Payless pranks customers by getting them to buy its shoes at designer prices

Payless recently took over a former Armani store to prove that good shoes don’t need to be expensive.

The shoe retailer slapped on a new name for the storefront and gave its discounted shoes inflated designer prices.

About $3,000 worth of shoes sold within a few hours and after the shoppers paid, staffers told them that the shoes were from Payless.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” one customer said.

The buyers got their money back and free shoes.

The ad company, which assisted with the event, said Payless “wanted to push the social experiment genre to new extremes, while simultaneously using it to make a cultural statement.”

[“source=forbes]

Fad Or Fixture: How Relevant Are CGI Models To The Fashion And Beauty Industries?

Balmain campaign

Balmain campaignBalmain

Lil Miquela has 1.5 million followers on Instagram. She’s 19-years-old, based in Los Angeles, a model and a musician.

The thing is, she’s also not real.

This computer-generated supermodel is the digital brainchild of an LA-based agency called Brud, which has recently received around $6 million in its latest funding round, led by Silicon Valley investors including Sequoia Capital.

That comes off the back of the fact that Lil Miquela, otherwise known as their resident “influencer”, make-believe though she is, is receiving real work.

Out front hiring her and various others that have been created, is the fashion industry, with brands from Balmain, Dior, Prada and Louis Vuitton having all jumped on the virtual avatar train.

Most recently, Lil Miquela featured in UGG’s 40th anniversary campaign, blending in seamlessly alongside two real-life influencers as though she were a natural part of the cast. For the unsuspecting onlooker, it’s not immediately clear she’s not.

The question is, do CGI models hold true value for such businesses, or is this just a fad? On the latest episode of the Innovators podcast by TheCurrent, I debate the topic with tech expert, Liz Bacelar

[“source=forbes]

The Moscow Seven: Meet Russia’s Future Fashion Stars

In times of strife and struggle, Russia has always placed its biggest trust in human resources. “We’re rich in minerals and minds,” goes an old saying. While the population of the world’s largest (by territory) nation has steadily declined since independence in 1991, recent years have marked a potential reversal of fortunes with ‎0.05% growth recorded in 2017. The government aims to prevent the dreaded brain drain, but it’s the creative industries that often are the most flexible to adapt to new challenges.

One of Russia’s leading fashion designers Igor Gulyaev closed MBFW Russia with a blockbuster show inclusive of his Insta-famous cat!Courtesy of MBFW Russia

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia just took place in Moscow in October 13-17. Its Fashion Futurum program is an example of successful strategic support for emergent talent within a specific economic sector. Last year, the organizing committee co-launched FashionNet as part of the National Technology Initiative to boost domestic apparel market coverage up to 70% by 2035. While all eyes were on the fashion capital’s brightest stars Yasya Minochkina, Pirosmani, Artem Shumov, Alena Akhmadullina and Igor Gulyaev, we decided to spend time with the participants of the Fashion Futurum Accelerator, a program that helps promising designers set up a business from scratch. These future stars spend the past couple months in an intense mentorship program in Moscow working alongside established brand managers, buyers, investors and consultants to perfect their vision and set up sustainable production and retail channels. In between the shows, I asked them what participation in the Accelerator meant for them as they prepared to develop and present their full debut collections next season as part of the platform.

[“source=forbes]

Meghan Markle Steals The Royal Show With Her Glamorous Maternity Fashion Style

Meghan and Harry visit Courtnay Creative for an event celebrating the city’s thriving arts scene in Wellington, New Zealand         Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage

Pregnant and radiant, with her winning smile, intelligence and down-to-earth warmth, Meghan Markle has been unquestionably the star of the first official extended overseas royal trip she and Prince Harry are taking for 16 days to cities in Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.

According to the local press, she has taken the region by storm and the talk is about ‘Meghan Mania,”  her popularity among the public and in particular the young women and children with whom they come in contact, her influence on the fashion industry that follows her every sartorial choice and the almost immediate effect her taste has on the fashion houses she chooses to wear.

