Michele Savoia

By , February 21, 2014 12:16 pm

The Center for Professional Studies mourns the loss of our instructor, colleague, friend and FIT grad, Michele Savoia. Savoia was in the very first Menswear Design class at FIT and after graduating went on to a wonderful career as a custom tailor and costume designer.He had a very high profile clientele and truly was a walking encyclopedia on all things important in the Men’s business.His sense of fit, image and styling was unparalleled.You could not stump him and his advice was spot on in terms of what to wear when. His own avant garde appearance, complete with numerous tattoos only added to his appeal and our adult students, many professionals in the industry, loved him. While the press quickly labeled him a “fashion designer” the fact is he was called “The Tailor” carrying on a family tradition from his grandfather and father.

Here is a picture of Savoia taken in his very last class on Wednesday evening 2/12. It is quintessentially him and captures his vitality. His accidental death is such a loss for all who knew him. Let us all remember him just this way. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

Michele Savoia teaching. Photo by Larry Byrd

 

Fashion Week: Fall 2014

By , February 10, 2014 12:12 pm

By Jove: The Biz Buzz
Aha weekly tidbits for the HT Insider


What starts in the middle and is nine days long?

Fashion week is here and typical of this business we all love – it didn’t start on a Monday and it will go for nine days and nights but to us it is “Fashion Week.”  Of course, the big debate is always about  what is more exciting, the clothes on the runway or the ones on the attendees entering the venues.  And in case you did not know, sadly after the continuity that Bryant Park added with a fairly tight geographic dimension, this season the shows are uptown, downtown, East, West and even in Brooklyn.  Given the weather and the ice and snow in the city, the stiletto crowd is really being challenged. Actually as some of the pictures show there appeared to be more sensible footwear this time than in recent seasons. Of course these shots were from day 1 so we should stay tuned.  The heels may go higher after all, and the getting around to all the shows is going to be very difficult. That to me is unfortunate. A big name designer knows that people will make the effort not to miss no matter where the venue is. Alexander Wang is feeling very Brooklyn these days and has chosen to show there.  But how many lesser known designer shows will get cheated or missed while press and retailers waste valuable time   sprinting from one show to the next? Guess this is our answer to the Olympics!!

For a look at the attendees on the first day check this link out:
http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/492382-what-they-are-wearing-on-the-first-day-of-new-york-fashion-week/#?photo=1&_suid=139179748308409928465622853598

On a serious note the following WSJ article is a superbly informative piece on the process of putting together a collection, featuring designer Thakoon Panichgul (Thakoon 2/9– 545W 22St/Chelsea) from the point of inspiration to production of the samples which did not start until January 30 because of delays with fabric delivery. Experience what the creative process is and share in the designer’s stress.

 http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303496804579365231653157974?KEYWORDS=Thakoon&mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303496804579365231653157974.html%3FKEYWORDS%3DThakoon#eos

 

Super Bowl Sunday Fashion

By , February 2, 2014 10:16 am

By Jove: The Biz Buzz
Aha weekly tidbits for the HT Insider

Who says that football and Fashion don’t mix?  Isn’t fashion behavioral?  Fashion is defined as what is accepted by the majority at any given time.  So this weekend represents the official “unofficial” National Holiday- Super Bowl Sunday and it is the fashion to get involved, for sure.  Whether you are into the game, into the food, watch for the ads or put up with the play just to get to the half time show, join your fellow Americans and celebrate what has become a great tradition.

A few fashionista pointers:

Even if you don’t have any appreciation for the sport, the Broncos will be in orange, a really hot color this year.  That’s a good reason to root for them.

On the other hand, the Seahawks wear good old classic navy, a classic is always a winner. Right?

Peyton Manning says he’ll be wearing a Zegna suit on Sunday at some point, before? Or after?

WWD actually sent 2 reporters to the press conference held by the NFL and they almost did not get in, as the NFL was not familiar with WWD. Pretty funny?

Do you really care whose Super Bowl is it, N.J. or N.Y. as long as the temperature stays above 30 degrees and it doesn’t snow?

Be sure to hear Renee Fleming doing the National Anthem and don’t miss Bruno Mars at the half time.

And in between -sit back and enjoy the game!

