Archive for May, 2009...
Filed under Seasonal Jewelry
Father’s Day is June 21st, and like every other year, this one is no different. The holiday is strictly second class. It can’t compare with Mother’s Day in any way. Dads don’t get expensive gifts. They don’t have endless numbers of songs written about how wonderful they are. Most dads will say this is just fine with them, they’d rather it this way, low key. But how real is that? I have real questions about it!
My own dad had less humility about Father’s Day. He preferred to be proactive. I recall his making up a sign that read, “Place All Gifts Here,” and standing it up on the dining room table. Of course, we all laughed heartily when we saw it, but I don’t think it made much difference where his cache was concerned. Still not too impressive.
Modern day society has even done in to a great extent the one really good gift dad used to get on Father’s Day. A fine home cooked meal. Now, Dad is taken out to dinner and, ironically, he often pays for the experience. Poor dad!
A Box of Cigars
Dad’s gifts are also pretty mundane. Predictable. A tie And, back when smoking was more permissible, a box of good cigars. Now, even that is taboo.
STILL YOU CAN GIVE DAD A LOT BETTER GIFTS THAN HE’D EVER EXPECT. JUST CONSIDER THESE:
- Riverboat Gambler Hat. Just look at this handsome Panama straw look hat with tight toyo weave! It will give dad the romantic look of a Southern Gentleman, straight off the silver screen. Fabulous, trendy retro.
Just Say It
I join with a dozen or more friends every morning for coffee at the local bagel shop where we often discuss things we’d never mention elsewhere. This was the case a few years ago with Bob, who developed cancer and was only given a short time to live. One morning Bob confided in us that he felt really terrible about never having told any of his four sons, then grown, that he loved them. He just couldn’t, he said. He didn’t know how. And yet the absence of putting that love into words tore him apart.
Most of us offered him words of advice, suggestions on what he might say or how he might say it. Just blurt it out, someone offered. Or, hit one of them on the shoulder and say, “I love you, buster.” The theory here was that acting tough sometimes makes it easier to be emotional. But nothing seemed to hit home. Weeks passed. The subject was dropped, although none of us forgot it.
Then, out of nowhere, Bob came in one morning beaming. He told them, he said. One by one by one by one.. He said, “I love you.” And each one of them, in turn, said, “I love you, too, Pop.” How do you like that?
Bob died a few weeks later. He had accomplished what he so wanted to do, and gained so much more than he could have imagined. No Father’s Day gifts. No brouhaha. No songs. Just the recognition of love.
If you haven’t ever said I love you to your father or your kids, you might work on it. It’s really important. If you have said it a thousand times well…say it a thousand times more.
This is what remembering Dad is all about. And if you think it won’t mean anything to Dad, you’re wrong!
—Oh yes…and don’t be such a cheap skate! Here are some great gifts to add to the celebration:
- Men’s tie with tall ship emblazoned on it. Sails are set to the wind on this handsome symmetrically patterned tie. Ship is dramatic, set against a dark blue backdrop.
Memories of my Grandfather, too
My grandfather was an elegant but stern faced old gentleman of German descent. He had rules for everything. Put on shoes before you go outside. Turn off the lights when you go from room to room. Close the screen door in the summer. He was The Law, and all us kids were scared to death of him.
One day, when I was about seven, I must have gone insane. I went into his house, ran up to him, threw my arms around his neck and gave him a big hug. Then, to make things worse, “Smack!” I gave him a big kiss, too. It was unthinkable! Everybody held their breath. But grandpop just smiled from ear to ear, and said nothing.
The thing is, he never yelled at me again. Each time I saw him, I gave him a hug, and each time he saw me, he smiled. My cousins all complained in confusion that I was his favorite, though they couldn’t figure out why. Years later, it occurred to me how easy it was.
Filed under Fashion Accessories
Posted by Mary McGarry on Saturday, May 30th, 2009
IT SEEMS DESIGNERS just adore latching onto an unexpected color periodically and making it the super-shade of the day. No…they don’t abandon the basic palette in use at the time, they just add on a hot new color to “zing” things up a bit. That’s exactly what they’ve done now, with a wild new color that just works wonders with the present fashion mode and time of year. That color is:
This is not an ordinary green by any means. It is a bright, electric, not-quite-neon but absolutely vivid green that’ll get your blood moving a little faster. It’s not a forest green, or a pretty, light spring green. It is GREEN. It is intense.
YOU’D HAVE TO BE very careful using this color for clothing, although no one is eliminating its use in this regard. It is just that it is so strong it could overwhelm in large quantities. So, basically, this new green is being used for accessories. And, is it ever terrific here! It would enliven the drabbest outfit, and give new life to any wardrobe dating back six months or more.
