Remember My Jord Watch? Snag One on Amazon Prime Day!

JORD Surprise

Seriously, you need to get this watch!

Remember my JORD Watch? Back around the holiday 2016 season, I shared a sponsored campaign I created around my awesome JORD Frankie 35mm women’s wooden watch featured in the photo above. It is a great classic style that can be dressed up or down with your favorite wardrobe staples. I personally wear it everyday, and get tons of compliments from friends and strangers alike.

JORD Time

You know what time it is? Time for a new watch!

As today is Amazon Prime Day (7/11), YOU my friend are in for a treat! All JORD watches are 30% off today on Amazon, with the sale ending this evening at 11:59 PM EST. Do not fret, there are styles for the fellas too! Follow my links below to get in on the big sale. Happy shopping!

JORD Wooden Wrist Watches for Women – Frankie 35mm Series / Wood Watch Band / Wood Bezel / Analog Quartz Movement – Includes Wood Watch Box

JORD Wooden Wrist Watches for Men – Delmar Sport Series / Wood Watch Band / Wood Bezel / Analog Quartz Movement – Includes Wood Watch Box

 

*I received a complimentary JORD watch for my post, and receive commission on purchases as an Amazon Affiliate

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Springing Into Year Six Of The Blog: A Reflection

Walking Into Year SIX!

As I sit here composing this here post, I think to myself, “Where has all the time went?” On April 18, 2011, I created A Life In The Day of Andrea, publishing my first post detailing the inspiration behind the blog’s name, and what I would be writing about. In the now six years since its inception, my site has been the impetus to the majority of my work in writing (both editorial and otherwise), photography, video & film, and a major catalyst in meeting and connecting with interesting people and brands all over the world. As a freelancer with a varied skill set who is always trying to find creative and fulfilling ways to make a living, I admit that sometimes the blog, which was to be an extension of myself, has been neglected much over these past six years. I hear similar sentiments when I speak to my contemporaries in the blogosphere. Sometimes, we create this online space as a promotional tool, to show the world how cute we are to get modeling gigs, how impressionable we are to sell the products of others, and what a damn good writer we are to get writing gigs at respectable publications that we always dreamed of contributing to.

But how can one forget about themselves when that outlet for self (i.e. blog) is what got you to where you are right now? It is quite easy, by simply doing that, forgetting about oneself.

Always a silly moment

Reaching another April is always a reminder of starting something new, and for me, it has been one of my most reflective months of the past six years. Because of this, I overanalyze what I have done in the past 365 days from both a professional and personal standpoint and because I am a perfectionist (which I am actively working on ending); I often feel that I have fallen short. On this day, I look back and think why I haven’t properly promoted myself over these years? Why is my following so low? Why are people not reading my posts like they used to? Why are these newer bloggers getting all the campaigns that I’ve wanted for so long? All my questions have really boiled down to “What am I doing wrong?” Continue reading

#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.

Continue reading

Style Guide: Waste No Time With A Fresh Wooden Timepiece From JORD + Enter To Win A New Watch!

Keeping it casual. Knit top: Behno, Watch: JORD

December is here, and you know what that means. The holidays are right around the corner, and you are probably making your lists, trying to decide what to get for all your loved ones (and yourself). As I am always in the spirit of helping folks with gift suggestions, I have teamed up with the wonderful folks at JORD watches for a unique campaign. The brand makes beautiful men’s and women’s wooden watches for all tastes, and I have collaborated with them for a style post and giveaway. Yes, a GIVEAWAY!

Close-up of the Frankie 35. Jeans: TopShop, Top: Behno

I am super low-maintenance when it comes to timepieces. I always look for something in a pretty neutral color or color combination, that can transition from day to night. I am also super mindful of the size of a watch face as I have a tiny, baby wrist. I have found that in the Jord Frankie 35 style. With a 35mm face, this style is the smallest that Jord has to offer, which was right up my alley. The Zebrawood & navy face combo works greatly for me as I wear jeans a lot during the day, and the palette complements it well.

