Columbus Ohio

Spring Sizzlers @Saks

I took a stroll through Saks in Columbus, Ohio the other day curious to see what new things they had in for spring; to check up on what was trending.  They didn’t fail me for they had some fantastic new items in three of my favorite departments: shoes (of course!), perfume and handbags.  Oh there were new things to wear as well but they will be featured later.  Shoes and handbags are my weakness and lately perfume has been gaining ground.  So let’s take a look at some of these beauties shall we and envision just what we would wear with them…I already have.

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I love this shoe! And that netting isn’t built into the shoe, it’s on the shoe.

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Studs are still with us.

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The spring palette of this shoe is so pretty.  The pattern reminds me of something pixelated.

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Bond No.9 Central Park South.  In perfume and body cream.

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Edgy as ever but check out the pink one; too cute!

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Stella’s handbags come in really wonderful colors.  I have no idea who made the scarf but I would so rock that bad boy!

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And Tory Burch kills it with the combo of yellow and dove grey.

Until next time……….Byeeee

(Note: I have not been reimbursed by Saks in any manner for this review.  I just love the store and their goodies. All images were photographed by Images by TDashfield)

Contemporary Spring Trunk Show @Saks

Yes! I love Saks and I just can’t help it that they throw amazing events that I love going to and darned if they didn’t throw another one recently;  a contemporary Spring trunk show that involved clothing and – joy of joys – shoes!  If you know me you know how I am about shoes and they had some new ones there that have not been to the Columbus Saks before.  Brands like Ash, Alice & Olivia, Joie  and more.  There were the wonderful guys serving the chardonnay along with the nummy appetizers but my focus was strictly on the shoes and clothing.

Ok, sure I took a detour at some of the Louboutin shoes (a girl can dream can’t she?) but there were some gorgeous shoes from the trunk show that had me ready to bust out the plastic and go for it.  I never thought I’d be one for wedge sneakers but the Ash ones they had there might just change my mind;  casual but with style.  It was also great to see that the shoes came in heel heights from flats and flat sandals to oh my high!   The Spring trend of brighter colors (Spring will you please get here – stat!) was very much on display with the shoes and clothing.  I was happy to see that peplums and cropped jackets are still with us along with leather for warmer weather.

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The event was hosted by local news person, Yolanda Harris, who did a bang up job working the crowd and Saks gave away gift cards in a raffle.  Five happy winners disappeared later into the beauty department which was hopping with their beauty week event.  It was a fun and busy day but let’s look at those shoes and fashions shall we?

Black Friday @Saks

Normally when you think about Black Friday sales your mind goes to toys, big screen televisions and other electronic goodies.  But there are more things out there to shop for like shoes, clothing, purses and cosmetics – believe it or not.  So when I heard that Saks in Columbus, Ohio was going to have specials for Black Friday for four hours I just had to see what they would do for this day.  They didn’t let me down!  When I arrived there were no lines outside of their doors as the mall had already been open since who knows when and most shoppers were already inside…hitting other sales before the 8am starting pistol sounded for Saks.

Everyone who entered the store knew just what they were going for and made a bee line straight for those items.  Two of the most popular spots were in the contemporary clothing department and in the handbags.  Seriously! Those two spots had shoppers on a mission.  Those clothing items and handbags didn’t see it coming until it was too late.  Women were walking away with armloads of shirts and dresses to go and match them with purses and shoes.  The shoe department was the next biggest draw even though most of their items were on pre-sale.  There were quite a few men in there too going for their sale items with shirts seeming to be most popular quest for them.

The shoppers came in waves.  One batch would come in and get what they wanted and head off to either waiting cars or someplace else only to be replaced after a brief lull by the next wave.  But it was those first couple of waves that scored the best deals.  And what else was Saks providing for its shoppers besides some pretty great deals?  Coffee, hot chocolate, and buttery croissants!  Once that station was open for the customers there was an almost constant line for the goodies.  I was one of the many who stood there waiting to get my needed shot of coffee and a tasty croissant in order to carry on.  Later on in the afternoon wine and petits fours were there to shore up the resolve of the shoppers along with a jazz trio providing music.  The Saks Yeti was also helping out.

As usual it was a great and busy time in Saks.  I am certain there will be other sales and events as the days towards December 25th wind down…and then we get to see what will happen with the after Christmas sales!

