Mack, Jack & McConaughey Host the Soiree of the Season with a Reason

Written By William Jackson

Photography courtesy of Randy Smith.

For the past five years, thousands of guests enjoy two full days of events hosted by Mack, Jack & McConaughey (MJ&M), the joint fundraising effort of ESPN analyst and legendary football coach Mack Brown, ACM award-winning recording artist Jack Ingram and Academy Award®-winning actor Matthew McConaughey combine forces for a two-day fundraising event benefiting Austin nonprofits CureDuchenne, Dell Children’s Medical Center, HeartGift, just keep livin Foundation, and The Rise School of Austin.

On April 20, guests filled ACL Live for the fifth annual gala, which included a red-carpet reception, VIP meet-and-greet, dinner, live auction, and stellar musical performance by award-winning country music stars Jack Ingram and Miranda Lambert, who was the headliner for the gala.

Texas native Miranda Lambert is the reigning Academy of Country Music Female Vocalist of the Year, having been bestowed the honor for seven consecutive years. Her recognitions include two Grammy Awards, 13 Country Music Association (CMA) Awards, and 25 Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards as well as many other accolades. Miranda released her most recent effort, a double album titled The Weight of These Wings in November 2016, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart.

April 21 kicked off with a golf tournament at Spanish Oaks Golf Club followed by a fashion show and luncheon hosted by Sally Brown, Amy Ingram and Camila Alves McConaughey with support from Neiman Marcus.  Guests experienced an intimate runway show featuring selections from the latest collection of iconic and leading global design talent Jason Wu.


Camila Alves McConaughey interviews Jason Wu

Camila Alves McConaughey interviews Jason Wu

The fashion event commenced with a lively VIP cocktail reception presented by Fashion Forms. Following the runway show, guests enjoyed a luncheon where hostess Camila Alves McConaughey interviewed Jason Wu on his inspiration for the collection and his impressive career.

 

Amy Ingram, Camila Alves McConaughey, Andra Liemandt, Jason Wu, Jenny Mason, and Sally Brown

Amy Ingram, Camila Alves McConaughey, Andra Liemandt, Jason Wu, Jenny Mason, and Sally Brown

The entire affair wrapped up back at ACL Live with a singer/songwriter showcase from Little Big Town, Kris Kristofferson, and nearly one dozen of the most important songwriters and performers of our time.

We look forward to lending our support at the 6th annual installment which is planned for April 2018.

Mack, Jack & McConaughey Fashion Show to Feature Designer Jason Wu

Neiman Marcus Returns to MJ&M as the Official Retail Partner for the Sold Out Event 

Mack, Jack & McConaughey (MJ&M) announced that iconic fashion designer Jason Wu will show his latest collection at the exclusive MJ&M fashion show and luncheon at the JW Marriott in Austin, Texas on April 21. The show is hosted by Sally Brown, Amy Ingram and Camila Alves McConaughey with support from Neiman Marcus.  Presenting sponsor of the MJ&M fashion show and luncheon is The Mrs. with the VIP reception and lounge presented by Fashion Forms.

“I have been a fan of Jason Wu for a long time,” said Camila Alves McConaughey. “I believe he really knows and understands how to flatter the female figure. I am thrilled to host him in Austin, and know the runway show and luncheon guests will love seeing the latest collection and hearing the personal inspiration behind it.”

Jason Wu is a leading global design talent based in New York. Through merging classic American sportswear elements with a sophisticated global attitude, he has created timeless classics with glamorous sensibility and a distinctively feminine aesthetic. Since debuting his ready-to-wear collection in 2007, Jason has been dedicated to making clothes that are beautifully crafted from the inside out. Although only 33, the precocious designer has already achieved many of his aspirations. His collection is sold globally and he dresses some of the most influential women in the world including Michelle Obama, Reese Witherspoon, Julianne Moore, Diane Kruger, Kerry Washington and Christy Turlington among many others.

“Austin and all of the women involved with MJ&M have a unique sense of style, and my designs really align with that,” said Jason Wu.  “I’m honored to show my collection in Austin, and especially to help raise funds for the children’s charities MJ&M supports.”

“We are proud to once again partner with MJ&M, and to bring Jason Wu’s collection to Austin,” said Chris Hendel, Vice President, General Manager of Neiman Marcus Austin.  “We know our guests will embrace the opportunity to shop Mr. Wu’s amazing designs.”

