Have you read about all the outfits I wore at New York Fashion Week, read that here. Now I’m going to dive into the week of shows itself. My first shows of the week were the Style Fashion Week runway shows at the Intrepid Sea and Air Museum. It was a treat going into the Intrepid at night without the massive crowd that usually surrounds the tourist attraction. I had never been inside at night and that was a experience within itself let alone the fashion shows. Style Fashion Week hosts an array of shows, performances and showcases brands both on and off the runway during the week. Unfortunately I was not able to make it to all the shows due to work and conflicting fashion show time slots but I expected an endless array of new fashions. I got to attend the evening shows of day one which included designers Gregorio Sanchez, Peyman Umay, Meriem Belkhayat.
Sanchez is a Mexican designer known for his colorful fashions. His Spring 2018 collection was no different with with colorful embroidery, patches, prints and accessories. The colorful applications were set against neutral and calmer colors such as navy and white.The silhouettes were clean and crisp allowing the bold patches and embroidery to shine. The bold and bright colors make you want to throw on these clothes on a rainy day to brighten the mood. By far my favorite pieces were the high wasted pants and ethereal emerald and navy sheer dresses. If styled not so editorial (for everyday wear)many of the pieces would be great for the office. Although the dresses in the collection deserve a night out on the town.
Peyman Umay is a Turkey native who fell in love with fashion while studying civil engineering in his native country. He transitioned into fashion which brought him to NYC and by 2009 he created his brand. Peyman originally only catered to bespoke tailoring for men. His aesthetic of American comfort and European design had women asking for their own designs in no time. By 2013 he launched a Women’s made-to- measure bespoke line. The Peyman Umay show was a bold collection of tailored suits for both men and women. Blacks, reds, oranges and whites mixed well with the collection’s graphic prints. A men’s blazer with a newspaper type print and a women’s button down blouse with a comic book print were some of the interesting ones. A trend you must be brave enough to wear… the pant/short that accompanied the crisp black and white tailored double breasted blazer. I would definitely wear some of the blazers and suits. You can’t go wrong with great tailoring, as for some of the colors I might not be so brave.
The Meriem Belkhayat runway show was Kaftan heaven. The show transported watchers to her native Morocco with muted hues of pinks, blues and flowing fabrics. Known as a master in making Kaftans, Meriem has dressed many Moroccan and Arab celebrities as well as royalty. A mix of fabrics such as velvets and lace created a collection that was both glamorous yet wearable. Sheer panels and capes added a daring punch to the floor length designs. My favorite pieces included her to the floor length black caftans that were embroidered with bright red, orange and blue floral embroidery or applications. The traditional Kaftan was modernized through the use of colors, feminine bombers, bold shoulders and a single earring as jewelry. It’s safe to say I’d wear 99% of Meriem Belkhayt’s current collection.
P.S. : An honorable mention goes to Malan Breton who showcased a gorgeous collection of dresses in sheer and metallic fabrics. By far my favorite pieces were the floral and military inspired trenches for women (that would fit well in my dramatic coat collection). While the menswear showcased Asian, military and sportswear inspired looks. I wish I could have been there for this show!
I’ll have another round up of shows and events soon. What was your favorite design or designer that I wrote about in this post? Let me know in the comments and on social media.
*Although I was invited and attended the shows, pictures showcased here are courtesy of Style Fashion Week media and press release.*
New York Fashion Week is over! Sad to see you go but more than ready to get back to my normal daily routine. Ask any blogger, editor, photographer or industry person that attends fashion week and they will tell you it feels like a month of craziness rather than a week. That being said I have a huge pile of laundry to do and things are a mess! Now that I’m getting back to the usual swing of things I want to recap my time during New York Fashion Week. Here are the outfits I wore during the week. I will also have a rundown of events and fashion shows up soon.
Day one I mixed my love of vintage pieces with modern accessories. The coat is a vintage piece that was handed down to me from a family member who no longer wanted it. I knew when I wore it, it would be a hit. The coat has a semi-weight to it perfect for transitioning into seasons. I left it open when I was in between shows, but buttoned it for warmth at night. The inside is fully lined in a green lining, while the sleeves are embroidered with roses. The overall coat has pin strips for a classic feel. The dress is also a vintage dress handed down to me by a family member. Its a very light material with no lining perfect for summer. The shoes came from Payless Shoesource and the purse is from Target. I topped the look off with shades from Target.
Day two for me was Sunday, I could have gone to a few shows on Saturday but I was too tired! I knew that day would feel more like fall, so I thought it was time to break out another awesome coat. The camel wrap coat is from Boohoo and was given to me by a close friend, Lillie Morales of the blog JerseyFashionista. Don’t you love it when you and your friends have similar taste! The coat is very light but the large collar and the ability to wrap the coat around you feels like you’re wearing a large blanket. The boho style top came from Boscovs while the baby blue pant was another piece given to me by a family member that I believe came from Target. The grey kitten heel pumps came from Primark and the purse is from Wilsons Leather. Courtesy of my mothers closet, because that was the best purse for the look. My mother and I have almost exactly the same style as well.
