Doneger Presentation: Processing Progress

Without question, Doneger is one of the leading forces in fashion, and David Wolfe is at the forefront. Doneger probably decided why you’re wearing cropped, frayed jeans right now or have the sudden urge to purchase all things millennial pink. It’s a common misconception that Doneger tells retailers what to produce. What they’re really doing is interpreting trends, art, economics, technology, etc. and translating their findings to the language of fashion.

David Wolfe is the head Creative Director of the firm focusing on all things fashion, technology and color. He is actually an Ohio native himself and was more than welcoming to our class as we listened in on one of his notorious presentations titled Processing Progress. His presentation started by including big-picture ideas, like the soon reality of hover cars and pioneering efforts in sustainability, then continuing on to more concrete trends. I can’t spill all of the industry secrets; but I can say that we’ll be seeing a lot more of color, innovative menswear, utility in fashion and no doubt that athleisure is here to stay.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Rebecca Minkoff Flagship Store

Rebecca Minkoff Flagship Store
I must admit that when I first heard about Rebecca Minkoff’s technological advances, I had no clue they were that far ahead of the rest of the retail world. Upon entering Rebecca Minkoff’s flagship location in Soho, the guest is greeted with a one of a kind mirror-turned-touch screen. It allows guests to watch this season’s last fashion show, order an item online, something to drink or simply readjust themselves after stepping in from the outdoors.

The technology continues throughout the entire shopping experience. After the guest finds their desired items, they enter a fitting room that is like no other. This fitting room allows guests to completely customize their experience by choosing various lighting concepts pertaining to that particular location. They are also able to call for assistance or another size.

When the guest is ready to check out, they may use the new self check out service located next to the fitting room. It walks guests through each step of the process with simple instructions and colored lighting guides.

The store managers explained to us that these advances may be intimidating at first, but guests are ultimately intrigued by the new form of retail. Many recent studies have shown that the millennial generation is geared toward experimental shopping. If they are going to leave the comfort of their bedroom and laptop at home, the retail experience must be worth it. With Rebecca’s Minkoff’s target market being millennials, they are right on track for retail success.

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