Thursday, April 28, 2011
Hermes is one of those magical, mysterious and timeless high end brands that clearly depicts the whole idea of 'fashion fantasy'. Fantasy in the way that just the name alone is so coveted and represents so much status, that people are willing to spend sometimes over $15,000 on a single purse (hello, birkin. i see you over there girl. and by there, i mean far, far away from my closet.) As a fashion marketing student, I find brands like this to be the most interesting. Of course Hermes products are beautiful, of high quality and classic. But are they entirely worth how much consumers are paying for them? Well, that's up for discussion.
Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, fashion can be about two things: presenting clothing to humans for a way of covering up their bodies and simply getting through the day, or to represent status and present a specific way of life to society. Of course there are gray areas and plenty of reasons why fashion exists in between but on the whole, those are the two main arenas. Maybe they're the most interesting areas of fashion: People who care too little and people who care too much. People who spend too little and people who spend too much.
That's when luxury brands come into the picture. Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, Fendi, etc. These are labels that represent a specific type of dream. People buy items from these brands of course for aesthetic reasons but on the whole..they want to say "It's Gucci.", "It's Chanel". Or they simply want to tote their quilted 2.55 on their arms as they silently go about their day, but knowing in the back of their mind that people are most likely looking at the bag. Same goes for fast and flashy cars, big boats, over the top expensive wine (um? haven't you guys ever heard of Leaping Horse $6.95 wine from Kroger? No? Well, you don't know what you're missin', I swear to christ!)
Some may say that all of this is stupid, a waste of money, a waste of time and shows the downfall of society and how vain everyone can be. To that, I say "what's your damage?" and "relax". Everyone has their vices. And also, who is to say that it's a vice? If you can afford it, then why not? How people spend their money is none of your bizniz. But me? Some girl on a tight budget, sittin' in her Target v-neck and Urban Outfitters leggings? It kind of is my business. It's what I'm studying. So what do I have to say about all of this? I think it's tremendously interesting. I swear to the Angel of Michael Jackson that anyone who is interested in psychology and sociology should absolutely read into the fashion industry and consumer behavior. I never find it boring, and there is always something to discover.
Hermes is probably the most mysterious and intimidating fashion brands in my opinion. People even get nervous when they try to pronounce Hermes. It's like they freak out that the fashion gestapo is going to start knocking down their door, with sirens going off like in an old black and white war movie if they say "Herm-ies" instead of "Air-mess". HOW DO YOU SAY IT? I DONT KNOW THE RIGHT WAY TO SAY IT! ISN'T THERE A TEN YEAR WAITING LIST FOR THE BIRKIN BAG? AH! I CANT DEAL WITH IT. Hermes seems to produce sheer panic and total intrigue. Maybe I'm wrong but I feel like that's a perfect marketing scheme.
This week, during the Derek Lam lecture, his partner (both in life & in business) Jan Schlottmann joined the stage. He's a marketing and branding man who was chock full of good advice. He explained that he chose to be involved in luxury brands as opposed to just regular ol' brands because there is more of a sense of fantasy and creativity. You create this whole lifestyle and dream that people will spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on and buy into it in order to somehow fulfill their own personal goals. In a lot of cases, purchasing can make people happy. It can better their way of life. Of course it's an issue if shopping is the only way to make you happy. that's a whole other issue. a psychological issue and I'm sure as hale not equipped to bark my opinions on that. That's like blaming McDonalds for obesity. Just don't eat it. Simply. So you can't blame fashion and marketing for personal bankruptcy. Ultimately, it's up to the individual person to make their own decisions.
So, lady who lives in a pile of Louis Vuitton bags, wears only Jimmy Choos but can't afford to eat anything other than tuna from a can? Let's reel it in with the conspicuous consumption. You're not fooling anyone, girl.
Some may say it's trickery or a big scam. Just some bullshit. Maybe it is? But countless jobs rely on this whole realm of bullshit. It's a billion dollar industry for a reason. Maybe a woman saved up for years to finally get that Birkin, and she leaves the store feeling accomplished. What's so wrong with that? What's so wrong with goals, even if they're fashion related goals? All of it is up for discussion, but in the end, it's pretty amazing to step back and see (from both a marketing and psychological perspective) how it all works.
Looking at these ads, I find it really cool that they really portray this young & bohemian vibe. It's a bit of a strange way to portray what they're selling. When I think of Hermes, I think of middle aged/older wealthy customers but they're clearly trying to broaden their horizons and show that they are versatile. They are versatile. The dream of owning an Hermes item knows no age.
Maybe it's just me but I love how luxury brands are very theatrical, dreamy and dramatic. Take a boring pencil that's worth 50 cents, slap this logo on it, and mark it up outrageously. Someone is going to buy it at full price and feel cool about it. They will probably even say "Do you like my Hermes pencil? It's so fabulous."
