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Provo High alum continues streak of success on Project Runway

Le 24 octobre 2016, 04:54 dans Humeurs 0


Erin Robertson, who has been doing very well so far in the first five episodes of the latest season of "Project Runway," may have a BFA in Fashion Design and Fiber Art from Massachusetts College of Art and Design -- but she got her start at Provo High School.


Robertson graduated from Provo High in 2005 and has been succeeding week after week on the show, which airs Thursday nights on Lifetime. One of the most active fans tuning in each week is Holly Hutchings, one of Robertson's former teachers at Provo High.


"Oh my gosh, it is one of the most cool things I've ever seen in my career," Hutchings said in a phone interview. She taught at Provo High for 17 years, where she led a one-of-a-kind fashion design program at the high school. She taught classes in fashion design, tailoring, fashion illustration and fashion construction.


In fact, when "Project Runway" debuted in 2004, the similarities to Hutchings' own classroom did not escape her.


"I couldn't stop watching it, I was like, 'That is my classroom, oh my gosh!' " Hutchings said. "We were doing a lot of competitions, we were having judges come in and judge (students') work, we were having fashion shows twice a year every year. ...


"I said, OK, come up with your idea, we’re gonna put patterns together and make it work. You’re gonna create a drawing and you’re gonna make it become your design. So exactly what she is doing on that show is exactly what we did at a lower level."


If Robertson wins the competition, she will receive $100,000 to launch her own fashion business, and Sally Beauty will provide a year's worth of products.


"There’s a ton of things that she’s going to win, but she’s also going to win a name for herself, because she’s really doing well," Hutchings said. "The first three episodes, she won first place, and then she won second place, and then she won first place, and she hasn’t been in the bottom at all, so it’s been exciting."


As a high school student, Robertson already showed promise in the field, Hutchings said.


"She was so interested," Hutchings said. "It was the one thing that motivated her to get other things done, to graduate from high school. She was really excited about fashion design and she had a lot of great ideas. She just was a really fun student."


The judges on "Project Runway" seem to agree.


"I admire the way she has been able to impress the judges with her aesthetics," Hutchings said. "I think she is extremely talented in being able to see a vision of what she wants and being able to carry it out, execute what she thinks is fashion. She’s very up to date with what is fashionable."


Getting her start at a place like Provo High afforded Robertson a unique training, Hutchings said.


"The Provo High training was extremely extensive, it’s one of the places where they get more training than the normal average high school, because most high schools are not offering this kind of training anymore," Hutchings said. "I think Erin definitely had an advantage because she was able to start when she was young, in high school."


Hutchings said that she has enjoyed following the success of several of her students.


"It’s really awesome to see them move on and do something, especially when it's such a unique type of training, and it’s not very common," she said. "It’s just so cool, I just feel so awesome watching."


And it can't help but feel good to see a former student doing well in the field Hutchings taught.


"Obviously (Robertson) is the one doing it, but I just love that I was able to help her make it happen," Hutchings said.


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Handbag Sales are Enormously Important for Brands

Le 20 octobre 2016, 04:56 dans Humeurs 0

Handbag Sales are Enormously Important for Brands, Here's How Consumers Shop Them

Consumers may be spending more on technology and experience-related purchases but millennials are willing to spend big on “it” bags. According to a new study from the NPD Group, a New York-based market information and advisory services firm, women aged 18 and older spent a total of $11.5 billion on handbags in the U.S. in 2015 alone. Most of that growth comes directly from Baby Boomers (women who are between 52 and 70 years old in 2016), as opposed to Millennials (those between 18 and 34 years old), who made up for only 2 percent of the rise in spending on handbags.

So, what are consumers looking for in a bag, you ask? Rohan Deuskar, chief executive officer and founder of Stylitics, the fashion tech and consumer insights company with which the NPD Group partnered to produce the report, said: “The Millennial customer is shopping for handbags very differently than other generations. This customer starts with specific product attributes, not brand, when looking for her next handbag, and invests more time and research in her purchase than brands and retailers realize. These findings have been eye-opening for handbag sellers, and are having an immediate impact on their marketing, merchandising and product development strategies.”

