Look of the Week – And its only Wednesday.

Who What Wear brought this picture to my attention and I’d like to bring it to yours. 

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I’ve once famously declared that there will never be a time nor place for gaucho pants, but Gaucho Trousers, I might consider. These Alice & Olivia Resort 15 Gaucho Trousers are supreme example. 

While the shoes and handbag are questionable, Kate holds true to her signature boho style by pairing her work-ready gauchos with a seasonally appropriate tank, beaded necklaces and sunnies.

You might be questioning the seriousness of this sure-to-be trend item, but Lucky Magazine also standing behind the gaucho. I selected a few of my favorite options from a Luckymag.com posting. 

BLOGGER CONFERENCE PANTS, $69.99, MODCLOTH.COM

BLOGGER CONFERENCE PANTS, $69.99, MODCLOTH.COM

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GAUCHO TROUSER, $594.42, MARC JACOBS, FARFETCH.COM

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ASOS Warehouse Soft Pleat Culotte (ON SALE!) http://bit.ly/1o1nfGA

 With all the supporting evidence, would you take a chance on the gaucho?

The Most Powerful Apparel Retailer May Not Be Who You Think

10588598_10203196551729312_57619106_nTJ Maxx is an enigma. Much like Target, (aka. Tar Zhay) TJ Maxx has cultivated a devoted following. Sales have increased every year for the past 6 years and shares have climbed 200%.At TJ Maxx, things are going well. But How? Companies like Nordstrom, (who has now opened 151 more of their off-priced store, Nordstrom Rack, than department stores), want to know how they have managed to stay above water during a tough retail climate, especially when many of its competitors like Loehmen’s and Filene’s Basement seem to be dropping like flys.

Since TJ Maxx is infamously known for keeping hush and rarely gives interviews, Beth Kowitt of Fortune, spent months investigating “the most consistent, most powerful apparel retailer”. By speaking to 50 former TJ Maxx employees and various retail insiders and analyst, Kowitt breaks down the secret to their success. While, Kowitt fails to mention the #Maxxinista social media campaign and alignment with bloggers, as a proud “Maxxinista”,  I can attest to her research.

TJ Maxx shipped 2 billion units in its last fiscal year. That’s a ton of clothes! They have mastered the art of selling the customer to the “new”. Where many other retailers drive their customers in for a sale on their old product, TJ Maxx lures shoppers through the art of anticipation for their next shipment.

I know all too well the “shopping strategies” these dedicated shoppers have. Hardcore shoppers like my mother and I, knew what days  our local TJ Maxx received new product and we were sure to be waiting at the door upon opening and we were not alone. There are many other women who would be waiting at the door at opening ensure they were the first to grab the only size 8 Jimmy Choo’s.

#Maxxinista’s live for the hunt. Discovery or covet is our driving force. You never know what you can find, and for a great price to boot! -Yea, they usually have some really cute Cole Haan boots in the fall. I’m still kicking myself for not buying the $300 Valentino classic black pumpsat the TJ Maxx on Wall St. over a year ago.  I had just moved to New York, and since I didn’t have a paid job yet, I talked myself out of the purchase, even after a long, long debate. I foolishly thought it would be an irresponsible purchase – though I could have totally worn them with everything and I needed a pair of black pumps for my fancy non-paid internship. Every few weeks I still cry a little. I walked away because $300 is still A LOT of money for shoes. But  the other TJ Maxx secret is the focus on the “value”, not “cheap”. I could buy black pumps for a fraction of the price, but I knew these Valentino’s were over 50% off retail price! Ugh. Worst. Mistake. Of. My. Life.

Be Valentino pumps or the $1,250 Stella McCartney dress Kowitts found for $499, TJ Maxx created a species of customers who must have it now, even though they don’t know what “it” even is yet.

To read more of Beth Kowitts analysis, click here –> http://bit.ly/Uq80eN

Why ‘Not Just A Label’ is Not Like Any Other E-Commerce Site

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A true fashionista is on the continuous search for the newest and most innovative in fashion design.

Described as, “…a place for those who find their way off the beaten track, allowing them to express themselves in a community where everything goes…”  London based website, Not Just A Label,  has steadily been a vital source for many ‘Black Sheep’ designers around the world.

