The warm spring air seems to be brightening up everyone’s mood. Could it be the shopping deals on tap this month?
Take advantage of these deals through the local events and fabulous sales.
DISTRICT: Evans Churchill
(1st Street South of McDowell Road)
Just picked up Goody Twos Toffee. Mid-March will be running a contest for five lucky customers to win a package of toffee every month for six months.
Nostra Style House
(6th Street South of Roosevelt Street)
- 20% off storewide [excluding vintage] on March 17 and 18 during Art Detour
(West side of CityScape)
- New spring products will be arriving in the beginning of March.
Republic of Couture
(East side of CityScape)
- Everything in store will range from $10-50 for the month of March.
West of SOHO
(West side of CityScape)
- Recently began carrying men’s apparel and accessories.
- $10 sandal sale for the month of March.
New York & Co.
- Wear-to-Work promotion in March.
- 50% off storewide on March 23.
Culture Fresh Boutique
- 15% off every Thursday and Friday.
- Spring Release Party in store on March 23rd .
- 10% off all the time with valid school i.d.
- 15% off all the time with valid military i.d.
(Camelback Road west of Central Avenue)
- Frances Studios, located a store over from Frances Vintage, will be having their Grand Opening on Friday, March 2nd. This store will carry home goods and kitchenware.
- 3rd Annual Caramelpalooza on Friday, March 2nd.
DISTRICT: Historic Roosevelt
(Central Avenue south of Roosevelt Street)
- Saturday, March 3rd: Dapper + Dash Grand Kick-Off Affair from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- All winter and fall merchandise reduced through the end of March.
Vintage by Misty
(Central Avenue south of Roosevelt Street)
- Launching men’s apparel and accessories on March 10th.
- Participating in the MIM Fashion Show on March 1st.
- 20% off for any ASU student with a valid i.d.
DISTRICT: Melrose/7th Avenue
(7th Avenue south of Indian School Road)
- Every 3rd Thursday everything storewide is 20% off.
- All merchandise marked 20% off on Saturday during the m7 Street Fair.
Sirens and Saints
(7th Avenue north of Indian School)
- Merchandise markdowns to $5, $10 and $15 on Saturday during the m7 Street Fair.
(7th Avenue south of Camelback Road)
- Spring Cleaning Clearance all of March: All long sleeved shirts and dresses are 50% off.
DISTRICT: North Central
Poor Little Rich Girl
(Bethany Home Road west of 16th Street)
- Proof of donations of any amount to Arizona Small Dog Rescue gives shoppers a percentage off storewide for the month of March.
- 15% off any purchase before noon every weekday.
Did you know of other sales happening in the area this month? Do tell! Share in the comments below.
Homepage photo credit: Jason Garcia
Photos Jason and Anna Photography.
Look out Pee Wee Herman, bow ties are no longer an instant sign of nerd-dom.
The past few years have seen an increase in sales of bow ties to 20-something year old men who have incorporated the tie’s classic, old-fashioned sensibilities into their own modern style. The question is, “are bow ties back?” To which the only response can be, “were they ever gone?”
Bow ties were popular in the early and mid 20th century, worn by notables such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, and comic book character Archie, all influential men who stood apart from their contemporaries; but by the 1970s, bow ties had become associated with bookish Poindexters and stuffy intellectuals. Today, the bow tie renaissance is in full swing, a backlash perhaps against men’s clothing being too casual for too long. Young men of a new generation are voting with their dollars for bow ties, choosing to dress with purpose and individual style.
Popular musicians and actors have been photographed donning bow ties with jeans and sneakers, and trendy, youth-oriented stores like Urban Outfitters carry bow ties, as do designers like Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren.
As Dr. Who often reminds us, “bow ties are cool.” They are an accessory, a finishing touch to an outfit, and a bold statement. Men who wear bow ties are passionate about them because a bow tie says more than any other piece of clothing; it implies the man wearing it is daring and confident, a man of independent thought, separate from the conformity of the regular necktie pack. People recognize and remember the man in a stylish bow tie.
Based on sales, young men in Washington D.C., New York and Boston have embraced bow ties; sales have also been brisk in college towns. In the next few months, Downtown Phoenix advocate and Assistant Director at Phoenix Urban Research Lab, Aaron Kimberlin is bringing the bow tie movement to Phoenix with Dapper+Dash, a small business that reconstructs bow ties from vintage materials.
A Modern Twist
“I was given a multitude of mid-1960′s to 1970′s ties that were just too wide for a modern day tie. My notion was that everything, including fashion, is cyclical, so I wanted to create a product that celebrated a vintage men’s accessory by adaptively reusing clothing goods and vintage materials.”
