Introducing SlashCode: The Brand That Geekdom Needs

On my never-ending quest to find examples of designers bridging the gap between the geek and the chic, imagine my delight when the mountain came to Muhammad. That mountain is SlashCode a new premium brand after my own heart. model_SlashCode_02

Here's the story from cofounder Linda:

"SlashCode was created by my partner Kevin and myself because we are Geek ourselves. We LOVE manga, comics, video games, sci-fi, sci-fantasy, RPG, cosplay … But apart from the beloved T-shirt with the huge super hero logo, we couldn’t find a geek and chic fashion alternative The kind we could wear anytime, anywhere : at work, for a romantic diner, for a corporate event …

So we created SlashCode. Our designs are inspired by Geek Culture icons : the ones we grew up with and some more recent ones. Our scarves are made of the finest fabrics and we pay attention to all the details : designs. packaging, printing … "

Attention indeed! UPDATE: When you look at each scarf, have a look at some of the incredible details close-up!) These scarves are gorgeous and are available in 3 sizes with 3-4 models exclusive to each size, all in a light cotton blend.

The Rebel One (60 X 60 cm). Bandana sized scarf, perfect for the bikers to ride in style

slashCodescarf-Model9 slashCodescarf-Model8

The Square One (100 X 100 cm ) Elegant and chic, easy to adapt to your styles



The Long One (180 X 90 cm ). Ideal to envelop yourself in your favorite universe.


THE ARC: A tribute to Iron Man



Why do we need SlashCode? Because this brand isn't just about making geek chic. In fact, the term is so overused that it's  come to describe a too wide range of product--much of which isn't very chic at all. (I'm keeping it real, people). Instead SC is about elevating geek to something more. Never mind making geek chic. This is about taking our beloved culture and fandoms and interpreting them with a level of elegance and sophistication via a product that is both versatile and affordable. I'm not wearing a t-shirt to the opera. EVER. (And FYI, you shouldn't either) But I would wrap one of these around me.

The scarves are available to pre-order via the brand's indiegogo campaign : I highly recommend you go ahead and get one of each.

The delivery is scheduled for January 2015 and meanwhile the buying experience will include videos and news. That means that you, the customer will literally see the birth of your scarf.

Oh and just in time for the holidays, if you're strapped for cash and feeling lucky, you'll have an opportunity to make one yours via this blog. That's right people, I'm giving a SlashCode scarf away!  Enter to win now: SO EXCITE!


NOTE: Go and show your support for the brand on their site. If they don't get the funding they need, these scarves won't happen, so support geeky affordable luxury and fund SlashCode today!

McQ Alexander McQueen X Manga

Forward to Fall

Fall is just around the corner, you guys. We've yet to hit a 100 degree day in NYC, but while we're out and about getting a golden glow, the fall collections are starting to arrive in stores.  Here's the first of a few favorites in this mini series to get you excited for the approaching season. 

Not since Paradise Kisshave I witnessed a fusion of luxury fashion and manga that sent my heart soaring, and indulged my every fashion obsessed geek girl's dream. The only other book to ever do that was Sina Grace's Not My Bag. Which was in fact largely a comic book ode  to Alexander McQueen (so obviously a favorite of mine) and, note to self: It's high time I review that for you here!  In the meantime...

I want to kiss Sarah Burton on the lips for this inspired collection. For whatever reason (I'm dying to know what). Burton had the genius idea to tap manga artist Yoshiyasu Tamura (Fudegami) to illustrate custom McQueen manga pages. A print that depicts last season's "Angry Bunny" as a samurai, and features prominently throughout the collection. Indeed, it dominates jackets, sweaters, heart.... It's young (denim, leather, oversized sweaters...oh yeah, and manga!) It's playful, while still carrying the luxe tailored pieces you expect from the label. It reads like a loveletter to Tokyo from London, and... it is the stuff of my fantasies.

