Archive for the ‘Reem Acra’ Category

The Wall Street Journal On HSN Honcho Mindy Grossman, Why Home Shopping Is Hot And ‘Pooh-Poohing’ Designers

November 11, 2010

Did you realize it’s “The Golden Age of TV Shopping”?

We know, we’ve been telling you that for more than a year now, but The Wall Street Journal made it official Thursday, with a big feature with that “Golden Age” headline.

It looks like Journal reporter Elizabeth Holmes actually plopped her butt onto a plane and made the trek to St. Petersburg, Fla., to find out exactly why the hell upscale designers such as Reem Acra (who is so high-end we had never heard of her), Mark Badgley and James Mischka, and Naeem Khan are now selling their wares on HSN. In the past, they were selling their duds to celebs like Angelina Jolie and Halle Berry.

The Journal story mainly focuses on HSN and its evolution (which has some irate customers wanting to start a revolution) under the helm of CEO Mindy Grossman. But it also references the market’s dominant player, QVC, and its hip vendors such as razor-thin celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe and “Mad Men” costume designer Janie Bryant.

Your's truly with designing team Mark Badgley and James Mischka, who are a big part of The Journal's home shopping story

As usual in one of these home-shopping-networks-are-no-longer-downscale stories, we have the usual quotes from Acra and Khan (who has designed for First Lady Michelle Obama) knocking electronic home — that is before they swallowed the Kool-Aid.

“I never watched it before,” Acra told The Journal, referring to HSN. “I pooh-poohed it. But now look at it. There are items I would want every single day.”

Ah, a true believer now.

Naeem Khan's $870 bag for HSN

Then the story gets to the obvious: High-end designers have gone to HSN because they can move a hell of a lot of product on it, which is pretty crucial when sales for upsale goods have crashed. Mischka told Rupert Murdoch’s financial rag that Badgley Mischka sold 18,000 units of one particular jacket on HSN. It would take a lot of couture gowns to ring up that kind of revenue. Volume, volume, volume.

We did learn a few things from The Journal, like that HSN keeps track of sales by the minutes, and uses that “intel,” as Jack Bauer would say, to guide hosts. The story says that when HSN host Bobbi Ray Carter mentioned the quality of one of Acra’s jackets, it’s sales shot up. So HSN had Ray talk in more detail about the material in the piece.

HSN chief Mindy Grossman

The article talks quite a bit about Nike veteran Grossman, who came on board to HSN in 2006 and began making it more fashion-forward by courting a host of big-name designers.

Grossman did her research, asking people about HSN, and told The Journal she got three responses, “Some who shopped, some who didn’t, some who did but they whispered that they did.””

We never whispered, Mindy! We were always loud and proud about our HSN and QVC purchases, despite being surrounded by snobby Manhattanites (most of whom where transplants from the Midwest).

The Journal story goes on about Grossman, saying, “The new CEO cleaned house, shedding brands that she didn’t think made sense for the network.”

We guess the “shedding” refers to the exits of vendors like Suzanne Somers, Terry Lewis, Beyonce’s mom Tina Knowles and a parade of others. The departure of Terry Lewis and her Classic Luxuries line still has some HSN shoppers calling for Grossman to be drawn and quartered.

We did get a kick out of the anecdote in the story about Mischka “falling off the stage” the first time he and his partner Badgley appeared on HSN. But unfortunately for viewers, the camera wasn’t on him when that little mishap took place.

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Designer Reem Acra, Celebrity Schmatta Maker, Is Doing A Collection For HSN

September 13, 2010

Reem Acra, on the left

Luxury fashion designer Reem Acra, another “designer to the stars” that we’ve never heard of, will be bringing a collection called Reem (original) to HSN this month.

Here is Ms. Acra’s bio from HSN, for ignorant folk like us who are not up to speed on our fashion designers.

Gaining international recognition for her atelier, Reem Acra has become one of the leading names in luxury ready to wear and bridal. With an insatiable desire for luxury, Reem Acra’s designs are carried in more that 150 of the most exclusive retailers in the world. Her signature boutique on Madison Avenue in New York City is a reflection of her eclectic sensibility, combining the exotic and romantic with the modern and elegant.

Reem Acra’s designs are available internationally at leading department stores and specialty boutiques. These stores include Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue in the United States as well as Saks Fifth Avenue and Harvey Nichols in the Middle East. Her designs are also available at top specialty retailers across the world: in Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Lebanon, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Korea.

Celebrated for her ability to match a look to a woman’s personality, Acra has dressed global icons of style for weddings, red carpet appearances and awards ceremonies. Her following includes Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry, Beyonce Knowles, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Eva Longoria as well as royal families around the world.

In her canned statement from HSN’s press release Monday, Acra said, “I have been approached by many companies to develop a more affordable collection, but until I met Mindy Grossman and her team, I did not believe that it would be possible to translate my designs into products that retain a luxurious feel and yet are accessible. HSN absolutely understands how to work with a designer to achieve this balance.”

Acra will show off “a capsule collection” during live segments Sept. 22 and 23 during the finale of HSN’s Fall Fashion Series Presented by ELLE. She is looking forward to engaging directly with fans of her designs.

“I know that there are a lot of women out there who appreciate great fashion and may not have easy access to it,” Acra said. “HSN provides that opportunity.”

God bless America.

“When I first met Reem, I knew she would resonate with our customers,” HSN CEO Mindy Grossman chimed in with her canned statement. “She has a unique way of melding cultural influences, femininity, meticulous detailing and color to create clothes that are truly special. “She also embodies the qualities that our customers look for from us: global style, authenticity, quality and inspiration. Never before has her collection been so accessible, and we’re excited to bring it to HSN.”

Items in the Reem collecton will range in price from $39 for a shawl to $299 for a sequin jacket, and the line will include tunics, dresses and jackets with jewelry embellishments.