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From inspiration to presentation

After months of preparation the first showing of our Spring/Summer 2017 collection kicked off during Scoop & the City, held at The Old Billingsgate Market mid-July.

Having drawn our inspiration from London, from nature and from living a life of handbags & jewellery, with a clear vision and complete conviction we finalised our range, instructed and waited for the samples to arrive.

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It was a painful wait, because the bulk of the samples just didn’t turn up and as the deadline drew closer… a week closer, 5 days closer, 3 days closer we were beginning to doubt our chances.

With 2 days to go, the samples arrived, last minute is far from ideal but it’s a whole lot better than a ‘no show’.

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I often wonder, once the stand is all set and the show opens its doors to buyers and press if anyone really knows the true trials from inspiration to presentation.

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It was a great show, the new collection was much admired, new orders, new contacts, old contacts renewed. Circle closed, now we go from presentation to new inspiration.

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Move on Summer 2016, you’re so over…

Hate to harp about the British weather but this summer (can I call it summer? ), well ok, this summer 2016 has so far been cold, wet , grey and in general miserable.

I don’t mix my personal political views with my fashion and as such be it Remain or Leave, whatever you voted for it seems like the heavens have opened up in the UK and London in particular finds itself right in the eye of the storm.

Thankfully at NM HQ we’ve managed to ‘ease’ ourselves out of Summer 2016, secured Winter 2017 some months back and here we are, getting ready to ‘sign-off’ summer 2017. With less than a month to go before we show our new Summer 2017 collections to buyers and press at Scoop International, we are entering ‘final countdown’ stage.

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The four key trends we identified for Summer 2017 were based around the 4 key elements:

AIR– all calm and mindful inspired by a new global love of Yoga, Pilates and looking after our core

EARTH– A patchwork of what we are currently as a society, a vibrant mix of cultures- a mash-up of tribal with modern and upcycling with abstract

WATER– is all about clean and luxurious, it’s about reflections and  crisp vibrant colours

Last but not least, FIRE– which for summer 2017 evokes all that is glamorous, think Flamenco: the sound, the movement, the colour. All engaging and all consuming.

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My colleagues at work will be the first to tell you that for all my love of colour and my passion for brilliant, vibrant hues I am in fact the one who reigns it all and my ‘process of elimination’ during our final selection means we end up losing that Flamenco Va Va Voom and we end up with a pretty safe canvas of cream, tan ,grey, black, the occasional navy but not much more than that.  When times are tough- safe sells and as the captain of this ship I try and avoid uncharted waters.

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Well, all I can say is that for Summer 2017, given just how gloomy 2016 feels we will be creating our very own sunshine in the brightest of yellow, the most opalescent of whites and the earthiest of greens.

Not long to wait now before we can actually show you our new creations but for now, enjoy your summer wherever you are, sun or rain.

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Paris with my ‘The Brewer’ Holdall

Hit by the tough economic downturn as well as recent unrest there seems to be quite a big divide in opinion when it comes to Paris:     It’s beautiful- it’s dirty, it’s exciting- it’s dangerous, it’s cool- it’s run down, it’s delicious- it’s full of fast food

I Paris hop regularly and am never 100% sure how I feel about going these days, when the sun is shining I think ‘OK, it will be fine’ but when it rains I wonder ‘what on earth am I doing going there in the first place?’

For my most recent mid-April trip I left Kings Cross International ‘armed’ with my lovely ‘The Brewer’ travel holdall, now that on its own (I confess) is enough to put me in a good mood.

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A couple of hours later I arrive ,Paris is kind and greets me with sunny skies. I set off on my mad schedule, I certainly know how to pack in a full day’s work made easier by the fact that I’ve been so many times that making a B line from the station to my favourite haunts is second nature.

Say what you will, there is always something new and exciting to discover here and that is what really makes Paris so unique.

So a quick run-down of what excited me this time:

An amazing cheese shop caught my eye, the large milk urns leading to the door and the outdoor cooled fridge packed with cheeses .Even though I didn’t buy or try any it was just spectacular.

