WYSIWYG? Not in my store!

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Hey everyone,

This week was crazy, just like the first one. The work here is wonderful… and tough. We have a 14-hour schedule that includes photo-shooting, store sales, marketing campaigns, contacting the suppliers… at the same time. 😉

The very first thing I learned is that working in a smaller company forces you to be more authentic and more dedicated. If one person gets sick in a 10,000 employee company, this will mean 1/10,000 of the company work for that day. In a 20 employee company, well, I know you got my point anyway 🙂

Working with fashion also requires more attention to the details. One customer experience can be ruined by a missing size of the shirt she luved or by an incorrect comment from your top sales consultant. One HUGE mistake I learned is to make that 5-second mental profile of a customer when she (only because our store is designed for the ladies, ok?) comes to the store.

I see that happening all the time! One customer comes to the store without much sparkling in her eyes, or maybe she’s with her daughter and you thing she’ll never stop to by new shoes or maybe you get a bad impression from her first boring comment. And then you pay even more attention to her because you learned that the customer experience is as important as a good sale and she turns to be your best customer of the week. I just LUV this store experiences. The magic, I mean the science of shopping, specially for the girls, is soooo sophisticated and should be more explored.

So, the first thing I’ve learned from helping in the store: What You See Is NOT What You Get! (please don’t make comments saying I’m misusing the expression because that’s exactly what I wanna do 😉 ). Stop characterizing your customers and treat everyone like a Queen. All in all, you’re not there to sell products, you’re selling a lifestyle, an experience 🙂 (sounds like Chanel, right? – that can’t be wrong)

Best 4 U,

XOXO

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My very first “Fashion Week”

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Hey girls,

Sorry for being so….. away from here! My first week was C-R-A-Z-Y!!! I’m working like 12 hours a day and after I leave the office, I also have dinner with my colleagues and… well, we just talk about fashion and that means work for us 😉

The very first thing I learn about this market is that it’s hard to succeed in any area related to fashion. Although people tend to judge fashion as an “art” (and fashion is PURE art), there’s a complex production system, a giant web that is mixed everywhere in the world… a swimsuit made in Brazil is distributed by an american company to a Dubai represent ant that also sells for Bali, for example.

The ambient is tense in the fashion business, schedules are always tight and there’s no correct formula to “go-to-market” your products: one huge success in one market may be your biggest failure just around the corner.

Another difference I noticed was that everything was correct about “The Devil Wears Prada” – you have the greatest and the meanest people on fashion and it’s wise to rapidly decide your side (I promise I’m on the Good side girlz! I’m following the Google mantra: Don’t Be Evil).

Next week we’ll start to decide the details about the new collections, the stores, the showroom and hopefully about getting into a real Fashion Week show. And I’ll share for sure.

Hope to hear from you as well…

XOXO

PS: the lovely picture of the fashion news girl is a cut from a original picture posted on jwthibideaux blog (http://jwthibideaux.wordpress.com/). Thanks for the inspi.

RE: How to stand out from the crowd?

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There might be quite  a few things you must have to succeed in the fashion business. It’s like this in every single business in the world. During my decision period (if you didn’t understand, please consider taking a look at the earlier topics), I have been listing some things that must be a must (eh!) to anyone who wants to shine in this business and I had some great advices as well.

People told me a lot of things about the market, how it works, how it doesn’t work but in general I could apply 99% of the advices for any professional situation. In the other hand, I noticed that most of them insisted of telling me about four competences that should be crucial in the beginning, so I’m calling them “Crucial Competences with C”… and …….. there we go:

1) Communication: it’s all about communicating, to get to know people, make yourself understandable, present well your ideas BUT (an other big but) people usually tend to forget that communicating is about sending and receiving, uploading and downloading, talking and…. yes! listening! All the people I’ve met so far tend to be great speakers, almost a Barack Obama in the good days but people just don’t care about listening, getting the details, understanding different perspectives. In such a intangible business, listening is very important to get different concepts.

