Category: Style

March 10 2018

Gucci is Killing It!

While fashion itself seems to be in a slumber (how many brick and mortar retail stores can they really close?!), one brand is out there KILLING IT! You may have run across some articles about millennials’ love affair with Gucci. Being a wannabe millennial myself (I swear I was born in the wrong decade!), I can totally see why. I just read this article over on Fast Company about the company’s vision and culture. Now I’m even more impressed! I love how Gucci’s head honcho, Marco Bizzarri, works with his creative director in taking risks. Sure they’re over-the-top but that’s what makes them unique!

Here are some of my favorite excerpts:

“Gucci, you may have noticed, is blowing up.”

“In January 2015, Gucci appointed a new CEO, Marco Bizzarri, who had previously led Stella McCartney and Bottega Veneta. Bizzarri immediately brought on a new creative director, Alessandro Michele, who earned his design chops apprenticing under Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi, and is known for his eccentric maximalist taste. In three short years, the pair have transformed Gucci into an exciting, modern brand that has won over the under-35 set–an achievement that recently earned the company a place on Fast Company’s list of the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies in 2018.”

“Bizzarri approached the 96-year-old fashion house with a critical eye. When he joined the company, the brand’s enormous double G logo seemed like a status symbol of a bygone era; Gucci bags and belts languished in dark corners of people’s closets. ‘The company was really losing speed and was a little bit dusty,” Bizzarri says. “There was too much emphasis on heritage. I wanted to move the company to be more inclusive, more joyful, full of more energy.’”

“At luxury fashion houses, especially, there is a great deal of pressure to protect the brand’s image and heritage. Bizzarri’s message to his employees was to relax. “This creates a shift in people’s minds,” he explains. ‘If you don’t take the work too seriously, you can experiment with things that people are not expecting. On the other hand, by taking it too seriously, you tend to replicate things you have already done, trying to be safe rather than innovative.’”

“I wanted to have a company culture to be one where emotion and creativity were at the front and business followed,” Bizzarri says. “A place where creativity is foster by joy, by happiness. This is a perspective that I shared with Alessandro.”

“If people enter our shop, they enter our house and we need to be hosts to them,” Bizzarri says. “Changing people’s mentalities and behavior, that is the most difficult thing to do. The approach should be welcoming and smiling in a genuine way that is not forced, because this is the way to be inclusive in the end.”

“Our approach, both in terms of product and visual campaigns, is to do something that is unique,” he says. “The point is that if you are able to spontaneously and genuinely talk to millennials in a way that they can see really comes from the heart, you are talking their language.”

“These social media gambits are timely and speak directly to millennials, but Bizzarri wants to make sure that the driving force behind everything that Gucci does is about being authentic, creative, and inclusive, because this is what will allow the brand to stand the test of time.”

“This genuine passion is something that can keep us ahead of the competition,” Bizzarri says. “I’ve read many things about millennials these days saying they are not loyal and switch from one brand to the text. This may be true, but it doesn’t apply to us.”

Bizzarri is a genius!

February 14 2018

What I Bought My Husband for Valentine’s Day

For as long as I can remember, Sam (my husband) has been making these small side comments about how he gets terrible sleep. The reason? The four of us each has his/her own blanket but Sam’s is the worst. (Poor guy!) He uses this rough blue and white blanket that’s shabby on one side and semi-soft on the other. You can barely call it a blanket. So! I decided that for Valentine’s Day I would surprise him with a gift…da da da da….a brand new comforter!

It couldn’t be any old comforter, it had to be the best. (Or at least the best bang for the buck.) Now I’m not sure how Mark Zuckerberg pulled it off but what popped up on my Facebook feed but an ad from a company called Buffy. What did they claim? They have “the fluffiest, softest, lightest comforter ever made.” And what did they compare it to? Sleeping in clouds! Yes, clouds! Ok, now that’s some good marketing.

You can test out the comforter in your own home or just buy it. Being the “all-in” type, I just hit buy. It came in a few days, we unpackaged it last night. So how is it? It’s freakin’ amazing! The comforter is huge (well, we got the King size), and it has just the perfect amount of lightness/heaviness. Sam runs hot but when I asked him how he slept last night with “Buffy” he exclaimed, “Great!” He wasn’t too hot or too cold. He actually got a restful night’s sleep!

