Outerwear: Trends not to miss

There’s more to outerwear than simply protecting us from the elements. You can make a fashion statement with coats, jackets and vests.

This fall is filled with outerwear trends, take ’em or leave ’em. Let’s look at some of the hottest trends for cold weather.

Camel coats

This classic has been a wardrobe staple for generations. It should be noted that “camel-hair” coats are no longer made of camel’s hair. They are, however, an essential piece for any tailored wardrobe. Styles range from the traditional double-breasted coat to open, flowing designs.

Cocoon coats

For a streamlined look, choose a cocoon coat. This versatile coat can easily transition from a day at the office to a night on the town.

Corduroy coats

Corduroy isn’t just for kids; it’s making a comeback this year in jackets, coats and more. You’ll find traditional fall/winter colors as well as unexpected hues.

Cropped coats

Pair a cropped coat with skinny jeans or a pencil skirt and tights. And don’t forget a hat and boots for a total head-to-toe look.

Extra-long coats

Here we go from one extreme (the cropped coat) to the other. This year, the longer the better. With longer coats, you don’t have to worry about keeping warm. They also create a longer, leaner profile.

Fur coats

Again, this trend will not appeal to animal lovers. But faux fur coats are always an option. Fur may be in, but fur vests are out.

Padded jackets

While we all try to get rid of our extra padding, it’s acceptable when it’s in the form of a jacket. This year’s padded jackets run the gamut, from just the basics to dainty floral prints.


This heavy double-breasted woolen jacked was originally worn by sailors. Today, this trend applies equally to men and women. Drape a matching or contrasting scarf and you’re good to go.

Plaid coats

From checkered to hound’s-tooth patterns, plaid coats are all the rage. Don’t be afraid to wear a plaid coat over a print sweater or pants.

Puffer coats

They’re baaack! Although this is one trend than many hoped would go away, it’s back with a vengeance. Think beyond black, though; you’ll find a variety of color options.

Red coats

No, we’re not referring to those worn by British soldiers. Today’s red coats are trendier than ever. If you want to make a bold statement, go for a red coat.

Shearling coats

Animal lovers will have to forego this trend, unless they opt for the synthetic version. Shearling coats are typically made of processed lambskin or sheepskin. The pelts are tanned with some of the wool still on them.

Statement coats

When it comes to statement coats, the bolder the better. There are no rules here: Go for vibrant prints, patterns, colors, fabrics, shapes.

Textured coats

Think feathers, sequins and more. Think clear plastic. Think accessories such as brooches and belts.

Toggle-closure coats

Toggle closures add a sophisticated touch, whether on a wool coat or an oversized sweater. Keep in mind that, if you’re wearing winter gloves, toggle closures can be a bit tricky.

Velvet coats

Velvet is no longer relegated to special occasions. This trend took off last year, and this year it’s being spotted everywhere.

Wrap coats

The wrap coat is a timeless look, one that can be dressed up or down. Cinch the belt tight to accentuate a tiny waist or leave it untied for a chic, casual look.


Mobile pay and checkout. Should you invest?

In today’s competitive marketplace, retailers need every advantage to attract customers and increase sales. One way many retailers are gaining a competitive edge is by adopting mobile commerce.

M-commerce or mobile commerce is exactly what it sounds like: the buying and selling of goods and services through wireless handheld devices.

Not all mobile payment platforms are alike, although it might appear to be so. Three types of mobile payment technologies exist: mobile wallets, mobile commerce and mobile payments. Each technology requires a different level of investment. Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay are examples of mobile wallets that can be installed on a hand-held or wearable device. PayPal is considered a digital wallet, but when used in with mobile payment services and mobile devices, it serves as a mobile wallet.
Several options are available to both merchants and consumers. In addition to those mentioned above, there’s Square, Google Wallet, Venmo and MasterCard’s Masterpass. Google Wallet, Apple and Square support the use of simple NFC (near-field communications) chips, the same as those found in most modern credit cards. This means most retailers can accept Apple Pay on existing NFC terminals, instead of buying new equipment and altering checkout processes.

Credit card companies have completed conversion to EMV chip technology. Debit card conversion should be nearly complete by the end of this year. Merchant terminal upgrades to accept chip cards include additional NFC capability, which may solve the issue where consumers have wallet capability on their smartphones but limited places to use it.
For small retailers that don’t have sophisticated checkouts, Square is a great alternative. Square offers a simple reader that can be plugged into an iOS or Android device. It also offers point-of-sale apps.

If Millennials are part of your target demographic, mobile pay is a must. According to mobile pay provider Payfirma, more than half of Millennials prefer their mobile phone over cash to pay for small-ticket items.

Millennials are just one of several mobile commerce trends. Other trends include digital wallets, monetization of apps, card readers, geo-targeting, geofencing and beacons. Geo-targeting enables merchants to deliver targeted messages to mobile phones within a certain geographical radius. With geofencing, merchants set up a virtual fence around their location so that when customers are nearby they receive a push notification. And beacons can serve up coupons and other offers once the customer is physically in a store.

Another plus of mobile payments is that they enable retailers to collect payment from anywhere in the world. Even if your employees are not at their business location, they can still process payments using your company’s mobile app.
Those concerned about security should know that mobile payment platforms have built-in layers of extra security. This is important to communicate with customers hesitant to use mobile pay. In addition, both parties in the transaction are immediately assured that the funds are available to cover the transaction.
In addition to the initial expense of hardware and setup, retailers will incur transaction fees when they use mobile pay. These fees are comparable to credit card fees, which usually average about 2 percent per transaction.

Retailers must keep consumer preferences in mind, whether it’s regarding days/hours of operation, product selection or method of payment.


Pop-up shops: everything you need to know

First there were pop-up books for children. Then there were pop-up ads online, which annoyed a lot of people. Now there are pop-up shops, and they’re growing in popularity.

What is a pop-up shop? Also known as pop-up or flash retail, a pop-up shop is a short-term, temporary retail store. The first sightings go back to the ‘90s. Pop-up shops come in many shapes and sizes: They can be set up via rental of a physical store, an indoor or outdoor kiosk, or in a vehicle like a food truck. Around this time of year, you see plenty of Halloween stores that fit this description.

Perhaps one of the most unique pop-up — one that is going viral online — is one affixed 6,000 feet above ground to the side of a cliff. The shop, open only 24 hours, was part of a marketing effort to raise funds for the Access Fund and American Alpine Club.

While most retail owners pride themselves on their store’s longevity, some pop-up shops go for the novelty factor. Stockholm denim label Cheap Monday opened a pop-store for just 10 minutes. There’s what claims to be the smallest pop-up shop — which actually combines the concept of a pop-up book and pop-up shop — for the Ford Fiesta. Recipients who received the mailer were instructed to place their smartphone into the “shop” to go on a virtual test drive. And, in what bills itself as the smallest pop-up shop with the largest inventory, Netshoes opened an online store disguised as a pop-up shop in São Paulo. The shop, about the width of an iPad, even has a door mat and miniscule signage. In the UK, Bunyadi opened a naked pop-up restaurant. How’s that for novelty?

