Friday, October 2, 2009

Ragtrader Feature

I am fortunate to have had a great relationship with all the lovely ladies at Ragtrader now for some years. However, it was quite an honour to be asked by the new editor Assia Bemmedjdoub to feature as one of 3 women in Australian carving a niche in the online world of fashion. Our interview was appropriately held on google chat and was a three way conversation between Assia, myself and Patty Huntington.

So it was with great pleasure when I saw the first Ragtrader issue under Assia's reign appear on newstands this week, featuring my mug shot on the cover! Assia has done a great job in narrowing down a 1.5 hour online chat into a double page article covering the world of online fashion, the role of technology and where Australia sits in the space.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

iSpy AEC

The lovely and talented Belinda Smart (former Melbourne & Online editor of Ragtrader) has recently moved to Australian Exhibition & Conferences (AEC) and heads up the fortnightly e-newsletter for Australian Shoe Fair and Fashion Exposed. Belinda and I caught up recently and I was thrilled when she asked me if I wanted to contribute to both e-newsletters about trends in the Footwear and Fashion Industry from my point of view.

So each week I will alternate between Fashion Exposed and Australian Shoe Fair talking about trends that iSpy. Most of these trends are discovered through my work as a lecturer, writer, trend forecasting contributor for WGSN and also through the work with iSpyStyle (my business).

I look forward to sharing my bite sized trend insights with AEC.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Twitchett & Tonge Shoot

Earlier in July, I styled /produced a photo shoot for the Autumn Winter 2010 Shoot for Twitchett & Tonge. The designers approached me to style their shoot as they were wanting to take the label in a slightly different direction. My involvement in this shoot was to style and produce the shoot including; consulting with casting the model, co-ordinating the actual shoot agenda, sourcing accessories and directing the photographer, art director, make-up /hair artist and liaising with the designers. The results are stunning. You can read the designers testimonial about my work below and see a list of the team involved.

"Being designers and looking at your own work continuously for months on end, means that sometimes you need the eye of another creative fashion expert to help with promotion and advertising. Kate stepped in and helped with our styling for our upcoming Autumn/Winter collection 2010. Her attitude and professionalism was outstanding, which inevitably allowed the shoot to run smoothly and successfully.

Kate had excellent creative ideas that were relayed in her well thought out story boards. These boards were then effortlessly executed into some fantastic images. We were impressed with her energy into the project and we will definitely use her again in the future."

Label: Twitchett & Tonge
Photographer: Jarrod Barnes
Art Director/ Re-toucher: Myamn Creative
Hair & Make Up: Siobhan Kelly at Napoleon Perdis
Model: Shoona Stanes at Scene Model Management
Stylist: Kate Vandermeer of iSpyStyle
Gloves & Belts : Tribu
Jewellery: Kitte Accessories
Shoes: Peep Toe Shoes

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Judging Fashion Exposed Debut Award

I've been a part of Fashion Exposed for some time now. When I was at stylehunter, I set up a partnership with Fashion Exposed to be a media sponsor and to help celebrate the emerging designers of tomorrow through the Debut Award.

Debut gives much needed promotion, financial support and the opportunity to showcase their collection as part of the Fashion Exposed trade fair. There are 3 Categories each year. 1. Avant Garde 2. Clothing 3. Accessories /Jewellery

I've been a judge on the panel who select the winners for Debut before and am judging again this year. It's a privilege to be involved in this and as such I've offered to give the 3 winners of each category a complimentary 1.5 hour consultation with me to help them understand what they could be doing to better market and brand their up and coming label.

I'll look forward to sharing the results with you next week.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Crowd Sourcing with AIMIA

The lovely Angelina Russo from Swinburne approached me earlier in the year after she saw me speak at Fashion Palette. She is part of research team at Swinburne currently investigating the role of Crowd Sourcing and User Generated Content in relation to designers.

