August 18, 2014

Gone Fishing Until Fashion Week...



but don't worry, we'll be back soon! 
There are exciting things coming this Fall!

Until then, we'd like to wish you all a happy and relaxing summer!

xoxo
Your MBF Team

August 13, 2014

But First, Let’s Talk About The #Selfie

Just one second with your phone facing you is all you need to take a selfie. And we're pretty sure you've done that at least once in your life. No judgements. We've all taken selfies, no matter how anonymous or famous we are. Selfies have taken the world’s centre stage, especially in the last 2 years. It was even nominated as “the word of the year” in 2013. What was once a way to take pictures on your own or with friends, has now evolved to one of the most popular and profitable activities of the year. Not to mention, our selfie and social media obsession has become a current theme for songs, ads and TV shows.

photo via Daily Mail

The Kardashians, Rihanna, Princes Harry and William, Justin Bieber, Cara Delevigne, your 9 year old cousin who just got a smartphone… Every day we are overwhelmingly bombarded by a plethora of self-portraits on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. This incredible phenomenon intrigued Photographer Jenna Garrett to create a project called The Public Profile Of An American Girl, a collection of 5,000 “Public” selfies she collected on Facebook. The project is now an installation at Aperture Foundation's Summer Open, in New York, and discloses the behaviour of the young generation of American girls.

video via The Chainsmokers

And it doesn't stop there. Our selfie fever has permeated into TV, music and other media outlets like the Chainsmokers’ song #Selfie. The song was released in the beginning of this year and is a controversial satire of our self-portrait and Instagram addiction. By dividing the audience into lovers and haters, #Selfie mocks the way girls are constantly obsessed with likes, filters and all the other quirks that social media platforms, such as Instagram, offer.

photo via Mashable

Also mocking narcissism and social media addiction, the upcoming ABC TV series, Selfie, plans to teach us that it is possible to connect with people even when you are “offline." The comedy tells the story of Eliza Dooley (Karen Gillan), a girl who is too busy updating her “263,000 followers” to have a real life or make friends until she decides to ask for help from her marketing pal, Henry (John Cho).

photo via NBC News

So how much is a selfie worth? The answer is: it depends on who is in the picture. In the case of the above photo, besides being taken during the Oscars, the quantity of global movie stars in it made history with over 779,295 retweets in half and hour and one of the best marketing strategies to date. The picture was worth $1 Billion, which far surpasses what is usually spent on a commercial during the award ceremony. And there’s a logical reason for that: the selfie has reached more than 45 million views, which is far greater than what ads usually reach because for most people, social media is more trustworthy than paid advertisements.

photo via Buzzfeed

The cultural phenomenon of the selfie exposes a very basic human desire to feel noticed, appreciated and recognized. However, there’s a big discussion about whether it has become a bit excessive. Known as the Selfie Queen, Kim Kardashian makes us question how far the selfie obsession has gone. And now, she is publishing her first book, named “Selfish," next spring. The 352-page book is a collection of Kardashian’s best self-portrait shots, and so far it has already provoked negative opinions in hundreds of people.

Although selfies are criticized by many people because of their narcissistic character, for some, this is a major source of recognition and appreciation. Large media vehicles and companies have decided to invest tons of money into "the selfie," which is a fast and efficient way to attract customers’ attention. It seems that this trend is not going to fade anytime soon so feel free to keep taking your selfies without any shame.

August 7, 2014

NY Trade Show Roundup Fall/Winter 2015-16

The close of July is considered one of the busiest times of the year as the industry gets color, fabric, and print frenzied over all the trade shows happening across town. So if you didn't get to make it to Premiére Vision, Indigo, or Texworld, we've got all the latest must-know innovations so you can keep up to date with what's happening in the market.

photo via Lamar

Held at a new, spacious location at Pier 92, Premiére Vision was our first stop and a bit off the beaten path, but totally worth the trek. While the Trend Forum was smaller than previous years, the layout of the show was much more organic and created a flow from accessories to the Forum, to vendors, and finally Indigo. The Trend Forum confirmed our key color predictions for F/W 2015-16 with blues, oranges, and darker tones prevailing across the spectrum. Here, we came across Lamar, who exclusively produces the technical fabrics "Nilit Heat," lining that captures body heat and insulates as well as "Nilit Breeze," which is used for windbreakers.


