Nine West x In Style Magazine Bash

Houston Galleria’s Nine West store was the setting for one of Houston’s hottest events, in affiliation with THE In Style Magazine. The event celebrated Nine West’s collaboration with In Style Accessories Editor- Leah Karp.

I was able to catch up with Leah and Nine West’s Erika Szychowski, who gave me some insight into the collaboration. The concept came to play during a dinner in Paris between Richard Dixson of The Jones Group (parent company to Nine West) and Ariel Foxman of InStyle Magazine. Ariel wanted to come up with a plan that would take a one-dimensional brand (InStyle) and create it into something that is three-dimensional and beyond where all the other publications were going (digital, social media, etc.); how to beat them, get faster and be nimble. They both concluded that instead of just picking a product, they’d DESIGN a product! Thus, the collaboration with Nine West was born. The small capsule collection was launched in the September 2013 issue and was sold in sixteen stores. The collection was tested by the consumers while Nine West and InStyle listened and learned. “We want to be where our consumer is and make sure we are listening to her, learning from her and growing from that. We have such a marriage between our consumers that this product is what they are asking us for,” Szychowski stated.

The limited-edition collaboration consists of several styles of shoes in chic and edgy silhouettes that are available in select bold colors, as well as clutches and cuffs. Leah’s inspiration for the collection was essentially every woman’s closet. The idea was to have the major key shoe silhouettes, clutches and cuffs that could be taken from day to night and able to be dressed up or down. InStyle also wanted to bring their brand, “Shop Like an Editor,” which was in the magazine every month, to the consumer (because they literally are shopping an editor’s closet).

A DJ spun tunes while guests mingled, shopped and partook in the sweeping candy bar and light bites. There were also giveaways throughout the evening. I was actually one of the lucky winners and I chose the Gamin D’Orsay heel in red. I did have to go down in size as the shoes ran a full size too big. I’m also eyeing the Aila and the Izzy. The collection’s price points varies from $79 for footwear to $129 for a clutch. For Fall, expect to see more jewelry, bag shapes and of course- shoes!

“It’s sort of a dream come true for me to have the chance to do this and to partner with Nine West.” – Leah Karp

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“Pay It Forward Fashion Exchange” with Glam Authority

The Rice Village branch of Kendra Scott played co-host to the “Pay It Forward Fashion Exchange” that took place a couple weeks ago. The event was spearheaded by Kesha Scott- founder of Glam Authority, Houston’s go-to destination for getting your closet cleaned and organized, while also making it fun and profitable for you.

The event’s attendees were asked to provide designer clothing items to donate and exchange. All donations went to support The Women’s Home, a non-profit organization. They also own and operate The Cottage Shop- a boutique-y thrift store here in the city. The event also featured light bites and bubbly. While waiting for the exchange to begin, guests mingled and had the chance to shop the latest Kendra Scott products and check out the famous “Color Bar.” Giveaways from sponsors like Kendra Scott, Pynk Luxe, Chloe Dao and blogger/author Megan Silianoff were also handed out to a lucky few.

The exchange was divided into groups based on the color of the wrist band received at check-in. We had three minutes to grab items of our choice (but based on the number of items we brought to exchange). I ended up with a cute Nipon Boutique dress and jacket set, who’s bold pink hue stood out to me from across the room. It was fun seeing what everyone ended up with. Megan grabbed the vintage St. John top that I brought and I’m excited to see how she styles it. As we left, we were handed a swag bag, which featured a $25 gift card to Langford Market (thank you!) and other small treats.

Loads of thanks to Kesha Scott, The Women’s Home, the Kendra Scott Rice Village team, the sponsors and volunteers.

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Recap: All the Wire Preview at Pomp and Circumstance

All the Wire is a Dallas, Texas based jewelry brand founded by two sisters- Tori Gonzales and Desiree Cox. The name, ‘all the wire’ stems back to the following love story between Desiree and her boyfriend (as told by Tori).

One day, driving down the country roads she {Desiree} asked, “Jeff, how much do you love me?” and of course, typical guy answer, ” a lot.” Which didn’t sit well with my sister. She needed full on detail, so she asked again and got the same answer. They kept driving and he told her to look outside the window, “See how the telephone wire keeps going and going? That’s how much I love you, all the wire….” I think she finally got the answer she was hoping for. These two love birds got married and on their wedding day, he had “All The Wire” engraved in her band.

