Archive for the ‘Business Resources’ Category

2010 Emerging Designers Events Calendar

By | Saturday January 2nd, 2010 | 01:01 pm | Comments

Promote Your Event

Could you use a few more people at your next event? 

Our events calendar will connect your trade show, trunk show, sample sale, new store opening etc., with a motivated fashion forward community.  Promote as many events as you need promoting all year long! 

Here how it works

When you are planning an event, trade show, trunk show, store promotion, sample sale, designer shopping event, just to name a few, simply, complete the events form, upload a picture, if you have one, and you’re all set.  Your event will be submitted and posted on the appropriate date in the events calendar. 

You’ll get a FREE customizable ‘shout out’ with all the pertinent details to help make your next event successful.   It’s fast, simple and easy to use.  

See you soon…

Emerging Designers Event Specialists Join the Noblivity MarketPlace

By | Thursday December 3rd, 2009 | 12:15 pm | Comments

Special Affairs & EventsHi!  I am Linda Vaughan, Founder and President of Special Affairs and Events, a full service event planning, design management company.   My passion, combined with education and expertise in the fashion and cosmetics industry and the corporate world has culminated in a vast wealth of knowledge that transformed into the launch of  Special Affairs and Events.

Let me share a little about me, with you.

I hold a B.S. in Fashion Merchandising at Penn State and an Event Management Professional Certificate from George Washington University.  I am a member of the International Special Events Society with contacts all over the world. 

While pursuing my B.S., I fell deeply in love with couture fashions  after corresponding with Pierre Cardin for a class project.  After graduation, I began a career in the heart of the Fashion Industry … New York!  I developed a passion for fashion and travel and was no stranger to the Paris couture and jewelry houses.  Later, my career path turned toward the Cosmetics industry where I continued to develop an eye and appreciation for fashion and beauty while building my clients’ business and exceeding goals through creative promotional campaigns and events. 

Today, I do what most people only dream of doing;


My motto is “If your mind can conceive it; and your heart can believe it; then you can achieve it.”

Ok, you’ve met the creative end of our team now meet the person who makes it all happen because she’s  into the details, the planning, and the organizational end of our dynamic duo.  Shari Brown the other half and the driving force behind Special Affairs and Events.

Hello, I’m Shari

I hold a Bachelors from Duquesne University and a Masters from Ashland University coupled with 25 years working through the details in corporate America.  I’ve met a lot of people on this journey and I believe you should play as hard as you work!

We welcome the challenge of developing new relationships and working with emerging designers. We share your passion, vision and understand your business.  Between the two of us we possess over 30 years, in-depth experience in event planning, marketing, sales and management in the fashion, cosmetics and corporate environment.

Our focus primarily is designing and managing, creating and producing events for the emerging designer …YOU! 

We recognize that you are an exceptional designer and we remember what it’s like to be an emerging business and how difficult it was to break into the industry.   Every designer is different.  Successful designers are innovative and surround themselves with an experienced, fresh thinking support system.

We want you to be free to focus your energy toward developing your designs while we create an event atmosphere for success that will help you realize your wildest dreams.

Come, Blog with us!  Pick our brains; we’ll freely

  • share professional techniques and ‘know how’ so you can make the most out of your event
  • keep you informed of events geared specifically for emerging designers and you don’t have to spend time researching – let’s us do it for you
  • guide you through event land mines
  • share what works and what doesn’t
  • provide you with a tool box of  useful ‘tips’ – ideas you can actually use
  • and so much more…

Join us, register and participate.  We welcome your comments … We encourage your ideas … We promise to write back.

Take a look at our up to the minute events calendar so you don’t miss current connections, trade shows, fashion shows or meet & greets  in the global event world specifically for emerging designers.

Until next time,

Linda and Shari
Special Affairs, LLC

Emerging Designers Fashion Events Calendar

By | Thursday December 3rd, 2009 | 12:11 pm | Comments

an exclusive invitation 

Getting the word out just got easier! 

You are invited to promote your event to a ‘Fashion Forward MarketPlace’ at no cost to you.  This enthusiastic community of men and women who are fashion-awake and tuned in are looking for happenings about town. 

