Miley Remains A Contradiction…Ramble

Miley recently told Jimmy Kimmel it’s hard to be “an asshole when you’re naked.” Poor Jimmy was so befuddled by her breasts hanging out, he had to ask where he should look. 

The statement stuck with me (as anyone who has ever dated a scoundrel would immediately contest it) and because immediately following it, Miley put down other people as well as the nudist community- with plenty of yucks & hahas. She went on to tell The New York Times Bitchy, I mean, Nicki Minaj wasn’t a nice person. (Note: Miley may be friends with Snoop Dogg and Kanye, but that doesn’t give her a pass and I wouldn’t turn my back on Nicki any time soon.) 

These days folks are tired of behaving, which makes it more interesting for us, but Straight Outta Nashville isn’t going to be able to take down Straight Outta Her Mind, who’s anacondas one out up with any of Cyrus’ naked bs, which lead to the awesomeness of at MTV’s Video Music Awards last month -worth another view for the uncensored version:

If Miley isn’t about being an asshole, why doesn’t she stop deflecting and calling out other artists? She seems to be over-trying again like she did on the video for “Wrecking Ball.” Still, Cyrus is a huge musical talent and watching her reveal the next iteration of her Madonna-like new personas minus faux British accents, is hugely entertaining. 

Her new song “Hands of Love,” is another killer ballad (off the soundtrack of the Julianne Moore & Ellen Paige film “Freehold”), showcasing why we still have any interest in Miley as she struggles to settle on an identity and adulthood. Guess she’s just being Miley

Burberry + Apple Music: A Natural Fit…Ramble

Why is anyone surprised Burberry has started a music channel with Apple Music? Angela Ahrendts, the SVP of Apple’s retail and online stores, was the CEO of Burberry.

Ms. Ahrendts, with Christopher Bailey, were very vocal about taking the heritage brand, and modeling it on Apple’s cohesiveness to make Burberry cool again. They launched the Burberry Acoustic Series, which will be included in the channel.


This is a natural and logical fit. I personally love it. The marriage of music and fashion is well-documented, with my own former boss, Ian Rogers, recently turning heads (as he does), leaving his role as CEO of Beats to take fashion powerhouse LVMH to the next level of digital innovation. Note: Yes, as much as we have seen digital be integral to many fashion brands, overall the industry still needs to innovate in the area. Don’t get me started on the fragrance industry (I used to cover it.)

My personal hope is now Burberry will create a stand alone app, where customers can live in a Burberry world, which will of course, include the music. *Yes, I wrote that request a few posts ago, you’re not imagining it. I love Burberry.

Now where’s my Burberry trench coat? I’m going to go outside and take my swagger back to Golden Square to wrap up my London Fashion Week experience.

Vanessa Williams: A Long Overdue Apology…Ramble

Social media has shined a light on misbehaving, injustices and the downright ridiculous ways we treat each other as human beings. Not all of us are reality stars, learning or ignoring lessons on our mistakes caught on camera, yet, social media brings back the opportunity for all that “lost footage” and all the “private” conversations we’re having using our smart phones to be broadcast to the world.

Fat-shaming. Body-shaming. Beard-shaming. Can’t we treat each others like human beings? It was with grace that Vanessa Williams relinquished her Miss America crown in 1984, forced to by people who took offense and tried to shame her for Penthouse publishing nude photos of her- she didn’t pose for them to be published.

These days “Scandal” is not only the name of a hit show, it’s how Kim Kardashian transformed her entire family into reality stars and cash generators. Isn’t it time we treated people like human beings and be decent to one another, instead of saying, “Gotcha! I have a way of taking you down? I’m going to use this to bash you in a moment that wasn’t your finest, even if I don’t know the backstory?”

The sad thing is when you compare how men who have been violent towards women like Kobe Byrant and Chris Brown, they have legions of fans, didn’t have to “go quiet” to wait out the scandal and go into self-doubt. Hitting Rihanna gave Chris Brown street credibility, with many big name artists lining up to work with him on a track. Even Kayne West, who said he doesn’t understand award shows at this year’s VMA’s stood up and applauded Chris for winning an award, while his long-time collaborator Jay-Z, remained, understandably seated.

