Fashion And How It Has Influenced The Society

The world is now too much conscious about fashion. Almost every day a new trend makes headlines and people soon start following it. There is much influence of the western culture all over the world right from hairdressing to styling their feet. Another thing that has grown is the use of technology with fashion. It has a larger hand in influencing the fashion. This is because whatever one dresses up they take a picture of it and post them on their individual social media profiles. People who like them would surely emulate the style when they get ready.

Fashion has not only influenced the common people but it has inspired the office goers too. They also try to maintain a fashionable look though in their formal wears. However, there are two kinds of people in the society. One group are the followers like we have mentioned earlier and the other group are the ones who have little to do with fashion. They follow their own style and add a different variation to the ongoing fashion trends. Even that sometimes becomes a trend which others intend to follow.

What fashion really means?

Fashion has nothing to do with hair or makeup. Neither it is about the cosmetics. It is the good looks the charm that one adds to his or her personality by wearing anything they like. All that matters is that how one teams up the accessories and the footwear with their dress. It does not have to be the most expensive clothes and accessories. A casual one can also work wonders if accessorized in the right way.

What are the trends?

Fashion trends keep changing every season. It has also undergone a huge change from the earlier times. Earlier the English women used to wear long gowns and flowery dresses with a hat on. Now the trend has shifted to jeans and tops.

Fashion used to be a part of an actor’s life but that has now become a part of the daily life. Fashion has become a big source of earning money. Many of the youths are making money by becoming fashion experts and giving people advice. They are making channels in YouTube and hosting shows on the television.

If you want to be a style diva you can follow their tips and dress up accordingly. Soon people will start acknowledging your sense of style and will take advice from you for styling.

Women’s Scarves – Finding the Perfect Match to Look Great!

Beautiful women’s scarves will have you looking fantastic! A woman should choose a scarf to match her desired wardrobe. As we all know, blouses have different necklines and collars and a woman’s scarf should match the clothing’s collar or neckline. It is said that women’s scarves create wonderful personalities. However, it entirely depends on the way she wears or attaches the scarf to her outfit.

A women’s scarf matched with a backless dress without sleeves, should be wrapped around the neck once and the scarf ends should be hanging freely at the back. This style does not only keep your shoulder warm, but also brings out your charm. If a scarf is matched with a V-shaped collar, it should be wrapped around the neck several times or twice, leaving tassels hanging around.

How about if you wish to match your scarf with a sleeveless top? Just make sure that you use a big scarf that can be an alternative for a shawl. You will definitely look sexy and elegant. However, if you match your scarf with turtle neck top, your scarf should be long. It can be worn freely hanging on your sides highlighting your figure.

A big scarf can be used as shawl if you choose to wear a well-fit shirt. It can give a simple shirt a touch of elegance. The color of your scarf should complement the color of your shirt or if not, may be the lighter or darker shade of your shirt’s color. By doing this, it can make the shirt attractive or appealing.

Don’t use printed scarves for women if your blouse is also printed. It will be an overkill. For instance, your scarf is green with white stripes on it and you will be wearing a blouse which is green but has printed black circles on it. It will not really look good on anyone. If you have the same scarf as mentioned above, you should wear it with a plain white or a plain green top.

Choosing the right scarf also depends on where you’re going or what activity you will be attending. If you are on the go for winter activities, a scarf should be matched with it. For your formal winter attire, the scarf should be draped around your neck and tucked in your coat, covering the chest area. For your sporty winter attire, fold the scarf in half. Put them through the loop and leave the knot loose under your chin.

According to an image consultant, the coolest styles of women’s scarf are the scarves which possess texture, have neutral colors and tied or wrapped simply. For some, pashmina shawls which are made of cashmere, are great ones. Remember, these are very affordable. It can be worn as accessory, as wrap or for some warmth.

As an accessory, tie the pashmina loosely or loop the pashmina once around your neck. As a wrap, drape it over your shoulders. To use it for warmth, fold it and drape around your neck. Then, pull the ends through the loop of the pashmina. You now have what fashion experts call a Noose wrap.

Remember, these are a very versatile accessory. It’s up to you when to use it and what to use it with. Match colors, match fabric types, use the appropriate length, and most of all, choose a wrap style that won’t overwhelm your dress or outfit. They should compliment and accentuate an outfit and should never become a cover-up, unless of course, you need it to be.

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Wholesale Clothes – Find Cheap Fashionable Wholesale Women’s Clothes From Asian Suppliers

You may be wondering why many online retailers choose to sell wholesale clothes. The answer is simple – they are very popular and pull in huge sales and profits. Not too many people can afford expensive designer clothes, so they choose to buy affordable but fashionable clothing instead. Many of today’s wholesale clothes come from Asian countries where you can obtain them from suppliers at very affordable prices.

Online retailing of wholesale clothes is one of the most lucrative home based internet businesses today. That is the reason why many business owners choose to sell wholesale clothes. Fashionable women’s clothes are very popular due to the fact that ladies are very particular about the clothes they wear. They always like to be fashionably dressed. However, price can be a problem so women try to look for clothes that are affordable yet elegant and chic.
This is where many wholesale clothes suppliers from Asian countries play a big role. Asian countries like China, Korea, Hong Kong and Japan are places that are well known for their affordable yet quality women’s clothes. Cheap prices do not mean cheap quality. The clothes that you can obtain from wholesale clothing suppliers based in Asia are fashionably designed and of excellent quality. Elegant dresses, beautiful blouses, chic casual wear and many more can all be obtained from wholesale suppliers.

Some online retailers may be apprehensive about obtaining their products from such far away places. They sometimes worry about the reliability of these suppliers. You can set aside these apprehensions if you are just careful about the suppliers that you are dealing with. Always make sure that your wholesale clothing supplier is authentic and reliable. This is possible if you use a reputable wholesale directory like Salehoo to find suppliers of cheap wholesale women’s clothes. Because Salehoo staff verify and screen all suppliers in their list, you know that the supplier you choose is authentic and legitimate. You don’t have to spend time verifying each one of them. But you do have to communicate with the supplier to negotiate and work out an arrangement so you can get the best prices possible.

Salehoo suppliers have international connections. Many of them are based in different countries and are expert in international shipping. If you order from them, you will have no problem receiving your products and you will be able to get wholesale women’s clothes at a very cheap price.

