Where Wearable Tech Meets Fashion

written by Georgia Schumacher 18 November 2014

Wearable techTechnology and fashion are both huge industries, and designers from each sector are coming together to spark a revolution in the way we use technology. Wearable technology could change the lives of fashion-conscious people for the better, whether it's T-shirts that monitor your health or jewelry that lets you know when you have messages or calls waiting.

Wearable Tech at New York Fashion Week

Although wearable gadgets were once clunky and inelegant, the latest generation of wearable tech aims to look beautiful and perform flawlessly. In fact, wearable technology has so convincingly crossed over into fashion that several high-tech accessories were featured during the 2014 New York Fashion Week.

Designer Rebecca Minkoff was one of the big stars of Fashion Week, with her high-tech jewelry that delivers some real functionality, as well as beautiful design. For the fashionista who doesn’t want to take time out from socializing to reach into her bag and check her mobile phone, there's a gold bracelet that connects with the phone using Bluetooth and subtly delivers a notification whenever a call or text comes in.

Ralph Lauren smart T-shirts were also featured at New York Fashion Week. These biometric wearables use silver-coated threads to conduct electrical signals through the shirt, allowing them to measure your heart and respiration rates, as well as your movements as you walk, run or play sports.

Fitness-Tracking Fashion

Many fitness-related wearable gadgets, such as the Fitbit Flex, are already very popular among runners and sportspeople. Fitbit Flex is a wristband that monitors the steps you take and the calories you burn, and watches over you while you sleep to assess the quality of your nighttime rest. Their most well-known wristband looks very technological, with its bright colors and light-up display. However, with the right design input from fashion houses, fitness-tracking wearable tech could deliver the same functionality in a much more subtle and fashion-conscious way. With its line of Tory Burch bracelets and pendants, FitBit may already be leading the industry in that arena.

With fashion designers taking on the challenge of incorporating wearable tech into their existing lines, there's the potential for wearables to develop into clothes that look and feel as good as the tech that powers them functions.

Behind the Runway: The Business of Fashion Marketing

written by Georgia Schumacher 16 September 2014

Clothing on display

When it comes to careers in fashion, there are a myriad of choices for those who want to claim their place in the fashion scene without becoming designers. Whether the retail, media, or public relations aspects appeal to you, a career in fashion marketing can take you where you want to go. As a fashion marketer, you can take on a wide variety of duties related to branding, sales, promotions, customer relations and event planning. These careers are great for social butterflies who want to share their passion for the fashion industry with the world.

What is fashion marketing anyway?

As in any industry, marketing is key to the success of all fashion businesses. Both retail outlets and design houses hire marketing teams to manage their brands, plan events, set retail store layouts and work with customers. Being a fashion marketer is all about supporting the work of designers and fashion brands by showing the latest and greatest in fashion to consumers and retail stores.

Professionals who work in this field know how to conduct consumer research, measure the popularity of new trends, and design marketing campaigns that bring big results. Of course, not all fashion marketers work for huge design houses or major stores. Because marketing is essential at every level of the fashion industry, many people in this field also work for smaller boutiques and individual fashion designers.

Marketing career paths for fashion pros

One of the most exciting aspects of a marketing career is the multitude of options it affords. Instead of being confined to one type of job, fashion marketers can take on many different responsibilities. Picking an area of focus is all about deciding which of the following positions meet your talents, skills, and professional goals. Remember that the following are popular positions in the fashion field, but they're not the only careers in fashion marketing by a long shot!

Shopper

Merchandise Coordinator. Merchandise coordinators are responsible for managing a brand's products in retail outlets. They may simply set up display designs and priorities to be shared with visual merchandisers in other stores, or they may be responsible for setting up displays on their own. Depending on the size of the company, merchandise coordinators may also be expected to do some online brand management such as social media marketing and photo uploads to company websites.

Retail Manager. Retail outlets make up the biggest sector in the fashion industry, and management jobs in such outlets tend to employ experienced fashion marketers. Those students who are just completing a fashion degree program may be prepared to enter the workforce as assistant managers while those with more on-the-ground experience may be able to win store or regional management positions. These professionals are responsible for overseeing every aspect of a retail store's operations from merchandising to staffing to brand management.

