Fashion

SHOPPING FOR THE MADE IN UNITED STATES LABEL IN THE UNITED STATES

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SHOPPING FOR THE MADE IN UNITED STATES LABEL IN THE UNITED STATES

If you are shopping for many of the top fashion designers, and you are in a city such as Manhattan (New York City), Washington, DC, Virginia, Maryland or any other big city you won’t have a shortage of places to shop in order to find just the right item.   I am aware that many people from Italy and other European countries come to the United States not just to visit and do the usual tourist things, but to shop for items made by top American Designers,  I am referring to brands such as Ralph Lauren, and Ralph Lauren Polo, DKNY (Donna Karan New York), Calvin Klein, Isaac  Mizrahi, Karl Lagerfeld, Vera Wang, Jimmy Choo,  Bill Blass, Tommy Hilfiger, Oleg Cassini, Carolina  Herrera, Brooks Brothers,  Oscar de la Renta,  amongst others and generally at a cost savings to the consumer (in part a reflection of the lower exchange rate in this country where you generally  get more for you money).

Many  of the  designers clothing lines, plus accessories ( which includes shoes as well as handbags) can be found at department stores such as Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdales’, Macy*s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom’s, Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor amongst others.    Also many of their fragrances and makeup can also be found at these department stores, but also at stores such as Sephora.  An interesting side note is that many of the designers also have begun a foray into the design of jewelry, which I find unique in itself.    In New York City alone I have found that many designers also have their own stores in different locations, and not just tied in to the fashion center of the city in addition to the department stores.  This applies as well to several other areas of the country where the designers have their own stores (i.e., Tyson’s Corner, Virginia; Beverly Hills, California; Friendship Heights, Washington, DC).   I have also found that several of the big designers also have their own stores in Manhattan, in addition to being sold at the afore-mentioned department stores.    Having their own stores also holds true at shopping malls around the United States as well.  At many of the shopping malls they have what is known as anchor stores (i.e., Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, J.C. Penny’s, etc.)  But also other specialty stores that have many items that aren’t found in the larger stores but are equally as important and worth purchasing.

Throughout these cities shoppers can also find designer shoe stores (with shoes like Jimmy Cho’s, Manolo Blahnik’s, etc.)  that also carries accessories to “dress up” any outfit and any occasion.   Also, another venue where one may find these top brands and more are outlet shopping malls, but I would think with the shopper being cautious when going there that they don’t get carried away with shopping.   While I am not knocking outlet stores/or malls, you can get a good bargain on many things, including the designer labels.  I had an experience with one of the outlet stores where I found something that I had gotten recently somewhere else, at even more of a savings than at the outlet store.   So the moral would have to be  not just “buyer beware” , do a bit a research before going out shopping so that you get the desired items at the best price.   I am aware that there are many shoppers look for excellence, quality and well-made products will generally go to the best places to exactly what they desire, regardless of the price.   That is one of the most important issues when shopping getting what you want that is well-made, excellent quality and style at the best price for what is purchased.  Both the “Made in the USA” and “Made in Italy” labels carry a great deal of weight behind them, and also stands for excellence and quality in craftsmanship/workmanship.    So it’s worth the time and effort to have them on items.    Making those purchases helps the company as well as the country of origin.

Also at stores like Target, Marshalls and TJ MAXX you will be able to find many of the top designer’s items at a savings as well.  You can also find   Missoni and Mizrahi, at these locations as well, and yes they can be found in all the top stores as well.  But please note, while you get a reasonably good deal on any and all items purchased at these three stores, they don’t carry the variety of items the larger (and specialty) stores would have.

One thing that the consumer has to be alert to is the vendors on the street  who have similar items for sale, unfortunately these are cheap knock-offs and more than likely are not even made in the United States (or in Italy for that matter if you see these type of vendors there).   While they may look like the real thing, they are poor quality, cheaply made and these shysters keep all the money themselves taking away a legitimate sale of the real item denying the company the proper share of the sale, and denying the state appropriate revenue from sales.   I venture to mention this because in the course of my travels I have seen many of these sidewalk type “sales persons” hawking their wares trying their best to convince the unsuspecting person what they are selling is the real thing, etc.   When what they are attempting to sell isn’t even made here.  Unfortunately, many of the smaller and legitimate businesses have had to close their doors due to these shysters taking up space close enough to their entrances and their clients can’t even get into shop there.

