Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2014

Whatever Floats Your Boat - Liquor is, Indeed, Quicker

MIT grads Lisa Burton and Nadia Cheng have developed a series of alcohol-fueled boats that cruise around cocktails

Inspired by Bugs, MIT Whizzes Create Tiny, Liquor-Powered Boats

Randa Names Tackett President of Swank

Randa Names Tackett President of SwankFebruary 26, 2014 by  Terry Tackett Randa Accessories will appoint Randa Luggage president Terry Tackett to lead its Swank business as the current president Rick Luft transitions to a new career in business and career coaching. Frank Fenton, the SVP of sales for Randa Luggage, will be promoted to president of that division.

Mother-Daughter Shopping, Encouraged by Stores and Web Sites

Stores Encourage Mother-Daughter Shopping With Coupons, Social Platforms
Catering to girls' love of fashion with a nod to Mom

The do's, don'ts, and politics of the dreaded Conference Call

Juggler, Coach, Monopolizer, Host, Lurker, Interrupter... The Dreaded Conference Call

Go Vest Young Man - Double-paned Heat Technology Meets Ready-To-Wear

Argon gas-filled vest inflates or deflates on demand
Double-paned windows provide excellent insulation by trapping heat and air between two sealed layers. Applying this concept to apparel is not new. What is new is allowing the wearer to fill the interior space, providing improved insulation, or to empty the space, providing less insulation, on demand.

Klymit uses small canisters of argon gas, attached to a nozzle, to fill or empty the chambers as desired. The weight of the vest remains unchanged.

Let Your Feet Take You Where They May - Literally

This haptic footwear, called Lechal, guides you by buzzing your feet.  Really.
The word haptic means pertaining to the sense of touch. Haptic technology, or haptics, is a tactile feedback technology which takes advantage of the sense of touch by applying forces, vibrations, or motions to the user. Today, haptic technology is built into many devices including smartphones that vibrate when you touch a button, game controllers that provide feedback as "virtual reality" or "augmented reality." Anirudh Sharma, a researcher at Hewlett-Packard Labs in Bangalore, India, worked to create a shoe that would provide tactile feedback for the blind. Last week Sharma showcased a working prototype of the "Lechal" haptic shoe, and it is targeted toward the general public. Lechal means "left behind" in Hindi.

Putting on The Ritz, in a Rented Tux

High-Rent Rental Tuxedos
The Black Tux website makes tuxedo rental a streamlined, sensibly priced and stylish experience

Collared Greens - Tips on tie color, collar, and width

Tie Tips from "The Art of Manliness"
Cravatology 101 can be an in-depth course, with lessons on picking the right tie for the occasion, matching its color and print to your attire, and learning to tie different knots. Before you master those details though, make sure you know these handy tips for wearing a necktie with style. This visual guide will make them easy to remember.

Ties Go The Distance - What is the right length?

When Is a Tie Too Long? Guidelines on finding the right length
Q: When is a necktie too long? I've seen men in ties that cover their belt, which I was told that longer style was a matter of choice. Ties are no longer required most of the time, but I would still like to know what's the proper length nowadays. —C.N.

Amazon: If You Can't Beat Them, Join Them

Amazon Tempts the Anti-Amazons
Offer to Showcase Goods Comes Amid Plan to Boost Price of Prime

By GREG BENSINGER - Wall Street Journal - Feb. 20, 2014 7:48 p.m. ET Inc. is in talks to bring listings for J. Crew khakis, Ralph Lauren polo shirts and Lord & Taylor suits to its site, according to people familiar with the talks.

The discussions, which seek to win over retailers that have largely shunned the online marketplace, involve about 10 well-known retailers, these people said, including Abercrombie & Fitch Co. and Neiman Marcus Group Inc.

Amazon wouldn't sell the goods directly; the listings would be links to the retailers' own sites. The arrangement would generate traffic for the retailers, while providing Amazon with more customer data and a new enticement for its Prime shipping program as it plans to raise rates.

Abercrombie & Fitch is said to be one of the 10 or so big retailers that Amazon is talking to. Reuters

Ryan Seacrest Distinction - Web Site is Now Live

Ryan Seacrest Distinction - Apparel & Accessories Coming This Fall

Very Rarely, I Have No Comment. This is One of Those Times.