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Michelle Samual Williams has been a professional buyer for many multinational companies and in those 6 years of working, she has gathered crucial info in regards to the wholesale industry.

A Fashion Consultant Can Help You Love Your Body

Fashion is not just about wearing high-end designer clothing; it includes wearing garments that make an individual statement about your personality, lifestyle, and career objectives. A can help you integrate all aspects of your life in order to create a customized “look” that expresses your individuality.
A fashion consultant can assist you in making the right decisions about “what to wear” and “what not to wear.” A consultation with a fashion expert will also guide you into making the right style choices when you are shopping. Individuals should dress for their particular body structure which ultimately makes all the difference in your overall appearance and a fashion consultant can help show you how.

Many people mask their feelings behind bad fashion. Unknowingly, people decide what to wear on a daily basis based on their current mood. Has there ever been a day when you are rushed or stressed out and don’t feel like making an effort to get dressed? We are all guilty at one time or another. Somehow convincing ourselves that the easiest solution is grabbing a black top and bottom from our closet will take the guesswork out of what to wear. Maybe you are one those people who just have bad luck matching styles and colors but insist on being fashion forward. Instead of fashionably mixing garments, you end up making statements which always end in fashion disaster. Maybe you stayed out too late on a work night and compromised your work attire the next morning by wearing jeans and a t-shirt. In a professional or personal environment, your appearance should always project a positive image no matter what you emotions you are battling internally. With the help of a fashion consultant, you can express your outward appearance in an effective and positive way that is guaranteed to boost your confidence no matter what you may be feeling on a daily basis. Fashion is a form of self expression and can be liberating when expressed properly.

Color has significant psychological effects and communicates a strong statement to the people around you. Commercials, advertisements, interior decorators, photographers and magazine editors all use color to command attention or express a certain mood. Color can also be considered an important element in selecting a great garment. Certain body types should avoid specific colors. For example, if you are 5’3 you should avoid wearing contrasting tops and bottoms. Color can help your appearance by altering your shape and size. A Fashion Consultant will work with your body structure to figure out what colors will flatter you and which ones will fight with your figure. By using compassion, sensibility and practical advice, color can be applied to serve a multitude of issues. Wearing bright colors can have an alarming effect where as dark colors can be depressing. If you are giving a speech to a large group do you know what color wear to keep the attention of your audience on your words and not your outfit? If you have a job interview do you know what colors and styles will make you appear more professional and reliable? A fashion consultant can help explain the dynamics of color so that you can effectively integrate them into your everyday life and wardrobe.

When people use to be impulsive buyers, it was OK to be an emotional shopper. Sometimes shopping can be therapeutic. In today’s economy, it is important to be economical and smart about your fashion expenditures. In a perfect world we can go to a high end boutique and shop till we drop! Economically speaking, this is clearly not practical shopping behavior. A fashion consultant understands the importance of a personal budget and can take you shopping in your own closet. By cleaning out your closet and purging garments that are unflattering and outdated, a fashion consultant is able to see what garments are left over to make-up your wardrobe. Usually, new outfits can be created or you can get recommendations about things you may need to complete specific looks. The most important thing is to maximize the investment you have already made in your wardrobe and stretch it out to get the most “bang for your buck.”

Whether you need to establish an identity for work, social activates, vacation or a specific event, a fashion consultant is also your personal stylist. They can help you shine through all of life’s circumstances. Sometimes our feelings or emotions can easily be manipulated by a little self confidence. Whether you are having a bad day or upset and angry over a situation, a compliment or kind words can seemingly go along way.

Guide to the Latest Fashion Labels

From the runway to the impulse-buy section at the grocery store, people today are always looking for the newest, latest fashions. Sporting fancy labels attests to one’s worldview, cultural roots and place in society.

A’ Gaci – Agaci.Too, the parent company for Twigland Fashions, was founded in 1971 in a downtown shop in San Antonio, Texas. Twigland Fashion is now one of the world’s fastest growing fashion chains for juniors. The label keeps up with the constantly changing world of fashion while adhering to one 32-year standing goal- to make women look and feel sexy and glamorous. Consultants help women to achieve just that with Twigland Fashions. The market is trendy clothes for plus-size young women.

A Gift from the Gods originated in the hip East End of London. They design trendy, unique, graffiti-style t-shirts and accessories in the Goth fashion. This label could outfit the entire cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in hip, Goth-style accessories. Favorite color schemes are black and silver with red This label enjoys pairing unlikely clothing combos for the most unique styles, for example a rain parka and combat boots.

Absolu created “Stephy”, doeskin stretch trousers, in 1991. This label stands apart from the rest with its telling trait of combining leather with other materials, such as warp and weft or stitch. The label continues to experience massive sales growth and has a diverse customer-base. Absolu stylists begin with the finest leathers as a foundation, then build on that with fashionable shapes and colors to create hit trends. Absolu is currently expanding geographically due to a large international market. The designs are becoming a must-have in women’s fashion collections. Absolu has stores in Switzerland and Paris to date.

Art Point provides what fashion experts are calling a fresh look at ornaments of various cultures through the prism of today’s reality. By using cultural aspects as inspiration for accessories and ornaments, their fashion becomes more than just a trend, but rather a cultural icon. Their line of accessories includes jewelry and handbags. In addition to accessories and ornaments, Art Point also designs clothing including t-shirts and silk scarves.

Their market is growing into new avenues such as interior projects as well as promotional projects, exhibitions and performances. Art Point began business in 1993.

Aquscutum is a classic British brand name. The business was born in London in 1851. The name Aquascutum comes from the Latin words for watershield. The name is fitting to this company whose main lines include showerproof woollen rainwear made from the highes quality cloth for raincoats. This label provided trenchcoats for British soldiers in both world wars. The royal family even commissioned the company to tailor royal garments. Today the products have been adapted to civilian-wear, and the company is highly reputable in the world of fashion.

Pearls Fashion Jewelry

Hi, I am Norela. I am always fascinated with fashion and jewelry from all around the world. I have spent a lot of time reading and researching on these, specifically pearls fashion jewelry. Do you know that THE PEARL is coming back in the world of high fashion industry? I am not surprised, pearl accessories never went away; to me pearl has its everlasting beauty effect. This is what this article is all about, it’s about my passion, your interest and it’s all about pearls.