We met up to discuss this movement and then I began to formulate the angle my talk would talk. I wanted to come from a trend observation point of view and use contemporary case studies. I wanted to discuss how in the current world we live in, we are so technology driven and demanding of others time, that speediness of brands responses to our feedback is imperative and we can actively make or break a brand in milliseconds through social networking. How does this impact on the consumer taking the control of an idea and promoting it Vs the old traditional method, where brands are interactive only with consumers during the selling period of the product.

The case Studies I focused on were: The Sartorialist and his style of recruiting for the Denim campaign for Saba (crowd sourcing was the unique point of difference for this shoot). I Spy Levi's using a jean hunt on twitter to create an interactive campaign allowing 2 touch points - offline and online. Threadless and Milk Shop Gang using the design community to create new designs whilst giving them a cut of the profits. Adidas Originals for their House Party interactive game where they encourage users to upload their photos to "adiatars" to create a house party online and ASOS -and locally Sportsgirl are using forums to generate market research into their own consumers.

So, the seminar was last night at Sensis in Melbourne featuring Adam Schilling from 99 Designs (a crowd sourcing business model for graphic design work) as well as Professor Lyndon Anderson (Deputy Dean of Swinburne). I felt quite out of place after meeting both Lyndon and Adam as their knowledge in this subject far surmounts mine, however it was most definately a stimulating and thought provoking night with many talented designers and interactive developers attending.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Marketing Magazine Article

I sat next to Kylie Flavell at LMFF this year and got chatting and discovered she is editor of both Crystal and Marketing magazine (and I thought I was busy!) So we exchanged cards and not long after, I approached Kylie about writing a regular column in Marketing Magazine with a focus on women. I was wrapped when she liked the idea, and so I set about researching what I thought Women might want to read and respond to.

The results are in the August issue of Marketing Magazine on page 66-67 in the digital section titled "What do Women want online?" Love to hear your thoughts and feedback.

Friday, July 24, 2009

WGSN Australian Contributor

A lifelong dream to work with the well reputed WGSN (Worth Global Style Network) came to fruition earlier this year. When I was at RMIT studying, I was introduced to WGSN through a guest lecturer and was overwhelmed that a website even existed in this format talking all about the world of trends, consumer behaviour, tracking where trends come from and evolve too etc.

Having used WGSN in many roles throughout my 20's at various companies and attending the WGSN twice yearly seminars on trends, I was familiar with what the site had to offer from a client point of view but always hoped that one day I might get to contribute to the site as a trend observer.

Finally at the ripe age of 30, having paid some dues and working across a variety of areas within fashion (visual merchandising, retail, design and development, lecturing, marketing and branding) I have a more thorough understanding of how the fashion industry works and in a better position to be an Australian Contributors to WGSN.

My focus is about covering Retail stores, What's in Store and City Guides. My first assignment was to go to Sydney and compile an updated report on where to shop, eat, drink and be inspired in Sydney. A favourite feature on WGSN are the city guides where you can download the print ready guide which gives you the insiders tips to where to go for creative inspiration whilst in that city.

So if you are a subscriber, check it out. It's live next week.

If you think you have a new & exciting store, great inspirational pop up store, gallery launch, window display or installation and want me to report on it. Let me know. Check out my website to get in contact with me.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fashion Category Producer of Soya Awards

Got a call during the week from the delightful and (my own career crush) Jess Scully who is creative director of the Soya Awards - a brilliant initiative by Qantas to encourage creativity in the youth of Australia. I really wish I had of known about this when I was growing up within my career as I would have jumped at the chance!

Jess asked me to be the Fashion Category Producer of the Soya Awards which basically requires me to source some great design talent and help get the word out about the Soya Awards and then select 10 finalists from all of the entries.

So, are you a budding fashion or accessories designer? Or perhaps a craftsperson or stylist? Are you interested in winning $10,000 and a mentorship with Zimmermann?

With past winners including Akina, Friedrich Gray and ANT!PODiUM, this is one serious competition open to students and emerging designers who want to get ahead!

So.. this is what to do.

1. Go to the Soya website and follow the application questions and upload examples of your work.
2. Add some info about stockists, media coverage, participation in events or fashion shows, study etc
3. DONE ... its that easy!

