#MANday: Belizean-American Designer Jonathan Justin Smith of Jonathan Justin Handbags Chats Working With Janice Dickinson, & Following Your Dreams

Jonathan Justin posed with Janice Dickinson. Bags L- R: Aaron Clutch, Ricardo Duffel, Elinna Togo Satchel

Here at A Life In The Day of Andrea, I have made it a constant mission of mine to showcase and uplift people, entrepreneurs, and businesses that I care deeply about, or believe are doing innovative work. As a lover of all things beautiful and handmade, I am drawn to great design of all sorts and types. Having worked in the handbag industry for many years, I realized that what excited me the most about the process was not only the end product, but the story behind the designer and what bright idea led to the beautiful bag you carry each day.

For this feature, I interview an emerging handbag designer out of Los Angeles named Jonathan Justin Smith of Jonathan Justin Handbags. A fellow Belizean-American and lost cousin (truly, not for fake), I believed it was imperative for him to tell his story in his own words via my platform. Read on below!


What inspired you to design handbags, and when did you know that you wanted to pursue it full-time?

Well to start off, I was about 18 or 19 years old, I always looked up to two people, Princess Diana and Audrey Hepburn. There is a certain class about both ladies that’s timeless. I used to work in the handbag industry as a sales representative, my first job was at TUMI Designer Luggage. I was going to Santa Monica College studying Business Administration, and I knew that I wanted to start my own business, but I just didn’t know what I wanted to do. Working for TUMI Designer Luggage I never cared to have a bag. I’m a luxury guy, I like nice things, but I would never look to handbags for anything. While there I  grew an interest for handbags, and what TUMI taught me is functionality, and that’s what I loved about them. Every piece of theirs is so dynamic in functionality; women have a place just for their watch in their handbags, and I really enjoyed that idea and the quality was out of this world.

After that I worked for Coach Leatherwear. Coach taught me about leather and the quality of it too; I think Coach is known for their leathers. So it was like, let me just take what I learned from these companies I worked for and make a sample. I had my first sample made, the JJ Blue, and it was pretty high-end; Saffiano blue leather outside with this red interior, it was really nice, and I didn’t think it would go anywhere. I thought I was in over my head a little bit because of the concept the there is a Hermes, and there is a Prada, you’re not the first to come out, and it is obviously daunting, but I guess God puts things in the right place at the right time. I had a friend that was a fashionista in the Pasadena area that is known for her style. I told her about the bag and she was like, ok let me see it. So I showed it to her and she was like, “Get the out of here, this (bag) is pretty dope!” She decided to take it and wear it for a week, and now I’m here. With Princess Diana and Audrey Hepburn in mind, it definitely inspired my go-getter attitude at the time and my fearlessness, and also in my design, that luminous aspect I was talking about recently.

Elinna Togo Satchel & Elinna Togo Wallet

What is the inspiration behind your bags, and why they have the names that they do?

I never just look at Louis Vuitton like “Oh that nice bag, let me copy that and make it Jonathan Justin”, that’s never the case. I always seem to have somebody in my life at that time that’s like, “Omg I love your handbags! What do you think of doing an orange (lining) in a handbag?” I am usually that person that says ‘let’s do it!’ if I am feeling it. So Aaron, for example, he is one of my good friends and was my artistic director for some of my shoots, he was like, “what do you think of some orange in a bag?” and I’m like, ok, cool, and made it. It’s a blue clutch with orange (lining) on the inside and it’s named the Aaron Clutch. It’s awesome when it has a name or meaning like that because I can go back and think, “yea that’s the guy that told me to put orange in there.” He helped make that and I feel good about it.

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Event Re-Cap: The Oxford Suite Presented by Hutch by Design & AMBM


On the evening of Thursday, January 29th Hutch by Design and AMBM (A Million Black Men) launched their first luxury men’s event entitled “The Oxford Suite”. The focus was men’s grooming, leisure, and dressing, featuring tables by Harlem Haberdashery, Frederick Benjamin Grooming, Yelp, Q Cigars, and beverages by Heineken.