Here’s the duvet cover I chose. I wanted something classic, clean-looking and soft. It was perfect.

My gift was a huge hit! Thanks, Buffy, for creating a five star product!

(This is not a paid sponsorship…I just really dig their product.)

December 12 2017

10 of My Favorite Things Right Now – Beauty, Books and More

Hello, all! Yes, I’m back after a long hiatus. I’ve been busy working on Skylar Yoo, it take a lot to start up a whole new company. Sorry if I’ve been neglecting this blog, I feel like I have so much to write about now. I’ll start out with just sharing ten of my favorite things – from books to beauty products.

1. The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea: This short story gives you some heartfelt lessons on business and life in general. It outlines five laws for stratospheric success. I love the concept of giving without asking for anything in return. Here’s a good quote: “Watch out for the other guy. Watch out for his interests. Watch his back. Forget about fifty-fifty, son. Fifty-fifty’s a losing proposition. The only winning proposition is one hundred percent. Make your win about the other person, go after what he wants. Forget win-win – focus on the other person’s win.”

This, too: “You give, give, give. Why?…Because you love to. It’s not a strategy, it’s a way of life.”

2. Rihanna’s Red Lip Paint, “Stunna“: I’ve always admired a woman who can carry off bold red lips. It’s hard to find the perfect shade, you get me, girls?! That’s why when I finally tried Rihanna’s brand Fenty Beauty’s “Uncensored” I was extremely happy! Unlike a lot of glosses and lipsticks these days that are totally drying, this one is less so. It stays on for hours and it’s a universally great shade of red. (See Rihanna in it, above.) Give it a go! You won’t regret it. (I’m now onto trying her metallic hot pink lipstick and her glitter eyeliner in blue.

3. Thick Classic Notebook with Pen Loop – Lemome A5 Wide Ruled Hardcover Writing Notebook with Pocket + Page Dividers Gifts, Banded, Large, 180 Pages, 8.4 x 5.7 in – Lately, I’ve been waking up early to journal. It’s a great, refreshing way to start the day (or end it). There’s tons of notebooks out there but this one spoke to me because it’s timeless, it’s not too bulky or too thin, and it has this handy pen loop so you’ll never lose your pen again. I’ll still collect my notebooks, but for my journals, I think I’ll stick to this one.

4. iPhone X: I recently received my iPhone X and can’t say enough how much I love it. I used to have the iPhone 6+ and that was a giant compared to this. The X is the perfect size, it’s not too heavy and I can use it with one hand. I love the the edge to edge OLED screen, how fast it is and, most importantly, Face ID. It’s weird not having a real, touchable home button but you get used to it. Good job, Apple, on making me fall in love with Apple again! (Speaking of which, I love my AirPods, too!)

5. Bandolino ballet flats in gold: I try to avoid heels whenever I can so when I see a good pair of flats I snatch them up. These gold ones, by Bandolino, are shimmery and cute. They don’t have a lot of support at the bottom, but they’re not for hiking a hill, they’re more for casual work wear. Lord & Taylor’s having a good sale on them right now!

6. Pentel EnerGel Deluxe RTX Retractable Liquid Gel Pen,0.7mm, Fine Line, Metal Tip, Blue Ink-Value set of 5 (With Our Shop Original Product Description): This is by far the best pen I’ve ever used. It’s just so smooth and the the way it grips makes it feel so natural. I want 1000 of these. Speaking of pens, I use Kyinflose Pens, Smooth Gel Ink Roller Ball Pens, Fine Point, Black, 12-Pack (0.5mm) this black one for my journaling. Love it, too.

7. Baebody Eye Gel for Dark Circles, Puffiness, Wrinkles and Bags – The Most Effective Anti-Aging Eye Gel for Under and Around Eyes – 1.7 fl. oz.: Now that I’m past 40, I need me some eye cream. I checked Amazon and this one was far and away the best seller. Tried it on and loved it! It feels gel-like at first but then quickly absorbs into the skin. I used to suffer from dryness around my eyes but that’s all been cured.

