Yes, I am back after a very long blog hiatus...at least I think I am??? For the last year I felt compelled to write almost every day (a huge undertaking), which I think perhaps led to my total blog rejection...sometimes a girl just needs a break!!! That said, I do miss writing and and sharing my views, so I have decided to blog when I feel like it, about things I love...no pressure to produce all of the time!!! Hopefully, you will continue to support the total fashion insanity that is a constant in my life.
OK, so now onto "Saving Fashion"...there are a handful of companies that have made "saving fashion" their mantra so to speak. GEN ART is the most well known and of course the most successful...they too were recently "saved" from financial woes and have been given a second life. Then there are the "new to the scene" entities like REFINERY 29 and their SAVE FASHION events/sales, the web-centric players like FADMASHION, which is a community for emerging brands and of course my little company, GRACE GROUP's Pop-Up retail arm, which focuses on giving emerging designers an outlet to brand themselves, while making money. So here is the question that begs to be answered...are any of us really doing enough?
Let's focus simply on Pop-Up events/stores. I think they are the answer or at least part of the answer for the emerging brand set. Quite simply, Pop-Up Retail is branding with immediate ROI. I have been a fashion marketer for years and until this whole phenomenon started, I had yet to find a buzz creating opportunity that allowed brands to recoup their investment immediately. Sure some brands will always do better than others, as at the end of the day the product still has to resonate with the customer...but even when sales are lackluster, getting in front of the press and the consumer is "priceless".
GEN ART has been doing Pop-Up sales for quite some time. They bring in some of the best new talent in (sadly) what is more of a trade show format (no real branding potential) and allow brands to sell their product at a deep discount. Don't get me wrong...I love GEN ART, as they have done so much great work to help fledgling designers, but I would challenge them to step up their Pop-Up efforts, to provide full-price retail opportunities that really allow brands to put their best foot forward. When young brands are always selling at a discount, it degrades their product!!!
SAVE FASHION is going on now, at INVEN.TORY on Lafayette between Spring and Prince (my favorite outlet store for indie brands). If you recall, I covered their first event back in the Spring. The first sale was housed at the Port Authority (crappy space), but included the top contemporary brands in the market, like Gryphon, Helmut Lang and Rag & Bone at 70% off. Their newest sale is in a cool space, but feels like a big sample sale...no branding at all (the first was so well merchandised). That said, it is definitely a must go if you love emerging fashion, with "good" prices for Vena Cava, Rag & Bone, Sophomore and many others. SAVE FASHION was always intended to be a liquidation sale, so the name is sort of an oxymoron...can you really SAVE FASHION by always being on sale???? Great idea...time to take it to another level.
FADMASHION is a great resource if you want to find new brands, but I wish they would become more proactive in terms of really helping the brands they service. With New York Magazine as one of their supporters, there is so much more they could be doing. Yes, of course I think they should be in the Pop-Up business...if you are reading this FADMASHION gang, call me!!!
Finally, on to my company, GRACE GROUP. My last Pop-Up event was a few weeks ago at my favorite NYC venue OPENHOUSE GALLERY. It was called ROCK-N-SHOP and included about 30 brands. I also "popped-up" 5 live rock bands to really make it engaging and interesting for the consumer. It was a huge success on many levels...great turnout opening night, some brands did really well financially (everything was full price) and others really went all out to brand themselves. If everything was on sale, would it have been better...sure! But, I am going to continue to argue that the discount culture only hurts these brands and that the GEN ART's, the SAVE FASHION's of the world should come together to stop the sale madness!!!!
For the industry...take note! For my loyal readers, head over to SAVE FASHION! Collectively if we continue to create exciting shopping opportunities and yes, continue to spend, perhaps in time, we actually can "save fashion"!!!