July 27, 2012

Menswear Street Style: The Man Bag Edition

The perfect bag is more than just an everyday accessory but an obsession. And in today's world, bags aren't just for women. Let's face it, men need to carry things around too and whether they admit it or not, they want something cooler than the average briefcase. After scouting not only the shops but the streets, here are our picks for our favorite man bags.

photo via Ernest Alexander

At the top of the list is the menswear label, Ernest Alexander. The brand began with the idea of combining heritage materials, quality craftsmanship, and an extremely detailed aesthetic to create a highly functional, classic bag for men. Not to mention, the label is made right here in the U.S. Our personal favorite is the first bag every made by the menswear label, the Hudson Wax Messenger in charcoal. It's the ideal everyday carryall with it's durable fabrication, adjustable leather strap, and utility pockets.

photo via Rag & Bone

One of the hottest bags this summer is for sure Rag & Bone's Indigo Duffle. This bag is the perfect combination of sporty and chic. Made out of canvas, this duffle is equipped with navy stitched straps, a brown leather handle, and a patchwork pocket in the front. Did we mention it's sold out?!?!?

photo via Billy Kirk

If you are looking for something a bit more innovative, Billy Kirk's No. 95 Shoulder Satchel is the bag for you. Hand-stitched and inspired by a WWII Belgium Map Case, this shoulder satchel is made right here in the U.S. in just a few hours. The bag is made of one piece of cow hide with white bronze military hardware and an adjustable strap. It's a great update to the traditional school or work bag with a fit for everything from books to a small laptop!

photo via Opening Ceremony

With every fabulous bag, comes a great wallet too, right? Well then you must check out Alexander Wang's Wallie Billfold Wallet. It's simple, yet edgy and with it's grainy leather and signature metal corners it's a great compliment to any bag!

video via Freitag

Inspired by the colorful trucks along the Zurich highway, the Swiss company Freitag, makes long lasting, four season proof bags and accessories from used car seat belts and truck tarpaulins. Not only do they come in a variety of cool colors and designs, but the products are reliable, functional, and water-repellent. While the company is best know for their messengers, today they have become super Mac friendly with their iPhone, iPad and Macbook sleeves.

So while these are our picks for the best man bags on the market, what are men actually wearing? From work to play to everyday, here are some of our favorite street shots from around NYC!

July 19, 2012

Summer Street Style: Berlin & NY Edition

To officially wrap up our Berlin Fashion Week report, we look to the streets for inspiration! From Berlin to NY we have compiled a collection of the best of the best summer streetwear trends to show what people are wearing internationally! It's easy to see NY's casual, effortless looks compared to that of Berlin, with it's edgy European flair. Either way, we are seeing similarities between what people are wearing, despite the unique touches of their personalities!






Tribal Prints

Asymmetrical Hemlines

What are you seeing on the streets? We'd love to hear about your favorite trends keeping you looking fresh and fabulous this summer season!

July 17, 2012

MBF Salon Last Call!

So we're down to the wire.

With less then one week away from kicking off MBF Salon at Kingpins NYC, we've had tremendous response and have even sold out on a few of the Salons.

Still we'd like to remind you that you're invited to join us — so if you're interested, let us know as we're filling up quickly.

Please click here for the MBF Salon full schedule.

To register, send us an e-mail with your choice Salon at: contact@mbf-trend-consulting.com.

Also, make sure you stop by our Trend Forum featuring the most innovative garments/fabrics for Fall/Winter 2013-14 from the best international exhibitors at The Kingpins Show!

We hope to see you there!

July 16, 2012

Capsule Show Berlin

Last week in Berlin we spoke with Deirdre Maloney, one of the co-owners of the BPMW and publicist James Harris at the Capsule Trade Show and here's what they had to say!

photo via BPMW

MBF: What makes the Capsule different than other trade show events, especially here in Berlin?

Deirdre Maloney: When we started Capsule, we were first a sales agency and a PR agency, so I think we really came into the trade show market looking for an experience that would be really great, not only for the retailers and the press, but also for the brands to sit around at for a few days, since we ourselves were going to have to do it. We try to cover all of the little details so that it will feel like a fun community experience, but at the same time, a place where you can get a lot of business done. 

MBF: That sounds very good, and that’s actually also what it feels like. You did an amazing job. Let me ask you how do you vet your brands/your exhibitors?

