Lighting the Fashion Torch at the 2016 Olympics

Swedish athletes Tomas Hjert, from left, Stephanie Ydström, Sara Sjöström, Khaddi Sagnia and Simon Sjödin model pieces designed by H&M for Team Sweden. (H&M)

Swedish athletes Tomas Hjert, from left, Stephanie Ydström, Sara Sjöström, Khaddi Sagnia and Simon Sjödin model pieces designed by H&M for Team Sweden. (Photo: H&M)

In just a few weeks the Summer Olympic Games in Rio will kick off and the world will not only be tuning into the global athletic competition, but to the fashion show that begins with the August 5 Opening Ceremony. Once again, fashion designers will be outfitting their designated teams. Stella McCartney is serving as designer for Great Britain’s team with her original idea of a coat of arms, Polo Ralph Lauren is once again designing for Team United States, Giorgio Armani is designing for Team Italy, and Stockholm-based H&M is designing for Swedish Olympic and Paralympic athletes. What I love about the H&M fashion story, is that the designs will be made of recycled polyester fiber. H&M has made eco-consciousness and sustainability a focus over the last few years and I love that this concentration is inspiring the team’s Olympic outfits.

Many of the teams have yet to reveal the fashion looks, which will make the Opening Ceremony one really large global red carpet. I will be watching!

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“Made in NY” Is Focus for New York Fashion Week

New York

New York

NY Fashion Week kicked off yesterday, with the city creating the Made in NY Fashion Initiative, a $5 million investment designed to tout, support and nurture the New York fashion industry. According to the New York City Economic Development Corporation, there will be a full-on “Made in NY” campaign, with ads to run on 75 buses, 600 taxi tops, five billboards, and in ferry and airport terminals and fashion publications. The ads feature the work of local NYC designers such as Prabal Gurung, Public School, Chromat, A-Morir, Rosie Assoulin, Tim Coppens, Ohne Titel, Eugenia Kim and Alexis Bittar. The campaign, which is starting now, will run through Oct. 15.

Good news for the local industry.

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Borris Powell’s story: From the Alabama projects to Chicago

Borris Powell

Borris Powell

 

Perseverance: Be steadfast or staunch or constant, keep going, stand fast or firm, show determination; endure, carry on or through, keep at or on or up.

On a day when you are feeling a little lost, that maybe your dreams can’t come true, or you don’t know how you will make them a reality – think about this inspirational story of fashion designer, Borris Powell. Borris has lived in Chicago since 1997 but that is not where his story begins. His story begins in the projects of rural Alabama. Everything that Borris has achieved has come from his attitude and determination and especially, his ability to persevere. He will tell you that there was one defining moment when he took a leap of faith to start his fashion brand, Borris Powell, but after hearing him tell his story I believe that his entire life has been a leap of faith – going beyond the expected to the unimaginable. Borris, a southern boy, tells how it happened that he left his home and ended up in Chicago …

I grew up in the projects of Alabama. Our town was so small that there were only 74 people in my graduating class. There were limited options if you were a boy: the way that boys were measured was their participation and success in sports. I had no interest in sports. I was interested in home economics but boys were’s allowed to be interested in home-ec …

My dad’s sister was a fashion model and she introduced me to the world of fashion, a world I had never seen before. When I was about 9 years old she took me to my first fashion show and I remember loving it. My mother was a seamstress and I was curious about her sewing machine, but again, boys weren’t allowed to be interested in sewing machines. As I got older and my mother became busy during our summer vacations, I would sneak and play with her sewing machine. That sparked my curiosity even more … Continue reading

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Kal Rieman is Bringing Work Back to New York’s Garment District!

Cally: Photo Credit -

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Photo Credit:

I find it hard to believe that three years have passed since I first met Cally Rieman, founder and designer of Kal Rieman, Inc. So much has happened for both of us: I have just celebrated three years writing this blog, and Cally’s business has grown tremendously. Yet Cally is still the same person on a mission to provide clothes for women to wear everyday and to build on every season. Although she ships her clothes across the United States, Cally is committed to manufacturing in the garment district of New York and providing work locally with a made-in-the-United-States assurance. Here we are, three years later …

MKG: I can’t believe that it’s been three years since I first featured your story on TFIO (2012)! You launched Kal Rieman in 2009 and are now in your 6th year. That is truly impressive, Cally! What have you learned these last few years?

CALLY:  What haven’t I learned? What I am experiencing now is that it takes a lot of patience to grow a brand. It’s a very competitive market. But when you stay focused on your mission and stick to your vision the rewards are in front of you. Continue reading

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High school girls represent

Leaders of the Fashion Club and the Diversity Club: from left, Linden, Denver, Anisa and Ashley

Co-Presidents of the Fashion Club: Linden, Denver, and Ashley, and the Diversity Council,  Anisa (missing: Shayla, Diversity Council)

As you know, I am the mother of teenage boys. I wouldn’t trade that for anything, but there are times when I really miss having important conversations with young women. That is why writing Turning Fashion Inside Out continues to bring me so much joy. Today was one of those days, and I was honored to join a meeting with a group of spirited and thoughtful high school women of Kent Place School. The meeting was a combined effort of the Fashion Club and the Diversity Council and the topic was diversity (or lack thereof) in the fashion industry.

