Children in South LA are tasting fresh fruits in their farmers market. (Photo by Shako Liu)

Children in South LA taste fresh fruit at the farmer’s market. (Photo by Shako Liu)

A liquor store parking lot in South LA isn’t a typical setting for a farmer’s market in this city. But that’s where a new Friday afternoon produce stand set up shop last week. The mini-market, spearheaded by the nonprofit groups Community Coalition and Community Unlimited, will be open Fridays from 3 until 6 p.m. at Century Market, on the corner of Western Avenue and 39th Street. It was created in response to the closure of a Ralphs grocery store at Martin Luther King Boulevard and Western Avenue a few weeks ago. For some in the surrounding King Estates neighborhood, that Ralphs was the only market in walking distance.

“We’re all here together having a fruit stand partly because the big grocery chains have just decided to abandon South LA,” said Marqueece Harris-Dawson, president of Community Coalition. “So we’re going to yell at them and bang on their windows about that, but at the same time we’re not going to go hungry.”

Marqueece Harris-Dawson (Photo by Shako Liu)

Marqueece Harris-Dawson (Photo by Shako Liu)

Limited access to fresh, affordable foods has been an issue for years in South LA, which has often been referred to as a “food desert.” The Community Coalition cites some startling statistics illustrating the situation: South LA has roughly one grocery store per 6,000 people, compared to one for every 4,000 in West LA. It also has just six farmer’s markets compared to 16 on the Westside, and a much higher concentration of fast food outlets and liquor stores. All of that makes it an effort to stay healthy, said Dane Pascal of Community Unlimited.

“If I walk out my door at King and Normandie, there’s a Taco Bell, a Jack in the Box — just full of fast food,” he said. “This is why this is needed. We have to make healthy eating just as convenient as eating fast food.”

shako4

Dane Pascal. (Photo: Shako Liu)

Peaches (Photo by Shako Liu)

Peaches (Photo by Shako Liu)

But can a small produce stand that’s only open three hours a week really make a difference in the way people eat?

“Right now it’s a band-aid over our wound of not being able to purchase organic food, fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Isaac White, 79. He’s lived in the King Estates neighborhood for more than 50 years. “We need fresh fruits and vegetables just as well as other neighborhoods or anybody else does.”

Isaac White (Photo by Shako Liu)

Isaac White (Photo by Shako Liu)

A young resident checks out a map of the neighborhood, where Ralphs used to be. (Photo: Shako Liu)

A young resident checks out a map of the neighborhood, where Ralphs used to be. (Photo: Shako Liu)

KCRW Radio App TuneIn Stitcher SoundCloud iTunes
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

21 Comments »

  • emilyweisberg said:

    how can someone get involved and help this organization? Is there contact info you can pass along?

  • sinosoul said:

    There's also El Super, Smart & Final, and Superior Grocery within that arbitrarily drawn map. I find it laughable that all 3 grocery chains, 2 of which Latinos in the same neighborhoods heavily patronize, are ignored by this group. Ralph's is a business. They won't operate where they're not profitable. It's up to the community to keep the stores there, isn't it? There wasn't a walkable farmer's market by where I live for years, and I still manage to shop for locally produced organic vegetables. Using "walkability' as a benchmark for accessibility, in LA, is a bit ludicrous? LA isn't Portland, we're not in Manhattan or Queens. Nothing's walkable to begin with; the only thing walkable to my house are two gas stations.

  • Jael said:

    SInsoul, I agree with the fact the map does not show other markets that some people use however, there's a reason stores such as El Super, Smart & Final, and Superior are not included: They are not FRESH FARE mega stores. Food 4 Less isn't on the map either and I assume that's due to the fact it's owned by Kroger, just like Ralph's but it's for low income neighborhoods. The key is low income. Un fortunately, low income stores carry "low quality" produce. Who wants to eat produce that seems unfresh and has to be picked over? Ralph's is for the people that can afford it and South L.A. can't afford it. As much as I hate to address this, El Super and Superior cater to the Latino community and even though Smart & Final doesn't necessarily do that, more Latinos shop there. This is a big deal because South L.A. isn't just made up of Latinos. Blacks that live in the area aren't about to walk into an El Super and say, "Hola, donde esta elote?" Just as Latinos prefer to go where they feel comfortable so do other ethnicities.

    I agree with you 100% that business leave where they can't make a profit. I understand why Ralph's are closing down. I hate it but it is what it is. We can't shop there, when places like Superior offers $.99/lb cherries whereas Ralphs maybe $4.99. We can't afford to splurge like that. From my experience, I dislike almost every store close to me ( which isn't that close) because the produce is awful! It unnerves me that I have to travel to the Westside of town to get delicious edible produce! There is a difference in what is offered to our area from West L.A. I'm blessed in that I can travel for groceries however, that isn't the same for my neighboring area of Exposition /Jefferson Park. Which brings me to my next point: walkability. No this isn't Manhattan, or Queens but that doesn't mean we shouldn't have the luxury of being able to walk a block or 2 to the nearest store for food. Walkability assessments serve multiple purposes, if you haven't may I suggest you peruse the San Francisco Department of Public Health website and read about how walkability assessments can help communities such as South L.A. You mentioned that you only have gas stations near you, if that doesn't bother you, then so be it. But for me it's appalling to feel as if my neighborhood is a geographical oddity due to the fact there's NOTHING within miles of me. What about older people that can't drive, people who utilize public transit, or even people who like to WALK? I believe they should be able to. Walkable neighborhoods encourage residents to engage in more physical activity, not just offering them places to go. Are we not having a national obesity problem? Granted it's not for everyone but if I had a store within walking distance, I'd appreciate it. If my area didn't have "shady corners" I'd walk more often. If my built environment were aesthetically pleasing, I believe more people would take advantage of it. So yes, walkability assessments are definitely warranted in this situation. It brings out the fact there aren't places for people to walk to or anything to utilize. Go to other neighborhoods and see how far the closest Trader Joes or Ralphs is to neighboring homes. In West L.A. almost everything is within walking distance, so to claim nothing's walkable may be true to our area but in other areas, that's simply isn't true.

    I'm respond to you amicably, by no means am I'm attacking you or your opinions. This is a simple rebuttal to your claims.

  • sinosoul said:

    Appreciate the dialog, Jael. It’s simply about improving food system.

    1. Food4Less is included, but per your reply, it's a "low income" grocery store. I receive Food4Less ads, tho I'm unsure I live in a low-income area. My neighbors aren't declaring "food apartheid" though there's not a “Fresh Fare" — let's not fall for the Kroger marketing scheme — within 5 mile radius, nor TJ/WH within 14 miles. I also get Superior & El Super ads. Following is this week's as anecdotal evidence there is affordable fruit/vegetables even in S. Los Angeles. Seasonally-correct nectarines are $0.99/lb.

    2. Here's Super Mercado, 0.4 mil (10 min "walk") from King/Normandie mentioned by Mr White.. The google map "look inside" shows a myriad of seemingly fresh fruits & vegetables. The sign clearly states "Super Mercado, Mexican Market", and Manta yields predictable result: the owner is Korean. But certainly Seunghwan Koo doesn't care if a Latina is paying $0.69 (!!!) for 1 bunch of spinach, or a Black woman is buying $1.20/lb broccoli. I loath this discussion, but this is America; carrots are carrots, money is money. The "race" card, invoked during Jan Perry's July 2008 "ban fast food" bill through the "food apartheid" slogan, should be none issue due to your specific statement: "South L.A. isn't just made up of Latinos. Blacks live in the area”. Why won't Blacks walk/drive to Food4Less? I drive to Exposition Park for jerk chicken, Jefferson Park for Best Burger. Blacks won't go into El Super where corn is 3 for $1? Understandably, Zimmerman is Latino and Martin is Black, but platano in another language is just bananas, especially when a purposeful neighborhood bodega is owned by Koreans who tend to shoot all robbers.

    Where lies the onous? Ralph's? Or the populace? The (bloody libertarian) cato institute already destroyed the "food apartheid" misnomer back in July 2008. But KCRW, instead of noting the 2008 bill bombed, choose to recall the racially divisive term.

    3. Have previously read SF DHS's walkability study, and seen other examples of it being applied. It has little bearing, IMO, on this issue: LA "city", 506 sq mi, SF "city", 47. LA population density is far less; we must drive because there's no BART. These are given, but they don't preclude the availability of fresh produce, South LA or East LA. (Javier Cabral rebutted to the East LA “food dessert” falsehood on Zocalo a year ago")

    It's hard being Black in America (Read: T. Martin) and I don't pretend to relate, or to even remotely understand, this hardship. As an outsider who lives far away from the epicenter of this epidemic, it'd be insidious to suggest the community needs to be introspective by teaching citizens to care, and to cook. But what's the alternative? Using Krogers as a perpetual crutch? Let’s not forget how badly Jaime Oliver, a one man TV food circus, flubbed.

    tl;dr “Which Way LA” Cliff notes: Ralph's left because there weren’t enough customers even though it may have been a “good” supermarket. It (probably) first opened at the most central & conducive corner in the neighborhood. Now there’s a vegetable stand that runs for 3 hours a week in the parking lot of a (possibly) Korean-owned liquor store. Insert happy face.