The fashion event starts with a VIP cocktail reception presented by Fashion Forms. Tito’s is the presenting spirits sponsor. Following the runway show, the audience is invited to a luncheon where hostess Camila Alves McConaughey will interview the designer on his inspiration for the collection and his impressive career.

The host committee for the sold-out runway show and luncheon includes: Jenny Aghamalian, Ellen Burt, Laura Craddick, Jamie Chandlee, Kelly Dodson, Katie Jaffe, Anna Hansen, Andra Liemandt, Tracey Marshall, Natalie Noble, Nicki Riley, Stacey Smith, Angela Smogur, Loren Stalcup, Wendy Topfer and Leslie Ward.

This spring marks the fifth year of the Mack, Jack & McConaughey event, which has raised over $5 million in the last four years. Every year, thousands of guests enjoy two full days of events benefitting charities working to empower kids through education, health and wellness programming.  The April 20 opening gala includes a musical performance by Jack Ingram and Miranda Lambert at ACL Live. On April 21, MJ&M will continue with a golf tournament at Spanish Oaks Golf Club. Simultaneously on Friday, MJ&M will hold the fashion show and luncheon.  Friday wraps up with the incredible Jack Ingram & Friends concert presented by H-E-B at ACL Live featuring Kris Kristofferson and nearly one dozen of the most important songwriters and performers of our time. Funds raised at MJ&M 2017 will support CureDuchenne, Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, HeartGift, the just keep livin Foundation and the Rise School of Austin.

Major sponsors of this year’s MJ&M event include: Allstate, American Campus Communities, American Airlines, Fashion Forms, H-E-B, Late European, Nike, Spanish Oaks Golf Club, Target, The Mrs., Tito’s, Washington Redskins and Wild Turkey.

For more information on Jason Wu, please visit: https://www.jasonwustudio.com/.

For more information about Mack, Jack & McConaughey, visit www.mjm2017.com.

About MJ&M:
Mack, Jack & McConaughey (MJ&M), the joint fundraising effort of ESPN analyst and legendary football coach Mack Brown, ACM award winning recording artist Jack Ingram, and Academy Award®-winning actor Matthew McConaughey, is a two day event filled with music, golf, fashion, and fun. Previous MJ&M gala headliners include Sheryl Crow, John Mellencamp, Toby Keith, Dierks Bentley and Kacey Musgraves. The gala is followed by a jam-packed day with a golf tournament being held simultaneously with a once-in-a-lifetime fashion show that has previously featured MILLY, Badgley Mischka, Veronica Beard and Lela Rose.  The day concludes back at ACL Live for a singer-songwriter line up of talent unmatched by any other event. Jimmy Kimmel previously hosted the evening and past performers include Little Big Town, Eric Church, Jamey Johnson, Lyle Lovett, Bobby Pinson and dozens of the biggest names in music.

As published originally by Craddick Public Relations.

SERIES NOIR Fashion Show Leaves Audience InSpired and InTrigued

Written By Kelli Ponce, Beauty and Fashion Editor for InFluential Magazine

Photography courtesy of Kelli Ponce.

Spring Fashion 2017 is upon us and kicking off the season in perfect form was the Series Noir Fashion and Trunk Show that took place this past Sunday February 19, 2017. The event was hosted by The Jose Luis Salon + Boutique in Austin, Texas at their Domain Northside location. The luxurious boutique nestled in the heart of Austin’s fashion district is quickly becoming the premier destination for high fashion signature looks. Not only do their stylists stay on the cutting edge of fashion providing the latest hair trends and make-up techniques, they keep their front-end boutique stocked with the highest quality salon and beauty products on the market today. And let’s not forget to mention the superior collection of luxury clothing and accessory designer brands that are worth the splurge.  It made perfect sense that they not only played host to the event given it’s fashionable location and ambiance, they were also the hair and makeup team responsible for orchestrating the final looks that graced the runway that evening.

Fashion Runway Models

Fashion Runway Models

The Series Noir collection, known for its luxury street-wear style and beautifully crafted designs, is best described in two words – Uncomplicated Cool. The brand debuted their fall line that featured neutral tones, understated cotton knits, distressed fitted denim and signature statement pieces that were functional and fashionable. We found the urban designs to be chic and wearable while also giving the consumer the option to bring some much needed edge to their wardrobe. Each garment was expertly constructed to bring out a fierce yet offbeat silhouette to the female form. “I believe each garment should resonate with the wearer and be singularly distinctive”, says the designer behind Series Noir. With signature pieces that are made to be mixed and matched, the stylish aesthetic plays nicely with other designer brands yet stands out from the pack. The Series Noir woman is bold, daring and unapologetically unique with a strong sense of self and style.

