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This site is dedicated to all things fashionable and will celebrate those style Icons who have created their own individual style Today is Monday, May 25, 2015
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Forbes Names Louis Vuitton the Most Valuable Luxury Brand


It's interesting to see the ranking of the various brands and well as retailers. Zara, H&M, and Target are all listed among the "elite."

Business magazine Forbes has put Louis Vuitton as number 14 on its list of the world's 100 most valuable brands. Its inclusion is particularly prestigious because it's the only fashion brand that occupies a top 20 spot, as the roundup is dominated by technology companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft.

 As one of the most profitable brands in the world, the luxury conglomerate's profit margins are almost at 40% and its current net worth is $28.1 billion. Back in February, the company credited their astronomical revenue growth to its creative director, Nicholas Ghesquière.

 "For Louis Vuitton, 2014 was characterized by strong creative momentum, dominated by the enthusiastic reception of Nicolas Ghesquière's first runway shows and of the new products,"

 Other fashion brands on the list include H&M (33), Gucci (42), Hermes (51), Cartier (55), Zara (58), Coach (63), Rolex (65), Prada (74), Chanel (85), Ralph Lauren (89), and Target (92). 


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As of late, I've found myself gravitating toward layered necklaces. Often, I've tried layering my single strand necklaces together to get the look. As you might know, Tangling can become an issue, especially with the more delicate chains.

While I do have some which work together (usually a thin chain with one more substantial), I'm purchasing more of the layered options in stores, and online. Perfect for summer wear, with lower necklines, or delicately draped over a flowing maxi dress. With SO many from which to choose, I narrowed down a few of my favorites.

Layered Coin Necklace, $12.47 (50% off) nyandcompany.com
I purchased this one and LOVE it!

Topshop Chain Collar Necklace, $28

Topshop Tasseled Multi-row Necklace, $35

Topshop Layered Necklace, $28

Baublebar "Polly" Layered Pendant Necklace, $36

Baublebar "Wizardry" Layered Pendant Necklace, $36

BP Stone Bar Layering Necklace, $18 (nordstrom.com)

Lucky Brand Two-tone Dragonfly Double Layer Necklace, $35

Lucky Brand Silver-tone Reconstituted Turquoise Layer Necklace, $49

INC International Concepts Two-tone Mixed Bead and Charm Layered Necklace, $29.62

Lucky Brand Silver-tone White Cabochon Layer Necklace, $49 (macys.com)

Decree 3-pc. Layered Necklace, $10.50

Decree Horn Layered Necklace, $15.40 (jcp.com)

Satya Beaded Layered Necklace, $98

Sara Bella Multistrand Pendant Necklace, $58

Baublebar Spindle Layered Necklace, $42 (nordstrom.com)

Vince Camuto Double Disc Multi-layer Necklace, $58

Anna and Ava "Naples" Layers Necklace, $25

Anna and Ava Delicate Multi-row Charm Necklace, $25

Anna and Ava Tribal Chic Layer Necklace, $25

Panacea Turquoise and Yellow Layered Necklace, $54 (dillards.com)

 Layered Medallion Necklace, $15.90

 Layered Coin Statement Necklace, $15.90

Layered Chain Beaded Tassel Necklace, $10.90
This in next on my list....a colorful option is a must!

Longline Layered Charm Necklace, $10.90

Layered Beaded Cord Necklace, $8.90

Layered Rhinestone Statement Necklace, $19.90 (forever21.com)

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Forever 21 has begun to incorporate various brands within their usual offerings. Dolce Vita and SixtySeven  are among them. SixtySeven's platform oxford is a clear rival to the popular Stella McCartney version.

