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Here is a selection of snapshots from the many events that took place during the second annual SMU Fashion Week April 1-5 — from the Monday launch party to lectures by fashion professionals to the Retail Club fashion show on Friday. Hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did!! — The editors
By Angelica Anderson
After 10 years of working in the fashion industry — from managing at Nordstrom to volunteering at NorthPark Fashion Week, I found myself here at SMU, continuing my education.
These past two years have been both challenging and fulfilling, but at least one part of my education brought me right back where I started: fashion.
Minoring in Fashion Media, I’ve rubbed shoulders with extraordinarily talented men and women. I am graduating this spring, and as a student who has paid some dues, I wanted to pass on advice from people who are succeeding in the fashion industry.
Don’t be afraid to start at the bottom. At Nordstrom everyone had to start as a sales associate and work their way up to his or her desired position. This was a company policy. Even the Nordstrom brothers worked in the back stockroom before running the company. It amazed me how many people came to work at Nordstrom with a lot of experience and a degree, but started in the same place as everyone else. What I recognized about starting from the bottom is those who were passionate and willing to work hard succeeded while climbing the ladder quickly.
Whether you are running the back of house at a fashion show, styling a client or writing for a fashion magazine you must be willing to work hard. In the fashion industry there are late nights and busy weekends. The only way you will survive them is by loving what you do.
During the retail event Wednesday night at SMU Fashion Week, the panelists offered advice to those attending.
Designer and owner of Dallas-based Finley Shirts Finley Moll told the group: “You have to be prepared to work really hard and don’t do it unless you love it.”
Added Dallas designer Prashi Shah: “You have to realize it takes an enormous amount of hard work.”
One of the biggest lessons I have learned is you cannot do it on your own, especially in the fashion industry.
Lady Fuller, owner of the Blue Jean Bar, has successfully opened 14 retail stores and five mobile stores since 2004. Her advice to any student interested in a career in the fashion industry? “Be Humble,” she says. “Life is circular. Sometimes you are on top and sometimes at the bottom. It can change daily. It’s a small world and you will encounter the same people over and over. You may need their help one day, and everyone has long memories.”
Last year I had the opportunity to interview Ginger Reeder, vice president of corporate communications for Neiman Marcus, as part of a class project. The one thing Reeder said that I will never forget: She acquired each job in her life through relationships she’d formed at other companies. “It is all about networking, staying connected and saying yes to opportunity.”
Stay true to you
When I was growing up, my mother would continually say: “Always be the person you are when you are in the comfort of your own home.”
It is hard not to get caught up in all the glitz and glamour of the fashion industry. And it is even harder not to conform to what you think others expect you to be. Staying true to who you are as a person is much harder than you may think.
Designer/entrepreneur Moll addressed this when she said: “You need to have our own vision and stay true to whom you are. Don’t be afraid to have your own point of view.”
I am reminded of how in The Devil Wears Prada, Andy, played by Anne Hathaway, must find a balance between the person she was and who she’s becoming. It is OK to change and adapt to your surroundings. This is a natural process of socialization — but we all have that inner voice telling us when we may have gone too far. Listen to it!
Remember: Always try to be the person you are when no one is looking.
Don’t be afraid to fail
Put yourself out there, and if you fail at least fail trying.
We have all heard the old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed try, try, try again.” This statement is true on so many levels. It doesn’t particularly have anything to do with the fashion industry, but with your life.
We have trained ourselves to do only what we know we can succeed at, and this limits what we do with our lives. Sometimes we have to break out of what is comfortable in order to achieve our dreams.
As Fuller of the Blue Jeans Bar noted: “Don’t be afraid to make decisions. If you make the right one, great, and if you make the wrong one you learn something and move on.”
By Chelsea Parker
The second annual SMU Fashion Week ended with student models walking down a catwalk created by students, with student fashionistas looking on.
This year the five-day-long Fashion Week ran from April 1 through April 5. The fashion show, sponsored by SMU Retail Club, began at 5 on on a sunny Friday afternoon on the Boulevard.
For my first SMU fashion show experience I chose to skip sitting as a spectator and went straight to playing the role of model.
As I stroll to my scheduled hair and makeup time, I expect to sit and relax as hairstylists teased and makeup artists work their magic. Surely it would be a breeze since each model had been sized and styled previously in the week. I quickly learn that this will not be the case.
Backstage preparations had begun at 2 that afternoon, but hair products are still flying and makeup brushes moving when I arrive. With nearly an hour and a half until show time, blood pressures begin to rise. Instead of falling in line with the rest of the waiting models, I make a quick decision to become a part of the process by grabbing a curling iron and helping the frantic hair stylist.
Twenty minutes later, the models who are ready start moving their second outfits to the tent. With only one hour to spare, I start to get as nervous as everyone around me. The show is fast approaching — and I still haven’t sat in the stylists’ chairs. I’m taking in the hurried looks on the faces of each coordinator as she runs back and forth between our makeshift dressing room and the event tent.
