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Girls by Girls in Rag & Bone (old)

Supermodels Bombard New York City with a New Style of Advertising

    It has always been every guy’s dream to see a supermodel in the shower. That supermodel is Abbey Lee Kershaw, but no she is not naked and she is not in a porn video, she is in the Rag & Bone Spring/Summer 2011 ad, and those guys are Rufus Wainwright and David Neville. As the internet is rapidly becoming the primary outlet for all forms of communication, it begs the question: Is traditional advertising becoming irrelevant? If a fashion brand can publicize its name without paying absurd amounts of money to publish an ad, it would seem wasteful not to expedite the opportunity. Not only do bloggers help their favorite young designers gain free publicity, but designers themselves are taking advantage of social media outlets available at the click of a button. Rag & Bone, the brainchild of designer-duo Marcus Wainwright and David Neville, prove that innovative DIY projects can be just as effective as a five-digit expense campaign. The downtown brand has earned serious street cred for their guerrilla-style first campaign featuring fashion’s coolest supermodels.

Taking notice of fashion’s most recent trend featuring that coveted model-off-duty styles Wainwright and Neville decided to let their loveliest girls take over. 
“We wanted to let them interpret the brand” explained Wainwright. Given full creative control over their photos, with the exception being they must be wearing Rag & Bone, Abbey Lee Kershaw, Sasha Pivovarova, Lily Aldridge and Edita Vilk Eviciute got clever with their cameras. As street style photographers have keenly observed, each model has developed a distinct style that she is more than willing to share after years of being treated with little more respect than a clothes hanger. Titled ‘Girls by Girls in Rag & Bone,’ the brand has forgone the typical advertising strategies in favor of posting   campus-styled flyers throughout downtown New York. Cooler than the classic tear off and more entertaining than any billboard, each flyer invites passers-by to rip off a slip directing them to the Rag & Bone website where they can find more information on the DIY project and learn more about how they can get involved. 

In addition to the 1,000+ flyers spread below 14th street, the brand has  encouraged their supporters to print out their own flyers to post around their hometowns. In addition to the opportunity to sprinkle a little fashion dust in their neighborhood, fans get the chance to attend Rag & Bone’s show during New York Fashion Week by simply submitting a photo of themselves hanging up the flyers. The campaign is available to download and print on their website (
The e-commerce initiative is slated to inspire girls to post in their cities, or share the images with their followers. Though created for publicity, the motivation behind the campaign was not completely for revenue. “We have always been inspired by the girls who do the show.” Marcus Wainwright recently told the Daily Mail, “Rather than do what every other brand does and have a high-end photographer take very polished shots, we thought, ‘Let’s flip it on it’s head and get the girls to take over.’ We wanted it to be very real.” 
Their novel concept worked just as planned. Blogs ate it up. Images of Abbey shaving her legs over the sink, Lily whipping her hair, Edita winking playfully at the camera, and Sasha filling up at the gas station, were meant to “represent the quintessential Rag & Bone girl in a distinct way.” Each girl worked to draw in the idealistic version of Rag & Bone’s target customer, while keeping the “community around the brand” looking forward to the future. By letting New York City and the internet do the work for them, they eliminated the need to drop hundreds of thousands of dollars to get their pieces featured in magazines.  Even a brand whose rising status is as climactic as Rag & Bone needs to watch their cash flow during these tough economic times.

After seeing the widespread success of Rag & Bone’s marketing strategy, other brands have adopted similar concepts for their own campaigns. American Apparel and Forever 21 have both used recognizable fashion bloggers in place of models. Forever 21 is going so far as to plaster Rumi Neely of “Fashion Toast” along the sides of New York City buses to promote the opening of their Times Square location. American Apparel conducted an online search for their newest plus-sized models, using the competition as a vehicle for revenue by to asking their followers and friends to vote  directing them to the American Apparel website to do so. Rag & Bone has continued on to a similar strategy for Fall/Winter 2011 entitled Rag & Bone/Jean, which depicts a new crop of models as shot by a loved one. Per usual, each model must be wearing Rag & Bone, in this case jeans and their favorite piece from the fall collection, for an effect that is completely raw. “No stylist, no hair and make-up, no lighting. Just a girl and her camera. And Rag & Bone,” states the website. 