Do you remember how elegant Princess Diana and Jacqueline Kennedy were? Pearls fashion jewelry will never be out of style or out of place. It’s a timeless accessory that symbolizes elegance. Despite your personal style; casual, classy or sexy, pearl will give you this glowing and refined look when you wear them around your Neck , your wrist or around your finger. Regardless of occasions, whether it’s funeral, business meeting, cocktail party, shopping or date, you will always look polished and stylish with pearl.

Making a fashion statement? It adds femininity, modesty and purity to your wardrobe. Well! pearl symbolizes a happy marriage; it’s a gem for the Third and Thirtieth Wedding Anniversaries. Pearls are also the birthstone for June.

Are you aware that pearl is the only gem that is created by a living organism? Below is the brief description on how its created, types and value to better understand about your pearl. You can use this simple information to your advantage when you decide to buy pearl for yourself or someone as a gift.

Types of Pearls

There are three types of pearls; natural, cultured and imitation. The difference between natural and cultured is that natural pearls are formed by nature and cultured pearls are made through human intervention by injecting an irritant into the oyster (like getting dust in your eye). To protect itself, the oyster secretes multiple layers of a calcium carbonate substance called nacre around the foreign object to isolate it from the rest of the oyster. After a few years, the original irritant is covered in a silky coat and that is a pearl. Most pearls fashion jewelry nowadays are cultured pearls, it’s rare to find natural pearl and normally they are very expensive and becoming an antique collections.

Imitation pearls are a different story altogether. In most cases, a glass bead is dipped into a solution made from fish scales. This coating is thin and may eventually wear off. The best way to distinguish between a natural or cultured pearl and an imitation pearl without sending them to a GIA Lab for X-ray is to use the “tooth test”. Rub a pearl on the edge of your teeth. If it feels smooth , the pearl is probably imitation. If the pearl feels rough or gritty, it is probably natural or cultured.

Value of pearl

The value of the pearls in jewelry is determined by a combination of the luster, color, shape, size, lack of surface flaw:

· Luster – Pearls produce an intense, deep shine called luster. This effect is created when light reflects off the many layers of tiny calcium carbonate crystals that compose the pearl.

· Color – Typical pearl colors are white, cream, yellow, pink, silver, or black. A pearl can also have an overtone (a shade of another color), which is seen when light reflects off the pearl surface.

· Shape – perfectly round pearls are rare and highly valued. Teardrop-shaped pearls are often used in pendants.

· Surface Marking – Pearls with the smoothest surfaces are the highest-quality,

· Size – The size of the pearl greatly depends on the type of pearl. Freshwater pearls range in size from about 3.0-7.0mm and salt water pearls can reach sizes as large as 13mm.

All factors being equal, however, the larger the pearl the more valuable it is. Large, perfectly round pearls are rare and highly valued. Teardrop-shaped pearls are often used in pendants.

Necklace Length

Rule of thumb when it comes to pearl necklace length, shorter necklaces flatter long necks, while long necklaces are nice for smaller necks. The lengths and names are as follows:

· Collar – 12-13 inch

· Choker – 14-19 inch

· Princess – 17-19 inch

· Matinee – 20-25 inch

· Opera – 26-36 inch

· Rope – 37 inch or longer

What size is right for you?

The average size of pearl necklaces sold today are 6.5-7mm, 7-7.5mm, and 7.5-8mm.

· 6-6.5mm pearl necklace: Ideal for young or petite women. Young women in the work force can accent their beauty with a simple choker.

· 6.5-7mm pearl necklace: It gives a delicate look. Ideal for young or petite women.

· 7-7.5mm pearl necklace: Appropriate for most women. Ideal for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day presents, college graduations, and Valentine’s Day gifts.

· 7.5-8mm pearl necklace: Suited to career women or those who prefer slightly larger pearls. A popular necklace for birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day presents, or any other important occasions.

· 8-8.5mm pearl necklace: It is the most popular size. It is impressive, extraordinary, and valuable. Ideal for an anniversary or an important birthday.

· 8.5-9mm pearl necklace: Ideal for an important anniversary, birthday, or special event. Pearls over 8.5mm grow in water longer than smaller pearls, therefore they are very difficult to harvest. They have great value for investing, as their value will be appreciate over time.

· 9-9.5mm and up pearl necklace: Ideal for women who are looking for large, exquisite pearls, and who considers herself unique, important, and sophisticated.

PEARL CARE

Wash your pearls in very mild, soapy water. wipe them with a soft, damp cloth to ensure that they remain free from any harmful buildup. Easily scratched if bumped by other jewelry, cultured pearls are best stored in a soft cloth pouch or in a separate, lined jewelry box. Skin produces acids that can harm your pearls, so if worn regularly pearls should be wiped down with a soft cloth after every wear.

If you wear your cultured pearl strand several times a week, consider having your jeweler re-string it once a year to prevent strand breakage. Experts advise using silk or nylon thread to re-string pearls, with a knot between each pearl. Should your strand break, replace the entire cord. If the pearls are in graduated sizes, try to keep them on the old cord to maintain the same sequence until they are re-strung.

Hi, my name is Norela and my husband is Bill. We are two dedicated research writers that write and share about our findings from the experts.

Women Power Bloggers – Inside the Minds of Today’s Successful Female Bloggers – Part I

According to the Pew Internet Project’s PIP Blogging Report, 46% of bloggers are female and the numbers are growing everyday. However, many woman bloggers are a slightly upset with the lack of recognition in their industry. After a week of research I finally asked myself why aren’t women more prominent on the web? Of all the blog ranking lists, except fashion and celebrity blogs, an average of 12% of women appear in the top 100 of each list. And some sources have the nerve to think that fashion blogs are “personal diaries of style”. After doing some research I realized why so many bloggers and readers today perceive women bloggers differently than men:

Many men bloggers don’t link to women bloggers
Less than 10% of women are political bloggers
60% of women created blogs are categorized as “personal diaries”
Nearly 88% of top bloggers are white American men.
Some guys don’t appreciate being lectured by women

Instead of analyzing RSS feeds and researching list after list, I decided to go directly to the source to get more answers and find out how women power bloggers reached success, how they reach their readers, and what they think about the discrimination towards professional women bloggers in today’s blogging community.