I grab my first “look” for the show off the clothing rack and gaze longingly at my contemporary Clover Canyon blazer the same way I had at my fitting session. The models’ “first looks” are all based on the theme of what SMU fashionistas will be wearing to their summer internships. My look included black strappy heels, white JBrand jeans with a blue pinstripe down the side, a white Equipment Femme blouse and a highlighter-orange Tory Burch bag — all pulled together with my new must-have Clover Canyon piece.
At the 15 minute mark before the show, most of the models have begun making their way to the tent, ready to walk to runway — which, for now, sits at the center of the Boulevard. I am dressed but still patiently waiting for hair and make up. I’m the last one in the stylist’s chair, and by the time my lips have been painted red and my hair has been braided into a Taylor Swift-style up-do, the rest of the models are long gone.
My run from the dressing room to the outdoor tent magically leaves my freshly styled hair and makeup intact, but as the last model to arrive in the tent, my nerves are frayed. Realizing I’ve arrived with no time to spare doesn’t help. The show is on!
SMU junior and life-long fashionista Lacey Crisler, who attended the show both to admire the clothes and cheer for friends on the runway, says there’s something almost magical about the first few moments of a fashion show. “As a spectator, the excitement rises at the start of the show,” she says. “Music pumps up the crowd as we get ready to pick out our favorite pieces off the models.”
After a quick announcement thanking the show’s sponsor (Tootsies boutique) and a brief introduction of the event coordinators, the DJ fired up and the first model took her step onto the elevated runway. The rest of us models danced in line backstage as we waited for our 10-second walk down the runway. My turn approached. I pushed aside my fear of tripping down the catwalk and stepped out of the tent to show off my first look.
Fifteen internship ready outfits down the runway later, every model was back in the tent changing into her second look. This time the theme was “summer play.” For instance, my second look was one piña colada away from a beach vacation. The combination of strappy brown wedges and a red-striped Parker dress left me feeling ready to spend a week in the sun.
I was relieved to end my modeling career after one short afternoon of catwalk chaos. The fashion show ended with a round of applause from the audience, the DJ playing an upbeat mash-up, and a finale walk of all the models’ second looks.
Mackenna Scripps was in charge of overseeing the SMU Retail Club’s fashion show for 2013. She says she has been working with Fashion Week event planner Daniella Lopez for months to pin down all the many details. The result: “Maybe I’m biased,” Scripps says, “but I thought the clothes were amazing, the models were great, and the weather was perfect. I loved everything about it!”
By Megan Tvrdik
This spring break I didn’t head to the beach or the slopes. Instead, I was on my way to nine full days of “bat-shit craziness” in the city that holds the key to my heart — Austin. Yes, we were headed to South by Southsest, the music, technology and film festival that has become a part of the Austin landscape each spring. A $180 wristband would get us into all the music events around town.
But SXSW has become about more than just the music, film and interactive events. The fashion statements people bring to the streets are anything but ordinary. According to Amy Sciarretto, writer for Pop Crush: “SXSW is the hub of the music industry for a week. As fans, hipsters and musicians converge on the cool, artsy city of Austin, Texas, people are showcasing their unique style and expressing themselves in all sorts of ways, from Converse Chuck Taylors to cropped leather jackets and print pants.”
Being a fashion lover, I decided to document each day of my trip with my own fashion choices, along with the trends, styles and bizarre looks I saw on the streets of Austin.
Thursday, March 7
7:30 p.m.: I am so excited, and so antsy. Tomorrow is the day. I need to pack. Question is… “What do I pack?” I call my boyfriend. “Casual cute? Dressy? Heels?” I ask. He laughs, “Megan, you’re going to be downtown every day by 3, walking around until the wee hours in the morning. This isn’t Dallas, this is Austin.” OK, I guess casual cute it is.
Friday, March 8
7 p.m.: Work is finally over, and it’s time to get on the road. Here I am in Highland Park where girls are in their Seven jeans, H&M dressy tops, high heels, makeup and hair fully done. In a few hours I will be in a laid-back city where no one really cares what you’re wearing. Denim jean shorts with a cute crop top, sandals, little makeup and hair naturally air dried will be just fine.
11 p.m.: Made it to Austin. Staying in tonight. Long week ahead of me — need my rest.
Saturday March 9
9:30 p.m.: I drop my boyfriend off at work, then head downtown to meet some girlfriends, who are also from Dallas. Our outfits show it, too. I am in black leggings, a black tank with a sheer lime green button down and my favorite black wedges from Baker’s. My friend Erin is in salmon, straight-legged jeans, white sheer button down, and light brown sandals. Amanda is also wearing a white sheer top but denim straight legged jeans and sandals. All three of us girls have our makeup perfectly done and our hair curled.
Sunday, March 10
1:30 p.m.: “Wake up, wake up, we’re going to Gloria’s for lunch.” I did not want to get out of bed, but hearing the word “Gloria’s,” I jump right out. Sunday Funday is about to start off just right.
