Archives for posts with tag: Claudia Koch

Photo on 2013-07-16 at 10.50

Think . . . think . . . think.

What am I pondering, you may ask? Well, I am of course asking myself what movie I can choose for the fifth installment of “Scarf Stars,” in which I highlight a cinematic scarf for the entertainment of the wonderful readers of Zazou1982!

For now, however, I will think about my movie selection in the back of my head as I inform you about my eighth day here as a Sterling Styles and Zazou copywriting intern.

Yes, it is hard to believe that I have already dedicated approximately 55 hours here as an intern – time flies when I am doing what I love: writing!

As you may have noticed in my previous post, I recently wrote the profile piece on Claudia Koch, one of the founders of the Zazou brand. If you have not already, please check out the article and read about the wonderfully quirky Claudia.

For the rest of the rest of the day, I will continue on numerous tasks that were assigned to me two weeks ago. I still have hundreds more blurbs to write for the products of Sterling Styles, Inc. I also have to complete more email blasts on Mail Chimp for upcoming shows for Zazou and Sterling Styles in cities such as Los Angeles, Dallas and New York City. This morning, I was able to complete blast designs for Trendz (Florida Fashion Focus), which will take place at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.

Screen shot 2013-07-16 at 10.57.55 AM

These trade shows are extremely important for the company and the Sales Representatives the company employs, I learned first hand about sales rooms and the duties of sales reps in AMM 471, Wholesale Operations.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll update again on Thursday 🙂

END OF THE DAY UPDATE: Remember how I have been assigned to write blurbs for all of the garments on the Sterling Styles‘ website? So far, I have made a small dent, and have completed approximately 356 descriptions! Just a few hundred more to go! Also, one of my newer tasks will be to assign names to some of the newer Sterling Styles merchandise. Stay tuned 😀

*Photograph courtesy http://www.pbconventioncenter.com/

Chris & Claudia

(Pictured) The man and woman behind Zazou, Christopher Carroll and Claudia Koch.

When speaking on the phone, one only has the tone, sound and volume of another person’s voice to listen to. That person on the other end is otherwise invisible. One cannot pick up on body language or other visual cues. It is his or her words and voice that give the caller an insight into this stranger on the other end of the line. Luckily, for Claudia Koch, her voice carries more personality than most people’s entire beings.

On the morning of the Fourth of July, I had the pleasure of interviewing Claudia over the phone. She is one of the original founders of the luxury scarf brand Zazou, the company that this blog centers upon.

Christopher Carroll and Claudia, who met at the University of California, Berkeley, began their Zazou business after Claudia had found success importing jewelry and scarves from other countries into the United States.

“After I graduated [from Berkeley] . . . I traveled extensively in Asia and I started buying silver jewelry and bringing it back and showing it here [the United States] in kind of a casual nature,” explained Claudia. “Finally, one of the items that I was bringing in were scarves that were made in India, these beautifully colored scarves, and they just took off.”

And took off they did, as both entrepreneurs used their own talents to expand the Zebra-clad business. Claudia focused on importing materials while Chris set his sights on designs. Together, the pair also hired a group of dedicated sales reps to help sell the products and create personal relationships with the clients and customers.

“[Zazou] was a name that was known for its quirkiness, and a company that was known for its customer service,” said Claudia with pride. “We did anything for our customers, anything.”

According to Claudia, in addition to customer service, the Zazou brand is also known for creating quality accessories for older, professional women who enjoy creative designs.

“The Zazou brand, it has a quirky aspect,” said Claudia. This “quirky” aspect, she said, was heavily prevalent in the line when she and Chris ran the company. Last year, however, the duo sold the brand to Sterling Styles, where it thrives today. Claudia and Chris still maintain a connection to Zazou, and offer their input whenever they can. And their advice is always welcomed, seeing as the former schoolmates ran the company for approximately 30 years.

“The fashion industry is a lot of work,” cautioned the fashion veteran. “It is a very hard, hard way to make a living. A lot of it has to do with luck. I believe in luck and being in the right place at the right time.”

Now, for Claudia, the right moments come from traveling with her husband or when buying pieces that exemplify her self-proclaimed “quirky” style.

“My own personal style is very quirky, shall we say, and probably younger than it should be,” Claudia said with an exuberant laugh. “And my husband keeps telling me, ‘Claudia, you are not 30 years old anymore!’”

This is what has made Claudia such an innovator and a successful businesswoman. She has made and followed her own set of rules and guidelines all of her life.

“If you look at people who are successful in fashion, they are all kind of eccentric, I think,” opinioned Claudia. “Eccentrics have good business sense, let’s put it that way!”

For more information about the Zazou brand itself, visit https://www.zazou.com/z_index.php.

*Photograph Courtesy Claudia Koch

Photo on 2013-07-11 at 10.12

Happy Thursday my Zazou Zebras!

Yesterday flew by, and now I am back here in Walnut working on assignments for Sterling Styles and Zazou (https://www.zazou.com/z_index.php)

In terms of the blog, I want to focus on giving you more looks from the Fall 2013 photo shoot. Now, should I do this before or after I eat my nutritious lunch?!

photo (7)

Yes, while I am diligent when it comes to my work here, I have absolutely no regiment when it comes to my diet, hence the summer weight gain, hence my current distaste for swim wear!!

Anyway, what is nice about scarves is they fit you no matter what your waist size! You can even throw on a long, billowy scarf that covers you up in case you are feeling modest (or full of pop tarts).