Interview with designer Rebecca Minkoff

On November 7th,  Saks at the Polaris Fashion Mall in Columbus, Ohio welcomed accessible luxury designer Rebecca Minkoff to town.  She brought with her many of her new handbag and accessory designs as well as some fun and fashionable ready to wear items.  Saks threw quite the party that night with all sorts of fun entertainment and food like chocolate MAB handbags for desert and a nail and smoky eye-bar to name just a few of the happenings that were going on.  Read about those festivities here.

But besides purchasing a new bag from her line, most of  her fans that night were there to have their handbags autographed and to have their picture taken with her.  It was a great night for all but I had some burning questions I wanted to ask her along with some that came from you, my readers.  So what did I learn from the lovely, charming, and left handed Sagittarius (I’m assuming she is a Sagittarius as she had that on one of her necklaces) with the beautiful smile?

We talked about many things:  being a mom, her travels, pizza  and yes, fashion!

How long does it take for you to get a product from concept to realization?

The entire process takes about a year from start to being delivered to the customer.  As a matter of fact we just put the finishing touches on our Fall 2013 line.  Even when we get it close to being completed there are still tweaks that we do to a product before it is finally completed but yes, it takes about a year.

Do you prefer to sketch out your designs or to actually hands on construct it first?

I can’t sketch anything anymore because it would take up entirely too much of my time.  I miss doing that but I would be busy doing that for entirely too long.  We have hired someone who does all of our designing on the computer with my putting in input of how I’d like things to be with her doing the modifications until it’s to the point of being ready to be made.

How much of your business would you say is handbags versus apparel?

Right now I would say my business is 80% bags and 20% ready to wear.  It is hard in the industry for handbag people to go from bags to apparel but that is where I started out – in apparel – and I want to get back into it at a larger level; make it a bigger portion of my line.

What inspired you to put the sayings on your pouches?

At first it was just a couple of us just talking to each other coming up with the ideas.  When we started to run out of new sayings we canvassed everyone in our office until they ran out of ideas.  Now we run “Name our latest Pouch” contests for ideas.

What is the meaning behind the “Morning after Bag” name?

At the time of the bags creation, every bag designer was giving their bag a girl’s name and I didn’t want to do that so I thought about the bag itself and how it might be used.  At the time I wasn’t married so my thoughts were along the lines of someone who might go out with the bag and be gone from day to a long night and possibly need to pack some extra things into the bag to carry them over for the ‘morning after’.

Thank you, Rebecca.  I had a grand time meeting and hanging out with you.

Welcoming Rebecca Minkoff to Saks

On November 7th, Saks Fifth Avenue at the Polaris Fashion Mall in Columbus, Ohio welcomed designer Rebecca Minkoff to its store.  It also welcomed hundreds of women to the store who either had her bags, were getting a bag for the first time, or were getting more of her fantastic handbags.  And as always, when Saks throws a party – they throw a party!

The entire center atrium area of the first floor was transformed into Minkoff land.  There were more of her handbags and accessories than I had ever seen before along with some of her ready to wear clothing line.  Her bags come in multiple sizes and materials from cute little petite bags ideal for the woman who doesn’t wish to carry a lot or for that special little lady’s first designer purse up to and including larger bags and totes.  Her line is about accessible luxury in her handbags, shoes, apparel and accessories.  Fun and fashionable go hand and hand; just enough edge to make it trendy but not overly so.

Her clothing showcased for the event included pants, tops, jackets and dresses including this one very hot body hugging number.  There were also some very cool accessories there such as  iPhone cases and this one phone “headset” which resembled an old fashioned telephone handset.  That just totally fascinated me – loved it!  Those two would make excellent stocking stuffers for the upcoming holidays in my opinion.

Saks really pulled out some stops for this personal appearance party.  Besides the bar with the wine, martinis and Shirley Temples; besides the servers handing out the delightful tidbits to eat including those too cute chocolate purses; besides the DJ playing tunes that had some women dancing pumping their Minkoff bags in the air – they also had beauty stations for all in attendance to try out.  There was a hair braiding station by Sleeq Salon where you could get your hair braided; that was a very popular station with the younger set.  Desdemona’s Designs was there creating some very beautiful and intricate henna tattoos.  Even though I did not get a chance to get one, it was just fascinating to watch her work.  Saks beauty associates provided a nail polish and smoky eye bar for guests and last but not least there was some informal modeling showing Rebecca’s latest designs.

Yes! There was a party going on but there was also a charitable side to the night.  Saks partnered with the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Columbus.  Lynda Pomeroy, Executive Director, gave a little speech about the association and a thank you shout out to Saks who contributed a percentage of the evenings sales to the MDA.  Thank you, Saks, for giving back to the community.  So, what about the nights special guest?

