SFFAMA Event at Pigment: Product Pitches

I think that it is rather a funny (and yet an amazing!) concept to have fashion and technology events in SF. I mean, on one hand you run the risk of meeting nerdy, socially awkward men, which has been an issue of mine previously when I worked as a scientist in Silicon Valley. But on the other, which was my experience last week, I found that I enjoy learning about the technology at fashion events (the geek in me gets to show her true colors!). It’s a genius way to diversify the fashion world. Plus, sitting in a letture talking about robots that fold your clothes is such an interesting, intellectual conversation.

Last Thursday, I went to the SFFAMA product pitch event at Pigment Cosmetics. I went to learn about what people here are up to, to network with key industry leaders and to drink wine and eat delicious cookies.  Let me give you a short recap on some of my favorite presenters.

FoldiMate: a smart clothes-folding robotic appliance, which will soon be available to both laundromats and sophisticated retailers. Who doesn’t want or need an intelligent apparel folding robot? ArielSimone sure does!

The Google+ team are huge supporters of fashion and their product presentation was on one of the Google+ features– hang outs. The cool thing about hang outs is that it allows people to stream what is happening in another space. It gave me some ideas for our upcoming launch party, here in SF. Hopefully, we are able to use this feature to virtually stream our party or a future runway show. Wouldn’t it be amazing if all of our fans around the world could attend our event or watch our collection presentation at the same time?? I am certain that it would be phenomenal. Google+ is also co-hosting a workshop for creative communities with Fashion+TechSF at FIDMSF on August 8th (RSVP here). I plan on attending that and providing you all with an update on that so stay tuned!

I also really enjoyed the presentation by Atelier Advisors’ founder Lili Balfou, who covered the ABC’s and F of finding funding for entrepreneurs. The stand out was B- thinking BIG! Also F, which was for financials. It’s super important for all entrepreneurs to thing long term and to know how they are going to make money in a way that will sustain their business.

There were so many good pitches, but I’d have to say that the one that gets the prize for most entertaining was a presentation given by the the dry-witted sense of humored Stewart Keller, owner of  E-ttorney at Law™. He spoke on basics of fashion copyright  and trademark law, which was amazingly informative. I have never given parody law much thought but it’s really interesting what action some companies takes in order to protect their brand, name, logo, fabric, etc. This was the best example:

Chewy Vuiton– this is literally a bed (not bag) for your dog!! I encourage you to read more about this lawsuit.

Here are some photos of the event, curtsey of SFFAMA.

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BEAUTY EXPO: Recap of Another SFFAMA event

One thing that I have been LOVING about SF is that just about every other week, SFFAMA—the committee that curates SF Fashion Week—hosts events to support and foster the SF fashion community as well. Something I have noticed true to SF Style is that almost anything here is affilicated with technology. Big companies like Facebook, Youtube, Apple, Google, (and many more) are here as well as other popular social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Polyvore and Copious. It’s exciting to be where it is all happening and as the industry grows, we will become more integrated with technology and science. I, as a self proclaimed multidisciplinarist, love the collaborations and thrive on the meeting of the minds.

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We attended the Beauty Expo last Saturday which was held at 1 Market Street, home of Pigment Cosmetics. It was an evening for an eclectic mix of  fashion and tech community members, fashion bloggers and vendors to on look a local H&MU talent to compete in a challenge of best inspired look. There were 4 groups and each pair of Hair and Makeup Artists had a fashion blogger as their model. The model/fashion bloggers (Lona Duncan and Alison Messinger) were wearing the designs of Jennifer Ly . While the models were getting made up, all the attendees ate cheese, fruit and chocolate, sipped wine and champagne and networked with fellow guests until the runway segment began.

Charleston Pierce was our dynamic host of the night. He had great energy and a booming personality. I really appreciated his enthusiasm and his coaching of the fashion bloggers when they walked down the runway. Charleston’s line of work includes model coaching and production and I can see how it would really be impactful to work with him (aspiring SF models, are you writing that down??).

The judges were Dario SmithGwen Wright and Joyce Hu the BookR. I spoke with Joyce a little bit about her work before her event duties required her attention.  She runs a modeling booking platform in Sausalito, which allows models to have control of their own careers, which I think is really important. She also happens to have a beautiful and elegant presence.

Here are some images of the looks; the use of needle work netting in this photo below was incredible.

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My favorite look was look 4…I loved the black sheer, the hair and the model, whose name is Hart.

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The winner, however, was look # 2 inspired by the peacock. I am sure there were more elaborations on what inspired each look, but the acoustics made it hard to hear and so I missed some of the details. Here was the winning look below. Congrats to Avital Elgaziel and Jerushalem Weaver of Avital Beauty Lounge!

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Over all, it was a good event. I met some interesting contacts that I look forward to seeing at future events. For more photos, check out the SFFAMA blog.

by Nkechi Njaka

Selling to Boutiques pt.1

As you know, we are  repping ArielSimone in SF. The cool thing about the SF fashion community is that it has amazing resources for people of all experience levels. Online video forums, meetup groups and seminars are held weekly with industry leaders to mentor and advise next generation designers, rising fashion entrepreneurs and other up and coming industry people.  It truly feels like a community where everyone is sharing their information to groom everyone’s success.

Something that was particularly resourceful for us, since we are creating our strategy for selling in SF, was this video produced by Altitude Showroom. Watch Karri Ann Frerichs, a fashion sales rep, describe what boutique and buyers are looking for.

In summary, these are the things that matter most: