Fashion News Alert: Mariah Carey’s Beauty Company in the Works, Michael Kors to Shutter over 100 stores, David Beckham’s New Gig, and Credit Suisse Predicts Closure of a Quarter of US Malls

Image courtesy of hawtcelebs

Image courtesy of hawtcelebs

Mariah Carey continues to expand her empire. Carey is looking to launch a beauty company and was spotted recently in Beverly Hills scouting locations.

“They plan on opening a brick-and-mortar store in Beverly Hills and have been secretly looking at a number of retail spaces with a plan to unveil it this holiday season or next year by the latest,” explained a source. This same source confirmed that Carey’s prospective beauty company would include makeup, skincare and fragrances.

Image courtesy of mr-mag.com

Image courtesy of mr-mag.com

Michael Kors to shutter stores

2017 is not looking good for Michael Kors. As the brand looks to turn around a decline in sales, the brand is looking to close between 100 to 125 full-price retail stores in two years. Total sales fell 11.2 in the most recent quarter ending April 1 with stock prices falling more than 6 percent last Wednesday.

Like other brick and mortar stores, retail sales at Michael Kors stores have declined due to online shopping, stagnant consumer wages and an overall decline in apparel purchasing. According to fashionnetwork.com, net loss attributable to Michael Kors was $26.8 million, or 17 cents per share, in the latest quarter, compared with net income of $177 million, or 98 cents per share, a year earlier.

Image courtesy of luxepose.com

Image courtesy of luxepose.com

Another fashion gig for Beckham

David Beckham has new job. The soccer superstar has long been associated with fashion brands and fragrances. And now Beckham can add watch brand, Tudor, to his many fashion brand associations.

According to WWD, David Beckham has been pegged as a new brand ambassador for Tudor based on his status as an international style icon. Beckham will also front Tudor’s “Born to Dare” campaign.

“Daring individuals have long chosen Tudor while achieving the extraordinary on land, ice, in the air and underwater,” declares a Tudor spokesman. “It also refers to the vision of Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Tudor, who manufactured Tudor watches to withstand the most extreme conditions, watches made for the most daring lifestyle indeed. It finally tells of the singular approach Tudor is known for today, having pioneered now major trends within the watchmaking industry.”

Image courtesy of nbcwashington.com

Image courtesy of nbcwashington.com

Mall shutdown

Credit Suisse is predicting that a quarter of American shopping malls will close over the next five years. That means of the 1100 malls in the US, approximately 220 to 275 will close by 2022.

Malls are no longer the shopping destination they once were, reaching its consumer peak in the 1970s and 1980s. Online shopping and consumer buying trends have caused the sharp decline in mall shopping in the last five years.

Credit Suisse has recorded over 3600 closings in 2017 already, with an expected 8500 more expected to close by year’s end. Credit Suisse expects online shopping to increase from a current 17% to 37% by 2030.

—William S. Gooch

Celebrity Fashion Sightings: Week of May 22, 2017

This week’s Celebrity Fashion Sightings were mostly about the Cannes Film Festival. The kind of fashion style displayed at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, though sometimes fashion forward and out the box, is always interesting and there’s a plethora of eye candy for both men and women.

Images courtesy of Preface PR

Images courtesy of Preface PR

Sexy is Eva Longoria’s unofficial middle name. But, not on the red carpet for the amFAR Gala during the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, even though the Elie Saab dress was beautiful. A little waist cinch-in was needed for this gown on the diminutive Longoria. The Cesare Paciotti heels saved Eva’s red-carpet look.

Images courtesy of D'Orazio and Associates

Images courtesy of D’Orazio and Associates

Jada Pinkett-Smith does get covered a lot on Fashion Reverie. However, when you feature Jada it is because her look is slamming. Jada Pinkett Smith wore a Maria Lucia Hohan dress at “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” And Jada slayed!!

Images courtesy of mediabzz.com and D'Orazio and Associates, respectively

Images courtesy of mediabzz.com and D’Orazio and Associates, respectively

After over two decades on red carpets, Nicole Kidman continues to slay. Kidman stunned in a Michael Kors beaded gown with Lydia Courteille dangle earrings at the red carpet premiere of “Beguiled” during the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.

Images courtesy of C&M Media

Images courtesy of C&M Media

In a departure from the red carpet, Supermodel Karolina Kurkova looks comfortable, but still chic and fabulous in a Missoni Mare spring 2017 caftan and pre-fall 2017 swimwear in Cannes.

