Changing the Beauty Channel for HD MakeupMay 1, 2008
Our television sets are getting sharper, camcorders are zooming in for detailed close ups and even web cams are now able to produce rich, high quality pictures. Are we really ready for the close up? With the advent of HDTV in 2009, Hollywood won’t be the only place that demands picture-perfect looks. Consumers are picking up the trends in HD makeup to ensure a flawless complexion and supreme coverage under every light and camera angle.
HD-ready technologies right around the corner means every detail will be hitting that lens and magnified for better picture quality. TV and media professionals are already shifting gears in wardrobe and makeup to accommodate for the change, opting for bolder and more refined styles of clothing, and richer, deeper tones for makeup. Since standard formulas don’t cover up skin pigmentation, fine lines and other imperfections, the class of ‘high definition makeup’ may be the answer for creating those flawless looks under the microscopic lens of HD technologies. The consumer beauty market is also changing the channel by stocking up on high definition (HD) makeup from the nearest beauty counter.
By picking up just the right amount of light and making the skin appear naturally smooth, HD makeup is changing the way beauty addicts across the country are selecting and applying basic cosmetics. From emollient-rich foundation to silk-based loose powder, HD makeup is infused with an extra dose of vitamins, minerals and mattifying ingredients to withstand the heat of the spotlight and create a sharp, flawless look for an unforgiving camera.
To create eyes that mesmerize during closeups, MAC Cosmetics presents the Zoom Lash Mascara with a thickening formula and deep, sultry color. The mascara is designed to lift, lengthen and curl the lashes in one easy sweep, and promises to be smudgeproof as last for hours under the camera’s eye. At the drugstore, Max Factor has launched its Vivid Impact Mascara with a highlighting top coat and a tint of color. This formula adds more definition to the lashes without clashing with eyeshadow, and the super-rich formula strengthens and lengthens lashes to the max.
Creating flawless, smooth and youthful skin is perhaps the biggest challenge for makeup artists preparing for the critical cameras on the runway or movie sets. Smashbox Cosmetics serves as one of the leading picks for camera-worthy looks with its high definition foundation collection. The Healthy FX formulas promise to be a revolutionary ‘cell-energizing formula’ that provide a boost of hydration for the skin and also contain SPF 15 – perfect for those outdoor shots at the beach. With its thick and pliable consistency, the Smashbox formula goes on smooth as silk and covers up almost every imperfection.
Since every foundation needs a powder finish partner; the Make Up Forever Matte Loose Powder manages to reflect natural light for a polished look and provide smudge-free coverage. The powder settles like dust onto foundation, concealer and eyeshadow to set everything in place. High definition foundation, combined with a silk-based loose powder may be the ideal combination for the in-demand flawless finish.
And when it comes to creating the perfect movie star pucker, Vincent Longo brings us a lip gloss with a lacquer-like finish that would make Marilyn Monroe jealous . Instead of settling for a glossy gel look for the lips, beauty enthusiasts can enjoy three-dimensional shine in a lineup of rich, vibrant colors.
The classic makeup tricks of Hollywood makeup artists may soon be a thing of the past with the latest developments in high definition makeup. When its time to perform under fluorescent lights and zoom in for a close up, only the best foundations, lip tints and mascara can create the bold looks we’ll be yearning for in the next generation.
Consumer Spending Recession Won’t Stop Retail Growth PlansFebruary 1, 2008
With the consumer market in a flux and spending recession in tow, it’s easy to understand why retailers across the luxury, discount, and online segments are scrambling for sales. The 2007 holiday season rung in only modest sales for retailers across all divisions, and this past January has shown very few signs of an upswing.
Poor performing brands and plummeting retail sales are keeping retailers on the lookout for ways to boost consumer interest and buy, buy, buy – not say goodbye to their usual spending habits.
The New York Times reports that sales fell dramatically in December for both big box retailers and department stores. From the luxury goods at Saks Fifth Avenue to the trendy brands at Nordstrom, there was no sign of shopping sprees this holiday season – consumers waited to make purchases during the post-season markdowns and clearance sales instead. (Source: NYTimes.com,
Jan 11 ’08). The housing slump was just the start of the snowball effect late last year, and the effects trickled into the retail industry with a severe drop in consumer spending.