Tori has always loved the story and the idea to start a jewelry line started to churn. She asked Desiree if she would partner up and the next day they started stamping jewelry. They built their brand with the foundation of that love story and wanted to create simple, yet customizable pieces for people to wear and express themselves. These pieces range from message bar necklaces/bracelets to charming wire-wrapped initial rings/charms to fun pieces with recycled bullet and mini pocket knife pendants. The brand launched in 2013 and has gained quite a lot of recognition. You may have also seen Gonzales on the hit Bravo reality show- Courtney Loves Dallas, which follows her bestie, (and number one supporter of All the Wire) fashion blogger – Courtney Kerr throughout her day-to-day adventures.

The All the Wire girls recently took a road trip down to Houston and hosted a trunk show at Pomp and Circumstance Boutique, where I had the pleasure of being in attendance. Courtney was also there to support her friend. There was a line out the door as trendy Houstonians packed the small boutique and were eager to check out the brand, as well as meet Gonzales and Kerr. I checked out the necklaces and all were simple yet statement-worthy. Tasty bites were provided, as well as delicious Texas themed macaroon pops that were provided by Macaron by Patisse. The Deep Eddy Vodka girls were on hand, serving their famous Texas-made specialty drinks in cute mason jars and striped straws. Outside was a food truck and lounge that was hosted by Houston Tidbits. I had the chance to meet Tori, Desiree and Courtney, who were so sweet and hospitable, taking their time to chat and take photos with guests. The girls only brought along a select few of their necklaces for the trunk show. It seemed that the “H-Town” message bar necklace was the favorite of the show, as everyone I spoke with bought one. I personally like the pocket knife and “Y’all” message bar necklaces. The brand not only stands behind their product and the story behind it, but they also want to be able to share others stories. They also believe in affordability, as the price points range from $30- 50. Besides being sold at Pomp and Circumstance, All the Wire is also available at: Duck and Dressing Boutique, The Buck Commander Store and Jul’s Boutique.

Thank you’s: Pomp and Circumstance, White Park Media, Houston Tidbits and All the Wire (love my ring)!

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Cynique Evoule “Doctors on the Runway” Fashion Show

The Laura Rathe Fine Art Gallery was the setting for the Houston edition of Cynique Evoule Runway Series. Felicia Mosley launched the company in 2011 in hopes of bridging designers and models with some of the nation’s top influencers. According to Mosley, “The event is an opportunity for designers from coast to coast who have garnered attention from the general population of consumers and the media, to relay their aesthetic and their ideas through an inspired collection of garments and accessories. Since fashion has no borders, Cynique Evoule also sets out to serve as opportunity for talented designers from outside the country to introduce themselves in the Midwest fashion industry and grow their brands. The premise for this showcase is to bring the support of the city and other like cities to the governing bodies, gather the community under one roof to finally be able to appreciate design talent. What started out as hope for something ‘bigger and better’ for the city will now come to fruition throughout the country!”

The “Doctors on the Runway” series is part of Cynique Evoule’s community program. A portion of the proceeds benefit children’s hospitals in the cities where the the runway shows are held. This event’s portion of the proceeds went to Texas Children’s Hospital. Thirteen of Houston’s finest female doctors were transformed into models and sashayed down the runway, wearing Caché‘s Spring 2014 collection. The event also featured local designer Angelic Reese (a.k.a. Lisa Reed) and shoes by Luichiny.

The “Doctor’s on the Runway” series’s next stop is Chicago on April 27th, followed by Atlanta, Miami and finally New York.

**Dr. Heather Brown, Dr. Monica Gray, Dr. Terriya Richmond, Dr. Daisy Ayim, Dr. Nwanyieze Amajoh, Dr. Tamecka Knight, Dr. Kidada Lewis, Dr. Monique Mckight, Dr. Connie Nguyen, Dr. Lily Zhang, Dr. Vicki Carr, Dr. Tamyra Comeaux and Dr. Jonnae Atkinson — you ladies werked that runway! Congratulations and please keep doing what you do!**

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Love’s In Fashion at Tootsies- Houston

Love was in the air during the “Loves in Fashion” show at Tootsies- one of Houston’s hottest shopping destinations. The fashion show benefited Dec My Room, an charitable organization founded by mother-daughter team: Susan and Kendall Plank in 2007. They were visiting a young family friend who was scheduled to receive a bone marrow transplant at Texas Children’s Hospital, which would keep him holed up in a drab hospital room for at least three weeks. They decided that they wanted to do something to make him feel more comfortable during his hospital stay, so they found out what his interests were (an A & M fan) and “dec’d” out his hospital room in A & M gear. He and his family were overjoyed upon seeing the room. This inspired them to launch Dec My Room. They have since decorated hundreds of rooms in Texas Children’s Hospital and MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Center in hopes of “creating a healing place” for children going through various illnesses, medical procedures, etc.

