What You Can Still Buy for 20 Bucks

“Darling you just have to see these shirts,” said luxury lifestyle writer Donald Charles Richardson, pulling me over to a rack of beautifully colored plaid wovens at a press event yesterday for Wrangler. And I have to admit, these were really nice shirts! And they were all 20 bucks. Retail!! (And Donald Charles, who as […]

Getting in the (Shopping) Zone

Who knows what really motivates people to buy apparel, but enthusiastic sellers who “look the part” and a relaxed, no-pressure environment are certainly key to the formula. I recently attended a “shopping party” (a modern take on Tupperware parties ) at a friend’s home for a women’s clothing line. It was called CAbi, for Carol […]

Accessible Luxury

What to do if you’re an independent merchant competing with all the recent price-cutting on European designer brands? “Smart retailers still see the value in European brands,” insists Lou Bonnanzio, “but lesser-known brands, where you’re getting the design heritage and hand craftsmanship without having to pay for all the marketing…” Below: Gene Beola and Lou […]

Looking for a Home

I was not all that excited when I got a call yesterday from Steve Weiner of Hartmarx: something about finding framed material from the early 1900s, event programs, photos, newspaper articles, etc. But the enthusiasm in his voice convinced me to walk over and take a look. Am I glad I did! I ended up […]

What Matters Most

How easy to forget, especially in these troubled times when we’re all struggling to stay afloat financially, that what matters most is not making money but touching lives. To paraphrase the Talmud, he who rescues a single life is as praiseworthy as he who saves the entire world. Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with the […]

Lost & Found

If you like to commiserate with unhappy stressed-out people, try hanging out at the Lost & Found at Grand Central Station. I was there a few weeks ago to look for car keys that had fallen out of my coat pocket from the overhead bin on the train. Miracle of Miracles: some one had actually […]

In Vegas: The Quest for $100 Wovens

Joe (Jackie Mason) Roisman from Perry Ellis stopped me at MAGIC with a few jokes to break up all the dreary economy talk. “My wife just had plastic surgery: I cut up her credit cards…” he quipped. “But seriously, she lost her wallet and I never even reported the missing credit cards because the person […]

Clothes That Make a Man

The following essay was written and sent to me by a young aspiring writer. Its timing is significant: In light of the tenuous economy, more people than ever are in desperate need of clothing. If you’re in a position to donate (Cancelled orders, anyone?), please contact Fashion Delivers Inc., a wonderful organization established in 2005 […]

Show Time!

It was 5:30 p.m. on a frigid December 23rd in NYC, the eve of my holiday break after a tough few weeks of scrambling to meet deadlines. All I wanted to do was get home to Connecticut so I almost didn’t answer the phone (after months of consoling my depressed retailer friends, it was getting […]

Luxury Values

“Business is not quite up to last year, but it’s not bad,” confides the always elegant Domenico Spano, over dinner last week at The Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station (which, by the way, was jam-packed with both New Yorkers and tourists. We may be in a recession, but we still had to wait 20 […]