JJ’s House: Your Bridal One-Stop Online Shop

If you believe what many clairvoyants are saying about 2019, then you know that 2019 promises to be a year of things coming to their ultimate fruition, as well as a year of incredible growth. Though the past couple of years have been tedious and in some folks’ estimation, schizophrenic, 2019 should be a brand-new ballgame, so to speak.

Look at it this way, 2019 is about your hopes and aspirations coming to fruition. And nothing is more aspirational and fairytale-like than a bride’s very special day. Most brides-to-be plan their wedding a year in advance of the actual date. (Well, that is the ideal formula.) And there is no better bridal site to help you select those ideal bridal extras, bridesmaid dresses and flower girl dresses, than JJ’s House.

JJ’s House, founded in 2007, is the global leading online retailer for wedding gowns, special event dresses, wedding party dresses, and accessories. Customers can browse the vast online selection and choose their favorite dresses with great satisfaction. JJ’s House prides itself on exceptional customer service, high quality, and affordable prices.

While picking out the bridal gown can be especially taxing, so can selecting the dresses for your bridal party. JJ’s House has a wide selection of great bridesmaid dresses, as well as the perfect dresses for flower girls. From A-Line Princess V-Neck dresses and A-Line Princess Scoop Neck gowns to Empire waisted dresses, Sheath dresses, Off-the-Shoulder dresses, and A-Line Sweetheart dresses. There is also a huge range of floor-length gowns, knee-length, and tea-length dresses. Still, the most outstanding assets to this wide selection is the price points and a color palette of 52 colors. Prices range from $90 to $150.

When comes to those adorable flower girl dresses, JJ’s House also has a unique selection. From knee-length to tea-length and floor length dress, JJ’s House is the go-to online destination for flower girls’ dresses. Additionally, JJ’s House has a plethora of flower girl dresses in fabrications ranging from sequined chiffon, satin tulle, and organza to lace, polyester cotton, and taffeta. Many of the flower girl dresses are currently on sale with 50% to 60% off, some dresses starting at $29.99.

Just remember, if your wedding day is quickly coming approaching, JJ’s House puts your priorities first and ships across the globe with such delivery services as DHL or UPS. JJ’ House provides expedited shipping as well as budget conscious options. As JJ’ House uses internationally trusted logistics providers, you gain peace of mind knowing that your important supplies will be there when you need them.

Understanding that planning for your wedding can be very stressful. JJ’s House delivers world-class customer service to ensure your shopping experience at JJ’s House is as smooth and pleasant as possible. Whether you have questions before you order or after your items have arrived, JJ’s House has experienced customer service professionals available via live chat or through fast response ticket system.

All images courtesy of JJ’s House

JJ’s House helps you save time and decrease stress by providing great choices at reasonable prices with superior customer service. Remember, a satisfied bride is a happy bride.

—Staff

Happy 2019!!!

Fashion is a reflection of the time each generation is experiencing. If this political upheavals and unrest last for more than a moment, you may find elements of that discord in fashion. New cultural perspectives and evolutions can have a presence in a fashion collection.

2019, as every year does, brings with it a new set of challenges and reinventions. Still, the very joy of existence is what keeps us striving for more enlightenment, more knowledge and ultimately more compassion. Allow 2019 infuse us with an impassioned search for our own truth. And let this search for truths reflect not only how we adorn ourselves, but also how we love and respect our neighbor.

—Staff

2019 Fashion Predictions

As we close in on the end of 2018, most of us reflect on what was good about the year, successes, failures, disappointments, what is left to work on and projections of what we want the coming new year to be. Fashion is one of the few industries where what was popular or worked well in a previous season, could absolutely have no place in upcoming seasons.

The quixotic nature of fashion facilitates freshness and innovation, but also gives rise to instability and lots of failure. If we could only accurately predict what is next in fashion, perhaps, we could afford the many fashion faux pas and pitfalls and rest assuredly in what we expect to happen. Of course, predictions, especially fashion predictions, are rarely on point, so we leave accuracy to the Gods and soothsayers. Still, its fun to project into the future, so Fashion Reverie, always taking a risk, makes a few fashion predictions for 2019.

Bye, bye fur

As one fashion brand after the next adopts sustainability, fur, as a luxury accessory and embellishment, will become anathema to luxury collections. Many of the top fashion houses, from Michael Kors to Versace to Martin Margiela in the past year have decided to axe animal fur as a reflection of luxury in their fashion collections. Since September, Burberry, Coach, and Diane von Furstenberg have followed suit with Jean Paul Gaultier stating in a recent television interview that he felt that the way animals were slaughtered for their furry pelts “absolutely deplorable.” We all know that when the fashion top dogs abandon something, everyone else follows. Well, most everyone does!!

