Industry Strategy Director Fashion
Bob McKee has spent more than 35 years working with textile, apparel, footwear, home textiles and accessories companies. He has held a variety of positions including VP of Operations, VP of Manufacturing, VP of Sourcing, VP of Materials Management, Materials Manager, Production Control Manager, Production Planner, DC Manager and DC Supervisor as well as being an independent consultant to the industry.
In 1998, Bob joined Intentia International, which joined forces with Lawson Software in 2006. Bob has implemented 7 different enterprise management solutions in 7 different companies.
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25th January 2010
Gray, gray, gray - this time of year in this part of the U.S. is just plain depressing. I was driving to work this morning - as you may know - I live in Chicago. I'm sure you can guess what it's like in Chicago at this time of year. Gray … everything is gray - gray and depressing - - Have I painted a clear enough picture? Is it gray?
Some people have it much worse during this time of year than other people. Some people suffer from SAD.
Seasonal affective disorder
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression or winter blues, is a mood disorder in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the winter or, less frequently, in the summer, spring or autumn, repeatedly, year after year. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), SAD is not a unique mood disorder, but is "a specifier of major depression".
The US National Library of Medicine notes that "some people experience a serious mood change when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, have little energy, and crave sweets and starchy foods. They may also feel depressed. Though symptoms can be severe, they usually clear up." The condition in the summer is often referred to as Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder, and can also include heightened anxiety. It has been estimated that 1.5-9% of adults in the US experience SAD.
There are many different treatments for classic (winter-based) seasonal affective disorder, including light therapy with sunlight or bright lights, antidepressant medication, cognitive-behavioral therapy, ionized-air administration, and carefully timed supplementation of the hormone melatonin.
Symptoms of SAD may consist of: difficulty waking up in the morning, tendency to oversleep as well as to overeat, and especially a craving for carbohydrates, which leads to weight gain. Other symptoms include a lack of energy, difficulty concentrating on completing tasks, and withdrawal from friends, family, and social activities. All of this leads to the depression, pessimism, and lack of pleasure which characterize a person suffering from this disorder.
People that experience Reverse SAD (spring and summer depression) show symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, irritability, decreased appetite, weight loss, and a decreased sex drive. RSAD can also manifest depression, which makes it difficult to diagnose this rare affliction.
Pasted from <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seasonal_affective_disorder>
While I'm pretty sure I don't suffer from SAD (but I know people who do) - I was wondering what Fashion could do for the people that do. So, my mind began to wander as I was driving (don't be concerned about me driving while my mind is wandering - traffic during the Chicago morning 'rush' moves at a snails pace (hey, why on earth do "they" call that time of day a "Rush Hour" … it's certain that no one is actually rushing anywhere - (but - I digress)) and I began to look at the things around me - gray sky, gray cars, gray buildings, gray clothing and coats or the gray people.
From that - I began to wonder - do we in this Fashion industry actually have this seasonality thing all backward? Looking into the cars around me - everyone is in coats - guess what color … yep, gray (or black). If there is any time of year that we need some color in our lives - it has to be now.
A few years back when I was visiting Stockholm at this time of year - I went to a shopping mall. I walked past a large booth in the middle of the building - a booth filled with lights. I asked my colleague what it was for - he of course gave me a typical Swedish clinical explanation - but followed up by saying "I think you call it seasonal affective disorder". People could go into that booth to lose the 'winter blues'. But of course everyone in the booth was wearing gray and black (I've com to believe that those are the Swedish national colors (amazing when you consider the colorful Swedish flag).
So still my mind is wandering (I have a long commute when traffic is slow) - what if Fashion designers and merchandisers were to plan more color into winter collections? What would the impact be on SAD people? What would the possible impact be on all of us? Heck, major retail organizations have spent a lot of money to try and determine what color lighting - in what parts of the store give people a better feeling - and (thus) making them feel better about buying. We know that as human beings - we react to light and color - we know that it gives us a better feeling about life. Gray and dark only makes us feel gray and dark. Is it possible that we would all become more pleasant - and less stressed during this time of year?
(My apologies to my friends 'down under' - Please just put this aside - and revisit it in about 6 months.)
By the way - I will be attending (and speaking) at the Prime Source Forum in Hong Kong - March 29 - 31.
While everyone's travel budgets may have been cut back due to the economy - this is an event worth attending - even if I wasn't one of the speakers.