Fashion Runway Model

Fashion Runway Model

According to the Jose Luis Team, the clothing was the main inspiration behind the hair and make-up looks. “We wanted a true collaboration between the designer and Jose Luis Salon”, says Master Stylist Teresa Romero. To highlight the collection and bring an elevated architectural element to the Series Noir woman, the expert stylists created a fashion forward look that was bold and editorial while remaining understated as to showcase the designs.

Trendy Hairstyle Individually Selected by Each Fashion Runway Model.

Trendy Hairstyle Individually Selected by Each Fashion Runway Model.

In order to mirror the sophisticated structure and urban elements of the collection, Jose Luis’ Creative Director Theresa Przybyla created hairstyles that expressed the same form and functionality of the clothing. Elements such as the exposed metallic hairpins provided the necessary architectural feel which gave the styles a fresh unique edge. The hair looked amazing from all angles and was certainly the perfect contributing factor on the runway. It certainly had us anxious to try this look at home.

Fashion Runway Models.

Fashion Runway Models.

The make-up look, created by Master Stylist Teresa Romero, was designed to bring an editorial feel to the overall composition. A smooth skin pallet was created using an airbrush technique followed by a strong contoured cheek bone using Jose Luis’ signature make-up line. Their signature eye color in Goldfish was used to accentuate the eyes creating an urban chic design with an artistic pop. Oribe Illuminating Face Powder was lightly dusted to highlight the cheekbones and give the eyelids a sleek wet look. A Strong brow framed the understated eye while the lip remained nude with only a subtle hint of sparkle.

Jose Luis’ Creative Director Theresa Przybyla, Jose Luis Buitron, Kelli Ponce, Beauty & Fashion Editor for InFluential Magazine and  Jose Luis Makeup Artist.

Jose Luis’ Creative Director Theresa Przybyla, Jose Luis Buitron, Kelli Ponce, Beauty & Fashion Editor for InFluential Magazine and Jose Luis Makeup Artist.

Jose Luis Salon + Boutique created a personalized intimate setting for the event while providing a fresh and clean aesthetic in perfect harmony with the designer’s wishes. The show captured the feeling and excitement of New York Fashion Week leaving the audience inspired and intrigued. Be sure to visit www.seriesnoir.com to get your hands on the hottest trends fresh off the runway and ready to wear this fall season. To learn more about Jose Luis Salon + Boutique, visit them online at www.joseluissalon.com or any one of their three Austin locations.

Former Miss Universe Barbara Palacios Announces New Jewelry Collection with Designer Leonardo D’Almagro.

Barbara Palacios

Barbara Palacios

Former Miss Universe Barbara Palacios and Leonardo D’Almagro announce the debut of their jewelry collection,   Barbara Palacios Inspirations by Leonardo D’Almagro.

Bárbara Palacios, Miss Universe 1986, is an internationally acclaimed public figure with a stellar reputation. Her professional accomplishments and her commitment to the empowerment of women have earned her significant recognition and prestige in the Latino community of the United States and in Latin America.

Mrs. Palacios has developed an extensive career as a recognized spokesperson for a variety of companies in the television industry in the U.S. and abroad. She has hosted successful television shows, including the Latin Grammys for five years and Miss Venezuela for seven years. She has also been a vital part of Miss Universe, the Viña del Mar Festival, and Miss USA.

Mrs. Palacios was named one of the most powerful women in 2014, according to Spanish People magazine. Most recently, in 2016, she was honored by the United States Congress as one of the most influential and respected Latina women for her contribution to the promotion of Hispanic culture in the US.

As Inspirational author, Mrs. Palacios works continuously in her presentations and conferences for personal growth and development. She has taken her conferences to many countries, including Mexico, Spain, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, Guatemala, United States and South Africa.

For her latest project, Barbara Palacios Inspirations, Mrs. Palacios is partnering with a relatively recent arrival on the jewelry design scene, Leonardo D’Almagro.

Mr. D’Almagro stated, “I am extraordinarily honored to be collaborating with Mrs. Palacios on this jewelry collection.” And D’Almagro has hit the floor running, having already received several major accolades.