8. Iconic Eyelashes at House of Lashes: These are my go-to eyelashes. They’re super full, I wear them daily, but you may want to save them for a special night out. House of Lashes has good eyelash glue, too.

9. Pink faux fur coat from Zara: This is one of my favorite coats right now. (I’ve started a small collection.) It’s super fluffy and warm. Who doesn’t love this color, too? It’s not too baby pink or too bright pink.

10. Today Matters: 12 Daily Practices to Guarantee Tomorrow’s Success (Maxwell, John C.) – This is kind of an older book (2005) but it still has a lot of valuable life lessons. Maxwell is a pastor so there are some references to God but overall you can learn a lot of what you can do today to be successful tomorrow. He includes a ton of quotes in this book so if that’s your jam, you’re going to love this. He narrows down the areas for critical success to 12 or what he calls the “”Daily Dozen.” This includes having a positive attitude, sticking to priorities and investing in good relationships. Solid.

August 9 2017

We’re Designing Our Dreamy All White Kitchen

Due to a leak in our kitchen, we are getting the opportunity to completely remodel our kitchen. One day we came home from work and found the whole island removed! I’ve always wanted a very modern but glamorous kitchen – all white with gold handles. Instead of going with Houzz, I decided to try out Laurel & Wolf.

We went with the highest plan, the Signature, which is $249 per room. After providing our “inspiration pics,” I shared Christina Applegate’s kitchen, you get three different room concepts from three different designers. For an extra $100, you get to work with one of the more experienced designers, which we read was well worth it.

We got our three designs back and this one (picture above) is the one that I instantly loved. It’s a ten day process, the designer creates a design board for you and you get to comment on each picture, telling him or her what you love or hate. Then, they fine tune their board.

Now let’s see if we can make this happen!

August 1 2017

The Only Way I Shop: Subscription Boxes

I used to be a person who enjoyed the mall experience. Wander around department stores like Bloomingdales or Nordstroms and picking out a thing or two. BUT THEN! I discovered subscription boxes and I was hooked!

You may have heard that Amazon just entered to the game. (You have to be a Prime member.) There, you can select 3 to 15 items of clothes or accessories and you have seven days to decide on whether or not you’ll keep any of them. It’s good for the working women who doesn’t want to spend a lot on work clothes like dresses.

I tried Stich Fix and I just felt like it didn’t fit my personality. The clothes were too bright, didn’t fit and wasn’t up to par in quality. So I turned my attention to two companies in the game: MM.LaFleur and Le Tote.

MM.LaFleur makes polished clothes for the working women. Their prices are a bit high but they’re pretty fashionable despite the fact that they’re clothes for work. I usually just buy one out of the five or six pieces they send me. Their customer service is great, a stylist sends you an email asking you if there’s anything you need. After I try on all my clothes, I jump on my computer to give my feedback about each individual item. This ranges from style (did not fit, does not like the color) to price (too expensive). You have only four days to try on the clothes and then return them in their prepaid mailer. Recently, I got this this jacket called the Woolf. It’s like a stretchy blazer. It has small shoulder pads that give you that extra umph. It’s my new favorite piece of clothing. You can dress it up or down. Today I’m wearing a Skylar Yoo statement tee with it along with black leggings and heels.

The second company I’m buying from is Le Tote. This works like “Netflix.” You pay $49 dollars per month for three items of clothes and two accessories. After you’ve worn their clothes, you can return them for more. Cool thing is that you can keep your items as long as you like but, if you’re like me, you either buy it or you return it soon so you can get the next box. You’re basically paying the monthly fee so why not get the most bang for the buck (variety). It’s important to note that this company lets you “swap” out items and pick them out yourself, rather than have your stylist just send you what they think you want. They’re having a big clearance sale right now if you want to see what they offer. I recently got this blue floral blouse and I loved it enough to buy it.

Shopping will never be the same again! Bye bye department stores. Hello, online subscription boxes!

