It’s a very Jeffrey Campbell Christmas

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Merry Christmas and a happy new pair of shoes! I was graced this year with a new pair of Jeffrey Campbell’s, the Carter Peep Oxfords to be exact. There are few items that I will willingly splurge on. These include sunglasses, shoes or a good purse. Any shoes over $60 have to be of good quality and unique enough for me to justify. Any shoes over $120 have to be Jeffrey Campbell’s. Luckily my boyfriend was lovely enough to give me these beauties on sale and the last pair! Their unique styles and sky scraping heels can make any legs look long and lean, not to mention turning heads for those folk who could “never pull that off”. The greatest part about their shoes is the ease of wear. Shoes can be dressed up or down and can be worn for hours on end without wanting to rip your feet off. Best of all their shoes match every aspect of my wardrobe whether it is an edgy, punk, or girly look, Jeffrey Campbell’s can spice up your outfits and wardrobe. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, hope your season has been fashion filled.

Holiday Wear – Guest Blogger Anya Sarre

ASYelIt’s about that time, Holiday parties galore! What better than to roll into your office Christmas party with an entirely new outfit. Unfortunately, you’ve spent all of your money buying gifts for a multitude of your friends and family. Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. But not to fear, guest blogger Anya Sarre is here! Anya is one of Hollywood’s most influential trendsetters. A nationally recognized celebrity stylist, Sarre is known for her impeccable eye and ability to tie any look together with the perfect accessory. Named “Best Television Fashion Stylist” for her appearances on Entertainment Tonight, The Insider and countless other media outlets, Sarre is the go-to fashion expert for Hollywood’s biggest celebrities. She has graciously written a blog post with recommendations on how to utilize your current wardrobe items to create a Holiday outfit that shines. Check it out!

Holiday Wear Can Keep You Warm AND Fashionable

The holiday season is filled with good cheer and lots of hot cocoa. But holiday fashion isn’t that much different from every day fashion. Whether you think you can or not, you can get the holiday style that makes you feel good and look great. With a few simple little tricks, you can turn any piece into holiday wear and strut your stuff with an outfit that doesn’t actually take hours to put together, but will look like it did.

With the holidays upon us, you may be looking in your closet thinking that you have nothing to wear. Stop dreaming of a complete wardrobe makeover and create one with the things already hanging in your closet.

Here’s what you do: Grab those old comfy jeans that fit oh so nicely and pair it with a plain colored sweater, maybe a shimmery gold or silver. Even white can be festive and allows more room for accessorizing. With the foundation done, I want you to grab a vibrant scarf. There are literally hundreds of new ways to tie this time-honored accessory, so feel free to find the one you like best. Since you’re dressing for the holidays, you’ll need to dress this outfit up. A thick belt goes nicely over a sweater and can really pull the look together. Add a pair of sparkly earrings for a festive feel. Next, you’ll need something for your feet. Nothing goes better with jeans than the perfect pair of shoes. A nice 2″ heel will give you a little lift and dress your outfit up a bit. Be sure that you have a purse in a coordinating, yet not entirely matching shade. This will create a casual yet somehow dressy look that will go great for any holiday gathering.

Need something a little more dressy yet not altogether fancy? Start with a pair of dark colored jeans and top it with a warm and cozy turtleneck. Add some sparkle with a chunky necklace and pair of glittery earrings. Don’t forget the bangles. A series of coordinating bracelets will announce your arrival in chic style. A pair of sassy pumps tells the world you’re in the spirit and ready to spread good cheer, while looking fabulous by the way. Top this ensemble off with a cozy peacoat and you’re ready to take on the season.

Accessories really are the key to success with any fashionable look. Be sure you stock up on scarves in a variety of colors and materials, a nice pair of leather gloves, shiny metallic jewelry and a hat that will turn heads.

Looking great and feeling good this holiday season doesn’t require a wardrobe overhaul. While we would all love to say “Out with the old, in with the new”, it’s not realistic for most of us. Add a few little twists to your existing wardrobe and you may only need to invest in a few accessories to make it perfect for the holidays. This year’s hot ticket items include a fabulous clutch, chunky necklace, diamond earrings–gold or silver bracelets and even leggings are making quite the comeback.