  • Jael said:

    1. I also receive Food4Less circulars as well as La Bodega, El Super, Smart & Final, Superior and Ralph's. I don't consider my neighborhood to be "low income" but in comparison to adjacent areas it could be. Those seasonally correct nectarines you pointed out may be cheaper but does that mean they're as flavorful as those offered for the same price at Ralph's in Westwood or Culver City? I'm not going to buy food that doesn't taste good just because it's cheaper. Most of my neighbors aren't up in arms about stores closing because they have means to travel elsewhere. However, I have neighbors that are under financial hardships and complain about the quality of food at our local Food4Less. I WANT to be able to shop at my local store but my options are slim, not only due to access but perceived quality.

    2. It doesn't matter who owns the store, it's the environment. You may not empathize and it may just be your pitfall. Whether we like it or not, cultures clash, and even you have to recognize that. We all have the choice to be amicable, inviting, and gracious to one another but that doesn't always happen. What you're suggesting is that people just swallow prejudices and uncomfortable encounters for the sake of buying cheaper food. In a perfect world, sure. In L.A, not so much. People are set in their ways- at most stubborn to a fault. The hardest step is leaving your comfort zone. Most people won't walk into a store where they feel as if they cannot effectively communicate with those around them. I know money is green and it's all the same but if a non-English speaker received a store ad in English, what's the likelihood that they'd just hop on down to the store and buy all the food they can get? The same goes for English speakers. Pictures are great but if you have the choice to go somewhere familiar, you'd take the easy route. I understand your point as being that everyone's making it difficult on themselves. You're absolutely correct; it shouldn't matter if the store's owned by a Korean (even though they tend to put bullet holes in anyone threatening) or if the circular's in Spanish. Food is food and money is money. If we could wave a magic wand and make people forget all inhibitions of trying something new or not care about all these pesky issues you deem irrelevant, I'm sure we'd have multiple wands in each hand.
    Kudos, you drive to South L.A for jerk chicken and best burgers. What else is over there besides liquor stores and fast food? If you shop in the grocery stores on the South side and enjoy it, by all means. Wait, go north on Crenshaw and the Vegas strip of fast food is at your disposal. No wait, go south and you start to see a little something like… strip malls…fast food… um fast food and entertainment. Don't mind the Smart & Final that few people notice because they offer over ripened fruit and veggies for ridiculously high prices. OH and the Albertson's that almost closed because… people complained about the overpriced produce. They managed to keep that open because Ralph's is gone. Jefferson's got Food4Less where everyone knows you can get bootleg DVDs for $5 or solicited for sex just by walking in the parking lot. I mean the shady motel across the street is just so inviting. Why not brave the parking lot for seasonally correct fruit at a value?
    Maybe you're comfortable no matter where you go, but the same doesn't apply to everyone else.

    3. We don’t have a great public transit plan. San Francisco has options for community members to utilize convenient active transportation routes. It isn’t ideal to use SF as a model for places as vast as L.A. County but small enclaves within the L.A. area would benefit from it. Being that the PEQI can be modified to a particular area, I don’t see why the idea’s moot to you. HEAL studies and programs converting corner stores into viable grocery shops is very successful and the community’s response to walkability assessments give them a sense of comfort in knowing there’s a chance their neighborhood will improve by objectively pointing out its shortcomings (including access to quality foods).
    Jaime Oliver was too expensive. His propaganda was cut short because L.A. claims to be on the verge of bankruptcy whenever there are initiatives concerning healthy lifestyles. The 405 expansion and the metro rail are all part of a healthy living initiative to keep L.A. moving [insert eye roll here].

  • Jael said:

    If you want to blame the people of South L.A. for their hardships or claim they lack the effort to be active members of their community or advocates of their health, you are sadly mistaken and utterly wrong. Very few people choose strife over perseverance. You don’t need to empathize with Blacks, Latinos, Asians, or any other ethnic group. I’d hope you’d be willing to know we’re all people and our hardships (no matter what they are) are real. If you’re willing to teach (or make an effort) then while you’re over for jerk chicken lead your own self-help workshop at a local community center. Teach the community what you outsiders know.
    The Martin/Zimmerman comment was completely scandalous and inappropriate to admit into our discourse. “Race relations” of that sort was extraneous to broach as means to refute a comment regarding Blacks and Latinos shopping for food in the same stores.
    I will not comment further given I find your retorts to be undesirable and rude. If you took my original reply as such, I apologize. But I won’t argue with someone that makes light of a grim situation.

  • What grows in a food desert?: South LA launches farmer’s market to fill a grocery store void | Good Food said:

    [...] post, by KCRW Producer Anna Scott, originally ran on the Which Way, LA? [...]

  • michael said:

    I do think so. I do think your report will give the individuals a good showing. And they will convey thanks to an individual later

  • Ignacio said:
  • Diamond said:

    You say: They won't operate where they're not profitable. It's up to the community to keep the stores there, isn't it?
    I live in the neighborhood, I rarely shopped there because the food was inferior, Ralph's dumped expired food, bad produce and meat here. Overstocked chips, cookies etc. Ralph's didn't care about the community, as much as we complained. So please don't blame the victim.

  • hay day hack said:

    Hello! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to
    give a quick shout out and tell you I really enjoy reading your posts.

    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same subjects?
    Thanks a ton!

  • Juxtaposing Cheap Eats: Yiran Grill Monterey Park, Top Round Roast Beef | sinosoul.com said:

    [...] The run down on the new AOC LA (just brunch only) is coming, as is my multiple visits to several Larders. In the mean time, I have to admit: I kinda used to love Arby’s. I stopped eating Arby’s because… well. you just stop eating fast food if you live in LA, or you won’t be able to carry on these internet wars against other keyboard warriors. [...]

  • ewanderings said:

    Very well spoken and summarized Jael!

  • lanvin en bleu women said:

    格安

  • north face jackets for cheap said:

    New York City Police Department officer warns people they will be arrested for blocking a sidewalk during the Occupy Wall Street protest September 17, 2012 on the one year anniversary of the movement in New York. Police in New York on Monday arrested at least a dozen demonstrators marking the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement, witnesses said.AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDAHarry Styles has a new drinking buddy – new Radio 1 Breakfast Show host Nick Grimshaw.The hell raising pair are new neighbours after One Direction heartthrob Harry moved into London’s Primrose Hill.And one of the locals, flamboyant celeb Grimshaw, was quick to introduce himself to the pop star and show him some of the celebrity haunts.A source told The Sun, “Grimmy promised Harry he’d give him his very own guided tour of Primrose Hill. He showed him where his famous friends live and all their favourite boozers. They ended up in The Lansdowne until kicking-out time. “They even stopped for a bite to eat with pals. They had a great night.”The area is a fave with celebrities including Kate Moss and new Spider-Man star Rhys Ifans.In other Styles news, Harry is reportedly getting back together with his television presenting cougar ex Caroline Flack.A source told Heat magazine: “When they do meet up, it’s likely to be privately at a mutual friend’s place. Harry’s attitude is, ‘Who cares what people think? It’s between us, but She doesn’t want to be made a fool of again.”ALSO SEE:This week saw the that luxury department store Harrods has teamed up with the world’s most digitally progressive fashion brand Burberry to not only live stream their Autumn/Winter 2012 show on the store’s , but data mine the opportunity by democratising the buying process – i.e. giving consumers the opportunity to “be” a Harrods buyer for this exclusive opportunity. Fans of the luxury retailer are being invited to “Like” their favourite look from the Burberry AW12 show and Harrods will by default include those pieces in the AW buy, which will subsequently be sold in store. We have already seen the democratisation of the editor via the rise of social media (i.e. everyone has a public voice that can matter whether it is via Twitter, a blog, a fan page etc.), and in early 2011 the created the world’s first crowd-sourced designing experiment with the launch of the Bill Amberg collaboration Calgary tote bag. However, this is the first time that a UK department store has data mined/crowd-sourced publicly in advance of a collection launch/buy (Burberry ran this initiative with Bergdorf Goodman last September in the US). It is an highly pioneering move and will, once again, set Harrods ahead of its peers, positioning the store as a true digital innovator and retail brand leader. This move is simply another in the department store’s ongoing digital brand growth strategy. Harrods is already ahead of its competitors “socially” from a raw numbers perspective, over the last two years, it has amassed in excess of 165,000 Facebook fans, and over 85,000 Twitter followers – more than any of its competitors, even with regional stores combined. This digital community growth is a result of sheer investment and strategic interaction from the brand. For example, the Twitter feed is live 24/7, managed by an industry leading professional (not an intern), the tone of voice is completely in line with the overarching ethos and personality of the brand and every question and enquiry is dealt with and responded to within minutes, even on a weekend. Managing the digital community for a retailer of this size isn’t the easiest feat. To do it well, it does require the laborious task of 24/7 community maintenance and interaction, dealing with antagonistic consumer complaints about purchases, customer service and so on, and passing them on to the relevant in-house teams and maintaining a professional public representation of the brand overall. Spurning positive endorsement proactively within the digital sphere also come hand-in-hand with the task. Harrods has not only pioneered intelligent digital activity – creating a slick GPS-based smartphone App to help consumers navigate around the store, launching – an online magazine on Harrods.com edited by former Financial Times fashion editor Nicola Copping (another example of how seriously digital editorial is being taken) and live streaming shows but has also proactively fostered digital relationships with key stakeholder on and offline. This includes a relationship with another pioneering digital fashion brand, Dolce & Gabbana. Since “giant falling out” in 2010 between Dolce and one of Harrods’ biggest competitors which resulted in said luxury department store no longer stocking the brand, Harrods has maximised its digital relationship with Dolce via its digital hub, and relationships with the brand’s strong digital team, which has resulted in Harrods being treated as a key media platform with access behind the scenes to Dolce shows in Milan, exclusive Twitter interviews with the brand’s models including David Gandy and even meet and greets with Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. The symbiotic relationship between the editorial platforms of two non-traditional media outlets has set an bar for how digital engagement between brand and retailer can be leveraged for mutually beneficial goals. Next week’s Burberry show live stream partnership will simply be another string to the digital bow that Harrods has every right to wear with pride, and by the sounds of things, there is a lot more in the pipeline for the brand’s digital growth in 2012. Follow Nik Thakkar on Twitter:eGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHGtdTrlO6FQ53rI4f%2FNo7oyXAvVcpcAPr4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFVThe One Direction lads are continuing their quest for worldwide domination – they are set to take to the stage and perform for an international… has linked to yet another beautiful girl – the star was seen driving in a car with Burberry model Cara Delevingne.The pair left the Omega House in Soho earlier this week, and looked to be enjoying each other’s company as they drove away together.Bur-eautiful: Cara DelevingneA source told The Mirror: Heartthrob Harry StylesAn insider added to The Sun: The twosome was spotted together earlier this year after they left exclusive Mayfair nightclub Le Baron together and are said to be close friends.Delevingne’s agent, Sarah Doukas, said of the 19-year-old: “She has the most beautiful face and engaging ­personality, like her older sister Poppy. She is adorable and very talented. She also has the ability to shake up the energy in a room full of stuffy people and make people ask ‘who is that girl?’.”There could be some sibling rivalry, as Cara’s older sister Poppy admitted to Grazia she had a crush on the pop star.She said: “I want to sit on Harry Styles’ lap. I have a total crush on him. He walked past me at the Aquascutum show recently and I was salivating. I like his curly hair and he looks like a little cherub.” OpenDyslexic, a free-to-use font created by Abelardo Gonzalez, aims to help people with dyslexia read online content easier. The open-sourced font features heavily-weighted bottoms to help give letters “gravity,” thus curbing the brain’s ability to rotate characters and make them look like other letters, explains the . The BBC reports that a recent update to Instapaper, an app that allows users save Web pages to read later,. It has also appeared in word processors, e-readers and been installed on school computers.Gonzalez, who released his designs in 2011, said he started to project in order to give people with developmental reading disorder a free alternative. There are other, similar fonts being sold that are geared towards people with dyslexia. In 2010 “Dyslexie,” a font developed by , was (though not speed) in people with dyslexia in a master’s thesis , according to the Boston Globe.OpenDyslexic works on the same principle as Dyslexie, except that it is free and open-source. Personal use copies of the latter reportedly cost around $90, while copies for school use may cost significantly more. Approximately , according to the Dyslexia Research Institute. Check out the new font (below).LOOK:Also on HuffPost:We’ve teamed up with Greta Larkins, the genius behind the brilliant Tumblr in a weekly series of animated fashion shots.This week, FashGif takes on this beaded jacket from ‘s spring 2013 show from . Can we expect to see wearing this on the campaign trail? We doubt it, but it sure would make things even more exciting.Want more? Be sure to check out Stylelist on , and .For previous Fashion Gifs, take a peek in our gallery below: ’The Dictator’ has caused chaos on the Oscars red carpet, followingIt all seemed to be going so well. General Admiral Aladeen aka Sacha Baron Cohen was happily giving red carpet host Ryan Seacrest details about his red carpet outfit: “Hello Death to the West, I’m wearing John Galliano, with socks by K-Mart. As my friend Saddam Hussein once said to me, socks are socks. Don’t waste money.”But there was an ominous urn in his hands, with the face of North Korean late dictator Kim Jong-il on the front. And so the Dictator carried on:”It gave me an opportunity to bring my dear friend and double standards partner Kim Jong-il – it was his dream to come to the Oscars and be spread over the red carpet and Halle Berry’s chest again…”And then it all went haywire, as the Dictator appeared to trip, and the contents of the urn – about a hundred ashtrays’ worth of powder, later reported to be likely to be pancake mix – went all over the thousand-dollar Burberry suit of a mortified Seacrest, who struggled to keep his composure. The Dictator was unabashed, comforting Seacrest: “You can say you are wearing Kim Jong-il” – before he was unceremoniously bundled off by security.Seacrest addressed the camera and his co-presenters: “I had a feeling he was up to something, I just didn’t know what form it would take…” LONDON — Luxury goods maker Burberry Group PLC said Wednesday that sales of its signature trench coats and other outdoor wear led a 26 percent gain in full-year profit.Burberry reported that net profit for the year ending March 31 was 263.3 million pounds ($415 million), up from 208.4 million pounds a year earlier but still just short of analyst expectations for 275 million pounds. Revenue rose 24 percent to 1.86 billion pounds, and the company raised its dividend by 25 percent to 25 pence.Burberry reported double-digit sales gains in all regions. Asia-Pacific is its best-performing region, generating 37 percent of combined wholesale and retail revenue. Outerwear and leather goods accounted for about half of all sales, the company said.Burberry shares were down 3.1 percent at 1,343 pence in early trading in London.”A combination of profit taking after the recent rally, a weak broader market and results which were slightly shy of expectations has driven the price sharply lower in early trade,” said Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers.”Yet the numbers themselves are robust.”Burberry said it plans to invest at least 180 million pounds this year in new or remodeled stores, including Regent Street in London, Pacific Place in Hong Kong and a rebuilt store in Chicago.During the past year, the company opened its first larger format stores in Hong Kong, Paris and Taipei.I never gave clothes much thought, but I knew the moment my daughter refused to wear jeans at the age of two because they were “ugly,” I was outclassed. And that precious toddler grew up to be my stylish Sarah who now works for Stylelist and lives and breathes fashion.Fragrance is an important accessory which serves to amplify and sometimes influence your mood and therefore it needs as much thought as the colour of the bride’s dress or the groom’s buttonhole. Peter Boucher is commercial marketing director at Vodafone UK, where he works closely with businesses of all sizes and from all sectors to help them to find new and better ways of working. He originally joined Vodafone in 2002, and has since served in global brand marketing, as head of marketing for Vodafone live! and as marketing director and chief commercial officer at Vodafone Hungary. Prior to this, he worked in the food production and pharmaceuticals sectors, for companies including Unilever, Kraft Foods and GSK.eGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHGtdTrlO6FQ53rI4f%2FNo7oyXAvVcpcAPr4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFVWWD:”I fear I’ve caused complete and utter confusion,” Prince Charles told Burberry’s 800-plus staffers who gathered to greet him when he inaugurated the company’s new Horseferry House headquarters Thursday morning. When you’re a hot 27-year-old prince, wooing the ladies doesn’t stop at dinner and a movie. How about a movie premiere, a VIP after party and an even more chi-chi after party later? That was apparently ‘s M.O. this week