DM: It’s getting increasingly harder because, as we’ve grown, we sort of have in our mind a limit on how many brands we can have for each show because we want to keep it feeling intimate; where we know everybody personally. As a result, we end up having to turn down a lot of great brands, which is hard for us to do. But, we have a jury panel, of 6 of us, and we go over every brand that submits an application. We really put a lot of emphasis on quality and authenticity and we like to know the back story of a brand and sort of where it came from or who the designer is; what inspired the designer to make their [product], whether it be clothing, shoes or accessories. We look for stuff that will complement the show but not cannibalize our existing brands, but at the same time, we want something different and exciting as well.

photo via Eva Napp

MBF: Well, that’s very interesting what you just answered, because that leads me automatically to my next question. I read a little bit about you, the Capsule collection, and “The New Consumer”, and I think what you just mentioned probably goes right into that. What, in your opinion, is the new consumer?

DM: With the proliferation of the Internet, it is a really international and savvy consumer. Ten years ago, there could be a brand that was really hot in Japan that, maybe, nobody in the U.S. really knew about or very few people did or whatever the country may be, and now it seems that everyone who wants to know anything, knows, because you can just log online and figure it out. I think it’s been great though, because you see a lot of Japanese influence on American brands. We have a French brand in here called “Brooklyn, We Go Hard”. We have a German brand in here called “J’ai Mal A Lat Ete”. So, I think it’s very ironic or funny how they influence each other.

MBF: So, let me ask you- do you think the new customer wants to know about the story? Are they are interested in the values of what they buy?

DM: Absolutely. It’s funny because on the agency side, we have done consulting for large companies before they want to try to have a cool brand, and we find that, if it doesn’t come from somewhere authentic, the consumer can see right through it and they won’t be interested in it.

photo via Eva Napp

MBF: Right now in Berlin there are about 10 tradeshows happening and another one coming. Do you see a backlash occurring in response to this oversaturation?

DM: So far, Berlin has been so welcoming to the Capsule show. We’ve felt really lucky in terms of how we have been embraced by the city, by retailers in the city, and just buyers that are in town for the shows. So, I don’t think so and I certainly hope not. I think we offer something that may not be for everybody, but for the people whom it is relevant for, I think it is very important for them. Hopefully, that continues.

MBF: We know that you are in New York, Paris, Berlin and Las Vegas. What are your future plans, and how do you think to grow while keeping it intimate?

DM: Right now, we are really focused on our 12 shows a year. We don’t have any plans for a new city or a new location. We moved in every single city to a different location this season, which was a lot of work and undertaking, so I think that we are just working on building the base that we have now. Berlin is still our most infant show, so there is definitely room for growth here. New York and Paris, we are getting pretty close to our maximum. But, we are always open to new cities. Every time we open or started in a new city, it was because our community was repeatedly always asking for it, and, until that happens, we are content with our 12 shows a year.

MBF: What about Asia? 

Deirdre: Yep, that is definitely the place that everyone is mentioning. It’s kind of spread out, however. We have heard Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul… There’s no consistent message from everyone, and, like I mentioned, until there really is, we are not planning on making any moves.

photo via Eva Napp

Manuela: Okay, so last question. Can you define the difference between the Capsule Berlin, Paris, New York, and Las Vegas?

DM: I would say Paris is our most high-end show because of its location, and because Paris is the fashion capital of the world. It’s very sophisticated. The caliber of buyers that come there is the highest of the high, because they are there for the catwalk. NY in the U.S. is also a really big show in that all of the major U.S. department stores are there, and most of the top specialty stores in the U.S. Of course, we get an international customer there as well, but not nearly at the level of our Paris show. I think Berlin and Vegas shows parallel each other, like Europe to America, because the audience that is there (the general audience) is looking for more of a mainstream-driven product. But then there are always a capsule of them that are looking for something cooler, and that’s where we fit in. Berlin and Vegas, as cities, are nothing alike, but in terms of the marketplace. In Vegas, we see a lot of local, west coast stores in the U.S., and in Berlin, we see a lot of Austrian and German stores, but then, of course, in Vegas, we get a lot of Asian buyers, and here, we get a lot of Scandinavian, and Amsterdam, for whatever reason, is a big one.

