Monthly Archives: March 2017

Information Technology and Textile Industry

Today, Information technology (IT) plays a vital role in the field of textile industry. Any manufacturing unit employs four Ms that is, Men, Material, Machine and of course Money. To get organizational success, managers need to focus on synchronizing all these factors and developing synergies with in and outside organizational operations. With the increased competition, companies are taking support of IT to enhance its Supply Chain Management (SCM) and using it as a competitive edge. In short, many textile companies are leveraging the technological power to adding value to their business.

Supply Chain Management includes: sourcing, procuring, converting, and all the logistic activities. It seeks to increase the transaction speed by exchanging data in real-time, reduce inventory, and increased sales volume by fulfilling customer requirements more efficiently and effectively.

Why Textile Industries Need IT Support?

Lack of information on demand and supply aspects

Most of the decisions a manager takes are related to demand and supply issues. But unfortunately very few are able to get it, as a result decisions taken carries risk and uncertainty. Excess inventory is one of the most common problems faced by managers which further results in long cycle-time, outdated stock, poor sale, low rates, and reduction in order visibility and finally leads to customer dissatisfaction.

Long procurement time

In a traditional textile industry, procurement process takes a much longer time. So, the retailers need to forecast demand and identify consumer trends at a much earlier stage. Lack of clarity about future can either result in early stock out, delay or overstock.

Supply chain in-competency

With the urge for getting global, apparel and textiles are facing hurdles of inefficiency in carrying out various processes involved right from designing, developing samples, getting approval, manufacturing, dispatching to payment procedures. The total time taken can get extended to one year or even longer. If we calculate, production actually accounts for just ten to twenty percent of the total time. Rest of the time is taken for the information processing from one end to the other.

The trajectory of development of Information Technology has intersected every application in textile industry. From enhancing performance of textile manufacturing and tighter process control, IT has inserted intelligence at every node of textile supply chain.

Step into the global trade

It is a fact that a company going global is opened with lots of opportunities as well as threats in terms of competition, changing trends, and other environmental changes. It necessitates managing every kind of information efficiently and at much faster speed.

Interaction of Information Technology with Textile Supply Chain

Sharing of Information

Proper flow of information along supply chain member is very critical. Such flow of information can influence the performance of overall supply chain operations. It includes data about customers and their demand, inventory status, production and promotion plan, shipment schedules, payment details, etc. Bar coding and Electronic data interchange are the two information technology tools which can facilitate information integration.
Bar coding facilitates recording of detailed data by converting it to electronic form and can be easily shared among members through EDI system. EDI with its high efficiency is able to replace the traditional ways of transmission like telephone, mail and even fax. EDI enables managers to analyze and apply it in their business decisions. It also helps in expediting order cycle that reduces investment in inventory. EDI based network enables Company to maintain quick response and closure relationships with suppliers and customers, who are geographically dispersed. Manufacturers and retailers can share even new designs developed through CAD / CAM.

Supports planning and execution operations

Planning and coordination are very important issues in supply chain management. The next step after sharing information is planning which includes joint design and implementation for product introduction, demand forecasting and replenishment. Supply chain members decide their roles and responsibility which is coordinated through the IT system.

Various software tools like MRP, MRP-II, APSS facilitates planning and coordination between different functional areas within the organization.

Material Requirements Planning (MRP): It helps in managing manufacturing processes based on production planning and inventory control system. Proper implementation of MRP ensures availability of material for production and product for consumption at right time optimizes the level of inventory and helps in scheduling various activities. MRP system uses computer databases to store lead times and order quantity. MRP includes mainly three steps: first assessing the requirement of how many units of components is required to produce a final product; Here it applies logic to implement Bill of Material (BOM) explosions. Second step includes deducting the stock in hand from gross to find out net requirement. Finally, scheduling manufacturing activities such that finished goods are available when required, assuming the lead time.

Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRPII) system is a logical extension of MRP system which covers the entire manufacturing function. This typically includes machine loading, scheduling, feedback and Software extension programs in addition to material requirement planning. It provides the mechanism to evaluate the feasibility of a production schedule under a given set of constitutions.

A textile company which has multipoint manufacturing and engaged in global business necessitates something more than MRP and MRP-II like Distribution Requirement Planning (DRP), it has the ability to solve both capacity and material constraints and quickly propagates the effects of problems in both backward and Forward direction through the supply chain.

The Advance Planning and Scheduling (APSS) system includes both material focus of MRP and rapid response scheduling power of MRP-II.

Coordination of logistics flows

Workflow coordination can include activities such as procurement, order execution, implementing changes, design optimization, and financial changes which results in cost and time efficiency. The results are cost-effective, speedy and reliable supply chain operations.

