I had a pretty enjoyable coffee break yesterday morning.

The OC Register featured 16th Colony and the trunk show I held a couple weeks ago at Sourced Collective. The story covers the evolution of trunk shows and converting online customers to participating in events and collection previews, which builds a personal connection between brands and their consumer. Anyway, if you want to know more about that type of thing, then here's some reading material for you.

By Jennifer Wang, The Orange County Register

Jan. 31 --On a starry January evening in Laguna Beach, the conversation and wine flowed freely at the 16th Colony trunk show. At the pop-up shopping event, Renee Rogers , designer of the Irvine-based line of hand-sewn, premium ponchos, mingled with fans at Sourced Collective, a vintage-style cottage that doubles as a workspace for local artists and creatives. The year-old 16th Colony brand has an online store, and several boutiques carry the line in the region; but by the end of the three-hour event, Rogers had sold $1,000 worth of her ponchos to new customers, and scored a wholesale account at a local boutique. Trunk shows -- a term that originally referred to traveling salesmen displaying their wares in steamer trunks -- have gained popularity in designer and boutique circles as retailers seek new ways to reach consumers who increasingly shop with discounting and convenience on their minds. "The trunk show has evolved," Rogers said, adding she plans a couple of shows per collection. "It used to be designers would show boutique owners their lines, and they would buy them wholesale after seeing what customers thought." Now, it's a way to build brand recognition and engage the customer directly. And for boutiques that host trunk shows, it's a way to offer the loyal shopping community something unique. Some negotiate a cut of the sales, or charge a fee as an event space. "Now it's possible to have more success with trunk shows because with Facebook and Instagram, people you would never ever meet will follow you, and if they see you're advertising a show and they're local, they might be inclined to come," Rogers said. "I can talk about the inspiration, about the fabric I use, how to take care of it. It helps people feel connected to the brand, and that one-on-one connection in a relaxed environment is a good contrast to online." Indeed, given retail's shift toward e-commerce, the trunk show represents a way to bridge the physical and online worlds in a way that encourages shoppers to do the unthinkable: willingly pay full price.

FULL-PRICE BUSINESS MODEL "The exclusive nature of a trunk show is a way to convince customers that they are getting something special for their time and money," said Roseanne Morrison , fashion director for The Doneger Group , a fashion-industry consulting firm. This has led to the success of businesses like New York City's Suite 1521, billed as an exclusive in-person shopping club -- a space created for invite-only members to buy straight from designers in part-trunk-show, part-flash-sale events. " Antonio Berardi told me that in one trunk show, he did $100,000 ," Morrison said of the British fashion designer. "His attitude changed to a 'we have to do more of these.'" For traditional boutiques, there is money to be made as well. Chicago -based specialty clothing store The Lake Forest Shop hosted a trunk show last summer with designers Tom and Linda Platt ; the show ultimately brought in more than $200,000 in sales. Morrison also pointed out that one of the first fashion companies to leverage the trunk-show concept as its core business model was Moda Operandi, a website that allows customers to preorder designer pieces as they come down the runway -- months before they hit stores, if they hit stores -- with a 50 percent deposit and no refund. The average order on the site is well over $1,000 , and the company has so far raised more than $78 million from investors, including LVMH, the luxury goods conglomerate that owns brands such as Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs . "The whole dynamic has changed into personalized service, interacting with the designer, and feeling special that they have it before anyone else. You don't get that shopping day to day," Morrison said. "Moda Operandi is the new business model: everything bought at full price. Who doesn't love that?" POPPING UP IN THE PUBLIC MIND From an operational standpoint, trunk shows and other pop-up events offer economic advantages to designers and retailers as well. "These are the perfect opportunities to show the world who you really are, and what you stand for, one-on-one," said Max Lenderman , CEO and founder of School, a digital and experiential marketing agency that has worked with Best Buy , Axe and Dominos. "You can experiment and see where customers want you to go." Indeed, pop-ups are being tested by everyone from publicly traded companies to small-business owners. Last summer, Anaheim -based surf wear retailer Pacific Sunwear opened its first-ever pop-up shop in New York's SoHo shopping district. And just before Christmas, Michelle Pederson and Saralynn Precht decided they weren't going to wait for a brick-and-mortar location to open up Treehaus, a boutique that will feature local artists' goods in Los Angeles . Instead, they outfitted a vintage VW bus that pops up at different locations around town, including flea markets and craft fairs. "It's been getting really great feedback, and the bus was a vision of who we are as a store. We're trying to get a brick-and-mortar location this spring, and we're gearing up for it by building sales and brand recognition before we open," Pederson said. "It's a natural progression from food trucks, a new wave of doing retail." Ephemeral retail is here to stay, Lenderman agreed. "Customers can browse photos online, but they want to hold things and smell things and sample things for themselves. Pop-up retail allows that to occur, and it's not as economically consuming for the retailer as a brick and mortar." Contact the writer: jwang@ocregister.com ___ (c)2014 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.) Visit The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.) at www.ocregister.com Distributed by MCT Information Services