Still, companies including Coach report aggressive sales and growth this past quarter, with sales ‘well ahead of expectations’ according to Lew Frankfort, Chairman and CEO of Coach, Inc. The Earnings Call transcript for F2Q08 reflects this luxury retailer’s strong position for the spring season ahead, and Coach is continuing expansion efforts in both online and offline projects.
Kohl’s Corp. recently signed an agreement to license the Dana Buchman brand and grow its luxury lifestyle division. The brand is
designed by Liz Claiborne, Inc. and will offer yet another price point for women who want more options to purchase affordable designer clothing. Kohl’s has already begun stimulating sales with its Vera Wang collections, and now Dana Buchman will offer more options in shoes, intimate apparel, accessories, and even beauty and fragrance. The brand is scheduled to launch in early 2009;
the move is just one example of retailers that won’t let an oncoming recession make an impact on their growth strategy.
Charlotte Russe, the retailer of young women’s and misses apparel, also reported an increase in sales through the end of December 2007. The company expects further increases for January and February with a slight increase in earnings per share for 2008. The 440 stores across the country continue to offer value-prices for the growing teen, young women, and misses segments, and consumers worldwide can enjoy the brand online. Charlotte Russe is standing strong amongst other mall-based competitors such as New York & Co. that reports sluggish sales this period.
In spite of the fluctuating consumer economy, consumers may experience more opportunities to build up spending power. With the Federal Reserve’s interest rate cuts this past month, and the Bush administration’s plans to send out tax rebates to consumers in 2008, consumers just may flex their newfound buying power.
The Associated Press reports that President Bush and Congress are working on a rebate that equates to $300 – $600 or more in consumers’ pockets by tax season:
“United for urgent action, the White House and Congress raced toward emergency steps to …rescue the national economy from a possible recession, including tax rebates of at least $300 a person — and maybe as much as $800.”
As apparel retailers and designers make furious attempts for recovery from the poor performing holiday quarter, many may soon see an increase in sales, albeit a modest one, after taxes are filed and claimed this year. The cuts are one attempt to stimulate sales and encourage consumers to simply spend more, and retailers in all divisions just may be looking forward to more favorable sales ahead.
Tech-Savvy Fashionistas Thrive on Social Shopping SitesNovember 1, 2007
Gone are the days when store promotions and newsletters were the only way to learn about the latest trends. Today, the average shopaholic can find a wealth of information about new products, brands and collections by joining a social shopping network. Right in step with holiday season, social shopping networks lead the way in promoting brands and products, rounding up enthusiastic shoppers who provide insights and commentary on their latest discoveries and preferred products. A combination of blogging and MySpace-style social networking, the online revolution of social shopping and Web 2.0 is making life in the retail lane far more valuable than a trip to the store.
Product recommendations and testimonials on company websites are pushed aside with consumer-generated opinions on sites such as StyleFeeder, ThisNext, and StyleHive. Each platform offers a place to find profiles of many A-list bloggers from the shopping, beauty and style domain, along with thousands of loyal brand followers and fashion-savvy shoppers. Products are ranked according to popularity, along with insights, comments, and opinions about each item. With free membership and easy navigation, these sites are helping many shoppers learn the art of comparing and discovering the latest trends. It’s word-of-mouth marketing at its best, a place for like-minded shoppers to share, promote, discover, and their latest finds.
‘Blogrebities’ are one part of the fast-growing crowds populating social networking sites today. Each site is home to its own set of niche communities, a combination of actual brand representatives, fashion magazine editors , style bloggers, and even on-screen celebrities that share their knowledge and insights on what they like each season—and in some cases, what is simply no longer en vogue.
StyleFeeder launched in February 2007 to lead the way in the social shopping experience. As one of the web’s first ‘personal shopping engines,’ StyleFeeder encourages users to shop with friends within a personal shopper community. Making the right decision before a purchase is easy with a simple download; recommendations and search results are personalized so that every fashionista can make the best decision with ratings, comments, and feedback from Style Experts on the site. Celebrity StyleFeeders showcase a few famous closets and wish lists; Mary Kate Olsen and Kelly Rowland are just two celebrities that are ready to share their thoughts on style with millions of fans.
