Category - People

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Designer- Elene Cassis
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Celebrity Stylist- Reinaldo Irizarry
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Michaela Kuechenhoff- Designer of Micha Designs

Designer- Elene Cassis

I had the chance to sit down with and view the Fall/Winter 2010 of New York designer Elene Cassis. Elene is a graduate of Parsons and felt very prepared and driven to start her company right after. This June will mark the one-year anniversary of the start of her company. She defines her style, inspired by Chanel and Ralph Lauren, as “classic beyond belief with a modern twist.” Her clothes have a general color palette of black and white and have a European meets Jackie-O meets London feel. She uses natural fabrics and all the pieces are lined with silk. She is extremely detail-oriented in that she checks the quality of every piece before it goes out to boutiques. Her pieces have been seen on Booker T. Washington’s daughter, the Shannon twins, Stephanie Pratt, and the ‘Linda’ dress has recently been worn on Cheryl Burke.

The classic silhouette was evident in the collection I viewed. The dresses are very versatile in that they could be worn during the day and then jazzed up a bit to wear out on the town in the evening. They are also structured to fit curvier women as well. Elene believes that “everyone should feel special and wear designer clothes.” Prices range from $300-400 and are available in boutiques around the country (one being Petro Zillia here in LA). Her NY showroom is located at 252 W. 38th St. (between 7th & 8th Aves.) and her office number is (212)784-0696 and fax is (212)784-0699. Check out www.elenecassis.com for online shopping and more information.

Special thanks to the designer, Elene Cassis and Carla Bate of Spin Shoppe PR!

Celebrity Stylist- Reinaldo Irizarry

Meet celebrity stylist Reinaldo Irizarry (pronounced erie~zarie), the latest phenomenon to take the fashion scene by storm. Having started his career in the industry as a visual merchandiser for Saks Fifth Avenue and even dabbled in design, he realized that there are a lot more career paths besides design and modeling and decided to take up styling. Having a strong editorial background has given him many opportunities to style photo shoots, be a Creative Director for his online magazine, A-List International (www.alist-international.com) and has given him the chance to style the likes of American Idol’s Ayesha Mercado and Mel B of the former Spice Girls. If you walked into his office, you would probably find a vast array of magazines, European in particular, arranged alphabetically of course and you would hear about every genre of music playing on his ipod; as this inspires him to create moods, themes and looks for styling. Whether his day begins at 5AM or 9AM, a stylist’s work is never done. He is always checking emails, making phone calls to clients or designers or PR Firms, picking up clothes for shoots, attending fittings and then making returns. Current styles [or trends] he is hyped up on at the moment are harem pants (he loves the way the modern woman wears it with platform sandals) and shoulder pads. He is currently filming his own reality show, Style Protocol, which is about his fast-paced life as a stylist and his goal to get to high-profile status. The show is being produced by DJM Multimedia and help from Daniel Magro. For more info on Reinaldo, Style Protocol, and contact info, go to his website.

Michaela Kuechenhoff- Designer of Micha Designs

While I was at the Focus Fashion Show, I was introduced to a bubbly designer named Michaela. She showed me her jewelry collection, which consisted of  handmade, one-of-a-kind, avant-garde necklaces made from vintage watch pieces, belt buckles, brooches  feathers, etc.  Let’s just say- I was HOOKED! Her company was founded in 1997 and her mission is “Go Green.” She uses recycled and vintage materials while also using ‘offbeat’ materials like: leather, feathers, lace, door knockers, brooches, fabric roses, scrabble pieces, doilies, etc. Her mission “is to show that you do not have to compromise beauty to ‘go green’.” She gets inspired by materials, odds and ends from swap meets. She does not work from a sketch, thus allowing the creations to develop organically, draping materials over a mannequin. A few of her signature pieces are: “What time is it?”, “Buckle Up” and Hardware Deluxe Designs. She sells her pieces at numerous style houses, boutiques, Nordstrom’s, Bloomingdale’s and trunk shows. Her price points range from $40-300. Her necklaces are very popular with celebrities, including: Jessica Simpson, Kourtney Kardashian, Fergie and Audrey Kitching. I look forward to seeing more of Michaela’s unique pieces on the red carpet or out-and-about. For more information or to purchase, go to her website or contact Michaela at micha@michadesign.com.

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