IT contributions towards maximizing the value of textile supply chain through integrating supply chain operations within and outside the organization and collaborating the acts of vendors and customers based on shared forecasts. Internet adds to IT contribution towards supply chain management through coordination, integration and even automation of critical business processes. New system of the supply chain game emerges as a result of business innovation fueled by the Internet.

Many supplying companies maintain demand data by style, size, fabric and color to replenish inventory at retail outlet. Level of replenishing is predetermined by both parties after reviewing history of sales by product and buying behavior of the community.
New Business Models:

Data mining and data warehousing

Data mining is the process of analyzing data from different viewpoints and summarizing it into useful information that can be used as a basis of monitoring and control, enabling companies to focus on the most important aspects of their business. It allows users to analyze data from many different dimensions, categorize it, and summarize the relationships identified. In short it is the process of finding correlations or relationship among dozens of fields in large relational databases.
Data warehousing is the repository of data and can be defined as a process of centralized data management and retrieval. Centralization of data maximizes user access and analysis.

E-commerce

E-commerce can be B2B (Business To Business) and B2C (Business To Customer). B2C commerce is the direct selling to consumers through Internet. While B2B marketplace can be defined as neutral Internet-based intermediaries that focus on specific business processes, host electronic marketplaces, and use various market-making mechanisms to mediate transactions among businesses. B2B appears to be more prospective than B2C.

E-retailing

The textile-retail giants are adding an Internet shopping-component to their offering. It has affected their distribution and warehousing infrastructure. As a result of going online, retailers have changed their supply chain strategy. High volume products with stable demand are stocked in local stores, while low-volume products are stock centrally for online purchasing.

Companies prefer a direct route to consumers by closely scrutinizing individual customer's tastes, preferences, habits, and buying patterns. Instead of waiting for consumers to visit their stores, retailers simply send them e-mails with offers. Internet has facilitated quick response system. With the use of web-enabled technology it is possible to have automatic customer replenishment system.



Source by Gaurav Doshi

The Skinny Jean: A Brief History

Skinny Jeans, whether you love them or loathe them, they’re everywhere. But where did they come from?

1950s and 1960s fashion:

Jeans became the symbol of rebellion and passionate youth worn by the sex symbols of the day. James Dean, Marlon Brando, and Elvis wore their jeans straight and slim. Although women in the 50’s didn’t often wear jeans; Audrey Hepburn, Sandra Dee, and Marilyn Monroe wore the 50’s fashion of slim, close fitting pants that had the same sexy silhouette as today’s skinnies. By the 60’s women’s jeans were more common (even though the zipper was in the back) and they continued to have that skinny silhouette. The look could be super sweet like the girl next door, or sexy and rebellious like those greaser chics in the musical and movie of the same name. Rock and Roll was coming of age and tight jeans were the uniform.

1970s Fashion

The essence of Rock and Roll stays strong in skinny jeans despite the fluff and flash of the Disco era. When we think of 70’s fashion, we think of elephant bells and groovy flare jeans; but dig a little deeper and you’ll find the beginnings of the punk movement and the skinniest jeans in history. Tight from the waist to the ankle, safety pins were often used to keep them snug around the body and increase that bondage appeal. Think of The Sex Pistols and The Ramones as prime examples. Vivian Westwood had her own shop selling this “anti-fashion” to the ultra hip crowd.

1980s fashion

Flash Dance collides with Spandex to bringing a whole new look to the denim scene. Tight jeans were definitely in for women and men. Tight and stone washed, (still no stretch in denim) 80’s fashion is where tapered leg jeans really made their mark, and the style lasted well into the early 90’s. Remember those oversized sweatshirts and the colorful leg warmers? Pat Benetar, Chrissie Hynde and The Rolling Stones, all the serious rockers wore their denim tight (without the leg warmers of course).

1990s Fashion

While mainstream fashion heads toward the boot cut, skinny jeans recapture their cool. No longer popular in 90’s fashion, tight jeans could still be found on the music scene. The Rolling Stones were still rolling along, and underground Punk with its Goth cousin were entrenched in tight skinny jeans (anti-fashion once again). Ever wonder why “Rock n Roll” is so often mentioned in reference to jeans? For mainstream America the skinny jean had taken a disturbing turn, evolving into tapered leg styles and even the horrors of faux denim leggings (some people just have trouble moving on).

2000-2003

Denim is everywhere, after years of boot cuts and flares, the skinny jean looks suddenly fresh and new. Here we are again, but skinny jeans didn’t just pop up over night. It has taken a while to hit the mainstream. In fall of 2002 cutting edge designers were showing skinny jeans scrunched over high heels and tucked into boots. Stella McCartney, Versus (Versace), and Rock and Republic are all showing skinny jeans. By 2003 the trend becomes even more prevalent on the runways and all the premium denim brands are on board. You have to admit, it looks great on those runway models.