While Indigo mimicked many of the same themes we saw at PV, a fresh set of textile companies graced the roster. The first, Camilla Frances Prints is based in London and newbies to the Indigo scene, but definitely offered an unforgettable selection of designs from blurred florals to ethnic tapestry prints to galactic, landscapes, and graphics. With most of their collection placed on darker grounds and in more complex placements, botanicals, floral and geometric combos, and black and white prints were in the most demand.


Located at a booth featuring independent designers, we were introduced to Silvia Maria, a Brazilian design studio that showcased at Indigo for the first time as well. Through an intense mix of colors inspired by Brazilian life, the collection included a plethora of lively prints, mixed patterns of animal and florals, and overlapping designs. One of her prints was even chosen to be included in Indigo's website gallery of wallpapers and is available for download here.

We've already updated you about our discussion at TexworldUSA so now it's time to tell you about the most relevant trends exhibited at their Trend Forum. Overall, there was an abundance of texture, shimmer, sparkle, cutouts, and of course embossing. Shimmery yarns created a tapestry-like sensation in conjunction with iridescent details, sequins, and glittery bouclé. Navy took center stage on its own as well as in various combinations with nudes and yellows. However, the main focus resided in performance fabrics like scuba materials.

photo via Hyperbola

It seems like everyone is after fabrics that offer the newest technology, which is why we have to highlight the forward thinking company, Hyperbola. With a focus on outerwear, Hyperbola combines fashion and function that can fit into everyone's lifestyle. While they currently work with major retailers like Puma and Zara, they feel the merging of fashion and function hasn't necessarily trickled across from athletic wear. The Taiwan based company has already won awards for their 100% performance wool ski jacket which is almost identical to a classy tuxedo jacket. This jacket is not only stylish and lightweight, but waterproof, breathable, highly durable, water repellent, windproof, and super warm.

So what's our forecast for F/W 2015-16? Color palettes will shift towards a blue story ranging from icy to dusty to midnight hues with hints of teal. On the fabric front, it's all about performance features and technology so expect scuba-like materials to stick around. 3D effects were prevalent as in embossed textures, pleating and lace. Double faced fabrics as in sportswear inspired synthetic performance fabrics combined with traditional wool.Shimmer and sparkly embellishments are also keen to pop up, but mostly in yarn form for both knits and wovens. Digital prints, geometrics, and diffused floral patterns with dark backgrounds will be everywhere, proving spring themes can easily translate into fall fashion. Overall, we are looking at a growing relationship between fashion and function and a way to not only merge the two, but create clothing that can handle practically anything. 

August 5, 2014

Capsule NY SS15 Recap

The two-day long men’s show, Capsule, concluded last week after a showing of over 700 designers, including a mix of new independents and big names in the business. The event took place on the southern tip of Manhattan, in Basketball City. This great, open arena produced a laid back atmosphere, and mimicked the feel of the menswear products presented in the show. Capsule was all about casual convenience, even offering shuttles from Lafayette and back, discounted Uber rides, and access to an outdoor terrace with stunning views of the Brooklyn Bridge.

photo via Capsule

Since the show began in 2007, it has grown from only 45 designers, to well over 700 as of this year. Even with so many designers at the SS15 show, there seemed to be an overriding theme – an understated sophistication that left us with the feeling that our lives are serious enough, and fashion doesn’t need to be. This West Coast, vintage inspired vibe embraced Hawaiin prints, short-sleeved button downs, and even the bucket hat! As an overall, we saw soft tailored pieces with a sportswear attitude – predominant colors of earthy tones ranging from moss green, dark greys, caramel and navy, with pops of color like yellow, orange and teal. If you haven’t already, invest in navy pieces for Spring/Summer 2015, because it is going to be huge!