Images courtesy of D'Orazio and Associates

Images courtesy of D’Orazio and Associates

Nicki Minaj has evolved her style. Though she is still buttilicious with her girls popping out, there is elegance to her look at the 2017 amFAR Gala during the Cannes Film Festival. Minaj dons a deep décolletage Roberto Cavalli Couture black lace patchwork gown with ruffles. Minaj is accessorized with Maxior diamond and white topaz earrings, diamond bracelets and rings by Hearts on Fire and Le Vian, and a Hueb diamond ring.

—Jazmine Foster

Fiona Lewis Reclaims her Life in “Mistakes Were Made (Some in French)”

Fiona_Lewis1“Writing the story of their own life allows the author to parse their story into examinable segments while continuing to engage in the act of communion and creation.” —Kilroy J. Oldster

Self-examination is supposed to be the motivation behind memoirs. However, in an age where self-examination sometimes renders reveal-all memoirs that titillate the senses but rarely illuminate or celebrate life’s journeys, Fiona Lewis’ “Mistakes Were Made (Some in French)” is a beautiful distillation of a life lived in full, cinematic color with all its fallacies and triumphs.

From her childhood in the proper, but repressive England of the 1940s and 50s to her life as a model and actress in the swinging 60s—many may remember her from her 1968 spread in Playboy parodying James Bond’s “Casino Royale” girls—to her married life to a top Hollywood director in the 80s, Fiona Lewis, while restoring a broken chateau in the south of France, reflects back on her life lived at full tilt.

Fashion Reverie was given the opportunity to speak with Fiona Lewis soon after the release of “Mistakes Were Made (Some in French).”

Fashion Reverie: Why this book at this time in your life?

Fiona Lewis: Ten years ago in my fifties, I had a kind of midlife crisis. I had bought a dilapidated chateau in the French countryside. While I was there, I started reflecting on what had happened to me in my life and getting older. I started to write about everything I had done and what happens to a woman who is getting older and everything seems to be in the past and not so much in the future. So, what do women do at that this critical time and reinvent themselves and their lives?

This topic is a universal topic that many women experience as they are aging and their children have become adults. Many women have to do something and create an adventure to change their life.

FR: How did you come up with the title of the book, “Mistakes Were Made (Some in French)”?

Fiona Lewis: The title just came to me. As I was writing about the affairs I had had and also going through a bad marriage, I was thinking about the mistakes that people make in life with bad relationships and missed opportunities.

FR: This book is set against the backdrop of you restoring this dilapidated grand chateau in the south of France. You go back and forth in the memoir from childhood to restoring this grand chateau. One chapter will be a reflection on your life while another chapter will be about this restoration project. Why this juxtaposition and all the back and forth?

Fiona Lewis:  When I started writing this memoir, I started reflecting on everything that had happened in my life and though I was happily married and I had a very privileged life, something was missing. I didn’t understand why I was unhappy and unsettled. At the same time I was restoring this chateau, working with very incompetent French handymen. So, while writing this memoir I decided to go back and forth between life reflection and restoring the chateau.

FR: Your husband was opposed to your restoring this French countryside chateau, yet, you continued on, why?

Fiona Lewis: I thought in the end that he would enjoy the process. If you live in Los Angeles, you are not used to ruins, and that is where we were living at the time. When my husband first saw the chateau it was a complete wreck and he couldn’t understand why I would take on such a project. Also, my husband didn’t speak French.  He loved living in LA and he couldn’t imagine why someone would want to live in the middle of the countryside in France.

Still, I thought it would be good for him and that he would relax in the countryside and grow to love it.  And of course, I am a bit stubborn and I wanted to provide to my husband that I could make a go of this wrecked chateau.

FR: You grew up in the swinging 1960s, yet, there was a lot of ambivalence about the sexual freedom of that time. You experienced some of that ambivalence. Could you talk about the burgeoning sexual freedom of the sixties and your lack of ease with this new freedom? 

Fiona Lewis:  The change from the 1950s to the 1960s was so radical. Everyone was running around and having affairs with a slew of people, but of course we were ill equipped to handle this new sexual liberation or deal with the consequences. Most of us were properly raised young ladies from the 1950s which carried with it lots of expectations. Though we were having a lot of sexual escapades, we still expected flowers the next day, which mostly didn’t happen. It was very odd. We really weren’t ready for this new freedom.

