Monday, September 30, 2013


Samantha +Patrick Pleet-middle

254 Wolverine Store, Elizabeth Street, NYC

cute headpieces-collab w/ Hannah Metz
We felt like we stepped into a 21st century "Friends" episode when we checked out the Spring 2014 apparel and footwear collection by Brooklyn based designer Samantha Pleet-hosted by the soon to open Wolverine Store.

By the time we got there-during a busy NYFW---it was buzzing and packed with Pleet's friends and collaborators, gathered to celebrate a truly adorable collection of feminine frocks and separates-... inspired by a paradise lush Arcadia- and Darwin's journals recounting jaunts to exotic locales.
Token Dress

A short film directed by Maximilla Lukacs and Sarah Sophie Flicker -that was refreshingly not sophisticated slick-kinda gave onlookers the MO of the collection-a "female explorer's journey to a mythical island paradise"...with a do I  stay or do I go-or is it just the adventure desired- theme going on---though we didn't get so deep with thought. We were just checking out the clothes.
Eternal Dress

Saber Dress

Pretty tropical prints and faded fabrics cut into somewhat loose silhouettes that flatter all body types---all really well done- nice easy pieces to dress up or down.
Scout Dress
Outpost Jacket
Leaf shorts-comes with a matching tank

We were already familiar with the terrific Samantha Pleet Wolverine 1000 Mile women's shoe collection (the complete Spring review in another post-our Fall 2013 review)...but apparently this designer is more known-at least initially-for her whimsical fashion efforts.
Samantha Pleet - Wolverine 1000 Mile Collection ($215-$255) 
Clearly Pleet's great sense of color, vintage inspirations infused with a hip modern sensibility and up to date fits---that we see season after season (four) in the Wolverine footwear collab-is what attracted the shoe company to this East Coast talent to begin with. 

A week (just about) later-we returned to this retail bricks and mortar-the first Wolverine Wolverine (brand -not corporation) stand-alone store-to check out  the carefully curated merchandise that was selected to sell-alongside the company's lifestyle shoe collections for men and women.
Thoughts---this will become a destination for hip  and classic attire---with a solid American heritage stamp on everything. Including the store-pulled together super fast by Brooklyn Dry Goods folks-who also offer up their comfy tees here too. Other great brands hanging about-weather durable-iconic Filson jackets, Tanner Goods' belts-from Portland, Oregon, and selvage denim from SF's Tellason. 
In front-Samantha Pleet-1000 Mile Earhart boots-unlined -upper =Horween Chromexcel® leather-Made in the USA!

The back room-had some great prints of older advertisements of this heritage brand.

INFO: Samantha Pleet
         Wolverine 1000 Mile 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

MAKEUP-in NEW YORK 2013=Summary

West 22nd Street, NYC

Latest in Cosmetics Packaging, Make-up, Tools...

MAKE UP Forever Academy in NY ----

tools of the trade...

this look took a few hours---fantastic
Not our first time going to a makeup tradeshow that highlights beauty packaging and cosmetic labs...but once gain, the French owned MakeUp-in™ NYC was an eye opener ---about the backbone of a few industries that collectively sell several $USA billions worth of cosmetics, skincare + fragrances (men and women)- a year, right here.

And this country isn't even the biggest market-it's Asia/Sub Asia (India).

sometimes there is a reason products seem somewhat similar-especially at mass merch prices-they use the same company to makes brushes, containers, etc. But formulas and containers can be customer specific too.

We left the spacious 3 floors worth of exhibitors, thinking-hmmm, to start one's own credible line of makeup/nail polish etc---you really only need capital as there are scores of companies out there that can do everything for you (turn-key operations)---from packaging, to chemical formulations---to marketing and retail distribution-on and off line.
Global Cosmetic Designer iTiT

There were more beauty, cosmetic and personal care package offerings at this show...including sampling packets (single dose, travel size, 3-7 days supplies etc), containers/jars/caps/liners-glass, plastic, metal in all shapes-including tubes- and sizes, dispenser pumps including airless (insure the integrity of all those pricey ingredients), compact powders/eyeshadows, liner pens and inks, brushes, liners, pencils---an enormous amount of options.

And yes, there are companies that make the stuff to be marketed by big name companies too-even those large enough to have their own R+D and manufacturing facilities, worldwide.

Mass, prestige, luxury or value---there are factories worldwide and private labs ready to customize and contribute to whatever vision one would have. Interesting...!

