Trent TrendSpotter
DVF-Inspired

International fashion month is coming to a close and the one designer that is getting the most significant ink is Diane Von Furstenberg. That is because Diane von Furstenberg is not only one of the most relevant designers and business woman this generation has seen, she is one of the most impressive feminists. 

I can’t wait to read her new book “The Kind of Woman I Wanted to Be” when it launches later next month.

Lately her words of wisdom are really influencing me.  In a recent interview Von Furstenberg shares some of her secrets to success that I have been sharing with my clients and other important friends.

The first one being “be a ready-made gift for the press gods.”  You heard it from DVF herself.  Publicity is not effortless although the better you are at it the easier it looks. You have to give the media what they want, when they want it, how they want it.  You have to package yourself for press.  Wherever you are on the continuum, you have to make your story better.  Make your opinions sound like poetry and combine practical information with profound insights.

She also encourages women to “go big.”  Gone are the days of investing in the natural flow of business. That’s only going to get you so far. If you don’t give it your all, find investors and market fearlessly, you might survive but you will never “make it” as an important global brand.  Sprinkling fairy dust is good but world domination is better! 

Technology gives you access. Use it.  DVF credits technology for her exponential growth.  Von Furstenberg says, “repetition breeds recognition.”  It’s true, the more you put out, the more you will get back.  Publicity begets publicity.   Exposure leads to more awareness, recognition and credibility.

If you stumble, big deal…that happens to everyone…”Windex” the brand, move forward and try again.   Re-entry is not glamorous but it’s definitely possible.  If you don’t have some challenges and bumps along the way, you are not trying hard enough. 

DVF doesn’t think about she wants to do, she thinks about what she wants to be. 

Think about what you want to be and leverage the technology and marketing available to you to become that titan.   

The world, especially New York, is full of energy and opportunity.   Immerse yourself, enjoy the challenge and own it!  Fear is not an option…love is life!

Natural knows no seasons

Following our successful pre-Fancy Food show #TrentTasting last season, we hosted another #TrentSpotlight event the day before the Natural Products Expo.   Some of our favorite, curious journalists friends stopped by to preview our client’s newest year-round natural products.  

The Look, The Feel and the Power of Lingerie

Attending the CURVE Lingerie show in New York City at the start of August, the height of bathing suit season, is not usually easy on the ego.  This season was different.  Much of the lingerie and bathing suits on display were designed to empower, feel good and make you look a touch better than you already do.  Some of the styles also lend themselves beyond the bedroom and the pool. 

Always ready

Body Hush has shapewear you can flaunt as apparel or looks great when taking your clothes off.  It recognizes that different women seek different levels of compression.  Monette Paris’s line is easily runway ready. 

Made to empower women

Vannina Vesperini’s bold and unexpected colors and innovative details act as a women’s secret weapon for feeling sexy.  You have to think why no one has come up with that before.

Lingerie that makes all bodies gorgeous

Coquette has intimates that are made to flatter all body types. The ruffle panties are to die for.   Golyta’s brands iCollectionHauty and Tia Lyn also have fun and sexy styles for all figure types.

Soft touch

PJ Harlow pajamas not only look good, but the fabric feels great. 

Staying dry

70 million women have night sweats from chemo, pregnancy and obesity.  There is sleepwear that keeps those women comfortable and dry all night with cutting edge technology.  Softies robes and pajamas keep you cool all night. 

The future is now

Suki Cohen’s futuristic designs turn the fembot into a sex pot.

Summer Secret

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I went for a pedicure last weekend with a beauty editor and I was absolutely mesmerized by the perfection of her feet.  I know she walks around on stilettos all day as graceful as a gazelle, darts the concrete jungle in flip flops, runs on the beach, gets a natural polish change with non-acetone remover weekly and a pedicure every month and when she doesn’t have to wear shoes, she’s barefoot.

“How do you keep such pristine feet?” I gasped! 

“My mother”, was her reply.  This was more than DNA…I’m picturing her mother sanding down her daughter’s heels on a nightly basis.  Not exactly.  Turns out her mother has always been trying to get her to wear slippers to protect her feet around the house.  She bought her a pair of leopard print gel lined-moisturizing slippers she saw on HSN.  Being a leopard fanatic, my friend tried them on and didn’t look back. 

How could I not give them a shot with that kind of result?  I ordered a pair of Geluxury slippers on HSN and gave them a whirl.  They say to wear them for 20 minutes at a time, especially in the summer as they need to heat up to fully work, but I cannot believe how great my feet look and feel.  My toes and heels look like they just got a foot massage…they are softer and they look hydrated and smooth.  Great for sandals and sling backs…

Who knew that summer was the best time to get rid of cracked heels?   I’m loving my new feet.

Making Do With What You’ve Got

Some call it scrappy. Others call it realistic. I call it being resourceful. As a boutique agency with a carefully curated client list, we’ve always been resourceful; we have to be.

