Sunday, 31 July 2011

The Fashion Blog is Back...A Note from the Editor

Thank you all for your patience while I took a leave of absence from the blog. You can expect the next blog entry within the week. Once again, I hope to bring you a little piece of international fashion news to keep you entertained and informed. Please let me know if there are any particular areas of fashion news you'd like to hear about! Thank you again, dear readers, for your patience and interest in this blog.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Away from the Blog....

Due to life circumstances, I regret to inform my readers that I am taking some time off from my blog. I apologise for not notifying you sooner.
- Miss Lori

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Giordano Continues Expansion In Middle East; Gap Inc. Dismisses Gap Division Design Chief Patrick Robinson

The Gap and Giordano retail stores both carry basic styles of clothing for everyday wear. This includes denim (jeans, etc.), sweaters, basic tees, and khaki trousers. Although they may carry similar merchandise, however, Giordano is doing much better with regards to sales. Giordano, an international company founded and based out of Hong Kong, has recently opened yet another store in Kuwait. For Giordano, business is booming in the middle eastern region. Meanwhile, the Gap struggles to make profits within its North American division. Although the Gap's Design Chief Patrick Robinson has been let go due to supposedly poor design decisions, could it be possible that specifically the styles sold within Gap stores simply do not sell well within the North American market?

Other Fashion News Highlights Include the Following:
The European Fashion Council chooses Dutch designer Frank Verspoor's logo idea whilst Bulgarian native Nadya VALEVA was chosen for her slogan idea "Union of arts and ideas".

An NGO, the Ensemble Foundation, is launched today in Accra, Ghana. One of its goals include raising awareness of cervical cancer preventative measures and funding cervical cancer screening worldwide.

Bollywood singer and actresAishwarya Rai may launch her own international fashion line.

British Brand Karen Millen has plans to continue expanded its stores worldwide.

Hermes International SCA sells its 45% stake in Jean-Paul Gaultier to Grupo Puig for 16 million EUR.

Obscene Jeans Corp decides to partner with Beautyfresh in order to distribute products in China. Beautyfresh is one of a few select companies licensed by the Chinese government to distribute international products within China. 

Saturday, 30 April 2011

In the UK: Kate and William's Royal Wedding

For those of you who may have missed all the fanfare, Kate Middleton Married her Prince William. A well-kept secret, Kate Middleton's dress was made by Alexander McQueen designer Sarah Burton. Chelsy Davy was seen wearing an Alberta Ferretti gown. The bride's sister wore another of Sarah Burton's fabulous creations for the ceremony whilst choosing a design by Alice Temperley. The bride's mother, meanwhile, chose to wear a creation made by Catherine Walker, a favourite designer of the late Princess Diana.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

American Apparel May Receive up to $43 Million From Canadian Investors to Prevent Bankruptcy

American Apparel, a Los Angeles vertically-integrated apparel company, has not been doing well financially. When the 2010 4th quarter financial statement was released at the end of March showing a 19.3Million USD net loss in worth compared with a net profit the previous year, American Apparel began looking for investors in order to prevent bankruptcy. They needed at least 10-15 Million USD, and have managed this last week to secure up to $43 million in financial investments, a good portion of which comes from Canadian investors. American apparel is on Scriptsmart's list of gift cards to avoid due to financial instability. Investors will buy shares at a rate of $.90 USD/share, a significantly lower rate than American Apparel's stock value at the end of this week ($1.24USD/share). To further complicate matters, American Apparel and its CEO, Dov Charney, are currently involved in sexual harrasment lawsuits.

For more information, I also recommend checking out this online article written by Jim Edwards on CBS's Bnet website. 

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Textiles: Rising Cotton Prices May Begin to Fall

Textile cotton prices may begin to fall if the current projected output for this year is correct, there should be surplus of cotton totally approximately 9 million bales. Currently, however, the whole global cotton market is in chaos. New York Future's prices for May are at just over $2. Turkey’s Tariş Cotton Union is exporting cotton bales rather than sell them domestically due to the large difference in market price. China has been drastically increasing the amount of cotton exported over the past few years. India has banned international exports, so Pakistan has been buying from Uzbekistan. Some reasons given for the increase in the price of cotton include conflict in the north African and Gulf regions, natural disasters in the last couple years in cotton-producing countries such as Pakistan and Australia, and an increase in demand. However, this year, countries such as Pakistan are expected to have a much better crop production, and cotton production worldwide should be able to meet worldwide demand.

Picture from

Friday, 15 April 2011

Learning a New Language May Help Your Career

It is no secret that in recent years, due in part to new technology and innovations such as the internet, the world is being subject to increasing globalisation. In most major cities around the world, it is not uncommon to see signs in multiple languages such as English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Chinese, etc. With more apparel and textile manufacturers doing business in multiple countries, it may help to have at least a minimal knowledge of the language in order to make business travel more convenient. Becoming fluent in two or more languages may result in increased chances enhancing one's career portfolio.

There are multiple ways to learn a new language. There are language programs offered through local colleges and universities, language schools near home and abroad, and language courses offered via skype with a personal language tutor from virtually anywhere in the world. Furthermore, there are self-study materials available. Additionally, some countries offer television programs in more than one language. For instance, within the United States, it is not uncommon for their to be Spanish channels in addition to their main selection of English channels. When choosing a program that is right for you, consider how much time you have to devote to language learning, how you learn best, and what your budget is. Know what your priorities are in this regard. If you have a particular deadline in mind, then time may become a more important factor than money for you, for example.

Some sources for further reading include:

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Canadian Chain Closes All 76 Stores; New "Healthy" Apparel

Picture from

Tabi Stores, Inc, a Canadian apparel company that specializes in casual attire for 40+ year-old women, is set to close all of its remaining 76 stores as the company files for bankruptcy. They are using Farber Financial Group to help with bankruptcy process. Currently, all Tabi stores are offering a 20-40% discount on all merchandise. Merchandising fixtures are also for sale. According to one website, they are no longer accepting gift cards.

