Friday, April 11, 2014

Fabulous Fashion Friday: Basic Black is Back!

Black has taken a bruising lately, as we all tried to move "away" from this Seattle staple in search of more color.  However this Spring, we propose that when you start with a basic black garment and color it up with accessories, you'll create a whole new fresh vibe ... and look a bit more slender, in the process.  So check out three basic black pieces now at Kick It ~layered up with a few of our key accessories and jewelry~ for a whole new you this Spring!

=======================================
Look One: Basic Black Shift Dress with Earthy Peachtones


 ====================================
Look #Two: Basic Black Maxi Skirt with Minty Green

=========================================
Look #Three: Basic Black Tunic with White & Periwinkle Blue


 * * * * * * * * * * * *
Why not get back to black for Spring?  Just be sure to show off a little skin, add some sparkle and a pop of bright color, too.  Happy Friday Everyone!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

April 12th Artwalk featuring Magical New Works by Marlita

Please Join us this Saturday Evening~~April 12th from 6 to 9 p.m.~~for the 2014 debut of new works by Ballard's own Marlita.  Come view her new paintings on display at Kick It, meet the artist, and enjoy sips & nibbles and some good conversation too!
Nature Spiritd, by Marlita, 2014.  Price Upon Request.

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
My name is Marlita. I’m a Seattle native and since a young age I have loved creating things, and have been awed by the world around me. I believe that art is not just a picture, song or still life of a material object, but rather is glimpses of soul manifested, expressing emotions, and thought forms from the layers of yourself. My inspiration is the subjective reality that is life, through nature, spirit, senses and the human condition.  When I have a message to convey I usually find things symbolic to me that will lead the viewer to feel the underlying essence.  I relate to vivid, bright colors. I love the way they flow into each other and create synchronicity. When art can truly make you experience something within yourself and you can relate, than it is more than art, it becomes a part of you.
Marlita!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

NEW TOPS FOR SPRING!

Hardly a day goes by without us hearing a customer say, "I need basic tops!"  We'll we listened and this week we'll receive dozens of new basic, easy-to-wear/care tops for your new Spring 'drobe.  We've chosen every sleeve length imaginable in the full array of Spring's most promising colors.  Here's a look at our new tops (with a few of our newest scarves and bottoms thrown in for good measure).  Come top shopping soon!
InJoy sleeveless drape neck top, $22. Colors: Coral (shown), White, Jade.
InJoy short sleeve drape neck top, $24. Colors: Taupe, White, Mint, Navy.
Vanilla Bay modal dolman sleeve top, $32. Colors: Peach (shown), Ivory, Aqua, Orange.
How about a mammoth print scarf by UrbanModa to jazz up all your basic solids, $28. Colors: Pink, Slate, Mint (shown).
InJoy long-body top, $36. Colors: Heather Grey (shown), Ivory, Taupe, .
Urban Moda's Watercolour hand-dyed infinity scarf with splashes of all the season's key colors, $19.
InJoy 3/4 sleeve scoop neck tee, $26.  Colors: Mint (shown), Taupe, Royal, Peach, Jade.

Urban Moda cotton-lace infinity scarf, $24.
Colors: Pink, Grey, Chambray, Ivory (shown), Jade.

C-n-C hi-lo cut melange top, $26. Colors: Heather Grey (shown) and Heather Pink.
Freeloader scooped-hem french terry 4/5th sleeve tunic, $34.
Colors: Mint (shown), Ivory, Denim, Peach.
Bold striped maxi skirts are perfect with solid basic tops! 
Here's InJoy ivory-n-black maxi with fold over waist band, $34.
C-n-C Aztec print loose pleated tunic top, soft rayon, $32. 
Colors: White/black (shown), Black/white, Navy/white.
And last but not least, we're super stocked up on our favorite brand of amazing cotton leggings by T Party, $18.  Colors: Black (shown), Navy, Charcoal, Brown, Heather Grey, White.  We also have these in higher, fold-over waist bands, too, $21.
*************************************************************************