Meghan visits Courtnay Creative for an event celebrating the city’s thriving arts scene in Wellington. Considered one of the best looks of the tour, this white tuxedo dress with adjustable buttons by New Zealand-based designer Maggie Marilyn was custom-made for Meghan. The blue shoes are Manolo Blahnik    Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage

Glowing naturally as pregnant women do during their second trimester, Meghan has looked stunning in each of the many outfits she brought for the trip,  from a mini tuxedo white dress she chose for a cultural event that has been praised to the moon by fashionistas, to the spectacular Oscar de la Renta princess gown she wore for the Australian Geographical Society Awards and all the formal and informal stylish looks in between, including beach wear, city chic, sporty gear, ballgowns and environmentally-responsible  jeans.

“Australian designers get a taste of the ‘Meghan Effect’ after the Duchess of Sussex championed a spate of local names during the royal tour,” WWD wrote in an article about “Meghan Mania” sweeping Australia, and the fact that she included a number of local labels in her tour wardrobe, “alongside international brands as Brandon Maxwell, Jason Wu, Roksanda Ilincic, Stuart Weitzman, Manolo Blahnik, Gucci and Birks.”

[“source=forbes]

Dolce & Gabbana’s Brand Reputation ‘In Rags’ Over China Ad Outrage

Pedestrians are reflected in a mirror as signage for Dolce & Gabbana Srl is displayed at the company’s store on Canton Road in the Tsim Sha Tsui area of Hong Kong, China. (Photocredit: Billy H.C. Kwok/Bloomberg).© 2015 Bloomberg Finance LP

Trust matters. And, with Dolce & Gabbana (D&G), the Italian luxury fashion house, having its products withdrawn from Chinese e-commerce sites as a backlash grows against a controversial advertising campaign showing videos a Chinese model struggling to eat pasta and pizza with chopsticks, one wonders what Milan-based D&G was actually thinking.

China represents one of the biggest luxury markets globally. Indeed, according to a recent report by the consultancy Bain & Company, the luxury goods market in mainland China has been forecast to grow by 20%-22% this year, with the country accounting for the bulk of the global growth this year that has been put at 6%-8% and reach €276-€281 billion (c.$313-$319 billion).

And, by 2025 that number could swell to $390 billion (c.$442 billion), the Bain & Company study has posited. Hardly small fry.

Now this all rather resonated with me as this past week I was in Milan, the fashion capital of Italy, and one of the so-called “Big 4” along with New York, Paris and London, attending an event focussed on corporate communications and branding.

It is not the first time D&G has courted controversy. D&G sparked controversy in 2016 when it described an item of footwear in its spring/summer collection a “slave sandal.”

And, last April the brand posted a campaign on Weibo, which depicted impoverished people in run-down areas of Beijing pictured with D&G models ahead of a catwalk show in the city. The images were slammed for stereotyping Chinese history by showing old parts of the city, as opposed to more modern depictions of Beijing.

Local celebrities had called for the brand to be boycotted amid brand crisis deepening when messages allegedly written by D&G co-founder Stefano Gabbana, which included dubious and offensive comments about Chinese people, went viral.

[“source=forbes]

How Technology Could Revolutionize Online Shopping In The Near Future

GettyGetty

How often are you satisfied with the size and fit of your online purchases? In the past few years, return rates for clothing purchased online have reached close to 40%. In a poll reported on by BBC, 56% of respondents who purchased clothing online six months prior to May 2016 said they had returned at least one item. Apparel Magazine reports that 70% of all online clothing returns are caused by problems with fit.

In the U.S., online apparel sales accounted for more than 25% of overall apparel sales in 2017. But why do people shop online even though they have to return clothing that does not fit? How many more people would shop online if they could be certain about fit and size?

As retailers play with free delivery and free returns even if it hurts their business, the cost of returns continues to grow along with the rate of returns. Currently, each order sent back costs retailers from $3 to $12.

The number of returned goods also has a negative impact on the environment. The destruction of unsold and returned garments, especially in the luxury sector, has caused people to ask questions. The fashion industry is known as one of the largest polluters in the world.

