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!

June 25, 2014

Fashionable Incentives

In January at Invista, we spoke of how performance fabrics are crucial to the fashion industry as well as what all the present athletic hype is about. Just a few months later and activewear has made some significant leaps specifically concerning wearable technology and how we apply these innovations to our high energy lifestyles. It's all about getting healthy and fit, causing sports apparel to be fully integrated into our entire wardrobes.

photo via WWD

We're seeing so many unexpected brands branch out into activewear. Urban Outfitters has unveiled an in-house apparel and accessories line called Without Walls and Net-A-Porter looks to introduce a new department featuring brands that target yoga, running, and spin classes. Aimed at customers 18 to 28, Without Walls indulges in edgy designs, bright colours and vibrant patterns to be anything but basic workout gear. Currently allocated in more high-profile stores throughout New York, California, and the cities of Portland and Seattle, these casual in-store shops combine UO's new collection with a variety of other third party labels both big and small, including the likes of Vans, Patagonia, The North Face, Columbia, Onzie, and Newline, among many others.

photo via fashionista.com

Also with fitness on the brain, Betsey Johnson has launched a fall collection inspired by performance focused pieces including high-stretch nylon spandex leggings, moisture wicking t's and heat sustaining fleece lined jackets. The designer hopes to "liven up other people's workout routines" with fishnet details, jacquard patterns, open exposures, peplum shapes, piping, and bows. The new line will be available at Nordstrom, Macy's, and Betsey's website later this year.

photo via Quartz

Then there is Gap who is directing it's current strategy towards the art of soft dressing. Already deeming fitness oriented clothing "the new denim," CEO Glenn Murphy has decided to move Gap Body's athletic wear straight to the front of store. With the success of Athleta blowing Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Gap sales out of the water, Murphy explained how so many of us are not just working out in our comfy sweatpants and yoga pants, but wearing them throughout the day to run errands, work from home, and even commute to work in. Hence, the success of Lululemon and all the fuss about looking fashion friendly while working out.

photo via WWD

Sending warning signals to all retailers, Amazon has embarked on the wearable technology movement. Just this spring, the online powerhouse debuted a wearable technology focused storefront promoting things like fitness and wellness trackers, smart watches, health care devices, and wearable cameras. John Nemeth, the director of wireless and mobile electronics at Amazon, foresees rapid expansion of this category which includes brands like Jawbone, GoPro, Polar, Garmin, and Nike.

photo via Naked Sports Gear

Summer is upon us and lucky for you, founders Reilly Star and Katie Sue Nicklos have perfected a range of sun-friendly apparel. Made in NYC of moisture wicking, tan through fabrics, Naked Sports Gear is a collection of sports bras, shirts and tanks that erase the fate of tan lines forever.

If it's not obvious yet, fashion and fitness pretty much go hand in hand and with athletic wear being classified just as essential to our wardrobes as denim, this is just likely the beginning. In the early 2000's the leggings fad surged and since then we've only grown to adopt more casual pieces into our everyday attire. Not to mention, we've already seen the shift among high and low brands like H&M, Uniqlo, Forever 21, and Lululemon 's sportswear pieces to Chanel and Dior sneakers and Tory Burch who will launch a line in 2015. With denim being the only category that has grown remotely similar to activewear, it will be interesting to see if it has the same long lasting success as the premium denim market. 

video via springwise.com

Today we'd like to leave you with this inspiring video explaining a new revolutionary concept initiated by the Alfa-Bank in Russia granting higher interest rates based on how much you exercise. It's trendy to be fit and just as important to look it as well. Right now, with such a spotlight on being healthy and so many companies getting active, will you? 