Not all Canadian apparel companies are struggling to stay in business. One Canadian store that is doing extremely well financially is Lululemon. Lululemon is an athleticwear company that specializes in yoga clothing for both men and women. Their clothes incorporate modern apparel technology, including the use of silver fibres for their antibacterial properties. Their stock shares have nearly tripled in value since last August.

Newly launched apparel companies in the realm of athletic and health-related apparel include a new line of fashionable sun-protective clothing by Mott50, a recent US start-up company. Bill Schultz recently created a posture-correcting shirt that has been proven to work in helping at least one patient correct posture.

In other world news, India's Madame brand is set to launch a line of apparel for young girls. South Korean manufacturing company Sae-A Trading Co. Ltd plans to open a large assembly plant in Haiti next March. Multiple companies, including Inter Parfums, are interested in buying a 45% stake in Jean-Paul Gaultier. The 21st Vietnam International Textile and Garment Industry exhibition opened 8 Apr, 2010, showcasing modern textile machinery. A US Outdoor Act has been introduced in order to aid in the affordability and research of athletic apparel. A design contest in New Zealand honours young design talent.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Month of April

Dear blog viewers,

I hope you have been enjoying watching my blog grow and evolve from its beginnings in January. Changes to expect this month are no set time limit for posting. There will be at least one post every Saturday. Other than that, I will most likely post 1-2 other posts if time is available. This blog is finally starting to find its rhythm and for that I am grateful. Once again, any feedback you could give would be appreciated! Hope you all have a great month! 'Til next time,

Miss Lori

Blog Author.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

AAFA Lists International Restricted Substances while Nike honors Cheech & Chong

The American Apparel and Footwear Association has compiled a list of laws and regulations that apply to products and substances used in the manufacturing of apparel and footwear products. These regulations can be used by industry personnel to in order to meet the law requirements of various countries while also possibly providing the necessary means by which to increase environmental protection awareness globally.

Meanwhile, Nike will soon be releasing a skater shoe in honor of Cheech & Chong. Although there is a correlation between a relatively high percentage of marijuana smokers and people who enjoy activities such as skateboarding, rollerblading, etc., I am not sure that I agree with Nike, an athletic apparel & footwear associations, deciding to honor two people associated with pot smoking. Irregardless of one's stance on the legality of marijuana, any athletic company that appears to support things that are contraindicative of good health just seems a bit ethically wrong.

In other news:-Pakistan's fashion week seems to have showcased up & coming designers in the area, but still needs more time and development before it rivals other international fashion weeks, such as those held in Turkey, France, Italy, and the US.

-Marc Jacob's ex-COO has filed a lawsuit against Marc Jacob's president for creating a "discriminatory enivornment".

-American Apparel may be forced to file bankruptcy soon.

What impact may Japan have on international apparel and textile market? Click here for the link to the just-style article.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Glam Media enters South Korean Online Market

Glam Media  is perhaps the largest online fashion publishing and advertising company. They have partnered with many sites to provide quality advertising promotion to businesses. Glam Media Inc. also runs their own flagship websites, such as Furthermore, if you have a website you'd like to market to potential viewers, you might want to consider joining Glam Media's list of websites they publish their ads and links onto. Recently, Glam Media is expanding into the South Korean market. According to one source, South Koreans spend a significant amount of time purusing the internet, making it a good candidate for online brand identity promotion. There will be 15 major sites participating in Glam Media's South Korean market launch, including Marie Claire, ezday, and WomanSense, and Heesun Chin will be Glam Media's Country Manager for South Korea.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

HK Ritz Carlton's Hotel & Employee Fashion Show

The Hong Kong Ritz Carlton, soon to be the tallest hotel in the world, recently hosted a fashion show for its employees. The fashion show displayed uniforms to be worn by its future employees, highlighting what accessories and shoes would be allowed to be worn to work (e.g. jewelry). Here is a link to a video of the hotel before opening. Below is another video highlighting the hotel's amenities:

Thursday, 24 March 2011

The UK's London College of Fashion To Host Workshops in Dubai

The UK's London College of Fashion will be hosting workshops during 13-27th May this year at the Pullman Dubai Mall of the emirates hotel. The workshops will include topics such as fashion journalism, promotion, product design and development, entrepreneurship, and merchandising. The workshops vary from one to three days in length depending on the specific topic. Although much more costly than its UK equivalent course (with similar completion certificates being given out at the end of each workshop),  the additional fees go towards the extra costs of hosting the workshop courses in another country. These include travel for staff members, extra associated costs of leasing the space for the workshop venue, and extra staff to ensure everything runs smoothly. Even with the extra costs of attending the UAE workshops, locals may still find it cheaper than the cost of the flight, visa, and lodgings associated with attending the equivalent workshop in London. If you book before 1 April, there are "early bird" discounts of 10% per workshop.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

International Stock Market and Fashion News

Japanese stocks overall seem to be rebounding this week while US stocks overall have fallen somewhat, according to However, some of the large US retailers such as Target Corp, had a slight increase in their share value, even amid the current devastation in Japan. In Canada, retailers have shown slight mixed growth depending on the particular industry sector. Toronto stock markets have recently been very volatile within a given day, though it showing little overall change over a week-long period. For updates on overall market changes, CNN provides a useful interactive online map with regular updates.

