Archive | November 2012

Dress A Celeb Interview: Ana Berry

This month marks SeamBLiSS’s first monthly Dress A Celeb competition! The designer who creates the garment most suited to our celeb’s style and needs will be the grand prize winner! So designers….get ready to rock!!!

Our very first celebrity is media personality, host, and spokeswoman Ana Berry. Ana is a world traveler, having lived in such diverse places as Tulsa, OK (her hometown), Chicago, London, Paris, and New York City. She has also worked abroad as a spokeswoman, actress and journalist, traveling throughout the Middle East, Europe, and India. Ana is a cultural concierge, and encourages fans to experience the world around them through her site, GetOutThere.me.

Not only is Ana a world traveler, she is a world-class talent as well. She speaks several languages, excels in several forms of dance, writes for several publications, and is a certified yoga teacher.

Want to see Ana in action? Check out this video showcasing her talents!  

Also, be sure to check out her website, anaberryinternational.com!

Ana is a stylish and successful woman, and was kind enough to give us some insights into her personal style! Check out our interview with Ana below…

1.  How would you describe your personal style?

Gypsy Chic. I am a world traveler and love exotic colors, fabrics, textures but also love very classy elegant pieces.

2. What brands or designers are your favorites?

Ralph Lauren. Diane Von Furstenburg. Louis Vuitton. BCBG. Theory. Tahari

3. What’s the biggest “fashion challenge” you face?

Finding a suit that fits well. Pants long enough. A dress that acentuates my curves but also makes me look trim and elegant while being comfortable. That is why i love the DVF wrap dress…

4. You travel a lot for your job. What clothing items are your “must-packs” for a long trip?

Comfortable shoes! Love Cole Haan with a small heel. Tight Jeans! I love J Brand/7 Jeans so I have to have those with me so I can dress them up with a sexy top- I love fun colorful blazers or a a button down for a biz meeting.  I love a DVF wrap dress. I like to be fancy but also practical, so I like a dress I can wear to ameeting and also to dinner. Tahari and DVF and BCBG make good ones.  Also a good jacket that is warm and also great looking and flexible for all occasions- my favorite is my Burberry or Massimo Dutti.

5. Fashion and everyday dress vary so much from culture to culture. Do you try to reflect the culture of the country you are visiting when working abroad?

Yes! When I travel in India, I wear colorful flowy clothes- even saris and kultas. When I travel in the Middle East, I cover my body to be respectful and even wear Jillabas and head scarves. When I travel to exotic places like Spain and Mexico I wear more sexy fun clothes that I can dance in. In Europe I am chic- I love European style. Its comfortable, practical yet elegant. In NYC, it is whatever I feel and whatever the situation brings- cold or hot weather- out on the town all day and into the night…I dress for the occasion and have freedom to express myself.

6. What is your “dream” piece of clothing?

A great tailored suit along with What clothing items would say are classics that every woman should have?a fitted shirt! A Hermes belt or scarf.

7. What clothing items would you say are classics that every woman should have?

A great pair of jeans that fit and are comfortable. A fitted blazer and light jacket. A scarf that is elegant. A comfortable and versatile shoe. A bag that fits everything but also adds to the glamour of the outfit. That is all 😉

8. Do you have a personal style mantra or tip?

Ask yourself: How do I feel today and what do I want to get OUT of my day?  From there, you dress yourself. Color matters, materials matter, comfort and sexiness matter – each item you put on will effect your day so dress to how you feel and want to feel. OLE!

We at SeamBLiSS want to thank Ana for being our first Dress A Celeb celebrity! We couldn’t have asked for a more enthusiastic, fun, and fashionable person! Thanks again, Ana!!

Kristen P.

The History of Black Friday

We at SeamBLiSS hope that all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and filled with great food and the delightful company of family and friends. And if you went out shopping on Black Friday, we hope you had a great time and found some good deals.

I myself decided not to go out on Black Friday this year, mostly out of laziness. However, a few of my relatives went out to hit the sales, many of which were starting as early as midnight on Thanksgiving. I thought it was crazy that some sales were even starting on Thanksgiving Day, which got me wondering where the heck this whole Black Friday thing came from.