Today I STILL need to transcribe my Claudia Koch interview, work on more online campaigns for future show room events in locations such as New York and Las Vegas and make an excel spreadsheet for Zazou inventory.

Work from my communication courses will again come in handy as I transcribe and write my Claudia profile piece. She talked to me about the business side of fashion and the chain of operations, facts I also learned about in classes such as AMM 250 and AMM 350, Apparel Merchandise Buying I and II.

Wish me luck ❤

Photo on 2013-07-09 at 10.53

I have high hopes for today, based on the fact that I am donning my favorite print of all time: leopard!

Yesterday, I bought FOUR Betsey Johnson bracelets, and could not wait to get ready for my internship at Sterling Styles and Zazou today so I could wear two of my recent purchases.

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Anyway, after getting dressed and doing my hair and makeup, and making the hour-long drive to Walnut, I have already accomplished a fair amount here at work 😀

To begin the day, I placed the brown bag lunch that my mother packed for me. She wrote my name on the bag and adorned it with ladybug stickers! It’s like I have time-traveled back to elementary school! Go Bobcats 😛

photo (5)

I then got straight to work on both the Sterling Styles and Zazou email blasts made on Mail Chimp. The emails will be sent to all the buyer contacts in the company’s roster, informing the buyers about the Atlanta Gift Show that will take place from July 11-16.

Screen shot 2013-07-09 at 11.04.03 AM

Now that the email campaign has been completed, other tasks on my to-do-list for the day include: working on the Zazou website at https://www.zazou.com/z_index.php, transcribing my interview with one of the creators of Zazou, Claudia Koch, copying inventory information onto an Excel spreadsheet and adding more fabulous posts to this here Zazou Blog!

When designing the email blasts, I again went back to my studies from AMM 270, Visual Merchandising and Store Design. Incorporating colors that work well together was also taught during that course, when we studied the color wheel, learning about primary, secondary and tertiary colors. Design was also studied in AMM 210 and AMM 210A, Design Analysis. Working on a retail and wholesaling website was also aided by my studies from AMM 454A, AMM 472A and AMM 497A, Retail Simulations I-III. These classes gave me the first hand knowledge about running the website for the online store, writing the ApparelScape newsletter and collaborating with a group of people.

All in a day’s work as a Sterling Styles and Zazou Intern! ❤

In the hidden, underground cafés of Paris, they would gossip, read poetry and flaunt their zoot suits. They would find solace in the company of one another as the destruction of World War II played out above theme. They were ‘zazous.’

From their avante garde styles and European flare came inspiration for the name of the American accessory brand Zazou, which can be found at https://www.zazou.com/z_index.php.

“We spent a lot of time thinking about the name because we wanted something that had a good sound to it,” recounted designer, artist, and man behind Zazou designs, Christopher Carroll.

Although he does not necessarily consider himself a fashion designer, or even thought he would be working in the fashion industry at all, Chris has helped develop and grow the brand Zazou since its inception in 1982 with his friend and business partner, Claudia Koch.

“I kind of got into designing scarves in kind of a weird way,” said the Berkeley alumnus. “A good friend of mine [Claudia] had moved to Europe and she was going to . . . Afghanistan and India and a bunch of places, and she would buy some jewelry and hand crafted items . . . and sell them in Greece.”

After seemingly non-stop traveling, however, Claudia wanted to stay put and open up a wholesale line in the United States. After trying out various assortments, the entrepreneur soon discovered that she was selling more scarves than any of her other products, and in an effort to expand the success of her accessories, she looked to her good friend and confidant, Chris.

“Because we were close, she said, ‘Why don’t we just design them?'” said Chris about his first involvement with Zazou scarves.

Soon, one scarf design became two, and two designs became a collection, and the Zazou line is what Chris has been working on ever since, in addition to his own artwork and publications.

“I like designing scarves,” said Chris. “I like fabric and I like participating in that whole thing, but I also like doing my own work.”

Chris’ artwork mainly consists of black and white drawings and projects made from cut paper.

In both his artwork and fashion designs, Chris finds inspirations from a myriad of places.

“Because it’s fashion, it can’t just be anything,” explained Chris. “It has to be something I’m interested in. It has to be something that is current, and that I feel is something people would look good in.”

Current and flattering trends Chris has noticed include bolder prints that are larger in scale, as opposed to smaller, more intricate designs that were popular a few years ago.

Design inspirations, however, can also be found in decades past.

“I know a lot about the history of fashion and textiles,” said Chris. “So when I feel like something is going to be back in style, [because] everything is sort of like a big, revolving circle, I like to update something that is in the back of my head or that is some historical thing.”

The bold patterns and silky textures that frequently make up Zazou designs can usually be found on customers older in age, who already have a clear definition of their own personal styles.

“[The Zazou customer is] someone who is a little bit older, but I have always wanted to design for young people,” said Chris, as he contemplated the women who buy Zazou products. “In my mind, I would rather design for a young person, and that is kind of what I have in mind when I’m designing, even though our customer is usually older.”

No matter what Chris is envisioning when creating his designs, the final products result in quality, bold scarves that have helped Zazou expand to vineyards, galleries and museums in America and Europe.

Chris made no hint to the idea that he was slowing down, and he seemed optimistic about the future, with words of wisdom for the next generation of fashion hopefuls making their way into the industry.

“You have to start off by investing in yourself,” advised Chris. “Just do something. If you want to design clothes, then design them, make them . . . don’t wait.”