Attendees were treated to complimentary hair cuts (seen above), hand-rolled cigars by Q Cigars, photo booth by Yelp, bow-tie demonstration & custom-suiting chats by Harlem Haberdashery.

Sounds of the evening were provided by none other than DJ Olivia Dope.


The unique event was an open space for millennial Black males to experience luxury brands one-on-one through music, demonstrations, flowing beverages, and unique giveaways. A lovely evening indeed!

*Photos by Andrea K. Castillo

The AW14 Menswear Shows Are Landing in NYC and We Will Be On-Site at AGENDA, Capsule & Liberty Fairs

Hey boy, heyyyy! So you’re into menswear, huh? And you like to be a bit ahead of the curve, yes? Well keep your eyes glued to A Life In The Day of Andrea this week as we will be on-site covering and recapping some of the hottest menswear shows in NYC; AGENDACapsule, and Liberty Fairs.

For Autumn/Winter 2014, we are on the lookout for rugged backpacks and watches, versatile denim and shirting, and jackets. We will be reporting back here and on We Are The Market, the Capsule Show blog. Keep it here!

#MANday Exclusive: Reggie Milligan of Mantry Talks Food & Start-Ups, And Why You Should Get Hip To “The Modern Man’s Pantry”


MANday is back and we have a special feature interview for you guys! I had the opportunity to speak with Reggie Milligan, co-founder of food start-up Mantry, affectionately named after a play on words of the modern man’s pantry. They search for the best artisan and small-batch foods around the country, and deliver you the goods every month.

Their latest project is a special box catered towards cocktails, specifically high-quality cocktail mixers. Read on below to get the lowdown, and how you can get involved!

What is your personal experience with food and drink?

I grew up working in restaurants from the age of fourteen, specifically fine dining. I started working when I was fifteen years old, at a restaurant that was called Lumiere, and I actually apprenticed at the ages of seventeen and eighteen down at The French Laundry which is out in Napa (that’s a three Michelin star spot). I was really much the driven guy that was super-interested in owning the next best restaurant by a really young age. So I was really deep into fine dining between the ages of fourteen and twenty, and learned from chopping onions in a back hallway to apprenticing in kitchens and bumping around. I was always very passionate about food; I was a part of that generation that might have been plunked out in front of The Food Network, and absorbed a ridiculous amount. I remember growing up watching Emeril and stuff for hours on end back when The Food Network was based on teaching, opposed to building sugar castles and running around chasing food trucks, or whatever they do now [laughs]. In short, the same way a young boy would get interested in sports, I was always drawn to cooking.

How did the idea for Mantry come about, and why did you decide to make it a subscription-box service?

I actually ended up going to university and doing business school, and once I left fine dining kitchens around twenty, I burnt out a little bit. But back at school, just living the college lifestyle and doing a business degree, I kind of saw how people cooked and would eat at home more, especially living with a bunch of guys, and that’s where the seed for the concept kind of started in a sense. I was just thinking, ‘is there a resource for food that really speaks to guys as much?‘. There’s the GQs and the Details, and that sort of thing, they write the very rare food article, so that’s what planted the seed. Ultimately didn’t know if we wanted to do a men’s food magazine fully, as opposed to just product. Those magazines write about “top sauce to try” and “five artisan makers around the country”, “four products that use bourbon”, and we just thought, let’s hedge our best, put this stuff in a box and send it to guys blind and hopefully they’ll dig it, cuz they can’t read about it when it’s right in front of them.

