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HEY GIRL, HEY!

Thanks for stopping by! Here on the FEMMEBOSS we share stories on becoming minimalist, as well as overcoming "invisible illness" in a digital age, plus a no BS approach to ethical style + travel. Grab a glass of wine and start here: I Need New Female Friends.

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Nov 30, 2014

becoming a designer means samples, sketches, and travel


They all say it. And now with experience I'm going to say it too. Just promise not to sigh. Make sure you have your big girl pants on for this one. And pull up the boot straps, because the annoying as hell and utterly discouraging "fact" is, that designing your own collection will literally be like, less than half of your work as a fashion startup owner. You heard me right. So you better be 100% okay with that. Because #realtalk, that shit is true. I'll tell you what, I wouldn't change it for anything though, because the distant memory of putting pencil to sketchbook is reassuringly enough fuel for an entire season while the bittersweet longing to reach the new moment you can stroke new fabrics, caress the handmade detailing of your competitors in fine boutiques, pretend to be a watercolor artist for middle-of-the-night textile designs, well, that is rare but oh so freaking joyful. Its personally my cocaine. I know enough from movies to say that whatever that adrenaline sweaty, shaky, hyped, turn up behavior is after taking a hit, definitely resembles my crazy ass when I know its time to design new pieces without distraction. So here is how it went for starting my very first collection. Brace yourselves.

inspiration


I feel like when I read the story behind the collection of design houses' inspiration each season, its so lofty and preposterous that my humble inspiration isn't worthy. But damn ya'll, can a girl just be inspired by nature, and colors, people on the street, and my own fabric swatches? Not to mention sweaty dreams, which are where my best ideas come from! Like an acid trip, I can literally dream up entire collections in my sleep. But sorry Mr. Lagerfeld, the roses of Germany and the marble finish of Hallway #303 in the Louvre was not on my list of inspiration for this season. I think the advice that's starting to become universal among indie startups is to not pay any attention to what's going on in the design world for a hot New York minute. And I just read this advice distilled perfectly over on Megan's blog, where one of the designers she featured said to just design for yourself. I couldn't agree more! It may sound narcissistic and selfish, but point of view is literally the definition of being a designer. If you follow inspiration and direction from everyone else, what's the point of launching your own line or your own store? So having one's self as their muse is a safe bet for a humble start. Take it from me. I've shown my collection little by little and the feedback was always so overwhelmingly positive in terms of it not being something you normally see in a Macy's or West Elm. Tap into your deep down fantasies of what you wish were in existence, and the right kind of inspiration will follow. I mean, would men really be wearing leather jogging pants to the grocery in droves if Kanye West wasn't tripping over himself to see that crazy idea in the market? #justsayin


swatches


Everyone starts different, but my road to becoming the designer I always wanted to be is purely about passion. Know your target customer, budget cash flow, seek funding, create a business plan. Blah blah blah. If I am not religiously passionate about my work, to me there is no point. Passion is one of those things that literally propels you over mountains. I know, because its the reason why my other startups sustained for what will be two decades without any steady job needed to fall back on. Every other aspect of running a business is just as desperately important, but a design business in my world starts with the first swatch. You know that thing they always say to stressed out head honchos who need a comeback, something along the lines of, "remember why you started this...". Well for me fabrics and freshly milled textiles are the reason I genuinely love design. Raw materials, possibilities, color palettes, indulging in the craft of textiles. I am so overjoyed by learning the process of fibers, being able to swath myself in the finest wools and silks, dizzying myself when presented with a plethora of prints and patterns. So my journey for this specific winter 2015 Letitia Elizabeth collection, my first ever, actually began with swatch collecting back in 2012. Nothing to say about the obsessive addiction I had of hoarding swatches all the years prior. That's a story for another day. But I'll knock a hoochie out if they take my fabric, the same way biatches be running over old women at sample sales.