June 19, 2014

Street Game Social

Almost every detail of our lives is digitally documented via the present media crazed society we live in. Looking at fashion alone, we archive the entire process from a single thread to end user. Our social media accounts and blogs are personal diaries of what we wear and how we spend our time. And that is why, street style has become just as important as any runway show, fashion event, awards show, or movie premiere.

photo via I Am Galla

With an overwhelming amount of people deemed "IT" girls or landing "Ones to Watch" lists, bloggers, designers, models, photographers, and stylists, have made an entire living from having a strong online presence. And its not just women, but men as well, who have established an entirely new creative outlet and given a fresh perspective to the way we view the fashion scene. However, as blogging becomes more common and less authentic, has it reached its peak in the fashion cycle?

photo via WWD

Forget people becoming famous on reality TV because today it's all about how many followers you have online. And for some, these followers are turning into major dollar signs. By charging anywhere from $5-15K for appearances, brand promotion, collaborations, and advertising, top tier bloggers are making more than $1 million annually.

photo via NY Times

Then there are those that are taking a slightly more creative approach to sculpting an entire lifestyle around Instagram, which has proven to drive the most traffic, engagement, and overall sales compared to any other platform. Meet David Krugman, a 26 year old photo retoucher who now collaborates with several noteworthy cultural institutions in NY, including the prestigious Metropolitan Museum of Art, to build their Instagram profiles. In exchange for VIP access and free of charge, Krugman acts as a Consultant for NY's libraries and museums by adding an innovative touch to their accounts as well as helping them gain followers and promote events. As his fame and following grows (he has nearly 50,000 Instagram followers), he has been invited to assist other buzzworthy establishments like Esquire magazine and The National Gallery of Art in Washington and it's probably just the beginning.

Meanwhile, with so much focus on what we are wearing to fashion events, some argue that we've lost the "street" in street style. There's a difference between Bill Cunningham's legendary photos capturing real clothing and today's overflow of excessively styled looks characterizing the season's top trends. What was once impromptu, has become just as constructed as any runway show now that everyone from editors to models to ordinary people preen and pose ready to be photographed.

As for fashion labels, it's all about seeding product to someone cool with an influential following and so much less about the actual art of dress. Now that the ultimate road to exposure has been established, brands from high to low are striving to get a pretty face snapped wearing their products and if they are lucky a tag or shout-out. Which is why we have coined the term "street style bait," or key items from each season that grab the attention of photographers like Valentino's studded pumps or Givenchy printed tees.

That's why we love sites like The SartorialistChinatown Sartorialist and Humans of New York who capture spontaneous shots of pedestrian fashion at its finest. These are the "real" street style photographers that are bringing things back to the basics by telling people's stories through a picture.

Blogging in general in no longer organic, especially now that everyone is doing it. However, the one thing that leading bloggers and street style stars have, is a business mindset to reinvent themselves and turn their blogs into lifestyles. With just as much influence as any A list celeb, some have even evolved their brand names to include clothing and accessory lines, book launches, speaking tours, and journalism. And these are the social media gurus at the forefront of the industry that will continue to thrive under any circumstances. 

June 12, 2014

High Tech, High Progress ; New Capabilities

They say it's all about the accessories and right now, the tech world is taking this fashion motto to an entirely new level. From your standard extras to everyday gadgets, it's time to augment reality with wearables that not only scream style but functionality and inventiveness.

photo via ecouterre

With 3D printing all over the news, Nike has revealed the first three-dimensionally printed performance bag. Entitled the "Rebento," and made exclusively for soccer stars Neymar Jr., Wayne Rooney, and Cristiano Ronaldo for the FIFA World Cup, only three copies were produced. The highly customized duffel is made of a flexible flyknit material and comes with a laser-sintered nylon base, leather top, and custom gold hardware engraved with each player's name.

photo via Recode

What if you could actually wear all your ingenious filtered Instagram snaps? Adidas recently announced that they will be launching an app allowing owners of ZX Flux shoes to create patterns based on photos from the visually-focused mobile platform. The "miadidas" photo print app is expected to hit iPhones and Androids this August and represents the capabilities of customization as well as the merging of online and offline worlds.