It is perfect for summer, almost reflecting those wavy heat waves we so often see in August, but it will also stretch fashionably into fall and winter wear. This is a dynamite color.
TAKE A LOOK AT THESE GREAT GREEN PRODUCTS THAT WILL GIVE YOU ALL THE FASHION WITHOUT THE HIGH PRICE!
THE NEW GREEN is flexible. It is so hot, other greens (slightly softer, slightly darker) will also be very IN. But for those who embrace a Trend with passion, stick to the iconic Kelly Green we’ve already described. This is really where it is at.
As for use, well, accessories are in the spotlight. Imagine a snakeskin-colored green clutch or pair of shoes. A pair of brilliant emerald earrings. A hot malachite necklace.
–Oh, this is the look, the style, the green-touched sizzle we’re looking for! Nothing can give that pop of color – not too sharp, not too subtle – like green. It just seems to do it just right.
The Green Movement
To make things even better, green is the color of the day for society in general. Everybody wants to go green. Meaning: Everybody wants to be environmentally appropriate. Non-toxic. A good citizen. This has special significance for the fashion industry, because in the past, so many manufacturing processes for clothing and accessories have badly polluted the earth, with runoffs deadening once fast-flowing rivers, and chemical spills turning once family-friendly neighborhoods into danger zones.
Of course, the fashion field has not been alone in this, not by a long shot. But it has a questionable history, one that the Industry has been working hard to change. And with that change, GREEN has become the call of the day. The awakening cry from oblivious producer to enlightened developer. No one wants to compromise the earth, even though stopping that process will take time and money. The movement is underway.
So…we come back to GREEN. It just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it? Thick walk-barefoot green grass. Sheltering oak trees and tropical, swaying palms. Rich, carved-from-the-earth green stones. This is a color push with real passion and beauty!
GIVE YOUR CUSTOMERS THE EXCITEMENT OF GREEN AS A VERY NOW EXPRESSION:
- Butterfly sash -a trendy fashion accessory for the summer season! This beautiful polyester sash is 64 inches long and comes in a knockout mint green.
- Green bracelet with matte gold piecing looks hand crafted. Features elegant engraved tribal designs with crystal studs for handsome global touch.
Right Off the Runways
Mulberry has a great looking deep yet bright green suede clutch on the market now. It is a showstopper. Chanel’s fabulous green lambskin, resin and glass stone belt is a real winner. And a vibrant green snakeskin and Swarovski crystal clutch, very structured, from Kotur is a nighttime dance accessory to cherish.
Jewelry offers no less thrilling green possibilities. In the fine jewelry field, imagine jade – that wonderful stone that is now being reproduced with brilliance at wonderfully low prices – cut with exquisite Chinese art forms and made into a timelessly exquisite brooch, as one from Ericksojn Beamon in Lucite acrylic with jade and crystal. All of these offer wonderful opportunities to the costume jewelry field so adroit with color and faux stones!
Malachite makes up into spectacular beads, too. This is a real green winner. From the Farland Collection comes a three-strand malachite and onyx beaded necklace with 18-karat gold clasp. It is interesting how well the deep green malachite goes with the black onyx. This is a necklace that will comfortably glide into fall wear with panache!
And still more, and more, and more green jewelry is coming onto the fashion scene. Carla Amorim’s green malachite drop earrings with brown diamonds (Wow!!). And Lucifer Vir Honestus’ green opal and diamond ring with 18-karat gold setting.
YOU CAN THINK GREEN JUST AS EASILY. ADD IT TO YOUR COLLECTIONS. JAZZ UP DISPLAYS WITH IT. USE A POSTER SHOWING A RICH GREEN LANDSCAPE FOR STORE DESIGN. IT WILL TELL AN ENCOURAGING AND POSITIVE EARTH STORY WITHOUT WORDS.
Filed under Fashion Accessories
Posted by Mary McGarry on Friday, May 29th, 2009
NEW YORK CITY WAS THE SITE of the recent Accessorie Circuit and AccessoriestheShow expositions where most vendors reported better than expected sales and interest. Retailers had special demands, however, not the least of which were quick deliveries and good pricing. Design played an important role in the buying equation as well, and retailers said they were looking for items that were well designed, with quality vision and unique styling.
There was a certain degree of caution on the part of buyers, however. Many were looking for a fast turnaround on their purchases, and admitted they were buying much closer to the season than ever before. The general idea was to choose items they could get into their stores in about six weeks. That meant rush demands on many vendors, who said they were working on streamlining production in order to meet delivery updates. Vendors who came prepared for this pressure had a definite edge.
Many retailers also said they were buying across a larger range of items in order to test the waters…to see what worked for them.
As we reported here a couple of weeks ago, there is also much less emphasis on apparel and more on accessories as retailers across the country restructure their buying priorities.
