Darlings, it’s a lazy day here at T Lo Tryptophan Processing Industries, International. Lorenzo – fool – wants to go shopping today. Tom wants to curl up and watch a movie with a really great credits sequence because he only plans on being awake a few minutes past it.
But we have things to discuss and we’re not too proud to do some copy and pasting, rather than the harder work of writing. First, press release:
“A new group of designers face fashion rehab in season two of the critically-acclaimed series, ALL ON THE LINE WITH JOE ZEE. Starting Friday, November 25th at 9:30pm et/pt, Creative Director of ELLE Joe Zee, who The New York Times deems, ‘Fashion’s approachable ambassador,’ will come to the rescue of designers in need of a makeover on their business, design or both in what The Huffington Post called a “must-see” show. Among the designers featured in the upcoming season, is modern-day fashion legend, Nicole Miller, who will work with Zee to launch her newest line at New York Fashion Week 2011.
Returning slightly altered, this season Zee will enlist the help of some of his industry friends including American fashion designer, Rachel Roy, socialite and fashion trendsetter, Olivia Palermo, rock musician Adam Lambert, Mark Badgley and James Mischka of Badgley Mischka and model and actress Veronica Webb, to help judge the designer’s ability. Each label will be put to the challenge when Zee asks the team to design quickly and outside of their comfort zones for one of these celebrities, who may or may not be typical of the label’s core clientele.”
We covered last season and it instantly became in our eyes the best reality show about fashion ever done. But don’t take our word for it; take the word of our 2010 selves:
“Arising out of the staleness of the fashion reality programming genre, this show somehow manages to be fresh, fun, and intelligent. There are two reasons, one is Joe Zee himself, who is whip-smart, comfortable with anyone, and endearing as hell. The second reason is the concept: It’s airtight and fully realized. It’s not people playing a game with fashion; there is no prize money at the end, but it does put real designers with real lines through their paces, exposing their flaws and weak areas for the cameras and then forcing them into a do-or-die situation in order to save their company. Damn. You don’t even have to like fashion; that’s just good television.”
We had the honor of attending an advance screening of the first episode of season 2 and the show is as good or better than it was last season. We’re telling you: if you got burnt out on Project Runway, this show is the perfect antidote to that.
While we were at the screening event for Season 2, we met the two people behind RADENRORO, the line featured in the first episode of last season. Liquica and Andrei are as charming as we found them on television and, since we responded really well to the work they showed on the show, asked for an update on what they’re doing now, as well as a sneak at the lookbook for their spring line. We had been invited to their show during Fashion Week in September, held at the Indonesian consulate, but unfortunately we had at least three other shows to go to at the same time and never got to theirs. We really need an editorial staff.
Anyway, they sent us all these pics of their pretty, feminine, chic looks from their SS 2012 line and the following update on one of All on the Line‘s biggest success stories. They’ve been working their asses off, as you’ll see. We think a lot of people don’t realize just how much hustle is involved in having even a moderately successful fashion business, so it’s nice to get this first-person account:
“The show ended with us all toasting to a bright future after Joe received an email from Nordstrom saying they’d were going to pick up the line to test it in at least 5 of their stores. We knew that to make the most of the opportunity with Nordstrom we’d need to follow up with Loretta Soffe (Nordstrom’s EVP & General Merchandise Manager of Women’s) who we met on the show. So as soon as we got home Andrei emailed her assistant.
Loretta is one of the nicest (and smartest) people we’ve met in this business and working with her has been a real inspiration for Liquica. She also happens to be one of the busiest people we know, so we didn’t end up connecting with her again until mid January (we filmed the final AOTL scene in early December) when she visited our showroom in NYC. Fortunately, her visit went really, really well. We had no idea what to expect in terms of order size and were intent on not setting our hopes too high. We remember watching Loretta go through our Fall rack and start picking out styles after style she liked (including most of the ones we presented on the show), by the time she’d picked out 8 styles we started getting really excited. When she then went over to our Spring collection rack (the very same collection Joe gave some “tough love” our episode) and picked out ANOTHER 8 styles we had to really struggle to keep our cool. At that point we knew this was all really going to happen and that it would be huge for us as a brand.”
“We will never forget the moment we actually received the POs from Nordstrom. Andrei was in a restaurant, having just finished eating, and was idly checking his BlackBerry when the POs came in. He remembers opening the first of 4 attachments and seeing a number on that attachment alone that larger than any single order we’d received previously. When he opened the other 3 attachments, it turned out the total of their first order was more than 5x any previous order we’d received. We sincerely wish the cameras had been rolling at that moment because Andrei flipped out and started sprinting home from the restaurant to see the full POs on his PC, while he was running he called Liquica and she let out a cheer that almost got her thrown out of the fabric store she was in at the time.”
“Our excitement over the huge first order from them dampened a little bit when we realized we were on the hook to get more than 1,000 units made in only 2 months (keep in mind all the fabrics we use had to be delivered from overseas). Normally we’d have received orders for a March delivery sometime in September rather than in January. So we were faced with producing our largest order ever (by far!) in less than half the time we’d normally have had. We also knew that being our first delivery to Nordstrom there was no margin for error. Successfully shipping to a huge dept store like Nordstrom isn’t just about producing flawless garments; it’s also about understanding and nailing all of their compliance requirements (packing, shipping, garment ticketing, invoicing, etc). Andrei oversaw this side of things and his nightly reading became Nordstrom’s 800+ pages of compliance guidelines. Liquica focused on ensuring our factories produced their highest quality work ever, despite the tight timeframe. In the final week of production we were working 18+ hours each day and sleeping 2-3 hours a night at best, but we managed to get everything done and delivered on-time and we didn’t get a single compliance-related chargeback. To this day this is one of our proudest accomplishments.
Nordstrom was wonderfully supportive of the launch (even after our episode initially aired with the botched audio, which was NOT one of the high points of this whole experience) and arranged with Sundance for us to do in-store events in L.A. and at their Seattle flagship store. We did these in the course of one amazing trip in April.”
“Nordstrom re-ordered for fall (you can see their picks at our dedicated brand page on their site) and we are expecting to get their SS 2012 orders any day now. Overall the collection has been selling reasonably well for a new brand that’s still unknown to many of their customers, but obviously we have a long way to go before our numbers are competitive with the staple lines we hang next to in their Savvy department (ie DVF, MARC by Marc Jacobs, etc). Nordstrom is a great partner in that they have a longer view of their designer partnerships; they understand it’s about building up a brand and a following, not just hoping for one style to be a mega-hit. They continue to invest in us as a brand they believe in and see growing demand for, and we continue to pour all of our resources into growing brand awareness on a larger scale, promoting our partnership with Nordstrom, and putting out great new collections.”
“We’ve also had a number of our styles turn up on TV outside of All On The Line. Our Yudia blazer appeared on an Oprah segment, Bachelorette Ashley wore our Neneng Cami in one of the final episodes of The Bachelorette, and Gia Allemand also wore our Bidari dress and Aria Dress on The Bachelor Pad. These appearances have been a great way for us to reach a broader audience beyond just the fashion enthusiasts who watch shows like AOTL.
Finally, we just finished re-launching our own website at www.radenroro.com, with an increased focus on our online store (which we use to sell styles that not carried in retail stores, such as past season hits that people still email us about) .”