Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Behind The Scenes

Today I had the opportunity to take a tour of a local studio and see what kind of work goes into a Belk print ad.  Pictures taken at this studio go through quite a process: from here, to India, to Lancaster, PA and back with only TWO DAYS for turnover. Our guide stated that when they first took Belk as a client, they had 14 days to go through that process but technologies have changed and demand has increased for e-commerce which has whittled down the turn time.

I thought this wall was hilarious... where models come to grab their hair extensions in the morning.

I have seen the outcome of this KitchenAid set-up a bazillion times... and here it is getting shot!

This particular office housed commercial photographers, stylists, digital marketing program managers, and a couple other interesting titles that I can't remember specifically.  Before today, I would say I had a pretty narrow view of what a "stylist" was.  My definition would be someone who dresses models in a way that is creative and thought-provoking way for a photo shoot, commercial, TV, etc...... or, hello... Stacy and Clinton!  But today I got a glimpse of how far styling can range.  Some stylists were stacking fuzzy slippers for a holiday ad, some were clamping jackets on models to better fit their less-than-average frame, some were steaming and shaping felt hats, some were sticky-rolling samples, some were ironing men's shirts and trying to re-fold them to the perfect rectangle dimensions.... and I assume there are home stylists that we didn't see in action.  According to one of the stylists we met, the more range in their position, the better.  I do firmly believe that creating creates creativity and it's an ongoing cycle.  Maybe the same philosophy works for them?  As for those stylists shaping felt hats (for one, have you ever TRIED to shape a felt hat?), if it comes in more color way, they have to near-perfect shape all of them, and then place them exactly the same in front of the camera.  I thought back to how I always assumed that Victoria's Secret must edit the color ways on all those bikinis...but now, I don't know?

Fun Fact: While a lot of product is shot in this studio, photographers fly to NYC to shoot Cynthia for Cynthia Rowley, Eileen Fisher, Free People,  Crown & Ivy, and MADE for Cam Newton.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Urban Outfitters in Herald Square

I brag on Dick Hayne, CEO of URBN Inc., every chance I get but he has really outdone himself this time! The newest Urban Outfitters located at Broadway and W 35th Street in the famous Macy's Herald Square is taking the lifestyle brand to a new level. It opened in June, but I just got to see it with my own eyes on a recent trip to NYC.  I wish we could have seen it in the daylight and not at the end of a very long day so I could have taken better pictures, but I'll try to scratch the surface of awesomeness anyway.

(That exciting moment when you get real light spots in a photo... Not added while editing).

There are "trend shops" set up throughout the store... This particular one housed tons of vintage treasures from retro prom dresses to a 90's Alan Jackson photo tee.

Of course they had their normal offering of jewelry, but in addition, there were lots of nicer vintage pieces too displayed throughout the store.

They have a vinyl shop with over 400 titles!! But it think it was the Pendleton record players that really got my heart rate up.

They have a beauty department with a a full-service hair salon and full-time barber.
As a little girl I was a sucker for glitter polish... I never really grew out of that.

Tortoise & Blonde have their own set up, offering eyewear around the $50 price range.  Not that surprising for T&B because I think they've had an ongoing relationship with UO and a history of in-store pop-up shops.

Recently launched activewear line, Without Walls, had a nice spread of space all to itself. A quirky camping scene and tents that protruded from the walls set off the active ambiance.

A huuuuugggee shoe department... Not a couple shelves on the wall... A full-on shoe department.

Tons of unique options in the home department for customizing your space. 

I'm not positive how many square feet the store was, but according to Business Insider, URBN will be experimenting with larger store size with Free People in the near future. I know that the average store visit for their garden brand, Terrain, is about 2-3 hours and they're looking to keep the customer entertained for that same amount of time here. Job well done. Here are all the things I didn't even get to take pictures of:
-Photo booth and photo printing station for your Instagram photos
-the Bikestock vending machine for all your bike repair needs
-it's own coffee shop
-a souvenir shop featuring a Philadelphia-favorite, Three Potato Four
-a book and paper goods department

Oh geez. You'll just have to see it for yourself!