Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Bag It!

Starting today, Spence Chapin Thrift Shop, located at 1473 3rd Avenue (at 83rd street), is holding a bag sale. This is the deal...buy any bag ($50), and you can 'stuff it' with whatever you can. I suppose if you can fit a coat in there it's yours! Not a bad deal. Also, their current windows are full of fall merchandise...specifically shearling coats and jackets. Though the best one, a man's toggle coat that is very 'Michael Kors' inspired ( it looks small enough to fit a woman) won't be priced or available until after Labor Day. There is a chocolate brown long coat which is marked at $400, but is currently 30% off.

Sunday, July 28, 2002

New York Times Fashion Editor Amy Spindler Continues to Cross Over the
Line Between Cutting Edge Fashion Editorial and Bad Taste:

(click on image to enlarge)

I am hardly a prude, and believe firmly in creative freedom of the press. But in light of all the recent publicity surrounding the rash of kidnappings, sexual molestations and murders of young girls, I must say I found a few of the pictures in today's New York Times Magazine, ('Babes in Coutureland' ) which illustrated the 'I wanna look like Mom' trend a bit disturbing. Talk about bad timing, Spindler does it again!

-marilyn kirschner

...And here is our original April 23 2002 editorial called : Bad Girls Or Just Bad Taste?

(click on image to enlarge)

Bad Girls Or Just Bad Taste?

Just what message is this weekend's The New York Times Magazine Style section trying to send with this editorial on message t-shirts called 'What's Your Sign"? These models are either very young or made to appear very young. With overdone makeup and suggestive styling, the editors have painfully missed the mark.

Is the above feature part of the new face the Style section is struggling to create to remain relevant? If so, editor Amy M. Spindler is walking a thin line between cutting edge fashion editorial and child pornography.

In response to the above item goes are some observations e-mailed to us from a well known New York fashion publicist:

"It reminds me of the Calvin ads he did. You know the ones, deemed "kiddie porn" the shots were of young 'tweens and early twenty somethings photographed in a room full of paneling (though we did have paneling when I was young), but it was done in a pornographic sexual way...Too bad b/c that was a pr nightmare....I don't wish that upon any of my clients. Everything old should not be new again - and today the message that kids are sending whether written on their shirts or projected under globs of make up are an accident waiting to happen. These kids can not handle what they are walking into. And that isn't creative! "

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Rainy Days and Mondays (through Saturdays):

The newly opened Miu Miu store (in the space that was formerly known as Jenny) which came upon the scene with a minimum of fanfare and publicity, is located at 831 Madison Avenue, between 69th and 70th streets. Filling the windows, shelves, and racks, are fall/winter items that will have you praying for rain. Well, almost. The rainy day inspired waxed cotton separates that range in price from about $600 to $800 are water repellent though not completely waterproof. But for those who have long dreamed of rubber boots that are chic and elegant, their high heeled patent leather galoshes - which sell for $395, and available in black, beige, or red - should do the trick (see photo above). Also perfect for rainy days are the brimmed patent leather rain hats, available in black and red ($215).

Another sure best seller, and one that will probably grace many of the fashion flock, is the very YSL inspired pussycat bow blouse, in purple chiffon ($680). The store is open from Monday through Saturday...it is closed on Sunday.

Full Frontal Fashion: So Much Celebrity-Dumb?

Metro Channel's 'Full Frontal Fashion' is getting funnier and funnier. Tuned in the other night and watched the interview they had with Us Weekly Editor Bonnie Fuller. Bonnie went on and on talking about "celebrity-dumb" this and "celebrity-dumb" that. We knew what she meant but for a moment we thought she had developed a sense of humor. We really could not stop laughing; it was a true "Full Frontal" moment.

And speaking of "Full Frontal" moments, wide-eyed wonder Judy Licht was down deep on her knee-pads, in true Lauren Ezersky fashion, with her interview yesterday in the Hamptons with New York designer Nicole Miller. The sound of all her ass-kissing was deafening. The only thing positive we can say is how much better Judy looks in sunglasses.

