Modelinia Launch Event

Tonight (Wednesday 2/10) was Modelinia's launch event for their NYFW limited edition MODELINIA Magazine and daily Fashion Week TV. Veronica Webb and Coco Rocha, the hosts of the new show, brought some glamour to the event, and Mayor Bloomberg stopped by to remind us of the importance of why we do this crazy fashion life. Style File had the opportunity to interview Rachel Roy to see how the recession has affected her business.

Even though the U.S. unemployment rate is 9.7%, Rachel Roy stated that "we're headed out of the recession". While we agree with her statement that "you can't stop creating new ideas and new silhouettes," her affinity for Alaia and Margiela may be an unlikely dream for many hit harder by the downtrodden economy. Ah, if only all of us could make our own shoes, dresses, and jewelry, then perhaps we wouldn't look so shabby. But, then again, aren't the consumers who cannot create their own wardrobes the ones whom the industry needs the most?

Everybody get Rowdy.

No, seriously. Dallas Austin's new-ish/re-launched collection "Rowdy" definitely makes you want to scream in good and bad ways. Rowdy is hitting stores just before the x-mas retail non rush and it's sort of forward thinking for someone whose roots aren't really in fashion. I spent a lot of time talking with Dallas about why he decided to re-launch Rowdy and why in the world he decided to open up a retail store when retail is suffering so badly and his response was "because my gut was telling me to do it." Okay.  While I'm not sure if opening a store and launching a collection is necessarily the best thing to do in this economic environment, I do admire Dallas for his drive and his unconventional way of doing things. Hello-he's a music and business genius! He must be doing something right.  Also, did you know his musical influences are mostly in rock and alternative? Think Bauhaus (shout out to Peter Murphy) The Cure, The Smiths, Joy Division, Sisters of Mercy and of course Alice and Chains? I almost fell over when he told me that. This collection, according to Dallas embraces all of that. Hmm.

OK I know what you are thinking. How can this POSSIBLY encompass anything 120 minutes-esque? Well, to be honest it doesn't. But there is a sort of ZZ Top/"Diddy runs the City" look and feel to it. I liked it.

My personal favorite- men's underwear with a pocket for God knows what on them. I'll leave it up to your imaginations.

Sneakers with instructions on how to roll a "blunt" on the side (Mom, if you are reading this I will explain what a blunt is later.)

I kind of dig the lightning bolt t-shirts. I wonder if Dallas will let me design lightning bolt headbands for him...

Yay Dallas!

Yay Jen!!

Beacuse if you are gonna go out, do it in style.

With the unemployment numbers reaching record highs (533,000 jobs were lost in November according to Fortune magazine), getting the "I just got outsted, here is my new contact info" e-mail is about as common as getting a google alert on "recession." This is the last sentence in a friend's sign off note (she happens to be eight months pregnant). I loved it. From [Redacted]: ...Also please let it go down for posterity, that although I'm knocked up and laid off, I'm rocking my way out of the building in a stellar pair of heels.

Now that is what I call inspiring.

Designing on the cheap.

I asked Emma the other day to do some market research on high end-ish designers creating cheaper collections. This is what she said about BCBGGeneration: "I’m getting mixed feelings. I THOUGHT I would love it ... after analyzing their ads in my magazines and also being a fan of Max Azria’s empire... but looking up close at the collection – to me, it just looks like a more basic version of the high end line and doesn’t look nicely crafted, especially for the price they are asking for…Hmm… "

 so I took a look at the collection and I have to say I agree with her. The collection is crap. Max Azria, designer, chairman and CEO of BCBG Max Azria Group told WWD, "I look forward to offering an underserved consumer, regardless of age, superior fashion at competitive prices."  I have the highest amount of respect for Azria, but I do think this collection missed the mark a bit.

It's that time of the month...

...when I get ready to analyze monthly retail sales numbers on Fox Business!! If you are near a TV, tune in between 1- 2pm. I really don't expect the consumer to have spent very much of anything in July, but I am hoping to be pleasantly surprised by the numbers tomorrow.