Only catch - do it by July 31st 2009. That means 3 weeks till deadline! So get your project runway/stylish behind into gear and get entering!

Monday, July 6, 2009

iSpyStyle is live!

So finally the website platform of my new business venture "iSpyStyle" is live! Soft launched on Friday 3rd July. Already a lot of interest, traffic and signups which is comforting!

iSpyStyle was created to establish a community between like-minded individuals who share a passion for the creative design industry. We wanted to begin a resource that would “spy” on the industry with insightful, educational interviews and connect the established industry leaders with the emerging design talent of the future.

Our aim is to offer a resource that searches the globe to collate relevant industry data associated with design from both a creative and business viewpoint, interpreting the results for the Australian market.

iSpyStyle also offers a consultancy for brands that wish to re-evaluate their online, marketing or branding strategy.

So make sure you check it out, tell your friends and send us your feedback, so we can make it even bigger and better.

Check it out.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

FGI Fashion Flash Panel Speaker

Last night I was part of a panel including Vanessa Rochman, Design Director of Metalicus and Elle Roseby, CEO of Sportsgirl with moderator Patty Huntington. This was for Fashion Group International's Fashion Flash series held in London, Milan, Paris, Sydney and Melbourne.

After featuring a 50min presentation of the top trends for Autumn Winter 09/10, Patty asked Vanessa, Elle and myself of our experiences in the local Melbourne market in terms of retailing, how the economic climate had impacted on business, how we interpret trends and the natures of our social networking strategies.

It was revealed that Sportsgirl were planning a new website re-launch with a forum, blog, full time online editor, twitter integration and a new super flagship store to be opened in August at Chadstone. Metalicus also revealed that they were planning a huge program of variations on the "little black dress" for their investment orientated customers who wanted more classics and versatility in their wardrobes rather than fast fashion.

For those who missed out, there will be another panel in September as part of Fashion Exposed.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Blogging Circle - Online Divas Blog

Online Divas have added my guest blog on Internet Retailing to their blog. A copy of the article and where it came from is all on their blog. I've also been asked to speak at the next Online Divas Event in Melbourne on Thursday 25th June with the gorgeous Kate from Drop Dead Gorgeous Daily.

Visit their website for more info.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Guest Blogging Article on Internet Retailing

I was asked by Mark Freidin of Internet Retailing (a new e-tail website) to guest blog the introduction to the Women in Retail section. It's been published online and may be an ongoing guest blogging opportunity for me to profile successful and emerging women in online. The website aims to support and nuture Australian online business owners who sell or want to sell online, or even those that just want to market online. Whether a green upstart or a seasoned online retailing veteran, this site has something for you and your business.

Read full article here.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Feature in Australian Financial Review

Recently, I was interviewed by Hannah Tattersall of the Australian Financial Review about the return of the shoulder pads.
It's an interesting trend as to the unsuspecting public, the return of the shoulder pad is truly a "pop culture fad" and yet there is so much more to this trend.

To quote the section I was featured in, see below;

"Fashion Forecaster, Kate Vandermeer says designers are lapping up trends because of the volatile retail sector. Consumers are uncertain about buying at the moment and if designers see something is selling they want to be a part of it. "This year, because a lot of designers are in a bit of a predicament - fashions tricky for Australian Retail at the moment because obviously there's just not the money that there used to be and its a superflous addition to one's lifestyle - they're looking for a commercial trend they know they can work with and that people want".

Vandermeer says the economic situation provides a suitable climate for attention-grabbing dressing. "The shoulder look first gained prevalence after World War I, along with red lipstick - It made women feel like, "we're over the war now... it's time for us to feel confident and excited, and look for some opportunity amongst the doom and gloom. The fact that it has come back now is certainly no coincidence. However, Balmain was one of the first designers to pick up on the trend and reignite it.