Day three I was tired of wearing heels and so it was a day for cute flats. I decided to feel super NYC and go mainly black. The dress is from Boscovs and has a high low hem. A great everyday dress I’ve worn to work as well. I continued the great coats trend with a firey red bomber with honeycomb mesh detail and a gold zipper. This gem perfect for events like fashion week was found locally at Glitterbuzzstyle Boutique. This trendy boutique is own by fellow blogger Chastity Palmer. The ballet style flats came from I.N.C at Macy’s while the bag is London Fog. Simple hoops completed my comfy yet chic look.
Day four I wore some unique finds that were both vintage and modern. The green dress is a knit dress from the brand Torn by designer Ronny Kobo. originally almost $200 I found it at a pop up sample sale in Chelsea Market a few years back for way cheaper. The dress is intricately knit with an attached knit lining. It is a piece of art to say the least. The pin striped coat is a vintage piece given to me by a family member. It came with a matching dress that I wear separately. The look was finished with a purse from Target and block heels from Payless. I added gold jewelry for sparkle.
Day five I was ready for heels again and wanted more of a rock and roll look. My dress is a vintage piece given to me by a family member and has a snake skin print and A-symmetrical hemline. Its a very light dress with a lace up corset back. The faux leather jacket is from Burlington and the booties are from Rock and Republic found at Khols. I finished the look with a lace and bow chocker from Glitterbuzzstyle and wide brimmed hat from Target. I felt the London Fog purse went perfect for this outfit as well.
Day six I wanted to feel comfortable yet chic so I mixed a bit of athlesuire with my outfit. The snake skin print wrap dress is from Express and is a great office piece as well. The sneakers are from Keds which if you don’t know about them, you should! I threw on my jacket and purse and was ready to go.
Fashion trends come and go, but true style is instinctual and eternal. You don’t need the latest and most expensive pieces to feel confident in what you are wearing. As you can tell here and on Instagram I love mixing high and low as well was vintage and modern pieces. Find whatever is your style and express yourself through the art of fashion!
Next post will be about Fashion Week itself. Let me know what your style is! T.S.
New York Fashion Week has been a time of year that I’ve taken part of in some form or another since college. Attending shows is a whirlwind where a week feels like a month. Now I am used to a non stop paced because that is just the name of the game in the fashion industry but during the week that is amplified. These are the things I have in my bag that gets me through the week and also help with everyday life here.
Press/ Media Pass
These plastic cards are the keys to every entrance for fashion shows and events. These are usually registered to attendees months in advance and are given out at the events. I personally like to keep all my passes, which helps remind me of all the work I’ve done. How many end up mixed up in my bag depend on how many events and fashion shows I attend during the week. Like the fashion industry,fashion week is ever changing and what I might want to attend can change.
Portable Chargers, Camera lenses
This is a must if you work or live in NYC in general, but a absolute must especially during fashion week. The amount of videos, live streaming, pictures, editing, emailing and more that goes on during the week kills any battery. Many people don’t realize that regular work and owning a blog doesn’t stop just because of fashion week. So I must be ready and able to answer work and blog related emails. I also take so many pictures during the week of various clothing and products a variety of portable lenses for my iPhone can be helpful.
Another absolute must if you live or work in NYC. Although I try to use the subway during fashion week it is not always such a good idea. Why?….. Because I am most likely looking soooo fashionable and I don’t want to get sweaty and ruin my look! So depending on where the next show is a taxi, Uber or car service is the best way to go during fashion week. ( General Tip: if your driver was awesome, add a tip. Don’t be stingy! That is their livelihood.)
I don’t go anywhere without them, but especially during New York Fashion Week. For people who attend fashion week this is also a week of networking. Photographers, Editors, Bloggers and more from all over the world converge on the concrete island during the week. You never know who you might sit next to at a fashion show or meet at the after parties.
Snacks and Water
I never leave my house without these but during fashion week its harder to grab a bite to eat. If I have multiple shows back to back I’ll eat a quick snack and sip water during a taxi ride or as I’m walking to the next event. If I’m lucky an event will provide water and food, what’s never on shortage at an event? Liquor! Which doesn’t help if I’m hungry, so snacks are a must. I’m luckiest when I have an hour or two in between shows or events. That’s my chance to find a proper place for a meal.
Makeup, Saline Solution, Nail Kit, Hand Sanitizer,Sunglasses
I always have extra lipstick in my purse, a touch up is bound to happen. Preferably in the back of a taxi in between events. I wear my contacts must of the time during fashion week. Glasses can fall off your face while running around, so I almost always leave them at home. Plus sunglasses are in need as September here is a mix of sun and clouds. A nail kit helps keep my nails in check so I don’t snag my outfit. While hand sanitizer is an everyday must, but the amount of hand shakes done during this week can be excessive. I just added blotting papers to my bag as well, which helps keep facial shine at bay.
Because although those heels make me camera ready once I’m done for the night its time for flats!