Pop-up shops enable owners to connect with a wide variety of customers they would not have otherwise reached. They are affordable; owners aren’t faced with the high rental associated with a traditional retail store.

Today, pop-up shops have come a long way from the neighborhood kids’ lemonade stand and the stalls at local farmers’ and flea markets. According to industry statistics, they make about $50 billion in sales each year.

So how can you get on the pop-up bandwagon? As with any business, you still need a plan. Start with the basics:

  • Set a goal
  • Do your research (including competitors)
  • Set a budget (include rental/utilities, WiFi, equipment, inventory, staffing, marketing)
  • Pick a location
  • Decide on your store’s look/layout
  • Determine prices for your products
  • Build brand awareness

Pop-up stores also can serve as a real-time testing site. Because you don’t need the amount of inventory required for a traditional store, you can change up your products more often based on supply and demand. Poll your customers to obtain demographics, preferences and other information. Be sure to have an in-store signup and capture email addresses for marketing efforts.

How do you determine if your pop-up shop is a success? Again, the metrics are similar to those of online and traditional brick-and-mortar stores:

  • Track your (foot) traffic
  • Analyze sales data
  • Ask for customer feedback
  • Monitor social media “buzz”

A great way to announce your pop-up to the world is to hold a launch party or a “soft” opening. Invite family, friends, the local community and the media. Everyone loves a party, and you’ll love the opportunity to showcase your shop.


How to use Fall’s hottest colors – in store

Fall fashion runways revealed a spectrum of colors ranging from traditional earthy tones to a very feminine pink and an eye-opening blue. The Pantone Color Institutes helps us put a name to each of these hues, and we’ll give some tips on how you can incorporate these colors in store.

Ballet Slipper refers to the unexpected but welcomed oh-so-soft pink that made its way onto the runways. This is a soothing, calming color. It’s the perfect backdrop for undergarments. Drape a soft pink cloth over a display table and instead of pulling it taut, allow for soft folds on the tabletop. It will create an inviting setting for frilly bras, silk panties and other intimates.

In retail, red is often associated with sales (“red tag” sale, for instance). This fall, it will be splashed across display floors in the form of coats, dresses, you name it. Instead of trying to minimize it, go with the flow. In fact, built upon it by accessorizing outfits with red jewelry, red gloves, even red nail polish and lipstick on the mannequins!

Like the beverage for which it’s named, Butterum is a warm brown hue. Use this neutral color as a background for signage. When topped with colorful lettering, your messaging will pop and be eye-catching to shoppers.

Neutral Gray is another middle-of-the-road color. Dress up gray displays with cubic zirconia and other costume jewelry.

Another traditional fall hue is Autumn Maple, a luscious golden brown. Be sure to accent these pieces with lighting to bring out the golden tones.

As you’d expect, Golden Lime is a yellow-green blend. But it’s much more than the color we associate with crayons. Deck out mannequins with blonde wigs as the perfect complement.

Also in the green family is Shaded Spruce. It’s the perfect alternative to the traditional green of Christmas décor.

Tawny Port, better known as burgundy, is a deep, rich color. At holiday time, forego the aforementioned red and opt for tawny accents. Think about adding velvet bows in burgundy to displays, either with wrapped gift boxes or simply by affixing bows to racks and other store fixtures.

While you’d never expect to see Marina in a fall color scheme, this perky blue is perfectly at home in your autumn product displays. Marina is unique in that it’s at once brilliant and calming. Place racks of Marina-hued wear in between the more neutral offerings to break up the monotony.

Navy Peony is another, albeit more subdued, member of the blue family. Use it wherever you typically would use black. Your customers will love the look.

fall collors


Holiday 2017: What’s ‘in Store’ for Retail?

The holiday season will be here before you know it. So what does Santa have in store for retailers for Holiday 2017?
According to the Retail TouchPoints 2017 Holiday Guide, holiday predictions are always challenging. And they are particularly so this year, with an uncertain political climate affecting everything from healthcare to trade policies.

The report notes that “Year after year, have to adapt to a changing calendar to maximize holiday sales. For example, December 2017 includes four Saturdays before Christmas Eve, a configuration that hasn’t occurred since 2012.” This could be a boon for brick-and-mortar retailers.

As if retailers need to be reminded, Alliance Data’s 2017 Retail Outlook opens with this sobering statistic: Retailers earn 40% or more from their revenue during the holiday season. That’s why the pressure is on for retailers to make their numbers.

The National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2017 Holiday Planning Playbook is based on its 2017 Holiday Shopping Behavior Survey, designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to the winter holidays. The survey polled 2,040 consumers.

The survey found that 47 percent of shoppers said they browsed physical stores to find the perfect gift idea. It also revealed that shoppers still make many impulse buys during the holidays. Approximately seven in 10 Millennial (66%) and Generation Z (71%) shoppers said they made more impulsive purchases; 68 percent of Hispanics, 54 percent of men and 52 percent of those with household incomes below $35,000 said they did so as well.

The NRF advises that, with half of all consumers still relying on in-store inspiration, retailers should consider ways to blend digital and in-store experiences to guide shoppers throughout the holiday season.

The Retail Coach offers another look toward the future in its 2017 Retail Outlook. Retail strategist C. Kelly Cofer points to these basic factors as impacting retailer demand and expansion in 2017: the economy, ecommerce, Trump, crime and Millennials. Cofer also provides a word of warning to small retailers: “Don’t sacrifice your independent retail businesses while chasing the big-boxes.”

Cofer’s report quotes Bloomberg’s Shannon Pettypiece: “Nothing has changed in the dynamic going into 2017 from what we were in 2016, where bricks-and-mortar retail is struggling. There is a shift online. Sure, a lot of the bulk of retail spending is still in stores, but the shift, the trend is still going to online, and the brick-and-mortar retailers really haven’t found a way to capitalize on that in the face of the competition from Amazon.”

The NRF concludes its survey with this caveat: “Retailers will also have to enter the 2017 holiday season with their best foot forward as customer reviews and feedback are having more impact in influencing where consumers shop and what they buy.”

SMF_holiday retail



Fall trends: What to expect

This fall, you’ll be seeing red, and not just in the vividly hued leaves fluttering in the breeze. This vibrant color made numerous appearances on the fall fashion runways, and you haven’t seen the last of it yet.

Red is making a power play from head to toe, with a lot of red leather to be found. And it’s not simply being used as an accent color; numerous designers graced the runways with monochromatic looks.

Power seems to be a theme, with power suits making a grab for a share of the limelight. Double-breasted jackets are popular, paired with everything from leggings to straight-legged slacks to baggy pants.

Kinky boots?

In what looks like something from the popular Broadway show, glitzy boots are all the rage. From ankle boots to those that are literally and figuratively over the top, these boots are not for those who want to blend into the crowd. You’ll want to wear these boots with a pair of chic sunglasses — to minimize the glare.