We have heard from scores of people in the biz-that Germany makes the best makeup pencils-here was a prime example of that- SCHWAN  (swan)-STABILO GmbH & Co -A private German entity (Cosmetics Inspiration Engineered)-manufactures 500+ MILLION pencils, liquid eyeliners, and powders in a pencil form...for major major -and smaller cult-y brands. The yellow Intensity kit contained the latest high-tech, cutting edge possibilities from this company in "Acid Modernism" colors. We sampled every single one-a paints 24 hr shine liquid eyeliner, free of parabens with  precise (idiot proof) tip applicator, a smooth creamy 24 hr pencil eyeshadow with an integrated sharpener to keep the point, pointed, a smoky velvety intense smudgeproof eyeliner +kohl kajal with matte finish that can be used on the waterline-lasts 4 hrs-we can vouch for that, pm a browfiller that was given out in purple- a colour not suited for our brows but we got it,  satinl a satiny lipliner -very long lasting too-great feel, and passion  a silky matt, moisturizing long wear lipstick via pencil that was in a pretty coral shade...we used on our entire lip and as billed-it was waterproof and did not feather. We chatted with a rep of the company who showed us some of the innovative designs this entity is capable of-like the cool looking precise eyeliners in a cylinder round shape container and also raved about the breakthrough Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Liner

there are pencil sharpeners and then there are brilliantly engineered for precision-sharpeners...from German company Eisen.

dual with cap

genius-we asked if this was patented the sales rep didn't know lol-the maroon tinged tabs/mechanism actually slides-is cleverly adjustable for what kind of point one wants...and how the pencil is shaved-sides- or tip only etc.

another great idea-by giving the sharpener a key hole opening on the 'other side'-a  user can accurately see what kind of pencil point results. Premium would be welcome by any makeup artist...would be a super giveaway for a luxury pencil, non?

Sampling is a growing business..and not just because companies like Birchbox actually sell what previously were solely freebies. Customers always want the new...and making smaller sizes in packaging that reflects the 'main' product- fulfills that niche need-as well as meets TSA 3 ounce regulations (travel). Also cross sampling-one way to intro consumers to an expanding brand attaching a packet of something to the main item.

And yes, another German company that flawed us with the quality of their innovative liquid liner pens for eyes, lips and brows--United Brands Marketing GmbH. The most fun one we thought, the 24 hr lasting Tattoo Stamp-sample tried by us was kinda like a slim magic marker size with nib design at the end---available in butterfly, flowers, star, smiley etc...larger sizes, available too. 

Another winner-one pen eyeliner with two sides-offering fine or wider liquid liner options. international pr network

F.I.T. students 'branded' donate products---with different NYC 'hoods inspiring different makeup looks.
We talked with these über smart, career focused students---
inspiration boards
Their fav-British make-up artist-Pat McGraw.
name brands cosmetics like Urban Candy as well as private label companies domnated the goodies

Polychromatic-a division of Keystone Research & Pharmaceutical hosted a manicure station with their "reinvented" nail polish. This company manufactures, polishes/lacquers and UV gels, bases, topcoats-etc...and can specialize formulas too--- for you, in fact- if you have the will and the money.

Interesting for us---this amazing Lipstick Case Collector exhibit-of iconic make-up objects ---crafted luxury using semi-= precious materials, often envisioned by name-dropping artists like Dali...conjuring up holders to hold forever---akin to what some fragrance containers are for today's consumer.

most modern one there-an Obama compact

We are picky about parfums and beauty products purchased-more focused on do the ingredients work and sophisticated scent motivated- than how it's delivered (unless it super cheapo looking or most importantly- doesn't work-like a failed pump so we have to use a cotton swab to get at the lotion-or a bottle/tube where we can't access the last 20% of its contents-then we never buy again!!!!)

But we know plenty of people that purchase fragrances and makeup because of what the bottle/compact looks like. AND we assume sales of all those limited edition cosmetic offerings that are saturating the market now-like those helmed by fashion designers (Jason Wu-L'Oreal, Alber Elbaz-Lancome)---sales are partially driven by just that

It would be nice if there was an eco/sustainable-component to these containers---like refillable product options.

It is immensely impressive---on what it takes to craft a some of the latest fragrance bottles.

As in the 8 suppliers needed to 'construct' Balenciaga's award winning Florabotanica fragrance bottle, and the industrial design and manufacturing challenges that go into making a container for all those celeb fragrances-that are massive Justin Bieber's Girlfriend and Nicky Minaj's Majesty. Reminded us of the flea market hordes that had collected Avon fragrance bottles, back in the day.

But with advances in production-the over the top possibilities are staggeringly amazing...and truly reflect the artist/musician vision/fashion designer's personality. Very cool.

In the age of internet buying-where maybe a site's review or what Facebook 'likes' like---do away with the enormous packaging influences on what consumers buy (what the product looks like on a retailer's shelf-what message it conveys about the product)-we hope the art of design-the inventiveness of it all- never becomes irrelevant.

PS: We would have taken many more pics but picture taking was highly discouraged. We always asked first...unlike say Fashion Week or other tradeshows we go to---where it is a given that very single itty bitty detail will be instagram, pinned etc---before  sunset.