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Fashion Trends

Bruce Weber Shoots Harlem With a Mobile Phone Camera

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Bruce Uptown

Famed fashion photographer Bruce Weber captures Harlem street life with a cell phone cam. Widely known for his work with Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie & Fitch Mr. Weber takes a snapshot of day to … Read More

Reporter Challenges Naomi Campbell With Angry Black Women Stereotype

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Speaking Up About Lack of Diversity in Fashion

“We feel passionate [about this]. Feeling passionate about something doesn’t mean you have to be angry.” Naomi Campbell

Oh my, where do I begin? Are we … Read More

Actor Forest Whitaker’s Inspirational Jewelry Designed by Mary Margrill

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Actor Forest Whitaker’s Inspirational Jewelry Designed by Mary Margrill (via The Los Angeles Fashion)

Actor Forest Whitaker’s Inspirational Jewelry Designed by Mary Margrill Known best for his Oscar winning performances in The Last King of Scotland and currently starring alongside Oprah Winfrey in the much anticipated The Butler, Forest Whitaker turned heads yesterday on CBS This Morning wearing Mary Margrill’s World Peace Now™ Dog Tag pendant as a wrap bracelet giving it a spin as the ultimate spiritual wrist bling.  Margrill’s substantial solid sterling silver Dog Tag, (hand carved from her own eccentric note book doodles) and paired with heavenly quality braided leather makes for a brilliant mix of substance meets style, just like Whitaker himself.

In 2002, Mary founded M² by Mary Margrill (pronounced M-squared) and today has teamed up with a well-established and regarded manufacturer — together, they combine beauty, spiritual meaning and the finest quality jewelry. Mary’s pieces remind us that we can trust in the positive energy of our lives and ultimately gain strength from it. Mary’s jewelry embraces a vision of universal harmony and understanding and at the same time entices us with the sparkle of diamonds and the luster of gold.

For further information, press inquiries and interview requests please contact Ashley at ashley@blinkpr.com

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All About Eva of Eva Franco

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Eva of Eva Franco (via The Los Angeles Fashion)

Eva of Eva Franco I am sure most of you have seen Eva Franco’s dresses, but today we are going to take a in-depth look into what it takes to build a successful brand.  Eva is based in Los Angeles and has spent the last 10 years creating fashion forward designs. Her feminine style is partnered with fabulous fabrics, a great attention to detail and a love for empowering women to embrace their beauty!

I was born in Transylvania Romania but I’m Hungarian.  At the age of ten, my parents escaped and brought us to America.  I had a huge realization about what it means to have the freedom to create and the opportunity with which to execute one’s goal.  I went to college at FIT in New York for fashion design and worked a year in Paris before starting my first company at the age of 21.  Which, ultimately failed.  But looking back, it was part of the journey towards my success today.

How did you start your company? 

I started small at the FairFax Flea Market for all shapes and sizes.   Spending over a year and half designing and selling directly to women.  It was a valuable view of how women battle with the negative voices against their body image.  My job as a designer is to be able to shut down those voices through flattering design, for them to see themselves as the individual beauties that they are.

How would you describe your design style?

My company designs and produces a collection of dresses, skirts and tops with a whimsical, feminine, garments that are all made in America.  We have an office in New York, but I consider myself an LA designer with a European flavor. More……..

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Self-Taught Designer Sherise Cromwell Finds Huge Success With REESE

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Self-Taught Designer Sherise Cromwell Finds Huge Success With REESE (via The Los Angeles Fashion)

Self-Taught Designer Sherise Cromwell Finds Huge Success With REESE As a 16-year-old living on her own in Toronto, Sherise Cromwell went from tearing apart her closet and adding fabrics on to the limited amount of pieces she owned to launching her own brand REESE almost a decade later.

Cromwell got her big break when she hand-sewed an orange mini dress for her 20th birthday party in an effort to make something that nobody else had. Little did she know it would catch everyone’s attention.

“I love fashion, I’ve always wanted to be around it, but I’m such a big tomboy so I never even imagined making my dreams a reality,” says Cromwell.

Despite the fact that she never liked sewing, Cromwell began taking orders from close friends, dabbling with larger scale photo shoots and shows here and there. Then she invested in some sewing machines and made her first swimwear collection. The collection was so popular that it shut down her website. Cromwell was then forced to take a break from designing to catch up on orders.

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Black Models Walking – The Short List

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The Very Short List

As most of you are aware the number of black models walking the shows has been steadily declining. The year saw a further decline than even the year past.

According … Read More

Kahindo Mateene of Modahnik Gives Us Beautiful, Bold Designs

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Kahindo Mateene

We love Kahindo’s bold colors and fabrics. The African prints used in her designs are always lush and energetic, yet feminine. Though she has not advanced on Project Runway we look forward to her new designs and coming … Read More

Threadflip goes full personalization, introduces a follow-based model for its peer-to-peer clothing marketplace

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By Michael Carney On August 1, 2013There’s a battle going on among startups trying to help women monetize their closets. At the same time, these peer-to-peer resale marketplaces are also helping women find pre-owned fashions and accessories at bargain…Read More

Nigeria Boutiques Creating Lagos Fashion Hub

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Nigeria boutiques creating Lagos fashion hub
(via AFP)

Shoppers ready to spend lavishly on clothes by elite designers sip champagne in a discreetly located store that only those in-the-know know exists. Perhaps it’s not an unusual scene in Manhattan or Milan, but in Lagos, sub-Saharan Africa’s largest city shops like Temple Muse are a novelty. A growing number of boutique owners and fashion designers however are working to change that.