I don’t think much has changed. Women are still looking for romance. In the 60s, we are so busy being hip and groovy that all we were really doing was having sex. And women’s liberation is so much more than that. That came later.

We didn’t speak out at that time that this new freedom wasn’t working for most women because women didn’t speak out at that time. And in England, the British never say what they’re thinking, you just try to be the cool and carry on. Many girls were unhappy, and I was one of them. We really didn’t have skills to adapt. It was an interesting time and for our parents it was a horror. Our parents wanted us to get marry and have children, not run around in a miniskirt. Everything changed very, very quickly.

Fashion_Reverie16FR: You modeled in the 1960s with Jacqueline Bisset, and you talk about in the book that you and Jacqueline were roommates. And though both of your were slender, you both were busty and the look of models were beginning to change. Could you talk about that time?

Fiona Lewis:  Jacqueline and I were not really that successful as models in England because it was the Twiggy era in which models had long slender legs and were flat chested. We were on chronic diets to stay thin. We even took laxatives, I am afraid to admit. We would try to strap ourselves in and flatten our breast, but it didn’t really work because we didn’t have those types of bodies.

We did have a little success but our look was not the current trend. We both had curly hair, so we were constantly ironing our hair to make it straight. We were doing our best, but later we both kind of slipped into acting, which you could do in those days. It’s much more difficult now.

FR: You knew the iconic British photographer Terry Donovan when he was just starting out. Could you speak about your experience with him?

Fiona Lewis: Actually, Terry Donovan was Jacqueline Bisset’s boyfriend and that is how I met him. In the 1960s in England, the class barriers came down. Cockney boys were suddenly photographers and designers, and it was very cool to have a cockney accent, when before it wasn’t. Terry Donovan was one of those cockney photographers that were very good and he did fantastic black and white photographs. And the cockney boys were thrilled to be taking out nice middle class girls because they had never been able to take out middle class girls before.

Terry would arrive in in his Rolls Royce and honk on the horn for Jacqueline to come down and she would be in the process of ironing her hair. We lived in this horrible, tiny flat because we had no money. I would always be cooking something on the hot plate.

I remember one time when he came over, I was cooking bacon and eggs, which is all we could afford at the time. And Terry Donovan exclaimed, “Blimey, you’re going to stink up the Rolls.” He was larger than life and so was David Bailey.

Fiona_LewisFR: You acted in some of Roman Polanski’s early films and you were involved with him romantically. What was it like working with him in the late 1960s?

Fiona Lewis:  When I started acting his Polanski’s films our affair was over and he was already in love with Sharon Tate. I played the small part of the barmaid in Polanski’s “The Fearless Vampire Killers,” and Roman taught me that when acting on screen, you have to take everything way down. You have to say your line almost in a monotone, never giving anything away. He was very good with actors. At the time, he spoke with a very thick French accent because he didn’t speak English very well.

FR: What I gathered from the book that in spite of your romances and heady love affairs, you were very unsure of yourself, not able to enjoy the moment. Where to you think this insecurity came from?

Fiona Lewis:  The kind of English family that I grew up in where my father was a judge, was not a demonstrative or affectionate family. The English don’t express themselves very much and they don’t coddle their children, so it’s hard to grow with a lot of self-confidence. When you don’t have self-confidence, being attractive doesn’t help because being pretty doesn’t always build self-esteem. I knew a lot of English women who grew up the same way I did, and end up sort of adrift.

You are always searching to get that self-worth from a man, which is never a good thing. That can lead to bad romances and relationships. For me, that was a hard thing to learn.  Looking back now, I realize that the best way to have a good relationship is not to need the other person to make you feel good about yourself.

FR: Of all the careers you’ve had, which career paths have you enjoyed the most, and why?

Fiona Lewis:  I have enjoyed writing the most, because when you are an actor you are always waiting for that next job and waiting for casting directors to choose you, unless you are a big star. When you are a writer, you control what you do every day. It is a very solitary life, but that suited me fine. I can create things without trying to get someone’s approval until the very end.

Images courtesy of JRB Communications

Images courtesy of JRB Communications

FR: Did this memoir serve as a kind of catharsis, and if so, why?