Time for a costume change. Wool shirt dress: Behno, Watch: JORD

I run lots of errands during the day in my jeans and sweater, and as holiday party season approaches, I generally work special events or attend parties in the evening. I easily transition from day to night by throwing my hair up, applying one of my favorite red lipsticks (I have a collection of about six shades), and switching into an easy dress.

Stunt. Wool shirt dress & faux fur stole: Behno, Watch: JORD

I like to call this look my nod to the arrival of King Jaffe Joffer in 80’s comedy classic, Coming To AmericaClean and simple lines with a dramatic or statement factor; in the case of King Jaffe Joffer, his statement piece was a lion head stole, in my case, it is the combo of the printed stole complementing the wood element of my watch. The look will definitely turn a few heads at your next gathering, having everyone ask, “Where did you get your watch?”

When you see the food at the function. Wool shirt dress & faux fur stole: Behno, Watch: JORD

You will  politely respond that your watch is from JORD, who makes some of the finest wooden watches on the market. You say hello to your buddies and get to talking to new friends, and then this look of excitement appears; the food and drinks come out, and you are overjoyed. It doesn’t take much to make you happy; good food, company, and copious amounts of compliments from your cool watch.

All in the details. Wool shirt dress & faux fur stole: Behno, Watch: JORD

Now you ask how you can be down to be the talk of the party with the best watch? You are in luck. One lucky person will have the chance to win a brand spanking new JORD watch, just in time for the holidays! Here’s what you got to do:

Pretty much a win-win for all. May the odds be in your favor!

Wooden Wristwatch
//www.woodwatches.com/widget-article/andreakcastillo

Photos by Kermit Mercado

This post was sponsored by JORD Watches

Video: Warby Parker + AKC #FallSyllabus Shoot, Captured by Kermit Mercado

So if you have been keeping up, just recently I shared my Warby Parker #FallSyllabus shoot. You may have thought that was the last of it, but no, we have a special treat! My partner in creativity Kermit (who is an incredible videographer alongside being an awesome photographer) suggested we do a bit of a behind-the-scenes video with his top notch equipment. I was down for the cause, of course, and you can see the magic above once you press play!

Many thanks again to the team at Warby Parker for inviting me to be involved in this blogger campaign, Mika for making my hair and makeup look on-point, and to Kermit for capturing it all. Watch and share. 🙂

Lookbook: Warby Parker #FallSyllabus Lifestyle Shoot, Captured by Kermit Mercado

When you think of “fall”, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it the changing color of leaves? Pumpkins and apples? For me, fall will always encompass the notion of back-to-school and new beginnings. Whether it be starting a new course or job, fall to me will always signify positive change. Breaking out cool sweaters and specs is an added plus!

I was super excited to receive a message recently from the team at Warby Parker stating that they wanted this girl from Brooklyn to create a fall-themed lifestyle shoot with their eyewear. They handpicked a number of bloggers to capture what #FallSyllabus means to them. As I am forever a nerd in search of knowledge, I created a mood that is reminiscent of college, and the interpretation of my favorite people on campus.

Scroll on to see what I created with fresh Warby Parker frames, and copious amounts of layered knits!


The Librarian

When we think of a librarian, it usually skews one of two places; sexy librarian or mean librarian. I wanted to capture a somewhat hip librarian. She is draped in smart designer threads with a pen in hand, reading a book on Brooklyn maker culture. She is a great resource, and definitely knows what’s up.


Winston Eyeglasses | Ralph Lauren Dress | Ralph Lauren Shawl Collar Sweater


The Off-Duty Athlete
As a former student athlete, track & field to be specific, I can never resist the ultimate coziness of a good sweatshirt. Here we see the off-duty athlete. She layers her sweatshirt under her varsity jacket and pairs with a pair of jeans and Chucks because she is all about easy dressing.


