Thursday, November 20, 2008

Housing crisis affected home fashion retail

With the economy in a recession on the way to a depression everything in
the economy has come to a hault. Consumers are not willing to buy as much as
they did in the past because of the tight money issues. Not only does this
effect the clothing aspect but the home fashion retail. Right now we are in a
housing crisis. Houses are not being sold or bought due to sticky financial
issues arrising. Without new houses people do not need to decorate therefore the
home fashion retail is plummeting. I think that the home fashion is in much more
danger than clothing because even with the recession people need clothes to
wear, however people can hold off on decorating their houses. This is not good
for the home fashion retail. Another reason why I feel the home fashion retail
is plummeting is because home fashion trends change every ten years, where as in
clothing there is a seasonal based trend. This could be another reason why the
home fashion retail segment is losing money as well. I am not looking forward to the
future and to see where the economy will lead the fashion industries.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Challenges of apparel retail

With the economic recession everything in our economy has paused. I know from experience working at Banana Republic in Charlotte for the past year that a year ago sales were stable and we met our goals each month with banana cards and the merchandise sale was above average. However when I went back a few weeks ago to work they had to let people go and we had not made our monthly goals since I had left. I know that its not only Banana Republic that is suffering from this economic recession. That is one challenge I see of apparel retail. Another one that I have noticed from working in the apparel retail business is that from the end of January to about March there are no customers. During this time I was not scheduled to work which put a damper on my income. I know others in the industry were also tight on cash because of the decline in business. The apparel retail industry will never go out of business but it is constantly fluctuating. These challenges that I mentioned are from my history working at Banana Republic and the things I have noticed throughout my year as an employer there.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


The main question that many fashion industries ponder are sweatshops. They are said to be bad and the United States somewhat tries to expose these sweatshops. However on the other hand sweatshops save companies millions of dollars each year by shipping fabrics elsewhere to be sewn and made for the consumer here in the United States. As a merchandising major my opinion would be do whatever to save money especially with the economy right now. Yet in order to write this blog I wanted to learn a little more so I browsed through YouTube to find an actual showing of a sweatshop and how unfair it is for other countries to make far less than they should. Some of the conditions as well are overwhelming. I also remember in high school in my fashion merchandising class I was showed a video of an undercover sweatshop in China and some of the graphics on this video have stuck in my mind. The conditions in a sweatshop are awful. So what is a merchandiser supposed to do in this situation. I think this is why there still are so many sweatshops out there. A recession is on a rise and the United States can not afford to spend any more money. I wish there was some way they could meet in the middle. Maybe by making sweatshops not as harsh and paying more but not as much as we would pay in the United States. I think everyone in the fashion industry needs to work together to eliminate sweatshops and try to keep the prices down as well.

Friday, October 24, 2008

art vs. utility

Everyday we wear clothes and there are always a few people that stand out and make their clothing choices into an art form. When deciphering between fashion as an art or utility it really cannot be determined. As the designer fashion is art. Look at the couture lines, that is art. However most when designers design they sketch which is art and when creating a new piece of clothing that is art. Yet once it gets to the consumer it is wearable. The consumer can then decide if they are going to make it more artsy by adding their own style to it and making it stand out from the rest of the crowd. I consider that art as well. Fashion is art and utility from the beginning of the process to the end one cannot pick out if it is one or the other.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

What Inspires Me When Creating Something

Although I am not on the the design side of fashion, I do have my preferences. My style is very classic and I like to be able to wear something that makes me feel better about myself by the way it fits the curves of my body. I have always been a fan of something simple but with a pop of color. I also love dresses so when thinking about something I would like to wear I thought of a dress that could be dressed down for the day and dressed up for night yet is loose and comfortable. These factors play a huge role in the way I dress.
Here in my design I have drawn, not very well because once again I am on the merchandising side of fashion but the dress is simple, with that pop of color. I think the color under the bust helps to break up the body and the low V-neck helps define the bust. I also love the crossed straps in the back because it is fun and flirty this also accentuates the back and the shoulders. During the day I could see someone running errands in this with a pair of flats and a sweater. At night I could see someone wearing heels and going to a nice dinner. Versatility is very important in clothes.
Most of my inspiration comes from my own personal style as well as more of the classic yet modern looks. Oscar de la Renta is one of my favorite designers because he does this throughout his clothes. I also chose red because red will never die. I think red looks good on everyone and can be worn any time of the year. As well as black is a very classic color which goes with everything.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ethnic influences on Apparel Design

Throughout the world everyone is being influenced in some way or the other. Throughout fashion we influence others, for instance the United States has influenced the dress in many other cultures this is also known as westernization. In Africa the children dress in shorts and a shirt until they hit their teens and are ready to wear traditional African wear of boubou, a long wrap.
Yet other cultures also effect the way we as Americans dress. The main culture that I can think of that has had a huge impact on the design of clothes is the Greek culture. The Greek culture has to also be one of my favorite influences. Their long dresses with amazing drapery help accent a women's body. The Greek also introduced the one shoulder. I think this look is very flattering on most women. It is also very elegant. The dress shown above is hand beaded rope straps and belt on and gives it a real Greek goddess feel. The silk Georgette has a flattering, body skimming effect making for a stunning dress to wear to parties.Versace and Missoni in the past have done a lot with this Greek influence.
Another culture that has influenced the way we dress are the British. England's art colleges have led the fashion world in creating patterns for at least two decades. Today designers continue to update designs with new patterns to match the direction of the recent trends. As we all know the latest trends have been bright and loud patterns on dresses, shirts, and skirts. And the art of Britain has helped with the new inventive looks of these patterns which has carried over into the United States.
These are just a few examples of how other cultures have influenced the way we dress. Dress is a globalization process were we all influence each other in different ways. Many designers get inspiration from different cultures like the Greek drapery and the British patterns are all ways other cultures have influenced the United States