Sunday, July 21, 2002

Editor Marilyn Kirschner Again in Bill Cunningham's Column

(click on image to see larger version of picture)

This Sunday's New York Times "On the Street" photo column by Bill Cunningham is titled "Spin City" and features a number of well known editors and designers who attended the 'Walk of Fame' breakfast awards and who then posed for Bill on the newly installed beaux-arts Bryant Park carousel. Among those in the picture are Andre Leon Tally, Betsey Johnson and daughter Lulu, Audrey Smaltz, Patricia Underwood, Jean Rosenberg. Susan Dache, and our own contributing editor Bernadine Morris and editor-in-chief Marilyn Kirschner.

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

The Last 'Fashion Walk of Fame' Inductions:

(photo: Randy Brooke)

Fashion's Last 'Walk of Fame' Induction:
Speaking of Norma, the prolific and iconic designer was one of 8 fashion designers who were honored by the Fashion Center Business Improvement District at the well-attended (photo) and final 'Fashion Walk of Fame' unveiling ceremony, held at the Bryant Park Hotel. Kal Ruttenstein introduced her (photo), saying that she is "still enthusiastic after 33 years", and she admitted that she is doing what she loves most.

Andre Leon Talley was there to present Stephen Burrows (photo) with his award, Lulu Johnson did the honors for her mom, Betsey, (photo) and Bridget Foley introduced Marc Jacobs - who was not present (he is "in Paris working on Louis Vuitton", according to his business partner, Robert Duffy) who accepted for Marc (see Robert Duffy with Metro Channel's Constance White and Vogue's Andre Leon Tally (photo).

The four posthumous awards were given to Willi Smith (by sister Toukie), Lilly Dache (by daughter Suzanne), Perry Ellis (similarly honored by Isaac Mizrahi - who had worked for him), and 'Man of the Moment' Ralph Rucci (photo), who seems to be everywhere these days, was on hand to honor Mainbocher, someone who has admittedly been a tremendous influence throughout his career.

Monday, July 15, 2002

Where have you gone Randolph Duke?

Wonder what Randolph Duke is up to these days? I just spotted him on 'The View', in a segment where he talked about the summer's biggest trends, showing the audience how to get the look for less: the pareo (scarves tied in numerous ways to create different looks); straw bags (he showed how to buy them cheap, and decorate them yourself); do it yourself jeans (he demonstrated ways to decorate your own jeans without spending a fortune). As for hair, he showed how to make a chic ponytail (or add a false piece on)...an easy summer look - and you don't have to spend hours at the salon. Hmmm.....I've done all these myself for years!

Friday, July 12, 2002

Interesting Study Just Sent To Us:

Armani and Nike Top 'Brand Keys' Fashion Index
but Logos and Labels Seen Losing Consumer Appeal

NEW YORK, NY July 12­ A study of fashion and apparel brand labels and logos demonstrates their power declines over aging market segments. Armani and Versace turned in the most powerful performances, making the Top 10 among the youngest and the oldest age groups and with both sexes (only Armani made it among the "middle-aged" 35-44 group), according to the first Brand Keys Fashion Index, conducted by New York City-based marketing research consultancy Brand Keys (www.brandkeys.com).

Key findings:

Surprisingly, women were significantly more likely than men to report that
clothing logos and labels are now less important to them than they used to
be. Specifically, as of Spring 2002, women were 7.6 times more likely to
say that logos/labels were now less important to them.

Examining the results by the age, the oldest age group (45-59) was the most
likely to say that the importance of logos and labels had declined (69%).
Only 6% of this older group said they had become more important.

What was surprising was that even among the youngest age group (21 to 34),
over twice as many respondents said logos and labels are now less
important. "It appears that even among traditionally fashion-conscious
younger adults, a rejection of the use of one's clothes as a statement
about oneself seems to be taking place," said Passikoff.

Personal importance of specific logos and labels:

When asked about the personal importance of apparel logos and labels only
10% of respondents said that these symbols are now more important than

However, when asked about the value, importance, or desirability of
specific brand name labels and logos, a far larger percentage indicated a
growing desirability for a wide variety of brand names.