There are some silly people out there and I love it.
Today was the final lecture for SCADStyle week. Though I only went to three events (Derek Lam kicked it off on Monday which was really interesting and inspiring), I found that each lecture/event I went to, it instantly brightened up my day. Lately, it's just been hard to constantly be in the classroom, working on projects and talking about industry related situations & textbook type definitions regarding marketing/merchandising. Maybe 'hard' isn't the right word, since to me already it doesn't feel like actual work because 9 times out of 10, the assignments I work on are fun and interesting. Most of the things I'm studying comes natural to me and doesn't feel like schoolwork. With that said, I think everyone (especially in a creative type major) needs to get stimulation from outside of the classroom. You grow hungry for it, and SCAD Style week has given me a bit of motivation and excitement that I really felt I needed.
To close the week, Glen Senk (CEO of Anthropologie, Free People, Urban Outfitters, BHLDN, etc.) came to speak to us. Honestly, it was just another one of those experiences that I've had at SCAD that reminds me how special this time is here. To have someone like him stand in front of me and my peers, giving us advice, answering any question and telling us about his experiences is pretty amazing. It reminds me once again how great of a decision it was to transfer here. Things like this simply would have never happened at my old college. Glen said numerous things throughout his Q&A/lecture that I know I will carry with me forever.
Keith Johnson (who has a reality show on Sundance called Man Shops Globe, is Anthropologie's head buyer & Senk's life partner) was there as well, just sitting in the audience along with a pink-haired Chris Benz. To hear the way that Glen spoke about Keith was really heartwarming. They have known each other since they were nine years old, and when asked where his favorite place in the world was, Glenn replied "Anywhere Keith is". How beautiful is that?
I thought it was really amazing to see such a powerful man who still balances out having an amazing career with a healthy and wonderful relationship and personal life. In fact, that's one of the pieces of advice he gave us. To have a balance between being in love with so many other things aside from your career, which will ultimately better your work ethic and attitude. It's something I've been thinking about a lot because I'm a girl who wants a career, but I know how important it is to have love and family in your life as well. Work isn't going to take care of you when you're sick, tell you you're beautiful, fall asleep with you at night and hold your hand when you need it the most. I want to feel stimulated from my potential career & from my personal life as well. Who doesn't, though? It's one of those tough struggles, especially for women, that I'm more than willing to work towards.
There were many other words of wisdom that he gave us that I know I will keep inside my brain, but something that he said that I believe wholeheartedly is that if you find something you love to do, it won't feel like work. I think that everything is so unknown, especially when you're about to graduate and enter the work field, but it seems that you need to have an idea of who you are, what you want and be willing to learn as much as possible forever in order to be on the right track.
It was the perfect way to spend a rainy Thursday afternoon.
photos below are from glen senk & keith johnson's home tour on elledecor.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Like I predicted earlier today (in the post below), forcing myself out of the house and out of my dumb mood to go see a screening of Bill Cunningham New York over at one of SCAD's buildings would make me feel better. And it did. It made my whole day brighten up. It's an amazing film on an amazing guy and I have to admit, I even got choked up during some parts. Please go see it if you can. You will love it.
best coast really needs to come out with a new album because i'm (still) playing the last one to death. especially in nice weather or in weird girly moods. it's just the perfect go-to music to put on when nothing else sounds right.
I love these photos of bethany from frankie magazine. it's just lighty, airy, feminine and happy. her hair and skin look glowy. today my skin and hair is definitely not anywhere near glowy. it's one of 'those days' when you just want to whine outloud and cry for basically no reason. Everything feels wrong & looks bad. Hair is just weird, skin is even weirder. Clothes? I have none. Just a closet filled with things I don't even want to look at right now. Nothing I want to eat or cook. Nothing I want to think about.
In an hour, I'm forcing myself to go to a screening of the Bill Cunningham documentary which I know will make me feel better. But the thought of putting my clothes back on (i'm in my comfy zone right now) is making me cringe. You know those days.
Okay, so we all get like this from time to time right? No biggie. Okay so now add in The Sartorialist showing up in your classroom staring at everyone, taking pictures and choosing who to focus in on while you have sweaty hair, no make up on, wearing jeans and a boring blue top. Good. I feel like that's the fashion girl's equivalent to a nightmare where you go to school in your underwear. In this case, you show up looking ugly and the Sartorialist is snapping photos in just your classroom. Needless to say, he chose a very put together model-y girl in my class wearing high waisted jeans and a top knot and took pictures of just her for 10 minutes. Good lawd I need to get myself together.