Forever plaid

The ‘70s are back in style, at least the plaid patterns you thought (hoped?) you’d never see again. But they’re making a comeback, in everything from coats to suits to pants. You’ll find them in a range of color combos, from conservative blacks, grays and tans to patterns tinged with blues, golds and, of course, reds.

Speaking of the ‘70s, we hate to tell you but, yes, leisure suits are baaaaack. Well, you might call them track suits or warmup suits. Whatever you call them, you’re sure to call them comfy. Luckily, it’s an updated look, with hoodies and insets of contrasting fabric to make things interesting.

But wait, there’s more! Yes, there’s more B.S. from the ‘70s. That is, Broad Shoulders. Women with ample hips will be cheering everywhere, for this profile balances out their pear-shaped figures. Everyone else will be wondering why they ever ripped out those shoulder pads in the first place.

Topping it all off

You can’t go wrong with retro this fall, especially when it comes to hats. Several designers opted for fabrics of yesteryear, like fur and shearling. The shapes are big and bold, many with large brims. Good news is, if you have a bad hair day, simply cover it up in style.

fall trends


Using virtual reality in your retail store

When we think of virtual reality (VR), most of us look at it as a substitute for when you can’t physically be somewhere or experience something. So why would retail stores use VR, when their customers are there in person?

The fact is, especially for retailers selling bit-ticket items, customers do their research online before setting foot in an offline store. According to a Forbes article, most customers — 82 percent — conduct research online. Customers want an omnichannel shopping experience, so it behooves retailers to give them what they want. VR also gives retailers the opportunity to create highly personalized experiences for customers.

First, we must change our terminology. It’s no longer just brick-and-mortar stores and ecommerce. VR has spawned a new concept, V-commerce, and it’s poised to take the retail world by storm. Stastista estimates there will be 171 million active VR users by 2018.

VR’s popularity should come as no surprise. VR offers a fun experience similar to that of video games and puzzle games such as Candy Crush. Millennials in particular are attracted to “mixed-reality” technology.

And then there’s augmented reality (AR), which provides a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment that’s augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as video, graphics, sound or GPS data. AR enables retailers to heighten the level of interaction between consumers and their products and consumers via a completely new environment. In 2010, Converse launched an AR app that allowed customers to “try on” a shoe: When customers pointed the camera at their feet, the app overlaid an image of the shoes on their feet.

AR can’t compete with the fully immersive experience VR offers. VR is a natural in today’s mobile-centric world. Customers are constantly on their mobile phones, and VR is simply another way to connect with customers wherever, whenever.

Virtual reality can tell the back story of a product. In fashion, for instance, VR can show the creative process, from concept to finish. It’s easy to insert the customer into the experience. Imagine having the customer be “fitted” with the garment, tucks here and pins there, for a perfect fit. The customer becomes immersed in the story and, therefore, more invested and likely to make a purchase.

If you’re selling high fashion, have the person on the red carpet, blinding by the flashing cameras of the paparazzi. Or on the fashion runway, stunning onlookers with detached expressions, sultry struts and to-die-for styles.

While the term “virtual reality” surfaced in the 1980s, it’s only in recent years that the concept has become widely accepted. It has evolved from science fiction to retail reality. UK clothing retailer Topshop did not wait to jump on the VR bandwagon. In 2014, it created a virtual dressing room, allowing consumers to try on garments virtually. It also marked the first time consumers could see multiple perspectives of the clothes, both from the front and back.

Of course, implementing VR comes with a cost. In the retail space, some predict the VR investment could approach $30 billion by 2020. The actual VR hardware is relatively inexpensive, which is why many retailers like North Face are taking baby steps, implementing VR in-store only. North Face has equipped select stores with VR headsets. Realizing ROI for a full-fledged VR rollout, however, could be two to three years down the road.

In retail, it’s all about relationships. VR can strengthen and expand upon the retailer-customer relationship. VR is the new PR, helping to boost brand awareness among both existing customers and prospects.



New designers & brands to watch

New York Fashion Week isn’t until September, but fashionistas and industry insiders are already buzzing with excitement.

SHINY! If you’re easily distracted by bling, you’re likely to be blinded by the vinyl and other shiny fabrics making their way to fashion runways this fall. Let’s start with SoHo men’s wear boutique Linder, which will debut its women’s wear collection at Fashion Week.

At the other end of the fashion spectrum, fans of minimalism are fawning over the Khaite collection. Its prices, however, are far from minimalist, with a simple sleeveless, button-adorned, V-neck midi dress selling for $1,050.

New York designer Nina Tiari will unveil her inaugural collection at New York Fashion Week. Get ready for splashes of color, juxtaposed patterns, and more.

September is a busy month, with London Fashion Week on the heels of (pun intended) New York’s show. London will also have its share of debuts, with Supriya Lele ready to show off her first collection. Her styles are inspired by her dual Indian and British cultural influences.

Susie Cave, supermodel and wife of Aussie musician Nick Cave, is using her fame to garner publicity for her clothing line, The Vampire’s Wife. You’ve gotta love that name. The styles, however, look like a cross between Victorian spinster and prairie chic.

Vintage is apparently in again, as evidenced by GRLFRND‘s high-rise denim shorts, skirts and jeans. Truth is, they look WNDRFL.

Let’s not forget shoes. Even Carrie Bradshaw would drool over the Dear Frances line. Choose from slides, mules, pumps and boots. Many of the chunky heels are slightly offset, creating a unique look on your feet.

If you found yourself mourning Nasty Gal‘s announcement of bankruptcy in November, your tears may turn to happy ones. UK-based Boohoo is expected to acquire the company for a cool $20 million.

All eyes will be on Ivanka Trump‘s women’s apparel and accessories line. While the First Daughter must keep business and politics separate, it will be interesting to see how this plays out in the coming months.

Along with the newbies, keep your eye on fashion legends, too. Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia are set to present at Fashion Week their debut collection for Oscar de La Renta. Also at Fashion Week, Raf Simons is expected to reveal his vision (along with glimpses of models’ skin) for Calvin Klein. And kate spade is determined to become a full-fledged lifestyle brand.



Best ways to use model forms

Let’s face it. Hangers simply do not do justice to clothes. In order to fully appreciate the lines of a garment, it’s best viewed on a dressmaker form or mannequin (or, more familiarly, manny).

Displaying clothes on mannequins is not only aesthetically pleasing; it can boost a store’s bottom line. In some cases, dressed mannequins within a display have proven to boost sales up to 70 percent. That’s because they are eye-catching, especially when compared with clothes hung on racks.

Dressing a form, however, is more involved than simply slinging the fabric in place. It’s part art, part science.

To prepare for the task, wear gloves. At the very least, remove jewelry to avoid scratching the mannequin’s paint.

First, you’ve got to determine what type of mannequin or form you’ll be using. Mannequins come in all shapes and sizes. For instance, if you’re only displaying a shirt or jacket, you could use a torso mannequin.

