When a T-Shirt Means So Much …

Wearing my Fair Food Program T-Shirt

Wearing my Fair Food Program T-Shirt, outside my local Whole Foods Market

Everybody should be concerned with where our food comes from and who picks it,” Eva Longoria, Executive Producer, Food Chains

My senses were awakened and I was called-to-action after seeing a documentary film called Food Chains. Before seeing this film I didn’t think much about where I shopped for food (except to find the highest quality at the best prices) and I didn’t think much about who was picking my fresh fruits and vegetables. Nor did I realize that those harvesting the very food I ate could not afford to feed themselves. That is, until I saw the film …

… which focuses on a group of tomato pickers from Immokalee, Southern Florida. Continue reading

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Alina’s Love

Alina Villasante, owner and visionary of Peace Love World

Alina Villasante, founder and visionary of Peace Love World

Alina Villasante is the founder and visionary of Peace Love World, a retail brand that is taking Florida and the world by storm. Alina believes that she is here to tell a story, a story of peace and love and good will. That is why every PLW item is infused with positivity. But it’s more than an image on a shirt. Alina says, “Peace Love World is about experiencing fashion in a soulful way – mind, body, spirit.” I asked Alina how she came to tell this amazing story …

MKG: Alina, you moved around as a child – born in Cuba and raised in The United States. How old were you when you and your family moved to the US? How did growing up in the various environments affect you?

Alina: I moved from Cuba to New York when I was 8 months old and after twelve years my family moved to Atlanta. Growing up in New York and Atlanta made me realize that everyone is looking for the same thing no matter where you come from. I learned how to love and appreciate all types of people, personalities and ethnicities. Continue reading

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Alicia Jay: Proud to be tall

Alicia Jay

Alicia Jay – Photo Credit: Clara Rice Photography

Tall is beautiful! These are the words of Alicia Jay: woman extraordinaire – fashion blogger, Game Operations Manager for the Golden State Warriors – Oakland California, business owner, model, and motivational speaker to tall girls and women everywhere. I first read about Alicia Jay in Bloomberg Businessweek’sWhat I Wear to Work” interview by Arianne Cohen. Her confidence and fierce attitude inspired me to track her down and meet her. And I did! Here is my conversation with Alicia Jay …

MKG: You are 6′ 6″ and proud of it. When did you reach your full height?

Alicia Jay: I reached my full height in my sophomore year in college (many moons ago). I had been 6’5” for 2 years and thought I was done growing but then, BAM! … I grew an inch. At that point I was getting comfortable in my skin and so the added inch was very exciting to me and still is. Continue reading

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Opening Day

Memorial Day 2013

Memorial Day 2013

Happy Memorial Day and the unofficial opening day of summer. What does the approaching three months mean to me? It means days of fewer layers of clothing and walking out my door without a coat and hat. It means wearing my beloved t-shirts. It means pulling out my sandals and walking around without socks and boots. It also means sleeping a little more, watching more movies, catching more daylight hours, taking more walks, spending more time with my boys (though now that they are teenagers – maybe not) and enjoying more of the good things.

This is a day to remember our nation’s heroes of the armed forces who gave their lives serving our country. And as a New Jersey resident, today is a day we thought might never come: a return to the beach after Super Storm Sandy.

Happy Memorial Day. With love to you!

Memorial Day 2013

Memorial Day 2013

 

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Ashley

Ashley

Ashley

What a treat! I met with Ashley, a lovely seventeen year-old and a junior in high school. We talked about her love of fashion, how she and another classmate started a fashion club this year in school, her desire to be involved in the world of fashion when she gets older, the pressures of being a junior, and of course … prom! (Ashley is going! Much more on that conversation is coming!). Here is Ashley

The first year of upper school I joined several clubs with friends – mostly political clubs – but they weren’t really me. I was looking for something more creative and different from what was being offered. Last year, as a sophomore, the school began accepting applications for new clubs and my classmate and I applied for a fashion club. After several months of waiting, our club was approved …

I would like to leave the club as a legacy for others. I want it to keep going. Since we started, we have designed several DIY projects, including t-shirts, and held discussions on fashion. The fashion club is still evolving …

I would like to stay involved in fashion – perhaps in branding and more of the business and merchandising end. There is something about department stores that I love! …

Currently, I am taking class at FIT and I am scheduled to do an internship in pattern-making this summer at Anna Sui. I am very excited for that!” ~ Ashley

After meeting Ashley, I just know she will do whatever she wishes! And stay tuned for more on her summer experience at Anna Sui.