In other news, China International Fashion Week begins on 24 March, 2011. Levi's International has appointed Ms. Laurie Etheridge as its global leader for Women's Merchandising and Design. During March 16-18, Maritius hosted Origin Africa's Fibre to Fashion 2011. Tokyo's retail fashion stores are beginning to reopen.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

CDFA Awards Lady Gaga as Fashion Icon

The Council of Fashion Designers of America will award Lady Gaga as a "Fashion Icon". Perhaps the only thing mentioned in reference to Lady Gaga as much as her music is her unique fashion sense. Infamously known for her "meat suit" and "hatching" out of a giant egg, Lady Gaga is constantly testing the bounds of fashion. Admittedly controversial at times, she appears to be more of a trend-setter than a trend-follower. However, it is still based on trends and the image she creates for herself. Only time will tell if she can manage to keep influencing fashion. Do you believe she deserves such an award? Why or why not?

Below is her latest video, seeming like an odd mix of 80s fantasy film meets a dia-de-los-muertos goth version meets minimalist, futuristic cyborg-factory. What is your opinion of the video and Lady Gaga's choice of costume?

Friday, 18 March 2011

Interesting Links...

First and foremost, I would like to apologize for no blog topic yesterday. I hope that everyone had a great St.Patrick's Day (for those who celebrate)!

What's going on in the global fashion industry right now? Quite a lot, to be honest. Here are a few interesting things going on in the industry:

Foreign Trade Zones in the United States are becoming useful for apparel companies wanting to delay paying customs duties until the product reaches the US, resulting in less time between when the duties are paid and the product reaches its retail/distribution destination. This, in turn, results in a more effective cash flow allowing the manufacturers time to use the money for other things until the duties must be paid.

Local apparel companies meet demand of uniforms for Afghan troops, helping their economy. Multiple apparel companies have been set up in order to meet the high demand for uniforms for the Afghan military.

And just for fun, check out this link for fashion for tall women:

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Got Your "Five Fingers"? Vibrams: A New Take on Footwear

Ever wondered what would happen to shoes after toe socks became a wardrobe staple? How about shoes like Vibrams Five Fingers described in the video below:

But how do they compare to barefoot running? Check this out:

For athletic activities such as running and hiking, I think this is the next step in footwear design.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Japan's Earthquake & Tsunami Relief Efforts

Friday, March 11, 2011, Japan was hit by an 8.9 earthquake at approximately 2:46 pm. Due to the earthquake, people were stranded all over the country, to include Disney theme parks in Tokyo. The worst destruction occured in northern Japan, however. The Fukushima I nuclear power plant was shut down following damages caused by the earthquake. Later, an exterior plant wall blew up. Overall, the radiation fallout from this is expected to be relatively low levels.

Not only has the earthquake caused numerous deaths, injuries, and other potential health risks, it is also a threat to industry. Many Japanese industries have been hurt due to the earthquake, including its automotive and electronic industries. The roads and railways in many parts of the country were shut down due to damages. Many airlines have also encountered problems such as delayed and/or cancelled flights due to the earthquake.

China has already offered to send navy to help with relief efforts while other countries, such as the US, are already aiding Japan. Google and twitter, not long after the initial destruction, have been doing what they can to aid Japan by helping people locate family members and keep up with ongoing news. Companies such as P&G are doing what they can to account for all employees. For those who want to help, this link provides a good overview of some of the major global organisations that are helping provide aid to Japan.

Below is a video of the tsunami that hit Japan following the earthquake:

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

My Opinion: "Diane Von Furstenberg Talks About Body Image....Really?" Followed by World Fashion News

Diane Von Furstenberg is the president of Council of Fashion Designers of America. Sometimes, she speaks out about he importance of having a healthy body image during events such as the one mentioned in this article at the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Harris Center for Education and Advocacy in Eating Disorders. While I understand and respect her promoting a healthy body image, especially with regards to models in the fashion industry, I'd have a lot more respect for her if she actually led by example.

What do I mean? Most people, when they think of fashion models, they think of tall, extremely thin women who work hard to maintain their look. Some fashion models have even died of eating disorders themselves. Many girls want to be fashion models. They think of this look as "hot". They think it's what guys want. They think of it as the "perfect figure". Ironically, I was once taught that a possible reason for using this thin build in fashion shows was because the women were supposed to be more like a hanger in which the clothing could be showcased rather than the woman herself attracting all the attention. Yet for some reason, despite all this, Diane Von Furstenberg's self-titled couture line uses the average barely-healthy stick-thin models in her fashion show. Did it ever occur to her that, maybe, just maybe, you should "be the change you want to see in the world"?

Here is the Diane Von Furstenberg fashion show at the last Mercedes-Benz fashion week:

For me personally, I think a fashion show AND the clothing would get a lot more attention if the women were healthy. What fashion brand is actually addressing this issue? Elena Miro, a plus size brand. Check out a short video on the brand via youtube.

In other news, the Maritimo Shopping Center in Romania, planned to open in the Fall of this year,  will house international brands such as Zara, H&M, Decathlon, Oysho, and Bershka. It will have over 50,000 square metres of space for lease. For more information, click here and here. Topshop will soon expand its brand into Canada, which will be operated in Canada by Hudson Bay, Co. Ottawa Fashion Week in Canada is scheduled from 18 through 20 of March. The 4th annual "International Wedding Expo Doha" (IWED), held by the Qatar Expo Group,  occured earlier this month. Designers included American designer Vera Wang, Saudi designer Waed, and Lebanese deisgner Walid Atallah. . In South Africa, the Nelson Mandela Foundation is launching a fashion line designed by Seardel under the number 46664 (Mandela's former prison number). Today, in Lagos, Nigeria, ARISE Magazine Fashion Week 2011 begins.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

International Women's Day is Today! Plus: Fashion Weeks Continued...

Today is the 100th annual International Women's Day! This year's theme is "Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women". If you are a woman, it's time to be proud of how far women have come in the past century. Some activists are taking the time to focus on not only how much more freedom women have in many places around the world, but to also bring more attention to how much further the international community of women still have to go in the realm of women's rights.