Editorial nirvana

Now this next prediction is near and dear to Fashion Reverie’s heart. As print fashion magazines took a nosedive in 2018, so has the role of fashion editors. For those “tender ronies” who are not in the know and lack instruction in fashion history, fashion editors are the lifeblood of fashion publications. From the iconic Diana Vreeland to Grace Mirabella, Audrey Smaltz, Andre Leon Talley, and Hamish Bowles to Anna Wintour, Grace Coddington, Tonne Goodman, and Edward Enniful, fashion editors have contributed to setting standards for beauty and style for decades.

Fashion editors have recently been replaced by social media influencers, and with the demise of print publishing, it would seem that editors are disappearing the way the mastodon or the great bison vanished from the Great Plains. In 2019 that will all change!!

Social media decline

As the social media bubble grow closer to bursting and we head toward a financial crisis in 2019, consumers will return to things that have worked prior to the ascent of social media. As evidenced in a recent study in Europe, European consumers no longer trust most of what they read on social media. In a Guardian article from this past summer, Facebook’s 3 million under 25-year-olds will quit Facebook or stop using in entirely. A recent post of medium.com details that companies spend 15% of their total marketing budgets on social media but have yet to see a rate of return on their dollars.

While Zuckerberg is struggling to bring legitimacy to his embattled social media company, more consumers are abandoning Facebook, looking to alternative media for information and entertainment. While this might be bad news for social media influencers, Fashion Reverie believes this will be a return to seasoned fashion voices that have a deep understanding of the fashion industry. It will not be a return to the fashion editors of yore, but to the new breed of fashion editors that are deftly in touch with what is going on in the streets; aware of what drives consumers to shop in a shrinking economy and understands that younger consumers want to connect with brands that have a sustainable, eco-friendly narrative.

Influencers get a dose of reality

As social media goes through an adjustment period in 2019, social media influencers will have to deal with a little adjustment of their own. As reported in April 2018 post hypebeast.com, Launchmetrics has noted that 46% of brands are turning away from social media influencers with huge followers in favor of “micro-influencers.” These ”micro-influencers” have a following of 10k to 100k. And as millennials and advertisers become more of aware of the plethora of Instagram scams, smart brands are moving away from influencer and looking re-engage advertising models that worked for them in the past.

Germany-based influencer marketing platform InfluencerDB estimates that one in four sponsored posts are being done by influencers with questionable audience growth. And according to zdnet.com, “Almost two-thirds (61 percent) of consumers said they would be more likely to research a product or service that was recommended on social by a friend compared to one in three (36 percent) for influencers or celebrities.”

The return of brick and mortar

If you drive up and down Madison Avenue in New York City, you see a lot of empty retail space. And everyone is aware of mega retail stores —JC Penny’s, Sears, Lord & Taylor—that shuttering local shops over the US. Even fashion design star Marc Jacobs is closing stores in Paris and London. Hmm, things don’t look good for brick and mortars!!

Still, don’t believe everything you read in mainstream media. True, mainstream mega stores are closing brick and mortars, mostly due to over-expansion; however, there appears to be a resurgence of small brick and mortars, mostly from brands that have that discovered that an online presence without a brick and mortar backup hinders their growth. “95 percent of all retail sales are captured by retailers with a brick-and-mortar presence” and “two-thirds of consumers who purchase online use the store before or after the transaction”.  Their report also states that “the value of stores for customers and retailers is far greater than the sales captured in them” and that they “actually help the retailer drive online sales,” according to a report by A. T. Kearny. Indochino, Far Fetch, which is opening a chain of brick-and-mortar stores nationwide, and Bonobos, which opened its first brick and store in Manhattan in 2011 after being a top men’s online retailer, have all found that with returns of online sales being between 40% to 50%, a brick and mortar presence is necessary in an ever-evolving retail climate.

Swirling, 90s–style graphics

When it comes to style predictions for 2019, one of the biggest re-invented styles will be the swirling bold graphics that was a front and center design aesthetic of 90s fashion. We already witnessed swirling icon-inspired graphics during the spring 2019 collections. Well, expect more of this in the upcoming seasons. This look will be paired with acid-washed denim, oversized jackets and skirts and lots of layering; a rebirth of comfortable grunge-like fashion, but much prettier the second time around.