As one retailer from California put it, “We are ordering less, but more often.” The interesting thing here is that the New York fairs are designed for fall and winter merchandise, but many retailers came to buy things for spring and summer.
YOU CAN APPEAL TO CUSTOMERS LOOKING FOR EXCITING WARDROBE UPDATES ON A BUDGET. LOOK AT THESE GREAT FILL-IN ITEMS:
Price a Major Factor
PERHAPS THE MOST often repeated phrase from attendees was: “We are looking for well priced merchandise.” And that, generally, meant accessories. Most were looking for accessories with something special or different about them to spark up their present warm-weather merchandise. While some were willing to pay for better merchandise, most were looking for pieces that were priced in the medium price range.
—“They aren’t looking for really cheap stuff,” one vendor said, “but they are going easy on higher priced pieces, as well.”
Some of the big moving items included big bib necklaces, chokers, and bracelets. Totes led the way in the handbag arena, with many of them expressing a lighthearted attitude, with phrases such as, “My other bag is a Louis Vuitton.” That one, in particular, ran about $18 wholesale.
HOW ABOUT STOCKING UP ON SOME OF THOSE HOT BIB NECKLACES AND CHOKERS? THEY ARE APPARENTLY BIG SELLING ITEMS:
- Jet black beading drops from filigree pendant in this necklace set. Fabulous vintage style jewelry!
ONE RETAILER FROM NEW JERSEY said she felt that it was important in this present economy to update a wardrobe with trend pieces like scarves and belts. She said she wanted things that were modern and she also wanted vendors to give her “a reason to buy.” In most instances, innovative design was the reason that won out.
A retailer from the Midwest expressed it succinctly when she said she was interested in buying things that were “fun, fashionable, and fabulous.” In just one category – belts, for example – that meant items of different widths, with something special or “magical” about them, like interesting hardware, perhaps, or well done leather working around the belt, or jewelry enhancements on the belt, such as crystals and colorful stones.
A global perspective also came through strongly at the shows, as Asian designs soared and South American influences gave a fresh perspective to accessory design. The growing importance of hair accessories at the fairs also reflected the bigger, more highly stylized hair fashions breaking on the fashion scene.
Ready to Buy
IN PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND and Orlando, Florida, the International Fashion Jewelry and Accessory Show was also in high gear.. This is a two-location exposition that features mass jewelry lines for wholesalers and private label vendors.
An optimistic atmosphere surrounded the show this year, as orders exceeded expectations. “We are doing better this year than last,” declared Michael Gale, Show director. “We attract a good group of buyers who are ready to buy.”
–And that’s good news if ever there was any!
Filed under Gemstone Jewelry
Posted by Mary McGarry on Thursday, May 28th, 2009
DID YOU KNOW THERE IS an easy way to brighten the look of the eyes without using a lot of eye makeup? Try putting on gemstones – real or faux, they both work wonders! Emeralds, for example, will bring out the brilliant beauty of green eyes, while amber or even citrine will give pizzazz to any brown-eyed damsel. Tourmaline will add sparkle and intensity to blue eyes.
–Think we’re kidding? Try it, with earrings or a necklace, and you’ll be amazed!
Color is always a fascinating subject and, when it comes to gemstones, what could be more intriguing? Realize that most gemstones are pieces of attractive mineral, although some are rocks, like lapis lazuli (wow! try this with blue eyes!), or organic material like amber or jet.
Ruby is Red
THE CLEARER AND MORE DEFINED a gemstone’s color is, the more valuable the stone. In each case, the color we’re looking at is that part of the natural light spectrum that is not absorbed by the object. So, a ruby is seen as red because it absorbs all the colors of natural light except red.
Many gemstones come in a variety of colors. Sapphires, for example, run the gamut of many different hues, from blue to pink to yellow. Diamonds are even more diverse, and are found in almost every color, from clear to black and in-between!
Beryl might well be called the chameleon of gemstones. In its pure mineral state it is colorless. With chromium impurities in its fissures, it becomes emerald. With manganese, it is pink morganite. And with iron, it is aquamarine!
YOU CAN ADD AN EXTRA DOSE OF FLASH TO YOUR CUSTOMERS’ EYES WITH THESE FLIRTATION-ENHANCING JEWELS:
- Amethyst earrings that impart a light purple color will throw super-sophisticated
light rays on blue eyes.
Laboratory Stones Are Vivid
LABORATORY CREATED GEMSTONES often have more vivid and exciting color than natural gemstones because they are free of impurities that occur in nature.
—But natural gemstones still cost more money, mainly because of their rarity!