In honor of this international holiday, companies around the world are taking time to honor women. I think it is really cool that Femi9, a Saudi fashion company, is going out of their way to honor women during the month of April. will be offering up to 80% off select pieces of merchandise on its website today. Some communities, such as the International Cultural Group in Zimbabwe, held celebrations early, complete with a fashion show.

In the following video, FashionTV honors women in fashion:

If you are a woman, take this day to appreciate being who you are- female and proud. Sisters around the world, today is a day for us all to celebrate together!

In other news, fashion weeks continue as Ankara hosted its 21st International Fashion Week. Lakme fashion week in Japan begins 11 March and lasts through the 15th of the month. Also of interest may be the fashion show that took place at the end of a wedding expo in Ramallah, Palestine. Click here for a short video highlight of the event.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

83rd Annual Academy Awards

Earlier in the week, the 83rd Annual Academy Awards were held. Those attending such an award ceremony dress to impress, decked out in designer labels. Most men wear nice suits and ties while women wear lovely evening wear. This year, a variety of styles and colors were seen for women's dresses. This year, there was an overall emphasis on the colors orange, silver, and blue in addition to soft, light pinks and purples. (For particular examples, I recommend viewing the pictures and/or video below.) Feminine touches such as lace and chiffon fabrics seemed more popular this year. For most, the waist was defined between an empire-waist and true-waist levels. Horizontal lines across the body, particularly around the hip and waist levels, were seen. There were a variety of sleeve styles. Pictures of the event can be seen here.

For a whole video of the red carpet event, please see the video below:

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Interesting Links: Fashion Weeks Continued...

Paris is currently busy with its ready-to-wear fashion week (March 1-9th). For the schedule, click here. Additionally, check youtube for videos of the fashion show.
Perhaps the most notable thing to happen thus far during Paris RTW Fashion Week is Lady Gaga's apparance in Mugler's fashion show.

Meanwhile, in Miami, fashion week starts today, March 3rd, and continues through the 6th. For information on the 13th annual Miami International Fashion Show, please refer to their official website here.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Editor's Note: Changes for the Month of March

This year will be a time of much change for my blog. As with everything, growth occurs in stages. This month, I will be cutting back to just 3 posts per week on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. In exchange for the lack of daily posts, what you, my readers, will receive in exchange is an increase over time in the quality and quantity of information each posts contain. As this is a one-person show, I can only work within my limits. If there are any particular subjects you would like to see addressed this month, please do not hesitate to ask. Rather than having weekly posts on set categories such as the ones related to businesses and universities, I will be posting on various topics relevant to recent industry news. Please leave comments. Feedback is appreciated!

Yours truly,
 Miss Lori.

Monday, 28 February 2011

February: A Look Back at the Daily Blog Posts in February

Global fashions started in January, but February was the first month of daily blog posts. Although there were a few days missed during February (my deepest apologies), almost every day had its own post. So now, I would like to know if there are any changes you would like to see. Did you have any favorite or least favorite blog postings? There will be some basic changes made during the month of March in an ongoing effort to constantly improve the quality of the blog. You can expect to see permanent pages with additional information about the blog, the author (me), and some minor changes to the content. As always, I will endeavor to bring you relevant, interesting, and educational information about the fashion industry.

Yours truly,
 Miss Lori.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Fashion Companies: M.H.Alshaya Co W.L.L

In 1890, M.H.Alshaya Co. was founded in Kuwait, originally operating as a trading company. It currently does business in 15 countries within the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. M.H.Alshaya Co's retail division started in 1983 and has expanded to include over 55 retail concepts. Within the fashion sector, these include brands such as Topshop, H&M, Express, Claire's, Next, American Eagle, Payless, and Debenhams. It is also responsible for MAC, The Body Shop, Clinique, and Estee Lauder products within the region. For those wanting to work in fashion merchandising &/or retailing, this company offers much job opportunity across the region.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Fashion Design: It's Not Just Coming Up With an Idea

Nowadays, it seems like so many people are wanting to be a fashion designer. There are even television shows devoted to fashion design. However, it's not simply about being able to sketch fashionable clothes. Coming up with fashionable ideas is the easy part. The harder part is understanding how to choose the right fabrics with the right dyes & print techniques (and patterns) so the garment will lay how you want it to. It's knowing how to cut the fabric so it drapes around the body in a manner that perfectly mimics the original sketch or idea. It's choosing the right edge finishes and at least being aware of how they are sewn. It's knowing what you like, knowing what the public likes, and being aware of any conflict of interests because at the end of the day you have to make something that will sell (unless, of course, you want your time as a fashion designer to be short-lived). Furthermore, you have to do all this within the budget and cohesive style and colors set by the head of the design teams. Just because you are able to come up with really cool fashion sketches does NOT make you a designer. Coming up with the designs is the easy part; it's knowing how to turn them into a reality your target market will adore that's the hard part. 

Friday, 25 February 2011

Interesting Links...

People derive inspiration from many different places. Sometimes, as a designer, ideas for future work can be derived from seemingly unrelated areas. Although fashionable clothes are designed with current and future clothing trends in mind, sometimes it helps to look at other resources for artistic inspiration. This week, I'd like to present the following links that may provide inspiration for designers:
Louvre Museum in Paris
World Architecture Community
Microbiology Pictures
National Geographic's Photo of the Day
Japanese Anime

These are a few links to get you started with design inspiration. Think in terms of texture, round curves vs. straight lines, drape, color, contrast, and size. I hope this helps those of you wanting to design. For everyone else, I hope it provides a welcome distraction from everyday life!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Fashion Universities: Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya- BarcelonaTech

