American vs Global Fashion Media

With eyes recently directed overseas during the chaos of fashion month, our Fashion in the Media class was inspired to explore the differences in American and global fashion media. I choose to focus solely on print publications for this assignment.

scarlett-johansson-marie-claire-us-march-2017-issue-2I will say, it is hard to sum up global fashion media, and even American media, by just observing a select few publications. Each magazine, writer and publisher has their own voice and takes on news worthy events in their own way. To narrow the spectrum, I focused on Fashion, produced in Canada, and Marie Claire, produced in New York, for their similarity in tones and audience.

Initially, the covers hosted parallel features in their neutral backgrounds, large typography and a well-known celebrity on the cover. In other countries, it is still common to have models on the covers, but it is becoming the norm to feature profit driving celebrities. Although, Fashion does have a cleaner appearance with less typography, keeping the focus on the star.

Their content is also very similar. Each publication informs readers about a variety of topics starting with fashion then continuing on to beauty, feature stories and the arts. One topic that stood out to me in Fashion was their section covering Fashion Careers. fashion-magazine-march-2017-cover-sophie-trudeau-01-480x0-c-defaultI really loved how the magazines voice was not talking down to the reader in a prestigious way but wanted to encourage you like a friend. They talked about trends in a very wearable tone by using images from the runways but were not directly reviewing each show.

Where I noticed the most difference was within the imagery and advertising. There was remarkably less advertising throughout Fashion. The ads were not repeated and kept more strictly in the front of the magazine. It was also much more cluttered with the imagery. They tried to filled the entire page with repetitive images versus leaving white space. I understand the importance of taking full advantage of each page, but it’s also important to leave the page clean and visually appealing to the eye.

NYFW Makes a Statement

New York Fashion Week is always about making a statement- but this season went past just a daring fashion choice. The fashion industry reaches nearly every person on the planet (well besides nudists), so why not use such a powerful platform for the greater good?

Designers and influencers took note of this for NYFW AW17 to make a statement to society: whether it was about human rights, feminism or diversity. This season was host to the most models of plus sizes, ages above 50, and transgender. Even 30.3% of the models were of color. The CFDA set the tone before the week started by giving away pins saying “Fashion Stands with Planned Parenthood” to industry leaders and attendees to provide support and education on the benefits of Planned Parenthood. Mara Hoffman even invited the leaders of the Women’s March to speak prior to her show.

As the week continued, designers used their platforms to spread positive messages in their own unique ways. Christian Siriano, Prabal Gurung, and Jonathan Simkhai still featured gorgeous garments as well as groundbreaking slogan tees. The influence of the 1970’s was still prevalent this season with the use of extravagant furs, bold colors and meticulous detailing. Christian Siriano and Prabal Gurung closed their shows with slogan tees that left a statement in the mind of the attendees. “People are People” was the stand out at Christian Siriano while Prabal Gurung had an array like “Revolution Has No Borders” and “I Am an Immigrant”. Jonathan Simkhai highlighted his beautiful designs on the runway, but attendees left with t-shirts that said “Feminist AF”.

Another common theme was drawn from patriotism. Designers like Coach, Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs all drew inspiration from America. Coach and Marc Jacobs both channeled the old school, New York hip hop scene for their collections. Coach even took it a step further by combining influences of the wild west in the garments as well as using a prairie as the runway. Raf Simons utilized the classic red, white and blue for his runway debut for Calvin Klein. His statement was less obvious but still effective as he closed his show with David Bowie’s “This is Not America”.

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Change is Coming… And It’s Under 30

It’s no secret that the world of fashion is evolving at a rate so fast that some of us are even having a hard time keeping up. Although, change is ultimately what the entire industry is built on; that craving for the latest and greatest is never quite satisfied. With media playing such a prevalent role in our consumption of fashion, change is moving faster and more drastically than ever before.

Vogue recently posted an article titled “Change is Coming: 13 Talking Points for an Evolving New York Fashion Week”. Change has been a rapid influx since the “see now, buy now” model was put into place by various designers then followed by NYFW heavy hitters’, like Rodarte and Tommy Hilfiger, decisions to show in other markets.

All of this led to my interest in talking point #1 “Is NYFW optional?” and #3 “Is NYFW more important than ever?”. My initial impression to these ever changing formats, whether it’s “see now, buy now” or outlandish forms of presentations, like Opening Ceremony’s display at the New York City Ballet, is a call for attention. With the overabundance of media coverage, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of various forms of coverage. It has nearly become a competition of who can stand out the most.

With that being said, it is more important than ever that brands are participating in NYFW. This the most covered and reputable access point for brands throughout the year. Even though the market is so saturated, it is not worth missing out on the opportunity to stay relevant to the consumer. The various presentations are now focused on grabbing the attention of the consumers rather than professionals. Whether they gather their information from Vogue Runway or Instagram, an intriguing presentation will get a brand notice. This format has truly risen the bar and now is the time for designers to take advantage of the opportunity to shine.

This change is not only relevant at New York Fashion Week but within the fashion industry as a whole. A prime example of this is in Forbes 30 under 30 2017 Arts & Style list. These professionals are making waves in the industry with their innovations across all platforms.