Mantry came out of just trying to find a cool resource that was tailored to guys. We have lots of female subscribers, most of our subscribers are couples who just like getting six cool products to accessorize their shopping at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods or whatever throughout the week. The true concept to why we wanted a subscription was just cuz we wanted to take people on more of a journey. We focus on American small-batch makers, but there are so many stories to tell. Maybe a box would be just focused on different Mexican-inspired foods made throughout the U.S., or different people making Thai foods throughout the U.S.; we did a box called Thai Game which was kind of game-night feature, wings recipes and nachos recipes, and that type of thing, but using different makers that had Thai influence around the country. There was this amazing Thai chili sauce from Virginia of all places, there was Thai basil pickled jalapeños from Washington, from a maker up there called Gordy’s, this supercool Thai curry coconut peanuts that this person was making down in Texas…so we’ve done boxes like that, or we’ve done boxes like “Six Amazing Makers From Georgia” and trying to tell a little bit of a story of food culture in Georgia, we included an amazing small-batch grits from down there with a shrimp & grits recipe, there’s an olive oil company that’s the first olive oil farm east of the Mississippi in 100 years, so there’s so many stories to tell around the U.S.

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Jameson Black Barrel Celebrates Movember With Delicious, Moustache-Themed Cocktails

We are currently in the midst of November, a month that has been nicknamed Movember, a time where all men are encouraged to grow mustaches to raise awareness for men’s health initiatives. Being the official sponsor of Movember, Jameson Black Barrel ushered in the month of awareness with a special cocktail event in NYC, with mustache-themed cocktails for all guests to enjoy.

I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite recipes for you to enjoy this Movember using Jameson Black Barrel. Illustrations and full recipes below!

The Painter’s Brush Moustache [Tipperary cocktail]

–        1.5 parts Jameson Black Barrel

–        0.5 part sweet vermouth

–        0.75 part green chartreuse

–        2 dashes angostura bitters

Combine ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice and stire until ice cold. Strain into a pre-chilled cocktail glass and finish with orange oils.


The Handlebar Moustache [Old Fashioned cocktail]

–        2 parts Jameson Black Barrel

–        0.75 part Benedictine

–        2 dashes angostura bitters

–        2 dashes orange bitters

Combine ingredient into a mixing glass, add ice and stir into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with an orange slice.


The Horseshoe Moustache [Whiskey Buck cocktail]

–        2 parts Jameson Black Barrel

–        0.75 part fresh lime juice

–        0.75 part ginger syrup

–        2-3 dashes angostura bitters

Combine ingredients into a shaker, add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into an ice-filled highball glass/ Fill the balance with ginger ale or soda water. Garnish with a lime.


The Pencil Moustache [Irish Maid cocktail]

–        2 parts Jameson Black Barrel

–        0.5 part Elderflower liqueur

–        0.75 part fresh lemon juice

–        0.75 part sugar syrup

–        2 cucumber chunks

Muddle cucumber and combine ingredients into a shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Fine-strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a cucumber slice.

To see the full offering of Jameson Black Barrel Movember cocktails, check out the video below.

#MANday Feature: An Ode To The Shawl-Collar Cardigan, & Why You Should Wear It This Season


Hey guys! Now that November is upon us and the weather is a bit more brisk, I felt it was time for me come forth with some style ideas for the men. Fall is a wonderful time to mix up your wardrobe as the chilly temperatures allow you more leeway in regards to textures, color, and layering. I’m a huge fan of chunky-knit sweaters on gentleman, and one of my most favorite, that I believe every man should at least own one of, is the shawl collar cardigan.

Photo via Google

When a simple v-neck cardigan doesn’t give that “oomph” to your outfit, and a fitted blazer is too formal, the shawl collar cardigan is the perfect bridge garment. Worn with an oxford shirt and tie underneath, the shawl collar cardigan is perfect for work, and worn with a tee-shirt underneath it is perfect for weekend activities. Hell, you can even wear a solid tank or muscle tee underneath, whilst maintaining a polished, but not-too-prim look.

Below I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite sweaters on the inter-webs from a few of my favorite American designers and brands that appeal to both tame and eccentric personal styles, as well as varied budgets.


For the man who wants a wardrobe staple that will never go out of style, let me lead you to Billy Reid’s wool/cashmere blend cardigan in navy. The classic color can pair with jeans, slacks, and chinos, and the fiber blend with keep you warm throughout the blustering weather.

