I have always been a big advocate of empowering women through sport and it's awesome to see this same support trending in the apparel industry as of late. Nike being one of the most noteable brands in my humble opinion. For those of you who knew me way back in my high school years, I started my own apparel company called "Girls Rip Too." At the age of 18, I was super in to graphic design and competitive terrain park skiing and obviously thought I knew everything. I bought blank tees, hoodies, and hats from local suppliers, drew the graphics I wanted on them, and had them screen printed and embroidered locally. My first media attention with my brand was on a ski forum where I was literally torn limb from limb by a bunch of tweens in the comment section about my choice of company name, "Girls Rip Too." I got everything from "Girls Fart Too" to "Girls Rip Their Pants too" and on and on as you can imagine. Now I know how Justin Bieber feels. So much hate! I ended up changing the name of my brand because I grew up a little and realized it wasn't so marketable. I eventually let my company die a few years later because I had landed a full time position designing lingerie, and the conflict of interest was not appreciated. The brand may have fizzled out but my affinity for recognizing women in sports has not.
Females can be just as in to sports as men, infact I know some ladies that could rattle off stats faster then some men can say their own name, and win their fantasy leagues just as easy as any man could. Just because we are female, doesn't mean our fanwear and athletic representation has to be all pink and sparkly all the time, but it's nice to rep some femininity.
I have been working as an apparel designer in the sports licensing industry for 3 years now. I am responsible for designing and developing Old Time Sport's branded women's line, as well as our line of knit hats for men, women, and children. Each year as we try to integrate the color pink into the women's line, it either gets dropped down to the youth line, or gets dropped from the line altogether because we base a percentage of our designing and development decisions off of previous years sales. We rolled out an allover baby pink hoodie for women a few years ago and it completely tanked. When it's too pink, it doesn't sell. For 2016, we dropped the only pink colored active top we had down to youth girls because it looked too young for our women's line. When it's the wrong color, it looks too junior. We were stuck in the middle of wanting to use pink, and needing it to be the right shade of pink in order to appeal to our female consumer. While working on 2017 development (we develop a year in advance) I fell in love (along with the rest of the fashion world) with the current blush trend splashing the runways this Spring. Like, give me all blush everything is basically what i'm saying. Disclaimer: I only bought shoes, a scarf, a hat, and a purse in blush. That's it though I swear.
Personal retail therapy gives me visions, so I got right to sourcing some perforated pleather in a gorgeous blush color and some other blushy sweater knits and space dye fleeces from our suppliers. When my swatches came in: instant blush crush. I mean, I doubt I was the only one dying over it. As long as the women's pieces are designed to be athletic looking, with just a touch of blush detail (perforated pleather details?), the ultimate mesh of athleticism and femininity that I and our consumer have been looking for can be achieved. Will blush crush? Only time will tell. I've come a long way from my Girls Rip Too days, and people still make fart jokes to me about it, but that's totally fine because I clearly made a lasting impact. Kind of like shoulder pads.
It is the end of December and the other night I went for a run in capri pants and a tank top. I'm not sure what was more disturbing, the fact that it was warm enough to wear capri pants in December in Boston, or the fact that I could feel the hair on my ankle where I missed a spot shaving blowing in the wind. Either way, in light of the atmospheric trend of warmth currently sweeping the East Coast, I thought I would share my most favorite and appropriate accessory for the Global Warming trend : A Snood. A Snood is like a tube or infinity scarf but sits a little higher on your neck, goes over your shoulders, comes down as a cowl, and can double as a hood. Snoods come in all fabrications and shapes, but in light of the fringe trend, I knew I needed this particular one from American Eagle.The reason its my numero uno accessory for this wack weather is because I can wear a tank top (in December) with my snood and still feel like i'm dressing for "winter" but not be too hot since it's a light weight knit. Also, it goes with just about everything. The snood first caught my eye a few months ago and I told myself, it is not cold, I don't need one yet, I have like 7 billion scarves. I eventually gave in on Black Friday and decided that my future needs included one in every hue. The color that ultimately stole my heart is sold as 'Teal', but it's more of a dark navy with a hint of green, none the less, goes with everything. My coworker bought a charcoal one while we were trend shopping because let's be serious, what apparel professional doesn't end up buying themselves something while on a company trend shop trip? Guilty. Anyway, we both showed up one day to meetings unbeknownst wearing our snoods. She sported hers over a blazer and I wore mine with a boxy drop tail tunic. We looked so versatile and amazing in them, that no one even noticed we were wearing the same thing.