Almost every day of New York Fashion Week is an extremely long one. So by the time I get home by midnight to one or two in the morning I’m exhausted. If I’m lucky I can go straight to bed but sometimes my work doesn’t end there. Editing and saving pictures to my hard drive or submitting them to people I’m working for is a priority as well.
I hope you enjoyed a sneak peek into my bag during New York Fashion Week. Like many people it is a hectic time of year for me and hope to have blog post up soon.
A few months ago I stopped by the Cooper Hewitt Museum to see the exhibition The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920’s. The 1920’s was a time period in which fashion and NYC were on the rise and full of changes. Many of the buildings that make up the famous NYC skyline today were built during the 1920’s. While speakeasies (hidden bars, some which still exist) held raving parties full of dancing flappers, the name given to the fashionable, newly liberated women of the time who received their voter rights in 1920. European art influenced America, while the American rising skyscraper awed Europe. Europe and America continued to influence one another through music, film, textiles and more. It’s always been one of my favorite eras in history, particularly for the fashion of course. So although the exhibition showcases over 100 pieces of architecture, furniture, art and more today I’m going to focus on fashion.
I had never been inside the Cooper Hewitt, although I’ve walked by it a few times. If you’ve ever walked the upper east side you will know that Fifth Avenue is full of beautiful original impressive mansions. The Andrew Carnegie mansion that houses the museum is certainly one of them. From the outside alone you can tell it is going to be gorgeous inside. And it did not disappoint, as I stepped inside chandeliers and marble flooring led the way. All the rooms are complete with intricate moldings framing the doors. Although my absolute favorite part of the house turned museum was the grand wooden staircase. Another chandelier lit the path as I ascended the stairs to the second floor where the exhibition began.
To my surprise the Cooper Hewitt is a conceptually modern museum inside this very original house. The Smithsonian design museum pushes contemporary artists and technology into the art world. Like every visitor when I arrived I was given The Cooper Hewitt Pen. This stylis looking instrument allows you to engage with the artifacts when pressing the pen onto a plus sign next to each artifacts description. Those descriptions and pictures are saved to the online profile created for you when you first bought your ticket. The museum also has giant touch screen tables that allow you to look up all the artifacts and info saved to your pen. These tables are also virtual design labs where you can create furniture, clothes, home goods and more and save them to your profile.
Paris and its artistic movement during the1920’s influenced fashion in America. New artistic styles including cubism influenced media and society. During the 20’s and 30’s one of the most important designers was Mariano Fortuny. He created the Delphos style dress in 1907.This dress consisted of folds that held their shape when a person wore it. The style became a popular trend for the time period and was often imitated. The green dress with jacket in the slide show was sold by Interior designer Elsie McNeil who received exclusive right from Fortuny to sell his work.
Fashion For Leisure
Before the 1920’s people were accustomed to wearing swimsuits and leisurewear that covered the arms and legs. In the 1920’s leisure wear consisted of clothing that made the arms and legs visible with thinner straps and shorter hemlines. The style was introduced on the beaches in the South of France. Also introduced for the first time was men and women lounging at the beach in these risqué new styles together. Americans that vacationed in France brought the trends of the new swimwear and commingling beach time to the U.S.
Creating fashions for nightlife became important for in the 1920’s. French and American designers were inspired by the ruin findings in Asia, Egypt, Russia and Latin America. Tassels became a big trend appearing on jewelry, clothing and accessories. Use of the color blue also became popular in fashion .
In an upcoming post I will cover more of what was showcased. Unfortunately this exhibition is no longer showing but you can learn more about it here. I hope you learn a bit about the Jazz Age and is flapper fashion.
The newest part of these tradeshows is vintage which showcases an array of local vintage dealers who curate collections of both name brands and unknown pieces. During my walk through Vintage At Intermezzo aisles I saw a great smattering of original, timeless pieces. I found original Chanel toe capped sling backs and Gucci interlocking purses all with a respective price tag to match. Those pieces may be worth those exact prices, but I’d need to work a very long time to be able to acquire them.
So I was so happy to come across the Empyrean Vintage booth. A mix of affordable no name no labels and famous name brand pieces with personalities of their own. Every vintage piece has a story, and that is exactly how owner Natalie Como feels. I got stuck in her booth not only drooling over all the amazing finds but chatting with this infectious personality as well.
Vintage has always been a part of Natalie’s life as her mother also owned a vintage shop in NYC called Siam Limited. During this time her mother would reconstruct the items and give them new life. For example she would repurpose ordinary denim into unique finds with fun pink rhinestones. Like heirlooms Natalie inherited the love of vintage as well as an array of unique pieces from her mom. Although her dad was as Natalie put it a “snazzy dresser” so there was no shortage of style inspiration for her.
When she did a stint in the corporate world her ability to express herself through her clothing is what entertained her in a droll environment. As Natalie sources the world of vintage for herself and her customers she does so with instinctual emotion. She respects the history and the story that comes with each piece. Although she doesn’t get too attached to items unless they were passed down to her from her mom or symbolize a pivotal time in her life, like her prom dress. Natalie feels vintage is meant to be passed along, each person giving each piece a new story.
