Madewell + Spotify = Irresistible…Ramble

J. Crew- owned brand, Madewell, has been making some interesting partnerships since their inception in 2006, stalled a little and now has been slowly building into one of those brands that is growing faster than their parent store. They are now sold in Nordstrom’s and the week that Spotify announced it’s partnership with Starbucks, the Madewell partnership got lost in the shuffle.

As I’ve mentioned before, while the streaming war is heating up, using celebrities to attract new paid subscribers being a lure by both Tidal and Apple (Drake, if you weren’t adorable before, that $19M paycheck for DJ’ing for Apple makes you the smartest one at the end of the day. Tidal wave crashing in 5, 4, 3…), making a move in a different direction is a smart play. Instead of trying to compete with all your competitors in the same exact way, for the same consumers, Spotify made the smart move to become the next level of Starbucks’ music strategy.

Spotify also made a partnership with Madewell stores which made my heart thump a little faster. Madewell held Spotify parties in their select stores the same week the Starbucks deal was announced. The Madewell website has a navigation button dedicated to their Spotify partnership, which includes spotlighting three new female artists – twin sisters – Lucius (when I read that quickly, I was thinking EMPIRE’s Lucius, when is that show back?!), LA’s Kelela, and Sharon Van Etten, all of whom have created playlists and look books. The bonus? You get 60 days of Spotify Premium gratis for shopping those looks and there’s a contest for a trip to LA.

Smart move Spotify. Partnering with Madewell expands Spotify off-platform again, one that wasn’t obvious and I applaud you. Keep it up and you’ll be following in Victoria Beckham’s footsteps, who went from Posh Spice, to having her own Posh fashion line, as well as having designing a Range Rover, which puts her into a class all of her own.

Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty… Ramble

When I worked in Soho, NY the models going on go-see casting calls looked like fairies, dotting the often grey weather that fall. Since then, my interest in fashion has had a more concentrated interest. The colors and cuts of Alexander McQueen have made me sigh in wonderment many a time, none more so than at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.    My eyes fluttered. Here was magic, a different kind of spark than other fashion exhibits I have seen or even Fashion Week events. While the exhibit is based on one from The Met, which I didn’t catch, in 2011, only a year after McQueen’s death, the space and layout were extraordinary.  While the Death Becomes Her, mourning garments throughout history curated by Anna Wintour, at The Met, was historically interesting, there’s nothing I like more in fashion than drama, a real show. The McQueen exhibit includes quotes that enhanced the exhibit as to his own mix of self-awareness and inner turmoil. He was precise. He knew he was making a mark and he wanted to create conversations, arming women with a feminine touch. (The result of witnessing and also a victim of his older sister’s abusive first husband. She only found out about Alexander’s own abuse when he became an adult.)  It was a creative kick in the soul. I’m here, on this earth, go big. I wrote about the recent triad of deaths of men on the music & technology world. The McQueen exhibit was the exclamation point. So, whoever you are, be it a famous Olympian or a school teacher, everyone struggles, turn that struggle into a positive. Express it. Move in this life, not through it colorless. Those dreams, the ones you had once, but life got in the way, it’s never too late to make them a reality.

Americans have a tendency to value ourselves by our job titles, responding within a few minutes when a senior executive needs an answer. If you’re creative the world is your stage, exposure and criticism is expected, welcomed – at the same time, it can be a lot of pressure. Don’t let that pressure to fit into an easier pace of life, trap you into not taking creative risks. Thank you Alexander McQueen for the magic you shared with the world. Hope your tormented soul is laughing – you made your mark. Now, it’s my turn to do the same in my own life.

Brand of the Week: Phillip Lim…Ramble

The recession has not been kind to the wallet, but Target has given access to high end designers for those on a budget. There have been hits (Missoni) and misses (Neiman Marcus collab) like anything else, but consistently Target collaborations have caused a feeding frenzy, leaving shoppers elated or crestfallen, depending on what they were able to score.

The Target closest to me will sometimes get one, just one bag, in a collection. Cue tears. I never did get that Jason Wu bag I wanted and I’m not going to buy it on Ebay. Why would I pay double to the men who elbowed me out of the way to get that bag?

The Phillip Lim line for Target included the most handbags of any of their collaborations. The best part is that they mirror his actual $800 and up handbags. Less than two months after my favorite Philip Lim eyeglass frames were eaten by my friend’s dog, his Target collection went on sale. I put it in my calendar. I intended to get to the store, but then, just as I had the day the Missoni for Target collection went on sale (see steam pouring out of my ears because I was getting picked up at 6 A.M. to get to the airport for a conference on direct marketing), I decided to skip the feeding frenzy and shop online.


By 5:45 A.M. the mini black satchel was gone (if you really still want one, yes those folks who grabbed them just to sell, have them up on Ebay), however I wound up with the medium one and then, it was just right there and looking too adorable to resist- scooped up a mini grey bag. So, instead of the one bag I really wanted, oh Phillip Lim now I have two bags for under $75 instead of paying $900 for one.


After a few weeks of using each bag, I can say this was the right choice. I couldn’t be happier after initially thinking one was too small and one too large. The smaller grey one is perfect for hitting a farmer’s market or heading to the dog park. The large black one holds the various books I always have with me and my journal to write down any story ideas. Thank you Phillip Lim for being such a wonderful designer and willing to make a quality product. Every time I see a Phillip Lim Target bag around town, it makes me smile.