in London, where he in a shiny blue suit (that we’ve ). Who was the lucky lady? Reportedly it’s Cressida Bonas, a model who was also in attendance at the premiere — as Harry’s date.The pair avoided being photographed together (sneaky!), but later they at the Freemasons Hall in Covent Garden and then moved on to Le Salon nightclub in Mayfair. The Sun — and Harry left just two minutes after her.Bonas, 23, and seems to be something of a British socialite; she’s the daughter of another model: Lady Mary-Gaye Georgiana Lorna Curzon. Another fun fact: she studied at Leeds University, where Harry’s ex Chelsy Davy also studied.We know Harry likes his blondes — , and of course, — so we won’t be surprised if the Prince and the Model become the next .Check out pics of Harry and Cressida below!While we’re at it, here are Prince Harry’s cutest moments:Want more? Be sure to check out HuffPost Style on , , and .eGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHGtdTrlO6FQ53rI4f%2FNo7oyXAvVcpcAPr4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFVAs the UK economic outlook remains gloomy, retailers are venturing further afield to develop international markets. But what is the impact of going global on the UK high street? Miya Knights finds out. Where domestic retail sales are stagnating, it is easy to see why UK retailers are looking to foreign shores to boost growth. But what does this trend mean for the future of our local high streets? Technology is playing a central role in driving development forward on both fronts.Luxury firms are perhaps the UK’s most successful retail export, capitalising on the value of their brands to supplement slow domestic sales with growth abroad. In itself, this is nothing new. The cross-fertilisation of retail brands across regional markets has also brought us many now-familiar UK high street names, such as Gap from the United States, H&M from Sweden and Zara from Spain.The difference today is that, while analysts predict virtually flat UK retail sales growth in spite of the usual Christmas boost, many more UK retailers are seeing markedly increased demand in overseas markets which they cannot afford to ignore. Burberry’s latest sales figures, for example, grew by 21 per cent in the last quarter of 2011, largely driven by a £210-million (36 per cent) sales boost in the Asia-Pacific region. In contrast, its sales in Europe were up by 20 per cent to £160 million.Daniel Lucht, research director for retail analyst ResearchFarm, said the lure of internationalisation was due to the impact of “a very austere economic outlook for 2012″. This, in turn, has had the effect of generating a huge move away from debt-financed business growth. “Cash flow is going to be a big issue,” says Mr Lucht. “For both retailers and consumers, it will be about not what they want, but what they can afford.” He adds that the presence of essential infrastructure components, like communication networks and roads, is often a prerequisite for successful expansion, making countries like India challenging for overseas entrants, despite its rapidly expanding middle class.”Most UK fashion and clothing retailers have piled into the Middle East,” says Richard Fitzpatrick, director of Retailmap, a specialist retail analysis and competitor monitoring company. “But that is because of a number of large entrepreneurial firms who build and own their own retail properties.” The presence of two or three very strong joint venture or franchise trading partners, such as Alshaya, Al Futtaim and Al Tayer, who provide the UK retailers with a complete turn-key solution – logistics, warehousing and access to the biggest shopping malls – have helped add the region to the UK’s list of international destinations, alongside Asia.Mr Fitzpatrick adds that high-end luxury brands have done well in the Middle East, Asia and also Russia because a growing proportion of their middle classes and super-rich are conspicuous in their consumption. But he says: “The value and budget segment is also probably one of the best UK exports, with the likes of Primark already starting to take Europe by storm. This is where we also see Tesco, George @ Asda, Sainsbury’s TUI, Matalan and even New Look expanding.”Across 50 UK clothing and footwear retailers, surveyed by Retailmap in 2011, each traded in an average of 11 separate countries and had an average of six outlets per country. Some retailers had a much wider global exposure. Topshop, for example, is in 29 countries, yet even this UK high street fashion stalwart only averages five outlets per country. By comparison, Tesco operates in nine countries but it has an average of 250 stores per country in each of the grocery and own-brand clothing brand markets it operates in. “It is little surprise that in central Europe, Tesco’s F+F clothing brand is one of the market-share leaders,” says Mr Fitzpatrick.”A UK high street chain with 200 or 300 stores is looking for greater economies of scale and efficiencies than any small joint venture or franchise investment can deliver,” he says. “H&M, forexample, does 25% of its business in Germany alone.” To put Topshop’s global presence into perspective against the weak domestic market, its owner Sir Philip Green revealed recently that it was looking to close 250 to 260 stores from its 2,500-strong UK estate over the next three years. This will pave the way for ambitions to expand the Topshop brand further overseas.The consequences of such strategies do not bode well for the UK high street. The government’s recent retail review by TV retail guru, Mary Portas, found less than half the UK’s retail spending is now on the high street and that this figure is falling.But the lure of overseas profits need not necessarily sound its death knell. Technology can help span the miles between head office and the flagship store on the other side of the world, or automate finance reporting and administration with country-specific software rules. But it is the explosion in internet shopping, and its relatively lower operating costs and higher margins that have really been fuelling not only international UK retail ambitions, but also domestic ones too.But, in some cases, UK retailers like Next are switching their international expansion plans away from opening lots of new overseas stores to setting up foreign language and international currency online shops. Perhaps, if eCommerce was as mature a decade ago, the cautionary tale of Marks & Spencer’s experience would not have seen it unceremoniously pull out of its first foray into France, where it had operated 18 stores. Undeterred, it re-launched there last October, but with its first international transactional website, which the retailer said was part of its bricks-and-clicks global approach, preceding the opening of a flagship Paris store a few weeks later. Success is, in fact, by no means assured abroad or even at home, in stores or online. Just think of the ill-fated Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy joint venture. The US electronics retailer last year ceased trading through 11 Best Buy UK stores, at the cost of some 1,100 jobs. Significantly, services spanning multiple channels, such as click and collect or reserve in-store and deliver to home, are becoming more popular in the UK where internet trade body, Interactive Media Retail Group (IMRG) recorded a significant rise in the percentage of click-and-collect online sales in the third retail quarter of 2011. Accounting for 10.4 per cent of all UK eCommerce sales in the period, this merging of retail sales channels becomes all the more important in prospective foreign markets that also have a higher proportion of digital natives with multichannel expectations.Adam Stewart, marketing director of Rakuten’s Play.com, predicts: “In the year ahead, cutting-edge mobile devices, worldwide mobile and broadband penetration, and innovative social shopping services will open up global markets, providing huge growth opportunities for merchants large and small, and unparalleled consumer choice.” Play.com, one of the UK’s largest internet retailers, was recently acquired by Rakuten – the “Amazon of Japan” – for £25 million.The question is though, will UK retailers be able to keep up? Take Japan, the world’s most digitally advanced nation, for example. According to IDTechEx research, 47 million Japanese adopted smartphones with tap-and-go payments functionality in three years, making its adoption of mobile payments technology one of the fastest roll outs of electronic products in history. Super-fast broadband speeds and 4G enable in-store ordering direct from a customer’s smartphone, along with localised, targeted promotional offers and the widespread use of Quick Response (QR) codes.The influence of the tech-savvy multichannel consumer and UK retail experience in more advanced multichannel markets is already making its presence felt on our local high streets. Women’s fashion company Oasis is equipping staff with iPads to boost service levels and assisted sales, as well as reduce lost sales from out-of-stocks, for example. Ish Patel, strategic development director at Oasis’ parent Aurora Fashions Group, points out that fast smartphone adoption is paving the way for mobile or mCommerce to help blend traditional physical and emerging online channels.In this way, lessons learnt from going global may also help UK retailers better mind what is at home, despite the fact they may be strategically focused on distant shores.This article orginally appeared in a special report on The Future of Retail, produced by Raconteur Media and published with The Times (UK). Please see http://www.raconteuronthetimes.co.uk for further articles from this report.Follow Raconteur Media on Twitter:LONDON – They say weather is a national obsession in Britain — but perhaps more for Burberry Prorsum’s Christopher Bailey than for most.With a clap of thunder and a torrent of realistic rain running down the sides of a glass tent, the luxury brand’s creative chief sent his umbrella-toting models down the catwalk in a finale that brought a smile to everyone’s face.Burberry, which stages its twice yearly runway shows in its own temporary Hyde Park tent, is the biggest and glitziest production during London Fashion Week. On Monday, the autumn and winter 2012 display drew a huge crowd of buyers and spectators, including a host of international stars such as Hollywood actress Kate Bosworth, celebrity photographer Mario Testino, and even Korean pop group Girls’ Generation.”I quite like celebrating rain,” said Bailey, who has been credited with revitalizing the once-fusty fashion house and boosting its international style credentials. He’s also known to create a spectacle using weather elements: Last year, he filled his catwalk with fake snow.”I like the romance. I quite like the melancholy,” he said of the rain.It wasn’t just the rain that was British — much of the detailing on the clothes was, too. There was velvet quilting, corduroy, herringbone wool and tweed caps, riding jackets and skirts, and of course various incarnations of the brand’s most famous garment, the trench coat.Bailey said the collection was a study in merging city style and country living. Bridle leather straps, shearling parkas and the use of quilting were evocative of the horse-riding country lifestyle of the English upper class, while the appearance of cute owl drawings and appliques on some of the collection’s T-shirts and sweaters, as well as gold metal fox belt buckles, were a fun and quirky take on the “country” theme.”I like the idea of celebrating the country, celebrating the town,” Bailey said after the show.A huge range of coats and jackets made up much of the collection. Some were cinched in with candy-coloured belts with bows, while others had masculine tailored shoulders and large pouches. Cropped, down-filled puffer jackets were paired with tweed ruffled pencil skirts, giving the ladylike look a sporty twist.The most striking coat was the one Bailey chose for his finale — a quilted, belted creation in deep royal purple, cinched in at the waist but flaring out in a full skirt.Colours were rich and autumnal, with mustard, burgundy, black currant and forest greens, while wide horizontal stripes in grey, navy and honey kept the look young and vibrant.”I like it because it’s British and I’m British,” joked Leah Weller, a 20-year-old singer and model, who added that she was particularly fond of the gold-studded black gloves and clutch bags on show.