Like seriously, be cuter snood. And just to give you a little background on the history of the snood, they date back as far as the Middle Ages and were originally used to keep women's hair in place and back. Kind of like a hairnet, but now evolved. Snoods became popular again in Europe during World War II when the British government placed strict rations on the amount of material that could be used for making clothing. Since headscarves were not rationed, snoods became popular again and were worn to show a commitment to the war effort. Fashion always makes it's way back around and it's equally important to look back on fashion as it is to look forward. It's like the circle of life, but prettier. Basically i'm just waiting for parachute pants to be on the shelves again. So on that note, excuse me while I hibernate in my snood to avoid the snowsleetrain situation in Boston right now. #snoodlife
In light of Veterans Day, I felt inspired to talk about what it means to be successful and what it means to be a military significant other, which is a role I have been living since the day I met and fell in love with my Matthew. Matt and I recently relocated back to the East Coast from living the California Dream in March of 2015. At his current station, his boat deploys six plus months out of the year. During those six months, our communication is limited to spotty emails and if i'm the luckiest, a phone call once a month. I told him, I can handle this. I have a career in the fashion industry that I love. I have worked very hard over the past 8 years to get where I am and when he is gone, I am usually able to focus all energy into my job and separate the emotions that come along with the absence, loneliness, planning our wedding alone, and above all, missing his presence. One weekend over the Summer, I had zero plans so as if I didn't have enough alone time, I decided to take all my Glamour and InStyle magazines that were collecting dust (because Matt came home for a few weeks) to the beach, sit, sip wine, and get real with myself. I opened the first Glamour magazine that had Anna Kendrick on the front - love that girl- and went straight for the Editors note because it's always the most inspiring to me. Of course, it spoke to me like the best aged wine ever would. "Success is sometimes measured in how you make the people around you feel." I quite literally burst into tears alone at the beach with a Glamour mag and a glass of wine - picture that wouldya? It hit me; that if I am feeling SO lonely and SO miserable when my significant other is gone, I must be unsuccessful. I have suddenly gone from being independent and happy and loving my career to feeling like I was becoming this dependent, needy woman who can't be happy without her man. We're going to move a lot, so what am I going to do? I won't always work for a company that lets me pick up and go. I'm a designer, how am I supposed to feel inspired all the time when my inspiration is gone? Who am I now, how did I become her,and how am I going to pull myself out of this feeling? I ended up packing up my things and going home, thinking that a run would clear my head since it usually does. I started with the intention of doing my normal 3.1 mile loop through downtown Portsmouth but somewhere in there, my music and my thoughts got to me. I started crying while I was trying to keep pace, and I swear it was like the Forrest Gump scene, except a little bit prettier I hope. I literally felt so lost without Matt that I couldn't keep it together even while I was doing the things I loved. Running always makes me feel better, for me it's a stress reliever and it clears my head instantly. This time was different. I was crying so ugly that I ran straight through downtown to the beach and stopped only a split second to dump my iPhone and bright pink, oversized SkullCandy headphones in the sand and jumped in the ocean in all my clothes, socks, and running shoes. I needed it. I needed that clarity to get my head in the right place. And let's be serious, I could have jumped in the water while I was at the beach earlier- when I was in proper beach attire, but I am never one to follow rules. It was in that moment of despair and slight embarrassment from onlookers that I realized something as I walked out of the water fully clothed and soaking wet. Matt is who motivates me, Matt is who pushes me to be the best I can be, Matt is who inspires me. "Success is sometimes measured in how you make the people around you feel." Matt makes me feel wonderful. Matt suffers too when he's deployed. He's on a steel boat unable to see land for the better part of the year, he's saving lives, performing drug interdictions, stopping illegal immigrants, and staying up until all hours of the night to ensure that our Nation is protected from Land to Sea. Matt feels alone too and separated from me and our life and our dog. Matt comes home and doesn't feel comfortable in our own home because he's been gone so long. We both have different emotions when he deploys but they end up being the same. We've been separated for almost half our relationship and there are times like I just described where I go nuts. And then there are the times when I write Matt emails 5 times a day that are all inclusive - like dude, guess what I ate today- shameful. And I write him letters as if they are written by our dog, Nyia. I send him photos and created a Vine account so he doesn't miss every. thing. He takes all of the time he can spare and puts it towards writing me something that makes me laugh, or when he has enough internet access, sends me a dozen roses at work or orders me slippers and a throw for our couch when the seasons changed to not-so-California-like weather. So, what I am getting at is, if success is measured in how you make the people around you feel, than we are a successful couple, both personally and professionally. I couldn't be more proud of Matt for his time in the Marine Corp, the 2 tours he served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and his current active duty status. He always goes above and beyond to help others, and always finds time to make me feel like I am not alone and like I can achieve anything. He is my most favorite Veteran, and I will be just fine as long as I have him by my side (figuratively and literally). When you think about Veterans Day going forward, think about what you're really thanking your Veterans for.
