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Disruption is Inevitable, Essential & Painful

America has too many stores, too much inventory, and too few shoppers. Macy’sJC PenneySearsJ. Crew and other major retailers have already announced that they will be closing stores because in the new retail landscape they cannot justify the return on these expensive fixed assets – and because customers no longer choose to spend their money in old-model retail stores. The market capitalization of American department stores dropped nearly $80 Billion since 1999, according to Census data. The cost of disruption is more than store closings and diminished market caps, it's people and jobs. Macy's and JC Penney, alone, will be closing over 200 stores and eliminating over 12,000 jobs. You can not shrink your way to success. However, you can buy yourself more runway.
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Discounts, Discovery & Delight: 3Ds for Retail Success

In fashion and retail, Dopamine is the drug of choice. Technically, Dopamine is the neurotransmitter of “desire.” Dopamine leaps across synapses in our brain to control our reward and pleasure centers. It enables craving. It induces repeat behaviors. It makes us want more. Therefore, it is in our best interest to create products and experiences which induce the release of dopamine in our consumers. We could use some dopamine for ourselves, too. In our fashion and retail world, there are three primary stimuli, "3Ds," we can control to deliver hits of dopamine: Discounts, Discovery and Delight.

What I Should Have Said, But Didn't

Last week in Las Vegas, during the largest fashion industry trade show, MAGIC/PROJECT, I delivered the keynote presentation for the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund and UBM Advanstar. It was entitled, “Disruption is the Mother of Invention.”  At the end of my presentation a woman stood up to ask a question. Actually, she made a statement.
I own a fashion retail store, she exclaimed. 

I’m a good merchant, it’s a good store. It’s been in business a long time. Customers shop my store with their smartphone in their hand… and then they buy the item on Amazon Prime. 
She cried out, 


It’s not right. It’s not fair. 
And then she said,


What do I do? My answer was “textbook,” when the last thing needed was a textbook.

Surreal Dream Like photos @ Burning Man

http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/burning-man-victor-habchy

Burning Man is an annual gathering that takes place at Black Rock City—a temporary community erected in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. The event is described as an experiment in community and art, influenced by 10 main principles, including "radical" inclusion, self-reliance and self-expression, as well as community cooperation, civic responsibility, gifting, decommodification, participation, immediacy and leaving no trace.

Just thought these images were incredibly interesting especially since they are not photoshopped!

29 Rooms: Photo After Photo

Last weekend I was able to attend the acclaimed 29 Rooms, Refinery 29’s art and fashion interactive funhouse. My friends and I woke up early on a Sunday morning, grabbed our coffees and headed over, knowing that the wait time for the past two days of the exhibition had been on average 3-4 hours. This event is only open for 3 days, once a year, and is known for having the capability to take enough pictures to last your Instagram account for a year. Last year was the first year Refinery 29 created 29 Rooms, celebrating their 10-year anniversary, and there was less press about it but it was such a big turnout that they decided to make it 9 times bigger this year.
Arriving at 10 AM, for an opening at 12 PM, we sweated in the heat and distracted each other for 2 hours. Before the installation even opened they had to close the line because of the crowds. We were told that because of our promptness we would be included in the first wave of people allowed to enter the installation. As we wer…

Social Campaign, "Before I Die..."

After losing someone she loved, artist Candy Chang painted the side of an abandoned house in her neighborhood in New Orleans with chalkboard paint and stenciled the sentence, “Before I die I want to _____.” Within a day of the wall’s completion, it was covered in colorful chalk dreams as neighbors stopped and reflected on their lives. Since then, more than 1,000 Before I Die walls have been created in over 70 countries and stenciled in over 35 languages by passionate people all over the world. Filled with hope, fear, humor, and heartbreak, Before I Die presents an intimate portrait of the dreams within our communities and a chance to ponder life’s ultimate question with the people around us.
My gravitation to this work (and works like this in particular) is solely due to its attempt in connecting a disconnected society through a common element (life/death/pain/success). Outside of the lens of our computer monitors, the more personalized guerilla-styled approach has always been the mo…

Taking Tips From a Younger Generation

Phyllis Korkki, an assignment editor at The New York Times, visited the garment district in Manhattan to interview designers as part of a story for the newspaper’s Snapchat account. Credit George Etheredge/The New York Times
What Could I Possibly Learn From A Mentor Half My Age? Plenty.

How on earth did I become an “older worker?”

It was only a few years ago, it seems, that I set out to climb the ladder in my chosen field. That field happens to be journalism, but it shares many attributes with countless other workplaces. For instance, back when I was one of the youngest people in the room, I was helped by experienced elders who taught me the ropes.

Now, shockingly, I’m one of the elders. And I’ve watched my industry undergo significant change. That’s why I recently went searching for a young mentor — yes, a younger colleague to mentor me.