Providing a space to preview thousands of emerging  designer look books, as well as an e-commerce platform, NJAL has also expanded to offer  great editorial content including fashion films, interviews, competitions and destination reviews.

We really get the most joy from brand discoveries, don’t we?  This site hands us that joy with every click!With such a hoopla for too-dye-for cooler-than-you designer selections that you truly can’t find anywhere else, Not Just A Label, speaks true to its name sake.

We’ve rounded up 4 unique designers who are creating women’s wear that is totally wearable with a strong sense of individuality.

Meet Magda Hasika:

Magda is based in Poznań, Poland. She studied atAdam Mickiewicz, Poznań and graduated in2000. Her collections are

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In the clamour of the city neon lights, on the border between architecture and design a new form is being born. A form sculptured with minimalism. For different people. For somebody. For you. Different directions – it is never known where tomorrow will lead and yesterday has not died away yet. With no science and exaggeration. Here a city with no borders speaks.produced in Poland.

A designer Magda Hasiak – in everyday hassle seeks inspiration and colour. With impetus she translates her imagination into form, with no rules. Unrestricted shapes surprise in every detail. ‘I do not design, I just experiment’ the designer says about her passion.

Meet Alba Prat:

Alba is based in Berlin, Germany. She studied atUniversität Der Künsteand graduated in 2012. Her collections are produced inGermany.

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After finishing her degree in Environmental Science and

working shortly as an environmental technician in Barcelona, Alba pursued one of her most passionate hobbies, fashion design. She restarted her life in a new world and city, Berlin. A challenging and inspiring world always influenced by her previous years in Barcelona.
Her collections originate from a conceptual and profound approach as well as her careful observation of life. In her designs she combines her enthusiasm for experimentation with surfaces and fabrics, her individual way of implementing compositions of colors and shapes, her interest for the latest technologies, as well as her affinity for fashion. During her studies she already got international recognition and press with her collections. In her last year she completed an internship at the pattern department of Christopher Kane and, after graduating, her final collection has been nominated in several international design awards.
Alba Prat is a womenswear label defined by a minimal look which features androgynous and sculptural garments, together with graphic compositions and a disciplined reduction.

Meet: LEAADELSTEN 

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Lea Helene is based inCopenhagen, Denmark. She studied at KEA – Copenhagen School Of Design & Technology and graduated in 2013. Her collections are produced inDenmark.

The signature of Lea Adelsten is colourful as she seeks to explore foreign cultures and myths and mix them with Western clothing traditions.
Lea Adelsten was with her collection “Ghosts of Himalaya” asked to take part in the prestigious design competition Designers Nest in Copenhagen in august 2012. Later, she had the opportunity to showcase the same collection at the world’s longest catwalk in Hong Kong in december 2012.
Lea Adelsten graduated from Copenhagen School of Design & Technology in january 2013 with her Mictlán AW13 collection.

MEET ARTEP:

Petra is based inBudapest, Hungary. She studied at KREA Contemporary Art School . Her collections are produced in ArtepSS13

Hungary.As a KREA alumni Petra Balogh founded her own label in 2012.

All her clothes are produced in Budapest, Hungary aimed to reflect to the needs of those willing to differ in intellectual and sophisticated ways.
ARTEP is a clothing mission to deliver elegant, wearable, innovative design, by PETRA using feminine silhouettes, crystal clear shapes, projecting that you and only you can feel self-confident and special.

Learn more about these designers and more on http://www.NotJustaLabel.com

Isabel Marant For H&M

The queen of cool, Isabel Marant, is the newest H&M design collaboration!

Fashion Focused has not been this excited for a collaboration since Missoni For Target. -Not that the collaborations since, haven’t been amazing, but without being too biased, these designers have been our favorite!

We love Isabel. Perfectly capturing the essence of the Parisian chic ‘cool girl’ that we all want to be, through her collections, Isabel Marant and Isabel Marant Etoile, she has created a cult following of girls who are dedicated to her brand.

 

While Isabel Marant for H&M doesn’t hit stores til November 14th, we’ve rounded up a few past collection covet items that we are hoping she would recreate.

