New Lantern

About the blog

Light from the
New Lantern blog

Welcome to the New Lantern blog. Our goal is to shine light on leading innovators and creative artists, and how your business can learn and profit from them. Companies large, medium, and small can benefit from employees who think more creatively. New Lantern may be just the source of inspiration your company needs to spark more innovative products, services, and processes.

Fast Company cover

RSS Buttons

Follow New Lantern on Twitter



Archive for Tag 'fashion'

Making a Fashion Statement

Posted by on March 6, 2012 at 9:35 pm

Pop star Katy Perry showed up for opening day of Paris Fashion Week this past Saturday dressed in blue from head to toe – literally.

Singer-songwriter Katy Perry is clearly a force of nature in the music industry, and is known for turning heads with some of her unique fashion statements. At 27, Perry is strikingly attractive and curvacious, and seems quite comfortable in the public eye. And those eyes apparently love her.

Perry’s recently-released single “Part of Me” shot to the top of Billboard’s Hot 100, the 7th such song of Perry’s to hold this rarified distinction. Although she’s been performing for almost a dozen years, it was her 2008 release of “I Kissed a Girl,” that catapulted Perry to the top of the charts where she has remained ever since.

Katy Perry wasn’t always the sexy bad girl she portrays in her performances. In fact, her name is really Katy Hudson, which was the title of her first gospel album in 2001 that was released in Nashville on the Christian music label Red Hill. Soon after, the transformation to rock and pop music began at which time Katy Hudson started using the stage name, Katy Perry, so not to be confused with the actress Kate Hudson.

As if her public life wasn’t outrageous enough, in 2010 Perry married the wildly eccentric comedic actor Russell Brand. That same year, she was to appear on Sesame Street in a music video, but the segment was never broadcast as planned. The video was first released on YouTube, and sparked a firestorm as many parents were outraged by Perry’s choice of wardrobe for the video – or lack thereof – in which she showed off ample amounts of cleavage.

By the way, her marriage to Russell Brand ended earlier this year.

Although Perry’s fashion and matrimonial sense will not win her any awards, her ticket as a songwriter and entertainer has never been hotter.

So I offer the same advice to corporate America as I do to Katy Perry. Maintain a keen focus on those pursuits that set you apart and contribute to your success. And don’t fall prey to new and shiny objects that may divert your attention.

In the end, success will be your best fashion statement.

If the Shoe Fits

Posted by on October 10, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Today’s New York Times features a story about the multibillion-dollar Italian footwear company, Tod’s, which was started by Diego Della Valle in 1978.

I’ve long been a fan of Tod’s shoes, having bought my first pair during a trip to Rome almost 20 years ago. Tod’s shoes allow you to be comfortable, yet stylish at the same time, which you cannot say for the vast majority of designer shoes.

My husband actually bought his first pair of Tod’s shoes at Barney’s in Manhattan this past Friday. While I was sitting at my hairdresser’s, he slipped across Madison Avenue to buy a pair of dark brown, suede chukka-type boots by Tod’s.

Chukka boots are now on their second comeback tour, having first become popular in the 1940s and 50s, then again in the 1970s. I wore chukkas in the 70s, and have fond memories of the shock-absorbing feel of the crepe soles, the simple, two-eyelet design, and the soft feel of the suede of the ankle-high boot.

As the New York Times article notes, Tod’s is somewhat unique in that it continues to manufacture its shoes in Italy. Most other large Italian shoemakers, like Geox, have moved their production operations to China and other parts of Asia, in an effort to dramatically cut labor costs.

Tod’s decision to stay in Italy comes at a cost, literally, to the consumer, who can expect to pay nearly double what he or she would probably otherwise pay. But that’s really the point. Certain customers are apparently willing to pay more for the look, fit and feel of what has made Italy the envy of the rest of the design world for decades. Admittedly, it’s a risky approach, particularly in this economy, when consumers are re-thinking the value of brand and designer, and in many cases are opting for lower-cost alternatives.

We’ll see whether or not Tod’s decision to stay in Italy proves wise or euro-foolish over the next few years. I’m hoping for the former. Smart business is not always about taking the cheaper road. When brand, quality, and customer loyalty are at stake, sometimes the best decision is to stay on the same road that got you where you are — no matter how attractive that short-cut may look.

And if you’re getting there by foot, you’ll need a comfortable pair of shoes.

SCADs of Talent

Posted by on July 26, 2010 at 4:40 pm

July 29th marks the start of the 8th season for Bravo’s Emmy-award winning television program “Project Runway.”

One of the designer contestants who will appear on the show this season will be April Johnston, a 2010 graduate of SCAD’s School of Fashion. At 21, Johnston will be the youngest of the 17 contestants.

SCAD is the Savannah College of Art and Design, which is headquartered in Savannah, Georgia, with campuses also in Atlanta, Hong Kong, and Lacoste, France.

I profiled SCAD in a blog posting in February 2009. As one of the top art and design schools on the globe, I am a big fan and supporter of SCAD’s.

If past “Project Runway” shows are any guide, April Johnston will undoubtedly face stiff competition, as well as stiff critiques from the show’s honcho and former super model, Heidi Klum. Fashion industry luminaries Tim Gunn, Michael Kors, and Nina Garcia round out the panel of judges.

What Johnston will have going for her is the world-class education and training she received at SCAD. That, along with some natural talent, will hopefully serve her well throughout the competition.

The Dean of Fashion at SCAD, Michael Fink, handicaps Johnston’s chances this way, “If her provocative and powerful senior collection is any indication, we’re confident she’ll create some exciting and intriguing clothes.”

We will soon see whether or not that’s the case.