Using gemstones to enhance eye color is a technique that dates back to ancient Egypt. Of course, back then, there were only real stones…no laboratory foolers here. So, only the very rich could afford such bejeweled cosmetic enhancement! Now there are myriad laboratory stones to add light and intensity to anyone’s eyes! Hollywood has long known about it.
The best way to match eyes and gemstones is to experiment, putting the stone close to the eyes and gauging the result. But again, like all color sciences, this is not at all exact. Not only do gems come in an infinite variety of colors, but eyes do, too!
In simple terms, eye color is made up of two genes, one from each parent. Brown “swamps” or dominates over blue. So if you get one brown and one blue gene, you’ll have brown eyes. Two blue genes, you get blue eyes. Ahhh…if it were just that simple!
Light and Mystery
THERE IS SO MUCH WE DON’T KNOW about eye color, it is almost mind-boggling. We don’t really know where green eyes come from, although we think they are blue eyes with an added overlay of yellow. And hazel eyes….they can vary from brown to green with yellow included. Wow! Grey eyes are really a total mystery, along with real lavender colored eyes, like Elizabeth Taylor’s.
What we do know, however, is that gemstones enhance eye color. Dramatically! It’s not just the color of the gemstone at work here. It is also (and perhaps mainly) the powerful light play that goes on at the same time. Light to light. Color to color.
Try showing off green eye with emerald-toned stones. Or green tourmaline. Jade will have a quieter but intense effect on green eyes, as well.
Black Eyes/Black Diamonds
AMBER OR NATURAL TOPAZ stones work wonders with brown eyes. So do brown diamonds. What about eyes so brown they look black? Were there ever more beautiful eyes? They need rare treatment, like black diamonds, real or man-made. Spectacular!
Blue eyes get us back into that whirlpool of complexity, because they can vary so greatly in color. In most instances, lapis lazuli will work magic with blue eyes. But those very special light, water blue eyes…they need a softer approach. Try pale ocean colors of blue topaz or aquamarine for real color dynamics!
HERE ARE SOME MORE PRODUCT IDEAS FOR COSMETIC PLAYS WITH GEMSTONES:
- Amber light rays radiate out from this contemporary long necklace set to compliment any eye color, especially brown.
- Fashion jewelry in simulated quartz necklace – glass so well crafted only the wearer knows it isn’t the real thing! And what this can do for lovely hazel eyes – just try it! Add matching drop earrings for double duty brilliance!
Filed under Fashion Accessories
Posted by Mary McGarry on Wednesday, May 27th, 2009
Whenever we have a really hot trend working its way through the Fashion Field, we often have spin offs from it. These are stories that relate to the original trend, but which are still different from it. An example of what we’re talking about is the big trendy Africana Story, and its hot spin-off, The Safari Story.
Now, Safari isn’t Africana. After all, Africans didn’t come up with the idea of going on Safaris, they simply went into the bush to hunt without making it a kind of preppy outing. Englishmen came up with the Safari, and it then became so popular, it moved quickly as a vacation (or macho adventure) with privileged groups around the world.
You basically have to be privileged to go on Safari, unless you’re a hired hand. Safaris cost money, and you’ve always got to have plenty of native experts around to haul your stuff, set up your tents, hunt and cook your food, and – most importantly – just tell you what to do and when to do it. Otherwise, the lions and tigers and crocodiles, et als, might get more out of the trip than you.
NOBODY WOULD EVER CONSIDER GOING INTO THE JUNGLE WITHOUT THE APPROPRIATE SUN HAT. HERE ARE SOME TO MAKE YOUR SAFARI WEAR REALLY HOT:
- Lindu straw safari hat with typical pinch front crown. Can take a beating and still stand up to the weather!
Dressing the Part
Safaris are peculiarly fashionable. You have to be dressed properly for a Safari, with the right tan shorts and shirt, the right kind of sun hat, shoes, gloves, and possibly, even, walking stick. In other words, you have to look the part. Have you ever heard of anyone going on Safari wearing dungarees and a plaid flannel shirt? Of course not. And you never will.
If you’re a woman, dressing for Safari gets a little more complicated. You need the same tan shorts or slacks day outfit, but then you need something white and slightly diaphanous for dinner wear. At least, that’s what Hollywood bigwigs have repeatedly told us with all the dynamite Safari films they’ve made, and we all know Hollywood knows.
A quick course in suitable Safari wear can be gleaned from the African Queen, a super yesteryear film with Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart. It wasn’t exactly on Safaris, but it will suffice. Think of it as Classy Retro.
SOME REALLY GREAT SAFARI WEAR INVOLVES BRACELETS, ANOTHER HOT AND TRENDY ITEM ON THE RUNWAY SCENE. CONSIDER THESE:
- Elephants march across these silver plated cuff bracelets in raised relief bordered by textured gold plating for rich mixed metal effect.
