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  • Writer's picturePamela Tucker

Updated: Apr 18

A favorite clothing purchase of mine is a rag & bone leather skirt that I bought about nine years ago. This skirt is almost a decade old! For the most part, when thinking about fashion, a garment that has been worn on and off for almost a decade goes against what would be considered "in style" or "on trend."

However, rag & bone has a unique hand bridging edgy and timeless, leading to my leather skirt purchased nearly a decade ago being au courant. Admittedly I have not worn the skirt more than a few times each year since purchasing it. But when I do wear it, the day seems to be a better one!

This leather skirt is versatile, allowing me to either highlight the "croc" like look on one side of it. And due to the lovely way it is constructed it is easy to play down the skirt and highlight a pretty top within the outfit. In this photo I even accessorized it with a belt and a wide bracelet.

Since adding this skirt to my wardrobe and enjoying it, I've bought several more rag & bone items. The quality is excellent and the color assortment pleasing. But the items purchased have always been black! rag & bone is well known and appreciated for its denim, but I've yet to to try the denim line. It might be time to branch out.

As a former apparel and retail industry analyst for a New York City bank, my avid following and reading about all things fashion remains with me. Intrigued with rag & bone I've kept my eye on them. In 2022 it celebrated 20 years of operations. That is a noteworthy accomplishment for any company and especially so for a fashion company.

I recall reading an article in 2022 about rag & bone putting together a collection of items to be known as ICONS. The company's website has a separate ICONS tab that appears to be updated for each season.

A few months ago while in Nordstrom I came across a pair of rag & bone leather sock booties that caught my eye. It was just what I was looking for: pointy toes, leather soles and hopefully a walkable heel. An image of the booties is included in this post. When the sales associate took the booties out of the box I noticed a hang tag with the word ICONS on one of the booties. The hang tag is shown in this post. I bought the booties. (Style name is Brea). The three inch heel turned out to be comfortable to wear all day. How delightful!

ICONS is an easy to understand word. However, I believe the hang tag should have included a few words or a sentence informing the shopper what ICONS stands for in relation to rag & bone. What is special about rag & bone ICONS? I raise this question as another clothing brand that I've purchased and like, Cinzia Rocca also uses the word ICONS for one of its lines of coats. Maybe other fashion companies use ICONS in their marketing materials as well.

Have you seen companies use the word ICONS to describe their product offerings and / or used in marketing efforts? How do they describe their ICONS? Does the word ICON influence your decision to purchase?

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  • Writer's picturePamela Tucker

For years I've been a customer of Leather Spa, the New York City company that repairs, restores and sells cleaning products for leather shoes and bags. They have expertly fixed some of my shoes and bags that encountered some misfortunes and were in need of magical hands. The cleaning and maintenance products I buy there are easy to use at home. I also like while there is a fee charged it offers a local delivery service. So in a nutshell Leather Spa meets the needs of people seeking professional leather cleaning and convenience!

Until about a year ago I had been enjoying wearing a black Prada nylon shoulder bag. One day I noticed a small white dot directly over the Prada logo. The size, was maybe no bigger than a few pinheads. But the dot looked large to me-- as big as the bag! I tried a few ways to remove the white spot but it never disappeared. The bag was then banished to a storage bag and placed in a closet.

The other day, realizing the Prada bag was just the right size I could use these days and I was tiring of the other bags I've been wearing I grabbed the bag and tried removing the spot. No luck.

Knowing I was planning to be near the Leather Spa's West 55th Street location in a few days I left it out to remember to take it and drop it off. However, on the day I was to be in the area I decided rather than leaving the bag for Leather Spa to remove the spot and then deliver, I'd ask to buy a cleaning product to use at home.

When I entered the store Saturday morning several employees warmly greeted me. People were picking up and dropping off and fortunately the store was not too busy. I showed the expert the problematic white spot and asked which product would be best to remove it. He showed me a product and explained it might not fully remove the spot. A reason would be because it is unknown what the spot is.

I appreciated his honesty and asked if Leather Spa could try removing the spot while I waited. I wasn't going to leave the bag because I didn't have a replacement with me. I let him know I could wait for only ten minutes because I soon had to go to an appointment down the street. He took the bag in the back and within ten minutes he brought me my black nylon Prada bag that was SPOTLESS!

Relief and excitement. The bag looked great! I went to the register to pay and asked "How much?" I was told no charge. I was not expecting that response. This was a great customer experience. The problem was solved quickly and the employees were thoughtful and courteous.

Thank you Leather Spa.

Are the any service or retail companies that have surprised you by their great service or employees' attitudes?

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  • Writer's picturePamela Tucker

If not using the self checkout at my local CVS store, more often than not the wait to pay is more than a few minutes for a cashier to check me out. At times the wait is offputtingly long, maybe ten minutes or so because to name a few reasons, sometimes there is not even a cashier at the post, customers are returning dozens of cans and need help with that, shoppers are having transaction problems and might be experiencing issues with returning items.

CVS has a complicated coupon and promotions system. It takes time to review the offers to be sure I'm following the rules. Also CVS's errors / glitches have occurred while trying to use the coupons and promotions while checking out. Therefore, in long run, while frustrating to wait in line, interacting with a cashier might make for a smoother checkout.

In some CVS emails I receive coupons. I click where I'm directed to and the offers are sent to my extracare card. I see the check mark and made aware the coupons have been sent. I also scan my extracare card at the CVS store each time I shop. The little red scanning machine prints out coupons. Interestingly a number of the offers are items I'd never use and wonder why these coupons are sent to me.

Occasionally CVS sends coupons through the regular post office mail and I take these on the shopping trip. These mailers usually include a percentage off coupon for the total purchase, such as 25% off the total purchase. Planning and then the shopping trip to CVS takes more time when compared to shopping at other stores selling the same merchandise.

As noted above, I have to make sure the CVS coupons I sent to my card via my email are available. I need to remember to bring the coupons sent in the regular post office mail and then I have to scan my extracare card at the little red machine. But there is even more that needs to be considered when shopping at CVS!

While in the store I see CVS has offers such as buy one and get the second for 50% off. Does the 25% off total purchase coupon work if I buy just one item? I've asked that question in the store and received different answers. (1) Yes, you can buy just one and get 25% off. (2) No, you can't use the coupon and the only promotion on the item is buy one and get the second 50% off. I assume the answer is no. Once I've lined up all the coupons and see the promotions in the store I collect the items and head to the line for the cashier.

Once at the cashier, CVS presents me with another topic. At times, as the items are being scanned I see a question on the pinpad machine if I'd like to donate to a particular charity. This screen has minimal information. I'm curious why CVS is asking for donations. I like donating directly to a charity. Perhaps they could be more forthcoming. CVS is one of a number of stores I've shopped at that ask for donations on the pinpad. In this case though, since shopping at CVS is irksome and then being asked for a donation, it makes for a poor customer experience.

What do you think about stores asking for donations at the checkout ?

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