Be sure to check out the 48 Designer-created helmets featured in Bloomingdale’s windows and you can vote for your favorite.  Fashion and football.  Why not?

http://media.bloomingdales.com/fashion-touchdown/index.aspx

NFL fashion helmets

Dover Street Market

By , January 27, 2014 2:03 pm

By Jove: The Biz Buzz
Aha weekly tidbits for the HT Insider

Opps!  Did I say Radio City Music Hall when lauding Saks’ Christmas effort last time?  Clearly I meant Rockefeller Center.

I said we would talk more about Dover Street Market (DSM) this week.  If you are holding out, because the thought of facing east and walking to Lex and 30th in tundra-esque conditions stopped you, you’re forgiven.  Even the heartiest of us “Check out the stores” types hibernated this past week. As soon as the temperature rises check out DSM.   This is an “Alice in Wonderland” located in a neighborhood best described as – no particular reason to go there.  So why go?  Because sometimes it is very hard to explain what avant garde is all about.  It really depends on what your eye is accustomed to.   Many young FIT undergrads (aside from Lady Gaga) will confuse couture for avant garde, i.e., fashion and or any art form presented at the most extreme expression.  DSM from the interior design, use of space and merchandise is a temple to avant garde conceived by Rei Kawakubu, her 3rd DMS project after Tokyo and London.

Most importantly, it is a curated assembly of items from a wide mix of leading experimental extremist designers, representing a global assortment of markets such as Junya Wantanabe and Thom Brown. 7 floors of crazy nooks that as a whole somehow give new meaning to urban anti-fashion chic that breeds trickle down looks at lesser price points. Take the core glass elevator to the top and work your way down.  Make sure you visit the bathroom(s). Seriously. The big challenge when I visited was that one after another mortified men and women came out apologizing that they could not figure out how to flush! Also, the seats, in true Japanese fashion are heated.  This alone might inspire you. Finally, plan to eat at the Rose (a Paris icon) Bakery. Coffee to die for, and a décor and menu to match  “Jabberwocky” surroundings.   http://ny.racked.com/tags/the-racked-38

Entrance to the Rose Bakery at Dover Street Market

Entrance to the Rose Bakery at Dover Street Market

Meanwhile, in effort to clarify the difference between couture level and avant garde:

While not in the same neighborhood, another absolutely must see new store is Balenciaga at 148 and 149 Mercer in Soho. What a contrast DSM.  Having taken over the Balenciaga creative director’s position a little over a year ago, Alexander Wang has spearheaded the building of a green marble and chrome modern temple to luxury that manages to stun and yet in no way dominate the merchandise.  Absolute elegance that will remind you of a museum, yet in no way stuffy.  What an accomplishment. http://blog.contentmode.com/2013/11/the-new-balenciaga-flagship-store-in-soho.html

Now for the question of the week – was Beyonce’s Grammy gown designed by Michael Costello, Avant garde? Couture? Stunning or Slutty? What do you think?

 

 

Christmas 2013 Recap

By , January 20, 2014 12:54 pm

By Jove: The Biz Buzz
Aha weekly tidbits for the HT Insider

Can you believe that Christmas is over and done with – kindly tell that to the people  who still are lighting up the house and have deflated inflatable Frosty ’s and Santa’s puddled on their lawns.  Don’t you always wonder how someone can come home over and over again and not notice the petrified wreath, the blown out bulbs, the downed deer, etc. as we approach Valentine’s Day.

Meanwhile back to the business of fashion- did you do “the windows?” You know you were supposed to… This is important fashionista holiday behavior, and a ritual that is so NYC.  How would you like to live out there in Shopping Mall America and have no holiday windows to visit?  This year, I did them twice, actually.

If for any reason – illness or a trip to a fabulous location prevented you from walking Bloomie’s to Barney’s, and down 5th, we have some pictures here for you to see.  A recap of Christmas just past.  I am going to give Saks the “This is what Christmas décor  and excitement should  be Award “ The light show on the outside of the building continues to amaze the crowds going to see  the tree right across the street at Radio City Music Hall.  The “Yeti” story that unfolded as one moved from window to window was enchanting for children and yet, sophisticated enough to amuse adults. I read a snarky snipe early in December that alluded to the fact that Saks was playing it politically correct by dodging mentioning Christmas. Oh please, d. if you do, d. if you don’t.  The interior was tastefully stunning, a winter wonderland of branches and ice white lights and all those fabulous accessories. A first class execution inside and out.