3:30 p.m.: Of course, my boyfriend wants to eat on the patio. It’s windy, and I’m so cold. A spaghetti strapped, orange and white, maxi dress was not a good idea.
5:45 p.m.: On Rainy Street. The atmosphere is great. The bar has a band playing underneath the extended tent. Everyone is chatting, drinking and enjoying the music. Girls are wearing high-waisted shorts or colored jeans with a crop top or tank. Not a single pair of heels in sight – only sandals, flats or boots. Guys are in shorts or jeans and just a regular V-neck or T-shirt. Some of the T-shirts have a skater or surfing brand logo or crazy design. The typical “guy look” – day and night.
Monday, March 11
9:15 p.m.: My boyfriend and I start to get ready for the night. It’s kind of chilly, so I put on my black leggings, tank top and a sheer black button down. We pick up our best friend on the way. Our motto: “We’re the three best friends that anyone can have.”
11:30 p.m.: Go into Trophy Room. My boyfriend’s friend meets us and has CASPA with him. Well, looks like we’re hanging out with a famous DJ tonight. As we are standing by the bull in Trophy Room, a girl jumps on. She looks like a “country girl,” wearing short shorts, a button-down white top and cowboy boots.
Tuesday, March 12
9 p.m.: I don’t know what to wear: Heels, no heels? Dress? Shorts? I throw on my sheer caramel button top over my black tank. Put on my Victoria’s Secret black jean shorts, and strap up my Baker’s caramel sandals.
11 p.m.: CULTURE CLASH. Girls are wearing everything from a “little black dress” to almost nothing at all: some booty shorts, a sports bra and those fluffy boots. The guys are still in uniform — jeans with a V-neck or TThe first thing I see when I walk to the stage… a guy wearing a Pandasuit outfitted with blinking LED lights. He is dancing around in the back with his friend who is wearing the same thing. I laugh, but it does look pretty darn cool.
4:30 a.m.: Danced the night away. Fedde Le Grand, Sultan & Ned Shepard… amazing set. Goodnight.
Wednesday, March 13
4:30 p.m.: It’s such a pretty day out. I throw on a sheer white top and hot pink shorts and head downtown with my friend. STARVING, Wahoo’s it is.
8 p.m.: Go into Mohawks to listen to the band and get a drink. There are a bunch of punk rockers here. Leather vests, black skinny jeans, piercings, tattoos and actual mohawks. Definitely look like a “goodie tu shoo” here.
9:30 p.m.: See a guy in a wolf mask playing the violin. I do a double take: Am I really seeing this?
10 p.m.: Have been running around downtown for hours. We walk into Republic Live. I feel like it’s a college party. Everyone has on their bandanas, sorority or frat T-shirts with workout shorts. Next stop, La Zona Rosa: 12th Planet is playing.
Thursday, March 14
2 p.m.: Attempting a dress today. Let’s see how this works out. And it’s white. I’ll throw my caramel sheer top over. Cute outfit.
5 p.m.: Head down to Austin’s main drag, Sixth Street, with my friend and her boyfriend. She is rocking a green tube top, jean shorts and Hello Kitty-striped knee-high socks. She’s a total hippie.
6:45 p.m.: Go to Fader Fort. Very diverse group of people. And there are a lot of girls running around in almost NOTHING. Swimsuit tops and booty shorts EVERYWHERE. Some girl’s tight floral dress is WAY too short. I now keep pulling mine down.
11 p.m.: La Zona Rosa… Alvin Risk, Krewella, Zedd and Wolfgang Gartner are playing back to back. We’re in the front row, and we won’t be moving for a while. This girl next to us is CRAZY. She looks like she’s been having a good time. She’s in a tank top and shorts, but her hair is a mess and her makeup is smeared down her face. LOL. But hey, no one has time to get ready three times in one day.
1:30 a.m.: Sixth Street is crowded. See a guy walking around in a full neon jumpsuit. I look up and see cowboy boots hanging above me on the street lights. WEIRD.
Friday, March 15
11 a.m.: Comfy clothes today. A dress was too much for 12 hours of walking and dancing around. White shorts and a navy blue “sweater” top. The top is light, so I won’t get hot.
3 p.m.: More people downtown than yesterday. A lot of tie-dyed shirts. There is a guy wearing a bright suit. Why would you wear that? It’s HOT. In an interview with Redeye Chicago, a pop culture website, musician and co-owner of the shop Violets and Vinyl Nicole Jacques says that a reoccurring trend this week is “90s style” — “Lots of floral, combat boots and crop tops.” Completely agree. I’ve been noticing this trend more and more as the day goes by.
10:45 p.m.: We are watching Dillon Francis play. And we are OUT OF PLACE. No one really knows who he is, so no one is dancing. My best friend and I are jumping around, dancing and getting stared at. Oh well, I love Dillon Francis.