 Billy Reid: Shawl Collar Cardigan in Navy, Price: $395


Reminiscent of rugby shirts and overall Ivy-League collegiate style, this colorblock cardigan offering gives a bit of color while staying subdued. The collaboration between Oregon-based knitting company Dehen and J. Crew is one we hope to see more of in coming seasons.

Dehen for J. Crew: Shawl-Collar Cardigan in Black Colorblock Wool, Price: $395


For the man about town that is worried that a shawl-collar cardigan would make him look like a “grandpa”, we have a cool, yet sophisticated offering from John Varvatos. The “Black Velvet” color, which has a black/charcoal distressed look has a slim body for the sleekest silhouette on the list. No grandpa comparison here.

John Varvatos: Shawl Collar Cableknit Cardigan, Price $278


So you have a penchant for color, Americana, and a HUGE budget? POLO Ralph Lauren pulls out all the stops in this bold Navajo-print, double-breasted stunner. Definitely for the fashionably-fearless, this conversation piece takes a very specific kind of man to pull off the look. Is it you?

POLO Ralph Lauren: Double-Breasted Shawl Cardigan, $995 

Stay warm this season, and be on the lookout for more on MANday! That’s Monday, for the men 🙂

#MANday Exclusive: .Bk Founder Teghvir Sethi Talks The Evolution of Menswear, Production, and Being Brooklyn-Based

.Bk founder Teghvir Sethi [left] and guest at the #InventorsGarage launch event

As a lady who loves menswear, I’m constantly on the lookout for brands and designers that are fresh and cutting edge, not only for my male readers, but for the ladies that love to rock menswear themselves. About a month or so ago I was introduced to .Bk  [said “Dot BK”] by the lovely women at Janine Just Inc. The Brooklyn-based brand designs and produces limited-edition mens shirting in a cool palette and size range, fitting for both sexes.

I loved the concept, and wanted to learn more about the brand and the man behind it, Teghivir Sethi. Read on for the full story on .Bk, and what we can expect from the brand in the future!


Tell us the story behind .Bk.
In September 2012, I was commuting from Bed-Stuy to Midtown & running the menswear division of my father’s small independent brand. Back in the 70s, a production run fit in the back of my father’s Dodge Colt — he’d drive around the Midwest selling to boutiques & regional chains. Where there were once thousands of local boutiques, there are now a handful of mass-retailers dominating the globe.

Generally, online retailers are out to solve a simple problem for customers. Generally, the benefit breaks down to a value proposition (low overhead –> low prices) or convenience (let us choose for you). These retailers claim to “reinvent” fashion (echo:”Silicon Valley”) when they’re simply repackaging mass fashion through the tools of online retail. It’s business as usual for everyone except the customer.

I started .Bk to solve a complex problem for designers & customers alike: scale. We produce clothing at a run of a 100. At a better price than mass-produced “designer” clothing. Why is this different from a typical online retail value proposition?

Aside from saving our customers money, “cutting out the middleman” allows us to operate at a revolutionary scale: limited edition design, artisan-scale production & in-disposable clothing. We’re out to turn back the clock on mass production, mass retail & mass appeal.

A selection of .Bk shirts from the #InventorsGarage launch event


We love that you feature women in your shirts on the website? Will you be doing women’s pieces soon?
It’s one of the many things we do differently when it comes to our branding. We’re not out to sell machismo, or any traditional sense of a men’s brand. We design for individuals. The women & men featured on our site have all founded something unique & different.

With that said, we design to our strengths. So, no womenswear soon. Women’s fits & sizing on menswear? It may be in the works.
What lifestyle does the Dot BK consumer uphold?
Our customer doesn’t want to be told what to wear, or who to buy a basic tee from. They want to know more about the clothes that they’re wearing: who made it, and what inspired its design. And, they’re constantly evolving their own personal style.