Designer buyback

Fashion Reverie predicts that in 2019 more designers will buy back their eponymous brands, owning a larger share in their companies. In 2018 we saw Proenza Schouler acquire a controlling interest in their brand and Stella McCartney in March bought back 50% share in her company from holding company Kering. “It is the right moment to acquire the full control of the company bearing my name,” McCartney said in a statement. “This opportunity represents a crucial patrimonial decision for me. I am extremely grateful to François-Henri Pinault and his family and everyone at the Kering group for everything we have built together in the last 17 years. I look forward to the next chapter of my life and what this brand and our team can achieve in the future.”

For the past two decades in order to cope with rising manufacturing costs and the ever-growing expense of maintaining a fashion brand, designers looked to larger fashion holding companies to inject money into their brands. With this infusion of cash, many designers lost controlling interest in their fashion brands, with international holding companies like LVMH, Kering, G-III Apparel Group, and Gucci Group calling the shots and taking creative control away from designers. Expect to see more fashion designer buybacks in 2019!!

A revived New York Fashion Week

As we reported on Fashion Reverie, NYFW is in the doldrums. That said; we expect a subtle turnaround for NYFW in 2019. With the downward spiral of social media influencers, brands getting little return on the social media dollars, and the return of brick and mortar stores, the powers that be that control NYFW will begin in 2019 to re-evaluate the priority they have given to social media influencers over real fashion industry professionals.

2019 will see the return of fashion editors to NYFW. Their hard work, diligence, and expertise should be valued, and the CFDA will wake up and realize in 2019 that they had a good thing, and its time overdue to celebrate and support folks who know what they are talking about!!

—William S. Gooch

Tea With Kristopher: Month of December 2018

The year is coming to a close, and Fashion Reverie is happy to serve up its final pot of tea for 2018. It may be cold outside, but the tearoom is still piping hot. Get your teacups ready for one last afternoon tea of the year. 2019 promises to be a year of upheaval and change and that means lots of inside fashion tea!!

Therapeutic Tea

An executive at a luxury auction house has been caught exploiting the homeless by paying them to dress up in costumes so he can take mocking photos. When called out, the executive in question was unremorseful for his actions and even tried to excuse his behavior. Friendly reminder; the homeless should not be subject of matter for live puppet theatre.

Calming Tea

A former creative director sued a top luxury brand because the luxury brand continued to use his designs for several seasons after his departure. The payout is rumored to be a solid seven figures as they settled out of court.

Tasty Tea

A luxury brand that has become a favorite among hip-hop audiences is known for constantly bragging about brand expansion, but the luxury brand also fails to mention they’ve had a significant amount of store closings. Hmm, this fashion designer has gotten too big for his britches. The brand is working on scaling down as the brand is getting offers for a close to billion-dollar buyout. According to inside sources, the fashion designer doesn’t the buyout offer is large enough!!

Spicy Tea

There is a lot of end-of-the-year tension at a top lifestyle publication where the magazine’s six-figure earning senior editors are getting the boot and being replaced by twenty ‘somethings,’ earning $50,000. These more junior editors have been quite ungrateful to their departing mentors even asking how soon the senior editors are leaving so they can get their respective offices. Bad, bad karma!!

—Kristopher Fraser

New Year’s Eve Essentials 2018 Guide

Christmas may be over, but the holiday season is still in full effect. The mistletoe is still hanging, the city lights are still twinkling as the spirit of fellowship is still in the air. What better way to end the year than being surrounded by those you like and love most at a New Year’s Eve party? While everyone is focused on coordinating their outfits, Fashion Reverie want to make sure you don’t forget the essentials that will make your New Year’s Eve celebration memorable.

The beginning to any good night starts with a good prep. After you’ve showered, you need the right moisturizer to keep your skin fresh and soft. One of the leading brands in skin hydration is Palmer’s. Known for their cocoa and shea butters, the brand also has a line of oils to give you 24-hour moisture. Their Coconut Oil body Oil is free of parabens, sulfates and dyes, and made of natural coconut oil and monoi. Monoi is a South Pacific oil used to protect skin and hair. Made of Tahitian gardenias steeped in coconut oil, monoi helps repair hair damage, increases shine, and delays the signs of aging. Don’t use it just for New Year’s Eve; this is a moisturizer to be enjoyed all year long.

After you’ve prepped your body, you’ve got to prep your face. Dasomi’s Revitalizing White Truffle Mask relies on the antioxidant agents of the rare Italian white truffle to provide nutrition and elasticity to your face. In a spa-like, at-home application process, Dasomi takes you on a three-step journey to fresher skin. First, you get a deep cleansing with their O2 Magic Clear Bubble Cleanser. You then apply the white truffle mask. To finish, you apply the Waterdrop Cream soothing moisturizer. At the end, you are left with a clean, supple, fresh camera-ready face.