Once you’ve decided on the type of mannequin, that’s when the fun begins. So where do you start?

According to retail experts, first make sure the clothing is wrinkle-free. A professional steamer does the trick.

If price tags are visible, remove them. Reattach them in a less conspicuous place on the garment.

Make sure that the clothing is the right size for the mannequin. As with a real person, too-big clothing will not hang properly, and too-small clothing will cause the material to pull and strain.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to actually dress the mannequin:

1. If possible, separate the mannequin at the waist.

2. Dress the bottom half first.

3. Wait to zip or button until all clothing is on the mannequin.

4. To put on pants, turn the bottom half of the mannequin upside down. Then stand it on the base.

5. To dress the torso, attach it to the lower half but without arms.

6. Thread the arms through each sleeve and attach to the torso.

7. Carefully attach the fragile hands.

Lastly, don’t forget to accessorize. Think of the whole ensemble, just as you would if you were dressing yourself. Remember, it’s the little details that can make a big difference.



The Best of the New Fall Designers

The glitz and glamour of Spring Fashion Week may seem like a faint memory at this point, but with the hottest of the trends starting to roll out in boutiques and departments stores worldwide, that memory is quickly coming back to life.

If you want to keep up with the trendiest of shoppers, a must in the New York and L.A. markets, here are the names you need to make sure you have in stock.


Founded by designer Matthew Williams, former creative director for pop fashion icons Kanye West and Lady Gaga, in 2015 Alyx has quickly become a top contender in the luxury basics market. As explained on its site the ALYX collections fuse “inspiration from [Williams’] California youth and global urban subcultures.”

This Is the Uniform

After debuting in London at Fashion East, this label made its New York debut just a few short months ago. They draw inspiration from both English uniforms and streetwear culture, a mix that results in refreshing style that is sure to appeal to a wide age range.


Contrary to the typical New York stereotype, not all fashion that comes out of The City is edgy and dark. Novis, self-described by designer Jordana Warmflash as “audacious, cultured and happy” uses dynamic colors and eye-catching patterns to create jaw-dropping pieces.


Founded by an Alexander Wang knitwear alum, Phelan’s collection is full of intricately designed sweaters that are simultaneously luxe and casual. With colors patterns ranging from moderately tame to wildly offbeat, we’re sure this line has a big future.




Drawing Merchandising Inspiration from ICFF16

If design is a tree, the roots of home design and fashion design would be ever intertwined. Fashion influences home design, and vice versa. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that the best place to catch sneak peek of the most in vogue retail sets of the year are actually at the ICFF, the annual high-end luxury furniture extravaganza.

Sleek Modernism: Classic with a Twist

In this case, sleek modernism is a term given to the combination of classic aesthetics and metallic elements with a modern silhouette. Integrating similar styles in your retail set allows you to highlight a range of collections – from ultra modern urban to the new classics.

Eco-Friendly Redesigns

The ICFF was full of classics, redesigned for minimal impact on the environment. Consumers are growing more and more aware of their global responsibility to live sustainably, with 71 percent of consumers saying they think “green” when purchasing.

While consumers are more likely to buy a brand that has claims to “green” measures or a positive social impact, they are also more likely to pay more for those claims. A recent Nielsen survey has 55 percent of global respondents saying they are willing to pay more for products with a positive social and/or environmental impact.

Global Influences

The fusion of a fashion house’s classic design and globally influenced details have been trending more and more in the recent years. Adding international influences to your shop’s window shows that you are not limited to the same old, same old, and that you can draw from other cultures to keep up with a global economy.

Natural Beauty

The one this everyone can agree on is that there is no limit to the beauty of nature. Subtle, nature-inspired design elements, such as an understated wave or cleverly placed branch, can help to emphasize the motifs of certain collections.



The 5 R’s of Retail Merchandising

They say there’s no one right way to do something, and in fact, they’re right. There are five. The 5 R’s of merchandising are something that retailers should live by and die by if they want success. Perhaps the most surprising thing about the effectiveness of the 5 R’s, are their simplicity: present the right product to the right people at the right time in the right way at the right time.

The Right Product

There’s no accounting for taste, so this is basically a matter of being in the know. To complete the first “R,” you need to know what the people want before they do.

The Right People

Once you have your product, you have to make sure the right people are seeing it. If you’re selling a $1,000 coat in the middle of nowhere, you’re catering to the wrong people. If you’re selling the same coat in SoHo, you’re going to sell.

The Right Time

In this industry, it’s critical to strike when the iron’s hot. The right people are not looking for stores who are riding on the coattails of others, they want to be the first people to have it and they want it available when they want it.

The Right Way

Again, if you’re selling a thousand dollar coat, and you’re trying to sell it on an outdated mannequin in a generic scene, it will be passed by time and time again. You have to make the people want what you have, and the only way to do that is by painting the picture for them.

The Right Price

Pricing is a science few have mastered, but all have attempted. The price needs to match the perceived value created by all of the other factors: the product itself, the people who will buy it, the timeliness of its debut and the lifestyle it represents.




The Key to Chic: Fall 2016

New York Fashion Week has left hundreds of runway shows and countless styles in its wake. Now, we’re left daydreaming about when we can wear the looks we loved from the catwalk and left sifting through the looks we expect to be the biggest trends for Fall 2016. To make things easier for everyone, were breaking it all down right here with a list of the top 10 trends you’ll probably be wearing this fall.

  1. Think Pink

Forget what you thought you knew about Fall colors. Designers are inviting you to embrace a fresh palette, namely a rosy, pretty pink. Whether splashed on a coat or worn head to toe, it’s softening up Fall clothes, though it’s not as sweet as you might remember.

  1. All Checked Out

The pattern that took over on the runway was obvious and it seems designers across the board were having plaid thoughts. There were simpler, cleaner iterations, though some skewed more schoolgirl or even Western-inspired.

  1. Super Shine

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, the thought of shiny gold attire reminded us of glitzy grandmas and Las Vegas party girls. However, thanks to an extremely stron showing on the Fall 2016 runways, metallics- specifically gold, are poised to be a seasonal standout.

  1. Turtlenecks Under Dresses

Why wait until next fall when you can start testing out this MEGA-trend, long-sleeve shirts layered under dresses right now? Not only is it easy for any body type to pull off, but it allows you to take those slinky slips, glitzy sequins and low-cut cocktail dresses out in broad daylight.

  1. Restrained Plaid

Fall runways usually bring more tartan than we can handle, but this year, labels like Calvin Klein and Victoria Beckham approached plaid in a much cleaner, subtler, muted way, and used the print on everything from outerwear to cocktail dresses.

  1. Off-the-Shoulder Cuts

Perhaps taking cues from the fact the over the shoulder cuts were massive in the retail space throughout 2015, designers amped up their offering for Fall 2016, showcasing dramatic blouses and luxe- looking dresses with the subtly sexy silhouette.