I communicated with four very different women bloggers (Chanel Ward/Hip Candy, Charlene Li/Groundswell: Winning In a World Transformed by Social Technologies, Michele Obi/My Fashion Life, and Julie Strietelmeier/The Gadgeteer) and asked them the same five questions:

What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose this particular niche?
If you could describe your readers in three sentences or less what would you say?
How has blogging advanced your career?
On average, only 12% of women bloggers are featured on top 100 lists. Why do you think that is?
If you could give one word of advice to women bloggers today what would it be?

After talking with these women I realized that a “power blogger” has nothing to do with your ranking on a list but the quality of your posts, the awareness of your reader’s needs, and the ability to look beyond fame and fortune and stay true to your subject matter. This is part one of a two part series featuring women bloggers who have changed the way the world views them and their readers. Today’s featured blogger is Chanel Ward from Hip Candy and Charlene Li from Groundswell: Winning In a World Transformed by Social Technologies.

Chanel Ward / Hip Candy

It’s hard to pick one of my favorite blogs, but Hip Candy is very close to my heart. From the tag line, “sweet… but not in that fattening kind a way” to the blog’s owner, Chanel Ward, Hip Candy is fresh, exciting and new.

Fashion designer/graphic artist/writer Chanel Ward was featured as 225 Magazine’s Top People To Watch in 2008 and for good reason. After being the voice for the America’s Next Top Model Interviews and one of the finalist for Project Runaway’s fan favorite blogs this fashionista was invited to experience and write about Fashion Week and is soon launching the much anticipated clothing line Hip Couture. Blazing a trail of personality and style her blog and her career has a life of it’s own, but don’t take my word for it.

1. What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose this particular niche?

The focus of Hip Candy is in my tagline. Fashion. Celebrity. Entertainment. Me. That’s basically what I blog about in a nutshell! I like to think of my blog as fashionably fun! I chose this niche because my background is in Fashion Design (graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles, 1999 – http://www.fidm.com) and I’ve always been intrigued by celebrity culture, so I just thought it would be an adventure to start a fun site that would focus on those things, and at the same time, it would keep me abreast of what was happening in the [fashion] industry. Hip Candy is a fun forum for readers to come and share their opinions on fashion, (the latest trends, fashion don’ts…) celebrity (what they were wearing, what were they thinking?!) the latest happenings in entertainment, with a little bit of what’s going on with me thrown in for good measure.

2. If you could describe your readers in three sentences or less what would you say?

I was surprised to learn recently that some of my readers are as young as 12! But I also have more “seasoned” readers, women over 50 and beyond as well as every age (and gender) in between. Hip Candy readers are very opinionated. Even though most of them usually agree with most things I opine, and “wax poetic” about, they don’t always agree with everything I put down, and that’s okay! Having a difference of opinion is what makes us unique! One of my most commented posts (69 comments at last count) has a firestorm of strong opinions on it from start to finish (http://hipcandy.blogspot.com/2007/03/style-verdict-hetero-men-in-heels.html) Anyone who takes time out of their busy day to click onto to Hip Candy, read a post and share their opinions is more than alright with me.

3. How has blogging advanced your career?

Wow. That’s such a loaded question! I’d never really considered myself a “writer”, but after starting Hip Candy, I slowly began allow myself think otherwise. My blog has already reached levels that I wouldn’t have imagined when I started it. I figured it would just be a fun hobby. The response since I started it has been phenomenal already! It’s very humbling. Some of the more noteworthy advancements have been 1) exposure to the masses from conducting the “Top Model” interviews 2) getting credentialed and being invited to Fashion Week from my fashion coverage on the blog coupled with solid readership 3) That same solid readership translating into monthly ad revenue generated on Hip Candy 4) all-expense paid trips to cover trade shows and events ([http://blogs.dreambrizo.com/kbis_2007/]) 5) recognition and acknowledgement from magazines, and finally and ultimately, 6) built in name recognition for a future clothing launch! Blogging has truly been a surprise and a blessing and I look forward to more in 2008!

4. On average, only 12% of women bloggers are featured on top 100 lists. Why do you think that is?

I hadn’t heard this statistic before, but it’s pretty staggering given that I did hear that about half of the people blogging right now are women. I don’t really know why more women aren’t considered top bloggers. I’d love to find that out myself. I’d love to find out what we as women could do to level the playing field. I’m not as privy as I’d like to be on how blog ranking works. I’ve made a couple lists in the past, ([http://www.fashioniq.com/wordpress/2007/04/23/top-50-fashion-blogs-in-the-us/]) (http://www.customizedgirl.com/blog/) but unless you’re a site like Technorati who ranks blogs on several different statistically based criteria, I’m not sure how much weight it holds. That being said, I’m always grateful to be included on people’s “Top” list, whatever the criteria!

5. If you could give one word of advice to women bloggers today what would it be?

My word of advice to women bloggers would be to not give up! So many of us who may have a strong voice on whatever subject, fall by the wayside after starting blogs and don’t ever see the full fruit of what could have been. Unless you are a celebrity, nobody ever starts out with millions of readers! I’m still striving for that myself! So it’s definitely a process, and growing pains are a part of that process. I can remember back when my mom and a few of my friends made up the entirety of my readership. But if you’re putting out good content, readers will always follow. Have faith in yourself and what you’re doing! Especially if you love it.

Charlene Li / Groundswell: Winning In a World Transformed by Social Technologies

Charlene Li knows what she’s talking about and she is passionate about it. Groundswell: Winning In a World Transformed by Social Technologies is one of the best written blogs on the web, period. Charlene is an expert on technologies like blogs and social networking and uses this knowledge to lead the marketing and research team at Forrester.

Charlene doesn’t just write about her passion, she consults others about trends and methods surrounding her niche. She is the one of the most quoted analyst and has appeared in The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer, CNN, NPR, and BBC, as well as The Wall Street, Journal, The New York Times, and BusinessWeek. As a matter of fact, while writing this biography and researching Charlene’s accomplishments, a commercial for 60 minutes segment on Facebook was advertised, Charlene provided background on that story. Reading Charlene’s blog has personally advanced my career as a technology leader within my company and has kept me fully up to date on innovative marketing solutions through social networks and blogging. I am very honored to have her take the time to reach out my readers on the topic of women and blogging.