Friday, March 7, 2014

Fabulous Fashion Friday: Lace Looks We Love

Lace.  It's not just for wakes or weddings anymore. Today's fresh casual wear features lovely, edgy lace treatments, and, unlike our Grandmother's version, new lace is often infused with added stretch so you can move about your day looking chic. And wait until you see the new, soft colors for Spring! Kick It is beginning to get a few lace embellished tops, dresses and accessories in for Early Spring.  Today, we have a few looks to inspire you to add some lace to your 'drobe too!
Beautiful lace swirls in this all over lace (cotton) top by Millia. 
This must-have is on order in 3 colors for next month, $36.
Cotton-stretch lace-infused infinity scarves.  These will arrive next week at Kick It, $24.
Lace trim on marled knit spring sweaters is downright fun. This darling tunic is on order for Spring, $42.  (PS: for all you crafty types, you could totally buy lace at JoAnne's and embellish your own sweaters.)
Rocker Chick top with lace insets.  Lace rocks!
Honeycomb Lace tunic by Mystic, $29.50.  We adore this casual, cotton beauty so we 
ordered it in two colors: Ivory & Mint.
Elegant meets edgy, LOVE!  This lace-over-diamond print skirt is so gorgeous.
Speaking of Lace Overlays, look at this sweet -n-sassy mini dress!
Peach Peplum lace blouse with print leggings feels young and fresh
Note: Pearls over lace is not just for Grandma anymore!.  

Popcorn lace used in a contrast sleeve baseball jersey style, so sporty!
Oooh, striped lace! This super summery dress by Soprano is on order for late June, $36. 
Probably good to start working on your tan, now.
Lace hoodies look cute over jersey or sleeveless maxi dresses.
Layer this over everything for a dressy appeal.
And of course, lace is always Right for Night!
*****

So consider getting lacey this Spring and have a fantastic weekend, everyone!
Kick It!



Saturday, March 1, 2014

Hurry Up Spring, We've Got Magic!

What a thrill again to Shop the Floor at M.A.G.I.C. last week.  Magic--held at the Las Vegas Convention Center every February and August--is the Fashion Industry's primo trade show for buyers to meet vendors and plan assortments for their stores and websites.

This year, my 12th time attending, was equally as exciting, exhilarating and energizing as my very first time!  There are literally 1,000's of vendors from every spectrum of the industry ranging from factories in India that make buttons and zippers, to high-end Italian shoe makers.  All the major brands are there plus many new and emerging ones too.  

My challenge is to maneuver through the vast choices and focus on picking the best and brightest new styles and everyday essentials for Kick It Spring, while also pre-ordering Boots for next Fall. I met up with a couple of fellow buyers to shop with. Below is a photo diary of our 3-day buying spree along with commentary on new trends and old favorites in every category.  I also give a special shout out to several of the amazing, fun (funny) hard working people that design, produce and deliver the clothing that you just might be wearing this season. They make this journey truly magic!

Enjoy!
Angela
***************  

Each day the Magic exhibit halls open at 9:00 a.m. sharp.  There are dozens of exhibit halls at the Convention Center plus several more at other hotel venues on The Las Vegas Strip. Here's a crowd of eager buyers at 8:59 a.m. waiting to enter one of the many halls. The people-watching and industry chit chat in line is a delight in itself.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Once inside, the first thing I spy is the Free People booth. This aspirational brand is by appointment only and already packed with buyers.

Outside their booth, Free People offered an exciting look at Spring forward trends.  We're calling this the Eclectic Mixalot look: be your unique self, mix up your textures & prints, pair vintage with new, add chunky accessories, be comfortable and just a little over the top!
Free People showing printed skater skirts and hand-torn denim for Spring.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Strolling the floor I had to take a picture of this elegant booth (with permission). Notice the Lacey, lingerie inspired garments. Not exactly "Seattle" but soooo pretty none the less.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
When I reach my first appointment with my favorite new Los Angeles-made denim lines, I am greeted by these two gorgeous fit models, one rocking the new "semi-mom" high rise white denim (left) and the second showing the new motowear-inspired denim treatments.  I enter the booth.


Next, I meet up with my Sales Rep and we start going through the new collection. When buying denim you have so many variables to consider: color, wash, treatments, pockets, thread color, hardware, rise, leg, style, price. It's a little like reaching into a huge bowl of Jelly Bellies' and choosing the top five flavors your customers will like best. 
After about 20 minutes of painstaking decisions, Patrick writes up my order.

