Tag Archives: retail

New York Fashion Week

9 Feb
Fall is texture, faux fur, loose knits, netting, embroidery. Multiple layers of fabrics that create color like a transparent watercolor painting (Chanel is right on the money) Fall is beautiful this year. The short jacket over body concious under pinnings, sexy, fun and luxe.

Fashion Week Spreads Out

6 Feb

image http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/06/fashion/New-York-Fashion-Week-Lincoln-Center-New-York-City.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20140206&_r=0

Fashion names star in Apple Mac’s 30-years ad

6 Feb

Mac celebrates 30 years with a creative approach, designers endorse the infinite possibilities of the tool in thier art. 3D printing is changing everything.  Thanks to Fashion and Mash

fashion and mash


Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen is one of several fashion creatives to star in a new ad from Apple, a spot filmed using a series of iPhones over the course of just one day.

1.24.12, as it’s called (for the day it was shot), is a celebration of 30 years of the Macintosh. When the Mac was introduced, it promised to put technology in the hands of the people, Apple says, launching “a generation of innovators who continue to change the world”.

Van Herpen is seen in her Amsterdam studio working on one of her elaborate creations at about 43 seconds in. While many fashion designers work on a Mac these days, she is one of a few who also turns her ideas into reality using a 3D printer.

“Iris van Herpen initially saw the computer as a strictly two-dimensional environment. For someone who often begins the creative…

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The Dollar is the New Quarter

3 Feb

snow day 3

Yesterday it was 48 degrees the snow from previous storm was gone, not so this morning its coming down thick and wet. For a brief moment my thoughts had turned to Spring but now it seems  winter is here to stay. Time for the bread and milk run again. off I went to the “Stop and Go” our local 24/7 junk food resource. OK, bread, half and half,  a can of coffee and a few packets of ramen noodles, that’s all I need to survive the latest assault. Waiting in line I noticed the cashier unpacking new product. Upon closer inspection I saw it was a local favorite Zitner’s chocolate covered Easter eggs. It’s 20 degrees snow is falling and its Easter? I am fully aware that in my profession pushing the next season is simply a matter of course, but REALLY Easter Eggs? I’m not ready for this, even though their butter creams with dark chocolate are heaven.

I asked for a few when she told me that will be 3.67 I was shocked, these used to be 35 cents a piece, now they are 1.19. Oh man! To add insult to injury they shrunk to half the size, [just like everything has of late, even Oreos] I’m just not meant for this world anymore. I hate sounding like my father in the 60’s complaining that his Chevy new was 2.500. “My first used Oldsmobile sold for 100 bucks” he would exclaim. I can’t even imagine his reaction if he knew that  Chevy loaded would be 26.000 today. A price which sounds reasonable to me. Cars are not candy Easter eggs, they don’t shrink with increasing materials costs [just pay more for options you don’t need] To prove my point look at the photo with a quarter next to the egg. Proof positive that a dollar is the new quarter.

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The Memory Mirror

27 Jan
This is terrific, a mirror that records your try-ons. You can review and decide…no more bulky 3 way mirrors.
Watch the video

Henry Callahan..The Height of Display

20 Jan

When I reflect upon my career I guess I’ve been a lucky guy. I’ve been able to support myself freelance during most of it, except during the last recession which struck the worst blow to retail I have ever experienced. Which, I might add is still lingering on. Retail is just not the same since. The advent of the internet hasn’t helped brick and mortar either. There will always be a “high-end” customer that delights in personal service,but they have become an endangered species. There are simply not enough of them to support the huge amount of retailers yearning for their dollar. The local retailer has had a hard time remaining competitive in the face of the invasion of the “big box” merchants. All in all the last eight years have been bleak.

To combat the malaise in the retail sector lets look back to the Golden Era of retail, the post war years when their was a “chicken in every pot and a car in every driveway. Every boomer remembers tagging along with mom as she dragged us through the great department stores that once where a fixture in every town and city center. Those days of doormen,excellent service and sparkling merchandise,made a lasting impression on me that shaped my future and are still the measure by which I judge my own work.

During my post Art school days I was fortunate to have met Henry Callahan the master of classic display .Mr. Callahan, who was born in Oakland, Calif., grew up in Philadelphia, where as a teen-ager he became a display apprentice to Strawbridge & Clothier’s department store. He later became head of window display at Lord & Taylor in New York City and display head for Schenley, the liquor concern.

In 1957, he joined Saks Fifth Avenue, where he became a vice president and the corporate director of visual merchandise. He retired in 1977. His favorite windows, he once told an interviewer, were of Southern belles napping in hammocks and wearing lace pastel-colored dresses. A hidden mechanism made their chests gently rise and fall as they slept.

I met Henry through a common friend who had tagged me as a perfect display man [before I knew it myself] Henry was retired and living in a snug town house on the very fashionable Delancey Street in Philadelphia. I remember well sitting in his front parlor as he poured tea from a beautiful Limoges pot and spoke to me about his days at Saks as he turned the pages of his scrap books [many scrapbooks] his words still stick in my mind, “You must wear many hats” he said “you must be an artist first and then a painter, a carpenter, a tailor, an architect, and a janitor” Henry had no fantasies about a life in retail, “You have to love what you do or do something else” Henry was kind and introduced me to a number of contacts that launched my career. His words still come to me when I feel I had chosen the wrong path, that I should have chosen a more secure profession and work 9 to 5 for 30 years and retire with a pension. Too late for that now…and I still believe you have to love what you do… Thanks Henry, you were right.

Now for a beautiful collection of Mr Callahan’s work, impeccable, timeless and without equal.

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Cynthia….the first mannequin

15 Jan
I’m sure that there are many VM’s out there that have no idea who Cynthia is or was. Cynthia was the first modern display mannequin. Her introduction caused a sensation when she was introduced back in 1937 by her creator Lester Gaba. She was the first practical mannequin, up until her mannequins were mostly French imports made of wax, that had a tendency to melt in summer heat, creating a ghoulish effect due to the glass eyes and real human teeth, think Vincent Price in the film “House of Wax”

A Parisienne Christmas

8 Dec


Cats…Make themselves at Home

7 Dec

Ikea happen upon a brilliant concept for a recent advert. Cat lovers all over the world will relate. Ask any keeper of a feline and they will tell you that  cats will search endlessly for the perfect spot to nestle in for a long winters night (or any night for that matter)  One thing you can be sure of the choice will most likely a place you don’t want them to be.

How familiar are you with this?


Holidays have Started

26 Sep

The holidays are fast approaching, can you believe it? I've been living three months ahead for years and still can't believe how fast the months are passing. The following photos are not the best I've ever taken. I took them quickly, as all I wanted to do was go home. These are three retail stores in two spaces. Kitchenette, Row Home and the new Emilie women's apparel. This took about a week to completely reset floor displays and change windows. Merry Thanks-a-ween….

This is pretty much the way I feel


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