Fiona Lewis:  It does because I changed what the book was going to be about several times. I realized what is important in life and not to regret things that happened or didn’t happen to me. You do have to go forward everyday. If you have a relationship, you have to reinvent that relationship and not let it grow stagnant.

It is important to have perspective and to look inward, instead of looking outward all the time. I learned from this memoir to be grateful for what I have. You cannot do anything about the past, but you do have a say in your future.

FR: What do you want readers to get from  ”Mistakes Were Made (Some in French)”?

Fiona Lewis: I would like women to see the journey and if they see themselves in any way to identify with things that I have learned and not feel alone. And of course, enjoy the book. This book takes place with my current husband who I was having problems with at the time and through a process of self-examination, I was able to rebuild my marriage.

“Mistakes Were Made (Some in French)” is published by Regan Arts and is available were books are sold.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion Flashback: Santo Loquasto

Image courtesy of woodyallenpages.com

Image courtesy of woodyallenpages.com

As the spring ballet season and Broadway’s spring season are in full swing, Fashion Reverie looks back at one of the most prolific costume designers for both ballet and the Broadway stage, Santo Loquasto.

Spring 2017 is turning out to be a banner season for Santo Loquasto. American Ballet Theatre is performing “Don Quixote,” “Le Corsaire,” and “Eugene Onegin,” ballets for which Loquasto has designed costumes. And one of the biggest hits of Broadway’s spring season, “Hello Dolly,” has Santo Loquasto’s stamp on it.

Images from "Hello Dolly"

Images from “Hello Dolly”

Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Santo Loquasto earned a BA degree in literature from King’s College and an MFA from Yale Drama School. Loquasto has worked on 61 productions as either a costume or scenic designer, winning Tony Awards for “The Cherry Orchard” and “Grand Hotel: The Musical.”

Images from "Desperately Seeking Susan"

Images from “Desperately Seeking Susan”

Loquasto’s film and television resume is just as extensive as his stage credits. A favorite of Woody Allen, Loquasto has costumed Woody Allen’s “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” “Smoke and Fog,” “Mighty Aphrodite,” “Husbands and Wives,” “Bullets over Broadway,” and “Radio Days.” His most well known film to date is “Desperately Seeking Susan,” where he served as production designer.

Images from ABT productions of "Eugene Onegin," and "Don Quixote"

Images from ABT productions of “Eugene Onegin,” “Le Corsaire,” and “Don Quixote”

Since the late 1960s, Santo Loquasto has enjoyed a beloved and long-time association with American Ballet Theatre (ABT). In 1976, Loquasto’s costumes for ABT’s iconic production of “Don Quixote” solidly placed Loquasto in the pantheon of costume designers for ballet. (A list that includes Barbara Karinksa, Irene Sharaff, Oliver Messel, Nicholas Georgiadis, and Willa Kim.) Since the mid-70s, Loquasto has designed costumes for the New York City Ballet, the Royal Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet, the National Ballet of Canada, Les Grand Ballets Canadiens, and the San Francisco Ballet.

Collages1291Currently, Santo Loquasto has costumed three ABT ballets playing this spring at the Metropolitan Opera House, “Eugene Onegin,” “Le Corsaire,” and “Don Quixote.” And Loquasto’s costumes and scenic design for “Hello Dolly” has been nominated for a couple of 2017 Tony Awards.

Bravos, and kudos Loquasto!!

—Staff

Wednesday Sample Sales: Week of May 22, 2017

Wednesday Sample Sales: Week of May 22, 2017

Fashion Reverie seeks to keep its loyal readers informed of great samples sales. Just remember, product disappears quickly, so it is important to get there early.

Also, some sample sales won’t let you try on garments, so know your size. Happy Shopping!!

Theory_01

BRAND: Theory Women’s Sample Sale

WHEN: 5/24–5/28; Wed.–Sat, (10:30am–7pm), Sunday (10:30am–5pm)

WHY:  Everything up to 70% off

WHERE:   Chelsea Market
75 Ninth Avenue

 

Image courtesy of cliqueimg.com

Image courtesy of cliqueimg.com

BRAND: OAK + FORT NYC Warehouse Sample Sale

WHEN: 5/25–5/28; Thurs.–Sun. (11am–7pm)

WHY:  OAK + FORT pieces up to 70% off

 WHERE:   5 Mercer Street

 