1. What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose this particular niche?

The focus is developments in interactive and social technologies primarily for marketing purposes. Most recently, the focus is on the use of social technologies and supports a new book that I’m publishing in April 2008. The blog is an extension of my work at Forrester Research.

2. If you could describe your readers in three sentences or less what would you say?

I have three very specific readers: 1) Businesspeople interested in leverage interactive and social technologies, primarily in marketing; 2) Influential press and bloggers; 3) Thought leaders in the field, whom I can tap for research purposes.

3. How has blogging advanced your career?

Oh, in so many ways! It’s given me visibility beyond the limited Forrester client base and extended my influence tremendously. I have contacts that I would never have developed without the blog. And I rely on it consistently to conduct research amongst a community that doesn’t exist anywhere else. As such, I have access to better research faster than anyone else in the industry.

4. On average, only 12% of women bloggers are featured on top 100 lists. Why do you think that is?

I’m assuming that you mean only 12% of top bloggers are women. This is partly a matter of who does the listing. And frankly, why does it matter if you’re a “top” blogger? The most important thing is to know who your reader is and to hyper-serve them better than anyone else. I’m unlikely to ever make it on the Technorati 100 list, but I’m clearly considered a “top blogger” in my field.

The other way to look at it is do women consider themselves to be a top blogger? If the stat is 12% of women bloggers consider themselves to be top bloggers, then we have a self-esteem problem!

5. If you could give one word of advice to women bloggers today what would it be?

Be true to yourself and to your reader. There’s nothing worse than a blogger who’s striving to be something they aren’t.

Tierra Montgomery is the Vice President of Training & IT Development at Joy Corporation of Baton Rouge as well as a former Adjunct Professor at Baton Rouge Community College’s Small Business Training Center, where she teaches employees of Cox Communications, Casino Rouge, and Shaw, Inc. computer literacy and proficiency in Microsoft Office Applications. Ms. Montgomery has an immeasurable amount of experience dealing the displaced community. She currently serves on the LARebuilds steering committee and also designed and implemented Joy Corporation’s Community Technology Initiative providing training to the community free of charge using Microsoft Unlimited Potential Curriculum. As a community volunteer, she has designed art programs, play productions, and youth leadership programs to benefit African American youth in the Baton Rouge and surrounding areas. Ms. Montgomery is a certified web designer from Louisiana State University and authors three professional blog including The Technology Starlet at http://techstarlet.blogspot.com/ where she focuses on women and technology.

Indian Fashion Industry

Colourful fashion trends of India

With the end of the 20th century came the end of all hype which has created a more practical and pragmatic environment and has given a more stable picture of the fashion business.
In the 50s, 60s and 70s, the Indian fashion scenario wasn’t exactly colorless. It was exciting, stylish and very graceful. There were no designers, models, star or fashion design labels that the country could show off. The value of a garment was judged by its style and fabric and not by who made it.

It was regarded as ever so chic and fashionable to approach any unfamiliar tailor, who could make a garment for a few rupees, providing the perfect fit, finish and style. The high society lady, who wore it, was proud for getting a good bargain and for giving her name to the end result.

In 60s, tight ‘kurtas’, ‘churidars’ and high coiffures were a trend among ladies. It was an era full of naughtiness and celebration in arts and music and cinema, manifested by liberation from restriction and acceptance of new types of materials such as plastic film and coated polyester fabric.

The 70s witnessed an increase in the export of traditional materials outside the country as well as within. Hence, international fashion arrived in India much before the MTV culture with the bold colors, flower prints and bell-bottoms. Synthetics turned trendy and the disco culture affected the fashion scenario.

It was in the early 80s when the first fashion store ‘Ravissant’ opened in Mumbai. At that time garments were retailed for a four-figure price tag. The ’80s was the era of self consciousness and American designers like Calvin Klein became popular. In India too, silhouettes became more masculine and the ‘salwar kameez’ was designed with shoulder pads.

With the evolution of designer stores in Mumbai, the elegant fashion design culture was a trend among Indians along with their heavy price tags. No doubt that a garment with a heavy price tag was at the bottom stage of fashion. But clients immediately transformed into the high fashion fold where they were convinced that that the word ‘elegant fashion design culture’ means, it had to have a higher price tag.

Garments were sold at unbelievable prices only because the designers had decided to get themselves noticed by making showy outfits and getting associated with the right shows, celebrities and events.

Later, fashion shows shifted to competitive events each attempting to out-do the other in theme, guest list and media coverage. For any newcomer, the fashion business was the number one professional art that time.

In the 90’s, the last decade of the millennium, a move towards the drastic pairing down returned with ethnic wears (Today, ethnic wear market in India is accounted to Rs. 9000 crore). This led to the decline and the recession, the push to sell at any cost and keep staying in the limelight. With heavy cut throat competition and sound awareness of the client, the inevitable occurred. The price tags, which had once reached at a peak, began their downside journey.

At those times the downturn was not only being experienced in the price tags of the garments, but also in the business of fashion shows. More models, choreographers, make-up men, hairstylists and designers streamed down into their business.

The fun and party time in the Indian fashion scenario had not ended with this, but continued. It was a point, where it reached at a certain steady level and from there, in the beginning of the 21st centaury, with new designers and models and some sensible designing; the fashion hype accelerated its speed.

Indian fashion industry spreads its wings globally

For the global fashion industry, India is a very big exporter of fabrics and accessories. All over the world, Indian ethnic designs and materials are considered as a significant facet for the fashion houses and garment manufacturers. In fabrics, while sourcing for fashion wear, India also plays a vital role as one of the biggest players in the international fashion arena.
India’s strengths not only depend on its tradition, but also on its raw materials. World over, India is the third largest producer of cotton, the second largest producer of silk and the fifth largest producer of man-made fibres.

In the international market, the Indian garment and fabric industries have many fundamental aspects that are compliant, in terms of cost effectiveness to produce, raw material, quick adjustment for selling, and a wide ranges of preference in the designs in the garments like with sequin, beadwork, aari or chikkon embroidery etc, as well as cheaper skilled work force. India provides these fashion garments to the international fashion houses at competitive prices with shorter lead time and an effective monopoly in designs which covers elaborated hand embroidery – accepted world over.

India has always been considered as a default source in the embroidered garment segment, but the changes of rupee against dollar has further decreased the prices, thereby attracting buyers. So the international fashion houses walk away with customized stuff, and in the end crafted works are sold at very cheap rates.

