Thursday, January 29, 2015

Blue Dot Sale

         Every year Pacsun does one big blow out sale right after the Christmas to make room for spring merchandise. The blue dot sale is legendary to Pacsun employees as well as Pacsun customers. Each year the sale is different and changes throughout the month. Last year the sale started off as buy 2 get 3 free and ended with 70% off all sale items. Needless to say, this is big deal sale at Pacsun
        Starting the process to mark down all the items was not easy. We individual had to scan all items in the store and see if they popped up as a sale item or not. If it was a sale item we had to place a blue sticker on the back of the tag. After marking down all the products, we then had to clear space in the store for where we wanted to place all the merchandise. I had to build a wall, which means I had to put up shelving units to display the clothes.
          After all the blue dotting and building walls it was back to selling and trying to make my goals for the day. Most days at Pacsun we have a task to complete as well as selling. It was a tiring day doing all the work, but its so satisfying seeing something you've made displayed in the store.

Mont Royal

     Fun fact: Montreal is named after a mountain, named Mont Royal. I wasn't aware of this prior to moving here, nor was I aware that I would be living in the neighborhood surrounding the mountain. Both of these came as a pleasant surprise, especially my close proximity to the mountain. Mont Royal itself functions as the city's largest park, so it is full of walking paths and lookout points. This makes it a great place to explore, or even just to find a comfortable spot and relax.
     Since I had an uncomfortable roommate situation in the beginning, I was constantly finding ways to leave the house and would regularly end up at Mont Royal. The first time I explored the mountain was with my best friend who was visiting just days after I arrived. We walked for about a mile and a half before reaching the base of the mountain. Once at the base, we decided we should try and walk up the mountain to find a lookout point we had heard of. Not knowing what we were doing exactly, we began walking up the mountain, stupidly taking what we thought were shortcuts along the way. After a very tiring hike, we reached the lookout point we'd been told of. There was quite a few cars there, with people hanging out and playing music like an unofficial outdoor party. We stayed for a while, before seeing a staircase leading even higher up the mountain. Curiosity immediately drew us towards it, and we began hiking further up the mountain. After another thirty minutes of walking, we finally reached the highest point of the mountain. In the elevated darkness, an illuminated cross stood in front of us no less than one hundred feet tall. Surprised, but intrigued, we climbed up to the cross for a better look. We decided to take a break there for a bit, and began harmlessly messing around on the huge structure. A couple of minutes later, out of nowhere, a siren begins blaring from inside the cross. We immediately assume that this is police siren of some kind, so after exchanging a quick glance at each other we both took off running. Once off the cross, we jump a few barriers, then take off down the mountain into the nearest forested area. We kept aimlessly running, downhill in the dark, for a couple of minutes miraculously managing not to injure ourselves. Once we felt safe, we slowed down and tried to understand what was making the noise, and if it was even chasing us. Confused, we continued down the dark path looking for a way out. After a couple of turns, we ended up at another lookout point that was much more secluded. Unlike the previous, the view before us was open and beautiful. We took a seat, and for a few minutes took in the amazing landscape we had stumbled upon.
     After having a good look at the unknown city I would be exploring for six months, we began making our way to the base of the mountain. Unfortunately, when we came out on the far side of the mountain, making our walk home farther. However, this gave us a good chance to find a few more hidden gems on the way back. Since then I've made regular trips to the mountain, and it's continued to hold an undeniable peacefulness even in the wintertime.



Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Why Everyone Should Visit Astoria, Queens

     When most people visit New York, they never leave Manhattan. However, what I’m about to say might surprise you- Queens is just as exciting as Manhattan. Yes, I said it. I am very glad I decided to live across the water because 1) it’s way less crowded 2) it’s way less crowded and 3) it’s way less crowded. By the time my day at work and my commute comes to an end, I am ready to escape the hustle and bustle of the Garment District and go home to peaceful Astoria, Queens. Living in Astoria (and by the water!) lets me come home to a place as tame as New York City can possibly be. Something most people don’t realize is that Astoria is a very artistic and creative area. If you know me well, you know that I love both art and museums, so I promise that the following list of the must-visit art museums and galleries in Astoria will be worth a try.