Dolce Vita Orsella Wedges, $190

Dolce Vita Leather Chukkas, $90

Dolce Vita Havoc Sandals, $180

Dolce Vita Datsun Flats, $70

Dolce Vita Cutout Gladiator Sandals, $100

SixtySeven Tabitha Booties, $89

SixtySeven Harper Platform Oxford, $169

SixtySeven Harlow Wedge Loafer, $169

SixtySeven Tessa Sandals, $85

SixtySeven Alex Booties, $169

Hiptipico Huipil Flats, $75

Inkkas Cotton Candy Slip-ons, $72

Inkkas Storm High-tops, $76

N.Y.L.A. Crisscross Toe Sandals, $69.90

Raga Tie-Dye Ladder Cutout Maxi Dress, $110

Raga Floral Embroidered Wrap Top, $95

Raga Floral Baroque Print Top, $78


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H&M Launches Fast "Fashion for the Face"


It seems a natural progression for the for this popular retailer. style.com gives us the scoop on the upcoming launch.

A new designer collaboration at H&M is like a big-screen TV markdown on Black Friday: Both have the power to produce lines of people willing to camp out to get a piece of the high life at rock-bottom prices. Next up for the Swedish retailer is fast "fashion for the face," said Sara Wallander, concept designer at H&M Beauty. Launching in September with more than 700 pieces and expanding rapidly to 1,000 shortly thereafter, everything from makeup and body products to nail polish and hairstyling tools will be available on shelves, with price tags ranging from $2.99 to $24.99.

Emulating the company's already successful business model, subsidiary collections are set to follow. With 
eco-friendly fashion being a big pillar for the brand, Conscious Beauty will introduce consumers to organic, Ecocert-certified, sustainable offerings—enabling shoppers to easily green their routines from a 360-degree perspective. The packaging for this range features recycled materials, and all manufacturing processes for the paraben-, silicone-, GMO-, synthetic fragrance-, and dye-free formulas have a minimized impact on the environment. A premium line is also in the works to entice the more discerning beauty junkie interested in luxury and performance.

Will a budget-friendly bronzer sell as fast as a coveted pair of Alexander Wang boxing gloves? Only time will tell. All we know for sure is finding the perfect tube of lipstick to play off a piece from the next designer collab will be a hell of a lot simpler (and likely won't require a lengthy eBay search to find). 


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If You Like LULU FROST Jewelry........


Check out tjmaxx.com for this collection of pretty rings, bracelets and more.

 Brass and Glass Rococo Bracelet, $29.99

 Blue and Black Spike Orbit Necklace, $59.99

 Crystal Deco Stardust Earrings, $39.99

 Made in USA Red Le Baiser Necklace, $24.99

 Blue Enameled Stellar Ring, $29.99

 Crystal Deco Square Stardust Bracelet, $49.99

 Blue Panoptes Ring, $24.99

 Blue Crystal Deco Square Stardust Bracelet, $49.99

 Brass and Glass Revolution Cuff, $49.99

 Duchess Necklace, $79.99

Gunmetal Plated Brass Equine Earrings, $16.99


Yellow Lightray Earrings, $19.99

Black Spike Orbit Earrings, $34.99

Black Equine Ring, $19.99

Brass and Glass Lightray Bracelet, $49.99

Crystal Silver Winged Glory Earrings, $29.99

Pavé Crystal Lunar Earrings, $39.99

Deco Crystal Eclipse Ring, $29.99

Multi Lightray Collar, $59.99

Crystal Oplaine Empress Earrings, $29.99

Mini Equine Necklace, $19.99

Rococo Statement Earrings, $39.99

Gunmetal Plated Brass and Crystal Cuff, $49.99

Blue Crystal Deco Domed Brass Solar Bracelet, $49.99

Crystal Rococo Ring, $29.99

Blue Spike Orbit Earrings, $34.99

Green Lightray Earrings, $19.99


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New In


I'm still in the process of replacing shoes, and recently added three pair, along with a cute little dome satchel.

Kork Ease "Gabriela"
Unfortunately they're sold out online, with the exception of a size 10 at amazon.com. I found mine at Burlington Coat Factory. From shorts to dresses, it's perfect for the season.

