One Hundred Sunglasses

Besides being a blogger, I am a sales consultant at Sunglass Hut in Times Square — the highest-grossing store out of 3,000 Luxottica-owned retailers! Helping people with their style, talking to tourists from all over the world (Mongolia? Check. Nepal? Check. Cayman Islands? Check.), and seeing all the new luxury sunglasses come in is very exciting. Upon greeting a customer, we always let them know that they can try on any of the sunglasses on display. I thought it would be cute to say “Feel free to try everything on!”, meaning that they can look and think as much as they need to before making a purchase, without feeling judged or pressured. When I shop, I make sure to look at every product that meets my needs. It’s simple if I need a belt and there is literally one belt in the store that fits me. What’s more challenging is scouring a store with a great many qualifying products…like, say, a store that has hundreds of different sunglasses when I need sunglasses for summer. And I wondered, could I do it? Could I honestly consider every pair I liked in the entire store?

Miu Miu

I can. I went in on June 27, National Sunglasses Day, and spent three hours inside Sunglass Hut trying on every pair I liked. Here are 100 of the pairs I tried on:

Bulgari 6083 $370; Bulgari Serpenteyes, $470; Bulgari 6088, $510

Bulgari 8189, $440; Bulgari 6093, $440; Bulgari Serpenti, $410

Bulgari 8188, $470; Burberry 4241, $215; Chanel Butterfly Summer, $350

Chanel Round Spring, $515; Chanel Pilot Fall, $610; Dior Homme Composit, $565

Dior So Real, $595; Dior So Real Stud, $670; Dior Sight, $380

Dior Chicago, $395; Dior Diorama, $500; Dior Liner, $375

Dolce & Gabbana 2172, $340; Dolce & Gabbana 2169, $340; Dolce & Gabbana 4288, $330

Dolce & Gabbana 6105, $270; Dolce & Gabbana 2173, $650; Dolce & Gabbana 2170, $650 

Fendi 0060, $455; Fendi Iridia, $520; Fendi 0133, $380

Fendi 0041, $470; Fendi Hypnoshine, $695; Fendi Rainbow, $545

Fendi 0025, $355; Gigi Hadid for Vogue 5211 in black/pink and white, $140

Gucci 0061, $400; Maui Jim Nalani, $280; Maui Jim Summer Time, $319

Maui Jim Manu 64, $270; Michael Kors Hvar, $139; Michael Kors Evy, $179

Michael Kors Lia, $159; Miu Miu 52RS, $410

Miu Miu 13NS, $380; Miu Miu 52QS, $320; Miu Miu 12RSA, $410

Miu Miu 52SS, $470; Miu Miu 11RS, $410; Miu Miu 05SS, $470

Oakley Tie Breaker, $200; Oakley Elmont, $210; Oakley Frogskins, $120

Oakley Crossrange, $210; Oakley Mainlink, $200; Oakley Catalyst, $160 

Oakley Holbrook Ink Fade Collection, $170; Persol 100th Anniversary Collection, $410; Prada 65TS, $420

Prada 16TS, $460; Prada 68TS, $410

Prada 27NS; Prada 51SS, $330; Prada Cinema, $430

Prada 54SS, $330; Prada 61TS, $370; Polo Ralph Lauren 4125, $169

Ralph 5203, $150; Ray-Ban Cats 5000, $165; Ray-Ban Hexagonal Flat Lens, $150

Ray-Ban Gatsby, $185; Ray-Ban Flat Lens, $185; Ray-Ban 4274, $165

Ray-Ban Clubmaster, $175; Ray-Ban New Wayfarer, $155; Sunglass Hut Collection 1003, $80

Sunglass Hut Collection 2001 in red, black, and clear, $80-$100

Sunglass Hut Collection 2005, $80; Tiffany & Co. 4136 in brown and black, $380

Tiffany & Co. 4121, $380; Tiffany & Co. 4134, $390; Tiffany & Co. 3058, $330

Tiffany & Co. 3051, $310; Tom Ford Kasia, $390; Tom Ford Savannah, $445

Tom Ford Arabella, $475; Tory Burch 9046, $195; Valentino 4002, $350

Valentino 4005, $390; Valentino 4013, $290; Valentino 4008, $410 

Valentino 2002, $350; Valentino 2004, $380; Versace #Frenergy, $315 

Versace 4338, $240; Versace 2160, $265; Versace 4294, $240

Versace Medusa, $280; Versace 2177, $375; Versace 2140, $215

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And the winner is…the Oakley Elmont!

Oakley Elmont 2

Me and my new shades in my favorite corner of the store. Bebe blouse. H&M skirt. Bandolino pumps. Claire’s earrings. Topshop headband. Handbag from my mother’s friend, with no tag inside. Photo by my coworker Baruch. 