Keene Eyeglasses | Vintage Polo Ralph Lauren Sweatshirt & Jacket | Stylemint Jeans | Converse Chuck Taylors


The Photographer

Here to capture moments is the photographer. In school, photography was really recreational for me, capturing photos of friends at parties, as well as nature around me, I have since transitioned to that of a professional. Here, our photographer dresses really smart, a bit high brow if you will with her suede pants and vintage pieces, but her eye is always in search of her next subject.

Caspar Eyeglasses | Ralph Lauren Oxford Shirt | Vintage Polo Ralph Lauren Teddy Bear Sweater | Vintage Camera Case | Ralph Lauren Suede Trousers | Converse Chuck Taylors


The Professor

At some point in your life, you’ve had a crush on a teacher or professor, right? Don’t lie! I wanted to capture the “highly favored” professor if you will. Maybe she is a bit daring, exposing leg in the cooler weather, but you must applaud the effort she puts into dressing. The eyeglass and briefcase is just so smart, don’t you think?


Percey Eyeglasses | Ralph Lauren Oxford Shirt | Polo Ralph Lauren Mock Collar Teddy Bear Sweater | +J Uniqlo Wool Skirt | Cole Haan Heeled Oxfords

I really want to thank the folks at Warby Parker for inviting me to partake in this opportunity. Many thanks to my awesome team of Kermit, Mika, and big bro Q for the vintage pieces.Do these looks remind you of fall? Would you rock the specs?

Photography: Kermit Mercado
Hair & Make-up: Mika
Styling: Andrea K. Castillo
Wardrobe: Personal collection of Andrea K. Castillo & Q

#NYFW Tales: Mathieu Mirano SS16 Brings Wearable Glamour in Living Color

The full collection. Photo: Jennifer Daniels

Although still fairly new to the fashion scene, launching his eponymous line in 2011, Mathieu Mirano brings a certain sophistication to womenswear that is wise beyond his years. I had the pleasure of attending his Spring/Summer 2016 collection presentation with my friend/former model/supermodel-in the-making Jen.

The backdrop of Pier 59 Studios offered a blank slate where Mirano’s evening wear could shine. The collection was filled with an array of saturated hues in intricate fabrications and trims.

A peek through the crowd. Photo: Jennifer Daniels

Ombre panne velvet. Specially treated sequins. Extensive hand embroidery done by local New York artisans; this was all on display. I was particularly captivated by the textiles used because in all of my years as a designer and fashion writer/editor I had never seen such textiles, and that was quite exciting to me. I found it quite interesting that materials so delicate translated to very chic evening wear that did not come off as garish or matronly.

Sequins meets chiffon. Photo: Andrea K. Castillo

Upon first glance all of the looks appeared to be gowns, but I was told soon after that there were also separates on display. What a brilliant idea! Mirano aims to create garments for multifaceted women, so in regards to separates, you can wear them as a “dress” or pair with a t-shirt or jeans. Versatility is key here, and it is done so beautifully.

Many thanks to Umindi & Glenny at UFCG for having me! ❤

A Lovely Summer Evening At Brooklyn Museum Of Games, Sneaks & Eats. Photos by Gyasi Kirtley

Happy to be outside

On a beautiful Thursday evening in Mid-July, I attended Brooklyn Museum’s “Art Off The Wall” series for their much anticipated, The Rise of Sneaker Culture exhibition. I had previously seen the exhibition on the day of the press preview (more to come on that), but was present for a discussion including an esteemed panel of female sneaker heads.

Once inside the museum’s lobby bursting at the seams with attendees for the Thursday evening adult programming, I bumped into my girl Gyasi. With camera in hand, she told me she was waiting for a friend, to which I replied, “Chill. I’m on the press list. You can be my photographer.”

And so, the evening began.

In the shadows

We walked around the ground floor and took some shots outside of the dining area as the sun was still beaming. I was feeling cool in my new super-fitted American Apparel skirt, and the natural light really caught the color combo well up top. We head back inside to view the panel, then went off to play in the FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds exhibit. FAILE, the brainchild of Brooklyn-based artist duo Patrick McNeil and Patrick McNeil, showcased various elements in their exhibit, including mixed media canvases, sculpture, neon wall art, and custom arcade games.