Pebbled Mini Dome Bag, on sale for $24.97; nyandcompany.com
The color is "gleaming pink" 

a.n.a "Julie" Jeweled Sandal
$50 jcp.com

Arizona "Mattie" slide, $40

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Summer Essentials?


Harper's Bazaar shares their list of what to buy, and wear this season.

1. The Flat Sandal
If not now, when? There's no excuse to pass on low yet luxurious leather sandals this season. A brightly colored pair works equally well with a long halter-neck dress or short shorts and a gauzy top—not to mention a great pedicure.
Hermes sandals, $1,025, 800-441-4488

2. The Flowing Dress
What better way to capture the season's bohemian spirit than with a diaphanous floor length dress? Wear it with flat sandals for day, and take it up a level with a heel for evening.
Suno dress, $895; shopbazaar.com

3. Retro Sunglasses
Set your sights on vintage-inspired wire-rim styles —whether beatnik-round or tortoiseshell-enhanced —for your new shades.
Michael Kors, $275, 866-709-KORS

4. The Platform Sandal
This sandals begs to be worn with extra-long flares or an extra-short mini, so it's no wonder the shoe of the moment conjures '70s chic.
Jimmy Choo sandal, $695; shopbazaar.com

5. Embellished Belt
An accessories must, the waist cincher is the perfect finishing touch for high-waisted jeans and long flower-child dresses.
Kieselstein-Cord belt, $3,250, kieselstein-cord-exchange.com.

6. Red Lips
Punch up your beauty look with a glossy rouge pout. It looks just as cool paired with denim by day or monochromatic lace dresses by night. Keep the rest of your makeup minimal with mascara and a swipe of bronzer.
Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Poppy, $25,lauramercier.com.

7. Cropped Denim
High-waters are the new skinnies—this season's best jean styles are those lopped off just above the ankle.
Gucci jeans, $695, gucci.com.

8. Pastel Polish
Chanel's ice mint-green nail lacquer is your new go-to neutral, Wear on fingernails (add a stack of rings) or toes (with metallic sandals).
Chanel Le Vernis in Paradisio, $27, chanel.com.

9. Crocheted Top
Romantic white lace pieces will instantly give your warm-weather wardrobe a dreamy quality. Keep the rest of your look in the same palette.
Tibi Crocheted top, $795; shopbazaar.com

10. Tall Gladiators
Looking for some altitude without the heel? Knee-high wrap sandals make an easy high-fashion statement. Pair them with anything short for major sex appeal.
Alvaro sandal, similar styles at net-a-porter.com.

11. The Espadrille
A leather espadrille like Chanel's is your sporty shoe of choice for a day at the beach or on the street. Wear it with a little white dress for on duty or a bikini and cutoffs for off.
Chanel shoe, $675, 800-550-0005.

12. Beach Attire
Even days spent by the pool or the sea warrant an opportunity to show off chic summer essentials. Both the one-piece and the John Lennon-esque sunglasses get a 2015 update thanks to sleek lines and shapes. Finish it off with a flat shoe of your choosing.
Bally sunglasses, $295; shopbazaar.com
Eres Swimsuit, $510; similiar styles at shopbazaar.com

13. The Bucket Bag
Meet the season's It bag. It's the perfect carryall for summer and the brown leather bucket style feels so much lighter than its noir counterparts.
Valentino Garavani bag, $2,175; shopbazaar.com


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Do You Lariat?


Whether a little wisp of a thing, or bold statement piece, lariats are hot property. Perfect with a simple tee, or plunging neckline (if you dare!), there's certainly one to fit your needs. I think having more than one is best. Wear them to suit your mood!

As you will see, there are many, many styles from which to choose.