It’s asparagus and strawberry season and all the green grocers have them out on display, they just look so good and they display them so beautifully

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Lunch break for me and my bag ….

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In a little corner café I take the ‘dish of the day’  which turns out to be the most delicious home-made ravioli and green salad.  I just love it that in France it is completely cool to wipe clean the sauce on your plate with your bread, how good is that!

 

The flats in Central Paris, especially the buildings that taper into a corner are beautiful.

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The independent clothing boutiques are the best I have seen anywhere, absolutely and without a doubt.  But even the larger Dept stores embrace fashion in the grandest of manner. So Spring has hit Printemps and you just can’t miss the buzz, large floral rabbits included.

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As I step out of Printemps the heavens open, hailstones the size of golf balls followed by a heavy downpour. I head on back into Printemps and the quiet oasis which is the Cojean café in the lower ground floor. White and silver minimalism, healthy alternative snacks and salads, vegan cakes and lots of lovely teas. My tray looks great on the table top and my The Brewer holdall looks even better hanging from its under table bag hanger- how thoughtful of them to do this.   Any bag designer and bag lover reading this blog will totally get this,surely this is what life is all about.

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Back at the Gare du Nord I regroup my thoughts, the intention was to go to Paris armed solely with my Brewer travel holdall which is very spacious and to fill it up with a few bits and pieces bought on the way and that’s it.

Did I stick to my plan? Why of course not, too many things to buy in Paris!!

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So where do you want your tea served? The Hallway? The Parlour or possibly the toilet?

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After a challenging couple of months, I finally got to fully relax this past weekend. Sunday brought with it London spring sunshine, glorious! I headed straight out to my winter battered garden, time to clear up, discover what survived the cold winter and get the garden ready for planting new arrivals.

But the real, REAL treat was Afternoon Tea at Edith’s House. I guess in some ways this newest arrival to North London’s Crouch End is simply bonkers but in fact it is absolutely perfect.

Step in through the front door, back in time, into your Auntie or grandma’s  house, kitsch galore, melamine furniture in abundance, lace, wallpaper and bygone knick-knacks.

SO WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE YOUR TEA SERVED?

The dining room or the parlour?

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Sat on the bed in the bedroom or perhaps in the hallway?

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No tables left? How about the toilet then?

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Décor aside (and that was pretty good) the scones are top notch, hot, fresh ,tasty, different and the tea and coffee are Superb ( I opted for the Cinnamon scone, yum!)

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Last but not least, the house pooch Roux, trying to convince you to share some of your food…

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One thing I know for sure is that I’m most definitely coming back!

One down and three to follow… life in the Fashion circuit

Months of preparation lead to 3 pinnacle days that more or less make or break a season. We may be well versed at the art of prepping for the Fashion shows but each time they seem to come around quicker than expected, each with their own set of problems, always equally nerve racking as they are exciting.

Scoop International at the Saatchi Gallery, our chosen London show, opened its doors to a select group of UK and International buyers on Sunday 31st Jan, offering buyers 3 days of previewing, shortlisting and buying AW2016 collections.

From stand ‘dress rehearsals’ at our studio to public showing, these images capture the essence of what we did, how we did it and what we anticipate to be our stand out ‘leaders’ for winter 2016.

Studio ‘dress rehearsal’ as we pre plan our stand display:

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The grand entrance at The Saatchi, red carpet and all, don’t see many like this one:

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Beautiful floral display at the registration desk:

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Our stand, after a day of pre-show dressing, ready for the opening day:

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Our brand new The Brixton back pack was a big favourite:

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Smart and right for the Monochrome set, our new The Putney , top handle bag

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Decisions, decisions- our new Kate Cocktail ring and cut crystal rings look so good together

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Smart and classy in black silk, Flamenco heals and our Cognac The richmond Midi tote

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Next up for Nadia Minkoff London? another show at London Fashion Week, an overseas show and INDX (Independent Dept store show). Fashion Circuit or treadmill? We’ll tell you the rest of the details as our season progresses and let you decide.

