In The News

The Future of Halloween Retailing Is Customer Centric

Posted: February 13, 2018

By Julie Ritzer Ross, Selling Halloween 

"Consider three scenarios: Halloween is only a week away and a working mom finally has time to check out the website of local Halloween emporium. She finds the costume she wants for her child and chooses the option to buy online/ pick up in store (BOPIS). In the store the next day, her attention is drawn to a display of costumes she can easily don over her own clothes, and she purchases one for herself.

A single man in his late 20s is looking for a unique costume for an adult Halloween party, but he doesn’t feel confident he can put something together that will get “likes” on Facebook. After reading an online review, he makes a special trip to a Halloween specialty store. The associate not only offers several original costume ideas, but also shows him how to complete his look with an easy-to-use Halloween FX makeup kit.

A graduate student who has been collecting Halloween costume ideas for weeks on Pinterest arrives at the local Halloween and party store. With the guidance of a store staffer, she picks a costume concept from among the pictures on her phone and purchases several individual items and accessories to create a unique ensemble—without busting her limited budget.

As these scenes illustrate, today’s increasingly demanding consumers hold the power to decide when, where, and how they will shop, and all merchants must meet customers on their terms.

Fortunately, Halloween and specialty stores might even have an edge over online only retailers in this customer-centric environment. According to the 2017 Halloween survey conducted by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics, brick-and-mortar retail establishments are garnering the vast majority of Halloween merchandise sales, with only 22 percent taking place online.

The largest portion of consumers shops for Halloween in discount stores (47 percent of consumers), but Halloween stores are second-most-popular, attracting 38 percent of shoppers, up 2 percentage points from 2016. Meanwhile, the percent of consumers using discount stores and e-commerce websites has remained flat." 

Read the full story online here.


The Costume Is Everything In Olympic Figure Skating

Posted: February 13, 2018

By Joy Sewing, Houston Chronicle

"As the Winter Olympics gets underway, figure-skating fans know fashion is as much a part of the beauty of figure skating as quadruple jumps and flying spins.

Skating costumes have evolved over the years from the classic and elegant (think Dorothy Hamill and pairs skaters Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner) to the bedazzled, bejeweled and way over the top. Who can forget France's Surya Bonaly in a pale, pouf Christian Lacroix dress in the 1992 Games in France, Nancy Kerrigan's champagne-colored Vera Wang dress with 11,500 rhinestones designed for the 1994 Games in Norway or even Johnny Weir's glitzy black-gray-ombre jumpsuit with gloves in the 2010 Games in Vancouver?

When it comes to skating, costumes are everything.

"They are so important, so elaborate and show a skater's personality," said Babilonia, 58, who won five U.S. National Championships and the 1979 World Figure Skating Championship with Gardner. "Some costumes are a bit on the gaudy side and can take away from the performance. You never want to do that."

The 2007 comedy film "Blades of Glory," with Will Ferrell and Jon Heder, played up the sport's competitive drama and flashy style. In reality, Weir faced criticism in 2010 that his chances for an Olympic medal would be overshadowed by his costumes. He finished sixth."

Read the full story online at


Black Panther Costume Designer On Being Inspired

Posted: February 13, 2018

By Kandia Johnson, Black Enterprise

"Marvel’s Black Panther movie is one of the most highly anticipated films of 2018. But beyond a star-studded lineup of incredible black talents such as Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Lupita Nyong’o, the film also includes an action-packed storyline equipped with a variety of jaw-dropping costumes. So we caught up with Ruth E. Carter, the Academy Award-nominated designer behind the film to talk about how the ancient tribes of Africa inspired her designs of the superhero costumes.

Carter is no stranger to recreating representations of blacks in films—she’s also the creative mastermind behind some of the most iconic black films in history—School DazeMalcolm XAmistadDo the Right Thing, Roots (2016) and Selma, to name a few. Below she shares her design process and inspiration behind the film’s costumes.

Marvel Studios gave me a blueprint. They had a lot of plans for the costumes, whether it was visual effects, special effects, or photo doubles. So they told me the elements the costume needed to have. From rich saturated colors and beautiful prints to textures—these things were rooted in African culture.

So we researched all of these wonderful different ancient tribes from the continent of Africa such as the Xhosa, Zula, Himba, and Maasai, and learned about their secrets and the reason behind doing things a certain way. For instance, when The Himba Tribe used this beautiful red clay that they put all over their bodies (including, jewelry hands, and hair) it was for the desert dwellers to have moisturizer. It also made your skin and hair really soft. It even had Shea butter—it was also so colorful and intense. It could even be bottled and sold today as a moisturizer.

On the other hand, the Maasai Tribe was known for all of this beautiful beadwork—so we wanted to direct the costumes towards that look. The stacked rings are a very prominent visual jewelry and were worn by ancient African tribes—that was also part of the framework that Marvel said we would like to have. I hired a jewelry designer who does African-inspired jewelry. She created rings, and necklaces—featuring a hand-tooled element that really pulled the looks together. We also pulled inspiration for the costumes from the draped robe attire that you often see in the Nigerian culture."

Read the full article online at


Costumer Comedy

Posted February 13, 2018

Happy Valentines Day!


Retail Shows Power of Personalization

Posted: February 7, 2018

"Most retailers are looking for ways to improve the consumer experience with their brand, but few are equipped to apply one of the most obvious and powerful approaches available, which is personalization... " Read the article online at:

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