So of course, I decided to research it a lil’ bit! According to BlackFriday.com (who even knew that was a website?), the term “Black Friday” has been around since the 1960s, but the Friday after Thanksgiving has been considered the start of the holiday shopping season ever since the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade waaay back in 1924. So, why is the Friday after Thanksgiving called “Black” Friday? Well, one meaning has to do with the phrase “in the black”, meaning profitable. This is pretty much what all retailers hope to be after Black Friday! Also, the Philadelphia police were complaining about the crowds and general craziness of the Friday after Thanksgiving back in the 60s and gave the day the moniker “Black Friday”, which stuck.

Since the 1960s, however, Black Friday has become even crazier! Retailers realized that they could make a heck of a lot of money by offering limited time deals, so they all started jumping on the Black Friday bandwagon. Today, BF is the biggest shopping day of the year.

Black Friday has undergone some other changes since the 60s. Deals are starting earlier and earlier, with some even beginning on Thanksgiving Day! Also, with the growing popularity of online shopping, some Black Friday deals don’t even require you to wait in line freezing your ass off to get a deal – they pop up right in your inbox! Many of these online discounts are also part of Cyber Monday, the day of online shopping deals.

Well, there’s a lil Black Friday history for ya! Did you go out on Black Friday? What was your best bargain buy? Let us know in the comments!

Kristen P.

Day of Reckoning: Demo Day!

As many of you know, we at SeamBLiSS recently completed the TechLaunch business accelerator program based out of Clifton, NJ. The twelve week program was very intense, and it was all leading up to our “final presentation”, aka Demo Day. The phrase “final presentation” makes it seem like a school project, but Demo Day is mad real – it’s a chance to pitch your company to potential investors who might be so inspired by your presentation that they write a real-life check 🙂

TechLaunch’s Demo Day was originally scheduled for November 1, but was pushed back to November 14th due to Hurricane Sandy. Despite the date change and the recent storm aftermath, turnout at the event was fantastic. The SeamBLiSS founders got the chance to speak to many wonderful mentors, investors, fellow entrepreneurs and even members of the press at their “networking table” pictured below:

Notice the SeamBLiSS measuring tapes. How cute are they??

We are also very pleased to say that our pitch went very well! Shawn did a fantastic job, and the audience really responded to his personal custom design story. He was even wearing the custom-fit sweater he discussed in his presentation! Check him out prepping for his pitch and lookin’ dapper:

All in all, Demo Day was a great success! SeamBLiSS wants to say thank you to TechLaunch for a great program and event, and thanks again to everyone who attended. Also, congrats to all of our fellow TechLaunch companies – we did it!

To read more about the event, check out the articles below:

New Jersey Startup Incubator Shows Off its First Batch of Graduates

The Future of Innovation Showcased at Montclair State

TechLaunch, Accelerator for the Garden State, Holds its First Demo Day

Kristen P.

Is Fast Fashion Fizzling?

Yesterday I came across two thought-provoking articles on a common theme: the potential decline of fast fashion. What is “fast fashion”, you ask? My best friend Wikipedia defines fast fashion as follows: “a contemporary term used by fashion retailers to acknowledge that designs move from catwalk to store in the fastest time to capture current trends in the market”. Basically, fast fashion is clothing that is trendy and affordable, or “cheap chic”. Still not sure what “fast fashion” is? One word: H&M. Two more words: Forever21, Zara. That’s fast fashion in a nutshell!

Fast fashion has come under fire for encouraging over-consumption of cheap clothing. It has also been accused of “cheapening” fashion itself! The first of the articles I read yesterday was an op-ed piece from Business of Fashion entitled “Making the Case against Fast Fashion Collaborations”. The author, Eugene Rabkin, claimed that fast fashion isn’t even fashion, at least in the more traditional sense of the word. Fashion used to be synonymous with craftsmanship and artistic expression; however, the fast “fashion” that is popular today does not meet either of these criteria – it’s mass-produced and frankly, unoriginal. Collaborations between fast fashion retailers and high-end designer brands, such as the soon to be released collab between H & M and Maison Martin Margiela, end up “watering down” that high-end brand.

Although the claim that fast fashion isn’t “really” fashion seems a bit of a stretch, I can kinda see the author’s point. Fast fashion certainly seems to have altered the way consumers, especially young ones, see fashion. The focus of fashion seems to have shifted from quality and timelessness to convenience and trendiness.