Most of Nigeria’s roughly 160 million people live in extreme poverty, but the upper class here number among the wealthiest in Africa, including those who have profited from the continent’s largest oil industry.

Nigerians’ sense of style is also well-known, and the country boasts several fashion designers who have made their mark internationally.

Just ask Michelle Obama, who wore a blouse by Nigeria’s Maki Oh on a recent trip to South Africa.

Or take the Wadhwani brothers, who are Indian but were raised in Lagos. They saw there was a gap in the city’s luxury market.

The brothers opened a store that aims to serve Nigeria’s ultra-high-end shoppers who typically hop on planes to Europe when their wardrobes need an upgrade.

lagos2

“I found a niche in the market,” said Avinash Wadhwani, co-owner of Temple Muse boutique in the posh Victoria Island neighbourhood of Lagos.

He previously worked as a buyer for the London department store Selfridges, learning first-hand the appeal of Europe’s top fashion lines. But he insisted Nigeria’s rich are also seeking a local look.

Some Nigerians “travel by plane every other week and shop in the best boutiques around the globe, but they still have that sense of pride and everyone wants something from (their) own heritage,” he said.

Temple Muse, which opened five years ago, is protected from the hectic mega-city outside by a thick metal door and is equipped with a champagne bar and a cafe. Some garments come with pricetags of $3,000 (2,300 euros), and there are fashion mavens ready to snap up several of them.

Odun Ogunbiyi, a customer who claimed plenty of foreign shopping experience, told AFP the outfits she buys in Nigeria are admired wherever she goes.

“I travel a lot. I go to Miami, I go to London to visit friends and family. and they ask me ‘where did you get that from?’,” said Ogunbiyi, a TV host.

When she tells people the outfit is Nigerian, they say they “can’t believe it,” she said.

“It’s gotten to the point where we are on standard with international brands, which is great!”

Wadhwani agreed that Nigerian designers are becoming increasingly respected abroad.

The US First Lady’s recent appearance in a Maki Oh blouse was seen as evidence of growing exposure for designers here.

But Wadhwani knows that his local clients also want to wear premium European names, so he stocks the embroidered dresses of Nigerian designer Lanre Da Silva Ajayi alongside Givenchy and Italy’s Emilio Pucci.

Tope Edu is another fashion seller hoping that wealthy Nigerians will shop more in Lagos. She manages the Ermenegildo Zegna store on Victoria Island, the Italian line’s first and only outlet in sub-Saharan Africa, which opened in April.

But in a reminder of the perils of doing business in Nigeria, Edu said it took seven years to get the luxury franchise opened.

Zegna first needed to be sure that there was a consumer base to support the store but faced a lack of reliable consumer data.

A series of made-to-measure Zegna events were successful, giving confidence that a full-time ready-to-wear store could survive.

Company chief executive Gildo Zegna also had faith in the buying power of Africa’s super-rich.

He told the Financial Times that customers from the continent on average spent 50 percent more in Zegna’s stores than buyers from other regions.

The next challenge was the venue and ensuring, as Edu explained, that the Lagos “Zegna store looked exactly like a Zegna store elsewhere in the world.”

“It’s a very difficult process,” she conceded, citing Nigeria’s nightmarish bureaucracy.

The stand-alone shop is on a street lined with office buildings which hardly offers the majestic surroundings of Paris’s Champs-Elysees but inside business appears to be thriving.

Especially on smart-casual items like polo shirts, which are being scooped up at just under $500 each, Edu told AFP.

She debunked the notion that Nigeria’s elite are committed to exclusively shopping abroad.

“Once (they) know it’s available, I think that same customer will purchase from here,” she said.

Like Zegna, Folake Folarin-Cocker has growing faith in the Nigerian and wider African market.

Her Tiffany Amber line, launched in 1998 and Nigeria’s first ready-to-wear brand, has four standalone stores in the country.

Her designs are also sold in Ghana and South Africa, and will soon be available in oil-rich Angola.

Shoppers in Milan and London can also buy Tiffany Amber items, but for Folarin-Cocker, the European and US markets are mainly for publicity.

Those markets “are saturated. Africa is untapped,” she said.

While her work is currently priced at luxury rates, she is preparing a lower cost line because she believes the continent is craving an accessible, ready-to-wear brand.

An H&M or “Zara with an African accent,” she explained, referring to popular European clothes shops.

Like the owners and shoppers at Temple Muse, Folarin-Cocker takes pride in the growing respect and exposure being given to Nigerian designers and said that talent in the fashion industry can help change perceptions of the continent.

“Fashion is one of the ways we are going to be able to rebrand Africa,” she said. “It’s not ‘We Are The World, We Are the Children’ anymore.”

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Fire In Your New Shoes: 2013 Style Guide

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Fire In Your New Shoes: 2013 Style Guide (via The Los Angeles Fashion)

Fire In Your New Shoes: 2013 Style Guide   From military-inspired thigh-high boots to retro ankle strapped pumps, we have many 2013 runway trends that have put fire in our shoes and there are many more to come. Here are five of this year’s shoe trends…

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