 

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Shop your closet first …

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I want to put on the clothes and let them do their job … you shouldn’t have to work too hard for clothes.” Kim, fashion stylist

How well do you know your clothes? When was the last time you checked what was in your closet? I thought I knew my clothes and I thought I knew what was in my closet. I am often telling people to shop their closets first before heading to the store to make a new purchase. But what did I really know about my own closet? It turns out, not as much as I thought, and today was the moment when I put my money where my mouth is! My new friend, Kim, a professional stylist with Style for Hire, a company co-founded by Stacy London and Cindy McLaughlin, came to my house where we spent a few hours editing my clothing and performing a closet audit.

I was nervous and I didn’t know what to expect. First, I worried about how I was dressed. Would Kim think I was dressed appropriately for a closet audit? What is appropriate anyway? (in turns out that it didn’t matter because I was dressing and undressing the entire time!) And what would happen if Kim removed clothing to which I was still attached? I had too many questions, but fortunately for me, Kim was delightful and warm and funny and kept the mood light, which really helped. What also helped was that she knew what she was doing. Here is what we did: we pulled out everything in my closet and Kim looked it over. And if it was a ‘no go’ I said a quick good bye and didn’t look back. If it was a ‘yes,’ I tried it on. But here is where the magic came … Kim showed me surprising and unexpected ways to wear my own clothes. She styled everything with a twist and by the end of my time with her I had new outfits and was seeing my clothing in a completely new light. It was exhausting and draining and uplifting and fulfilling and emotional at the same time. Kim took pictures too, so that I could recreate the looks on my own. Continue reading

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Spring dream

My white lace Valentino blazer

My white Valentino blazer

In the midst of more dreary winter weather ready to drag me down I found a moment to Spring dream! My new favorite stylist, Stacy London (co-host of TLC’s What Not to Wear, now in its 10th season!), revealed the spring style trends. Illuminating! So let’s talk! …

white and lace. Flirty and feminine, the combination of white and lace will be big. I have this one covered with my Valentino blazer (it’s white eyelet, actually) that I snatched at my local high-end consignment shop. Find a consignment shop for yourself, if you haven’t already! Go!

gladiator sandals and ankle-strap sandals. Watch for gladiator sandals, especially, with the designs reaching every length, even up to the knee! Continue reading

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More sustainable fashion news …

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Chris Yura, Founder and CEO of SustainU
Photo courtesy of SustainU

Here is a fashion story with heart: Notre Dame football star and graduate becomes the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of a company that produces American-made, 100% recycled t-shirts. Chris Yura says that he “always felt called to think of ideas” and that the Notre Dame community encouraged him. He was speaking to Joan and Liz Hamburg on WOR Radio/NYC. Every Monday, Joan’s daughter, Liz, an entrepreneur herself, hosts a segment called Launchpad, where entrepreneurs discuss their ‘big ideas’ and business ventures.

Mr. Yura’s story fascinates me. After graduating from college, he was scouted to become a fashion model, and moved to New York City where he worked for Ford Models for five years. It was during that time that he started to understand how clothing is made and says that it was this information from “my years in fashion” that sparked his desire to create sustainable, American-made clothing. He researched the process and materials extensively, and eventually, his company, SustainU, was born.

Mr. Yura says that his clothing is not only good for the planet, but good for workers and for consumers. His tees are affordable and sell for approximately $20 retail. He also contends that if he stays true to his business model; that everything must be made in America, that all clothing must be made from 100% recycled materials (not simply partially-recycled materials), and that he manufacture in places where people need the work, SustainU will stay successful, even when up against its competitors. Anyone can order on-line at SustainUClothing.com, and in 2013 SustainU plans to be in NYC area retailers and throughout the United States. They are also planning to produce other types of clothing, including fleece and performance and children’s wear.

As a football player, Mr. Yura understood the importance of depending on his teammates. Similarly, he relies on his teammates at SustainU; they are a young and agile company and always open to new ways of manufacturing. “I’m at the tip of the iceberg now … I am starting to see what’s possible.” ~ Chris Yura

Good for you  – good for us! And thank you to NYC treasures Joan and Liz Hamburg for bringing Chris Yura’s story to our attention.

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