For this I admire Vanessa Williams and her ability to go on to be an award-winning actress, beloved even when she was delightfully bad on “Ugly Betty,” hats off to you, Vanessa Williams for having the class to both accept and forgive the Miss America Pageant, and then support them by being a judge in the contest. What a class act!

Brand of the Week: Volvo…Ramble

Volvo may be an odd choice for me to pick. I’ve had two MINI Coopers (you have to have the chili red convertible if you live in LA, otherwise you are missing out on a whole lot of fun), learned to drive on a boat aka a 1975 Cadillac and had my Honda totaled by a drunk driver (the first time I lived in LA.)


Road tripping with Piggy and Polly!

Why Volvo? Partnering their #VolvoDogs campaign with our favorite Frenchie sisters on Instagram – @piggyandpolly.

Smart move Volvo, especially when Piggy and Polly have a base reach of 242K followers over your 53.6K. While the “likes” on Volvo’s account were on in the 1000-2000 range, over on Piggy & Polly’s account, there were photos with over 13K likes. Double tap success.


Before we moved from NY to LA, our good friends at Kiehl’s in Brooklyn held a “goodbye party” for Elle. The average spend was almost double a humans-only event. Lesson: people who are fun, modern dog-owners, want the best for their dogs.

The bonus on Piggy and Polly’s end? Not only do they get to do this promotion, it’s inline with their particular aesthetic and they got to wear their gorgeous clothing line Pipolli designed by their mom Carla.


Let’s go cruising!

The Beauty of Endless Digital Possibilities…Ramble

Last week I was talking to a strategic director at a digital agency. We were discussing fashion brands that have embraced digital, as I’ve had several fashion clients and she wants to expand into that arena.

Naturally, digital superstar Burberry because part of the discussion. Known for turning a heritage brand into a cool, fun and fresh brand using digital tools, Angela Ahrendts (now at Apple) and Christopher Bailey (Chief Creative Officer & CEO of Burberry) are to be applauded for embracing digital. You can find Burberry on Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, tumblr – The Art of the Trench is classic, and embracing live-streaming their catwalks on Periscope, as well as In-store events, especially at the flagship on Regent’s Street, host live concerts with large digital screens that can be used as pure video or create unique light shows.

What first caught my attention for this refreshening the brand in the digital world, was the Burberry acoustic series, when Keane performed on top of The Great Wall of China, a few years ago and I was smitten. I read a few interviews with Ms. Arendt and Mr. Bailey that made me keen, pun intended, for more.

The point is, while Burberry has done a tremendous job, there is always room to do more, experiment more and with and that’s what I love about digital. The runway is endlessly full of possibilities. Okay, engineers, calm down, I get how coding works and how it’s never “done,” however look at wearables and A.I. and everything that was the stuff of science fiction novels and movies in the 60’s, which exists in reality today.

I told this woman I wish Burberry had an APP. She questioned whether a consumer would be willing to purchase a £2000 Burberry handbag through an APP and if it could redeem the cost. Oh agency mindset, why so cynical? My answer was a resounding yes. As we all know mobile use is only on the rise, with consumers stating mobile purchases motivation is more about free shipping, then lower pricing.

If you go and buy a car, you’ve done all your research. 90% of people who walk into a car dealership already know what they want, they want to make sure the stock is there and they can get the features they want, and of course, “negotiate” in floor mats. This woman was very skeptical, but all the research, and sales habits show when you have brand loyalty, consumers will buy it in the easiest way possible. Perhaps she isn’t a research person, so I suggest watching ‘Rich Kids of Beverly Hills’ and reading Kevin Kwan’s “Crazy Rich Asians,” to understand that when money is not an issue, getting what you want the moment you want it, is why Amazon Prime is so successful (and hello, they sell Burberry.)

Burberry does create customer accounts, which sales associates can access on a tablet in-store, but does not have an app for customers to purchase, giving access to exclusives first. I can think of half a dozen ways that could benefit them and loyal members.