Basically, Safari wear is western gear with an African theme. Like scarves with an elephant design. Or zebra striped anything. Don’t mix this up with those extraordinary native African prints. They are Africana. Safari colors are usually taken from nature, with splashes of orange and pieces of feathers making the On-Now Safari Look particularly edgy.
SUNGLASSES ARE HOT ESSENTIALS FOR SAFARI. SO ARE SCARVES THAT CAN BE TIED AROUND THE BRIM OF YOUR FAVORITE SUN HAT. TRY THESE:
You will probably want to play with a lot more exciting gear to make your Safari outfits complete. Try big turquoise rings. Or totes – you really must have a tote. Of course, you would never drag one around with you on a real Safari, but we’re talking about a Safari “state-of-mind” here, and that leaves plenty of room for imaginative maneuvering.
Safari is a fun trend. It is terribly sophisticated. Enjoy it!
Filed under Seasonal Jewelry
Posted by Mary McGarry on Wednesday, May 20th, 2009
What a day of conflicting emotions! Here we are back again, with Memorial Day starting summer vacations. Schools are out. Kids are ecstatic. Marching bands are getting ready to parade up Main Streets in towns all over the country. Ohhh, this is a great long weekend to dangle your toes in the ocean, take a bike ride into the mountains, loaf in a hammock with your dog, or just read a book and mellow out.
But…there is really a lot more to it than just that. And, for members of the fashion industry, days like this have special significance. They give us all the chance to promote our products while celebrating or commemorating national times of importance and caring. It is an opportunity not to be missed.
Memorial Day will be observed on May 25th this year. Formerly called Decoration Day, this is a federal holiday originally established to honor the Union soldiers who died in the Civil War. Initially, many in the South refused to participate in the observance because of the long-enduring hostility toward the Union.
Today, of course, Memorial Day goes far beyond the Great War of the States, and is meant to honor all those men and women from all parts of the nation who died while serving in the United States military.
MANY FLY THE AMERICAN FLAG ON THIS HOLIDAY. YOU MIGHT WANT TO BRING ATTENTION TO THE FLAG, TOO, WITH PRODUCTS LIKE THESE:
More than Just Military
UNFORTUNATELY, THERE HAS NEVER REALLY BEEN an American generation that has not had its own war or wars, and its own war dead. Memorial Day touches everyone. Many also visit cemeteries and memorials all around the nation in memory of deceased family members, too, not necessarily only those who have served in the armed forces.
Even though the basic concept behind Memorial Day is very serious, it has also been lightened by the fact that it is the first major holiday leading into the long summer months of national holidays, family get-togethers and fun. So it is a day of mixed sentiment.
On one hand, it is a day when television cameras from stations all across the country focus on the President as he puts the traditional wreath on the Grave of the Unknown Soldier, a moving and sad memorial in every way.
Happy Times, Serious Memories
BUT IT IS ALSO A DAY FILLED with images of children frolicking in the ocean for the first time this season, a day when families get together, barbecues are fired up, and everybody looks to have a good time. This is not a day for unstoppable tears, and rightly so. It is very much dedicated to life and living.
In South Carolina, a Confederate Memorial Day is observed, as it is in a number of other Southern states. This year, the S.C. holiday was observed on May 11th. According to the Web’s Wikipedia, it marks the death of Confederate Commander Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and the capture of the Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
—So, this is another day of sad remembrances and national recognition of just how tragic the Civil War was for us all.
An interesting thing about this holiday is that fashion bends to it. People wear red, white, and blue proudly. Many express their spiritual responses to the Holiday by wearing crosses and other religious symbols. We sing war songs, like “Over There.” We remember Normandy and forget for a while that we’re mad at the French. In its own strange way, Memorial Day brings us all together.
HERE ARE SOME TERRIFIC PRODUCTS FOR MEMORIAL DAY AND STRAIGHT THROUGH THE SUMMER:
- Religious pendants. Quality craftsmanship in a variety of Christian and other spiritual themes. Inspiring for Memorial Day and straight through the summer.
- Americana stretch bracelet in patriotic red/white/and blue seed beads. Great for Memorial Day, for sailing, for any and all fun activities this season.
Filed under Fashion Jewelry
Posted by Mary McGarry on Tuesday, May 19th, 2009
AT A TIME WHEN added services, clever promotions and exciting shopping experiences are all being experimented with in the hopes of attracting a recession-reticent consumer, what could be more intriguing than the re-creation, on American soil, of a real Turkish fine jewelry store?
Well, that’s exactly what Elizabeth Genel and Mark Nyman have done with Atelier Minyon in Manhattan’s chic SOHO district. The idea, they say, was to create a store that would give their customers the unique experience of being in a fine jewelry shop in Istanbul. And what an experience it is!
