Chat With Vidya Narine from Le New Black

My initial introduction to Le New Black was via a podcast interview Fashion BS conducted. Intrigued by the idea of an online fashion trade show, I contacted founder Vidya Narine to find out more about the new venture.

NN: Explain what Le New Black is, how it works & why you felt there was a need for such an event?

VN: Le New Black is the first online fashion trade show. It allows registered brands to show and sell their collection an entire season online from the first day until their deadline of production, and to registered buyers to view and order collections online anytime from anywhere during the season. I used to organise RENDEZ-VOUS trade shows (Paris, NYC), the last 5 years, and could see the incredibly difficult organisation of the international calendar for brands and buyers. Trade shows and showrooms are everywhere on the planet, new markets and fashion weeks are emerging, new trade shows and showrooms pop up every season : it is very difficult for a brand to choose the right cities and event to show its collection, and for a buyer to choose which city, trade shows and showrooms they want to visit. It s very stressful and frustrating, and the sales calendar costs a lot of mony (travel, hotels, shipings etc.). I started thinking about this idea of an online trade show 2 years ago, I didn’t know how to do it but felt something was right about it. The idea was to connect the best brands with the best buyers, and for brands to extend the length and location of their sales.

NN: How important do you feel it is for designers to embrace the new wave of online media outlets?

VN: I think it s crucial for a brand today to find its way on the Internet. Some brands are going to create blogs, or wholesale showrooms or retail stores on their own website. Luxury brands (Dolce & Gabbana, Viktor & Rolf) now offer the occasion to see the catwalk in streamline, real-time, retail stores are popping up everyday. If even the luxury market starts thinking about it, it definitely means something! Also, everyone is on facebook or twitter today, which means that new strategies of communication are emerging from this new survey. Same thing for the press, the way journalists work is totally different today than what it was 5 years ago (blogs, social networks, online magazine). Concurrence and strategies are definitely changing.

NN: What makes Le New Black appealing to designers?

VN: The offer of Le New Black is –until today- unique. By registering with the first online fashion fair a designer will get a qualitative network of buyers (every buyer has to register, and is validated -or not- by us, depending on its positioning), his own wholesale showroom online with his own back office to create his collections and manage his sales, his own link www.lenewblack.com/nameofthebrand to send to all his buyers and prospects to promote his collection, a guarantee of confidentiality (buyers have to be validated to access the showrooms, and brands can see only their own showroom). Also, we send a newsletter once a week to all our network of buyers, to inform them of the new brands they can find online.

NN: One important benefit of trade shows is the opportunity for prospective buyers to experience individual brands in real-time by being able to touch & feel the various qualities of clothing,accessories etc. Has this become a deterrent to buyers in any way, being based online?

VN: Since we launched Le New Black last June for SS10 collections, buyers had different ways of using Le New Black : they ordered collections from brands they never met but felt closed to, in terms of artistic direction and range of price, they ordered online collections from brands they ordered from before when they had to skip traveling, and also they confirmed their quantities online after the trade shows. We have one season behind us but I can say I was very surprised by the reactions of the buyers : they passed orders online quicker than what I expected. They passed orders from brands they never touched before but for most of the orders passed online, they knew each other from before. They still view and touch the collections at trade shows or showrooms, but use Le New Black before meeting the brands to prepare their selections, or after the trade shows to confirm quantities. But I think the work of a buyer is changing, they inform themselves through the internet, know brands from others stores etc, so sometimes when they can’t travel but they trust the brand they order online. Who could have imagined 10 years ago that people would buy Alexander Mc Queen dresses online on Net-à-porter? Also, Le New Black allows you to see all the details of a garment by zooming and all the details about the materials and production.

NN: What major differences do you see in the world of fashion in the US vs. abroad?

VN: From what I saw, the american market is FULL of interesting stores. 30% of the visitors of Le New Black are american ! Great stores register every day (retail online, department stores, multi-labels). And the fashion scene is full of talented designers and very inspiring and dynamic (Alexander Wang of course, but also Pamela Love, Slow and Steady Wins the Race, United Bamboo etc.). The CFDA seems to do an  amazing job connecting all of these designers with press and commercial realities. I felt a great energy from this fashion scene, and at the same time, the same weariness from brands and buyers who run from one show to another than what I felt everywhere in the world (europe, asia, middle east). The whole fashion industry needs alternative. The american buyers and brands are very open to Le New Black, and I am not surprised : internet came from you, and it s very natural, even with the retail online.

NN: What are a few tips you would give to new designers interested in showing their collections on Le New Black?