For example, in 2016 he was the only Hispanic U.S. jewelry designer selected to present a line at Vicenzaoro and Vincenza Dubai. Held in Italy, they are the most important international jewelry trade shows in the world. His collection marked the first time that a Hispanic designer from the U.S. was invited to present a jewelry line at these prestigious events.

And Leonardo did not skip Paris Fashion Week: His line was used to accessorize Binzario Couture.

His brand is becoming increasingly well known; the Miss Mexico Organization has chosen him as an official designer. His jewelry will be used by the official Miss Mexico and Mr. Mexico in all of their pageants at all international events. Miss Mexico, Ana Girault, who represented her country recently at Miss Universe, very often wears Leonardo’s fabulous jewelry.

Leonardo is currently one of 18 semi-finalists–from thousands of submissions–competing to be one of the brands on HSN Project American Dreams. The winner will have his merchandise sold on HSN, the largest shopping network in the U.S.

In addition, Leonardo received recognition by the 2015-2016 Daytime Emmy Awards as a Fashion Editor for his contributions to “Superlatina with Gabriela Natale.”

Many celebrities have accessorized their elegant styles with the Leonardo D’Almagro Jewelry Line. These well-known figures include the aforementioned Gabriela Natale, who wore his jewelry when she received her first Emmy.

Reality TV celebrities LeeAnne Locken and Tiffany Hendra from “The Real Housewives of Dallas” frequently wear Leonardo’s jewelry. Two other fans of Leonardo’s jewelry are American TV host Hillary Kennedy and celebrity fashion stylist and TV host Jeannette Chivvis.

Miss Venezuela International, Amal Nemer, wore his jewelry during the Miss International contest, where she won the title of Miss South America International 2016.

Drawing on their complementary backgrounds, both Mrs. Palacios and Mr. D’Almagro are looking forward to a very successful collaboration on the Barbara Palacios Collection.

Mr. D’Almagro stated, “Words cannot express how honored I am to be selected by Miss Universe Barbara Palacios to be the designer for the Barbara Palacios Inspirations Jewelry Collection. As a Latino entrepreneur and Venezuelan, it’s one of the biggest honors I have had in my life.”

PR & Media Inquiries from Mexico: please contact StudioRM7.

Other Inquiries: please contact pr@leonardodalmagro.com.

Austin Texas Designer is Semifinalist on HSN’s National Competition, “Project American Dreams”

HSN’s national competition, Project American Dreams, is looking for the next big American consumer product created by Latinos.  Project American Dreams is a business competition that discovers, mentors and fast-tracks Latino entrepreneurs to launch their products on HSN.

Leonardo D’Almagro, an Austin, TX jewelry designer, is one of the 23 semifinalists selected by HSN (out of thousands of entries) to proceed to the finals.  All semifinalists will be mentored directly by Lili Gil Valletta (HSN Project American Dreams Partner & Mentor, Creator of Dreamers Ventures) & Bob Circosta (HSN American Dreams Partner & Mentor, Dreamers Ventures Partner).

It’s very important to thank HSN, USBank, and the mentors (Lilli Gil Valletta & Bob Circosta) for creating and supporting this opportunity for Latino entrepreneurs to be discovered and to receive mentoring to launch their products on HSN.

Leonardo D'Almagro

Leonardo D’Almagro

About Leonardo D’Almagro:

Leonardo D’Almagro was the only Hispanic U.S. jewelry designer selected in 2016 to present a jewelry line at Vicenzaoro in Italy; it was the first time ever that a Hispanic designer from the USA launched a new brand In Vicenzaoro.  Vicenzaoro and Vincenza Dubai are the most important international jewelry trade shows in the world.

Leonardo created his timeless jewelry line in using the best gems and material to provide high quality, handcrafted, feminine pieces.  Prior to the official launch of Leonardo’s jewelry line in February 2016, national TV host Gabriela Natale wore his jewelry to the ceremony where she received an Emmy award.  USA reality-TV celebrities, like LeeAnne Locken and Tiffany Hendra from “The Real Housewives of Dallas”, frequently wear Leonardo’s jewelry line… as do American TV host, Hillary Kennedy, and celebrity fashion stylist and TV host, Jeanette Chivvis.  The Leonardo D’Almagro jewelry line was presented during Paris Fashion Week as accessories for Binzario Couture.  Miss Venezuela International, Amal Nemer wore his jewelry during the Miss International contest, where she won the title of Miss South America International 2016.

CEO and designer, Leonardo D’Almagro, who hails from Venezuela, is also a fashion editor and contributed as a Harper’s Bazaar Style Ambassador.  He is based in Austin, Texas and speaks English, Portuguese, and Spanish, and is frequently featured in fashion segments for national and international networks (TV Host-Producer) such as Univision, MSN.com USA Hispanic market, MSN Latino Latin American (LATAM), MSN Brazil, and Telemundo.  Leonardo is a member of the Fashion Group International and is certified by Jewelers of America as a Management Professional. Leonardo D’Almagro has been selected by The Miss Mexico Organization as one of their exclusive designers. Leonardo D’Almagro received recognition by the 2015-2016 Daytime Emmy Awards (The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) as a Fashion Editor for his contributions to the TV show, “SuperLatina with Gaby Natale”.

PR & Media Inquiries from Mexico: please contact StudioRM7.

Other Inquiries: please contact pr@leonardodalmagro.com.

Fashion Industry Sees New Rising Powerhouse – Globe Fashion Week, Inc.

Todd Hessert

Todd Hessert

Co-founder of Globe Fashion Week Inc. Todd Hessert and his team help global designers and brands better market themselves and achieve their goals in the fashion industry.

Globe Fashion Week Inc. is quickly rising to become a known resource and brand in the fashion industry. The company, co-founded by Todd Hessert, is a leading full-service runway showcasing, media relations, strategic partnerships, brand building & consulting and public relations company that is exclusively devoted to the fashion industry in New York, London, Milan, and Paris. Hessert and his team work to ensure that global designers and brands have the resources and expertise at their fingertips to effectively market themselves and achieve all they aim to do in the fashion industry.

“In the competitive world of fashion, Globe Fashion Week is the ultimate authority and choice for each designer and fashion enthusiast,” says Hessert. “We are fortunate that we have the strategic partnerships and relationships built to connect resources between the east and the west.”

During past seasons, Globe Fashion Week has brought many Asian designers to the United States market to showcase their new collections during New York Fashion Week.

“It’s been quite exciting to build a bridge between China and the western market and help talented designers to go wherever they want to create the brand presence in that market,” adds Hessert. “Next season, we will see even more great designs from Asia coming to the western market.”

Consistently working with worldwide media outlets, bloggers, buyers, editors, stylists, photographers, retailers and designers, Globe Fashion Week not only aims to create seamless plans and productions for each designer’s show but offers the best integrated runway experience to every guest as well as focuses on each brand’s organic growth and sustainable business value. Over the years, Globe Fashion Week has become a source and a platform to discover and promote cutting edge innovative fashion designers through runway shows and exhibitions.

With an excellent team and broad partnerships specialized in strategic marketing, fashion event planning and a customized approach, Globe Fashion Week leverages its connections and professional knowledge to help each client increase brand awareness, build a loyal clientele, and achieve the brand’s mission. For more information about the company and upcoming show dates in New York, London, Milan and Paris, visit GlobeFashionWeek.com.

Suitsupply Lands in Austin

Suitsupply, the globe-spanning European brand renowned for its focus on expertly crafted men’s tailoring, continues to expand its Lone Star State operations with the newest location in Austin, at Domain NORTHSIDE, 11701 Domain Blvd, Suite #138, Austin, Texas  78758.

The latest 2,800 sq ft. location’s façade is covered in ceramic emerald tiles, while the interior— replete with Suitsupply’s signature aesthetic—brilliantly reflects the fun and vibrancy of Austin itself.
And then there are the clothes, a perfect blend of contemporary and classic. The full Suitsupply collection is on display: suits, jackets, trousers, shoes, shirts, outerwear and accessories—both made-to-measure and ready-to-wear, in styles and sizes to cater to any preference—all topped off with an in-store tailor for on-demand alterations; allowing everyone to leave with the perfect fit.
Suitsupply began in Europe in 2000. In an industry where fast fashion dominates and craftsmanship is fast disappearing, Suitsupply introduces a better option: one where no attention to detail or quality is ever spared. They have received widespread accolade from the likes of GQ, Esquire, and, perhaps most notably, a Wall Street Journal blind test that rated a $600 Suitsupply suit in a first-place tie with a $3,600 Armani.
Grand Opening Soiree.  Cheryl Conley Bemis of Fashionably Austin and Nish de Gruiter, Vice President of Suitsupply.  Photography courtesy of Gary Miller.