The Terassa School of Engineering at Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya offers a Diploma in Textiles and a Master's in Textile, Paper, and Graphics Engineering. The Master's programme is two years long and is taught in both Catalan and Spanish. Why study here? For one, it's located near Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona, Spain is a popular tourist destination just off the coast of northern Spain. The university has a good reputation world-wide. The program itself appears to be good, to say the least. Furthermore, being offered fully in Spanish and Catalan offers the advantage of non-native speakers learning these languages on an academic level.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Fashion Careers: Information Systems & Technology

Even during the economic downturn, what amazed me was the availability of IT jobs within apparel companies. Although it may seem counter-intuitive to search job postings at a fashion company when searching for an IT position, in actuality there are lots of opportunities. There are jobs related to e-commerce, logistics, programming, business analysts, marketing, and mobile technologies to name a few. Although this is one type of fashion career I am not as familiar with, it is one that always seems to have job availability. Perhaps the best way to determine which companies to apply for is to decide where you want to work. With many department stores and athleticwear companies -such as Nike, Adidas, Kohl's, Wal*Mart, Target- being headquartered outside major fashion capitals (e.g. New York, London, Los Angeles) perhaps the best way to determine which one to apply to is to determine what kind of city is best to reside in.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

London Fashion Week

It's simply that time of year again when major fashion captials around the world are hosting their respective fashion weeks. With London's fashion week almost through, highlights of the first four days are now available online. Fashion weeks are nothing more than a publicity stunt to gain attention and brand prestige. They are meant to be talked about, meant to spark controversy and interest, passion and debate. London's fashion week may not be quite as controversial as some, but it still has its moments, too. Twiggy, the well-known English model best known for her elongated boyish figure, has been interviewed on her opinion of London Fashion Week. Stay tuned for more information on more upcoming fashion weeks and of course, the weekly regular blog topics. Cheers!

Monday, 21 February 2011

CoCo Chanel: A Look at History

Coco Chanel, born Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel in 1883, is well known for her fashion designs and perfume. In 1910, she opened a boutique selling hats in Paris. Three years later in Deauville, she opened her first clothing store. By 1919, she became a couturiere in Paris. Roughly 5 years later, Chanel no.5 perfume was being sold. Her simple designs were in direct contrast to the petticoat dresses most women had been wearing. During World War II, she closed her shops and did not reopen them until 1954. To this day her designs still remain popular. There are many documentaries about her life that one may find. Additionally, there are some interviews of her taken in 1969 and 1970. However, these documentaries are in French. To see the current Chanel brand's designs, click here.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Fashion Businesses Spotlight: Shock Absorber

Shock Absorber UK, Ltd. produces a line of athletic bras and bra-lined swimsuits for female athletes. Much research has gone into the production of their bra lines, to include the best ways to prevent breast movement in various sports, what materials offer the necessary support while also offering good wicking ability, and good weight distribution of the breast mass across the bra. This brand comes highly recommended.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

So You Want To Start Your Own Fashion Business?

There are thousands, possibly millions, of books on how to start your own business. There are even quite a few related specifically to the fashion industry. Depending on what country you'd like to own a business in, there are various laws related to starting a business (with additional regulations for foreigners). Even within one country, the laws may vary from one region to another. Rather than address this whole process, I'd like to talk about a whole other issue altogether. It is a question you should be ready to ask yourself. The question is, are you ready to start your own business?

Perhaps some of the best advice I was ever given as an undergraduate was that even if you want to start your own business, it is better to work for someone else for at least a couple years first. That way, "you can make your mistakes on someone else's dollar". Furthermore, I'd like to point out that while you are doing so, you are also (hopefully) making some dollars. One of the major reasons businesses fail is due to lack of cash flow. Of course, this can be remedied by applying for loans and grants. The eligibility of such loans and grants is going to vary from place to place and person to person. However, you will require some form of capital in order to start a business. The scale and nature of the business must also be considered. It would make the most sense to find work in a company similar in nature to whatever it is you'd like to do.

Also, be sure to ask yourself, "Do I want to be in charge of my own business?" There are many headaches (usually including working long hours) that come with owning a business. It may not always pay as well as working in a larger company and/or for someone else. If money is the main motivator, it may be possible to make just as much with less effort working for someone else.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Fashion Universities: Cal Poly Pomona University

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona's Apparel Merchandising and Management department (within the College of Agriculture) offers a great program for those wanting to work in the apparel industry. This is perhaps one of the most under-rated fashion-related programs within the United States. The program requires students to learn about the whole apparel production & retail processes and then choose a particular area of specialization to study in greater detail. The classes follow the university's motto of "learn by doing". Students may specialize in either Apparel Production or Fashion Retailing. Within Apparel Production, students may either follow the International Apparel Management track or the Fashion Design Management track.

The Apparel Merchandising & Management (AMM) department works with local apparel business personnel in order to maintain an overall good quality program that is relevant to the industry. For instance, students wanting to take the International Apparel Management track would need to take an Industrial Engineering class in order to learn about streamlining processes, work efficiency ratios, etc. Fashion retailing students, on the other hand, are required to take a basic class in economics. Fashion design students, on the other hand, are required to take certain art classes that is not required of others. All of the students majoring in Apparel Merchandising and Management, however, are required to take particular management & general business courses such as accounting and leadership. In their last year, apparel production option students work with American Apparel to design and oversee production of a clothing line that is later sold on campus. The final year retail students are then required to display the clothing at various places on campus and buy more items to supplement the selection produced by the previous year's final year production students. Every year, the final-year retail students attend MAGIC in order to select merchandise for the on-campus stores.

What makes this university's program so unique is that it isn't a "consumer sciences" major. It isn't simply "fashion design" or "fashion buying/merchandising". It's "Apparel Merchandising & Management". The program is designed to cover the whole process of apparel production and is meant to prepare its graduates for working in management positions within the industry. Furthermore, it is accredited not only because the program is at a public (state) university, but is also one of 13 universities nationwide to be accredited by American Apparel and Footwear Association. It also happens to be my alma mater.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Interesting Links...