designs


To be honest, designs for me went from purely following my passion, to interjecting an ounce of trend forecasting and marketing here and there, which isn't my choice but would be the Shark Tank way. I had a collection I designed in 2012 for homewares and a collection dating back to 2008 of apparel, and when it came time to finalize my plan for the season, it being winter 2015, I realized I would have to have a geometric print to appeal to contemporary West Elm addicts and an animal print for my cheeky, more daring, urban girls. But just like with inspiration and being your own muse, I did contemporary in my own way that is completely not available yet. My signature gold zippers and muted pastel color palette allowed my designs to be more mix and matchable. Designing also starts to lean toward costs which really hinders creativity, but its a crucial aspect of longevity. I designed my collection twice before doing cost breakdown so as to not purely design for the sake of selling. That's too corporate for my tastes. Finally, after having something to be proud of that really spoke to my muse's personality, I found ways to order certain things in bulk for more affordability, whereas deal breakers like organic thread and luxe zipper closures could be part of my design aesthetic and signature branding. All I have to say is...its a process. Don't rush it. And this is coming from me, a gal that launches things in 24 hours. There was no speeding this up. And I was happy not to do so.


samples


Look, samples can make or break you. Period. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. I've never been angrier than when trying on supremely publicized high-end designers in a local boutique, only to see the shoulder seams are two inches away from where they should be, or that a pencil skirt rides up even before I take one step, and hey I know I have quite an ass, but I should at least be able to wiggle from sidewalk to taxi cab before everyone can mock my inefficient clothing. Whether you're doing apparel or decor, and I'm doing both, investing in a spectacular sample maker and or pattern maker is as definitive for your fashion brand as choosing your spouse. Unless, of course, you've always been okay with the notion of divorce, then you probably don't find going bankrupt over horribly sewn products to be much of a loss either. To each their own!


But I want to make something perfectly clear. Screw those stupid articles and books that say you need no less than $25,000 for patterns to start a fashion business. I gave myself a budget of $1000 and would have rather died than go a penny over. Stubbornness can move mountains, but an eye on quality is the compass.

I can't attest to how to find said miracle workers for a permanent position on your roster since I haven't reached that stage yet. My method is the lean startup method and just how to actually get started. And for that, only two bootstrapping methods popped to mind: Craigslist and trusted recommendations. I didn't do the latter thoroughly since I lack connections with designer friends and acquaintances who shared a similar ethos, budget, or otherwise. So to Craigslist I went, searching in all the top cities hoping to land on a boatload of seamstresses who had decades of experience and samples to back up whatever sales pitch they were spewing. My criteria was pretty basic and veered from response speed to competency through email, a wiliness to chat on the phone and answer dozens of questions, as well as someone who would send a digital portfolio just as a test to see their technical complacency. I finally landed on someone just as vibrant and outgoing as me but spoke horrible English. Luckily my fashion school required learning Spanish and that's what she spoke, so we got through the tough confusing meetings just fine. I now await my samples. One thing another designer reminded me is that you should really know your shit. I mean for real. Lucky for me this is a family business and would not even be remotely feasible without my beloved, immigrant, sewing fanatic grandmother. She taught me all I know about sewing which helps me spot a flaw from a mile away. Know your shit. Don't hire a sample maker unless you can understand how to even evaluate the samples returned to you. Don't hire a photographer if you don't even comprehend lighting and aperture, or sharp images versus blurry images that weren't intended to be blurry (cuz you know photogs be tripping saying they meant for things to happen). If you wouldn't give your newborn baby to Amanda Bynes the babysitter, don't trust your baby business to someone who might be just as unequipped. And at the end of the day, some people are more than happy to share all of their resources, but its rare. When you find a chatty designer who knows what they heck it takes to get flawless samples, then #carpediembitches

UPDATE: Samples are in! Take a peek below at some of the brand new collection thanks to a photo shoot we did Monday. The story on how these came to be is a nightmare, but I'm so thrilled for the collection so let me know your thoughts. More tomorrow!

