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John Hughes died of a heart attack at the young age of 59! Hughes movies entertained a generation with their teens set against school life. He had hit after hit in the 1980s that were all box office bonanzas! Movies set fashion trends in an instant. How many kids started combing their hair down in bangs after the Beatles “Hard Day’s Night” was released in the 60s? The same hats and bracelets that Molly Ringwald wore in “Pretty in Pink” popped up on every girl mincing down the hall in high schools everywhere the week that movie for John Hughes was released.

The Breakfast Club brought Judd Nelson in his baggy shirts with fingerless gloves, tank tops for jocks and made nerds cool by the outfits worn by the five variations of teenage roles portrayed in that film. This gave birth to a uniform of identity for different cliques that would spring up in each class. People made a statement of who they were and what they wanted out of life by the fashion they chose to follow. The “drop out” crowd clad in baggy jeans, boots and leather jewelry. The “in” crowd of jocks with tank tops, tight jeans and converse shoes. These movies made such a huge impact and captured our imagination but the fashion and the stereotyping that followed it has stayed with us even today. Take these models and go look around at your school this fall!

(Source: LA Times)

Michelle Obama or Mrs. O has leveraged her home town of Chicago into quite a fashion center for simple Midwestern styles with a big city edge. Her sleeveless tops and stylish shoes are echoed on many working mothers and young professionals bustling about the windy city in summer or winter. Since the First Lady came upon the national scene she has made an excellent fashion idol by mixing interesting colors and layering a sweater for just the right occasion.

Now a lot of off the rack separates are flying out of the department stores as more people embrace her common sense looks. The Fashion Council of American has dubbed Mrs. O a fashion icon! That is pretty good for your first nine months in the public eye.

In my opinion Michelle Obama brought back that efficient 60’s look where a simple but high quality dress accessorized with the right bracelet and a simple necklace is contemporary while stylish. Connect that to her earthy, mother figure taking good care to raise two young daughters and it is no wonder her approval rating and her fashion sense are being applauded.

Many of the anchor department stores are gushing with praise as Macy’s, J Crew and designer maven Tommy Hilfiger among the most notable. Michelle Obama has brought the pretty and demur back into the limelight and carried Chicago fashion right along for the ride.

Disney has developed a fashion channel to feed through YouTube that is inspired by the tweens on their multitude of Disney channel shows. Loaded with a strong dose of the amazingly popular Jonas Brothers’ music and
looks, the show features all tweens prancing the catwalk in front of a young crowd.

The clothing features plaid patterns and layered looks of vests over unlikely dresses or frilled tops.

It’s typical Disney complete with fingerless gloves, gaudy plastic jewelry and bohemian patterns that mix and match.
The models of course are all kids from the Disney channel. The buzz is spreading fast as the video has all ready been viewed over 13,000 times on Youtube.

This is the first time Disney has made their fashion case directly to the tween audience over the internet and previewing the clothing which will be retailed at Target, JC Penney, Kmart, Sears, and Wal-Mart. The Youtube channel also has a Mickey Mouse Fashion Show playing.

Their target demographic is aimed at young adults who are still trapped in their child hood determined to wear a Mickey Mouse clothing line in their teens. Kelsey Ramos, blogger for the LA Times, chides Disney for overexposing its brands. “And who knows, it wouldn’t surprise me if next we saw Twitter updates about Disney food trucks selling Disneyland food around L.A.”. Come on Kelsey can you sing M-I-C-K-E-Y?

Were Crocs ever cool? Crocs are fading into history fast only lasting a year on the now scene and the feet of kids.  The adults who imagined croc coolness and wore them were actually pretty much being chuckled at behind their backs.  I mean George W Bush wore them can you imagine Obama and Michelle donning a pair? I doubt it!

The question now becomes can the company that created Crocs survive? Coming up with new designs may not be enough according to some researchers.

According to the Washington Post, Croc has laid off 2,000 workers and has a mountain of debt.

They are trying to find a re-finance plan.  It sounds pretty dire to most casual readers.  However John H. Duerden, the CEO for Croc made an impassioned defense of his company on his blog and sited expanding sales and web traffic as evidence the comfortable and durable plastic boat shoes would survive.