———Associated Press writer Raphael Satter contributed to this report. He may be the world’s one and only male supermodel, but David Gandy is also the most humble, sweetest most down to earth guy you could ever hope to meet. Despite being in an ego driven industry, this boy has his feet firmly on the ground.I met him last year at the annual Scottish Fashion Awards and we hit it off. He was in town again for the 2012 Awards and very kindly invited me to afternoon tea. It wasn’t all smooth sailing I nearly had to cancel because of my school run, but thanks to my dear, sweet friend Morna Rose we made it happen. And thanks to my wonderful hairdresser and make up artist Zak Coldicutt who moved appointments around to accommodate me.Despite the fact that I was twenty minutes late and that the tea had gone cold, David was still as hot as ever, and shrugged off my tardiness in a gentlemanly manner. I blame the fabulous Celebrity Stylist Derek Warburton who had whisked me off to the Diamond Studio to style me for the Fashion Awards. En route back to the Blythswood Hotel we ran into Fashion Editor Janis Sue Smith and the lovely Patricia Fraser. When Derek’s around there’s no such thing as stopping to say a quick hello, five minutes quickly turned into fifteen.But like I said to David the best things in life are worth waiting for.We chatted all things Scottish Fashion Awards and about his fabulous new fitness app. This is his second year in town to support the Awards.”I am a huge believer in supporting British fashion. Scotland has a huge amount of fashion talent. You just don’t realise it until you are working in this industry and you end up meeting so many Scots. So it’s fabulous that Tessa has set up this Awards ceremony in order to give them recognition and also to celebrate their great talent.”"We have got such great heritage, such great fashion, Westwood, Savile Row, Burberry, Pringle it’s such a shame everyone is so keen to hotfoot it to Milan, Paris etc when we have so much going on here. I don’t think of it as Scotland and England I think of it as Britain as a whole. If we didn’t think of it as separate we could be a fashion giant. People just don’t realise how much money fashion brings in. If we concentrated our efforts we could truly be a great Britain.”"I try to promote Britain as much as possible; I try to wear British made clothes. For the Awards I will be wearing a Marks and Spencer’s jacket that cost £99, it’s a great cut, and lovely fabric. I wear a lot of Reiss and Topshop as well. It should be about the high street and not high end.”"I love coming to Glasgow, there’s a much more relaxed atmosphere here, compared to London where there’s a great deal of snobbery. People always ask me where I get my dark looks, I once said I have some Scottish heritage and it’s totally stuck.”David is constantly asked where he gets his clothes and how he maintains such a fabulous physique. And trust me, this example of human perfection does not require photoshop. But thank god he’s not like every other model you meet that say they can eat anything and still look great. David is very honest and admits he works hard to maintain this special level of perfection.”I have to work at my body; I have to work a lot. Over the years I have worked with some of the best personal trainers in the business, and I have discovered there is no magic pill, no cheat’s way. It’s not about dieting; it’s about changing your lifestyle. I am not suggesting cutting out all fats. I am suggesting that you look into nutritional guides etc, you have to research and change your lifestyle, learn what your body type can and cannot handle.”"I know what works, I am the evidence of what works. And I have put together all my knowledge into this new app. It’s all the knowledge I have gained over the years through trial and error of what works for my body. It’s very user friendly, it’s not complicated, there are no silly diagrams. We have videoed all the moves, you can also Facebook it. I’ve also added a nutritional guide, because it’s very important to cover that as well.”Three unknown facts about David:He’s very articulate, not just a pretty faceHe’s an absolute gentHis favourite tipple is English Breakfast teawww.davidgandyfitness.comdavidjamesgandy.blogspot.comExposure to back-lit electronic devices, such as tablets, before bedtime could lead to sleeplessness, suggests a new study.A two-hour exposure to self-luminous displays may cause melatonin suppression strong enough to affect sleep by disturbing the body’s natural circadian rhythm, a small new study in the suggests.“Our study shows that a two-hour exposure to light from self-luminous electronic displays can suppress melatonin by about 22%. Stimulating the human circadian system to this level may affect sleep in those using the devices prior to bedtime,” said study author Mariana Figueiro, in a statement.Melatonin is a hormone produced by the body when it’s dark to encourage sleepiness. Suppression of melatonin by light has been implicated in sleep disturbances, increased risk for diabetes and obesity, as well as increased risk for more serious diseases, such as breast cancer.Participants in the study used self-luminous tablets to read, play games, and watch movies. While one-hour exposure to tablets caused little affect, after two hours, melatonin levels dropped significantly. Figueiro said in a statement: “We recommended dimming these devices at night as much as possible in order to minimize melatonin suppression, and limiting the amount of time spent using these devices prior to bedtime.”WASHINGTON — A slew of new polls shows Newt Gingrich leading the race for the Republican nomination, both nationally in three of the first four primary and caucus states. However, a close reading of both the recent polls and a recent focus group of Republicans shows that rank-and-file Republicans are far from a final decision. Gingrich has certainly experienced a surge in support. Two new national surveys from and Fox News now show Gingrich with support in the mid-30-percent range and a wide lead over Mitt Romney and the rest of the Republican primary field. The current estimate produced by the , which is based on all available public polls, gives Gingrich a lead of 37 to 20 percent over Romney, with the rest of the Republican field in single digits. The rise in support for Gingrich has also been evident in the early primary and caucus states. Gingrich now leads on a half dozen new polls in , and three recent surveys in . The former speaker is leading by even wider margins on recent polls in Florida conducted by , and . Romney continues to lead in , but the most recent shows his support falling from 40 percent in late October to 35 percent last week. Meanwhile, support for Gingrich in New Hampshire has jumped to the mid-20-percent range on four recent surveys. Although a plurality of Republicans now prefers Gingrich nationwide, it is also evident that most Republicans remain uncertain about how they will vote in their primaries or caucuses next year. The CNN/ORC poll conducted in late November, for example, found just over a quarter of Republicans (27 percent) said they would definitely support their first choice, with the rest either willing to change their minds (67 percent) or still completely undecided (6 percent). Decision-making is farther along in the early primary and caucus states, but not by much. The Time/CNN surveys found just over a third of Republicans (between 34 and 39 percent) willing to say they are certain to support their first choices in Iowa, South Carolina and Florida, and only slightly more (44 percent ) in New Hampshire.A of Republican primary voters, conducted last week by veteran Democratic pollster Peter Hart as part of a sponsored by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, helps put these results in context. While a focus group is not a survey — its non-random recruitment and small sample size cannot provide a statistically representative view of any larger population — the 12 voters from suburban Fairfax County, Va., who participated provide a richer view that helps flesh out the survey findings. The Republicans in Hart’s focus group found much to like about Gingrich. Virtually all rated him as highly competent, someone who they described variously as “experienced,” a “great debater,” the “smartest one running,” someone who “stands firm in his beliefs,” “get things done” and can “completely turn the ship around.” They were less enthusiastic about Romney, but still had praise. They lauded his “family values,” said he “did a nice job at the Olympics” and as governor of Massachusetts, and called him a “politician” who is “good at it.” But the participants could also list many thing that troubled them about both Romney and Gingrich. Regarding Gingrich, some expressed concern about his personality, that he’s “careless and combustible” or that “he’s behaving himself in this campaign right now and saying what he’s supposed to.” Some participants worried that “his hands are already too dirty…with his experience and how he got there” or that “he has been in side the Beltway for a long time.” Still others feared he might “give up some of his beliefs to get things done,” that “something will come up in his marriage,” or that “issues with his affairs will blow up like Clinton.”Misgivings about Romney began with the perception that he “goes with whatever people want to hear,” and is “wishy-washy,” “vanilla” or “manufactured.” They complained that “he doesn’t have the conviction, too phony,” that he will “flip-flop,” is a “R.I.N.O. — Republican in name only” and that “repealing Obamacare will not be a priority.”In short, while these voters were more enthusiastic about Gingrich, it was also clear that they remain in the process of making a decision and are far from decided. When Hart asked whose vote was still “up for grabs,” half raised their hands. At the same time, many indicated they had already narrowed their choices to some degree. Most, for example, said they had already ruled out supporting Herman Cain — who dropped out of the race two days later — and others had ruled out Paul or Perry, or even Gingrich or Romney. The narrowing of choices among Republicans is also evident in a completed a week ago. They found that majorities of Republicans consider only Gingrich (62 percent) and Romney (54 percent) to be “acceptable” nominees for president. Even though Rick Perry, Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann well enough to rate them, between 52 and 58 percent of respondents now regard these candidates as “unacceptable” presidential nominees. So for many Republicans, the race is narrowing to a choice between Gingrich and Romney, but it’s a choice that often remains tenuous. According to Gallup Editor in Chief Frank Newport, 35 percent of Republicans on the same survey consider both Gingrich and Romney to be acceptable nominees, while 81 percent consider either candidate acceptable.Last week, Peter Hart reflected on the fact that, while only two focus group participants walked in as Gingrich supporters, 7 were ready to vote for him on the way out. “Here we are a month away,” Hart said. “Boy there’s gonna be a lot of volatility.” The survey data says he could be right. Subscribe to the ! In Your Fifties : Hair and Skin CareOut of curiosity, I added up the price of the recommended skin care and hair products. The total was $211.00. As a woman in her early fifties, I would like to recommend the following products.No way would I pay $100.00 for a skin correcter, even if it is Lancome. Clinique has a skin corrrecterfor less than half the price of the Lancome product. I’ve used it with good results, before my moisturizer.LiftActiv Derm Source by Vichy is $45.00. A company called Yves Rocher makes a similiar productfor less money, I believe. Yves Rocher can be ordered through the mail and on line at their website.I don’t wear eye shadow anymore, however, when I did there’s no way I would ever pay $48.00 foreyeshadow. Lastly L’Oreal Color Shampoo for $18.00. Patene makes a Color Protecting Shampoofor about $8.00 plus tax and the whole Patene Color Line is very good and a lot less expensive.I’m not saying that Lancome, Vichy, Estee Lauder and L’Oreal are not good products. I’m surethey have good products, but not every woman can afford their products and stay within herbudget for skin care, make up and hair care. I’m retired now, so I have the luxury of doing comparisonshopping of various skin care, make up and hair care. I hope this post has been helpful in some way.Almost every retailer now has the expertise to use Facebook to grow consumer awareness of their brand, however, there are only a handful of retailers that have truly monetised Facebook and extended its reach from a sharing space to a retail platform. A number of retail commentators have argued that whilst connecting with the consumer through social media is key, the monetisation of Facebook as a standalone platform has not happened, and will possibly never be a success. This argument originated in the US after online retailers posted poor sales forecasts after Christmas from F-commerce sales. The argument focuses on the fact that Facebook is where people come to connect with their friends – and sometimes brands – but they do not go on to buy from Facebook pages and never will. I disagree with this sentiment entirely. I do agree that F-commerce is in its early stages, however it should not be dismissed; I