WHAT SHE SAID Recap

By Maya Laviolette

Krystal Bick, of This Time Tomorrow, photographed in New Orleans

Krystal Bick, of This Time Tomorrow, photographed in New Orleans

Post-election detox was much needed on the night of What She Said, the W Hotel’s panel discussion made of boss women in their respective fields. On November 15th, over 65+ women came together at the W Hotel- French Quarter to enjoy a night of laughs, sharing, and candid advice to take into any situation. In delicious to food and champagne beforehand, there were on-site makeup and hair touches courtesy of Paris Parker Aveda. Attendees also shopped the pop-up of Brooklyn based athletic lifestyle brand Alexis Mera. The panel was moderated by SCFD’s very own Andi Eaton and it felt very much like a night in with your closest girls. From dropping a few swears, talking odd first jobs, and finding inspiration in the most surprising places; every panelist brought their unique take.

Robin Barnes, in addition to wowing the crowd with her set, talked about the treatment of women in the music industry. Kristin Diable (who was rocking everyone’s ideal fall hat) chimed in saying that attitudes are shifting slowly, and revealed that the most surprising person she follows on Instagram is Kim Kardashian! Christine Cameron talked about following her dreams by moving across the country to start anew in New York City. Krystal Bick spoke on uplifting women’s voices in the workplace, especially coming from a tech-based sector. It was some of our panelists first time in the Big Easy and we hope this event helped to kick off their visit right!

The first ever What She Said was a great night of women coming together and we’d like to thank everyone who came out!

Opening Photo via This Time Tomorrow. Btw! See Krystal's full recap of her week in New Orleans here.

Popping Up at What She Said: Alexis Mera + Paris Parker Aveda

By: Maya Laviolette

WHAT SHE SAID, a power panel featuring women from varying industries, is almost upon us! On Tuesday November 15th, the W Hotel- French Quarter will be hosting a night of networking and new ideas. Before the main event, there will be a pop up shopping hour featuring pieces from Alexis Mera and hair and makeup refreshing services from Paris Parker.

 

Alexis Mera is an active lifestyle brand based out of New York City founded by Alexis Mera Damen. “From workouts to brunch dates, wanderlusting and beyond, our mission is to design versatile clothing for an active lifestyle, taking the modern woman through her busy day, while feeling happy, healthy, and beautiful in her own skin.” The vibrant prints featured on jogger pants, tops, and dresses are all constructed through a green printing process that’s beneficial for garment creators and the environment.  Launched in 2015, Alexis Mera has grown into a formidable brand with their first active performance collection coming in Spring 2017. Come shop the current collection with us!

Paris Parker will also be in attendance demonstrating AVEDA's latest How-To’s. They’ll be offering hair services and makeup touch ups so everyone can shine! Try out the fall’s newest trends, enjoy complimentary champagne, and mingle with other boss ladies.

What She Said is free and open to the public. Reserve your space by emailing wnolarsvp@whotels.com. Join us, W Hotels, Alexis Mera and Paris Parker Aveda for a wonderful night on November 15th.

For All My Ladies

By: Maya Laviolette

Calling All The Ladies!- Come Join Us For “What She Said”

 

Does the election madness leave you in need of a kick of #girlboss inspiration?

Or, are you looking ahead to 2017 goals already? (teach us your ways)

Join W Hotels Worldwide and a group of talented and inspiring women for a night of conversation, connections, and champagne on November 15th at the W New Orleans- French Quarter. 

Sponsored by the New Orleans CVB, “What She Said” will bring together women from from the worlds of fashion, music, design, tech and more to New Orleans.  Prior to a panel moderated by our very own Andi Eaton, guests will be able to enjoy a pop up shopping hour with complimentary champagne and passed bites. Local jazz songstress Robin Barnes who is also participating in the panel, will be performing songs from her ep Songbird Sessions.

The female influencers partaking in this conversation are:

Krystal Bick, Founder/CEO of “This Time Tomorrow,” a popular fashion and lifestyle destination blog based in New York City

Christine Cameron, a personal stylist, freelance writer, and editor of the website “My Style Pill.” Her work has been featured in Vogue, Glamour, Lucky and People Stylewatch

Robin Barnes, a New Orleans jazz songstress who has been featured on ESPN, BET and Forbes. Her new EP, “Songbird Sessions,” debuted at #5 on Billboard’s Traditional Jazz charts. 