As far as the market of fabrics is concerned, the ranges available in India can attract as well as confuse the buyer. A basic judgmental expectation in the choosing of fabrics is the present trend in the international market. Much of the production tasks take place in parts of the small town of Chapa in the Eastern state of Bihar, a name one would have never even heard of. Here fabric making is a family industry, the ranges and quality of raw silks churned out here belie the crude production methods and equipment used- tussars, matka silks, phaswas, you name it and they can design it. Surat in Gujarat, is the supplier of an amazing set of jacquards, moss crepes and georgette sheers – all fabrics utilized to make dazzling silhouettes demanded world over. Another Indian fabric design that has been specially designed for the fashion history is the “Madras check” originally utilized for the universal “Lungi” a simple lower body wrap worn in Southern India, this product has now traversed its way on to bandannas, blouses, home furnishings and almost any thing one can think of.

Recently many designers have started using traditional Indian fabrics, designs and cuts to enhance their fashion collections. Ethnic Indian designs with batik cravat, tie-and-dye or vegetable block print is ‘in’ not just in India but all across the world.

In India, folk embroidery is always associated with women. It is a way of their self expression, and they make designs that depict their native culture, their religion and their desires. Women embroider clothes for their personal use, and the people linked with the pastoral profession prepare embroidered animal decorations, decorative covers for horns and foreheads and the Rabaris of Kutch in Gujarat do some of the finest embroidery. Embroidered pieces are made during the festivals and marriages, which are appliqué work called ‘Dharaniya’. One of the significant styles of Saurashtra is ‘Heer’ embroidery, which has bold geometric designs, woven on silks. The Mutwa women of the Banni area of Kutch have a fascinating embroidery where they make fine embroidery works with designed motifs and mirrors in the size of pinheads, the Gracia jats use geometric designs on the yoke of long dresses. Moreover, the finest of quilts with appliqué work are also made in Kutch.

Garments embellishment with bead work is another area where it in demand in the international market. Beads are used to prepare garlands and other accessory items like belts and bags and these patterns now available for haute couture evening wear too.
According to a survey, in recent times Indian women have given up their traditional sari for western wears like t-shirts and shorts, as they feel more comfortable in skirts and trousers instead of saris and salwar kameez. It’s been noted that women spend just $165 million on trousers and skirts against 1.74 billion dollars spent by men on trousers. With more women coming out to work, the (combined) branded trouser and skirts market has been increasing at a whopping 27 per cent in sales terms. Women feel that Western clothing is more suitable, particularly when working or using public transportation. Many corporate offices are also in favor of their employees wearing Western wear.

In India, Western inspiration is increasing due to the influence of TV and films. Besides, shopping malls selling branded clothes have also mushroomed in India and are fascinating the youngsters. Recently, designer wear is being promoted through store chains such as Shopper’s Stop, Pantaloons, Westside, etc. Companies such as Raymond and TCNS have also set up their exclusive stores for designer wear such as Be: and W.
The market of India fashion industry

Recently, a report stated that the Indian fashion industry can increase from its net worth of Rs 200 crore to Rs 1,000 crore in the next five to ten years. Currently, the worldwide designer wear market is amounted at $35 billion, with a 9 per cent growth rate, with the Indian fashion industry creating hardly 0.1 per cent of the international industry’s net worth.

According to approximations, the total apparel market in India is calculated to be about Rs 20,000 crore. The branded apparel market’s size is nearly one fourth of this or Rs 5,000 crore. Designer wear, in turn, covers nearly about 0.2 per cent of the branded apparel market.

At present, the largest sales turnover within the designer wear segment is about Rs25 crore, with other well-known names having less turnovers of Rs10-15 crore. In view of the prospects of the Indian fashion industry for growth, the figures are not very hopeful.

The figure of fashion industry

o The organized market for designer apparel is about Rs 250 crore

o Designer wear calculates to less than 1 per cent of the apparel market

o The global market for designer wear is 5 per cent of total apparel market

o The global market for designer wear industry is largely dependent on the small-scale sector

o Consumers for designer wear have a yearly household income of Rs 10 lakh-plus. There are 3 lakh such households developing at 40-45 per cent

o Designer wear industry is projected to increase to Rs 1,000 crore by 2015.

o More than 81 per cent of the population below 45 years of the age is fashion conscious.

Many fashion designers and management experts foresee an average growth of about 10-12 per cent for the Indian fashion industry in the coming years. Though, the growth rate could be more than 15 per cent, if infrastructural and other logistical bottlenecks and drawbacks are over come.

India needs more effort to overcome

However, despite the benefits available in India there are also some disadvantages. India is not a remarkable player in the global market with reference to brands because of its inability to add value to products. This is observed by the fact that nearly 50 per cent of its exports are apparel and made-ups where value addition is essential. Likewise, 75 per cent of domestic apparel market is commoditized and unbranded and very few Indian brands do survive in the foreign markets. Evidently, the Indian market has not made a strong stand and hence it is difficult to make Indian brands that can compete with global brands in India.

Another reason for the fashion industry’s inadequate growth is the limited experience of the designers and the platform they are offered. The insignificance stalks from the reality that most of the young talent is hired by the bigger names to work in their studios, thus imprinting their work with the label of the big designers.
Though performing individual presentation is not an alternative choice for most of the young talent, because of the limitation of finance, a beginner designer’s name fails to come to the forefront.
Another thing, with regards to the ramp, is what the designers offer is barely appropriate to be worn ordinarily. You’ll see there’s dissimilarity between what is there on the ramp and what the Page Three crowd wears. Some believe at present the fashion is in, but the tendency hasn’t changed much as it is the old ones coming back. We have had short kurtas, long kurtas, flowing skirts, etc. coming back into fashion with only a new variety of designs.

Many management consultants and professionals believe that the Indian fashion industry will be boosted if the new comers are paid proper attention. What they require is more support so that their work gets due recognition. According to the consultants and professionals there should be a panel of people who choose designers for showcasing according to their work and not their name or who they’ve worked for earlier, and hence selection would be purely based on quality. Besides this, the panel of judges should comprise of people from the fashion schools rather than designers.
It has been observed that the media-hype around the big designers and blatant commercialism has hindered business in the Indian fashion industry. No clear cut picture is provided about the feasibility of the products. Basically it is only the famous names that are being talked of. What they offer is not quite daily-wear. The entire focal point of the industry is on commercialism. The discussion is only regarding how much is sold and for what price and nothing about the designs or styles.