Readjusting my specs

Walking into the arcade portion of the exhibit was sensory overload. The walls and floors were covered in various new-school interpretations of old school movie posters, lit completely in black light, with sprinkles of neon light sculptures sprinkled throughout the space. I really enjoy the elements of lights captured in these photos.

Look at these arms!

After taking tons of photos in the black light, we shimmied over to The Rise of Sneaker Culture exhibit, which includes some of the most iconic pairs of kicks over the years, and their origin.

This picture was me being silly prior to making a proper pose, but I enjoyed this better. Note how long my arms are.

Grade A tings!

The exhibit does take some time to walk through as there are so many pairs of sneakers on view with intricate backstories, and so many opportunities for photo ops. Gyasi got some great photos there, but once we were done, I had to eat.

We walked over to Dutch Boy Burger on Franklin Ave so I could get something to eat. In dire times, I feel burgers are the only thing that could save me, because red meat = protein + iron. I ordered their signature burger and fries (which was probably a terrible idea at 10 PM) and sipped on a glass of water.

Gyasi couldn’t stay, but snapped this photo of me looking like a creep in the window. The evening was truly lovely and unexpected, as I had no idea it would end with such beautiful photos. Keep capturing your summer folks!

*Photos by Gyasi Kirtley

Lookbook: Let’s Get Active! Summer Fitness Looks For Yoga, Running, & More

I call this the, “Who dat?” look, Sunglasses by CRAP Eyewear

We are in the midst of summer, and you know what that means? Time to show some skin! You’ve probably been in the gym all winter and spring working on your summer body, but it’s not time to stop now. You’ve got to keep up that sexy body with summertime fitness in the best apparel that is both functional yet funky enough to wear post workout.

I teamed up with my buddy Kermit Mercado to collaborate on a fitness-inspired photo spread, highlighting looks for dance-inspired workouts, running, yoga, and more. Get into it.

Meet me on the dance floor!

If you love to dance like me, it is imperative to seek out dance classes and dance inspired workouts from time to time. This mesh back sports bra by Wear It To Heart in the cool Desert Magic print has great coverage with inner-shelf bra with pads to remain shape and modesty.

Mesh detail with matching leggings

Paired with leggings, this look can go from the studio to the street with ease. The higher neckline of the bra with mesh detail on the back is a stunner.

Keep that hair back!

To keep my curls out of my face while I dance up a storm, I enjoy invisibobble traceless hair ties. They don’t mark my curls, and can be used for countless hairstyles.

Downward Dog vibes

This sports bra and shorts pairing from Wear It To Heart is perfect for beach yoga or hot yoga. The fabrication wicks sweat and has a soft feel, whilst maintaining its shape, and staying in place while you move.

It is super important to remain hydrated, more so when working out in the hot summer months. I’m loving 1907 Alkaline water from New Zealand. It’s super light and fresh taste is perfect for my workouts, in a 1 liter size that gives me all the hydration I need.

Crow Pose in action

I really dig YogaSmoga apparel for my indoor yoga workouts as they are made of top notch fabrics with slight compression that keep everything in place. The Imagine Tank has an inner-shelf bra that is perfect for me as I have a smaller bust, and the Momentum Crop legging is super chic, and keeps the booty in place in more demanding poses.

Next level Chair Pose

For example, in this elevated Chair Pose, my leggings did not slide or sag, maintaining proper coverage. This image is actually the first time I was able to do a Chair Pose of this variation, and the prior photo is the first time I was able to do a Crow Pose. I’m getting there!

Knee hugs to prep for a run

Another thing that I really dig about YogaSmoga is that their apparel works seamlessly from my yoga workouts to a run. Wearing the same leggings, I ditch the tank for the Sneak n Peek sports bra with amazing compression to get in my miles.

Warrior III pose, great post run stretch

I usually end my runs with a bunch of stretches borrowed from yoga. My boobies stay in place in this look while I balance on one foot for this Warrior III pose, also called the “Superman Pose”.