As to what her favorite era of clothing is, everything but now! For Natalie there was more personality in the way people of the past dressed. You can see her love of the era’s foregone in the colorful bold print dresses and high waisted bell bottoms she wears. As to why her pieces or so affordable in comparison to other vintage dealers? Refreshingly hiking up the price is not her focus. Her knowledge of what the piece is worth combined with her belief that vintage pieces have stories to be passed on are what influence her pricing decisions most.
So what is next for Natalie and Empyrean Vintage? Eventually Natalie would love to open her own store and continue to showcase her pieces in other vintage boutiques. Joining a supportive environment of vintage dealers under one roof known as a Vintage Collective is also on her to-do list. Currently she has upcoming dates for pop up in Vintage on First a vintage collective located in Hoboken, NJ. Empyrean Vintage has also gained notoriety around the globe as Natalie recently styled her pieces for the Dubai based brand “Mesh”.
After hearing Natalie’s story and falling in love with the pieces I saw in her booth I could not leave without snatching a piece for my own collection. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen me style vintage pieces passed on to me with modern apparel. And so was my plan for the no label Asian inspired, high split long length top. Here are a few of the ways I styled the piece.
This pop up part of the tradeshow features apparel, accessories, and home items. It also showcases brands that sell beauty and gift items. This year twelve brands showcased their latest creations. While there I was intrigued by the most delicate and gorgeous headbands and hair accessories from the brand Mrs. President & Co. created by Angela Velayos. Angela is a super humble lady and has the most infectious laugh and smile. Her constant giggle as we chatted made me want to stay in her booth the entire show! Her story of creating Mrs. President & Co. is the ultimate encouragement story for entrepreneurs like myself. A simple thought as she put her child to sleep launched a business that continues to grow.
As a little girl Angela loved hair accessories and her favorite time of day was when her mom would put her hair up in a ponytail before going to school. This love of a great hair accessory inspired her one night as she put her son to bed. The name Mrs. President popped into her head and she ran with it. The memorable name and her intuition on what made a great head piece helped her create the brand. The memorable brand name and quality products that she created caught on quickly in the retail sphere. Within her launch year of 2011 Mrs. President & Co. was being sold in Bergdorf Goodman.
An array of clips, pins, barrettes, headbands and pony holders are part of Mrs. President & Co.’s current collection. Although these are no ordinary hair adornments, these beauties are 24 karat gold, silver, tortoise and mother of pearl infused. With the 24 karat pieces being hand crafted in her birth country of Brazil. Simplicity and overall beauty is what inspires Angela as she comes up with new designs. It can be seen throughout the current collection which consist of minimalistic and elegant designs. Angela not only thinks of how your hair will look when you put on one of her pieces but how it will blend with your outfit and jewelry.
Mrs. President & Co. has been featured in InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Allure and Glamour in their print magazine. While Vogue,Elle, Harpers Bazaar and more have spotlighted the brand on their websites. The brand also has a great partnership with e-retailer Shopbop that consist of multiple collaborations. A global commodity Mrs. President & Co. can be found in shops around the world including New York, Tokyo, Hamburg and Paris. But this bubbly entrepreneur has not yet reached her creatural peak as this coming winter of 2017 Mrs. President & Co. will be collaborating with mega-stylist Rachel Zoe on the namesakes website.
So what is next for Mrs. President & Co. ? At the suggestion of her original inspiration, her kids, jewelry might be on the horizon. Which I have no doubt will be just as big of a success as her hair accessories. Can I put my name on the list first? Sign me up!
Accessories the Show
Accessories the Show showcases the latest in fashion trends for women. It also highlights the newest creations in women’s accessories. While there I came upon the fun brand Strung, owner Jenny talked to me a bit about the brand.
Strung is a brand started by band members Jenny Mann and Tim Barbour in 2014. They were inspired when they realized how easily guitar strings can be wrapped into a bracelet. After selling a few at a concert in New Jersey they noticed that people could not get enough of their new creations. The bracelets were bigger hits than any band t-shirt they tried to sell. Each bracelet has a music related name and can be adorned with charms that are named after different songs. Great for men and women with a love of music these bracelets also can come in pairs perfect for gifting. Strung also sells an array of necklaces and beaded bracelets all with music or rock and roll details. After much demand from male fans the brand will be releasing an official men’s collection in September with a color theme of black, red and white. You can find Strung on their website, in boutiques and in gift shops. I look forwards to seeing what is next for this music loving brand. Perhaps different genres?
I enjoyed learning about these great brands and items. Which is your favorite? Let me know in the comments and on social media. And check out the blog post covering Vintage at Intermezzo where I cover a great vintage dealer that showcased in the tradeshow.
This is a sponsored post. Parts of this post were guest written by Alex Berger. This post contains sponsored links and content.