I'm really excited to announce the latest Hanger Shortage Style Interview video.

A few months back I visited the founder of Lumi, Jesse Genet, at her loft/work studio at The Brewery Art Complex in Los Angeles. It was a very in depth interview since there was a ton of stuff to cover. Jesse talked to me about her personal style but also mostly went into detail about how she has built up Lumi to be such a successful brand. She touches on subjects like the beginning stages, her Kickstarter campaigns and what she hopes the future holds. She is a true entrepreneur and super inspiring so definitely tune in to this vid.

To celebrate the launch of this video, the Lumi team and I want to give you some tools so you can be creative and inspired. So for a chance to win an Inkodye Starter Kit, get on instagram and follow both of us: @lumi and @hangershortage. Secondly, fill out the contest entry form on Jesse's interview video page. We'll pick one lucky winner on February 8th - cross your fingers.



I'm finally getting around to a little recap post from my trip to San Francisco.

Better late than never though, right? I wasn't going to let it slip through the cracks since I scouted out way too many cool random spots. One of my favorite things to do is spend the whole day exploring and taking photos - so the San Fran trip was the perfect place to go for my birthday back in November.

I was pretty eager to check out Aether - it's an apparel brand but I was mostly interested in the shipping container that's used as their storefront. A while back I heard about the build out of this retail store - seeing it firsthand was awesome. I love the idea and detail that went into it. One thing that stood out is that they use something that is basically a futuristic rotating dry cleaners rack set-up to store their merchandise and back stock.

On a side note, if you're into cool videos like me, then here's a link to a short vid showing the process of these shipping containers coming together as a 'brick and mortar' for Aether.

'Therapy' was another really great spot - it's a small vintage shop that sells mostly furniture, art and weird trinkets. Definitely hit up this place for little home finds.

San Fran has the most random finds in side alley ways - more than any other city that I've been to. In the past, I've come across great graffiti art and this time, a small shop called Mission Workshop. The only way I found it was because there was literally just a cool looking wooden sign pointing down an alley to call attention to their location hidden back in there. So of course I had to go take a look for myself. The shop was run out of another crate type building and sold a lot of menswear, backpacks and tech gear.

Anyway, even though I was freezing cold for the majority of the trip, it was fun bundling up in my 'winter' layers and getting some cool shots of the city and all it has to offer.



So far, 2014 is off to a pretty great start.

I'm beyond honored to be named 'Top Four Trending Designers' by Locale Magazine in their latest issue. The piece was shot in my design studio back in October and I was also asked a bunch of questions about 16th Colony and my design strategy.

Sometimes it blows my mind to think that I started 16th Colony just over a year ago. When I'm deep in the everyday 'stuff', I don't think about how far along things have come - I usually just have my head down, working on the next thing. But it really wakes me up when stuff like this happens and I evaluate my path and where I'm going.

Anyway, if you get a chance, pick up a copy of the mag. They're scattered throughout Orange County at local venues + shops. But if you can't get your hands on one, then feel free to check out the piece online, here.

Huge thanks to Locale for this feature. Again, so stoked to be included in this article, along with my friend Rachel Anne Rainwater and other talented designers.



Friday night's event was a blast and I'm just now recovering from it and all the prep work that went into it.

