I am so excited to share with everyone the article that Women’s Wear Daily ran about my new luxe loungewear brand, STYLE UNION!
Click the link below to read more about Style Union – the loungewear line that can be worn from day to night.
I had a great time at Coterie NYC, connecting with buyers and retailers on my new ultra-luxe loungewear brand STYLE UNION. Below are some photos from my time at Coterie.
You can subscribe to updates on STYLE UNION at our website, www.shopstyleunion.com. #LoungeBetter
I had a great time and I’m so glad to share these experiences with everyone! I can’t wait for the world to experience what STYLE UNION has to offer…
I am super excited that I will be attending Coterie this year for my fashion brand, STYLE UNION. Coterie is the premier global marketplace that connects women’s apparel, accessories, and footwear designers with international retailers – it’s a must for designers and buyers who want to set new trends.
This year, Coterie runs from February 27th to March 1st at the Javits Center in NYC – this West Coast girl is heading to the (cold) East Coast!
My first Coterie was with my fashion brand Bella Dahl, in 1997 – I remember feeling so nervous and overwhelmed, and yet I was so excited because I was proud of the work we put into Bella Dahl and wanted buyers to see it.
This time, I’m back promoting STYLE UNION, my new luxe lounge wear that I believe will make every woman feel good, comfortable, and sexy. The pride I felt in Bella Dahl in 1997 is the same pride I feel in STYLE UNION – and having that love for what you do is only going to help you when advocating your brand to buyers.
If you’re a new designer going to Coterie, don’t take it too seriously, but you should know your brand inside and out. And make sure to have as much fun as possible with the experience. The best part about Coterie is walking in and feeling that buzz that only the fashion industry has; witnessing people, other designers, and buyers enjoying and purchasing the line; meeting with old friends; and making new ones.
Sure enough, I discuss Coterie in my book, so here’s a little “throwback” insight for you…
Some thoughts on Coterie from Gold Standard:
If you only attend one show twice a year, my suggestion would be the Coterie show. To have one rep you will essentially pay rent for their showroom. In that case, you become the landlord of that showroom. You pay for the building, the staff, and getting the samples to your reps to sell.
Say a garment costs twenty dollars to make in bulk. To get one garment made as a sample, it’s two and a half times the price it would be at the bulk rate. It’s an expensive venture to start off on and if you don’t know your fabric and it shrinks, you could lose your shirt. No pun intended.
Then there is the question of quantities to order. If you sell one hundred units at the Coterie show, do you want to make ten or fifteen percent over the hundred pieces you are going to have manufactured? If you do, then you have pieces to give away to editors, friends, and reorder business.
Of course the scale of money will depend on your fabric, your rent, if you are working out of your home, printing your own look book and will only have an online presence. There’s certainly more ways of doing it now, but you have to do your research before going in.
Everything in that excerpt still applies to today, so take note, new designers!
Check back soon on my website, where I will have a blog post about this year’s Coterie.
Hello friends! I have something new and special for you this week – I’ve launched a new series, where I will be featuring Q&A’s with lifestyle and fashion bloggers on my website a few times a year. I love Lauryn Evarts and her blog The Skinny Confidential, which is why I’ve decided to ask her to to be the very first person to feature in this series.
Thanks for joining us, Lauryn. What made you decide to start The Skinny Confidential?
I created The Skinny Confidential while studying at San Diego State University. I was inspired to create a platform for women to connect through their tips and tricks. Since then, the blog has grown into a full-on lifestyle brand, book, fitness guide, and podcast with a product line coming soon. The foundation was highly important to me because I wanted/want to play the long game.
What fashion trends are you looking forward to this year?
I try not to focus on trends, and focus on dressing for my body. I LOVE contrast so mixing masculine and feminine pieces is my favorite trend. Think sexy fishnet tights with ripped boyfriend jeans or a dress with strong shoulders. Also love stealing my husband’s clothes!
What are your personal, fashion, and blog goals for 2017?
My goals this year are to just continually grow, evolve and push myself. Embrace the uncomfortable! The greatest things happen when you step outside of your comfort zone. I’m also working on some products that will launch soon that I can’t wait to share with everyone! This year is about growth, lots of video, and engagement with the audience.
What’s one accessory in your closet you can’t live without?
Everyone needs a great pair of sunglasses. They’re a must not only to protect your eyes but they really complete any outfit. I love wearing super dark black ones and playing around with fun mirrored sunglasses. SUNGLASSES ARE LIFE!
What is your go-to article of clothing?