Why did you decide to have your business headquartered in Brooklyn?
Our designs are inspired by 21st century subcultures. And, Brooklyn’s got the highest population of “live your own, unique way” kind of people. If it was anywhere else, we’d run out of material after two collections.
What can we expect in the future on the business-end for Dot BK?
This isn’t your typical scale-able startup. Regardless of demand, we won’t be increasing our quantities (60-100 per shirt) any time soon. Right now, we’re focused on expanding the lifestyle collections: look forward to items beyond button-down shirts. And, the Dossier (our spy journal on subcultures, written by the best writers & photographers in Brooklyn & Austin) will be launching in the next week!

It was a pleasure speaking with Teghvir Sethi of .Bk. Stay on the look out for more #MANday features!

*Photos courtesy of Janine Just Inc.

#MANday Feature: Father’s Day Gifts For The Budget-Conscious Feat. Cultivate Wines, HIT E-Cigars, & British Sterling Colognes

On June 15, 2014, we celebrate Father’s Day. Known as the day to give thanks and commemorate the fathers in our lives, folks often give elaborate gifts and experiences. But what about those that are a bit strapped for cash? We’ve rounded up a few affordable gifts that Dad is sure to appreciate. As  a note, all gifts on this list are under $25, so let’s get to it!


“The Gambler” Malbec 2011 by Cultivate Wines

A bottle of wine is always a nice treat for Dad. Cultivate Wines offers up a bold Malbec in “The Gambler”. The 90% Malbec, 10% Bonarda blend has a deep red color with a purple center, with a nose of olives, leather, strawberry. “The Gambler” can be purchased directly from the Cultivate Wines website.

Cost. $14.99

HIT Bold & Mild E-Cigars

Cigars, through the years, have been paired with men of a certain stature, encompassing the must lusted after leisure life. With varieties of Cuban cigars costing approximately $20 each, where is the alternative for those who want to treat Dad, but are strapped for cash? Enter HIT E-Cigars, an electronic cigar that fulfills the cigar smoking experience in a vape. Offered in a Mild variety containing 16 mg of nicotine, and a Bold variety containing 24 mg of nicotine. HIT E-Cigars can be purchased directly from the company website.

Cost: $21.oo

British Sterling H.I.M. ‘Private Stock’ & ‘Reserve’ Colognes

When it comes to a gift for Dad, or any other man in your life, you can never go wrong with a fragrance. Heritage brand British Sterling has revamped their image, and has launched a new a collection of colognes called “H.I.M.”. The ‘Private Stock’ and ‘Reserve’ fragrances are served up in sleek silver packaging, that Dad will appreciate. Here is the lowdown on the scents:

  • British Sterling H.I.M. ‘Reserve’ — a provocative oriental blend of fresh citruses, bold spices and sensual woods
  • British Sterling H.I.M. ‘Private Stock’ — which showcases fresh citruses  combined with crisp woods, aromatic spices and rich undertones

British Sterling H.I.M. colognes can be purchased at Walmart, in-store, or online here.

Cost: $24.99

We hope you dig our suggestions, and we wish the fathers in your life a very Happy Father’s Day in advance!

GLCO x Boswell. An Eyewear Collaboration Made In The U.S.A.

A small selection of eyewear from GLCO x Boswell
A small selection of eyewear from GLCO x Boswell

It’s always fun when two of your faves in the fashion realm team up for a cool collabo. This is just the case with Garrett Leight California Optical, and Waraire Boswell. The native Californians teamed up for a limited-edition eyewear collaboration that includes both optical and sunglass styles in smart materials, that are all made right in the U.S.A.! Check out the video below to hear more about the collaboration from the men behind the brands.

The spec-tacular collection can be purchased here.

*Photo via WaraireBoswell.com

#MANday EXCLUSIVE: A Chat With Menswear Designer, Waraire Boswell. The Man Behind The Brand & His Style Gems For You!


If you are not yet familiar with the face, the name is one you will be sure to remember.

The man behind the brand, Waraire Boswell.
The man behind the brand, Waraire Boswell.