  1. Dusty Pink Paired with Yellow

At first glance, this modern color combination felt more suited for spring than fall, but designers such as Ulla Johnson and Delpozo were careful to use separates that had an autumnal feel such as turtlenecks and coats.

  1. Pantsuits

It’s most certainly no coincidence that fashion wasn’t shy about updating the dowdy pantsuit for fall- cough cough, Hillary Clinton. Slim, stylish and often colorful, the new power suit is just as suitable for a night out as it is for the boardroom.

  1. Velvet

When the chill sets in this Fall, you’ll be thrilled velvet is having its moment. Designers showcased the luxe fabric on dresses and suiting- even track suiting, making it the favored texture of the season.

  1. Granny Chic

With polished silhouettes and luxurious finishes, these coats feel as if they were taken straight from the closets of your chic grandmother.

New York, NY, USA - February 13, 2016: A model walks the runway at the Son Jung Wan runway show during of Fall/Winter 2016 New York Fashion Week at The Dock, Skylight at Moynihan Station, Manhattan.


How to enhance the ambiance of your store

Shoppers have no obligation to spend time or money in your store. As a result, it is critical to create an inviting and pleasant atmosphere that will keep people in the store and coming back for more. With the recent growth in online retail it has become increasingly important for brick and mortar stores to distinguish their retail space with an attractive store.

Whether you are looking to promote a product or service, announce a sale, or brand your store, having high quality graphics is vital to creating the perfect, eye catching in-store display. If your store is too bland, too boring or simply unpleasant, people are going to go to another store to get what they need. Customers can get anything they are looking for at their fingertips so you really need to separate yourselves from your competition and give them a reason to buy from you. By putting in a little extra time and effort into the atmosphere of your store, you can create a space that people actually like. By doing this, it will also make employees happier and more enthusiastic about working there.

First things first, if your store is having an identity crisis, it’s time to sort it out now! Your customers will respond better to your store when it has a distinct personality and a unique style. A great way to pinpoint the overall image you are trying to portray is by thinking about your ideal customer. What kind of store atmosphere would appeal to him or her? Would your customers feel more comfortable in a sleek, modern store, or would they be happier in a more traditional feel? Does background music make sense, or would it be a distraction? These might seem like small things to consider but they are extremely important point that will help you develop a unique atmosphere for your store.

Work from the outside in

The storefront is the first thing a customer sees before entering your store, so it makes sense to focus your creative energies on how the signage and storefront look. The business name should be clear and well defined. The sign should be refreshed and spruced up once in a while; since you obviously don’t want your customers to get the feel that your sign was made in the 90s when its now 2016. Most importantly your sign should be clear and visible from a distance. If you have trees around the store, make sure they do not obscure the view and should be trimmed regularly. The signage should also be very well-lit in the evenings and made to look clean and well taken care of. Not only does this give your store an edge over your opposition, it also represents the store’s inclination towards welcoming its customers.

Store ambiance

This rule is simple: make the store ambiance inviting and comfortable. The goal is to keep your customers around as long as possible. The longer they hang around looking in your store, the more they will usually spend. Even if they don’t buy you still want the customer to enjoy being in your store. To do this, make the store atmosphere welcoming, attractive and friendly. Storeowners should make an attempt to decorate and provide a visually interesting space. Elaborate displays are not the only answer to decoration. Appropriate lighting, well painted walls, neatly stacked racks, attractive décor, friendly yet unobtrusive sales people, soothing/peppy music are a few things the store owner can look into in the hope of increasing foot traffic. Research has shown that 70% of purchase decisions are made in-store, and these are largely influenced by the placement of merchandise, in-store signage, the décor, etc. The signs inside should convey the stores message loud and clear. It should always be informative enough for a customer and should educate the consumer on what they are looking at and to direct them at what they would want to locate.

Remember there is never a second change to make a first impression. After reading this, you need to understand that neglecting the store environment, inside or out can have serious implications on the sales of the store. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that an emphasis on store ambiance, design and feel will ultimately influence the purchase decision of a customer.

Clothing Store


Election 2016: What does it mean for the retail industry?

Knowing that retail sales have regular cycles that can be disrupted by external events, we asked ourselves do election years affect retail sales. So, we did a little research to see what we could expect from this election year.

For starters, with the 2016 election around the corner, many employers find themselves anxiously waiting what election-year politics might bring to their front doorsteps. What we also found was that there does appear to be two patterns of influence. One, the stock market tends to perform well in election years, perhaps out of hope for change, but we can’t be certainly sure. But what we do know is that since 1960 we’ve seen positive gains in the S&P 500 in 11 out of the 14 elections years. Given that the stock market has a psychological effect on consumers’ spending habits, giving them more confidence in the soundness of the economy in general, this could have a positive affect on retail sales.

Retailers are known to play the blame game when it comes to their sales numbers. They will point a finger at Mother Nature for being too hot or rainy, Hollywood for releasing a blockbuster and distracting shoppers and even consumers themselves for being too bargain hungry, in turn hurting their margins. The second pattern we found is according to ShopperTrak shopping activity decreases during a campaign. During the 2004 presidential election, retailers experienced a 0.7% year-over-year decline in sales and a 2.2% drop off the week before Election Day. In 2008, foot traffic dropped off 3.7% the week before the election and 6.3% the week of the election, when compared to the same period the year before.

“As we get closer to the day, retailers will struggle to find air time between all the political aids running and get consumers’ attention,” says Bill Martin, ShopperTrak’s founder. “Consumers get bombarded and consumed with the election coverage…just look at the first debate it brought in 60 million viewers who weren’t out shopping.” According to Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing, shoppers tend to go “on hold” during the campaign. “People are on pins and needles, everybody has a hat in the game and that shifts their primary docus to necessity buying – they are still going to need milk and gas, but they tend to put on hold shopping trips and weekend getaways until they know who is going to be elected.” Thankfully for retailers, Martin explains the pent-up demand will make up for all of the lost revenue. No matter which party wins the weekend following the election, expect a big shopping day.

While we admit that we don’t have a crystal ball, the cycles seem pretty clear, so it’s best to be prepared. Given these probabilities, retailers should plan accordingly, making sure that they are carefully examining the trends within their own businesses, while at the same time making sure that they can be promotional when they need to be by building significant margin.

Close-up of woman’s hand holding plastic card while going shopping in the mall


The Job of The Fashion Merchandiser VS The Job of The Fashion Buyer

There is a very fine line marking the difference between fashion merchandising and fashion buying. Retail stores in the fashion industry depend on keeping the latest styles in stock at all times. Fashion buying and merchandising are the two primary roles in establishing a store full of clothing and accessories that meet the demands of customers. The two jobs are correlated and have some similar duties, with some employers choosing to combine the duties into one position, but there are subtle differences in the jobs. Let’s dive deeper into the world of fashion merchandising and fashion buying.