2) Creativity: this must be a common-sense but it never gets old. You can’t just repeat, copy or follow the trends and the brands, you must create your own brand mixing your own personality to a handful of mixed influences and create yourself to the business. If you were able to copy someone, we’d have tons of Chanels and Lagerfelds walking around us. Just do NOT do it. Copying is useless, so study, study and study. Read, read and read. Buy tons of magazines (yes, why not?), watch the TV shows, read books, try to get something from a different ART and try to explore for the fashion business… be inventive and original!

3) Credibility: it’s more of making the very own brand of you. To be credible, you should be reliable, trustworthy and a little predictable in the beginning. If you sound good, people will trust you. A common situation in markets based on creativity, arts is that people believe they don’t have to be 100% professional, that it’s all about being cool or smart. Wrong! In a market that not everyone is correct, it’s a big initial credit to maintain your starting reputation.

4) Confidence: do you remember when Becky Bloom met that Swedish (or was it Finnish?) guy in the conference and she didn’t know what to do? You’ll find yourself several times in such situations, so believe you feelings, your girl instincts (okay, if you are a guy, any instincts) and move forward. It’s never good to work with someone without attitude, self-confidence.

I hope you all like it and I will try to always check if I’m following my own advices.

XOXO

How much do Americans spend on apparel?

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I just read a nice report from Mint.com (which I use and luv it as I’m a big spender) about how much do Americans spend on apparel by city.

They have divided the spenders in four categories: 

– High Fashion High Rollers
– Trendy Spendies
– The Dapper Discounters
– The Nifty Thrifities

Some numbers got my instant attention because they are soooo obvious or simply surprises:

– Americans spend 15% to 23% of their spendings in apparel (sounds okay, doesn’t it?)

New Yorkers are the country’s Top Spenders (of course! They have LV, Prada, Chanel as much as Wallgreen’s!)

– The national average was US$ 161 per month and the average transaction was US$ 84 (hopefully my fiancé won’t read this)

– The New Yorkers are also the most frequent buyers with 2.9 fashion transactions per month (so did I yesterday….. oooops!) 😉


I know there’s a massive difference between these numbers per country, specially considering the financial situation in each place, but I believe the percentage of spendings on clothing should be equal to this in most of places (not considering lower income regions – I know it).

If you want to know who are the Trendy Spendies, The Dapper Discounters or The Nifty Thrifities cities, please CLICK HERE

Hope you find this useful or interesting 🙂

XOXO

Dress to impress at work?

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You all know this is my very first fashion job and that I’ve always dreamed about working with fashion. My first “girlie” decision I had in my first week working in a fashion company was about…. fashion. How should I get dressed to work in a fashion company? Should I dress to impress or should I dress accordingly to a marketing consultant in a small business with more serious clothing?

Well, based on my previous experiences, I’ve made up a(nother) small list of DO’s and DON’Ts in professional etiquette:

 

 

DO Look around: you won’t be wearing Chanel in a small startup internet (for example) or in an industrial company. You should look around and try to identify your company’s informal rules.

DO Keep your personality: don’t try to wear a clothe that doesn’t represent your personality. You’ll feel terrible and it will affect your integration with the workplace.

DO Dress your dreams: you want your bosses position in the future? Why not starting dressing like her? It’s not copying though, it’s more like understanding her style and showing you’re prepared to dress accordingly to a more senior position.

DON’T Use tight or loose clothes: Don’t try to fit in that lovely skirt you have if you feel you’re with a few extra pounds. People will notice that. Try to balance your clothes should feel comfortable on you.

DON’T Wear too many items: You know that combination you do with a lot of jewelry and that big earrings and accessories? Forget it. Less is more in the case. Think that you’ll be there for a long time (hopefully) and you don’t need to show all your weapon at once.

DON’T Go bankrupt: You don’t need to buy a new wardrobe every time you change your job or job position. It’s hard when – like me – you work in a fashion environment that you KNOW people will have a critic view of what you’re wearing BUT no panic: you’re not a fashion model that must be all perfect all the time.

“Want to know more about it?”

The best reference I’ve got on the subject came from the Jezebel.com (I promise), they have this great article about it: CLICK HERE

I read something about this Elle magazine Fashion at Work, but sincerely I haven’t read it yet but it “sounds” pretty cool actually. Does someone have a feedback on that?