Ever heard of the International Apparel Federation? It is an international apparel association that helps all related industries & corresponding businesses, educational facilities, etc. network with and among each other. If you've never heard of it, it's definitely worth checking out!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Fashion Jobs: What Does a Patternmaker Do?

Patternmakers, also called patterncutters, are responsible for making the "blueprints" of the apparel items. For each style, there will be a size (usually in the middle of the range of sizes) that all the other patterns for that style will be based off of. In order to change it from one size to another, there must be pattern grading. Pattern grading is when, at certain points, the pattern is taken in or let out. These changes will affect how much the waist, for instance, will become larger when it goes from a size 12 to a size 14. Since there are no laws regulating differences from one size to another, these changes will vary from one organization to the next. What is a size 10 may be a size 6 in another company. To further complicate matters, different countries use different numbers to represent the same size.

For each size within a company, a basic pattern block will be used. This basic pattern block represents the minimum ease necessary in order to produce a basic garment. Ease is the difference between what the fabric measures at a given point and what the actual fit model's measurement is. Minimum ease is the amount of ease that must be present in order for the garment to fit properly. Without this ease, there will be problems such as discomfort, seam rupture, and many others. All other patterns will be based off of the basic pattern block. From this, adjustments will be made according to the creative and technical design teams' descriptions in order to produce a given style.

Although most patterns were once done by hand, most patterns today are done on the computer. The patterns are then printed, a sample garment is made, fit is checked, and any necessary adjustments are made accordingly.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Mercedez-Benz Fashion Show: New York

The Mercedes-Benz fashion show for the Fall 2011 season is currently taking place in New York. Events related to the fashion show began last week on the evening of the 9th and will continue through the 17th. This fashion show is a time for designer brands to show off their clothing for the upcoming season. This includes designer labels such as Betsy Johnson, Vera Wang, BCBG, Ralph Lauren, DKNY, and many others. You can find streamed videos of interviews and runway shows with various designers on youtube here.

What is your opinion of this fashion show? Do you think events such as these are necessary for promotion of brands, or do you believe that there are better ways to promote a designer label?

Monday, 14 February 2011


MAGIC is a semi-annual apparel trade show in Las Vegas. What started out as a "Men's Apparel Guild In California" has now grown to encompass women's and children's clothing, accessories, and sourcing. It is one of the largest fashion trade shows in the United States. This year, it takes place the 13th -16th of February. MAGIC exhibitors are divided up by category. For examples, sourcing vendors are located in one area while juniors, for instance, are located in another area. At MAGIC, clothing for Fall/Winter 2011 will be displayed for buyers to choose from. Although most exhibitors are available throughout the trade show to walk-up buyers (and students), some exhibitors' merchandise are available by appointment only.

At MAGIC, there are many relevant industry seminars available. These cover a variety of topics to include e-commerce, branding, globalization, and trend forecasts. There will be events all over Las Vegas hosted by various companies, associations, and organizations for their friends, vendors, clients, and others to attend. One may find out about such events through the MAGIC website, social networking sites such as facebook and twitter, and just word-of-mouth by talking to vendors. For twitter updates, please use:

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Valentine's Day

Tomorrow, Monday, is Valentine's Day, also known as "Single's Awareness Day". This means the exchanging of Valentine's Day cards, chocolates, presents, and Valentine's Day greetings. It is a day of honoring love and romance. Although not all countries and couples will celebrate this holiday, many will. Take this time out of your day to say "I Love You" to all those you care about whether close friends, family, or that certain someone in your life.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Interesting Links...

Once a week, I will try to post interesting fashion links. For this week and today's blog entry, please check out: This website is not about anything indecent (sorry people), but if you are interested in what people are wearing in cities like Tokyo, London, Amsterdam, and New York, then it may be worth it to you to check out!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

World News: Tunisia, Lebanon, & Egypt Undergoing Political Change

Whether or not you have been following the news closely, chances are that you have heard of the recent political conflicts and crises in Tunisia, Lebanon, and Egypt. (If you are having a hard time viewing the countries on the map above, please click here for a link to the google map equivalent.) In Tunisia, there was a revolution of the people against then prime-minster, Zine el Abidine Ben Ali. Now, there are many governmental changes being made. In Lebanon, there is a complete restructuring of the government taking place after the recent collapse of its previous government. Meanwhile, Egypt is making headlines for the major protests in the streets as people want to see Mubarak and all associated political figures removed from power.

On the surface, this may seem to have no link to fashion. However, the political and economic climate in a region will greatly influence the way one dresses. Furthermore, politics and economy have major influences on business and trade. The fashion industry is just that- an industry, and as such will be affected by these changes. Whether or not this is a positive or negative affect will be determined by the natures of the changes, how they affect the people, work environment, and business incentives in their respective countries.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Fashion Jobs: Working in a Distribution Center

One kind of position that may not come to mind when one hears the word, "fashion" is working in a supervisory role within a distribution center or warehouse. While it may not seem as prestigious or dramatic as becoming a fashion designer, it is still nonetheless an integral part of the fashion industry. Without distribution centers, many of the larger companies would have logistical problems in getting everything to the right place at the right time. That translates into merchandise not being sold at the proper time, which can be a major problem particularly within the fashion industry.

Being in a supervisory role at a D.C. (distribution center) requires managing both associates and goods. Not only must deadlines be met, but they must be met the most effective way possible. Safety, cleanliness, and other important standards must be maintained. This may include being responsible for payroll, too. Managerial experience, knowledge of industrial engineering, and basic computer skills (MS Word & Excel) are important. Good communication skills are extremely important.