1 a.m.: At the old Roial. My friend and I get onstage with the DJ. After dancing on stage and talking to him, I find out the DJ is Borgore — and 12th Planet is right next to him. AHHHH. I love SXSW.
3:30 a.m.: As we walk to the car, I step in a HUGE mud puddle. Now I have mud all over my white shorts. Not only were heels and a dress bad ideas but white shorts, too. Haha.
Saturday, March 16
2 p.m.: Last day of SXSW. What to wear? Hmm. Leggings, a tank top and a lace salmon-colored top. I am too lazy to do my hair. I guess I’ll let it air dry.
5:30 p.m.: We’re standing in line, waiting to get pizza. The girl in front of me is complaining about wearing heels and a blue jean skirt. I start laughing, happy I learned my lesson earlier this week.
9:30 p.m.: Tons going on. We get to the old Roial and there is a line wrapping around the building. Supposedly Skrillex, Paul Van Dyk, 12th Planet and a couple other bands are playing tonight. There are more guys in line than girls. And they are all sweaty and rough-looking. One guy is walking around with his shirt off like he owns the place.
Midnight: We end up walking over to another venue because the line wasn’t moving. Some rapper is playing. My friend’s boyfriend is so excited. As we walk in, we can tell we don’t fit in. We are the only little blonde girls here, and we look really “preppy.” Oh well, time to make the best of it.
Sunday, March 17
12:30 p.m.:I put on my soffees, tank top and Uggs. There is no way I am going to look presentable for this drive back. Crazy to say, but I am actually ready to get back to Dallas.
Austin, it’s been real. My first SXSW experience was fantastic. From seeing some of my favorite DJ’s to observing the festival’s many fashion statements (or maybe not-so-fashion statements), my experience showed me once again that it’s more than mileage separating Big D from the state capital. My second lesson? The saying “Keep Austin Weird” never fails to deliver.
By Julianne Willis
Thanks in part to the popular duo rapper/singer Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, thrift shops have become the new place to find unique clothing for less. Not that they haven’t always been that way, but before the rappers thrust these shops into the spotlight, few fashionistas would consider them when going shopping.
While it’s true that cities like Portland and Austin have always had constant traffic through their thrift shops, people in Dallas have never been too keen on the idea. The culture surrounding Dallas fashion has always been very high-end. But things may be beginning to change.
The song “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis rocketed to the No. 1 spot on the charts and stayed there for weeks. Before this hit, Macklemore was relatively unknown Seattle rapper, and most of his fan base came from the Pacific Northwest. This is the first time in nearly 20 years an independent artist has topped the Billboard Hot 100 and only the second time in history.
Macklemore has stayed independent of any big label, despite being offered numerous record deals and a lot of money to “sell out,” according to an October 2012 Rolling Stone article. This has helped Macklemore gain the respect of almost everyone who hears his story, the article says. ”We’ve been able to make music that resonates with people on a personal level, as well as having a work ethic – Ryan and I work 70-80 hours a week and we don’t stop,” Macklemore told the magazine. “That, and the fact that we have fans that believe in our dedication and the art we’re making, that’s the reason we’re at where we’re at.”
He reflects those values in most of his songs, and “Thrift Shop” is a perfect example:
I hit the party and they stop in that mother*cker
They be like “Oh that Gucci, that’s hella tight”
I’m like “Yo, that’s fifty dollars for a T-shirt”
Limited edition, let’s do some simple addition
Fifty dollars for a T-shirt, that’s just some ignorant b*tch sh*t
I call that getting swindled and pimped, sh*t
I call that getting tricked by business
That shirt’s hella dough
And having the same one as six other people in this club is a hella don’t
Peep game, come take a look through my telescope
Trying to get girls from a brand?
Man you hella won’t, man you hella won’t
These lyrics have the potential to influence our generation, and while I’m sure designer labels will never go out of style, people are beginning to realize that they can find really cool clothing that no one else will have for a much lower price.
After researching thrift stores in Dallas I found that there are TONS in the area; however, some are better than others.
Second Avenue Thrift
4640 Second Ave.
Dallas, TX 75310
Although this place may be in a part of town that is off the beaten path, it is a diamond in the rough. Housed in a huge warehouse, the store offers a very large selection of clothes. Although many of the item are from recent years, if you search there are some hidden vintage gems.
CitySquare Thrift Shop
1213 N. Washington Ave.
Dallas, TX 75204
This place has more than just clothes, and even though most of it was pretty dated, there were some awesome selections. The building may look small form the outside, but the inside is very neatly organized – with a lot of cool things for sale.
1516 S. Westmoreland Drive
Dallas, TX 75211
Thrift Town is the closest you can come to a “chain” in the thrift store world. It is clean, organized and welcoming. Thrift Town, however, does not take donations from individuals, which makes for higher-quality, but less unique pieces.
St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store
3052 W. Northwest Highway
Dallas, TX 75220
This place is a fantastic one-stop shop. There are all different kinds of items, ranging from modern to dated. You could spend hours looking through racks of clothes and find tons of things to bring home. The warehouse is clean and well-lit and the staff is helpful and friendly.