Panacea Golden Lariat Drop Necklace, $21; lastcall.com

Celesse Lariat Necklace, $52; anthropologie.com

Dogeared "Karma" Lariat
necklace, $68

Nadri Pavé Y Necklace, $70

Simon Sebbag Lariat
Necklace, $118.80

Tory Burch "Geo" Hexagon
Lariat Necklace, $250

BP Bar Lariat Necklace, $18

Gorjana "Mika" Lariat Necklace, $75

Kendra Scott "Phara" Tassel
Lariat Necklace, $120

Vince Camuto Tassel Lariat
Necklace, $48

Pamela Love Galaxy Gold-Plated Lariat Necklace, $190

Jennifer Zeuner Lake Star Lariat Necklace with Diamond, $286 (nordstrom.com)

Michael Kors Brilliance Statement Pavé Triangle Lariat, $125

Elizabeth and James "Nyos"
White Topaz Lariat Necklace
$175 (saksfifthavenue.com)

Flat Disc Lariat Necklace, $18; urbanoutfitters.com

Lariat Collar Necklace, $29.90

Drop Stone Lariat Necklace, $26.90

Spike Drop Lariat, $22.90; (express.com)

Dogeared Paradise Found Lariat Necklace, $68

Rebecca Minoff Lariat Necklace, $88

House of Harlow 1960 "Nilotic" Lariat Necklace, $88

Jennifer Zeuner Love Lariat Necklace, $242

Chan Luu Beaded Lariat Chain
Necklace, $295

ABS by Allen Schwartz Y Lariat
Necklace, $65

10k Tri-Color Lariat Necklace, $199.98; jcp.com

INC International Concepts Gold-Tone Collar Lariat Necklace, $49.50

Michael Kors Gold-Tone Clear Maritime Lariat Necklace, $145 (macys.com)

Crystal Streets Starburst and Moon Lariat Necklace, $75

Emily and Elizabeth Jewelry Feather Leaf
Lariat Necklace, $100

Charlene K Lariat Tooth Necklace
$113 (maxandchloe.com)

Iced Lariat Pendant, $26

Mini Pearl Beaded Tassel Lariat
$42 (baublebar.com)

Rhinestoned Lariat Necklace, $5.90

Faux Stone Lariat Necklace, $4.90

Cutout Circle Lariat Necklace, $3.90

SOKO Double Moto Lariat, $55

Asos Choker Lariat Necklace with Semi-Precious Stone

Asos Multirow Cord and Found
Charms Choker, $27

Asos Quartz Choker Lariat Necklace, $14 (asos.com)

Dew Drop Necklace, $38

Dew Drop Necklace, $38

Dew Drop Necklace, $38

Stella Lariat, $88

Feather In The Wind Lariat, $98

Isabella M Sterling Silver and Pearl Lariat, $19.99

Devin Rose Gold Plated Sterling Silver Anchor and
Ship Wheel Lariat Necklace, $24.99

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Aurora James for Brother Vellies


By now, I think that we've all heard, or at least read about Brother Vellies shoes. After seeing those fabulous slides (worn by Aurora below) on the feet of a few stylish women at last fall's fashion weeks, I wanted to know the force behind the name. That would be Creative Director, Aurora James. Though she's following her passion with what can only be called a labor of love, she's also helping to empower the people of South Africa through those which she employs in her workshops.

While she is all about the cause, I think that she's gotten some flack for the fur and skins that she uses to create her products, but within this interview, she provides a thorough explanation of the design process. With a little help from her friends (the babies are adorable!), we see various styles from the collection.

Vintage dress, Clyde hat, Brother Vellies Jardin Babouche shoes ( vogue.fr)

Brother Vellies Lamu Country Slide shoes ( vogue.fr)


Brother Vellies slippers ( image: vogue.fr)

Left: Ryan Roche hat, 69 jumper, Brother Vellies shoes, Hym Salvage Couch

Right: Brother Vellies denim Babouche shoes (vogue.fr)

Left: Clyde hat, Raquel Allegra top, DKNY vintage denim jeans, Jardin Babouche Brother Vellies shoes (vogue.fr)

Left: Caron Callahan overalls, Babaton poncho, H'ornament by Malia Jensen necklace and Springbok Congo Brother Vellies sandal.