Buyer. No matter the size of the retail outlet, fashion businesses rely on buyers to hunt down the season's latest trends, negotiate purchase prices, and choose merchandise for a store. Large retail outlets generally have a team of buyers, and each buyer may be responsible only for certain items. For instance, there may be separate buyers for women's wear, men's wear, and accessories. Smaller retail outlets generally employ only one buyer or require managers to handle buyer duties. Buyers are responsible for not only understanding current trends but also for introducing them to consumers.

Sales and Events Promoter. Special events and sales provide a key way for businesses to get the word out about breaking trends and attract new consumers. While some fashion companies may use a freelance event planner to manage events, others prefer to hire professionals who have industry-specific experience.

Merchandise Planner. Also known as visual planners or visual merchandisers, merchandise planners are responsible for designing displays in retail stores. They decide how clothing and accessories will be displayed on tables, stands and racks. Depending on where they work, merchandise planners may also be responsible for ensuring that their store is following any company-wide visual display standards or planograms.

Media Planner/Buyer. Digital and online marketing are just as important to today's fashion businesses as in-person marketing is in retail stores. Media planners and buyers are responsible for designing a media marketing program and buying space in print publications, online outlets and on other media such as billboards in order to advertise or promote a company’s products. Professionals in these roles are responsible both for planning and budgeting, so a solid understanding of business finance is key.

Is a fashion marketing career right for you?

Marketing careers offer one of the most promising means of entering the fashion industry. Thanks to the many different hats that fashion marketers can wear, both new and seasoned professionals can pursue a wide variety of job roles that meet their educational accomplishments and personal preferences.

If you're considering a career as a fashion marketer, remember that it's essential that you enjoy working with people. You'll spend a great deal of time interacting with company leaders, fashion industry insiders and consumers as you plan, launch, and manage marketing campaigns.

Careers in marketing are also desirable for those who want to eventually own their own fashion businesses. A solid foundation in marketing provides the knowledge needed to launch a brand or consulting service. Learn more about fashion marketing and the programs available in this area today!

What’s New at The Art Institutes

written by Georgia Schumacher 8 September 2014

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Students & Grads Debut Their Collections at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week


Imagine you're an aspiring fashion designer. You've worked for months creating your very own collection and you're ready to reveal it on the runway. Now imagine that runway is at New York City's world renowned Lincoln Center, and the show is Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week - NYC's biggest media event. This dream will turn into reality for 13 students and graduates of The Art Institute of New York City on Tuesday, September 9, 2014.

With guidance from our experienced faculty, they created world-class collections, and our partnership with Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week will give them the chance to unveil their work on an international stage. We invite you to meet these students and alumni and to join us as they debut their lines.

Watch the live show here on Tuesday, September 9 at 8pm EST and join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook with #AiMBFW.

GETCreative Courses Introduced for Adults and Teens

GETCreative logo
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and The Art Institute of California—San Diego, a campus of Argosy University, invite teens and adults to take their creative talents to the next level through our GETCreative courses, workshops, and special events.

Participants may choose from a variety of courses designed for the pursuit of casual recreational learning or professional development designed for adults in creative careers. The classes take place in our professional kitchens, studios, and labs—providing hands-on training on industry standard tools and technology.

Creative writing workshops, an introduction to digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) photography, garment construction classes, comic book art drawing, game design workshops, and a day in the sushi kitchen are examples of the creative outlets GETCreative provides. Classes begin this month and are offered in the following areas:

- Art Foundations
- Culinary Arts
- Recording Arts
- Creative Writing
- Design
- Photography
- Textiles
- Fashion and Jewelry
- The Business of Art
- Software for Designers

Classes meet for as few as one—or as many as six—sessions.

“Our seasoned instructors guide students to challenge their creativity in a relaxed environment.” said George Sebolt, president of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. “Teens can test out possible career paths while still in high school, and seasoned professionals can gain skills to help them advance in the creative marketplace.”

For more information about GETCreative, to see a list of courses, or to register for classes, please visit http://getcreative.artinstitutes.edu/pittsburgh/ or http://getcreative.artinstitutes.edu/sandiego/.

10 Names Everyone in Fashion is Expected to Know

written by Georgia Schumacher 10 June 2014

fashion designers

Want to carve out your place in the fashion industry? The history of fashion design is filled with brave entrepreneurs and artistic trailblazers who defined the styles that surround us today—and as someone with a passion for the field, you’ll be expected to know the clothing and history of these important fashion designers. Remember, their names are more than labels or brands; they are legacies of determination and creativity.