WP20140104001web

Also notable – Bendel’s crazy tea party and those fabulous Cartier cats, particularly the one perched on the side balcony.

http://mommypoppins.com/nyc-holiday-windows-2013-macys-saks-lord-taylor-bloomingdales-department-stores-kids

Another new concept– you could get your picture taken on the outside of the Lord & Taylor 5th Ave.  Flagship and have it sent back to you instantly as a text message.  The Christmas miracle is that as of New Year’s it was still working and had not broken down.  Hordes were lined up to do it.  A wonderful opportunity for customer engagement, and needless to say their windows are always so special and classic.  It was a great contrast of old and new and as we have told you before, do not sell L & T short.  Anyone out there a convert or L&T fan?

JOAN LT

The tourists were out in full force all over 5th and Madison by the way, and some of the tour books must recommend that it is important to be as rude as possible when in New York City, too bad about that….

For those of you who did view the windows share your experiences with us, better to think about the visual merchandising  aspects of Christmas 2013 then concentrate on  the business figures, particularly for brick and mortar stores.

Now that we are into the New Year, get yourself to Dover Street Market, Lexington and 30th St., 160 Lex. But don’t look for any signs, look for a great old building and enter on 30th St.  It is one of those too cool to advertise its presence places!  A Comme des Garcons temple to avant garde.  We will share more tidbits about Dover Street with you next week.

 

The New Black to Menswear

By , December 16, 2013 1:13 pm

By Jove: The Biz Buzz

Aha weekly tidbits for the HT Insider

Well, just when we thought the “new black” was going from grey to pink – news has it that new black is ….BLACK.  Of course for those of you haven’t noticed, black actually is the color of choice at FIT with both students and faculty.  I guess it must be that urban thing but I know I stand in front of a rack, and see all sorts of colors.  What do I buy?  The black. How about you?

WSJ Magazine, December 2013/January 2014. Check out this super layout.

Speaking of the WSJ, there was a great article last weekend on the surge in the men’s footwear business. Almost 2 full pages devoted to styles, care, shopping habits, etc. In fact, according to the Journal, men are starting to outpace women in building a full shoe wardrobe.  This is no surprise to us as the real excitement in the market both wholesale and retail right now is men’s. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303497804579242313439812406  If you haven’t checked out the re-done menswear floors at Lord where it is  calm and well edited with  great values.  Go to the 9th and 10th floor and you will a full selection for all the men in your life, plus if you are a younger guy, there is lots of stuff for you.  I promise.  Don’t forget that HT is offering more and more menswear related  courses these days and all of Spring is now available on line.

If you haven’t had a chance to see the current HUE, the FIT alumni magazine there is a wonderful extensive article on tattoos that really connects with a post I made quite a while ago that we still get comments on.  Check it out. http://www.fitnyc.edu/3636.asp.

Looking for that last minute gift? How about a HOT TOPICS course?  Gift Certificates are available.  Go to D130, open through Friday afternoon at 5:30pm or http://bit.ly/1bYBlT1.

 

Thanksgiving to Personal Shopping

By , December 9, 2013 3:20 pm

By Jove: The Biz Buzz

Aha weekly tidbits for the HT Insider

Ok, so what are they saying?  The Friday after Thanksgiving is no longer black, its charcoal grey? Or is it barely black and now starts at 8 pm on the day before. Wasn’t grey the new black this year, anyway?

According to the WSJ, Tuesday 11/26 black Friday is a retail illusion.  I guess the market expression, “Mark it up to mark it down.” finally traveled from 7th Ave. to Wall St. Article- http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304281004579222370781619390

In case you missed the NYT, Sunday 11/21 article “It Takes a Lot of Money to Look This Good” both Emma Sosa and Joan Volpe (FIT Center for Professional Studies) were quoted. The article validates personal shopping as a service and career opportunity.  Kind of reminds me of the old cliché “Does Macy’s tell Gimbel’s?” since the WSJ ran “Really Personal Shopping” on 12/4 underscoring the same theme.   Of course we knew the value of the personal shopper  already since Image Consulting is the longest running Professional Development certificate program. But it is so nice to see top media thinking like us. Article- http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/01/fashion/Personal-Shoppers-Still-Busy.html?smid=pl-share

At the Retail Marketing Society luncheon on Tuesday 12/4 (absolutely one of the best networking and learning experiences in the market, www.retailmarketingsociety.org) the always profound Robin Lewis told it like it is in retail today “The Retail Future: Landscape or Landmines”. According to Robin the faster retailers embrace an Omni-Channel strategy the better their chances of survival. Pure players will not grow and Amazon is already opening stores.  Robin says the market desperately needs talent who understand Omni-Channel and can adapt decisions and merchandising to multi-formats.  Head’s up all of you taking courses in the Omni-Channel certificate.