We’re excited to offer you this exclusive opportunity to spread the word using our robust events calendar about what is happening with your brand, in your store and in your town, city or state.  Trust us, people want to know and they want to stay connected especially with brands they follow.  Fashionistas want to know retail stores where their favorite brands are sold and if there are any special promotions or parties they can attend.  If you promote it, they will come.  We get asked all the time questions such as where is this fashion label sold, where can I buy this handbag etc.  So after many calls and answers we have decided to put all this information in one place. 

Here how it works

When you are planning an event, trade show, trunk show, store promotion, sample sale, designer shopping event, just to name a few, simply, complete the events form, upload a picture, if you have one, and you’re all set.  Your event will be submitted and posted on the appropriate date in the events calendar. 

You’ll get a FREE customizable ‘shout out’ with lots of exposure that is part of something bigger.   It’s simple and easy to use.  Join the global network today and stay connected!

SuperModels Boutique in Chicago Supports Emerging Talent

By | Tuesday December 1st, 2009 | 12:10 pm | Comments

UR SuperModelsUR SuperModels Inc., based in Naperville, IL USA -right outside Chicago- is a newer boutique management firm that supports local and international artists. Understanding the concept of branding emerging talent on all levels, the companies goal is to work with clients from small budget, to thriving top companies and brands. Standing out in today’s market is also a major focus for UR and offers this in their campaigns.

URSM represents models in fashion, print and commercial, glamour, fitness, and plus from 14 years to mature adult, both male and female models from very diverse backgrounds. This makes it easier to appeal to various markets across the world. As a result, UR has already had the opportunity of working with prominent local designers and companies, and creative opportunities like sending the 1st American model to Dubai Fashion Fiesta Week in Summer 2009. We were the first Chicago model management/agency to use a “blog style” press/events page on our site to keep our audience updated “to the minute” with UR news similar to some of the worlds top management companies. This gives great exposure to our new clients, sponsors, and designers, our company wishes to build with long term. We also adopted the “It’s All About Presence,” motto making our website about “the model,” the “artist,” or the “sponsor.” Giving all hands-in credit, the models are publicly displayed with images, video, resume, and interactive pages that allow clients, to easily track their progress and see them as “people,” rather than limited accessibility.

As a newer company, we admit there will constantly be new concepts, ideas, and changes to our site.

The company’s ceo/founder, Asha Spacek, uses her [ever building] in-house team of artists to now offer services not only in model management, but fashion show and ad campaign production, artist referrals, client discounts, and has recent partnered with a concierge service. The goal is to offer a one-stop shop for local and international audiences, while supporting both emerging and established artists.

  • UR SuperModels has just signed its first Health/Wellness Celebrity Spokes Model, Shea Vaughn (yes, that Vaughn) and creator of SheaNeticsShea will be helping URSM improve the mental and physical lifestyle of models and the fashion community. Vaughn offers a revolutionary system of 5 living principles combined with Tri-Core Power training for audiences spanning from teen to senior, and novice to fitness buff. Certified fitness expert, choreographer, corrective exercise specialist, and degree in applied science, Shea personally trains and offers DVDs that can be purchased at Sheanetics is proving to balance east coast and west coast lifestyle practice, while toning and strengthening the core and flexibility of not only celebrities, but all walks of life, and NOW regime for a healthier fashion industry.


Chicago Designers and the Perfect Little Black Dress

By | Monday November 16th, 2009 | 05:34 pm | Comments

Little Black Dress

2010 Miami Emerging Designer Competition

By | Monday November 9th, 2009 | 08:11 am | Comments

2010 Miami Emerging Designer Competition

Miami International Fashion Week is hosting 3rd Annual Emerging Designer Competition.

When:  March 18, 2010

Where:  Midtown in Miami’s Trendy Wynwood Art District

 Designer Support: 

  • Name & Photo included in the ‘Hall of Fame’ on the official MIFW website
  • Cash Prize
  • Mentoring

 Application Due:  January 15, 2010

For more information:

Emerging Designer Event

By | Friday November 6th, 2009 | 05:33 pm | Comments

“Successful Designers Tell Their Stories” presented by Fashion Business Inc.

