Monday, September 21, 2009

Luxury: Reinventing the Dream

Ned Martel, Julie Gajcak, Rohit Bhargava of Ogilvy 360 Digital Influence

The ALL ACCESS:Fashion panel discussion, the Thursday night headliner of a three-day fashion event at Tysons Galleria, was a thought-provoking glimpse into the fashion world as presented by experts both local and international. Moderated by Post Style editor Ned Martel, the panel, including The Ritz Carlton's Julie Gajcak and Basler CEO Armin Fichtel, discussed the state of luxury brands in a time of economic havoc. Martel posed interesting and apt questions about the economy, luxury brands, philanthropy and marketing; his background as an editor for Men's Vogue was evident. Fichtel said he chose to open his first US boutique amid a recession (and at Tysons) because he's confident the German-based Basler has the quality, fit (sizes range up to 20) and price points to succeed. His biggest seller: the cashmere jacket. The next Basler opens in Michigan; when will we seen one in Chevy Chase? The night wouldn't have been the same without my friend, artist Anna Rose Soevik, who did the portraits of Bono, Gunn and Frederique Van der Wal that will be signed and sold for charity. Sitting next to me was new friend Ryan Charchian, the 15-year-old marketing director of Military's Style Guide for Teens (I wish he was around when I was a military brat stationed in a fashion no-man's-land) and Gunn's guest on Saturday. Look out slackers...generation Z is coming at you fast!

Lori Pawley of General Growth Properties and Armin Fichtel

Ryan Charchian

Tim Gunn as portrayed by Anna Rose Soevik

Event coordinator Aba Bonney Kwawu

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