Since I decided to start writing about my career I figured I’d write about how I juggle being a freelancer in the fashion industry and being a blogger. Any blogger who runs their blog as a business can tell you it’s a 24/7 job. I’m always attached to my email for blogging purposes and as a freelancer in the fashion industry as well. I’m always editing, brainstorming and responding to people on social media and on the blog. Many times a lunch break consist of eating and answering blog related emails or social media tasks. As a freelancer I have agents who help me along my professional journey of working in the fashion industry. It is up to me and those agents to keep a constant open line of communication. This is equally important when you are working with companies for a blog or social media post. When I began this journey I had to figure out how I would balance it all, and you can too! Here are some guidelines on how I balance my hectic career and a blog.
This can be done simply with journals, agenda, calendars, alarms etc. I don’t do anything in the fashion industry without a notebook dedicated to the job I’m doing. As anyone who has ever worked in a creative industry knows, projects and people move way too fast to keep track of every change without a written reminder. There can also be so many different tasks you have to handle that without an organized list you wouldn’t know what to get done first. This is similar in having a blog, I have dedicated notebooks and different stationery to my blog. I organize meetings, events and posts within these notebooks to keep me up to date. These also help me track blogging numbers and goals by writing everything down. Now I’m partial to writing things on paper, but I also use the calendar in my phone to keep me on track. There are also apps that help you carve out time to focus on your task.
Experiment with all methods of organization to help you get your work done. Something is bound to help you accomplish each goal. Writing for me as well as many other bloggers begins at least three days to a week in advance. So carving time out of your busy schedule to get a post done is super important. Step away from distractions for as long as you can to work on a post. Trust me I have been there and always feel better when I have at least something written down rather than nothing at all.
Always Conduct Yourself Professionally
In all ways and at all times act professional. As bloggers we are subject to a much more of the public’s reaction than other people. When a personal matter is occurring it is up to you to decide if you want to share it and how much of it to share. I feel the same about political topics, you may be super frustrated about what is happening but you must be careful what you post. I like many bloggers post every single day to social media because it is part of the job. In doing so you will attract many comments and readers. How you respond to both negative and positive feedback is up to you. I choose professionalism over anything else, because remember being a blogger is being subject to the public. Consider your boss, coworkers, family and collaborators as being part of that public!
When you are the creator and editor of your own blog or business you never stop learning. Just like when you start a new job, there are bound to be things you don’t know. Before I started my blog I did a lot of homework with the help of Pinterest and social media. Being open to mentorship and critiques works in your favor as well. People who have more experience than you do are bound to give you sound advice. In saying that learning how to make SEO, plugins, apps and networks work for my blog is something I constantly do as well.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a huge part of running a functional blog. When applied correctly it helps search engines like Google find your content. To have this work you must input a mix of keywords, tag words and links. The title of your post must also be long enough and correspond with your keywords. SEO also helps you determine how the link to your article will appear in a search engine. It allows you to see what the title, pictures and link will look like once posted. What I love about using SEO is what I call the “grading system” which signals you with red, yellow or green circles. As you write and edit your article the circles go from red to green. Symbolizing how easy your article is to read and whether it will be found easily on search engines. With this guidance it is easier to write an understandable and reachable article.
Being able to collaborate with other bloggers, industry experts and people who have more experience than you do is paramount in working in both a faced paced industry and being a blogger. Dates might be changed on a collaborative project, something I’ve personally dealt with. Essentially it’s about respecting the other person’s schedule as best as possible and finding a way to work it out. Figuring out what you want to write about is also part of being flexible. I may want to write about a specific topic but might have to put it off until I get a different post done first. Finding a way to balance your needs and wants as a blogger is part of being your own boss.
I would love to be able to do everything myself, but it’s just not possible, so I have to pick and choose based on what needs to get done and what I am skilled in. One thing that a lot of bloggers and freelancers should spend more time on is digital marketing and SEO, but unfortunately most are not skilled in it. This is where collaborating with industry experts comes into play, but then you have to go through the process of finding the right marketing agency to hire. Although this can be time consuming and it can take many hours of research to learn about SEO. Some would be better off by searching for the right company to help them with the SEO process.
The NJ SEO Company or NJ SEO is the number one marketing agency in New Jersey. They are a full service marketing agency offering effective content strategies for forward thinking companies. Lead by brothers, Matt and Dan Anton, NJ SEO is dominating multiple markets – in Atlanta, Georgia and New Jersey. Matt is in charge of client strategy and execution, optimizing for specific industries, business goals and budgets for the New Jersey office. He is cited as an SEO expert and has many amazing reviews and over 100+ testimonials. Supporting a local and family-run businesses that can assist me is the way to go, in my opinion. According to the SBA (U.S. Small Business Administration), “Since 1990, as big business eliminated 4 million jobs, small businesses added 8 million new jobs.” This is just another reason to support local businesses, including NJ SEO and Matt Anton.
So now you have an insight into how I juggle being a blogger and working in the fashion industry. Organization, Professionalism, Education and Flexibility will all help you not only work in a tough industry but run your own a business as well. These paired with perseverance, a strong work ethic and using the businesses around you like NJ SEO you will be better prepared to juggle a job and a business.
How do you juggle it all? Let me know in the comments and on social media!