With the idea to construct and design a product from local materials with local talent, Dapper + Dash was born. They begin with the essentials by searching for the highest quality materials, often found buried and forgotten in closets. Each piece of material is considered before being repurposed, then cut into one of three bow tie patterns named after three distinct bow tie wearers: the Huckleberry, Churchill, and Dagwood.
Each pattern is then stitched by hand in Downtown Phoenix. The packaging is also produced locally: each bow tie will come in a handcrafted cylindrical tube, stamped with the Dapper+Dash logo, and sold at local vintage clothing stores and on the company website.
Some large department stores sell bow ties for prices reaching as high as $100. That’s too much says Kimberlin, who is aiming to keep the cost per bow tie below $50.
Bow Ties + Bikes… Bow Ties + Beer… Bow Ties + Baking…
There is no reason to wear a bow tie unless you plan to tie it yourself, which is not the daunting task it may seem. Thanks to YouTube, a variety of videos can help unravel the mystery. Wearing a pre-tied bow tie is like “letting another man forge your signature” says Alan Flusser, author of Style & The Man. Like learning to tie a shoe, tying a bow tie takes some practice, but once mastered, the skill is not forgotten.
What do you do once you’ve acquired the skill of tying a bow tie? Besides just wearing it to work or for a night on the town, Kimberlin is planning to incorporate the bow tie into community events as well.
For example, one idea is a night called “bow ties and beer” where bow tie enthusiasts and their dates meet up for drinks and classy conversation. Or how about “bow ties and bikes” where you could show off that new bow tie while biking through historic Downtown Phoenix neighborhoods? Bow ties and baseball? Bow ties and baking? Why not?
“The alliteration comes with a great pairing. Why not look stylish when you are enjoying some of your favorite activities?” Kimberlin said.
In addition to creating products that can help a man look debonair, Kimberlin is also looking to partner with local businesses and non-profit organizations to “achieve a basic rule with Dapper+Dash” of having 10% of sales be donated to non-profits.
“I am currently still working on partnerships in this collaborative,” he said.
Bow ties, like Downtown, are both historic and modern, complicated yet simple, distinctive but misunderstood. Bow ties have never quite been out of fashion, underappreciated perhaps, but never gone. Those who wear them embrace both the history and the intrepid style a bow tie represents, just like devoted Downtowners embrace the history and bold opportunity of modern Phoenix.
If you go
Event: Dapper+Dash Grand Kick-off Affair
Date: Saturday, March 3
Time: 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Location: The Mercantile, 828 N. Central Ave. (Map)
From his Downtown desk, DPJ Fashion Editor Corbin Chamberlin and his team look beyond the central city and share their views on the people and happenings affecting our Valley’s material world.
Visions of Italy in the 1950’s, convertible rides on the Amalfi coast and a sensation of “old world glamour.” That is what ran through the mind of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice” star Kate Walsh when she first smelled the black jasmine and amber scent a year ago, while producing her first fragrance, Boyfriend. A year later, and with a financially successful perfume under her belt, Kate decided to launch Billionaire Boyfriend.
Before I opened the bottle I was judging the fragrance by its title and, frankly, I had my doubts. Anything titled “billionaire” outside of a Forbes article summons thoughts of tackiness and, let’s be honest, the cosmetic industry is littered with failed fragrances by celebrities. Alas, I was taken back by how great the scent actually was; notes of bergamot, tangerine and jasmine made for a sophisticated scent.
I’ve interviewed many celebrities about their products and I’m normally given the same pre-meditated PR answers to my questions. This was not the case with Kate. She gave very thoughtful replies. Without the help of licensing or royalty companies, the Tucson-raised actress shared with me how she took charge of this personally financed product.
“I wanted to make sure this was really something I wanted out there on the market,” she said. “We are a small brand. It’s my first priority to make sure this thing did well – grow in a small and strategic way. I see it as a household name.”
When asked about the most exciting part of planning her perfume launch, she replied “I was most excited about the marketing of the fragrance, and doing this great experiment by trying to market pretty much solely via internet, doing web commercials and really trying to lead with the idea of storytelling.”
Read below my continued conversation with Kate Walsh…
What inspired you to create the new fragrance?
I had this concept of this very luxe, over-the-top fragrance. It all kind of came together as one cohesive idea, in terms of the ‘Billionaire Boyfriend.’ I was intoxicated with this idea of old world luxury, money and fantasy – Italy in the 1950’s and Bond girls. You know, old school luxury. When we were coming up with the original fragrance, the maker brought me this fabulous big floral scent, which was called ‘black jasmine and amber.’ I told her to hold that, and we would revisit that scent for the second fragrance.