Fashion merchandising is meant to create a positive store experience that appeals to the store’s customers. The merchandiser’s main focus is how to set up items in the store, but they also sometimes select the items that are available in the store. The way the store is set up affects the flow of the customers walking through the store, and it shows which items are highlighted through notable displays. Overall the goal of a fashion merchandiser is to meet the needs of all its customers while increasing sales for the business.

The primary focus of the fashion buyer, on the other hand, is to choose the products that will go into the store. While the two jobs may collaborate with each other to make buying decisions, it’s the buyers job to stay current on the latest fashion trends so they can decide on what customers want to buy next. Once he/she picks which products are ideal for their specific store, they then order and track the merchandise as it’s shipped from the supplier.

Now that we’ve looked into the jobs of the merchandiser and the buyer, let’s take a look at the skills needed to make sure the job gets done correctly and efficiently. Merchandisers need both fashion and business skills to succeed. They need a good understanding of the target demographic and what they want to see when they enter the store. More importantly, they need to know how to display items to make them more appealing so they can increase sales. The fashion knowledge helps them decide which pieces to highlight throughout the displays. Since they have to setup the layout for the store, some aspects of marketing might possibly be included in the job description.

While the merchandiser needs to have a better business and marketing understanding, the buyer needs a clear understanding of the type of merchandise the store and its customers want. They need the mathematical skillset to analyze the typical customer, fashion trends and to buy within the store’s budget to supply the store with products that fit the customer’s desired price range. The buyer works with a variety of people, including the merchandiser, store management, and also the clothing suppliers. Since they have to deal with the suppliers, the buyer should have some business knowledge to negotiate prices and ensure the items are shipped properly and on time.

As we have explored, the jobs of both the merchandiser and the buyer are both extremely important. Each plays a major role in the success of the store they are working for. While their jobs are very similar, they each have their own tasks that are necessary to make their store successful. Even though you can combine both jobs into one position, the best practice is to separate the two to make sure everything gets done efficiently and effectively.



Must Have Presentations For Spring

In the world of retail, looks matter. The weather is warming up, and it’s about time to put those layers away and step into the sunshine. Spring is the season of new beginnings, and what better way to celebrate than to update your store window displays! A bold new Spring window display might be just what you need to convince your customers to check out all your new Spring merchandise. Here are 3 great Spring window display themes that will have your customers feeling great before they even walk through the door.

April Showers & May Flowers

Creating a positive experience for your customers is always the main goal when they come into your store. What better way to do so than to remind everyone spring is here with an April showers and May flowers theme. Cut some fun colored paper into cloud shapes and attach ribbons to the ends to signify spring April showers. You could also try attaching a string of cut out raindrops to your cloud creation. May flowers are always a great way to decorate for your spring theme because they can be used year round. The possibilities of color and size are endless, so let your imagination run wild.

Bright Colors

Spring is the time to bring back those soft pastels, vivid bright colors and bold patterns to your store and displays. Try to accessorize your store full of fun spring colors to set a cheerful mood for your customers. Decorating your store in bright spring colors will help transition from gloomy winter weather, and it will bring some fresh new life into your store’s new arrivals.


An upcycled window display can be the perfect thing for you and your store if you’re looking for a cute and creative way to display spring merchandise on a budget. You can use an extra ladder or bicycle accessorized with your hottest new merchandise, along with a bouquet of some colorful flowers.

By introducing spring into your store theme and window displays it gives your customers a breath of fresh air after a long and cold winter. As a merchandiser, you always want to create a positive shopping experience for your buyers, and what better way of doing that than creating a positive and happy feeling before they even walk through the door. When you introduce happiness and positive reinforcement to your customers, there is a much better chance they will be willing to buy from you.



Customer Interview with Tom Beebe from W. Diamond Group

We spoke with Tom Beebe from W. Diamond Group about his philosophy on art and fashion, visual merchandising, and more.

How do you use store displays to portray a designer’s vision to customers?

The windows of a shop are your billboard – the story of your brand and it must be very clear and focused. Interior visuals must carry on the story of the brand to the smallest detail for the shopper experience.


When you are creating a merchandise display, does the quality of the model forms and mannequins improve the design?

Quality is always number one – the forms and mannequins must be the same level as your vision – to achieve the polished look.


Do you see similarities between the way art and fashion are best displayed?

Art and Fashion are one. Gene Moore my, mentor at Tiffany (39 years), had the best 5 window gallery in the world – on 5th Ave.


What is one of your favorite display projects, and why do you think it’s memorable?

I am currently working with the Smithsonian Museum in Washington on putting the archives of Gene Moore’s work online – for students, visual world, architects, designers – to use as an educational tool/history of design to be viewed forever in time.


When displaying high end products, how does the quality of the model forms highlight the elegance of the items on display?

The visual goal is all about Illusion and to create the fantasy so all elements balance the elegance.


When preparing seasonal displays, what inspires you and how far in advance does the planning start?

With seasonal displays inspiration comes from everywhere – the SPARK of an idea – the glance of some MAGICAL moment to be created and made into a REALITY. It all starts as a work in progress months before – but it is the last minute touches that pull the threads of MAGIC together.


Tom Beebe


Visual Merchandising Tips That Will Put Your Business One Step Ahead

One of the retail elements that greatly affect the visual merchandising efforts is the environment in the store. No one wants to have a boring product display: in fact every visual merchandiser wants to have an eye catching, interesting shop window and display to bring in as many customers as possible. Studies show that 70% of purchases are actually unplanned purchases, which shows that the store environment is an important element when it comes to getting a buyer.

There are many factors and elements you should take to make sure you have a great store environment. Some of these elements include color, visual information, music, scent, lighting, consumer density and so much more. Below is a list of visual merchandising tips and ideas that are almost certain to get you the results you’re looking for.

1) Do not limit your themes to four seasons:
Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall may be the most popular and common, but there still many other merchandising themes that you can implement into your display and store. I would recommend trying to do six different themes every year. Every month is would definitely be best, but that is borderline unmanageable. By doing six different themes a year you are getting more flexibility, because this will allow you to change up your theme every other month. You can match your theme with special events like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and other celebrations and holidays.

2) Use variation to support your theme:
Variation will support your theme and avoid boringness of display and decoration. You can use the same theme every year, but avoid using the same display and style. You need to create a new look or else you will only annoy your viewers. The best way to add variation is by using “scheme”. A scheme works like a sub-theme. For example: if your theme is Christmas, you can create one toy window, one Christmas party window and one white Christmas window. All three of these are different but they are related to your Christmas theme.

3) Integrate dynamic techniques in your display:
Combining multi-media, printed materials, sensory input and interactive installation into your displays are known as dynamic techniques and are becoming big visual merchandising trends, especially in the coming years because of the fast moving digital civilization. The days where retail stores only rely on simple product presentation are gone. Think about what captures the attention of busy people in this digital age where almost everyone who is passing by your store are walking so quickly, if not looking slowly while looking at their mobile phones.