A leather motorcycle jacket is a timeless staple. You can throw it over literally whatever and you will always look on point. I love pairing mine with a vintage tee, a sexy black dress or my favorite, a simple white tank & jeans. Jeans are obviously a must-have. ; )
What beauty item do you take with you everywhere?
I’m OBSESSED with face masks, especially eye pads. I wear them EVERY morning and even wear them in public. I think it’s hilarious. One of my favorite tips is to put the eye pads in the fridge. The cold provides extra de-puffing. It’s a LIFE SAVER when you’re hungover. Also a good steel ice roller is just amazing for inflammation.
What’s the most recent article of clothing you bought, and why did you purchase it?
If you could raid any celebrity’s closet, whose would it be and why?
Definitely Kylie Jenner’s. I love how she just goes for it and mixes athletic wear and high end pieces. She is always ahead of the trend and really represents the youth. I like youthful clothing- nothing that makes me look older than I am.
If you had a fashion “motto” what would it be?
Do you. Trends are fun to play around with but find what’s flattering. When you feel good, you’ll look good. Everyone is different.
How do you think social media, particularly Instagram and Snapchat, has influenced fashion? Has it influenced your own style?
Social media is the modern day magazine. Instead of looking at Vogue to to see what’s trending people are using Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat which is SO fun. Social media allows you to see different ideas from all over the world and use that as inspiration for creating your own unique look. It’s allowed people to be more creative which is great. Fashion is now so accessible to any consumer. I think social media plays a key role in this concept.
Lauryn Evarts lives in San Diego and Los Angeles, California with her fiancé, Michael and their two chihuahuas, Pixy and T. Boone Pickens. You can find Lauryn on Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter, and YouTube.
On Friday, I had a great time driving and chatting with Melinda Moore and Janet Norton of “Driven.” Their show highlights the fastest movers and shakers in fashion, technology, and wellness. On our drive, we spoke about True Religion, entrepreneurship, and staying true to your passion.
Although the interview was on Facebook LIVE, you can watch the interview above.
Don’t forget to like Melinda and Janet’s Facebook page, Driven4Passion!
What drives you?
When Pantone announced that their 2017 Color of the Year was “Greenery,” I couldn’t be more excited — green is my favorite color.
According to Pantone, “A refreshing and revitalizing shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings. Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew.” Who doesn’t love the idea of renewal, especially in the New Year?
What is the best way to incorporate greenery into your lifestyle? Here are some ways that I plan to use this year’s “It” color.
As Accessories. You can really make green pop against a neutral outfit. Below are two of my favorite accessories, a beautiful pair of Christian Louboutin shoes and Balenciaga handbag. Both perfectly match the plants I have in my garden!
As Jewelry. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but a colorful, vibrant emerald ring can really make a statement (and again, green purses are a beautiful accessory).
For Inspiration. Over the holidays I visited Fiji, which was beautiful! Traveling to countries that boast lush scenery is the perfect way to get creative inspiration (and relaxation!).
In Nature. Gardening and being in nature is healthy for you – gardening provides stress relief, brain health, and is a mood enhancer. I have been gardening for a long time, and love how all the work I’ve put into it creates beauty and healthy eats.
As Attire. In the photo shoot for my memoir Gold Standard, I went with my favorite color in a bright, confident shade. The green has a lively contrast against my neutral jacket. Don’t be afraid to wear a bold green!
In general, green is perfect for almost everything. Because this year’s Pantone Color of the Year “symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose,” don’t be afraid to use it in your everyday life – it illustrates the need for human and natural connection!
If you plan on using greenery in your style, send me your inspiration on Twitter @Kym_Gold!
After a long day of conference calls, design meetings, and overall planning for the launch of Style Union, one of my favorite things to do is curlup with a good book. Since 2016 is nearing an end, I thought I’d write about 5 books I look forward to reading in 2017:
- The still-untitled memoir of Ralph Lauren. Ralph Lauren is an American fashion icon, and his upcoming autobiography next fall will surely have some fabulous, stylish wisdom.
- Where Stylists Shop: The Fashion Insider’s Ultimate Guide by Booth Moore. Moore is a trusted fashion critic who has worked for publications like Los Angeles Times and The Hollywood Reporter – her guide on where to shop will surely be just as reliable as her critiques.
- Carrie Pilby by Caren Lissner. As a producer on the film version of Carrie Pilby, it’ll be fun to re-read the book before the movie is released in 2017.
- The Aisles Have Eyes: How Retailers Track Your Shopping, Strip Your Privacy, and Define Your Power by Joseph Turow. Retail has changed since True Religion Brand Jeans launched in 2002. This book will certainly be an interesting read on how consumers are tracked digitally online and in physical stores.
