Fashion-able: NYE inspiration for every celebration

With the apocalypse, unofficially, behind us and Y2K a distant memory (please tell us you are old enough to remember it) the world keeps spinning. Another year stretches out before us, promising a fresh chance to ditch vices and hit the gym more often (so long high-cal holidays, we’ll miss you). But the current order of business is celebrating in style. We’ve got an outfit to inspire your fashion choice for every possible NYE celebration:

House party

Try balancing your outfit by mixing sparkle, lace, leather or other glam details with daywear staples like a big purse, blazer or pants. Nobody want to look overdone but, hey, this is the party of the year.

Hot vacay

Bring on the sun! Anything goes when you’re celebrating on the beach but we love the playful colours, patterns and floaty fabrics seen below.


Now is the time to sparkle and shine. Pump up the glam with metallic and black. Yes, it is cold (and hard to find a cab) but now is the time to bare those gams.

Night in
for two

Nothing says love like luxury casual wear. So pop on your fave cashmere sweater or even – gasp – your fave silky PJs and curl up by the fire or candlelight. Best accessory of all: a big warm blanket. 

Happy New Year! Wishing everyone a healthy, happy and prosperous 2013.


Year in Review: PR Wins and Sins of 2012

You win some, you lose some as the saying goes. Here are our top PR #wins and #sins of the beautiful year that was 2012. 

Imagine you’ve been saving up for an amazing pair of shoes for over a year. Every penny you make goes to your shoe fund. Finally, you have enough money to buy them, only to find out they’ve been discontinued and all your saving has been for nothing. Well, if you had been lusting after a discontinued LEGO set, like 11-year-old James Groccia, the outcome would have been different. James had been saving money for two years so he could buy The Emerald Night Train set ($100), only to find it had been discontinued. He wrote a letter to LEGO explaining how he couldn’t afford what sellers on eBay were asking. Guess what arrived on his 11th birthday? The train set. What makes this feel-good story even more timely with the holidays around the corner, is that James has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism. Not only does he love LEGO, the LEGO playgroup that he’s a part of helps improve his social skills, allowing him to socialize with kids his age. Kudos, LEGO. This is the type of positive PR that no campaign could generate.

Pizza Hut
We. Love. Pizza. Honestly, if we could eat pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner (which we do sometimes, don’t judge) we would. That being said, we can’t say we would buy the “fresh dough with a bit of spice”-scented perfume Pizza Hut sent to 100 of their Facebook fans. The perfume received a ton of buzz and, though bizarre, was something different that stormed the Internet. We can only imagine that this has set some sort of precedent…what’s next, Big Mac mouth wash?

Pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening, pizza at suppertime. When pizza comes in perfume you can have pizza any time. 

A bit more experiential marketing than PR, but still awesome nonetheless. If fans/the whole world weren’t excited enough for the newest James Bond film, Skyfall, Coca-Cola went and created a Bond-like obstacle course for unassuming members of the public. Not only was this a great campaign that created (we can only imagine) amazing word-of-mouth buzz from the participants, but it was also screened as a commercial in movie theatres, furthering the hype. Living out a secret agent fantasy? Check. Well played, Coke.

The McDonald’s advertising/PR campaign ‘Our food.Your questions.’ was a smart way to address all the negative press surrounding Micky Dee’s food sourcing and ingredients. Instead of a campaign where the company created and answered its own questions, McDonald’s crowd-sourced the questions, a move we’re seeing more and more often. The questions range from “Why do people on blogs say there is [sic] eyeballs in your chicken nuggets?” to “How do you make your special sauce for the Big Mac?”. Whether you believe the answers or not is a different question, but it has created the type of public goodwill the brand needed after this

Dear Micky Dee’s, how come you taste so good at 2 a.m.? 

When tweeting from a client account or a company account, we
can’t stress how important it is to be extra conscious of what you’re tweeting.
Save your own account for the personal, I-hate-my-boyfriend tweets. Case in point, the person who tweeted from
mega-cool brand KitchenAid’s account “Obama gma even knew it was going to be
bad! She died 3 days b4 he became president #nbcpolitics”. Yikes. First, it’s in extremely poor taste to tweet about
someone’s recently-deceased relative. Second, you shouldn’t be tweeting your own opinions from someone else’s (corporate) Twitter account, especially one that has over 30,000 followers. KitchenAid’s Cynthia Soledad stepped up immediately and assumed responsibility with the below tweets. Definitely the right thing to do in a sticky situation. 

Immediately assuming responsibility for a (now fired) team member’s actions is a step in the right direction. 

Burger King
We’re not sure what possessed a Burger King employee to a)
stand in containers of lettuce b) take a picture of himself standing in said
lettuce and c) post the picture to social media. YOU’RE GOING TO GET CAUGHT. And
that’s really gross. Three employees were fired but it’s safe to say we’ll be
staying away from Burger King for a while.

