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Archive for the ‘Fashion Design’ Category

The Enduring French Haute Couture House that Inspires & Impresses to this Day in Several Fashion Categories

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

By: Geoff Ficke

The eponymous founder of the House of Lanvin, Madame Jeanne Lanvin was a Parisian couturier who was first admitted to the prestigious Syndicate de la Couture in 1909. At the time, Madame Lanvin had gained a following of wealthy Parisian clients attracted to the children’s clothing she was designing for her own daughter; the future opera star Marie Blanche di Pietro. Her lovely creations were in great demand initially for little upper-crust girls, and then for their gentrified mothers who sought to co-ordinate their dresses and millinery with their daughters style.

Madame Lanvin’s couture business boomed almost immediately and she soon opened a boutique on the ever-fashionable Rue Fauborg St. Honore in Paris. Her modernist styling cues, eye for fabric and color, and elegant detailing appealed to wealthy mothers and daughters from all over Europe. In 1923 the House of Lanvin opened a dye producing factory in Nanterre. This extension of the business accelerated the firm’s ability to provide vivid, novel and the most beautiful fabrics for use in their couture business and for sales to other clothing manufacturers.

As growth continued throughout the 1920’s the House of Lanvin open boutiques dedicated to home décor, fur, menswear and lingerie.

It was in 1924 that Lanvin Parfums SA was formed and in 1927 Madame Lanvin made her most important commercial expansion. It was in that year that she introduced the classic fragrance Arpege. The name was inspired by the sound of Marie Blanche practicing the scales on her piano (Arpege is derived from the word pronounced and spelled “arpeggio” in French). Arpege was an instant commercial success and is still one of the best selling scents in the world.

The great interior designer and artist of the day Armand Albert Rateau had been engaged to decorate Madame Lanvin’s apartment and country homes in the early 1920’s. She was so impressed with his creativity and spatial sensibility that he was commissioned to design the famous La Boule crystal flacon for Arpege perfume. This gorgeous example of luxury packaging has retained its popularity to this day and still enhances the desirability of Arpege as a classic fragrance brand.

In 1907 the well known portrait artist Paul Iribe had been commissioned to paint the likeness of Madame Lanvin and her daughter in a golden image. This rendering has been imprinted on every bottle of world famous Arpege perfume and bath and body products ever sold. The love of mother and daughter is apparent to us over a century later.

The House of Lanvin was successful under the steady guidance and entrepreneurial hand of Jeanne Lanvin for the first half of the 20th century. During this time period, no consumer of haute couture visited Paris without visiting Madame Lanvin’s boutiques to experience first-hand the finest in understated elegance and craftsmanship. The finest department and specialty stores around the world carried her lines of fragrance, couture and fashion accessories on an exclusive basis.

Today, the Lanvin boutique on Rue Fauborg St. Honore is still a fashion shrine. The current head designer Alber Elbaz has maintained the traditions of classicism and excellence demanded by Jeanne Lanvin. Lanvin licensed products are produced to the highest specification and standards of quality and distributed on an exclusive basis. Arpege fragrances are in distribution to better stores around the world and still greatly appreciated by discerning ladies seeking the feminine, understated notes the scent purveys.

Jeanne Lanvin built a timeless brand. She was an entrepreneur with perfect fashion instincts. These sensibilities extended to men’s haberdashery, fur, interior décor,
manufacturing, perfumery, fashion accessories of course her signature fashion house. This innovator was never interested in current trends but always sought to offer design that would convey artistry and elegance for the present as well as the future.

The Story of a Bespoke Tailor, Royalty, Commerce and the Introduction of the Smoking Jacket or Tuxedo

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

by: Geoff Ficke

The modern, ubiquitous tuxedo is a staple of most modern gentlemen’s fulsome wardrobes. How the tuxedo, or “dinner jacket”, was initially birthed is an interesting story and entwines a London Saville Row bespoke tailoring house, royalty and an American investment banker. This confluence of influences has influenced how the well-dressed man presents himself for special occasions for a century and a half since the distinctive garment made its first appearance.

Tailless jackets, then called smoking jackets, first became popular in England in the mid-19th century among the landed gentry and royalty as alternatives to tailed suit coats. Distinguished by satin or grosgrain lapels and striping on the outside of pants legs, these suits were much more informal and less cumbersome than the restrictive, uncomfortable waist coated suits worn by gentlemen of that time.