9850 Walnut Hill Lane
Dallas, TX 75238
While it may look messy, Urban Thrift is an up-and-coming thrift store in the Lake Highlands area. You can find things from electronics to furniture to clothes. Great atmosphere and friendly staff.
Value World Thrift Shop
2223 S. Buckner Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75227
This place has the old vintage vibe where you are sure to find something you’ll like. The prices are consistently low and the best part? There are two more thrift shops right across the street!
By Molly Tilton
Leather and fur go in and out of style. Diamonds are one of the few luxury fashion statements that are never viewed as last season. One of the finest gems, diamonds will always be seen as a woman’s best friend and the key to any girl’s heart.
Diamonds also represent one of the world’s most controversial commodities, since their procurement violates many human rights and detracts from the earth’s natural resources. How can an item that is so divisive be so desirable?
Global Witness is an organization that campaigns to prevent corruption and conflict over natural resources. The group educates communities about the human-rights issue of so-called “blood diamonds” – gems mined by children or political prisoners under duress and used to finance bloody civil wars, primarily in Africa.
According to Amnesty Intentional, profits from the trade in conflict diamonds, worth billions of dollars, were used by warlords and rebels to buy arms during wars in Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone — wars that have cost an estimated 3.7 million lives.
The director of Global Watch Charmian Gooch says that so far attempts to stem the trade in conflict diamonds have failed. “The fact is that most consumers still cannot be sure where their diamonds come from, or whether they are financing armed violence or abusive regimes,” Gooch says.
Global Watch encourages “environmental governance” at the international level to promote accountability for conflict diamonds within governments and corporations. The organization urges governments to show leadership by holding the diamond sellers who market these gems responsible. Along with the governments, corporations must act with accountability when selling and purchasing diamonds.
Tiffany & Co. has been a leader in the high-end jewelry industry since 1837. The company prides itself on high-quality gems, unique designs and, of course, the Tiffany signature little blue box.
However, Tiffany’s has also earned a reputation for developing a “sustainability and corporate responsibility” division, dedicated to maintaining corporate standards that all Tiffany gems will be conflict-free.
Tiffany’s sustainability commitment goals include both protecting the environment and ensuring human rights. This commitment covers all aspects of consumers’ purchases, rom responsible sourcing of diamonds and precious metals to collaborating with other industry leaders to positively influence the entire jewelry supply chain.
And Tiffany’s appears to be walking the walk. A 2011 PricewaterhouseCoopers report was able to trace 100 percent of Tiffany’s rough diamonds directly to a known mine or to a supplier that sources from multiple known mines.
Catherine Tiltona former Tiffany’s employee, says that in the past, “only investors cared about the company’s commitment to the environment and [accountability in the] jewelry industry.” More recently, however, customers have begun directly asking about Tiffany’s sustainability commitment before making purchases, and employees report being trained to respond to customer concerns about sourcing.
Blood diamonds are still prevalent in 2013. But Tiffany & Co. has set a standard for corporate accountability and leadership within the jewelry industry. If the issue of blood diamonds is to ever disappear, more First World governments and corporations must become involved in what many perceive as a Third World problem.
After all, a diamond doesn’t shine so brightly when you know human blood was spilled to bring it to Western markets.
“Look, the right stone can buy anything – safety, information even freedom – but a big stone does not stay secret for very long. The moment you tell anyone about it, your life is absolutely worthless!” ~Danny Archer, played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the film Blood Diamond.
By Caroline Slattery
“Black is the new black” is the title of an article on the Harper’s Bazaar website that describes New York’s Spring 2013 collections. Clearly, trends repeat and reinvent themselves in fashion. So when the clothes are static, who makes us believe in them? Where does new talent emerge?
Fashion editors and other insiders display their own and others’ skills in magazine editorial content designed to keep fashion exciting. Most of the talents are freelanced, so their work shows up across many media platforms. However, for each talent to get a job, he or she needs credible work. Freelancers often get that first credible job at Teen Vogue, “The Fashion Launcher.”
Models are one such element in fashion that creates this dynamic. The right model can bring life to clothes in a way that a hanger never could. Teen Vogue has launched the careers of numerous models. Specifically, Lara Bonomo, the bookings director, is credited for having a special eye that can determine the “next faces of fashion.”
In The Teen Vogue Handbook: An Insider’s Guide to Careers in Fashion, Bonomo shares what it’s like to discover new models:
“The best part of my job is being able to launch new faces, girls whom no one has seen before, but who I know who will have big careers. Agents tell me that clients—like major fashion houses looking for models to cast in their ads—will ask, ‘Has she done Teen Vogue yet?’”
Bonomo has been bookings director at Teen Vogue since the start of the magazine in 2003. She receives credit for launching the careers of models Gemma Ward, Ali Michael, Jessica Stam, Karlie Kloss and Caroline Trentini. Often, a model not only makes her debut in Teen Vogue, she also learns to trust her photographers and stylists and to discover new tricks for editorials.