TURKEY HAS LONG been known for its exquisite jewelry, with fabulous rings and creative and innovative egg designs that have literally captivated jewelers in the United States in recent years. But as remarkable as the product may be, the Turkish shopping experience is even more fantastic. There is just nothing like it anywhere else in the world.
EVERYONE LOVES SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL AND DIFFERENT. LOOK FOR SPECIAL ONE-OF-A-KIND LOOKING PIECES TO RE-CREATE YOUR OWN SPECIAL LAIR, TURKISH OR OTHERWISE:
- Large crystal chandelier earrings in antique plate settings and vivid crystal colors offer a masterful mix of Victoriana with Asian design serenity.
Two Hour Process
“IN TURKEY, WHEN YOU BUY jewelry, it is a two-hour process,” says Genel. A formal tea service is just part of it. And why not? Genel points out that if you are going to buy jewelry for yourself in this economy, it should certainly be a special experience.
The store itself is about 700 square feet in size, with walls covered with those gorgeous hand-painted tiles so characteristic of Turkey. Exotic handblown glass lanterns in beautiful jewel tones hang from the ceiling,
Genel and Nyman have been in the beauty business for about 12 years, running a cosmetic and skin care chain in the Northeast. But it was Genel who really sparked off the jewelry idea when she began collecting fine jewelry.
“–I used to love to buy clothes, but then I learned I liked buying jewelry even more,” she enthused.
A Passion into Reality
As a result, together with Nyman, Gemel turned her passion into a business reality. Teaming up with Turkish jewelry owner Alp Sagnak, she launched Atelier Minyon, aimed at creating Turkish jewelry for an American audience. .All the pieces at Atelier Minyon are imported from Turkey. They are made in Sagnak’s workshop in Ankara …and are they ever fabulous!
Prices run from about $400 for earrings to $300,000 for a 150-carat emerald necklace. Average prices are $2,000 to $6,000. Diamonds with a rose cut are especially popular, as are edgy diamond and tourmaline pieces. Color is a major factor. Brilliant yellows and deep shimmering reds give spectacular depth and individuality to each piece.
ADD A RICH ELEMENT OF TURKISH COLOR BRILLIANCE TO YOUR JEWELRY SELECTION. TRY WORKING WITH THESE TERRIFIC ITEMS:
- Deep red cut glass pendant drops off an elegant beaded necklace in a marvel of color and design!
Gemel and Nyman plan on opening at least 10 more stores in the next few years, starting with the southern United States. Each will offer customers that special Turkish buying experience – tea, relaxation, exquisite service, alluring Turkish décor, and a private review of jewelry equal to none.
YOU CAN GIVE YOUR CUSTOMERS A RARE TASTE OF OPULENT EXOTICA, TOO. YOU CAN EASE INTO TURKISH GRANDEUR. OR, YOU CAN GO FRENCH. OR INDIAN. OR ASIAN. DESIGN A CORNER OF YOUR STORE TO EVOKE THE MOOD, DISPLAY FITTING JEWELRY, OFFER A TASTE OF TEA OR GROG, AND VOILA! WATCH THE RESULTS!
Filed under Fashion Accessories
Posted by Mary McGarry on Monday, May 18th, 2009
Even with a problematic economy, expect accessories to keep moving ahead, with strong creativity and plenty of new, exciting trends to rev up any collection to “must-have” status. That’s good news for accessory retailers. Adding to the positive directive are reports from major fashion shows around the country that accessories sales are up from last year at this time. At Chicago’s recent Stylemax trade show retailers tended to order more accessories and less apparel. One retailer pointed out that jewelry is an easy sell for women shopping for gifts or a pick-me-up purchase for themselves.
HOT TRENDS KEEP SIZZLE IN ACCESSORIES MARKET
Looking at the Accessories Market reveals a number of important trends under way. Here are collections to keep your eye on:
- Big bracelets in exotic snakeskin or wood. Very African looking. Many trimmed with silver or gold metal stripes. All worn in multiples. Sold in multiples! Check out Bebe’s latest catalog for some great merchandising examples.
- Gold chain chokers. Usually worn with another, longer necklace. See Gucci ads for hot examples. This is a little tough chic.
- Big cabochon rings. Especially citron and turquoise. David Yurman does this look very well. In fact, he practically created it!
YOU CAN GET PLENTY OF PRODUCT DRAMA WITH ITEMS THAT EXPRESS THE NEW TREND DIRECTIONS AT REASONABLE PRICES. TRY THESE:
1. Etched bangle bracelets in silver, gold, or tri-color plating with rich precious metal look. Wear them in multiples, on both wrists!
2. Multi-style contemporary leopard skin cuff bracelet with row of embedded iridescent crystals. Major trendy look with Africana inspiration.