Image courtesy of showroomseven.com

Image courtesy of showroomseven.com

BRAND: Showroom Seven Sample Sale

WHEN:  5/30–6/30; Mon.–Fri.; 10am–7pm

WHY:  Up to 75% off showroom samples including Erickson Beamon, Chiara Ferragni, Patricia Bondaldi, Pier Antonio Gaspari, 2NDDAY, and Day Birger et Mikkelsen

 WHERE:  501 Tenth Avenue, 7th Floor (Entrance of 38th Street)

—Staff

Fashion News Alert: Naomi Campbell Teams up with Diesel, Novak Djokovic’s New Gig, H&M Strives to Improve Working Conditions, and Another Fashion Job for Bella Hadid

Image courtesy of worldtopmost.com

Image courtesy of worldtopmost.com

There is very little down time for Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic. As his five-year contract ends with Uniqlo, Djokovic has been named brand ambassador for Lacoste. As Lacoste’s brand ambassador Djokovic is to wear Lacoste on and off the tennis court.

The Novak Djokovic Collection for Lacoste will be available in Lacoste stores this month and will be worn by Djokovic during the upcoming French Open. These performance products have been engineered for performance, comfort, quality, and are ergonomically designed to prevent chaffing and promote ease of movement.

Image courtesy of asiatoday. fr

Image courtesy of asiatoday. fr

Workers unite!

As workers around the world engage in strikes and protests for higher wages and better working conditions, H&M, one of the largest retailers in the world, has begun steps to improve working conditions for employees that make H&M products. One of H&M’s projections is to get factory employees representation by trade unions that can negotiate better working conditions for factory employees.

“The work is at the top of our agenda and we stay true to our collaborative approach and methodical way of working, making it possible to take important steps forward,” H&M said. “In 2018, the goal is to have democratically elected worker representatives in place at supplier representing 50 per cent of our product volume. Our collaboration within the Global Framework Agreement—pushing the development forward—was converted to a permanent agreement. H&M became an official supporter of the Global Deal partnership,” H&M details.

H&M has factories in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, India, China, Turkey, and Myanmar that will be participating in this worker initiative. “In 2018, the goal is to have improved wage management systems in place at suppliers representing 50 per cent of our product volume,” the H&M group contends.

Image courtesy of zimbio.com

Image courtesy of zimbio.com

 

Catwalk Naomi

Naomi Campbell is everywhere! As she is gracing the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival, Campbell also hosted the Fashion for Relief charity event during the Cannes Film festival.

The Fashion for Relief charity event raised money for Save the Children. Campbell collaborated with Diesel to support the charity organization. Models donned tee shirts and hoodies with rainbow heart and ladybird designs from ‘Child at Heart’, a collection designed by Campbell.

Diesel creative director Nicola Formichetti created two exclusive looks for the fashion show for the charity event, based on classic Diesel styles. More than 400 guests attended the event including Jeremy Renner, Anna Cleveland, and Paris Hilton.

Image courtesy of fashiongonerogue.com

Image courtesy of fashiongonerogue.com

Sporty Bella

Bella Hadid’s fashion proliferation is about to catch up with her supermodel sister Gigi. Bella has joined Nike’s long list of celebrity brand ambassadors. Bella will be featured in Nike’s 45th anniversary sneaker campaign. The campaign will feature Bella skateboarding in jeans and Nike workout gear.

Bella is following in her sister Gigi’s footprints. Gigi was the face of Reebok’s # Perfect Never campaign. Bella is expanded her audience by adding sportswear to her a portfolio of high-end fashion clients. Bella recently acquired campaigns with Dior makeup and Tag Heuer.

—Ano Okera

 

Celebrity Fashion Sightings: Week of May 15, 2017

The week of May 15 was a busy week for Fashion Reverie’s Celebrity Fashion Sightings. From the 2017 Billboard Music Awards to the CW’s Upfronts event to red carpets at the Cannes Film Festival, this week proved to be a week of lots of glamour, elegance and beauty.

Images courtesy of D'Orazio and Associates

Images courtesy of D’Orazio and Associates

At the top of the elegance and glamour list this week was Celine Dion at the 2017 Billboard Awards. The undisputed ‘Queen of Las Vegas’ was breathtaking on the red carpet in a white Stephane Rolland haute couture gown with huge voluminous puffy shoulders. Celine was beautifully accessorized with Harry Kotlar diamond rings worth over $3 million dollars.

