Just back from market in NYC and had to share our designer sightings! First, we met the iconic Carolina Herrera. Yes, she looks like she walked out of a magazine….so elegant and beautiful. I have to admit I was a little starstruck! Her classic collection with a modern twist was just as stunning for resort ’15 as it is every season. Fun facts about Ms. Herrera: She started her clothing line at the suggestion of her friend Diana Vreeland, the then Editor-in-Chief of Vogue. And, I can hardly believe this, she is 75 years old…she doesn’t look anywhere near this age….even in person.
Then on our next day, Deb and I had an appointment at Wes Gordon and there he was. How fun was it to walk in his showroom and get a chance to meet him after we both just read an article about him in Vogue?! His collection was fabulous (as was he)…infusing luxury and timeless sophistication with a young, modern edge. Fun fact: He worked with both Oscar and Tom Ford before launching his own collection in 2009.
Sometimes I just can’t believe that I am New York looking at the next season when the current season is just beginning! I love giving you glimpses into our market trips and this Fashion Week is no exception. You have been loving what we have in store right now for fall (thank you for being so supportive of our local business) and you will be over-the-moon for the spring ’14 fashion we are hand-selecting right now for you!
As you know, I like to highlight a few experiences of our trip and one that I couldn’t wait to blog about was the inspiration for Cushnie et Ochs spring ’14 collection. Designers Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs always push past the norm in inspiration and this season held true with their focus being the straitjacket. The model came out in these sophisticated, edgy looks that are so striking and then their sales director lead us to the inspiration board. I had to take a picture to show you (peek at it a second). You actually can see in the looks the similarities to the straitjacket. Would you ever in a million years think that such luxuriously modern pieces could have been derived from an association with an ugly medical garment that is meant to constrain and bind ? Carly and Michelle are truly creative and talented designers that continue to get accolades from CFDA and dress celebrities such as Rihanna, Eva Longoria, Selena Gomez and even First Lady Michelle Obama!
We are creatures of habit and after a day of back-to-back appointments, we always like to conclude with dinner at a great local restaurant. Our Lela Rose reps take great care of us in this category (and with their exceptional collection) and always recommend yummy restaurants that are in their neighborhoods. In fact, when we walked in the showroom, Betsy had a list all ready for us…we just love her! ABC Kitchen in Union Square was the must-dine-at winner for the evening with its local organic environmentally conscious food offering. Here’s the link: http://www.abckitchennyc.com/. We waited close to two hours for a table. And after getting up at 3:30am to catch our flight that morning, I wasn’t sure it would be worth the wait, fortunately, I was wrong. I would wait three hours if necessary….it was soooooo goooood! They also recommended we go for ice cream to Big Gay Ice Cream Shop (you would only know about this ice cream place if you’re a local). So, we made the pilgrimage to have ice cream and both ordered the American Glob…ice cream rolled in pretzels and sea salt and then dipped in chocolate. I thought I might have to wear sweat pants the next day I was so full, but I couldn’t stop eating it. It was nothing fancy, but it was INCREDIBLE! It is a must for you, put it on your list now…you will be sending me gifts of thanks later! http://biggayicecream.com/
On our last trip we had our flight home cancelled. This trip we continued the trend…ugh…I guess we are consistent if you want to look at it that way. Our flight was cancelled due to weather and we couldn’t get a flight until the following night!!! I swear I am jinxed! Fortunately, Deb Clark our merchandise manager was also in market and so we joined her for her appointments…atleast we were productive during our misfortune!
Lots of time in market creates the need for caffeine and quick food during the day….our favorite choice while in the city is Starbucks.(Venti China Green Tips tea, please!) Today at home when I was opening mail, there it was…..the Starbucks gold card. I never even knew this secret club existed, but I’m feeling kinda cool and that this is the moment in which I have “arrived”…ha! Who would have known being in the fashion business would have these type of perks!
