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Showing posts from June, 2014

Want Good Business Writing? Look Far From the USA..

Firms Far from the U.S. Write More Clearly
The further a company is from the United States, the clearer its press releases and financial disclosure statements are, according to a recent paper by Russell Lundholm, Rafael Rogo, and Jenny Li Zhang, all of the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia.  Startled by this finding, I called up Professor Lundholm and asked him to explain. Here’s an edited version of our conversation.
Why are far-flung firms seemingly more motivated to make their communications clear?
It’s related to the “home bias” problem. For a variety of reasons, investors have a bias against firms outside their home country, which makes them less willing to hold their stock. The bias increases with the distance between the investor and the firm. For instance, US investors are pretty happy to hold Canadian stock, but less inclined to hold UK stock, and even less inclined to hold Australian stock. Now flip it around and look at it from the point of view …

Chaos Breaks Loose

Chaos lives up to its name.
The store, on 20th Street between Park Avenue and Broadway, is a mad mash-up of apparel, footwear and accessories, a jumble of jewelry, scarves and hats.

One Good Turnbull, Deserves Another

London Collections | Turnbull & Asser Spring/Summer 2015 Presentation
For the first time, Turnbull & Asser eased into the heart of Mayfair, London to present their full Spring/Summer 2015 campaign at the iconic brand’s new headquarters and to participate in London Collections: Men.

How Sales People See The World

Nordstrom v2.0

The "What's Trending on Wanelo" display from the Nordstrom in Bellevue, Washington. Photo By Courtesy Photo

The Seattle-based department store has been on the digital cutting edge for years. Here, a look at some of its efforts to marry the online with the off-line.

March 2011: Nordstrom buys flash-sales site HauteLook.

December 2011: Sole Society breaks away from HauteLook to operate as a freestanding business.

April 2012: Nordstrom invests $16.4 million in Bonobos and begins to carry the brand in its stores and online.

May 2012: Nordstrom partners with GQ on a cross-channel program that brings GQ editorial content to and Nordstrom product to GQ.

March 2013: Nordstrom showcases part of Etsy Wholesale in its home department with “Etsy & Nordstrom Present.”

December 2013: Nordstrom invests in Shoefitr, which uses 3-D imaging software to give size and fit recommendations. The technology is used on

December 2013: Nordstrom’s downtown Seattle locatio…

Kor's for Men - Fall 2014

The Michael Kors Fall 2014 ad campaign. Photo By Courtesy of Michael Kors by Mario Testino
KORS BETS ON MEN’S: Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. is getting serious about its men’s fashion advertisements. The company said that for this coming fall, the Michael Kors men’s campaign will increase the number of print publications where its ads will appear by 89 percent, with a 311 percent increase in total ad pages compared with fall 2013. The new fall ads — shot by Mario Testino, with model Benjamin Eidem fronting the campaign — will be featured in several new publications for their September issues, including Men’s Health’s U.S., U.K. and German versions, Details and Esquire.

“With the advent of our SoHo store on Broadway — the first location to carry the men’s collection — and an increased interest in all of our men’s categories, we’re shooting more men’s imagery than ever before,” said Michael Kors.

Though the stance on advertising has changed, the aerial-centric content has not: Fall will inc…

It's not a phone; it's a shopping mall in disguise

(CNN) -- Amazon's new Fire Phone isn't a phone. It's a shopping mall. Not that boring shopping mall slowly dying on the edges of suburban America, but a gorgeous mall with infinite selection and endless opportunities for entertainment, from books to movies and everything in between.

Menswear Embraces Its Feminine Side

Vivid colors like turquoise, floral prints, and pattern mixing are the latest trends—for guys. So are lapel flowers, scarves, and bracelets. And don't call them "murses," but more dudes are toting their headphones, iPads and lip balm in soft-sided bags that share attributes with purses.
As objectionable as this may sound to many men weaned on khakis and blue shirts, menswear is getting more feminine.