Images courtesy of Getty Images/D'Orazio and Associates

Images courtesy of Getty Images/D’Orazio and Associates

No grass grows under “X-Men: Apocalypse’s” Olivia Munn since splitting from Green Bay Quarterback boyfriend Aaron Rodgers last month. Munn was sexy and spring appropriate in a black sheer Revolution gown with pink floral embellishments at the Billboard Awards. Diamond and ruby accessories from DVANI really set off Olivia Munn’s black sheer gown.

Images courtesy of Getty Images/D'Orazio and Associates

Images courtesy of Getty Images/D’Orazio and Associates

Does Nicole Scherzinger ever look bad on the red carpet? Absolutely, not!! Scherzinger wore a Maria Lucia Hohan peach gown with very revealing décolletage, accessorized with Le Vian amethyst earrings, morganite ring, a gold feather ring, and a Noudar gold body chain.

Image courtesy of Preface PR

Image courtesy of Preface PR

“Riverdale’s” Ashleigh Murray wore a white sleeveless dress with ruffle detail from Elisabetta Franchi’s spring 2017 collection to the CW Upfronts event in New York City.

Images courtesy of Getty Images/D'Orazio and Associates

Images courtesy of Getty Images/D’Orazio and Associates

No one can show leg better than Jennifer Lopez. And show leg she does in an off-the-shoulder Elie Saab haute couture peach dress with a knotted detail at the NBC Universal 2017 Upfronts in NYC. J-Lo punctuates this beautiful look with Narcisa Pheres and Le Vian diamond rings.

Images courtesy of Preface PR

Images courtesy of Preface PR

We all love Grace Gealey on “Empire.” And we especially love Grace in an Elisabetta Franchi seafoam, long sleeve jumpsuit from her spring 2017 collection at the CW Upfronts in NYC.

Image courtesy of aceshowbiz.com/Gyundel

Image courtesy of aceshowbiz.com/Gyundel

There is always some incredible red carpet fashion at the Cannes Film Festival. Michelle Yeoh donned GYUNEL Couture attending the premiere of Andrey Zvyagintsev’s “Loveless,”

Image courtesy of Preface PR

Image courtesy of Preface PR

Fashion Reverie rarely leaves male celebrities out. This week Fashion Reverie focuses on Joe Jonas performing at the CBS Radio’s SPF Concert at the Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. Joe Jonas wore a white and red striped jacket by MSGM.

Image courtesy of Splash News/ C&M Media

Image courtesy of Splash News/ C&M Media

Katy Perry adds to her new coif by wearing a multicolored Missoni dress to the premiere of the “The New Guy” in Los Angeles.

Image courtesy of Sydney Reising

Image courtesy of Sydney Reising

We know Supermodel Kendall Jenner loves LA PERLA. She flaunted the brand at the 2017 Met Gala. And she also looks fit and fabulous starring in LA PERLA’s fall 2017 ad campaign set in the surreal kaleidoscope world of an English pop art garden.

—Staff

Fashion Reverie Exclusive: Kendall Miles Puts her Fiery Stamp on Footwear

Image courtesy of chicago splash.com

Image courtesy of chicago splash.com

Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative place where no one else has ever been. — Alan Alda

In this volatile fashion market, bravery and perseverance is necessary for any designer to maintain their brand. But, it has always been that way.

Whether the market is up or down, it takes confidence and a winner-take-all attitude to survive the vicissitudes of the fashion industry. Fashion is risk adverse, so the weak-minded better take flight.

Taking flight is not in Kendall Miles vocabulary. This young designer embraces it all; all the risk in the fashion industry and all the triumphs. And in her short career, Kendall Miles has experienced both.

Kendall Miles’ shoe designs demonstrate that she has lots of great ideas, craftsmanship skills and a fashion-forward sensibility. But Miles also has great business acumen and determination.

Never one to mince words, Kendall Miles knows her own mind and has a clear idea of who her customer is. And above all, she is very, very brave.

Images courtesy of Seventh House PR

Images courtesy of Seventh House PR

Fashion Reverie: You have this passion for shoes. Where does this passion come from?

Kendall Miles: My mom has always loved shoes. She has this fabulous collection of shoes, from Manolo Blahniks to Prada and Gucci. Through my mom, I was first introduced to luxury shoes, superior in quality and designer. When I was younger, I can remember playing in her closet all day, wearing her pumps. I wore my moms shoes out to parties in high school. I was the only one wearing high heels at that age, by the way.