I loved teaming up with Michelle, the woman behind the Sourced Collective space, for this event. She was amazing in helping me organize it all so well. I switched things up a bit for this Trunk Show and in addition to showing the 16th Colony collection, I also wanted to highlight the fact that I redesigned all of Hanger Shortage. We projected all the Style Interview Videos in a loop on a wall outside of the space - it was sort of magical.

There are always a ton of great elements to events like this but I think my favorite part of hosting these things is meeting new people. It's such an energizing feeling connecting with like-minded individuals and talking to them about their passions.

I'm also pretty excited that some ponchos were able to find new homes!

Waitin' for the fun to start!

So all in all, it was a success and we had a great turnout. All types of people, friends, press and even dogs :) Thanks to everyone who made it down to Laguna Beach.

Special thanks to Jennifer from the OC Register for coming out to the event.



Guess what - I've made your Friday night plans for you already.

I'm hosting an event from 7-10 at Sourced Collective in Laguna Beach on Jan. 10th. So definitely make your way over so we can hang out and share a glass of wine together. I'll be showing my latest 16th Colony collection 'American Sonoran'. I'm also really excited to announce the re-design of Hanger Shortage and celebrate that accomplishment with all of you. I've completely revamped the homepage and added in some extra pages to help bring all of the work I've done the last couple years to the surface. A lot of great posts, videos and shop + designer profiles get 'lost' in the blog so I decided it was important to make a home for all of those things.

So, I'll see you Friday and in the meantime, go ahead and browse the rest of the new Hanger Shortage site.



Leave it to the creatives to hone in on the perfect work space environment.

Michelle Mercado nailed it with her recent endeavor, Sourced - A California Collective. It's a carefully curated space in Laguna Beach that houses a variety small businesses.

Michelle relocated to Laguna Beach from San Francisco where she came from the world of event planning and design. When collaborating with the vendors she worked with, she always wanted to know more about the in's and out's of their trades - florals, stationary, photography, etc. When she gained a better understanding of these fields it helped her succeed and made her planning more efficient. Sourced Collective takes this concept one step further and is a space where Michelle and other creative small businesses can work together side by side.

When a quaint cottage in Laguna Beach became available, Michelle knew instantly that it was the perfect spot to make her idea of collaborating with other designers in close proximity a reality. In August 2013, Sourced Collective opened and became the home to several businesses including, Allison Kate Stationery, Rebecca Judy Photography, Floral Fete, The Bloomin' Gypsy, Macalistaire Vintage and ReDeux & CCH Design.

The goal is that everyone acts on their own but they also all come together and are a part of something larger. It essentially allows for all of them to have an understanding of each other's work and makes them all more well rounded.

Not only does Sourced have a well curated handful of creatives working out of the space but Michelle also found value in opening up part of the cottage for people to rent out and host workshops and events.

In fact, I'll be hosting a Trunk Show for my clothing line 16th Colony, on Friday, Jan. 10th. If you feel like killing two birds with one stone, come check out both, the inspiring Sourced Collective space, along with a rack full of Ponchos. There will be wine too so that's always a plus.

Here's a full list of all the creative people working out of Sourced - you're welcome :)

Allison Kate Stationery, Rebecca Judy Photography, Floral FĂȘte, The Bloomin' Gypsy, Macalistaire Vintage, ReDeux & CCH Design



Now that it's the New Year, I'm back at it.

I've been hiding out in Arizona for the holidays. This time I didn't bring any work back with me, which in all honesty made me a little antsy but at the same time just hanging out at home was a good way to unwind the year. I spent the week watching my mom cook (since I don't), taking photos with my dad (we both got new cameras last month) and hanging out with my best friends playing Cards Against Humanity.

Now that there's a clean slate with the New Year, I'm seriously ready to take it on. I typically don't do a lot of 'nothing', so in a way since being in Arizona I've stored up a ton of pent up energy and creativity and I am beyond ready to release it.

I'm not really one to talk about the things I'm going to do, I really just rather do it. So, I won't necessarily go into the details of what I anticipate the year to bring but I will say that for the last few months I've been listing out all my goals and ideas and now I have a timeline for it all.

I'm definitely so grateful for my readers and truly wish everyone a fantastic year ahead.

Dress - random boutique find, Jacket - Nasty Gal, Boots - Sophia & Lee