & Co. published a research note saying that "Newness of merchandise is driving business, and the consumer is willing to pay up for unique, authentic product." Rue 21's success key is offsetting rising costs with the right product in the right location. They seek to expand in mid-size and small towns, which are often ignored by many high-profile companies. Wet Seal is focusing on denim to help grow the business. Former Wet Seal chief executive Ed Thomas stated that "It is still an aggressively promotional environment; we still expect a lot of volatility." However, not every store plans to expand in this upcoming year. PacSun is cutting their stores from 870 to 850. Their plan is to cut stores and add staff. Seven new vice presidents were hired in the past 13 months. True Religion and Guess are planning to expand internationally.
I chose this article because it talks about a major trend in the fashion industry: brand expansion. I think it is good to know how they plan to expand, expecially that Rue 21 is opening stores in areas other companies ignored. And international expansion also seems to be a pretty important trend. More and more fashion brands are paying more attention to the overseas market.

3. Mid-Tier Apparel Retailers And Brands Winners In 2011 by Deborah Belgum, January 21, 2011
This article talks about the consumer growth in mid-tier stores in 2011. Gains of 3 to 4 percent will be seen in stores like JC Penney and Kohl's. Luxury brands will not see an obvious growth in customers, but there will still be a moderate growth. This article also talks about why mid-tier stores will do well, considering the current economy and employment issues. The Obama Administration passed a payroll tax-cut program on January 14, so the average worker will see $700 more in the bank account this year. The recovery is happening right now, so people will have more money to shop. The recovery in the job market is growing slowly. In 2010, California has added 47,900 jobs. The sectors that will most likety see growth in the upcoming year are health care, professional and business services, high-tech, retail, and leisure and hospitality.Two California counties making strong gains in job growth are Orange County and Santa Clara County.
I chose this article because it talks about the reasons behind the apparel industry growth. I don't think the content relates much to the title though, because it talks more about economy and jobs than mid-tier apparel retailers. It is good to know that the economy is getting better and better, and more people are employed. All these facts contribute to the fashion industry. Retailers will see a good growth in sales.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Visual Directory


Low-rise Skinny Jeans

Chanel Tweed Jacket
Burberry Trench Coat
Past Eras

Pendulum Swing
From neutral colors to hyper colors
From tight pants to wide leg pants

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Status Symbols

Nowadays celebrities are an important part of fashion trends. They get photographed by paparazzis a lot, so people have a chance to look at their daily outfits. Some celebrities have become style icons by dressing nicely every day. If an item is seen on many celebrities, it always become the trendy item. Their appearance on the red carpet also influence the fashion trends. Knock-offs of the gowns celebrities wear to the Academy Awards or the Golden Globes can always be found in cheaper stores. Even their costumes in TV shows can influence fashion. For example, what Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, and Taylor Momsen wear on Gossip Girl often becomes popular. So overall, I think celebrities play an important role in the fashion industry.
There are three celebrities that I think are influencing the current trend, and the style of whom I really like.
Blake Lively
She became famous after playing Serena van der Woodsen on Gossip Girl. Her daily style is just the same as Serena. She always look chic, with a few classic items. Her style is minimalistic, but not boring.

Emma Watson
More well-known as Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, Emma Watson's personal style gets better and better over the years. As the former spokesmodel for Burberry, she illustrates the British style perfectly. She is always seen in classic trenches. She never wears anything that shows too much skin, or anything that's too bold. Her style is very classy, sometimes laid back. Her new pixie cut is the most popular hairstyle right now.

Alexa Chung
A British model and TV presenter. She used to have a show on MTV called "It's On With Alexa Chung". She is also the contributing editor for British Vogue. Mulberry has a handbag named after her. Her style is quirky and fun. She can always be seen in some school-girl items, like button-down shirts, long-skirts and oxfords.She makes those items look fashionable.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

On The Spot- Assignment #1 Trends and Forecasting

On Saturday I went to South Coast Plaza to people watch. I sat on the bridge between the two buildings for about an hour. I had a lot of interesting findings. The majority people with luxury shopping bags are Asians. Being an Asian myself, I quite understand them. In China particularly, so many people are into luxury. Louis Vuitton and Gucci are their favorite brands. To Chinese people, designer brands are more of a status symbol than a fashion statement. Having a Louis Vuitton bag means telling people " Hey look I'm rich." I even heard that in China now there are travel agencies taking tourists to America just to shop. It seems like more and more Asians are getting rich and buying designers.
As of the style tribes on campus, I found a few pretty identical ones. The fashion design and fashion marketing students are the most stylish ones. Their clothes are trendy, but fashion design students dress more practically. I guess it is because they sometimes have to work in labs, so they must wear something that makes it convenient for them. I noticed that fashion students wear nice shoes, too. I also found another style tribe, but I don't know which major they are. They wear the basics, like graphic T-shirts and jeans. Their shoes are always Converses. Maybe it is a mixture of different majors, like graphic design, game art, or photography.