Everyone looks forward to that midnight kiss, but no one wants to pucker up to dry lips. Chapstick Total Hydration is a 3-in-1 lip care remedy to keep your chops in check all night long. Their Coconut Hydration formula moisturizes for up to 8 hours, renews your lips’ barrier with Omega-rich botanical oils, and transforms the look of damaged skin into a more youthful appearance.

As the adage goes, you’re never fully dressed without perfume or cologne. Sure, we spray some on before we leave the house, but throughout the night, you may want a touchup to keep the smell romance going. No lady is lugging around a bottle of perfume all night.

The Travalo atomizer is the perfect way to keep a dose of fresh scent on hand. Lightweight and compact, Travalo discreetly fits into your purse or pocket. However, don’t be misled by its’ tiny size; each atomizer can provide up to 75 sprays. Leak proof and glass free, you don’t have to worry about accidental spilling or breaking. This powerful sprayer comes in an array of designs, making it ideal whether for a night on the town or a week traveling abroad.

What’s worse than a dead phone? Not much. We live in a time of continuous connectivity, so a dead battery can bring your world to a crashing halt. Don’t fear; Tzumi is here to save the day (well, night). The PocketJuice Wireless portable charger has 2 built-in USB ports and also works via Qi charging (you can wirelessly charge your Qi-enabled phone by laying it on top of the charger) so you can charge multiple devices at once. With a 10,000 mAh capacity (enough for more than 3 full charges to your smartphone), and an LCD display to monitor how much power is left, you will have enough juice to keep the party going all night long.

No New Year’s Eve party is complete without a toast. Whether you want to have a personal toast by yourself or with a small group, opt for a six-pack of mini Moët champagne bottles. Each bottle has 187 mL, or about a flute and a half. Each bottle also comes with a fancy golden flute topper so you can sip in style. Small little details like this can really up the chic factor of any party.

Coconut water

An important rule to surviving any night on the town is to remember to stay hydrated. Whether from dancing or from drinking, we can become dehydrated and lose a lot of essentials like sodium, potassium, and electrolytes. You should definitely drink water before and throughout the night, but Coconut Water will help also replenish the lost nutrients. While some people opt for sports drinks such as Gatorade, they tend to have more sugars, carbohydrates, and calories than coconut water. 100% all natural, coconut water is Mother Nature’s post-party pick me up.

Photos courtesy of their respective brands

Everyone needs to be safe on New Year’s Eve. Some people may overindulge and be in no condition to drive. Thankfully there is a plethora of options to get everyone home safe and sound. Before you head out for the night, download two or three cab apps to your phone. The major ones are Uber, Lyft, Gett, and Curb, but there may be even more options in your town. Be sure to enter and save your home address and credit card information before you head to the party. That way, just in case you’re too intoxicated to get behind the wheel, you already have a back-up plan to get home. Remember, “buzzed driving is drunk driving”, and no one wants to start the New Year with a ticket or a night in jail.The most important item for New Year’s Eve is a good attitude. No matter if you are bringing in the New Year at home, at church, at a house party, or at a club, it is key to walk into the New Year with positive vibes. You can say a prayer, recite a mantra, have a thought, or just flash a smile, but we want you to leave all the negative energy in the old year, and attach yourself to all the positive possibilities of 2019. Fashion Reverie thanks our readers, and all of the love you have shown us in 2018. And we look forward to engaging with you even more in 2019. Happy New Year!

—Carl Ayers

Happy Holidays 2018

Image courtesy of bluemountain.com

In this holiday season, let us give a nod to what matters most. Perhaps, we should put aside the concentration on wealth, excess, and self-absorption and refocus on family, community, and thankfulness.In spite of all the inhumanity and instability in the world at large, we have love and beauty all around us. Love and beauty that is tangible, if we only would rich out and access it.

Fashion Reverie wishes all of our colleagues and associates in the fashion industry and in all other industries a very happy holiday season and a loving and prosperous New Year. Let 2019 be a year of realized potential and possibilities. We can make it happen!!

—William S. Gooch

Bishop Collective Finds the Balance between Brick and Mortar and Online Retail

Are you an avid online shopper or is brick and mortar retail your preferred choice? Whichever side of the retail aisle expresses your predilection; there is no doubt the retail market has been drastically altered in the past decade.