Based on my research into the struggles of today’s retailers and what I’ve learned founding a company that develops 3D body modeling technology, I believe that solving fit problems could result in growth in the number of online shoppers, reduced returns and less waste. Thankfully, I’ve been observing innovations coming out of the technology sector that could help make significant progress in solving this industrywide issue.

[“source=forbes]

Victoria’s Secret Replaces CEO Amid The ThirdLove New York Times Ad

Heidi Zak’s open letter in The New York Times to Victoria’s Secret CMO, Ed Razek.Instagram: @thirdlove

Victoria’s Secret has replaced CEO, Jan Singer, with John Mehas, days after the ThirdLove open letter in the Times in response to Victoria’s Secret CMO, Ed Razek’s, degrading remarks in his recent Vogue interview. Although the ThirdLove letter may have not been the sole reason for change in leadership, it has shed light on the company culture that needs to evolve to better communicate to the modern consumer. With Victoria’s Secret’s sales declining rapidly, the last thing the brand needed was an open letter in the Times criticizing their outdated views on women.

Chief Marketing Officer Ed Razek and Victoria’s Secret models Candice Swanepoel and Adriana Lima during a press conference. (Photo by John Phillips/Invision/AP)John Phillips/Invision/AP

Heidi Zak, CEO of ThirdLove, felt it was her mission to explain why the brand’s male-fantasy marketing tactics, un-inclusive sizing and discriminatory culture has prompted antithesis brands, such as ThirdLove, to grow in the marketplace.

The letter was addressed to Victoria’s Secret on Ed Razek’s appalling commentary and approach towards marketing to women. “You market to men and sell a male fantasy to women. But at ThirdLove, we think beyond, as you said, a “42-minute entertainment special.” Your show may be a “fantasy” but we live in reality. Our reality is that women wear bras in real life as they go to work, breastfeed their children, play sports, care for ailing parents, and serve their country,” said Zak.

Is the disconnect that Victoria’s Secret has between their “fantasy world” and the reality of their consumer to blame for their decline? Zak’s explains how ThirdLove fills in the disconnect between fantasy and reality, “I founded ThirdLove five years ago because it was time to create a better option. ThirdLove is the antithesis of Victoria’s Secret. We believe the future is building a brand for every woman, regardless of her shape, size, age, ethnicity, gender identity, or sexual orientation. This shouldn’t be seen as groundbreaking, it should be the norm.”

[“source=forbes]

Urban Fashion Spurs Levi’s Upcoming IPO

Kris Kross during 1993 Kid’s Choice Awards in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)Getty

Levi’s is considering returning to the stock market more than 30 years after it went private. The company is reportedly planning and IPO that values it at up to $5 billion sources told CNBC, despite many stores closing that sell Levi’s brands. As culture changes and sub-cultures spring up, is now the right time for Levi’s to become a publicly traded company once again?

Hip-hop’s love affair with jeans is as diverse and varied as the genre itself.  Straight legged denim, like Levi’s classic 501 or 505 jeans, kept your favorite old school rappers looking fresh back in the ’80s . While current lyricists look to a more tailored approach from Levi’s, like its skinny jeans to keep their wardrobe fresh.

CultureBanx noted the denim maker has been around the block a time or two, they first went public in 1971, before family members took it back private in 1984 through a leveraged buyout. Levi’s is looking to raise between $600 million and $800 million for its new IPO and investors seem to think that’s a fair price. Since Levi’s bonds are publicly traded, which means it has to report quarterly earnings to the SEC, during the first nine months of the year revenue has gone up 16%. Net income jumped 44%, mainly due to demand for its jeans at both retail stores and online.

Long before today’s slim cuts or the baggy jeans of the 90s, Run DMC and Big Daddy Kane were rocking straight-legged jeans. In 2013, Jermaine Dupri paid homage to the memory of Kriss Kross member Mac Daddy by wearing his Levi’s backwards to the funeral, a style popularized by the group. Present day rappers have moved beyond just sporting the company’s jeans and are mixing Levi’s Trucker Jackets with other brands, as a way of taking a menswear staple and re-contextualizing it.