Waraire Boswell is a Los Angeles-based menswear designer whose eponymous line was built out of pure necessity. Standing at a towering 6’7, Waraire began making his own suits whilst working as an agent in the entertainment industry.

Thirteen years later, he clothes some of your favorite celebrities and athletes, including NY Knicks player Tyson Chandler, and the Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh.

We love Waraire’s aesthetic, and in our first MANday exclusive interview, we chat with the man behind the brand, and open our ears to his gems on achieving unique personal style.

It’s a great feeling of empowerment to know that you can walk into any boutique or big box store, and know that you can find something that’s gonna fit you.

This statement, said by Mr. Boswell, is one that rang true to me. As a woman of a certain waist-to-hip ratio, I know how frustrating it can be to find proper clothing, and how amazing it feels to find that outfit that fits just right, and makes you feel like a million bucks.

The profile
The profile

In earlier years, Mr. Boswell was not afforded this luxury, given his slim and tall build, but in building his brand over the years, he gives this opportunity not only to taller men, but those of all statures.

“Your entire swagger is built on how you look, and how you feel.”

Don’t you agree? Let’s get into more from our chat with Mr. Boswell…

Some of the brands you admire right now?

In terms of suiting, I love Tom Ford, I like Thom Browne (what he does). In terms of casual, I like Supreme, I like Kith, I like Undefeated. In terms of middle-of-the-road, I like ACNE, I like Rag & Bone. There’s a brand out of Brooklyn a good friend of mine owns called The Brooklyn Circus, they do great stuff. And also Art Comes First, they’re fellow gentlemen who do suits as well.

Upcoming collaborations?

There’s a collaboration with Grover. They’re a great California-based brand that makes casual basics. We’re collaborating for something in that vein, but more contemporary with a darker template.

Then there is the re-up of the Del Toro x Waraire Boswell velvet slipper. There’s the Garrett Leight collaboration that launched a couple of days ago with glasses. And then there will be Boswell in the fall; it’s gonna be an extension of what Grover will touch on, but it will go deeper in reference to the pieces.

What are you listening to?

I love Daley, he’s awesome at what he does.

Style advice for young men who are looking to build their wardrobe?

Always start with the basics. In reference to suiting, black suit, navy suit, grey suit, khaki suit. In terms of shirts, make sure you have plenty of white shirts. 80% of my wardrobe is white shirts, they go with everything. And in reference to casual, that’s more of an open-end. Once you have your basics in any discipline, then you can add other things to that as it applies to suits. You have all the colors I just mentioned, then you can get a pinstripe, then you can get a houndstooth, then you can get a glen plaid and window pane, you can do all that, but you should never start with those colors.

What word of advice would you give to stay true to yourself, stylistically?

No matter what your size is, you should know what works on you. You know what works on you and what doesn’t as soon as you put it on. When it’s good, you know. When it’s counter-clockwise to good, meaning bad, you know that too. 


It was an absolute pleasure to chat with Waraire Boswell. If you’re digging the feature, let us know in the comment section below, and look out for more every MANday!


*Photos by Ashton Barnett

MANday Feature: Mujjo Sleeves & iPhone Cases


Hey man, I know how you’re feeling. You’ve got the Holy Grail of Apple products, ranging from the versatile iPhone to the very necessary MacBook Pro, and you’re constantly on-the-go, while simultaneously using these products. Don’t you think it is necessary to have sleek cases for your gadgets that pack a style punch? Well look no further than MUJJO’s selection of sleeves and iPhone cases.

iPad mini Envelope Sleeve in Tan
iPad mini Envelope Sleeve in Tan

MUJJO is a young Dutch accessories company that started with a line of touchscreen gloves, and evolved to creating sleeves and phone cases. These cases are exquisitely designed with a keen eye for detail, using luxe materials in full-grain vegetable dyed leather and treated felt, for a high-impact aesthetic.

iPhone 5s Leather Wallet Case in Black
iPhone 5s Leather Wallet Case in Black

The line focuses on eliminating bulk. As you can see in the photos, iPhone cases incorporate slots for your credit cards, so you have one slim, stylish case to carry your valuables. The iPad an MacBook sleeves mirror this design practice, hugging your gadgets to fit nicely in your briefcase and hand alike.

