Taken from a fashion series styled by myself and Sophie of http://sophanit.com/ photographed by me.
In the retail industry, there are specific qualities that separate associates from the good and the bad. Each store is specifically designed to cater to a clientele that expects an experience that can only be delivered through customer service, be it luxury, standard, or poor. Similarly, its associates must, at least, look like the clients they are serving and styling. For example, You would NEVER, and correct me if I’m wrong, walk into a Louis Vuitton or any other “designer” store and see an associate who doesn’t look or sound polished; It is not “brand.” Conversely, you would NEVER, and again, correct me if I’m wrong, walk into Hollister and see an associate dressed in a suit admiring your handbag because, again, it is not “brand.” Now, one may ask why I am writing about this, or why does it matter? Well, I’m going to entertain this. Recently, I walked into a store, that will remain anonymous, and was greeted by an associate who one, looked disheveled, uncomfortable, and dingy. She was dressed in all black, which is standard if you choose to not wear the merchandise, but her black clothes were ashy and wrinkled. Riddle me this, if there is a steamer in the back of the store, which I know there are multiple, why would you come onto the sales floor looking the way you do? How do you expect someone to purchase an item that costs over one to two hundred dollars, and you look and sound like a BOGO deal at H&M? This moved me to question if we workers of retail have forgotten what it means to be “brand.” Now to some outsiders, I may sound a bit harsh and judgmental, but for those working in the retail/styling industry, from the average to high end market, I’m sure you would agree that there is a standard for how you should dress and represent the brand for which you are working for. Now, I can see if this was the only associate who looked like this, but there were others. It could have been a bad day, but there is no excuse when working in such a superficial industry. It doesn’t take much to steam your clothes in the back room or to slick your hair back in a bun or ponytail. Black is always in vogue. How do you manage to ruin black? I haven’t even gone into detail about the sizes the store carries versus the sizes of some of its associates. That’s a low blow and I think that everyone is gorgeous in their own right. But why, retailers of America, would you look past the definition of “brand?” I wish I could give a concrete definition to the word “brand” in regards to the fashion industry, but it changes given your work environment. Chime in, comment, and let me know what you think. I’m curious.
Today is my first post in a while. I took a leave of absence since first starting this blog. I realized I needed more direction and clarity in regards to what I will write about. To be honest, I had no idea what to say, and got cyber shy. My first blogging experience can be best compared to the feeling you get the day before an anticipated trip. Excitement prevents you from sleeping and you spend all night with a jumble of emotions but have no idea how to express your excitement in words, so you make noises…At least, I think that’s how it goes. Anyway, I have made a lot of noises, smiled a alot, and have done some research/soul searching/spending countless hours eating, working, and bs’ing, and I’m back. Hope you’re ready because I have a lot to talk about. From Valentino’s S/S 2012 collection to my latest ventures working as a stylist in retail…There will be shared laughter, anger, and hopefully no hate mail. Thanks for being supportive and check me out sometime 🙂
There’s beauty in solitude and an unexpected peace within the grip of chaos. My entire life has been centered in creativity. From the first time I broke lead onto the pulp of trees, I had an innate urge to express myself. Looking at the bare, cracked walls of my parent’s dining room, i see remnants of my childhood hung sporadically. Poems, primarily haikus, are scribbled onto different colors of cardboard paper, laminated to preserve my words, like the gaudy furniture at your grandparents house covered in the thickest possible plastic.
While I was in Paris, I had the opportunity to photograph and converse with, what I would call, one of the most influential women I met in my travels. She was adorned in amber, gold, and beaded jewels created by herself. She was wearing a hat that resembled the tail of a peacock in the distance. When I approached her and asked if I could photograph her, I was greeted by a scowl and the vernacular of the bourgeois. She knew I was American and she could smell the stench of a middle class man. She took a long drag of her cigarette, gestured for me to sit, and proceeded to ash her cigarette on the table next to where we were sitting. “I will give you ten minutes,” she replied in a heavy, French accent. As she finished her sentence, I found myself turning away from her to avoid the concoction of tobacco and expresso perfume that cradled each word in her sentence. She sat with her Hermes Ulysses memo book she pulled from her Birkin bag. “You know I was a model in my time,” she chuckled. Though she was laughing, a part of me believed her to be serious. After exchanging e-mails and going through the frames, we parted ways. It wasn’t until I got back o the states that I realized she not only designed Jewelry, clothes, and hats, but she was an amazing and well recognized artist in Paris. To this day, I still laugh about this woman and I keep her picture at the front of my portfolio. See for yourself. She defined the fashion I expected from Paris.