Capsule was able to show a little bit of everything in men’s fashion. Overall, we saw brands not just selling clothing, but a lifestyle.

Iron & Resin, a California brand, based its designs around the surf lifestyle, while brands like Timberland focused on performance wear for men, showing breathable button downs in natural colors, Cordura shorts, and Hyvent Jackets – technology designed by their sister brand The North Face.

Japanese Company, A. Four from designer Kazuki Kuraishi, focused on minimalism, representative of the culture and enlisted the help of graphic designer, Lucas Price for a line of graphic tees previewed here.

Goodlinens, a new bath and kitchen towel brand, set to launch later this year displayed towels made from natural fibers out of flax pants and naturally colored.

Herschel Supply Co. showed off their line of wearable storage in coordinating colors, introducing a new salmon pink to the collection.

Men’s lifestyle and fashion mags like Cereal and Man of the World featured men’s street style and photography from around the world.

photo via Arpenteur

One design team that embodied the vibe of the show was Arpenteur, who were first timers to Capsule NYC. Arpenteur was created 3 years ago by two Frenchmen who took on making wearable and sustainable clothing – everything from raincoats made from the same material as sails, to a collection of knits from the same heather grey yarn. There is ease to the collection that clearly reflects the personalities of the creators and cartoons they watched as kids inspire the simple colors and lines.

photo via Men in Cities

And then there was Men in Cities a lifestyle and accessories brand based out of New York City, with an innovative take on selling to men. Men in Cities does all the work for you! They have created boxes inspired by different cities across the world that are filled with products that embody that location. For example, Men in New York would get gloves while the man in Paris may get a paisley print pocket square.

photo via Meg Company

Meg Company had one of the most exciting displays at Capsule, with everything from hats to men’s apparel and shoes…tons of shoes! Meg Company is ahead of the game when it comes to footwear for men with their camo print loafers, open toe lace-up sandals, and leopard print sneakers – all trends that we are only starting to see in men’s street style. Meg Companies practices in sustainability and quickly won us over. They make jackets from old US Army tents and use natural dying methods in the process.

Overall, Capsule was an amazing show filled with innovation and refinement – a move from serious to easy going is in store for Spring/Summer 2015 and we can't wait!

July 31, 2014

The Watchlist

There is a mix of cool and unusual collaborations happening across the board right now. From doing good to shared economies, technology, wearable tech, groundbreaking innovations, mindful consumption, and conscious consumerism, the industry is taking some revolutionary steps forward.

photo via Rude Baguette

If you're still new to bitcoin, it might be time you got acquainted because online European merchants are now accepting the digital currency via the merchant solution, Paymium. By using Paymium's API or plugins, bitcoin payments are not only cheap, but global, and more secure than anything else.

photo via The Independent

Ever want to design your own clothes but lack the sewing skills? Well, the Seattle-based company Bombsheller has just opened its own factory that creates customizable clothing. While the company is currently concentrating on leggings, customers can choose their own designs and tailor the size and length of the garments to their own specific measurements.

photo via West Elm

With headquarters across the street from each other in Brooklyn, West Elm and Etsy share many of the same values like supporting emerging artists and telling a story about the products they sell and who makes them. They both understand that the key is to create a connection with consumers through a curated selection of merchandise. What began with a collaborative catalog and evolved to Etsy pop-up shops in select West Elm locations, has now led to the creation of initiatives supporting local artisans and the launch of Etsy's wholesale marketplace. Now West Elm lovers can shop the retailer's Etsy page, West Elm Local, to see their favorite pieces and shop props from the catalog.

photo via springwise.com

In Japan, you can now give clothes a test run before deciding whether you want to keep or return them. Japan's Fast Retailing Co has recently launched a store using its GU Fitting service, which allows customers to try on up to 3 items after giving their name and phone number details. They can wear the clothing outside of the store for as long as they like under one condition, that the items are returned/paid for that day. While this was only a trial and was restricted to 30 customers a day, this initiative is a great way for customers to really get a feel for the clothing they are investing in.