Grand Opening Soiree. Cheryl Conley Bemis of Fashionably Austin and Nish de Gruiter, Vice President of Suitsupply. Photography courtesy of Gary Miller.

Grand Opening Soiree.   Photography courtesy of Gary Miller.

Grand Opening Soiree. Photography courtesy of Gary Miller.

Grand Opening Soiree. Photography courtesy of Gary Miller.

Grand Opening Soiree. Photography courtesy of Gary Miller.

Grand Opening Soiree. Photography courtesy of Gary Miller.

With its first location in Austin, Suitsupply now has a home in America’s fastest growing city, at a vital intersection of commerce and culture where glittering towers and the industrial titans of Silicon Hill sit alongside the city’s foundational live music scene and laid-back, alternative vibe. The new Austin store will keep weird, all right. But now, backed by a white-hot scene of innovation and change—and maybe a good suit or two—it’s also ready to take its place on a global stage.

International Fashion Designer Brandon Maxwell Gives the Keynote Address at the Fashion Show & Luncheon Benefiting the Women’s Symphony League of Austin

Written by Michelle Washington, Fashion Editor for InFluential Magazine and Teen InFluential

There is no such thing as an ordinary Fashion Show & Luncheon when you put the collaborative efforts of the Women’s Symphony League of Austin (WSL) and Julian Gold together; all for a great cause. Fundraising and education are the heart and spirit of WSL. For sixty-three years, the WSL has dedicated its energy, talents, and volunteerism by providing service and financial support to the Austin Symphony Orchestra and its education programs. Julian Gold (celebrating seventy years of style) has maintained its reputation as “the one store with the best of everything”, featuring an extensive selection of today’s top fashions and designers from around the world. Julian Gold is a store of superior selections from head to toe.

This year, the WSL Fashion Show & Luncheon featured a professionally produced runway show from Webber Productions and Julian Gold. The runway was filled with elegant music and a breathtaking colorful array of luxury designer clothing; showing different occasions of casual, evening, and formal.

The guest were also treated to a delightful experience as Keynote Speaker Brandon Maxwell (Celebrity Stylist/Designer) addressed an audience of five-hundred fashion enthusiast about his life and work in the fashion industry. Brandon is a native Texan and a graduate of St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. Brandon has dressed numerous high profile women such as First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama. Also, Brandon has acted as the fashion director to Lady Gaga since 2012. Brandon founded his ready-to-wear label in 2015 in New York City. His growing success has lead him to three completed fashion seasons and almost fifty stores in the United States carrying his luxury label.

Brandon greeted the crowd with a charming since of humor and great pride in his Texas roots:

“Austin is my favorite city in the world. I lived in Austin at a time when there wasn’t really a lot of opportunity for me when I wanted to make dresses and take photos. It means a lot for me to be here today, because I always wanted to live in Austin and stay in Austin and have a career here. It’s really nice to be back in Texas, because I am very Texan through and through. I base a lot of my work off of my life in Texas. In my whole office, I have Texas flags. Texas has influenced a lot of my life even though I operate in a very non-Texas world. I am where I am today because of Texas women.”

Fashion is nothing without passion; from shaping a young fashion hopeful to be a success in the fashion industry to using fashion to aid a cause. This amazing collaboration of the WSL and Julian Gold has made us all proud to be a Texan.

Please visit these sites:
www.wslaustin.com
www.juliangold.com
www.brandonmaxwellstudio.com

 

 

Michelle Washington

 

 

Michelle Washington: Michelle is “the” Fashion Stylist with distinct skills and knowledge (6+ years of styling experience including TV/Film celebrities); a creative fashion force who has fun styling in studio and on location while doing serious work; being clever, resourceful, creative, and seeking out the hottest styles. Her work has been internationally published. Michelle caters to fashion industry and media clients needing an amazing vision and a unique look. [www.StylistMichelleWashington.com]

A Candid Conversation with Rebecca Minkoff

Written by Michelle Washington, Fashion Editor for InFluential Magazine and Teen InFluential

Thursday, September 22, Neiman Marcus (Domain in Austin, TX) hosted a long awaited “sign & shop” event with Rebecca Minkoff; an industry leader in casual luxury handbags, accessories, shoes, and apparel. Rebecca Minkoff’s playful and subtly edgy designs can be spotted on women everywhere from downtown to uptown, in the US and abroad. Success is a family trademark as Rebecca runs her multi-million dollar company with her brother Uri Minkoff (CEO).