Their popularity was insured when the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, asked his tailor to make him such a suit as an alternative to the waistcoat. Henry Poole & Co., the Prince’s Saville Row bespoke tailors, were tasked with designing and fitting what would become the first formally recognized “smoking jacket’. There are conflicting stories as to the date of the first iteration of what would become known as the tuxedo was crafted. But Henry Poole and Co. has receipts for such a commission dating to the 1860’s. By the 1880’s the Prince was ordering “smoking jackets” from the haberdasher.

During this period the banking firm Brown and Co. was the principal source of letters of credit for international trade payments. In 1886 the Prince of Wales invited the son of the founder of Brown and Co., James Potter Brown a London-based partner in the bank, to visit his estate at Sandringham House for a hunting party. In preparation for the visit Mr. Brown asked the Prince to advise appropriate dress for the various sporting and social functions that were to be enjoyed. The Prince referred Mr. Brown to Henry Poole and Co. where he was fitted for a proper “smoking jacket”.

During a subsequent visit to the fashionable new resort outside New York City called Tuxedo Park James Potter Brown wore his Henry Poole and Co. crafted “smoking jacket” to an elegant soiree. The suit was immediately praised and members of the resort began to demand to be fitted for the garment from their tailors. The connection to Tuxedo Park stuck and the appellation “tuxedo” for the American version of the “smoking jacket” was born.

The introduction of the modern tuxedo drove the creation of an elegant ensemble to be worn for any formal, special occasion from fund raisers to marriage ceremonies. The suit itself has developed a coterie of specialized accessories that have become almost mandatory to complete the classic look of the well dressed gentlemen. Shoes, stylized shirts and collars, studs, the cummerbund, pocket squares and neckwear specific to embellishing the tuxedo are deemed essential to complete the desired sartorial elegance.

Today, the well-dressed gentleman usually owns at least one black tuxedo complete with the requisite array of appropriate accessories. Colors and accompanying accessories now run the gamut from the elegant to the tacky. Nevertheless, whenever a man dresses in a tuxedo he is unwittingly paying a bit of homage to a successful man of  commerce, 19th century British royalty and the ageless craftsmanship purveyed by bespoke tailors.

This Italian Fashion Giant also Lead One of the 20th Century’s Most Exciting and Daring Personal Lives

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

by: Geoff Ficke

Emilio Pucci, the Marquis of Barsento, was born in 1914 to an ancient family of Florentine nobles. He would live and work for most of his life in the Pucci Palace in Florence. A keen athlete and sportsman he was a member of the Italian Winter Olympic team at the 1932 Lake Placid, New York games.

As a young man he studied at the Universities of Milan and Georgia in the United States. He won a skiing scholarship to Reed College in Oregon and then furthered his education at the University of Florence, earning a doctorate in Political Science in 1937. It was during his student years that he became involved in Fascist politics.

During World War II Pucci enlisted in the Italian Air Force and became a bomber pilot. He rose through the ranks and was decorated numerous times for valor. He had become a close confidant of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini’s daughter Edda. As the war turned against the Fascists, Edda’s husband Count Galeazzo Ciano, the Italian Foreign Minister had attempted to intervene with the Allies to remove Mussolini from power in 1943. Ciano was imprisoned and tried by the Fascists.

Pucci attempted to smuggle Edda Mussolini across the border to sanctuary in neutral Switzerland. While he was successful in saving Edda, he was captured by the Nazi’s as he tried to use Count Ciano’s secret papers to barter for Ciano’s life with Nazi SD General Wilhelm Harster. The attempt failed and the Nazi’s tortured Pucci in an attempt to discover where Ciano’s secret document trove was hidden. Pucci did not break under the abuse.

The Nazi’s decided to try a different tact. They sent Emilio Pucci back into Switzerland to advise Edda Mussolini that she would be killed if she released Count Ciano’s papers to the press. Pucci sat out the last months of the war in Switzerland and returned to Italy after surrender.

In 1947, skiwear Pucci had designed for a lady friend that she was wearing on the slopes in Zermatt was photographed randomly by Harper’s Bazaar. The magazine was so impressed by the fit, color and design that the editor approached Pucci about shooting a full collection that he would have to create. This was the beginning of his iconoclastic fashion career and fame as a couture pioneer.

Pucci’s sleek designs caused a sensation. He was experimenting with early stretch materials which increased skiing performance times but also flattered athletic body types. He followed this with a line of swimwear that became the rage at chic resort wear shops. All of Pucci’s designs featured bold colors co-mingled in crisp geometric patterns. He quickly designed a line of silk scarves which complemented designer suits and dresses.