Microsoft Mobile and the British menswear designer Adrien Sauvage have teamed up to create the first wireless charging pants. With a Nokia DC-50 charging plate sewn into the pockets, these pants are made to recharge Nokia's Lumia smartphones and represent future innovations of our digital counterparts. 

July 29, 2014

MBF At TexworldUSA Roundup

You may remember us mentioning that our Creative Director, Manuela Fassbender, was invited to participate in Lenzing's Innovation Seminar Series at TexworldUSA last week. Manuela hosted and moderated a discussion entitled “The Future is now: New Games and New Rules," with a panel that included top leaders in the industry: Maxine Bédat, Co-founder of Zady, Liz Bacelar, Founder and CEO of Decoded Fashion, and Julia Straus VP of Partnerships and Business Development at BaubleBar. Held at the Javits Center along Manhattan’s Hudson River, the discussion addressed the major drivers in today's apparel industry and how to gain market share. We had an outstanding attendance and very thought-provoking conversations, so here are some highlights:


Maxine Bédat, Co-founder of Zady and expert in conscious consumerism, explained how consumers want to know more about their clothing. According to Maxine, conscious consumerism started in the food business and trickled down into fashion. She described today's consumers as the “Wholefoods Generation” with an awakened curiosity towards what our food and clothing is made of. Consumers are obsessed with plus factors – Made in the USA, 100% organic cotton, and so on, and businesses should take advantage of that. When it comes to fashion, we need to help consumers define what sustainability is.

Liz Bacelar, founder and CEO of Decoded Fashion connected and educated us on the merging of two very different players, fashion and technology. She examined how fashion is slow moving when it comes to technology, because there are little investors in pricey fashion/tech collaborations such as 3-D printing for personalized bracelets. She states that there is a major demand for fashion designers to team up with tech firms to beautify wearable technology in the luxury market. Liz gave us an example of Google maps working with a couture jacket where the wearer places their phone in their pocket, and the jacket vibrates based on the direction that Google wants you to go. Needless to say, the entire audience wants that jacket!

Julia Straus, VP of Partnerships and Business Development at BaubleBar focused on the play between Fortune 500 and startups. Julia told us how Nordstrom recognized BaubleBar after their 50-day pop-up shop in NYC drew in major crowds and now they are available on the upscale department chain's website as well as in 35 Nordstrom locations. Deemed guest bartenders, the fashion jewelry mecca now collaborates with influencers, personalities, and editors who lend an eye in designing an upcoming collection. The latest collaboration is BaubleBar x Frends, a full product line of Bauble Bling headphones that come with a complimentary pair of earrings. Wearable technology is one of the hottest markets right now and a partnership between Fortune 500 companies and startups can do wonders for both parties by combining the fresh and innovative with that of the more established and experienced.
 



While gaining market share is more challenging than ever, being able to analyze what drives the market from conscious consumerism, to fashion/tech partnerships, to alliances with startups and Fortune 500 companies will help to seal a spot in the industry.

To learn more about these influential women, read our Seminar Announcement
here. And to check out our full MBF Portfolio, please click here.

July 23, 2014

MBF Profiles: Joseph Huba, Co-Founder of Bikestock

What happens when you take a love for biking in NYC and translate it into 24/7 self-service kiosks? Basically, you get an urban cyclists go to, or Bikestock, vending machine repair hubs that supply everything from organic chocolate to tool kits, air for your tires, and branded cycling products. Joseph Huba is not only the Co-Founder of Bikestock, but a biking enthusiast himself and through his experiences as a bike messenger in Brooklyn, knows first hand the importance of being able to stay on the move no matter the time of day.

photo via Bikestock

MBF: Tell us about your background, the concept of a vending machine that sells tools, snacks and other essentials and how it came about? What drove the concept?

Joseph Huba: I'm from a small town outside of Washington, DC and went to college at the University of Maryland, College Park. I studied Sociology while I was in school and coincidentally my business partner Matt studied Anthropology. The idea of selling bike parts and other small items out of a vending machine is not a new concept but it's certainly not happening on the level that we envision in New York City. Matt (co-founder) heard about bike parts vending machines in other parts of the country and came up to me one day and said “We should put bike parts in vending machines and get them all over New York City.” I needed no more convincing once I let the idea soak in. It made total sense because I was working as a messenger at the time and cannot tell you how many times I needed a bike parts vending machine and bike repair after hours. Essentially Bikestock was born out of frustration.

