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Vince Camuto Flagship Grand Opening | Yorkdale Shopping Centre

Vince Camuto Toronto

I’ve been a fan of the Vince Camuto brand for quite a while and last fall I had my first experience working with their New York team when I did a style contribution on their digital publication The Crest  (which can be viewed here). Oddly enough, I just noticed that it was published on the one year anniversary of SoSasha.com and fast forward one year later, I am excited to be named one of their Canadian Brand Ambassadors. In case you missed my first outfit post featuring the brand’s Klayton open-toe booties, you can find it here.

Vince Camuto Toronto

Last week I joined fellow Toronto media personalities to celebrate the grand opening of Vince Camuto’s flagship free standing store located inside of Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Canada’s premiere shopping destination. The beautifully designed and merchandised store houses Vince Camuto’s latest footwear, accessories and key outerwear pieces from their collection, but unfortunately no ready-to-wear just yet, however rumour has it we may be expecting it in the Canadian market in the near future.

Vince Camuto Toronto

I got a chance to chat with the man behind the brand, who I am now fondly calling “Uncle Vince” to discuss his passion for creating luxurious looking footwear that won’t break women’s wallets or ankles and how the company has grown to include 30 different categories from; shoes, handbags, outerwear, clothing, watches, accessories, fragrance and even menswear.

Vince Camuto Toronto

Vince Camuto Toronto

Photos by George Pimentel Photography

If you’re looking for the perfect fall footwear, I promise you, there’s a shoe for everyone – and the accessories are pretty killer too! For more information on Vince Camuto or to shop their full collection on VinceCamuto.com. Be sure to also follow them on Twitter and Instagram for updates and style inspiration. *Please note, online shopping is available for U.S. residents only!

 

Getting To Know Ann Taylor’s Creative Director Lisa Axelson

Lisa Axelson

Not too long after launching my site I was blessed with the opportunity to partner with Ann Taylor so the company is very near and dear to my heart. Living in the U.S. for several years I was already familiar with the brand but became an official part of their family when I was named a Brand Ambassador a year and a half ago. Over the course of this time, I have seen the brand transform from creating classic workwear collections for the mature career women to really providing chic and comfy separates that fits into the lifestyle of every woman, of any age. Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with the woman that dresses America (and now Canada), Ann Taylor Creative Director Lisa Axelson, and got to pick her brain as to what inspires her day -to-day, insight into her personal style, current obsessions, things she can’t live without and a sneak peek at the upcoming holiday collection!

SE: Each season I look forward to seeing a new twist on the brand with the launch of each collection, with of course a few classic mainstays. What can women expect to see with your upcoming Holiday collection?

LA: I grew up between Seattle and Vancouver and there’s something about the holidays that get me nostalgic about home. Rustic and authentic rugged textures are the main theme but it was important that we made it really modern and urban for today’s woman while keeping it comfy and chic. It is all about bringing the texture into the brand that was inspired by mountains and tress. You will really see my love of knitwear this season. Taking traditional woollens and tweeds and transforming them. We have a plaid coat in black, grey and white, very traditional colours, but the wool is brushed at the mill, pressed and the inside is bonded to neoprene. Neoprene is really huge right now and gives the jacket a really great sculptural look.

Ann Taylor Winter Holiday Collection 2014

SE: Let’s chat about fabrics. There’s seems to be a wide variety of them in your upcoming holiday collection. Probably more than I have seen in any of your past collections…

LA: I love fabric in general and doing new things with fabric, especially at our price point.  You always see fabric experimentation at the high end and I feel that it’s so hard to get that level of experimentation at a lower price point. You will see quite a bit of vegan leather next season…animal friendly AND at a great price point.

SE: I took a sneak peek of the holiday collection before our chat and clearly have my faves. What pieces are near and dear to your heart that you feel will be must-haves?