above photos Honey Lake Studio
4 comments

Nov 29, 2014

organic lingerie designer Brook DeLorme on launching a business


You have no idea how incredibly excited and honored I am to have lined up some exceptional designers and tastemakers in the fashion world for my Fashion CEO: Made In America series launching, um... right now! You all know I'm one of those bloggers who hates to make the world revolve around me, quite an oxymoron, but such is life. My life. And while I think you little dreamers will find tons of value in my completely transparent diary of launching a fashion business, there is nothing more joyful to me than making connections with kindred spirits who have reached the level of success my humble soul can only aspire to achieve with my own brand. So let's kick this bad boy off with someone I utterly adore. Brook DeLorme, noted designer of organic fashion line produced in Portland, Maine Brook There, as well as small batch, cut-and-sewn in America men’s shirting brand Seawall, is on my list of top three girl crushes. Why? Well yes, she is a sustainable, local, and ethical fashion designer in one of the most progressive cities, but I knew nothing about her luxe lingerie pieces actually. I only knew her as a blogger who wrote the most transient inspirational words I've seen in the blogosphere since Empty Emptor. I never commented or made my presence and infatuation known, since infact, I was always in awe and didn't feel worthy of her virtual friendship. When I learned she is an insanely brilliant businesswoman of a nationally selling lingerie line, well damn, who better to kick off this series. Can I get an Amen. Let's do this!

Tell us a little bit about yourself!


I'm 35 year old woman, married to my love and business partner, and we both are parents to one cat (age 19, though she’s 120+ in cat years). I left both high school and Maine College of Art unfinished. You could say I'm defined as a creative, anti-authority, focused, slightly paranoid, autodidact, extremely introverted, INTJ designer among other things. You'll find me motivated by the creative process, learning, and satisfying endless curiosity all the while being interested in a variety of things like design, languages, pop social psychology, Middle East recent history, economics, and business startups.

The country seems a little dire from the perspective of young people these days. I’ve spent a decade creating my own jobs but the next girl will always think it’s impossible. How did you take a light bulb idea and make it happen in layman’s terms? 


Hehe.  I don’t particularly have light bulb ideas. Usually ideas show up as interests, and then take a whole bunch of refinement to make sense.  I’m not the type to whom ideas just show up fully formed. Sometimes paragraphs do, which I might write down on my blog, but all my projects and
2 comments

Nov 21, 2014

launching a fashion business and taking the plunge

starting a fashion brand


I can't take it anymore. I had to respond to this exceptionally transparent and much needed post about how to create a fashion business startup when you're not loaded, connected, or even the most talented the world's ever seen. By now you may be thinking, "who does this girl think she is?" Does she have a degree? A mass produced line I can find at Barney's or Bloomis? Collections at Fashion Week? Anything?" And although my answers to all those questions are....well...not really, I do have something much more valuable - passion, a willingness to help, and life experience. You see, life experience is that little tool they can't provide in school, and the friend you will hear about time and again from already established brands like Kate Spade or Alex Wang, heck, even Vera Wang. There just isn't one school or one business course that will work for everybody, because courses like that take into account that you already meet the following criteria: trained under professional names in the industry, are of an adequate age to start a brand (which again, is irrelevant because what they really mean is that you have acquired enough life experience, not birthday candles) and posses the tens of thousands of dollars needed for launching a fashion line. Now can you check off each of those requirements at this moment in your life? Didn't think so. But that's why you are still reading, because like myself, you genuinely believe your talent to create beautiful quality products and designs surpass the fact that you are still only earning $12 an hour at a retail joint, may still be in high school, or even that mom and dad would prefer you were a veterinarian not a designer.