Then, I attended a class instructed by Mark Monchek on “Resource Mapping” at The Opportunity Lab and I learned how to leverage my resources on a higher level. 

In the Resource Mapping Ecosystem, there are only three degrees of separation between you and what you want. You just have to learn how to ask for it. 

Systemizing your existing resources can help you discover opportunities, connections and solutions. 

Here are the categories:

Knowledge: Sharing resources within your organization can reduce costs and increase productivity.

Communications: Make sure you are taking advantage of all resources effectively.

Markets: Always be exploring new targets for your business.

Capital: Develop an action plan for tapping your most important resources.

People: Categorize people and explore their needs to identify opportunities and form new partnerships.

Organization: Capture all the organizations you are connected to.

Here are the principals:

Abundance: There is enough opportunity for everyone.

Intention: Know what you want and don’t expect anything to fall into your lap.

Collaboration: Consider the needs of others, not just your own; you are stronger as a network.

Success DNA: Know what you have to offer in addition to what you need.

Resilience: Continue to be optimistic and look for opportunities in unpredictable problems.

When you have mapped out your ecosystem of resources you are ready to make “the ask.”

When you ask your resources you must be clear, compelling and actionable. 

When you get a response to your ask, be ready to find opportunity, take action and partner with others to make it happen. 

In order to be successful in Resource Mapping you need to be ready to receive what you ask for and deliver what you offer.

It’s already working for me. I hope you will try it and join our resources.

Boomer-Breed Millennials

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As a boomer, I didn’t realize I have the millennial attitude. Not the way we communicate, work, learn, play and spend, but how we are wired to try new things, break boundaries, push limits, change tradition and set new rules. It makes sense; millennials were raised by boomers!

I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural Youth Marketing Strategy, put on by Voxburner in New York City and I was completely blown away by what I learned about the generation of adults born between 1972 and 1997.

The pending questions is, as it was with my generation – “How do we get your respect?” Boomers fight hard for what they believe in and work hard for what they earn. How do we tame the irreverent attitudes of millennials and tap into the great potential they have to offer? One boomer of a panel of millennial ambassadors asked, “How do we get your respect?”  The response one millennial ambassador offered was ,“You respect us, and we will respect you.”  It was that simple and it clicked.  

Jane Gould, senior vice president of consumer insights and research at MTV chaired and opened the event with insightful research. 

Hackers: Gen Y will get in there and repurpose it, open it up, make it better, make it more useful and they don’t ask permission.

Hustlers: Millennials don’t want jobs; they want careers. They are always on the lookout to beef up their resumes and always have a side-hustle going on. Willingness and ability to hustle is more valuable to them than an MBA. Millennials believe you can Google how to be a CEO.

Inventors: Creativity is their language. They are always innovating. 70% surveyed believe that “creativity will save us.”

In a presentation by Joeri Van den Bergh, co-founder of InSites Consulting, Gen Y expert and author of How Cool Brands Stay Hot, I learned the following:

Kids just want to have fun: Labels have less influence. User experience is how to win over this crowd. 

Party all the time: Joeri introduces us to the concept of “Party-cipation.” Millennials are social. They want to be where the action is. They want to do what their peers are doing. Peer-to-peer communication is key. 

Stay real: As in real help in real time. Youth today want to look online and find an expert to interact with in the moment.   

During Andrew Au’s session, the president of Intercept Group, I picked up some great statistics.

Be fast and furious: You have between 15 seconds and 15 minutes to appeal to the attention span of a Millennial. This generation does not want to be marketed to. They are skeptical and not impressed with celebrity endorsements. They would rather know what their friends think. They want to be the brand evangelist.  

Where the money comes from: It doesn’t matter who is paying, the millennials are deciding. Every dollar spent by Gen Y directly influences another $3.50.

Try again: This crowd likes to experiment, but if they like a brand, they are more likely to stay loyal.

These social and daring kids are entering the workplace and I can’t wait to see how they run it. 

A one-stop media shop

Dozens of journalists were buzzing about our SoHo loft last week to check out the latest tasty, healthy treats at our inaugural Trent Tasting.  It was a showcase of all our clients’ gourmet goods that make eating more nutritious and delicious.  Held the Thursday before the Fancy Food showit was a great way to preview the “best of” and latest trends. 

"Outdoor-Tinted Glasses"

I don’t know if I’m just seeing everything through “outdoor-tinted glasses” or if the furniture industry, is indeed, trying to make us feel like we’re perpetually outside. That’s what it felt like at the InternationalContemporary Furniture Fair, May 17–20, in New York City.

Polar Moss makes mesmerizing indoor art and sculpture out of colorful reindeer moss that makes you look twice. Flower Box uses innovative natural modern horticultural arrangements that last for years in all sizes up to vertical wall gardens inspired by Patrick Blanc. The designs are just as practical as they are beautiful. 