Trentini shares how Teen Vogue was her Fashion Launcher. “Shortly after I did the Teen Vogue story…my career took off. I started appearing in Marc [Jacob]’s campaigns, which led to more editorials, in Vogue and Italian Vogue.”
Conor Kennedy is the founder and president of New York’s Muse Model Management. He says when he scouts for models, Teen Vogue is going to be the goal because it’s known as a launching pad.
“When you’re meeting girls,” Kennedy says, “you think, ‘Does she have the potential to work for Teen Vogue?’ because that’s going to be the beginning stages of her career.”
Models are not the only people in fashion who help reinvent trends. Photographers are a crucial component as well. Without the photographer’s vision, fashion wouldn’t catch the imagination of its followers. Teen Vogue loves to take a chance on new photographers and help them start their careers.
Jennifer Kim, photographer director of Teen Vogue, says she loves to meet photographers who don’t have a name yet. Kim adds that she often compares potential contributors to Patrick Demarchelier, the influential French fashion photographer who was also Princess Diana’s personal photographer.
Last, but not least, stylists have an obvious role in the way sartorialists see trends. They manipulate the clothes themselves. Susan Walsh, assistant to stylist Tony Irvine, says fashion editors create a bridge between fantasy and realism to keep clothes exciting.
Walsh adds that Teen Vogue has a natural evolution…as a Teen Vogue reader graduates to reading Vogue, he or she may also graduate from buying T by Alexander Wang to Alexander Wang. The “starter magazine” ignites a spark in readers to be fashion devotees for life.
In general, Teen Vogue launches reader interest in fashion, which results in brand interest, directly perpetuating a love for clothes. The magazine can help launch the careers of models, photographers, stylist and more. The Fashion Launcher is willing to take risks on new talent, and it is rewarded with great results. So even when “Black is the new black,” fashion-goers have something to look forward to. As Teen Vogue itself puts it, “Fashion starts here.”
By Tauni Hopkins
The new funky hit single Thrift Shop by rapper Macklemore has done more than just provide a hot beat for everyone to sing along to. It has celebrated a now common pastime, hobby and means of dressing for many Americans: thrift shopping. Twenty dollars won’t take you far today at the local mall, but it can do damage at your local thrift store.
Ditching expensive labels for thrift shop clothing hasn’t always been as socially acceptable as it is today. Recently, however, the idea of buying used has taken on a new identity. No longer done under the radar, thrift shopping is now blogged, celebrated and even sung about.
Buying used is nothing new to me. Growing up I can remember making Saturday visits to both the mall and local thrift shops to find new threads. I can even recall a few of my favorite pieces, such as my first silk black blouse and a pair of designer boot-cut jeans, being second-hand.
Since the early 2000s, the game of finding the best deals has evolved with the emergence of new-era consignment shops such as Plato’s Closet and Clothes Mentor. The Plato’s Closet website claims to offer “a huge selection of trendy, designer styles as well as those everyday basics you can’t live without—all at up to 70 percent off retail price.”
I have sold my clothing to Plato’s Closet in the past, but I had never paid much attention to the clothes that grace the racks. When I brought in a bag of threads, the buyers quickly laid hands on items that were popular teen and ‘tween brands, such as American Eagle, Hollister and Forever 21, but I never knew the prices placed on the tags after they left my possession.
For this reason, I decided to make a trip to see if prices at the consignment shops could match up to those of thrift stores. My visit to a local Plato’s Closet screamed the answer loud and clear— not hardly!
Avid thrift-shopper Chandra McCleskey says that although she has shopped at the two consignment shops before, she prefers to visit thrift shops as she gets more bang for her buck.
A goldenrod satin blouse at Thrift City comes in at only $2.50 while a similar blouse by Forever 21 rings in at $7 at Plato’s Closet. Items that are already fairly cheap brand-new are sold at Plato’s Closet for close to new prices and the lack of “designer styles” leaves much to be desired.
“Honestly, $20 at the Goodwill can get me pretty far. I can buy multiple items instead of just one or two. I just don’t consider the other shops to be “thrifty”,” says McCleskey.
Playing devil’s advocate—I will admit that Plato’s Closet and Clothes Mentor do not claim to be thrift shops, but this does not take away from the notion that the stores are selling used clothing at close to original prices. There isn’t as much variety in terms of style and the men’s selection is also pretty scarce.
There were a few good finds in the midst of the racks at Clothes Mentor as the clothing seemed to be targeted toward a slightly older consumer, but the prices also left me disappointed. Just like Plato’s Closet, prices paled in comparison to those found in thrift stores.
“Plato’s closet and Clothes Mentor just don’t offer the variety I’m looking for when shopping. I haven’t seen anything worth buying in the men’s section,” says thrift shopper Lee Butts. “I don’t only go for the clothes, but also the random items like old VHS’s. Plus, I get better clothes for better prices at thrift stores,” Butts continues.