The Bishop Collective has found the best of both worlds and is making those tried and true retail principles work for their online and brick and mortar store. Launched in 2013 by two college professors, Mai Vu and Dmitri Koumbis, Bishop Collective speaks to that consumer who is looking for unique, well-crafted garments that can stand the test of time.

Dmitri Koumbis took out time from his extremely busy schedule and spoke with Fashion Reverie about what he knows to be true about fashion retail.

Mai Vu and Dmitri Koumbis

Fashion Reverie: What was the inspiration behind the Bishop Collective?Dmitri Koumbis: The Bishop Collective started from lots of conversations I was having with my students in the classroom. We were having conversations about how we could change the currents models of retailing. My business partner and I, Mai Vu, began giving projects to my students that were the basis for what the Bishop Collective is today, things like crowd sourcing and funding; how to you create a successful campaign as a start-up, and branding opportunities. As time went on, we began to use the information we got from our students to drive a business. Later, Bishop Collective became its on entity, launching first online in October of 2013. We were online for five years and we opened our brick and mortar store on the Lower Eastside in June of 2018.

FR: Why the name Bishop Collective?

Dmitri Koumbis: My background is in graphic design and aesthetics. So, when Mai and I were trying to come up with a name for the company, we toyed around with lots of different names and could come up with anything we really liked. As a distraction to hitting a wall with coming up a name for the company, I started to learn chess. I was researching the different names of the chess board pieces and the name Bishop kept coming up and position of the Bishop in relation to the other chess pieces. I also was looking at some old fashion magazines and I found a fashion editorial of Twilda Swinton as the black and white queens. That was a signature omen that Bishop would be the name of our brand. Also, graphically Bishop worked out well as a logo and other graphic images for the brand.

FR: You started Bishop Collection as an online store. Why did you recently include a brick and mortar model?

Dmitri Koumbis: Bishop Collective curates collections from a lot of emerging designers, so it is important that our customers can feel the fabrics of our collections, as well as study the design aesthetics and silhouettes. It was difficult for a customer to see and touch these emerging designers clothing because we were only online; also, most of the brands we feature are not in major retail stores.

We started by producing pop-up shops which brought in lots of foot traffic. When we had our last pop-up store on Mulberry Street, we had a large influx of consumers coming through and received really good feedback from them. We realized that having a brick and mortar was essential to the trajectory of Bishop Collective. We found this space last summer and we are pleased with our growth so far.

FR: You opened this store on the Lower Eastside, which is traditionally not associated with a fashion-forward sensibility. Why open in this location?

Dmitri Koumbis: We believe that the Lower Eastside is an up-and-coming neighborhood. However, me and my business partner placed Bishop Collective in this area because we love the way the Lower Eastside still looks.

We both moved to New York City because it was a gritty city that you had to fight hard to survive and make it. And there is a certain aesthetic to New York City that is near and dear to me and Mai. There are the raw materials like brick outer surfaces that are still evident; buildings that are pre-war that have a certain architectural brilliance, and a little bit of dilapidation that has its charm.

We wanted to find a bit of New York City that still had that Old World charm. When we first moved in many of the older store owners were not that kind to us; they thought we were here to gentrify. But they came around after a few months and are now very welcoming.

FR: What is your background?

Dmitri Koumbis: I have been in retail since I was 16. I worked my way up from sales associate to a visual merchandiser, eventually working in the corporate offices of Urban Outfitters and Banana Republic. At some point, I decided to go back to school to get my degrees in interior design and visual management, and later advanced degrees in graphic design and visual marketing. In graduate school I realized I wanted to work in academia so that I could be involved in educating young people.

After I completed my master’s programs, I got a part-time position teaching in New York City. (Dmitri Koumbis currently is an adjunct professor at LIM College and Parsons School of Design.) I met my business partner Mai Vu, who is also an academician, because we shared office space. Mai Vu has a background in fashion theory and has worked as an archivist for Ralph Lauren and a few other companies.

Over time, we realized we were missing something in delivering to our students information from the retail industry to the actual classroom. We wanted to bring something to the classroom that was more relevant, so we started asking our students what they would like in a retail space. We used that classroom information to eventually birth Bishop Collective.

FR: In the “About Us” section of the Bishop Collective website, you speak about educating the consumer about fast fashion versus slow fashion. Could you elaborate on that concept?

 Dmitri Koumbis: Slow fashion stems from relating to fashion that is more ethically focused. This focus goes beyond just sustainability or product that is not petroleum based. Slow fashion is about considering fashion that is more holistically based.