Moderator: Andi Eaton, founder of the lifestyle and travel blog, “Oui We Girl,” published author and founder of the Southern Coalition of Fashion + Design

This event is free and open to the public, space is limited. Please RSVP at wnolarsvp@whotels.com. We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, November 15th!

SCFD Partners with New Orleans Film Festival

Once again, the Southern Coalition of Fashion Designers is pleased to announce their community partnership with the New Orleans Film Festival (October 12-20).

This year SCFD is offering a set of tickets to Check It, a feature-length documentary about a gay and trans African-American gang struggling to survive in one of Washington D.C.’s most violent neighborhoods. The film is an intimate portrait of four childhood friends as they claw their way out of gang life through an unlikely avenue: fashion.

What: Check It, a feature-length documentary
When: Saturday Oct 15 4:15 pm | Contemporary Arts Center
Thursday Oct 20 4:00 pm | Ace Hotel New Orleans

Watch the trailer here.

Alexis Mera's Southern Debut

By: Mary Katherine

On Saturday, October 15 from 11 to 4 p.m. New York-based designer Alexis Mera Damen will showcase her vibrant new clothing line to the south at Hattie Sparks in New Orleans. The trunk show will give lovers of comfortable casual wear (spoiler alert: all pieces are made with luxuriously soft jersey knit fabrics) the chance to experience her bold and chic basics. Plus City Greens, Hour Blast and several other local businesses will join to celebrate healthy living.

WhoAlexis Mera by Alexis Damen
What: Fall Trunk Show
Where: Hattie Sparks Boutique, 39 Girod Street, Suite 140
New Orleans, Louisiana 70013
When: Saturday, October 15 from 11 - 4 p.m.

“After graduating from The Fashion Institute of Technology, and working nearly a decade in the Fashion Industry, most recently developing product for DKNY Sleepwear, I decided it was finally time to venture off on my own (something I had always wanted to do!),” says Damen on her website. “Combining my experience with my love for all things comfortable, the collection began with easy to wear tops, bottoms, and dresses that are perfect for lounging or mingling, without compromising style.”

The line inspired by boss babes who runs from Barre class to brunch, a walk in the park (or neutral ground) to a side-hustle meeting, resonates perfectly with the aesthetic and sensibility of the active southern woman who wants to be polished yet comfortable. Combine that with the fact that all her pieces are designed and produced in the United States and created with a printing process dedicated to keeping workers and the environment safe and you’ll ask yourself why you are not wearing any of her gear—yet!

Can’t make it to the October show? Gear up for Tuesday, November 15 when Damen along with Robin Barnes, and Krystal Bick will be featured at the “What She Said” ladies-only panel and trunk show at the W Hotel in New Orleans. More info on that later!

Venture POP

By: Lani Maheu

Calling all creatives!!! Learn, explore, meet people just like you.

 

 

Looking for a way to make connections within your community and learn how to expand your business? Just go ahead and put Venture Pop on your calendar right now! Venture Pop is a 2-day conference coming soon to New Orleans that is geared towards designers, artists, freelancers, writers, and creative thinkers that are willing to grow their business.  Take your business to the next level and come listen to some inspiring stories by the successful speakers that are on the top-notch lineup.

Among the speakers that we'll see at the conference there is definitely something for everyone. On the list: Tara Gentile, Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon, Wesley Verhoeve, Puno Dostres, Jesse LaBauve and David Jones II, Shenee Howard, and Sarah Morgan. From these speakers some of our favorite creative new businesses were born: Quiet Power Strategy, Being Boss Podcast, @madewithmap and @ilovecreatives, Pioneer Collective,  XOSarah.com and many more. 

Having a small business can be stressful and frustrating at times. Join us and find out how these guys worked through the hard times and came out on top.  Venture Pop conference is on Saturday September 17th and Sunday September 18th, 2016.  For more information about Venture Pop check out their website: www.venturepopconference.com.

And! p.s. head over to our instagram page this week, we'll be giving away tickets.