1. Elsa Schiaparelli

This Italian designer found much of her inspiration from the Surrealism and Dada art movements. A rival of Coco Chanel, Schiaparelli is known for the avant-garde creativity in her designs, which included such oddities as a lobster dress and shoe hat.

2. Pierre Cardin

Cardin's highly original style centered around geometry, and he's attributed with creating the modern bubble dress. He later developed one of the first package trims available in American cars with the AMC Javelin's colorful interior.

3. Coco Chanel

One of the most prolific and influential fashion designers of all time, Chanel rose to fame in the 1920s with her innovative use of jersey fabric and the development of every woman's wardrobe staple: the little black dress.

4. Yves St. Laurent

This legendary designer is best known for creating the first French ready-to-wear line, as well as developing menswear styles for women, such as the innovative and renowned "Le Smoking" suit.

5. Hubert de Givenchy

Givenchy worked alongside designers Schiaparelli, Christian Dior, John Galliano and Alexander McQueen while dressing icons such as Grace Kelly. Most notably, he designed almost all of Audrey Hepburn's classic movie wardrobes.

6. Azzedine Alaïa

When Cher from Clueless insists that she can't ruin her dress by lying on the street during a robbery, she gives one reason: "It's an Alaïa." This elusive Tunisian fashion designer is known for dressing an array of celebrities while never selling out in his marketing.

7. Vivienne Westwood

Westwood began her career working for Malcolm McLaren of the Sex Pistols, and her contributions to punk fashion and new wave street style are unrivaled. Carrie Bradshaw's Vivienne Westwood wedding dress in the Sex and the City movie is considered one of the show's most notable designs.

8. Miuccia Prada

The founder of both Prada and Miu Miu, this legendary Italian designer is known for her minimalist and comfortable styles, with Miu Miu a more affordable take on her personal wardrobe.

9. Valentino Garavani

The man behind the Valentino label has designed for a collection of starlets and socialites such as Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, and Lee Radziwill. Jackie Kennedy's gown for her wedding to Aristotle Onassis was a Valentino original, and he's well known for his vibrantly colored "Valentino red" dresses.

10. Paul Poiret

Poiret is credited with introducing the draping technique to fashion, thus giving women an alternative to corsets and launching the modern aesthetic still seen today in fashion marketing and sales.

Interested in fashion design or fashion marketing? Learn more about our programs today!

3 Proven Sales Techniques in Fashion Marketing

written by Georgia Schumacher 30 May 2014

Fashion display

You (or your company) may have found the hottest fashion line in existence, but now you need to get it in the hands of consumers. Start by developing a sales and marketing plan with fashion marketing strategies and tactics that ensure that you get the attention of shoppers and stores worldwide.

1. Think about the whole picture

Keep the store flow in mind. Every retail store owner has a specific store flow that they use to direct customers around their location. The store layout utilizes racks, end caps, window displays, and other arrangements to show off the merchandise in a way that's accessible and desirable. Visualize what the clothing you're marketing will look like in each prime store flow location, so you can describe to the store owner exactly how well your fashion fits into their store vision. You want the store owner to realize that you know about their side of things as well and can help them make more sales.

2. Get social

Create a fashion marketing platform using social media and social networking. When you show that you already have popularity, you create a demand for your fashion designs. Whether your pieces are in front of millions on high end fashion blogs or you have a thousand dedicated fans following your or Instagram account or Tumblr, showing that people want your clothes helps business owners make their purchasing decisions. Sites such as Pinterest are particularly useful for fashion marketing, especially if you catch the ear of some of the most active pinners on the site. The visual-based medium of this site is also helpful for showing off your clothing properly, and most sites allow users to easily share content from Pinterest so it's much easier to get a viral reach throughout the Internet.

3. Put people in your clothes

Set brand ambassadors forth in the world. A brand ambassador wears your clothing and talks up your product to their peer group. You want brand ambassadors who will give your products a good reputation, so make sure that you screen potential ambassadors so you aren't on the receiving end of an embarrassing viral video campaign that shows them behaving badly. Not all press is good press, contrary to popular opinion.

Read More: http://www.specialtyretailcollective.com/traffic-flow-make-it-work-to-maximize-sales/