If that's the case sugar buns, then this 12-step program to launching a fashion brand, or design business, or online shop selling you wares is for you. You've got questions (that you may have been afraid to ask, or did ask and got very vague secrecy in return) and I've got the answers. I will do this series in 12 segments, one for each week it takes me to launch my very first designer label of homewares and loungeware. I am an impatient extremist when it comes to deadlines for myself. I launched Pick Me Meal Club in one weekend. Literally. I was just so frustrated with the lack of vegetarian inspiration outside of blogs and wanted a solution fast, which then became a side biz. I launched Coterie in a prestigious incubator program that lasted only a few months. The Fashion CEO series on this blog was supposed to be about that, but I realized getting millions of dollars to create a fashion app was not what I wanted. I wanted my own designer fashion brand, as I have since I was 17, I just was too scared to face that truth. Oh and the life of a fashion CEO gets downright cray cray. During my inevitable hiatus, do check out Fashion Incubator or follow real time behind the scenes over on my instagram.

Try as I might, keeping a journal or diary during my pantyhose-wearing, boy-crazy, uniform-aged years was uncontrollably difficult. I seemed to have lacked the discipline to do the exact thing I was born to do: write. My body seems to have a repulsive chemical reaction to anything even closely related to deadlines or structure or authority, all of which are fundamental basics to being a writer. Then when blogging exploded like a Hawaiian volcano, I consumed the life out of it, of course continuing to fail perpetually at consistent writing for what would be the next six years. But it was the chance to be a part of the blogging community, or any community, without much effort in the form of traveling and money that struck me. Having been an entrepreneur since high school, any women in business can attest to the loneliness and involuntary autonomy that eats at you like an infectious disease. So please bare with me as I try to really reinvent myself as a disciplined scheduled writer going forward with both blogging and designing this mega brand. I'll encounter an insurmountable crcokpot of questions that you or I wish there would have been answers to a long time ago, so as they come up I will try to share the journey on how to overcome these classic obstacles that deter many of us of finally taking the plunge and going all in. In fact, if you have any now then you know what to do. In the comments...


****************

Part 1: why it took me 9 years to launch my fashion business


Well, holy hell. Creating a fashion label from scratch is expensive. Duh. And since I lack white privilege, a good-on-paper marriage to an "older" man, or exceptionally well endowed parents, it's been quite a hiccup for the perfectionist in me to settle for just an average fashion brand, while my role models Diane Von Furstenberg and Stella McCartney torture me with their business acumen flawlessness. I mean seriously, how does an average Asian New Yorker go from a skinny streetwalker to Alex Wang, seemingly, overnight? We all know its not overnight, but some people sure do make it seem damn easy. Either you have the 100k in your pocket or you get a sugar daddy. In the industry they call them venture capitalists. You heard of 'em. They're the ones loaning $1.7 million to Janes and Sues and Sharons, all day, everyday, but never you. So if you need a short and sweet reason, that was it. Plain and simple. Money talk can be discouraging to even the most prodigal of them all. But what else fought me for almost a decade?
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Nov 19, 2014

wearing backpacks is whack


Unless, of course, you look like this. We know Ivania is gorgeous. I have gray hair and don't wake up looking that stunning. I definitely stun people, but not in a come hither way. Speaking of, is the backpack a source of man repelling? I didn't even wear one in college. A sort of rebellion showcase to assert my new found adulthood, and freedom of choice beyond parental guidelines as well as their almighty dollar. Instead, I opted for what must have been knockoff designer purses that were large enough to carry a house cat. That was the cool way to go to school. Or so I thought.

I've been eyeing minimalist sacks for most of the year, and with a fledgling startup under my nose, my vegan leather hobo carryall is getting too cliche for my taste. How is it, that when I decide to leave New York, that is when I become a goddamn hipster? First everlane, now this. But I assure you, investing in a flawlessly designed purse for your derrier's northern cousin is a sound judgement call. Kind of like Kanye West uniformly clothing himself in leather jogging pants. It will eventually be good for you...and the world. Plus, imagine the hands free delight! Here are the exact favorites I have so carefully curated for my own window shop file since January. Now that winter is here, the timing seems fitting.