The Summer Style Guide

A feature in New Orleans & Me

By Lani Maheu

As the summer is heating up so should your waredrobe. This time of year is where the layers are few and the skin is more noticeable bare. If you are feeling like you are wearing the same ole' things because it seems to be to humid to function; you are in luck! Recently our founder was interviewed by New Orleans & Me about the best way to stay stylish in the summer months. Never fear your trusted stylists are here to help add some essentials to elevate your personal style.

Featured above: 1. & 2. Goorin Bros; 3. J. Crew; 4. Sotre; 5. Lucy Rose; 6. Friend; 7. Pied Nu; 8. Lennox + Lane; 9. Bonfolk Collective; 10. Billy Reid

Here's the article in full by Andrea Blumenstein:

New Orleans in the summer is a lot of things: mainly hot and steamy, oftentimes wet, and occasionally torrential. A single day can offer both the promise of endless blue skies and the darkest storm clouds.

Whether you live here or are planning a long weekend in the Crescent City, summertime style is an adventure. Assembling a look for the tropical months bridging festival and football season can be a challenge.

But with an expert’s advice on a few key closet swaps, guys and girls alike can put their best (comfortable) food forward and rock the current trends through A/C blasts, rain storms, and air that is thick with humidity.

Andi Eaton, of Andi Eaton Creatives, author of Oui We Girl and New Orleans Style, weighs in on this season’s trends.

Fashion from Head to Toe (The Ladies)

Eaton recommends checking out local brand El Merchante for fashionable and functional hats. “What I am seeing,” says Eaton, “is that brims are getting wider.” Keep an eye out for Panama hats and anything lightly textured or woven.

Also on the hot list are old-school baseball caps. A far cry from the boxy trucker hat, these vintage styles have a curved, worn rim, but can be worn to make a gal look pretty and pulled together on a steamy afternoon.

Around the neck, scarves are on trend right now. A small neckerchief or wrap around light summer scarf for sun protection elevates any look – especially something as basic and versatile as a perfect white t-shirt.

For tips on how to tie in an added pop of color or pattern around your neck this summer, Eaton recommends checking out personal stylist Christine Cameron’s blog, My Style Pill, for ideas.

“With the addition of a scarf,” says Eaton, “You automatically look dressed.”

Other top picks? A great floral print will add interest to an ensemble. Mixing is okay but stick to your comfort zone. If you think you have an eye for it, go full speed ahead.

Jewelry in the summertime tends to lean toward the minimal because of the heat and humidity. Eaton suggests picking pieces that are interesting and special. Lennox + Lane (2131 Magazine St) and Sotre (3933 Magazine St) are great places to shop locally to pick up new accessories.

It is summertime, so shirts are all about breathable material; on the day we meet, she is wearing a cotton/hemp blend. In addition, it has been a sad year for music fans, and designers have used the runway to pay tribute with vintage band concert t-shirts and tanks.

Mass-market production imitates high couture, so you will see the trend trickle down into H&M and similar stores. For Eaton, you don’t have to be a super-fan or been old enough to see a particular tour, but try to at least have an idea what band and message you are repping if you go for this look.

She adds that belts are a great quick fix to pull something together. “Skinny, neutral colors always work,” says Eaton. “But a vibrant pastel is a great way to add color.”

For summer, footwear is all about comfort and wearability. Rain boots? Always good. Birkenstocks? She gives them thumbs up. Also making their way back on the scene: platform flats.

“Functional shoes can go with any look and make sense,” says Eaton.

And Gents

You see a lot of the same female trends reworked for the latest menswear coming down the runway. Wide-brimmed hats are also great for guys, but Eaton recommends staying away from the fedora-style in favor of the Panama.

Scarfs work on men too, says Eaton. “A natural cotton handkerchief that is rolled and tied into a scarf is definitely fashion forward, and paired with a linen shirt, is a great way to dress up without having to put on a tie in the summer months.”

With men, the t-shirt trend is also great for summer, but you’ve got to be age appropriate. “One of the things I get asked a lot,” says Eaton, “is how appropriate shorts are for men.”

The issue: guys tend to buy their shorts too big. She recommends thinking about how a well-fitting tailored pair of trousers would fit if they were cropped into a short.