Would you wear any of these looks for your next workout? Let a playa know! All links are throughout the story, so happy shopping to you!

*All photos by Kermit Mercado

WOMANday Exclusive: Sunnie Ha, Founder of Activewear Company Wear It To Heart Talks Apparel Production in Central America, Sustainability, and Empowering Young Women

WEAR IT TO HEART LOGO BEING TRANSFERRED ONTO GARMENT

Back in February, I attended the first ever AXIS Show at Pier 94 in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. The fashion trade show focused on women’s active lifestyle apparel and home goods, which was really exciting to me. It was there that I was first introduced to Wear It To Heart (WITH), a ladies activewear brand based in Los Angeles and produced in El Salvador.

I was really drawn to the soft, yet technologically sound fabrication of the garments, in addition to the lovely prints used across their spectrum of leggings, capris, tanks, and sports bra offerings. I was also drawn to the idea of their goods being produced in Central America, so I decided to set up an interview with the company’s founder, Sunnie Ha, to discuss their initiatives, predominantly female workforce, and more. Read on!

Tell us a bit about your background and when you came to the point to make Wear It To Heart a reality.

Looking back, it all started with the observation that women’s activewear was just men’s activewear made in smaller sizes.  It seemed as if every woman walked out of the same closet all dressed in black tights and uninspiring, boring tops.  I wanted women to look like women, feminine and beautiful.  In my mind leggings with fun and pretty prints give women a comfortable but bold look that is stylish.  The WITH look allows women to live in every moment and love the life they live. Wear it to Heart was born in California and is growing up in El Salvador.  We work with both designers and artists from Los Angeles and El Salvador.  I have the pleasure of working with artists who, for the first time have an outlet which allows them not only to express but also profit from their creativity.  You should see the excitement of the team when their prints are featured on our pieces.  I feel blessed to be able to love what I do and excited to see what the future of WITH holds.

Your product line consists of fashion-forward activewear suitable for yoga and other low-impact activity. What kind of feedback have you gotten from the fitness community thus far?

So far, the feedback has been very positive. Every piece of WITH is constructed with the highest quality materials and attention to detail, which people notice and appreciate. Also, because the prints are fashion-forward, you can wear them out and about, not just at the gym, which is very important to our customers as well.

DESIGNER SKETCHING

Let’s talk about your workforce. In your company factory in El Salvador, you run a sweatshop-free work force, comprised predominantly of women. Was this done intentionally? And can you elaborate on your company values and in-house initiatives?

Wear it to Heart mainly manufactures in El Salvador to support Project Garrobo which was started many years ago by my husband and I.  It began with a desire to help the communities in El Salvador.  We found ourselves working with single mothers to help them acquire work skills to support not only themselves, but also their families.  Project Garrobo, is an apprenticeship program for several disadvantaged, unwed, and unskilled teen mothers.  We pay them a salary and train them for several types of apparel jobs, but also teach them life skills such as finance, English, and other necessary subjects for them to meet the oncoming challenges of adulthood.  Once they reach the age of 18 they are welcome to work at our factory, or if they choose to leave and work elsewhere, we’re happy with that also. Our payback is satisfaction knowing that we improved their lives.
Our factory is recognized globally as a leader in CSR (corporate social responsibility) and sustainability.  This distinction stems from many years of researching and implementing the best practices.  For instance, we responded to employee requests to offer a daycare solution.  Our response was to visit several daycare facilities in the U.S. and Brazil.  Learning from those already doing it, we inaugurated our child development center on our premises in 2011.  Since then we have gained Montessori accreditation, therefore giving our pre-schoolers a clear advantage for when they graduate and move on to regular day school.

A PAIR OF LEGGINGS BEING SEWN

Apparel production in Central America has been on the rise in the past few years, using some of the most technologically sound processes in the industry. What do you see in its future?