The Value of Shopping Malls - in an omni-channel world


Men's Accessories - Now is the TIme

Click to enlarge

Signs of a new peacock revolution are in evidence. It features keen attention to detail, including the lapel flower, real or fake. Further evidence are the spectacular windows at Saks Fifth Avenue. A star of the movement, Domenico Spano, known to the world of custom tailoring and fastidious style as Mimmo, outside the Bowery atelier Against Nature. His style has drawn the focus of a group of young men. Also, a gentleman carries the same bright briefcase but pairs it with a different jacket each day.
[Note the lapel pins, pocket squares, neckwear, tie bars, cuff links, headwear, scarves, bags... all Randa classifications.  DJK]

{Disclosure:  Randa is the world's largest men's accessories company}

The History, and Mystery, of the Ramen Noodle

Evidently, today is food day at the Imagine What's Next Blog...
On Monday evening, the Culinary Historians of New York gathered on Manhattan’s Upper East Side to discuss the political and economic underpinnings of ramen-noodle soup. “Next month’s meeting is called Dethroning the Deceitful Pork Chop, ” a member named Linda Pelaccio reminded the audience of about fifty students, foodies, and septuagenarians from the podium. “But now, Professor George Solt!”
Solt, an assistant history professor at New York University, had been hunched over his notes in the first row. He is thirty-five, with close-cropped hair and a slightly Snoopy-ish air about him. He rose and took in the room; many in attendance were slurping quietly from small bowls of ramen provided by the Harlem restaurant Jin Ramen. Solt chose to open with a caveat: “First off, I don’t know how to cook ramen or where to get the best ramen,” he said. “I’m approaching this from a historical perspective.”

Simple as Black and White - Cookies

The Black-and-White Cookie's Curious History
[All photos by Robert Sietsema]
No pastry — except perhaps the cheesecake — is more closely associated with New York City than the black-and-white cookie. This flattened dome of fine-textured cake, with a coating of chocolate and vanilla fondant bisected in the middle to keep the flavors apart, is really not a cookie, but a "drop cake," as William Grimes points out in a 1998 New York Times article

Many believe it was descended from a cookie popular for over a century in upstate New York called the "half moon." This baked good has a cookie-shaped base of chocolate cake (vanilla is a common variation) with a fluffy layer of actual frosting on top, with the same chocolate and vanilla demarcation as the black and white, but with a thicker layer of chocolate frosting. Wikipedia and other suspect sources contend it was invented in Utica by Hemstrought's Bakery early in the 20th century, but the archaic form of the co…

Belts: The Next Frontier of Men's Accessories?

Belts: The Next Frontier of Men's Accessories?
"We don't have as many accessories to work with [as women do], so a belt can be an opportunity to really punctuate an outfit, and to help create a signature style," observed Bruce Pask, men's fashion director at Bergdorf Goodman. "I wouldn't count the belt out," he added. "[It's] held up many a gent's trousers over the course of hundreds of years and outmaneuvered braces and suspenders."

Wearable Technology - New Apparel Measurements

My T-Shirt Told Me to Take a Chill Pill

Suspend Disbelief - Suspended Animation is Here, Today!

Human 'suspended animation' trials to start this month
The researchers behind it don't want to call it suspended animation, but it's the most conventional way to explain it. The world's first humans trials will start at the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, with 10 patients whose injuries would otherwise be fatal to operate on. 
A team of surgeons will remove the patient's blood, replacing it with a chilled saline solution that would cool the body, slowing down bodily functions and delaying death from blood loss. According to Dr. Samuel Tisherman, talking to New Scientist: "We are suspending life, but we don't like to call it suspended animation because it sounds like science fiction... we call it emergency preservation and resuscitation."
Successful tests on pigs were achieved in 2000. After inducing fatal cuts, scientists were able to drop the body temperatures by around 10 degrees celsius. All the control pigs died, while those 'pr…

Universal Translator - Klingon not yet available

Skype Translator will let you chat in real-time with people in other languages later this year

Tonight at Code Conference, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella brought his Skype team onto the stage to prove that his company's got the next big thing. Taglined "the pre-beta of magic," the service, called Skype Translator, turns your real-time conversation into a Star Trek-like universal communicator. 
You can speak to someone who speaks a different language; the service adds the other person's translations for you in subtitle format at the bottom of the screen. It's not an immediate translation: You'll need to wait until the other person is done speaking before the service starts whirring away. We've seen similar demonstrations in the past, but the key point here is that the beta service is due out by the end of the year, and will be on all devices that run Skype. 
The company isn't committing to specific language support yet, but it likely will be a matter of …