“They should not be oversized at the bottom,” she says. And if you are having trouble, ask a salesperson, because shorts look much more pulled together when they are well sized. “You can be 70 and wear something a bit shorter if you have a fitted shirt. It can be a great style,” says Eaton.

For men’s footwear, it is important to think about function, but also be mindful that running shoes are not the same shoes you wear for dinner.

“If you want to dress up sneakers,” says Eaton, “don’t wear the same pair you wear to the gym every day.” She suggests checking out Billy Reid (3927 Magazine St) for KSwiss super-classic sneakers, or, if that is too youthful, leather sneakers that look more dressed up.

Socks can be a great way to show personality and style in a menswear look, but please leave them at home if you are slipping on a driving loafer or moccasin. Socks go with dress shoes or sneakers, and that is about all.

Whatever your style is, there are lots of great places to buy local around New Orleans, with cool boutiques on Magazine Street and in Lakeview. Look out for Bella & Harlow (4221 Magazine St), and Lucy Rose (3318 Magazine St) for attire Uptown. Handmade and unique accessories can be found at Adorn & Conquer (2727 Prytania St), Goorin Bros (709 Royal St and 2127 Magazine St) and Queork (838 Chartres St).

For more from Andi Eaton, keep an eye out for her second book, A Girl’s Guide to Roadtripping in Style, hitting shelves in spring 2017. Part travel guide, part style guide, the book details nine road trips across America and the styles, from interior decor to exterior outfits, that you will see along the way.

Whether it was adding a scarf to a basic white tee or relizing that platformed flats coming back in style is really a thing; we hope these tips will cool down your wits, making styling much easier. Remember less is better, "Jewelry in the summertime tends to lean toward the minimal" and guys just say no to socks and moccasins, Kay??

 

 

BrandShop Sip & Shop Recap

By Mary Katherine Leslie-Van Hook

Photos by Kendra Jones

A memorable Saturday is: eyeing adornments and garments conceived by kick ass designers while snacking on cotton candy and sipping champagne.

That’s me. I’m quietly freaking out over how beautiful the WHIT collection was whilst enjoying orange cotton candy because, Saturday.

A garment from WHIT.

A garment from WHIT.

The SCFD Happy Hour at the Martine Chaisson Gallery, commencing BrandShop’s first New Orleans visit was the perfect finale to a weekend of speakers, wellness, and of course, shopping. The crew at SCFD was tickled by the opportunity to unwind after the festivities and spend time with some of the amazing women behind the weekend’s brands.

MVP award goes to the women of POOF Gourment Cotton Candy. We all felt so nostalgic snacking on such sweet, airy deliciousness.

MVP award goes to the women of POOF Gourment Cotton Candy. We all felt so nostalgic snacking on such sweet, airy deliciousness.

I loved chatting with all the vendors but was especially taken by the women of Fernweh, an artisan jewelry group with designs inspired by travel. Amelia and Rachel are incredibly passionate about their pieces and recognize the responsibility of incorporating culture into their designs. Their latest collection pays homage to Mexico with bold colors and splashes of rich textiles.

We ooh’d and ahh’d over so many of their pieces. Show-stoppers. BONUS: 2.5% of each sale is reinvested back into a microfinancing program for the women who crafted the pieces in Mexico.

Speaking of textiles that made me swoon, I seriously enjoyed talking to Sara Rossi of Beau & Ro who shared stories of her shoes and accessories that are constructed from European tapestries. It doesn’t get more one of kind than that.

“These are great conversation starters,” said Sara. I’ll say.

Next, I visited with Jane of Jane Pope Jewelry who is a recent transplant to the town of Spartanburg in South Carolina. Not only is she an artist in her own right (not to mention featured in Vogue, Refinery 29, Matchbook Magazine and on The Today Show), but a mover and a shaker in the fine jewelry world who manages to maintain boss babe status all while supporting and loving her husband and kids. I have a 14 karat gold crush on her.

By this time the champagne bubbles were making me sleepy so I took a seat next the ladies of Rothy. They shared the good news of their ridiculously comfortable, chic, and environmentally friendly flats. Founded by men who were tired of hearing their wives complain about their footwear quietly crushing their souls with each step (sounds familiar?), the shoes were created to fill a void in the market. I’m probably going to order 3 pairs this afternoon because their comfort level is basically a practical joke.

