Thursday, September 30, 2010

South Park Chic by JC de Castelbajac

Wha?!?! That would have to be the best way to describe my reaction to the F/W 2010 "Southpark" collection by JC de Castelbajac. As a South Park and Castelbajac fan, it is a dream come true to witness a successful creative stick to his childish, animated muses. Watching South Park and its characters develop into an amazing satirical expression of social commentary can only be topped by the French buying expensive clothing adorned with the faces of the South Park boys. Talk about irony! These hella sweet clothes can be found at JC de Castelbajac's website. Also don't forget, South Park continues its 14th Season starting Wednesday, October 6th at 10PM EST on Comedy Central!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cyber Goth

My previous post got me thinking of my Halloween costume. I'm putting together a cyber goth outfit - somewhat similar to the image above - ironically the same color combination! I started getting into the cyber goth fashion about a year ago: my friends and I were putting together a web series reflecting various experiences we (mostly they) had while working at the campus newspaper. One of my friends wanted me to play a goth character, who was actually in homage to another friend who actually was goth. So as not to misrepresent or offend, I started researching the goth culture. I read about everything from goth history to music to fashion and philosophy (I'm still looking for more stuff to read!). I stumbled across the cyber goth fashion through which talks about different goth subgroups, or 'stereotypes' as described by the author. If you're not familiar with the cyber goth culture, I'd explain it as goth + sci fi + bright colors + electronic music. It's a lot of fun to learn about - wikipedia is a good place to start to get a background if you're interested.

(the photo is by saturniaacherontia / Ulia on

GothSocks by RainyDaysWoolyDogs

I found a blog post about a woman on Etsy who hand dyes yarn with a Goth inspiration! Stephanie is from Washington and markets her yarn specifically for knitting socks. Even though the yarn could be used for anything, it's very fun and fashionable to select a specific product for her material. The photo of her yarn show booth displays perfectly striped socks (very Wizard of Oz) and an array of colors that could make a very gothy rainbow! Here is the link to her page on Etsy and this is the blog post I found the original story at (written by Melissa Hochschild).

Friday, September 24, 2010

Branding Experts Say Coca-Cola and Pepsi Brands Are No Good

I found an article on Digg from AOL Small Business News about the best and worst brands around today. According to a panel of branding experts, the world famous Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola brands aren't as great as we thought they were. Rob Frankle, a self-proclaimed branding expert of Frankel&Anderson, Inc. explains that:

(the following excerpt contains quotes from Frankle and the writings of the article's author, Lauren Drell)

--while Coca-Cola may be a successful brand, it is not a good brand. The true test, he says, is that if you go to a diner and request a Coke and are met with, "Pepsi okay?" 99 percent of people will say, "Yes." A good brand would be irreplaceable. The same goes for Pepsi, because it works both ways. Both are iconic companies with great advertising, but both brands are watered down when you look at the actual product -- the soda.--

Frankle has a point. Whenever I go out to eat or order takeout, my friends and family are very quick to purchase whichever cola is available. The only real place where people can actually stare at both bottles and make a choice seems to be at the grocery store. I wouldn't say that the Coca-Cola Co. and Pepsi Co. should be shaking in their boots about this... at least not until store brands start outselling them.

Did I forget to mention that Frankel&Anderson's website is absolutely disgusting?! It's right here. Just wanted to throw that in there.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding

I just finished reading The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding on my kindle. The authors, Al Ries and Laura Ries delivered some very important points and warnings about self-destructive business trends. "Becoming all things to all people" and the basic loss of focus on what made your company so prosperous in the first place, is a common theme throughout the book. The concepts of narrowing your brand's focus, creating a new product category and the benefits/limitations of selling online were unlike anything I've read so far. Interesting to note the book was published in 2004, but I still found much of the information valuable for today. It gave me a more clear perspective on what it really means for a business to "dare to be different" or "stand out in the crowd". You may find yourself skimming certain chapters later on in the book, but it's still a good read.