When: December 2nd, 2009

Where: San Francisco

Time:  6:00 – 8:30pm

Cost: $30 for FBI members; $15 for nonmembers

More Info: The Small Business Administration, 455 Market St., 6th Floor

2010 Chicago Macy’s Fashion Incubator

By | Friday November 6th, 2009 | 12:50 pm | Comments

2010 Fashion Incubator Sponsored by Macy’s on State Street

Six (6) spots are available for Chicago Emerging Designers!

All applications must be submitted by November 16, 2009. 

The Chicago Fashion Incubator (CFI) at Macy’s on State Street provides six (6) emerging Chicago-based designers with the resources, including:

  • Workspace
  • Education
  • Mentoring
  • Fashion line launch

This is a unique opportunity for ‘Designers on the Rise’.  Apply now.   

For more information

On the Rise NY Designer Incubators

By | Tuesday November 3rd, 2009 | 07:43 pm | Comments

New York Times| October 20, 2009 |By Jennifer 8. Lee

On Monday, the Bloomberg administration announced a new 10,000-square-foot fashion incubator in the garment district. . .  Read the whole story

A Sweater Guide to the Cover-Up

By | Friday October 9th, 2009 | 10:37 am | Comments

Sweater jacketThe leaves are changing the air is crisp and layers are back….Fall is here.  This is a favorite time of year!  Travelling throughout New England where the leaves changing is celebrated and tourist travel great distances from everywhere to witness the majestic event and the parade of sweaters.  If coats are not your thing because they are too heavy, too bulky, too hard to drive in or too cumbersome sweater jackets may fill the void.  Sweater jackets can be worn during the fall and much of the winter until a coat is absolutely necessary and it’s below zero with a ridiculous wind chill.  The right sweater jacket could be the stylish solution choice to cold and depending on the wool selection it can make all the difference.

Sweater jackets come in all sizes, shapes, prints, styles and colors.  Some are blended and some are pure, it just really depends on individual taste.  Hand woven sweaters that are soft and comfy without the prickly feeling and a long closet life span are the trend this season.   Ever wonder what makes a good sweater and what drives the price?  Consider a few things when making your next sweater investment, yes investment, because a functional sweater jacket with style quality may cost a bit. 

Is the sweater hand woven or machine produced?  Hand woven sweaters tend to cost more because they are handmade.  Hand woven sweaters are unique, in most instances, no two being exactly the same this gives them an extra ‘special’ benefit.    Premium fibers in luxury sweaters are measured by its diameter in microns from coarse to fine grades. Keep in mind, the lower the microns the finer the grade and the finer the grade the valuable the sweater.  This is only one reason that drives the price of a really good sweater jacket, there are others. 

Type Characteristics Benefits Styles Features Microns
Sheeps Wool Fine wool, soft, durable, resilient, elastic, breathable insulator ; warm in the winter & cool in the summer Maintains shape when stretched, resists wrinkles, wicks away moisture from the skin, resist dirt Merino, Lambswool, Shetland, Melton, Loden Fire & odor resistant,  Static & wrinkle free Generally less than 24 microns
Corriedale Stronger than sheep wool, very soft next to skin  Elasticity, soft, ideal for baby wear, light, bright luster, adaptable, pliable Cross-bred, 2nd numerous sheep breed after Merinos Thicker than merino wool, resists wrinkles and stains Generally 20–30 microns
Alpaca Very fine, warmer than sheep wool, washable, lightweight, durable, versatile Hypo-Allergenic; doesn’t contain lanolin, blends well with wool, mohair and silk, resists stains 2 Breeds; Huacaya and Suri Not Itchy or Prickly, silky, strong, durable, 14 natural colors 17-35 microns
Mohair Silky, non-pilling, lightweight, drapes well, shrink resistant Large color selection due to exceptional dye properties Angora goat produces mohair Non-matting, luxurious sheen, good absorption 23-27 microns
Angola Silky, super soft, best wicking properties, lightweight, Usually blended with other wools to increase warmth and softness Fur of the Angora Rabbit 2.5 times warmer than sheep wool, expensive due to limited harvest 14-16 microns
Camel Soft, fine, naturally lightweight , thermostatic properties Usually blended with wool to make it more economical 2 Species; two-humped Bactrian  Camel; one-hump Arabian Camel Quality & slow costly production make it a premium fiber 17-21 microns
 Cashmere  Extremely soft,  silky, lightweight, luxurious   Warm without weight, smooth and lustrous, warm in the winter & cool in the summer Underbelly hair from Cashmere goats    Comfortable in all climates; pricey due to quality and slow costly production make it a premium fiber Less than 19 microns

*This chart has been prepared for informational purposes only.