Right: Springbok Congo brother vellies sandal (vogue.fr)

Aurora James at home in her Brooklyn, New York studio (jeanstories.com)

Carven jacket, Eighteenth blouse, Brother Vellies sandals (vogue.fr)

Brother Vellies Beaded Maasai sandal which was sold through MODI OPERANDI 

(Images and article: blogs.nordstrom.com)

The Brother Vellies springbok boots pictured above—part of our TMRW TGTHR Pop-In Shop—represent not one, but multiple acts of good karma. They create solid jobs for the skilled artisans who handcraft them in South Africa. They offer additional income for farmers providing the hides. They put materials to good use that would otherwise go to waste. They provide a consumer like you with high-quality footwear that will last for years. And, perhaps most importantly, they share a cross-continental story about people's lives and cultures, which might otherwise go untold.

Keep reading to see more photos that Brother Vellies founder Aurora James (along with her stylish friends and their adorable offspring) shot just for us—and to hear Aurora's thoughts on growing up in Canada, listening to your mother and the evolving definition of what it means to help people in need.

[Brother Vellies founder @aurorajames' favorite way to wear vellies on the weekend: with a vintage dress and Kenyan-made necklace.]
THE THREAD: Why did you decide to start a brand of traditional African shoes?
BROTHER VELLIES FOUNDER AURORA JAMES: "I think that there are a lot of people in the world who are just really talented and making really amazing things. I was inspired by those people and continue to be inspired by them. And that was the impetus behind starting the company: to bring these traditional, classic designs to a broader audience. I think it's really great to try to help someone by giving them something—but it's so much more empowering to help someone by enabling them to work and provide their own income."
Vellie is short for velskoen—the African ancestor of modern-day desert boots. When did you first come across this style of shoe?
"Well, I'd obviously seen the desert boot shape for a really long time. I lived in Jamaica for a while as a kid, where they wear a lot of desert boots, and they always refer to it as an African shoe. I've always been really familiar with a lot of different styles of traditional shoes, like clogs and mukluks. My mom was really into sharing different traditional attires with me when I was growing up."
[Regarding her autumn hosiery of choice: "I'm from Canada, and I actually buy these wool socks from a hardware store every time I'm there. It's called Canadian Tire, and they sell these in jumbo packs of like 12 and 24 pairs." Shop: Brother Vellies Springbok Boot in Tan.]
Before moving to Jamaica at age 7, you were born and raised near Toronto. What aspects of growing up in Canada do you think stuck with you?
"Being really excited about everyone's respective holidays! I remember coming home from school one day and screaming, 'It's Ramadaaaaan!' And my mom was like, 'What? How do you even know what that is?' At school in Canada, or at least the schools that I went to, they really talked about every different religious holiday, cultural holiday, Kwanzaa, Christmas, what have you. It was just really multicultural—I went to school with Baha'i people, Jewish people, lots of different people, and I think we were all really excited about each other's holidays and customs. I think that's also what has led me to be excited about so many different items and culturally traditional things that I see in Africa."
Tell us about the level of craftsmanship that goes into each pair of Brother Vellies springbok boots.
"A lot of our guys in the workshop have been making these shoes for a really long time. Some of them actually learned from their parents. It takes one person about six hours to make one pair of the springbok shoes. Everything has to be hand-cut very carefully, because you have to basically trim all the springbok fur. It's the most labor-intensive shoe that we make.
"It starts with pairing up the springbok hides and finding two that look similar—and then you take the right foot from one springbok and the left foot from the other springbok. We'll use the same placement on each springbok, so that they look as much 'the same' as possible. If you tried to make the pair out of just one springbok, both shoes would look totally different—which is also kind of OK, and some of our shoes are like that, but we want the fur tufts to be kind of as uniform as possible. So a lot of time is spent, creatively, before any part of the shoe is actually cut. It's really about matching up the hides and deciding how you'll design the layout of each pair. Each springbok is different, so it's a really artisanal product in that way."
Where do the springbok hides that you use come from?
"They come from either Namibia or South Africa. Our rules are that the springbok hides that we get are always an animal byproduct, so it's springbok that's being used for the meat—and in the process, they tan the hides, so that they're also going to be usable. All of the leather that we use at Brother Vellies [for other styles of shoes] is the same way: We work with a rabbit farm that has always just made rabbit meat, and didn't really care about the fur, the leather. And we said, 'Hey, you should consider doing the process a little bit differently, so that we'll be able to use the leather and the rabbit fur. You could actually make a little bit more money that way—you could hire a couple people to do it and start creating more jobs, and we'll also have an additional great product that can be made from this animal.'"