This City

"I think that New York has fine tuned the person that I am today... I have an extremely symbolic relationship with this city." - Agathe Snow

Put the Trunk Around

shorts- forever 21
boots- H&M

I'm writing to you from under a massive pile of pre-AP Exam review books and I have to say: even thought I only have a little over a week of high school letter (ever!) it hasn't seem to have sunken in yet as there is so much prep to be done! 
And I can not believe Jimmy Fallon was in Chapel Hill and I missed it. Never mind the president. 

(You Can't Blame it On) Anybody

glee shirt and maxi skirt- forever 21
jacket- H&M
heels- jeffrey campbell

These shots were taken right before all The Hunger Games craze took over in March, and I must confess: I liked the movie but I don't agree with any of the Harry Potter comparisons. Suzanne Collins is no J.K. Rowling. 

But more to the point, a lot has happened since then. I went to New York to interview for summer internships (luckily I now have the opportunity to do a really exciting one this summer- I would love to share but I'm not clear on their rules about that so for now I'll just leave it at that), I got directions from Cole Sprous (zack and cody..? saw him on the street and pretended not to know who he was... smooth), stood in line for coffee next to Thakoon (mentioned that I worked at his fashion show last season! He didn't really care.), then I went to London to check out the London College of Fashion and their dorms, then jetted off to Rome to consume what was basically my entire body weight in nutella flavored gellato (more on europe soon!) 

It's been a pretty busy few weeks, but now it's back to high school where senioritis has completely taken over. 
And again I ask myself, why in the world did I take AP Euro? 

days until ny: 23
days until i move into the nyu dorms: 41

24 Hour Marketing (old)

Alexa Chung Returns to American Television with 24 Hour Catwalk

What began as some nobody’s chance at claiming their fifteen minutes of fame has quickly morphed into a wildly effective marketing strategy for creating a modern empire. By projecting themselves to audiences as a credible source on the fashion industry, reality stars can catch phrase their way into the hearts of potential customers. Alexa Chung, a former British model, who, through her numerous hosting gigs on fashion oriented reality television shows has artfully branded herself into a profitable powerhouse. 
It has all been a bit disconcerting to Alexa Chung. Though her laugh is infectious and her fringe is adorable, Chung has had a difficult time trying to get Americans to warm up to her shockingly blunt observations. Poking fun at her own situation on a recent episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Chung jokingly remarked, “It’s on with Alexa Chung, it’s off with Alexa Chung, and now we’re back.” She is, of course, referring to her comeback to American reality television on Lifetime’s newest Project Runway spin-off, 24 Hour Catwalk which is slated to debut on January 10. After growing out of previous roles in her native London, where she appeared on the likes of 2006’s Popworld and Vanity Lair, Chung made her American debut on MTV’s It’s On With Alexa Chung in 2010. Though the show only aired for a year before getting axed, her quirky style, and self-depreciating humor gained her a cult following. 

Chung’s newest venture, 24 Hour Catwalk, features a weekly contest pitting four designers against one another in an effort to create the best themed collection over the course of 24 hours. The feat appears to be as much a test of endurance as of actual design skills as the extended hours visibly took their toll on both the contestants and the judges. Round one of the episode eliminates two of the four designers, leading into the next segment where those finalists go head to head for the grand prize of $10,000, courtesy of CoverGirl and Herbal Essences. 
Chung, who was left feeling “burnt” by the fate of her last show, said that she would only join 24 “if it was going to be a genuine search for designers and if I would be working along side people who are legitimately in the fashion industry.” It seems like she got her wish in terms of casting: esteemed designer Cynthia Rowley, sassy editor-at-large Derek Blasburg and potent publicist James LaForce will be filling the adjacent seats. Though the show is just another to addition to the endless list of fashion-based reality TV programs, it boasts the credibility others lack by casting judges  as relevant to the fashion industry as they are to audiences. 