Kathy Kiefer

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BUYING ITALIAN BRANDS IN THE UNITED STATES

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BUYING ITALIAN BRANDS IN THE UNITED STATES

If you are shopping for many of the top fashion designers, and you are in a city such as Manhattan (New York City), Washington, DC, Virginia, Maryland or any other big city you won’t have a shortage of places to shop in order to find just the right item.   I am aware that many people from Italy and other European countries come to the United States not just to visit and do the usual tourist things, but to shop for brands that they have come to know from back home, as well as top American Designers,  I am referring to brands such as Roberto Cavalli, Armani, Versace, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, amongst others and generally at a cost savings to the consumer (as a reflection of lower rate of exchange in this country where you generally can get more for you money).

Many  of the  designers clothing lines, plus accessories (including shoes as well as handbags) can be found at department stores such as Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdales’, Macy*s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom’s, Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylors amongst others.  I also find it quite fascinating to window shop at the department stores to even gain a better insight into some of the brands that being offered. This applies also to the fantastic displays inside the store that highlights much more wonderful items.  Also many of their fragrances and makeup can also be found at these department stores, but also at a store such as Sephora.   In New York City alone I have found that many designers also have their own stores in different locations, and not just tied in to the fashion center of the city in addition to the department stores.  Also designer Roberto Cavalli recently just opened his own flagship store in New York City called “Just Cavalli” and is located at 434 West Broadway (he is also found in Macy*s and several of the other top stores ).   I have also discovered that several of the big designers also have their own stores in Manhattan in addition to being sold at the afore mentioned department stores.    Having their own stores also holds true at shopping malls around the United States as well.  At many of the shopping malls they have what is known as anchor stores (i.e., Macy’s, Lord & Taylors, J.C. Penny’s, etc.)  But also other specialty stores that have many items those aren’t found in the larger stores but are equally as important and worth purchasing.    This also holds true not just in Manhattan but also at stores around the country.

Throughout these cities shoppers can also find designer shoe stores also carrying appropriate shoes and accessories to “dress up” any outfit and any occasion.   Also another venue where one may find these top brands are outlet shopping malls, but I would think with the shopper being cautious.   While I am not knocking outlet stores/or malls, you can get a good bargain on many things, including the designer labels, but recently I had gone to a local outlet mall and was browsing in one of the stores I routinely shop at when I noticed that they had an item I purchased somewhere else days before at even more of a    savings than at the outlet store.   So the moral would have to be  not just “buyer beware” , do a bit a research before going out shopping so that you get the desired items at the best price.   I am aware that there are many shoppers that are looking for excellent quality and well-made Italian products will generally go to the best places to exactly what they desire, regardless of the price.    It is important to note that the “Made in Italy” label, just as with the “Made in the USA” label stands for quality of workmanship, style, elegance and class.   But both labels carry much weight behind them.

From late January to mid to late February many of the department stores will begin to have end of season  (or clearance)  sales to move out the remaining winter clothing lines and accessories  that are on the shelves as they begin to gear up for the spring fashions as well as getting the departments ready with spring displays.     It always makes for such an interesting transition of clothing and at this time the consumer can get even better deals/bargains on the closeouts with substantial markdowns and reductions in price.

Also, in the Little Italy area of New York, they have specialty shops that sell many wonderful items with the “Made in Italy” label that one can find nowhere else.  To that end I am providing a list of some of these shops that can be found there.

Di Palo (Fine Foods), IL Coccio (Italian Ceramics), Piedmonte Co. (Food Products), Sandy’s (Hats, Clothing, Shoes), Accessories by Regali, Bella Mimo Gifts, E. Rossi & Sons, Enoteca Di Palo, Go Go Jewelry, Mulberry Street Cigar Co., Regal Handbags, Step Up Boutique and many other wonderful stores.  Little Italy also has Pastry and Italian Food stores  that aid in getting those hard to get  food items to prepare and/or serve at home. But if you are looking for a good Italian meal you need not look any further than one of the restaurants in Little Italy.