Talk to me about the design of the bottle.
We’re re-using the same bottle shape, which is a custom bottle, but were decorating it differently. It’s absolutely gorgeous – the design is really exciting. I was in Paris, in the spring, and was inspired by the old Venetian glass at my hotel. I wanted the bottle to have the reflective qualities of that glass.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve encountered with launching two fragrances?
Gosh, there are so many. I didn’t have the safety net of a licensing deal or loyalty deal, so it’s all kind of terrifying. I had this idea, and I started a company. There is such a huge risk to whole thing.
There are over 1200 fragrances on the market, and sometimes I thought to myself ‘Why am I doing this?’ But I felt so passionate about the idea, product and story. I have to say the biggest insecurity is the boring details. You know it’s hard working full time on ‘Private Practice’ and then having to worry about paperwork and details.
Clearly, the first fragrance was a success. Do you agree?
We launched on HSN last November, 2010, and it’s selling so well at Sephora. We just finished our biggest month to date. A men’s scent on a women’s skin, and refining that, we made it something I want to wear everyday. I wanted this to be wearable and accessible to everyone, not just a niche fragrance. We’ve had great numbers all 2011. This is very exciting to me, because ultimately, if you make something that no one likes, that’s devastating.
Perhaps you received some kind of advice from another celebrity-gone-fragrance-maker?
I didn’t talk to another celebrity about perfume, but I did talk with Molly Sims – she’s lovely. Molly told me about her experience working on HSN. Having her input was really awesome. She and I chatted about starting our own businesses and the challenges of that. I also got a lot of great feedback from my longtime friend, Kate Somerville. She’s got such a great skin care line. I’ve always been a fan of hers – I love her wisdom. Of course, skin care is so much different than fragrance, but I picked her brain about my own line.
Billionaire Boyfriend is available for purchase at HSN.
The 11th Annual Melrose on 7th Avenue Street Fair and Classic Car Show is seeking both food and merchant vendors. The event will be held on Saturday, March 3rd, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on 7th Avenue between Indian School and Campbell.
Originally consisting of a few six foot tables, a few dozen classic cars and a few hundred people, the m7 Street Fair has grown to over 140 booths, food, rides and crafts for the kids, live music and over 200 classic cars. In ten years this award winning event has become one of the most anticipated events of the year.
Organizers expect between 18,000-20,000 to attend.
Visit M7StreetFair.com for vendor applications.
From his Downtown desk, DPJ Fashion Editor Corbin Chamberlin and his team look beyond the central city and share their views on people and happenings affecting our Valley’s material world.
DPJ Fashion Editor Corbin Chamberlin chatted with Ken Downing, the Senior Vice President and Fashion Director of Neiman Marcus. Dressed in Gucci and looking divine, Ken discussed trends, sales and other fashionable happenings with us. Read our conversation with Ken below.
What do you look for when you take on a new or young brand?
There can be risk. When I look for a young designer, I look for someone who has a complete understanding and balance of creative and commerce. There is a lot of young talent out there who doesn’t understand the business aspect of what fashion is; they don’t always bring on really talented business people. I like to find young and emerging talent that has a solid understanding of business, someone like a Jason Wu, who was really more interested early on, to design the craft of dressmaking and building a business on his talent, instead of building a business on his name and his potential celebrity. Actually, I found Jason, and brought him to Neiman Marcus, before all of the excitement around him with the first lady. He’s the real deal. He’s very committed and has a real understanding of who his customer is. That is a really important part of it. A lot of people want to design clothes, but they don’t think about who their customer is. When they’re making these clothes and putting prices on them, asking ‘who that woman is’ and will she spend that much money on clothes.
Talk to me about the Cusp project at NM.
We’re actually taking our contemporary world and re-branding it as ‘Cusp’. Not unlike what they did with 5F at Bergdorf Goodman. Instead of it being a really contemporary department, we’re actually redesigning the look of it, so it will almost be a shop within the store. It will have a very certain point of view and a definite look in the interior. It will also have its own packaging and its own shopping bags. We’re also going to be doing separate marketing, which will come under the Cusp label. We have a couple of freestanding stores now.
I understand your sales of fur have rocketed.
You know it’s been interesting. We have been selling fur at Neiman Marcus since July and it’s been hot all over the country, everywhere. It’s all about the new technology, a lot of it’s knitted, laser and lightweight. It’s remarkable, heavy wools and cashmeres don’t sell when it’s warm, but fur, is not affected. I feel a lot of the fur craze has been driven by the fur vest and chubbies, and the colors.