VN: To show your collection on Le New Black, let’s enter in contact. We need to know more about the collection and the distribution. If the creativity, quality of production, and network of buyers fits our selection, we will be pleased to welcome new brands. It is good to already have a good network of buyers before going online. Once the designer has created his collection on Le New Black, he can send his link www.lenewblack.com/nameofthebrand to all his prospects and clients from them to preview the collection, and give it to every buyer he meets to promote his collection. The more you work with le New Black, the more you sell!

Visit Le New Black for more info. & to stay abreast on the new happenings via their blog!

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New York Fashion Week Giveaway: Arise Mag & More!

Thank you all for your entries, REMEMBER TO LEAVE YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS IN THE SPACE PROVIDED FOR FUTURE GIVEAWAYS !!! The winner is Nadia, please check your e-mail :). Thanks again and lookout for the next giveaway sponsored by Manimal, you don’t want to miss out!!!

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NYFW ended yesterday, I was kind of sad to think about it :). I guess I’ve become accustomed to going from show to show everyday for the past week and now its done! Great times & memories were had, I’m grateful that I finally got a chance to experience NYFW. You can view my coverage on the shows I attended at She Breathes! I struggled with compiling my fits for the week. I didn’t know what to expect, how I should dress up or down in between. Ms. Shoo gave me a brief rundown of how things would be, but I guess you never know until you experience for yourself. After going to my first show, I decided that I would just be myself and not try to conform to any certain look/style that I saw.  I wore the outfit in the above pic. at my last show yesterday evening. I’ve never been a super glam type of girl. I’ve always been a tomboy and prefer to dress casually than to dress up. But as I get I older I find myself wanting to switch it up a bit at least occasionally. Here is the rundown of my fit:

Thrifted Bailey Fedora

Vintage Harve Bernard Cropped Blazer

DIY Fringe Necklace (cut it from and old top)

Thrifted H&M Tunic

Aeoropostale Jeans

Vintage Hand Crocheted Bag

Vintage Bangle

Target Ankle Boots

KEEP READING FOR THE GIVEAWAY 🙂

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So I couldn’t leave the tents empty handed without snatching up a few goodies for you all! This is the first official giveaway on the new and improved blog :).  Up for grabs 2 Issues of the new Arise Magazine, 1 New York Times Style Magazine, 1 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Welcome Book, 1 Bottle of Maria Bonita Nail Polish. 2 winners will be picked at random each winner will receive a copy of Arise Magazine and one will receive the other items included in the giveaway. Winners will be announced next Friday September 25. To enter this giveaway leave a comment letting me know your favorite show fom NYFW this season and why? PLEASE REMEMBER TO LEAVE YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS IN THE PROVIDED SPACE WHEN LEAVING A COMMENT OTHERWISE I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO CONTACT YOU IF YOU ARE THE WINNER. Oh and I will be posting a slideshow of all the streestyle pics. I snapped over the weekend, stay tuned!

 JOIN NUVANY NI’CE ON FACEBOOK!!!

The Sartorialist & Garance Dore

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Sitting in the tree, i’m just kidding! I almost broke my neck when I spotted Scott Schuman famed photog and street style blogger(The Sartorialist) outside the Ohne Titel show. I’m not a pro in heels, and that day I decided to wear stockings with a pair of open toe heels not aware that my feet would began to slide when I walked. I tried to compose myself as best I could so that I could try and catch a flick of him. The first photo was a quick snap of my camera button resulting in a bit of a blur. But then as I turned around to walk away, guess who’s standing so gracefully in front of me. YES, you guessed correctly his fiance also famed photog and illustrator for Vogue Garance Dore. She was so pleasant and saw me struggling to get her photo, so she simply posed for me.  So kind of her, and then they were standing together and I really got excited and started snapping away. I was going to edit the pics., but then thought to myself I should show you all how I captured the pics. originally trash can and all. I’m no Sartorialist, or photog at that.  Just an adimirer in the right place at the right time. They are a lovely couple, and compliment each other well!
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New York Fashion Week Underway

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Streetstyle Outside Karen Walker Show

This past week has been full of showroom visits and fashion shows for me. I’m covering NYFW on behalf of She Breathes, but don’t think i’ve left you all out! I’ll be posting pics from my adventures at Bryant Park gradually throughout the weekend and next week. Visit She Breathes to view a few of the shows I’ve attended thus far. If you would like me to document anything in particular, leave a comment and let me know! Oh and don’t forget to follow me on twitter, I’ve been tweeting from every show!!!