Archives for January 2015

January 30, 2015

Press: Nicole Lenzen on the Bene Rialto Blog

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Making a first impression is crucial, whether you're on a date, job interview, or meeting with a client. The best thing you can do to start things off on the right note? Pick out a flattering outfit. When you feel your best, you're bound to put off that confident glow. The good people over at Bene Rialto have pulled five "Dress to Impress" store picks together—you'll recognize a few familiar Nicole Lenzen faces! Our Bubble Dress, Evelyn Dress, and Elena Dress are made to stand out.

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January 20, 2015

Stories & Style: Comedian Mad Libs

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Our Stories & Style event is coming up quick—have you RSVP'd yet? (Better get on that—the list is filling up!) We've told you all about the night's storytellers: Ophira Eisenberg, Elna Baker, and Sara Benincasa. While a bit of background information is always a good thing to have in tow when you're off to meet someone new, we wanted to give you a deeper look into the personalities and humor of these fine ladies, including our very own Nicole Lenzen. We gave them a throwback assignment of sorts, one that will look very familiar if you grew up with those handy-dandy packets called Mad Libs.

Sit back, read on, and get to know these four empowering ladies:

Ophira Eisenberg, Writer/Host of NPR's Ask Me Another

Ophira 1

I  can’t leave home without red lipstick.

My go-to clothing item is a sequin top. Unless it's dirty, then I wear a dirty sequin top.

When I feel most confident I look in the mirror and say, it's better than I thought.

My best beauty tip is to smile, but never ever fake laugh.

When I wanna dance I listen to Prince. When I need to cry I listen to Joni Mitchell.

Ray LaMontagne keeps me sane.

The strangest/best compliment I’ve ever gotten was, "I've masturbated to your voice on public radio. If you're looking for something less dirty: "I can tell by looking at you that you live in a fifth floor walk up. Keep it up."

My favorite thing to do for myself is cancel everything on my schedule.

Rachel Maddow is the most empowering woman I know.

Fedora, Beret, Beanie, or Top Hat?  In this order: Beret, Top Hat, Fedora, Beanie.

When I’m looking for a pick-me-up, strong espresso, little milk (or icy vodka) is just what I need.

Purse, Backpack, Fannypack, or Pockets? Purse, Pockets—If I never see another backpack or fannypack again, that would be great.

At parties I try to stand right next to the cheese cubes.

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January 15, 2015

Women Who Inspire: Smita’s Take on Indian Culture, Women in Information Technology, and Must-Sees in Bangalore

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Meet Smita, Technology Consultant and Outdoor Adventurer

Nicole and Smita met while working together on a project for Brooks Brothers. While they successfully designed and implemented a PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) system, they also became quick friends in the process. Smita works and lives in Bangalore, India as a consultant for a company called ITC Infotech, helping clients better understand the technology they use for their manufacturing processes and order tracking. While that might come off as Latin to anyone not involved in the industry—hey, that's why Smita's there!—you're sure to recognize some of the names she's worked with: Charming Shoppes, Levi's, QVC.

We were lucky to catch Smita on a wintry Sunday in NYC on her most recent consulting trip to the States. We had a great time catching up over many pots of tea, going shopping at Young & Able, and grabbing a yummy vegetarian meal at Le Verdure at Eataly. Smita wouldn't usually gravitate to a bold, red outfit, but we managed to get her to try on the scarlet Elena dress. As you can see, she's totally rocking it. Read on to hear what Smita has to share on being a woman in an Indian tech company, the chaos that is her daily commute, and must-see spots in Bangalore:

A Day in the Life

Let's start with the weekdays. When I'm in India and working from ITC headquarters I wake up around 6:00am and go for a jog, then get ready for work, and put together a lunchbox to take to the office—I don't like my office food anymore. It's not healthy or tasty. My day at the office starts around 9-9:30 am and goes until 8 or 9pm, depending on which customer I am working for. I go back home and I try not to work after that, but I haven't succeeded in that yet! I have something for dinner and watch TV or read a book—something to soothe my mind after I leave work. I sometimes stay up late, but I try to at least get six hours of sleep.

Dressing for Work: It used to be all typical Indian dress, whether you wear Salwar Kameez or a kurti—which is a long top with leggings. I don't wear a lot of Indian clothes to work. I do wear jeans, but normally I'll dress up in trousers and a comfortable top. Apart from that, we do have our ethnic dress, like saris. On special days the whole office is festive. I prefer clothes that I can move easily in—I don't want to worry about wrinkles.

You have a lot of Indian companies and manufacturers who are making western clothes. But you also have brands like Marks & Spencer, Zara, Mango—mostly European companies. The style is definitely evolving and leaning toward more trendy nowadays. In India, we don't have a seasonal concept because you can wear jeans and a T-shirt almost 365 days out of the year—the temperature is not extreme. Things tend to be colorful and bright. I try not to look overly professional or nerdy! I don't prefer skirts because I think they make me look even shorter.

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January 12, 2015

Stories & Style: Get to Know Writer/Comedian Sara Benincasa

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If you haven’t already heard, we’re hosting an exclusive event at Bene Rialto in Manhattan on Thursday, January 29th from 6:30pm-9pm. Aside from meeting Nicole and having the chance to try on pieces from the Eva and Candy Collections, we’ll have delicious hors d’oeuvres and wine for you to enjoy while taking in fashion-focused, personal, storytelling performances from three amazing women—NPR’s Ophira Eisenberg, Writer/Comedian Elna Baker, and Author/Comedian Sara BenincasaWe’re going to be sharing a little background on each of our guests over the next couple of days.