So really, you're making use of something that would otherwise go to waste.
"In Africa, at least the parts that I've been, it's really about being able to use that animal, or whatever that thing is, to its fullest capacity and potential. I think that people need to be a little bit more careful when they say things like, 'Fur is bad'—because it's not about something being bad or good, it's about doing your research and really finding out where everything comes from that we as a people use. What good does it do if you have an animal that you're eating for the meat, and then you're discarding the hide because you don't think that fur is good—even though that hide could have made 20 pairs of shoes for people who need shoes? Or it could have created jobs for people who could have used that leather to make the shoes? In those cases, when it's a material that could be used to empower and clothe people, how is fur or leather a bad thing?"

Do you think that growing up in Canada had anything to do with your outlook on fur?
"[Laughs.] I say it all the time: I'm from Canada! It's different—we use fur there. Fur is the thing that you wear that's the most practical, because it will keep you the warmest, and it lasts for a really long time. I was also vegan for seven years, so I totally understand where everyone's coming from, you know? I've seen all the documentaries, for sure. And I think that a lot of things that can go on in the world are really bad—but a lot of things aren't bad, and a lot of things are actually empowering, too. So it's not so black and white."

How do you deal with potential backlash on this topic?
"Back in July, Whoopi Goldberg wore a pair of our shoes on a talk show, and people on her Facebook page made some horrible, untrue accusations about where the fur came from. Who knows who's going to read that? Maybe the president of Nordstrom reads it and is like, 'Olivia, we can't sell these shoes!' And then maybe that order gets canceled, and then maybe I can't pay my guys at the workshop, and then maybe a kid doesn't get to eat! You know what I mean? It's really serious.
"When people say these things, I think they have to be mindful of their own power—and in that power, they can do really good or they can do really bad. And I think that what's so amazing about the TMRW TGTHR Pop-In is that it's empowering all the Nordstrom customers to do really good. People can put something positive out there—if they go to the Pop-In and take a photo of Conway Electric and talk about it, or Truss, or my product. So it can also have a positive ripple effect."
Speaking of changing people's perceptions, what do your friends and colleagues in Africa think about Brother Vellies?
"In a lot of places in Africa, people care so much about what's in Western media—and even with vellies, you only wore those in South Africa if you were a poor person. Otherwise, you were wearing Nikes. If you didn't have Nikes, or Jordans, or Converse, or whatever people were seeing on TV, you must be so hard done by and poor. And now, when they see their traditional shoes getting press, and people in America wearing them, and Rosario Dawson wearing springbok shoes, it's a complete game-changer. Because they're like, 'Wow, something that we made actually holds value outside of our town.' I think that it really shows kids, especially, that what they do, and the choices they make, can have a larger impact."
Any proud moments from the Brother Vellies journey that really stand out?
"All the time. When someone wants to work, it's so great to be able to give them that kind of opportunity. But sometimes, it's the smaller things. One of our guys in South Africa has a child who came by the workshop and was looking at all the kids' shoe that we have—and he was like, 'Oh, these shoes are so much cuter than my shoes that I have to wear as part of my uniform at school.' And I said, 'I'm sure that your school uniform shoes aren't so bad,' and he was like, 'They're horrible!' And I looked, and his shoes were awesome. They're like these oxfords that are just amazing, and I said, 'No, I think that your shoes are really special,' and he was like, 'Nuh-uh.' So we took that design from his shoe, and we made our oxfords, our school shoes. They're pretty much exactly the same as his school uniform shoes, and we make them now for adults. And when he saw them, and he saw pictures of people wearing them, he just was so excited by that.