Rebecca Minkoff is a charming lovely woman with a ready smile and laugh; a real person who showed me a cute picture of her little one in his skeleton Halloween outfit.  As she does at all of her appearances, Rebecca went on stage to announce a handbag giveaway.  You were to take a picture of yourself with your favorite Minkoff bag and tweet it with a certain hashtag for a chance to win a bag.  There was a massive flurry of iPhones and Android phones right after that announcement!

By then a line had formed for those wanting Rebecca to autograph their handbags and wallets.  Ladies had bags hanging from their shoulders, in their hands, and in bags they brought with them.  Many went directly from the register to standing in line with their new item to have it signed .  It was a very busy and excited line with Rebecca chatting, autographing, and taking pictures with her many admirers.  Everyone enjoyed themselves very much that evening.

It was a great night and a great party that Saks threw with many a fan of Rebecca Minkoff going home with a smile and a new goodie.  Saks events are just so much fun to attend.

(Coming up next, my interview with Rebecca Minkoff)

Interview with jewelry designer Marco Bicego

On October 16, Saks Fifth Avenue in Columbus, Ohio had the pleasure of welcoming the fantastic jewelry designer, Marco Bicego, to their store for a trunk show and cocktail party.  Many ladies – some with their guys in tow –  came to see, try on, purchase and have Marco sign his name on their jewelry.  Besides the items that were already in store, new items from his latest Murano collection were brought in along with some show stopping one of a kind pieces.

The libations and appetizers were provided by Brio and as always they did a bang up job of it.  But for this event not only did they provide wine and champagne, they also had a bar set up to make martinis – and club soda with lime, my libation of choice – for the guests.  What is it about little finger foods or edibles on a stick that makes them so much more yummy?  Shrimp, chicken satay, bacon wrapped scallops (bacon and scallops? you had me at hello!) to name just a few of the offerings.  Afterwards there were little parfaits for dessert and coffee all the while accompanied by live music.

    

Emeralds, sapphires, pearls, diamonds, and other stunning semi-precious stones intertwined with his signature 18K yellow gold were on display to the delight of all in attendance.  Models were also there wearing his jewelry.   His skilled craftsmanship was amazing to witness as he was able to engrave his signature on some of the smallest of items.  Quite a few lovely pieces went home that evening.  But what about the man himself?  What inspires this oh so creative man with the adorable dimples and charming Italian accent? I was able to sit down with him for an interview.

You draw your inspiration from your travels and nature, why these?

Sometimes in life you don’t know why, it just happens.  I have received so many  influences from where I grew up in Italy and from all of my travels and experiences since I launched the  Marco Bicego brand in 2000 to now 12 years later.  I’ve changed my mind – my vision – every year.  The brand is continuously evolving, it’s about the evolution, but we still keep some timeless pieces like the Marrakech line.  It’s not new but it is one of my favorite collections that still I’m doing.

How long does it take for you to go from concept to finalization when you design a piece?

Sometimes from one idea it can take less than two weeks; it’s about the inspiration.   I just finished a couple of days ago some pieces that I have shipped out already.  For example, one year ago I put  some stones from my suppliers on the table in headquarters and I said what do I have to do to create a line or no?   Recently it was with some sapphires and I sat and thought about it…and within half an hour my heart said yes, go!  You have to sometimes go with your intuition.  I never know at times but it always has to be in the Marco Bicego style.  We may have a new color palette but we keep the same concept and style.

What matters most to you as a jewelry designer?

I’m the lucky guy to be the designer; I try to make the women who choose the Bicego brand happy.  I want women to enjoy their jewelry they buy and to come back later and say they are happy wearing what they bought.  When they tell me they wear their jewelry every day and receive lots of compliments, that really makes me happy.  I believe that fine jewelry is not about trends but about being timeless.  If  you buy a special piece you should be able to wear it all the time;  to pass  it on to your family; to your daughter.  For me that works.

Do you think any of your children will follow you in the family footsteps?

As a father I honestly hope so but I don’t know.  What happened with me becoming and being a jewelry designer had to come from the heart.  I have three children, one son and two daughters, and I hope that one or all of them takes the business and company but it has to come from their hearts too.

What part of the world might your next line come from?

Honestly you never know!  It could be just about anywhere.  It just has to be the right one – the right place and experience.

Grazie per il vostro tempo, Marco Bicego.  Ciao!