The Bible of the fashion industry clearly states: "Don't wear white after Labor Day." But, I feel that statement is very much a thing of the past - and it should stay there. Labor Day is literally around the corner and excuse me for being a bride-to-be and wanting to tote around wearing everything white (and also with a glass of champagne in my hand) basically everyday. I refuse to feel that as my Summer comes to a close that I have to quit wearing one of the most elegant and versatile colors- take it off for what? Also, my wedding is in March so, let me live. One of my best friends just got engaged last weekend and i'm sure she feels the same way, let us revel in all of our white!
There is no doubt about white being a "beachy" color but you can pull it off easily all year round without looking like you just had your toes in the sand. Add pops of color, throw on a plaid or any patterned scarf, or heavy jewelry. Easy. I don't want to see white as an off season color anymore, i'd rather it be on..and on. Also I just want to point out that it is OK to drink white wine after Labor Day.
Here are a few of my favorite white looks that are appropriate for all seasons.
The only appropriate time you will ever hear me say (or blog), "don't wear white..." is if you're trying to plan your attire to attend my wedding.
Oh boy, It's been a while. From the time of my last post until now, I have moved across the country form California to New England, got engaged, moved into a new house, started a new position at my job, and then my fiance deployed. If that doesn't overwhelm you enough, I will be posting about how Hawaiian prints have now consumed my life, and I literally couldn't be more happy about it. I am really fortunate to have a job that allows me to be able to play with fun prints and colors all day to keep my mind busy and constantly progressing. Isn't that everyone's goal in life? I'm back and ready to blog about everything and anything so stay tuned.
Swimwear: you can never have just one piece. This is the cardinal rule for men and women across America if you really want to hear my opinion about it. A few years ago I had an opportunity to work with a brand out of Las Vegas designing and developing a small line of clothing for them. Luckily for me, the line quickly grew into an additional need for a full line of swimwear for 2015. I can still remember the day I got the email and i'm pretty sure I cried. I have always had a sweet spot in my creative mind for swimwear design but never had the opportunity to work on it. I had big dreams to return to South Sea Island in Fiji (where I spent time on my way back to the states from living abroad in Australia) have my own bikini line, and basically die of happiness amidst palm trees. Snapping back to reality, this opportunity out of Vegas seemed like the beginning of my dream actually coming true. I still feel that way even though we're only in fit sample stage. I am not not crazy. I have to remain mum on details because there is a reality show and other marketing deals tied to the line of swimwear that I cannot repeat in a public space until the ink is dry. Sorry ya'll. I can however, take you through my abbreviated emotional journey into designing my very first line of swimwear.
My client wanted everything to be USA made which I really dig but it also limits you as far as fabric availability and price. Luckily, my homies over at Sportek in L.A. saved my life and sent me 800 swatch cards, ultimately drowning me in a sea of nylon/spandex blends. It wasn't easy to pick which weight and content I should use for the bodies I wanted to create-what if it didn't work? Like most women in America, I found myself searching for answers in the swimwear section at Target. Naturally. I touched a lot of bikinis, bought samples for fit and spec reference, and swam back through my sea of fabric to find the perfect match. What seemed like a lot of confused faces from my boyfriend later, I had laid out my fabric choices, print selections, and my design concepts and was ready to figure out where I was getting these babies sampled. Because my timing was really great, it was just before the international Swim Show in Miami and everyone in bikini world was scrambling to get samples and production done, and every supplier I contacted was booked solid. I finally found a light at the end of the tunnel from a great husband and wife owned factory in L.A…YES they could sample my designs in less than a 3 month time block. Victory! Also, I was really pumped to have all my suppliers in one area…it makes "Made in USA" a lot easier. I received our first round of fit samples yesterday and so far i'm pretty sure no one on this Earth knows what it means to me. It may be small, and who know where it will go but as I mentioned earlier, you can never just have one piece, in fact, I want it all.
