Friday, January 28, 2011


As New Yorkers, we are always on the run. Rushing to work, scurrying to yoga, dashing here, there and everywhere. Seldom making eye contact. Seldom stopping to smell New York's virtual roses but yesterday morning, as I stepped into the snowy streets, I found myself having a little spiritual experience. It was one of those "wow" moments that lifted my spirits, made my all cozy inside and I thought how good it is to be alive in such a great city like New York. People were smiling, maybe they do this often but I do not seem to notice them. Maybe the wide smiles came from the feeling of vulnerability that slipping in the snow can bring. So as I trudged to work through the snow I saw things of wonder that I usually do not give much heed to.
the monument at the intersection of Broadway and fifth that no one heeds.

the new glass tower that looks kinda nice in the snow.

Marble church

the little church on the corner
The Empire State Building, glistening in th crisp blue sky. I do always love New York's blue sky even in winters drab days.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Hipsters, Trend setters, Fashionistas are going head-over-heals for big-brimmed, 70’s inspired hats. Filled with enough character to finalize any ensemble, these eye catching châteaux are turning up on the heads of  style-setters like Eugenie Niarchos and Lou Doillon, adding a dose of vintage glam to their daily wear. Famously popularized by the likes of Anita Pallenberg, Marianne Faithfull, and Bianca Jagger in the late '60s through the early '70s, these over-sized floppies embody a rock-and-roll spirit that's definitely worth emulating. The only difference between then and now is that while the original trend-setting muses used their head-turning accessories to accent their big fur coats and brocade bell-bottoms, today's mad hatters are opting to pair theirs with more streamlined and neutral pieces.
Floppy big brimmed hats work great when styling a photo for a peek-a-boo look  but can be unwearable and hazardous if the brim looses its shape and blocs the wearer's view. Keeping this in mind, I usualy make my if brims with slightly shorter backs and I reinforce the brim edge with tonal stitch lines. This allows for the floppy look without a total flop.

As is often the case with more daring trends, the way you style this key piece is of paramount importance. Since this eye-catching hat is such a statement, instead of going for an over-the-top runway look, opt for a more refined ensemble with a big brimmed fedoar like style LV237-ASST below.

If you're ready to frame your face with a big-brimmed hat, Callanan/Scala collections have plenty of excellent selections to choose from on the following sites.

Friday, January 21, 2011

MRKet/VANGUARD January show

MRKet new York did get off yo a rousing start on Monday as reported by but before discussing how quickly it fizzled, lets focus on the positive.
They were smart to have Michael Macko produce a trend presentation that used not only mannequins displays but also used 24 human models for the opening morning. It was a wow effect at 9am Monday morning.
Michael Macko tried to give the buyers some focus by introducing this to fall 2011 leading trends.

ALPINE ACTIVE where he featured a WOOLRICH trooper. Troopers continue to be big head-ware sellers.

MILITARY where he also featured a WOOLRICH trooper.

FAIR-ISLE where he featured a HEADERS knit cadet.

WORK-WEAR where he featured a DPC pull on beanie.

SARTORIAL where he featured a beaver finish CHRISTY LONDON top hat.
CALLANAN LEGACY caps were worn by many of the male models.

It is always a challenge to shows complete collections in tiny booths but we did our beast to sample each collection.
We curated our booth to feature BILTMORE, STETSON, WOOLRICH, CALLANAN fall with Tommy Bahama and Scala for immediate deliver. Stetson and WOOLRICH were the definite people pleaser's with customers ordering Stetson caps and WOOLRICH troopers.
So after Monday's rousing start, the attendance fizzled very quickly. Tuesdays snow and sleet did not help in getting buyers to the show. The issue is that the show is out of sync with the other mens-ware shows that all start on Sunday. Customers are not inclined to pay for an additional hotel night, so Wednesday, the last day is dead as a door nail. Charles Garone, who used to run the Vanguard section, was sourly missed and his absence turned this into a boring suit show.
Adding salt into the wound, it took 2 hours to get our hats tubes back. This is a tiny show, at bigger shows like N Y Gift or MAGIC pallet returns are much quicker. Management gives itself an "A". I give them a 'C".