When you limit the possibilities at the onset, the amazing ideas may never find a way to live. I have worked with minimal to unlimited budgets for artists and clients, and there is always room for creativity at all sizes, the only limit is your imagination and execution.

The Power of One…Ramble

Yesterday, Taylor Swift, gently, because she does, in general, have mad love for Apple, and is a savvy business woman, posted a letter to Apple, requesting they pay the fees associated with streaming to artists, producers, etc. during the three month period for their new streaming service’s trial period. She had a point about not being paid, hardware sales have always been the priority for Apple. Many tech companies build products and expect they will dazzle us so incredibly, content owners will fall over themselves, no matter what the cost to their own pockets to participate.

Taylor has been calling bullshit on streaming and it’s pay scale for almost a year publicly. Her “1989” album isn’t available to stream. She is in a unique position, and many other artists felt she wasn’t using her to power to stand up for them, but she very clearly did in this letter to Apple, so back off haters, she just shook you off and did you a solid.

With only a week to launch, the heat felt scorching, for a few hours, until Apple’s SVP of Internet Software and Services (see? I told you this is a engineer-based company, there’s no music indicator in his title), Eddie Cue stepped up, spoke to Taylor and tweeted a policy change on Twitter,  that Apple Music will “pay artist for streaming, even during customer’s free trial.” Girls, hit your Hallelujah.

Through the miracle of the power of one person, one person in the right place with the power for her words to change the actions of a corporation that has more money than the American government (oh hey, Greece, maybe Apple could buy you as a vacation spot.)

To be fair, let’s talk about streaming in general and why this move is important. Consumers are streamlining their music and video libraries. Having moved almost two months ago, I opted to give away my entire CD collection. Now, you might say how big could it have been? I was a professional music programmer for Vh1 and Head of Music Video Programming for Yahoo!, plus a life long passion music fan. It included unreleased mixes music industry A&R staff asked for input. The mere physical weight and space of it did not leave me excited.


I looked at my computer, a six month old Mac Air Book, which doesn’t have a CD slot. I had sold my car, which felt outdated by having a CD player, despite a connector for smartphone/iPad, etc. Thinking of my economy of space, of not having to worry I was losing any music because of my premium subscription to Spotify, my iTunes and Amazon purchased music camped out in The Cloud, it was one less hassle. A massive collection to let go, it went to the right person, who owns many of the same CDS and is still keen on the physical and has promised to appreciate it and safeguard it, believing I will change my mind.

Streaming makes my life much easier. While I did purchase “1989” – via iTunes, if it had been available for me to listen to in full on a streaming site, I might have done it a lot sooner and not only two weeks ago.


Let’s compare this to renting a movie through a streaming service. The last rented movie I watched from iTunes was “Mockingjay”, which clocks in at two hours and 3 minutes. I got tired and stopped watching it with under thirty minutes left. Given that a rental has a 48 hour time limit, I tend to agree with what JinSai’s blog post regarding the 90-day trial period being too long, a day or a week should be more than enough to convince me you have offered a great product and I must have it. The 48-hour time limit on rentals, is a huge motivator so that consumers don’t forget to watch it, most watching it upon clicking to rent it.

When I went to watch the remainder of “Mockingjay,” I was met with a very sad flaw of the movie side of streaming services, a lack of upsell. I had missed the 48 hour rental window, by about an hour, if Apple had given me the option to finish watching the movie for another dollar or pound, I would have said yes. But it didn’t. It was a little unclear what the options were aside from sending a fear message “you will lose this download” – was my option to pay the full rental price again? I decided I wasn’t that interested. I loved the books so much, I delayed reading Mockingjay for two weeks so I wouldn’t be done with it. The first movie was terrible, the second movie much better and third, by splitting it into two parts, clearly you made it too long and opted for sleep. But, I digress (this is a ramble people!)

If Apple Music’s trial was a week, that is still longer than Apple would go unpaid, or their employees, so Taylor has a valid point, that we don’t get our iPhones free for three months, (unless we’re on a payment plan with a phone company, which charges us so much in interest we wind up paying several hundred dollars more for something that will be outdated by the time we pay for it in full). As a music programmer, when Coldplay’s X&Y was released, I, like many other music professionals, was invited to the record label’s office, where I could listen to the album, which was loaded onto an iPod, encased in glass. Often major decisions to sign a band are made on one listen. If I had had one listen of “1989” I probably would have bought it right away, but instead it had to prove itself to me.