We are trying to get away from the idea of mass consumption where consumers buy something just to own the product without having any connection with the real product. We see ourselves as the intermediary between the consumer and the fashion brand, educating the consumer on the complete story of the processes behind the brand.

We are finding that much of product that is currently on the market is so similar and there is very little character, nuance or texture to much of what is being mass produced. Slow fashion allows the designer to have more creativity behind their timeframe.

Bishop Collective brands House Dress and Luz Ortiz

FR: Are all your brands US–based?Dmitri Koumbis: Our brands are not all US–based, but they all manufacture in the US. The raw goods may not be, but the final product is all manufactured here.

FR: Who is your customer?

Dmitri Koumbis: Our core customer is aged 25 to 38; but, can go beyond that age range. Through and through, our customer is very well educated about what she likes and fashion in general. She’s well-versed in what is going on in politics, economics, and the arts. She is also street driven and community centered. In fact, she is the quintessential everywoman. Our core consumer appreciates higher priced goods that are well-made which is the antithesis to fast fashion.

Interestingly, since we opened our brick and mortar, a lot of male consumers have come into the store and bought product, even though our product is not male-centered or necessarily gender fluid. Our product is so well made that men are finding ways to work our product into their wardrobes. Our male consumer is usually more fashion driven, so he is looking for unique pieces that can become conversational.

Bishop Collective brands Matine and CV Saint

FR: What are the price points for your merchandise online and in the store?Dmitri Koumbis: Price points range from $36, which is own tee shirt, to $600 for a coat and our accessories from $35 to $150. We try to explain to our customer that you are not just buying a garment, you are helping to pay someone’s wage to make that purchase or garment.

FR: Brick and mortar versus online; advantages and disadvantages.

Dmitri Koumbis: One of the advantages of having an online retail store is you become accessible to a much larger audience. You can  reach out to a global audience in a much faster way. It can also be an easier link to your social media campaigns and audiences. Still, for all its benefits, online is a tool; a tool to access if the product is necessity, and as a tool for research and investigation.

Researchers have identified three motivations for consumer shopping: necessity, brand patronage, and emotionally driven stimulation. The problem with shopping in the online space is that the push for online shopping proliferation is being done by companies that need online shopping to succeed and exceed brick and mortar shopping. Companies like Amazon, Alibaba, and other companies are truly committed and invested in promoting this agenda. However, a lot of the theories around online shopping simply don’t fly. Consumers, particularly women, who need to purchase a special or unique item like a wedding dress or that garment for a special event need to touch and feel that garment before they are comfortable with their purchase.

One of the benefits of brick and mortar retail is that owners get to have one-on-one conversations with consumers that are much more detailed and informative than a conversation you can have with that chat box that pops up on your screen when shopping online. Because of this lack of retail intimacy, if you want to call it that, there is a huge rate of return with online shopping, ranging usually between 40% to 60%.

We have put more of our financial resources into our new brick and mortar because real spaces require a lot more care and maintenance than virtual spaces. But the turnaround financially and emotionally is so worth the costs because we are already seeing more return customers to our brick and mortar than to our online store, and we are developing better relationships with our customers.

FR: Cost wise, what is the rate of return on your dollar for brick and mortar  versus online?

Dmitri Koumbis: For our online store we were spending easily upward of $15,000 a month for Ad words, SEO, and other things just so consumers could find our site and our ranking on Google would be high. That is much more than our monthly rent for the brick and mortar. And that cost was necessary for an online store that is not associated with a mainstream brand. Most online stores that are outside of that inner sanctum of household name brands are spending that much and cannot afford to have both an online presence and a brick and mortar. And the online costs are continuing to rise.

Brick and mortar presences must be more experiential for the modern customer so that you can build that relationship. We sponsor lots of events in our store and we are starting to see some of the same folks at are events that are transitioning into repeat customers, you cannot do that with only an online presence.

We also must keep a lot of product in the brick and mortar store because we sometimes sell out quickly and you want the racks to look relatively full. We buy product directly from our brands and then we re-order if needs be. Still, we must work around issues of foot traffic in the months were consumers are not shopping as much.

Images courtesy of The Bromley Group

FR: In this current retail climate, how to you stay passionate, happy, and hopeful?Dmitri Koumbis: Inherently, I am a pretty happy person. I also vibe off other people’s happy energy. I do have a lot on my plate with managing Bishop and Collective and teaching classes at LIM College and Parsons, so it necessary for me to stay positive so that I bring good energy to my students. On days when I do feel so energetic and passionate, I look to all the stable in my life who are very supportive. I give back to the community and community gives back to me.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion Reverie’s 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

 

Image courtesy of timeout.com

The 2018 Midterm elections signaled new hope and a redirection of electoral politics. Instead of an election of nasty campaigns commercials—well, there were a few—with candidates pandering to wealthy donors, the midterm elections were a return to civility and the issues that affect our citizenry. Let this resurgence of the common good flow to our gift giving this holiday season. Remember, it is not the cost, but the value and thought behind the gift.

