Thursday, May 31, 2007
I am moving tomorrow, which means that I should also be getting some of my clothes back this weekend, which also means that I may be able to get some of my old life back, i.e. shopping and a computer?! I shall take one thing at a time. Bear with me!
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Basically, it is a great marketing concept. I'm not exactly sure what I mean by that, but they offer only 2-3 flavors of their frozen delights, with fruit and other interesting toppings, and then charge you an arm and a leg for it. And you buy it and eat it and wonder "was that good?" But since it all started in LA, this all kind of makes sense.
There is something very "Tuscan frozen yogurt" about the taste - remember? Buddy Hackett as the commercial spokesperson? Oh jeez, I am so tragically dating myself.
Anyway, for me - and here I go again dating myself - the experience brought me back to 1988 when I went to see Depeche Mode at MSG with a crew of Korean guys who were in my high school class at the time. We went to 32nd St. to eat Korean food (for those who don't know, this area is pretty much all Korean) and then go be alternative new wave rockers. I think I still have the "Music For the Masses" T-shirt somewhere.
Which also makes me think about how well-dressed these guys were. They all wore Girbaud clothes and long overcoats. Girbaud at the time were all about baggy cotton trousers with very narrow - and in many cases, "snappable" - ankles.
Friday, May 25, 2007
Style -- Fashion Journal: How New Backers Are Altering High Fashion --- Shoppers May See More Ads, Stores and Pricey Tchotchkes After Private-Equity Infusion
By Christina Binkley
24 May 2007
Flush with cash, private-equity investors have been gobbling up everything from Chrysler to Harrah's casinos. Now, they are wooing luxury-goods purveyors at every party and fashion show, drawn by booming sales in what once seemed like risky, frivolous ventures.
Recently, Valentino gowns, Kate Spade handbags, Jimmy Choo shoes, Taittinger champagne, and Jil Sander have all been "in play," as they say on Wall Street, as have dozens of other high-fashion brands.
We've already got a taste of what happens when corporate money and discipline are injected into fashion companies. Luxury conglomerates LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, PPR SA and Cie. Financiere Richemont SA put their cash and management expertise to work in the late 1990s, reviving brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Bottega Veneta. They opened stores around the world, and unleashed a hurricane of new products, so that handbag makers now sell cologne and clothiers sell handbags and everyone sells sunglasses.
The private-equity investors who are entering the luxury market today want their results in short order. "They have to be in and out of the market in four or five years, and we all know it can take longer than that," says Guy Salter, deputy chairman of the British luxury-goods association Walpole, who has been watching with skepticism. "The jury is still out" on whether these new investors will improve the luxury business, Mr. Salter says.
While deep-pocketed investors promise opportunity for these fashion houses, what will the new era in fashion financing mean for consumers?
-- Love that designer? Don't get too attached. The recent negotiations for Valentino have been conducted without so much as consulting with Valentino Garavani, the brand's 75-year-old designer and founder. It isn't clear whether Mr. Garavani would stay with Valentino after control of the company changes hands. In a corporate world, designers are no longer stars but employees. Witness Gucci. Despite a fierce outcry from fans, Gucci replaced iconic designer Tom Ford with the little-known Frida Giannini. Far from a fiasco, the move actually improved sales.
-- Classic labels could go teeny-bopper. Labels looking for a quick pick-me-up tend to try to appeal to new consumer groups, often younger ones. This has left some longtime fans of companies such as St. John Knits, Jil Sander and Bally shoes feeling alienated as the brands shifted their focus, and styles, to younger shoppers. At St. John and Bally, the companies are backtracking to reconnect with their traditional customers. "Bally tried to be a little too relevant in the fashion industry when their core customer wasn't really too interested in fashion," says James Hurley, an analyst with Telsey Advisory Group in New York.
-- Expect more stores. Growing revenue means opening new stores -- and we're seeing store openings feted from Moscow to Mumbai these days. This offers convenience for consumers and more opportunities to buy. But finding Bally shoe stores in Beijing and Bahrain alike also smacks a bit of Gap.