"We suspect this paradox is similar to what happens when consumers state
that they are not influenced by advertising, yet don't hesitate to cite TV
ads as a major source of information about the products and services they
use," added Passikoff.

For both men and women, and for respondents regardless of age, far and away
the single-most valuable "brand" logo or label was for "my favorite sports

Almost half (46%) of the respondents said that the label/logo of their
favorite team was important to them in terms of the clothing they wear. As
might be expected, men (55%) and ages 21-34 (58%) were much more likely
than other groups to say that the logo of their favorite team was important
to them.

"This finding clearly indicates the power and potential of sports licensing
and merchandizing in America today," noted Passikoff. "Needless to say,
the use of team logos to sell products must be conducted at the
local-market level, since sports team preferences are highly locally

For men, of the top 10 brands surveyed, four dealt with the four major
professional sports leagues (baseball, football, basketball, and hockey);
two dealt with athletic shoes (Adidas and Nike).

For women, except for Nike (the #1 brand surveyed), the other nine on the
Top 10 list are upscale fashion brands, from Armani and Dior to Versace and

"Looking at the results by age shows that the oldest group is the least
likely to indicate that the logos or labels of specific clothing brands are
now more important than they were previously.

The Top brands:

Among the 45-59 age group, Adidas is the #1 brand, while a number of
traditional, apparently still upscale, brands also made the Top 10 list:
Armani, Chanel, Perry Ellis, Ferragamo, Gucci, and Versace.

For the youngest group (ages 21-34), Nike was the #1 brand (just beating
out Fendi), while Adidas didn't make the top 10. Whereas Major League
Baseball and the NHL made the list among 45-59 year-olds, the NBA that
scored among the youngest group, and the NFL among those 35-44.

Logos, Labels, and Marks Assessed:

Abercrombie & Fitch, Adidas Bill Blass Brooks Brothers Burberry Calvin Klein Champion Chanel Dior DKNY Donna Karan Ellesse Fav. Sports Team Fendi Ferragamo Fila GAP Geoffrey Beene Georgio Armani Gucci Hermes Hugo Boss La Coste Levis London Fog Louis Vuitton MLB Nautica NBA NFL NHL Nike Paul Stewart Perry Ellis Polo Prada Puma Ralph Lauren Reebok Tommy Hilfigger Versace Yves Saint Laurent


Since 1998, Brand Keys has conducted its national bi-annual Customer
Loyalty Index survey on the leading brands, currently assessing 28 product
and service categories. This is a telephone survey conducted each wave
among a total sample of 16,000 men and women throughout the United States.
All respondents are between 21 and 59 years of age.

In the recently completed Spring 2002 wave, we added a series of questions
on the value or importance that consumers place on the brand name logos,
labels, and trademarks of the clothes they wear:

First, the respondents were asked to indicate the importance to them
personally of the brand name logos, labels, and trademarks of the clothes
that they wear, compared to how important they were to them "a few years
ago." The respondent choices were as follows: Much more important, More
important, About the same, Less important, or Much less important.

Second, the respondents were read a list of 41 brands (including the NFL,
NBA, MLB, and NHL, and "their favorite sports team. SEE COMPLETE LIST), and
for each, were asked the importance to them now, compared a few years ago,
of wearing clothing that carries that particular brand's label or logo.

Almost half of the Customer Loyalty Index respondents (7,500) were asked
this series of questions. As a result of this very large sample size, the
findings are highly statistically reliable.

len stein
914 712 2610

Thursday, July 11, 2002

Curated by Albert Lee, Editor, mediabistro.com????

mediabistro.com's THINK{drinks}:

SECRETS & LIES: Gossip Columnists Tell All!
Get the scoop! Learn the inner workings of the gossip columns, and hear outrageous tales from the celebrity trenches. Join us for a provocative evening with New York's premier divas of dish, including Michael Musto ("La Dolce Musto," The Village Voice), Jared Paul Stern ("Page Six," New York Post), Jeannette Walls ("The Scoop," MSNBC) and Marc Malkin ("Intelligencer," New York magazine).
Tuesday, July 16th, 2002
7:00 pm -- 9:00 pm EST
Pioneer Bar
218 Bowery (bet. Prince & Spring)
New York NY United States
$19 AvantGuild members
$25 Non-members

Mediabistro.com must be getting pretty desperate. It looks like to us the next stop for them is fuckedcompany.com? Can you imagine asking people to actually pay to hear this sad group talk? Our only question is for Jared Stern: When it is 10PM, do you know where Paolo Zampolli is?