Shoes have always been my passion and then it became this thing between my mom and I. We have this secret language around shoes. If I did well in school, my mom bribed me with shoes.

FR: You launched your eponymous shoe line while you were a senior in college. How did that all come about?

Kendall Miles: That was really hard. I was in college in Los Angeles. I am originally from Chicago, but I was studying at the University of Southern California (USC). I’d had a bad breakup in LA and after the breakup I realized I had very few friends. So, to get over the breakup and with the extra time on my hands, I decided to launch a shoe line. Crazy right!!

FR: That said; how did you source leather, get finances, and mentorship for your first collection?

Kendall Miles: I was majoring in international relations, so footwear design was definitely off the beaten path. First, I had real ideas around shoes that women would want to wear and that lead me to sketching my ideas. The first person I took my sketches to was my mom and she loved them. That was my first stamp of validation. My mom had a friend who worked in fashion consulting. She’d worked for Nordstrom, and had a lot of fashion connections in LA. This friend sent my sketches out to people in her network and from there opportunities fell in my path.

The companies that were interested in me as a footwear designer set up a series of interviews with me to work for their brands. I thought working for someone else would be a good path for me, so I interviewed at global brands and nothing seemed to fit. I decided that I really should work for myself and have complete freedom over everything I was doing.

During that time, I met someone from Thomas Wylde—a company I interviewed with—we clicked, and this gentleman connected me with an agent in Italy. So all the challenges a designer can have working with Italian tanneries and factories was kind of smoothed out for me. An agent can facilitate factories and material sources.

Images courtesy of Seventh House PR

Images courtesy of Seventh House PR

FR: What was it like studying at the Arts Sutoria, and why the choice to study there?

Kendall Miles: It was actually really tough. They had a cookie cutter design method of how someone should design shoes. My sketches didn’t seem to meet what they were required. That made everything more difficult. But, my challenges there fueled me to work hard and I was getting validation from the other editors. Studying in Italy was an eye opening experience because there was so much to learn.

FR: What was the course concentration at Arts Sutoria?

Kendall Miles: We learned the process and principles around making different types of shoes. So, there were lots of construction courses. There were also sketch classes and pattern-making classes.

FR: How did you get your shoe line financed?

Kendall Miles: I did a round of angel investing.

FR: Who is your customer?

Kendall Miles: My customer base is anywhere from 18 to 55 years of age  She is strong, opinionated, well researched, and passionate about everything she does. And, she likes to make a statement.

FR: What is your design aesthetic?

Kendall Miles: My design aesthetic is very sexy, elegant, timeless; and there is an edge with a refined sexuality.

FR: Lets talk about your spring/summer 2017 shoes. What was the inspiration?

Kendall Miles: Cleopatra, and her relationship with Julius Caesar inspired the spring/summer 2017 collection. I played with the design motif of the breastplate that Cleopatra made from Cesar’s coins when he was murdered. I am an academic, so I do a lot of research.

Images courtesy of Seventh House PR

Images courtesy of Seventh House PR

FR: Let’s talk about your pistol-packing, James Bond-like shoes, where did that come from?

Kendall Miles: That particular shoe design motif came from spats that men wore on their shoes, dating back to the Gilded Age. I took that idea of having a component that you can attach to the shoe and remove at will, and I modernized this accessory.

FR: What are the price points?

Kendall Miles: My price points are $500 to $1600.

FR: Which celebrities are wearing your shoes?

Kendall Miles: Hailey Baldwin, Tinashe, Andra Day, Regina King, Naturi Naughton, and several others.

Images courtesy of Seventh House PR

Images courtesy of Seventh House PR

FR: What can consumers expect from you next?

Kendall Miles: They can expect more fire designs. Designs that  light up your feet and are amazing.

—William S. Gooch

Misty Copeland Dances “Don Quixote” Her Way

 
Image courtesy of Rosalie O'Connor/ABT

Jeffrey Cirio and Misty Copeland in ABT’s “Don Quixote.” Image courtesy of Rosalie O’Connor/ABT

The sign of a world-class ballerina is when that ballerina puts her individual stamp on a classic role. Misty Copeland did just that in her debut as Kitri in American Ballet Theatre’s (ABT) Don Quixote.