I fell in love with Green Towers living furniture. They integrate micro-farming right into your existing furniture with hydroponic and aquaponic technologies. This actually means that you can produce a portion of your own food no matter where you live or work! 

The outdoors are getting more stylish and comfortable, too. Fermob’s classic French Bistro chairs bring color and a lot more styles than before. Sifas makes the “in-out” lifestyle more luxurious. Galanter & Jones is warmer with adjustable heating.Garden Glory makes it glamorous with colorful hoses and whimsical accessories for a more fabulous gardening experience. Recycled wood is the material for choice for Peter Glassford’s collage murals and tiles that make you feel like you’re in the forest when you’re nowhere near one.  

For those in between the indoor and the outdoor is furniture for the “urban nomad.”  Dynomighty, the innovators that introduced the original Mighty Wallet that spawned an entire new genre of Tyvek Wallets around the world, showcased a new cardboard furniture concept: portable furniture that is fun, flat and can be assembled quickly and easily. Mio Culture also makes environmentally sound adjustable room dividers and lighting that can be customized, color, cut, rotates and pasted to your specific needs. This company is really dedicated to transforming culture through the design of sustainable products that are both beautiful and affordable.

Allergies are another thing more from the outdoors to the indoors. Our indoor environments are just as much to blame as trigger foods and the pollen count outside. I’ve noticed more brands positioning their products to help create allergy-resistant homes. The tools go far beyond air quality and can include filtration systems, surfaces and treatments. Motawi, a high-end tile company, is seeing its tiles expand beyond the backsplash as people opt for hard surfaces that are easy to keep clean and free of toxins. HearthCabinets Ventless Fireplaces provide the roar of an open fire without the usual allergens.  They are also safer, cleaner and usable indoors and outdoors, year-round. It gives of the glow of a roaring wood fire without the heat and can be placed safely, virtually anywhere (but a closet). It’s the only ventless fireplace approved by the New York Fire Department.  

As the walls between between indoor and outdoor disappear, I expect to see even more innovations and creative designs.

Are “Wearables” a Trend or a Fad?

As a trend spotter, I am often asked what makes a healthy habit a trend? First and foremost, it’s time. I have also recently been asked whether I think the now booming “wearables” market is here to stay. I’m not surprised the “wearable” category is exploding; I’m just surprised it took so long.  

I’ve been living healthy, long before it was trendy, back when it was weird. I’ve always been looking for health in some really unexpected places like the car … the movie theater … outer space, etc. One surprising place I did find health was in my Philip Stein watch, the original wearable technology that’s been helping me focus and deal with stress, everywhere I go, for decades.

This watch has a Natural Frequency Technology disc, programmed to act like an antenna, picking up frequencies that make me feel better. I swear by it! 

And while everyone else is trying to exceed their 10,000 step goal every day, my daily challenge is to get a good night’s sleep and Philip Stein’s latest Sleep Bracelet is helping me do just that!

If you don’t want to wear a wellness watch, I suggest you try the new wellness bracelet. It’s just as discreet and effective.

So, yes, I definitely think the “wearables” market is here to stay. It opens up new ways for us to make health a more natural part of our everyday lives.

If I Could Invent One Thing to Make the World a Better Place…

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Every year Google hosts an inspiring competition for kids ages K-12 called “Doodle 4 Google.”  This year’s competition yielded over 100,000 submissions with the theme “If I could invent one thing to make the world a better place…” Kids from all over the U.S. submitted their ideas in the form of a Google homepage.  The results were absolutely breathtaking!  Hats off to Google for putting on this enriching competition and hats off to these young children.  They are our future, and it’s very encouraging to know there are so many bright minds out there ready to shine. 

This year’s winner was 11-year old Audrey Zhang from New York.  Her doodle was an imaginative display of colors and wildlife. Displaying a large machine with Pegasus-like wings purifying polluted water for the animals and people nearby.  Zhang said “To make the world a better place, I invented a transformative water purifier.  It takes in dirty and polluted water from rivers, lakes, and even oceans, then massively transforms the water into clean, safe and sanitary water, when humans and animals drink this water, they will have a healthierlife.”

Way to go Zhang!  What an inspiration this young woman is.  This year, Google decided to take it a step further and animate the winner’s doodle for the first time.  The result was an absolutely magical and awe-inspiring display of creativity and hope. 

For winning this year’s competition Zhang also took home a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 Google for Education Technology grant for her school.  Google was so inspired by her Doodle that they also donated $20,000 in her name to a charity that provides clean water to schools in Bangladesh. 

Yesterday I learned  from Paull Young who is the director of digital of Charity:Water that 800 million people don’t have access to clean water.

Imagine waking up and having to walk to the east river to get water and then drink water that makes you sick…that is everyday life for 800 million people…that breaks my heart

Audrey Zhang, You are my inspiration!