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February 27, 2015 - Comments Off on Shopping Guide: Where To Shop in NYC

Shopping Guide: Where To Shop in NYC

Shopping
Pro Tip: Avoid this scene at all costs // Photo by Joey Lax-Salinas on Flickr

Shopping in New York City can be a lot of things, but the first word that comes to mind is "overwhelming." If dodging camera-toting tourists, waiting in fitting room lines long enough to make it through your entire Instagram feed, and battling techno music-induced headaches (down with the trendy department store DJs), this round-up is for you.

It can be tough to pull out the gems among the "quantity over quality" global retailers that seem to be on every corner of the city. Nicole Lenzen (who confesses to not really enjoy shopping in most cases) has a few go-to spots for low-key browsing of timeless wardrobe essentials and quality designs that will last for years to come—if you give them the care they need. Give our NYC shopping guide a read and start planning that buying spree.

Clothes: Eva Gentry Consignment

If you couldn't tell, we're really into the idea of clothes having a story behind them. Eva Gentry does consignment like no one else. All of the pieces comes from tried-and-true names (think McQueen, Margiela, Band of Outsiders, Helmut Lang, Proenza Schouler) guaranteeing that you're going home with a piece that's sure to impress.

Nicole's recommendation: Eva Gentry definitely has a knack for retail buying. I came across her stores in Boerum Hill by first wandering into her high-fashion boutique (killer avant-garde aesthetic leaning very Antwerp-Six). Then I discovered her consignment shop down the street (which now appears to be her sole business focus), with an amazing collection of designer pieces in impeccable condition, across a wider style spectrum.

Location:
371 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY

Clothes: Kaight
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Photo: Kaight's Facebook page

Stop into Kaight for a taste of Brooklyn designers, and stories behind the brands. All of the pieces in the store (womenswear, accessories, and gifts) are made sustainability and/or are locally produced. The shop was recently named Best NYC Sustainable Fashion Boutique by Ecocult.

Nicole's Recommendation:  Kate (founder and owner of Kaight) has a nice eye for curation and I always enjoy browsing her shop. Plus she has always only carried lines with an ethical and sustainable focus. If I'm going to buy something new, I always try to shop from someone I respect. (Plus it's fun catching up with her if she's in the store, always a rewarding experience!)

Location:
382 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY Read more

January 20, 2015 - Comments Off on Stories & Style: Comedian Mad Libs

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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November 30, 2014 - Comments Off on Nicole Lenzen Holiday Style Event @ Series by Young & Able

Nicole Lenzen Holiday Style Event @ Series by Young & Able

Holiday-Trunk-Show-Blog

Join us for a holiday style event and trunk show at Young & Able Series! Try on and shop for holiday dresses by Nicole Lenzen and jewelry by Abby Carnevale. Meet the designers to learn more about their collections, and be there by 7pm for a special holiday styling talk from fashion blogger and personal stylist Sara Jessica Berman. Please be sure to RSVP in our form below.

Interested in receiving personalized style advice? Let us know in your RSVP comments, and the first three to reply will get personalized suggestions from Sara during the event.

In addition to items to spice up your holiday (and everyday) wardrobe, Series has a wide collection of fantastic gift options from local and international designers. All items in the store will be 10% off exclusively during the event. We'll also have drinks from Maven Cocktails, and snacks to satisfy post-work peckishness.

HOLIDAY STYLE EVENT
Featuring:
Nicole Lenzen
Abby Carnevale Jewelry
Stylist Sara Jessica Berman

Tuesday, December 9th
Trunk Show: 6:30-8:30pm
Stylist Talk/Demo: 7:00-7:30pm

Series by Young & Able
345 Broome St.
New York, NY 10013

Drinks sponsored by Maven Cocktails
Light snacks provided

Press Inquiries: Mindy Raf

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Nicole Lenzen is a Brooklyn-based designer whose collection of dresses, rompers, and separates are inspired by the freedom of movement in swing dancing. As a trained patternmaker with over a decade’s worth of experience in the fashion industry including custom couture work, she is proud to represent a ready-to-wear collection that allows women to—as they do in the energetic Lindy Hop dance—swing out and let go. Mixing sustainably sourced silks with activewear fabrics, Nicole thinks across the size spectrum with an attention to fit that gives the modern, professional woman the freedom to effortlessly move from a quick bike commute to a high profile client pitch. In fact, you might catch Nicole, who practices low-impact living, wearing one of her pieces while biking around NYC.

Abby Carnevale Jewelry is a Brooklyn-based jewelry brand, offering an array of designs handcrafted from locally-sourced materials including semi-precious metals and stones along with vintage lace. Inspired by her grandmother’s jewelry collection, Abby’s line translates the classic “Old Hollywood Glamour” style into one with modern flair, making each piece timeless and everlasting, an investment piece to be treasured.