I'm being a brat. someone give me chocolate (or better yet, don't. just set up a facial appointment for me and take a lawn-mower to my eyebrows)
Saturday, April 23, 2011
since it's almost summer, it's time to truly throw our bodies into a huge pile of sunglasses. yes you heard me. that's what you have to do when it's summer. haven't you heard? currently in my purse at any given time, there are three pairs of sunglasses. all black and all chunky. sure to entirely cover my scorcesse brows because there's nothing worse than the top of your eyebrows peaking out from above your frames too much, am i right? nothing worse. wait, there are wars & genocide going on in the world? what do you mean?
i love karen walker, but her collections lately have been a little too 'crazy shut-in woman' (which is a role that I may or may not identify with lately. oops) but her sunglasses are consistently on point every time. they're boxy, chunky, and a bit overpowering in the best way possible.
Anytime I would think about Michael Kors, I would kind of yawn. MK is one of those brands that simply exist and please, instead of coming out with anything truly groundbreaking or unique. Infact, one time in one of my fashion classes last spring, someone mentioned how Michael Kors was one of their favorite designers. Everyone in the class, including the professor, groaned. However, with that said, brands like that are successful for a reason. Michael Kors puts out products that are classic, chic and simple, which is what any woman would want to add to their wardrobe. A girl I know in one of my classes has a beautiful chunky gold link watch that I admire all the time. So when I asked her where she got it, and her reply was "Michael Kors", I decided to look at what else he had going. These are all some my favorites.
(someone buy me those sunnies pleeease!)
Friday, April 22, 2011
Today is great so far. Started it off with lunch down the street with my Dad at one of my favorite Savannah brunch/lunch places J. Christopher's. Two very large cups of iced coffee later, i'm sitting on my couch listening to the new Fleet Foxes with the daylight shining thru (even if it's cloudy) catching up with one of my favorite fashion sites Who What Wear. This was the first fashion blog/site that I ever started following after stumbling upon it randomly two years ago. And though it's pretty straight forward and celebrity-style oriented, I still like to read it/take it all in from time to time. Katherine Power & Hilary Kerr have two of my dream jobs. And after seeing Katherine Power's apartment tour this week on Refinery 29, i've developed even more of a girl crush on her.
Her style is just so laid back, put together and cute without being overly sexy or overly trendy. Not to mention her apartment is adorable with all of her little knick-nacks all over the place. I love the scattered pictures above her bed. Hm, wonder why.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
obviously, i'm in love with bhldn. there's just so much GOOD on that site, all compiled together to fit every girl's dream. Married, engaged, single, etc. Doesn't matter. Bhldn will most likely appeal to you in some way or another if you're a female with a pulse.
i have a thing for boleros done the right way. it's just the easiest way to dress up something basic. the boleros/'cover ups' on the bhldn site are absolutely perfect. I want all of them.
Monday, April 18, 2011
The SCAD Style line up had been announced, and though it isn't as large as last year, i'm still excited. I love this school because of how many great people they bring in to speak to us. Just last week, Town & Country's Pamela Fiori sat in my classroom speaking to about 15 of us about her days as editor (she completely re-vamped the magazine when it was considered a sinking ship, and turned it into a slightly more modern version of itself) and meeting/working with Jackie Kennedy weeks before she died. It's extremely difficult to feel uninspired at SCAD. Whether it's from the people in my class, some of my professors and the guests that walk in and out, i'm constantly wanting to push myself.
I am really looking forward to seeing these three:
Urban Outfitters/Anthropologie/BHLDN/Free People CEO Glenn Senk
House Of Waris' jewelry master & Wes Anderson film star Waris Ahluwalia
and fashion designer Derek Lam
Oh, and on another note: I spent the weekend in Chicago visiting my boyfriend. I have never been there before and there was something about it that I really really liked. It's not an in-your-face city like New York or a pretty little place like Savannah but it was really interesting there. I just liked everything it had to offer. Without getting into detail, my heart was happy every second being there and once again, it sucks to leave. But what can ya do? Atleast I got to visit. There are a few things that make me stop & realize that sometimes life makes total sense, and being with him is one of those things. So that's pretty cool.
My goal for the next 6 weeks is to work work work, play a little but mostly work. Summer will be soon and i just can't wait. Internship, regular relationship time (no plane rides. no goodbyes a couple of days later), new jersey, family, home, everything. Come on June. You can do it. Get your ass in my life~
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
I really have a thing for Valentino's new collection of feminine and classic bags adorned with delicate yet statement making studs. The beautiful nude color really makes it versatile and the details just add a little something extra. It's only $1,450 so don't worry about it breaking the bank either! Such a steal! *eye roll*
But it's Valentino. Come on. It's the price you pay. Or don't pay. To Valentino or to not Valentino.