Kathy Kiefer

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BRANDS – ITALIAN

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BRANDS – ITALIAN

Why is it important to buy Italian products, as opposed for going for Made in the USA label?  Or any other label if you will?

You may be asking yourselves why would an American lady have such an interest in brands from Italy?   I have been to Italy and seen first-hand the outstanding craftsmanship and quality of their work and feel that many of these items are just right for the American market.   Many things that I have been fortunate to see and been introduced to are thanks to a very good friend and colleague from Firenze (Florence).       In travels to many of the different regions of the country I have discovered many new and different items that would make a wonderful splash on the world market, especially in the United States where there are numerous citizens who appreciate things that are different and unique, and not of the “normal” line.

One might think that by making the purchases here in the United States, the money would all stay here, but that is not truly the case, no matter what one might hear via publicity.    Some of the funds that are used in these transactions actually go back to the companies in Italy, in directly aiding their economy, paying employees a more living wage.  This purchasing power of the “Made in Italy” label like the “Made in the USA” label in part stands for quality of workmanship, pride in craftsmanship and that you are purchasing a superior quality product.   Manufacturers in Italy (be it leather goods, jewelry, cars   items for the kitchen and home, etc) would never ever attempt to sell an inferior crafted item or product.   By having such wonderful products available to consumers here in the United States  one is not only helping the economy here but in larger part helping the Italia economy and strengthening the trade bonds between two of the world’s most influential nations.

While I am not denying the importance of the “Made in the USA” label, which is as equally as important to everyone.  But there are equally as many if not more products that are from Italy where the style and quality is far superior of what is labeled “Made in the USA, there are many products and items that are imported weekly from Italy and largely go ignored on the shelves by many consumers in the United States and elsewhere.   Except, in stores that cater to many immigrants and those visiting from Italy or of Italian heritage that long for a taste of home.    It is also important to note that while we may not always be conscious of where some things that we buy or enjoy actually come from, it making the choice of these items truly goes a long way in helping rebuild the Italian economy as well as strengthening their reputation abroad.

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There are things such as clothing and/or other products that we already have on our shelves and in the shops that are Italian made and not realizes it.  I refer to products such as Armani, Fendi, Prada, Versace, Gucci, Ferragamo, Dolce& Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli, and so much more.   There are many shops and products that I have discovered in my travels throughout the different regions of Italy that are unique to that region and while they don’t have the name recognition yet of an Armani, Versace, etc., it is anticipated that before very long many consumers in the United States come to appreciate and purchase these products as well for themselves or for gifts.   And it’s not just the clothing that I refer to; I also refer to the wonderful hand-made jewelry, leather goods, furniture and other items.   Yet also there are quite a number of excellent wines and food that beg to be tried and enjoyed by a new audience as well.  Plus, up and coming designers and artists’ only want to gain a following and become more of a player on the national and international market.  They deserve that chance as well.    Without them, while the markets would grow, they may not be willing to expand their views and make important changes so that we as consumers have more and wonderful things to choose from. Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botchelli, Armani, Ralph Lauren and others that we have come to know and appreciate other the years and centuries had to start somewhere as well

If one is so unwilling to open their minds to new things and new experiences how do they know if they will like them?  Let alone chance their views?  If by trying and experiencing it would be hoped that they would continue to use those things and share them with others and gain a better appreciation of things from not their own county but a nation and a people like Italy.

But one thing that I would venture to mention is that if and when  one is traveling around Italy, be wary of street vendors and some small shops that exist and cater to the tourist industry.    Yes, buying items from these vendors helps in some small way the economy of the country but many of the items that they are hawking aren’t even made in Italy.   They are made outside of the country and cheaply made at that, and many sell knock-offs of well-known labels (and many can’t tell the difference, but it does exist).   The latter does such a disservice to the legitimate businesses as well the owners of the business and their employees.

Kathy Kiefer

PIC BOOK WATCHES STYLE

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WATCHES STYLE

One of the most important accessories is the watch

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This particular device must be chosen very carefully, even considering the budget.