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

'Fashion Walk of Fame' Induction Ceremony:

Wednesday July 17th at 9:30AM: by The Fashion Center honoring Lilly Dache, Perry Ellis, Mainbocher, Willi Smith, Stephen Borrows, Marc Jacobs, Betsey Johnson & Norma Kamali at The Bryant Park Hotel, 40 West 40th Street. By invitation - contact: 764-9600.

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

'Couture Envy'

Remember when Helmut Lang caused such a big stir, and chain reaction within the New York fashion community, when he decided to show well before Paris? Well, it seems just being before Europe is not enough....The 'new' status symbol will be getting a time slot during Paris couture week. Yohji Yamamoto, whose ready to wear is arguably on par with couture (I'm afraid that not too many other fashion designers can make the same claim), made news this season, when he showed his spring/summer 2003 collection months ahead of his fellow designers, kicking off couture week in the City of Lights. And of course, our very own Ralph Rucci, who has been getting a lot of well deserved publicity lately, is in Paris as the first American designer since Mainbocher, to have been invited by the Chambre Syndicale, to show at this prestigious time. The problem is, many run-of-the-mill designers, who probably shouldn't even be showing collections at all, will want to follow suit. In the meanwhile, speaking about Rucci, I have a feeling that his New York shows will be a lot harder to get into from now on, and that star editors like Anna Wintour and Glenda Bailey, who many not normally have attended, will be there front row and center!

Monday, July 08, 2002

The Fine Art of Copying

I thought it was interesting that New York Times fashion writer, Guy Trebay's column on fashion forgery, "Imitation Is the Mother of Invention", showed up - not in the 'Style' section - but was somewhat buried in 'Ideas & Trends' in 'The Week in Review'. Of course, this is not the first time that the paper's style scribes have dealt with the subject of fashion designers copying other fashion designers. We all know that almost everything can be traced back to something else...especially if you dig deep enough. The best quote was made by the photographer Pavesi, who described how Miuccia Prada loved a vintage Balenciaga coat she found at Didier Ludot in Paris so much, that she "took it and copied it. But I mean copied it exactly. And this is Miuccia's genius - to copy exactly."

Miuccia is not the only designer who has raised copying to an 'art' (which is why seeing pictures of Yohji Yamamoto's always inventive ready to wear collection, shown during Paris couture week, is so refreshing). Perhaps the CFDA should add 'perfect copying' to their list of annual awards.

Saturday, July 06, 2002

On-LIne Registration for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Press registration for the September 18th-23rd New York Fall 2002 RTW shows is now available online at mbfwnyc.com. Press registration deadline is August 2nd, 2002.

Monday, July 01, 2002

Amazon Looking For Partners to Sell Apparel On Its Site:

Bob Tedschi's E-Commerce Column in The New York Times today reports that Amazon is looking to open an online apparel store on their site by no later than early this Fall. This new online Mall first participants will probably be Nordstrom and the Gap and possibly Gap owned Banana Republic and Old Navy. Currently, Amazon already offers an assortment of designer clothes and accessories via LVHM's site eLuxury.com and Target Corporation's Amazon-based site. Click here to read full report.

DoubleClick Sells Ad Biz to L90:

The New York Times reported today that DoubleClick Networks, the internet advertising company is selling its advertising sales business to a former competitor L90 for $9.4 million in cash & stock and possibly another $8 million if certain sales conditions are met. It has been obvious for some time that DoubleClick wanted out of selling advertising for its network considering the depressed market of the last year or so.

Lookonline.com is a member of the DoubleClick Network and we have seen advertising revenue from their network sales drop by almost 90% over the last two years. This drop is even more onerous considering for every dollar of advertising DoubleClick sells on our site they get 60% as a commission. Click here to read full report.