-- Watch for possible quality declines. One of the first things private-equity investors do is start producing high-profit-margin products like purses, scents, jewelry and watches. But these days, handbag-making is more about the label than the expertise -- and the focus is no longer on the highest quality but the highest return on investment. Expect many goods to be made in China and to be of cheaper quality than in the past. The short-term thinking of private-equity investors can also encourage destructive decisions like producing an oversupply or downscaling to reach a broader audience.
-- Dying brands could come back. One of the more intriguing things that these investors can do is revive dying brands. Azzaro, a Paris fashion house founded by former-couturier Loris Azzaro, is set for a comeback now that it is owned by Barcelona's Reig Capital Group, which manages the money of a rich Andorran family.
-- You'll see more advertising. New financial owners attempt to raise the profile of their brands. Sagra Maceira de Rosen, a former J.P. Morgan analyst who is now buying up luxury assets for Reig Capital, says she recently made a decision to spend cash on advertising the group's Vasari line of jewelry rather than assembling more stock for its stores in Spain, where inventories were low. "Having more stock was not going to bring more traffic into the stores," she says.
-- The fittest will survive. The more competitive environment will mean a shake-up for laggards who don't keep up. The seven-decade-old Rochas fashion house, which closed last year after Procter & Gamble Co. pulled the plug, is a case in point. "The weak firms will fall away faster," says Lew Frankfurt, chief executive of Coach.
Other industries went through this process in the 20th century. Airlines, grocers, banks, drugstores, auto makers and computer companies also began as small, entrepreneurial businesses, then grew and consolidated. Every town once had its own version of Henry Potter -- Bedford Falls' banker in "It's a Wonderful Life." Now our iconic banker is Sandy Weill, former chairman of Citigroup.
To private-equity investors, the luxury business is one of the few unplowed fields left. The Loro Piana family receives regular feelers from investors for their eponymous company, known for its fine cashmere. Sergio Loro Piana reiterated last week that his family has no intention of selling. In February, he told me the same thing at his family's store in Milan, as his wife and brother chatted with retail-store buyers. Mr. Loro Piana's mother was keeping her eye on her two gray-haired sons as they served champagne and plates of yellow risotto. It's impossible to measure how this level of attention affects Loro Piana sweaters, but it must be a factor. It's hard to imagine Sandy Weill policing the risotto.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
The Guerilla's friends are moving to Chicago (the Guerilla's 2nd favorite city) and need someone to take over their lease on July 1.
-2 bedrooms, 1 bath
-tons of light
-laundry in basement
-5th floor walkup
-$1999/month through February 28th 2008.
If you choose to renew they think it will be $2200/month after that.
The realty company requires an income level of $105k/annually, but it will accept a guarantor. It's a great price, similiar apts are going for $2,470/month.
If you know anyone who needs a place, email me asap (firstname.lastname@example.org) -- because on Monday it is going on Craig's list and they expect it will go fast!
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
From yesterday's New York Magazine "Best Bets:"
BY AJA MANGUM
Dermalogica's Medicated Clearing Gel is an overnight face treatment that clears skin and prevent blemishes. But it also works wonders on ingrown hairs and discoloration from years of bikini-waxing. Unlike other lotions that are actually made for bump-blasting, this gel doesn't over dry and can be used the same day as waxing. Of course Dermalogica never marketed this as a post-wax treatment, but when we used the salicylic acid, tea-tree oil, and alginated zinc triplex combo, our bikini area was as good as new.
$35 at Oasis Day Spa, 1 Park Ave., at 33rd St.; 212-254-7722.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
I entered and was immediately ensnared. They had me at hello. So I thought it wise to try a few things on and quickly commissioned the lovely and talented Scott Stargardt to make me the dress that you see in the photo on the right.
It is extremely excellent and even reversible! "Wheat" on one side (pictured) and "Chocolate Brown" on the other, this little number will literally take me from day to evening with merely a quick flip around. Oh and the sash is simple and perfect - I just need him to tie it for me as I do not have the knack for such detail!