And I quote: "Tomislav Zvonaric, 33, a graphic designer from Zagreb in Croatia said: 'The whole concept for the iTie came from wearable fashion. 'I thought it would be a cool idea to have a tie that could have interchangeable patterns or colours and be used as a screen for an IOS device."

[So you put a collar around your neck, point the projector down... and it projects a pattern and color]

"The whole bottom part of the tie is a screen that displays apps like an iPhone or iPad, only it would be arranged to fit the shape of the tie.

'From there, people could make Skype calls, send texts, make phone calls, and even use the camera at the bottom and the top.

'The tie would also have an app so that people could change the pattern or colour of it, meaning men just need to have one tie that suits all occasions."…

Observe, Understand and Then Design

"Dr. Bell is director of user experience research at Intel Labs. She runs a skunk works of some 100 scientists and designers observing how people use technology. The team’s findings help inform the company’s product development process..."  If you are a designer, merchant, retailer, brand steward, sales person, business manager, forecaster, scientist, musician, or are inherently curious - you should read this article.  It is longer than our usual posts, and worth every word.  DJK
Intel’s Sharp-Eyed Social Scientist
Genevieve Bell, as a cultural anthropologist at Intel Labs, runs a team of about 100 researchers. The team studies how consumers interact with electronics and develops new technology experiences for them.
Behind the gray, noise-absorbing cubicle walls at the Intel Corporation in Hillsboro, Ore., researchers who forecast the future of computing can sense her arrival. By FEB. 15, 2014 The New York Times…

"Always the Same," Suits Obama: And Other POTUS Secrets

President Obama always wears the same thing. Which is part of his secret to getting so much done.

The Agony of Defeat - Sponsor Olympians, if You Dare

Shares of Under Armour Inc.UA -2.38% are taking a hit on Friday after U.S. Speedskating asked Olympic and skating officials for the option to switch out of their new Under Armour suits.

Some skaters think Under Armour’s high-tech racing suits are causing the team’s long-track athletes to underperform at the Olympics. As WSJ reported, the request to switch doesn’t guarantee that American skaters will be wearing different suits when competition resumes on Saturday afternoon in Sochi, Russia.

iBeacon; uBeacon - This Retailer Knows Exactly Where You Are

On the eve of Valentine’s Day, one fashion retailer is expanding a program to deliver customers deals to their smartphones. Jewelry and gift retailer Alex & Ani LLC is using in-store wireless technology based on Apple Inc.AAPL -0.08%’s iBeacon location-aware protocol to engage with smartphone-carrying shoppers.

Using location-based marketing, Alex & Ani is trying to tackle a challenge that confounds many young retailers today: Getting new customers to visit their stores instead of the large, established retailers. The company, which generated $230 million in sales last year, is getting help from an Apple technology retailers hope may make it easier to add a new, mobile dimension to in-store engagement with customers.
Boulton for the Wall Street Journal, WSJ iBeacon

Ryan Seacrest to Launch Clothing & Accessories

l-r David J. Katz, Randa Accessories Chief Marketing Officer & Ryan Seacrest
New Color-Matching System Is Meant to Help Guys Pair Items

The line also will help men match shirts to trousers to accessories. Randa Accessories

How Ideo Helped Reinvent The Pillbox


Take all of the pills in your medicine cabinet that you have to track--the prescription drugs you need to remember to take two or three times a day, the multivitamins and fish liver pills you're not sure make a difference--and imagine that instead of all coming in separate bottles, they came packaged together in a pre-assorted, chronological ticker tape of medicine. Instead of keeping track of which medicines you need to take at which time, you just tear off a square packet from the roll and swallow all the pills inside.

This is the idea behind PillPack, a new service out of Somerville, Massachusetts, that aims to be the Amazon Prime of prescription medication.

Spoiler Alert: No Kissing in the Lego Movie

The minifig kissing scene didn't make it to the screen; but, the movie did, and it's a hit - DJK 

Lego Goes to Hollywood[Lego's need belts, ties, luggage and men's accessories for their journey to Hollywood.  DJK]
Kissing was a point of contention. “We had some kissing in the movie,” says Dan Lin, the producer of The Lego Movie. “It wasn’t lusty. When two minifigs kiss, there’s no tongue or anything. It’s just plastic kissing plastic, which we just thought was hilarious.”