Now let's just take a second and chat about Mum & Co. The fact that anyone has a mum making backpacks as chic as these is unquestionably unfair. The fact that every stitch is sewn by one person with hand selected leathers and Italian-like finishing for less than the cost my grandma's cable bill is unfathomable. The fact that the only colorways available can be counted on one hand but amount to the purist and most absolute that any one woman would need is genius. But the fact that the brand is charmingly named Mum, after someone's real mum, all the way across the pond where undoubtedly the design world is always two steps ahead, well, that's not surprising at all. Now is it.


What do you think...backpacks for adults worthy of capsule wardrobe space?


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becoming minimalist lola and what the heck is the point


Hola! Bonjour! Oh, and hello.

I'm back from Mexico, after what would have been half a year over there, but how would you know because I just up and abandoned you like an American reality tv stereotype father and left my blog to fall to shit. Let's not play games here. There is some major lame sauce being spread on pretty thick when I decide to not post, and I do this to you every year. It's got to stop. I googled blog owner rehab and nothing came back. So I went and got a two-liter bottle of Moscato, and a gallon of cookies and cream, and watched selfhelp television in the form of a Jennifer Lopez life journey documentary, and I feel all better now! Thanks for asking. 

Ah, you know I tease. I've been back weeks now, got through a horrid relationship stronger than ever, and have put devoted energy into giving this old cow of a blog a Hollywood-worthy facelift. Not in a Renee Zellweger kind of way where you're like what the f**k is that, but in a more graceful....um...damn, I'm blanking on the most recent graceful plastic surgery transition to hit the news so I can reference here. Sophia Loren and Donatella Versace are not where we wanna be right ladies? Gracias to those who commented kindly on the new look and content here. I feel like if I don't find time in my schedule to share that we can get over our H&M addiction, no one will.

So look. Glad to see you still riding it out with me five years later on this notoriously humble yet rule breaking blog. I am a gal of many words, but when it comes to using them sometimes I am at a loss, especially with blogging. Why? Well it's hard to be born one of the chosen ones. Ha! 


You might have heard of us. Black people. We have tons of privileges, the least of which includes remaining a minority for eternity in all of life's innumerable categories. 

Who knew blogging would be one of them. But it's not just the fact that I am yet to find bloggers of color getting equal praise to that of their blonde, blue-eyed, impeccably dressed counterparts, it's that I'm now part of a minority of bloggers distancing themselves from shallow, conspicuously consumptive, vapid diaries, that are really no more than tweets with a few more characters thrown in. Well, there needs to be room for all those c/o tags following every designer piece they name drop. Duh.

So you might know me from a few things, either my bustling new vegetarian culinary delight called Pick Me Meal Club after really becoming enamoured with the slow food movement and wanting to know where our food comes from, and why lazy people refuse to cook when they live in big cities, or from my eco biz that landed me on the front page of NY Times recently, or decade toiling away at newsstand fashion rags. Yes, yes I know...but what can I say, I don't just dream, I plan. I once learned that dreams and goals are two very different things. If you are baffled, I will explain. Dreams are aspirational whimsies that live on pink clouds where planes, and owls, and anthrax can't reach. Goals have deadlines, costs, and make you sweat at times from bewildering, paralyzing, anxiety. Catch my drift? Okay, so we are on the same page. Since I was little, I never dreamed for some reason (maybe a birth defect?) I only always made plans and goals, mostly in little notebooks that I collect (quick note: I collect paper, pens, notebooks- they have lots of paper- books, magazines and anything pink like carebears and dresses). So anyway, I have tons of little knick knack patty whacks around the house stored in bins and suitcases (I move a lot) that contain all the goals I ever had. Some were to be a famous actor (I got selected to join a prestigious acting program but decided fashion was calling me more, what a dimwit choice that turned out to be seeing as I could be the baby momma of Ryan Gosling right now, not Eva!) and some were superficial like learning yoga or losing 20 pounds for bikini season as instructed by Cosmo, Self, and enter-any-other-women's-mag-here. So yeah, not being cocky, but that annoying piece of advice you always hear is true!

