The Potential Genius of Tiffany x Lady Gaga

As most of us were glued to our TVs this weekend, some of us were focused on the game, some of us showed up for the commercials, and some of us shoveled guacamole into our mouths while waiting for the Half Time show. And I'm sure it will come as no surprise when I say I missed the first quarter to go to yoga before settling in to get into some deep thought about the commercials and to see what the Half Time show was going to deliver. 

I have to admit that the way the commercials are delivered is changing rapidly with the times. Just as the shows at Fashion Week are now shifting to sell items available in the moment, Super Bowl ads are being shared before the big day itself. And you felt the effect this year especially. There were a few that really delivered and a lot that...well, just didn't. One that I looked most forward to seeing during the game, I had already seen in the days before. Tiffany & Co. was surprising to see as not only a TV ad, but one during the Super Bowl was even more shocking. But it made sense when you looked at it in the big picture. There was a lot to say, there was an impact to be made, and it wasn't random. It was well-timed and well-delivered.

Featuring Lady Gaga, the star of the Half Time show, introducing a new line of jewelry and making a point about being a rebel and was a smart departure. And though I couldn't figure out exactly how to put it into words, Business of Fashion was able to and it's a brilliant article.

Tiffany must leave its comfort zone and move faster than it’s used to, truly embracing change rather than just showing ads about it.
— Business of Fashion

As someone who has had one foot in the door of luxury accessories for about 5 years now and most recently for a diamond company, it is a fascinating industry and one that is starting to realize that the market is changing. As I saw in the watch industry, there is a lot of hesitation. It can be a very traditional always has been...but nothing is 'traditional' anymore. 

Tiffany is an icon. But the greatest icons now how to shift with the times. We are seeing a change in gender roles, a change in sexuality and relationships, a change in what is important to us as a consumer. And this article hits the nail on the head, not just for Tiffany but for the industry as a whole. You can't just advertise the gift to buy the woman in your life and it's not all about the big diamond ring. There is huge and missed opportunity supporting the LGBTQ community, the fast-fashion mavens, offerings for men, and so on. 

And where the article gets it REALLY right is that you can't just put an ad out with Lady Gaga waxing lyrical about change and a new capsule collection. You have to reinvent and take risks. And I hope Tiffany does take lessons for their unique brand ambassador. They need to.

Unfortunately, it looks like they are falling at the first hurdle. When you visit the website today in the middle of all the incredible press about the ad, Lady Gaga and the new collection, you can barely find it on the homepage that is covered with gifts to buy your sweetheart for Valentine's Day. The small black bar at the top saying 'Lady Gaga for Tiffany. Learn More.' is very easy to miss and very secondary to all the other messaging on the site. It should be a full takeover. It should hit you in the face when you get to their site. They should be OWNING  it instead of testing it. So here's to hoping it gets better.

And here's to hoping that the HardWare silver wrap bracelet finds its way to my wrist in the future. As well as the story behind the collection being told because it's beautiful and hidden. Come on, Tiffany, take the risk.

Kate Spade Says, 'No Pictures Please!'

The Kate Spade presentation at NYFW is always one of my favorites, with over-the-top themes and painfully sweet styling.  It's basically a hotbed for social sharing each season.  But this year, the brand (who relies very heavily upon and succeeds at social media integration) set strict restrictions on the attendees of their presentation, asking that no images of full looks be shared.

The reason?  They don't want to take away from the intimate feel of the event and also want attention to be focused on the collection they have hitting stores now, not the one that will be hitting stores in five months.  And I want to support them.  But it also seems a bit bizarre to me.  At the risk of sounding like a celebrity conspiracy theorist, does that sound like a brand that is struggling to get their current collection to sell well?  Wouldn't all attention for the brand be attention for the pieces that are physically being sold right now?

As one very astute comment put it on the WWD article

Good luck with that, Kate! You can’t create a monster and then think you’re going to tame it!
— Fashionator on WWD

There are cycles to everything we experience as humans and I am sure social media will not be immune.  But there is a difference between the cyclical nature of the world and attempts at reversing the effects of a cultural phenomenon.  Especially one that you 1. helped create and 2. still rely on as a brand.  Also, cat still jumped out of the bag.

Just my two cents...fancy sharing yours?

Desigual Meets Snapchat Filters at NYFW.

There is no denying that Snapchat is something of a beast in the world of social media at the moment.  Instagram Stories have jumped in to play the game recently, as well, but there is something that keeps Snapchat alive.  As someone who is uses the platform but is probably skewing a bit too old to really be the main market (the highest age range represented is 18-24), there are some functionalities that I really love about it.  Topping that list would be the usage of filters that have now become something of cult classics.

And as we find ourselves in the depths of NYFW, Desigual (along with the skilled artists from MAC Cosmetics) decided to recreate our favorite filters on Snapchat in real life...forgoing the normal avant-garde make-up looks we so often see hit the runway.  It's a hysterical (and somehow beautiful) look at how to both lovingly embrace and poke a bit of fun at the world as we all see it now.  