July 21 2017

Pink Sequined Christian Louboutin Boots

Wow! Now these are some shoe stopping shoes! Christian Louboutin looks like they’re taking a page out of the playbook of Saint Laurent’s rhinestone boots that was all the rage (especially when Rihanna wore it). Love how these come in a subtle but shimmering blush color, yet they still have their trademark red sole. Of course, these Loubtouin’s are sequins and Saint Laurent’s were made of rhinestones but both are pretty fab!

July 21 2017

Rainbow Converse Designed by Mara Hoffman

Designer Mara Hoffman is one of those cool designers I like to keep my eye on. I love her colorful bathing suits and her long dresses. She recently collaborated with Converse to create these ultra-unique shoes. (You know I have a thing for rainbows.) They don’t officially go on sale till August but I found them on Free People’s website today so you can purchase them early, before they run out. They’re actually embroidered shoes! They come in two colors, I prefer this one called Purple Multi.

They’re expected to be shipped out on August 4th.

July 19 2017

Caroline Constas’ Gorgeous Rainbow Colored Clothing

I was browsing through Moda Operandi when I came across these rainbow colored clothes by New York-based designer Caroline Constas. How stunning is that gathered top with the ruffle skirt? As a person who loves ruffles and rainbows I almost cried when I saw these! (Not really, but it did make me emotional…like buy, buy, buy! But then, no, no, no.) I put these clothes in the, “Really beautiful but too expensive category.” (I should make a board called that on Pinterest!) The gathered top goes for $420. Yeah….no.

I have this theory that the retail industry is currently pushing out the middle market. High end luxury brands with beautiful unique designs will stay in business as will fast fashion brands that rip off the luxury market’s designs. With the rise of Instagram, I think a lot of women love following trend setting style influencers like Aimee Song or Chriselle Lim. I remember after seeing Aimee wear that black and white Self-Portrait blouse, I was like, “Where can I buy that?” The influencers know how to put their outfits together, they look A-MAZING so they amass a legion of fans who want to dress just like them too.

So who are the big losers? Coincidentally, they’re the same ones who built too many physical retail stores. BCBG, Bebe, J.Crew, The Limited, Abercrombie, Guess.

On the luxury end, it’s fun to discover new designers (or at least new to you/me). Browsing by designer, getting to know who they are is interesting too. In this Vogue article I learned that Caroline Constas is known for her off-the-shoulder tops (ok, like everyone) but ones that are “well priced, flattering, and not too flimsy as to pose a wardrobe malfunction risk.” She has a “straightforward signature—classic shirting with a twist.”

The woman is a force! “Constas is also savvy in that her business is vertically integrated, so her patternmakers, sewers, and seamstresses are all in-house. Not only does that maintain high margins, but it means she can be involved in every step of the process, from the size of the buttonholes to buying strategies. ‘Getting my hands in production and sales has been so important,’ she says. ‘I can’t imagine having a label and doing it differently. As a designer, you have a vision for what you think will do well in the market, but it’s great to be in those sales meetings and hear what buyers’ needs actually are. At the end of the day, it’s a business.’

That’s my kind of gal!

P.S. Sorry about the lack of posts! I’ve been swamped with Skylar Yoo, the fashion brand for bold women coming out in mid-October. I’ll try to post more!

    July 7 2017

    A Stunning White Dress

    The rabbit hole we call the Internet led me to this online store called Ellis and Friends. I was perusing their website when I came across this stunning white dress. I love the bare shoulders, how it’s A-line (hiding my big hips), and how it’s made in lace, crochet and organza. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

    P.S. My favorite ruffled blouse, from Self-Portrait, is now being sold online. You can buy it on the company’s website.

    July 7 2017

    The Prettiest Purple Top

    I recently discovered the store MILLE. They sell clothes that are a little pricey but worth it for the unique style. This purple top with balloon sleeves, ruffles on the arms and a tie at the neck is so pretty! It’s called the Rayne Tie Shirt and it’s by Thierry Colson.

    Though sold out, I noticed that now a lot of sites let you enter your email address to get on an email list. They’ll notify you when they get a new shipment in. Genius!

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