Wintertime can mean a darker sky, but you can still radiate your awesomeness with a touch of bold colors. Now get out there and take this season by storm!

Visit the Shoe Dazzle Blog for more helpful styling tips!

My Favorite Online Retail Marketing Ploys

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Tis the season! I’ve been bitten by the shopping bug and as a result been driven to participate in shopping even more than normal. Since it is my last semester in school and I’m vigorously working on all of my assignments I haven’t had much time to hit the mall. Enter online shopping. Normally I’m not a huge fan of shopping online. Not only do you have to deal with shipping costs, lost items, or being disappointed in the item you purchased but it takes away the in-store experience. I suppose it is the whole thought of not being able to use my senses of touch, sight, smell, etc. when choosing my clothes. With all of this online shopping I’ve been signed up for numerous email lists. Normally I delete emails on the spot if the subject line bores me but there has been an increase in my click through rate with these new marketing ploys.

Online retailers are utilizing contests and giveaways to let their fans do their social media marketing for them! While many companies are partaking in this I’m going to focus my attention to one site in particular, MissKL.com. A few weeks ago I was on a popular fashion blog (IHATEBLONDE) and noticed that in her latest post there was a link to MissKL. The blogger posted her favorite looks from the website which are up for grabs as a giveaway! All you need to do is enter your name and email address to be placed in the drawing. The catch? Being added to their email list. Not too bad. The second contest they are holding is for a trip for 2 to Paris France along with a $500 MissKL shopping spree. While I consider the best part of this marketing effort the trip to Paris my business side of my brain was tickled by the method used to enter. It’s simple really, sign into your Pinterest account, create a board entitled “Springtime in Paris: Miss KL Style” and start pinning your favorite MissKL items that inspire you and will tell your Paris story. Not only is this a great way for people to get involved on your website but products that are pinned by contestants are now seen by their followers who can re-pin and be displayed for their followers… the story goes on. Ultimately the great part about Pinterest is that with every top, dress, or accessory you post you are providing a direct link back to your website. For those influential pinners out there your product can be seen by their thousand or so followers!

It’s all about engagement, if your customers are getting excited about your product offerings they will pass it on to their friends, followers, or fans. This makes marketers jobs a lot easier, all they must do is keep the influential consumers interested and engaged. I’d like to think that when I start my own online retailer or clothing company this would be a big way to spread word of mouth. Leave it to social media people, it’s not that hard if you have the right creative mind.

Wanelo – New Social Media Fashion Site

Wanelo-LogoI was recently introduced to a new website called Wanelo. My constant pursuits of new inspiration for fashion has led me to websites like Lookbook and Pinterest but many times the items displayed are not given a link on where to purchase. Wanelo provides the same social media format as Pinterest but narrows down the content to clothing and accessories. As a member you can sign up, login, and post content. When opening a post you are able to “save”, “buy” or “tag” the item in question. What I like most about this website is its simplicity. The website layout is clean and easy to maneuver. Picture 13The products displayed can range from big name retailers or small Etsy websites. Either way it is an easy way to to filter through tons of styles and pick out your favorites. The ease of keyword searching can produce items for any type of style. My biggest concern and hesitation when first visiting the site was the homepage. It included a lot of “girly” items and threw me off with the lack of variety it gave me. The homepage is what sets a websites culture and to me, it wasn’t edgy enough. After searching particular keywords I was able to snatch up some pieces and become introduced to new online retailers. The price points for me are one of the biggest plusses. There is a wide range of pricing since a lot of the websites linked to items come from Ebay or Etsy which usually has a lower price point. Since I already maintain a large amount of accounts on social media sites I haven’t signed up for Wanelo but I have a feeling that I will be frequenting the website more and more to get new style inspiration. Cheers to that!

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show – Utilizing Social Media

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Today’s the day, the one men around the world have been waiting for, the one fashion show that they are willing to watch. Why you might ask? Well it’s the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show for cripes sake! Advertising has been running for the past few months in anticipation for the new Victoria’s Secret line that in the past has included multimillion dollar bras in exhibition. Television is one of the most prominent ways of marketing with the ability to show the models strutting their stuff, social media has given individuals the chance to directly be part of the action!