James Harris: So, I think the timing of the season, or the circuit, has an influence. A lot of people might wait until Vegas, like they have seen the collections in NY and Paris, and they will wait until Vegas to write their orders once they have formed an idea of what they would like to do for the next year. So, that is a big difference that is apparent in timing.

photo via Eva Napp

DM: We love it here. I think the vibe in Berlin is great, and I think it really comes from the city. Whatever it is, there is just good, creative energy and it feels relaxed and a little bit less intense than any of our others shows are. But, at the same time, people are sitting and writing orders and are busy.

MBF: Great! It was great talking to you two, and thank you so much.

DM: Thank you so much.

July 12, 2012

Berlin Fashion Week Roundup

As part of the International fashion circuit, we attended Berlin’s Fashion Week to cover a couple of tradeshows as well as look at shops in East and West Berlin.

In general the fairs had a good flow of attendees with visitors from the south of Europe making less of a presence. The Bread and Butter felt a bit emptier and watered down this time around, but regardless, exhibitors at the tradeshow were quite content since all the buyers from key accounts showed. The big question is, "what's next for Bread and Butter?" All eyes are on Karl-Heinz Mueller the founder of BBB as rumors surface that the show may be moving to Istanbul or Italy.

As far as what exhibitors were showing, we saw a major movement towards clean, sturdy looks. Japanese selvedge denim, work wear inspired denim, and raw denim dominated the market as well as boyfriend cuts and cropped skinnies. To counter balance this return to classic casual wear, we also noticed the presence of vintage menswear with distressed, destroyed, and worn in elements. Brights and neons saturated the scene in colored denim and cotton trousers. Not to mention, khaki and earthy tones made a comeback. Studs were everywhere from the sleeves of denim jackets down to pocket details. Sheens in metallic tones popped up on denim, knits, and jackets. Overall this season exemplified a sense of boldness and longevity.

photo via Show and Order

We started with the Show and Order Fashion Trade Event on Tuesday afternoon to get into the swing of it. The second edition of Show and Order was great and confirmed that this tradeshow will be in Berlin for the long run. The location is rather industrial and aged looking, but combined with the nicely spaced high-fashion order platform and very well curated exhibitors, this show stands out in the crowd. With a 40% increase in national and international exhibitors at the show, we will definitely follow up with this tradeshow next season.

photo via 10 Days

Created on the philosophy that "every woman needs good basics," Dutch design label, 10 Days is all about making things fun and easy. We saw them at Show and Order and felt their casual and comfortable style complimented by unexpected details was a great find!

photo via Panorama Berlin

The 11th edition of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin opened with an inaugural pre-view dinner for Panorama Berlin, the city's latest addition to it's already busy fashion trade fair roster. Though the show's premiere had to be postponed to January 2013 due to the delayed opening of Berlin's new airport BER, selected exhibitors and buyers enjoyed a delicious 4-course dinner in celebration of the things to come. We spoke with CEO, Joerg Wichmann who gave this statement about how Panorama contributes to Berlin's reputation as an important tradeshow destination, "Panorama Berlin shows an inspiring mix of womenswear, menswear, shoes and accessories. As such Panorama Berlin complements the city's range of fashion with a relevant selection of market leading brands offering a variety of style from preppy casual to chic."

We've watched the well established PREMIUM International Fashion Trade Show Berlin grow organically since the first show in the Tunnel at Potzdammer Platz was launched almost 10 years ago. Today the show exhibits a well selected portfolio of 800 brands of womenswear, menswear, denim, accessories and shoes, including a new section of Asian designers. Since the beginning, they have re-curated their identity again and again, each and every season by including a fresh array of new brands, in contrary to other shows who stick to the same lineup for years. In order to survive in the marketplace, constant change is extremely valuable to a show's longevity and, more importantly, very much appreciated by buyers who consistently need to be inspired to reinvent themselves and their product assortments.

This new category consisting of Asian talent brings both Korean and Japanese contemporary brands to the Berlin platform. For us, one of the seven designers from Daegu in South Korea peaked our fashion interest, Jaewoo Kim. With clean lines, exceptional tailoring, and inventive details, he designs for the modern, powerful woman living in the city. This design aesthetic enlivens fashion as an art form with  "clothes that can be displayed in the living-room rather than kept in her closet."

video by daumenkino

The highly anticipated “Denim Temple” at the heart of the BBB inspired audiences with 27 innovative brands from all over the world including the likes of the 3x1 shop concept and highly selected denim brands like Orta Anadolu, Kings of Indigo, and Industry of All Nations. The Denim Religion Fashion Show was amazing and right in sync with the times we are living in – edgy, imaginary, and cross-cultural. Despite speculation, we are confident Karl-Heinz Mueller will take BBB in the right direction and we look forward to see the evolution of the show in January.