This holiday season Fashion Reverie has curated an interesting array of fashionable gifts that will not only make your loved ones smile and squeal with joy, but will also be remembered and looked back on with fondness for many seasons to come. Additionally, these gifts will not empty your pockets. This season, affordability is one of the keys to Yuletide mirth!!

Image courtesy of Mannfolk PR

El Vaquero’s Western-inspired bags

Taking inspiration from the Wild West, El Vaquero bags are carefully crafted works of art made with the true modern bohemian woman in mind. From muted tones in jet black and chestnut to rich colors in indigo and crimson, these accessories are the perfect addition to any ensemble. 

Established in 1975 by designer Valerio Giuntoli, El Vaquero specializes in artisanal leather goods for the free-spirited woman. Each item is handcrafted with utmost scrutiny by expert artisans to ensure the resulting product is embodied in Tuscany heritage and boasts an authentic vintage spirit.

Photos courtesy of TBWA Helsinki

Helsingin Sanomats political holiday sweaters

In recent years, the most talked about fashion phenomenon during the holiday season has been the “ugly Christmas sweater” trend. Now the seasonal garment has been turned into something more than a mere fashion statement. As an attempt to keep important matters in the public eye, Helsingin Sanomat, the largest newspaper in the Nordics, has launched a series of ugly Christmas sweaters depicting the year’s ugliest news topics.

Instead of garish designs, the ugliness in the #uglytruthsweaters is more due to the subject matters presented. The series comprises of five shirts and depicts some of the past year’s ugliest news topics: climate change, plastic in our oceans, war, sexual harassment, and technological manipulation. Introduced under the tagline,the truth may be ugly, but it never goes out of style,” the collection reminds people that there is no matter that journalism should turn a blind eye to. 

These holiday politically messaged sweaters can be purchased on December 17 through the newspaper’s website.

Photos courtesy of Coded PR

Naturalizer’s sparkly footwear

Glitter-based, sparkly shoes are on trend. Similar to the plethora of sequined, glittery, metallic-like garments that can be seen all over international runways and red carpet, sparkly accessories are sharing a sisterhood with glittery garments.

Known for offering some of the most comfy and chic footwear, Naturalizer has the perfect styles from sneakers and flats to strappy heels—we promise you won’t want to take off even after midnight! And just for good measure, Fashion Reverie has added in some other stylish shoes for your pleasure.

Image courtesy of Chic Execs

Manscaped Lawn Mower 2.0’s below-the-belt gift

Fashion Reverie always comes up with unique fashion and beauty items for our dedicated users. There are a plethora of products to keep facial hair perfectly groomed. But what about the hair below the waist!!

Surprise, surprise, surprise!!! Uniquely designed for a man’s below-the-waist zone, the Lawn Mower 2.0 fits in the palm of your hand for optimal maneuverability and accuracy around hard-to-navigate and sensitive areas. Featuring Manscaped’s ToughShearTM blades for a smooth, nick- and snag-free trim. And for the holiday season, Manscaped is offering a 15% if you purchase and use the code GIFT15 before 12/31.

Photo courtesy of Chick PR

Wild Spirit holiday gift set

Fashion Reverie has featured Wild Fragrances in the past. However, for the 2018 holiday season, Wild Fragrances is featuring a holiday gift set in its four fragrances, First Snow, Chill, Driftwood, and Spring Jasmine.

Each holiday gift fragrance contains five new limited-edition products. Each fragrance set includes a body mist, hand cream, eau de parfum splash, a deluxe fragrance sampler, and lava bead scent-diffuser bracelet. All this for the affordable price of $24.99; can you believe it!!

Image courtesy of Lawlor Media Group

MarieBelle New York’s sweets for the sweet

The magic of the holidays can be found gift shopping at our flagship store in New York’s Soho district, the new Midtown Manhattan retail shoppe located in the Kitano Hotel or in trendy Greenpoint, Brooklyn at the rustic-style Cacao Market. MarieBelle New York is artfully customizing luxury candy confections for the holidays.

