Composure Magazine – Seaside Views

Trend story + Layout done for Composure Magazine’s most recent print issue available here. For more fashion, beauty and celebrity stories and in-depth interviews be sure to visit Composure Magazine weekly!

From the story:

“Wanderlust visions of exotic beaches and Mediterranean blues inspire a sartorial rainbow of turquoise, cerulean and every blue in between.”

Side Note: Before Fall completely takes over, be sure to check out this summer inspired ocean blues that will carry on those sunny days a bit longer! Featuring some favorite pieces from E. Shaw Jewels, Bernardo, Fornash of Swell Caroline, EyeBuyDirect, ViX Paula Hermanny and Muehleder.

Summer layouts have always been a favorite of mine to work on because the trends are so feminine and colorful after several months of darker tones. I do love how women work trending pantone palettes into pieces that may not necessarily fit the current fad. I hope you find a ton of inspiration from this range of blue for your daily dressing. ~ Min

 

Advertisements

Audrey Magazine – Poshmark CEO Manish Chandra

Looking back at interviewing Manish Chandra, founder and CEO of powerhouse app Poshmark.

Feature Photo: Poshmark’s Founders Clockwise From The Upper Right: Manish Chandra, Tracy Sun, Gautam Golwala And Chetan Pungaliya

By Min A. Lee

“With the holidays fast approaching, shopping for gifts can be stressful especially if you’re working with a budget and a short timeline.  However, we found a great solution for those on the hunt for womenswear, accessories, and shoes to give: Poshmark, a smart phone, as well as web-based, selling platform founded by CEO Manish Chandra, Gautam Golwala, Chetan Pungaliya, and Tracy Sun.  First released in 2011, Poshmark now boasts over 10 million items from over 5000 different brands that are available for sale and continues to gain new members rapidly.

You know how friends love to share their closets with each other?  Imagine being able to look through hundreds and thousands of closets full of designer brands, many of which are new and still have their tags.  We even found a lovely, brand new Rag & Bone leather trim moto jacket that originally retailed for $660 available for only $200! Even if you find a hidden gem that isn’t quite within your spending range, there are on-going sales and promotions and a streamlined option to negotiate with sellers on their listed price.  The ease, accessibility, and fast shipping make it highly appealing for shoppers.  You’ll be able to find that last-minute present just in the nick of time!  Also, some of our favorite style bloggers, like Wendy Nguyen from Wendyslookbook.com, can be found on Poshmark selling some of the luxury pieces seen on their popular blog posts.

While other shopping apps do exist, Poshmark is a leader with annual sales reaching to the hundred million range, all while being just four years in since its launch.  To learn more about this highly successful app, we asked CEO and Founder Manish Chandra to share with Audrey readers more about what inspired Poshmark’s creation, early challenges in development, and the future he envisions.

Audrey Magazine:  When did you first find an interest in fashion and e-commerce before tying it to your technology, education, and background?  Was there any specific inspiration behind Poshmark?

Manish Chandra:  My first foray into fashion was through my first company, Kaboodle, the first social shopping website. The idea to build that company came to me as my family was redecorating our house and found it challenging to share inspiration, ideas, and products with each other online. As Kaboodle began to take off and find success, we saw it was mostly women who gravitated towards social shopping, specifically around fashion which became a huge category for us. Beyond sharing inspiration and products, we saw a lot of women wanted to buy merchandise directly from each other, but the site wasn’t really built for that. Hearst Magazine eventually bought Kaboodle to add social and commerce into their media properties. After a few years with Hearst I knew I wanted to create a community-centric marketplace for fashion where women could easily share, buy , and sell all in one platform. The concept of Poshmark came to life one day in my wife’s closet when I saw how many of the items she had bought had never been worn, yet they still sat in her closet with tags on them. Fashion is a $350 billion industry in the U.S. alone and once items are bought and worn, they really don’t have an easy exit. The idea came back to me to create a social platform for buying and selling fashion but I felt like the technology wasn’t quite there yet. Then in summer of 2010, when the iPhone 4 came out, I saw within it the key to creating a community-centric marketplace – from the phenomenal quality of the camera to the the 24/7 real-time connection that the proliferation of smartphones provided.  I assembled a small team and we launched Poshmark in December of 2011.

