Posts tagged Events

The New Black… Friday

imageThanks to the crumbling economy and my dwindling bank account, I’ve restricted my clothing intake to mere window-shopping (oh what fun!). During one of my recent browsing-only excursions at Saks Fifth Avenue, I was dumbfounded upon discovering dozens of “Pre-Sale” racks filled with unsold discounted designer duds on the sales floor, something unheard of at the beginning of November! Sales of this magnitude typically don’t start until after Thanksgiving (a.k.a. Black Friday). This prompts the question: how are retailers responding to such quick and major shifts in consumer buyer behavior in times of such economic uncertainty and volatility?

Lucky for you, I recently attended the Fashion Group International’s seasonal Prêt-a-Porter event in New York, where I witnessed a panel of leading fashion influencers (Barneys’ Simon Doonan to Vogue’s Sally Singer) banter about a host of these related topics. I don’t know about you, but as an avid shopper, I’m dying to know what tricks retailers have up their sleeves for luring customers in during what’s arguably the most dismal holiday season since the Great Depression. So before you plan your next shopping jaunt, do yourself a favor and arm yourself with these newfangled retail strategies. Read more after the Jump!

imageShopping Will Be More Fun. To boost business, retailers such as Barneys New York are looking for non-traditional ways to further engage the customer. Rather than pressure people to buy, they’re focusing on interactive in-store events that encourage shoppers to let loose and have fun. So in celebration of Woodstock’s upcoming 40th anniversary, Barneys is pushing their “Have A Hippie Holiday” ad campaign. Picture decked out window displays filled with boho-inspired fashions, psychedelic peace signs and corresponding sidewalk events that are expected to lure you into the shop. Peace out!

Less Equals More. Clothing collections are being scaled back and carefully edited to prevent overstock. The benefit for shoppers: a wider variety of clothing will be sold at more attainable price points.

imageShow Your True Colors. Retailers’ are encouraging customers to bring individuality back into their wardrobes. Since so many people are unemployed and don’t have an office to go to, now’s the time to experiment with clothes and push the envelope. Referred to as “intuitive dressing,” retailers are pushing a mix of unexpected patterns, colors and prints to excite customers and ultimately provoke a much-needed emotional uplift. As Barneys’ Simon Doonan remarked: “When times are tough, we have to look more fabulous and glam than usual to lift spirits.” So don’t be shy… dust off that gold lamé zebra-print dress and celebrate life!

We’re Shopping In Our Closets. Much to the dismay of retailers, consumers, including yours truly, have been rediscovering staples from their very own wardrobes. Consequently, retailers now have to work harder to offer clothes that make the customer feel truly special as well as complement existing items in their closets.

imageLipstick Sales are Surging. During times of economic uncertainty, women inevitably load up on affordable luxuries as a substitute for more expensive items like Nicholas Kirkwood shoes (his purple platforms are killer!) and Chloé handbags. As a result, there’s been a 40% surge in lipstick sales, also known as the “Lipstick Effect,” a phrase coined by Leonard Lauder, who saw a huge jump in Estée Lauder lipstick sales after September 11th. Not surprisingly, retailers predict that red lipstick will continue to be a big trend for spring.

Quality Control is Key. Rather than throw money away on multiple, lower-cost items (Hello, H&M!), retailers suggest splurging on a few investment pieces such as a coat, blazer or little black dress. That way you’ll have quality pieces with a much longer shelf life. 

Contemporary is Cool. Due to the tanking economy, a proliferation of hipper, more contemporary clothing lines have infiltrated the market. Rising stars in this rapidly-growing category include 3.1 Phillip Lim, Rag & Bone (my personal fave), Hunter Dixon, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Vince and Theory, all of which offer catwalk-worthy designs at more attainable price points than their upscale counterparts.

Comparison Shopping is Catching On. The best way to ensure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck is to visit comparison-shopping sites such as and before you buy. These sites enable you to search for just about any designer item by name and will instantly tell you how much that particular item costs along with a list of major e-tailers that carry it. This will save you from making costly impulse purchases. Plus, when you haggle at your favorite department store, you can mention you saw those butt-firming Seven jeans for $30 cheaper online and they’ll likely match the price.

imageLayaway is Making a Comeback. Believe it or not, but layaways, a payment practice that became popular during the Great Depression but dissipated due to the prevalence of credit cards, is suddenly back in fashion thanks to the credit crunch. So the next time you’re at your favorite store and find yourself drooling over that Diane von Furstenberg sequined vest, it’s worth asking the sales associate if you can put a down payment on the piece (typically 20% of the cost) and bring it home once you’ve paid it off. Just make sure you can cough up the cash before the pre-determined purchase date (typically eight weeks) or you’ll likely be stuck with a store credit.

