La La Land Retail

Chanel, Roberston Boulevard

On a recent business trip I had the fortunate (and rare) encounter to have a few brief minutes to walk around between meetings. My first opportunity took me between Robertson Boulevard. I have to admit it’s been a while since I have made it to this area of LA…and at first I was disheartened…Robertson Boulevard, my how you have changed! Read more of this post

Miami Design District – A Pattern Architect’s Dream

Miami Design District, FRCH Creative Fuel

For those who seek out unique architecture, love pattern as an environmental envelope or just enjoy unexpected inspiration — then be sure to visit Miami’s Design District. I have been fortunate enough to visit the district several times over the past few years, allowing me to see the environment evolve and grow, becoming more impressed upon each return visit. Filled with luxury shopping, boutique art galleries and exquisite furnishings, the Miami Design District has managed to create a destination focused on fashion, design and architecture. It’s a place of creative inspiration at every turn.

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A History Of Collaboration

BrandCollaboration_CreativeFuel_FRCHDesignWorldwide

It seems like just yesterday I scrounged up enough money (probably better spent toward college textbooks…) to purchase a cherry-printed Luella Bartley wristlet from Target as part of their first – and much anticipated – GO International program. Officially launching in 2006, on the heels of the success of Issac Mizrahi for Target, the campaign featured a different high-end designer each season that would create an exclusive, limited-time and obviously lower-priced, collection for Target. Read more of this post

Brand Love: Marine Layer

Marine Layer, FRCH Creative Fuel

Last summer I fell in love. With a hoody. It had me at hello, or more accurately at ‘Oh, Hey’. My destination was Shinola in Chicago, a pilgrimage born of an earlier brand love affair. After resisting a major splurge on a watch from Detroit I heard the siren call of an unknown brand casually beckoning me from across Damen Avenue. Read more of this post

Inspiration from São Paulo Brazil

FRCH-Brazil-Retail-InspirationRetail is alive in Brazil! During a recent trip we had fun exploring Brazil, including all types of retail and how they leverage their brand, architecture, visual merchandising and graphic style to create unique brand experiences. From upscale Brazilian retailers like Richards and OSKLEN to local Drugstores like Drogaria, as well as fun specialty brands like Havaianas, it’s great to take a closer look at the details as inspiration. It was also great to see some of FRCH’s work firsthand in São Paulo, like the Timberland store on Oscar Freire.  While designed several years ago, it still provides a strong brand experience today.

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Confessions of a Millennial Shopper

millennial

Millennials are a strange beast and I’m allowed to say that because – technically – I am one. We’re the ones that ranked both Forever 21 and Target in the same top-20 brands “Love List” as Louis Vuitton and Chanel. Blasphemy! The same generation that voted in American Eagle’s Live Your Life campaign and then complained when the prettiest/skinniest contestants won. The same generation where 60% are willing to switch the brands they buy, if it means getting more benefits.  We want it all – authentic brands, on-trend messaging, social responsibility … all at a good value! Read more of this post

Friday: Refined

FRCH FridayRefinedThey say you can’t escape your past, so it’s no surprise that whenever the topic turns to fashion I’m usually asked to comment. You see, prior to joining the FRCH team I had a long career in fashion retail. It started casually of course, when a college-aged me realized the only way I could afford Lucky jeans and Dr. Marten’s was to land a healthy employee discount at Buckle. After stints with Von Maur (where I met my first suit) and Banana Republic, I began what became a 10 year relationship with Nordstrom. So my “fashion authority” (an old Nordstromism) is legit and with that comes a tie that binds (you’ll still see me in a tie at least twice a week). I came to Cincinnati from Chicago where “How are you doing?” was less common than “Who are you wearing?’ and while that may seem superficial (it is) it’s a powerful thing. The designer Kenneth Cole once told me that the one thing you have absolute control of every day is the way you present yourself to the world, and that’s impacted me to this day. So at the risk of sounding shallow, I’ll share with you my fashion manifesto and hope you’ll forgive me by the time you finish these prose on clothes. Read more of this post