I have to say that the evolution of TV has taken us from the family oriented sitcoms, to the OVER saturated networks of reality TV shows. As annoyed as some of them make me, I’m always partial to the ones related to fashion. Last night a new reality show, Fashion Star, premiered on NBC and definitely sparked the interest of many, as they compared, contrasted, and made HILARIOUS comments about the show’s concept. In my opinion, Fashion Star has the hype and stage action of American Idol, the judging style of The Voice, and the fashion designer hustle and bustle of Project Runway! Some said it was like Project Runway on drugs because it was so fast paced, while others said they liked the speed of the show. In any event, my favorite aspect of the show is that they are bringing the business of fashion to the forefront. Along with judges Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie, and John Varvatos, is a panel of buyers from three major retailers who decide right then and there if they will make an offer to designers for their pieces. The buyers include Caprice Willard (Macy’s), Terron E. Schaefer (Saks Fifth Avenue) and Nicole Christie (H&M), and by the looks of last night’s episode, they are about BUSINESS! As a business student who loves fashion, it’s a breath of fresh air to see both very important aspects in the limelight so people see just how important both sides are. What I love about the buyer’s position is that they are very selective and must consider so many aspects before leaping to place an order with designers, including making certain that the pieces are on trend, will fit the “voice” of their target consumer, and ultimately that it will sell. I also love that each buyer clearly explains their reasoning for either accepting or rejecting designers’ pieces.
Mentors Nicole Richie, John Varvatos, Host Elle macpherson, and mentor Jessica Simpson. Image via NBC.com
Buyers (L-R) Macy's, H&M, Saks- image via NBC.com
In any event, the whole show had me on the edge of my seat as we waited for judges to give their opinions and buyers to make decisions. Of course my whole twitter timeline was going IN on the #FashionStar hash tag, both with positive and negative opinions about the show, making predictions as to which pieces they felt would go to which retailer, and just overall commentary that was UBER fun+funny! I even got sent to Twitter jail! hahaha…. The most awesome part about this show (and smartest marketing strategy on their part) is that RIGHT after the show airs, the pieces that were purchased by buyers are immediately available online at the respective retailers and in store the very next day! How cool? How financially smart on their end? How hurtful to my pockets?! Whoever came up with this idea was GENIUS. People love exclusivity, accessibility, the ability to have access in this quick timeframe, and making pieces fresh off the Fashion Star runway available to the people they were designed for is very important and makes viewers feel very special indeed. It helps that the pieces chosen are HOT and will only be chosen if that’s the case, and that they are affordable. I am thrilled that there is finally a show dedicated to designing pieces that are REALLY RTW and not sort of RTW…(lol). The show is about the consumer, and because of that, they have gotten an enormous response if you ask me…one piece sold out in about 7 minutes online last night and today in H&M, the sales rep told me that they expected that they would sell like this (hint).
Here’s the dress in question… Cute, right? via hmfashionstar.com (which is where you purchase online for the H&M+ Fashion Star pieces)
Speaking of that, let me tell you about my experience trying to get my hands on a piece that was shown on the runway last night. One designer, Sarah Parrott designed a turquoise (and black) structured shift dress, and EVERYONE loved it! It came down the runway and was everything chic, constructed from a woven material with a back cutout, cap sleeves, just all right! H&M made an offer to her, so that made me even more thrilled because I LOVE shopping there. After the show aired, I tried to order 2 online and as they were IN my cart they sold out…in ALL sizes. I decided that I would go to the store today, and after calling and finding out that they were selling out fast, I literally ran downtown in between classes( the things I do for fashion…lol). When I arrived, the rack looked like it had been ramsacked….there were like 6 dresses left, none in my “real”size(10). I thought it wouldn’t hurt to try a size smaller than I wear (I was in denial that my size was gone lol), and NOT to my surprise, I couldn’t even get them past elbows. When I say that this dress is made with not ONE stitch of elastic, I am not exaggerating. It didn’t stretch in any direction, stiff as ever…and that does not suit a curvy girl well.
When I went to put the dresses back, I came across another rack I’d missed and they had my size! I was so excited and got one in my size and in a 12, just in case, and to no avail….it was a FAIL. First of all, this is the hardest dress I’ve ever had to get on or off in my whole 21 years of life. I felt like I had just got done fighting after I finally got out of the dress! When I tried on my size, the fabric squeezed and bulked in all the wrong places and was just so ill fitting. When I tried the next size up, it was no better…just more bulk and no BOOM! I have to admit, I was sad because I genuinly love the design of the dress…it just isn’t made for a girl with curves…or maybe my proportions are just not fit for it or something…idk. I considered taking a photo to show you, but I would be too self conscious to even show it. All in all, I’d say the show will be and already is very successful, almost all of the pieces introduced to the 3 retailers are sold out online, exactly what they wanted and KNEW would happen. I love it! Any who, here’s some advice I’d give for the Fashion Star fans that plan on buying every piece that gets picked up by these retailers every single Tuesday… -_-
1. Do NOT buy it online unless you aren’t worried about how the garment fits.
2. IF you plan on buying online, have the page open and ready at 10:59pm because the garments were selling out in minutes.
3. if you are going to the actual store, get there early to make sure they have your size so you can try on the garments and make sure they flatter your body type (I would have been PISSED if I got my dresses in the mail only to find out they make me look horrible)
4. Be selective, each week the garments will probably get better and better. Don’t “run and buy” just to be a part of the hype (like I was about to do…lol)
5. Business minds, take note of the concept of this show, SUCH a great marketing/business/financial move…I’m inspired as abusiness student….think smart.
To learn more about Fashion Star, designers, photos, and to see videos+full episodes, click here
Until next Tuesday when our credit cards become potential victims again, xo
with style~ Sharontina B.