Take a look at our favorite’s below:

 

 

Trends We Covet – Mid Heel Sandals

While  “The higher the heel, the closer to Jesus” may be the saying, Fashion Focused is looking at height in a different direction. The trend we are coveting now are Mid-Heel Sandals. This must-buy-now item is essential for footing commuters.

Now, we know what you’re thinking; with a retro-vibe, a mid-heel could at time be mistaken for your grandma’s shoe, however, a chunky version brings the shoe stepping into the present.

While sky high heels may call for fashion over function, mid-heel sandals reminds us that we do not always have to suffer in the name of style. And when we can be fashionable and comfortable, it’s always a win-win!

We’ve rounded up our favorite Mid-Heel Sandals that will surely leaving you treading in front of the rest!

Trends We Covet: Mid-Heel Sandals.

Miu Miu satin shoes
mytheresa.com

Miu Miu mid heel shoes
net-a-porter.com

Mid heel shoes
$825 – dress-on.it

KG Kurt Geiger colorblock sandals
$130 – johnlewis.com

MET Gala Favorites

Largely dubbed as the “Fashion Oscars“, the Metropolitan Museum‘s annual Costume Institute Gala never fails to bring the most over-the-top fashion moments of the year. This year was no exception! This year, many attendees took the theme to heart! Punk Rock fashion was all over the Red Carpet. From Sienna Millers studded half-headband, to Sarah Jessica Parker‘s custom Fur Mohawk, celeb and fashion folk alike really took editorial liberties bring street style hautness to their look.

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Style Icon of the Month: Nancy Sinatra

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While there are dozens highly qualified Style Icons available, we can’t seem to walk away from our obsession with Nancy Sinatra.

Having made thigh high boots iconic, Nancy Sinatra has been a fashion leader for decades now. Her style is timeless by consistently transcending generation after generation. She has made no apologies for her sex appeal and thus oozes confidence in the best possible way. Check our a few of our favorite Nancy looks as well as style inspiration!

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Style Icon of the Month: Nancy Sinatra

Mod dress
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Ruffle top
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Isabel Marant short mini skirt
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Jil sander
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Knuckle ring
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Lookbook Highlights: Gap Spring 2014

With a new creative director, Rebekka Bay, leading the way, Gap seems to have regained  stylistic control. After a few years of struggling between focusing on denim or their customers work wardrobe, Bay has seamlessly found peace between the two in the Spring 2014 collection.

With a sleek, sophisticated new direction, Bay is bringing the Gap into the market that it has longed to be in for sometime now. With a collection that could easily compete with brands like J.Crew and Tibi but below those price points, Bay’s direction may lead Gap into a positive direction in the stock market.

The Spring 2014 collection brings classic basics into a sharp vantage point by offering cultivated grouping of clothing that finally fit their customers idea of style. This collection can prove that no matter the marketing tactics, sometimes it all depends on design.

 Take a look at their entire lookbook in our slide show below!

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Fashion Films Friday!

Fashion Films are nothing new to the industry, from Unzipped to most famously, The September Issue, we are not lacking our need for an inside look into the world of fashion. With that being said, a few more films couldn’t hurt! This years most anticipated films include a “September-esque”sequel provided by Anna Wintour’s quiet rival and a look inside a major fashion house produced by the unlikely James Franco.

 

    The Director – Produced by James Franco and Directed by Christina Voros, The Director follows Gucci’s Creative Director Frida Giannini. Premiering April 21st at the Tribeca Film Festival, this documentary follows 18-months of Giannini’s Gucci empire.

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Mademoiselle C.  –Documentary set to follow the creation of Carine Roitfeld creation of the first issue of CR Fashion Book from concept to creation. With an insane list of  fashion A-listers: Karl Lagerfeld, Riccardo Tisci, Diane von Furstenberg, JPG, Donatella Versace, Natalia Vodianova, and Tom Ford!  Directed by Fabien Constant  Set to be released in September at the Cannes Film Festival.

 

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Which of these two films are you most excited to see?

 

 

 

 

Marc Jacobs Style Evolution

Happy Birthday to one of our favorite taste-makers, Marc Jacobs. We are asking for a birth certificate because we can not believe he turns 50 today! It’s not possible!  He clearly can’t really be human.

Regardless of his age, Marc Jacobs personal style has evolved as much as his amazing bod! Take a look through our slide show to see Marc Jacobs through the years.

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