MBF: Why is it so important to keep people in movement? What is your mission?

JH: Our mission is to empower and encourage people to be more active. Being active helps you live a happier and healthier life and cycling is such a good way to do just that.

MBF: Besides the vending machines, you also have a pop up store and personalized tool kits. Can you tell us more about them? Were they part of the initial project?

JH: The pop up store was just a temporary collab with Urban Outfitters. They gave us the opportunity to establish a small retail shop and sell bigger items that don't normally fit into a vending machine. And the tool kit was an idea I came up with when we were spinning our wheels trying to get a location for a vending machine. The tool kit kept us from giving up and abandoning the idea all together. Neither were part of the initial project...they just happened organically.

MBF: How did you guys meet? What connects you? Is it the passion for biking and/or your lifestyle?

JH: Matt and I met while working at a restaurant/bar called Calexico in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Matt had just moved out here from the West Coast and I was already living in Brooklyn when he moved here. We had similar interests and tons of mutual friends. And Calexico in its early stages was a really tight knit restaurant; everyone was friends and everyone hung out after work.

photo via Bikestock

MBF: Your logo is really cool. Tell us about the logo.

JH: I don't know what to say about it other than our designer (www.davidwhitepond.com) did a great job giving us an identity. We showed him a ton of stuff we liked and didn't like and trusted him to come up with something for us. He hit a grand slam and we're thankful for the top notch branding every day!

MBF: Bikestock Kiosks have been picked up by Urban Outfitters, a fortune 500 company. What are the pros and cons? Can you talk a bit more about the partnership? And how did they find you?

JH: One of their higher ups saw our machine in Bushwick and e-mailed us about getting us in their stores. That's how we got in touch with them. The list of pro's goes on forever. Overall it's just a fantastic opportunity to test out a business in their market.

MBF: What is your biggest challenge? Where are your current locations?

JH: The biggest challenge is finding more 24 hour locations. Our current locations are at 49 Bogart in Bushwick and 1333 Broadway (35th and Broadway) in Manhattan.

MBF: Are you looking to do other partnerships with other venues? What is your criteria?

JH: We are working on a few things right now. We just want our future locations to be accessible 24 hours a day.

MBF: Are you aware of any competitors? If so, how do you think it affects your business?

JH: We are aware of our competitors and they affect our business positively because more people get to see 'bike parts vending machines', even if they don't say Bikestock. It's nice to see other people providing a wonderful service in a city that is full of so many cyclists.

photo via Bikestock

MBF: What are the key recommendations you would suggest for start up companies?

JH: Formulate your idea and get it on paper, then write a business plan, and don't give up.

MBF: Where will Bikestock go next?

JH: Who knows what the future holds for us....!

MBF: Our MBF Profiles close out with the following questionnaire – in the footsteps of Proust's Questionnaire and American TV show host James Lipton's "10 Questions."

MBF: Your favorite swear word?

JH: Fuck.

MBF: Your least favorite word?

JH: No.

MBF: Your favorite word?

JH: Yes.

MBF: What turns you on?

JH: Hardwork.

MBF: And of course, what turns you off?

JH: Laziness.

MBF: What sound do you love?

JH: The sound of an empty forest.

MBF: If you could pick any profession – what might you be?

JH: Pro Skateboarder.

MBF: If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?

JH: The west coast.

MBF: If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

JH: I'm not sure youre supposed to be here...