Ick, salad feet.
This one was a doozy. President and CEO Dan Cathy made some homophobic and
anti-gay marriage comments (in the public sphere, no less) which led to the
realization that Chick-fil-A’s charity, WinShape Foundation, had donated
millions to political organizations opposing LGBT rights. Not cool. Activists
began to boycott the chain, the mayors of Boston and Chicago blocked the
chain from opening any new stores in their cities and San Francisco mayor Edwin M.
Lee made his opinions clear by telling the chain not to come any closer than their current location 40 miles away. The company has apparently now “
ceased donating to organizations that promote discrimination, specifically against LGBT civil rights“, but it’s unclear whether this is true.

Muppets take a stand against Chick-fil-A. 

American Apparel
Dear American Apparel,
Do you realize people DIED during Hurricane Sandy? People
lost their homes, all of their belongings and memories. This is why you
probably shouldn’t exploit a natural disaster and have an online sale. Really? Let’s be real here, as Brian Clark tweeted, “An American Apparel
Hurricane Sandy Sale? Which 22-year-old genius intern came up with this one?”.
Preach it.

Hey kids, it’s not cool to exploit natural disasters. 

Media Darling: Alexander Liang

Alexander Liang is an entrepreneur,
stylist and Editor-in-Chief of KENTON magazine. Originally from Vancouver, he broke into the New York scene graduating from Parsons School of
Design and cut his teeth in the fashion editorial world at Details
magazine, T: The New York Times Style Magazine and Mochi Magazine.  Also bringing in previous experience in fashion PR,
Alexander created
KENTON magazine on the basis of bridging the gap between the
commercial and avant-garde publications currently available to North
American consumers. 

Twitter: @kentonmagazine
Did you always want to be in
the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon? 
No not at all.
As a child, I wanted to be everything from a farmer to an architect. When I
decided that I wanted to work in fashion, my first goal was to open the next
big fast fashion store. Later, things changed and I wanted to work in
advertising. That soon changed to PR and marketing, which then led to editorial
and media. I think I’ll stick with that for a while now, ha!
Where would you like to be
five years from now?
Five years from now, I hope to be doing even more in my current
role, with greater impact on the industry. I also hope that my business
continues to develop and reach new, still unknown successes.

Any advice for people getting
started in your industry?
Make sure you are passionate about what you’re doing. Set goals,
follow them and be professional. Work hard and try to learn as much as you can,
wherever life takes you. 

What are your favourite media
outlets, not including your own?
I get my news from a lot of different sources, but I enjoy
WWD and The New York Times.
Best interview you’ve ever
The best interview I’ve had was with celebrity stylist June Ambrose 
Best interview we’ve had in KENTON was with Joe Jonas.

To me, a bad interview would be one where conversation isn’t
flowing freely. Luckily, I haven’t run into any situations that I found to be
that difficult!

Best advice you’ve ever been
Be nice to everyone, because you never know where they came from
or where they’re going. For example, your current intern could become your
future boss.

What rule(s) do you live your
life by?

Seize the day.
What’s the most important tip
you can give PR pros?
Know who you’re pitching to and make sure your pitch is relevant
to them.

Best experience you’ve had
with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
My favorite publicists acknowledge the coverage we give their clients,
and show appreciation and support back to us. It can even be something as
simple as making us feel special, but we’ll remember.
I hate?

I love?

My twitter feed.

Best place on earth? 

Dinner guest?
Victoria Beckham.

Ralph Lauren.
Favourite app (or whatever
you are downloading these days)?
Pool or ocean?

Voicemail or email?

Happy Boxing Day!

While many of you may be using this day to partake in Boxing Day sales madness, and others still fulfilling family obligations, some of us on the fourth floor are all about taking advantage of the laziest day of the
year to relax and play with all of our new toys.
 While the hectic holiday rush is over, the beautiful lights are still up
and the leftovers are still fresh, so go on. Put your feet up and follow
these simple steps for the ultimate veg day.

Get your Netflix on

Is there anything better than a guilt-free movie day?  We love streaming our fave classics like 16
and She’s All That without having to scour the Internet for a working
link or, god forbid, leaving the house to go to a video store (those are still
around in some places, right?)  We know what you’re
thinking – is Canadian Netflix really worth the $7.99 a month? YES! But don’t
take our word for it; use the free one month membership when you sign up to
decide for yourself. Still not impressed? Use a hotspot shield to hide your IP
address and dig into that sweet, sweet US Netflix (but you didn’t hear that
from us).

