22 March 2011

fashion for a cause

As some of you may know, World Water Week begins today!

If you aren't familiar with the initiative, you definitely should check out UNICEF's 2011 Tap Project video. In Short, WWW helps raise money for under-developed countries that don't have access to clean drinking water. It's an initiative that has gotten a lot of support in the last few years—something that I support wholeheartedly, and an initiative that even the top fashion designers are supporting.

Giorgio Armani has said that he would prove 100 liters of drinking water for children every time someone buys one of his two fragrances. I don't think you have any better excuse to treat yourself to a new fragrance than this!

Another way you can participate in World Water Week is by visiting restaurants and donating $1 for a glass of water you would normally drink for free. See here for participating restaurants.

As Mr. Armani says, "Water is such a simple word—but like all simple words it has a profound significance."

15 March 2011

go bold!

Spring officially starts in 5 days, and NYC is supposed to reach the 60s this weekend! I plan to show my giddiness and thanks to Mother Nature by embracing one of this sprint's trends: bold prints!

If you want to get crazy and mix your prints, here are a couple of tips for making it work for your everyday style.

1. Make sure the colors are in the same color family or are the same intensity
2. Make one of your patterns dominant. Two bold patterns will compete too much with each other




08 March 2011

color blocking

There are many hot trends this summer: 70s-inspired trousers, sky-high wedges, and crochet to name a few. But if you've been following the runway shows, there is one trend taking over: color, color color! And the brighter the better!

The best thing about this trend is that it can be utilized instantly with a simple mix and match of your wardrobe.

A few things to keep in mind when styling:
1. Don't pair colors that look too similar. You want some sort of contrast.
2. Keep the contrasting colors of the same intensity. You won't want to pair pastel green grousers with a hot pink cardigan.

We know this trend won't be for everyone, but if you're having a drab day, incorporate a burst of color through your accessories.

Timo Weiland

Rachel Roy

Martin Grant

Jil Sander

Tory Burch

03 March 2011

fight against fakes

Photo from NYT

Anyone who knows me well knows how much I detest counterfeit goods. And I must take this opportunity to publicly thank my friend Nina for throwing out her fake handbags a few years ago to support me and the cause.

Since first discovering Harpers Bazaar’s campaign Fakes Are Never in Fashion, I have attempted to educate myself on the dangers and destruction caused by buying counterfeit goods.

Here are some of the facts:
$250 billion estimated loss to American companies due to intellectual property theft
$20 billion estimated loss to American companies from counterfeit products
750,000 American jobs lost due to intellectual property theft in the United States

If that’s not enough to cause you to think twice, here’s a poignant story by Dana Thomas excerpted from an article demonstrating the dangers caused by fakes:

I recall the raid I went on with Chinese police in a tenement in Guangzhou and what we discovered when we walked in: two dozen sad, tired, dirty children, ages 8 to 14, making fake Dunhill, Versace, and Hugo Boss handbags on old, rusty sewing machines. It was like something out of Dickens, Oliver Twist in the 21st century.

Then I read the following passage from my book, Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster: “’I remember walking into an assembly plant in Thailand a couple of years ago and seeing six or seven little children, all under 10 years old, sitting on the floor assembling counterfeit leather handbags,’ an investigator told me. . . . ‘The owners had broken the children’s legs and tied the lower leg to the thigh so the bones wouldn’t mend. [They] did it because the children said they wanted to go outside and play.’”

(Read the entire article here.)

If you can’t afford a designer handbag, it’s no big deal. There are many great companies making fashionable bags that fit the trends at friendlier prices. Among others, I am a big fan of Madewell, Banana Republic, and Nine West handbags. For luxury brands, wait for the sales. For example, I just bought a fabulous Kate Spade bag for 60 percent off at their sample sale. Also, you can sign up for sites like Gilt Groupe and Rue La La to get great real deals. If you are set on a Louis or Chanel, save up your gift cards and birthday money. You can often find deals on eBay for those. Just be sure to following their guide to avoiding counterfeit goods. And think of how much better you’ll feel knowing you are carrying the real deal!

Check out the Fakes Are Never in Fashion website for more info and tips on spotting fakes.