July 17, 2014

MBF at Texworld USA

A few weeks ago, we announced that we are hosting a panel discussion at the upcoming Texworld USA, The Future Is Now: New Games And New Rules. Joined by experts Maxine Bédat Co-founder of Zady, Liz Bacelar Founder CEO of Decoded Fashion, and Julia Straus VP, Partnerships and Business Development at BaubleBar, we will cover the topics of conscious consumerism, fashion and technology, and the evolution of Fortune 500 companies and start-ups.

photo via Texworld USA

So please check out the full seminar schedule here and be sure to join us on July 24th at 12:30pm. To stay in the-know look for  #MBFxTexworldUSA and make sure to follow our guest speakers:


July 10, 2014

The Fashion Curve

The plus size clothing sector is seeing some serious growth as of late. While traditional plus size specialty stores like Evans and Lane Bryant have been around for almost a century, most of the current boom can be credited to cutting edge retailers like Modcloth, ASOS, and Forever 21 who have expanded their offerings to include a more diverse size range. This market shift suggests that no matter what a customer's shape or size is, they still demand clothing that is on trend and makes them look and feel good.

photo via Buzzfeed

Modcloth, which has doubled the size of its plus size business since June 2013, recently hired Paradigm Sample to conduct a survey concluding that more US women wear a size 16 than 0, 2, and 4 combined. According to an article from the Associated Press, "The average American woman is about 25 pounds heavier than she was in 1960. Yet women's plus size clothing, generally defined as size 14 and up, still makes up only 9 percent of the $190 billion spent annually on clothes." This is major and explains why overall sales on plus size apparel has increased by about 5% and over a billion dollars from just last year, with most of that coming from the baby boomer generation.

photo via Refinery29

The popular and super trendy Aussie plus size brand, City Chic is coming to the US with six new stores openings in California. Kicking off on August 1st, the first will open its doors in Culver City with the rest launching throughout the end of September. Currently they ship internationally and are available at select Nordstrom stores as well as online, but their official brick and mortar entrance into the US will mark a major accomplishment for the specialty plus sized retailer.

photo via Nicolette Mason

However, it doesn't end at retail. Today we have magazines like Full Blossom as well as a plethora of famed blogs like GabiFresh, Girl With Curves, and Nicolette Mason aimed to fight stereotypes and inspire women to embrace their bodies. Not to mention, full figured fashion has spread across mainstream media sites like Refinery29 and Marie Claire pinpointing key trends, fashion tips, and advice articles. These companies are finally opening their eyes to reality and understanding their audience goes beyond sizes 0-12.

photo via Huffington Post

If you remember correctly, Rick Owens made fashion history almost a year ago when he replaced traditional models with a step dance team, whom were of a variety of shapes, sizes, and races. Then in February during London Fashion Week the second annual British Plus-Size Fashion Weekend (BPSFW) launched as well, which is specifically aimed towards size 14 and up. While the event is not actually affiliated with LFW, it is a huge leap for promoting positive body image and the beauty of diversity.

photo via Redbook Mag

Despite, things are still trickier in regards to the luxury market with very few high-end brands designing for above size 14. Actress Melissa McCarthy caused some controversy during an interview in June's issue of Redbook over her troubles finding a gown to wear to the Oscars explaining, "I couldn't find anyone to do a dress for me." And now due to her first hand struggles as well as her background in clothing and textiles, she's collaborating on her very own line called Pearl to help fuller sized women feel good about themselves.

While the high-end market may have some catching up to do, there's no getting around the potential of plus size apparel. With the help of technology and the internet, full figured women finally have access to brands that sell clothing fit for their body types without having to sacrifice their style in the process. As mid-market retailers continue to make it a priority, we will see more brands expand size selections, support diverse body types, drop stereotypes, and most importantly, challenge the current pressures of the fashion industry to reflect what real women look like.

June 27, 2014

Summer Break

It’s finally the moment we all have been waiting for: Summertime! And one of the most important holidays of the year, Independence Day (a.k.a 4th of July) is also nearing in just one short week. Therefore, the MBF Team is taking a week off to enjoy this wonderful warm weather, to soak up the sun, and seek more inspiration to bring to you, but we couldn’t leave without saying goodbye! We will miss having our Trend Talk next week, but we’ll be back with much more energy for the next one.


Enjoy the summer, stripe it, print it, color it, and have fun!! See you all soon!
 
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