This Spring we'll see gorgeous washes and "baby-soft" fabrics.
Thanks for your amazing patience and funny jokes, Patrick!
Here's a close-up of the brilliant new motowear-inspired denim treatments we're seeing.  Patched-in pieces add interest and durability to these otherwise perfect street jeans.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
This pretty booth by Debut~Knits Made in the U.S.A.~caught our eye so we popped in for a look, no appointment necessary. My fellow buyers and I were thrilled with the collection: soft yarns, beautiful sweater bodies and earthy colors. Within minutes we made our pics.
 
Here's Joyce, Debut's Showroom Manager, writing up our order.
Look at those variegated knits, earthy colors and tribal patterns! 
Chilly evenings in Seattle never looked so good!
Debut's fit model Julie showing the Cradle-Me-Cocoon Cardi. 
Yes, we ordered this in two colors.
Their No. 1 best seller at the show!  Yes, we added this sweet penguin to our order.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

While walking the show we came upon this giant framed poster hung on the outside of the Mui Mui showroom.  It was huge about 10 feet by 10 feet.  We love the inspiration, especially the part about Fashion as Self Expression and Fashion is fun!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Feeling uplifted now, we moved along and noticed this busy booth and wondered what the frenzy was all about?  Alas, it was one of our favorite sweater makers~~POL Clothing~~ so we jumped in and grabbed our choices along with other excited buyers from all over the country! 
It was very crowded and clothes were flying, but thankfully nobody got hurt.
Here's a look at our choices in the season's key colors for knitwear:
Icy White, Creamy Ivory, Midnight Blue and Grimey Grey, yes!

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Next, we walked all over the accessories area for a while and picked up some leather goods, belts, scarves and a few dozen Spring Handbag styles from our favorite bag maker Tosca.
New Classic New York belts coming soon.  These will go nicely with the denim we bought.
Tosca summer handbags. Whereby our clothes may be subdued muted urban hues, we're going for super bright handbags to give our looks a lift.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
Moving at breakneck speed, we were slowed down a bit when we came upon the "Goth-Steam Punk" aisle and had to gawk.  Look at those ridiculously amazing dresses!
Permission to take this photo courtesy of Hell Bunny Clothier, out of the U.K.
Skulls never seem to go out of fashion.
Here's Hilary, of Hilary's Vanity, modeling a look from her Gothic & Steampunk couture clothing for the more sophisticated freak!  Hilary is the owner and designer of this eclectic new line, and she took a brief moment to pose for a photo even though her booth was teaming with eager buyers. 
A continuation on the retro theme, we spied the trendy Miss L-Fire U.K. footwear booth. 
Betty Boop would be so proud.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
Day 2, I sat in on a panel discussion about Social Marketing by seven of today's top international Fashion Bloggers from Japan, U.S.A., Italy, The U.K. and Texas (which is its own Country, right?) They were witty and wise with some great tips on reaching out to the peeps in your network in more meaningful ways.  Interestingly, most of these bloggers are professional photographers (verses stylists) with a love for fashion, so they had great advice on boosting your visual presence.
We love the casual approach to these open-air seminars.  Busy buyers can drop in between appointments and catch all or a part of the conversation.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
During the show, we caught up with a few of our favorite L.A. brands like Staccato.  This is Joseph, he's actually the graphic designer for the brand helping out at the show.  That's his work (and his girlfriend he pointed out) on the back wall.  Nice graphics, Joe!

In addition to that cute sweater we ordered, you'll notice Joseph is holding a wireless scanner.  Most of the vendors still hand write your order on carbon sales receipts but some are using high-tech scanners to quickly prepare and print your order.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Fifty shades of grey marled knit yumminess for next Fall!  We've bought all of these.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 


Basics Score!  It just wouldn't be Kick It without the soft, easy tee shirts our customers have come to love/want/need.  We ordered these modal beauties from our favorite tee shirt vendor Tresics/Femme.  We are loving the new sleeve lengths options. 
This soft pastely array typifies the color trends for Spring and Summer.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
It's Day 3, and our final mission to score Summer maxi dresses almost went unaccomplished until we found a section of hidden gems toward the back of this mega-huge, 241,000 SF Convention Center. We met up with Minnie, the designer behind the L.A. brand Promesa.  Here she is standing behind her designs, literally.
Soft and swirly maxi skirts that we will live in all summer.  We ordered these plus several of the complementary Maxi dresses in this heathered pastel collection.
The Tie Dye craze continues and we picked up these interesting beachy designs
including Soft Pink Clouds (left), and Blue Ocean Shores (right).

