How Fashion Designers Hyper-Localize Their Brand For Worldwide Success

Most clothing designers can’t wait to break out on their own and conquer the world by becoming the next Jimmy Choo or Tom Ford. They spend an enormous amount of time cultivating social media followers and pray that their brand, will one day showcase in upscale department stores on Rodeo drive, Dubai or 5th Ave.

It takes hard work to receive recognition in the fashion world but sometimes a simple but impactful approach is what’s needed in a crowded haute couture market. To make a sizeable splash, you need 2 critical components that can excite potential clientele. Hyper-Localization and a good story.

A Brand Is Only As Good As Its Story

LVMH, the fashion conglomerate that buys and collects luxury brands such as Prada, Fendi, Moēt, and Tiffany among its other luxury holdings, understands what they really own, branded stories with a localized history. You see, no amount of social media advertising can give those brands as much prestige and desire as the stories and history they are built upon.

Designers can fake fashion prestige but without an original story or localized history, they will never reach anywhere near the level of success of an LVMH brand. A brand has to have a story of evolution with a starting point. Without them, you’re competing for price-conscious consumers instead of elevating your brand’s moment in time and localized space.

Hyper-Localize Where You Are

I know what you’re thinking. LVMH brands are mostly Italian and very much European. They’re perceived to be more opulent and fashionable around the world. And yes, European brands are a common denominator for LVMH but this is not why they are considered tremendously valuable. European brands have spent decades cultivating their mystique through storytelling and LVMH collects the best storytellers in the fashion gambit. With that said, other brands are starting to make major headway around the world with their brand story. Because of this, LVMH has bought into North American, Canadian, and African brands with rich storylines and may reach further into culture-rich Asian brands.

Wilglory Tanjong brand taps into her West African and American heritage

To further the point, let me mention Wilgory Tanjong’s story. She happens to be a full-time MBA student at Wharton School of Business who runs her own brand named Amina Iris, a luxury purse brand with pieces handcrafted by artisans from Dakar, Senegal. At 25 years old, her brand brings in over $100k per month through her own website. She has been approached by brand conglomerates as well as mainstream department stores but she’s been smart about keeping her purse’s build quality impeccably detailed by keeping inventory manageable with a small team which in turn, makes her handcrafted purses more valuable because of their scarcity. Her origin story and success were so compelling, that it became a featured video on CNBC.

NY Style Actor’s Edition featuring Kendrell Showers will be available in May 2022

Lewon’s House of Fashion

We’ve looked into some fashion designers here in the U.S. and we believe we may have found a few that may have the beginnings of Wilgory’s success. Kendrell Showers is one of those designers. His proud and unapologetic Southern African American fashion brand, Lewon’s House of Fashion has a great rooted story and a fiercely loyal customer base.

Kendrell’s story starts at Jackson University, where he made his first fashionable outfits by piecing together and refitting clothes from thrift stores. It was a success, Kendrell soon became a fashion guru within a group of admirers at Jackson University in Mississippi. He started styling fellow classmates and made quite a name for himself on campus. It was there that he notice that plus-size women, a lucrative demographic, were not being catered to. These women, with high purchasing power, were relegated to cheap department stores and were left out of the fashion conversation altogether. The few plus-size fashion pieces that were available to them, looked as if they were created only as an afterthought.

The Brands Origin Story

In fact, most of the fashion choices he found for voluptuous women were just stretched-out versions of fashion wear for thin body types. Kendrell wanted to change that and designed fashion wear that complemented full-sized curves. To his credit, Kendrell Showers went beyond complementing curves and created bombastic outfits that got plenty of attention in Jackson Mississippi, and his adopted Houston Texas. The styling I had a fresh take on local fashion with its unapologetic colors and patterns.

In late summer, Kendrell Showers plans on introducing undergarments that better fit plus-size women as well. His designs will go beyond imitating underwear worn by thin models. It will bring a new sense of style with the same bold patterns of his clothing line and fabric cuts that show off the true sexiness of full-body curves.

Kendrell’s Lewon’s House of Style has an origin story that is hyper-localized from a Jackson Mississippi campus and has spread through word of mouth and small fashion shows. We feel that if you bought one of his creations today, they will probably become collector’s items in the near future as his localized fan base embraces his fashion. Other neighborhoods and cities are “discovering” his brand and naturally introducing it to a wider audience.

How Success Stories Begin

The third part of Kendrell’s brand “discovery” is that Lewon’s House of Style is in limited supply. Kendrell Showers measures and fits clients by himself. He does take on a limited amount of 3rd party measurements but it’s considered an honor to have Kendrell create or retrofit an outfit for you with his own measurements. This creates demand which in turn raises his profile. When someone asks, “Who are you wearing?” And you reply, Kendrell Showers, they are going to know that you can get what most others can’t get their hands on. Kendrell is just one person. Until he expands his fashion house, expect to hear about Lewon’s House of Style pieces going for outrageous prices soon and Kendrell Showers booking clients months, if not a year in advance.