ThisNext is one of the largest social shopping networks, a powerful search engine that hosts profiles of all types of shoppers, along with even more celebrity participants. ThisNext brings like-minded shoppers together, featuring its signature ‘BlogIt’ tool that allows users to embed their wish lists on their own blog, and a ‘Shopcasting’ feature to share the latest lists and discoveries with thousands of readers. ThisNext’s keyword and tagging features also make it easy to search and filter by category. From gifts for grandma to an exotic honeymoon idea, a quick search is all it takes to discover what the world is actually buying—and thinking about.
StyleHive is a global social shopping community, a feature-rich shopping site that allows users to rate, rank, and explore thousands of products with ease. StyleHive allows shoppers to build their own shopping magazine to create a following all their own; sharing bookmarks, sending out wish lists, and creating themed personal lists are just a few ways to climb the ranks of this community shopping site. A ranking of active and new participants also makes it easy to find out who to trust for noteworthy recommendations, and users can become ‘followers’ of the most active Hive members to track the latest insights and discoveries.
Each social shopping site runs several themed newsletters, contests, and other promotions to draw potential shoppers in for the latest news. From bargain hunting to finding the ultimate in luxury, it’s easy to build and share a wish list—and take part in a popularity contest. Users interested in promoting blogs and websites can also include direct links to specific posts, directing hundreds of viewers to the source of their latest discovery.
Today’s tech-savvy shopper no longer relies on magazines, television, or newsletters for the latest news on fashion. A social shopping community offers plenty of benefits, allowing shoppers around the world to share their likes and dislikes in a fresh—and even addictive—way.
70s Flashback for FallOctober 6, 2007
Buckling down with the ‘70s flashback this year, designers around the globe are eager to offer us ruffled accents, boisterous prints, and a smattering of metallic babydolls and platforms to pull together a chic revival on the runway. While the sexy minidresses and belted coats bring us a fresh wave of knits this Fall, there’s still room for tunic tops and oversized accessories to make this season another decade to remember.
Oversize Knit Parade
Though fashion experts were ready to call it the end of flowy tops and oversized ensembles after Summer ’07, the revival is back in action with a new spin on sweater dresses, cardigans, and belted coat. Sweater dresses accessorized with oversized scarves and mockneck collars are a fresh take on last year’s emphasis on cowel and v-neck cuts. Flow, flair and extra material have moved downward instead, with flared and pleated topped with a fitted corset belt and ruffled blouse. At the office or just playing dress-up, the masculine and feminine balancing act comes into play with tuxedo-style dressing, ruffled accents, and straight-as-a board silhouettes.
Grey Days Ahead
Fall’s ‘new black’ is no longer green (or pink), as grey and pewter lead the way in almost every knit cardigan, leather accessory, and silk suit ensemble. It’s also the season of transformation and simple conversions; the oversized grey cardigan is a minidress, the silver clutch transforms into a handbag, and the long tunic sweater is paired with leggings and wedges for a ‘70s flashback of its own.
Proportion and Balance
Stella McCartney’s grey and white collections on the runway offer just one example of the oversized proportion at play. Cozy grey wraps, trapeze capes, and petticoat dresses paired with double breasted coats offer a line of sporty chic. For coats with a more formal touch, Burberry unveils a fresh collection of non-plaid wool coats with military accents and slim silhouettes; not the norm for the traditionally tartan designer, and an easy match for Fall’s masculine-inspired outfits. Belted coats lead the way with 5”+ wide belts in glossy patent leather and metallic hues. No longer fit for the hip hugging crowd, the belts are worn above the waist to bring out an hourglass silhouette on any tunic top, dress, or suit.
High waisted skirts are another tribute to epic proportions from the ‘70s, an opportunity to emphasize the hourglass figure with elegant pencil skirts and body-cinching styles. Retro inspiration from Marc Jacobs sheds some light on the power of plaid and Brit-inspired looks. The mod-ish look easily comes together with high waisted skirts, bows and ruffle accents, and printed scarves worn around the neck. The days of scarf-as-belt are no more; with the emphasis on super skinny or extra-wide accents around the waist, there’s simply no room for ribbon accents and accessories.
The retro print minidress affords us an opportunity to enjoy a blast from the past, with Diane von Furstenberg wrap dresses in eccentric colors and designs. The year calls for one-piece ensembles—hold the layers—with simple pairings of minidresses with leggings and the wrap dress paired with ballet flats or metallic peep-toe pumps. Roberto Cavalli sizes up python prints and animal print sheath dresses and skirts, bringing back the exotic skins of last year with a fresh spin.