We are just back from another productive trip to New York. As you know, my most favorite part of owning a women’s specialty store is finding those great emerging designers AND seeing how the designers that we have existing relationships with continually bring something fresh and new to the marketplace each season. Finding the best of the best is what sets us apart and what you have come to expect from Leigh’s. I wish I could bring you all with me to experience the buying process for yourself, but I know coordinating all of our schedules would be slightly crazy and, of course, you rely on us to just take care of it for you! But, I do love to share pictures (the next best thing to being there). The first picture is of the Escada showroom. Escada is a German design house that has been a staple in the luxury market for the past 35 years. They were recently purchased by Megha Mittal a 38-year-old Wharton School of Business graduate who has been committed to Escada’s reinvention and we are seeing such an evolution of this label. Picture 2 is from one of my favorite pastimes…people watching (and often times much more amusing in New York). However, this was just a sweet picture….look at this lovely fashionable couple; it made me smile and I had to snap a photo. Finally, the last pic…the downside of our buying trips is that often times we have flight delays or cancellations. We were suppose to fly in to NYC, go to our appointments and fly out that evening. Unfortunately, the “flying out” part didn’t happen and we were rebooked for the next afternoon. Deb and I ventured back into the city to stay the night. We found a hotel right off Time Square on 46th which had the added bonus that all the retailers in Time Square are open late night! And since we didn’t pack for an overnight, a little after normal business hours shopping for jammies and the next day’s attire was part of the festivities that evening! Yes, we do looked wilted in the picture and we are! We had been up since 4am…ugh! We did finally make it home on Thursday, whew! Travel woes aside, it was a great trip and I can’t wait for you to see what we are bringing in store for you!
Pic 1: View from Agnona showroom….beautiful Central Park! Pic 2: l-r Rachel Ruiz and Rebecca Wierda WOOD TV8 Rachel Ruiz met us in market to see how we pick the best fashion to bring back to West Michigan! Pic 3: Chelsea Morrison our account executive at Yigal Azrouel happens to be from Holland, Michigan and is a U of M grad (We heart her!)! The beautiful models show Deb Wurfel and I looks from Yigal’s fall ’13 collection as WOOD TV 8 films for an upcoming eightWest segment. Pic 4: Douglas Hannant runway show….glamorous as always! If you’re in NYC during Fashion Week, seeing your favorite designer’s presentation is a must! Pic 5: l-r Rebecca and Deb If you work hard all day, you must find great dining! We always ask for recommendations when we are in the showrooms and our friends at Lela Rose gave us a great one (two thumbs up)! The Dutch, located in Soho (www.thedutchnyc.com) was AMAZING! Put it on your short list for next time you are in the city! Pic 7: One of our favorite new collections we viewed; Japanese designer Adeam has brought her collection to the US. This is her 4th season and 1st in the US…..and, of course, we had a pulse on this and were the first specialty store in the US to see it! Pic 8: l – r Rebecca, Doug and Deb What do you do on Valentine’s Day when your sweetheart is in another state? Deb and I made a date with Doug! We love to stay at Ink48 on 48th and 11th. They have a wonderful farm-to-table restaurant called Print (www.printrestaurant.com). No, this is not your ordinary hotel restaurant…it is extraordinarily hip and cool! And, since we stay here frequently, Doug who works at Print made sure we had reserved seating and champagne for the big heart night! Pic 9: l-r Deb, Tia and Rebecca Designer Tia Cabani (who had once designed for Ports 1961) has broke out on her own with her own collection – Tia Cabani. We were thrilled when we walked in the showroom and there she was to greet us! She is such a great talent (and an enjoyable person) and I think we loved every single piece in the collection! I begged her, “Please show us something we won’t like!”
As I shared with you in an earlier blog, Leigh’s was voted the Best Women’s Clothing Store in Grand Rapids. There’s a lot that goes on well in advance of each season to bring the very best in fashion to West Michigan (Isn’t it crazy to think we were looking at fall ’13 fashion this trip when spring ’13 is just arriving at our store?!) . We go into NYC so that we can feel the fabrics, see the detailing and workmanship of each garment, scout for the hottest up-and-coming designers and forecast the latest fashion trends all for that perfectly edited selection. So, when you walk into Leigh’s you can feel confident that you are seeing the absolute best fashion the market has to offer from designers whose labels are typically only found in major cities!