On-shoring or near-shoring apparel production back to the Americas has been a hot topic for the last couple of years. It’s good news for us because it creates a win-win situation for the U.S. and the Central American & Caribbean regions. Due to the way the free trade agreement (CAFTA-DR) is structured, most key inputs come from the U.S. and then produced as final garments in the region.  So it’s true bi-lateral trade benefitting both sides of the border.  We are to expect this trend to grow significantly due to the changing global sourcing landscape. As China and other Asian countries develop more consumer driven economies, the available capacities and resources will focus more in that direction.  As a byproduct, the Americas will gain more market share of U.S apparel imports.  Flexible, faster to market lead times and real time communication with U.S. brands and retailers  also make CAFTA-DR region a very attractive sourcing hub.  For W.I.T.H., the flexibility and speed allow for unparalleled levels of service and innovation.

It was such a pleasure to speak to, and learn more about the apparel industry in the Americas from Sunnie. Be sure to check out the goods on the official Wear It To Heart website, in addition to following them on social media!

*Photos courtesy of Wear It To Heart (WITH)

#MANday Exclusive: Le Club Des Douze, The Men’s Online Fashion Destination in English & En Francais

ALEX & OLIVIA OF LE CLUB DES DOUZE

It has been some time since I’ve featured a piece for MANday, so to get back on the ball, I want to introduce you to super-cool menswear aficionado Alex Rizos of Le Club Des Douze. Alex first reached out to me over a year ago via Twitter, and since I have been following his blog which is a men’s lifestyle destination focused on curated fashion-apparel inspiration boards, designer & brand interviews, home goods and food. We are both in good company as contributors to Capsule Show’s We Are The Market blog as well.

The site began entirely in French, and with my little knowledge of the the language was able to navigate the mood boards and posts. It has since transitioned to be a completely bilingual site, featuring content in both French and English. I caught up with Alex at a coffee shop in the city to chat about Le Club des Douze and learn the story behind the blog. Read on.

You started Le Club Des Douze in 2012 with your wife, Olivia. Give me a little background on you guys and your interest, and why you decided to start the site?

Let’s start with Olivia. She used to be a lawyer in England, she’s actually from here [United States] but she moved there to study law, but she didn’t love it. At some point she came back here and went to Parson’s because she was interested in fashion, not necessarily fashion design, but working in a more creative, design-related field. She does PR for interior designers and architects, so it is very specific. As far as I’m concerned, I lived here six years ago for one year, then lived in London for a year, where I met her (Olivia). During these stays in both countries I discovered the renewal of independent menswear [brands]. I don’t know if it was because I felt new to it or it was actually a new wave then, between 2009 and now. I discovered a bunch of new brands between here [New York] and in London, and also a lot of menswear blogs that focus on craftsmanship, more independent smaller brands, and I thought that was very interesting. At the time in France, there really was no blog talking about that. So before moving back here, I had a three-month period where I moved back to France to take care of my visa, and I said “let’s launch something in that field.” I started the blog [Le Club Des Douze] and at some point it had an e-commerce portion to it when I launched, then I realized that it was writing that people were looking for.

How important has social media been in connecting you to fashion brands, in addition to building your brand internationally?

It’s crazy how social media can enable you to connect with so many brands, even the smaller ones, and that’s amazing. When I started Le Club Des Douze I feel like most of my followers were on Facebook. There was an interaction, but I didn’t feel that brands would reach out to me there, and it kind of shifted to our biggest following being on Twitter. That’s where our audience is, where you can visit our website from, where you share articles, and where you connect with a lot of brands. Either we reach out to the brands or they discover us, and they want to talk to us. It’s crazy that five years ago, to know about a brand, I would have to read about it on a blog or go to a trade show. Since the beginning, our following grew a lot internationally. Now we have about 40% French followers, about 30% in the UK, and the rest divided between the U.S. and Japan.

SCREENSHOT OF THE WEBSITE

How important do you believe a female influence is for the growth of a menswear-based business?

