All Articles Tagged "apparel"
San Francisco Bay area natives Shauna Harper and Selena Young aren’t related by blood, but they are sisters just the same. They predict each other’s thoughts, are a daily presence in each other’s lives, and share a baby called Define Me Greek.
The Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority sisters launched their business in 2011 when they realized the t-shirts they made for their organization’s conference satisfied a common need. Members of Greek lettered fraternities and sororities needed apparel that did more than advertise their letters. They wanted what they wore to stand for something.
On the cusp of their two-year anniversary, Shauna and Selena sat down to talk about how they expanded their business from a t-shirt to a growing enterprise with an active social media community.
Madame Noire (MN): Describe the premise of Define Me Greek for those unfamiliar with the brand.
SELENA: Define Me Greek is an apparel and accessories company that looks to capture the essence of organizations. We create designs that are bold, modern, and give people an opportunity to express who they are and what they do as Greek lettered organizations. Our company gives people the opportunity to see that there is more to us than just the letters that we wear.
MN: How did your business relationship start?
SELENA: Shauna and I were preparing for our international conference. We decided to create a shirt for our region. As we began to brainstorm, she and I were thinking that we wanted something that’s a little more meaningful. That turned into, “Well, if we are looking for something a little more meaningful, what if we could do something like this for all the organizations?” That’s when really we started looking at doing something different than what’s already out there, and having a story behind what people wear.
MN: Tell me about the first days of Define Me Greek. How did you get the company off the ground?
SHAUNA: I don’t want to say it happened overnight, but it was one of those things where we just took an idea from a concept to reality. We were sitting down chitchatting and said, “Let’s have a business meeting.” The next week we scheduled a business meeting, and next thing you know we had to-dos and we were doing them. It just ended up turning into what it is today. Sometimes we don’t even have a chance to look up, and when we do it’s like, “Oh my God! Look at all we’ve done!”
MN: What confirmed for you that this was a viable business?
SELENA: [A year and half after we started] Shauna and I were going to a regional conference in Rhode Island, one of the biggest regions in our organization. This was our first major event. We looked up how much it was going to cost and we — literally by faith — took every single penny we had. We flew all the way to Rhode Island with really nowhere to stay. We just said we’re going to go out there and see what lies ahead.
We took everything we had in two suitcases. We took trains, buses, and cabs. We walked blocks to get this venue. When we got there, it just really solidified who we are and our existence. We were able to make so many connections. Define Me Greek became known around the United States after that event.
Most athletes start sneaker lines, but Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers quarterback, has decided to start his own fashion business. The NFL star has inked a partnership to launch a fashion line with Belk Stores.
It seems the player always had fashion designer dreams. His signature line — MADE Cam Newton — of what he’s calling “fashion forward” professional apparel for men will hit Belk department stores by fall 2013.
It’s a wise business move on Cam’s part. Men’s clothing sales are on the rise. “Sales of men’s apparel are forecast to increase 8.26 percent in the first quarter,” according to IBM Global Business Services. “Men spent an estimated $8.4 billion on clothing last year,” reports Reuters. “That would be up 8.21 percent from 2010 and the largest increase in 20 years.”
But will the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner really be designing the clothes? Belk isn’t telling. “He’s not a designer but he has a very strong sense of style,” Kathryn Bufano, Belk’s president and chief merchandising officer, told WWD. “He wants to set an example for young people that looking sharp gives you more confidence.”
Whoever is designing the actual line, the clothes (at least from the photos released) are smart looking enough. The best part, the outfits are affordable– from $28 t-shirts to $200 suits.
“I have a range of styles, but nothing flamboyant,” Cam told WWD. “I’m not into bow ties or suspenders, or pinks or purples. I’m more into sweater vests, clean slacks and blazers. I like preppie style sweaters. You’ll see me in a suit and tie, things on the traditional side.”
Cam isn’t necessarily blazing any fashion trails. Other athletes that have chosen suits over sneakers are New York Knicks’ Amar’e Stoudemire and Boston Celtics’ Jermaine O’Neal.
By Makula Dunbar
If there’s anything natives and tourists know in Washington D.C., it’s a distinguished lingo. Phrases like, “Oh my gaw yung, on urrything you a bama!” aren’t uncommon. At some point — on Georgia Avenue or within your circle of friends — you’ve detected a “bama.” A word without one staple definition, Tamika Myers, co-founder of the nail polish line Studio85 says, in the case of an old school female bama — she’d know what color nail polish is best fitting.
“Fifteen years ago, lot’s of people didn’t wear green nail polish boldly. It made you a bama, Myers said.
“We just thought of the weirdest color, something kind of awkward that would match the name of what it meant,” added Myers’ sister Tiffany Burriss —explaining how they came up with the name for their turquoise nail gloss “Bama,” which is part of their District of Columbia collection.
“And,” said Myers, “We added some flakes, how ‘bout that!”