HARD WORK PAYS OFF


So I like my little motto to be "Just do it!" at all times. Yes, yes I know. I swear, Nike and I have been to court several times. I just keep telling them I started that slogan first....oh wait, Nike has been around since when? Ooops. 

Back to the point. Welcome to my blog for the many of you who are new followers and those of you that never left; let's pretend that it just launched, and I hope you enjoy it. I know my true calling now, and against all odds, at least I discovered it and have the balls to speak my mind on it instead of being a tepid pussy like many are when they don't know any better. For years, especially with George Bush as my leader and century-old text books as my source of education, really, what choice did I have? So gather round and let's cozy up to one another. I will post daily musings on minimalism, an evolving fashion industry, coveted products worth noting, and becoming a traveling digital nomad serial entrepreneur and.... Oh yeah, forgot about that. Ok rewind.....

So I really love acting. I am the most extroverted person you might meet. Most times loud and funny, other times sweet and dramatic. At least I have heard. If you ask me, I am jut being myself and don't really have adjectives to describe it. Maybe- human? So I really wanted to be the next Julia Roberts when I was little, and worked up enough nerve to read tons of books, research like crazy (an addictive habit I have had since birth, more on that later) and learn what monologues were so that I could audition for a coveted spot at Coral Reef High. I found a monologue about a girl who was a slave (I think?) and got the spot! They loved it. It was amazing. The most nerve-wracking thing ever in my life I swear...but ya know, I found out about fashion school (that they exist!) and decided to leave acting on the back burner for a while. Plus, how hard can it be to reignite a performance career later on where all I have to do is be myself. Piece of cake.

Got into fashion school which was also a pain, in the anxiety sort of way. They make you draw a myriad of things like architecture and live models on the spot which makes me nervous and my hands sweat. I hate it. Hate art class too, which was 50% of my coursework there. Its just not fun being forced to be creative in 'time slot A 2:00-4:00pm'...maybe it's just me I dunno. So anyway, I was the top of my class as always because I am slightly competitive, and also just loved it to death, so it made me work hard even when I didn't need to. Then slacking settled in, and my teacher thought I was a loser probably, so I decided to leave and head for my birth home of NYC to make it big. I really am quite independent and pack up and go whenever I please. I convinced my mom only because my biological dad resided in Queens still and so I stayed with him. I graduated in fashion design and business marketing (not to mention I started off in journalism school) and came back to Miami where I met my bf and started a fashion blog with his encouragement. That is where, pretty much still straight out of school like a fresh piece of meat, I turned my first internship into a major fashion editor position and played that career out for ten years until I read a book, which led to a series of books (love you Michael Pollan and Summer Rayne Oakes!) that changed my life completely. I've always been an inquisitive little wanker, but now I felt betrayed by my country and government and favorite brands for their lack of transparency and wanted to know where everything from my food to clothing came from. So here I am.

This whole brain fart is to say, for Christ's sake, blogging can get lonely after you quit your job to do, um, online writing with no sense of security or stability only to find out thousands of other aimless chicks doing the same thing, and I'm not doing this for my health people. You know how it feels! I don't know you but I love you. All your comments literally add a glimmer of hope in my otherwise desperate attempt to believe in humanity. You are my little coterie of questionable kindred spirits. So let's change this whole thing we got going where none of us know one another. I'm bringing back my popular and beloved Reader Love series, along with a few more series I'm sure you'll adore, but for now, introduce yourself why don't ya! My blog would be nothing without the sole intention of me wanting to foster a community for our generation of girls that believe beauty is beyond the standard and a desire to care how we look through fashion and dress can convert from superficial to substantial if we're just willing to ask questions. I know there are tons of intelligent beings reading right now who feel the same or are curious at the least. And I don't want to assume where you come from, what you do, what your aspirations are. Instead...