An online application has been created for android and iPhone devices that allows you to turn yourself into an Angel. Wings are added every week and with a quick snapshot of yourself, you can turn yourself into a Victoria’s Secret Angel, or at least a close runner up. A few months ago I also came across a Facebook page dedicated to the retailers new women’s workout clothing line. Marketers notice that with men and women lusting over the Angels tight cores, there could be a great way to not only market the new clothing line but also highlight the upcoming fashion show. VSX sport Facebook page created a “Train Like an Angel” application that provides videos on the type of workouts models use to get runway ready. Eight workout challenges were posted all leading up to the big fashion show. Not only was this an extraordinary way to advertise but it got customers involved in the action! Not to mention the workouts are easy to do, require minimal equipment, and gives VSX exposure.

This is one of the more fun ways to get involved in social media, I’ll admit that I gave a couple of the workouts a try and it is worth hitting the like button to have workout videos at your fingertips.

LOOKBOOK.NU – Free Marketing for Retailers


Lookbook.nu has shaken up the online world and created celebrities overnight. For those of you who don’t know the site, it was created by a college student in San Francisco who hoped to create a website where people could share their sense of fashion. The site changed from invitation-only to full availability for all, with hopes that a more diverse market would envelop the site. The greatest part of this site is the ability to list where you purchased each item of clothing you are wearing. This includes, socks, shoes, hats, sunglasses etc. It is a great way to find new places to shop and is a cheap and almost free way for retailers to market their products.

While there are tons of members of this online community it isn’t easy for all retailers to get their products seen. There are key members of the Lookbook community who have a big prominence and influence to website viewers. Some of these include Lua P and Jennifer G who are well known members of this online community. With posts receiving a couple thousand likes it is clear that websites like Romwe, Nastygal, and UNIF have benefited from their clothes being worn by some of these influential users. While clothing companies can get lucky having these girls and guys wearing their clothing by sheer luck, there is an easier method. Send them free clothes! For well known bloggers and Lookbook users, retailers have begun sending large packages of clothing items hoping that they will appear online and influence new users to shop at their stores. Some of these include PacSun, a recent post on Instagram from a well known fashion blogger “Real Vintage Virgin” displayed an entire crate of clothes being sent to her home! The next day, she had posted an outfit styled entirely from PacSun, also sending out a mention to the company and providing a link to their Instagram and webpage.

In my opinion, this is a great way for retailers to market their products. These fashion bloggers and members of the Lookbook community have a huge influence on online shoppers. As a retailer it wouldn’t hurt you to send promotional items to these online influencers. It is much more likely that they will wear your clothing versus working alongside a celebrity who would request additional incentives. It’s becoming easier through social media to market for clothing companies. How do I know? Well, they suckered me in, Lookbook is one of the websites I visit when looking for new and interesting clothing options. Taking the time and creative energy to post and edit these photographs and market your style deserves these perks. Free clothes for free marketing? Not to bad of a deal.

Black Friday: Helping or hurting retailers?


After finishing our turkey dinners for Thanksgiving, boys, girls, moms, dads, grandparents and even some pets braved the cold winter evening to line up for Black Friday sales. Most retailers opened their doors between 8pm and 12am on Thursday evening and Friday morning. A few days prior when preparing for what stores we should hit first, a discussion arose about the worth of getting up early or staying up all night shopping for the “greatest holiday deals”. Does the concept of Black Friday help or hurt retailers?

Marketing Black Friday and Cyber Monday as the best deals of all time might be a heavy exaggeration. There are plenty of other times within the year, coupon combinations, or other ways to manipulate retailers to get a good deal on products. The companies that reap the benefits of Black Friday are larger retailers. They can provide significant markdowns on their items after years of Black Friday experience it is apparent what signage verbiage and colors attract the most consumers. This day isn’t planned on short notice, companies prepare and analyze what items they can afford to discount, what amounts they can give, and what kind of crowds they will see year after year. Not only this, they are able to clear out unpopular or out of season items by reeling in customers with bright red “CLEARANCE” signs along with display new seasonal items for the holiday season.