What’s your take on the shifting retail landscape? Would you consider layaway? Would you sacrifice quality for quantity? Perhaps you’ve curtailed your holiday shopping altogether? Don’t be shy… share your thoughts with the Fashion Junkie community!

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Filed: News & Views, Trends


Haute Retail Happenings… In Harlem?!

imageAs a New York-based shopping editor, I’ve seen many cool retail concepts in my time. But the one I’m about to tell you about totally blew my mind. Frugal fashionistas, better get your flats and MetroCards ready!

Rather than head to the Lower East Side for my usual Saturday shopping sojourn, tomorrow I’ll be trekking north, thanks to the launch of Harlem’s Uptown Emerging Designers Market (UEDM). A hot new retail destination for cutting-edge wardrobe essentials, the UEDM is a bi-monthly market that will feature 50 of the country’s top emerging designers’ wares, including apparel, handbags, jewelry and décor.

Held at Harlem’s Hip Hop Culture Center, a massive gallery space, the UEDM will be previewing a plethora of mouth-watering merch at prices that won’t break the bank. Some designs I can’t wait to check out: Jamhuri Wear (funky African-inspired street wear), Mifflin Jewelry (a luxe bauble line with beautiful vintage details), Harriet’s Alter Ego (one-of-a-kind frocks for forward-thinking peeps), Denise Beckford (stylish safari blouses) and so many others.

If that wasn’t enticing enough, this high-energy buying extravaganza will also feature live DJ beats, complementary cocktails, swag bags and a Hip Hop History Exhibit, all of which will be held under one roof! Judging from the buzz surrounding the UEDM’s debut, you’d better show up at least 30 minutes before doors are scheduled to open. See you there!

  • The Retail Details!

  • What: Uptown Emerging Designers Market Launch!
  • When: Saturday, May 17th & Sunday, May 18th
  • Time: 11am-7pm
  • Where: Hip Hop Culture Center, Magic Johnson Theatre, 2nd Floor, 2309 Frederick Douglas Blvd., NYC
  • Website:
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Filed: Shop Talk


Sally Tseng Trunkshow!

imageIf you happen to live in or around the NYC Metro area, here’s something you might wanna check out.

Sally Tseng, a Big Apple-based designer who’s known for her meticulously tailored and fashion-forward frocks, is throwing an exclusive trunkshow at Jirisuda (a hot NoLita boutique) tomorrow night.

Round-up your posse and head to Jirisuda to sip some bubbly, schmooze and of course, shop! Plus, you’ll receive a 10% discount on all Sally Tseng items purchased at the event.

Happy shopping!

The Retail Details!
What: Sally Tseng Trunkshow
Where: Jirisuda, 248 Elizabeth Street, NYC (btw Prince & Houston)
When: Thursday, May 8th
Time: 5-8pm
Phone: 212-941-1101

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Over Under NYC: Runway Presentation Series

imageIf you live in Manhattan and don’t have plans this Thursday night, why not join me and other fellow fashionistas at Over Under – the first of many runway shows featuring the city’s hottest emerging fashion talent.

Picture a live version of Project Runway (sans the ‘tude) with instant access to industry insiders (tomorrow’s event is sponsored by The Fashion Mini and Fashion Week Daily) and under-the-radar designers such as Linda Loudermilk, Tara Jarmon (my personal fave), Nature vs. Future and Sinner Saint.

This cutting-edge concept was conceived by Jonathan Ressler, co-founder of Underground NYC – a new emerging designer marketplace and style venue in SoHo that you have to check out. 

Following tomorrow’s kick-off event, Over Under will continue to host regular monthly presentations showcasing newcomers in various categories including men’s and women’s designer and contemporary, swimwear, lingerie, eco-friendly and streetwear. Hope to see you there!

The Retail Details!
What: Over Under Runway Presentation Series
Where: Underground-NYC, 440 Broadway (btw Grand & Canal)
When: Thursday, March 20th, 2008
Time: 6:30pm


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Fashion Junkie’s New Editor Blog On

Calling all web junkies! I’m proud to report that you can now read about my daily confessions and obsessions on the “new and improved” (the Canadian equivalent of Lucky magazine, but with a more European twist). Check out my very own Editor Blog for more of the same insider fashion and beauty buzz that you’ve come to know (and love!) on Fashion Junkie.

Happy shopping!

Fashion Junkie


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