I think it is very important. I think since she [Olivia] started working with me, she’s added a lot of value in terms of …I don’t know. She just KNOWS when she sees a group of items together, what to add. I need to see things. I need to see the twelve items and then decide if it looks good. She can see three items and already know what the whole section will look like. I don’t know if it’s a feminine thing, but I know that’s the way she thinks. She sees the story behind it all. She has the vision of the guy that’s going to wear the outfit, and each selection is basically one outfit with additional pieces that you can pair and swap out.

What do you foresee in the future of menswear apparel & media?

I think the menswear industry, especially independent menswear …they’re not looking to do something that is “out-there”, these brands are looking to do something that they have seen and that is “heritage” with a twist. Whereas in womenswear, designers create something that is new, and there are menswear designers that do that as well, but that’s not what we are really interested in. The independent brands and designers that we work with are more into heritage and taking something that exists and making it better.


It was such a pleasure to speak with Alex, and see the growth of Le Club Des Douze firsthand. You can check out their site here, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

*Photos courtesy of Le Club Des Douze

For The Woman Who Is Grounded In Boyish Flair, Brogues & More from Grenson Shoes’ S/S 15 Collection!

JASMINE

In life, I have always been the girl with a bit of a tomboyish edge. I attribute this to growing up with three brothers, and always being in the company of boys or men. In regards to my attire, I have always been one for the “borrowed from the boys” look, mixing it up with very feminine elements in hair/makeup and accessories.

I love a good heel or boot, but I’ve always had a penchant for a good brogue or saddle shoe, as I believe they can be styled in so many different ways for various occasions. I was introduced to Grenson Shoes a few years back by a friend, their men’s collection to be exact, and I was blown away by the sleek silhouettes and quality of leather. The English brand has been making hand-made shoes since 1866. When I discovered they carried women’s styles I was on it, and have since linked up with the company to show you some of my favorite styles for spring. Here we go!

The Jasmine style (seen at top) may be one of my favorite styles of the entire collection. The very simple Derby shoe is shown in a navy leather that fades to cobalt at the toe. Very understated yet inspired.

MABEL

Love for me is best shown in a cognac leather situation, much like the Mabel double-strap monk. I’m not even into monk straps, but I think this style is so smart, and is made for the woman who knows EXACTLY what she wants.

CLARA

Although Grenson is known for their  flat brogue styles across the board, the ladies have more options. We see this in their platform range, including the Clara, a funky tassel loafer in a crinkled patent leather.

EMILY

The Emily wingtip platform brogue is sure to bring some sunshine to your day! This sunny mustard color is divine, and the silhouette is so playful. Really digging this with a mini-dress. Very 1960s!

DOROTHY

A luscious black leather chukka bootie with a comfy slight platform sole is what we have in the Dorothy. I see this shoe, and I immediately see its versatility. I am currently styling it in my head with various apparel silhouettes. What more can I say?

ROSE

A style that Grenson is known for is their Triple Welt. Originally offered in Men’s the triple-welt construction that frames the shoe has since come to their women’s collections, and it is absolutely beautiful. Just look how elegant the Rose is! I would wear this with everything in my closet.

EVIE

I am drawn to the Evie as it is a perfect mix of masculine and feminine. The simple Derby style done up in this pebbled grey leather with Triple Welt framing is just divine. A very versatile shoe indeed!

All shoes are available now on the Grenson Shoes website, and range in price from $400 – $850, given the hand-made nature of each pair. Which are your favorites?

 

*Photos courtesy of Grenson Shoes

Garrett Leight California Optical Unveils An Impressive Assortment of Frames For SS15

DILLON

I’ve been a fan of Garrett Leight’s eyewear assortment from the first moment I laid eyes upon them a few years back at Capsule Show. The sophisticated line doesn’t take itself too seriously, offering a full range of optical and sun styles in updated classic silhouettes. For the Spring/Summer 2015 season, we have a selection of favorites from Leight, along with some great color updates. I wanted to share some of my favorites with you, one being the Dillon (seen above).