The key to sweater comfort is to choose a fiber that meets the body’s need and looks great.  Happy sweater hunting this fall season.

The Ten Fundamentals of a PR Marriage – Til Success Do Us Part

By | Wednesday September 2nd, 2009 | 10:13 am | Comments

Danita KingOk. So you’re an emerging designer with an incredible collection. Maybe you’ve been around for a while and have some retail outlets under your belt. You’re expanding quickly, and there is a demand for your product. You now want to create more brand visibility get your line ‘out there’ consistently from an editorial, celebrity and product placement perspective. You’ve scored some PR hits and a dressed a few celebrities in the past, but you’ve exhausted all of those relationships and need to introduce your collection to a new audience. You’re contemplating hiring a PR firm, but you want to know 1) can you afford it 2) is it really going to be beneficial and 3) what’s the process of finding the right firm for you?

All great questions. As the owner of a boutique fashion and beauty PR firm, I’m approached often by emerging designers looking for PR. However, choosing to take on an emerging or new designer means more than how amazing or well-crafted his or her collection is— or even—how well I think it will do editorially. There is a process to determining whether a fashion line is— what we like to call— ‘PR Ready.’ The PR firm/designer relationship is a symbiotic one; just as the designer must find the right firm that suits his or her needs, the PR firm must find designer clients who grasp the PR process. It’s a marriage of sorts and requires teamwork, preparation and strategy to achieve ultimate success.

In our efforts to inform and educate the emerging designer community about the PR process, we’ve listed the top 10 Fundamentals for a PR Marriage, with the hopes that it will help answer your questions and get you moving toward becoming ‘PR Ready.’ We also hope that this will help you identify what to look for when searching for a PR firm. So, pencils out; you’re sure to gain something valuable from the tips below. 

 1)      Get ‘PR Ready’

PR requires the right tools and tactics to achieve success. The PR firm has the responsibility of presenting you, your collection and your brand in the best possible light. This, however, requires some effort, input and organization on the designer’s part as well. Being PR ready simply means having a solid infrastructure in place—i.e. is your collection available online or in multiple retail outlets, are you meeting your orders and shipments in time, are your manufacturers (domestic or abroad) dependable and reputable? In a nutshell, is your business running smoothly and consistently? These are the types of things we consider, as— believe it or not— they have a direct impact on PR. We can’t so our jobs successfully unless we know that your infrastructure is solid and in place.

 2)      Think Like a Brand from the Outset

We’re strong believers in articulating and designating a clear vision for your brand and working diligently toward your future goals. Do you envision your collection being bought in mass by a major department or specialty store? Do you imagine jaw dropping ad campaigns in Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue? Well, it’s never too early to clearly define your brand essence, core brand values and to develop a solid brand identity. In the critical launch phase, you should be working with a PR firm that takes a brand-centric approach to your initiatives, one that genuinely believes in your future as much as you do and presents your collection to the media properly. In theory, you should be looking for a firm that grasps the importance of visuals and branded PR tools—including your website, press releases, press kits, look books, electronic materials and social media presence.

 3)      Make Tough Decisions

These days, everything boils down to budget. You may be saying, ‘I’m at a point where I need PR, but how do I pay for it?’ You have options. Perhaps it’s a matter of reallocating existing funds. Perhaps you should reconsider that big-budget Fashion Week runway presentation and do a small, private viewing for media and buyers instead. There are ways to save money, and if you’re considering PR, you have to look at it as a long-term benefit for your brand.

 4)      Consider Your Options

What many PR firms won’t tell you is that you have options when it comes to PR; there are many ways of going about achieving your PR objectives. While most firms require full-service monthly retainers under long-term contract, others are offering value-added options, such as ala carte or pay-per-placement services. Be sure to ask the right questions and know what your less expensive alternatives are.