Sunday, January 16, 2011


This was a definite winged themed weekend for me. We had seen Part 1 "The Millennium Approaches" of Angles in America last November and finally got to see part 2 Perestroika on Friday night at SIGNATURE THEATER COMPANY. Set in the winter of 1986, it is still as poignant today, 25 years later. Part 2 is nearly 4 hours but it is so intense, so consuming, that it is over before you realize it. All the actors are outstanding, so it would be unfair to pick 1 out from the cast. Nevertheless, the angle's appearance never fails to startle the audience. The Divine light at her appearance, being so intense I was forced to look away. The angle Bethesda, whose appearance in the second temple, caused a miracle causing spring to bubble where her foot alighted. The play finale is set at the Bethesda fountain in central Park.
Last night we went to see BLACK SWAN, a bird of a different feather. A psychological thriller set in the world of New York City ballet, BLACK SWAN stars Natalie Portman as Nina, a ballet dancer who wins the lead in "Swan Lake" and is perfect for the role of the delicate White Swan, but slowly loses her mind as she becomes more and more like the evil twin sister of the White Swan, the Black Swan. Psychologically abused by her mother and choreographer she takes on a dual personality. The audience cannot make out what is real and what is imagined in Nina's warped world. I had to cover my eyes a few times as it is quite gory and scary. great acting but not everyone cup of tea. Should get some nominations however.

All these winged things got me thinking about the beautiful angles I saw in the La Recoleta Cemetery  in Argentina.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


We had an amazing this week. It was one of the best attended shows in a long time. The reality is apparel is slow, unlike high margin accessories, so stores are expanding their accessory departments, and after last year's never-ending-summer, stores had very little carry over in hats. Buyers just see the glam but they have no idea what we do to create the fantasy of an exhibit.
Got to the booth on Saturday at 9.30. Our booth is situated right in front of the freight exit with a gale blowing in from Canada, so it was like being in a deep-freeze locker -10. Yep, wore the long johns, hoodie and fingerless gloves but was still like a block of ice. YEA, I GOT ME A REAL GLAMOROUS JOB.
Booth was nearly set up. We use, the best in the business but we had to wait 1 hour until the union guys put the light up.
No, I do not have a magic wand and the hats just appear on the walls. We have to unwrap the hats that arrive from out distro in Stockton Ca. thanks to Christine Topete and her hard working team.
We merchandise the hats by brands and we happen to have the best hat brands in AMERICA. Iconic  brands like STETSON, TOMMY BAHAMA, CARLOS SANTANA

With the help of Leslie Corea, a merchandise whiz, Jim Caparosa and Ann Breland we do our magic.
5 hours later, feeling like blocks of ice we are ready for our close up.

Light the light, curtains up, we have nothing to hit but the hight.............

Friday, January 7, 2011

SALE, sale, SALE, sale

SALE, there was a time when a SALE SIGN really meant something. When it meant you were really getting a bargain. People waited for the January white sales in the hope of getting something that was ordinarily out of their budget. In Paris, stores are only allowed to go on sale certain times of the year. In America it seems that a NON SALE store is an endangered species. I had to go see a prestigious Fifth Avenue store today, that wanted to buy Callanan spring hats. The store is not too far from our showroom so I decided to walk in the snow. I was struck by all the SALE signs and wondered what were they telling me about what was on sale. Here are some observations.
@juicycouture the sign looked a little like Las Vegas. The odds are with the house. Maybe I will not win a bargain.
2 doors in from Fifth was a little too on the down low for me.
@faconnable a devision of Nordstrom. Nice clean white classic sign that I can trust. I will get a good deal here.
never trust a NYC store with a going out of business............even if they are.
H&M is so cheap to begin with, why would you even bother looking for a bargain. Tacky looking sale sign.
@bananarepublic. whatever!

@colehann. This says we have a solid sale and we still merchandise the sales goods. We are proud of our goods and image even when on sale.

@kennethcole it's black and white that you will get a great deal.
@lacost, um not sure. Are they having a sale or playing monopoly? I hate monopoly.
tourist trap, keep walking..................

@esprit we get the naked truth. No games, no haggling. just good sale prices.
@roxy.  sale on a whim. depends if the manager is making his daily numbers.
@anntaylor. they put the ANN in annual sale. How cute! I bet they have "ann" going sale rack every week.
2nd floor in a non descriptive building is a no go.
@barami not big enough to get me in the door.

@urbanoutfitter and the sale goes on.

@barkers read the small print.

desperation sale.

@bcbg, still chic at 60% off.