So I can tell you right now by the time the collections are complete in the stores for Spring/Summer everything will look black and white. After two springs of “color, color, color” EVERYONE went back to black and white. But by April the stores will look so boring and unappealing consumers will be begging for some color. As a buyer you choose from what is in front of you. But as I have been telling you for many years there has been this consensus before the shows even start and the media and stores are forced into a storyline. “These are the TRENDS”. If you are not careful as a buyer you might fall into this trap. But I find these trends leave little to the imagination of the consumers, making the consumers feel like mindless idots who can’t dress themselves without a STAR in a magazine showing them the way.
I am so excited about the merchandise in the store right now. It’s design at its’ best; modern, fresh and yes colorful. We will have our share of black and white, but why does everything have to be all or nothing? Here are some examples….
The Mix of Colors in this Dress are So Special!
Though the “trend ” for printed trousers started a few seasons ago, I think some designers are mastering the art of partnering patterns with high tech fabrics.
The Print on these Trousers Really Need to Be Seen in Person
Mix and Match is Half the Fun
One last photo of a cute little dress from Suno…nothing loud or on TREND just a cute little dress from Suno that you would love to wear all summer.
I travel to Europe the same time every year for work. I buy men’s during a specific time and I buy women’s a couple of weeks later during their slotted time. So buying airline tickets become a bit of an art to get the best seat for the best price. The fact that everyone sitting on the plane is paying a different price bothers me but when the airlines make up rules as they go along after they promised something different really disturbs me. Of course I’m talking about point redemption.
I’m old enough to remember when “points” first became the tool that developed loyal travelers to one airline. Once you traveled exclusively with one airline you could redeem “points” for a reduced price ticket or an upgrade. Then the airlines started losing money and they played this game of “how hard can we make it for you to redeem your points”. I believed the government stepped in with regulations, which stopped the practice. Then the airlines started to partner up with credit cards and the whole process started over again. And again it’s a game of preventing you from using your points. The difference this time is there are fewer flights with fewer choices to get you where you want to go. The question remains what the real price of a ticket?
Since this is Black Friday weekend, I found a statistic that floored me. In 2011, 226,000,000 shoppers visited a retailer or mall, or shopped on-line over the black friday weekend (according to the National Retail Fund). The population of the US is 314,165,11…do the math. Another number is that 90% of those shoppers plan to purchase items for themselves while 10% plan to buy presents for the holidays. The media claims there ARE some deals to be had but most of the deals will be there for the next 30 days and the best time to find an exceptional deal is still after Christmas. The new move is to open retail stores on Thanksgiving to get a leg up on the competition but numbers show that consumers were getting most of their deals on-line on Thanksgiving. All if this frenzy has created this zombie effect which is suppose to give the consumer what he/she wants a deal and the discomfort to go with it….it’s like a cocktail or a drug.
Ultimately it’s up to the consumer to find the right price. Armed with technology, the shopper must now navigate their way to find the real price. But what is the real price of an item? If the lowest price is the most important part of the purchase what is the real VALUE of an item? More importantly what is the real satisfaction of buying something? The price or the product? How can a shopper be satisfied knowing that the cost of the item when everyone is paying a different price? All this frenzy and we still don’t know the worth of things. Like what’s the worth of a civilized shopping experience, or the worth of an appreciated item? Believe it or not we, as a nation have been through this before, during the last depression. Price will not rule the day forever and soon the consumer will demand a product with an experience that is worthy of a real price.
I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the Olympics these last two weeks. One can’t help but be amazed at the tenacity of the US woman athletes. I am 56 so I’ve been watching the Olympics for many years. There has been a definite switch in emphasis (or television time) towards woman athletes compared to the last two Olympics.
She's Only Sixteen
It’s not just individuals either.
A Dramatic Women's Soccer Final
And some Veterans are being honored.
A Three Time Olympic Gold Medal Champion
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how and when this transformation took place, but one could surmise that women have had to complete harder and faster in every aspect of their lives to achieve their goals. Under the radar women have broken through every sport with record breaking times, physical endurance, and mental focus. With women comprising 57% of college attendance, and many women finally penetrating the upper ranks of the work force, they have learned that competing is a necessity for success. No longer are women accepting a passive road in their life. When the bar is set this high it will only push women more to be among the ranks of quality achievers.
Another trend about women has come to my attention in two articles that I read this week. One article was in the NY Times style section, talking about high tech women executives dressing up in a luxurious way (not fashionista but styled). Part of this trend has to do with changing perceptions; high tech people are usually perceived as “geeks”. To move that perception forward you need the “best costumes”. We have found that with our women customers, many of which have high powered credentials, they use their wardrobe as a banner to show their creativity and level of finish/polish. Which was exactly the point of the second article in WWD. They stated that women with executive titles in European Governments have really stepped up their attire to look finished and individually styled. Usually women in Government dressed non-descript or “manly” to try and not stand out. With so many women in these positions, they are now trying to do the opposite, “stand out “, and be remembered as a women who knows how to dress and present herself as well as being an accomplished public servant.
Women have definitely made their way in highly competitive fields and I am happy to say they are using their attire to stake their position.
Starting in the early 90’s we engaged in the frenzie of buying. As goods became cheap and disposable the act of shopping became our mantra, our therapy for whatever ailed us. Purchasing was the activity of the rich and famous, and for some reason we wanted to be “just like the rich and famous” (no matter who they were or what they accomplished). Well its been a long road to where we are today…a broken, divided country that refuses to budge on who is going to pay for all the thing we feel entiltled to. As Greece pulls the EU down , the United States should take a close look at how they are trapped in their own inability PAY for their sins. It’s quite clear how they got there …..citizens’ entitlements and the prosperous not paying taxes. But someone, some elected “Leader”, needs to be the mommy of the situation and say “You BOTH are wrong and you both need to give in to get ahead of this”. I don’t understand why human compassion doesn’t kick in and move towards a better evolution of living. We seem to be a very religious populous but don’t practice the basic principles of religion. But that’s Greece, not us right?
There are 3 million job opportunities in America right now. They may not be the ideal jobs, they may be jobs that feel like the work has no meaning…. but just the same they are jobs that PAY for things…and help the government create revenue to pay for the entitlements that keep our government working. Yes if the congress was working together we could make the neccessary cuts in those entitlements, but we can’t eliminate ALL of them to make this mess go away.
There are many billion dollar companies that are not paying their fair share of taxes. While (the ever important) small businesses of this country manage to pay their taxes ata higher rate. They do not have the lobbying power of big business to get that rate to where someone like GE is paying nothing. The same goes for hedge fund managers and companies that have their offices overseas to avoid paying taxes. Again they don’t want to PAY their fair share….they want a DISCOUNT…aren’t they just so smart????? There could be a compromise but no one wants to PAY for anything.
When did we get to this point of feeling like we shouldn’t be paying for anything? Wasn’t capitalism all about that…paying and making money or has it just become stealing money any way we can????
For the next five months wouldn’t it be rich if we had an honest debate about how we are going to get out of this mess, instead of all the negative retoric of whose fault it was….I know that won’t happen and I know we will be listening to blah blah that doesn’t mean anything and then we will vote for “someone” who made less mistakes in the blah blah world. It’s time to realize that we need to PAY for what we want and appreciate what we have….Please