would go as far to say that ignoring it could have a detrimental effect on a company’s bottom line in the near future. To understand my argument, you only have to look at how technology has transformed the way people shop over the last 15 years, and subsequently how the evolution of technology will continue to change consumer habits. If you combine this with the need for Facebook to continue to diversify its revenue streams, I believe Facebook itself will push for F-commerce to be a success, as it’s a natural progression/transition.I also have reason to believe that Facebook will become an influential sales platform. As CEO of BrandAlley, an online retailer that specialises in designer ‘flash sales’, I have seen first-hand how F-commerce works; it has both driven sales and further engaged our Facebook followers. Since launching our F-commerce platform late last year, it already generates five per cent of sales and this is set to rise over the coming year.It was 10 years ago that people questioned whether online shopping would become a viable platform for retailers, but with online sales generating £68.2bn last year and counting for 17% of retail sales in the UK, it is clear that the consumer will continue to look online to make purchases. However, I believe that with the increase in people using social media platforms and accessing the internet on their mobile phone or tablet device, customers will begin to move away from the traditional homepage and seek sales in other locations. Other retailers are with me on this argument. For example, Burberry has committed 60 per cent of its marketing budget on online and social media channels and companies as diverse as Procter & Gamble, Levi’s and Delta AirLines have committed to selling their product or services on Facebook. The evolution of how the consumer shops will undoubtedly have a positive effect on F-commerce but how Facebook pushes the concept itself will also heighten the success of the platform. With Facebook’s recent floatation, there is now a push from its shareholders to grow and further monetise Facebook and I believe F-commerce will form part of its growth plans. It is likely that Facebook will encourage brands to have fully functioning online stores. At first this will be free but eventually they will ask for a small percentage of the sales once they have consumer buy-in. So, how do you convert a growing fan base to buying your product? I think the answer is relatively straighforward in that you simply need to give them a reason to make that first jump into spending on the site. Exclusive previews or sales plus competitions are the easiest ways to quickly engage the consumer. Admittedly BrandAlley’s flash sale format has helped us convert our customers into buying through Facebook. For example, we held an exclusive preview sale recently with 7FAM (Seven for all mankind) onFacebook which accounted for 50% of revenue for that particular sale. A few years ago it was only a select few retailers who saw the importance of engaging with their customers via social media platforms. Now social media is very much part of the marketing mix but retailers need to start being commercially aware and monetising Facebook. I do not believe that F-commerce will overtake any other e-commerce platform right now, but when you have a captive audience of people who you know are interested in your brand, then the next logical step is to directly sell to them. Web users spend one in every eight minutes on Facebook which only goes to show the future and need for retailers to capitalise on this.Facebook users may be in ‘share mode’ with their friends at the moment but I believe it is only a short time before they are in ‘spend mode’, buying their favourite brands through F-commerce.For nearly 50 years, sat as an arbiter of fashion by publishing a yearly list of the 10 Best and Worst Dressed People in the Demi-monde. Although best known for his “Worst Dressed”list, he maintained a successful career as a fashion journalist. Richard Blackwell was a powerful syndicated columnist who wrote features in newspapers and lifestyle magazines. Matrons and starlets, stockbrokers and models, politicians and prize-fighters all jockeyed to be included. Blackwell’s critiques could be cutting. Being included in Mr. Blackwell’s Best Dressed list could quickly improve one’s social standing in New York, Miami or Hollywood while being included in his worst dressed list could doom one to social Siberia.Although Mr. Blackwell has gone on to his maker, we here at the STONEzone revived this hallowed tradition four years ago. We have vigilantly watched the world of entertainment, sports, politics, academia, art and fashion to determine who has style….and who truly doesn’t.Therefore, we proudly present our FIFTH ANNUAL 10 BEST AND WORST DRESSED PEOPLE IN AMERICA list for your consideration.Compiling such a list is a far greater challenge than one might think. The advent of “casual fridays” is symptomatic of an overall decline in our standards regtarding what is right and wrong about the way Americans dress. Sadly, fashion today is more motivated by economics than aesthetics. Men are seen in both business and social settings in running shoes, tracksuits, sweats, T-shirts, and caps, which advertise either a sports teams or a brand of farm tractor. Women are seen outside the gym in spandex workout ensembles and hoodies. Women actually leave their homes with a Victoria Secret slogans on their ass.Americans cared deeply about proper dressing in the 1930s, 40s and even the 50s. The 60′s, a decade fashion forgot, also began a trend of informality that devolved over time from slovenliness in the 90′s to dishevelment in the 2000′s. The sheer number of men who will go out in public in a wife-beater is staggering. Very few can look like a young Marlon Brando but men still crowd casinos, bars, malls and sports events in this “outfit.”Our goal is to sort out those who are merely fashionable from those who possess real style, for fashion is fleeting and style endures. We also try to eschew “costume.” That’s why you won’t find Lady Gaga or Tom Wolfe on our list. While both are distinctive in their dress, both are affecting a costume more appropriate for the stage. While fashion is about fads and what is “in” now, style is a personal factor that cannot be learned or taught – either you have it or you don’t.Style is, in fact, the direct opposite of fashion. Fashion is a look that is temporarily “in”. Fashion is people imitating each other. It’s about fitting in and looking like everyone else’s Style. Fashion, on the other hand, is about individuality; what sets one apart from the crowd. Real style comes from within; it is the sign of your character and personality that you display to those who see you. Style never indulges fads or gimmicks.Style is timeless. Style looked good thirty years ago and will be in good taste thirty years from now.True style is never studied. It manages to make it’s own statement heard above the temporary fads of fashion. Style requires good taste, individuality and a certain nonchalance, what the Italians call “Spezzatura.” It is the art of dressing distinctively without looking like any thought or planning has been put into the final look. Being “thrown together,” but perfect. It is said hoofer Fred Astaire threw his new custom made fine cut English suits against the wall repeatedly to “knock the newness out of them”.Finding our 10 Best and Worst Dressers requires careful study. The dressing of our citizens hasn’t improved much in 2011. There are among us no Jack Kennedys or Gary Coopers, no Katharine Hepburns or Marlene Dietrichs, Instead we have Cee Lo Green, Jack Black, Snooki, or anyone of the Kardasians.10 BEST DRESSED MEN OF 2011Joseph Gordon Levitt – The hot young actor is new to the Best Dressed list. He’s developing a personal style that evokes a cool updated 50′s Rat Pack look. White short point collared shirts, skinny black ties, narrow lapels with dark fitted suits teamed with a pork-pie hat mark Gordon Levitt as a hipster but a perfectly turned out hipster at that. He pulls of the monochromed shirt-tie-suit look without looking like Joe Pesce in the movie “Las Vegas”.Charlie Watts – When band-member Mick Jagger was wearing sequin tights and oversized Uncle Sam hats, the Rolling Stone’s drummer was quietly going to Poole and Dege, two of Savile Row’s oldest tailors. The result is somber, perfectly-fitting and low key suits that are as solid as his back-beat. Watts is as fastidious as Keith Richards is disheveled.Larry Kudlow – The CNBC Talk Show host and ardent supply-sider makes our list for the fourth year in a row. Kudlow’s sense of dress shirt, suit and tie combination is always right, and interesting. Kudlow show some whimsy with pink and patterned neckwear. New York Tailor Leonard Logsdail makes Kudlow’s impeccable fit. The knot of his necktie is always so. The economic analyst and pro-growth advocate sets a standard other men can aspire to.Gordon Woodrow – The long time top level Republican U.S. Senate staffer, Presidential appointee and businessman dresses like a country squire. He teams hefty tweeds with tattersall, checks and plaids and brown suede shoes, sometimes with a bright sweater-vest. Large knots the size of your fist in heavy wool ties. Woodrow always looks like he just came from shooting grouse or skeet on the Moor.Prince Philip – Husband of the Queen Elizabeth II. Prince Phillip, born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, The Duke of Edinburgh, is long-time a client of Gieves & Hawkes Ltd, the venerable London tailor who’s house style has military lineage. Phillip, father of Prince Charles, who prefers a double-breasted look made for him by Anderson and Sheppard, was rushed to the hospital with chest pains only weeks ago. The Duke has his dashing military dress uniforms made by Johns & Pegg Ltd, his kilts by Kinloch Anderson Ltd, and shoes and boots by John Lobb. Affectionately called “Charlie the Greek” by his country-men, no one can compare with Prince Phillip at Ascot. We wish him a speedy recovery from heart surgery.Alan Flusser – The men’s wear designer Alan Flusser knows more about men’s clothing than perhaps anyone in the world and his taste level and flair make him the authority. Author and arbiter Flusser is an advocate for all that is correct and refined. Flusser is the designer other designers secretly emulate. The late saloon singer Bobby Short, a debonair dresser himself, consulted Flusser. Whether in a double breasted beaded stripe suit or with a scarf knotted ascot-style around his neck, Flusser is sartorial perfection.Johnny Depp – Second year on the list. Last year we said “Now, rockers and actors, and those in the creative field can get away with things the rest of us cant, but Depp’s dark look, his affection for hats and a minimal but tasteful jewelry land him on the list. Scruffy but never too scruffy, it’s a look Depp has perfected. “No one has looked this good in a short brimmed straw fedora since Sinatra.Jacob Stein – Few men can pull-off the bow-tie without looking like Pee Wee Herman or Malcolm X. Fox Talking head Bob Beckel from “The Five” was recently on-air with what appeared to be too perfect clip-on. Only clip ons that squirt or spin should been worn and then only if you are a comedian. Bow ties should never be perfect or prissy. They should be slightly askew, tousled and imperfect. Washington power lawyer Jacob Stein, lawyer for Monica Lewinsky, pulls this off like nobody else. Seen on K street, the dapper Stein always looks great. The DC barrister’s wife owns a consignment shop and Stein clearly choses quality vintage pieces to mix into his traditional wardrobe.Dave Beckham – Great tailoring is meant to hide imperfections, making the fat look thinner, the short look taller, hiding a paunch etc. In Dave Beckham’s case none of that is necessary. His body and level of fitness are incredible. Not every man can wear a vest (what the Brits call a waistcoat) without looking like a riverboat gambler or John Foster Dulles. Beckham pulls them off along with smartly cut suits, newsboy caps, classic aviator sunglasses and perfectly tied scarfs which make him stand-out when he’s he not semi-nude or in a soccer uniform.Josh Mankiewicz – Hitting our list for the second year, this NBC Dateline reporter tops Brokaw, Lauer and Williams. His two-button natural shoulder suits are always fastidious, his shirts and ties chosen with care. His look is quiet, understated and always low-key. The length of his collar points chosen to compliment his face, are always accented with the perfect pocket-square in a puff that looks like he stuffed it in his breast pocket without a thought.Bill Clinton – The ex-President wasn’t much of a dresser when in the White House, buying off-the-rack and wearing the clothes of Donna Karan, who designed what a woman thought a man’s clothes should look like. Since his heart surgery and becoming a vegan Clinton’s