photo via Matias Sauter

After its first success, we'd like to call out the second edition of Laboratorio by TRC Candiani at BBB. Created by three of the top global textile companies, TRC Candiani, Interwashing Group (Elleti), and Okinawa, the Laboratorio produced an authentic "live" lab where visitors could design their own pair of jeans by choosing the style, fabric, treatments and finishes. About 5,000 people replicated the manufacturing process from sewing to washing, lasering, and customizing the label to create Italian crafted denim. The workshop was made possible by Confezioni Crivellaro and Jeanologia.

photo via Seven Foot Cowboy

Also at the Denim Temple was Pokit's new line, Seven Foot Cowboy. Inspired by the American West but manufactured in London's cotton capital, this women's and men's authentic jeans collection is made from premium Japanese denim and is of utmost durability. From Prospector to Crazy Horse to Belle, Stampede, and many more, each pair tells a specific story relative to the style, fit, and customer's personality.

photo via Frida Weyer

One of the Spring/Summer 2013 fashion shows at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin definitely worth seeing was Frida Weyer. The collection drew inspiration from the Ottoman Era and included a broad mixture of dresses, pant suits, trench coats, and bags in brights of coral, turquoise, and yellow that were complimented by classic shades of black and white. The fusion of modern silhouettes with traditional Oriental patterns created the perfect combination for a fabulous summer wardrobe.

As for pop-up shops in Berlin, we'd like to recognize "The Upcycling Fashion Store" run by the team at the fashion label, aluc. The sustainable shop sells a plethora of merchandise like shirts, blouses, bags, hats, and other accessories from Berlin labels like aluc, ReClothings, SAG + SAL, and Western Trash as well as the Australian line Milk.

photo via Eva Napp

In a new location at the Postbahnhof, we attended the Capsule Berlin and lifestyle event . The atmosphere was very relaxing with an incredible supply of exhibitors geared towards high-end contemporary brands and premium street wear labels.

photo via A Kind Of Guise

What originally started as a student project in 2009 and first consisted of bags made of leftover leather from an old medicine ball factory, A Kind Of Guise has now expanded into a vast assortment of menswear jackets, knits, shirts, pants, and accessories. From manufacturing to choosing local fabrics, the label keeps production close to its roots in Germany. The brand's focus is to create long lasting, unique products that pay exceptional attention to color and detail.

Also, we had the pleasure to talk to Deirdre Maloney, one of the co-owners of the BPMW and publicist James Harris – so stay tuned and we will post the full interview in the next couple of days! 

July 10, 2012

MBF Salon Profiles Guests Ernest Sabine & Michael Radparvar

Today we'd like to reveal two more of our guests attending the MBF Salon at The Kingpins Show, Ernest Sabine, Founder of Ernest Alexander New York and Michael Radparvar, Co-founder of Holstee. They both will join us in conversation to discuss Transitioning from the Recent Past to Generation Y: Concepts. This topic will focus on The New Consumer & New Brand Values, Consumer Choices & Purchasing Patterns, and New Concepts.

photo via Ernest Alexander

Launched in 2009, Ernest Alexander Sabine’s eponymous menswear label mixes elements of traditional American style, heritage fabrics and refined detailing. Manufactured exclusively in the USA, the line includes denim, shirting, outerwear, accessories, neckties and small goods. The line is currently sold through the company’s NYC SoHo flagship store, website and select retail partners. Ernest will be joining us on July 24th 3:00 - 3:45 PM and July 25th 10:15 - 11:00 AM.

photo via Holstee

At Holstee, a lifestyle goods company committed to design with a conscience, Mike is the chief storyteller, sharing the story of Holstee and their innovative approach to materials, design and production with the world. Mike’s nonconforming approaches to press, marketing and outreach led to Holstee’s creation of the Agent99, the Lifecycle Film, and social spreading of the Holstee Manifesto. Prior to Holstee, Michael worked in organizational development helping fortune 500’s with leadership development, sales consulting and customer service training. Mike will be attending our Salon gathering July 25th 10:15 - 11:00 AM.

To see the full schedule, click here.