Photos via

There's a tee that's already sold out at Bergdorf's but is still available for pre-order at Neiman Marcus. I'll be stalking the Bergdorf Goodman halls for an opportunity to try on a piece. Will I bring one home with me? If it rains money from the sky, sure. But anything for a taste of luxury and to go from reading of manga fashion, to wearing it.

Gallery photos via

If My Blog Was an Outfit

At long last I have jumped aboard this chic geek girl blogger bandwagon, joining my friends: The Nerdy Girlie, Girl Gone Geek, and Leslie IRL; the originators of this link up party: A Dose of Paige, and Hairspray and High Heels;  and several other awesome geek girl blogs (scroll down The Nerdy Girlie's post for a list!) If this is your first time reading my blog, welcome! You're about to get me and point in a nutshell. Here's hoping you'll be enticed to read on..


The Outfit:


If My Blog Was an Outfit
Intrigued? Excellent!

I'm proud of myself for having really found my niche as a blogger. This outfit series of posts is proof enough that there are tons of awesome geek girls out there blogging, but what makes Fashion + Geekery so unique, is the focus on high-end fashion and luxury goods. Brand names and fandoms are friends here, and they make beautiful music outfits together. Let's examine some key pieces....

The Breakdown:

Preen Sith Shirt With Darth Vader

When this shirt walked the runway at Preen, my mouth fell open. I gasped. I thanked Disney for pushing their newly acquired license on people. I was madly in lust ever since. This is perfect embodiment of my blog and personal style. It expresses a fandom in a chic, beautiful, tailored piece. It's geeky, and elegant at the same time. At $830, it may be too rich for all our wallets, but dreaming about it is free. And oh, how I dream.

Saint Laurent Y-Ligne Classic Cabas Carryall Bag

One of my nicknames at work, and often on my morning coffee cups as scribbled by my friendly barista with a sense of humor  is "YSL." I mean, my name is YISSEL helloooooo.... how could I NOT want a gorgeous designer bag with my initial on it?!

When I first started this blog, the tagline I used to describe it was: "For the girl who's set her sights on a TARDIS blue PRADA bag. Well, who am I to say no to a TARDIS blue Monogrammed beauty like this? It was made for me, and if I had my way (and an obscene bank account), I'd have a Y-Ligne in every color. I do try to showcase variety in my posts after all.

Anya Hindmarch Courtney Star Cruiser printed satin clutch

I'm a bag lady, okay? I'm almost always carrying at least two. A beautiful accompaniment to the Saint Laurent Carryall, this printed clutch is yet another shining example of what happens when high fashion and geekery unite. I'm here to let you know that this is out there.

Helmut Lang Leather-trimmed crepe shorts

This simple piece represents something very special. It's a nod to my very first blog post (back when I stupidly started this blog on tumblr), Helmut Lang's Game of Thrones collection.  Every time I think about it, I'm immensely proud of myself. Despite the poor platform, as a writer with a strong POV, I feel like I started off really strong with that post.

Charlotte Olympia Carmen canvas wedge espadrilles

Charlotte is the biggest geek , and I look forward to highlighting some of my favorite geeky works of hers right on this blog. I mean, her logo is a web and her twitter is @Charlottes_web so that should give you some idea. I chose this shoe because I don't want an outfit too heavy with black. Much like I don't want to saturate my blog with too much of one kind of post, and I want to include some light posts in the mix. Personally, I love heels, but they need to be comfortable. I'm not about to walk around a con in stilettos. Think: height, color, comfort.

TOPSHOP  Stone Flower Stud Earrings by Orelia

IN lieu of costumes, we have costume jewelery. See what I did there?

I'll never forget the day I visited my aunt's home--may she rest in peace-- only to have her and my mother stare at my naked ears upon my arrival and recite in unison (and en Espanol): "sweetheart, a girl without earrings is like a vase without flowers." They never saw me without earrings again. Note that I prefer not to spend a lot of money on jewelery, earrings especially, because little things like to get lost.

I love this outfit (c'mon it's freaking killer) and what it represents and would love to see yours. What would your blog look like as an outfit? Link in the comments below!