Before I started working here, I thought Oakleys were for guys. There is a scene in the TV show Workaholics where the protagonists join a fraternity, and upon their initiation a frat member says “Here are your Oakleys,” as if every frat boy wears them. I know that show is basically one long joke, but the impression stayed with me. Until I found a pair of Oakleys that was polarized, had Prizm lens technology, and was feminine enough for even me.

Happy Summer!

Sun Shady

No Such Agency

NSA2

Last week, I ventured into Chinatown to visit the ready-to-wear showroom of No Such Agency, a boutique PR firm. They, along with a handbag brand and a lingerie brand, occupy the Triple A Loft, a cool, airy space filled with natural light. A zebra greeted me when I stepped out of the elevator, and I wandered past the mod yellow sofa and issues of WWD and Electrify in the lobby to the No Such Agency space, a charming area with a minimalist desk and table, an old-fashioned window, a floor-to-ceiling mirror, and six racks of samples. An intern greeted me and showed me around, telling me all about the collections.

I was immediately drawn to the Daniel.Silverstain rack. “I want to focus on this brand because I would wear every item here,” I stammered. I don’t always say this. Liking every item from a clothing brand is rare, in the way that it’s rare to enjoy every song in a music artist’s repertoire. What was it about these few items, hanging on a single steel rod, spaced a few inches apart? There was the recurrent pairing of black and white. There was the dramatic asymmetry, the kind that makes you feel perpetually a step ahead of the here and now.  There was the formality of each piece – being in my early twenties, I often like to dress older so I will be taken more seriously. And even though common prints and materials were used across items, as is typical for a seasonal collection, no two pieces blended together. There was nothing redundant, nothing forgettable. I could envision every item on myself, each one standing out on a crowded block, each one making a distinct impression.

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This is the Fall 2016 collection, shown last September as a see-now, buy-now presentation. Titled WHITE.CITY, it was inspired by the effects of the Bauhaus movement on Tel Aviv in the 1950s.

Me in the layered blouse, black pants, and crocodile-embossed shearling coat with separating panel in orchid. Though I prefer warm weather, I have always gravitated toward the grandeur of a long winter coat. All runway photos by Robert Mitra/WWD.  

Daniel Silverstain founded his luxury apparel brand in 2013. He takes inspiration from industrialism, modernism, and futurism. “I design to inspire women to be bold, to be courageous, to stand out, and to create a story of their own,” he says. Originally from Israel, Silverstain started his fashion career at the Israeli division of KEDS Kids in 2006, advancing quickly to Design Director. In 2009, he moved to New York to pursue a BFA in Fashion/Apparel Design at FIT. While in school, he interned at Marie Claire for a semester (see, even acclaimed designers pay their dues) and worked as an assistant designer at 3.1 Phillip Lim and a designer at Muuse and Elie Tahari.

He launched Daniel.Silverstain soon after graduating. Last year, he co-founded Flying Solo, a designer-owned retail incubator in Little Italy. Flying Solo provides a platform for startup brands to enter the brick-and-mortar market without selling to a retailer, which requires accommodating a retail markup and often supplying high minimum orders, or maintaining their own boutique, especially in New York where rents are high. Flying Solo is owned and operated by twenty-eight fashion brands.

     Daniel Silverstain Janelle Monae

Janelle Monáe, my favorite actress now that she’s an actress, in a Daniel.Silverstain coat for Cosmopolitan. Photo by Max Abadian.

NSA44

I recognized KUT from the Kloth from Nordstrom, where I sold their jeans in the Point of View department alongside brands like Caslon and NYDJ. I really enjoyed seeing the brand on its own, in its complete form. I always knew they had great-fitting jeans, but I didn’t know that they also had dresses, tops, jackets, and pants! I loved the profusion of florals, the pinstripes, the sweeping bell sleeves, and the whimsical paper bag waist on a pair of dress pants.

Me in the Luz blouse and Regina pants. Life Stride shoes.

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The effervescent bell sleeve of a pink blouse. 

KUT from the Kloth is based in Los Angeles. Their core focus is “to offer women of all shapes and sizes the perfect-fitting jean”. They started with the denim concept in 1977, but expanded to add sportswear in 2006. The company has a strong commitment to workers’ rights, requiring that all of their suppliers and vendors adhere to their Code of Ethics policy. They make sure to work only with factories that do not employ workers younger than 15, pay a fair wage, properly dispose of all hazardous materials, and have an environmental management system in place that includes disaster and emergency preparedness. After the Rana Plaza collapse, this is welcome to hear.

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The Ruthy dress and Rosie skirt. 

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The off-shoulder flutter sleeve dress and Adyson dress. 