4) Enhance the ambiance of your store:
By adding a little aroma, music and dramatic lighting to your store, you can create a great impression on your shoppers. Most importantly, match the type of ambiance with the lifestyle and culture of your target market.
When it comes to visual merchandising, your creativity can take you and your business a long way. It will give you that edge above your competition you have been looking for and the results will show in the sales report at the end of the month.



Are Fashion Shows Still Relevant?

Fashion Week season has just ended, and people are still buzzing about new collections. However, it seems like every year more and more people are asking: are fashion shows even still important? While they were once the fastest way to show designs to a large group of people, giving buyers and influencers the chance to plan the next season’s stock and stories, in today’s connected age, anyone can see the designs with a click of a button. Is it really worth spending the money on an event, when emailing a lookbook would have the same effect? While it may be tempting to ditch the tents, there are a few positives to the traditional fashion show that shouldn’t be ignored.

Today, fashion shows serve as more of a branding experience than just a way to demonstrate merchandise. They feature more than clothes: it’s a way to express what kind of overall aesthetic and values your brand favors. Designers can tell a story on the runway much more distinctly than in a few photographs.

Fashion Week is also beneficial when it comes to networking. The presence of so many people in the industry in one area, whether they’re buyers, designers, journalists, or tastemakers, is invaluable. There are plenty of connections to be made at after parties or outside the tents with potential buyers, press connections, and more. Perhaps even more importantly, you can quickly get a feel for what people are thinking about this season’s trends and the state of the industry as a whole.

The publicity also doesn’t hurt! Shows of new collections are still covered extensively in the press – if the only mention of your brand is that a young starlet was spotted in the first row, it builds name recognition. Even if Fashion Week is just a place to see and be seen, having a presence means that others are looking. While it may seem costly to spend all that money on a twenty-minute event, the intangible benefits of fashion shows are still very much relevant in today’s fashion climate.



Blast from the past – celebrating 90 years

Superior Model Form is celebrating its 90th anniversary of providing high-quality mannequins. That’s a lot of outfits! Trends have evolved quite a bit since 1926. Our fashion timeline shows just how much things have changed:



Top retail trends for 2016

The retail landscape is evolving rapidly. 2015 saw many changes in merchandising trends, payment methods, purchasing power, and more. Here’s where we see the retail landscape going in the coming year.

The rise of the millennials will continue to affect businesses. Although these young adults came of age during a financial crisis, they now have prime purchasing power. Catering to this demographic is key. The millennial generation tends to be more socially-conscious than their forbears. Their focus is on authenticity: think locally- and ethically-made goods of lasting quality.

Social shopping
will become an even greater influence. Whether through submitting reviews through sites such as Yelp, social media interaction with brands, or contributing user-generated content to their favorite companies, the consumer is increasingly involved in creating the conversation. The best bet in the coming year is to create new avenues for engagement, and to listen! Use social media to interact with consumers. Look for new ways to use user-generated content. Monitor online reviews, and respond appropriately. By interacting with your audience, you’ll both gain new business and improve brand loyalty with existing customers.

New payment options are gaining traction in 2016. No longer limited to cash or credit, consumers are increasingly paying through mobile means. PayPal Here, Google Wallet, Android Pay, and Venmo are all new options that are popular with shoppers. Offering payment via app is an easy way to stay on the cutting edge while keeping the shopping experience convenient for all of your customers.



The Colors of Spring 2016

This spring, the hot colors are inspired by nature – with a botanical twist. In a continuation of last year’s pastel trend, red carpets are showing items in decidedly floral hues, such as pale blue and pink, minty blues, light grays, tans, and yellows. Things are looking a little more vivid, though – splashy tones in coral, green, blue, and red are also hot this year.

The top 10 Pantone colors of Spring 16 are:

• Buttercup
• Fiesta
• Green Flash
• Iced Coffee
• Lilac Gray
• Limpet Shell
• Peach Echo
• Rose Quartz
• Serenity
• Snorkel Blue

These hues are sunny, exciting, and transporting, ready to evoke feelings of optimism and transformation in their wearers. Get ready to see these colors sell big!



Superior Business Opportunity!

We want to help you start your own business! Please send all resumes to [email protected] with the subject line Start Up Booster. See below for details.



Superior Model Form Co. WAREHOUSE SALE

Now through January come visit our Superior Model Form Co. WAREHOUSE SALE, located at 140 58th Street, Loading Dock #4, Brooklyn NY. You can buy our favorite Model Forms starting at just $250 so don’t miss out! If you have any questions you can give us a call at 212-947-3633.

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Merchandising Tips: Customized Mannequins & What They Mean For Your Business

Mannequins are and always will be one of the most powerful tools among successful clothing retailers around the world. Today they are continuing to play a growing role in retail clothing sales. Mannequins don’t just sell the clothes they’re wearing, but also all the clothes around them. They create a certain “feel” to the store and create an image in the mind of the consumers of what to expect from the clothes the store carries.

Successful retailers go a step further than just having the “average” mannequin. They want a customized mannequin to showcase a certain style of clothing. Everything from length, color, and bust size are an important factor to show the perfect fit of what they’re selling. Mannequins are not just for display; they’re there to make a split-second connection with the consumers on an emotional level. In order to do that retailers must understand that different clothing is for different people: everyone is a different size, shape, color, etc. You want to make the consumers’ shopping experience personal: if there is no connection, there is no sense of “need to buy” and in the end that is the main goal.



Fashionista Trends: 5 New Spring 2016 Fashion Trends To Look Out For

1) If you thought fashion designers were done with ‘70s-inspiration, you’d be very wrong. Designers such as Alberta Ferretti, Olivier Rouesteing, and Jonathan Saunders all sent models down the runway in outfits made of suede, which is still one of the decade’s most-loved fabrics.

2) All Victorian, All The Time: Everything from ruffles, high-collar necklines, tons of flowers, and puffy sleeves were all over the runways at shows like J.W. Anderson and Emilia Wickstead.

3) Flat Shoes: Thanks to brands such as Victoria Beckham, Alexander Wang, and Edun, comfortable shoes are still trending for spring 2016. You’re welcome.

4) Olé!: Many designers, such as Michael Kors, Jonathan Simkhai and Diane von Furstenberg, are incorporating hints of Spanish culture into their clothing. From bold red colors to toreador-esque flourishes, Spanish culture is very much in!

5) Caught in a net: All over the runways, models were found in designer netting made by Alexander Wang, Tome, and Dion Lee, to name a few.



Design Insider Spotlight

Sally Di Marco is a fashion educator and author. Her industry reputation comes from teaching as well as tenures as chief fashion designer of fur-lined coat collections for names such as Chanel, Dior, and St Laurent. As an educator, she served as the Coordinator for the Fashion Design program and Associate Professor at Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) from 1979 to 2010. She has a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts Degree in Fashion Design from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and a Masters Degree in Higher Education from the Johns Hopkins University.

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Fashionista Trends: New Designers to Watch

Fashion is all about looking forward – the next trend, next season and the next designers.