Of course, this focus could always shift back. In fact, this was the thesis of the second article I read yesterday, entitled “Trend Forecasters Calling for ‘Fast Fashion Fatigue” and appearing on Racked.com. Apparently, peeps are kinda getting sick of the fast fashion thing, and are starting to value quality over quantity once more.

That’s good news for SeamBLiSS.

As a company whose mission is to sell and promote handmade, one-of-a-kind, and custom- fit apparel, SeamBLiSS is of course glad that consumers are valuing craftsmanship and quality clothing once more. However, we realize that not everyone can afford to buy all custom, all the time! You might be passin’ by an H&M one day and decide to buy something cheap and convenient, and that’s ok! I think fast fashion is probably here to stay, even though it may decline in popularity. I also think that fast fashion items can be part of a “balanced” wardrobe, that includes both high-quality, elegant items and cheaper, trendier ones!

Do you guys like fast fashion brands like Zara and H&M? Do you think they’re on the way out, or only growing more popular? Let us know in the comments.

Kristen P.

How NOT to be a Fashion Victim

The world of fashion can be pretty overwhelming sometimes. And by sometimes, I mean all of the time! Even if you’re into fashion and enjoy following the latest trends, you can still commit a “crime of fashion” – I know I have! So, what do I mean by a “crime of fashion”? While a crime against style brings to mind the usual offenses, such as wearing athletic socks with sandals, wearing white after labor day, wearing sloppy sweats in public, etc., I firmly believe that the pendulum can swing the OTHER way. Yes, it IS possible to be too “fashiony”, as I sometimes call it. Such people are known as fashion victims, a phrase coined by Oscar de la Renta, and have taken the trend game too far!

So, how do you avoid this fate? Here are three tips on how NOT to be a “fashion victim”:

1. Don’t Wear Too Many Trends Simultaneously

You ever see a girl on the street who is wearing so many trends that her whole look is confusing? To avoid being “that girl”, mix and match trendy items with classic pieces. Try not to let your “trend percentage” creep over 50%.

2. Only Wear Trends that Flatter YOU!!

If a particular trend isn’t going to look good on you, you DON’T HAVE TO WEAR IT! The trend police won’t come after you, I promise. A personal example: you know the recent midi skirt trend? Yeah, I’m too short for it. So guess what? I go for the maxi or the mini.

3. Follow Your Personal Style Compass!

Remember your personal style! If your style is feminine and whimsical but the latest trendy item includes studs and grommets, feel free to pass it on by. On the other hand, if your style is edgy and masculine, go ahead and skip the flowery pastels. Stay the style course, no matter what the seasonal trends may bring!

Well, there you have it! Good luck and good fashion to all!

How do you avoid becoming a fashion victim? Share your tips in the comments.

Kristen P.

How often do YOU Shop?

How much time does the average woman spend shopping? Go ahead, take a guess. One hour a week? Two? Ten? Got your guess? Ok. And then answer is…

…400 hours a year, or 7.7 hours a week! Well, at least according to a survey by OnePoll.com. This 400 hours a year also comes out to about 8.5 years of a woman’s life! That’s a lot of shopping…

Of course, this number is an average, so there are women who shop far less frequently and women (including one named Kristen P….) who shop more frequently.  And of course, this survey includes ALL types of shopping, not just shopping for apparel. However, the survey did find that apparel was the most popular shopping category among women, followed by food, shoes, and presents.

Don’t start judging us girls just yet, though. According to one OnePoll.com spokesperson, many women are shopping not for themselves, but for friends or family members. They’re buying clothes, shoes, and groceries for their children, spouses, nieces/nephews, etc.

The results of this survey definitely got me thinking about my own shopping habits. I’m definitely one of those women who love to shop and would do it all the time if she didn’t have other stupid crap to do. But when I think of “shopping”, I always think of clothes or shoes. Is that REALLY what I spend most of my time buying? In my case, I think the winner might be food/groceries.

How often do you ladies shop? Did the “400 hours a year statistic blow your mind, or were you like, “yeah, makes sense”? Do you shop for clothes most often, or for other items, like books or groceries? Gents, how ‘bout you? Let us know in the comments.

Kristen P.