New Shoes for Back to School – and they’re Tory Burch!

Optimized-P1060503Buying new shoes for back-to-school is a tradition in my family, passed down from the time I was a little girl preparing for my first day of school. I still buy my boys a pair of shoes this time of year, even though they are now in college and high school. But I get charged when I find shoes myself; I think it’s because I never lose that excited feeling of starting a school year. You know – new shoes and clothes mean new beginnings and fresh starts – just in time for chillier weather and shorter days.

My new pair of shoes are “Gigi” by Tory Burch. I love them because they are versatile and go with everything. Somewhere between a flat and a heel (and what a perfect heel it is!), they are designed for true comfort – I can wear them to work and beyond. Described as ‘Sixties-inspired,’ I chose the patent leather, but this shoe comes in both patent and suede as well as a wide range of colors. I plan to pair them with either a slim-leg pant (seen above) or mid-knee skirt or dress.

I like Tory Burch shoes for their style and quality. I try to find them on sale whenever possible because they are pricey, yet there are certain fashion staples I think are worth the money. Shoes fall in this category. If you invest in a pair of shoes and take good care of them, they will last you a long time and provide you with a return on your investment. Classic shoes are timeless; mixing elegant pieces with fun and flirty styles will give you a well-rounded wardrobe. And there is always the dream of where the shoes can take you!  Happy Back-to-School, for the student in all of us.

Shoes, Tory Burch; pants, vintage; blouse Anne Fontaine; bag, H&M

Photo by Abrina Hyatt

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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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Time for American Stores to Diss the Discount?

printable-clearance-sale-sign “Amongst American retailers, discounting has become so common that it’s a challenge to walk past specialty stores like J.Crew and Gap, or traditional department stores like Macy’s or JCPenney, without seeing red sale signs.” ~ The Business of Fashion

Apparently, American retailers have jumped in too far with the constant discounting. And though it appears to be a win for the customer,  it’s actually unhealthy for the retail industry itself, “shrinking profit margin and diminishing brand value, making the path back to growth more difficult,” says The Business of Fashion. It’s especially hard in the United States, where European stores like H&M and Zara are eating into its market share. In addition, the discounting model in Europe is much different from the United States. “It’s almost like a drug,” says Tiffany Hogan, a retail analyst for Kantar Retail. “We’re on this 40 percent off drug that we pulse every weekend or even more frequently. What happens when you take away your promotions? Your shopper just kind of melts away because you know that you’ve trained them to come back on that 40 percent off day.” Many retailers are opening outlet stores to get out of this vicious cycle and to create off-price stores without upsetting the old brand models.

But what does all of this mean for the future of the American retail market? Discounting in and of itself is not a bad thing, right? But the future model for Amercan retailers may have more to do with promoting loyalty programs and creating a unique shopping experience and promoting benefits for its customers – and away from the price slashing.

 

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“Sustainabilty Doesn’t Mean Compromising Fashion” says Olivia Wilde

Olivia Wilde Reveals Exclusive Collection with H&M

Courtesy: H&M –  Olivia Wilde Reveals H&M Exclusive Collection

Courtesy: H&M - My favorite look from the collection

Courtesy: H&M – My favorite look from the collection

Sustainability has got a bad reputation, especially in fashion … I hope the collection empowers women around the world who love fashion but want to consume it in a more sustainable way. It gives them the chance to look their best, and also act responsibly. I also hope the rest of the fashion industry is watching.” ~ Olivia Wilde

On April 16, H&M will launch its new Conscious Exclusive collection, showcasing clothing made of sustainable materials. It will be available in about 200 H&M stores and online. The new collection is being modeled exclusively by Olivia Wilde, who is a strong supporter of sustainability in the fashion industry. And Ms. Wilde says that H&M is “doing a great thing by showing people that sustainability doesn’t mean compromising fashion.” I agree. This soon-to-be-launched collection features beautiful pieces: dresses, tuxedo jackets, tops and skirts. My favorite is the halter jumpsuit with sash belt. No compromises here.

The new Conscious Exclusive collection uses sustainable fabrics like hemp, organic linen, silk, and organic cotton. Fast fashion? Maybe not so much. I’m buying it!