All cases and sleeves are available in MUJJO’s online shop, ranging in price from $33.92 for the Slim Fit iPhone 5S wallet, upwards of $90.55 for a MacBook Folio Sleeve in Tan. This is a remarkable price point, given the design and quality of the product line.

Are you digging the collection? Let us know your thoughts below in the comments!


*Photos courtesy of MUJJO

MANday Feature: G-Star RAW X Afrojack Spring/Summer 2014 Preview + Release Info

Afrojack modeling a tee from his G-Star Raw Spring '14 collection.
Afrojack modeling a tee from his G-Star Raw Spring ’14 collection.

International DJ and producer phenomenon Afrojack is back with some clean threads for spring with G-Star Raw. Following up a successful collaboration with the denim brand in 2013, the G-Star RAW x Afrojack Spring/Summer 2014 capsule collection will feature eight pieces, comprised of leather and denim pants, shorts, tees, hoodies and a hat.

To celebrate the release, Afrojack will be on hand to meet and greet fans and media alike at the G-Star RAW retail location in Miami Beach on Thursday, March 27th. The first 250 customers to make purchases in-store will receive a complimentary ticket to see Afrojack perform the same evening at the W Hotel as part of the Winter Music Conference. Check out the promo video below.

The collection will be available March 27th via the in-store event, and for pre-sale in the US via www.g-star.com. It will be released globally the following week.

#NYFW Tales: Backstage at Michael Bastian w/ AJ Crimson

AJ Crimson touching up a model's make-up
AJ Crimson touching up a model’s make-up

My lovely hometown of New York City is knee-deep in Autumn/Winter 2014 fashion week (or fall/winter if you insist), and you know what that means? Time for me to share my #NYFW tales! I’ve really been focusing on more backstage work and photography this time around, and I kicked off the season on February 4th backstage at one of my favorite menswear designers, Michael Bastian.

Model waiting for a touch-up before rehersal
Model waiting for a touch-up before rehersal

I was afforded this opportunity by the lovely team at Bella PR  (hey Sue!). Their client, make-up extraordinaire AJ Crimson, manned the beauty team of the show, and I had a first-hand look of the process. You may ask, “What make-up are they doing for men?”, which is a valid question. The focus for Bastian’s show was on skincare of course, making sure all the models had a glowing face to best complement his well tailored looks.

AJ Crimson's BB + D Cream
AJ Crimson’s BB + D Cream

AJ started with a pill mask to freshen up faces, followed by a light moisturizer, AJ’s own BB + D cream to even skin tone, finished off with a spritz of Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir to awaken the face.

AJ chatting with the ladies of Bella PR
AJ chatting with the ladies of Bella PR

I was able to stay for the actual presentation, which fused Japanese intricacies with Western styling; think silk brocade smoking jackets. The models, by far, were some of the best I’ve seen in a menswear show in awhile as they were manly men (which I like, what can I say). I would have included photos, but the camera I own wasn’t ready for the extreme low-light situation. I have since rented a Nikon D600 to cover other shows, so look out for those!

I’m really happy with how I’m growing in the fashion/blogging world. Stay tuned for more #NYFW tales!

*Photos by Andrea K. Castillo

MANday Files: #Capsule Mens NY AW14 Re-Cap, Eyewear by Thierry Lasry & Garrett Leight

Autumn 2014 Sunglass Offerings from Thierry Lasry
Autumn 2014 “Silenty” from Thierry Lasry

Next up in our Capsule Mens AW14 coverage, we delve into the magical world of eyewear! Being a member of the four-eyes club, I’m always on the look out for classic-styled specs and shades. As always, I generally dig men’s eyewear styles, so I was in the perfect place. Two brands that peeked my interest at the show were Thierry Lasry and Garrett Leight California Optical.