For the past few months I worked for Children’s Club, the leading tradeshow for children’s fashion in NY and Vegas. I’ve done so in the past and have written a post about what it is like to attend a show and the brands that were there. Read about that here! As part of a new section of my blog I will start writing about what it is like to work in the fashion industry. Today I will be talking about what it is like to prepare for and set up a tradeshow.
Before a tradeshow occurs there are months of preparation for an event that is only three days long. For every tradeshow there is a team behind it who guides every company that wishes to exhibit at the tradeshow. During my time working for Children’s Club my responsibilities include inputting contracts, chasing money and selecting pictures sent to us by the brands. These pictures would be put on social media, a slide show shown during the show and in the brand book that’s given out at the show. I also was in charge of interacting with the brands on Instagram.
The process of brands selecting a booth starts with the contract. Each brand is given a contract which gives them options on what type of booth they want, where they want to be located and who they don’t or do want to be located near. And lastly they have to sign the contract, something believe it or not some brands forget to do. Once this first step is taken a tradeshow manager or I can input the contract into the system which officially puts the brand into the tradeshow. After I’ve put in contracts and helped double-check all of them, it’s time to chase down money from brands who have yet to pay the full price of their booth.
Once we’ve collected all the money owed it’s time to floor plan. Something I helped with occasionally, but that is predominantly done by the rest of the team. Booth size, type of booth and the brands’ wishes are all taken into account, although you can’t please everyone and some brands will complain about their positioning and price. There are also the brands who pull out of the show or try to, without realizing they sign a legally binding contract. There are some sad excuses given when the brand has to explain why they are breaking the contract. Although life happens and family or legal issues has forced brands to legitimately back out.
After months of this detailed preparation the show dates are upon us. It’s time for all the brands and teams from UBM Fashion to make their way to the Jacob Javits Convention Center to set up and attend the show. Set up days can be hectic and they are longggg. They consists of most of the brands coming into the Javits all in one day and setting up the merchandise in their booths. At this point the actual booths are already up, and if the brand is satisfied with their booth they start to put in their merchandise. Operative word is IF, because most of the time set up day consist of all the UBM fashion crew (including me) being pulled in every which way with a million and one questions.
During these days my job predominantly consist of helping salesmen recheck that all of the more than 500booths have the correct signage. I also help collect samples from all the brands that have the opportunity to showcase their merchandise on mannequins. These are place in the front of the tradeshow entrance. This is basically a free ad for these brands, a great opportunity for them. At the end of each day the mannequins are dressed with the samples I or a salesman collected. I had never changed a mannequin until I worked at UBM! Those things can be uncooperative but look adorable once all dressed and arranged into a group of coordinated outfits.
Finally the opening day of the tradeshow begins and the Javits is full of vendors, wholesale buyers, press, fashion professionals, UBM staff and tradeshow workers. Aside from the actual tradeshows occurring there are also side events. Special speakers like fashion legend Iris Apfel and Accessories magazine editors hosted talks and Q&A’s this year. Children’s Club always hosts a fashion show with Petite Parade. Basically toddlers to teens strutting their miniature stuff on a catwalk. The three-day tradeshows wrap up, with hopefully many orders filled and sales made. Almost immediately preparation begins for the Vegas tradeshows.
In my next post I will talk about what it is like to attend the Women’s tradeshows. I came across some awesome brands and can’t wait to tell you about them. Let me know if you are interested in more of these job post. As I am thinking of making it apart of my blog thanks to my ever-changing career.
In the world of fashion photography certain names are known for their iconic work. Present day photographers like Annie Leibovitz and Patrick Demarchelier are known as “Vogue “ photographers. Known for their ability to capture a model or celeb in artful and transcendent picture. Irving Penn knew how to capture the iconic supermodels of the time in bold fashions and celebs like Audrey Hephburn in a clean and humanizing manor. Although he was known for his portiats of famous people he also enjoyed still life photography. A global photographer, he introduced different cultures to anyone who viewed his work. As a celebration of his centerian birthday the Irving Penn Foundation has gifted many of the prints showcased in the exhibition to the Met. The following are prints of Penns work covering fashion models, Vogue Covers, artist, designers and actors and more.
Early street photography
Pens first camera was a twin-lens-reflex 2 &1/4 inch square format Rolleiflex. He used it while working as an assistant for Harper’s Bazaar graphic designer and art director, Alexey Brodovitch. Penns work included photographs of shops, hand written ads and street signs in NY and Philly. His photography documented the time period of depression the U.S. was in. His techniques consisted of focusing and extreme cropping each picture. He also used this technique while on a trip to the southern U.S. in 1941 and again on a photo and painting trip in Mexico.
Still life photography was his favorite topic to photograph. The subject required discipline and creativity at its most challenging point for Penn. In still life photography he had to compose an image that could tell a story. He would often use traces of human interaction like a a lipstick stain on a glass to help interpret the story. The purpose was to make the viewer of this photography focus on the signs of life and the possible story behind the pictures.