If you’re looking for trendier pieces for teens or young adults and don’t mind spending a little more than standard fare for used clothing, Plato’s Closet or Clothes Mentor might be the store for you. If you’re searching for a larger variety of styles and brands within a tighter budget, visiting your local thrift store is probably your best bet.
I, however, prefer the variety of styles, bargains and excitement that thrift store have to offer. I can buy vintage and newer styles, while also seeking out gems. Therefore, I will be sticking to my regular regimen in hopes of “popping tags with $20 in my pocket.”
By Maggie Srygley
The Red Dress Boutique started out in 2005 as a small business in Athens, Ga., owned and operated by a young woman whose dreams couldn’t be confined by the slow pace of 9 to 5 cubicle work.
Fast-forward seven years and the Red Dress Boutique has acquired a new location, nationwide recognition and revenue that has increased by 800 percent.
The Red Dress has gained rapid attention through social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. With nearly 130,000 “likes” online, the boutique is able to keep shoppers up-to-date on new inventory, up-coming items and re-stocks.
Originally, the store’s primary form of marketing was word of mouth. University of Georgia students were frequent shoppers – and began to spread the word to friends at other universities. That’s how business first began growing.
Owner Diana Best Harbour, says that she has always wanted the store to offer clothing that is both affordable and chic – perfectly suited for her “target” college girl customer.
“The Red Dress girl is playful, she is fun, she doesn’t take herself too seriously and she also doesn’t take her wardrobe too seriously,” Harbour says. “We are known for selling a ton of color, and when people come shop with us, they know to expect playful fashion that will make you smile walking out the door.”
Harbour’s life-long dream was to own a clothing store. When she decided to make it happen, she and husband Josh sold their home in Columbus, Ga., and set out for Athens. Once there, they couldn’t afford to buy a new place: “We slept on an air mattress in four different friend’s apartments for a whole year! We literally lived out of a suitcase.”
As clientele grew, so did the store. Then, social media happened. Facebook became an epidemic and allowed small stores like The Red Dress Boutique to go nationwide. The couple found their target market to be in the heart of Athens, near the university. So they packed up shop and moved the store yet again from their original location to a spot right across the street from the arches of campus.
The Red Dress Boutique is one of very few stores of its kind that has had such success with social media because they have been there since the beginning. In the early days of Facebook, the Harbours kept pushing forward when the company would shut down the store’s site because it was being used for business. Finally, Facebook caught up with the Harbours: Company “pages” were created and businesses were allowed to operate via Facebook.
Since then, other small boutiques have taken a page from the The Red Dress’ social media playbook, marketing themselves in the same way with the same looks. To date, few – if any — have experienced the same sort of success.
Harbour notes that customer service has also played a key role in the boutique’s growth. “Social media can work in your favor or against it,” she says. “If you have great customer service, you tell 5,000 friends. But it can also work against you. If you have bad customer service — same thing, they tell 5,000 friends. We stay on top of it making sure our customers are taken care of.”
With the expansion of the business, The Red Dress has opened a 20,000- square-foot warehouse to store back stock and online merchandise. The same space houses their corporate offices which take care of all online orders. This allows orders to be processed and shipped right away — and leads customers like Jamie Rogers to leave posts like this one on the company website: “I received my purse today!!! LOVE IT!!! You ladies have the best of the best when it comes to customer service! Thanks again!!” Customer Elizabeth Hortman posted: “Got my maxi dress that I ordered today and I absolutely love it!! Thanks so much! That was extremely fast!”
It isn’t just online satisfaction that customers rave about. Even with so much online growth, The Red Dress has maintained the local store and stayed true to their original clients. Customers still come in to try on clothes and get the full shopping experience. Window displays are eye-catching to draw in almost every girl who passes by. The employees are helpful and friendly and excited to help customers find the perfect outfit.
Store manager Emily Srygley says, “I think people come to the store because they know that they want something fun and colorful like the perfect birthday dress or date night outfit and they won’t break the bank while doing it. I get excited to know that I am selling a piece to someone that they will take photos in and remember for a long time.”
So what’s next? The Red Dress is researching international shipping options while still expanding across the U.S. Harbour says, “With the beauty of the internet there really is no limit to how high you can go.”
For information about The Red Dress Boutique, visit www.reddressboutique.com or www.facebook.com/TheRedDressBoutique
By Tashika Varma
Around this time last year, Pinterest took the social media world by a storm. People now had the opportunity to surf this photo sharing website, “re-pin” images on personal pinboards or “like” photos.
Although Pinterest has a significantly lower amount of users than Facebook, it has practically caught up with Twitter, with Pinterest at 15 percent and Twitter at 16 percent of adult U.S. Internet users on each network, according to Pew Research Center.