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Main Trends of the New York Fashion Week

New York fashion week is one of the biggest fashion events in the United States. After looking through different shows featuring Marc Jacobs, Valentino, Sass & Bide and others I began to notice a few common trends throughout each collection.
The first thing I noticed was the use of floral prints throughout a lot of the collections. I think that is a way of bringing the spring happiness to fall with the play on bright colors. I am not sure how I feel about floral print just because this past season it was popular and a little overwhelming. However I do like the idea of trying to brighten up fall with a plethora of colors, instead of continuing the trend of fall with yellows, greens, and browns.
The second thing I noticed throughout the collections were fabrics with a lot of sequins and luster to them. This trend seems kind of like a costume however there were a few items that looked amazing with the metallic luster look to them because they look very form fitting and fit the body well to accentuate the curves of a women's body. The sequins and fabric all seemed to be more on the dark side to fit the fall colors. This could also be worn at night like the current trends with a play on a few sequins on shirts. However some designers have spread the sequins to fill an entire skirt which is a new trend.
The last main trend I noticed throughout the collections were a more feminine approach to the design of the clothes. Designers are using more lace, ribbon, ruffles, pleating, and bows. The colors very light and flirty with pinks, off whites, and grays. I really like how the designers use this eccentric use of draping fabric and tone it down with subtle colors. This adds to the feminine look the designers are trying to go for. I am excited to continue to watch the runway shows and learn more about the upcoming fashion trends.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Organic and Environmental freiendly clothing

As we start to recognize the destruction we have caused on the planet thus far, we as Americans have begun to go green.
As I was walking in downtown Asheville I came across an clothing store with organic clothes. In this process they grow cotton without the harmful pesticides, herbicides, or any other fertilizer that could be harmful. As I walked around the store all the clothes I felt were more soft than my regular clothes. I was very surprised by this. I also love how the clothes were made with organic cotton. Although I myself have never come across a very bad reaction to clothing I do have very sensitive skin so knowing that organic clothing assures me that my skin will not break out by wearing it is a great feeling. Also as I walked through the store I noticed how they are trying to make the organic clothes very up to date on the latest trends. This is a great way to improve the popularity of organic clothing. If I saw the same cute shirt one being organic cotton and the other being regular cotton and the organic cotton I would choose the organic cotton.
However two things I noticed that i did not like were the color of the clothes seemed off, they were not as bright as they could be and the second thing I noticed were the outrageous prices. I think it is a great idea to have organic and environmental friendly clothing I just wish it was not so expensive. In my opinion getting more people to buy organic clothing has a lot to do with price. I know that is the reason why I dont own any organic clothing is because of the high prices. Although I do understand the whole supply and demand reasoning behind the high prices. Once the word get put out more about the organic clothing and more people start buying organic clothing the more the price will go down. I think that is another thing we can start doing is spread the word more. This way we are helping to prevent toxic fibers being grown and the price of the good fibers will go down.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My favorite designer and why

Throughout my teenage years I have always been into fashion. I began watching different fashion designers during fashion week and looking at the different colors they use in each collection. Through the years of observation I have come across some designers that aspire me and whom have similar tastes as I. The one designer that I feel continually does outstanding work is Oscar de la Renta.
His work is very classic yet he adds contemporary patterns, textures, and fabric to his work. Oscar de la Renta uses floral patterns to portray a more feminine style. The fabric used is silk in most of his collections although now days manufacturers can duplicate silk which is not the silk from the silk worm but man made silk which can be bought at a lower cost. Although this silk also is very feminine which makes Oscar de la Renta a well known designer. He also plays a lot with draping and a mixture of ruffles. In his fall 2008 collection Oscar de la Renta adds ruffles to a blouse at the top of the shirt near the collar. This design is very in style right now yet he adds his own touch by doing a different shape to the ruffle. The whole design aspect of Oscar de la Renta is outstanding in my opinion with the new creative aspects he adds.
However the main reason I love his work so much is that he pairs neutral colors with a pop of color. Ever since seeing this in his collections I have tried to imitate it in my style by either adding the pop of color with an accessory or an article of clothing. Oscar de la Renta will pop a black outfit with a dash of purple or red either through the design of the clothing or by adding a colorful accessory to the outfit. These pops of colors make the outfits sophisticated yet still fun and flirty which exemplifies my own style.
Another reason why Oscar de la Renta is my favorite designer is because he knows how clothes should fit a womans body and that certain features women want hidden or excentuated. Oscar de la Renta adds alot of belts throughout his collections to help break up the womans body which makes them look proportional and excentuates the curves of the hips. I feel clothes should make a woman feel better about herself because of the way clothes fit the curves of the body and excentuates certain features. Oscar de la Renta exemplifies this throughout his work through the colors he uses, the classic yet contemporary look, and the way the clothes fit the consumer.