Traditionally, ballerinas who have excelled as Kitri play up the athletic, kittenish, soubrette quality of the character. After all, Kitri is the spicy daughter of inn keeper Lorenzo, who lustily flirts with every man on the stage with her true affections projected toward Basilio, the barber. Also, Don Quixote is set in Seville, Spain. You cannot get any spicier than that.

The list goes on almost ad nauseam of iconic Kitris that have brought a lot of sass and vitality to the role (Ekaterina Maximova, Maya Plisetskaya, Cynthia Harvey, Sylvie Guillem, Lauren Anderson, Nina Ananiashvili, and Paloma Herrera, just to name a few. Gelsey Kirkland who originated the role in ABT’s full-length production was fiery, but she simmered instead of exploding.)

Misty_Copeland-rehearsing_Don_Q

Misty Copeland rising “Don Quixote”

Misty Copeland is a different kind of Kitri. Yes, she she does pepper the role with joie de vivre and punctuated battements and winks. Still, her Kitri is more layered and superbly acted. With Misty’s interpretation, audiences can actually rout for the two main characters—Kitri and Basilio—instead of waiting for fiery variations and multiple pirouettes.It would been a bonus if Copeland’s temps de fleche had more pop, and some of her jumps had more elevation. However,Copeland made up for the slight downgrade in pyrotechnics with her well-thought out portrayal of Kitri. Copeland’s Kiti was earthy, yet determined, full-bodied and contemporary, but still technically pure. (In a recent New York Times article, Copeland talked about working with an acting coach on her debuts this season in ABT’s Don Quixote and Giselle.)

Where Copeland really shined was in the Second Act “Dream” sequence. Her dreamlike Dulcinea was the epitome of the ethereal, grand ballerina, in the mold of Russian Imperial ballerinas, without the mannerisms. Her balances and hops on pointe were exquisitely executed, and her menage of pique turns were extremely fast, keeping time with the conductor’s tempi.

bb_don_quixote_2_Jeffrey_Cirio

Jeffrey Cirio in Boston Ballet’s “Don Quixote

Copeland has an admirable partner in Jeffrey Cirio. This new partnership holds lots of promise, and Cirio brought many of the pyrotechnical fireworks he acquired while performing Basilio with the Boston Ballet. His Basilio was one balletomanes have come to expect in the mold of great Russian dancers—Vasiliev, Nureyev, Baryshnikov, Ruzimatov, and Mukhamedov. Other great performances came from Calvin Royall III’s intense and passionate Espada; Luciana Paris’ fiery Mercedes; Veronika Part’s pristine Queen of the Dryads; Cassandra Trenary’s fleet-footed Amour; Jonathan Klein’s airborne gypsy; and Catherine Hurlin’s very musical flower girl.

Still the star of the evening was Misty Copeland, and in this very auspicious debut, Copeland proves once again that she is a prima ballerina. Fashion Reverie cannot wait for her Giselle debut.

—William S. Gooch

 

 

Wednesday Sample Sales: Week of May 15, 2017

Fashion Reverie seeks to keep its loyal readers informed of great samples sales. Just remember, product disappears quickly, so it is important to get there early.

Also, some sample sales won’t let you try on garments, so know your size. Happy Shopping!!

Image courtesy of deuxhommes.com

Image courtesy of deuxhommes.com

BRAND: Chromat Sample Sale

WHEN: 5/20–5/21; Saturday and Sunday (11am–4pm)

WHY:  Find your favorite swimwear, sportswear and lingerie at a discount 

WHERE:   544 Park Avenue
#104
Brooklyn, NY 11205

 

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

BRAND: Hickey Freeman Sample Sale

WHEN: 5/21–5/25; Sun.-Wed. (9am–6:30pm), Thursday (9am–5pm)

WHY:  Men’s tailored clothing, dress shirts, ties, sport shirts, golf wear and other gifts up to 75% off retail prices

 WHERE:    317 West 33rd Street, just west of 8th Avenue

 

Image courtesy of vogue.com

Image courtesy of vogue.com

BRAND: Kimora Lee Simmons Sample Sale

WHEN:  5/22–5/23; Monday to Tuesday (11am–6:30pm)

WHY:  Kimora Lee Simmons is hosting a private studio sale in her NYC showroom. Samples will be for sale, as well as additional merchandise from sizes 2 to 12 at 50% off.

 WHERE:   220 West 19th Street, 10th Floor

—Staff

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