These are legitimately, THE most euphoric flats your feet will every meet.

These are legitimately, THE most euphoric flats your feet will every meet.

Another lady we all just loved is Brooklyn-based Alexis Mera.  Her athleisure and activewear label was spotted on quite a few of the most fashion forward girls in the room and immediately we all agreed she's figured out how to make workout attire extraordinarily hip.

Cheers to a fantastic weekend, new friends, and incredible finds from around the country and world! We loved sharing our Saturday with you, BrandShop!

Special thanks to Kendra Jones Morris for capturing our event so beautifully. Enjoy more of her work here.

Special thanks to Kendra Jones Morris for capturing our event so beautifully. Enjoy more of her work here.

Q&A with Hillary and Laura of BRANDSHOP

"A TRAVELING SHOP OF

THE COOLEST EMERGING

BRANDS CREATED BY

FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS"

Together they have produced pop-up shops for brands including Cynthia Rowley, Bonobos, Exhibition A and top retailers like Barneys, Colette, and Lane Crawford. Co-founders of Brandshop Laura Martin and Hillary Crittendon are the ultimate #GirlBoss crew.

BRANDSHOP NEW ORLEANS will bring its unique energy and collaborative community to New Orleans for the first time on June 3 –June 4 featuring speakers and shopping opportunities with more than 30 top emerging designers.

Our Founder and Creative Director, Andi Eaton, had an opportunity to chat with Laura and Hillary about their company, and so much more. Read on to get the full scoop on Laura and Hillary's approach to starting and running your own badass business and why they chose New Orleans for their next event!

 

Q. Tell us about Brandshop? How it began and the sparking of the idea… from the beginning!

A. We’ve been privileged to work with & get to know many smart, independent designers over the past few years and that, combined with our prior work in fashion & retail, highlighted a real problem. For many young brands, trunk shows and events are key to growth, development and building a customer base in cities around the country. But most of these brands have extremely small teams and limited resources to execute a nationwide trunk show strategy or invest in broad digital marketing. We created Brandshop to help designers expand their distribution beyond major fashion markets, through experience-based retail events (large and small) which help customers discover brands, get to know them and hopefully, become brand advocates who will help push their message & name forward.

Q. When you started Brandshop, looking out into the market, what problem did you believe Brandshop to be solving?

A. Our events offer brands a unique bricks & mortar retail opportunity in cities outside major fashion markets. For many young designers, there are only a handful of appropriate permanent retail opportunities in any given city, and if a designer isn’t carried in a specific store or hasn’t yet created a presence in a certain city, her ability to develop a customer base is quite limited. Through our events, we can help those designers expand their retail footprints, connect with new clients & local media and test new cities through short, tightly-curated events which require little upfront risk on their part.  

Q. Our readers are female entrepreneurs, creatives and are often aspiring to follow their personal dream - what were the steps you took to begin the company?

A. We started by building a network. We had hundreds of coffee dates with creatives in cities around the South and spoke with them about problems they faced in their own businesses. And then we started small, testing our concept with friends & peers before launching our first, large-scale event in December this past year. By the time we held Brandshop Charlotte, we’d hosted about 12 small events in 5 cities and had pulled together some great data-- which proved to us that this was a model that both customers and brands were interested in.

Q. If you could give our readers one piece of advice on starting their own business, what would it be?

A. I think testing your concept is really important before investing dollars into a business. Whether you can test on a larger scale in beta mode or even on a smaller scale with focus groups and anecdotal feedback, an idea and business model improves greatly with input from others-- who would be potential clients, customers or advisors-- so talking to those people is key in helping avoid missteps right at the beginning.

Q. What resources are out there for female entrepreneurs?

A. Community is very important, and can be defined in many different ways. We’ve been so impressed with how genuinely interested & supportive other female entrepreneurs have been as we’ve worked to build our business. Whether through sharing advice and feedback, making introductions to other friends in the industry or taking part in one of our events as a host, designers or speaker.  For other women looking to grow a business, I’d say-- ask for help, ask for advice, ask to have coffee or a phone call. You’ll likely find the best support from peers. And those peers can steer you in the right direction to find amazing resources, city-by-city, like connecting with SC-FD, Idea Village or The Scout Guide in New Orleans. Those groups are amazing and each city has its own unique roster of leading organizations who work to help entrepreneurs succeed.   