Why CL KID Treats His Music Career Like An Innovative Brand

CL KID

Recording Artist l Producer l Entrepreneur

All artists sound the same.  We hear that comment daily from every direction.  From “type beats” to “mumble rap”, all new music gets criticized quickly.  CL KID, an artist from Orlando, FL, breaks that mold.  

His newest release, “Memories”, is a sequel to his thrilling storyline which begins in his previous release, “Bonnie”.  CL KID’s brand of storytelling is a blend of heartbreak and lyrical metaphors.  In his song, “Revelation”, he states, “Cause I ain’t been focused, gonna die on my own well that’s what the joke is, ‘bout as real as it gets since the day that I wrote this”.  CL KID is a huge advocate for mental health awareness.

CL KID (Charles Martinez) uses personal emotion to narrate his story within his music. His music is self-produced. This, along with stunning video visuals, allows him to separate his brand from the rest of the artists on the indie scene.  He also co-founded a non-profit organization, Be The Reason, in order to give back to his community.

We caught up with CL KID to discuss his growth as an artist, his experiences in the industry, and how he was able to develop a brand that took him to the next level!

How is the music scene in Orlando, Florida?

I’d say it’s underrated. When you think of music cities you always recall the same places: New York, Atlanta, Nashville, Austin, Los Angeles, etc. Even within the state, Miami is seen as a more decorated music town.  Orlando is rich with indie artists.  A few of which have “blown-up” in recent years. Even so, your location has less impact on your success than it did years back.  Social media and digital streaming allow artists to publish and promote their music in an instant.  I have no reason to leave Orlando and doubt I ever will.  It is my home and I love it.

Your music is self-produced and self-written.  What comes first in your creative process, the music or the lyrics?

Honestly, it changes with each project.  I rarely sit down and decide to write a song.  Usually, an idea for a rhythm will pop into my mind and I’ll build onto it throughout my day.  By the time I open my music program, I’ll already have decided on the song’s drum pattern, melody, and main chorus.  From there I’ll add on a few layers or a sample and continue to form lyrics.  I rehearse the lyrics in my head over and over as I go about my day until I have a full song.  At that point, I’ll write the lyrics down in completion.

That’s an interesting approach.  Who would you say is your biggest influence as an artist?

My father is my biggest influence for loving music.  He was a DJ in New York City.  I listened to an endless amount of records growing up.  He would play them, quite loudly, almost every day.  Listening to older music gave me a good ear for chord progression and song composition.

Beyond that, I grew up listening to Jay-Z.  To me, he’s the greatest to ever do it.  I loved his use of metaphors and his unique style of flow.  Every line has a double meaning.  I knew that when I started writing lyrics that I would make sure there was thought to every line.

If you had funding for your music, how would you spend it?

I would continue on the path I currently follow.  Unfortunately, the industry is all about getting seen.  Artists are paying for streams, likes and follows, etc.  This is what the business of music has become.  If I had funding I would continue to expand my brand.  Music videos, artist merch, NFT creation, are all things I’m currently doing under my artist name.  I would use the money to market these brand items and remain independent.  Other than that, nothing would change.  I’m not into materialistic things and have everything I need in life.  Although, I guess I would buy more sound kits for music production. You can never have too many sounds.

What would it take for you to consider yourself successful in this industry?

That’s hard to say.  I try to stay present as much as possible.  Looking ahead can make you miss out on today.  My life goal is to retire my parents. If I can achieve that from my music, then that would be the ultimate success. Beyond finances, I aim to be synonymous with Orlando.  I want my brand to grow to the level where if you think of Orlando, you think CL KID.  Similar to when you hear LA you might think Kobe.

You started a Non-Profit Organization, “Be the Reason”.  Discuss this if you will.

I love helping others.  I want to give back to my community as much as possible.  “Be the Reason” is a platform I co-founded, alongside my friend and business partner Johnny Ruiz, to help educate and elevate our city.  We aim to teach financial skills and organize events to help those in need in both their short and long-term lives.  We believe strongly that together we can Be the Reason someone lives a better tomorrow.

Tell us about your new single, “Memories”.  That is certainly a unique concept.

Unique in a way definitely. So this song is a sequel to a song I previously released, “Bonnie”.  “Bonnie” is about a guy who falls for a girl, much like many songs.  However, this guy’s love is more of an obsession.  The song format is similar to that of “Stan”, by Eminem.  It is narrated by the guy who is describing a girl he loves in his journal. By the end of the song, you discover this is not his first “love”.  He is an obsessed murderer who keeps getting rejected.  “Bonnie” describes one love in particular, whereas “Memories” picks up much later in his life.  After various failed attempts at love, he finally decides to go back to the woman who first made him feel infatuated.  This does not go well, as described in the song and video.