Sneak peak of the #monokini
I just really feel like i've made it as a Designer when my name is on a hang tag.
I have really, really talented friends. One of my best blondies is particularly creatively gifted and is a fellow freelancer just like myself. She puts everything you are thinking in your head, but maybe don't say out loud, on adorable stationary cards. She has an Etsy store which you can peep here:
My favorite design she has right now comes straight from Biggie and speaks to every Champagne connoisseur's heart. So basically it speaks to everyone. Her store is chic, adorable, and makes me want to write everyone I know quick hello - Facebook pokes don't have shit on these babies. You can follow her Instagram at @heather_lindberg and see her full portfolio at www.heatherlindberg.com.
For the past few weeks i've been putting together a storyboard and designs for about 50 Sku's of knit hats - something i've never really developed before, and my deadline is fast approaching. I flew back to Boston in November where I was assigned this task, and stayed with my parents for a few nights. My mom knocked on my bedroom door at 5:30 am and climbed in bed with me with her coffee like I was a child and asked me, "How do you design that many different knits? How do you make them all different?" First of all, Mom, why? Whenever I stay at my parents house, they have this weird need to be in my personal space and it's usually at the oddest hours…something I can only describe as empty nest syndrome I guess. I'm not sure why my job was the first thing on my mom's mind that morning, but oddly enough the same question was on my mine. Yarn can be very intimidating but with some solid trend shopping and research, I have since surpassed my anxiety and am going where my creative brain takes me, hoping the masses will jump on board with me. I like to incorporate details and trends that I am currently obsessed with into my knit designs and roll with it. Fur: obsessed right now. Obsessed always really. Fur is timeless, it's classic, and I don't think it will ever fade. Just like Lil' Wayne. I am also really digging nudes and neutrals right now, with a pop of bright contrast. I found this oatmeal knit with an oversized (fake) rabbit fur pom and died. Immediately. My vision for 2016 knit headwear (since we design a year ahead) will be fur filled and i'm ready to own it.
Sometimes neutral knits can wash a sister out…so that's why I paired it with a gold necklace to add some bling and bright red Revlon Colorbust lip balm (has a minty scent to it which is a home run #amiright). Nails are hanging neutral with Sally Hansen's Earl Gray shade because I don't want to distract from the rabbit on my head.
Let's revisit the oversized pom for a minute- I got into my car last night with this hat on, and my head touches the roof. Go big or go home. Fur real.
Hi. I am self admittedly creating this blog for several reasons that mostly apply to the ones I love. Number One: My family can't keep track of me. I have lived in 5 states and 2 countries in my 29 years of life and am constantly doing something new. Also, my boyfriend is in the Military so we have moved twice in the last 8 months. My poor Grandmother thinks she has alzheimer's because she can't remember where I am every time I talk to her, but i'm like, it's not you. It's me. Number 2: Because I would like to spare my boyfriend of my explosion of ideas and seemingly pinnacle thoughts as soon as he walks in the door from work. I currently work out of our home in the San Francisco Bay area and apart from phone calls from my coworkers and clients, my only interaction with a living thing for 8 plus hours a day is my dog, Nyia. Unless I go wander around Target purely for human contact, which I am known to do from time to time. Number 3: I have 7 years of experience in the Fashion Industry, working with brands such as Victoria's Secret, Frederick's of Hollywood, various activewear and accessory brands, the U.S. Military, and the NHL. I have behind the scenes experiences that most people would either be completely horrified at, or just jealous of. But- it's my life and I just really feel like I should share what goes on in my world, because it's always crazy, always changing, and always an adventure. So here I am, blogger of all things life and trend worthy. You're welcome.
Designer. Writer. Provoker…of all things life and trend worthy.