2004-2005

The Power of celebrity is omnipotent, if Kate is wearing it, it’s got to be good.

Designers are still pushing the skinny, and the trend catches on in London. Visitors to High Street feel totally out of date in their tried and true boot cut jeans. JBrand Jeans is launched in LA, producing straight and skinny jeans in dark washes with minimal detailing. Celebrities such as Kate Moss, Angelina Jolie, and Sienna Miller embrace the new trend and look amazing in it. Our very own fashionista, Ada, bought her first pair of skinny jeans in 2005, but mainstream America is still slow to catch on. Lucky Brand Jeans introduces skinnies to their customers only to watch them languish on the store shelves.

2006

The Skinny Jean is all the buzz! It’s hard to wear but you know what they say: “No Pain, No Gain”. It’s here, it’s there, it’s everywhere! Suddenly Americans are seeing Skinnies in every store. Almost all denim brands offer at least one version of a skinny, cigarette, or super straight. There are other jeans out there, but these are the ones that are on the top of everyone’s list. Stores are pushing the new look, and everyone from fashion editors to bloggers are writing about this new trend. Early in the year news reports are varied, predicting that this is a style that just won’t catch on with mainstream America. But by the fall season you can get your skinny fix everywhere from the trendiest boutiques to the local discount store. The skinny is definitely at the peak of popularity right now.

How long will the style last? What’s next? Let’s look to London and see, is that a wide leg jean?



Source by Lori Hayashida

Microfiber The most Advantageous Fiber Of The Age

Invention of Microfiber

After years of trialing, Dr. Miyoshi Okamoto scientist of Japan at Toray Industries, invented the world's first microfiber in 1970 and later his coworker Dr. Toyohiko Hikota improve a new practice and modify Dr. Okamoto's invention into an impressive new fabric – Ultrasuede – a non-woven material and the first commercial production of microfiber commenced in 1989, in US by EI DuPont de Nemours & Company, Inc.

Microfibers: Very fine fibers

Microfiber is a variety of polyester that has exclusive and advantageous properties compared to other traditional fibers.Microfibers are heavily formed, polyester and polyamide fibers and are one hundred times finer than human hair. The diameter of microfibers is one-quarter of fine wool, one-third of the cotton, half of a fine silk fiber and the density of the material consent it to grip six to eight times of its weight in water.

"Denier" is the word used to describe the diameter or fineness of fiber. One denier measurement means a 9000-meter length of fiber or yarn in the weight of grams. Falling in the category of microfiber the size must be less than one denier ie minimum 0.9 denier requirements. Although, many microfibers are available in the size of 0.5 – 0.6 denier or even in less diameter.

Microfibers – User-friendly fiber

Generally, microfiber is a mixture of polyester and polyamide (a nylon by-product) available in a mixture of 80/20, 75/25, or 70/30 etc polyester and polyamide ratios. Microfibers can be available alone or mixed with usual denier man-made fibers as well as with natural fibers such as cotton, wool, silk even rayon too. Micro-fibers are made from polyester, nylon, rayon and most recently acrylic. They also can be blended with other fibers including Lycra spandex. These mixtures improve the look; Adorn and the performance of the fabric. Micro-fibers can be woven or knitted into a wide range of fabrics such as satin, faille, crepe, twill, taffeta and broadcloth. A variety of microfibers and its finishes improves the appearance and experience like silks, sand washed, or a leather and feather look.

Properties & characteristics of Microfibers

. Lightweight and flexible

. Good stability and shape retention

. Anti-wrinkle property

. Have a crying ability that permits perspiration

. Comfortable to wear as they are more spongy

. Does not water stain – superior water repellency is available

. Woven or knitted into a very high quality fabric construction

. Formerly completed as a polyester microfiber, today you can find nylon, rayon and acrylic microfibers too.

. Strong and durable, water repellent and wind resistant -so tightly woven, that the fabric can not be penetrated by wind, rain or cold

. Lightweight, resistant or resist wrinkling, have a comfortable array, preserve shape and resist pilling

. The positively charged microfibers draw dust; The tiny fibers are capable to enter the microscopic surface voids most materials

. Washable, dries quickly and also washable at the water temperatures up to 200 degrees and their characteristics will remain intact.

. Electrostatic effect – Hair, lint and other dust particles are attached and grabbed by the microfibers without lifting dust

. The density of the material allowable it to grip six to eight times its weight in water because high absorbing power capacity

. The attraction capability of the microfibers is so sound, even absorbs bacteria and germs – hence can be used as germ or bacteria free purpose

. The fabric consists of millions of small tiny condits that carry oil and grease too.