     Astoria is home to MoMA PS1, the Museum of the Moving Image, the Socrates Sculpture Garden and Park, and the Noguchi Museum (to name a few). Take note: I have just given you a list of the most diverse art museums ever! MoMA PS1 is a division of MoMA that houses a ton of great contemporary art. The gallery is right outside of Astoria, and it is actually an old public school that was transformed into a contemporary art space in the 1970s. If you’re feeling weird, this is by far the best place to be. Last time I went, there was an exhibit where you walk in the room, and the art is real people that dance and interact with you. I don’t get it, but I like it. MoMA PS1 also hosts amazing events, such as HalloQueens, a drag queen Halloween party, which featured out-of-this-world costumes and was at one of the most unique places in Queens. So obviously, Rachel Anderson and I attended (as seen above- and yes, I am wearing clothes and not just leaves!).
     The Museum of the Moving Image is a museum all about film, television, and digital media. So if you watch way too much Netflix like I do, take a break and go check out this museum instead. You will understand film and watch your beloved Netflix shows in a whole new light.
     The Socrates Sculpture Garden and Park is my personal favorite since it’s in my backyard! If you’re bored of Central Park and the million other parks like it in the city, this is a fun alternative. The sculpture garden is right on the water and is full of very strange sculptures that you could stare at for hours, which I admittedly do frequently. It’s my favorite place in Astoria because it’s quiet, full of art, and has a spectacular view of the skyline.
     Finally, if you’re into sculpture, furniture design, and architecture (especially the minimalist kind) the Noguchi Museum will not disappoint. Artist Isamu Noguchi founded the Noguchi Museum and it houses ten art galleries and a sculpture park. Even though when I heard the name Noguci Museum, I was expecting a Gucci museum, I will say I was pleasantly surprised by the Japanese artist’s furniture and sculpture designs. Everything in the museum has a modern aesthetic, but is made with natural materials, such as rocks and wood. This is a calm, tranquil escape from the city, and I recommend a visit!
     Another great spot to visit in Astoria is an area a block away apartment that is covered in beautiful street art. Everywhere you look there is a beautiful mural, and I’m not talking tags- I’m talking massive, beautiful works of art (like the image to the right). The exciting part about this area is that the art can be taken down at any time, so each visit brings something new to look at.
     The best part about the list I just gave you is that Astoria is relatively small. This means that if you wanted to, you could hit all of these awesome museums in one day or over a weekend. If I haven’t convinced you to visit my ‘hood yet, I don’t know what will. Astoria is a vibrant section of Queens that is rich in art and culture, and I hope everyone will give it a visit.






Blizzards Outside, Fall Inside

I can’t believe how much things have changed since last week when I was writing about being bored. There has no time to be bored this week as we having been preparing for our Sales Director to go to Atlanta for another trade show. I spent almost all of Monday and Wednesday calling the boutiques that carry our collection to see if they want to make appointments to see our new collection. I also have been tasked with calling boutiques that we have found that might want to start carrying our collection. I find it so stressful to call all the different boutiques because I can be so awkward on the phone and there are so many pieces of information that I’m always worried that I am forgetting to tell someone something and I will mess up a sale. Thankfully I have been getting a good response with the number of appointments that have been made so our Sales Director is very happy with how I’ve been doing.
We have also been very busy this week preparing for our new fall line! We are shooting the collection next week so I have been busy researching ideas for images that can go on our website or other promotional places. This has been more challenging then I thought it would be because I want to give our PR and E-Commerce team new, fresh ideas but I also have to make sure that the images would end up being on brand as well as something we can shoot in the showroom. We also got the final samples in so everything had to be hung up in the showroom. While not a job that seems very fun or entertaining, I actually love getting to hang everything up because I get first look at the entire new line! Everything looks so great so I am excited to see how the rest of the office and buyers respond to it.

In the midst of everything that needed to get done this week, we had to close early on Monday and we were closed all day Tuesday due to the blizzard. While the storm was no where near as bad as predicted there was a panic on Monday afternoon that made it impossible to get out of the city. I live in New Jersey with my Aunt and Uncle and despite the fact that Shoshanna closed at 2:30 so we could all get home I didn’t get to my house until 6 pm… my normal arrival time! It seemed as though every office in Manhattan closed early so there was no way everyone could get on the buses they needed. I am hoping for no more snow days this year because I don’t think I could deal with all these crazy people panicking over the snow… or the snow itself!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Open Call