Q. In regards to work ethic, what keeps you going each day?

A. We’ve both talked about this before-- but it is truly great to have a business partner who pushes you to do your best. And for us, we also have a whole network of designers we admire and they push us to succeed. We want each of our events to be great, so that they have an awesome experience, so that they can grow their brands and so that they can continue to push forward as successful entrepreneurs in their respective fields.

Q. In regards to your personal style, what are the rules that you live by?

Hillary: I try to remain true to style fundamentals which I’ve always loved- like classic lines, solids with pops of color or print to accent a look. Right now, my closet is full of white pants and navy or white shift dresses, but I adore white and navy so investing in pieces that I love and that I know I’ll wear makes sense to me. I also now have a little one so comfort is key for me. Despite adoring a pair of shoes, if I’m never going to wear them, I don’t buy them. And what’s fantastic about the advent of athleisure, smart sneakers etc. is that you can be comfortable and stylish at the same time.

Laura: There are no rules! I just wear what makes me feel happy!

Q. What did you each do before beginning your company together?

Hillary: I was a retail strategy consultant with McKinsey and helped large retailers bridge the gap between their online and offline strategies. Before that, I spent time with online menswear retailer Bonobos and, in a former life, was an investment banker.

Laura: Directly before this, I started an online art company called Exhibition A which partners with top contemporary artists to produce signed, limited edition prints of their work. Prior to that, I ran business development, licensing and operations for Cynthia Rowley & in my early days, sales & marketing for jewelry designer Robert Lee Morris.  

Q. What are some lessons you learned in previously jobs that you’ve applied to this business you have together?

Hillary: I think you hit on one of the lessons in your first question-- make sure you are solving a clear problem and don’t lose focus on what that problem is.

Q. What’s currently on your music playlist?

We've got a healthy balance of pop favorites like Adele &Taylor Swift playing alongside indie favorites like the Alabama Shakes, and Shovels and Rope playing in the office.

Q. How do you find new brands to work with? What gives a brand uniqueness to you?

A. We do a lot of research - we're constantly reading WWD, Vogue, etc. We've also found that Instagram and referrals are great ways to discover new brands.

We're lucky to get to interact directly with the designers behind each brand - each of whom have a unique story and perspective. Every brand that we work with started as a simple idea and it's really interesting to see that vision grow. I think the most compelling brands choose a lane - they have a clear vision. Often they become great at one thing whether that's the perfect bag, a great necklace, or a super tailored collection of womenswear before they venture into other categories or concepts. I know that sounds simple, but it can be really intimidating and require a lot of confidence and focus to say, "I'm going to build my business around this one idea" and have the commitment to let that define you.

Q. Your next event is in New Orleans? Why New Orleans? And what are your favorite things to do in our city?

A. One of the major things which attracted us to New Orleans at the onset was the amazing artist community. We love visiting the studios of Mallory Page, Ashley Longshore & Amanda Talley among many talented others when we’re in town, as well as shop with Nadine Blake, Villa Vici, Rivers Spencer, Perch & Julie Neill. The supportive, creative community was what originally drew us to New Orleans and so when we come back, we love connecting with those women and checking out their latest achievements.  

And we can’t mention New Orleans without a nod to the food and the cocktails. The 75 + oysters and beef carpaccio at The Franklin are hard to beat, as is the Mexican Chocolate donut from District Donuts.

Q. Anything else you’d like to share with us?

We’re so psyched to be opening our doors in New Orleans June 3-4 as it’s truly one of our favorite cities. We hope the women of New Orleans will stop by our event to check out the brands, meet the designers, sip some cool coffee and fresh pressed juice and event get a custom fashion illustration, or nail art! We have so many fun elements to Brandshop and are open to the public all day Friday-Saturday so hope girlfriends will use this as an opportunity to get together, have a cocktail and enjoy all that our weekend has to offer.

Want in? Tickets and a full schedule are available here. Use the code SCFD for 20% off. 

And! Come out to our Mimosa and Coffee hour in partnership with Revelator Coffee and shop the Emerging Designers on Saturday, June 4th at 3 p.m. RSVP to Andi@SC-FD.org.