Well, I should get ready to work now…. BUT….. with which shoes? 😉

XOXO

2011 in review thanks to WordPress! (luved it!)

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,700 times in 2011 and we have only started on November, 20th. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

My Very First Day At Work

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Hey girls,

Sorry for not being here for a while, I promise it won’t happen again! 🙂 Well, the good news is that I’m finally here in my first day at work.

Well, what can I tell you? First, I was very happy that I had a car waiting for me in the airport when I arrived and in the minute the driver picked me up, my boss called me to welcome me by (so cute, huh?)

I went to my temporary place (I’ll stay a couple of days with a friend until I find a house for me) and then I rented a car (I’m not giving you any more tips). When I finally arrived in the work place, I must admit I got very very satisfied. The company has a small store and sells it’s products worldwide and it has LOTS of potential. I’ll have a co-worker with me in the marketing functions but she’ll only be here in a couple of weeks, so I’ll do my best to impress my boss in the beginning when it’s just me and her …. oooops, it was kinda mean, wasn’t it?

It’s all for now, I wish you all again a happy new year and all the best for me as well 🙂

XOXO

Happy New Year

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I just wanted to wish you all the best year of your lives and all your dreams to come true in 2012.

Next week I’ll be traveling to my new job, finally decided after a couple of days away from here in a well-deserved trip 🙂

I’ll keep you all updated with the thrill of a new experience in the fashion business and all I learn about it.

Best,

XOXO

Study: The beauty of age

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Today I wanna share one other great study I found while studying. Once again, the Centre for Sustainable Fashion of the London College of Fashion made a study regarding  different approaches in personal care. This study was defined to understand the effect of different perspectives of skin management for women that are older than 65 years.

Direct from the website: “The project gathered initial information on several aspects that constitute and affect notions of beauty; aesthetic appearance (via photography), scientific data (via instrumental analysis of skin and expert grading) and cultural/historical context (via personal beauty histories). Two different approaches to the management of skin ageing were assessed ‘non-medical’ (characterised by acceptance of the changes in skin that come with age) and ‘medical intervention’ (characterised by the use of an arsenal of medicinal and technological tools in order to fight the signs of skin ageing). The projects aim was to answer the question does different approaches to skin ageing produce measurably different effects?” and to explore these in relation to the individual’s own ‘beauty philosophy’ and their personal history.”

And finally, the surprising main results have been published and presented in the 7th International Symposium on Cultural Gerontology in a paper entitled Theorizing age: challenging the disciplines. Want to know the answer? The key for the success in skin management? Well, I wouldn’t take all their credit for this great study, so please take a quick look at the final result by clicking here.

I found it’s great, in an aging population for the vast majority of the world, that more and more people try to perform studies and analyses about the older people. In less than 20 years, a quarter of the female population will be older than 65 in Europe, so the companies shouldn’t miss this business opportunity and people should learn more about this period of life. For the ones who are now working with fashion, have you ever considered this age group in your products or services? Do you understand their needs?

Serious, huh?!

XOXO

Luved it: Louis C.K.: “The Next Steve Jobs Will Be A Chick”

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I just luv to read, write and think about everything related to empower women, right? It’s not the case of thinking women are better than men, even when it’s true 😉 but it’s all about not having gender deciding the chances of anyone. It’s not just supporting Melanie Amaro in the X Factor Finals, even if she’s the best 🙂 🙂 but it’s showing the world so many talented girls that didn’t have the chance.

In a cool, fun article, Louis C.K. discussed why women are being empowered by the society and why will they be the innovators of the future. My favorite lines in the article were:

“Men are more like Microsoft: They’ll just make a fake version of what that chick made, then try to intimidate everybody into using their product.” – SOOO TRUE

“But on a deeper level of ability, my girls are interested in other people.

Take the internet blogs for an example: girls are much more connected to causes than boys, who are connected to things. Causes are way more engaging than things and understanding how to engage someone into a cause will, in my humble opinion, be the NEXT BIG THING.

I don’t mind having one thousand Steves ruling the world, but I DO thing the next revolution isn’t about technical possibilities but using them to connect people.

What do you all think about it?

To read the article (I almost forgot it 🙂 just click here)

XOXO