Benefits of microfibers

Comfortable – very soft, texture like silk, lightweight

. Due to its fineness and superior fiber surface area making deep, rich and bright colors achievable

. Less "sweaty" in warm weather than usual synthetics

. Quickly cleanable – clean just with water

. Highly intense and shrink-resistant

. Presents isolation and breathability

. Change without help – to establish lovely drape

. Very fine – finer than the most precise silk

. More reusable for cleaning alternative – compared to other mops more efficient and long life

The use of microfibers: Endless
The straight and strong fibers of polyester and nylon – microfibers provide flexible and silky performance because of its extensive fiber surface area. Microfibers are used in diverse fabrics ratios to make different textile garments, apparels and used most regularly in dress making.
Today it is used at the optimum level by sportsmen, popular for outerwear and body wear and became a very popular alternative tool of cotton apparel, because due to their properties of air intervenes effortlessly through the fabric, body's moisture is wicked away immediately from the skin's Surface to the outer face of the fabric and it keeps the athletes cool and dry.
It is also used for making suit jackets, rainwear, outdoor fleece and wind-resistant sportswear, as well as tents, sleeping bags, track and jogging suits and many more uses like automotive, household and health & beauty etc. Endless uses for micro-fiber fabrics covers men's slacks and ties, women's silk-like blouses and dresses, hosiery and lingerie, evening wear, children's wear, intimate apparel, luxurious upholstery fabrics, sheets and pillow cases, high performance filters, artificial blood vessels , Sanitary and towel products etc. Even microfibers use to make stockings for men, women and special high length anti-embolism stockings too.

Products such as microfiber towel or napkin are available in the blend of 80% polyester (the scrubbing and cleaning fiber), and 20% polyamide (the absorbing and quick drying fiber, this blend is expressed as "80/20") or 70 / 30 or in various blends. Several reliable reasons to use microfibers towel are:

. Not generating any problems with those suffering from allergies due to its hypoallergenic properties

. Microfiber absorbing over six to seven times its weight in water – super absorbent

. Microfiber dries in 1/3 the time of regular cleaning towels.

. Microfiber is environmentally friendly washable with just water, have no need of soap or any kind of chemicals.

. Microfiber is over four to five times more effective than ordinary cleaning towels

. Microfiber is totally lint free and non-abrasive compared to other cotton towels

Microfiber became a tremendously efficient cleaning material because of their characteristics of dust appealing and the capacity of entering the microscopic surface which pores of most materials due to their positively charged microfibers. It uses as janitorial and all purpose cleaning and wiping tools or cloths. Even it develops very small cutting boundaries that smash ups and easily sucks up dirt of particular surface, also eliminates oils and other grimi substances immediately. Due to its tremendous washable properties it is also used to clean equipment such as monitors, printers, plastic sheeting, metal surfaces, office & lab equipment and many more.

Today it is considered as a good alternative of cotton mop because it is reusable many times compared to other mopping device or clothes. In hospitals microfibered mopping are widely used due to its electrostatic effect – Hair, lint and other dust particles even bacteria and germs are attracted and grabbed by the microfibers without lifting dust and acts as effective pollution, dust bacteria control device. Without the application of any chemical or a cleaning agent microfiber wipes any surface and can disinfect bacteria / germs up to 99.95%. The result shows that its reduces 95% chemical cost related to mopping tasks, saves 60% lifetime cost for mopping and saves labor cost about 20% per day.

Taking care of microfibers

Microfibers can usually be treated similar to that of the usual fibers manufactured from the same fiber group or type. For example, fabrics prepared from polyester and nylon microfibers can most likely be cleaned and dried out comparable to fabrics produced from usual polyester and nylon fibers. Viscose rayon functions well when dry-cleaned. Polynosic or high wet modulus rayons are washable in machines.

According to the fiber, whether it is polynosic or viscose-type rayon, rayon microfiber the right treatment of washing the fiber is needed. During dry winter, when heating systems are turned on and the humidity is low static charges may built up in fabrics from synthetic microfibers and temporary spots from unnecessary heat in the dryer may generate on the microfiber, take care during this instance.

. Because fibers such as polyester or nylon are very fine or small in diameter, heat enters the fibers faster than other fibers and due to heat sensitive properties, hence glazing, melting or scorching can quickly; A few cares should be required for microfibers.

– Work with a cool iron, do not put down the iron on the fabric too long, do not pressure too much.

. Bleach smash down the polyester and polyamide microfilaments, representing them not as much of useful microfiber products do not required bleach.

– Avoid the use of bleach.

. Coating of "softener" clogs the microfibers.

– Avoid the use fabric softener

. Washing microfiber with other cotton products grab and hold other cotton fibers.

– Avoid washing with other cotton products.

. Microfibers are tremendously fine, putting the garments with jewelry could scrape garment easily and widely abrasion.