Existential Portraits 1947-48
After serving in WWII Penn once again worked for Vogue. Art director Alexander Lieberman gave him the job of taking self portraits. The goal was to introduce culture to the pages of Vogue and broaden Penn’s career. Vogue picked the clients that would be photographed while Penn controlled the set. This job was a first for him as he never photographed famous people. His technique included positioning them at an angled corner. His sets had an unfinished feel to them which conveyed the feeling of deception that he believed self portraits could have.
Vogue Covers 1934-2004
In total Penn photographed 165 Vogue covers, eclipsing any other photographer to date. He photographed many Vogue models and even married one. Lisa Fonssagrives was the equivalent of a super model in her time. She was also the highest paid model of that time period and her ability to pose effortlessly caught Penn attention and admiration. After they married they continued their work relationship as Vogue model and photographer. Their collaborations produced some of the most famous Vogue covers in fashion publication history. The extravagant changes in fashion during the 40’s and 50’s allowed Penn to create stare worthy photographs. Wide brimmed hats, cinched waist and billowy skirts created dramatic silluhotues for photography.
Vogue Years 1947-51
After conquering portraits Penn’s mentor Lieberman wanted him to get a full education on what it meant to be a fashion photographer. In Lieberman’s eyes he was still rough around the edges. Lieberman sent him to Paris to watch all the couture fashion shows to familiarize himself with the fashion scene. The massive thrall of fashion photographers vying for perfect shots in between editors and the rest of the fashion pros was overwhelming for Penn. He preferred a quiet and private studio, so one was appointed for him while in Paris. There the collections and models were brought to him to shoot, leading to his meeting with wife Lisa. In his Paris studio he shot the latest fashions by designers such as Balenciaga.
Penn liked to see what his worked looked like in different forms of prints. The first process included taking one photograph and printing it via a gelatin silver print in 1949. Forty years later he printed the same picture on the newest gelatin silver print. He then printed the pictures in the 1960’s through the method of contact printing. Contact printing was considered an antique method of printing at this time. His method included enlarging negatives to his desired size and mounting each version to aluminum and coat them with layers of platinum and palladium. His experiments with types of print, tones, shadows, colors, scales and papers gave him freedom as a photographer. While other photographers strived for consistently perfect photography Penn searched for the interesting in each version.
In November of 1948 Penn went on a fashion assignment for Vogue to Lima, Peru. After he completed the assignment he traveled Peru on his own. He found himself in Cusco’s Andes mountains where he rented a studio for portrait taking. There he photographed the locals and passing visitors in their traditional wool clothing. These portraits introduced a deeper physiological affect to his photography. So much so that Vogue ended up printing these pictures in the story “Christmas in Cuzco” in their 1949 December issue. This publication helped bring images of people and cultures America knew little to none about. Although Penn shot the pictures in black and white, Vogue published them in color. Giving the vibrant local clothing an opportunity to shine.
Small Trades 1950-51
During July of 1950 Penn was once again shooting couture collections for Vogue in Paris. While there he took on a new project of photographing trade workers. He continued the project making it his longest series ever by capturing the trade workers of London and New York City. His techniques included photographing the small trades workers in their work attire and tools on the same studio he shot models and famous clients. The set, lighting and backdrop for his small trade series were the exact same in his fashion photography. He felt that doing so equalized the workers to the elite that he photographed. Vogue once again published these pictures in their 1950’s publication.
During this time period Penn experimented with the silver process of printing and overexposing his pictures. After this process he then bleached them which produced different prints.
Classic Portraits 1948-62
At this point in Penn’s career he was one of the most sought out photographers in fashion and beyond. He worked for Vogue while also working in advertising. People who were asked to sit for Penn no matter how famous or wealthy considered it an honor. To prepare himself for the task of these portraits Penn studied the art of Goya, Daumier and Toulouse-Lautree. Their work conveyed focus, lighting and immediacy that Penn hoped to convey in his portraits. For Penn the toughest part about photographing a famous person was getting them to drop their persona. Penn did so by meeting them in simple blue jeans and talking over coffee before beginning. During the session Penn would encourage his client to be as comfortable as they wanted to be. In the end their relaxed nature gave Penn the exact picture he wanted.
In the 1950’s Penn worked on ads for cigarette ads, although he despised the act of smoking. His cigarette series was a look at how society was in a disruptive time in history. Riots, Vietnam war, police corruption and New York City in bankruptcy and the governments willingness to promote cigarettes inspired the photos. Around this time his mentor Alexey Brodovitch died of cancer in result to his smoking habit. The smashed cigarette buds in gutters signified a painful moment in time not only for Penn but for the country.
Worlds in a Small Room
After serving in WWII Penn was inspired to travel the world and take pictures of different cultures. During 1967-71 he did just that for Vogue. With only a tent to serve as a studio Penn photographed locals of the Pacific and Africa. Although he did not intend on it, these pictures are reminiscent of invaders colonizing a newly conquered world. Vogue once again published the pictures, focusing on the local clothing and jewelry that were already inspiring the fashion of the 60’s.
The photos in this collection range from the 60’s to the 21st century. Inspirations include the youthquake and modern fashion of the 60’s. Theses pictures also explore the notions of nostalgia, fantasy, lost innocence and vanity. Penn was also inspired by the death of his wife in 1992 and his own aging. For Penn there was beauty in death and this inspiration was used in his late fashion photograph.