photo via ecouterre

The future is looking quite fashionable for Google Glass with the help of the iconic fashion designer, Diane von Furstenberg. Together, the two have designed five new frames and eight new shades available online starting June 23rd. The collection, "DVF Made for Glass," will retail at both Google and Net-a-Porter, where it will be sold as a $1700 prepackaged set that "includes Glass, a DVF optical frame, a sunglass style, a mono earbud and a case."

photo via ecouterre

We've got some great news for all you bike enthusiasts out there with the launch of a new folding helmet called "Morpher." You can now ride safer, easier, and without the hassle of carrying around a bulky helmet all day long. This revolutionary technology is made of the same materials as any standard one, but can fold to a mere thickness of 1.4 inches and perfect for packing into any handbag.

photo via springwise.com

Australia's Tzukuri has developed a handmade, solar-powered sunglass range so you'll never lose your sunnies again. These frames come in six different designs, three sizes, and contain a tiny chip and solar charger that connects to your iPhone via bluetooth. If you happen to leave a pair behind, the app sends you notifications until you're up to 15m away and incase you make it farther, it secures the last location you had them on a map.

video via techradar

It's pretty clear that in today's day and age our phones have become essential accessories in our day to day lives, with most of us practically suffering separation anxiety when parted from our flashy touchscreens. Samsung, Google, HTC, iPhone, and soon enough, Amazon will be launching their very own smartphone. While many rumors have surfaced concerning the device's specs, budget price point, and innovative 3D features, nothing has yet to be confirmed. Amazon has scheduled a launch event of some kind for June 18 and we're crossing our fingers that a prototype of the phone will finally be released.

video via Ashraf's Artwork

To wrap things up, check out this really cool, inspiring video with a visionary take on the future of high tech fashion.

June 5, 2014

Brazil's Fashion Kickoff

With the FIFA World Cup set to kickoff one week from today, much like the rest of the world, the fashion industry's got Brazil on the brain. Everyone from Forever 21 to Valentino has released soccer themed limited edition products in light of one of the world's most anticipated sporting events of 2014. Amidst all the buzz, we'd like to highlight the coolest, most innovative fashion collaborations and events surrounding the diverse culture of soccer-crazed Brazil.

photo via Freshness

If anyone knows how to do sportswear with style, it's Adidas Originals. This time, collaborating with native Brazilian brand, Farm, the two have joined forces to pay tribute to this year's World Cup destination of choice by combining their signature traits. Adidas' trademark three-striped garments are complimented with the lively flora and fauna prints of Farm, to produce an energetic collection of tank tops, track suits, bags, and sneakers inspired by the local indigenious plant life of Brazil.

photo via Fashion One

Puma's got their eye on the ball as well with the launch of a sneaker collection with the creative direction of the lovely, Solange Knowles. The collaboration, "Girls of Blaze Disc Collection," includes four versions of Puma's Disc Blaze shoe, designed by up and coming designers and photographed and styled by Solange herself. The shoe line was released exclusively at Opening Ceremony and is now available at Rime, Revolve, American Rag, Fred Segal, and Nordstrom.

photo via Complex

To give the World Cup games a fashionable twist, Yoox.com has teamed up with Sepp magazine to create a range of neat sweaters supporting various international designers' home countries. The 10 piece collection, #YooxSoccerCouture is available now and has enlisted the likes of Duro Olowu of Nigeria for Africa, Damir Doma for Germany,  Ksubi for Australia, MSGM for Italy, Juun.J for Korea, Masha Ma for China, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada for Spain, Ami for France, Barbara Casasola for Brazil, and of course the beloved Opening Ceremony for the USA.

If you are in/or around the NYC area this July make sure to stop by Brasil Summerfest held at various locations around the city. The weeklong festival is the largest music and arts event outside of Brazil, focusing on the country's vibrant culture by showcasing traditional to contemporary styles of music, art, and film.

video via Shakira

So to get you in the spirit, today we'll leave you with this year's favored World Cup anthem by the Colombian pop artist, Shakira. Enjoy!
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