 5)      Think Hard About The One Stop Shop

Many New York-based PR firms are joint PR and sales showrooms. They offer a comprehensive service package designed to get your collection into your target retail outlets, as well as get you coverage in the top magazines, websites and TV shows on the PR side. When considering the one-stop-shop, weigh your options and decide if you really need everything the package includes. Perhaps a single focused PR initiative, with your own in-house sales team in place, is a better option. Think about your specific needs and assess a strategy accordingly.

 6)      Use Your Resources

When it comes to PR, there will undoubtedly be extra fees incurred when executing a full-fledged PR campaign. Perhaps your firm suggests doing an event and brand presentation to editors that requires production and logistical costs. You’ll want to work with a firm that understands the importance of resourcefulness and achieving a top-notch presentation, while eliminating unnecessary costs. In a marriage, both parties should be coming to the table with resources that will contribute toward achieving core objectives.

 7)      Clearly Identify Long and Short Term Goals

The right PR firm should be able to help you with assessing and evaluating your long and short-term media objectives. You should look for a firm’s portfolio of media placements and ask yourself: are they diverse, are they consistently securing hits for similar emerging designer clients in the top consumer magazines, websites, blog and TV shows? Do they seem to be stronger in print vs. television? Do you get the feeling that they fully grasp digital and social media or does their approach seem ‘old school and out of date?’ You should be thinking in terms of what they can offer your brand and if can they realistically meet your short and long term goals.

 8)      Be A Partner

Your PR firm should not only be a representation of you, they should also be an extension of you. When considering a firm, ask for referrals from other clients (past or present) to fairly assess their working style. You should ask if the firm is flexible, do they really work diligently on behalf of the client? Do they go above and beyond? Are they available on weekends or after hours? Is their team or the person handling your account competent and eager? You should be asking the tough questions, as these are the nuances between firms that may help you decide which is best for you.

 9)      Set Goals, Not Expectations

PR is a process; it is part media savvy, part relationship building, part strategy, part branding, part preparation, part timing and sometimes, part pure luck. All of these components are critical when it comes to the firm/designer marriage. Perhaps it is your goal to be featured in Lucky or GQ. Perhaps your ultimate hit is the Oprah show. Your firm should be working with you to set practical goals, while working diligently toward the idealistic ones.  If your ideals aren’t happening immediately, your firm should be able to, at minimum, show you tangible and quantifiable evidence that they are working consistently toward meeting your long-term objectives.

 10)  Take the Time to Educate Yourself

Sure, we know you’re busy dealing with sketches, fabrics, manufacturers and buyers, but it is imperative to take the time to educate yourself on PR, what it entails and its benefits. It is the only way you can truly determine when PR is right for you and who’s right for the job. It will only help you to guide your firm in the right direction, as you grow toward becoming a household name.

In summary, the PR/designer marriage must also be fulfilling, rewarding and stable. You should work with a firm that is a personality match for you, whether that’s fun and quirky, or serious and corporate. In the courtship process, be sure to do your research, get educated and go with your gut. Eventually, you’ll find the one.


Emerging Designer Accessory Open Call Opportunity

By | Thursday June 25th, 2009 | 11:13 am | Comments



 If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the office.


Apparel Industry Board, Inc.
Apparel Industry Foundation, Inc.
350 N. Orleans St., Suite 690
Chicago, Illinois 60654
t: 312.836.1041   f:312.923.9076

Open Call for Greater Chicago Emerging Fashion Designers

By | Friday June 19th, 2009 | 05:00 am | Comments

open call opportunity


Open Call  from the Apparel Industry Board Inc. for Greater Chicago Emerging Designers.  The AIBI  caters to and supports designers based in Greater Chicago and is constantly developing new programs to better serve and promote the fashion industry.   They are one of  our ‘go to’ emerging designer resources here in Chicago.

Emerging Fashion Designers International Talent Support

By | Friday June 5th, 2009 | 09:28 am | Comments

ITS emerging fashion designer resource

International Talent Support (ITS) started by EVE is a platform for fashion and accessory designers and photographers.  Their mission is to give visibility and support to emerging fashion designers from all over the world through financial opportunities and job opportunities in fashion design.  They create project involving big brands and emerging designers to stimulate conversation and interaction increasing the designer’s visibility. This is an emerging designer resource with financial opportunities.

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