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
Onward, we accidentally happened upon Gilli, one of our favorite brands for summer dresses!  We were delighted to see this hardworking vendor now attending Magic! We wrote a huge order of maxi's and summer dresses, modal tees, and lightweight cardi's.

We've been working with Victor, General Manager for Gilli U.S.A, for about 7 years but this is the first time we've met in person. We Just had to shoot a picture together for posterity.
Gilli dresses for Summer represent key color trends including: Peach, Ivory, Jade and Navy!  We ordered all of these in several colors.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Next up, meet the beautiful and most friendly Umgee sales rep Kelly, helping us write up our Spring Order.  They have a huge, lush carpeted booth, so we sit on the floor when writing.   Umgee had some beautiful, super fresh & feminine looks for Early Spring.
We ordered this Umgee maxi plus dozens of other interesting prints for Spring.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Angela standing by our brands.  We're looking forward to getting this simple,
super soft maxi dress, plus other classic skirts by Survival U.K. in soon!
Sometimes, the vendors' desks are as beautiful as their clothing.  Azul Made in Spain is a stunning line of clothing way out of our price range (think $300 for a blouse.)  But at least we walked away with a new indoor gardening idea!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Boots 2014!
In an entirely separate exhibit hall, we spent a full day buying boots for next Fall.  Talk about a kid in a candy store! There were some strong new trends, extensions of last year's innovations and a lot of good ole' standards to choose from.

For Kick It, we look for Boots that fit our active urban life, look great with our clothes and help our customers express their own unique style.  They must be durable, gorgeous and not too expensive.  A fairly tall order but as we enter our 9th boot season, we are up for the task.  Below are pics of a few styles we picked up, plus new trends that caught our attention.

The Desert Boot of the 1970's  is back, and for good reason: durability.  Back in the day, we called these "Waffle Stompers" because of the waffly gum-rubber out sole.  The one I'm holding is by Bronx in classic Camel suede, but look at the other innovative colors, too.
Ultra-tall distressed and smooth leathers continue for next season.  We ordered all of these.
Burnished toes, studded cuffs and distressed leathers are huge for fall.  Here's the "Bandito" group from a Mexican manufacturer that we loved!  They were a bit pricey for us ($400 retail, yikes!) but certainly aspirational for the future.
The bootie category continues to be strong and lace-up are huge (and so functional).  We picked up this leater & canvas group from Rocket Dog.
Thank you Brett for all your help with our order.  We love Rocket Dog!
The Moon Boot meets Doc Martin look was super prevalent at the show. But
we're taking a "wait-n-see" approach to this appealing "old is new again" trend.
Equestrain riding boots are a mainstay at Kick It, but we particularly loved the new
leather colors, burnished toe treatments and interesting buckle details we saw. 
Lots of cute booties at the Lucky Brand booth. 
Our Sales Rep Tori helped us write up these for early Fall.
We love to bring in a few Vegan options, too, especially for the rainy/muddy season. 
Here's our friend Kenny, of Penny Loves Kenny shoe brand, writing up our order.
Kensie's Made in Spain group did really well this year, so we're bringing in a few more
luxe styles for Fall.  Here's our Sales Rep Courtney writing us up
.
Kick It will offer some beautiful new easy flats this season, too. We picked up these classics by Dr. Scholl's. They have memory foam insoles, yes!!!  Thanks for all your help, Tracy!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *  * * * *
We hope you've enjoyed this mini-tour of the vast fashion world from our small dot on the planet.  It's truly a joy to buy apparel and footwear for our customers and we hope you are  encouraged and inspired to come in and shop for these and more items we're bringing in this Spring and Summer... plus gorgeous boots for next Fall.

See you at Kick It Soon!

+++++++++++++++++++