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10/26-10/28 Join the Designers & Books Fair w/ Keynote Speakers Donna Karan, Valerie Steele,Todd Oldham +more

I recently discovered this really cool website, Designers & Books, which features profiles of the world’s most esteemed designers and the books that inspire them, as well as ones they have written. We’re talking all types of designers — fashion (like Donna Karan and Cynthia Rowley), architecture, graphic design, interior design, landscape architecture, product and industrial design, and urban design.

From  October 26-28, Designers & Books is hosting their first Designers & Books Fair 2012, at the Fashion Institute of Technology Conference Center in New York Citywhich includes a dynamic series of featured speakers in a variety of design disciplines including Donna Karan, Todd Oldham, Valerie Steele, Debbie Millman we well subjects such as  Cover Stories: A Conversation about Book Design, and How to Get Published in the World of Design Books.

In addition there will be an exhibition hall featuring approximately 35 design book publishers and booksellers selling their newest titles at discounted prices and also antiquarian dealers, authors signing books, and book artisans demonstrating calligraphy, book binding, and letterpress printing.

For our lucky readers, Designers & Books Fair 2012 is offering a discount of 40% or more off the listed advance-purchase ticket prices. All tickets include free admission to the exhibition hall ($10 value). Please see the main Programs or Tickets pages on our website for a full description of all programs. To access your special discount, click the links below and input the discount code at time of purchase.

Here’s the schedule:

Keynote: Designing the Future of the Design Book
Fri., Oct. 26: 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Special offer price: $18 (regular price $30)
Go to: bit.ly/DBFairspecial11 Enter code: KEYNOTE2012

Book Design at Pentagram
Sat., Oct. 27: 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (includes 30-min. break)
Special offer price: $25 (regular price $50)
Go to: bit.ly/DBFairspecial2 Enter code: PENT2012

Donna Karan Connects the Dots: A Conversation with Valerie Steele
Sat., Oct. 27: 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Special offer price: $15 (regular price $25)
Go to: bit.ly/DBFairspecial6 Enter code: DONNA2012

W Hotels announces partnership with the CFDA {FASHION INCUBATOR} program

It’s hard to believe I started this week in Colorado and now have been so embedded in New York Fashion Week, I’ve hardly had a second to post about the amazingness that has been this week. On Wednesday morning I flew in on a red-eye (what a terrible) and bolted to the W Hotel in Times Square, for the unveiling of their big announcement with CFDA.

Nestled in a deconstructed EWOW Suite, Carlos BecilVP North American Brand Management, W Hotels, and Steven KolbCEO, CFDA, announced a new, fashion forward partnership between W Hotels and CFDA {FASHION INCUBATOR}. As some of you may know the incubator program provides support and major resources and contracts to promising fashion talent to help them grow and sustain their business.

Steven Kolb, CEO, CFDA

W will bring {FASHION INCUBATOR} designers out of New York City and into markets that are important to growing their businesses. The partnership will travel {FASHION INCUBATOR} designers to W Hotels around the country for fashion showcases and special events, providing exposure to new retailers, media and consumers to drive sales. Additionally, {FASHION INCUBATOR} designers will benefit from W’s deep-reaching digital and brand marketing channels.

FIT reunion! Hanging out with Daniel Vosovic

And it gets better! Double surprise for me when I walk in and Daniel Vosovic is there and one of the very talented designers partaking in the {FASHION INCUBATOR} program.

Fun fabulously dorky LARA/DAN fact: Before Daniel was on Project Runway, wrote his book and produced his namesake collection, we we’re RA’s together at Fashion Institute of Technology.

My congratulations go out to all of the other designers/labels in the program as well: Ari Dein, Burkman Bros, Emanuala Duca, Isaora, NUMBER: Lab, Reece Hudson, Timo Weiland and Whit. Rock it!

{Mood boards!}

Thank you W Hotels/CFDA for having me!

FashInvest connects Fashion Innovators with Potential Funding Players

A little while back I shared the news of FashInvest. This conference is a unique forum for fashion start-ups to attend lectures and critiques by influential industry players and investors. They pitch their new business ideas, getting immediate feedback from venture capitalists.  Most companies presented online tools confirming the trend that online is where the money is in today’s market.

A total of 17 curated entrepreneurs presented their ideas to potential investors. My top pick is Fitted Fashion (Acustom).  Fitted Fashion is a revolutionary digital tailoring service that can scan your body in 3 minuets and produce a customized personalized pattern.  This can then be used time and again to reorder or shop online for the right fit.  CEO Jamal Motlagh shared that 85% of customers say they hesitate to buy online because of fit. If the technology is as accurate as they say, it just might be Fitted Fashion that walks away with an investment.

Kevin Ryan (CEO of Gilt Groupe), Julie Macklowe of VBeaute, and Steven Alan were highlighted speakers.  They imparted advice to people looking to start their own endeavour sighting a passion that the every day requirements of running your own business requires. “It is all day everyday – 24/7.”, Macklowe shared, “Money and profitability are 2 things you need to watch closely. It helps that I am my own investor”.  It certainly does!

Alan took more of a creative approach. “Don’t be afraid to make changes, or change course if need be. The process is organic, respond to your customers and what they are buying.”

There is a lot of innovation happening in the world of fashion right now and it was exciting to get a peek into the next wave. Although owning your own business can be one of the scariest things you can do, it is also seems to be one of the most rewarding.