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Pinterest Pride

According to the Pinterest blog, these Universities are the top 5 best pinners: 

1. University of Washington

2. University of Illinois               3. University of Kentucky          4. Duke University                   5. UC Davis


Making MAGIC

In Vegas of all places! Ah yes, the wonderful week that roles around twice a year (every February and August) when all of the fashion world comes together in sin city has just concluded for the Spring 2013 season. I’ve only had the pleasure of being in attendance once, back when BRANDED was still in the development phases (for research purposes), and it absolutely blew my socks off. The closest thing I can compare it to is.. well, heaven. Here’s some great coverage from the week: 


As WWD MAGIC came to a close this August, the famed tradeshow chalked up a record-breaking success. MAGIC, one of the largest tradeshows in the fashion industry, occurs every February and August to bring tens of thousands of buyers and attendees from over 80 countries to explore more than 5,000 brands. The show features womenswear, menswear and juniors and encompasses seven unique sections: WWD MAGICFN PlatformStreetS.L.A.T.E.Pool TradeshowProject and Sourcing at MAGIC.


The Las Vegas tradeshow has 78 years of experience and has evolved with the industry to continue to set standards. Alongside the buying and planning for the upcoming Spring 2013 retail season, attendees were offered a plethora of education and inspiration. Over the course of the four-day show, there was an energetic buzz surrounding 40 high-profile industry seminars featuring 70-plus leading executives; daily fashion shows and swimwear runway presentations; Button London’s free manicure station; the Social House featuring the savviest digital influencers; the DIY Salon presented by Create Your Style with unique crystal application technique workshops; and the Buzz Boutique showcasing new apps and social media trends.


The seven diverse sections of MAGIC also channeled energy from exciting Spring 2013 trends, record-breaking traffic and, especially, the impressive showing of new brands.

“One of the things for us that is important to us is new businesses on the show floor. This is our biggest show since 2008. 40,000 feet of new square footage on the floor, which means 400 new brands from accessories to juniors to bridge to contemporary. The number one reason buyers come to our show is to find something new. So when someone is launching something new, it’s exciting for us. If a brand has something to say they are coming here,” shared Christopher Griffin, vice president of WWD MAGIC.


Griffin noted key new lines such as The Collection by L*Space andVersus by Versace’s timepieces. Popular swimwear line L*Space has been leading the market with fashion forward styles that blend beach-chic with a glam surfer girl appeal. For Spring 2013, creative director and lead designer of the brand, Monica Wise, has expanded the assortment beyond bikinis, one-pieces and cover-ups.

“I just felt like it was perfect timing to start apparel. This is our first launch. There’s 25 pieces in the collection ranging from caftans, maxi dresses, skirts and shorts. It’s all about easy, breezy looks off the beach. The Collection is an extension of our swimwear brand but it fits so perfectly with our current customer,” Wise said.


Versus by Versace, Donatella Versace’s collaboration brand with Christopher Kane, was also in expansion mode with watches for men and women. The assortment revealed luxurious crystal encrusted pieces, oversized sporty unisex options in vibrant colors and bracelet-inspired double-wrap charmed styles.

“We’re launching the watches in the U.S. market. It’s for the fashion enthusiasts in all of us with unisex pieces and styles for men or women. Everyone is loving the collection!” said Kari Allen, president of Versace Timepieces USA.

Additionally, MAGIC offered a slice of Paris with the Who’s Next USA Road Trip making a stop at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The project is a partnership between Transatlantic and luxury department store Galeries Lafayette Paris in an effort to meet with 500 independent American retailers. Its moving showroom on the Airstream trailer promotes French fashion design with a well-curated assortment of brands visiting 10 American cities between August 10 and September 15.


“There are about 10 brands included. We just created this showroom because I have to meet a lot of buyers and press. I decided to make this road trip across the United States. We have stopovers in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Aspen, Dallas, Austin, Miami, Atlanta, New York and Chicago,” shared Jean-Baptiste Langlais of Transatlantic.


Across the convention center halls, the FN Platform footwear show delivered a comprehensive assortment of brands. Guests were greeted with champagne before venturing into the different category segments, which included Cosmo for women’s fashion footwear, Black Diamond for luxury collections, Camp for athleisure, Zen for comfort, Play for juniors and Bond for modern men. Though FN Platform is a relatively recent addition to MAGIC’s lineup, there was no shortage of impressive vendors.


