Banking on bow ties


Elise Diamantini talks to a group of guys who started wearing bow ties as a way to thumb their noses at a new dress code, and then found themselves office trendsetters.

Custom kicks


Elise Diamantini: Last night, New Balance previewed their made in the USA collection at New York’s Mulberry Project.

Francie Nguyen: Direct to consumer


Retailer of the Year coverage: Francie Nguyen, SVP of CMRG direct business: “There will always be a need for the catalog—it’s our number one marketing tool—but we’re a multi-channel business and everything we do from print to e-mail to in-store helps drive the total business.”

Retail rewind


Elise Diamantini: A few factors are driving the high single-digit increases that contemporary merchants have achieved year to date: 1) a surge in non-denim bottoms; 2) more affordable pricepoints; 3) slimmer styling; and 4) a new focus on shorts and swimwear.

Putting denim in Context


Since opening Madison, Wisconsin’s Context Clothing, Ryan Huber, Sam Parker and Ben Parker have adopted more of a lifestyle approach to buying and merchandising.

In the market: spring ’12 checklist


Elise Diamantini: Although at MR we’re anxiously awaiting fall ’12, we just can’t help but get that last look at spring before hibernating for the winter.

An editor in China

Elise Diamantini and Mr. Ding

Elise Diamantini:The Natsun Group (who owns and produces the Paul Betenly brand for the States) invited me to celebrate the company’s 30th anniversary in China.

LTD, Wisconsin’s LA-inspired summer pop-up shop

Jason Fischer with Jake, his "right hand man."

Lake Elkhart in Wisconsin (home to the Elkhart race tracks) has a population of about 1,019, but in the summer months it can attract close to 10,000 people at a time. “I call it the Hamptons of Minnesota and Milwaukee,” says Jason Fischer who grew up on the lake and owns LTD, a small apparel […]

Unionmade: Making made in America cool


After 19 years of working in corporate America for the Gap, Todd Barket, like many people during the recession, lost his job. Barket took the opportunity to live out his American dream and opened Unionmade in San Francisco, Calif. “When I opened the store, few men’s specialty stores carried aspirational brands.” Of course, that’s since […]

Fashion’s Night Out at Opening Ceremony/Ace Hotel


Who better to conquer Fashion’s Night Out with than my favorite shopping buddy Jamel. We decided to avoid the downtown madness and hit up the Opening Ceremony at the Ace Hotel festivities on 29th and Broadway. Together they hosted the Argentinean-inspired el mercado de carnaval de Opening Ceremony. The Carnival was held inside the lobby […]