6.28.2014

A Juicy Story: Pam & Gela (Event and Book Review)

In contemplation over their lives, Pam and Gela ask the question, 
Can you have it all? They answered, "No, when you're driven, something in life does always suffer."

This past Friday afternoon, a pleasant warm and sunny day in Southern California, the Los Angeles campus of the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (my Alma meter) asked members of the media to come out and be a part of a reception that would introduce us to the authors and a new book titled The Glitter Plan by the Founders of Juicy Couture - Pamela Skaist-Levy (FIDM class of 1984) and Gela Nash-Taylor. Having been a participant in several FIDM events, I can say, that this too, was just as spectacular, and very befitting to the two women who launched a world-wide fashion trend with a track suit.
 
Booth Moore, Gela Nash-Taylor and Pamela Skaist-Levy

Media and the over 800 guests in attendance had the opportunity to hear how the two petite powerhouses parlayed their invested $200 into an ubiquitous, multi-million dollar fashion empire. Being as humble as they are, they sometimes giggled with delight over their success as they proclaimed, "We are the luckiest girls in the world," almost as if the two couldn't quite believe all that has happened to them. With book co-author, Booth Moore, offering questions to the duo, each reflected on what it took to make Juicy Couture into a successful brand, while still encouraging us to read the book. Well, I did read the book and must say, I am extremely impressed with the guts and determination that these two women demonstrated throughout their career. What I also found impressive was the serendipitous relationships and events that steered the brand further into the behemoth that it has become. Without giving too much away, they built Juicy Couture around a philosophy that was comfortable to the two of them, which included a strong team commitment by enlisting the help from individuals that felt good to their gut...people who didn't necessarily have all the accolades to boast, but had the desire to see the brand grow. In addition, Pam and Gela found it very important to keep the brand true to their California lifestyle, and to their own personalities which are glittered with wit and colorful sarcasm.


I found the Glitter Plan to be a refreshing take on the typical road map 'what to do to start a business' book. I appreciated the honesty of the two, and found myself cheering and crying with them along the way. The book ushers us straight from the beginning, and to the very end when the two found themselves at a crossroads and having to walk away from their baby. As we all know, Juicy Couture was sold to a large conglomerate and is now being sold at Kohls stores. A big change from having over 300 stores with some located on prestigious real estate like Beverly Hills. Their true feelings, though they tried to hide from the audience, was palpable. As the story goes, Juicy was sold for around $200 million dollars (a far cry from the invested $200 they began with). Change in management within the new owners took Juicy Couture into a direction that Pam & Gela could no longer agree with. Because of this, the two walked away and are now full throttle into building their new brand which still caresses the California lifestyle but offers a more edgy, rock & roll and bohemian feel. Some would say it is Juicy Couture part two, however I say it's Pam & Gela all grown up.

Do I recommend the Glitter Plan? Yes, I do. I recommend it for persons who want to know the inner workings of a brand, what it takes to launch a brand successfully, and if you want to know the true story of Juicy Couture and not the tabloid gossip.


Juicy Couture may have come to an end for Pam & Gela, but there passion for fashion is still shining within them. In regards to the statement at the very beginning of this post...Pam & Gela, we may not be able to have it all at once, but it is a glowing possibility that we can have it in juicy bites. The best to you Pam & Gela on your next endeavor {wink}

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20 comments:

  1. I would like to read it for the very reasons you said, Glenda. Good review.

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  2. I view these two rich and successful girls with mixed emotions. It is indeed impressive to look back at what they have created. However, when they were in their heyday they marketed SPECIFICALLY to preteen and teen girls. I know because my daughter was exactly their demographic. If you were a clothes mad young girl in California at the time you just HAD TO own some Juicy. Imitations just didn't do it. The prices of the Juicy sweatsuits and clothing were WAY up at the top. Even at the outlet stores, on Ebay and in secondhand stores these things were unnaturally expensive. I know because my daughter spent an enormous amount of time trying to find good Juicy prices. Those high prices used to really infuriate me. We did not have a lot of money to spend on my daughter's wardrobe, especially since she was growing out of things quite quickly. Yet, there they were marketing to preteens like CRAZY with no possibility of a lesser priced line for younger girls. Juicy Couture is not the only clothing line that is guilty of this but when I look at these two very wealthy women I see hours and hours of my daughter's babysitting money and tears. Just being honest here.

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    1. Hi Connie, though I understand your angst, I can say that they speak on price points in the book. I'm not trying to tell you to spend anymore money if you choose not too, but there was a reason behind the higher pricing. As to their target market, unfortunately, I don't know if that was their goal. However they did discuss gifting their clothing to celebrities like Madonna, Paris Hilton, Halle Barry, etc. During the 90s and before the social media boom, having a celebrity photographed by tabloid photographers in your clothing was the best marketing out there. Unfortunately, young girls idolize these types of celebrities. I recall seeing there spreads in Vogue and other glossies. Again, I'm not sure what their marketing campaign consists of completely because that wasn't part of the discussion. However I do know that the two discussed keeping their product young spirited.

      Thank you for your honesty, Connie. I really do appreciate it. I was once told by my past publisher that reactions, whether good or bad, are good.

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    2. After I left that comment I was afraid that you would think I was picking on you! Which I absolutely was not. You KNOW I think you're great. I used to work in marketing at a fashion industry magazine (W magazine) so I have perhaps a different perspective on these sorts of things. I get really sad when an otherwise smart company fails to think things all the way through.

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    3. Nope, I didn't think that at all. I was actually glad to read your comment. I value all opinions.

      You worked for W? Wow, I bow before you. In my college years we had to subscribe to W and WWD. Awesome!

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    4. You saw "The Devil Wears Prada" right? It was a little bit like that I'm afraid to say minus the room with all the designer clothes!

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    5. Absolutely I saw DWP. Oh goodness, than you had to deal with a Miranda Priestley? You poor thing.

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  3. I was never a Juicy Couture clothing fan but you have certainly made me interested in reading about their journey.

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    1. It's still an interesting read, Roz. At least I found it to be.

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  4. So beautifully written i almost felt like i was reading the book with you. Isn't it sad to see something you work so hard for from the beginning to the height of it all to be turned around into something else? At least they walked away with their dignity intact because you can only be one thing- Yourself.

    Staying true to what they know and believe in so well is what made them successful in the first place. Happy for them!

    Thank you for sharing Glenda. Now on my "Must read list"

    http://www.thefashionstirfry.com

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    1. Thank you Busola, what a lovely compliment! I'm excited for the two ladies!

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  5. The only thing that comes to mind when I hear Juicy Couture is pink tracksuits, lol :-) We don't have the brand here. I was pretty sure there was more to JC than tracksuits though. Thanks for the review. It must have been tough for the girls to let their baby go.

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    1. You're right Melissa, the pink tracksuit is iconic.

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  6. I would also love to read this book. Sounds like these ladies know what they want and are willing to work hard for it. Thanks for the review Glenda!

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  7. I love your reference to "juicy bites." Very cute! I'm always inspired by other's success stories.

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    1. Thanks Joni, a little skill I learned while being a published writer for the newspaper.

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  8. I think I will put this book on my list. Sounds good. I think it was not so much of a hype in The Netherlands, bit I do know about it. I always thought it was hilarious that you can actually get grown women in a pink tracksuit out into the street. And pay heavily for it. But hey... whatever makes you tick.
    Greetje

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    1. Clever, at best. Who would of thought.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment, it really means a great deal for me to connect with my So What to Twenty friends. I hope you subscribed via email or by social media - I wouldn't want you to miss anything on our True Style journey. Stay True, Glenda