With Poshmark, we set out to build a very engaged community of women who would come together in the app to shop each other’s closets. We took away all the pain points associated with buying and selling (payments, shipping, customer service, and marketing), creating an engaging and fun shopping experience that women could participate in no matter where they are. We made it simple and fun to take what’s in your closet and create your own boutique on your phone – leading women to upload the equivalent of an entire Nordstrom’s store worth of inventory into the marketplace every week.

AM:   What were some of the main challenges during Poshmark’s early days, from initial ideas to planning and finally launching the hugely successful app?  

MC:   The biggest challenge we faced early on was building an entire marketplace within a mobile app.  At that time, many people believed that a mobile app was just an extension of the web property and while important, was not critical to success.  We placed a huge bet, not only to go mobile first but to go mobile only.  Fortunately, we saw where the fashion consumer was heading and knew that in order to be successful at social commerce, they needed to be able to connect with one another and transact seamlessly from their phones.

AM:   Poshmark is built around not only consumership, but social networking. There’s a heavy amount of user-to-user interaction.  Do you feel that the “community” aspect is a large part of your app’s success?

MC:   Our community is at the core of everything we do at Poshmark. We took a very people-centric approach to building a marketplace.  It’s really engrained in our culture. For example, when we first started Poshmark, we used to host small events to recruit the first community members to learn from and listen to.  In the early days, we were excited to have five people show up to one of our events.  It was really about connecting around style and shopping each other’s closets.  We’ve implemented a lot of those opportunities to meet and connect in the app, for instance our virtual shopping parties which we host three times a day around different themes and categories.  The importance of nurturing this type of offline, personal connection has scaled as we’ve grown – participating in the Poshmark community is a lot like shopping with friends, giving you plenty of opportunities to discover and meet new people whose style you’d like to shop.  Sellers also help one another become successful, sharing each other’s items to their followers and mentoring new sellers as they join the platform.  And for the parties? We still host them all around the country, with attendance reaching up to 350 people.  Our community has also begun throwing their own meet-ups, taking relationships that start Poshmark into the real world, and supporting each other beyond just buying and selling.

To continue reading the full article click here!

poshmark3.jpg

All photos courtesy of Poshmark and Audrey Magazine.

Composure Magazine – Boring No More

Trend story written for Composure Magazine, read the full story here!  Purchase the print issue here!

 

 

 

Audrey Magazine – Lolli Swimwear Founder Vy Nguyen

Adorable Lolli Swimwear + Founder Vy Nguyen’s Swim Style Recommendations – Min A. Lee For Audrey Magazine

When summer hits and the beach is calling, forget packing those plain swim styles you’ve held onto since last summer and opt for something deliciously cute!  Using sugar as a sweet inspiration, founder and designer Vy Nguyen of Lolli has been creating her flirty and fun swimwear line for years and now has a collection for toddlers and babies complete with her signature bows!  Taking into consideration women’s swimsuit woes, she designs a variety of choices fit for multiple body types and even breaks it down for our readers in her interview below.  Easily mixed and matched, we could go on forever about all the things we love when it comes to Lolli, so we decided to catch up with Nguyen herself for a quick peek into swimwear’s most yummy collection for 2015.

Audrey Magazine: During the beginning of your fashion education and career, what made you gravitate towards producing a swimwear line?  

Vy Nguyen: Growing up in California, I’ve always had a love for swim.  You can always use bright fun colors and there really aren’t any rules.

AM: What were your mood board inspirations for your designs this summer?

VN: Mostly ice cream and boardwalk rides.  I LOVE sweets!

AM: We loved the babykinis lookbook.  When did you decide to design a line for little ones?

VN: THANK YOU!!! It was SO much fun!  I have SO many girlfriends with littles and a lot of nieces too.  I think I’ve been making them for a few years now…I really don’t remember when I started.

AM: What swim styles would your recommend for petite, tall or curvier body types?