It is obvious that consumers will hit large retailers like Target, Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Kohls for early bird specials on electronics, home, and clothing items but what about the smaller retailers? Having worked at a small Southern California based women’s clothing retailer I was appalled at the minimal sale we were offering as our first Black Friday special. Not only did we have to remain open all night long, we only offered discounts on our already unpopular sale items. This hardly caught the attention of mall goers when we opened at 12am. Small retailers aren’t able to provide 40, 50 or 75% off all items in store, not only is this unrealistic but in the end it would cost the company money. It was after I realized that my store couldn’t be compared against stores like Macy’s or H&M that I started to think of positive ways that small retailers could actually benefit from Black Friday.

  • Black Friday brings the consumers. (With enticing signage and properly merchandised window displays, you can attract an entirely new audience.)

  • Use of appropriate discount offers. (This not only gets customers excited about the current purchase but also incentivizes them to come back again.)
    • Spend ____ amount and get a coupon for _____ percent off your next visit in December

    • Spend ____ amount and get ____ dollars off your next visit in December
    • _____ percent coupon for any purchase made today to redeem in December.
    • Scratch card for a percentage off your next visit with any purchase made today.
    • Creates new relationships. (Having a good experience during the hectic Black Friday shopping can bring customers back into your store.)

    While small retailers might feel forced into providing Black Friday deals it is in the stores best interest to instead look at this as a marketing opportunity. Knowing how to select markdowns to reduce unwanted stock along with creating an incentive to visit the store again can bring in new consumers instead of marking down the entire store and losing money. The competition with Cyber Monday is giving retailers an entirely new way of approaching Black Friday. For those who have websites and brick and mortar stores this means incentives to customers on both ends to choose their stores as well as their website. All I can say is you better bring the value, and that doesn’t mean marking down old sweaters.

Social Media Marketing on Etsy

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I have recently been back on an Etsy kick, for those of you who don’t know what Etsy is here is a quick overview. This website allows users to sign up and sell products online in a small business environment all via the Internet. The website is best known for its unique shops that include vintage and hand made items not found elsewhere. The entire process seems very hush hush, I only came across the website after hearing friends speaking about it.

The best part is that a lot of the items are sold at decent prices and the unique pieces are worth a peak. You never know when the next Marc Jacobs could be hand sewing you a dress behind that computer screen. In comparison to Ebay where you can buy and sell items along with holding auctions, Etsy is set up more as an online store per each user. After browsing through the various categories once you select an item you can click on the user to view their whole shop. Each homepage can be customized with a shop banner and description of the shop (vintage, handmade jewelry, or hand sewn swimwear). While customers can stumble upon your shop when entering in a search or browsing the categories how does a shop become successful and drive traffic?

The answer is pretty obvious right? Social media! It’s not very often you find online banners promoting Etsy websites. The key to success is utilizing word of mouth advertising and social media. Google analytics is also a great resource to promote web traffic. The site is as close as you can get to hosting your own online retail store but made simple and easy. Facebook can help “share” your message with friends, family or even acquaintances. The greatest part is seeing your store “liked” on multiple news feeds. Instagram could be a great resource for promotion of clothing and accessory products as well. Getting friends, family, and influencers to post pictures wearing your product along with appropriate hash tags and mentions could put your store to the top! Giveaways and sending product to popular Instagram fashion users could give them an incentive to promote your product. Just make sure their style matches what you are offering!

While I do not have the time nor the skill to create some of the wide offerings Etsy has, I am fully supportive of up and coming designers. If you play your cards right online your shop can become a hit.

Geek Branding: NO GIRLS ALLOWED!

With all of the previous months tweets about New York Comic Con I couldn’t help but reminisce on my visit to the San Diego Comic Convention this past July. While I am straying off my typical fashion related marketing posts I do have a bit to discuss on the perception of women (seemingly feminist I know) and how they are being used to market to all the “geeks” of the world. Over this past summer my sister and I decided to Cosplay (dress up) as our favorite comic book characters. While we both have the nerd gene swimming inside us it isn’t uncommon to find girls within these conventions who are in it for the GLORY of having men of all kinds drooling over their skimpily dressed bodies.