Basically, the person is responsible for making sure that all the warehouse goods get into and out of the D.C. by the corresponding deadlines. Staff must be well-managed, and the workload must be divided appropriately. JC Penney has a good educational video about working in a logistics supervisory position while Kohl's has a good job description of a similar position as an operations supervisor within a distribution center.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Amsterdam Fashion Week

While MAGIC in Las Vegas isn't until next week, Amsterdam had its major fashion week (including trade shows) last month. It started in 2004 in order to highlight local fashions. It is continuing to be held semi-annually at the RAI, one of the largest exhibition centers in the Netherlands. Recently, there is a "Green" fashion design competition that begins this July and ends with two finalist teams chosen to have their design released during next Spring's fashion week. Applications for the competition are accepted internationally. Sorry, but the fashion show can only be attended by invitation only. For more information as well as pictures, please see:

Monday, 7 February 2011

Superbowl Commercials, Opening, & Half-Time Show as Fashion Inspiration

Fashion inspiration may come from any and all of our experiences. In the United States, possibly the most televised sporting event is the (American) National Football League's Superbowl championship match. This year, it was between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers. Although the look of american football gear has not changed drastically (though technology of the clothes, gear, etc. is another story), it can still be used for some inspiration. Perhaps more importantly, though, the surrounding elements of the Superbowl, such as the commercials,opening, and half-time show may be used for fashion inspiration.

There are some pronounced themes present throughout the commercials. Many of the commercials are based around fantasy & science-fiction genres with particular emphasis on cowboys and aliens. Many of the movie previews aired during this time have at least a few war-themed elements, but few, if any, are in the realm of realistic fiction. Many new technological gadgets are advertised, with particular emphasis on portable hand-held electronics with touch screens. This may point to the future in technology.

The emphasis on technology was even seen in the Superbowl's half-time show. As one person told me, it appeared to be TRON inspired. The body line most emphasized in the outfits for the dancers and performers is an inverted triangle, starting with large shoulder pads at the top and narrowing towards the waist. The line of the lower half of the body was more or less straight, although the line had slight variations from one group of people (or performer) to the next.

What affects do you think the trend towards electronic apparel and the current interest in science fiction will have in future fashions? Do you think shoulder pads will make a comeback any time soon?

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Fashion Universities: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Within the Hong Kong Polytechnic University's Faculty of Applied Science and Textiles lies its Institute of Textiles & Clothing. There are diploma, undergraduate, and postgraduate level programmes on offer. Diploma programmes include awards in colouration & finishing, fashion & clothing, fashion & textile merchandising, fashion retailing, and textile processing. As an undergraduate, a B.A. in Textile Arts and Fashion Studies is offered with concentrations similar to the diploma programmes. Both MSc taught and MPhil (by research) programmes are offered for those wanting to continue their studies after receiving an undergraduate-level degree. PhDs are offered by research only. For professionals, consultancy courses and customised training programmes are offered.

Students within the Institute of Textiles and Clothing regularly win awards in various design competitions. Additionally, the quality of research papers among postgraduate students are rivaling those found in other reputable textile and apparel universities, such as North Carolina State University. The university stays on top of ongoing industry news and events, which can be accessed via their website. The content of their university programme is relevant, up-to-date, and thorough in meeting the needs of the industry. Overall, I find that the programme appears to be nothing short of excellent.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Fashion Businesses- Spotlight: Kohl's Illinios, Inc.

Kohl's Illinois, Inc., more commonly referred to as Kohl's, operates over 1,000 stores, 9 distribution centers, and 2 e-commerce centers in 49 states. It started out in 1962 as a moderately-priced department store selling a variety of products, including sewing notions, candy, appliances, food, and clothing. Since it's beginnings, the ownership has changed hands a couple times- once being owned by BATUS, Inc.- before finally settling in the hands of investors who incorporated the company.  The product range was also later narrowed down to more profitable areas such as clothing, accessories, and home products. The online e-commerce division was added in 2001. Their product selection includes a wide variety of misses, women's, men's, young men's, juniors, shoes, accessories (to include fine jewelry), and home products carrying both name brand apparel and private labels.

Kohl's Illinois, Inc. has proven to be very successful at maintaining a good profit margin even during low points in the economic cycle. Kohl's marketing and advertising campaigns use a variety of methods to including corporate social responsibility, advertised sales, Kohl's coupons and card member discounts, and television, newspaper, and magazine advertising to name a few. Perhaps most remarkable of all is when Kohl's first entered a new area of the United States, rather than open one or two stores at a time, they would open multiple stores in the same area at around the same time and offer similarly amazing "Grand Opening" sales at all locations simultaneously. These would be advertising through various media beforehand in order to create awareness and interest in the stores.

Do you believe that at Kohl's you can truly "expect great things"? What is your opinion of Kohl's? Would you want to shop there? work there? Why or why not? Do you have an opinion about the use of famous people, such as Britney Spears, in advertising campaigns?

Friday, 4 February 2011

February Expectations: Note from the Author

Dear blog readers,
I hope that you are all doing well and are in the best of health! I apologize for the late release of this month's posts. I have taken this extra time in order to better plan for the future of this blog. This month, you can expect massive changes. Some of the major changes include daily posts with ongoing, "regular" topics each week, and exciting featured articles. Weekly regular topics include Fashion & World News, Fashion Jobs, University Programs, and Fashion Businesses. Other topics may include health & well-being, travel, important business concepts, and much, much, more! Each month will have its own on-going theme. For the month of February, this theme will be fashion-related trade shows in honor of the semi-annual MAGIC show held in Las Vegas each year. I am very excited to share even more ongoing information about fashion with you! I do hope you enjoy the posts! And please, do not hesitate to share your ideas for future topics with me!
Warm wishes,
   Miss Lori.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

So what exactly does a fashion designer do?