With fall around the corner, you’re looking ahead to Spring. While you’re customers have their favorite labels now, they’ll be on to the next ones soon enough, too. Here are a few up and coming labels to keep your eye on over the next several seasons.

Kempner debuted in Fall 2014 with a sleek, minimal collection suitable for the office or a night out. The label pays homage to the iconic style of the designers’ grandmother, Nan Kempner, with a modern sportswear collection, according to its website.

Brock Collection
Husband and wife design duo Laura Vassar and Kristopher Brock’s Brock Collection is just three seasons old and has quickly gained a buzz for its brand of elevated sportswear looks.

CG by Chris Gelinas
Known for classically feminine silhouettes and unexpected textiles, the designer told Man Repeller: “My designs aren’t so much about the utility of getting dressed; they’re much more about how the pieces make you feel. They’re for the woman who loves the art of dressing.”

Charles Youssef
Geometric shapes and classic couture techniques have made Charles Youssef, “one to watch” according to Fashionista. He made his debut at New York Fashion Week last season and has a resumé featuring design positions at Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Gareth Pugh.

Collina Strada
Originally started as a handbag line in 2008 by Hillary Taymour, Collina Strada is a boutique brand that embraces a tough sensibility by “combining a raw feminine understated attitude and luxuriously modern design,” according to the brand’s website.

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Merchandising Tips: Top Furniture Trends for 2015/2016

Retailers need to stay on trend – and not just in fashion. Staying current with the latest interior design and furniture trends is a great way to give your store and merchandise a cutting edge look that’s appealing to shoppers.

The latest interior design trends are all about adding a dash of color and texture to your spaces. When our custom model forms and mannequins are combined with fresh interior looks it creates high-end displays that get shoppers in the mood to spend.

Here are some of our favorite easy-to-add interior design and furniture trends.

– Bold shades of blue are in and can easily be added to your displays with accent walls, furnishings, throw pillows or wall prints. Make the blues bolder by surrounding them with a few neutral colors to balance the look.

– Gold accents add a sense of luxury that’s sure to make your latest fashions look even more appealing. Table legs, jewelry, door hardware and artfully displayed watches add an old world sensibility that draws attention to clothing details.

– Earthy textures like wood, marble, bone and horn add a sense of rustic chic to interior looks. These materials are ultra trendy but also practical, with timeless elements of style. Warm and attractive, earthy materials alongside rustic wood furniture make for cool settings to display modern fashions.

– A touch of retro chic is a great addition to any space. Anything mid-century modern is always in style. Nostalgic looks are a great pair with new fashions to show off a sense of history and style. Edison light bulbs, Mason jars, vintage prints and fashion magazine displays are a fun way to play with the trend.

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Editorial: Welcome to our Design Community

Before your customers ever make a purchase, they form an idea of what they want a garment to look, feel, and fit like. It’s a process that starts before they even enter the store with the idea to buy something.

Appropriate and effective merchandise display designs are the best way to help this important process continue to an end-goal that the customer is the most satisfied with. When using the proper display design, it makes it easy for customers to identify with all of the different styles and merchandise that you carry.

Utilizing our custom model and display forms are the first step in creating those bold displays that emphasize the quality of your merchandise. Our high quality model forms are made with the same care, craftsmanship and attention to detail as the finest clothing in your store. Using forms like these for your store displays is the perfect way to show the customer that you are offering something truly special.

By consistently producing some of the most accurate and high quality fashion forms in the industry we are helping people like you continue to influence the fashion world by creating the unique and creative atmosphere of your retail environment, while also promoting your merchandise in the most effective ways possible. Throughout our longevity we continue to provide innovative design solutions by keeping up with the ever-changing fashion world to allow for the superior quality and dependability that comes along with all of our fashion and display forms.

We encourage all of you to visit our website at, along with our Facebook page for some merchandising expertise, along with monthly fashion and design tips that will help you learn more about some great ways to increase the effectiveness of your visual display designs, fixtures, and other merchandising tools for your retail space.


Product of the month: Kids and Men’s


Using scale and different sized visual displays to highlight your merchandise is a great way to show off the details of each part of your merchandise. One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to effective displays, so it is important to keep the spotlight on your merchandise with the right sizes for each piece.

If you carry men’s and children’s clothing, a high quality display form will showcase the craftsmanship of each piece, showing the consideration you have for each size and for every shopper’s needs.

You can select from either our in-stock or custom men’s and toddlers display forms to give your store an advantage over establishments that don’t offer the same care and detailed styling. Our in-stock men’s and children forms come in size 40 for men and 4 for toddler and children’s forms. In addition to these size are our custom sizes that range from 38 to 46 for men and new born to 6 for toddler and children’s forms.

Along with these varieties in size, we also offer these forms in several different kinds of materials and colors, such as forms with wooden or metal arms and/or bases, as well as a colored or raw coloring for the different material that you chose.

You can see other measurement and size variations in the measurement charts provided below.

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Merchandising Tips: The Purpose of Customization

It’s important to change your P.O.P displays, as well as other visual displays regularly so that you can give customers a fresh and new experience every time they shop with you. This not only makes buying your merchandise fun for the customer, but also fun for you when you’re selling it.

Next time you’re creating a merchandise display, try using our custom model and full body forms to show off your best items in groups of three. Grouping products in threes lets you accentuate certain items while also displaying complimentary pieces. Consequently, this allows you to productively distribute your merchandise and convey an appropriate and desirable atmosphere in your retail space.

With the retail market the way it is today, one of the most important merchandising tools to use is the ability to customize the display for each piece of your merchandise and working with small groups is the perfect way to do that. Today’s competitive retail environment requires something unique to stand out and given our craftsmanship and attention to detail, our display products add a sense of quality and fine workmanship that will set you apart from the rest.

Our display forms give you different options including accessories and miniature forms, along with men and children’s sizes. We also provide the option for custom wood or metal bases to complement your store’s décor, fixtures and seasonal themes, to allow for further customization of the look of the retail space and add to the customer experience.



Fashionista Trends: The Colors of Fall

In fashion, it’s always time to look ahead. Summer is about to peak and as a retailer, you know what that means—the fall fashion season is almost here.

Prepare now and bask in the benefits well before the leaves change. Here are a few tips for you to get started with.

– Bold, earthy colors are in abundance during fall. Think browns oranges and dark greens, both in the clothing you are displaying and in the accent pieces surrounding your displays.

– Fabrics in rustic textures like burlap are a great way to mirror the changing seasons and make ideal bases for wall and floor displays.

– If you want to keep the focus on the merchandise, try displaying scarves in fall colors and patterns alongside matching coats and sweaters.

– You won’t need a huge budget for fun fall store displays. Paper leaves are easy to make and add a versatile display element. Use reclaimed cardboard for a more edgy look.

– Make sure your display themes relate well to your products. Orange blazers will look fabulous next to pumpkins.

– Our model forms and mannequins look fabulous next to deconstructed accessories. Try placing a worn vintage chair next to a magnificent coat garment displayed on a custom form. It’s a great way to highlight a high quality