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In fact, many of the mechanisms more ‘sophisticated and refined cost figures high

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A watch anyway outlines the style and personality of the wearer, so it must be chosen keeping in mind your needs

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SHOPPING

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SHOPPING

Why do people shop?   Is a response to some inner need to spend money (even if they shouldn’t be spending the money)?   Do they actually want to make some sort of statement (be it some sort of fashion statement or other)?    Should price and/or quality make that much of a difference of what is sought or to be purchased? Is a brand name or designer always better?    Why would someone settle for a knock-off of an item? It can be an insight to the person let alone personal style and values.   But sometimes, I think, that bigger or more expensive isn’t always better.    There are those that settle for even a knock-off (a fake Louis-Viton, Fendi, etc.)  Know deep down they have “a designer” but for far less than what the original costs while the expert can spot a fake barely a mile away.

saldi_1A retailer or shop is a business that presents a selection of goods or services and offers to sell them to customers for money or other goods. Shopping is an activity in which a customer browses the available goods or services presented by one or more retailers with the intent to purchase a suitable selection of them. In some contexts it may be considered a leisure activity as well as an economic one.  The shopping experience can range from delightful to terrible, based on a variety of factors including how the customer is treated, convenience, and mood.  The shopping experience can also be influenced by other shoppers.    A report that came out in 2000 asserts that women purchase 80% of all consumer goods and influence 80% of health-care decisions.   But this begs the question how well informed and educated are these women on the things to purchase?   Many times when a woman goes shopping either by herself or with a family member or friend a sales person will stop at nothing to make the sale, even resorting to sneaky or underhanded methods.  And the consumer may not know what they walked into and leaves feeling that they have gotten the best price for something they want.  Doing your homework prior to going out looking for something is important otherwise you can get taken.

I believe in shopping around, comparing prices to get the correct thing at the best possible price for what I am looking for.   Even if it 625441_455477997806047_52601728_ninvolves “Window shopping” at first.    This refers to the browsing of goods by a consumer with no intent to purchase, or to plan a later purchase.   Something I was taught by my parents, and I believe true today is that if you want something bad enough (like a radio, television, etc.), you should put the money away for it.   A child could always save money from their allowance, earn money by babysitting, rake leaves, shovel snow, offer to help neighbors, do chores and so much more.

But why with money, does it necessitate to have the most expensive or luxury items?   Is it to say “look at me, I can afford the best “or are you saying something else?   Having money and good taste aren’t always the same thing.

Something that can be enjoyable and fun to so be fairs and markets which have a long history that started when humans felt the desire to exchange goods and services. People would shop for goods at a weekly market in nearby towns. Then shops began to be permanently established. Shops were specialized, e.g. a bakery, a butchery, a grocer. Then supermarkets appeared.   Sometimes peddlers and ice cream trucks pass through neighborhoods offering services and goods.

 Even yard sales, farmer’s markets, and estate sales have been growing in popularity over the years.    They also a good way to get quality items at a substantial savings for the consumer, but the buyer has to be open to what is being offered and not just say “I don’t care what is being sold I will buy anything.”   It takes a great deal of time, effort and patience to find just the right thing.

Stores are divided into multiple categories of stores which sell a selected set of goods or services. Usually they are tiered by target demographics based on the income of the shopper. They can be tiered from cheap to pricey.

etichette-filo-cartellino-pistola-calabroneWhy the need to have a “label” on items?   Is it a status thing or just a way to show how shallow a person can be?  I’m not knocking good quality or name items, but I find it difficult to enjoy having something so nice, when one can afford things no matter what the cost and others among us have to struggle for everything they have or hope to get.  I have excellent taste (and have many good quality things such as Waterford Crystal and Lenox) and appreciate the finer things, but that doesn’t mean that I have to have a mansion or some high priced home to show-case things and flaunt things.    It can be better to get good quality for a fraction of the cost even if it is not top name designer (or find good quality at reduced prices at a discount or outlet store).

Some shops sell secondhand goods. Often the public can also sell goods to such shops. In other cases, the public donates goods to negozi vintage a londra rockthese shops, commonly known as thrift or charity shops.   Consignment, thrift or charity shops are excellent places to find good merchandise, while helping out the community.   In antique shops, the public can find goods that are older and harder to find.  Shopping frenzies are periods of time where a burst of spending occurs—typically near holidays in the United States, where Christmas shopping is seen as biggest shopping spending season, starting as early as October and continuing until after Christmas.