What was really so great about the whole experience was: a. they are totally cool and accommodating, b. it's not insanely expensive, c. I somehow fit into the sample size, and d. well "d" is a little secret between Scott and me but let's just say he helped me to further enhance my outfit in a ways that would have cost me extra time and money. And he didn't even know I was the Guerilla Shopper until halfway through our second meeting!
This place is legit...get over there and check it out - dresses, skirts, tops - all different colors, designs, fabrics...and it is somehow all the better for being located in the W. 40s and not a more "obvious" neighborhood.
This is what NYC is all about -- help keep New York cool.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Oh, what's up with the gargoyles? They were watching over me and my friends this weekend at my birthday party in Nyack. Thank you for protecting us from the rain that held off until 10 p.m!
Friday, May 18, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
From the Hips is an entirely new kind of book about having a baby—an energetic hybrid of professional expertise and personal honesty. After their own recent pregnancies, the authors asked themselves, “Why should women have to choose between a book they can trust and one they relate to?” From the Hips balances serious know-how—including expert input from doctors, midwives, lactation consultants, doulas, and more—with smart, funny tales from the trenches. Quotes from hundreds of parents show a range of experiences and opinions rarely seen on the same page. Always revealing, often hilarious, sometimes incredibly moving, these glimpses into the real world of pregnancy and parenthood show readers just how wild a ride it can be.
From the Hips, written by Ceridwen Morris and Rebecca Odes and published by Three Rivers Press is coming out May 22. Visit the website to reserve your copy now.
(ALSO: Visit thenewmom.com, which includes a blog as well as extensive online and offline resources for new parents at all stages of the process. And for some free advice from Morris and Odes visit babble.com)
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Get your wardrobe summer-ready with breezy, effortless shift dresses by Rebecca Taylor from $89.00 and La Rok trapeze cuts that will take you from city street to sea side beach.
Merchandise will be marked down and updated on a daily and hourly basis, so that you can put your best be-heeled foot forward in the warmer months ahead!
Special Offer: Visit bigdropnyc.com and Enter discount code bdnyc2007 for $30 off all your purchases until June 30th 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
Friday, May 11, 2007
I just heard from Fabric Renewal, the dry cleaning, restoration, drapery/shade cleaning company in Bloomingdale, New Jersey that took all of my clothes, shoes, bags, belts, rugs, curtains, sheets, towels, pillows, etc. to be saved, cleaned and refreshed. It worked!
Believe it or not, I am thrilled! Not only that they have billed my insurance company directly, but because I had this sinking feeling that it was going to cost $10k more than that. I thank New Jersey for being cheaper than New York.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Wednesday - Friday, May 16-18
10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
123 W. 18th St. (btwn 6th-7th Aves.)
Check it out for spring/summer and special pre-fall styles. Major credit cards and cash accepted.
No strollers or large bags. All items must be checked before entering sale venue, so leave the dog and kids at home.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Monday, May 07, 2007
See the Guerilla alongside the esteemed artisan and her beautiful works here. She continues to add new gems and stones to her collection, as well as new creative designs that truly inspire!
Sunday, May 06, 2007
And then I found an excellent little fun gem called Kifka + Heller where the designer, Scott, displays sample sizes of his great designs - primarily dresses, but also skirts and tops - that he fits for you and then customizes to size, color and other detail. I am going to stop there because I am sure to get at least two more bloggings out of the fantastic "piece" that Scott is whipping up for me. A fashion cliffhanger, indeed.
Friday, May 04, 2007
Most of these fantastic candies are discontinued or don't exist in their original configuration any more...except you can still get a big ol' box of Bottle Caps at the Target on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. Yes, I make up other excuses to go there, but what I'm really after are my Bottle Caps. You can take the subway and everything.
However, seeing how I was chauferred in a Benz to work this morning from my current temporary home, perhaps I can get them to motor me on over there this weekend. Why not? I'm living up the absurd anyway...
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
I wish I could provide you with photos of me wearing them, but I am shy.