Have you noticed? Students in the Color certificate program develop a trend forecast in SXC 260 and try to predict the hottest color for the coming season which is then used for the next Hot Topics catalog.

Guess what color Spring 2014 HT will be???

“Love it or Hate it, a new Pink is coming” the WSJ, Thursday, 12/5 as well as Gawker and several other media sources.  Just remember we’ve known about that color for weeks – it’s a Hot Topic! Article- http://gawker.com/the-2014-color-of-the-year-assaults-eyeballs-everywhere-1477259786

Setlog in the news

By , October 27, 2013 10:01 am

Just how integrated the industry is now was underscored at our 9/27 program. Fashion generalists function better. Read more here: http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/apparel-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=153762

Fibre2Fashion (October 11) reported that FIT’s Center for Professional Studies, in association with Setlog Corporation, presented Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility in the Global Supply Chain, a seminar held at FIT on September 27. The event addressed the issues facing global fashion brands and retailers who are under increased pressure to know more about every element in the supply chain.

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Curvaceous K

By , February 25, 2013 11:09 am

Congratulations to our Retail Professional Development
Certificate student’s Grand Opening!

Who:
Kathy Sanchez

Certificate Program:
Retail Management Experience

What:
Curvaceous K

Where:
Curvaceous K
179 Stanton Street (between Clinton and Attorney Streets)
http://curvaceousk.com
http://curvaceousk.blogspot.com

Why:
I wanted to provide women my size with the opportunity to shop in a boutique especially for them as most boutiques really only cater to about size 10/12.

Preppy Class Pinterest Winner

By , December 19, 2012 12:57 pm

50 Shades of Prep
Postponed due to Sandy, the program was held on December 1. The morning interview and discussion featuring G. Bruce Boyer, acclaimed menswear journalist and Celebrity Stylist, Cliff Hoppus was a treasure trove of information and having Bruce take the group through the Ivy Style exhibition really added insight into the show,  as well as this style of dress that has been America’s gift to the world  of dressing starting in the 1920’s , particularly in menswear.

G Bruce Boyer and Cliff Hoppus

The winner from the Preppy Pinterest contest was announced during the lunch break. It was hard to choose a winner, but in the end, Gerardo Giannetti won! See his Preppy Lifestyle board below. Gerardo Giannetti Pinterest winning entry

The afternoon trips included the new Brooks Bros. concept store “Flatiron” where the manager  Anne Alcocer  gave a welcome and talked about the Brooks strategy to attract a younger customer in addition to their loyal following in their traditional stores.  The store at 19th and Broadway is a treat to visit. The next stop was the iconic flagship Brooks Bros. Store at 44th and Madison for an insightful comparison.  Ronald Ferguson, concierge gave an escorted tour of several floors and made sure that we also got a look at both the women’s and children’s  clothing – all just beautiful.

The next stop was Paul Stuart where Mona Reilly  greeted our group and gave the background info on this still privately owned  civilized  and warm luxury store.  One of the highlights of the day was provided by Ralph Auriemma, designer for Paul Stuart and specifically for their upscale Phineas Cole line. Ralph was on hand to talk to us about the designer aspects of the business and how he got started and works today.  After a quick run through J. Press up the street,  the program wrapped up with a personal tour by  Douglas Geller at Gant on 5th Ave with a great assortment of men’s women’s and kid’s, once again underscoring the morning message that prep is really a lifestyle.

Our attendees thought the program was amazing  and were thrilled that we spent so much time on men’s and we promised to cover the men’s business more fully in the future.  We thank all the retailers who welcomed us, in spite of the fact that Christmas business was going on.

Preppy Talk & Tour

Don’t forget to check out the exhibit before it closes!!

EXHIBITION: IVY STYLE
Through January 5

Special Exhibitions Gallery, The Museum at FIT
The evolution of Ivy League fashion is featured in this exhibition, focusing on three important time periods: the interwar years of the 1920s and 1930s, the post-war era to the end of the 1960s, and the style’s revival from the 1980s to the present. Looks created by companies such as J. Press and Brooks Brothers as well as contemporary interpretations of the style from Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger are on view.

 

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