Interview with Black Milk's Cameron Parker: "We Are Truly Sorry"

Moving Forward with Policy Changes, Lessons Learned, and Sincerest Apologies from Captain Cam Himself


You've heard the story.  Brand posts meme.  Fans object to meme.  Fans feelings are dismissed and worse in an epic social media/ customer service fail. Google it. You'll find a number of sites reporting on it. We're not dwelling on it here. You see, even after Black Milk issued their latest apology, the social media team was still being harassed. Much of the community was still hurt and angry. And some customers just weren't satisfied. Which brings us to this post. Being a part of such a large geek girl community, I've witnessed how the incident affected my friends. And while many have been talking about Black Milk, (and in the case of FaceBook, talking at Black Milk) No one was actually talking to Black Milk. So in an effort to appease the community-- and in the interest of, you know, actual journalism-- I reached out to Black Milk directly. The result: honest answers to some tough questions from the head of sales and marketing. The ones that needed to be asked so we can all move passed this.

How important is the community to the success of your business? How do you measure that?

When we first started out we relied heavily on word of mouth to get the Black Milk name known and it was a bit touch and go there for a while. When you look at it from that perspective, our community and our bloggers have been such an amazing help over the years. And we really love doing special things for our community like meet-ups and the occasional sneaky, special piece.

Black Milk Witch Please

How are the numbers post May 4th? According to BuzzFeed, your Facebook likes had originally dropped by several thousand, but it looks as though they're on the steady incline once again. Has "the event" affected sales in any way?

While [we] lost around 2,000 Facebook 'likes' around May 4, we're actually back up over what we [had] originally. We had our Witch Please release on Tuesday of this week and it was such a strong collection - it's been our best ever. We're really looking forward to the second half of 2014, we're going to be releasing the most involved, creative collections in Black Milk history and it's going to be very exciting.

I wonder if you've already put yourself in this scenario, but I'm curious: Imagine you're the customer. A long time customer at that. How would you feel if your feelings were suddenly dismissed? Do you think that the practice of deleting comments and dismissing people that don't agree, counter intuitive to nurturing an open community?

I am truly sorry for any customers whose feelings were hurt. Deleting comments and banning users wasn't an effective method in dealing with the situation. We've since been working with external industry experts to review the way we approach issues and hopefully moving forward we'll be able to more accurately identify what should and shouldn't be removed.

To Black Milk's credit, after the latest apology, which you yourself posted, I've noticed much continued damage control by the staff. Specifically twitter, where my feed looked like you were apologizing to each and every user directly.... How quickly did you orchestrate your plan for operation -- to quote one of the tweets-- "we dun goofed up", and what exactly was the strategy? How many people does it actually take to cast that wide of an apologetic net? Working 'round the clock, I'm assuming?

It was an extremely intense week for the team - we I arrived back from interstate I worked around the clock (so yes not much sleep). It was definitely an all hands on deck situation, and everyone really went the extra mile to rectify the situation.


Fans were quick to point out that BM broke its own commandments: COMMANDMENT #1 - YOU SHALL BE EXCELLENT TO ONE ANOTHER COMMANDMENT #5 - YOU SHALL NOT MAKE CRITICAL COMMENTS ON OTHER WOMEN’S BODIES. Now, I went ahead and read through these commandments and it looks as though some of your fans--in taking the meme the wrong way--we're just as guilty of breaking one : #8. YOU SHALL GET OVER YOURSELF. JL goes on to say, "BM is was and always will be irreverent. We like to have a laugh and joke around....My point is that we don't take ourselves too seriously, and neither should you." Care to comment?

We've since revised and republished our commandments, so they are much clearer and much more in line with what you will find on other pages. Moving forward it's going to be a lot easier for everyone - both community members and staff - to know what to expect of us and what is expected of them.

Some of the fans in disagreement were erroneously referred to as a minority. As anyone in social media is aware, those few people could have numerous followers on any given platform. All it takes is one person having a negative experience and tweeting out to their  thousands of followers, getting retweeted by them to their followers, etc... to cause a serious dent in a company's credibility. Are you monitoring the ripple effects of the incident? Is Black Milk being more sensitive to your customers needs because of it?