[Brother Vellies for brothers and sisters. Shop: Brother Vellies Springbok Mini Boot for Babies, Walkers and Toddlers.]
How else have you seen your work with Brother Vellies change lives for the better?
"We have a guy in our workshop whose wife knits all the time. And he's like, 'I am an African man. Why do I need knit sweaters? It's hot! She needs a new hobby, this is not helpful.' And I was just listening to them, and he's going on and on, and their daughter is sitting there, and the mom just feels kind of badly because she's not really able to contribute. And then a year ago, when I was doing a collaboration with Todd Selby, he was like, 'What about socks?' And I was like, 'What about knit socks?' And it's really amazing to be able to then tie in something that a whole community is saying doesn't have value, and now you've given it value—and now that woman, maybe for the first time in her life, is actually earning money, and potentially more money than the husband was earning. It just completely changes the dynamic—and it completely changes the view that her daughter has of what is possible for her as a woman."
The campaign imagery that you guys shoot on location in Africa is so good—it represents the brand so well and paints a really unique picture of personal style. Tell us about how those photo shoots come together.
"My boyfriend shoots them all—I'm really lucky. A lot of times, we just find people who are local to the community where the workshop is, or people who are working in the workshops themselves, and those are the people who we've shot. That was the case with the photo that you guys used in your window displays—that guy lived around the corner from a workshop that we were at, and yeah, we took his photo. I've worked in fashion for a long time, and I used to work at a modeling agency—but with this brand, it felt so much more powerful to just photograph the people who we see every day when we're there. One of the things that struck me really early on, traveling to Africa, was how happy everyone was. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of people who need help. But there are a lot, a lot, a lot of people there who are happy, even with minimal things.

[We had to ask about the artwork in the background. "That's a painting by an artist in Kenya that I bought on the side of the road," Aurora said. "I was like, 'Agh! Stop the car!' I brought it with me on the plane the whole way back—from Nairobi, to Lamu on the coast of Kenya, to the Masai Mara, and then it flew with me back to Nairobi to catch my flight to Amsterdam, and then from Amsterdam to New York."]
Brother Vellies recently started producing shoes in Kenya. You're going to start making a new style of shoes (pointy flats called babouches) soon in Morocco. What else do you have in the works?
"We have a project launching in November called the Brother Vellies T-Shirt Project. I started it because when I was traveling to Kenya, I kept noticing these stacks and stacks and massive piles of clothes, sometimes just on the side of the road. I'd be like, 'What is that?' and people would laugh and say, 'It's all of your clothes!' I eventually realized that it's all these donated clothing items that Americans have been donating since the '80s. So as a result, in Kenya, they have this huge surplus of donated clothing, and what that's done in a lot of parts of Africa is totally kill their local trade and industry; 80% of the apparel industry in Ethiopia ended up closing down as a result of donated goods.
"With our T-Shirt Project, we're going through all of this vintage clothing that's there, picking out our favorite items and selling them on our website—and all that money will go back to Kenya to help people. So it's really a story about how we choose to help, what help looks like and in which ways things have value. Maybe giving things away isn't always what's needed."

[We're digging the cut-off skinnies and polka-dot socks, Aurora. Shop: Brother Vellies Springbok Boot in Black.
We know that most of your trips to Africa are packed with meetings and workshop visits, but what's something amazing that you've seen?
"In Kenya, when you're in the Masai Mara, they have these spotters, who are these Maasai men, typically. They'll stand on the roof of the safari vehicle, or poke their heads through the top, and they can spot animals from so far away—it's insane. They'll be like, 'Do you see over there? A cheetah!' And they'll stop the vehicle, and I'll put my binoculars on and be like, 'No, I don't see a cheetah.' And then, after five minutes, I'll be like, 'Oh my god, I see it!' It's crazy. That's what they've done their whole life, though. If you grow up in the Masai Mara, you need to be able to spot a cheetah."