Fashion comes with a built in audience, a league of young people “who want to feel connected,” explains PR-executive Kelly Cutrone of 2010’s Kell on Earth. Aspirations of becoming a fashion designer are today as commonplace in the mind of a six-year-old as are dreams of becoming a princess or an actress when they grow up. By tapping into that remaining spark of fashion fervor, 24 hopes to accumulate ratings  similar to those of its successful predecessors like Scouted, It’s a Brad, Brad World, The City, All on the Line, the Fashion Show, and The Rachel Zoe Project.
Though the hour long show seems legitimate, Rowley admits that it’s meant to be slightly over the top. “Under these kinds of time constraints, limited resources, and sleep depravation, several contestants just lost it an things got a little out of control- screaming, crying, and one guy took off all of his clothes. I’m not sure how that one will be edited. But all of this makes the show very entertaining.” 
Participation on a show with audiences as widespread as those of Project Runway or 24 can bring a budding designer’s work exposure, but it is the generally the judges who become household names. ‘Advertainment,’ as this form of marketing is mockingly referred to, can be a very effective way to drum up ad sales in a tough economy. By putting not only a face, but a personality, to their name that will register with people when they go shopping, or perhaps even prompt them to shop online while watching the show. “TV is really important.” clarifies Rowley, “Look what it’s done for Heidi, Tyra, Nina Garcia and Michael Kors. It’s incredible. You can’t get away from the fact that it is the best way to speak to your customer. It is a great way to connect if there is sort of an authentic and genuine premise that seems real and sends a good message out.” 
Chung can celebrate the initial success with the show for now (Lifetime has picked up the next ten episodes), but she better not get too comfortable. You know what Heidi always says... “One day you’re in, and the next you’re out.” 

A.L.C. Spring

A.L.C. Spring 2012 Ready-to-WearA.L.C. Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear

Former celebrity stylist Andrea Lieberman presents simple separates for A.L.C.’s spring collection

Previously the stylist of music industry legends like Gwen Stefani and Jennifer Lopez, Andrea Leiberman of A.L.C. has once again proven that she deserves to be called a designer. Creating a collection that is simultaneously comfortable and cool is no easy feat, but Leiberman nailed the concept for spring 2012. 
This season, Leiberman ushers her Parisian gamine to the Upper East Side; the results of which are vaguely reminiscent of bygone Isabel Marant and Alexander Wang collections. Her strongest attribute is her understanding of the need for versatility in any working woman’s closet. Drawing upon her knowledge earned from years of styling women as busy as Stefani and Lopez, she brought us a collection of easy go-to looks that could be worked into the most eccentric or low-key of styles. For example, a slinky white tank dress could, on it’s own, easily be fit for a day at the beach, throw it over a pair of Helmut Lang leather pants and its ready for a concert, or matched with a pair of Louboutin heels and a YSL clutch for an upscale event.
Leiberman’s updated versions of the classic American jumpsuit, which could have effortlessly fit in at Studio 54 just as well as it would at a twenty-first century cocktail party, were among the major themes of the show. While the jumpsuits emerged as a top pick for the coming season, her designs were nondescript enough to hold up through a lifetime of wear without appearing dated or worn. The rest of the collection also fit into the season-less variety, as her statement for spring was largely about miscellaneous separates and investment pieces as opposed to many other young designers’ deplorable penchant for all things trendy.
A.L.C. found its balance in proportions, never once bringing attention to more than one feminine assets at a time. One high collared, finger length shift dress seemed to be inspired by Baroque art, featuring the 17th-century cross against a deep blue. Another look, composed of a sleeveless tuxedo top and stellar maxi-skirt, was revived by adding a bold, thigh grazing slit to the skirt. Ruffles up and down the sides served their dual purpose as both a ‘70s throw back and a wonderful excuse to go dancing.
At times, there was a bit of confusion in terms of who she was imagining when designing the collection. It was difficult to believe the elegant flowing tops and the micro-mini brown leather shorts could hang in the same closet, but nevertheless everything was supremely covetable.
Lieberman’s meticulous attention to detail paid off in A.L.C.’s straightforward elegance that could make up the entirety of any woman’s wardrobe for spring 2012.

A.L.C. Spring 2012 Ready-to-WearA.L.C. Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear


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Caroline Mason: 21. Native New Yorker (and one time North Carolinian). Assistant to Derek Blasberg. Just a girl who is OCD about all things fashion, drinks way too much coffee, and has an affinity for late night talk shows and travel books. FIT class of 2016. Previously with Karla Otto PR, Lori Goldstein and Lester Garcia.

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