Monday, June 20, 2011

I am sure you have heard it said that ‘Junonia Designs their garments with you in mind.’ But what does that mean?

At Junonia the product development team gets ideas from a lot of different places. Our best source of inspiration is actually you! We receive a lot of customer emails about everything from sleeve lengths, to swim needs.

The other big source of ideas is Anne Kelly herself. She is a very active woman with a knack for finding fellow plus size ladies out and about! She has no fear when it comes to talking to people and finding out how we can serve them better.

When customers tell us about their problems or needs we start working on solutions. We test out designs and patterns and have samples made for wear-tested to comment on before the designs are ever seen in a catalog. The best example of one of our solutions is the Dual layer shorts (pictured on the left)! They may look funny but they fill a need. They are two shorts in one. The outer short is loose and the inner short is fitted and supportive. The best part is that they share the same inseam gusset, so the two shorts are not competing and riding up!

Let us know if there is something we can design to improve your workouts or everyday wear. We would love to hear your ideas!

Rachel

Product Development

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sun Protection: Making Sense out of Recent Information


It is that time of year when the warm sunny days can’t help but draw us outside to the pool, the golf course, the tennis court or just the park. For those of us in the northern states it is also time to flee the gym and take our exercise outside! But can we get too much of a good thing? Fortunately, technology can help us with proper sun management with the creation of high tech fabrics that not only look good, they protect against the UV rays that can damage your skin. Junonia uses the latest sun protective fabric technology to provide protection that doesn’t wash off from sweat or other moisture. These stylish pieces make time in the sun safer as well as more fun. Each is cool, quick dry and won’t wrinkle when you pack them for your travels or vacations. So get out and enjoy the outdoors in all its glory.

But don’t forget the creams for any exposed portions of your body. Face, back of the hands, ears, even your feet.

With the news of the FDA changing what claims can be made by sunscreen manufacturers, what is the latest thinking?

First, remember that everything washes off, so remember to reapply every couple of hours.

Then look for a “broad spectrum” product, one with zinc oxide if you are skin sensitive. It takes a little longer to work into your skin, but protects well and is less reactive.

Over 50 ratings? Probably not worth it. Dr. Warwick L. Morison, a professor of dermatology at Johns Hopkins University and chairman of the photobiology committee for the Skin Cancer Foundation, said in a recent New York Times article that he was disappointed that the F.D.A. failed to ban SPF numbers higher than 50 because such products expose people to more irritating sunscreen ingredients without meaningful added protection. “It’s pointless,” Dr. Morison said.

And what about harmful chemicals? There was a rat study reported that indicated concern about oxybenzone, a common element in sun screens. However, the levels in the study given to the rats were “extreme”. The researchers then reviewed the data on oxybenzone tested on humans, and they found no evidence of toxicity in the levels used by people for sun protection. For those who have reservations, some sunscreens are now made without oxybenzone, though they may not offer the same ultraviolet protection.

-Anne Kelly

Friday, June 10, 2011

Predictions

Lets just state the obvious; I would make a horrible weather woman. I have horrible luck and many will acknowledge that. My friends have now stopped asking me to come with them even to play bingo for they find that they would have good luck on those times I am not with, and have the most terrible luck on those that I do tag along.

So when I was asked to make a prediction I found it to be amusing. I am curious to see if I can make one guess that might come true.

For the clothing industry I see it going “green”. This may be an obvious conjecture, however there are many signs around proving my point such as; my little niece plays at a park where it is made from recycled rubber. And, looking at one of my favorite catalogs they have shoes made out of yoga mats. I can only imagine how we will be dazzled with new innovative ideas using our old stuff we deemed no good.

Another idea came to me as I sipped a cup of coffee; fair trade coffee beans. They have really been making waves so why not apply the same notion to the fashion world. In an economy where it still has yet to get back to what it once was why not be economically savvy? Trying to get more countries that are not as fortunate as ours involved could feasibly be the next step.

Please feel free to make your own predictions and how you think things will change.

Bethany

Monday, June 6, 2011

Styles and How They Have Changed

When I look back over the 15 years of Junonia, it is fun to see styles come and go. Remember stirrup pants? We sold a lot of those in the mid-nineties. And how about caftans? Junonia has been in business over 15 years, long enough that some of those styles are re-trending in new forms. For example, tie dye is back but in more artful and clever designs. And leggings have returned in force. But I’m not seeing those stirrup pants back – yet!

At Junonia we focus on two things, function and form. First, we make clothes that function for the purpose of the wearer. If our clothes don’t FEEL GREAT, it really doesn’t matter how they look. Then we make sure it also LOOKS GREAT. We are lucky, because we focus ONLY on the plus size woman, so we can start with a plus size model, and make sure the designs truly fit and flatter.

Our fit model, Kris, gives us lots of advice about how samples feel and look, and our technical designer, Rachel, is absolutely persistent in making sure every style we do works well andlooks great.

Over the years we have brought many fashion trends to Junonia customers. But we have occasionally ignored some popular trends. Why? They did NOT work for the womanly body. Remember exposed midriffs? That was one trend we ignored!

As the years have passed, the plus size woman has become more and more fashionable. Shewants the newest colors and looks, NOW, not next year. That has been fun to see. We have also seen a greater sophistication about how she wants to flatter her unique shape. While some women prefer a loose cut, more women are now asking for body skimming styles that highlight her assets. And in the gym, she is asking for the best technical fabrics – an area where Junonia shines.

As always, we listen carefully to customer feedback on what she would like to see Junonia carry. While it’s fun to watch what the celebrities are wearing, its customers that count! Email your style comments and requests to annekellyfounder@junonia.com.