I found the definition for this term on a site called It says a recessionista is "someone who seeks out fashionable items which are also low-cost." OK, so I can name a couple of my favorite recessionistas, but the queen bee is Kathryn Finney of The Budget Fashionista. Not only is she a fierce dresser and has impeccable style, she can find a discount on anything in all corners of the world. For real. Check out her site if you don't believe me.

Despite Kalinsky, Norstrom STILL falters.

Man, you know the economy is REAL bad when someone like Jeffrey Kalinsky can't save a retailer like Nordstrom! The other day the retailer reported a fall in same store sales by 9.1% far worse than what analysts expected. Total sales dipped to $750 million from $803 million in 2007.  Jeffrey, who started the extremely well edited and influential Jeffrey boutiques in New York and Atlanta sold a majority interest of his stores to Norstrom and took on a full time gig. Problem is even his keen eye for knowing what's hot way before it sizzles (I bought my Balenciaga motorcycle bag because I saw it first at Jeffrey six years ago), isn't really working for Nordstrom right now.  The tourists aren't buying into it either!

Same store sales numbers are out and I am talking about it on Fox Business today!!

Retail same store sales for April were for the most part on low side. What's new? What's shocking are the double digit drop Gap, Abercrombie and Fitch as well as American Eagle experienced!! I'll be talking about all of this today on Fox Business at around 12:30 pm!!

On Fox Business today!!

I'm talking about malls and how they are one of the biggest losers in this recession we are in. But not because all of these other little stores are going out of business, it's because the larger retailers like JC Penny's can't get the traffic in!! AND no one wants to buy anything because gas is so expensive!! Why would I drive to the mall (if I lived in a mall market) when I could be saving that gas to go to work?? Tune in if you are near a TV- I go on at 2:50 pm EST! Also, thank you to everyone that wrote in with their "time management" suggestions- will post those a little later.

How to dress in a recession.

Last week got a little bananas, but I PROMISED to upload my points about how to dress in a recession from my segment on Fox Business and here they are (finally). FBN wanted me to do this segment as a reaction to piece written in USA Today. The author made the point how in a recession, people should buy more EXPENSIVE clothes instead of staying in their means and purchasing cheaper pieces because they last longer. Um, newsflash- that's just not true. Why would ANYONE spend money they don't have on discretionary items especially luxe goods like a $2,000 Gucci suit?? I think expensive doesn't necessarily mean better quality, and if you: 1) Stick to the basics, like combining your old black or grey interview suit with a new cool accessory.

2) Adhere to the 80%,20% rule meaning 80% of your outfit is inexpensive and 20% is on the pricey side (for example, take that dress from H&M and wear it with a pair of Louboutins).

3) Tap into the past- it’s ok to wear clothes from last season, or even from decades ago!!!

On Fox Business today!!

Talking about what to wear in a recession (yep,  there IS a different way to dress) . That's right- we are in a recession. I don't care what the president or Ben Bernake says. Our capital markets are totally unstable and the worst is yet to come. On that happy note, I will try and load the video for those of you that don't get Fox Business!

Economists state the obvious when it comes to apparel spending.

Carl Steidtmann, chief economist at Deloitte Research and auther of the group's Leading index of Consumer Spending tells Women's Wear Daily, "People's spending on apparel isn't likely to pick up anytime soon." Gee, ya think Mr. Steidtmann?? Maybe it has to do with that little housing crisis we are experiencing, or gas prices reaching (in some areas) to $4 a gallon, the rising prices in staples like milk and eggs or what about the fact that there are no jobs???  I sometimes wonder why we need a 50 page report to tell us what people in the middle of America can tell us in one sentence... 

Recession special.

recession-special.jpg  Last Thursday I went on Fox Business to talk about the dismal retail sales numbers and the midst of my conversation with the lovely Liz Claman and awesome David Asman, I said the "R" word. All day, people were speculated that we might be on the brink of one, danced around the topic, insinuated we may be heading toward that direction, but from what my research told me, I felt I had to call a spade and spade. And so I just said it. 

During times like these, the last thing anyone wants to do is admit that we are in fact, headed straight towards a crap economy, but when economic indicators like retail sales start to slow, and the amount of available jobs are next to nothing, there IS definitely something negative happening. So I will say it again people-we are on the brink of a recession!! Hunker down- it's unfortunately on the way!!