Just like a pair of high stiletto's makes your bottom tauter and you have to watch where you're walking, shoulder pads give a sense of authority. There's a little bit more of a swagger that one adopts from wearing the exaggerated shoulder", says Vandermeer."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fashion Palette

When Sonya from Fashion Palette approached me late last year to be a guest speaker on the Fashion Palette 2 day conference in Sydney, I was very honored. The amazing presentation she sent me was the clincher in making the decision to commit to the event. Her organization, planning and the level at which she wished to produce this event was exceptional.

So off I went to Sydney in late April early May for the 2 day fashion feast incorporating Mimco, Insight, Instyle, Alpha 60, Peter Morrissey, White Sands amongst others. A huge crowd of students and fashionistas filled the auditorium ready to listen, absorb, be inspired and learn from the various speakers.

I spent quite some time preparing my speech as I have attended many seminars and felt that there is a real art to bridging the gap between been a boring, exciting, informative, funny and helpful keynote speaker. So I wanted to ensure I didn't just talk about too much and explain where I came from, experiences I had that had led me to creating and about the online fashion space in general.

I get quite the rush from public speaking, so enjoyed this experience immensely. I was fortunate to have some great personal feedback about my presentation and had many people follow up with tweets and emails as a result.

Highlights for me personally were learning more about Cathryn Wills from Mimco (I missed working with Cathryn when I was at Mimco) and Kate from Instyle magazine as well as learning about the daily life of the "Insight" boys.

Major kudos to Sonya and Crystelle for having an idea, making it happen and executing it brilliantly.

Thanks to Love Jungle for the lend of the photo of me. Check them out.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I co-created under the Catalogue Central company in 2007. For 6 months I researched the place of online fashion domestically and internationally and learnt about navigation and what makes a website memorable. I then met with a variety of "fashionistas" in Australia who gave their learned opinion about our potential website with valuable feedback. We launched in September 2007.

I was handling all aspects of stylehunter - concepts, branding, marketing, art direction, editing, working with our tech, production and operations team and handling the budgets etc as well as the sales side. A big role to undertake and one that has taught me a tremendous amount. I became brand manager and editor and guided stylehunter to become a memorable, carbon neutral, online fashion magazine.

I left stylehunter in April 2009 and was still freelancing for them editing the weekly e-newsletter "VIP STYLE" until recently and my last monthly magazine was the "May issue". will be taking on a different format and becoming a quarterly magazine which will be outsourced from the Catalogue Central (now CC Media) team.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sunday Life Contributor

I am continually impressed by this magazine. I love that they have a great collection of thought provoking articles that aren't all celebrity focused. I love that they focus on trends, pop culture and behavioural trends within society. So it was a dream come true to contribute to the Filter Section of this magazine.


I'm also the exclusive writer for Fashionation by The coolhunter, showcasing the hottest editorials from around the globe with the latest street looks, bio's on photographers, stylists and models. I adore writing these posts as I have loved the creative individuals who create beautiful imagery since I was a young girl and begun collecting Vogue Italia. It's also inspiring to see what perspective a creative team have on trends and culture from different countries worldwide.

The Coolhunter

I am a regular contributor to the ground breaking website about trend and design driven popular culture created by Bill Tikos called "The Coolhunter". I write mainly about fashion related trends, store openings, fashion retail interiors and new products.

Education & Achievements

Education - University - RMIT Bachelor of Arts in Fashion with Merchandising 1996-1999

Achievements -
Judge - Ragtrader Retailer of the Year 2008

Judge - Fashion Exposed Debut Award 2008

Panel Speaker - Prospect 360 Seminars Fashion Media 2008 with Paula Joye, Rachel Wells and Anthea O'Connor and Fashion Media 2009 with Rachel Wells, Anthea O'Connor & Bronwyn McCahon

Panel Speaker - Online Divas 2008 Sydney Event & 2009 Melbourne Event

Panel Speaker - Inspired Media Inspired Media Event 2008

Guest Lecturer - RMIT People & Community 2008

Semester Lecturer - RMIT Fashion Faculty Trend Forecasting 2008

Keynote Speaker - Fashion Palette 2009 Sydney Event with Morrissey, Mimco, Insight, Alpha 60 and Instyle Magazine