Efforts to develop global fashion brands

It needs innovative designers, a seamless supply chain, control over retail and distribution and concentration of quality while dealing with some image. While a few have accomplished something in the west covering Tommy Hilfiger, Gucci, Zara, Armani, Versace, Ralph Lauren, etc, India has not been capable to track on.
A serious reason for India not being successful has been its isolation in the fashion system. Each stakeholder including designers, exporters, textile players and retail chains need to come together along with the government to make sure that the position of Indian fashion is strong in the coming years.

There are various agencies and industry associations that can support in brand-building practice. Many of these agencies require attractive resources and making a global image of Indian fashion rather than independently trying to promote particular brands or textile segments.

Efforts to create strong global image

Large textiles players require more and more to target on the market facing activities while developing an association with small medium enterprise (SME) clusters. Such kind of networks would be a benefit to that which can focus on demand making and branding as well as for clusters that can focus on quality production.

Efforts to create value networks

After the entry of large retail chains like Wal-Mart, Gap etc in India, Small scale manufacturers in India will find it very difficult to satisfy the demands of these international buyers if they continue to promote their products individually. Therefore, it is very important that value networks are created between large textile and apparel companies in India and small scale manufacturers, so that the marketing muscle of the leading players can be utilized for receiving large orders while the bigger players then assign the orders to the small-medium enterprises according to their past record of quality and service. For this to be put into practice, it will be vital to well-organize the information on small-medium enterprise clusters in a perfect manner so that supplier selection decisions are made according to the information in the long run, only the more efficient small-medium enterprise players survive and develop.
Efforts to concentrate on designers and designs

Designers have a fundamental role to play in the future of Indian fashion scenario. There should hence be an effective process for preparing these designers. This can be done by sponsoring exchange programs with international schools, increasing participations in the fashion capitals of the world, motivating and offering business incubation to new designers and rewarding efforts through proper design awards.
Even in India, well-known designers are incapable to tap finances from well-organized resources, since a vital part of their assets are brands and design talent which are not measured in terms of money and hence it becomes difficult to judge the value. This has severely inhibited their development and capability to raise retail existence across the country and abroad. Likewise, there is no systematic approach of existence in the fashion capitals of the world like Paris, Milan and New York. Due to this, designers have to depend on their personal contacts and relationships for organizing fashion shows and making retail alliances. The French government as well as the British government helps designers of their particular countries appreciably in these areas as they understand that value creation through design is the only way to carry on in the competitive landscape of the global fashion industry. The Indian government and related agencies should also accept this aspect of textile, apparel and fashion industry sincerely if they need to see India on the global fashion map.
Work in collaboration: designers-corporate efforts

Designers and many organizations can work globally through various models and with many working relationships. The Indian fashion industry has many views but only one such model, wherein a designer creates a retail venture with his/her own brand through organized retail chains. There are many other models according to brand ownership and division of operational activities.

Globally, many models of collaboration between designers and corporates are available. For example Ralph Lauren has made an agreement with Jones Apparel for producing and retailing various Polo brands. Likewise, Armani had an agreement with Zegna for production, even while it was competing with them in the marketplace. There are many cases of designer brands being co-owned by the designers and corporates, Gucci-Alexander McQueen and Gucci-Stella McCartney being some of them.

In the end, many designer businesses have been obtained by corporates where designers play a major role in the design elements of the business, but the brand and the organization is owned completely by the corporate.

The current possession of Calvin Klein by Philips Van Heusen and earlier holdings of Hugo Boss and Valentino by Marzotto are some related examples in this segment. These examples strongly point out that not only designers find such relationships important for development, but also corporates find these attractive for rising their profitability and growth. Likewise deals in India could go a long way in developing the brand values of corporates and designers.

Developing clusters

Making common infrastructure for functioning such as design and sampling, affluent treatment, product testing, etc can help in increasing the capability of the clusters since noteworthy investments could be made by the cluster itself rather than any single player.

Well-managed databases can help in decreasing search costs and through data mining, rating of players can be done so as to make the procurement process easier for buyers. Cooperative marketing programs at different clusters can also support players to grow up in the value chain by mixing their strengths within the cluster.

Cluster based battle in the fashion industry is characterized by the Italian industry. The National Chamber for Italian Fashion for example, supports the development of the fashion clusters at Milan and Florence in a well organized manner. Indian industry can learn a lot from Italy because India has a similar cluster based scattered production base, but has been incapable to link it with design and branding capability.

If the above activities are successfully considered, India could have an extraordinary development in the fashion industry, which could increase from a negligible size to Rs 8,000 crore in the coming decade.

Conclusion

In the 50s, 60s and 70s, the Indian fashion scenario was colorful and stylish, in the end of 20th century it was quite subdued and with the beginning of the 21st century it has geared up and is still experiencing the growth with many spectrums of colours. Though this industry is growing at a very good pace, besides achieving a negligible share in the global market, still it needs to make severe efforts to stand amongst international fashion market in various aspects.

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Fashion Careers – Job List in the Fashion Industry

A career in the fashion industry sounds glamorous and lucrative. Have you consider getting into the fashion industry, but might think that you cannot manage it? There are so many different roles and positions that you can play in the fashion world. One does not necessarily be a fashion designer but still be able to have a very success career in the fashion industry.

Being able to make a living with things you like is always enjoyable. If you are a fashion fan and love to see beautiful clothing, accessories or sketches around you, you should consider starting a career in the fashion world. Below are some key roles in the fashion world where you can take part in – from design, production, marketing, to many more.

Designing
This is one of the most high profile jobs in the fashion industry. Designers are responsible for conceptualizing their ideas on trends and realizing them on their final products. Designers can be employed by companies which own a group of designers, or work for their own brand and production line, or, even as a freelancer providing designs for difference companies.

There are several types of fashion designers:

1. Apparel designers: Obviously these are clothing designers, ranging from lingerie, sports wear, casual wear to high fashion couture, for men, women and kids.
2. Footwear designers: They design footwear for men, women and kids from a style point of view, as well as from a foot-health’s perspective.
3. Accessory designers: Accessories has a broad definitely – from handbags, hat, eyewear to gloves, scarves and jewelry pieces.