– Avoid making garments with jewelry that is violent or sharp

It is the comfortable experience and appearance of the fabrics which makes microfibers so special for many product lines that they can carry their remarkable performance to an intensive and countless uses and today it is considered as the most advantageous fiber of the age.



Source by Gaurav Doshi

Designer Jeans – Tips On How To Spot Fake Designer Jeans

Did you know that some manufacturers estimate that 50% of the designer jeans sold in malls, retail stores and online are fake? While we all love the look and feel of a pair of the hottest designer jeans, the thought of spending hundreds of dollars only to find out you just bought a fake is upsetting. The great news is that by following the tips in this article you can buy designer jeans anywhere with a since of confidence that you are getting the real deal. So next time you are shopping for designer jeans here are some things to look for:

Take a very close look at the fabric. Fake designer jeans by definition are cheaply made and the denim is often a coarse material that will feel stiffer and heavier than premium originals.

Pay close attention to the quality of the stitching. Premium designer jeans manufacturers take great pride in their workmanship and reject samples that do not adhere to their strict quality standards. Uneven stitching and loose threads are very good indicators that you are looking at fake designer jeans.

Virtually all designer jeans have some sort of signature stitching on the pockets that makes them unique. Go to the manufacturer’s website and become very familiar this because sometimes the difference in fake designer jeans pocket stitching is difficult to spot. If you notice a difference, you can be almost certain you are looking at a fake.

Designer jeans labels will often be the easiest way to identify a fake. Fakes will usually have subtle differences in writing or label quality. Both paper and fabric tags are usually made of cheaper materials than their authentic counterparts. If you spot an exterior hangtag with different paper quality, font or twine attachment it is almost always a fake.

Inspect the buttons. On some designer jeans the buttons are pretty close to the original, however, some buttons are different sizes, have letters missing or in some cases the wrong buttons completely.

Now you have a number of ways that you can identify fake designer jeans. If you keep these tips in mind and spend a little time to get familiar with the specific characteristics of the brands you like most, you will quickly become an expert at spotting fakes. This will be very helpful to you because while there are a large number of fakes around, there are plenty of great bargains on originals around every corner.

Remember that when it comes to shopping for clothing, full retail is for suckers.



Source by Leslie Romero

Valentine’s Day: 14 Roses and a Funeral

I admit. I am a hopeless romantic. Several years ago, I bought fourteen roses for Thule as a surprise gift for the Valentine’s Day. I was prepared to go the whole hog complete with candlelight dinner, French champagne and sweet Jazz music. She never received the roses. I never got to see her. She had left town hurriedly for good.

Thule was my kind of girl. She was tall like a model, slender but not skinny, and light in complexion – a true yellow bone. She had everything going for her – a perfect body complete with curves. She had beautiful blue eyes, and her set of dazzling, angel-white teeth gleamed as she blew gently on her carmine-red fingernails. She had saccharine sweet lips that only spoke words of kindness. They were blossom soft. She had a soothing voice and a bubbly personality. When she smiled, her oyster-white teeth lit up the room. Her high cheekbones made her face almost looks perfect. She permanently smelt good – the scent of her perfume always mesmerised my senses. When she walked it looked like a perfectly choreographed movement. She spoke softly with her iconic smile permanently on.

It didn’t help that she was a hairstylist by profession and ran her own hair salon. She always wore her long and in some sophisticated darkie kind of way. She dressed to kill, always with different chains of gold in her neck. I enquired once about her sense of fashion, she said: “I design my own clothes”. For lack of a better word, Thule was truly a village beauty, beautiful inside out. I was head over heels for her. She had ravished my heart. She was always in mind. In my downtime, I always imagined her soft lips touching mine and, her whispering sweet nothings into my ear. She was indeed my lily flower.

Our love for each other was reciprocal. She boosted my ego no end. She always remarked that my smile was infectious. She told me I wasn’t capable of making her angry. She was into as much as I was. My relationship with Thule started like house on fire. It was love at sight. I never knew that such was possible. But, why did she leave town unexpectedly? I guess I will never know.

Dear reader: let me take you back to that fateful Valentine’s Day at midday. I was dressed to the nines. I had fourteen roses in my hands. I was high on love. As I walked up the stairs into Thule’s hair salon I was humming melodies of Don Williams’s hit song -“True Love”. The lyrics went something like this:

Well, you know it’s true love

Deeper than deep

Hotter than a fire

Well, it’s hard to find and it’s harder to keep

It’s the thing we most desire.

I entered the Thule’s hair salon in high spirits with roses in hand only to be met by sombre faces. Thule was nowhere in sight. I recognised only three of her friends who were meant to be busy hairstyling clients but my entry stopped them in their tracks. I couldn’t understand why women who were always cheerful whenever seeing me had had a change of heart. Suddenly there was a pandemonium as the girls spoke amongst themselves trying to figure out who was the eldest. I was bamboozled.