inner pea-cock has revealed itself. Clinton has largely dumped the big shouldered double breasted suits than made him look blocky for three piece-models that accentuate his weight loss. His new look is dignified yet natty–what we want an ex-president to look like. Check out Clinton’s photo on the cover of which outlines a path ahead for America and is designed to submarine Obama, who Clinton neither likes or respects – deep blue suit, silver tie and perfect fitting vest. Hail to the Ex-Chief!LIFETIME AWARD: Willie Brown – From his hand-crafted Brioni suits to his extensive collection of hats, the former California Assembly Speaker could be the best dressed man in America. While most men should avoid brown as a suiting color (Philadelphia Brahmin Biddle was once asked why he had over 200 identical bespoke blue suits. “Because brown looks like shit,” he replied) Willie brown pulls it off in both double-breasted and three piece vested models. As Mayor Brown sometimes changed clothes as many as four times a day for his various public ceremonies. A master of color-coordination, Brown’s shoes, suit, shirt, necktie, hose and chapeau always complement each other.The Worst Dressed Men of 2011Michael Moore – Looks like he slept in the Occupy Wall Street tents even though he didn’t. Looks like he slept in his clothes and might have. The man gives the word “slob” new meaning. Oversized sweatshirts just make a fat guy look fatter. Slovenly. While we’re at it, how about a shave?Larry King – Thank God, this man is done in primetime. What is with the black shirt, black ties, black suspenders look? Who does Larry think he is – Johnny Cash? Even worse – the black shirt and white tie. Even Lucky Luciano wouldn’t wear that. Larry actually wears clip-on suspenders. Clip-ons. Wise up Larry.Simon Cowell – Fourth year on the WORST list. Man-boobs should be hidden not accentuated . This guy still looks like a wax pear that sat on a radiator too long. I swear he is buying out of the International Male catalog. A pinstriped suit with a shawl lapel? He’s from the U.K and can afford the best. Rush this man to a proper tailor.Jesse Ventura – Since leaving the governor’s chair he looks like a homeless Hulk Hogan. The bald with a ponytail look is so…still bald. Jesse wants to be the Libertarian Party nominees for Vice President but there is no real support for him. Hint: If you are going to go on TV with outlandish conspiracy theories don’t wear outlandish clothes and try washing your hair occasionally.Chuck Schumer -This guy is a schlub. Schumer has been seen in the Senate wearing the same baggy-kneed, wrinkled suit and dress shirt and pilling sweater vest three days in a row. New York has some of the greatest tailors in the world. The senior senator needs to call one. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who once held a US Senate seat from New York, was a dandy who fancied bold striped suits, polka-dotted bow ties and jaunty Irish walking hats. Schumer dresses out of the Salvation Army.10 BEST DRESSED WOMEN OF 2011Natalie Portman could wear a garbage bag with an old rope around the waist for a belt and still look stylish. Portman is just one of a growing number of celebrities whose basic budget-friendly choices make them seem more relatable and down-to-earth than stars who drop thousands for a single, wear-it-once dress so fashion consultant picked out. For last year’s Golden Globes she chose a simple pale pink dress decorated with a large red rose which flattered her body shape perfectly, a red Dior clutch and a pair of red platforms. Always well put together and elegant.Pippa Middleton – Philippa Charlotte “Pippa” Middleton, the English socialite and younger sister of Catherine “Kate” Middleton embodies the best in English style and has elbowed her sister off our list this year. Since she was the maid of honor at her sister’s wedding to Prince William she’s surpassed her sister as a style-setter in the U.K. Some say she has a perfect derriere and in jeans, a mini-skirt or a party dress it seems so. Take that Kim Kardashian!Blake Lively – The Gossip Girl star has legs that go on forever. If she’s sporting a short skirt she hides the cleavage. If showing the decolletage she sheaths her legs in a long dress – in other words, Lively knows when too much is too much. Liveley knows purple just “works” for her as a color and she wears it a lot-meaning she knows what she looks good in.Carly Foulkes – You know her as The T-Mobile Girl. The Canadian-born model and actress wears a summer dress like no one else. Foulkes is the “picture-perfect” brunette. Saucy, stylish and comfortable, she could get us to buy a phone or just about anything else. Always looks like she’s ready for a picnic on a beautiful day.Carla Bruni – The wife of the French President has a style that is continental, chic, and understated. Although Italian she may be the single best ambassador for French couture. Her look is spare and simple and accentuates clean lines. No flashy or bright colors works for her. Blues, grey, charcoal. Cutting edge chic.Sophia Loren – Although she is seldom seen in public these days, when she is seen she wears high end Italian couture like no one else. This raven haired beauty is somehow sexier in her clothes than she would be au natural. If you have seen photos of her in a garter belt and silk seamed stockings, you have seen feminine perfection.Eva Mendez – Two Latin spitfires make our list this year. For Sofia Vergara look below. Let’s face it. Mendes could wear a shower curtain and she would still look good. The woman oozes sex yet never makes it tawdry. Ms. Mendes has a skin tone that allows her to choose any color, but which works particularly well with pastel colors. Mendes knows her body and selects outfits to accentuate it. Mendes is sultry and stunning, always.Emma Watson – A stylish little hottie, the English actress who broke through in the Harry Potter films has graced the covers of Teen Vogue, the UK’s Tatler and Italian Vogue. Watson cares about clothes and supports the British Fashion Industry in high style. Her choices are sure-footed. She has twice been chosen as the face of Burberry. Twiggy and Mia Farrow never looked this good in closely cropped hair.Jennifer Aniston – This woman knows what she looks good in. She sticks to a short skirt and strappy heals because she knows it looks best on her. She rarely changes her hairstyle because she has a looks that works for her and sticks to it. Aniston has always been an example of impeccable style and hardly ever gets it wrong with her looks, both on and off screen.Sofia Vergara – Usually seen on the arm of boyfriend, banking heir and someday politician Nick Loeb, Vergara has a strongly Latin influenced style that always has her looking chic on the red carpet or on the streets of Manhattan. The star doesn’t shy away from her signature curve-hugging clothing. Equally stunning in jeans, dresses and colorful tops, Vergara wouldn’t be caught dead in cut-off jean shorts proving you can be sexy without being vulgar.The Worst Dressed Women of 2011Snooki – Last year when we said his girl has “a big all natural Italian rack” we were inundated with complaints. Seems the Jersey Shore gal isn’t Italian.Julianne Moore – Sadly this actress has no sense of coordination and can’t piece together an outfit to save her life.Christina Aguilera. – When one gains weight one must adjust the size and color of one’s clothes to accommodate. This singer doesn’t seem to understand that. Tight fitting clothing accentuates fat, doesn’t minimize it. A female sausage about to pop.MyDaily:Rosie Huntington-Whiteley – the official Burberry Body – attended the Burberry Paris Boutique opening at the British Embassy in Paris today. And she was wearing Burberry, natch. eGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHGtdTrlO6FQ53rI4f%2FNo7oyXAvVcpcAPr4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFVeGHZmFyID44mYu00M5dZQhYaAu%2FAmgJCGfYy66NCsZ3y2%2BCd8epkdQj2UKN14xi7V2f6zvgZ4FLzuHlXFqCtvHEMfu8cnurHGtdTrlO6FQ53rI4f%2FNo7oyXAvVcpcAPr4kIuB5Ua5hfpX3jCUjpesONZAp5v%2FZYto0CpL2BNQDbLKBQntDL%2BG2ZKPlg9r%2BFVFrom interactive ad campaigns to the world’s debut ‘Twit-walk’ (catwalk via Twitter) Burberry has always been something of a trail blazer when it come…We got a quick preview of the campaign from a a print photo. But now Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Ryan Reynolds’ ad for Marks & Spencer is here — and the two gorgeous stars look, well, gorgeous.The hazy video is simple but effective — the director of the video didn’t need to do much beyond instructing the actor and Burberry model to each give their best smoldering stares.And how they smolder. , Ryan makes us believe he’s only got eyes for Rosie as they walk the London streets. And who wouldn’t?Check out the ultra-romantic ad for Mars & Spencer’s Fall/Winter 2011 collection below. WATCH: www.mydaily.co.uk:Looks like Marks & Spencer have added a touch of Hollywood sparkle to their Autumn/Winter 2011 campaign, which reveals Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Ryan Reynolds as the impossibly attractive new faces of the British brand.Following in the footsteps of other celebrity M&S spokesmodels, which include Twiggy, Dannii Minogue and Lisa Snowdon, Rosie and Ryan front the new Autograph campaign – the high street store’s luxury in-house label. Missing from the article are photos of models at the launch of the lingerie today, so I went to RHW (Rosie’s twitter) and took a look. In amongst the comments of praise for the line, were also ….”nice to see curvy models for a change, not stick think ones”. Curvy? So I looked again, and wondered if the so called curvy ones are representing the ‘plus’ demographic. Certainly representing women that have a teeny bit of shape anyway, as her bra line goes to a “G” size. Another comment on RHW was… “why do none of the models look happy?” A mystery to me, as the fashion world trains their models to look bored, and barely conscious. There’s a smile in there somewhere, but for some unknown reason, it might detract the buyer from purchasing if they were to see a truly happy person. Onto the headline for this article “Rosie covers up…” Odd choice for her to wear a very severe black dress better suited for going to a funeral than a lingerie launch.Her lingerie line overall looks elegant and tasteful.www.mydaily.co.uk:Rosie Huntington-Whiteley seems to be having a nude moment. First she had pulses racing in her plunging Burberry suit earlier this week, and now she’s been perched front row at New York Fashion Week, in another flesh-hued ensemble.The model-actress was snapped hanging out backstage at the Michael Kors show, in this perfectly coordinating, Sixties-inspired outfit of shift dress, knee-high boots and matching clutch… Louis Vuitton Outlet is famous for the unique articules ,login Louis Vuitton Online Store and Louis Vuitton Handbag On Sale to buy your articles.Louis Vuitton Handbags have become the best seller in international market.such as Monogram Multicolore,Monogram Canvas Handbags.We also offer you other platforms.Owing to the various styles and models, up-to-date styling,elegant appearance,full range of colors and designs,quality and quantity assured,The bags in Louis Vuitton Outletand Louis Vuitton Online Store sell very well both at home and abroad. Now, Login Louis Vuitton Handbag On Sale to choose your favorites. What’s more,the latest commodities are renowned all over the world for exquisite workmanship, skillful knitting and elegant design,famous for selected materials, novel designs, delightful colors and exquisite workmanship. For more relevant information, please login Louis Vuitton Outlet!When we think of American flag shirts, we usually think of or those Fourth of July tees churned by Old Navy instead of chic style.But British model Rosie and her boyfriend Jason Statham hit Miami Beach yesterday to catch some rays American style, and we have to say… the look becomes a whole lot sexier on a supermodel.Rosie slipped into a pair of dark shades to go with her blue bikini bottoms and a cut-off flag tee and she and Jason wove through a crowd on onlookers in Florida. Hmm… maybe it’s a tee?Check out photos of Rosie’s look below and tell us: are you feeling her patriotic outfit? www.mydaily.co.uk:Burberry have just announced their new scent ‘Burberry Body’. It’s billed as the brand’s most sensual fragrance to date and will be fronted by model du jour, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. www.mydaily.co.uk:Rosie Huntington-Whiteley had temperatures soaring when she hit Macy’s in New York last night, to celebrate the launch of the new Burberry fragrance.The model-actress slipped into a sleek nude Burberry suit for the occasion, which featured a daring plunge neckline. And of course, Rosie being Rosie, opted to go sans shirt. (Or bra, by the looks of things.) Rosie Huntington-Whiteley loves wearing a trench coat.So it’s the ultimate irony that her new f