[“source=forbes]

Is Plus Size Fashion Finally Coming To Pakistan?

Fed up with looking for clothes that fit, two thirty-something best friends from Lahore, Zenab Ali and Maryam Yousaf, launched their plus size clothing brand, The Rack Couture, in April (this year), in a bid to introduce body positive fashion to Pakistan’s thriving fashion industry.

Maryam Yousaf and Zenab Ali, of The Rack Couture, hope to make body positive fashion popular in Pakistan.Xpressions Photography

From semi-formal, formal and casual apparel, The Rack Couture caters to all shapes and sizes, all the while adopting a fierce anti-body shaming policy.

“We’re brainwashed into thinking that wearing black or vertical lines will make us look slim,” mentions Ali, “But the aim of our brand is not that a woman looks thin, but that she looks and feels beautiful.”

[“source=forbes]

Maryam Yousaf (left) and Zenab Ali (right).Zahra Ali

Stating that she finds it surprising that some of the country’s biggest fashion brands haven’t yet tapped into the plus size market, Ali says; “Common sense dictates that if there’s a demand for a product, intelligent market leaders will try to capture that market. It’s baffling that body positive clothing hasn’t been given much thought in Pakistan when it has been embraced the world over! The Pakistani woman is curvy and bootylicious! Forget brands that have introduced sizes 14 and 16; those are average sizes. By plus size I mean 18, 20, 22 and even 24.”

“We’ve been inspired by women just like us; from our friends to our family,” Yousaf adds, “Every body is a good body – in our advertising campaigns we make it a point to feature average, curvy and slim physiques. We don’t use professional models; they’re ordinary women. It’s sad that local designers have this misconception that people don’t want to see curvy women modeling their clothes – they think it won’t sell. But they couldn’t be more wrong.”

[“source=forbes]

Meet Fashion Designer Şansım Adalı Of Sudi Etuz At Her Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi Debut

Şansım Adalı of Sudi Etuz and models in the collection after her show.Courtesy of Mercdes-Benz.

A big challenge for emerging fashion designers is to show their collection abroad, and the Mercedes-Benz International Design Exchange Program allows for many to do that. Turkish fashion designer Şansım Adalı traveled to Georgia, where she presented her label Sudi Etuz internationally for the first time as part of the Mercedes-Benz International Designer Exchange Program

(IDEP) during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi. The designer’s Spring/Summer 2019 was a love letter to Istanbul, with references to the city through its geography and opulent buildings. Bulbous sleeves were shaped like Palace doors, while the decolletage of a bandeau top traced the outlines of the famed Bosphorus Strait that links Asia to Europe. Delicate ruffles and swathes of tulle gave the collection and ethereal touch, ideal for that staid woman who lunches, and the fun, young debutante alike. Adalı spoke to a group of reporters after her show, where she discussed her first time traveling abroad, her ode to Istanbul, and the challenges of being an emerging designer.

How did you get the opportunity to present at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi?

Last season I was presented by Mercedes-Benz in my hometown, Istanbul, and they gave me a chance to do an exchange program. There was a list of some cities in which Tbilisi took my attention because the emerging designers are so cool. Fashion week goes really well. I really wanted to be a part of it, and thanks to Mercedes, they just placed me here, and replaced me with a Georgian designer, and the experience improved me a lot because I’m out of my country for the first time, so it was a really great experience to be a part of it, and working with Georgian models and a Georgian team.

Turkey shares a border with Georgia. Is there a strong connection between countries?

Yeah we do. We don’t even need passports to fly. We’re just neighbors. We’re so close.

Were you exposed Georgian culture growing up?

In Istanbul I have some Georgian friends, and my teacher from fashion school was Georgian, so she was telling me stylist friends who are visiting Tbilisi Fashion Week, they are always telling me a lot about it, like how cool the places are, and how the street style so good, and how international press is giving much attention, and the city is inspiring. I didn’t expect this much. They preserved all the buildings, everything really good, and inspired me. Being in the city gave me so much inspiration.

[“source=forbes]