To register e-mail: contact@mbf-trend-consulting.com 

July 5, 2012

July MBF Picks

As things heat up around New York, the best way to survive the sizzling temperatures is to keep things cool and cultured. From theater to dance to art, music festivals, and of course food, there is always something going on, especially during the sunny months! With summer hours kicking in and our casual wardrobes taking over, our July MBF Picks features a list of must-have fun for 2012.

photo via The Epoch Times

While museums like The Met and MOMA always have some interesting exhibitions going on, why not get outside and check out some art in the parks? One of our favorites is "A View from the Lunch Table: Students Bringing Issues to the Table," where middle school students have created colorful works of art that expose community-wide social issues on lunchroom tables at parks and playgrounds throughout the five boroughs. For more outdoor exhibitions throughout the city, check out a detailed list here!

Have you ever wanted to learn to dance? Well now’s your chance! Lincoln Center's Midsummer Night Swing lasts until July 14th! Each evening begins with an hour dance lesson followed by live music in everything from swing, salsa, tango, jazz, soul, even rock'n'roll! This party is sure to teach you some moves and have you dancing down the street in no time!

While this summer, most of New York will be at outdoor movie screenings at parks around the city, why not do something a little more underground? Showing more than 200 films, Rooftop Films is a festival that brings you independent shorts and features at unique venues like the roof of The Old American Can Factory or the beach at Coney Island. The screenings range from drama to comedy, fiction, animation, and documentaries and most include a Q&A with the filmmaker.

photo via Marina 59

Speaking of new and unique, how about spending a night on a floating hotel! Part art and sound installation, part scenic ocean getaway, the Boatel Project has retired sixteen boats "to create worlds within worlds." Located down on Marina 59 in Far Rockaway, the floating installations are only an A train ride away and you can have your pick at a range of themes including the intergalactic Bad Irene, Queen Zenobia, sweetheart Ms. Nancy Boggs, Sea Wolf, Charlie's Angels, and of course one entitled New York, NY.

If rocking back and forth on the ocean in an art installation isn't really your thing, there's always the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg. With industrial charm and decorated with locally made furniture, custom wallpaper, and timber ceilings, this old factory turned boutique hotel embodies everything modern Brooklyn represents. At the top of the hotel stands The Ides, a fabulous rooftop bar showcasing a spectacular view of the skyline, an enchanting terrace, and tasty cocktails. Sitting directly across from Brooklyn Bowl, the hotel's ambience is alluring to the rock'n'roll crowd as well as a plentitude of Brooklynites alike.

photo via Refinery 29

It wouldn't be summer without the perfect cocktail and the Tribeca go-to restaurant, Marc Forgione has it! It's called the Scorpion Bowl and it's 11 ounces of alcoholic goodness that combines vodka, gin, and rum into one super strong, $49 tiki themed goblet. If you are up for the challenge, we're sure it will bring you a dangerously delicious evening! Make sure you stick around to try the Michelin starred restaurant's menu as well!

photo via ft.com

Of course with summer here, you may be looking for something more active to do. Our suggestion is to grab a bike and go! There's been a major biking boom recently and believe it or not fashion brands like Hermes, Lacoste, Dolce & Gabbana, Urban Outfitters, and even Chanel have moved onto the scene to give you the perfect combination of designer clothing and a stylish ride! Not only does the season last from spring to fall, but it's a fabulous way to see the city, have fun, and get a workout in the process! Some of our favorite spots to go for a ride are Roosevelt Island, the Brooklyn Bridge, Prospect Park, and of course the Central Park Loop. If that's not your activity of choice, there's always kayaking on the Hudsonopen air yoga in the park, or simply strolling through Brooklyn Flea for some special finds! Whatever it may be, get out there, enjoy the weather, and have yourself a perfect summer! 

July 3, 2012

MBF Salon Profiles Guest Paige Boggs

Today we’d like to introduce General Manager and Creative Director of Treasure & Bond, Paige Boggs as one of our guests at our upcoming MBF Salon at The Kingpins Show in July.

Paige is responsible for the development, implementation and oversight of Treasure & Bond’s new business model that integrates retail with philanthropy and the community. To see a recent article published on Paige and her innovative merge of technology and brick and mortar retail formats, click here!

Paige will be attending our Salon gathering July 24th 1:00 - 1:45 PM and July 25th 3:00 - 3:45 PM. She will join us in conversation to discuss What Channel Are You On? The Changing Landscape. This topic will focus on The Consumers’ New Retail Experience, Gaining Market Share Implementing Strategies, and What Do Competitors Have In Common?

To register e-mail: contact@mbf-trend-consulting.com
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