Sara Jessica Berman is an Elite Stylist for Keaton Row. Certified as a Marie Claire Master Stylist in July 2014, Sara's teaching background and penchant for fashion have earned her a loyal client base. She shares her expert styling tips on her blog fashinny.nyc.

Created by Stephenie Harris in 2012, Maven Cocktails is the world’s first ready-to-drink wine cocktail. Bridging the gap between cocktail and wine, Maven is the signature drink that delivers on three fronts—the pedigree of a truly fine wine, consistent drinkability, and a nice cocktail kick. Infused with ultra-premium wine, this vodka-based cocktail has the velvety taste of wine but the high-energy kick of a cocktail.

Series is a month-long collaborative pop-up space supporting designers in an offline setting produced by Young & Able, an alternative multi-brand retail platform devoted to sharing emerging designers and their stories.

 

November 28, 2014 - Comments Off on Small Business Saturday: Where To Go + Where We’ll Be

Small Business Saturday: Where To Go + Where We’ll Be

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One of many must-visit Small Business Saturday spots

The Thanksgiving feast is over, and hopefully you're all rested up after one (or three) holiday naps. If you haven't already, make sure to give our Thanksgiving playlist a listen—we promise it isn't one of those Christmas-only compilations that gets old after the third listen. A good part of the Thanksgiving weekend fun are the traditions that come along with it—and shopping may play into those, depending on how claustrophobic and patient of long lines you are. It can be easy to forget about Small Business Saturday with all of the unpleasant-looking media Black Friday receives—when tends to be more and more each year, it seems. But this weekend is the perfect time to support your favorite designers, makers, and artists, while checking off people on your gift list at the same time.

The shopping opportunities in New York City are overwhelming, especially once the first snow hits and your trips to various brick and mortars hold more regard (shopping for others is always intimidating, no matter how well you know them). Of course, we're here to help make that a little easier on you. Make sure to pay a visit to your favorite local designers and visit us at one of the pop-up locations we're involved in this Small Business Saturday. Here are our must-visit spots:

Young & Able, Lower Manhattan

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There's a tiny storefront in Lower Manhattan that you won't want to miss. Young & Able is a month-long pop-up retail space created specifically for your holiday shopping needs. You may remember us inviting you to their launch party a couple of weeks ago (which was an absolute blast, complete with a photobooth). You can find some of our designs at the space, but you can also find a selection from all of the designers (which range from local makers in NYC to international designers all the way from Australia) online. The physical space is open from 11am-7pm daily—go give it a see before it closes its doors on December 21st.

345 Broome St. New York, NY

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November 20, 2014 - Comments Off on Make The Future Now: Get a Peek Into BF+DA’s New Accelerator Space in Brooklyn

Make The Future Now: Get a Peek Into BF+DA’s New Accelerator Space in Brooklyn

NL-BFDA-TableThere's something revolutionary about the new Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator space off of the Flushing G stop in Brooklyn. Maybe it's something about the space itself—seeing as its history is as rich as the work that will surely come of it—mixed with the people and enthusiasm within its walls. The space's opening event on November 11th almost seemed more like a pep rally than anything, with the program's makers and designers proudly displaying the fruits of their labors for passersby.

NL-BFDA-PillowsFirst, let's dig into the people and goals behind the initiative. Picture yourself as a recent college grad with no room for running your own endeavor—or simply throw yourself back to those real-life growing pains you remember like yesterday. In a world that's so focused on being self-made, that is a tough place to be. And as a respected arts and design establishment, Pratt knows this. So, instead of offering job placement advice or leaving grads completely on their own to fend for work, they decided to do something for up-and-coming creators. The Brooklyn Accelerator is a space for creatives to find the resources they need to make their ideas into reality, whether that's a desk to work on or a station for 3D printing (you can check out more of the available resources here). One of the most impressive assets was the larger-than-life mechanical loom humming away in one of the side rooms.

While it's easy to walk into a room of makers and quickly recognize what they're doing. But the BF+DA designers are doing much more than simply "making." To be a part of the program, they need to be focused on incorporating sustainable best practices into their work and, straight from the mouth of the program itself, "exploring the relationship of apparel + technology and the future of production."

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November 18, 2014 - Comments Off on Come Check Us Out: Young & Able Series Launch Party

Come Check Us Out: Young & Able Series Launch Party

SeriesLaunchParty_FriendsYou might remember us mentioning a certain online pop-up called Young & Able a couple of weeks back. The site has been up and going strong for a while now, bringing designers of all styles together in one, extremely diverse hub. (Seriously, from specialty lifestyle zines and embossed leather pouches to hardware-inspired jewelry and our very own power pieces, there's something for everyone.)

