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Say Goodbye to Talbot’s Red Doors & Kitsuné’s Ivy League

Hello and happy top-o-the-week. We hope everyone enjoyed some relaxation and recuperation this weekend.

Here at the Prepatorium things seem to be spinning completely out of control are a tad busy, the photo below probably better illustrates the situation.

PP Intergalactic HQ

That is merely a portion of the Lilly Pulitzer and Jonathan Adler iPhone covers we are shipping out today. Thank heaven for the Consort the minions, even with the drawbridge malfunctioning, they managed to make it over the moat and into the dungeon office today.  (Heh, heh, heh.)

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We begin with news about Talbots, via this story in Women’s Wear Daily.

“Those signature red doors at Talbots are coming off their hinges.”

We were intrigued by the statement; it comes from Trudy F. Sullivan, the company’s president and CEO.  Her reasoning?

““They’ve become a bit of a hindrance for attracting new customers. They see the red door — they think it’s their grandmother’s store,”

That is the top to David Moin’s story updating the retailer’s progress.  Talbots may want to consider updating their investor relations page, with the reference to its “…welcoming red doors.”

The Talbots Inc.

For those attuned to the firm’s Sales & Clearance schedule, a change may already have been noticed:

“… the two big annual clearances were dropped in favor of taking less dramatic markdowns monthly to keep inventories cleaner and to sustain a steadier flow of merchandise.”

Below, this month’s catalog showing two new styles for fall.

Talbots.com

Frequent readers may recall previous blather discussion about changes in direction for Talbots, we liked many of the new styles and fabrics and applauded the move to use Linda Evangelista for this fall’s advertising campaign. This look? A bit intense for our taste, likely to draw attention to the model, not the apparel.

Courtesy Image via WWD.com

The philosophy behind the strategic moves makes sense, more from the WWD story:

““Don’t you think most significant brands go through moments of profound change?” Sullivan suggested. “Look at Coach. Look at Burberry. Look at Ralph [Lauren]. This is Talbots’ moment of profound change. We are not reinventing Talbots. We are trying to reconnect to the DNA.”

Here are two more images featuring Ms. Evangelista, better showcasing the clothes.

Below, a look at pieces from Talbots’ Holiday line.

Robert Mitra/WWD

(We’ll just might need a pair of those peachy-pink ballet flats.)

While we presume the marketing department had loads of research done to determine how people feel about those red doors, and the data may well show they are a challenge for the retailer’s desired demographic, we wonder if the baby needs to go out with the bathwater….?

Sigh.

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Next, we share a look at pieces from the soon-to-debut “Ivy League” collection by Kitsuné.

Some may recall our brief feature on the company’s “Golf Club” collection; we also shared a few looks from this line.

For those wondering about the company’s name, it is actually the Japanese word for fox.

Many of the men’s styles are also appealing.

Lots to like with this collection, IOHO.

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A few quick Bits & Bytes:

Brooks Brothers

  • J. Crew is doing their Final Sale, with an additional 30% off sale prices. Use promo code SHOPNOW to receive the discount; the promotion is online only and runs through the 19th.

J. Crew

Garnet Hill

We leave you with another quick Pretty in Pink treasure, this one from our friends at the Pink and Green Scene:

Pink and Green Scene

The Juicie Fruit Pet Bed is awfully cute, and it is also on sale!

G’bye until next time!

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J. Crew’s Exclusive Tennies, Preppy Sales Continue

Happy day to everyone, as we all continue making our way through the week. Here at the Prepatorium we are grateful to be careening toward the end of February!

We start today with a look at the delightfully cute Jack Purcells made exclusively for J. Crew by the designing minds at Converse.

PHOTO: Courtesy J. Crew via High Snobiety

PHOTO: Courtesy J. Crew via High Snobiety

The sneakers are in the distressed material currently popular, and they are available online and at the Liquor Store in blue as well as white.  This is unisex sizing again, women are advised to order 1-1/2 sizes smaller than their normal size.

Some readers may be familiar with the Converse One Star collection at Target.  An FYI, many of the Converse pieces are marked down significantly, like the Men’s Track Jacket, Originally $34.99 and now priced at $13.99.

Courtesy Target

Courtesy Target

We thought the Toddler Girl’s Oxford Pink was cute. (It is not on sale, still at its $17.99 price point.)

Courtesy Target

Courtesy Target

Polo Ralph Lauren continues to promote their Last Chance Sale, touting “Up to 75% Off” original prices.  The Women’s Skinny-Fit Polo is now $49.99, a markdown of about 33%.

There are scads of wonderful bargains to be found at Ralph Lauren in every line, including the Home collection.

Tommy Hilfiger still has substantial amounts of merchandise at 75% off, and the markdowns also continue at Brooks Brothers.

Speaking of sales and clearances, J. Crew’s “Final Sale” is offering “free shipping” to those spending $100 or more online; the coupon code is SHOPNOW.  This promotion runs through Thursday, the 19th.

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Forbes Online reports on the latest survey detailing “America’s Most Popular Stores” and the news is basically positive, with increases in the Customer Satisfaction Index for many retailers.  Where do shoppers like buying the most? Nordstrom maintains its ranking in first place, with Kohl’s close behind.  Below, a few more stores and comments from the story:

Target was flat, neither scoring higher or lower than last year.

Wal-Mart moved up on the scale, scoring a 72.

“The reason Wal-Mart appears so low in the index, despite its current financial success, is because it is a pure price competitor, Fornell says. While price does play a role in customer satisfaction, shoppers are happier snagging an item they really want along with an enjoyable shopping experience. “Many of the customers who frequent the discounter would not be doing so if they had a bigger wallet,” Fornell says.

What stores dropped in their scores? Dillard’s, Macy’s (said to “… rank among the worst…”) and Sears:

“In every division, Sears is failing against its competitors, Fornell says. While it remains flat with a score of 72, the department store is struggling to hold on to shoppers, with low scores across the board and an increase in customer complaints.”

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Fashion Week continues; we thought we would close with a few looks from this fall’s collection by Lauren Pierce.

PHOTO: Pasha Antonov

PHOTO: Pasha Antonov

The eco-friendly line is designed by Lauren Bush, a niece of the former President. The ultimate customer for this line is described in the following way on the Lauren Pierce website:

“She is socially conscious and cares about the world she lives in. She doesn’t dress according to passing trends. She views her clothes as natural extensions of who she is inside and out.”

PHOTO:

PHOTO: Pasha Antonov

Yes, it is the woman whose significant other is David Lauren of Ralph Lauren fame.  This is the point at which TP always asks the same question: “So, if they get married will her name be Lauren Lauren?”

Honestly.  (Silly Princess.)

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