You can find KUT from the Kloth on their website, Nordstrom, Dillard’s, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Century 21, Zappos, Bluefly, and many boutiques nationwide. As a resident of Bushwick who likes to shop at little shops, my source of choice is Néda in Park Slope.

NSA43     NSA39

No Such Agency’s fashion showroom makes appointments for editors, stylists, celebrities, bloggers, and “micro-influencers” to select samples to borrow for photo shoots and events. The biggest appointment witnessed by the girl I talked to was from Vogue, to select pieces for a Karlie Kloss spread shot in Australia. Karlie Kloss has been my favorite model since this article in 2007, so I was pretty excited. No Such Agency keeps six brands at a time. The founders, “This British power couple”, consistently choose independent ready-to-wear brands “with a cool vibe”. They also have a showroom in Los Angeles.

Besides fashion, No Such Agency represents clients in the media, music, art, and lifestyle industries; in other words, everything creative and glamorous. The founders, Dan and Helena Barton, came from marketing at Diesel. Dan has worked at Maison Margiela and DSquared2. Helena has worked at Rag & Bone and All Saints. On the music side, she has worked for James Brown, The Strokes, Kings of Leon, and Franz Ferdinand.

Neighborhood Store — Beacon’s Closet

beacons-closet

When I moved into my senior dorm at NYU, I was pleasantly surprised to see a clothing boutique on my block. Now I have walked past a lot of  boutiques in New York, but I got super excited about this one because it was affordable. Beacon’s Closet is a consignment store with a focus on designer labels and unique vintage items. Yes their mascot is a hipster baby (or a hipster old man), yes there are a lot of quirky things in there, but they truly have something for everyone. The small, high-ceilinged room was absolutely packed with inventory, with sections for long dresses, clothing by color, shoes, jewelry, hats, glasses, scarves, belts, and handbags.  Because there are so many things to choose from, if you put in the time you can find plenty of pieces that complement your personal style. For me, that means feminine and sophisticated. I spent five hours there on my last trip, and this is what I found:

 1. Maje top                                                              2. Tibi skirt

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tibi-2    tibi

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                                                                 Forever 21 earrings

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Vintage velvet purse; bracelet from Croatia, from my father

3. Ella Moss dress                                                       4. Lazarus hat

20161026_001533   wellington-16

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Vera Bradley purse;  poster from my mother; Forever 21 stackable rings

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Style & Co. shoes

5. Elizabeth and James dress                                 6. L.K. Bennett penny loafers

20161026_001648             wellington-23

elizabeth-and-james         20161024_201547

Vintage lariat necklace

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H&M earrings; Forever 21 bracelet; Forever 21 ring

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Chanel handbag

7. Cynthia Rowley blouse                                          8. Kors Michael Kors shoes

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Forever 21 skirt; custom poster by Sir Shadow, from the 2015 Harlem Fine Arts Show

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Vintage clip-on earrings

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Xhilaration bracelets; Harajuku Lovers ring; vintage purse

9. Yumi Kim top

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Bebe reversible skirt; Jennifer Moore purse

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Anna Belen headband; Xhilaration espadrilles; poster from the NYU Bookstore

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Bracelet I have had since I was little, of unknown origin; Lady Gaga concert ring; Hello Kitty ring, found on the floor at Forever 21

10. Halston Heritage dress

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Van Eli shoes; Charter Club handbag   20161024_221410

Narmi watch

11. Sportmax dress

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    Vintage purse with abalone shells and wooden handle

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This dress is comfortable and convenient — it zips in the front and has spacious pockets!

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Earrings from Iran, from a friend

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Bracelets from my mother; Forever 21 ring; Sbicca espadrilles

12. Nonoo dress                                                     13. Marc Jacobs flats

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Purse from my great-aunt; clock from Indonesia, from a friend

My wardrobe has always been a mix of fast fashion, vintage, and gifts from family and friends, so I am very happy to have found Beacon’s Closet. They have four stores in NYC, and a website for everyone else! Happy shopping.

 

Flowery at the Macy’s Flower Show

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The Macy’s flagship in Herald Square is an iconic landmark for Manhattan and the fashion industry alike, going strong since 1901. Whether for work trips or pure shopping, I love visiting the store; large department stores mesmerize me because they are like worlds unto themselves. Every spring this flagship has a beautiful tradition — the Macy’s Flower Show! I went in after my internship to see the gorgeous exhibit, themed America the Beautiful, and dressed in head-to-toe flowers for the occasion.

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A living, photosynthesizing American Flag

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                             Red                                                                      White

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And blue, with dainty butterflies for stars  

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                                            Exhibit creator Jessy Wolvek of Fleurs NYC

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The Pacific Northwest Wonderland. Being from California, I approve of the description. The Golden Gate Bridge was most scenic from the middle of the escalator! 

