One To Watch – A Chat With Emerging Designer: Satu Maaranen

Last Tuesday, I attended the Première Vision NY and Indigo NY (textile and print design shows), for Fall-Winter 14/15. I This was the first time the two shows have been combined into one big event. I had a great time checking out the predicted print and textile trends for next year.

Right before I left the shows, I noticed a “featured display” corner of fashion and photography work that was so unique and creative. It ended up belonging to the winning designer of this year’s Hyères International Festival of Fashion & Photography  competition, which partners with Première Vision. The designer was Satu Maaranen, who hails all the way from Helsinki! I was glad chat with her a little about her design aesthetics and the competition.

Designer Satu Maartanen

Designer Satu Maaranen

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Summer In The City!

I absolutely LOVE New York City in the Summer! Yes, the temps can get unbearable at times, but there’s always so much to see and do that you just stop into a bodega for a cool drink and keep it moving!

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that last week’s Fashion Star challenge was all about warm weather looks. Well, this post is for one of the other winning looks that I really thought was a “must have” for your summer wardrobe.

Click image for details on each item.

Summer In The City

GenArt Fresh Faces in Fashion- Part 1

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Last night I had the pleasure of attending GenArt’s Fresh Faces in Fashion, held at Runway @Pier 57! The venue was perfect for the event, the space was huge and full of stylish attendees (check out Part 2 of this post), a few celebrities  (“Empire Girls” Adrienne Bailon made an appearance and “Sparkle” actress Tika Sumpter was the event’s host), and of course the major highlight was seeing the unique and creative designer collections on the natural concrete runway.

For those of you are not familiar with Fresh Faces in Fashion, it is a bi-coastal (NYC and LA) fashion event held annually showcasing emerging designers for the last 17 years.  The featured Continue Reading

The Exclucisve Xcluzv Event at Linda’s!

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Imagine this setting.. it’s a lovely, warm, yet breezy NYC summer day, you’re in a well known boutique on the east side of the city, you’re sipping on a refreshing caipirinha drink, while you shop for a swimsuit for your upcoming vacation, right next to you is a beautiful model showcasing various swimwear pieces from a new line made in Brazil, and there are several people ready to assist you in picking out the perfect swim suit…sound far fetched? Well that’s exactly what happened at the event Xcluzv Lifestyle Brands hosted at Linda’s Bra Salon in Murray Hill.
Photo Courtesy of Chat Lokuge

I had never been to Linda’s, but ironically I had been to several restaurants in the neighborhood, so it was very exciting to finally visit this very well know boutique. From the sidewalk I was already loving the store, it was brightly lit with lovely underwear, lingerie and swimwear on display. The interior had a “modern boudoir” feeling, with Continue Reading

Fashion Industry Highlight – Xcluzv Swimwear

Xcluzv Lifestyle Brand logo

The fact that the 2014 FIFA World Cup is set to be held in Brazil has been reigniting global interest in the sexiest country in South America. For now, one thing is for sure… you don’t have to own a passport to be able to get a taste of Brazil right now! There have been various new events including beautiful Amazon Rainforest themed flower shows, that have been on the rise, making it evident that Brazil has come to the U.S. Often when someone thinks about Brazil- it’s the food, music and tropical flowers that may come to mind, but most of the time swimwear is top of the list!

So it should come as no surprise that today we’re highlighting a new Brazilian based swimwear company – Xcluzv Lifestyle Brands Inc. The company made its initial U.S. launch on March 23, 2012 with a preview of their 2012 Cruise & Summer line on a mobile web based internet site.

They also recently shared a “Behind The Scenes” video from their last photo shoot with their potential buyers and Continue Reading

ZYEM Lifestyle Brand – by Monique Glover

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At the young age of 9, Monique Glover, CEO/Designer of ZYEM, knew that she wanted to become a fashion designer. It all began with a PBS special she happened to be watching about an African man who designed clothing for a prince. She was immediately intrigued with the colorful illustrations, the beautifully draped pieces in elaborate fabrics. Monique knew at that very moment she wanted to create these same beautiful pieces one day. She soon began on her journey of pursuing that goal, while at the Laguardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts she was able to build on her natural skills of drawing and creativity. Furthering her education in the arts she attended Pratt Institute for Fashion Design, where she realized that learning about fashion was more than drawing something cool, it was about executing wearable art.

After 12 years in the fashion industry, designing for various brands, traveling to Europe, Hong Kong and India, studying art and observing NYC’s pop culture; Monique’s “PBS special” dreams were becoming a reality. In 2011, she launched a Lifestyle Brand named after her little prince, her son Zyem (which means leader). ZYEM is a Brooklyn, NY based company creating garments that are fit for kings and queens, promoting a Continue Reading

Fashion Industry Highlight- G.I.A. Luxe

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Gorgeous, Intelligent, and Ambitous…

G.I.A  Luxe is an exclusive luxury handbag line founded and designed by Designer Sheetal Patel. With a mixed background of European, Indian, Middle East and American influences, Sheetal has been able to create a company with a taste of luxury, rich colors, distinctive detailing, unique design, high quality as well as being functional.
Although these aspects factor into the inspiration of the handbags, Sheetal’s major inspiration and motivation for her company comes from her beautiful daughter, Gia.

Sheetal and her daughter Gia

Made in the U.S.A, this collection of contemporary designer handbags was created to offer attainable luxury accessories that cater to women who dare to be unique for their own sense of Continue Reading

African Wax Style – OBA Designs by NJE

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A few weeks ago we had the pleasure to talk with Nnene Janice Essien, who is the founder of OBA Designs by NJE. Her new collections, feature everyday pieces in African wax print which are made in Nigeria. During our interview she shared the history of African wax, her own cultural connection, the “dream” concept for her company, new collections in the works and what celebrities she could see in her pieces.

VF: How do you define your personal style? Describe your style using only 4 words.

NJE: I really don’t have a personal style I think I am an ok dresser, but a bit dull. I have a lot of grey in my closet and at one point black was my favorite color, but I had too much, so I said “I’m not buying anymore black”. I like different colors, but I like things that match and grey tends to match with everything. Ironically, my African wax pieces are fun and bold…. but to answer your question…  Simple, fun, classy and a bit dull. 

VF: When did you fall in love with fashion?

NJE:  I fell in love with fashion in high school.  I attend a high school that was known for high fashion. People really came to school dressed to a “T” and it was highly important what you had on.  I participated in the yearly fashion show that attracts hundreds of people. In high school I was one of the ones you could look to for the newest styles, etc. The love is still there, but the effort to focus on what “new fashion” I should wear has changed.

VF: What three items would you never leave home without?

NJE: My Guc’s (her Gucci sunglasses), chapstick and my debit card, you never know when you will find a bargain.


VF: Who do you admire, or who inspires you within the fashion world (dead or alive)?

NJE: I have no one inspiration. Kim Kardashian dresses very well and she has worn some African print. Another Continue Reading