Can we thank Anna for the fur sales?
(laughs) Well, Anna is certainly a huge proponent of fur. We’re seeing a lot of fur because designers are really trying to put luxury back into their collections. This started over a year ago. After the recession, people were trying to navigate the challenging financial climate that this country and world were going through. A lot of the beautiful details and touches became not as important in the collection, because it felt extravagant. Now that we’re seeing a change in the economy – it’s certainly not cleaned up 100% – designers are feeling more comfortable about putting those luxurious touches back into their collection.
As fashion director, how do you inspire consumers to open up their wallets and spend?
A lot of it has to do with our catalogs. It’s interesting, when you open up a magazine, especially those big fashion issues like September, there is so much advertising and you need to really make a compelling campaign that burns through all the other add campaigns. As fashion director, I select all the pieces for the catalog from the front row to determine what’s going to be photographed in the campaign. I can’t tell you too much, but you’re going to be thrilled with our spring catalog. I really believe in giving women confidence and looking great. You realize in this world of fashion, that there are magazine editors, bloggers – everyone has a fashion opinion. I think one way Neiman Marcus really inspires women is that we are very definitive and have a definite point of view. That’s why I call out trends every season. It becomes a roadmap to a woman. I truly, in my soul, believe that women should look beautiful, pretty and glamorous as they want to be. A lot of times retailers will look for the peculiar and bizarre, and even try to talk over the customers head. Women just want to look great. I really try to instill how to look the best you can and be very authentic about it.
Tell me about your personal blog and online presence?
What’s been most eye-opening for me, the role of the fashion director has changed dramatically in the last 10 to 15 years. People used to go overseas and determine hemlines and heel heights. We still do a little of that, but I’m a brand ambassador and I’m a writer. I write all of my own letters and material in the book. I write all my own blogs. None of that is done with a copy writer, it is all from my own mind. Even when they send out any sort of press, all of the quotes are from me. I don’t let people speak in my voice, because it has to be authentic.
I have my own product line right now. The company’s kind of experimenting and branding me. Metier came to me for spring and asked me to collaborate on a lip and nail color, I actually said no at first. I was a little concerned about putting my name on a product and if it didn’t sell, I was worried, that my ego might take a real hit. But, it sold out. So we came back and we did the Bordeaux collection for fall, which is doing really well. I also just finished my resort collection and did a holiday nail-set for stocking stuffers. I’m also finalizing spring right now. I actually work with the team to develop color, I name all of the products myself. I’m also doing a fragrance. It’s going to be another year. It’s going to be very limited edition, I’m using really rare essences and oils. There is this amazing vault in New Jersey that is full of these rare oils and essences.
It’s safe to say in the recent years NM has aimed more to a younger consumer. Would you agree?
Absolutely. What’s important to Neiman Marcus is that we love our loyal customers that have been with us for years. We would never do anything to make this brand unappealing to them. But, we certainly have to reach out to a new audience, who has not shopped with Neiman Marcus before. It’s why we have a Facebook page. I have been doing my part, I was on Rachel Zoe and Joe Zee’s show, you’re also going to see me on a new version of Project Runway called “Project Runway All Stars.” They have brought back fan-favorites from the past. I’m a bookend, so I’m a guest judge for the first and last episode, selecting the winner. I can’t tell you who the winner is, but people are going to be very excited. They love this person.
What other projects are you working on?
There are some really interesting projects that come through Neiman Marcus. More product categories. Certainly, some interesting ideas with television. I’m often shopped around to do reality T.V. It has to be intelligent and elegant, and needs to appropriate for the brand. I think that reality T.V. is a moment, and it’s a big and long moment that we’re living in right now, but those sort of things live on forever, and I want to make sure that I place a little bit of elegance that carries through my career.
What are your thoughts on Neiman Marcus on social media?
What’s interesting is, I don’t even realize I have the enormous fan base that I have. I still see myself as a kid from Seattle living in some dream. When I’m stopped in airports or New York City and people stop me on the sidewalk, and remember, I am no one, but people know who you are through social media. They see you on these television shows, and they follow what’s going on blogs. It really makes people more connected to you and your brand. It’s so important in our industry, that we connect with our customers face-to-face, It’s actually a conversation Anna Wintour and I had in Paris; it’s important that we are all represented on Facebook and all social media, but it’s also important that I go around to all of the stores and meet those customers in person. There is nothing like a one-on-one with a personality.