Stanley Marcus, President of Dallas, Texas based Neiman Marcus approached Pucci and suggested that he design a line of silk blouses and dresses. Throughout the 1950’s his fame grew, international fashion awards were garnered and sales exploded. Marilyn Monroe became a fan and was often photographed in his form flattering dresses (She was buried in a Pucci dress). Fashion icons from Sophia Loren to Gina Lollabrigida to Jackie Kennedy all wore Pucci. Contemporary pop-icons such as Madonna wear Pucci designs today.

In the 1960’s Braniff Airlines decided that they needed to elevate their image and separate their brand from the many bland corporate looks favored by the many  competitors of that time. In one of the first campaigns of total branding by an airline Braniff re-designed every element of their service from the outer skin of their plane fuselages, to their terminals, lounges and staff uniforms. Pucci created the first of his seven stewardess uniform designs that took the industry by storm for their unique color, variety and fashion flourishes. The Pucci-designed Bubble Helmet, designed to protect the stewardess hair in inclement weather, became a sensation. Famously, even the Barbie Doll collection licensed Pucci’s Braniff uniforms for the Stewardess Barbie.

Always an active participant in politics, Pucci served in the Italian Parliament as a delegate representing the Florence-Pistoia region. He was elected in 1964 and served until 1972.

The distinctive Pucci geometric colored-motif logo was licensed for use in many luxury goods categories. I was very fortunate to be the American distributor for Pucci Fragrances in the early-1980’s and on several occasions enjoyed the opportunity to meet the gentile, elegant Senor Pucci. He was always a supremely dignified presence as his annual collections were unveiled at Villa d’Este on Lake Como.

In 1992 Emilio Pucci passed away. His name, brand and unique geometric color palette lives on after being purchased by luxury goods giant LVMH. Today Pucci couture can be found in Pucci and Rossignol boutiques as well as at many fine international department stores and resort shops. His was a life of adventure,

Lori Leigh Designs™ to Attend LA Gift Show After Receiving Strong Market Response at JCK

Saturday, July 21st, 2012
Duquesa Marketing

Press Release 

For Immediate Release
Contact: Geoff Ficke
859-567-1609

gficke@msn.com

Lori Leigh Designs to Attend LA Gift Show After Receiving Strong Market Response at JCK

Novel Fashion-Gift Line of Earring Chalets Organizers to Be Displayed at Booth #1643 July 27-30 at Los Angeles Convention Center
Whittier, CA   Lori Torline, President of Lori Leigh Designs Inc. announced today that her fashion accessory atelier will unveil its range of unique Earring Chalet organizers at the upcoming Los Angeles Gift Show. This semi-annual mart is considered the most successful show of its kind for retailers located in the Pacific time-zone.
“We launched the Earring Chalets in the United States in June at JCK, the huge jewelry industry show and results were overwhelming”, said Mrs. Torline. “Based on the brands performance at JCK, we immediately expanded the trade show participation and are aggressively organizing sales coverage in every market”.
“The unique features and benefits of the Earring Chalets, great pricing and their colorful fashion cues make the products the perfect impulse gift item”, said Nancy Ficke,
General Manager of Florence, KY based Duquesa Marketing, managing consultants for this project. “We are expanding the production capacity and both USA and
international schedules to meet ramped up demand”.
Lori Leigh Designs offers the Vanity Earring Chalet in three fashion colors. The Traveler is available in five designer colors. The line can be viewed at www.LoriLeighDesigns.com. The Brand is supported with a strong sales promotional program.

Lori Leigh Designs™ Earring Chalets Unveiled to Huge Retail Acceptance at JCK Las Vegas June 1-4

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Duquesa Marketing

www.DuquesaMarketing.com

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Geoff Ficke

859-567-1609

gficke@msn.com

Lori Leigh Designs™ Earring Chalets Unveiled to Huge Retail Acceptance at JCK Las Vegas June 1-4

Fashionable Earring Organizers One of the Biggest Breakthrough Products at the Largest Jewelry Trade Show in the United States

Whittier, CA Lori Torline, President and creative force behind Lori Leigh Designs Earring Chalets, noted at the conclusion of the JCK Jewelry Industry Trade Expo at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas that her product had sold out completely during this premiere event.

“Of course, our team was excited about the unique fashion features and design benefits we had built into the product”, said Mrs. Torline. “But until you experience retailers reactions there is always some anticipation of their actual interest level. The first jeweler that visited our stand placed an order and that got us off to a great start and the action just kept building for the rest of JCK”.