VN: Petite girls look SUPER cute in smaller swimmies like our bow bottoms, the smaller the better!  For tall girlies, high waisted bottoms look very nice and break up the body a bit.  Lolli has tons of high waist bottoms.  For curvier girls,  I would recommend cut out one pieces like our Palms Swimmie and a good underwire top like our Double Scoop! – See more at: http://audreymagazine.com/adorable-lolli-swimwear-founder-vy-nguyens-swim-style-recommendations/#sthash.b6rwavtZ.dpuf

lolliweb1.jpg

Images Courtesy Of Audrey Magazine Via Lolli Swim

Audrey Magazine – Dailylook’s CEO/Founder Brian Ree

Get To Know Brian Ree, CEO And Founder Of DailyLook – Min A. Lee For Audrey Magazine 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have just passed and after spending a couple of lunch breaks online haphazardly browsing through thousands of items on sale, we learned that e-retailer DailyLook’s simplified method of approaching quick trends with sleek curation was meant for us.  With nearly half a million followers on Facebook alone, DailyLook, caters to consumers by showing complete stylized looks, and is the only one of its kind growing at phenomenal speeds while backed by renowned investors like Brian Lee of the Honest Company and styling master and designer Rachel Zoe.  Founded in 2011 by CEO Brian Ree, the company initially built as a flash sale site is now a fully categorized ecommerce platform.  Though its evolution pushed towards a traditional online catalog model, the promotion of complete ensembles remains the main marketing approach that attracts new followers and members every day.

Quality with shopping made simple remain the backbone for Ree’s approach to online retail. Women can now experience their recently launched Elite personalized styling program.  With Elite you can experience having your own wardrobe stylist/personal shopper, but without the hassle of in-store appointments.  Ree shares with Audrey readers more in-depth details about his company along with how their newest monthly subscription venture functions and why it appeals to the young professional woman.

boxset.jpg

Audrey Magazine: When did you first decide to dive into the world of online retail and how did DailyLook come about?

Brian Ree: It was just over three years ago we found this company Dailylook, and the idea actually came about from at the time wanting to create a website that made it really easy to shop entire looks from head-to-toe.  The concept was really simple and was really about showcasing one new look every day and having that look available to purchase with just a few clicks.

AM: I understand you started as more of flash sale model. Looking at DailyLook now, what were some of the challenges of transitioning from a “flash” sale e-commerce platform to a more standardized model?

BR: We found customers loved shopping by looks, but they also wanted the ability to shop in a more traditional fashion of by category, so when we launched we didn’t have the ability to shop by any clothing categories.  We asked our customers what features they would like, and they wanted a feature that looked like the traditional catalog model. In return, we decided to add more features that would allow this.  That was our prompt to evolving the website to cater to our customers’ needs, but we always stayed true to the core of making it easy to browse and shop by looks, and we wanted to remain focused on head-to-toe styling for outfit ideas.

AM: How do you compete against consumer trends that call for more classic, investment style approaches to shopping versus the turnover of fast fashion?

BR: If you look at the way we style our pieces and our pricing, we are introducing new looks every day, so there is an element of fast trends and fast fashion in the way we merchandise our product assortment.  We have items that range from $20 all the way to $300, we do have some a bit more expensive.  We try to style our outfits in a way that the modern, young professional and contemporary woman does today which is really mixing highs and lows to create whatever look they’re trying to get, and that may be pairing a lower price top and skirt with a more investment statement piece like a nicer jacket or sweater.  In terms of merchandising, generally we’re not super low nor on the low price end.  We go from a Zara price point to a Shopbop price point without losing quality.  We carry some brands that Shopbop and Revolve carry, so we have a bit of overlap there, but we have the in-house DailyLook brands and products that are all under $100.  The DailyLook products range between $40 to $100.

AM: What future hopes do you have your current company and what sort of impact do you hope to make on the online retail world?

BR: Our mission was always to inspire women to dress their best and attain the look that they want to create for themselves. We have taken it one step further to make it easier by introducing our online personal styling experience which is what we’re most excited about and we’re seeing the most growth with.  Basically, a user signs up and fills out a style profile which is then submitted to the styling team and matched to the best stylist according to their answers.  That stylist every month will curate 6 to 8 items in a box set to be sent directly to your home on a date you chose and you get to try on items at home and only pay for what you keep.  There’s no risk, because if you don’t like anything you can return everything very easily.  It’s an experience that allows personal styling to be accessible.  It’s not to say people need styling, but you can think of it as a personal shopper.  You might be really busy, and you know what you like but you don’t have time to shop, so to have someone always able to look out for you and think of the best items and have it conveniently sent to you it has resonated really well.  In the first month we signed up 1000 elite prescription customers.  It’s the fasted growing business we made and it’s surpassed all our expectations.  No one else offers it, and hopefully it will continue to grow.