The leaders first identified startling facts and then they opened the floor for discussion, feedback and conversation. The facts are these: that even though white people represent only 16% of the global population, white people dominate the runway at 94.6%. There is a very small representation of women of color on the runway, including black, Asian and Latina models. Continue reading

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Betsey Johnson at the wedding

Betsey Johnson 's magic dress

At the wedding

When I planned my outfit for this wedding, I knew in my heart there was only one dress to wear: my Betsey Johnson black velvet wrap dress. Sleek and slimming, sophisticated yet flirty, this dress is the perfect choice. I have had a long-standing love affair with designer Betsey Johnson; ever since the 1970s, when I was a teen shopping with my mom on our Saturday morning adventures. My mom introduced me to Betsey Johnson, who, at the time, was designing under the label Betsey Johnson Alley Cat. It was not long after that I began to borrow her Betsey Johnson treasures. Eventually, the much-coveted red-plaid corduroy jacket with puffed sleeves became mine. Thank you for that, Mom. I wish I had it now.

It’s so nice to know that Betsey Johnson is still sharing her designs for new generations to enjoy. Perhaps there is a mother-daughter team out there right now, shopping on a Saturday morning, and the mother is introducing her daughter to the magic that is Betsey Johnson.

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Morocco, Marrakesh and Yves Saint Laurent

 

Yves Saint Laurent in Marrakesh

Yves Saint Laurent in Marrakesh

 

Yves Saint Laurent Memorial in Marrakesh

Yves Saint Laurent Memorial in Marrakesh

Ingrid Steffensen just returned from holiday in Morocco and its cities Marrakesh and Fez. In her beautiful and detailed description of life in this exotic part of the world, Ingrid gives us the chance to experience everything first-hand. The people, the culture, the fashions all come to life and now we know why designer Yves Saint Laurent fell in love with its magic. Here is Ingrid …

Morocco! Palm trees and the Sahara desert, the snow-covered High Atlas mountains and sudden oases, ancient cities and modern, French and Arabic—a land of many contrasts. Visiting this Muslim land in northern Africa was definitely a trip way outside my comfort zone. Continue reading

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Limsanity!

Playing in my Phillip Lim for Target BOOM! top

Playing in my 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target BOOM! top

I was there two years ago for the Missoni for Target collaboration. It was a wild scene … women squeezing into kids’ sizes hoping they would fit, people grabbing whatever they could and hoarding the rest, sometimes not even bothering to check sizes, grabbing leftovers from the fitting rooms, and the Target online website crashing with the unexpected influx of orders. All for the name Missoni, because there is no one like Missoni. And yesterday, September 15th, it happened again. This time the designer was 3.1 Phillip Lim and although it may not have been quite as crazy it came very close. The website didn’t crash but certain items sold out quickly, especially the handbags.

When the doors opened at 8:00 there were already people waiting to get in. The handbags went first and you were out of luck by 8:30/9:00 if you wanted one. One would ask, why? Continue reading

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Lezli’s thoughts on fashion …

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Lezli Salz-Bradley

Lezli Salz-Bradley is the owner of Willow St. Boutique located in both Summit and Morristown, New Jersey. Her boutiques reflect her creative and adventurous style and carry a variety of interesting designer choices. When you walk in there is always someone ready to help with informed styling options. I love Willow St. because it reminds me of my time as a child in Southern California; chic dressing yet with a casual and bohemian edge (and much like the Ann Taylor-of old that I remember as a seventh-grader, shopping with my mom). Unplugged, here are Lezli’s thoughts …

“My father brought fashion into our home at an early age; he owned several women’s clothing stores in Denver, Colorado. I have always felt that fashion is one’s self expression and my way of exploring my inner self, good or bad.

I knew that I always wanted to be my own boss and if I could incorporate my love of fashion it would be a win-win!

I love bringing new designers and new styles to our clients. I can visualize certain customers in particular colors and styles. I love introducing newness. It’s a sort of high when I find a designer that offers something original. I love to wow my customers!

One of the things I notice is that women are hesitant to try new things. That’s where my staff shines; getting them to be adventurous and make the outfit their own. I love it when I hear ‘I would never have tried that if you didn’t suggest it, and I was the hit of the party!’

I think clothing does affect our self-esteem; whether it is hiding a bulge here and there or just bringing a smile to someone’s face with a sparkling necklace or earring.”

~ Lezli

Excuse me while I run to Willow St. to find those great pants that Lezli is wearing! Is that pleather with velvet trim?

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