Happy Monday !

Happy Monday everyone! Hope everyone had a great weekend! We here at the NL Showroom are so happy with the way the Verlaine sample sale turned out! So many fantastic people dropped by our New York showroom to take advantage of the amazing sales on one of our favorite fashion brands, Verlaine, and we had a great time meeting them. We were so happy with the turnout from the Verlaine sample sale, that we couldn't wait to tell you guys that we have another sample sale coming up soon! For this sample sale, all of you will have the opportunity to shop the new collection from another one of our luxury brands, Mimi + Coco! The collection is full of great fitting and feeling garments that can be worn any time of the day. Whether you're at work, or at the bar, these garments go from business to chic in no time! You will have the chance to shop these wonderful, high end garments from August 11th to the 13th in our fashion showroom. Can't wait to see you guys then!

Julia DeVille

 Look at these beautiful samples we just received in our luxury showroom from Julia deVille! Even a fellow NL Showroom designer has been eyeing them...

Verlaine Sample Sale Going On Now!

The goods are in, the racks are loaded, and the Verlaine Sample Sale is open for business! Come to NL Showroom New York for this can't-miss opportunity to get up to 70% off luxury womenswear.

Meet Julia deVille

NL Showroom is eagerly awaiting samples from artist and high end jewelry designer Julia deVille. Julia, born in New Zealand and based in Australia, draws inspiration from nature. The animal kingdom in particular is prevalent throughout her collection, which includes motifs of dragonfly wings, spiderwebs, and bird claws, and uses human hair. A vegetarian, Julia only uses animals in her work that have died of natural causes, and has even planned for her own body to be plastinated for exhibition. We cannot wait to share her collection with buyers who visit our showroom.

Verlaine featured in Papercut Magazine

Look at these beautiful images of Verlaine dresses captured in Papercut Magazine.

Have you heard?


Cuffs are the new bracelets !

Verlaine Sample Sale

This week, NL Showroom is getting ready to host a sample sale for one of our luxury brands, Verlaine. This is a great opportunity for anyone who is interested in timeless, beautifully made fashionable garments to buy some at a fraction of the retail price. Verlaine’s jackets, dresses, and skirts will be up to 70% off retail on Thursday and Friday at our high-end fashion showroom.

The Company versus the Brand: Which are you building?

The difference between a company and a brand can sometimes be a little unclear, and in return confusing as to which one you wish to build. When in actuality it’s both. It’s just important to understand the distinction between the two.

A company is a business or organization that either manufactures or trades a product, or provides a service to customers. The brand is a trademark, logo or trade name in which the company sells and markets under. The brand gives a personality to the product or service and is the name a company makes for itself in the market. It is the enduring image and product of the company.

For example, Limited Brands is a parent company to several retail brands, some of which include Victoria’s Secret, Henri Bendel and La Senza. You will not purchase a camisole with “Limited Brands” stitched on the tag, but you will see “Victoria’s Secret” written there.

Once the target audience is identified and it’s clear what they want, then the brand’s mission is developed around this. With a set, sturdy brand image, a company can more easily decide on other factors- such as products and communication strategies. The company will also be stronger in the face of change or crisis. A brand gives the company something to stand for.

A company is concerned with money and sales and are therefore constantly thinking of revenue boosting ideas. In order to get those sales, you need customer loyalty and a favorable image. Instead of selling to a customer, the brand forms a relationship with its customer and gets them involved. The brand describes the company and its product. It does something for your customer, while the company sells it.

With a favorable brand you have customer loyalty. With customer loyalty, comes sales!

Showrooms a Must for Up and Coming Designers

You’ve put your heart and soul into your new collection, making sure every detail is exactly as you want it. You now have an exceptional line guaranteed to be a hit, not to mention the passion and drive to match… the only task now is getting people to see it!

A showroom is the ideal place to showcase a new designer’s collection. Whether it’s clothing, jewelry or handbags, it is important for up and coming designers to have a showroom. With proper resources you can sometimes showcase your brand in its own space, but a reputable showroom offers established contacts and relationships with buyers, editors and the media.

It is the responsibility of showroom employees to invite buyers to view collections. As a new designer, getting your brand out there is no easy feat. That’s why it’s important for emerging designers to get the attention of potential buyers. With a talented team of sales people behind your brand, you’ll be in stores in no time! Additionally media outlets are contacted to learn what types of photo shoots, for example, magazines are doing each month and how your pieces can fit into them. From here your samples are loaned out and put into the press! It’s a huge plus if your showroom has its own in-office public relations division.