  • kanisha said:

    this article is not much related to me.
    anyway thank you for sharing this article for the users.
    easymandi

  • On “Food Apartheid” in Los Angeles | sinosoul.com said:

    […] this is my retort (an argument I’ve already made in one of my comments to that KCRW piece): Latinos are apparently NOT starving even in LA’s second most well known supposed […]

  • Theory Men’s Wellar Half Canvas New Tailor Suit Jacket | shareAsell.ORG said:

    […] What grows in a food desert?: South LA launches farmer's market to … […]

  • エコバッグ 安心 ルイ ヴィトン said:

    Howdy, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and
    i was just curious if you get a lot of spam comments? If so how do you stop it,
    any plugin or anything you can suggest? I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any assistance is very
    much appreciated.

    Feel free to visit my website … エコバッグ 安心 ルイ ヴィトン

  • Theory Men’s Wellar Half Canvas New Tailor Suit Jacket | ShareAsell.NET said:

    […] What grows in a food desert?: South LA launches farmer's market to … […]

  • mantapsahabat said:

    kontraktor bangunan Your blog really brought some things to light that I never would have thought about before reading it kontraktor I enjoyed reading your articles. kontraktor This is truly a great read for me. Mencari jasa kontraktor bangunan pabrik I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. kontraktor bangunan pabrik Keep up the good work Kontraktor bangunan pabrik Your article is great, I do love it because it enriches my knowledge. Kontraktor bangunan pabrik terhebat I have bookmark this page for my future reference, Jual baju anak dan bayi I really like following your blog as the articles are so simple to read and follow. Excellent. Aku mencari jasa kontraktor bangunan terhebat Thanks for writing this. I really feel as though I know so much more about this than I did before. Sedang ingin membangun pabrik dengan jasa kontraktor Your blog really brought some things to light that I never would have thought about before reading it. kontraktor You should continue this, mesothelioma Im sure most people would agree youve got a gift. Saya mencari jasa penyedia kontraktor bangunan pabrik You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. Perusahaan kontraktor bangunan pabrik It seems too complicated and very broad for me. Tukang bangunan berkualitas professional berpengalaman I am looking forward for your next post.

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.

BROUGHT TO YOU BY