- The Book of Greens by Jenn Louis and Kathleen Squires. I love, love, love my vegetable garden and am so excited for this book, which looks like it has some amazing recipes for over 40 types of greens.
I’ve shown you mine, now you show me yours – what books are you excited to read in 2017?
Is your New Year’s Resolution to start a fashion brand? I’ve learned a lot of retail advice over the years creating and building on fashion brands, most notably True Religion. If you are planning on becoming a fashion designer and managing your own business, I have some crucial retail advice that I hope you can apply to your new venture.
Research studies show that on average, the probability of selling your product to a new customer is 5-20%. But the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%! Customer loyalty is important for a retail business, and it is the ultimate channel to get repeat business…at the lowest cost.
- Staples and Supplements: Sell things or services people need as well as things they might want. It’s very simple. A grocer that sells milk has a built in repeat business because milk is a staple, yet adding a bakery department is a supplement. People will come in for the staple and usually leave with a supplement (up sale). Look at your business and see what staples you have to bring in repeat business and what your supplements are in order to capture the customer while they are there in the store or business. Make sure you have the right balance of staples to supplements.
- Educate your staff to thoroughly know your product and can be sales ambassadors. Test them periodically to ensure that they are staying on top of it. Product knowledge makes the customer feel confident they are purchasing something of value. Know your consumer demographic. Make sure your sales staff is always giving customers that top quality, extra care customer service, which brings customers back over and over again. As a business owner myself, being the expert in your field or business gives customers the confidence that your product is the best in quality and price.
- Offer discount promotions and or free giveaways. That helps generate new customers. Social media sites are inexpensive and have greatly helped the overall market to get the word out about your business. Networking in social groups and communities also helps spread the word of your new or existing business. When I started True Religion, I would literally keep pairs of jeans in my car and hand them out to sales people to wear in the hopes that the store would buy my product. It worked, and really got the word out, which gave True Religion its traction in the beginning.
- Follow up! Stay on top of your existing customers with personalization like personal emails or calling during business hours for upcoming special deals (Only if they are registered with your store for this). Do offer “gift with purchase” rewards or store discount credits to repeat customers to thank them for their loyalty. Thank you cards for repeat customers go a long way.
- Try something new! Some newer strategies that are working are offering subscriptions or membership packages; e-commerce that includes special service that caters to different types of customers directly. Brick and mortar stores are creating a personal or comfortable home environment for customers with the right music and comfortable lighting and seating, which keeps them there longer, and equals more sales.
Good luck on your new business, and I hope that the retail advice I’ve imparted with you today will be of use for you in your fashionable endeavors!
Below is an excerpt from my book, Gold Standard: How to Rock the World and Run an Empire.
Five Thousand Jeans and Nowhere to Go
We knew we needed to get the jeans known. Sales were in a tailspin. The stores we had given the pants to on consignment had customers returning the pants. The men’s jeans pockets were bigger, with a twisted seam, not a basic five pocket. People just didn’t get it. The smaller stores would tell us the customers didn’t like them and that they didn’t sell well. So a lot of those stores returned their inventory back to us. But we were steadfast in waiting for the “Yes.”
Our first set of reps was not as aggressive as we needed them to be. Normally, when a store writes an order from a rep in a showroom, the store’s buyer signs a purchase order, then the clothing company ships out the product. There has to be a real legitimate reason to return something. True Religion was so new and innovative that our sales team, who didn’t have knowledge of our particular category of clothing, didn’t understand how to sell our jeans.
It would have behooved our sales rep to say to the buyers, “These are new, give it another week.”
The sales reps don’t get paid if the stores return the jeans.
Every day during that period, I would take a breath, suit up, show up, and just focus on marching forward. And “No” was not an option. It had to become a “Yes.” It just had to. There were times when I thought, “Fucks this. I’ll go become a designer for someone else again.” But then I would just carry on to the next moment, hand out another pair of jeans, and let that thought pass. It had to work. I needed it—for me, for us, for the family. It was like I willed it to be.
There’s no doubt it was a challenge. There were big stores that said “No” for years. Neiman Marcus said “No.” There were the ones who wanted us to change the logo, get rid of the Buddha, and change the name. Everything about it was “No, no, no,” and we didn’t change any of it. Ultimately, Neiman Marcus carried the line. It was like Sylvester Stallone wanting to be in his own movie. I was in my own movie. This was my movie. This was my vision, and I was not willing to give it up.
For more information about my book Gold Standard: How to Rock the World and Run an Empire, visit the book’s page.