Sara Benincasa: Author, comedian, proud father, and grandfather—in her own words. Let's start by describing her as the author of this empowering body image story on Playboy.com. Whether she's sharing the power that is a boudoir photo shoot or working on her podcast In the Casa, there's one thing you can't deny: She is one refreshingly honest woman. Take this story she penned on Jezebel, for example:

I'm sorry my vagina is so sensitive.

There's a moment at which every junkie hits rock bottom. I think that was mine. I'm an apology addict. Most women I know are similarly afflicted. We think our value as females is dependent on being literally and figuratively pliable to the point of contortions that would make a pretzel or a porn star jealous. And in so doing, we not only devalue our actual important and genuine apologies ("I'm sorry I slept with your brother.") but posit ourselves as being ever in error, constantly over-speaking, overspending, over-laughing, over-crying, overeating, over-existing.

Men fear not being enough. Women fear being too much.

Sara is the best of both worlds. She can take on a powerful topic (see above), but she also knows when to keep it light. Here's proof:

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January 9, 2015

Stories & Style: Get to Know Author/Comedian Elna Baker

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If you haven’t already heard, we’re hosting an exclusive event at Bene Rialto in Manhattan on Thursday, January 29th from 6:30pm-9pm. Aside from meeting Nicole and having the chance to try on pieces from the Eva and Candy Collections, we’ll have delicious hors d’oeuvres and wine for you to enjoy while taking in  fashion-focused, personal, storytelling performances from three amazing women—NPR’s Ophira Eisenberg, Writer/Comedian Elna Baker, and Author/Comedian Sara BenincasaWe’re going to be sharing a little background on each of our guests over the next couple of days.

Meet Elna Baker. She's a published author, comedian, and "This American Life" storyteller. That tells you something, but the fact that a headline describing Elna reading "Imagine Carrie Bradshaw as a Mormon" pops up on the first page of her Google search results says a lot more. Her amazing book title alone—"The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance"—is a great indication at what you're treating yourself to with Elna. Here are a few words from others that dig a little deeper:

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January 8, 2015

Stories & Style: Get to Know NPR’s Ophira Eisenberg

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If you haven't already heard, we're hosting an exclusive event at Bene Rialto in Manhattan on Thursday, January 29th from 6:30pm-9pm. Aside from meeting Nicole and having the chance to try on pieces from the Eva and Candy Collections, we'll have delicious hors d'oeuvres and wine for you to enjoy while taking in  fashion-focused, personal, storytelling performances from three amazing women—NPR's Ophira Eisenberg, Writer/Comedian Elna Baker, and Author/Comedian Sara BenincasaWe're going to be sharing a little background on each of our guests over the next couple of days.

Without further ado, meet Ophira.

Aside from having one of the most beautiful names we've ever heard, she's the host of NPR's trivia/puzzle/game show, "Ask Me Another" (a "half raucous pub trivia, half comedy talk show with witty banter, celebrity guests, and live music blended in," to borrow some of Ophira's own words). Aside from her gig as a podcast personality, she's also a published author and stand-up comedian (with plenty of written accolades to boot). Her debut memoir, "Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy," is—according to Esquire—"a history of her bed-hopping adventures, including, among others, a one-night-stand with a cat doll fetishist and bathroom sex with the lead singer of a U2 cover band." If that doesn't reel you in, I'm not quite sure what will. (Maybe the fact that we'll be giving away a signed copy at the event.)

She has appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central, VH-1, the E! Channel, CNN, and more. Her comedy album, "Bangs!" was released last October—one lucky person will also get a signed copy at the event. Here's a peek at what you've got to look forward to on the 29th:

January 5, 2015

Round-Up: Survive Winter (And Look Good Doing It) With These Tights

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Photo by Vanessa P./Flickr Creative Commons

With winter weather comes many things—wind-blown hairdos, rosy cheeks, and the great fashion responsibility that is layering. Instead of thinking of them as another layer between you and the great season that is summer, treat them as the versatile accessory that they are. The right pair of tights can take an outfit to new levels, whether you're working with patterns or a bold color.

Tights are also great for turning summer wardrobe pieces into weather-appropriate outfits—just like the Edie and Pixie Rompers. (We love how they look with either solid or patterned hosiery). We know it's overwhelming—you can't turn around in any department store or website without running into a pair of tights ('tis the season), so we rounded up some of our favorite for your shopping convenience. From the perfect everyday legwear to bold seamed varieties to flaunt on date night, we've found the perfect pair for you.

For the Sustainably Minded

vo3g1t1420174491Maggie's Organics from Abe's Market

They put it best: "Grown without pesticides, harvested safely, and spun without chemicals, this cotton is soft, safe and scrumptious." How can you resist a pair of tights that are described as scrumptious?

These tights are made to be lighter than other cold-weather designs, making them a great choice if you're looking for a pair to show off during warmer months, too.

The Go-To, Everyday Tight

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M6 from Bene Rialto

These opaque tights are perfect for weatherproofing your favorite summer outfit—whether it be a favorite pair of shorts or a romper. Make sure to play up your accessories to break up the opaque look, if you're working with a monochrome outfit. A stand-out pair of shoes can go a long way with a black pair of tights, as well.

M6 makes their hosiery in Germany, but you can find their designs at Bene Rialto in Manhattan.

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