Category - People

Designer- Elene Cassis
Joseph Rene- Hairstylist
Rebekka Lien- Creative Designer & Entrepreneur

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 for online shopping and more information.

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

Joseph Rene- Hairstylist

Joseph Rene, known for styling hair for high-end fashion shows, celebrities , magazine shoots and now…me…that is, for Beauty Fusion Beauty Show in Pasadena, CA; where I was a last-minute model.

I arrived at Salon Sessions the day before the show, not knowing if he could take me or not. His station was already packed with clients, but he asked me to kindly wait for a few minutes and then we would talk.

Just when I thought I was probably outta luck, his assistant ushered me back to his station, where there was a free chair. Despite that he was booked, he still managed to squeeze me in and had the time to color and shape my hair for the show the very next day.

At the show….

I observed Joseph working his magic on fellow models. Three girls had curled red carpet hair, with the help of the Enzo Milano curling irons…While he inserted colored extensions in others…By the time the show was over, every girl and yes, there were a few guys looked amazing. Even during a few stressful times during the show, this man kept it professional. When a workshop location went awry, he took charge and brought the show to the main stage, which got the attention he needed. During his presentations (with a rockin ’80’s theme), he would bring each of us up and explained (or demonstrated on the Enzo Milano and extensions models) in detail what he did to our hair. In the end, he achieved yet another level of his dream and I left with a bad-ass rocker hairstyle!

SPECIAL THANKS: Salon Sessions (112 S. De Lacey Ave. Pasadena, CA 91105  Phone: 626-795-8856) , THE MODELS!, Beauty Fusion Beauty Show, Joseph Rene (contact #626-243-3123), Enzo Milano, Chenice Beverly Hills, the Jr. Stylists: Liz and Charles, the make-up artists: Lupita, Johanna and Sandra from Millenium Cosmetics (8611 California Ave. Suite B  South Gate, CA 90280 Phone:323-249-0018), Fresh and Famous Clothing and Parris Harris.

Rebekka Lien- Creative Designer & Entrepreneur

Dear readers, I would like to introduce my friend- Rebekka Lien. She was born in Hamburg, Germany and has since been an avid traveler to places like: Taiwan, Japan and Australia. She is a fellow FIDM graduate and we met during our volunteer work at UNIQUE Los Angeles a few years back. Since then, I’ve watched her grow in the fashion industry, both as an avant-garde designer and now an entrepreneur and self-proclaimed “Asian Gypsy.” She owns an ebay and store envy store, full of amazingly cute and affordable jewelry, with proceeds going to Stella’s Voice and Compassion International- organizations to fund children’s education and rehabilitate girls saved from human trafficking. She also runs a blog, which you can check out here. Here is my Q&A sesh with her…

LAFS: Tell me a little about your background and why you chose to be in the fashion industry?

RL: I have always been obsessed with fashion magazines as a child and my mom taught me how to sew when I was 12. My mother recently told me that I had made $100 selling toys for two years at my elementary school. I said, “how do you know?” She said, “You told me! You would tell me how much you made each day and you would carry a bag of things to sell after school”. I laughed because I remember she would tell me to be careful because I might get caught for soliciting illegally. That was from the age of 8 to 10. I then went to Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising for Fashion Design and Business Management. I worked in every area of fashion- from marketing, designing costumes, import manufacturing, visuals to small business start ups. Gradually, I realized that life is better lived free, so I quit my job and started my own business.

LAFS: What do you like designing?

RL: I like designing one a kind couture gowns that nobody would wear on the street. I love the fantastical feeling of wearing something no one else has. I like shocking people, I like thinking outside the box, recycling, and creating a masterpiece.

LAFS: Tell me about your other entrepreneurial goals? (Like your selling jewelry and stuff, prices and pieces, etc)

RL: I am currently working on my jewelry and accessories business- I have a very non-conventional approach to earning a living. I trust that a higher being is orchestrating my every source of income and I focus on what I want to do each moment, whether it’s marketing the products, hanging out with people, or simply reading a book. I am expanding my business and hope to start my own t-shirt line. I am also planning to continue my “pop up trunk shop” approach, not only selling through social media, but also carrying my shop everywhere I go. This lines up with my “Asian Gypsy” lifestyle, I hope to open peoples’ eyes to a more simple and uncomplicated lifestyle consisting of recycling and living communally.

LAFS: What have been some of your biggest achievements in the industry?

RL: Depends on what you call achievement. If you call achievement being recognized by big shots or making money- I haven’t made much money from the industry and haven’t really gotten my “big break”. If you want to be your own designer, you simply can’t work for other people. I have enjoyed meeting people in the industry though- that’s my great achievement, meeting people and making lifelong friends.

LAFS: What advice do you have for other budding designers/future business owners?

RL: Be prepared to fail. Failing is a MUST, without failures, there won’t be successes. Follow your heart, if you’re gut tells you something is wrong, back the hell out! Be open to new opportunities, do not pigeon hole yourself to ONE THING that you want to do. Do something different everyday, try something new, because that random thing you decide to do (like go to a new cafe) can lead to a life changing moment or opportunity. You might meet a soul friend or a boyfriend (wink)…Know where you want to go and what you want from life, if you don’t, someone else will. Someone else (your parents, your friends, strangers) will tell you what you should be doing- and of course, how are they supposed to know? They’re not you! So decide now before you end up living someone else’s life.

So as you can see, Rebekka is truly an inspiration to many an aspiring creative and small business owner. The girl’s gonna do amazing things so be on the lookout! In the meantime, I highly suggest picking up a “Snazzy Moustache”ring or feather earrings. Be sure to check out her website!

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