Pinterest’s logo is “no matter what you’re interested in, there’s a place for it here” and that became apparent when women, and some men, began to constantly use the site to find recipes, new arts and craft ideas, workout exercises and most popularly wedding ideas. Pinterest hasn’t just been used to get ideas for people’s big day; it has changed the nature of the wedding planning industry — especially the bride and wedding planner relationship.
SMU graduate Ashley Withers uses Pinterest for her hobbies and interest, but mostly for wedding planning. With her wedding coming up in August, she looked to this social media site to help plan the biggest day of her life.
“It helped define the direction I wanted the decorations, stationery, etc. to go,” Withers says.
Withers also uses one of Pinterest’s less known features — group boards. Group boards are like a regular Pinterest board but multiple people can post to it.
“I share one [a group board] with my mom and sister, one with my wedding planner and others with some of my bridesmaids,” she says.
One may think that the creation of this website has hurt the wedding planning industry, but actually, wedding planners have adapted to this new social media site.
Valerie Exnicios, an SMU student, opened her own wedding planning business with Valerie Jen in spring 2012. Jen had been working for a few big-name wedding planners in Dallas, and Exnicios had a lot of experience with floral design; thus, Valerie & Valerie Weddings and Events was born.
“We take our clients ideas, likes and thoughts and develop them into beautiful creations combined with careful planning,” Exnicios says about her wedding planning business.
Exnicios and Jen have always understood the importance of Pinterest to the wedding industry.
“Pinterest plays an immense role in how we interact with our clients. In fact, it has actually shaped the entire industry of wedding professionals,” Exnicios says.
Brides have a wide range of information to look at when making decisions. Although there is a debate over whether Pinterest has created too high of standards for some brides, there are those brides who use Pinterest well and with purpose. These brides are called “Millennial Brides.”
“These brides [Millennial Brides] use social media like Pinterest, blogs, wedding websites, Facebook, etc. to find and show off a little exactly what they want and what we have created,” Exnicios says.
Despite Pinterest and others websites that help brides, planners are still a necessity in the wedding business, Withers says.
“Each client is different; some come to us knowing each and every detail, color, venue and floral selection possible,” Exnicios says. “However, most need a little more direction and guidance…and that’s where we come into play.”
Withers agrees. Although she used Pinterest to help gather ideas together for her wedding, she still hired a wedding planner — Melody Agee with One Fine Day in San Antonio.
“The day I signed my contract with her she created a Pinterest board for us to share. I am planning my wedding from afar so Pinterest has given us an easy way to aggregate ideas,” Withers says. “She also takes her tablet to appointments with my vendors and gives them ideas from our shared Pinterest board.”
Although Pinterest has helped Withers, as a journalist she does see how Pinterest could affect the magazine industry negatively.
“In movies you see people cutting out gowns from magazines and gathering ideas from there, but now you don’t need it,” she says. “It’s all there for free on Pinterest.”
Connie Dufner, editor in chief of Modern Luxury Brides Dallas, thinks differently.
“Modern Luxury has a high-end luxury audience, meaning we appeal to high-end bride and serve the high-end bride,” Dufner says.
Dufner uses Pinterest for noticing certain wedding trends. Luckily for Modern Luxury Brides, its target audience still buys and flips through the magazine for ideas.
Dufner does agree that Pinterest is a good tool to have out there for brides and professionals, but she fears that it “might create unrealistic expectations for brides.”
Withers received a similar warning from friends who told her that Pinterest would give her expensive expectations. But despite the warnings, Pinterest has been a bigger help than hindrance in her wedding planning.
“When I met with the stationery designer for my ‘save the dates’ and wedding invites, my Pinterest board was crucial,” she says.
Withers was prepared and showed her pins of invites and cards she had seen around the web.
“I also showed her some of my decorating ideas so she designed the cards custom for me based on those things,” she says. “It was amazing how well she could capture my style from just a few pictures.”
Withers’ cake was also based off one she saw on Pinterest.
It is not just brides-to-be creating wedding boards. Girls of all ages are using Pinterest to plan their dream wedding in advance.
Amanda Hurley, an SMU law student, has been in a relationship for five years and uses Pinterest for a variety of things including planning her future wedding.
“The only things I’ve pinned that I’ve actually used in real life are recipes,” Hurley says. “However, I have a lot of engagement rings pinned to my ‘tying the knot’ board so my friends can show my boyfriend what I want.”
Hurley agrees with the sentiment that the allure of Pinterest should not carry brides-to-be away.
“I think you can use your wedding board realistically,” she says. “I pin possible ceremony locations around Dallas and various wedding favor possibilities. I’m not sure if I’ll use them, but it’s exciting, so why not?”
Pinterest has definitely transformed the wedding-planning industry, and in most cases, it has changed for the better. The social medium has made it easier for brides-to-be to communicate with wedding planners and get the wedding they’ve always dreamed of.
“While I know everything won’t be exactly the same as my board,” Withers says, “it will be cool to see my Pinterest board come to life on my wedding day,” Withers says.