“The show is amazing. It’s our biggest show to date. The show is only three years old and there are over 1600 exhibitors. The major celebrity designers are all here, everyone from Kenneth Cole to Steve Madden, Sam Edelman; they’re all in the house. So we’re very excited,” said Leslie Gallin, Vice President of FN Platform.

A footwear expert herself, Gallin recommends ballet flats, platforms and sneakers as notable Spring 2013 trends.


The upcoming February show looks to become another victory as exhibitors including Eileen Fisher are already registered. Griffin is excited for the brand’s early commitment to set the tone for the next WWD MAGIC.  

(via klassy-karma)

Stationary Inspiration

(via abstractedfromreality)

California senate says yes. 

Shrink-and-Pink No More

In reading the article below from the latest Marie Claire magazine about women in sports, I learned a new term I was not aware existed - “Shrink it and Pink it”.

This is a (terrible) method of marketing to women being used in predominately male driven industries such as sports, cars, and technology. The concept is this: take the product (ex: a baseball tee shirt), make it smaller, color it pink, and poof… Done.

I’m not much for ranting, or feminism I suppose, because this doesn’t make me mad. It makes me happy because I see so much potential for improvement. This is exactly what Branded is all about and I can’t wait to see how other sports loving/boundary pushing ladies continue to break the mold.

Further readings on the topic: Lemmondrop, Jezebel

Collegiate Licensing 101


What does it mean? Who needs it? How do you get it? 

We get a lot of questions on the topic, so for the inquiring minds out there… It is a common misconception that the individual universities are in charge of allowing (or denying) permission for people to produce logo bearing items. This is not exactly the case. Most all major universities are affiliated with a licensing board. For example, TCU, SMU, and Texas Tech all fall under the Collegiate Licensing Company, while Baylor is affiliated with the Licensing Resource Group.

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Prepare for launch


For new designers, trying to figure out the design, production and sales cycle for your first collection can be a long and daunting process. Melody decided that it was time to lend the young blood a hand, and with the help of our friends over at NYNE and Shikoba, Designer Direction brings you part one of a two-part guide on the in’s and out’s of a Fashion Design & Production Calendar.

FDPC – the heart of your design business
At the heart of every fashion design business lies a calendar of events that is as crucial as fabric, cotton and garment labels. One of the foundation elements to any designers enterprise, this calendar outlines when to design, produce and sell your collection season by season. We call it the Fashion Design & Production Calendar or FDPC for short.

Why do I need an FDPC calendar?
Like a heart, this baby is a major organ and if not looked after it may flatline. In business terms this means – if you don’t plan your FDPC and business processes properly you may run into problems that could have been easily avoided.

It’s tough getting started and there are a lot of areas that require hard work and attention, but planning and implementing your month to month FDPC will give you a clear outline of what needs to be done and at what stage of the year. It will help to keep you focussed, on track and organised.

The need to know list, Part 1
The FDPC is a cycle of events and each part is equally as important as the next. We have listed the four of the eight FDPC essentials along with some pertinent reasons why they are necessary.

You need to know at what stage you should;
1. Design your collection, for the appropriate season and at the right time of year

Designing is the lifeblood of your business and sets the wheels in motion for every successive step in the FDPC cycle. It is important to know at what time of the year you need to have your collection designed by so you can research trends, work on your inspiration, mood board, direction and also start thinking about what kind of fabrics you might like to use.

FDPC Mood Board Caroline Shaw

2. View, sample, buy and reorder fabric for your collection
Textile viewing and buying is an exciting exercise but if not organised at the appropriate time of year it can be stressful and fraught with disappointment.

FDPC Fabric Rolls

Many textile wholesalers, and especially those that don’t hold stock fabric, operate in a very strict manner and in a lot of cases if you are not first in, you are last served. This means that if you book a viewing appointment too late you will be put at the back of the list behind hundreds of other people.

If you are tardy in ordering fabric you may miss out on the first order shipment and have to wait weeks (or months) for the next shipment to come through and that is only if the fabric is re-ordered. If the fabric you want is not re-ordered you will miss out altogether.

The lesson? Call and book your seasonal viewing appointments as early as you possibly can and that the wholesaler will allow.

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Employing Yourself (And Others)

While the traditional business plan has been critiqued by many modern entrepreneurs and business scholars as overly tedious and dated, we’ve found ourselves strong believers in it. Sure, it is both of those things in some regards. Given that it was a requirement for collegiate licensing consideration, we didn’t have a choice in the matter… However, its proved valuable time and time again. Composing our plan forced us to fully think through all aspects of our business and set measurable goals for the future. 

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