The event featured several philanthropic couples as they strutted down the runway, such as: Elizabeth and Daryl Allen, Karina and Carlos Barbieri, Gina Gaston and Mario Elie, Duyen Huynh and MarcMarc, Jenna Jackson and Brendan Gilbert, Natalie Lefevre and Jürgen Pichler, Vivian Wise and Sergio Morales, Patti and Don Murphy, Susan and Michael Plank, Clifford Pugh and John Dascoulias, Layla and Walter Salek, Millette and Haag Sherman, Jenee and Nick Stefaniks, Brittany and Max Tribble, Holly Waltrip and Mike Long, Noel and Scott Wise and more. In between the two groups of couples, models took to the catwalk, wearing selected looks that were currently trending. I especially enjoyed the pink dress with structured and flouncy skirt and an ensemble featuring lovely floral pants, a red top and yellow clutch and a gorgeous pleated neon yellow maxi dress.

After the fashion show, there were two surprise guests- former A & M quarterback Johnny Manziel and six year old cancer survivor Charlie Dina (and fan of Manziel).

Thank you Tootsies and Dec My Room for having me! Kendall Plank- it was lovely meeting you after the show. Oh and I had a “Walker moment” when I met a Texas Ranger! #Starstruck

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Kissue Trunk Show

Over the holidays, I was treated to a lovely trunk show and preview of a newly launched e-commerce boutique, based in Houston. The brand is called Kissue and was founded in August 2013 by sisters- Kailey and Kaygan Tissue (hence the name- Kissue). The young entrepreneurs eventually want to start a clothing line, but they felt that they first want to get their feet wet by testing out their esthetic in the online boutique realm. They pride themselves on hand-curating their merchandise that is well-made and distinguished in details, such as: clean cut, modern, sharp and fine lines. They carry a variety of brands that aren’t mainstream, though rather more specialty, like: Ark & Co., English Rose, Nameless and C. Luce (which are their favorite brands as well). They strive to find balance between their esthetic and the needs to their customer.

Their quaint trunk show represented what they currently have up online. Multiple clothing racks were set up in their private residence, which set the mood for a relaxed and intimate shopping experience. Clothing styles varied, ranging from casual to cocktail attire. Think faux fur vests to offbeat chic bright pink blazers to crop tops with fun cut-out detailing, tops with fringe, cute leather pants to flowy maxi dresses- Kissue has something for every fashionista’s needs. They also feel that it’s important to have solid garments at affordable price points. Prices range from $28 for leggings to a coat for $106. Be on the lookout for a flagship brick-and-mortar store in Houston sometime in the next few years. To shop the brand or for more information, check out kissuetx.com.

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Francesca’s Holiday Blogger Party

I’ve never really known about Francesca’s until I landed in Texas, where they are based. I was finally introduced to them when I attended their blogger party over the holidays at their location in the prestigious Highland Village neighborhood in Houston. Francesca’s opened their first store in Houston in 1999 and caters to the fashionista who loves whimsical hand-curated clothing not normally found in the major department stores. They also sell bright statement baubles, trendy bold accessories and fun, kitschy gifts. The brand is now located in 45 states and has over 350 boutiques, plus their online shop. The staff at the Highland Village store made me feel right at home during the party and were extremely helpful. Oh and did I mention how talented they are too? I LOVE how the visuals and mannequins were styled (without the use of a merchandising manual). It really gave us a lot of ideas on how to mix prints and textures, style the jewelry, etc., without looking too busy or minutes away from being a fashion disaster. The gifting table is just fantastic! I found an array of quirky items, such as Ryan Gosling books (I mean…100 Reasons to Love Ryan Gosling…I’m on that!), Etch-A-Sketches, red heeled iPhone stand and so much more! I’d love to also thank the store for having delicious light bites (extra kudos for the cucumber and cream cheese finger sandwiches), treats and cocktails. The night was such a nice way to enter into the holidays. I ended up getting a cute floral printed blazer with the gift card that the Francesca’s team so graciously gifted the bloggers, as well as a generous gift bag.

Thanks again for your hospitality Francesca’s and Francesca’s Highland Village!!

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