That is not all we know, though. According to Marshal Cohen, the NPD Group's chief industry analyst, Millennials begin scouting their handbag purchases more than a month in advance. Roughly 61% of them begin by browsing online first settling on a final purchase. So, there is not too much impulse buying occurring here. Cohen elaborated, saying: "The handbag has become a signature item, and retailers need to take advantage of selling it in-store, up-front and center, as their own signature.”

Regardless of the size of a fashion brand, handbags and other accessories serve an integral function. For small labels, they act as important brand building tools. Just ask Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, the design duo behind Proenza Schouler, who praise their first “it” bag, the PS1, as helping them to make their name in fashion and particularly, among consumers. For larger houses, like the Chanels, Guccis, and Louis Vuittons of the world, more accessibly priced items, such as handbags and licensed goods, serve as a significant source of income, particularly given the fact that most runway garments do not sell at all and if they do, they are only sold in very small volumes. With this in mind, bags are arguably the key to success for most brands and are a key focus point for brands and consumers, alike.

So, what bags are consumers lusting after? Well, according to NPD, one-third of the handbags purchased in the U.S. over the past year ending in June did not have a visible logo. It seems older women are leading the way to discreet luxury handbags. Sales of purses without a big logo splashed across it are highest among women age 50 and above. Younger women in the Gen Z category increased their purchases of these no logo bags by 8 share points and Gen X’s sales rose, but by a lesser amount.

“Consumers are becoming less focused on image and more focused on individuality – especially the younger generations,” said Marshal Cohen, the chief industry analyst at The NPD Group. “While the cachet of designer logos is still relevant for many, the days of consumers looking to be a part of a designer or brand movement are waning in favor of their desire to find the style and function unique to their personality and lifestyle.”

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A Look at Some of the Finest Shoes From the Santoni Archive

Le 18 octobre 2016, 04:41 dans Humeurs 0


Totaling 14,850 pieces, the Santoni footwear archive can be compared to a wine collector’s cellar. “Our shoes are similar to good wines in a certain way: The older they are, the better they become,” said CEO Giuseppe Santoni.


Here the executive shares a few details about his family’s historic archive collection:


Which piece is the oldest?


“It is a lace-up shoe completely made and colored by hand. It was a real masterpiece: the stitching was made using the complex ‘Bentivegna’ construction, and also the particular decoration on the toe was obtained by using an under-the-skin stitching. It was part of the fall ’77 collection.”


What is the most valuable piece?


“A polo boot completely made by alligator leather, colored by hand in the shades of cognac. It was knee-high, with a big double buckle gaiter. [For the fall ’15] season we decided to re-style this iconic boot and included it in the collection as an epitome of our craftsmanship and heritage.”


Which is your favorite piece?


“My favorite is a shoe from our 2006 Limited Edition collection. At that time, we created some styles that represented our highest mastery in making shoes by hand, each of them named after some renowned Italian wines. That shoe was a 3-holes elegant model, painted by hand in the shades of warm gray with an artistic kind of velatura called Renoir. It was entirely hand-sewn with details obtained with under-the-skin stitching and it required 25 days of production. It was called Setino, the name of an ancient and renowned Italian wine produced in the area of Rome since the age of the Romans.


How does the archive influence your modern collections?


“Sometimes we decide to re-style some of our archive pieces, especially when our seasonal collection is inspired by a certain historical period, such as the 1970s or the ’80s, for instance. It happens also that we use some shoes from the archive for exhibitions or celebrations.


Do outsiders utilize the archive?


“Last year the Italian Cologni Foundation for the Métiers d’Art decided to develop the book ‘Makers of Beauty: Philosophy of the male footwear according to Santoni,’ a tribute to our heritage but also an interesting excursus on the history of male footwear. On that occasion we explored our archive together with the foundation and the author of the book, and it was a real journey through the history of the craft and the design of luxury men’s footwear.”


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