“Lori Leigh Designs Earring Chalets stood completely alone as an “alpha” product at JCK”, said Nancy Ficke, General Manager of Florence, KY based Duquesa Marketing, managing consultants for the project’s development and market launch. “The Vanity and Traveler units were equally well received and the five fashion color choices were obvious strong selling points for retailers at the show”.

“We have immediately placed another large factory order and have committed to two upcoming trade shows”, noted Mrs. Torline. “Because of the great response we are moving quickly ahead with another generation of organizers that we plan to introduce in early 2013”.

Duquesa Marketing Managed Launch of Lori Leigh Designs Earring Chalets at JCK Huge Success

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Duquesa Marketing

www.duquesamarketing.com

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Geoff Ficke

859-567-1609
gficke@msn.com

Duquesa Marketing Managed Launch of Lori Leigh Designs Earring Chalets at JCK Huge Success

Product Acceptance at Largest United States Jewelry Industry Trade Show Results in Inventory Sellout and Enthusiastic Trade Response

Florence, KY   Nancy Ficke, General Manager of international award winning Consumer Product Development and Branding Consultancy Duquesa Marketing noted today that her firm’s client Lori Leigh Designs launched their line of Earring Chalet Fashion Organizers to tremendous retail enthusiasm at JCK, Las Vegas June 1-4,
2012.

“The Lori Leigh Designs Earring Chalets were one of the true breakthrough hits at JCK”, said Mrs. Ficke “The vivid fashion colors, value, two styles and the obvious functionality of the organizers was unanimously praised by buyers. Order flow was tremendous and the response so encouraging that we have added two more trade shows to our launch caravan”.

“As a huge consumer of earrings of all types and sizes I always felt that the earring Chalet Organizers would be a huge hit”, said Alexis Bruning, V.P. of New Product Development for Duquesa Marketing. “The boxes are stunning to view and they really work as practical earring organizers, there is simply nothing else on the market like Lori Leigh’s system and the JCK attendee’s response confirmed our assumptions”.

“JCK is the premiere Jewelry industry trade show in the United States”, said Geoff Ficke, President of Duquesa Marketing. “Competition is fierce and the expo is heavily attended by veteran jewelers from around the world. To succeed at this venue provides Lori Leigh Designs a huge vote of affirmation as we move the product into broad
distribution”.

Duquesa Marketing Client Pedi-Protexx™ Launches at COSMOPROF Bologna to Great Acclaim

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Duquesa Marketing

www.DuquesaMarketing.com

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Geoff Ficke

859-567-1609

gficke@msn.com

Duquesa Marketing Client Pedi-Protexx™ Launches at COSMOPROF Bologna to Great Acclaim

Retailers and Distributors from Over 60 Counties Flock to Secure Licensing opportunities to Secure Perfect Pedicure Protection

Florence, KY    Nancy Ficke, co-founder and General Manager of international, award winning Consumer Product Development and Branding consultancy Duquesa Marketing, announced today that over 60 major international distributors and retailers have approached her firm to secure distribution rights to Pedi-Protexx, a novel new pedicure accessory beauty product after viewing the line at COSMOPROF Bologna.

“We were overwhelmed at the rousing response to our client’s product and the unique features of the Pedi-Protexx”, said Ms. Ficke. “COSMOPROF Bologna is the largest, most prestigious beauty product show in the world, and the performance of Pedi-Protexx made it a standout in this mega-competitive milieu”.

“The interest in a simple, elegant product which aids in the application of a pedicure treatment was amazing”, said Alexis Bruning, V.P. of New Product Development for Duquesa
Marketing. “We were continually told that Pedi-Protexx was one of the most original, different products at COSMOPROF.

“In coming weeks we will be making a series of announcements as each country’s specific distribution deal is concluded”, said Nancy Ficke. “The interest in distributing this unique pedicure accessory is growing exponentially as a result of the impact the Pedi-Protexx generated last week at the Bologna show”.

Murphy Underwear™ to Launch February 13-15, 2012 At MAGIC Show, Mandalay Bay, Stand #29099

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Duquesa Marketing

www.duquesamarketing.com

 

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact:  Geoff Ficke

 

Murphy Underwear™ to Launch February 13-15, 2012 At MAGIC Show, Mandalay Bay, Stand #29099

Men’s Fashion Underwear Featuring Proprietary MX-P Anti-Microbial Moisture Barrier Technology Offers Totally New User Experience

Hattiesburg, MS   Boyd Murphy, creator of Murphy Underwear, announced today that his line of eco-polished cotton men’s underwear featuring MX-P Anti-Microbial Moisture Barrier Technology will be unveiled to the male haberdashery market at the upcoming MAGIC Show at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

“We have spent a considerable amount of time and money incorporating barrier technology and quick-wicking weave into our garment that eliminates moisture and embarrassment for the first time while maximizing fit and shape”, said Mr. Murphy. “The MAGIC Show is a premiere platform for us to use to launch the line”.