[We like how these tomboyish boots play against a feminine dress.]

[Shop: Brother Vellies Springbok Boot in Tan.]

[Shop: Brother Vellies Springbok Mini Boot for Babies, Walkers and Toddlers.]

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Love That Iris!


I've been a fan of Iris Apfel since the first time that I laid eyes on her! Not only is she a fashion Icon, she's the embodiment of a life well lived. Her inimitable style is awe inspiring! Her "more is more" approach to dressing has earned her a permanent place in the hearts of many. At 93 years young, she's still going strong! A film about her life  is coming out soon, which I look forward to seeing.

Following is a synopsis of her recent interview with style.com.

Iris Apfel thinks everyone wears a "uniform" these days.

 The 93-year-old is considered a huge style star and will soon be seen in a film about her life, simply called Iris, by late director Albert Maysles who died in March this year aged 88.

In a world where people are always following trends, Iris thinks it's important to have fashion rebels, who shake things up with their look. "What I can tell you is that it's much more obvious now, the way people wear uniforms," she explained to Style.com. "Maybe there are just more people walking around and so you notice, everything is very homogenised. I go out in New York and I think, boy, you can look at someone and pretty much determine their ZIP code. Everyone seems to want to conform."

Iris concedes it takes "effort" to stand out from the crowd and that she can understand if some people are too "lazy". However, she does think they are missing out on a lot of fun.

The fashion star herself doesn't spend much time on getting ready and often opts for jeans, insisting she only dresses up for special occasions. But she does always make sure everything she owns is original.

"I'd rather go to a flea market than just about anything. It's the process I like - the same with getting dressed," she explained.

"If I've got someplace to be, I'll spend more time getting dressed than I spent at the actual event. Sometimes. Even in my own closet, I love to dig and search and find. And if I'm shopping… You know, if it's a piece of fabric, I listen to the threads. It's not intellectual at all. The price is nothing. It's the emotional content: I have to feel it in my gut. I don't know how to explain it other than that."

I think that the following quote (I'm sure you've heard it at some point) aptly sums it up:

"Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else-Judy Garland

Photos: style.com; yahoo.com

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The Andy Warhol Diaries

The Irreverent Iris Apfel: Rare Bird of Fashion

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The book of Film Noir

Town and Country Magazine

The Legs Are The Last To Go

The Jewels of Miriam Haskell

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"Faking It" by Kenneth J. Lane

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Style Icon: Iris Apfel

This eighty-six year old lady is the epitome of style. She wears big, bold jewelry and beautiful ornate clothing. So popular is she, that a book was written about her titled: THE IRREVERENT IRIS APFEL: RARE BIRD OF FASHION. The book contains clothing and jewelry that is absolutely breathtaking. I like the fact that she has and revels in her "individual style". She does not follow the "fashion path"....she has created her own.

Gracious Beauty Audrey Hepburn

I think that she will always be remembered most for her role in Breakfast At Tiffany's, but from what I have read about her, she was a beautiful person inside and out. Here is a quote that was spoken by her that I think sums up the type of person that she was...."never let yourself grow up believing that anybody if different from anybody else.....love each other and do what you can for your neighbor".

"Lady Day"

Billie Holiday gave new meaning to singing a song.

Daphne Giunness

Another "lady of style"

Diana Ross

As she appeared in the movie "mohogany"

Butterfly dress


"A trunk full of treasures"

Dolce and Gabbana "Face" wedge platforms

Manolo Blahnik

This shoe belongs on display.
Nicholas Kirkwood Couture for Alice In Wonderland
Nicholas Kirkwood Couture for Alice In Wonderland