SEE Eyewear Lands in Williamsburg for Their Newest Retail Location

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SEE Eyewear in Williamsburg. 156 Bedford Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11249

Being a wearer of spectacles since 1989, I like to call myself an eyewear aficionado at this point in life. I have been very intentional in choosing my glasses since I was a little girl, so having the opportunity to discover different brands through my blog over the years has always been a treat. For the past few years, I have been purchasing a new set of prescription glasses with a visually interesting frame. I love a style that is made of sturdy materials and unique; not seeing others in my frames actually makes me feel REALLY good.

When SEE Eyewear invited me to come into their latest Brooklyn location in Williamsburg (now open just a few weeks) for a custom fitting of eyeglasses or sunglasses, I was super excited as I had been hip to the brand for a few years, but never saw their product up close and personal. I came in for my appointment on a gorgeous Wednesday afternoon, with a rather simple commute as the shop is only one block away from the Bedford Ave L-train.

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Interior layout of SEE Eyewear in Williamsburg.

Upon entering the facade, I was warmly greeted by the store’s staff and PR team, given the rundown on the location, eyewear styles, materials, and where product is sourced from. My eyes gleamed when I was told all product is made in limited quantities, so the odds of someone else having my exact frames was quite low. I am like a kid in a candy store when it comes to eyewear, so I meticulously looked through all the styles that piqued my fancy, tried a few on, and made an informed decision to not get a pair that looks like any of my older frames.

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SEE 1549 in Gold/Tokyo

I decided on the pair above, SEE 1549 in Gold/Tokyo. I’ve wanted a pair of aviators for some time, but wasn’t ready to commit to the style as my sole pair of frames, so now was the right time as I have some variety in the spectacles. As soon as I tried them on, I knew they were the ONE! I got the pair fitted with my current prescription and anti-reflective lenses. I picked them up a few days ago and am really digging them!

19 Williamsburg Influencer 20 Off

You know I wouldn’t share this story if there wasn’t something in it for you, my readers, so here goes! Now until the end of May, SEE Eyewear is running a promotion at their Williamsburg location. Say the code word “BEDFORD” in-store to receive 20% off your prescription eyewear purchase. Happy shopping!

*Photos courtesy of SEE Eyewear

Lookbook: Just Kicking It With Wear It To Heart Holiday ’17, Captured By Kermit Mercado

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Oh, hello there!

For those of you that have been following my musings on this here blog, you know that I am big into fitness. Even when I am not breaking a sweat, I gravitate to active options, whether they be a fly pair of running sneakers, cool leggings, or a cozy hoodie, as I truly value the intersection of comfort and function. When the wonderful team at Wear It To Heart reached out to ask if I would be interested in collaborating to showcase some goodies from their Holiday ’17 collection, I immediately said yes. I have featured the brand on my site in the past, and own a few pairs of their leggings already, so I felt it was the perfect fit.

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Will I get taller if I continue stretching this way?

I was given a few options of looks to pick from, all including a sports bra and leggings, and like the TRUE Yorker that I am, gravitated to the mostly black option from the Foxy collection.  I chose the  Foxy Crewneck Bra and Foxy Boundless Leggings. Once I received the products, I was so happy with the hand-feel, super soft to the touch with a dense denier, so no see-thru leggings over here! I tried on the full ‘fit and immediately fell in love; it felt like a second skin. Wear It To Heart’s garments use a 4-way stretch, so they move the way you move.

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Welcome to the gun show!

I brainstormed a million photoshoot ideas. Would this be a purely product-focused activewear shoot? Would I show the versatility of the look and how it can transition from the gym to the streets? Would I be wearing cool kicks or barefoot? I went back and forth for weeks, admittedly, and decided to call up one of my buddies and fave photographer collaborators, Kermit Mercado. We decided we would just keep it simple, and this is what we created.

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Details on the Foxy Crewneck Sports Bra

The details on the sports bra were too good; a thoughtfully created narrow racerback to allow maximum movement with sheer laser cut elements. There are removable cups in the shelf bra to give shape and maintain modesty.

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Bedazzled legs & fancy feet

The pattern of the collection is reminiscent of fox fur, given the name. I enjoy the textural element it adds. With a sprinkle of black rhinestones below the knee on both the front and back of the left leg, you get a touch of pizazz that can likely lead your super comfy leggings from day to night.

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Kung Fu Dre

It is important for activewear to perform when you are active, yes? I tested this out by jumping, kicking, stretching, and just moving my body in all directions. While in action, the crew neck bra and Boundless leggings moved where I moved. I enjoyed the higher waist on the leggings. Being a woman with a near 15 inch waist to hip ratio, lower rise leggings are problematic as they slide down south and can be quite uncomfortable. Since this sat at my natural waist, I had no issues of peeking when I bent over.

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Are you excited to see me?

We played around a lot on camera, and while we did get so many amazing shots, the silly ones are some of my favorites. I call this look the “I haven’t seen you in ten years and you brought me my favorite dish.”

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That’s All Folks!

Are you digging the look? Head over to Wear It To Heart to get the lowdown on my look, and scope out the entire Holiday ’17 collection.

Purchase here:

Foxy Crewneck Bra

Foxy Boundless Leggings

 

Hair & Makeup by Andrea K. Castillo

All photos by Kermit Mercado

 

*I received complimentary apparel for this post

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

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!

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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?

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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! ❤