Fashion is in a constant state of change. This change is driven by what the consumers what, which is in turn driven by the economy, news, pop culture, media, and weather. If the consumer's expectations change, then fashion will have to change as well. There are fashion forecasters who study these changes, take to the streets in search of new fashions, and make educated guesses as to what will be popular the following year. Fashion designers take this information, determine what will sell the best for their target market, and design accordingly. But what exactly do they do?

Usually, fashion designers will work on a design team. This team is usually headed by a lead designer. Sometimes, they will work together and determine what the colours of the season are whilst other times, they will use various fashion forecasting companies' outlook to determine what collection of colors to go with for a particular line. This collection of colors is known as a "color story". Based on their target market, styles will be designed. There should be an appropriate mix of basics (things like boot-cut and skinny jeans, solid-colored tees and camisoles) with trendy and fashion forward items (such as uggs). Creating a good balance of these depends on who you are designing for. In other words, are you designing for a store like Zara, the Gap, or a department store like Kohl's or M&S? Chances are, as a designer you will be working with a team on a specific area of the market your company serves. As a designer, it is a good idea to learn more about your specific target market, what they are like, and what they want. As much as you may want to design something amazing and one-of-a-kind, you are limited by your budget and what styles will ultimately sell. For instance, as much as you might want to design a gorgeous tube-top, mid-thigh length dress with leggings to match, it may not sell as well if your target demographic is professional attire for women in their mid-40s to mid-60s.

A designer not only comes up with ideas, but must do things like purchasing trims, organizing  materials, and yes -that evil word- paperwork! It is necessary to document all the steps in the process, to include what has been ordered, what styles have been created, whether or not a particular style has made it past a design review, and what colors the style will be created in. If a particular color or style didn't sell well the previous season, this should be noted. If it is a basic style, then it may need to be updated. If it is a trend that was popular for a while already, it could be that the trend is no longer popular. Maybe changes in fit need to be made (in which case, the patternmaking and technical design teams should make necessary changes).

Once a particular idea has made it past the first review, a sample of the garment will be constructed by part of a team of highly-educated sewing team. After a set number of samples have been constructed, they will go through an additional design meeting. Eventually, the designs for a particular season will be chosen and then the design will begin on the next season. Throughout the entire process, the design team is constantly working with other areas of production, whether inside or outside the company. Therefore, teamwork, cooperation, and compromise is incredibly important throughout the whole process.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Why Is Fashion Important?

The ways in which people have behaved and dressed has changed throughout history and differs from place to place around the world. It is not only influenced by the society and culture of a given place, but also by weather, environment, and the personal experiences, beliefs, and values of an individual. By looking at the way an individual or group of people dresses, we can learn something about who they are and the society they live in.

Sometimes, what people wear is controlled by government regulations. Throughout history around the world, there have been various sumptuary laws that have controlled who is allowed to wear what. In western Europe, such laws were once practiced in order to prevent the rising middle class (bourgeoise) from dressing like royalty. In China, dragons were once symbolic of the emperor and others were not allowed to wear such a symbol. Sumptuary laws are not the only laws that have controlled what people wear. For instance, during World War II in the United States, the length and yardage of fabric for women's skirts was controlled due to fabric rations. Currently, there are laws in most countries worldwide regarding how modest men's and women's dress must be.

Weather can also be a major influence on what people wear. In some countries, layers are necessary in order to protect the body from the sun and/or cold. Additionally, certain natural fibres are better intended for hot weather rather than cold weather, and vice versa. For instance, while wool is a great insulator of heat (even increasing in warmth when first dampened), linen is a comparably worse insulator of heat. This means that wool is better intended for cold climates and times of year whilst linen is better suited for hot climates and times of year. Tights are great to wear in winter because they feel warmer due to their compressive qualities while loose clothing is much preferred in hot climates as it allows for better air circulation.

Fashion can also be used as a form of self-expression and adornment. People may dress to identify with a specific group of people, or with a particular performing artist they adore. Alternately, some people deliberately stray from mainstream fashion because they want to be seen as unique and one-of-a-kind. Others may choose not to follow mainstream fashion simply because it isn't important to them. If the way in which an individual dresses is not accepted by the culture and society in which the person wants to be accepted into, then the way in which the individual chooses to dress may change.

Fashion is ultimately important because it is a form of communication. You are communicating to others who you are and what is important to you, whether or not you realize it. The same way of dressing could be viewed completely different in two or more areas of the world. Therefore, it is important to be aware of what is acceptable and what is not in a given society. 

What influences the way you dress?

Friday, 21 January 2011

What is fashion?

What is fashion? According to, fashion can be defined as "a prevailing custom or style of dress, etiquette, socializing, etc." and also as "conventional usage in dress, manners, etc., esp. of polite society, or conformity to it". According to this definition, it is what is perceived to be acceptable and seemingly normal way of conducting oneself in society. If one wants to be seen as being "in fashion", then one must not only dress a certain way, but also behave in a manner that is deemed acceptable by other members of the society. It can be influenced by politics, culture, law, society, and individual preference. Although behavior will be addressed from time to time, this blog endeavors to focus on how fashion relates to prevailing means of dressing, influences of dress, and fashions around the world. What does fashion mean to you?

Welcome to Global Fashions!

I would like to take this time to welcome everyone to my blog. I really hope you enjoy it! This blog is intended to discuss fashion around the world to include business news related to fashion, fashion trends, industry jobs, and relevant travel subjects. Currently, the blog will have semi-weekly posts, with plans to expand into daily posts by February. For this month, the focus will be related to the question, "What is fashion?" Why is fashion important? How does it differ from place to place? And perhaps most importantly, what role does it play in our lives? Stay tuned for February's posts where these topics and many more will be discussed in detail!

Everyone is welcome to comment here as much as they'd like, but please keep it appropriate and respectful. If you have any special blog requests, do not hesitate to mention it to me. I would love to hear feedback from any and all of my blog viewers.

Once again, welcome and enjoy!

Yours truly,
    Miss Lori.