New designers have many points to take into account when launching a brand, and showroom employees know the business! Not only will the collection samples be put on display for buyers and sent to editors for shoots, but they will be properly placed in the market. It’s important that your brand is pitched to a specific genre of stores… ones that favor the image created. A showroom pitches editors and stores that are in line with the product concept, as well as the target demographic and age group.

Sales plans and projections are an important part of launching a brand. A showroom will provide realistic numbers and goals to reach with product sales. This will give a new designer a better understanding of how much to produce.

New designers get the added benefit of sharing a space with other top brands. At first glance this may seem risky, but not if they’re complimentary brands! The right showroom allows designers to have their items placed with non-competitive brands that add to the appeal of your own collection. For example, if the showroom’s jewelry designer typically uses similar metals to the hardware used on a new designer’s handbag, than you’ve already caught the attention of the buyer as a complimenting brand. If they were looking at one line, they may now shop yours!

With an exceptional showroom lined up, a designer is well on the way to a successful season!

Public Relations & Sales: A Showroom That Does It All

As a designer, having your line in a showroom is critical. Buyers can purchase your product and place it in stores for you, but the question is…how are you going to get customers to wantit?

Enter public relations. Sometimes having a great product in top stores is enough, but generating buzz around it so people come to stores already looking for the collection is even better!

Many public relations firms send their clients to showrooms for sales, where an additional relationship must be established. Likewise, a showroom is great in itself, but if it has a public relations component, then you're set. A showroom with a built in public relations division leaves no need for the client to go elsewhere. It's easily done all in one place.

After all, public relations and sales go hand and hand right? It seems essential to have them under the same umbrella. Press is vital to sales and vice versa. More people are going to want to purchase a piece of jewelry when it's featured in Vogue- thanks to the work of PR pitching and sending samples to editors. If it's good enough for Vogue then consumers find it perfect for themselves. By consistently being in the media, you are showing customers that your brand is worthy of being in the news-- which goes a long way in terms of marketing and sales results.

Plus, creating an image for a brand helps beat out the competitors, sustain a marketable presence, and therefore increase sales! Publicists know how to "tell a story" about your brand. Creating an altogether story and branding image behind your collection is more appealing to a buyer, who will likely keep the designer in mind. Luckily, the designer will have a PR team alongside the sales team to tell that story.

It's perfect because the PR firm already has all of the client's information and has already reached a level of trust and partnership with them. There's no need for designers to go to a showroom and endure the process of acquainting someone new with the brand- saving both time and money.

A showroom is just as important for publicity. Without a space to display your collection you have nowhere to invite editors to see it, and nowhere for samples to be requested from. Combining the two is both logical and beneficial. Why have your clients running back and forth when it can all be handled at once?

NL Showroom recognizes the benefits of bringing these services together. Under one firm, we make establishing a brand easier for the designer.

The next layer after color

As a color consultant, I consider myself pretty proficient when it comes to color- I'm very confident in what I do. But I also know my limits, and when it came time to staging and photographing my house for my portfolio, I knew I had to bring in the big guns.

Ready for a completely open, 'behind the scenes' peak? Prepare yourself; I'm not holding anything back!

Enter my friend and fellow color consultant colleague Kelly Berg of Arte Styling. I sent her some phone snapshots of my interiors: kids toys strewn everywhere, bed unmade, just to give her an idea of what she would be undertaking. Her vision was clear. We have to add cohesion, and a stronger Mediterranean/Spanish feel to the spaces. Mind you, these spaces are all very unfinished- projects that I intended to complete always get pushed to the wayside for paying clients. So what if I had navy blue throw pillows on a purple couch that didn't go with a thing in the space? They were cozy! But not an adequate excuse when trying to take a decent picture.

This is my living room, in everyday mode:

It's a pretty kid-friendly space, with a big ottoman instead of a coffee table, and not a lot else. The couches appear to be big dark bulky objects here.  Gold and violet look lovely together, but it's nice if they tie together somehow. Here, the couches don't relate to the surroundings.

And here's my dining room, also in everyday messy mode:

Blue chairs were upholstered back when my vision was for a different color scheme. We still love the colors, but they don't really (ahem) go with anything anymore.

Highchairs are charming, right?

Moving upstairs to the bedrooms...
Besides tidying up, removing the oh-so-lovely black out curtains, and swapping out the yellow throw and pink pillow, the nursery was the only room "photo ready".

Our bedroom in everyday/un-decorated mode. Not what you'd expect from a designer's house, but we are notorious for leaving our own house 'til last...

Kelly determined that the bed needed to be moved to another location where it could be placed against a wall. So we completely rearranged our bedroom for the shoot, then decided we really liked the new set-up! Apologies for the horrible picture- I snapped it with my phone for reference shots only.