Tell me in the comments a bit about yourself. I don't bite. And I promise the vain and vapid version of you will get pleasure out of it! 

If you need some inspiration, try:
  • Who are you, where are you from, what do you do and what do you wish you did instead?
  • How'd you find this here blog?
  • Are you even remotely interested in sustainable style and ethics and minimalism or do you just like to read rants from an angry black woman!
  • What did you wish would change about _____?
  • Do you blog? If so, here's your once chance to spam me!
2 comments

Nov 11, 2014

cozy winter wishlist


So I see there's a lot of seasonal donations going on. We're all in the same boat eh? Winter upon us and nothing to wear. Love Aesthetics had me lusting after some serious coziness today with white furry slippers. Throw a slouchy winter white Alpaca jumper, charcoal scarf, and layers of throw blankets on top and this would be my ideal I'm-never-leaving-the-house again look.
4 comments

Nov 10, 2014

know where the f**k your clothes come from


Here's the thing. Why the hell have I become one of those excruciating anomaly fashionistas who hate to shop? Is it age that has me tripping all of a sudden, because I'm pretty sure I'm still younger than Lindsay Lohan, and she has it all figured out right? Broadway and all. Or is it just that I can't seem to ever know where my clothes come from in this capitalistic, non-democratic world we live in. I actually love fashion, or the eternal hunt for effortless personal style, rather, yet despise the word fashionista. And let's take a moment to blame TJ Maxx for this, rightfully so, because they took a semi-good thing and added "ista" to the end of it, then blasted it to millions of people, and now every ista and their mother makes me want to barf in someone's new shoes. Yuck. Okay let's continue. So fashion is not really my problem per se. Well, yes fashion is my problem actually. It's superficial, discriminating, indulgent, unethical, murderous, dilapidating, confusing, addictive, fast, and about as transparent as Nicole Kidman, which isn't that much believe it or not. (Side note: if you ask Saks 5th Ave about their transparency ethos you're sent here. Bollocks. Dumber than blondes out of rehab.) But, yet and still, fashion is not the issue. Greed is the issue. Capitalism is the issue. This country is my issue. Other countries too, like the ones where our clothes and accessories and synthetic fluffy fragrances are made. But let me not sound like a hater. Haters gonna hate, right Taylor? I rather do something. And I know you do too because you've emailed and commented that you do. Its one reason I like the mission of Youth Debates. A safe haven forum to air your dirty laundry if your bag of dirt happens to be thoughts on politics, the environment, and everything in between. It got me pondering quite a bit. #problemsolve #dosomeresearch #getoffyourass

I shop. I'm not a stay at home mom, yet, or trust funder, so I don't like online shopping. Yes it's convenient, and oh weee the discount codes, but who gives a crying flipping cracker. I'm from the old-school-tactile-tangible-goods world. Sensory overload. Feel, touch, see. I want to know right away that blouse is polyester posing as silk. That those jeans look good on her ass according to my iMac screen, but will never even lift above my inner thigh gap. That the sweater is mostly acrylic, not wool from Italy like the label claims, and will itch the crap out of me in a do-I-have-herpes-right-now!? kinda way. But I will tell you this. God bless technology, because its oozing with solutions to problems we love to sit around and complain about while doing absolutely nothing to solve them all in a guilt-free way. If you need to be reminded of what guilt-free looks like, tune in to Fox News. Daily.

Let's take shopping local for example. What does that even mean? I get local tomatoes at the market during the summer. Can my wardrobe be curated as easily? Of course not. Within my zip code I'm lucky if there is even a designer's studio in between the Starbucks and H&M storefronts. Not everyone can live in Portland. Oregon or Maine, either one, their both annoyingly perfect and with it. What about just going to a boutique and scoring some local duds that way? Yeah, well the girl who dreamed of opening that boutique can only afford imported hot messes on wholesale from China. No #madeinamerica here. Hmmm. Well surely there's a trunk show coming through? Lucky you, there is! Have $470 for a poly knit throw away dress? That's how much designer shit is worth these days. And yes that's the starter price. Ok well, before we all give up, let's get basic. Let's start simple.

