The NY Salon in association with Soho House NY
Monday, July 20, 2009, 7pm
Is The Future of Fashion Green?
This event aims to get underneath some of the key assumptions that inform discussions about fashion. Given the swiftly changing economy it is clear that the future of fashion, retail and indeed the face of American consumerism are rapidly evolving. Even those consumers who can afford to make purchases are not as apt to do so because of the appearance of overindulgence. The notion of “retail therapy,” once a national pastime, now smacks of vulgarity. Additionally, the continuing war, environmental concerns and mounting layoffs are changing consumer behavior.
Our consumer impulses act as a cultural barometer. What, where, how we make purchases – and what we opt not to buy – indicate trends on a grand scale. What are recent retail patterns teaching us about who we are, and who we will become?
Fashion industry experts will explore various questions: In this new age of the “frugalista” what is fashionable now? Is there room for luxury in this marketplace, and is the “what’s next” genre of fashion even relevant any more? If not, what will or should emerge in its place? To what extent is fashion and sustainability possible or desirable?
Post press coverage
Scallyway & Vagabond
Treehugger with Vid Clips
Sandra Ballentine is the Beauty/Style Director of T: The New York Times Style Magazine, where she reports on and directs coverage of women’s and men’s fashion, beauty and grooming, art, design, architecture and travel, and writes a popular retail column, “In Store.” As T’s unofficial “luxury” editor, Ballentine is continually searching for the most beautiful, special and unique aspects in all the disciplines she covers. In 15 issues each year, T: The New York Times Style Magazine takes an insightful look at the many facets of global culture, fashion, design, travel and living.
While earning her degree in Journalism and Art Criticism from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, she assisted the legendary Carrie Donovan and became the credits editor at The New York Times Magazine. Promoted by Amy Spindler, Ballentine began writing the influential “Footnotes” section of the magazine’s Style Section. After a spell of time during which Ballentine split her residence between London and New York, she was lured back to living in New York full time by editor Stefano Tonchi when he re-launched T: The New York Times Style Magazine.
Julie Gilhart is the Senior Vice President, Fashion Director of Barneys New York, a high-end luxury specialty store based in the United States. Barneys New York has 7 flagships, 2 regional and 19 CO-OP stores. A Dubai investment firm that plans to expand Barneys New York both domestically and internationally is the current owner.
Julie has been with Barneys New York since 1992. In the spring of 2007, she spearheaded the development of an all-organic collection of casual, sexy clothes that are available in every Barneys New York store in the country. She has inspired many designers to develop “sustainable” product and she was instrumental in the creation of Barneys’ 2007 holiday campaign “Have A Green Holiday,” which focused on fashion products that were environmentally conscious. Also, included were windows, in-store displays, a holiday catalogue and a website tie-in.
Julie is involved with many aspects of the business at Barneys. As Barneys opens more stores, her most important task is to have the store speak to the customers in a way that educates them as well as to educate the many designers Barneys partners with in a new and more thoughtful way. She believes there is an essential need to create more awareness of how to approach the development of sustainable product and how the customer makes decisions in buying. All this falls under the umbrella of trying to create a new paradigm of how the fashion business operates so as to leave a lighter footprint on the earth and create more conscious consumerism.
Jeffrey Hutchison, a leading fashion retail architect, has created spaces for many of the top global luxury brands including Barneys New York, Donna Karan, Narciso Rodriquez and Ralph Lauren. An industry veteran with over 20 years of experience, he has also designed retail environments for Theory, Loewe, Nautica, Ann Taylor, Girbaud, Dooney & Bourke and Façonnable, among others.
Hutchison launched Jeffrey Hutchison & Associates in 2001 after 7 years as a Vice President of store design at Ralph Lauren and prior to that, the architectural firm Peter Marino. Hutchison believes fashion retail requires flexibility. “Some architects have a set philosophy that they apply to every project” he says. “I develop a language, a vocabulary that communicates the core values of the brand, but that can be applied in a variety of ways.”
As concerned as he is with the aesthetics of his projects, Hutchison is equally concerned with function as well as beauty. An integral part of the design process is going over the company’s books, analyzing the nuts and bolts of the daily business from deliveries to mark-downs, “I like to understand the thought process behind the business,” he explains. “All of that plays into how successful the space will be. Design that’s hand-in-hand with the company’s philosophy and growth has a much greater chance of long-term success.”
A winner of the Fashion Group International’s Rising Star Award for Interior Design in 2005, as well as Retail Design Institute and Association of Retail Environment design awards in 2006 and 2008, Hutchison writes a column on design for The Huffington Post. Jeffrey Hutchison is a registered architect in Texas, New York and Connecticut. For images of his work and additional information visit www.jeffreyhutchison.com.
James Woudhuysen is Professor of Forecasting and Innovation at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. James helped install Britain’s first computer-controlled car park in 1968, before graduating in physics. He was editor of Design, 1979-82 and co-founder of Blueprint magazine. He led a multi-client study on e-commerce in 1988 and at the Henley Centre for Forecasting proposed that the web be delivered over TV in 1993.
James was chief of worldwide market intelligence at Philips Consumer Electronics, The Netherlands, 1995-7 and Director of the product designers Seymour Powell, 1997-2001. He became an independent consultant in 2001. James’s clients include Amadeus, BA, BT, Brother Industries, Computer Associates, IBM, Lego, Mars, Microsoft, Renault, Roca and Siemens.
James writes for numerous publications including The Economist, The Times (UK), The Guardian (UK) and is the author of: Cult IT, a critique of the dotcom boom, 1999; Why is construction so backward? (Wiley, 2004); The globalization of UK manufacturing and services 2004-24 (UK Trade & Investment, 2004); Computer games and sex difference (Abertay University, 2006), Cooking 2026 (Le Creuset, 2006). His latest book is Energise! A future for energy innovation (Beautiful Books, 2009). www.Woudhuysen.com
Moderator: Alan Miller. Alan is the co-founder of The Truman Brewery, a 10 acre site in London’s East End. The Truman Brewery now has over 200 companies, ranging from recording studios to art galleries, entertainment spaces, restaurants, bars, cafes, fashion and retail. It has been largely responsible for regenerating a significant area of London and creating a new cultural quarter. Alan divides his time between New York and London as a producer and director and has had his work broadcast internationally. He is a published author and writes on various cultural issues for several publications. He sits on the board of the London Regional Arts Council and is a Director of The NY Salon.
Producer: Laura Livingston Rubin. Principal and founder of LLR Consulting, a full service PR and marketing boutique based in New York City which serves a a mix of fashion, design and lifestyle clients.