He also pointed out a lot of people like to take shots at the success story companies.  I guess I am one of them, sorry John your shoes are ugly.  Make them pretty and small enough to look nice on my feet and we might talk!  He does point out that they have expanded too fast and there are different styles of Crocs but I still don’t like them, SORRY! I do understand that people who spend a lot of time on their feet or who are recovering from injuries find them relieving.

Maybe its time for a less durable and more fashionable shoe line!

The Columbian designer
company Caffe has announced its intentions of taking the US by storm or by bikini!   Caffe swim wear was debuted at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim.   The line made a big impression on attendees and fashionistas world wide.  They brought a Bohemian styling penchant that most designers are catering to this year.  The suits colors which were circa 1960 are also a very popular choice especially with young adults who are their major target market.   Leaning more to floral patterns gave a distinct vintage look.  Many of the Hollister crowd would find the Brazilian style very attractive.

The international flavor in styling and the delivery of those products has continued to escalate over the past several years.  Since there are so many outlets available thanks to the internet designers who may have been obscured in the past, now are on an open world stage.  What’s great is trends are set and followed much more quickly than before.  You can see a suit that was on the catwalk one week showing up in your favorite boutique just a few weeks later.  I call it insta-fashion!  The American market is still the one of choice despite the recession of the past year. 

(Source:ApparelNews)

The Italians, who have always coveted the fact that their fashion is superior, have made the Fashion Industry very happy with a new labeling law similar to what we have in the US.  For years the clothing they have imported from overseas has not required to place the country of manufacture on the label.  Well, when your fashion lines are signature and the Chinese are not shy about copying other products and shipping them to your country you have to do something about it.  Really it is hard to believe our Italiano amici did not recognize this as a problem earlier.

Italy has lead for many years in the designer fashion and has not made a fuss much less taken legal action over other companies that tried to facsimile their product.  Now that we are all scrambling for a share of the consumers dollar that is actually being spent on clothes it has become an important issue.  Finally the Italian legislature has weighed in on the “Made in Italy” stamp because the European Union has done nothing.  I wonder if they fear upsetting the Chinese? 
(Source:WSJ)

American’s love their pets and the most popular is of course is the dog.  Most of us have pretty normal owner/pet relationships but there are the exceptions.  You know the ones who refer to their dogs as their “soul mate” and you see them frenching their Chihuahua while sitting on their deck and speaking in a bizarre baby like language.  Those exceptions have been depicted on television as comedic relief and that is where the plague started to spread!  Now imagine this! There are doggie fashion shows not only in the good old US of A but the Asian world has caught on to the concept as well.

Recently, a Taiwan company broke out their new line of trendy doggie fashion with a live event in Taipei.  That is not the end of their evil, expansionist plans either.  They are planning to bring their swim suit wearing canine models to other countries, Australia, China (don’t they eat dogs in China?) and the always into the weird Japan.  We only have ourselves to blame with releases in American cinema of Beverly Hills Chihuahua which actually grossed $52 Million!  I can’t imagine the net was too bad either, I mean how much is screen actors guild scale for a pooch anyway?  Next thing you know we will be watching Michael Jackson the Movie starring Fifi Poodles….

(Source: Metro.co.uk)

Old dogs are learning new tricks as the recession is playing out in a slow fashion. JC Penny’s has launched their new ad campaign for back to school specials and are engaging every type of popular technology to deliver the news. They released an ad to catch the kids enjoying the summer releases in theaters that runs about 60 seconds. The location is the familiar school cafeteria where a fashion show just happens to break out showing off the new JC Penny looks for fall. Penny marketing is utilizing a dance track from Hockey, called “Too Fake” and they have launched as a co-sponsor for the bands tour schedule coinciding with the media blitz.

The cafeteria bit has been warped into a television commercial and is providing pricing to entice money conscious teen agers watching their clothing dollars like they have never had to before. Mom and Dad’s credit cards are either cut up ala Dave Ramsey or over the limit this year. The ad agency for Pennys (Saatchi & Saatchi) has the message integrated in all the popular ways, Facebook pages, digital ads and mobile phone contests. Don’t forget the website kicks into high gear as well. This campaign has all the signatures of a winner with new content coming out as we write this to showcase skateboarder Ryan Scheckler. JC Penny’s is combining their old school quality and value with forward thinking styles and marketing. I think they are a survivor!

Source: Brandweek