I had lots of homework to go before the big photo shoot day.

First, we needed to take stock of all the home accessories I already had around the house. Kelly gave me a list of accessories to buy, reassuring me that I could return anything I didn't like afterwards. Now I know why people pay interior designers to do the shopping- it's really time consuming and challenging! I must have hit 5 different stores to procure everything we needed.

Turns out I was seriously lacking in throw pillows of an appropriate hue and value. Here are new ones, purchased specifically for the shoot. We didn't use many of them, but it's nice to have options.

We also needed more for the bedroom, which is still pretty spartan at this point.

As a color consultant, it is often quite difficult to get back to a client's home to take decent portfolio pictures. People lead busy lives, and often don't understand how much time it actually takes to prepare a room for a quality shot. So, the majority of the time, I pop in for half an hour, snap some candid shots, and hope for the best. To have control over the scene, the time to arrange everything just so, is a luxury I had not experienced before. A luxury, but also, a ton of work!

Then, the big day of staging arrived.

We fluffed pillows, arranged throw blankets, poked through cabinets looking for fun nick knacks. We pulled book covers off to reveal canvas wrappings, stacking them artfully. Bowls and dishes were arranged, re-arranged, then shuffled some more. It was an intricate game where I didn't know the rules. Kelly was in her element, humming as she shuffled, hopped back to examine, then shuffle some more. I basically stood back to stay out of her way as she worked her magic.


We swapped out my blue and green throw pillows and red throw blankets for a gold/brown/cream palette to break up the purple and knock it back a bit. 


I borrowed a dark brown wood coffee table to bring in a different texture, tie in the decoration to the wood beams, and give us a spot to display objects. Things were coming together!
All decorative spaces were utilized, even this cute little niche above our fireplace. Candlesticks were tried out, as were ceramic bowls. We settled on an intimate little print and a woven basket to fill the space.

In the dining room, I borrowed simple dark brown chairs to tone down the overly-busy feeling my blue and green upholstered chairs created.

 We unearthed carved wood sculptures from storage, and brought in a little greenery and some ceramic bowls. Much more cohesive.

In our bedroom, with the bed now against a wall instead of under a window, we now have a nice big space for art. Alas, nothing there so far, as I am pretty picky when it comes to bigger pieces. So, Kelly and I worked around the big empty wall. We also played with using a raspberry throw blanket and accent pillow, or light pink blanket. Totally changes the mood by altering value and contrast.

My bird branch migrated upstairs where it's delicate sensibilities made more sense. I have to say, I love my new pintuck duvet and shams (also a suggestion from Kelly).

The last space we styled and photographed was the nursery. There wasn't much tweaking that had to be done in this room, as I had pretty much finished decorating in here.

We added a vase of flowers and a few extra throw pillows.

Viola! It was a lot of work, but I now have a greater appreciation for what goes into a beautiful photo. Think magazine or portfolio shots look that fabulous to begin with? Think again!

How has your experience been  photographing interior spaces?

'Before' shots by yours truly. 'After' shots by Kelly Berg

Red, the play

"There is only one thing I fear in life, my friend... One day the black will swallow the red."

The other night I went to see a performance at Berkeley Rep, a wonderful theater company in town.

We have season tickets, and I never remember to look up what we will be seeing before we go every month or so.  It's always a lovely surprise. So imagine how utterly thrilled I was to sit down to a set of someone's painting studio, complete with paint-splattered sink, ratty brushes, stretched canvases, and enormous paintings of Rothko look-alikes.

Given that this play was about Mark Rothko, it made perfect sense.

My advice? Run, don't walk, to see Red, the play, if it comes to your town. Anyone with an obsession for color will absolutely go nuts for this play.  90 glorious minutes of un-interrupted color orgy. Well, and intense personal relationships...

I will leave you with a few snippets to whet your appetite
(dialogue between Rothko's studio assistant Ken and Rothko)

KEN: I just think ... It’s kind of sentimental to equate black with death. That seems an antiquated notion. Sort of romantic.
ROTHKO: Romantic?
KEN: I mean ... not honest.
ROTHKO: Really?
KEN: In reality we both know black’s a tool, just like ochre or magenta. It has no affect. Seeing it as malevolent is a weird sort of chromatic anthropomorphizing.

ROTHKO: And red! And red! And red! – I don’t even know what that means! What does “red” mean to me? You mean scarlet? You mean crimson? You mean plum-mulberry- magenta-burgundy-salmon-carmine-carnelian-coral? Anything but “red!” What is “RED?!”

All images © Berkeley Repertory Theatre. All rights reserved.