COLOR DYNAMICS. In a big city fashion environment that is unquestionably dark, even black, look for bursts of color everywhere! These are highly saturated, gorgeous colors, very green, very red, very pink, very yellow!
—Sometimes they show up as an entire dress. At other times, they shake up an outfit as a scarf or jacket or skirt, throwing lightning rays in all directions. These are hot POP colors we’re talking about, terribly sophisticated!
- Clean, crisp, unadorned modern-lined watches. Perfect-art circles like Movado. Crisp, architectural squares like Coach. Most with metal bracelets.
- Long, dark beads. Layers of simple, fairly small beads cascading down the front of a blouse or dress, dropping below the waist. Heavy and yet inobtrusive. For more glitz, do the same thing in gold or silver chain. Not too big!
- Jewelry with strong personal or spiritual meaning, especially charm bracelets that can be individualized to the owner’s own life and experiences.
STAYING AHEAD OF THE TREND CURVE IS EASY WHEN YOU KNOW HOW. HERE ARE SOME PRODUCTS TO HELP YOU DO JUST THAT!
1. Unique carved hematite fish symbol of Early Christianity dangles from cylindrical beaded necklace.
2. Face mask pin in museum-like design with look of glazed ceramic. Sophisticated colors mix gold with black and white for trendy and classy piece of theatrical jewelry!
SHOCKING SHEET WHITE. In long, body skimming dresses. In big brimmed hats and little jump dresses. In watches. In handbags. Very retro, yet also very NOW. So sharp and white, it gives fashion a very formal look, even when the lines are casual.
—This is great with matte silver jewelry, like Ugo Cacciatori multistrand bracelet, looking straight out of Greenwich Village, 1950s.
- Fragrance. The ultimate accessory. Very luxe and fashion-forward in dramatic containers that sell all by themselves. See (and smell) Euphoria Spring Temptation Calvin Klein. Like something out of yesterday’s fabulous Maltese Falcon movie!
- Karate-hot bracelets. Tight fitting wide leather cuffs. Very strong. Black with metal. Worn on both wrists. More tough chic!
Filed under Fashion Accessories
Posted by Mary McGarry on Tuesday, May 12th, 2009
HENRI BENDEL, the super-fashionable luxury retailer whose Fifth Avenue flagship has long been the style-setter for New York City’s most elegant ladies, is doing the unthinkable. It is getting out of apparel! Bendel says the New York store will be reduced in size from three to two selling floors, offering consumers accessories, handbags, jewelry, gifts, beauty and fragrance. Apparel is out. Gone. Fini.
Bendel President Ed Bucciarelli says the firm has been going in the accessories only direction for quite a while. “It’s a natural progression. Fashion isn’t where we’re seeing our growth.” In recent years, Bendel’s has been unable to secure apparel collections that bigger retailers have had access to, causing the firm to run from one merchandising idea to another in order to maintain margins.
Open See Days
ONE IDEA THAT DID RESONATE WELL with Bendel customers was Open See Days, in which unknown designers were brought to the store in an attempt to latch onto some real winners. In its latest reincarnation, Open See Days will continue, only they’ll be limited to the more focused accessory categories.
YOU CAN FOCUS ON YOUR OWN OPEN SEE DAYS BY TRYING OUT NEW IDEAS WITH PRODUCTS AND PROMOTIONS: HOW ABOUT:
- A designer inspired purse in leatherette with soft feel and look of genuine top leather. Features rich rosette decoration and is available in a variety of colors.
- Oversized tote handbag in trendy washed metallic colors of gold or lavender. Embroidery on front includes iridescent sequins for subtle sparkle.
BENDEL’S PRESENTLY OPERATES four shopping mall stores, with six more due to open this year. Leslie Wexner, president of the store’s parent company, Limited Brands, Inc., says “Bendel’s is one of the greatest and most recognizable brands in the world.” Still, until now, the store hasn’t met Wexner’s vision.
Under the new Bendel format, however, Wexler expects all of that to change. To start with, the stores will sell only accessories and only Bendel-branded merchandise. That, Wexler feels, will “allow the company to realize its potential” on a national and, eventually, on a global scale.
So far, the new merchandising system seems to be on target. The four mall stores already operating are apparently doing very well despite the recession, and projections are highly optimistic for the new ones scheduled to open this year
The new luxe accessories Bendel stores now open run between 1,500 and 2,000 square feet and feature a lot of “iconic brown and white stripes and photos of fashionable young women in the windows. It’s set up like a candy store,” says Bucciarelli, with handbags the cornerstone of the concept.
We are also stretching the boundaries of what accessories are with hairpieces, gloves, wellies and stationery.