A hastily convened caucus agreed on the representative to speak to me. The chosen one didn’t hesitate. She announced the news matter-of-factly – Thule is dead. She was buried last month. The friend’s words cut deep into my heart. Fortunately, they allowed the words to sink in properly before weeping in unison. They were no longer crying for Thule but for me. Time stood still. This was a moment of reckoning for me. The woman whom I told anyone who cared to listen that I was in love with; I had not phoned or seen her for a month. There was no cogent reason for this lack of communication. I had last seen her in late December. She mentioned that she wasn’t feeling well. I had advised her to seek medical help. We parted on good terms. I planted a kiss on her forehead, and promised to see her in the New Year.

So the Valentine’s Day appearance with fourteen roses was meant to atone for my lack of communication and to reignite the fire between us. Well, well, the woman I wanted to surprise had a bombshell for me. As the shock subsided, grief set in. Tears involuntary started rolling down my cheeks. My lily flower had died an agonising death. Alone and lonely.

The love of my life Thule, the snazzy dresser, hairstylist and my yellow bone died out of the blue many moons ago but it still hurts deeply. I didn’t have a chance to say my goodbye. None of the friends had my cell-phone number hence nobody informed me of the sad news.

I was so devastated by the news of Thule’s demise that I threatened to mourn for her publicly by wearing a black mourning cloth. I never did. After a few minutes after the bombshell, and mutual grief, I left in a huff, still with fourteen roses in hand. To this day, I have no recollection of what I did with the roses. Yes, I have loved and been blessed to be loved by the best. Goodbye my lily flower. We shall meet in paradise. I will bring the roses with me.



Source by Bhekisisa Mncube

What Does It Mean To Be 50?

When I was 30, being 50 seemed really, really old. Even when I was 40, turning 50 seemed like an eternity away. It was something other women did. In my rose-colored world, I would somehow transmogrify into a 20 year old again, never having to get old and face the supposed horrors I imagined would be waiting there for me.

Being 50 meant being a grandmother and wearing orthopedic lace-up shoes, putting gray rinses (or worse still, pink rinses!) in your hair and starting to check out the price of walking frames.

Now, as my 50th birthday looms large, I realize I’m still much the same person I was and felt back when I was 20, even if I’ve gained a few increasingly difficult to shed pounds, and a couple of kids along the way. And maybe I don’t move with the same grace and agility I once had (hey, who am I kidding? I NEVER moved with grace and agility!), but I’ve still got a spring in my step and I still get a kick out of life. But now it’s more to do with the antics my kids get up to rather than the antics I once did.

I was recently at the hairdresser having what I call my “Sharon Osbourne” streaks done. I’d decided to shed my golden locks for something a little more outrageous. Hey, I figure if Sharon Osbourne can have flame red streaks carelessly tossed through her hair – and she’s even older than I am – why not me too?

As I sat there, I was chatting away to my hairdresser Suzie and the woman sitting in the chair next to me. We were discussing all matters of life events. The kind of world-altering, socially cutting edge topics all we women discuss at the hairdresser – like who’s dating who, and she didn’t, did she? Yep, life-changing stuff.

What surprised me was the reaction from the woman sitting beside me – her attitude was so negative and well…frumpy. Not only did she have no idea who we were canning (so tell me – who on this planet hasn’t heard of Britney or Madonna?), our entire conversation, which I will agree was a trifle trite and inane (but hey, that’s what going to the hairdresser is all about isn’t it?). More importantly, especially to me, was the looks of sheer horror when she glanced at what i was having done to my hair. If I wasn’t a stronbger person, I would have felt like a recalcitrant school girl being chastised by the headmistress.

It’s not for me to criticize or pass judgement on my fellow man – or woman – but this woman looked old and dreary and her demeanor was that of someone who was carrying the burden of all that society has to deal with these days on her rounded shoulders. I put her age at around 55-60. The plaid trousers and mohair twin-set only reinforced my case.

After she left, my hairdresser, who happens to be a good friend of mine, whispered in my ear “Do you know how old that woman is?” I knew I wasn’t going to win the door prize for guessing, so I replied, “OK, I’d say 60.” Susie laughed uproariously. Susie is the same age as me and we share the same sense of the wacky and ridiculous. We also both had our children late in life so neither of us have experienced what it means to be a grandmother yet. “She’s 48!” said Susie, “younger than both of us!”

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not doing a major critique here. My view is that we’re all put on this earth to live, love and play the way we want, but sheesh! Where was this woman coming from?