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The Magic of High-Low Dressing

Optimized-91XS-koko0V4fyZOrB_LQsq7_bUSRgNPrClltsgv0XMOptimized-d6aLpyp3hwA-0ECbnLt3rb6txrENLHvgDUbqaaB5x7g-2Here is one of my fashion secrets (I have shared it before but it’s worth mentioning again): I love to mix high-low dressing. What do I mean? I will spend more money on certain clothes and bargain-shop for others, and then mix them together in a blended marriage of high-low dressing. And why do I it? For two reasons: because dressing high-low saves me money and because I can express myself more individually and eclectically. This outfit is a perfect example: I paid a higher price for the jeans and the boots and I saved money on the jacket and the sweater. Denim is an essential part of my wardrobe and something I wear most days. If I purchase a quality pair of jeans I know I can wear them often and they will hold their shape and fit. Continue reading

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‘Just say no to fast fashion and other waste,’ says activist Lauren Singer

Lauren Singer

Lauren Singer

Lauren Singer is on a mission to eliminate as much waste as possible from her life. This is admirable in and of itself, but as you read this interview, remember one thing: Lauren is only 23 years old. Here is my interview with Lauren …

MKG: Lauren, you are so young to have such a lofty and serious mission. How and why did this become your purpose?

LaurenThank you! Before I became Zero Waste, I was an activist against the fossil fuel industry and particularly vocal against hydraulic fracturing, aka fracking, the process of extracting natural gas from shale formations that requires the use of millions of gallons of water, sand, and a mix of hazardous chemicals that are carcinogenic, endocrine disrupting, and all around polluting to the environment. For me, saving the planet meant yelling at big oil. In fact, there was a time when I truly wasn’t even thinking about my trash, or my own ecological footprint in a holistic way. I had believed that studying environmental science, caring a lot about the earth, and talking about how much I disliked the fossil fuel industry was enough. However, in my years of protesting, I had forgotten one crucial aspect of activism that is hugely influential: my power as a consumerContinue 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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Farnoosh’s sister

Farnoosh’s sister Fara

Do you remember Farnoosh? She moved to The United States from Iran ten years ago with her parents and two older sisters. We spoke about how difficult the move and transition was for her at the tender pre-teen age of twelve, about how Farnoosh views fashion, and about the need for us to express ourselves, no matter what our circumstance; even when restrictions are placed upon us and our expression comes in the form of colorful fashion accessories, as in the case of Farnoosh’s female cousin, who lives in a modern-day Iran.

I spent the last morning of 2012 having a cup of coffee with Farnoosh and her oldest sister, Fara (her middle sister, Farnaz, lives in San Diego). Fara is 29 and is living in Chicago as she pursues her Master’s Degree in Designed Objects from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Like her sister, Fara is lovely and creative and full of energy. She has her own story and relationship with fashion. Here is Fara …

“When we left Iran I was nineteen. It took me a while to get comfortable, but I was open to the move. I had already graduated from high school in Iran and had an idea that I wanted to be an artist. I stayed local when I first arrived, and for the first year and a half learned English as a second language at Seton Hall University. Immediately I knew that the school was too small for me and that I needed more. I was drawn to New York City and left Seton Hall for New York, where I attended NYIT, the New York Institute of Technology, and graduated with a degree in architecture …

I’m a city person and from the minute I came to New York I was happy. I loved the energy and the diversity and how people in NY are original, especially in the way they think and dress. My favorite thing to do became walking: I would walk everywhere! I was inspired by the streets and the windows. That might be why I dislike shopping in malls where everything is so generic and everyone looks the same. I can’t be linked to only one brand and one designer, head-to-toe. I like variety and dressing high and low. That is why I am a fan of H&M …

I would describe my look as chic enough but not too fancy. I enjoy mixing pieces and remaining eclectic. My passions remain shoes and handbags!” ~ Fara

Fara and Farnoosh have adopted their American life but also embrace their Iranian culture. We had an interesting conversation about what that means. I shared with them that I have Colombian blood and at one time I wasn’t comfortable embracing it, but as I get older, I understand that it is a major part of who I am and I treasure it. I guess that explains why I love Latin music and always want to start salsa dancing … even though I don’t know how!!

I hope I meet Farnoosh and Fara again soon – and meet their middle sister next – Farnaz!

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Fara with Farnoosh

P1030151

Fara with me

 

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