“Everything we do,” he declared, “appeals to a younger customer.”
LOOKING TO CASH IN ON YOUNG CUSTOMERS, TOO? HERE ARE SOME GREAT PRODUCTS TO GET YOU STARTED:
- Ankle bracelet: hot and uptrending with the young crowd. This silver plated anklet of fine chain includes dangling cross and heart charms. What could be more timely?
- Perfect for prom or pageant wear, this wide crystal cuff bracelet features iridescent crystals in a gorgeous open work silver-plate design. The exquisite craftsmanship brings back the Golden Age of Costume Jewelry!
Filed under Americana
Posted by Mary McGarry on Monday, May 11th, 2009
JUNE 14TH IS FLAG DAY! It’s a wonderful day for waving Old Glory and remembering all that the red, white, and blue has meant to our nation for so many years. It’s a celebration to enjoy, a run-up to the glorious Fourth of July, and the beginning of a summertime of picnics, swimming, sunning, and all things light and happy. This is the time to get out the flag and put it up, on a pole, on your car, even on your mailbox. Take your picture in front of it. Celebrate! All of us. Because we’re all in this together.
The American Flag’s design has changed 16 times since its inception on July 4th, 1777, but its basic framework has remained consistent. That is:
13 horizontal stripes alternating in red and white and representing the
original colonies/states, with the flag canton (upper left hand corner)
showing a collection of 5-pointed stars –one for each present state —
emblazoned in a blue field.
YOU CAN JOIN IN THE FUN OF FLAG DAY. LET AN AMERICAN FLAG FLY AT YOUR HOUSE OR WORKPLACE.
- Great for outdoor displays on a pole, this 34″ X 61″ polyester flag is great for all kinds of outdoor activities, from picnics to birthday parties.
- 6″ X 8″ flags on a stick can be small sized bombshells. Sell them in quantity to your business customers for all sorts of marketing benefits. They work wonders when paired with a business card and left on home owners’ front porches
Truth or Fiction?
LEGEND HAS IT Betsy Ross was commissioned by George Washington to help design and sew the first flag for the Continental Armies. Washington supposedly asked for a banner with six-pointed stars but Ross, it is said, wanted five-pointed stars because they could be made with just one snip of the scissors. Washington eventually beat the britches off the British, but he lost his encounter with Ross. Five-sided stars it was, and the American Flag was born!
–But, you might ask, did that actually happen? Well…nobody knows for sure. In fact, it is not even certain that Betsy Ross made the flag, even though she did sew banners for many groups.
THE PRESENT 50-STAR VERSION of the American flag has been in use since July 4th, 1960. It was designed in 1958 as a class project by an 18-year old student named Robert G. Heft. As it happens, his teacher didn’t think that much of the design, giving him only a B-minus for his effort. “Well,” he asked, “suppose it is chosen to be the new American Flag?” Laughing at the very possibility, his teacher agreed she would then “reevaluate” his grade.
As it turns out, Congress had a higher opinion of the design than Heft’s teacher, voting for it with enthusiasm. In 1959, by Presidential proclamation, a new American flag was ready to fly, and Heft’s grade was raised to an A, making everybody a winner!
FLAGS DON’T EVER SEEM TO LOSE THEIR LUSTER OR POPULARITY.
- Promote your flag collection to local schools, suggesting they give one to each student. Or
- Suggest to the school administration that small flags be awarded to young students who excel in specific subjects, such as reading or arithmetic.
The Stars and Stripes
FEW BANNERS ARE ASSOCIATED with such dramatic events as the American Flag. The country’s national anthem was based on a poem by Francis Scott Key and tells of the flag’s surviving a bitter nightlong bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland, by the British Royal Navy during the War of 1812. It is a harrowing and yet thrilling verbal portrait!
A photograph of the flag being raised by five marines and a navy corpsman during the battle of Iwo Jima in World War II also dramatically documents an image of the flag, one that has been indelibly etched in the American consciousness.
–And who can ever forget the sight of the American Flag on the surface of the moon? Everyone, worldwide, has seen it!
In 2001, the visual history of the flag took a sad turn. Most Americans responded in disbelief to the picture of a tattered and torn American flag flying over the rubble and devastation of New York’s World Trade Center. Still, in silence and strength, it became an overnight symbol that America could and would endure.
REMEMBERING OUR MOMENTS OF FAME AND TRAGEDY, OPEN YOURSELF TO FLAG DISPLAY THIS YEAR. YOU CAN CHOOSE FROM MANY:
- An 8″ X 10″ flag is ideal for your work desk. You might also want to display it on the front dashboard of your car.
- An American flag tack pin. This small pin is similar to the one worn by the President and members of Congress following 9-11.
Posted by Mary McGarry on Saturday, May 9th, 2009