           Saturdays are usually days to sleep in, but not this past Saturday. I woke up at 6am to get into midtown Manhattan at 7:30 for the School Of Rock the musical open call. My brother works for the Broadway casting agency Tara Rubin who was holding this open call to start casting all of the kids in the show, and they were expecting over 500 children and parents to be lined up down the blocks in front of the Winter Garden Theater. I was asked to volunteer to help manage all of the people and escort the kids to the audition spaces. Also, since this is a new show to enter Broadway it was also a huge press event with cameras everywhere to film the excited and nervous kids before and after their auditions. The doors opened at 9am and the theater filled up fast. We started with a little over 200 kids, and as quickly as they left, their seats were filled again with a new kid.
            After 8 hours of straight auditioning the casting agents, producers, and director had seen over 700 kids with a variety of talents. Watching the whole process was amazing and fascinating! Each kid had about 20-30 seconds to sing or play an instrument, and the decision was made immediately whether or not they deserved a call back. I can’t imagine how they could make that call in that sort amount of time, but I guess they know what they are looking for.
            It was such a long day dealing with crazy stage parents, kids with 100 questions, limited space, and many tears when someone would not get a call back. My cheeks hurt from smiling all day in front of the kids, but it was awesome to watch so many talented kids perform. I can’t wait to see their final decisions when it comes to Broadway in November.


           

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sample Sale Madness

One of my favorite parts about living in New York City are the designer sample sales. I didn't even know these things existed but I can say that my life is surely better now that I am in the know. Almost every New York based designer holds a yearly or seasonal sample sale where they sell all of their samples, extra stock, pre productions samples, etc. for 70-90% off the retail price. Unfortunately for my wallet, there is a warehouse right next to my office where a lot of the good sample sales are held. I usually find myself there before work, at lunch, or after work shopping around for these designer items that are so cheap I feel like I am getting away with something. My closet is now full of designer clothes I could never afford to buy at full price, no one has to know my Alexander Wang bag wasn't straight off the shelf at Bergdorfs ;)

A few months ago Derek Lam had their sample sale. My department didn't have anything to do with the set up of it but I heard the women in logistics talking about unpacking all of the boxes, ticketing all of the merchandise and all of this work they had to do. So, I went ahead and asked if I could help out over the weekend before it started on Monday, they were ecstatic that I was willing to lend a hand. The next day I spent the entire day unpacking, hanging, folding, organizing, and at the end, I had to count every single item that we had out; it came to about 4,000 pieces. At the end of the day I was exhausted and I still had no idea how this was going to be open to the public in just two days, there was still a lot of work to be done. I came in the next two days as well and it really started to all come together. I had a blast hanging out with the other Derek Lam employees who I usually don't get to work with. The blessing that came at the end of this hard working weekend was that I got to take home any 5 items I wanted. I felt like a kid in a candy shop.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Hippy-Chic

On Thursday night I got to work one of our clients events. It was the preview of their Spring/Summer 2015 collection. The retailer is aimed towards tweens and teenagers. I was very impressed by the collection because when I was younger the retailer had a completely different look. Now the company has completely changed their image and had clothing that I would even consider wearing. The collection was filled with aztec and floral prints. There was also some shirts with bananas or other fruits on it. It was all super cute and very summery. It reminded me a lot of the hippy-chic LA style. The bathing suits and bikinis had neon bright colors with again aztec prints and interesting geometric designs. The photographs they had on the walls were fun with teenagers dressed in the collection surfing, on the beach or doing something fun and active. The entire venue space was super summery and very LA. With surfboard on the walls, flowers, sand and grass. For food they had a huge surfboard with sushi and small bite size tacos on it. It was so fun and fit with the entire theme of the collection. I was very impressed by the collection and amazed at how much the company has changed for the better. I can't wait to see what the press writes about it and what shoppers think.

This weekend was so much fun and jam packed! On Friday I went to this amazing French restaurant called Raoul's with my boyfriend and friends. It was this small Parisian chic restaurant in Soho. The room has paintings and photographs and this huge painting of a naked woman lounging on a chair. The food was absolutely amazing! Later that night my friends and I went to one of the hottest bars called Riff Raff, which looks like your in a tiki house. Then on Saturday afternoon we went to brunch at Lavo for our friends birthday. I had no idea that brunch at Lavo is basically like you're in a nightclub but at 2:00 pm. It was absolutely ridiculous but a fun experience. Definitely one I'll never forget.