I’m definitely thinking this style with be the “it-pair of sunglasses” for the coming season. The shape is universally flattering, and is offered in cool pastels with mirrored lenses for those that want something a bit more playful.

KINNEY CLIP

The Kinney Clip is a folding metal clip-on to be worn over Kinney optical frames. The more square frame shape flatters medium to larger sized faces, as not to look like you’re wearing your younger cousin’s frames on purpose. Ha!

MILWOOD SUN

The Milwood Sun style has always been a favorite of mine giving its round shape with tapered edges. I’m really digging this update in a pink crystal frame with a magenta layered mirror lens. Multi-faceted styling!

VAN BUREN

The Van Buren is a new foldaway style that I believe is pure genius. Featuring CR-39 Flat Zero-Base Lenses, these lightweight metal frames have three barrel hinges that fold into a small square, and tuck away nicely into a custom mini-case. Great for minimalists and those that love gadget sensibility in their everyday wear.

All frames are available now for purchase at GarrettLeight.com.

*Photos courtesy of Garrett Leight California Optical

Event Re-Cap: NYC Influencers Get to Meet & Mingle w/ Swedish Jewelry Designer Efva Attling at her #MeetEfva In-Store

#MEETEFVA

On the evening of March 12th, an elite group of influencers attended the #MeetEfva in-store event at the Efva Attling boutique in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. Attling is a Swedish jewelry designer who specializes in metals, mainly sterling silver, and designs collections for both men and women. On this special evening, she was in-store to mingle with guests, and tell us a little bit more of her colorful life-story to date.

LIBATIONS

The rather comfy evening had libations galore for guests to sip on, including Blue Nun Reisling, “Hiro Mojitos” from Hiro Sake, and whiskey from New England Distilling.

EFVA CHATTING WITH A GUEST

Thursday evenings are super busy in NYC, so I was able to swing by the event at the end of the first hour, just in time to hear Efva speak. She recalled her extremely creative past, having been a supermodel in Sweden as well as a pop star, metalsmithing was a passion of hers that she eventually turned into a successful career, now having eight boutiques around the globe.

GIFT BAG CONTENTS

Efva stayed to chat with guests before her departure, and gifted us all with something extra special. In addition to the gift bag contents of FattyCakes NYCWingmatesChristine Hair CareSoxxy Socks and Boot Rescue, we were treated to an exclusive thank-you piece from one of Efva’s collections, a sterling silver pendant.

It was really a pleasure to meet and hear Efva’s story in such an intimate environment. Having that background information makes her collection much more special to me, because she is incredibly relatable, and designs for a vast array of people. I can’t wait to wear my pendant!

*Photos courtesy of Janine Just Inc.

Reebok Women Brings Out a Full Line of Fitness Lifestyle Picks At The Inaugural AXIS SHOW

A GLIMPSE OF REEBOK WOMEN FW 2015

A few weeks back I attended the inaugural AXIS show at Pier 94, a fashion lifestyle trade event created for a new generation of trend-focused young women. I was happy to know that it shared space with Capsule show, and focused in on fitness lifestyle. As I am now totally on my fitness-game, my purpose for AXIS was seeking out brands that seamlessly blended the realms of fitness + fashion.

I came across a lot of emerging brands, but was happy to see fresh offerings from a fitness staple for decades, Reebok Women.

LEGGINGS OFFERINGS

The brand had a HUGE booth in the show, which looked like its own mini-shop. I was greeted by Laura from Reebok upon entering, who really walked me through the entire line of offerings for Fall/Winter 2015. I told her that I am a runner and new to yoga, so I was really interested in the tech components of the clothing (sweat wicking, reflective components) as well as a beautiful aesthetic.

FAVE RUNNING PIECES

The color palette for the later months has a base in black with accents in a fiery red and neon yellow. Above you can see some of my favorites, specifically the running jacket on the far left, and leggings that have reflective elements at the knees, which are perfect for night running.

Definitely looking to add a few pieces to my fitness wardrobe! Are you digging the new collection?

*All Photos by Andrea K. Castillo for A Life In The Day of Andrea