The many choices from Thierry Lasry
Top: “Kendry”, Bottom: “Silenty”

I first became familiar with Thierry Lasry a few years ago while perusing the shelves of NYC optical boutique, Ilori. The French designer launched his eponymous sunglass brand in 2006, and is still based in his home country. I was happy to see them at Capsule as I had been a fan of their high-impact styles for some time, and in this case, I was able to see a vast array at once. Lasry frames are quite sleek, incorporating gold and black handles in the majority of the styles, portraying a sense of luxurious minimalism. Want to see the shades in action? Check out a behind-the-scenes video of their Spring 2014 collection here.


A various array of styles from Garrett Leight
A various array of styles from Garrett Leight

Directly around the corner from Thierry Lasry, I discovered a table overflowing with optical and sunglass offerings in the sleek yet classic styles I look for. Let me introduce you to Garrett LeightCreated in 2010, Garrett Leight California Optical is dedicated to creating classic design by combining perfect craftmanship with timeless aesthetics.

*Fun Fact*: Garrett Leight is the son of Oliver Peoples co-founders, Larry & Cindy Leight, and is a fourth-generation Californian.

FAVORITE: "Hampton Clip" In RoseGold
FAVORITE: “Hampton Clip” In RoseGold

They offer a wide range of optical and sunglass styles, sourced from the finest materials including acetate from Italy and Japan, and hardware/hinges from Germany. I fell in love with pretty much the entire table, but I stopped in my tracks for the stunner up top, the “Hampton Clip”, a P3 shape (originated from when eyeglasses were first made for style) with a rose gold clip on lens to transition from indoors to outdoors.

Do you like what you see (no pun intended)? Well stay on the look out for more coverage; jewelry and shoes on the radar!

*All photos by Andrea K. Castillo

#Capsule Mens AW14 Re-Cap, Unisex Bags by Archival Clothing & Herschel Supply Co.

Display at the Archival Clothing Booth
Display at the Archival Clothing Booth

Here at A Life in the Day of Andrea we are all about great fashion finds, especially those that work for both men and women. Call me a sassy tomboy if you will, but I’ve always had a penchant for men’s accessories that ladies can pull off as well. One major area where I always go unisex is that of backpacks.

Whilst attending the Capsule Mens AW14 tradeshow at Basketball City on January 22nd, I spotted a ton of great bags, but two brands stood out to me; Archival Clothing and Herschel Supply Co. Dig in for more details on some cool pack that work well for both men and women.

Canvas duffel and hats displayed at Archival Clothing
Canvas duffel and hats displayed at Archival Clothing

Oregon-based Archival Clothing serves up rugged heritage in it’s accessory mix, crafted of super durable canvases and twills with clean leather details. Their product mix includes rucksacks, backpacks, totes, duffels, wallets, hats, and other small leather goods.

Archival's product mix
Archival’s product mix

I was most impressed in their rucksacks (seen in top photo), as they have a sturdy shape with super-clean lines and superb leather details from a Chicago-based tannery. One of my favorite bits of info aside from design is that all products are made in the USA! Isn’t that lovely?


Small leather goods by Herschel Supply Co.
Small leather goods by Herschel Supply Co.

Next up we have the ever-popular Herschel Supply Co. Their backpacks drape the backs of many-a-creative in a major city near you, and rightfully so, their products are fool-proof and appeal to the masses.

Various backpack silhouettes
Various backpack silhouettes

For fall ’14, we see a few new bodies in backpack, in addition to an expanded offering of totes and wallets. I particular liked the canvas/leather rucksacks, seen in the top right of the photo above. *Spoiler Alert*, they’re working on a special edition premium collection that should be in stores by the year’s end.

Liking what you see? Be sure to keep an eye out for my extended coverage of Capsule Mens, and many thanks to the Capsule Show team for selecting me as a featured contributor on their blog, We Are The Market.

*All photos by Andrea K. Castillo