For one month starting this Friday, November 21st (through December 21st), you can see some of these designs in-person at a pop-up space in Manhattan. Here's a quick refresher for those of you who haven't heard of the Young & Able initiative yet. The project started as a Kickstarter campaign looking to "experiment with the traditional retail model by hosting an innovative 'series' of engaging offline events for individuals to gather, exchange ideas and interact with the participating makers"—the first of these offline events being this week's launch party. Among other Series activities will be workshops, talks, networking events, installations, and trunk shows (Save the date for the Nicole Lenzen Holiday Style Event on Dec 9th!). In short, the initiative does a great job embodying what we, and all of the other involved designers, look to share in our work—in their words: "From the beginning, it was about taking our shoppers inside the world of emerging designers and makers by uncovering the unique stories and inspirations behind their creative pursuits." Amen.

Series Promo Card

We'd love to see you at the Series launch party this Friday. Aside from great work from up-and-coming designers, there will also be music from DJ Alix Brown (7pm - 7:30pm) and Marsweather (7:30pm - 10pm), and cocktails (as well as mocktails) courtesy of Iceberg Vodka, The Owl's Brew, Belvoir, and So Delicious. Want to come check it out? Be sure to RSVP with your name and email to rsvp@shopyoungandable.com.

If you can't make it out on Friday night, make sure to save the date for the Nicole Lenzen Holiday Style Event at Series on Tuesday December 9th at 6:30pmmore details TBA. Or check out the space anytime while it's open—until December 21st—at 345 Broome St. New York, NY 10013. The holiday shop is open from 11am to 7pm daily. 

August 4, 2014 - Comments Off on What to Wear to the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governor’s Island

What to Wear to the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governor’s Island

voon_michelleVintage style mavens Michelle Coursey & Voon Chew on the dance floor - photo by Paul Stein

When it comes to themed summer happenings, the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governor's Island is one of my favorites. It takes place over two glorious weekends, with the final 2014 dates coming up August 16-17th. Conceived by the dapper bandleader Michael Arenella, the event is a dreamy escape back in time: 1920's garb, antique gramophones, a vintage motorcar exhibition, pie contests, properly themed cocktail, and—of course—lots of dancing. (You can see the complete "Run of Show" here.) Once you get past the excitement of what the Lawn Party actually is, don’t let the anxiety of coming up with an outfit weigh you down. There is no specific dress code, but everyone is encouraged to channel elegant vintage-inspired attire to contribute to the overall spirit. Here are a few tips for dressing for the occasion, but make sure to buy your tickets first.

miu_miuMiuccia Prada + Catherine Martin costumes for Baz Luhrman's Gatsby

The Dress
The 1920s style brings about visions of fringed shifts and beaded extravagancies. This is the event to pull out your finest and wear it well. For inspiration, the gorgeous costumes created by Miuccia Prada and Catherine Martin for Bahz Luhrman's Gatsby take the cake, and we absolutely love the campaign for Campari starring the lovely actress Eva Green. Try scouring vintage and thrift shops for aged beauties from the era. Or if you're feeling more daytime summery, lightweight feminine cotton dresses can also fit the bill. For previous lawn parties we've worked with clients to revamp their vintage finds: dresses in silk + cotton gingham as well as a pretty floral print.

nicole_lenzen_jazz-ageNicole Lenzen handmade lace & silk headband paired with a vintage dress - photo by Sarah Joj Tester

Mind Your Head
The headpiece played a role as an extension of a hairstyle in the '20s. What that means: Feel free to keep your 'do simple—a few waves and finger curls should do the trick—and compliment it with a flapper-style headband that was popular towards the end of the decade. If you are one of those DIY-inclined ladies, try using a plain headband or scarf and adding your own adornments to match your outfit. Or if you prefer a hat or fascinator, NYC milliner Gretchen Fenston has gorgeous jazz age-inspired creations. Otherwise a floppy woven hat is perfect for a hot summer's day full of drinking and dancing.

jazz_age_feetDancing in Air - photo by istolethetv

Dancing Shoes
This is a given. Whether you decide to go for a more modern look and pair your favorite pair of lace-ups with your get-up or an era-appropriate pair of crescent-tipped heels, make sure you won't end up nursing blisters halfway through the festivities. If it's a pair of '20s inspired shoes you're hunting for, look for a pair that features an ankle or t-strap (great for dancing!); low, chunky heels; or an oxford for a menswear inspired look. Finding a local pair might be the quickest, but Modcloth has a great selection of era-inspired shoes, as well as Remix and American Duchess for quality vintage repro.

gretchen_fenston_Milliner Gretchen Fenston in her own creation - photo by Voon Chew

Feminine Accessories, Bold Lips
A string of pearls can go a long way. Toss a few around your neck or on your wrists for a feminine touch that won't take away from the rest of your outfit. Bonus: Playing up the nude colors of your accessories allows for a bold, red lip—which is always the best way to cap the perfect outfit. Read more