Yes, we absolutely are.

Actions speak louder than words. While many are perfectly satisfied with the apology you issued and indeed the string of twitter apologies that followed, some people still don't think it's enough. Assuming there was an epic emergency staff meeting, what measures are you taking to ensure this doesn't happen again? 

Furthermore, in last month's LifeInstyle blog you said: "Talking down to your community probably tops the list [as the worst social media faux pas]. Social media is an equal-opportunity platform, and you have to be open and honest with the people you’re engaging with. People can sense when you’re not being authentic and they generally don’t react well to that. Isolating your community by treating them as essentially different from yourself is a great way to cannibalise your social media network."  Given even your personal feelings, are the parties guilty of committing said faux pas being let go?

We have reviewed our social media policies, with help from experts, to make sure what we do from now on is very much in line with industry standards. We've included a set of promises from us to the community as well. These are all published on our Facebook page so it's very easy to understand and manage expectations from all sides. This experience has been a huge learning curve, both for management and the team.

We're all human beings and we all make mistakes. The times I've gotten into it at work there were extraneous circumstances taking their toll on me. For example, I'd lashed out at a coworker shortly after my aunt died. I let my emotions get the better of me. So I wonder, was there something else going on with the employee who was moderating* that day?

The management team take full responsibility for the actions of the Social Media team. We made a mistake and seriously misjudged the situation and we are incredibly sorry.

How much previous experience in social media does the rest of your team have?  Speaking of the team, I've noticed they've stopped signing off on their posts. Why is that?

Social media is a relatively new professional field - Facebook itself has only been around for ten years. We're lucky enough to have a young, dynamic team. As for the sign-offs, unfortunately several staff members were receiving threats and abuse both publicly and on their personal Social Media accounts. While we absolutely admit we made a mistake, we have a duty of care to our team and removing sign-offs is something we are trialling at the moment to keep them safe. We do love the personal touch of the sign-offs and hopefully we can resurrect that practice in the future, but not right now.

From a business standpoint, do you think any of your practices conflict with the first rule of business: the customer is always right?

Yes, in that context we absolutely did make a mistake. However when you're working online with social media, it can often be difficult to distinguish between who is actually a customer and who might just be commenting to add fuel to the fire or illicit a reaction.

You work with a lot of licenses. Have any of these companies-- Disney for example--been in contact with you after the incident?

We speak with our licensing partners basically daily. The situation had no impact on our relationship or future releases.

As someone who is very sarcastic and deadpan, I've had the misfortune of being grossly misinterpreted many times. Describe the Aussie sense of humor.  

The Aussie sense of humour is typically quite irreverent.

What is it that you love most about your job? What drives you to keep going every day?  

I love that I get to be part of something that makes people happy. I get emails every single day from people who tell me how Black Milk has been a hugely positive influence in their lives, from improving their self-confidence to helping them make friends through the community. That makes it easy to come back, day after day.

What would you like to say to the fans that have had negative experiences with Black Milk in the past?

We are truly sorry. We've grown very, very quickly and it's clear to us now that our policies and procedures hadn't grown alongside the rest of the company and desperately needed an update. We've reviewed our policies with help from industry experts to ensure we deal with situations like these differently in the future.

Is there anything you'd like to add?

Just that we are very sorry and can assure everyone we've learnt a great deal from it all.

Let's review:

  • Black Milk has done many great things for their community in the past, and will continue to do so in the future.
  • Cameron strikes me as someone who genuinely cares about his team and the Black Milk fans. (My genuinely unbiased opinion). At the very least, we know he's very, VERY sorry.
  • We now know that the company has not taken the situation lightly, and that serious steps have been taken to rectify the situation and ensure this never happens again.

So what do you think? We'll probably never forget, but can we finally--for the sake of peace, love, and nylon-- forgive?




*update 9:08pm: name has been omitted.