 

Running up that hill

Just a day left before the year is over and as I sit at my desk, reviewing 2015, the enormity of what we have done over the past 12 months is quite staggering. So much so that I am really not sure where to begin.

I guess I may as well start with the highlight of the year, which was winning the runner up Award for ‘Most Enterprising business’ from the Federation of Small Businesses.

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Being nominated was exciting enough, celebrating on the night with my motley crew was great, winning felt like having my cake and eating it.  Before the night ended, changes were heading our way that are now forming the backbone for an interesting and new journey that we at Nadia Minkoff London have already begun.  Recognition for fashion from the financial sector is never easy to get, nor one to be taken lightly and I am very proud and excited that we have been given the opportunity to work and be mentored by none other than Grant Thornton. Who said number crunching, spreadsheets and forecasts aren’t creative? They are, very much so!

We’re also up for the Dot London Award, in the ‘best lifestyle’ category. The awards will be held at the new Savoy Place, hosted by Katie Derham.  River views all round, entrepreneurs, dragons and investors, at the ready.

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Thank you to all those who voted for us, votes close on Jan 8th and if you still want to vote for us pls do so by following this link , find us in the ‘Independent lifestyle retailer’ category.

 Some of our other highlights for 2015 have been:

  • With the help of stylist Charlene Campbell we made the Christmas issue of OK magazine

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  • The lovely Aizak Buyondo styled our jewellery as only Aizak could and made our day

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  • Beautiful Opera star Aylin Perez wore our Shard necklace for her Grand Finale at the Dallas Opera house and Nancy Dell’olio stepped out for her West-End stage debut wearing one of our ‘one-off’ necklaces

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  • We have partied, yes- a lot of parties, too many to attend all but we did quite well!

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  • We’ve exhibited at Scoop London and INDX and opened new doors across the UK

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  • We have had so much support from the Blogging community across the globe, all of which can be found on our website. Thank you Bloggers, we love you!

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We’ve held events at Liberty London and have seen our designs become best sellers at some of the leading UK multiples who we supply

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But most of all, we have loved it all, even if we are forever running up that hill!

Wishing you all a successful, healthy, happy and especially peaceful 2016, from us all at Nadia Minkoff London.

 

 

 

Who, what and wear

I can’t quite believe the last time I actually put pen to paper ( fingers to keyboard) and blogged was in July!

Wasn’t being lazy, just incredibly busy and it’s amazing how once you let time slip it snowballs before you know it.        So I am making my New year resolution now at the end of November, no point waiting, and it is to make sure that I no longer have such long lapses.

I guess first thing first, to get back into the swing of things, a quick recap of what we’ve been up to since July, and also what and wear??

In August we won the runners up award for Most innovative Business at the London FSB awards, what a night! what a surprise! we’ve not looked back since , it’s been a whirlwind.

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In Sept we updated our on-line shop with the new Winter 2015 lines. And our best-sellers?  Crystal skulls and midi totes

Skull & shard earrings, black

 

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October was show season again, we were back in full swing at Scoop London previewing our Summer 2016 collection

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November seems to have come and gone at the blink of an eye. So, SO much went on, so where do I start?

Soprano Aylin Perez, twitted photos of her with her Nadia Minkoff London delivery

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And a week later of her wearing her ‘delivery’, our Crystal Shard statement necklace  during her grand Finale at the Dallas Opera House

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Nancy Dell’olio stepped out onto the West End stage wearing her bespoke Nadia Minkoff London necklace for her One-Woman show

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And to top it all? we  found out we are up for another award! The Dot London award for Best London Lifestyle Indie retailer, woohoo!    And if you think we deserve it pls give us your vote, it takes 2 ticks, just follow this link put in your name and hit yes when you get the confirmation email.

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Will be back soon, x Nadia