I was surprised and saddened at the same time. I wondered what kind of life this woman had led that had brought her to this point, when she seemed to carry the weight of the world on her shoulders. She obviously cared enough to get her hair done, because Susie’s salon would have to be deemed “up-scale” to put it mildly. Yet nothing about this woman said she liked who she saw in the mirror. She looked old because she acted old.

It’s the same old story told time and time again – “you’re only as old as you feel”, “age is a state of mind”, – I’m sure you’ve heard them all. Yet here I was confronted by a woman who made me feel young by embodying in her very presence what it means to feel and look old. It wasn’t just about the way she looked; it was her attitude to the conversation we were having and her general demeanor.

Maybe she has a story to tell that would make me retract every word of my story and cause me to feel ashamed at my seemingly superficial attitude, but even so, life isn’t always a bowl of cherries, and we often get left with nothing but the pips, but my opinion is we’ve got to move onwards and upwards.

So as I gazed in the mirror, admiring my new fiery red 50th-birthday-present streaks, I thought “what does it really mean to be 50?” Are we really any older, any wiser, any more able to deal with the lemons life throws at us?

I don’t know the answer – it’s a question that been plaguing generations of philosophers – all I can say is I just love my rebellious new streaks and hey, if that’s the way I want it to be, then I’ll save the silver-gray hair, mohair cardi’s and plaid trousers for another day.



Source by Olivia Morrow

Fashion Tips for Selecting Men’s Belts

Men find shopping to be annoying, but at the same time they want to dress fashionably just like women do. The good news is that with a little bit of guidance and advice you can do a great job especially if you are on the hunt for classic accessories such as men’s belts. Here are some tips to help you with this particular task. Follow them to ensure that you will have an elegant and attractive look.

Consider your individual style first.

There are men’s belts for every style and for every outfit. They fall into two major categories – formal and casual. The formal ones are made from smooth leather and do not have any embellishments. They come in more universal colors like black and brown. Other shades are also acceptable as long as they are subtle. These are the ideal options for suits which you wear to work or to formal events.

The casual models are ideal for all outfits which you wear in your free time. The sky is the limit when it comes to the design, material, color and decorative motifs. You just need to make sure that the accessory will go well with your pants and shirt. It can be used for complementing them or for adding an original touch to the outfit.

Be unique and make a fashion statement.

You should never limit yourself to formal men’s belts only. You should definitely have two or three for work, but from then on you can focus solely on the fashion side of these great accessories. Consider some ideas which will inspire you and help you to make the best choice.

Get one or more Western belts. These have the masculine appeal typical for every cowboy and look amazing as well. They will certainly attract the attention when you walk into a room. You should definitely check out the models with tooled leather and embossed buckles. The floral patterns give these manly pieces a more elegant and sophisticated look. Light brown and brown with red undertones are among the trendiest color options.

You should consider experimenting with different leather colors and textures as well. Turquoise, purple, fuchsia, olive and silver are some of the most stylish colors at present. The glossy surfaces are also hip. The fabric models with horizontal stripes in different color combinations like red and navy blue and white and navy blue are among the most hip casual accessories which you can wear.

Do not miss to check the size.

Despite the common misconception, men’s belts come in various sizes. The size corresponds to the distance between the inner end of the buckle and the middle hole. It is typically between 34 and 36 centimeters. There are also brands which use standard sizing from small to extra large. In this case, you may want to try the item on to confirm that you will get the size right.

Last, but not least, you should know that the typically width of men’s belts ranges from 2.5 to 3.5 centimeters. If you plan to buy something wider and more masculine, you should confirm that the accessory can go through the loops on your pants.



Source by Syed Faris Hussain

Co-Branding

Co-branding involves combining two or more brands into a single product or service. Companies engage in co-branding to leverage strong brand. It is becoming a popular business practice to strive for a positive association between different brands that can develop synergy. A well executed co-branding strategy can lead to win-win situation for both co-brand partners and can help in realizing unexplored markets or untapped opportunities. Concisely, it is instrumental to handle almost every marketing matter from creating initial awareness to building customer loyalty.

Companies form co-branding alliance to fulfill following goals:

► Expanding customer base

► To make financial benefits

► Respond to the expressed and latent needs of customers

► To strengthen its competitive position

► Introduce a new product with a strong image

► Creating a new customer perceived value

► To gain operational benefits

Co-branding is a frequently practised in fashion and apparel industry. Some of the examples of co-branding are between Nike – Phillips (Electronics Manufacturer) and Adidas -Porsche (car manufacturer). Co-branding can be used for promotion campaigns, to use cartoons on t-shirts, for using logos, distributing through branded retailer etc.

Co-branding Agreements

In a co-branding alliance, both companies should have a relationship that has potential to be commercially beneficial to both parties.

Co-branding agreement includes rights, obligations and restrictions that are binding on both the parties. It includes important provisions and needs to be carefully drafted to give clear guidelines to the parities involved.