Burris along with Tammi Allen make up the trio of sisters/co-founders of Studio85, which apart from a nail gloss line is also an events, art and apparel shop located in Washington D.C.
“We were in our parents’ hometown of Lancaster, South Carolina at a coffee house we go to all the time. One of us had on a cute color that we said our aunt would love, so we thought what she would call it,” said Burriss elaborating on how it all began.
“We were like, ‘She’d call it 2tat2,’ and that opened up a world of names. Since we started, our aunt passed away so that’s how we pay homage and that’s what jump-started Studio85.”
“Big Chair Brown,” named after a landmark in Southeast D.C., “Roc Creek,” “Go Go,” “Mambo Sauce,” “Yung,” and “1600” are all colors in the District of Columbia collection. Studio85’s 48-color catalogue also includes the City Girl, Southern Girl and Stay Beautiful collections, in addition to a 12-color crackle collection sold only in-store.
It was only eight months ago that the sisters found a space for Studio85. Including the input of the community, local designers and artists, the sisters made a conscious effort to create a store that not only sells nail gloss, but one that various creatives would take advantage of.
“We wanted to make it so it would translate into a space for events and apparel. We’ve had jewelry events, open mics, album release parties, birthday parties, social forums, in-store photo shoots and council-member candidate meet and greets, “ Burriss said. “Pretty much anything that can fit in the space we’re open to doing as long as it keeps up with the integrity if the brand.”
One of the most international businesses in the world is fashion, and it has once again proved itself that in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou. Thousands of African immigrants, many of them small-scale clothing traders from Nigeria, have come seeking business opportunities there and have naturally made it their home.They trade and buy clothing, apparel and accessories from the merchants in China and then ship them back to Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, were the real profit is made.
Although the Little Africa neighborhood in Guangzhou is dominated by African immigrants who run the shops and stalls, many customers are Chinese who welcome their business. Read the full story here…
Do you think the business of Fashion crosses all color lines?
It’s Friday, and while most of us will be using this weekend (and very appealing weather may I add) to show out in our fly-est apparel, a great deal of famous names were doing it big all week long. Then again, being seen is what they get paid for, so they have to look their best. Time to go through each of our favorite or most eye-popping looks from the week and decide who was funky fresh dressed, and who just looked funky.
Look who is trying to change up their style on these streets! Ciara was spotted on the streets of Manhattan on Monday looking more blonde than we’ve seen in the past and in a loose but fancy ensemble. She wore this low cut and long-sleeved top with some cropped black pants (hopefully not harem). On her feet were some black Louboutins, and accessory wise, she went all out with a snazzy gold cuff, a big ring, and multiple chain necklaces. I like the makeup, and the outfit definitely looks comfortable. I will say though that she looks a lot different and that I’m not feeling how she styled her two-toned hair… I’d wear the outfit, but I’d ditch the hair. Reluctant steal.
But the next day, Ci-Ci attended a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden in these light blue pants with a sweater rolled up at the sleeves that matched her bottoms. Love the high-top wedges and accessories, but the outfit as a whole is not moving me, you know? It could possibly be because of the way the pants fit (not too baggy, but not tight), or maybe it’s the combo of the sweater and pants, but it comes off as…blah. Girl, stop. Oh yeah, but the hair does look better here.
Two brands that have been long-term favorites of urban apparel shoppers will soon be managed under one corporate masthead. Wall Street action watchers are excited by the recently announced agreement between Timberland and VF, owner of The North Face, which details VF’s plans to buy the iconic footwear company for $43 a share. The proposal will net Timberland shareholders $2 billion — and VF shareholders have responded by sending the company’s share price up almost 11% to over $100 a share.
The deal has been approved by the board of both companies, and is awaiting shareholder and regulatory approval for full execution. It is expected to go through by the third quarter of this year.
Analysts have praised the move, citing the strength of the Timberland brand internationally as a core asset that will enhance the VF portfolio, which includes other outdoor lifestyle companies such as Vans and Nautica. Industry estimates for Timberland’s first-year revenues under VF range between $700 million and $1.6 billion.
Lovers of the Timberland brand can rest assured that the larger organization will not dilute its characteristic style. Barron’s reports:
Morningstar analyst Peter Wahlstrom praised the fact that VF … “allows individual brands to function independently and pursue separate growth initiatives while leveraging centralized procurement, information technology, and logistics.”
So the brand many love will remain independent as it comes within the VF fold. As an investment opportunity, shares of VF are expected to continue on their upward trend. The parent corporation has set an aggressive goal for Timberland’s growth at 10%, with few competitors in their segment that can match their brands’ popularity and penetration. Now is a good time for African-Americans, who helped to make Timberland a hot commodity capitalize on Timberland as an investment.
The family-apparel retailer, which targets middle-income African-American households, also projected earnings this year from $1.60 to $1.65 a share, compared with the average estimate of $1.59, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters. The company also expects same-store sales growth of 3% to 4%.