“The product Boyd Murphy has perfected is to normal underwear as a Ferrari is to a Yugo”, said Geoff Ficke, President of Florence, KY based Duquesa Marketing, who have acted as
management consultants for the Murphy Underwear project. “There has never been a user experience that equals the fit, comfort and confidence that Murphy Underwear offers. The MX-P Anti-Microbial Moisture Barrier Technology will change the men’s undergarment category forever”.

“We will unveil our new web-site, pricing and sales promotions for retailers at the MAGIC Show”, said Mr. Murphy. “We are discussing sales coverage with several very interested and substantial sales representative organizations and look forward to interviewing other interested distributors at the show”.

Murphy Underwear Engages dP Design to Create Graphic Art for Spring-2012 Brand Launch

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Duquesa Marketing

www.duquesamarketing.com

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact:  Geoff Ficke

859-567-1609

Murphy Underwear Engages dP Design to Create Graphic Art for Spring-2012 Brand Launch

Premium Underwear Features MX-P Anti-Microbial Moisture Barrier Technology for Extra Confidence

Hattiesburg, MS  Boyd Murphy, creator of Murphy Underwear announced today that his Company has engaged the services of Cincinnati-based dP Design to create the visual Branding elements for the upcoming retail introduction of his line of luxury men’s briefs and boxer briefs enhanced with MX-P Anti-Microbial Moisture Barrier Technology.

“We reviewed many options presented by our Managing Consulting firm Duquesa Marketing”, said Mr. Murphy. “dP Design stood apart as a Graphics Arts firm with a unique understanding of our product and the fashion market we will be entering. We are excited to be working with Diana Puppin and her group”.

“My firm has worked on a number of luxury product launches with Duquesa Marketing”, said Diana Puppin, Pres. of dP Design.“When the Murphy Underwear project was presented by Nancy and Geoff Ficke we recognized that this product was so much more than just another men’s underwear item, but a real breakthrough in comfort and new barrier technologies”.

Murphy Underwear, featuring MX-P Anti-Microbial Moisture Barrier Technology will be introduced to better retailers and haberdasheries during Spring-2012. A complete menu of launch activities, trade shows, sales promotions and special value packaging is being finalized and will be unveiled shortly.

Murphy Underwear Retail Launch Set for Upcoming Magic Show in Las Vegas February 13-15, 2012

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Duquesa Marketing

www.duquesamarketing.com

Press Release

For Immediate Release

January 2, 2012

Contact:  Geoff Ficke

gficke@msn.com

Murphy Underwear Retail Launch Set for Upcoming Magic Show in Las Vegas February 13-15, 2012

Unique Advance in Comfort and Confidence Features MX-P Anti-Microbial Moisture Barrier Technology

Hattiesburg, MS    Boyd Murphy, creator of Murphy Underwear announced today that his line of luxury men’s briefs and boxer briefs will be introduced at the Magic Show, Las Vegas Convention Center, February 13-15, 2012. Magic Show is the premiere trade expo for male fashion and accessory products.

“Murphy Underwear is excited to announce that our advanced comfort and confidence inspired products will be launched at this February’s Magic Show”, said Mr. Murphy. “As designers of a true luxury product we wanted to launch at a show known for presenting the finest in male fashion and grooming products and that defines what the Magic Show is all about”.

“We advised our client Murphy Underwear that the Magic Show was the best possible American venue for introducing their line”, said Geoff Ficke, President of Florence, KY based Duquesa Marketing, managing consultants for the Murphy Underwear project. “The products have so many upscale comfort, design, and new barrier technologies that we are confident the discriminating Magic Show attendees will recognize these unique features and benefits and offer Murphy Underwear to their customers”.

Murphy Underwear features their proprietary MX-P Anti-Microbial Moisture Barrier Technology. Pricing, sales promotion and value sets will be announced at the Magic Show. The product will be available in three designer colors, and two styles: briefs and boxer briefs. The Company is in the process of assembling Manufacturers Rep sales coverage on an exclusive territorial basis.