Some religions regard such spending seasons as being against their faith and dismiss the practice.   It gives a new meaning to making homemade items to give as gifts.   Many question the over-commercialization and the response by stores that downplay the shopping season often cited in the Christmas controversy or war on Christmas.

Kathy Kiefer

© FASHION ✎

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FASHION

06zCELEBS1_SPAN-articleLargeThe semi-annual New York Fashion Week is held in February and September of each year in New York (Manhattan). And ‘one of the four major fashion weeks held around the world (along with those in Paris, London, as well as Milan). Fashion Week showcases the next seasons clothing designs from the major fashion houses such as Ferragamo, Tomy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren (Polo), Vera Wang, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli, Missoni and many others.
The first New York Fashion Week was the first fashion week ever organized in the world, although the Italians, Florentines, claim the primacy, was originally known as Press Week. First, in 1943, the event was designed to attract attention away from French fashion during World War II, when fashion industry insiders were unable to travel to Paris to see French fashion shows to present American designers for fashion journalists. Press Week was a success, and fashion magazines like Vogue, which were normally filled with French designs, increasingly featured American fashion.
Admission is by invitation only, to the fashion industry, fashion press, assorted celebrities, and internet based fashion press.

The idea of ​​using mannequins to display clothing was used by established designers Betsey Johnson and Vera Wang have been seen asWWD @ 100 Anniversary Gala a way to cut costs and runway model. Mara Hoffman, Sergio Davila and Nicholas K saved 40 percent of their costs by combining their separate lines into a single show. A number of exhibits were the elements that can be worn in the fall and carry over to the spring. A popular staple was bold color dressed that could be worn over a turtleneck in colder weather and stand alone in the spring; convertible blazers were introduced by Vera Wang and Karen Walker as a way to get double the wear of a piece.  Designers that are housed in the show’s fashion week in New York are always on the leading edge of the next season of style and there is a great interest on what will become the main fashion style for the new season and year.

Schermata 11-2456242 alle 03.11.27 copia 2I became increasingly aware of a splendid Review of Fashion in Florence, Italy, “Pitti Uomo”. As collaborating with the famous Web Agency “sure-com” by Alessandro Sicuro www.alessandrosicuro.com , here in america I often see his way of web marketing campaigns. If, however, Milan is considered the capital of Italian fashion, there is another event that has always been of primary importance for all fashion conscious people all over the world: Pitti Uomo. One of the great events of Italian fashion, which draws the attention of all national and international companies operating in the sector. Located in the beautiful backdrop artistic center of Florence, in the historical buildings, the Pitti Palazzo Vecchio, Ufizi … Pitti Uomo is just one of the many parades that take place in the Tuscan city throughout the year, in fact, Pitti Immagine the umbrella name of all the Florentine fashion events also include Pitti Immagine woman, the fashion event for women, Pitti Immagine Bimbo, dedicated to children and Pitti Immagine yarn, which revolves around yarn and fabric, a bit ‘of time there is also Pitti fragrances.

Schermata 05-2456437 alle 17.43.31The main objective of Pitti Uomo is always to show the creativity and inspiration of Made in Italy and craftsmanship. The new trends have shown us a lot of colors (representing the optimism) and garments increasingly tapered: pants, jackets (mostly non-constructed or deconstructed), coats, etc. Many manufacturers have concentrated their innovations in details like colored wires around the buttonholes, linings in contrasting colors in jackets, patchwork. At Pitti Uomo, you will find men dressed with style and sophistication, showing the essence of Italian tailoring and the luxury of the finest fabrics in the world. Inside you will find row after row of hundreds of the best companies in the world for men’s fashion and accessories. It ‘a kind of wonderland for those who are in love with the luxury and trend-spotting, although here you will find style, which far exceeds the trend spur of the moment. What you see here will set the trends for many years to come.
Three words sum up the general feeling of this fantastic show: elegance and a relaxed style. I’m also looking forward to exploring more of this beautiful Review of fashion when after I am in Florence.

Kathy Kiefer