I think more often than not, I see clips on Snapchat announcing 'I wish I had this filter on all the time', and the Desigual show basically said 'well, you can...but it's a bit ridiculous in reality, isn't it?'  But I am going to guess that more than one Halloween costume has now been inspired!

(Images c/o Getty)

Fall Fashion Meets Cozy Luxury.

If you know me well, you'll probably know that my favorite season is the cool-breeze and Halloween-filled Fall.  If you don't know me, hi there, welcome!

This year I have an extra level of excitement for the arrival of the impending Autumn weather, which is really kicking off today with the launch of the new website & collection for a great company I'm working with called Third Piece.  There's a lot that makes this brand incredibly special, from their hard work at 'connecting creativity' by offering events in the Northeast to giving their customers the opportunity to buy product handmade by makers in Boston ('Made By Us') or to purchase kits to make all their pieces yourself, along with a sweet tote and luxurious proprietary yarn ('Made By You').

Their products are gorgeous.  The women who run the company are damn cool and inspiring.  And there is something so motivating about disrupting the luxury market and giving the consumer the chance to make their own high-end fashion or home wares.  I can't wait to get my first pieces and maybe even try to make my own along the way.

Check out the new site and new collection here.  What's first on your shopping list?

IKEA Has Our Bad Social Media Norms Nailed

Working in social media, especially since (almost) its inception, is a fascinating and exhausting ride.  I remember Facebook when you could only log-in using a US college email address.  I remember the pinnacle of popularity was making it into the Top 8 of someone's MySpace profile. And I remember the efforts we had to go to when it came to keeping in touch with people we encountered across the world. 

Times have changed.  Our vision of the world has changed. Our sense of reality is painfully real and also painfully distorted.  The world is so incredibly small but our eyes are open to so much more.  Judgement and kindness finds us all in leaps and bounds. And it all gets to be a bit much at times. My brother has quit and rejoined Instagram so much that I can't keep track. I have moments myself of saying 'I really wish I didn't need to be on Facebook, even if it was just for a month'.  

But our world is connected in this way now. When I have a day out and don't 1. check my Instagram or 2. look at things with a 'would this look cool on Instagram?' filter, the pride I have in my behavior is beyond comprehension. And IKEA has us all pegged with a genius new commercial that speaks to our new ridiculous reality and very genuinely brings it back to their brand.

If there is one thing I've learned when it comes to social media, it's this: it is an incredible place to be inspired, but you have to always remember, it is a thoughtful curation of the world we all want to see. Reality isn't that polished, so as IKEA says 'let's relax'.

Focus & Fun: The Genius of Passion Planner.

I have, for as long as I can remember, been completely obsessed with office/school supplies and the joy of organization.  To clarify, not the Marie Kondo-type of organization.  I bought 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up' and made it through about 20 pages before I had to put it down out of frustration and a lack of reality.  In reality, there is no one-size-fits-all.  And what works for you now will need to adapt and change as your own life changes.

Enter Passion Planner, a Kickstarter campaign finding major (and deserved) success.  Designed by someone who was frustrated after 'doing all the right things' (good college, smart career choices, etc) but seemed to feel stuck.  The story of Passion Planner itself really spoke to me and many others, if we are being very honest.  It is so incredibly easy to feel the weight of what you SHOULD be doing, to the point of it making you crazy.

The beauty of Passion Planner is that it turns the idea of organization and planning from something you need to do to stay sane, and makes it something that energizes and inspires you. 'I want to make love, gratitude, and self-motivation the primary force that propels action. I want to help people pursue their passions; to pursue things that make them excited to get up everyday, because when you follow your passion you never have to work a day in your life.  Work feels like playful experimentation, projects stop being scary and start looking like adventures, failures look like valuable experiences, and success is just the remnants of a beautiful process, not the end goal. When you create your ideal reality through action, the present becomes a gift that you live every moment of your life.'

Understanding this sounds like quite a bold statement for something that is truly just a very cool office supply, it's incredible what Passion Planner has helped me to achieve.  What I had always gotten hung up on before was the 'should' and 'need' of life's mundane tasks.  But using Passion Planner, you're encouraged to set goals for yourself that are both personal and professional.  It asks you to set a focus for each day.  It expands the way you think and gives you tips and tricks to recenter during your time planning.  Passion Planner also asks you to look back at how you spent and handled your time/tasks and help it shape how you continue to move forward.  It does all this by allowing you to customize the features to best suit your own needs.  If that isn't enough, they give back.  

I've just ordered my 2017 Passion Planner and I'm already incredibly excited to get my hands on it.  My 2016 planner is scribbled in and drawn on and organized impeccably.  Not because it needs to be...but because it was motivating and fun to use it as a roadmap for where my days take me.

Check out the full collection here!  And visit their YouTube channel for great videos for tips, tricks, hacks and inspiring stories that will help you to embrace your own passion.

(Images c/o Passion Planner)