I am pro-streaming, pro-economy of space, even in the memory of my laptop or smartphone. I am also pro-paying people for their creations and the team that goes behind making it available (it’s more than engineers, the operations staffers are the ones that deal with the digitization, the metadata push, etc., the A&R staff have to turn in all the correct documentation with correct producer/writer credits, etc. and on and on). Applause to Taylor for making a difference for all the hard working people in the music industry, and for Apple for listening and changing their policy so quickly. Use your own power to benefit those around you and you will not only win their respect, you can change the world.

Rebel, Rebel…Ramble

There are signs everywhere in London, to REBEL. The dictionary defines a rebel as a person who resistant any authority, control, or tradition. The 1950’s, which gave us Jack Kerouac’s second book, On The Road, and 1955 classic film, “Rebel Without A Cause,” amongst others, popular culture has glamorized being a rebel. Even my the ice coffee wants me to be a rebel. I don’t mind rebelling from war over processed food to the below delicious treat.

Personally, I prefer today’s rebels in the dome of women, standing up and calling out the sexism and discrimination. Although female empowerment books from Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In to founder, Sophia Amoruso’s Girl Boss, and proof that women over 55 are best suited for strategic leadership, numbers this week revealed the amount of women in tech is down to under 30% and the women on tech boards are not in the leadership chairs. Is the rebellion working? Can it only succeed when famous women support the cause? Can awareness lead to change?

Rebel. It’s all around us. It’s the name of a gym I frequent. During classes we are all called rebels, to incite and inspire us to work harder, go against the grain. A teacher said “if there’s no pain, you’re not changing your body.” (Cut to me screaming in pain from pulling out my arm during the weight lifting portion of the class.)

Be a disrupter, a rebel. Yet, it’s taken social media to vent truthfully about shit people say about women directors getting the ultimate sexist treatment, being a given norm. That’s why I loved when Julianne Moore said no to the nail cam E! added to their inane red carpet coverage. Rebel against the nail cam, that is, unless you launched your own nail line and you are promoting it.

REBEL! Against women getting paid .70 cents to the US Dollar for doing the same jobs as men.

REBEL when so-called ‘women’s magazine’, Allure called reality star, Lauren Conrad, a ‘basic bitch,’ but she gave the most girl boss answer to a question pulled from a listeners at random, during a radio interview, asking her her favorite position, by responding “CEO.”

Recently, Oscar winner and single mom, Gwyneth Paltrow rebelled against her lifestyle site, being compared to other actresses’ brand extensions. She’s right, but press likes to pit women against one another, put people in boxes.

 For instance, Jessica Alba’s Honest brand sells safe eco-friendly baby products, which has netted her $1 billion dollars. Seriously. That is some seriously impressive work for a girl who grew up clipping coupons. Honey, you are the one laughing all the way to the bank, but The Honest Company has a different audience from, which offers recipes, city guides, clothing & accessories, mostly for women, and advice for women on everything from nutrition to how to self-promote– like a rebel.

Launched in early May, Reese Witherspoon’s website, is a strictly e-commerce site for women who want modern Southern style. It doesn’t go too deep, even in the ‘meet’ section of the site, but has a sweet questionnaire about Southern style. A lot of people want to look pretty and be entertained in small doses. They don’t want to know what you’re reading or the latest palatable way to eat kale, and that’s where Reese comes in, providing charm and charming outfits.

Kate Hudson’s website sells strictly athletic gear (and yes, I have some, terrible name Fabletics, but really high quality product) on an ala carte or subscription basis. Again, that is a different business demographic. One does not attend a Southern tea party in athletic wear!

At the end of the day, rebel against comparisons and carve out your own niche. Do you. Always. And if any snakes are around, blast Taylor Swift’s ‘Bad Blood’ to let them know what kind of rebel they are dealing with – one who sees the enemy, faces them, and triumphs, passing the bad juju back to the original snake.