Production
Production involves the sampling of garments and accessories until producing the final pieces that would deliver to shops and customers. This massive work involves a team of various professions:

1. Merchandiser: Merchandisers play a key role in the production process of a fashion product.They are responsible for buying raw materials for production, selecting fabric, textiles and trims. They have to make decisions based on pricing, quality and latest trend and innovation of raw materials.

2. Technical Designers: Technical designers are the one responsible for doing fittings during the whole sampling to production procedure. They might not be the one who designed the garment but are the experts in providing alternative to the garment to improve the fitting of garment.

3. Pattern Makers: Pattern is the basis for a garment to be sewed. Pattern makers produce and maintain patterns for garments that designers have sketched out. Pattern makers are key persons in realization of a garment.

4. Pattern Graders: The sizing of garment starts with the pattern grading. Pattern graders are experts in creating size specifications for different sizes. They are vital persons in for any fashion brands, as a consistent sizing across products can maintain customer loyalty and confidence.

5. Fitting Models: Ultimately garments and footwear are made for putting comfort and style together. Fitting is a crucial part in fashion industry and the most precise fitting is to use model as the body for fitting.

Many companies have their own dedicated models for fitting their lines, who has the exact sizing measurement the brand requires. Sometimes you would see ads looking for sampling models, from kids, men, women to plus size models.

6. Quality Control Specialists: Quality control is of top importance for any sort of products, and is no exception in fashion industry. Quality control specialists look at the quality of raw materials, like peeling, shrinking and color fading of textile and overall quality of a fashion item, for instance, the overall assembling of an accessory item.

7. Planners: Fashion planners coordinate closely with designers, merchandisers and buyers to decide the production plan for the coming seasons. They look at both production and marketing side while paying close attention to the latest fashion trend.

Marketing
Marketing is as important as making a perfect piece of fashion item. Whether it’s marketing in a wholesale or retail side, people in fashion marketing bears the mission of promoting the fashion item into this fast changing world.

1. Fashion Buyer/ Retail Merchandisers: Product merchandisers are the ones who buy ready-made products to be sold in a shop like department stores. These merchandisers conduct researches and analyze market trend, the relative customer wants and stocks. They bear huge responsibility in terms of profit making, since having the eye to buy the right product for sales can make a difference in revenue.

2. Showroom Sales Specialists: Some brands own their showrooms, displaying their collection for fashion buyers (wholesalers) to make their orders. Compared with retail sales, showroom sales specialists should know their seasonal returning customer better and be able provide detailed information on the selling collections.

3. Retail Store Manager/ Boutique Owners: Retail shop manager, sales and boutique owners are the first line personnel facing retail customers like you and me.

Other Fashion-related Professions
Besides in the field of designing, producing or marketing a fashion item, one might be attracted by other positions like as a writer of fashion magazine, online blogs and fashion event management etc. Below is a list highlighting the other possible jobs related to fashion industry:

1. Fashion Writers: Writers or freelance writers can write for magazines, online blogs or sites on reviews, trends and recommendations. Fashion writers can also develop into fashion magazine editors.

2. Personal Stylists:Some department stores provide personal styling services while some private customer would employ personal stylist giving them recommendations in personal styling.

3. Fashion event Management/ Public Relations: There are nameless fashion events which requires professional public relations and event management personnel to take care of. There are PR companies specialized in holding fashion related events.

Grasp the Opportunities!
Besides the above mentioned careers in the fashion industry, there are still many other opportunities like photographer, costume designer and catalog/ fashion show models, etc. One of the most reachable way to keep yourself updated with job opportunities and fashion trend is to be active in fashion forum and subscribe to fashion magazines.

Grasp the opportunities and enjoy a fashion career!

Three Important Women In Fashion: Minds Behind Designs

Fashion is known for being an equal-opportunity industry. There is no gender discrimination, and throughout the years there have been many brilliant male AND female designers, models, stylists, and modeling experts. Surely, if you explored around the campus of any fashion college, you would find both male and female students, male and female faculty, and male and female designers referenced in class. However, it is a few women in the fashion industry who are really on top of their game, and everybody else’s game too! So let us acknowledge a few of the most important women in fashion, and as fashion school students or fashion lovers, feel grateful for the work that they do…

1. Anna Wintour. One of the most feared and revered women in all of fashion design is the British-born Anna Wintour. Currently, Wintour serves as editor-in-chief of American Vogue, a position she has held since the year 1988 when she took over New York’s Conde Nast Publications. Once Wintour had started at Vogue, she set out to make refreshing changes to the magazine. Her goal was to keep the magazine’s number one status in high fashion and prestige, while finding a wear to take down the tone from untouchable heights, and make it so that real, every-day women could relate more to it’s style choices and content. The first Vogue cover with Wintour as editor came out in November of 1988, and featured a model photographed in simple, faded, acid-wash jeans and a ten thousand dollar jewel-encrusted sweater designed by Christian Lacroix. This new approach to fashion was a whopping success with Vogue employees and readers because it represented the blend of high fashion and street style. This was the real way that real women put clothes together. Since then, Wintour has continually re-invented herself and her magazine with every new issue. Additionally, she has helped to encourage and support the work of young, fresh designers, and has often used her influence in the fashion world to promote the awareness of many social issues.

2. Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. In the 1990’s, the Olsen twins were famous as actresses on the hit television series, Full House, as well as many other movies that played a huge role in the lives of teen girls all over the world growing up in the 1990’s. As they grew older, the child stars blossomed into beautiful women, and they became fashion icons for the entire world to emulate. However, while their own high fashion wardrobes are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars out of their enormous fortunes, they set out to create brands that would be accessible to young girls all over the economic spectrum. As a result, their tween and teen clothing and accessory lines are sold at extremely modest prices in Wal-Mart stores all over the world. The Mary Kate and Ashley brand has evolved into a billion-dollar empire that includes clothing, accessories, fashion dolls and DVD’s.

Anna Wintour and the Olsen twins are just three of several high-powered, forward-thinking women in the fashion industry. They have set unprecedented examples of how to bring your own intelligence and creativity to life through fashion design, and share your ideas with the world. Now, women in fashion schools all over the world are aspiring to learn from them and do the same thing.