Monday, December 2, 2013
I am so saddened by the loss of my dear friend, Mary Krug, who passed away last Saturday. In our 36 years in the business, Mary stood out as the consummate professional retail partner. She exemplified the values of the Neiman Marcus Group, and was always a pleasure to work with.
Suffice it to say that Natori would not be where we are today with Neiman’s if not for her dedication and passion.
We will miss her dearly… and are all so grateful for the Natori-Neiman Marcus relationship that she helped build over the years.
Friday, September 27, 2013
I have been looking forward to traveling to Burma with my soon-to-be 89 year old mother for quite some time.
After traveling almost a day from Manila to Yangon on the world class Singapore Airlines, we arrived in Yangon (also known as Rangoon), and were immediately taken by the colonial aspects of the city that surrounded us. We left feeling as though we had traveled to a different era. Our hotel, the Governor’s Residence, is the epitome of style… I love it. We were met by an Elephant coach on arrival… so cool!
On the first day, we visited the magnificent Shewagon Pagoda, a breathtaking series of intricately carved small pagodas beside a towering umbrella shaped gold plated large one. The sight of very religious Burmese locals praying all over the place together with monks milling everywhere was a resplendent and inspiring sight. The Shewagon Pagoda has specific corners where one prays according to the month in which they were born!
By the way, we had to go barefoot throughout this viewing. This is the main attraction in Yangon, as well as the holiest place in the city.
Next was another pagoda with a humongous reclining Buddha! His eyes looked so real, and his lips are red! A bit eerie…
The rest of the day was spent shopping… my mother and I are veterans from all our trips throughout the years.
The lure of Burmese jewels was so tempting that we spent hours on end in a jewelry shop! My mother beats me hands down in the art of haggling, and the store’s owner was truly entranced by her.
We even had our lunch at the shop after we had made it through stalls of treasures, handicrafts, textiles and so much more! The Scotts market is quite a sight… we had fun haggling and buying things we don’t need, including umbrellas that the monks use! I loved the sight of umbrella clad monks in their deep spice colored garbs so much that I bought contemporary paintings depicting them. And of course I managed to find antique Burmese textiles to add to my collection!
It was a full first day… we went back to our rooms to relax and had room service.
Monday, September 9, 2013
I am so excited to have launched our Josie by Natori collection in Japan. I had a terrific trip, especially at the launch of our first pop up Josie shop in the Destination Tokyo store in the heart of Tokyo. The success of the first opening day was far beyond our expectations…we sold through most of our inventory for the season!
It was so rewarding to see Japanese women in a wide range of age appreciate and buy the Josie lifestyle. They loved the bold colors, prints, and the effortless styles that are fun to mix and match!
It was also great meeting some special guests at the party… Famous actresses, models and just fun loving fashionistas!
We are so excited for the future of Josie in Japan! Visit our Facebook page for more photos from the launch party: http://on.fb.me/13AN8D5
Thursday, August 22, 2013
36 years later I still get a rush gearing up for market week ! We had an exhilarating week showing our spring 14 collections and received an amazing response from retailers and partners. Thank you to the amazing team at Natori who make this happen season after season!
Thursday, June 13, 2013
I’m so thrilled with the understated sophistication of our Resort 2014 collection. Inspired largely by the muted elegance of French dressing, the collection centers on the classic, crisp, white cotton shirt. Seemingly simple, the starched white ‘canvas’ brings to life any embellishments or details that are styled with it. When paired with our oversized Bakelite linked jewelry and ultra-modern black jeweled bib necklaces, our white tops become striking statements themselves.
We focused on a bold, graphic black and white color palette, accented by bright, beautiful pops of color that I love, like electric coral, turquoise and chartreuse. I’m especially excited about the accessories this season, which we’ve expanded into beautiful beaded linen totes from the Philippines. They are so chic! In many ways, the collection celebrates the beauty and vitality of both the Philippines and Paris, two of my greatest inspirations.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
This past week was full of celebrations. I spent the weekend with family and friends; it was my 66th birthday and my granddaughter Zoe’s 1st birthday… both very monumental events! Kenneth and Anika threw a great party for Zoe at our home in Pound Ridge; she has made so many friends over the past year! We kept my birthday celebration a bit more intimate, celebrating at Nobu over dinner with close family.
Ken, Anika, Cruz and Zoe
Ken & Me at Nobu
I also had an amazing evening celebrating David Monn’s birthday on Monday night. He has been such a wonderful friend to me over the years and I was so happy to celebrate with him. Below is a picture of me at the party with our friend Maria Bartiromo from CNBC.
Maria Bartiromo & Me
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Last week I attended the annual WIN Foundation fund-raiser, a charity very near and dear to my heart. This year’s gala was one of the most successful yet, raising well over $2 million with more than 1,000 fashion executives in attendance. I have sat on the board of The WIN Foundation for a number of years and the compassion of my peers moves me more every year. I have always stood for female empowerment, and providing women with the opportunity to start over and better themselves is one of the most rewarding aspects of my life today. Congratulations to all involved, here’s to many more.
Friday, April 19, 2013
I was thrilled to have attended the Fashion Group International Fall/Winter 2013 Ready-To-Wear presentation this past Monday with Elizabeth Valle, our exceptional knitwear designer. It was a wonderful event—the panel was a diverse group of fashion influencers, and Diane Von Furstenberg was the guest moderator. What really inspired me most was the participation of Fashion 4 Development, an organization dedicated to the promotion of local artisanship and trade in Eastern countries. This year, they presented work from CITA TENUN, an all women association dedicated to the preservation of tenun, a traditional Indonesian weaving technique.
Every season our Ready to Wear pieces feature materials unique to Eastern traditions and practices—most recently we used pina fiber, indigenous to my home country of the Philippines, for our Spring ’13 collection. I am constantly inspired by my home country, and make sure to support our local artisans, as well as organizations like CITA TENUN. Utilizing indigenous fabrics and traditional sewing methods is just another way to inject life and originality into modern fashion, and more importantly, a way to preserve and revitalize traditional cultures.
Friday, April 12, 2013
I was honored last week to be one of the keynote speakers at the Simmons Leadership Conference in Boston. I had no idea what an incredible event this is with over 3,500 participants… Mostly women! I discussed my experience as an entrepreneur and my journey from Manila to Manhattan. I was moved when I entered to an auditorium filled with some 400 audience members. I must say that although the story of Natori has been told so many times, I particularly enjoyed this one! The question and answer session with Teresa Nelson, the head of Simmons College entrepreneurship program was most stimulating… Not to mention the Q&A with the audience!
My Presenter, Joan Bialek
I love being able to inspire women to follow their dreams. It may be a tough road, but anything is possible if you persevere.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Last week was an exciting one for Natori Home! I was overjoyed to see the final beds we are offering for Fall ’13 fully merchandised in our home showroom. The collection captures the joie de vivre of Chinoiserie glamour that really inspired me this season. Feminine, powerful and inherently graceful, Chinoiserie is the embodiment of Eastern and Western opulence combined. The beautiful ruby reds, decadent silvers and romantic purples look beautiful on our silks and cotton sateens. The gold lacquer screens used as the backdrop of our Ready-to-Wear show bring the whole Natori lifestyle together. I am so thrilled and can’t wait to see these beds in store this Fall!