People often ask “were they nice?” anytime I meet a celebrity. The answer is “yes”. I had the pleasure of speaking with the bag-goddess herself while she was preparing for the event; I was received so warmly.

Rebecca graciously took time out of her hectic schedule to chat with me for a brief Q&A:

Michelle Washington: When you moved from San Diego to New York, how old were you and how did that make you feel?

Rebecca Minkoff: That was scary. I was 18 and it was beyond scary. After moving, I had three years of living in New York, finding my way, finding my group of friends, and getting settled in a job.

MW: In 2005, you took a stab at designing handbags and the “Morning After Bag” was born (designed for friend Jenna Elfman, actress of “Dharma & Greg”), to great success. How were you feeling at this early stage of your career? Is the MAB still one of your favorite bags?

Rebecca Minkoff: I felt like thank God! I was working very hard for 4 years feeling like I was swimming upstream. To finally get a breakthrough on something and have the consumer embrace it and the media love it was exciting, the feeling that all my hard work paid off. The bag still has a huge place in my heart and I’m starting to get a lot of request to bring it back.

MW: Are all of your handbags still produced in the USA; constructed in all Italian leather?

Rebecca Minkoff: About ten percent is still made in New York, the rest is overseas. We still use some Italian leather, but we have really great sourcing where we can get leather goods from around the world. At the end of the day, quality is and also affordability to my customer.

MW: Does it remain your goal to become a complete lifestyle brand for the fashion-forward female?

Rebecca Minkoff: My focus for the brand now is there are significant moments in a woman’s life; a lot of important experiences that a woman goes through (the first day on the job, the first time she quits, the first time she ask for a raise…etc.). We are the brand that you when you want to be more fearless in your choices and take the road not taken.

MW: Do you believe your customer has grown with your product?

Rebecca Minkoff: For sure, the fact that I have an open and honest dialogue with our consumer since the beginning. A constant back and-forth dialogue especially through all areas of social media. We are continuing to expand internationally which is no small feat!

Whether you’re a New Yorker, a New Yorker at heart, or a fierce Fashionista…think fondly of your life moments when you see the Rebecca Minkoff label, because she is always thinking of you.

Shop Rebecca Minkoff: www.rebeccaminkoff.com

 

 

Michelle Washington

 

 

 

 

Michelle Washington: Michelle is “the” Fashion Stylist with distinct skills and knowledge (6+ years of styling experience including TV/Film celebrities); a creative fashion force who has fun styling in studio and on location while doing serious work; being clever, resourceful, creative, and seeking out the hottest styles. Her work has been internationally published. Michelle caters to fashion industry and media clients needing an amazing vision and a unique look. [www.StylistMichelleWashington.com]

It’s Gala Season. So What Do I Wear?

Written by Michelle Washington, Fashion Editor for InFluential Magazine and Teen InFluential

A gala is an evening of glitz and glamour and gives a woman every reason to feel like a queen for the night. Whether it’s your first gala or your twentieth, there will always be the concern of how to dress.

Most properly written invitations will state whether it is a formal or semi-formal event, which is a useful guide in selecting your look for the evening. The most important factor is you feel good in what you are wearing and are comfortable enough to stand, walk, sit, and socialize.

Here’s an elegant look I curated which is sure to contribute to you looking great, while being comfortable all evening.

Curated by Michelle Washington, Fashion Editor for InFluential Magazine and Teen InFluential

Curated by Michelle Washington, Fashion Editor for InFluential Magazine and Teen InFluential

Here are the details . . . . .

That Red Dress:
Saks 5th Ave: David Meister Draped One-shoulder Belted Gown: Sleek silvertone belt cinches artfully draped gown. One-shoulder neckline. Cap sleeve. Silvertone belt at waist. Concealed side zip closure.

The Silver Clutch:
Tall Slender Rectangular Crystal Silver Judith Leiber Couture Evening Clutch. Encrusted in octagonal Austrian crystals and trimmed in pave crystals. Tall, slender rectangular hard-shell body. Embellished push-lock clasp at top. Lambskin lining.

Those Shoes:
Women’s Giuseppe Zanotti “Cruel” Wing Sandal. A scene-stealing Italian sandal that references the Giuseppe Zanotti Firewings silhouette is crowned with a dramatic crescendo of polished silvertone flames and lifted by a sky-high stiletto heel.

Finish this elegant look with select jewelry from Neiman Marcus.