Relish in the sweetest gift for any occasion, available in-store or delivered same day anywhere in the Manhattan area. The artisan chocolates are offered in a variety of styles, but the popular holiday collection tops MarieBelle’s loyal clientele’s gift wish list this time of year.

Photo courtesy of Lux and Nyx

Lux and Nyx: A Stylish Traveler’s Dream Bag

With over eighteen separate compartments for shoes, clothes and even a laptop Lux and Nyx’s The Zöe Functional Luxury Backpack is the perfect gift for the fashion forward jetsetter. The thick padded straps are ideal for balancing weight when worn as a backpack, but the bag easily slides over suitcase handles. Plus, extra straps on the bottom are ideal for toting around a tripod or yoga mat.

In addition to being an ethical and sustainable company, Lux and Nyx gives a portion of proceeds from each bag sold to contribute to the building of 101 schools in Langa Township, South Africa. Now that’s giving back!!

—Staff

The 2019 Pirelli Calendar

The Pirelli 2019 Calendar has arrived!! This year’s calendar is a photographic tale of the aspirations of four women and their determination to achieve their goals, each one pursuing their dreams and passions. This year’s “Dreaming” calendar is a combination of black and white and color photographs, shot by Albert Watson in New York City and Milan, featuring Gigi Hadid with Alexander Wang, Julia Garner, Misty Copeland with Calvin Royal III, and Laetitia Casta with Sergei Polunin.

The Pirelli Calendar, created by British art director Derek Forsyth, has been in annual publication since 1964. This glamour trade calendar is published by Pirelli which is the fifth largest tire manufacturer based out of Milan, Italy. The calendar was given out in restrictive numbers to Pirelli customers and celebrities. The publication was discontinued in 1974 in response to a world recession caused by the oil crisis. The calendar was resurrected ten years later and has been an annual publication since then. Only 20,000 copies are made each year at a cost of $2 million dollars.

There have been some iconic editions of the Pirelli Calendar. In 1987 noted British fashion photographer Terry Donovan shot an all-black issue that featured a 16-year- old Naomi Campbell. There was a second all-black 2018 issue photographed by Tim Walker. There was also the classically half-nude 2010 issue, shot by Terry Richardson.

In a company press release Albert Watson spoke about his inspiration behind the “Dreaming” 2019 calendar and why he chose the subjects for the 2019 calendar. “To make a dream come true, you have to work hard. I’ve always taken it step by step, reaching one goal at a time, without wanting to get immediately to the top of the ladder. Even though I sometimes think this ladder could go on up forever, with the top rung ever-further away, I think it’s always worth giving yourself increasingly ambitious goals and dreams.”

Watson detailed that the four women in the 2019 calendar focus on the future and “[have their] own individuality, [their] particular purpose in life, and [their] own way of doing things. So the underlying theme is that of ‘dreams,’ but the basic idea behind the whole project is that of telling a story in four ‘little movies.’

An example of this is the character played by Gigi Hadid, Watson explained. She has recently separated from her partner, lives alone in a glass tower and has Alexander Wang as her only friend and confidant. “I think there’s a degree of angst in these images. With Gigi Hadid’s character, I wanted to convey the sense of a woman thinking about her future, but also showing her in a situation of loneliness. We see her thinking about where she is going to go in life, what she will be doing tomorrow. I wanted it to be much more minimalistic than the other women and settings I photographed.”

Julia Garner plays the part of a young photographer who loves nature and solitude. “Julia’s a very, very accomplished actress and she got straight into the character. She played a botanical photographer who dreams of putting on successful exhibitions. We were in a beautiful tropical garden in Miami, which turned out to be the perfect place for us to work.”

Misty Copeland, paired with ABT soloist Calvin Royal III, also looks to the future, fantasizing about making a name in the ballet world. “Trying to be successful is her driving force,” said Watson. “Copeland’s character earns her living by dancing in a club, but at the same time she has also put up a little stage in her garden, where she practices dancing in order to become a star, sometimes with her boyfriend, played by Calvin Royal III.”

All images courtesy of Albert Watson/Pirelli

Lastly, French actress Laetitia Casta portrays a painter who lives in a studio apartment with her partner, Sergei Polunin. They both dream of success: she as an artist, he as a dancer. “What’s interesting,” says Watson, “is that, in real life, Laetitia really does do a lot of sculpting and creates artwork in her spare time. This worked out very well and helped her get into character. We decided to shoot outside, to give the scenes some added natural brightness. The tropical atmosphere of Miami is a key component in this picture.”The Pirelli 2019 Calendar is now available for purchase. For more information, go to www.pirellicalendar.com.

 

—Staff

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