The Lego brand managers were less amused. “They warned us that parents don’t like it when minifigs kiss,” says Lin. “We tested the movie several times. They were right. Parents didn’t like it.” In the end (spoiler alert), the kisses got cut. Instead, there are several romantic moments in the movie, featuring close-ups of amorous minifigures attempting to lock together their fingerless, cup-shaped hands. The effect is equally absurd.

Ed Norton to DVF, “You know, you’re my older woman crush”

David O. Russell and Diane von Furstenberg at her home in Beverly Hills.Amy Dickerson for The New York Times

At JCPenney "When it fits, you feel it."

JC Penney Promotes New Tagline During Olympics Opening CeremonyJCPenney Video

"You know it when it lets you rise to greet the world. A fit that lets you stand out a little brighter, move a little faster, part crowds a little easier. When it feels so right you wear it again and again and again, like a charm that always knows exactly how to win."


Countess Mara Neckwear for Fashion Week

Step One: Look at it; buy it. Step Two: Ship it before you buy it. Amazon has you covered.

Amazon Prime Delivery Drones are a few years away, according to CEO, Jeff Bezos.  However, starting yesterday, you can point your iPhone at something you like, and Amazon’s updated shopping app places it in your shopping cart, automatically.  Amazon calls the new feature “Flow,” and it recognizes items by analyzing their shape, color, size, text and appearance.  It actually works.

Male Supermodels in the Making?

As the luxury menswear market continues to grow, an elite group of male models are leaving behind the traditional confines of namelessness and emerging as brands in and of themselves. Will they become household names?
(L-R) Garrett Neff, Clement Chabernaud, Noah Mills, Tyson Ballou, RJ Rogenski, Andrés Velencoso Segura, Mathias Lauridsen, Arthur Kulkov, Simon Nessman, Sean O'Pry

Sticking Your Neck Out in the 18th Century

Fashionable neckwear sported by men in the late-18th century SIR –I enjoyed the picture of the shoe heel from c.1785 and the accompanying letter on getting rid of high heels and pointless ties. May we now be shown how late 18th-century men kept their necks looking smart and tidy?

I am saddened by the fact that the hand-painted silk ties I have presented to my husband are no longer worn.

Jean Mitchell
Bexleyheath, Kent

SIR – A tie is uncomfortable only if the collar size is wrong. And as for pointless: choosing a tie to reflect one’s mood can brighten the morning and smooth the path to the office. Wear a tie at home to reduce heating bills: it increases body temperature by around 3 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mik Shaw
Goring-by-Sea, West Sussex
The Telegraph

Shipley & Halmos’ Canal Street Pop-Up

SHIPLEY & HALMOS A Little bit about Shipley & Halmos, for those who don’t know, from their website
“ABOUT US:  Shipley & Halmos is a New York City-based creative firm founded by CFDA Award winning designers Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos. Through various internal divisions, the company designs and produces everything from men’s clothing, footwear, and accessories to books, furniture, and art materials.”

36 Below Zero, 1 Million Tourists, 1 Billion Ice Cubes; Now Stir

This winter, Randa Accessories will sell nearly 400,000 ice scrapers.That’s a good thing because two weeks ago the Harbin Ice and Snow World opened in Harbin China.

Winds from Siberia reach -36 F, making Harbin China’s coldest city. Harbin clearly needs something extraordinary to generate tourism, not to mention heat, and that something is the Ice and Snow Festival.
This year nearly 1 million tourists will visit this frozen tundra to wander, and wonder, through architectural scaled sculptures, many internally lit with LED bulbs, crafted from 180,000 cubic meters of ice. This year’s exhibitions include models of the Empire State Building and the Coliseum. The visitors, and creators, need a lot of ice scrapers. - David J. Katz

Heritage Brands - Reboot

From left: Looks from Kent and Curwen, Haspel and J. Press
Randa Accessories believes deeply in rebooting authentic and relevant hertiage brands; we have three active positions in this space:

Countess Mara: Founded in 1935 the brand has been owned by Randa Accessoriessince 1998.  See & the Wiki Countess Mara
Wembley:  Founded in 1906; Wemco and Wembley were acquired by Randa Accessories in 1993.  See

Swank: Founded in 1897; Swank, Inc. was acquired by Randa Accessories in 2012.See