Rising Stars Shine Bright at the CFDASeptember 20, 2007
When Diane von Furstenberg invites you to her studio, it’s probably for more than browsing her latest collection with a cocktail in hand.
This July, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) inducted thirty new recruits for the lineup of designers in the community, an event to spotlight rising talent within the network of industry veterans. While Tommy Hilfiger, John Bartlett, and Mary McFadden greeted the fresh faces with gracious applause, the studio was transformed with a platform and banquette to honor only the best in class.
The year’s inductees are a group of designers from varied backgrounds and unique contributions; from jewelry and accessories, to dresses and evening wear ensembles, each recruit entered only after a rigorous application process and review. Making it to the inner circle is far from an easy affair; members are chosen by the board of directors after an extensive voting process, interview, and review of recent collections.
Executive Director Steven Kolb reports that this was one of the largest groups of applicants in the CFDA’s 45-year history. Each new member can enjoy honorary recognition and support from some of the top professionals in the industry. A few new names on the council’s roster this season include Philip Lim, Tory Burch, Rachel Roy, and Jean Yu.
Philip Lim made it to the finalist list with the 3.1 Phillip Lim collection, a line that has extended to over 250 stores and boutiques in the United States, and 26 outlets and stores worldwide. The designer also scooped up the 2007 Swarovski Award for Womenswear. 3.1 Phillip Lim brings us classic cuts and contemporary style for Fall 2007; the season’s collection includes a range of smock shirts, wide-leg cigar pants, soft wool cardigans, and accessories in bold red, blue, and black.
Tory Burch pulls together a women’s sportswear and accessories collection for her new position on the council. Recognized as a market leader for sophisticated American design that is tailored for style-conscious women, the line draws together both classic and timeless pieces with modern flair. This season’s highlights include bold reds, blue, brown, and khaki pieces with clear-cut silhouettes and simple lines. The Natalie Dress and Kip Coat offer a few fresh additions to the year’s Fall collection.
Sustainable Design: The Rise of the Eco-Friendly DesignerJuly 10, 2007
The murmurs and rumors that green really is the new black filtered throughout the crowds at New York Fashion Week, and a turn towards the environment with eco-friendly fashions and sustainable design has hit the top spots on many designer radars. Public angst about global warming, sweatshops, fair trade practice, and animal-friendly business practices has generated a need for a shift in perspective. From the effects of global warming, to trade and business practices that make many of the world’s most coveted goods, a focus on the environment has reached the top of the agenda for many industries.
While handmade crafts and boutiques that focus on sustainability have become unique segment of the fashion and lifestyle market, eco-friendly fashion is going mainstream with the help of designers and runway showcases that deliver a fresh, even compelling message. While clothing execs and buyers are hoping that the niche organic apparel department continues to grow, designers are turning their sights on fresh and inventive ways to make use of natural clothing, patterns, fabric, and drawing inspiration from nature.
Sustainable design is lending a helping hand, stretching out into the areas of food, beauty products, and interior design; today’s leading brands offer organic materials and nature-based ingredients for thousands of products. In hopes of bringing nature home in more ways than one, specialty and luxury goods are taking on a shade of green—and all in good taste. From luxury home furnishings to art and décor, organic construction and a focus on nature have created a desirable market in themselves.
The demand for quality, natural, and sustainable products is rising with the trends to bring forward a new standard for consumers. Sustainable design also means sustainable practices; from ensuring that fair trade policies are followed and setting new
guidelines for business, companies are setting new standards with the appeal of social consciousness and awareness.
Heading over to the fashion world, we’re seeing the same impact unfold with the launch of eco-apparel, ‘green’ clothing, and plenty of natural cotton and hemp accessories to complete the season’s latest looks. Designers such as Linda Loudermilk offer refined and polished looks; we don’t detect a trace of hippie culture in this collection filled with sophisticated, clean, and luxurious designs. From cotton dresses with mandarin collars, to exquisite shirts with sheer black trimming, the collections turn to natural
fibers and fabrics with the influence of the Paris and New York runways by their side. Linda Loudermilk successfully created LUXURY ECO™ Stamp of Approval project in conjunction with the launch of the attractive line. The stamp is intended to accredit products, services, and business practices after a careful review process. Those who meet the requirements are granted official approval which identifies their commitment to positive change in the environment, labor practices, and product design.