Booth Babes, some of you have seen them flaunting their goodies at car shows passing out flyers but more recently they have taken over the nerd scene. Booths at these conventions like Comic Con or Wonder Con help promote things like television shows, magazines, or video games with good looking girls dressed in questionable “costumes” as seen in said shows or games. While some girls are just in it for the attention there ARE girls out there who are genuinely interested in the content these conventions withhold and what is it to stop them from expressing their fandom through cosplaying? One writer for a CNN blog thought otherwise, generalizing ALL girls who dress up to be attention seeking fakes.

While women have always been a step behind men in all aspects of life including careers, respect, and strength I never would have thought in 2012 women would still be considered inadequate in what used to be close to an all male geeky world. Advertisements, television, and print are still portraying women as submissive and unintelligent. With the introduction of the heroine it would seem that women would be more empowered than ever to be strong risk takers. With articles like this coming out it unfortunately just emphasizes the feelings that males have towards females in the comic industry. Even worse, me and my sisters photograph is associated directly with the article. Talk about misinterpretation.

While this marketing tactic of “booth babes” seems to be successful in pulling in a male demographic of customers women are ridiculed for it. So, the argument remains, should the comic industry continue branding a “No Girls Allowed” mentality? The changing demographic of “geeks” now includes women and unfortunately this method of branding will not envelop this new untapped market. Taking all of these marketing courses reminds me that sometimes marketers can forget when a new target market jumps into the scene. The world is always changing and industries need to adjust.

Feel free to check out the original blog post below:
Booth babes need not apply

Perception of Retailers


If I were to ask you where I could find cheap and trendy women’s clothing what are some of the stores you would think of? Most likely Forever 21, Windsor, H&M, and Foreign Exchange (for those so-cal residents) come to mind. The introduction of Forever 21 completely changed the direction of retailers. This new idea of providing trendy clothing at low prices enticed many women to move from jeans and t-shirts to dresses and blazers. These companies are successful in quickly producing the latest trends and constantly offering new products. This environment of low priced products with a limited life span creates a “buy now” attitude for consumers, what’s $20 dollars anyway? These new retailers are competing and crushing companies like Billabong and Rock and Republic who were flying high selling their products in a once stable economy and now struggling to reestablish their markets.

What I always wonder is what are these retailers portraying to consumers through their products? Well known name brands like Vera Wang and Calvin Klein may provide discounted clothing, like Vera Wang’s Kohls collection,but under a brand name that screams “high quality”. Is it the actual brand name that provides the perception of quality or is it the store at which it is sold? My prior image of Kohls was an unfashionable discount retailer but that concept is changing with the increasing number of well known names they have attached to their store. These include Lauren Conrad, Vera Wang, Candies, Nike, DC and Vans. When looking to stores like Forever 21 and H&M their brand has positioned themselves as a low price retailer that would seemingly have lower margins. But is the perception of their products good considering all their products are tied to their retail name? Do consumers look at a $5 blouse and think they are getting a good deal for a quality product or seeing a cheaply made product that will probably be ruined after its first wash.


Most people see low prices as lower quality, and an entire store that prides itself on the low cost of goods can usually only provide this perception. So far it hasn’t weakened their image considering Forever 21 earned 2.6 billion in 2011. I suspect most of this income comes from young, fashionable, low-income individuals looking for what is trendy in the here and now. The epitome of American thought, only thinking about the present and not much in the long run. But is this such a bad way to be seen? At this point I think most people just prefer low prices over ANYTHING, even if it comes with frugal return policies and cheaply made products. Companies like Vans and Nike take advantage of this newfound industry of price sensitive buyers. Offering lower priced products within stores like Kohls give them the ability to reach a whole new market but with the perception that the quality is good since it is a “name brand”. In the fashion world we all have our key pieces that we will splurge on and to look fashionable on a budget you have to make some sacrifices right?

http://www.forbes.com/lists/2011/21/private-companies-11_Forever-21_SI70.html