AM: If you could turn back time, would you still create a massively growing start-up with all the stress and time involved with building a large following and revenue?  

BR: I would, actually. I’ve always had the ambition to try to innovate businesses in a way that is meaningful and can add a lot of value to a lot of people and their lives.  Generally it would be technology– a way that you can create technology on a platform that allows you to impact a lot of lives in a positive way.  In this case technology and fashion: if you think about personal styling as whole and shopping, it’s something you would only think of being available to those with the financial capability to partake in it, but it’s a fairly cumbersome process even with money because not everyone has time to schedule an appointment and then go there at a specific time.  There’s only a handful of select clients that would have stylists come to their house, but it’s a very small subset.  We created this model of personal styling and personal shopping to anyone via the internet because we’re able to make the process really efficient and allow the stylist to effectively use their time to help everyone.        – See more and the full interview along with pictures at: http://audreymagazine.com/get-to-know-brian-ree-ceo-and-founder-of-dailylook/#sthash.fgUyjjGN.dpuf

Images Courtesy Of Audrey Magazine Via DailyLook

 

Audrey Magazine – Seoul Fashion Week Highlights

Seoul Fashion Week Highlights S/S 2015 Runway – Min A. Lee for Audrey Magazine

We’ve brought you some of our favorite street styles from the models and attendees of Seoul Fashion Week, but the runway has produced some stunning designs from on-trend contemporary looks to avant-garde cuts made to inspire the next generation of fashion designers that come out of Korea.

Main themes of spring and summer 2015 for Korea have taken form in monochromatic gradients with splashes of color, visual and textural floral patterns and sheer fabrics. Some trends continue from this past summer and current fall with leather biker jackets and slit hem skirts, but are reimagined by the individual designers.  We find contemporary fashion is still gravitating towards loose, boxy cuts, but mixed with fitted options for those who always feel drawn to classic, natural waistlines.  The sheer fabrics offer opportunities to layer up or stay cool when spring makes a warm turn for summer.

Below are some more covet-worthy looks from Seoul Fashion Week. – See more at: http://audreymagazine.com/author/min-a-lee/page/4/#sthash.vzDh6ni2.dpuf

Carnet_du_style.jpg

Feature Image BAKANGCHI and Image CARNET DU STYLE courtesy of Audrey Magazine

 

 

Fashion Writing – Catherine Litke

The Perfect Options For Those Summer Days & Nights!  Clothes That Make You Feel Lovely By Designer Catherine Litke – Min A. Lee (Print Magazine)

Litke provides the perfect designs for those summer date nights—think late night movies in the park, summer concerts, picnics on the waterfront, and of course our favorite, margaritas on a patio bar.  While we do adores the more hardened, dark designs of fall and winter sometimes a little bit of girlish charm goes a long way.  Classic, midi-length skirts are paired with vibrant tops, but the soft patterns and feminine trims prevent designs from feeling over-the-top.

Instead of a consistent color scheme, Litke makes great use of all the hues life has to offer.  From pale blues and beiges to statement plaids of various reds, greens and yellows, they give women the option to spice up their outfits even if they opt for a simple cream and ruffled top.  With a doll-like presentation, some of our favorites were the ivory dresses cut to interesting, unorthodox shapes.  It is truly like finding the perfect summer dress without getting fashion boredom.

Even better, Litke’s brand statement explains that her collections are created from “sustainable materials sourced from around the world.”  Not only will you feel quite lovely in her clothing, but you also can feel the impeccable textiles she picks for her lines.  So when the temperatures warm up and you are ready to enjoy those summer afternoons and evenings make sure you consider adding a bit of Catherine Litke’s work to your closet.

Composure Magazine – St. Patrick’s Day Style

Fashion Writing + Layout Design—Read the full article here at Composure Magazine as well as more fashion, beauty and celebrity articles!

Images From Composure Magazine (composuremagazine.com) Via Designers And Brands