Your employees hold the keys to your company’s success and how well you measure up to the competition. But you’ll need to create a corporate culture that will nurture employee talent, and stimulate creativity and innovation.

New Lantern has the type of “provocative and powerful” services that could tap into the scads of talent that already exists within your employees. This, in turn, could put you on the path to your own award-winning season.

Style With Elsa Klensch

Posted by on January 18, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Throughout the 1990s, I looked forward to Saturday mornings for two reasons. First, I could sleep late. Second, I enjoyed watching CNN’s weekly fashion show, “Style with Elsa Klensch,” which aired at 10:30 a.m. on the East Coast.

I’m still able to sleep a little later on Saturdays, but not since 2001 have I been able to watch my favorite Saturday morning show when Klensch and “Style” took their last bow on the runway.

I can still hear Klensch’s distinctive voice ringing in my head: “This is ‘Style’ and I’m Elsa Klensch reporting on the design worlds of fashion, beauty, and decorating,” she would proclaim at the top of every show. Then she proceeded to give the week’s highlights of design and fashion as if it were a weekly sports program — only with a lot more panache.

“Style” was the first of its kind. Long before the Fashion Channel,, and “Project Runway,” there was Elsa Klensch. She brought the latest fashions and their designers from the streets of Paris, Milan, and New York to Main Street – and the industry and the profession are still prospering from it.

Klensch came about her fashion fame the old fashion way, she earned it. She was born in Australia, and then later lived overseas in London and Hong Kong, before arriving in the United States. According to, Klensch worked as an editor at Vogue, Women’s Wear Daily, W, and Harper’s Bazaar before joining CNN in New York City on its 1980 launch.

She also appeared as herself in a number of television shows and films, including Robert Altman’s Prêt-à-Porter (1994), which chronicled the Paris fashion show scene.

I’m not sure where Ms. Klensch is today, but I did recently see her name on Facebook. (And yes, I admit it, I sent her a “friend” request). Where ever she is, I salute her on behalf of the thousands of women and men whom she undoubtedly inspired to go into fashion, take up a creative profession, or simply better appreciate design.

Klensch had a style all her own, which was the root of her success. There is a lesson here for individuals and private enterprises alike. Create your own style. Follow your passion. And, inspire others along the way. If so, success should soon follow.

(By the way, Ms. Klensch, if you are reading this blog could you please “accept” my friendship?)

Learning from Yves Saint Laurent

Posted by on March 16, 2009 at 7:02 pm

I love YSL

Last month, Christie’s held the “Sale of the Century” auction in Paris of the art and furniture owned by world-renowned fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, who died in June 2008 at the age of 71. Christie’s spent $1.2 million to host the auction at the famed Grand Palais near the Champs-Elysees, which drew over 30,000 visitors to the preview exhibition. The auction itself spread over three days and raised a record-breaking $484 million — even in the face of the global economic crisis. Saint Laurent’s lifelong partner, Pierre Berge, said that most of the profits from the auction would be donated to HIV/AIDS research.

The overwhelming interest in last month’s auction underscores the impact of Saint Laurent in the art and design world over the last five decades. Born in Algeria in 1936, Saint Laurent maintained a home in Morocco. At his request, Saint Laurent’s ashes were scattered near his Marrakech villa in the Majorelle botantical garden, which he frequently visited to find influence. His influence also came from the streets of major international cities. For example, he was known for “bringing the Parisian beatnik style to couture runways and adapting peacoats he found in Army-Navy stores in New York” into fashionable women’s jackets, according to the New York Times.

Corporate executives and managers could learn from the man who built the House of YSL. To succeed in business, you must change as rapidly as the markets and interests of customers change. Today’s haute couture can be tomorrow’s bargain-bin special. Same goes with your products and services, and how you do business.

Seek inspiration in both likely and unlikely places. Embrace the principle that the look and feel of a product is as important as its function. Leverage the latest Web 2.0 tools that your customers and clients are using. And those who are fortunate enough to have laurels, shouldn’t rest on them, not if your business is interested in being around tomorrow.

Happy Birthday to SCAD

Posted by on February 3, 2009 at 7:22 pm

SCAD in Savannah

The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) refers to itself as the “The University for Creative Careers,” and rightfully so. SCAD has more degree programs and specializations in art and design than any other university in the U.S. This year marks the 30th anniversary for SCAD, which is located in Savannah, GA, with campuses also in Atlanta, GA and Lacoste, France.

Corporations can learn from the SCAD experience. It knows that to build one of the world’s top art and design schools, you have to put students in a creative and inspiring environment. SCAD’s main campus is spread out over numerous buildings in the heart of Savannah — one of America’s most picturesque cities. Spanish moss drapes hundreds of century-old trees that line the streets and squares of Savannah. SCAD is credited with much of the revitalization of Savannah’s 2 1/2-square-mile historical district — the nation’s largest.

SCAD students also benefit from a diversity of thought, experience and perspectives. Savannah is home to scores of accomplished authors and artists. Students and faculty come from all 50 states and from over 90 countries. SCAD offers its students majors in over 40 programs, spanning the gamut of creativity and innovation, e.g., architecture, graphic design, illustration, interactive design, fashion, photography, performing arts, advertising design, and dramatic writing.

Last month, SCAD hosted a panel discussion on “Art, Design and the Cultural Moment,” which featured nationally recognized leaders in technology and innovation. The discussion focused on how “creativity can act as an economic engine…sparking entrepreneurship, growth and success.”

Learning is a life-long experience. And whether its in Savannah, Atlanta, San Francisco, New York, Denver or Cincinatti — exposing your employees to a creative environment, innovative thinking, and diversity of thought can lead to very positive results for your company’s bottom line.