designer

When I win the lottery…

I would love to have this purse! Yes! It is priced as much as a pre-owned car at $5595 but oh how it called out to the photographer me.  The shutter button opens the purse – how cool!  My real Canon camera gave me the side eye so I only took pictures of it and with it.  But when I win the lottery it is on!

Until next time ♥

JLCameraClutch copy JLCameraClutchMe copy

 

 

Judith Leiber Camera Cluth Bag only at Neiman Marcus here

 

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!

10022-Shoe – THE shoe salon

When I first read some years ago that Saks in New York was going to open up a shoe department so huge that it had it’s own zip code my eyes glazed over and I went to my happy place.  As a salmon must swim upstream to do what it must, I had to do what I needed to do – go!  And I’ve been several times since.  Now in its fifth year of making shoe lovers giddy with delight it has just gotten bigger and better.  How can this be you may ask?   It has been redesigned now showcasing their fashion and contemporary shoes beautifully on the same floor including new never seen before designers such as Rachel Roy, Vince and Anniel to name just a few.

    

The floor is bright and very stylish with chic lighting fixtures, a multi-media video screen on the wall highlighting whats trending now, the ever so helpful staff and – this is the one that bowled me over besides the shoe selections of course – they have iPads scattered throughout the floor for customer use to browse Saks.com and Sakspov.com (do check out Sakspov.com – awesome stuff on there).  As I said to the salesman helping me in my shoe quest while exploring the iPad, “How very cool! You can shop while you shop!” A great marketing technique there Saks; fashion and technology.

   

Once the doors open on the express elevator to the shoe floor and you are greeted with the panoramic view of so many shoes not a big enough closet at home, you take a deep breath and decide which direction to go in first.  You can do like I did last week and just do a quick scouting mission along the periphery before going back and taking in targeted sections and designers or you can just take your time wandering amongst the displays.  Whatever is hot, whatever is trending, whatever is just OMG look at that! It is here.  The color for fall, burgundy, was present as were the menswear styles along with plenty of jewel tones and don’t even get me started on mixed mediums.  Opulence was in the house.

 

Here is a cute little factoid for you as relayed to me by a floor manager.  The zip code, 10022, is the same as the square footage of the shoe floor itself and they have over 100 thousand pairs of shoes in stock.  Again I went to my happy place envisioning that scene from the movie American Beauty where instead of lolling about in a pile of rose petals I was wiggling in a pile of shoes – soft ones of course.  I must confess that there were some shoes that just baffled me as to how anyone could stand in them let alone walk anywhere (not you Victoria Beckham and Lady GaGa – you two have mad skills with wild shoes) and some of the studded ones were just dangerous looking works of art; more about one pair in particular later.

  Giuseppe Zanotti

My salesman, Derrick Snyder, was very good at knowing about the shoes there.  He would tell me without my even asking how large or small, tight or loose a shoe ran before I even formulated the question in my head and when bringing me shoes to try on he would always bring a pair in a size above and below what I asked for just so I could try on another size if necessary right then and there without having to ask him to go back and get another pair.  Nice! He walked with me from one side of the shoe floor to the other assisting me with my quest for a new pair of shoes (like I needed another pair; it’s my weakness what can I say) until I settled on a cute as all get out pair of Kate Spade New York glitter loafers.

If you’ve never been to 10022-Shoe then please add it to your bucket list – now!  And if you’ve been before treat yourself to the new shoe salon experience.  While you are there ask for Derrick and tell him hello for me.