Order In

Lots of restaurants and grocery stores may
still be closed, or have limited hours. If you don’t have a wealth of leftovers to keep you satiated for the
day, don’t risk it. Check or to see what cravings you can satisfy without stepping out your
door. Remember, the origin of Boxing Day comes from the yearly tradition of
tipping and gifting all the household service people (housekeepers, handymen,
delivery drivers) so don’t forget to spread some of that post-holiday cheer.

Catch up on “me time”
Nobody wants to carry the stress
and troubles of the past year into the new one. Pick up that book you’ve been meaning to finish, have a bath, Skype your
long distance besties, paint your nails or hey – have an all-day nap. And you know, just
because you’re keeping it low key doesn’t mean you have to stay completely
sedentary. When was the last time you
went for a leisurely stroll, or did yoga in your living room? Everyone is
allowed to phone it in once in awhile, so you have the fourth floor’s permission
to Treat.Yo.Self. You’re welcome.

Merry Christmas!

By now, Santa is chillin’ with Mrs. Claus for another 364 days
and you have probably been up for hours opening presents under the same roof as
all your closest family members. Don’t get us wrong, we love all this family
time and togetherness but it’s no secret that these holiday times are not all
It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34
th Street – things can get
pretty hectic.

Fear not, followers of the fourth floor, we’ve got you
covered. Turn off the fireplace channel,
gather round the hearth and pop on our top five Christmas tension busters. 

A Christmas Story

Home Alone


National Lampoon’s
Christmas Vacation

Charlie Brown

Still gritting your teeth? Check out our honourable

I’ll be Home for

Trading Places

A Muppet Christmas

Rave: Django Unchained

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, chances are you’re likely going to go to the movies over the holidays. (Hey, everyone needs a break from the fam jams, amiright?) Fortunately, Christmas Day has become the day for studios to bust out the year’s most anticipated movies. This year’s offerings include Les Miserables (!!!) and Django Unchained

We were lucky enough to be invited to an advance screening of Quentin Tarantino’s latest, with the venerable director in the audience, no less. While we didn’t love this film as much as Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained certainly makes for some interesting counter-programming to the normal holiday fare. Set in the American South, two years before the Civil War when slavery ran rampant, Django Unchained stars Jamie Foxx as Django, a slave who crosses paths with German-born bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz). Schultz and Django pair up, initially to capture the murderous Brittle Brothers, and then as a bounty hunting duo. While developing his vital hunting skills, Django remains focused on his goal of finding and rescuing his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington). Their search ultimately leads them to Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), the proprietor of “Candyland,” an infamous plantation. 

Now that we’ve given you the overview, we’d like to share some important notes on Django:  

Be prepared to hear the “n word”. A lot. 
Django features a lot of cursing and violence. While generally this is par for the course with Tarantino, this time around the violence is predominantly directed towards the black characters and involves numerous examples of degradation and abuse. There are a few scenes that are very uncomfortable to watch and stayed with us long after leaving the theatre. The characters also use the “N word” quite liberally. As in, over a 100 times. We’re not passing judgement one way or the other, but it’s fair warning before heading into the theatre. 

No Jack Dawson here, ma’am.
With two decades of films under his belt, Leonardo DiCaprio is a familiar presence on the silver screen. His recent work has served to sever ties to the “heartthrob” label that’s been tied to Leo since Romeo + Juliet and Titanic. With Django‘s Calvin Candie, Leo is playing his most  villainous candidate to date. A Southern plantation owner, Calvin Candie is indulgent and despicable. His hobbies include pitting slaves against each other in fights to the death (a practice known as mandingo fighting). A real charmer, for sure. 

Welcome to Rick Ross’ Wild West.
Django Unchained is Tarantino’s stab at a Spaghetti Western, and the soundtrack involves several themes from spaghetti western music king-pin Ennio Morricone. What sets the soundtrack apart though, are the contributions from hip hop and R&B legends such as John Legend, 2Pac and James Brown. The set also includes a new track by Rick Ross called “100 Black Coffins”, which rumour has it may be up for an Academy Award nom for Best Song. In any case, the soundtrack is well worth a listen!

Thanks again goes to Alliance Films for inviting us to the screening. All images in the post are courtesy of Alliance Films. 

Photo Friday – holiday office parties

Slap on the lipstick and heels, gals, it’s time to party! With your boss. Stressed about the office holiday party? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with a few simple dos and don’ts – happy Friday.

Do: Bust a move.

Don’t: pull an Elaine.
Do: Wear something special.

Don’t: Wear so little “something special”.

Do: Let loose.

Don’t: Overindulge. 

Do: Find yourself under the mistletoe.

Don’t: End up with a lawsuit.

As fun as it seems, you don’t actually want your office to be this Office.

Responsible office parties.

Even offices back then got a little friskier during the holidays.

Definitely don’t be this guy.