Agreement also explains about marketing strategy, brand specifications, confidentiality issues, licensing specifications, warranties, payments and royalties, indemnification, disclaimers, term and termination. Person involved in campaign must be very clear about these issues.

Co-branding can take following forms:

Promotion

Promotional co-branding is the most common type of co-branding practiced by companies. Co- branding starts with endorsements with celebrities and institutions. It can enhance brand image. Sponsorship can provide with ample opportunities.

Agreement with Supplier

Alliance with suppliers gives easy access to offerings and long lasting relationships which leads to low level of investment. Distinctiveness is very important for such co-branding which is possible through patent protection.

Agreement with Value Chain members

It aims to give customers altogether new experience and enhance customer value. In value chain co-branding, members in a distribution channel both horizontally and vertically linked form alliance. Such co-branding can be between supplier-retailer, companies offering similar product or service or between product and service provider.

Innovation

This approach offer opportunity of growth in existing market and exploring new markets. In such alliance companies come together to create new offerings for customers. Risk and return are two important aspects which need to be considered. Top level management co-operation and organizational collaboration is essential for a successful agreement.

Benefits of Co-branding

► Increased sales revenue.

► Exploring new markets with minimum expenditure.

► Appropriate approach when company seeks quicker response.

► Access to new source of financing.

► Technological collaboration between two companies give better results than what could be achieved by single company’s efforts.

► Royalty income.

► Sharing of risk.

► Companies can fetch higher price for value added by additional brands associated with it.

► Improved product image and credibility with another brand association.

► Increased customer confidence on product.

► Increased coverage and exposure from joint advertising.

► Prospects to develop working relationships leading to future joint undertakings

Problems with Co-branding

► Proper understanding between co-brand partners is must. Greed to fetch too much in short time may spoil the relations and even result in failure.

► Once a co-brand take position in market, it becomes difficult to dismantle co-brand and even more difficult to reestablish the brand alone.

► Companies having different visions and culture are in-compatible for co-branding.

► If brand don’t possess sufficient credibility in market, it can negatively affect the other partner’s brand.

► Repositioning of brand by one party may adversely influence the other party’s brand or campaign.

► When two products are totally different and have different set of customers, co-branding may not work.

► Inability to meet the requirements of other party may result in termination of co-branding agreement.

► Legal requirements.

► Mergers and takeovers of one party may prove detrimental to other party.

► Future environmental changes like political, legal, social, and technological or changes in consumer preferences may give unexpected outcomes.

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Copyright © 2006



Source by Gaurav Doshi

Intimissimi Lingerie Range Review – Super Gorgeous Lingerie Items at Attractive Price

It’s true that a woman’s best friend is not just diamonds, but enticing and sensuous lingerie as well. Intimissimi is a well-known label that has captured the hearts of women all around the world with a delightful range of clothing that not just includes lingerie but pajamas, vests, briefs, bras and a whole lot more. This amazing range of clothes is available in many different parts of the world. Whether you are in Turkey, United Kingdom, Greece, Hungary, or Austria, you can easily pick from a fine selection of clothing that is sure to make you stand out and feel great about yourself.

The fact that Intimissimi has a huge fan following is evident from the number of blog articles dedicated to it. You can view all the interesting blog posts and the latest pictures of lingerie of this popular brand in any of the well-known lingerie or fashion blogs. Most of these blogs also include frequent updates about celebrities and super models, and their preferred brands.

These fashion blogs bring you news and pictures about the latest Intimissimi events. Recently this world famous brand celebrated its 10th birthday in a lavish party at Milan. The event was a huge success with a thoroughly stylish and chic crowd. For those of us who really would have liked to attend this sparkling event, the pictures on various lingerie blog posts more than make up for what we may have missed.

Shopping online for your favorite lingerie brand has become a whole lot easier now. You can even read what others are saying about the latest lingerie products from Intimissimi. This makes it easier for you to make the best possible choice. These blogs also help you locate stores that sell Intimissimi in and around your area. There may be a store right there in your neighborhood and you may have never noticed it. Staying tuned to the latest information on these blogs will help you find your best lingerie pieces.

This high quality lingerie brand is just what you need to get the most of your money. While most lingerie items are costly enough to burn a hole in your pocket, Intimissimi presents a choice collection of intimate wear at incredibly attractive rates. Although the brand is highly popular in Italy, it is difficult to locate it in most other parts of the world. The good news is that more and more blog sites are increasing awareness about this amazing and affordable lingerie label. By regularly visiting these sites, you get to know about what is available for you to pick and choose for the season.

This Italian lingerie brand knows how to present itself with class and élan. Even though it is not ranked among the world’s top most lingerie sellers, it has carved out a niche for itself as a brand that offers high quality items for less.



Source by Marc T.