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The Vast Southwest, replete with tall cacti and rust-colored flowers

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The Majestic Rockies. It was a nice surprise to see flowers suspended from the ceiling!

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The Midwest Fruited Plains, with sunny flowers, rolling hills, and a windmill 

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Tiny lilac and pink flowers gathered together beside the escalators to escort customers to the second floor 

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Do Not Touch! Sharp and striking cacti keep company with a majestic agave.

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 An American Flag close-up in a frame, made entirely of flowers

Macy’s has a well-earned reputation for window displays, and they went all out for the flower show.

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Northeast Sound, with a lush floral lighthouse and sailboats riding the petaled waves

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The Golden Gate Bridge and a forest of giant redwoods

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The Southwestern window, with towering red rocks, cacti, succulents, and a cow skull 

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A gated garden with an angelic fountain

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Flower-bearing doggies in the window

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Me wearing the sort of thing one ought to wear to a flower show. Blouse, E.A.G. Collection; skirt with sash, Forever 21; black bracelet from my grandmother Sylvia; headband by Anna Belén

Elle for Kohls' shoes    Forever 21 earrings 2   Forever 21 necklace 2

Elle for Kohl’s shoes; Forever 21 earrings and necklace

   Forever 21 Bracelet  Forever 21 Flower Ring   Claire's ring 3

Forever 21  bracelet and rings; Claire’s ring

Black Totes 2

Chateau handbag

Neighborhood Store — 3.1 Phillip Lim

I have always had a cute, girly sense of style, but now that I am almost done with college I want to look more streamlined and professional. At 3.1 Phillip Lim I don’t have to choose; and on a more casual day, I can even declare my love for the world’s favorite city! 3.1 Phillip Lim is located at 48 Great Jones in Manhattan, two blocks away from my building. The brand’s boutiques can also be found in Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, and Singapore, and new stores are scheduled to open in Macau and Bangkok.

3.1 Phillip Lim Store 3.1 Phillip Lim dress 3.1 Phillip Lim jumpsuit

Patchwork lace dress in navy, $895 ~~~ Tuxedo jumpsuit in powder pink, $895

3.1 Phillip Lim top  3.1 Phillip Lim knitwear  3.1 Phillip Lim Store 2

I Heart NY t-shirt in soft black, $145 ~~~ Long sleeve pullover with mixed yarn in black-white, $650

3.1 Phillip Lim outerwear 3.1 Phillip Lim Store 3 3.1 Phillip Lim skirt

Fur bomber in black-white, $4,500 ~~~ Eyelet A-line skirt in caribbean, $450

3.1 Phillip Lim Store 4 3.1 Phillip Lim pants 3.1 Phillip Lim shoes

Cropped flared pant in black, $495 ~~~ Martini mid heel sandal in raspberry, $450

3.1 Phillip Lim wallet 3.1 Phillip Lim handbag 3.1 Phillip Lim Store 5

Cash wallet in raspberry, $225 ~~~ Pashli satchel in black-cream, $1,050

My Favorite Things at Nordstrom

I work at Nordstrom in Corte Madera, California, mainly in the TBD and Savvy departments, but also in Point of View, Individualist, Dresses, and Men’s Clothing when needed. Here are the best things I have noticed during my days there…

Kensie   Natasha Couture

Kensie, $15              Natasha Couture, $48            ASTR, $49

Joa   Sondra Roberts        kate spade 2 (2)

J.O.A., $92              Sondra Roberts, $98                           Kate Spade, $109

Jane Post   Alice + Olivia        St. John

Jane Post, $325             Alice + Olivia, $345                         St. John, $2,595

Departments (from top left): Hosiery, Trend Accessories, Savvy, Savvy, Trend Accessories, Accessories, Studio 121, Via C, Via C

Neighborhood Store — Tatyana

At first thought, you might not think you would like to live in the early 1960s…no mp3 players, no internet, no cell phones…but then again, the fashion of that time was quite put together. After watching the show Masters of Sex, I started to crave a complete period wardrobe…and the boutique Tatyana is just the place! Located at 303 Bowery in Manhattan, two blocks south of my dorm! Also located in Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Bloomington, Nashville, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, and Toronto. 

Soft Roses   Second Look Dress    Chloe Blouse Black

$122 (dress)                              $400                                      $55 (blouse)

Checkers JacketFanny Skirt Green      Penelope Sage

$90 (jacket)                                       $58 (skirt)                           $60

Three Row Pearl Necklace & Earrings    Joan   Dita Sophisticat Gold

$25 (necklace and earrings set)     $490 (hat)                              $285

Scarf Pink with Bows and Dots      Beach Bash Purse Mint   Umbrella Black

$10                                                      $48                                           $36