I want to be late to this phenom party known as Everlane. Beyond fashionably late, I know, but sometimes too much hype delays my adoration of things.

And I know you know who they are. I'm not being paid to reveal my infatuation or reignited flame for them. I just had an a ha moment while window shopping and felt like doing an impromptu post that had cuss words in it. So here we are. I have held a fond place for them in my bosom because I like tech startups, they are techy and such, but also really freakin cool and they get it too. Skewing on hipster, but like in a 2006 Brooklyn kind of way. You barely notice. What you do notice is the clothes are scarily affordable. That's their whole gist if you didn't hear. And I have never bought anything. I don't know why! It is mind boggling. I complain and complain just like the next girl. I want the perfect shirt, or chambray, or silk this and that and never gave affordable ethically-produced Everlane a try. It ends here.

Because.
I.
Want.
This.


everlane shirts

Must have? Yes people. I am endorsing this as such. A former fashion editor who detests magazine jargon is proclamating and preaching, so listen. (Or don't!) Don't you want to be her? Look at that sideswept hair. Damn. And boobs or no boobs, we all will look good in this shirt. Or your money back. I promise. The key ingredient is its cotton, which alone is one of the most dangerous and brainwashing fabrics out there (thanks a lot Cotton Inc. commercials!), but they go beyond to mix it with tencel. Tencel ya'll, I'm so proud! More on tencel's lyocell later, but its a naturally sustainable new trending eco fabric that I know personally feels like baby's breath. Put your newborn on one cheek, tencel fabric on the other, and I dare you not to drop your baby from distraction. It doesn't end though! I've got more...like an infomercial that sweetens the deal. I just discovered the Everlane shop shares each and every factory they work with. Um whaaaatt? I am so late to this party. I knew they were transparent with pricing, but come on. I was swooning so hard that the swoon energy for Ryan Gosling has permanently shifted on the planet. So get this, all the tees and tanks are made right in Los Angeles. Remember LA? Before American Apparel was sexist and reality tv made it dumb as shit. Yeah, that LA! How do they manage a price point so low and have factories that gleam and sparkle with people who get lunch breaks and fair pay and even, gasp, a bathroom break instead of diapers. I'm in heat. I gotta go. I don't have the money right now, but the next time I am bitching about Marshall's having the same white tanks as last year and Macy's trying to convince me that Alex Wang is THE tee designer for me even at a whopping $198, I'll head over to Everlane and literally visualize where my clothes came from. Boom.

So what about you? Comment below and let me hear all your deep and dirty secrets about shopping when it comes to environmental mindfulness and economic transparency. Or head over to YD and find your kindred spirits.
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casual monday 11.10.14


Man is there a chill in the air! Is it winter already? Why can't autumn be more timid. Give us the vibrant tumbling leaves and keep the frost bite. Can I get an amen?
2 comments

Nov 7, 2014

no longer down with down and how I lost my appetite this morning


If you're on the east coast you know its about to get frigid. Like frozen hair extensions type of cold. I'm sitting here just minding my own business, window shopping online before even making coffee, and what do I come across while drooling over deliciously fluffy pillows? My stomach is in knots. Comment and let me know who was able to watch the whole thing!
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Nov 1, 2014

feminine interiors




How feminine is too feminine when it comes to interiors? I'm rather obsessed with home fashion in case you never noticed from my archive posts, but just as my capsule signature style is always evolving from minimalist French chic to edgy girly princess, I can never keep my finger on the pulse of just what my dream home would be like. If I wasn't addicted to Pinterest and other scroll heavy apps, I am now! My poor phone is well into a violent abuse stage, it almost needs a new cover now. Luckily I have handy dandy eagle tech but I will soon need like a monthly repair plan from browse overload. How about you? Tell me in the comments if you know your home style.
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© Beconing Lola • by Maira G.