Julia Gudish Krieger, 28, is the founder of VillageLuxe. She describes it as “Rent the Runway” for your everyday wardrobe. They offer high-end items to their customers like Hermes Birkin bags and Chanel boots. It’s become so popular that there’s actually a waitlist of thousands, and you need an invitation just to join. She’s found the perfect way to maintain exclusivity of their products while still making them more accessible to a wider market.

Another young professional bringing change to the industry is James Charles. He’s only 17 but has achieved the ultimate beauty rank of a CoverGirl ambassador. As the first male ambassador, he is opening doorways for beauty influencers of all backgrounds to reach success. In fact, he is only a high school senior and a self-taught makeup artist. He goes to show that with enough passion and determination, the sky isn’t even the limit.



Anna Coroneo

Anna Coroneo has come a long way from selling tank tops at the farmer’s market in her hometown of Sydney, Australia. From a young age, Anna’s entrepreneurial instinct was a driving force in her life. That spirit of hers led her all the way to New York to earn her various degrees in design.

She has seen success in not only fashion but art as well. Anna is known for her playful prints that can be converted into everything from scarves, fine china, rugs, umbrellas to a classic canvas. She’s even had the opportunity to showcase her artwork as Art Basel in Miami. Each print begins as a simple hand drawn or painted work of art that is then turned into a fashionable print thanks to the use of technology.

Anna found the happy medium between design and commerce through a process of trial and error. What began as a dream turned into a true, effective business model. Retail giants across the globe, like Barney’s, Bergdorf Goodman and Harrod’s, took notice of her unique designs on quality materials and saw the potential of her products. Major fashion publications alike have featured her kitschy umbrellas and scarves to their readers. All of her combined accomplishments led her to finally conquer her dream of opening her own store last year in the heart of London.

It was truly inspirational to hear her creative process. So much thought is put into each product that it’s no shock how much of a success her brand has become.





Harry Connick Jr. Show

Study tour this week opened doors to the entertainment industry. As I spent years growing up in front of the camera, I felt right at home. It’s such an eye opening experience to witness the smoke and mirrors behind TV magic. A simple, hour long show takes weeks to prepare and requires hard work from people in casting to writing to videography.

I really love witnessing the process behind the making of film and understand the passion and dedication it takes to make something appear so effortless. I used to spend summers at the US Performing Arts Camp at UCLA where students interested in acting, dance, writing, directing and videography were all welcome to come explore their talents. I learned so much from witnessing all these aspects of the entertainment industry and have a greater appreciation for the arts because of it.

Harry Connick Jr. has worked as a singer, big band leader, actor and now a talk show host. His show is the epitome of a light hearted, good time. He incorporates music into his show and truly makes it his own. It was clear how comfortable he is on stage and what a personable aura he offers.

We were able to see his Mardi Gras episode take place. As a New Orleans native, this episode was near and dear to his heart as well as many of his band members. It was so special to see their excitement as the show took place.

On this episode, he chatted with Allison Williams about Girls and her new movie Get Out, the hosts of Tiny House Nation and renowned Southern chef Josh Besh. They kept the discussions lively with their vast mix of talents and conversation topics.






Nordstrom’s NYC Office

For this week’s Study Tour, we have the pleasure of visiting Nordstrom’s satellite office in New York City. The team here is responsible to the buying and merchandising of HauteLook and Nordstrom Rack’s website. Our lovely hosts explained to us the break down of the company, and it was really much bigger than I thought it was with three different offices across the country. It was so interesting to hear how all the bicoastal teams come together to reach their end goal.

Nordstrom is made up of Nordstrom, of course, Nordstrom Rack, HauteLook and they recently acquired Trunk Club. Even though they are a smaller than department stores, like Macy’s, they have really embraced omnichannel retailing and have upheld a brilliant reputation in customer service.

With the digital age taking over at such a rapid rate, Nordstrom is doing an amazing job having three different websites for their shopper as well as keeping a seamless experience with in-store returns. Another great point they made was reeling in their consumer at a young age and having them stay to become part of the Nordstrom family. Shoppers of different generations all operate differently, so it’s extremely important that they are realizing this to create the upmost experience for their shoppers.


New York Shoe Expo

This past week, our Study Tour class had the opportunity to tour the New York Shoe Expor presented by FFANY, Fashion Footwear Association of New York. The show was hosted at the New York Hilton, which allowed buyers and retailers to be right in the heart of the fashion industry. Throughout the year, FFANY’s mission is to help make the industry more fun and accessible for retailers and buyers, foster innovation, strengthen the industry through education and unite it through charity.

FFANY achieves these goals by hosting five expos per year. This gives industry professionals multiple opportunities to network and stay updated on the latest happenings with in footwear.

As Kent State students, we were welcomed into the trade show with the opportunity to expand our knowledge of both the merchandising and design process. Many of the vendors at FFANY were more than happy to share with us about their particular brands as well as answer any questions we had about the process as a whole.

As a shoe lover, I was head over heels (literally) in love with idea of spending the morning admiring the latest footwear. I don’t foresee myself having a career as a buyer or designer, but I do have a knack for event coordination. While at the show, everything seemed to have been running smoothly from a visitor’s perspective; but it’s so intriguing to think about the fact that the FFANY team has put vast time and effort into making sure every vendor and buyer has the most successful trade show possible.