Do you have any upcoming projects that we should look out for?

Absolutely.  I have a few songs I’m working on at the moment.  I just completed a slower song called, “Feel Me”.  That will be released very soon.  In addition, “Choosy” will be completed soon after “Feel Me” is released.  That is more of a traditional “swaggy” track.  I will be posting content involving both in the near future.

CL KID Instagram

What advice would you give to anyone trying to get started in the music industry?

  1. Be unique
  2. Take risks
  3. Don’t worry about what people think
  4. Don’t wait for perfection

Number four is key.  So many artists fail before they even truly get started because they overthink everything they do.  Waiting until you have the perfect video before you release your song.  Only posting “high quality” content.  These things are great to associate with, but if you wait until everything is perfect to move forward, you’ll likely never complete anything.  Don’t be afraid to show off your process and your progress.

You can keep up with CL KID and all his content here: CL KID

Why Quebec City is considered the most romantic city in North America

Yes! It is the most romantic city in North America! Quebec City, located in the mostly french-speaking province of Quebec in Canada, is usually reserved for the seasoned North American traveler.

Once you reach Quebec city, you’ll see why it’s considered the most European city in North America. Direct flights are usually just $87 for round trip airfare from NYC but if you choose to drive, expect an 8-hour trip through some of the most beautiful country roads with vineyards and sheep farms waiting for you.

Most of the inhabitants are bilingual and will greet you in the shops with a “Hello, Bonjour”, to let you know that they can converse with you in English or in French.

Quebec City is beautiful and chock full of events during winter and summer. Since most of the old part of the city hasn’t changed much in centuries, you’ll feel as if you were transported unto a movie set of the most romantic French movie in this 400-year-old city of love.

The impressive Château Frontenac is Québec City’s most famous landmark. The luxurious hotel perched atop Cape Diamond since the late 19th century was designed to convey prestige in keeping with its Old
Québec surroundings. Historic events have taken place in the building, and famous heads of state, royalty, and famous Americans and international actors have stayed there.

Fairmont Le Château Frontenac can be seen in the background of this picture of one of the many streets of the old city of Quebec.
The hotel overlooks most of the city and room prices start at $153 a night.

With its French and British-style architecture, fortifications, stone buildings, and narrow cobblestone streets, Old Québec is a historic area that’s been recognized by UNESCO since 1985. During the summer, some of its streets are closed to car traffic on weekends, allowing pedestrians to take up all the space and enjoy the festive atmosphere of the terrace restaurants.

Poutine is Quebec City’s most traditional dish.

Québec is a culinary treasure rich in history and flavor. Even though poutine is Québec’s most famous food, the success of Québécois cuisine stems from its heirloom recipes and regional specialties. Besides the authentic sugar shacks, try Buffet de l’Antiquaire, which is a staple of traditional French-Canadian cuisine in Québec City that sticks to traditions, one local ingredient at a time.

See and read more about Quebec’s Old City in our latest issue.

Alex Allison Wants You To Prevent Exercise Injuries

There are 3 phenomenal calisthenic workouts that I’ve seen my clients do wrong rather frequently, and often, it’s a minor tweak here and there. Small tweaks are vital in fitness. They could be the difference from performing the exercise correctly, to putting yourself in a position to get injured. Push-ups seem to be the most common exercise that I see mistakes in. Push-ups are
phenomenal in so many ways. You are essentially working the entire upper body in one movement, and there are a plethora of different variations of push-ups that an individual could perform that would achieve results.

My preferred method of choice is super-setting between standard pushups (shoulder width) and diamond pushups. Both of these are effective exercises for building mass in the upper body. The other two would have to be pull-ups and dips respectively. Novice lifters tend to pull too much with the biceps on pull-ups and use too much deltoid on dips. A slight modification that completely changes the dynamic for how successful the exercise can be. For pull-ups, simply raising your chest and bringing your elbows to your side will eliminate the issue there, while leaning slightly forward on dips will dramatically improve the overall lift.

Modern people spend all day sitting, so their nervous systems and muscles become habituated to a limited range of motion.

“The body adapts to the movements you most frequently make. The corollary to that is that the body adapts to the movements you don’t make: It adapts by not making those movements anymore.” People who want more forgiving hamstrings or hip joints need to stand up, sit, squat, walk and change positions throughout the day.

Passive stretches may not be the most effective way of increasing flexibility, Although several studies found that passive-training regimens do modestly increase flexibility, it may be more effective to do something called proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF), where people extend their muscles and then try to contract them from a lengthened position.

We’ve all heard that “Sitting is the new smoking” but keep this in mind, your muscles need motion throughout the day. The position they are usually at rest often is the position you’ve trained them to stay in.

Check out Alex Allison’s complete breakdown in the Winter 2022 issue of NY Style Magazine.