Late Still Life
Throughout the years working at Vogue Penn not only did many creative jobs for the magazine but also shot still life photography on his own time. From 1975- 2007 he produced four series of still life. Street Material, Archaeology, Vessels and Underfoot were the titles of these four projects. The subjects were rags, metal parts, old bottles and other miscellanies items. He liked to sketch these items and find a way to bring the items to life in his photography. He achieved this through his positioning or pairing of the items.
I always knew of this iconic photographer due to his revered fashion photography but it was so interesting learning about Irving Penn the man. He was a constant student of his craft willing to push himself past the norms. His work brought different cultures and fashions closer to western civilization. His ability to transcend a persons personality and give life to a still object is what made him the most revered photographer of his time.
Had you heard of Penn? What are your thoughts, let me know in the comments and on social media.
Currently on display at the Museum of FIT is the exhibition “Force of Nature”. It explores the inspiration nature and science lends to fashion designers. The animals, weather, plants and foreign landscapes that were discovered in the 18th and 19th centuries inspired not only the scientists and writers of the day but the designers as well. Some designers took literal interpretations of nature while others simply referenced it. It also takes a look at how the fashion industry has made and is making changes that respect the environment.
Through the collection of garments, textiles, accessories and prints viewers can see how men and women’s fashion was and is inspired by nature. During the time of Enlightenment there was a surge of botanic gardens in society. This inspired designers to create textiles and fashions inspired by flowers. While the discovery of different animals also changed the way people used prints. In the wild animals use their spots to camofloufge themselves but designers use them in bold designs.
Animals like caterpillars and butterflies that have the ability of transformation which also inspire designers. Fashions that transformed women into flower or bird like forms are the result. The theory of attraction in the wild also stirred up new ideas for creators of the arts.
The Network of Nature
Naturalist and father of ecology Alexander von Humboldt realized how nature was intertwined with society. He also believed that an artists interpretation of nature was paramount in understanding it. Forms of diversity and creativity were created and inspired because of nature.
The Botanic Garden
Enlightenment and the discovery of exotic plants in foreign lands introduced the creation of the botanic garden in Europe. The public became fascinated with the new plant life and were curious to learn more. The botanic garden was a place were all social classes could view these new discoveries. By the 19th century these gardens became known as laboratories for scientific discoveries as well as beautiful gardens.
The discovery and study of nature was intensive for people of the Victorian era. The use of cataloging and the organization of all findings was important. With the invention of the microscope naturalists like Ernst Haeckel and scientists educated and influenced the public and arts. Haeckel, also an artists created prints and art inspired by his discoveries.
Birds symbolize transformation, freedom, honor and grace amoung other things. Throughout history they were used in art, literature and folklore in many cultures. While their feathers were seen as mysterious for people of the past, they are inspirational for today’s designers.
The discovery that caterpillars turned into butterflies was in 1830’s Chile by German naturalist Renous. Because he did not get a chance to unveil his findings he was arrested because people did not believe him. The butterflies were not seen as a natural transformation but a trick. The act of transformation and the ability of fashion to transform a person has inspired designers.
Into the Wild
The patterns that camouflage animals in the wild for their self preservation inspire designers to create bold prints that attract the eye. The exotic and at times sensual appeal of animal patterns come from ancient folklore.
The study of nature and energy both in small particles and entire galaxies known as physics has inspired society and the arts. These studies lead to the creation of meteorology, astronomy, electromagnetism and many other fields of scientific study.
Fashioning a Future
In the past fashion was created with little to no knowledge or realization on how it was affecting nature. However over the years designers and fashion companies have begun to create sustainable fashion. Kering the parent company of the brands Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Stella McCartney, Puma and more has made it their mission to reduce the environmental impact their brands have. With guidance from the UN Sustainable Development Goals Kering has created reachable targets of positive global environmental and social impacts by 2025. With their three strategies of Care, Collaborate and Create these brands can change the way fashion is created. Among other streams of creativity and science these brands can care for the planet through cleaner supply chains. They can collaborate with craftsmen and leading universities that identify sustainable solutions. Lastly they can create using innovative technology like biotech.
The Science of Attraction
In 1859 Charles Darwin published “On the Origin of Species”. This controversial theory of evolution and his later work ” The Descent of Man” which focused on sexual selection and beauty influenced the arts. In the end one of his conclusions was that both animals and humans loved beauty.
The Language of Flowers
During the 19th century books were published that explored the “language of flowers”. They surmised that specific species and colors held symbolic meanings. This influenced the exchange of different colored bouquets as coded meanings to and from lovers and couples. As a reproductive organ flowers also represented human sexuality.
It was interesting to learn about all ways in which nature and science have influenced fashion. As we look at today’s fashion we don’t realize how influential nature has been. This exhibition is a great reminder of how much nature has and continues to inspire us. Stay tuned to my Instagram for more pictures throughout the week. Force of Nature is on display at the Museum at FIT through November 18th.