LA: We have a white textured sweater that I adore and I feel resembles cracked snow. There is also a backless tuxedo jumpsuit that I wore to this year’s CFDA’s. Olivia Palermo was my date for the evening and I felt so cool and chic in my look beside her which is amazing. The bootie is my absolute hands-down favourite shoe from the entire collection. You name it; the “Biker” bootie, the “Quilted” bootie…I love them all. The leather jogger will be my go-to travel pant this Fall with a cashmere sweater and trainers. I am not schlepping around Paris in high heels…I’m just not! *laughs*

Ann Taylor 2014 Holiday Collection

Ann Taylor 2014 Holiday Collection

Ann Taylor 2014 Holiday Collection

SE: I love how passionate you are about these items. What are some of your other current obsessions these days?

LA: I am obsessed with all things comfortable. Sweatshirts in brocade fabrics, leather that is comfy and not restricted and outerwear. No closet is truly complete without a few key outerwear pieces!!!

Ann Taylor 2014 Holiday Collection

SE: I have to be completely honest, I really love your style. You seem to have perfected the “Effortlessly Chic” vibe. Can you share more on your personal style?

LA: Some days call for me to be a bit more formal, so I’m more tailored and pulled together, while on other days I’m the happiest in jeans, a cool top, a jacket over top and some sneakers. I show up to the office looking different every day depending on my work day. There are those days where I have to dash off to a dinner party afterwards in which I throw on some jewellery and exchange the sneakers for a pair of heels.

SE: In the last year or so I have noticed the brand has gone from workwear for the corporate woman to now creating chic and comfortable separates that fit into every woman’s lifestyle for a much wider age demographic. Do you feel pressure to keep up and top every season?

LA: Yes and yes. I don’t know if any of us would be any good if we didn’t feel some sort of pressure. I’ve always felt some sort of pressure since my days at design school.  I frequently have that moment and say to myself, “Oh my God, what if I don’t have the next idea? What is I can’t come up with that moment, that colour, that something that lights my fire?” To help with the design process my team and I  frequently go through the different scenarios of a woman’s life to help in developing a collection that mirrors today’s woman’s lifestyle…which is a bit of a challenge with there being little separation between work, home life and social. And it can be daunting because the deadlines come faster and faster and there’s pressure to deliver for a brand this big but we just have to get passed it and not dwell on it so we can find the inspiration.

SE: Speaking of inspiration, I have always wondered how designers and creative directors do it; find inspiration that is. Do you go out of your way to find it or do you just let it come to you?

LA: I think every designer is different, but for me I almost always have to be out of the office, like away from deadlines, tasks, like out of the work environment and from people asking me questions. *giggles*

SE: That’s pretty funny…but I am guessing you are being dead serious…

LA: Yes…it could be 3am and I’m half asleep and something hits me, a trip to Europe or a week off on Summer vacation. I just find that I have to get away from it and let my mind relax and the ideas just float to the surface. Interior design and architecture tends to flood my inspiration a lot in credit to my parents. My Dad was an Architect who owned his own firm and my Mother worked for him. I was always around it so I often look to that to get my first spark of inspiration. I actually love starting with something that’s non-fashion related because it forces you to think more openly, instead of combing the catwalks because then you are just repeating something someone already did. So I prefer looking to art, books (I love to read) that get me thinking about a storyline. Hemingway’s Moveable Feast was the inspiration for a Fall collection a few seasons ago.

Ann Taylor 2014 Holiday Collection

SE: Outside of the collection, what are three things that you just couldn’t live without?

LA: Ha…there are quite a few things that I can’t live without. First, maybe Summer vacay. Family…because without them I would never get through the hard times and my iPad – the device for all things inspiring. It’s single handedly changed my life *laughs*. Maybe not for better because it’s with me all the time. Between blogs, shopping, email, music. I do so much research and get really inspired. I mean…forget about it…Pinterest! Once I start, I can’t stop. It is like the rabbit hole.  If it’s 3am and I can’t sleep, there I am tapping and pining my life away.

After viewing some of the key pieces and what Axelson believes are the pillars to the upcoming 2014 Holiday Ann Taylor collection, I am convinced that they will have all your office party, cocktails with the girls, date nights outfit needs and everything in between covered this holiday season. I will be sure to give more updates before the collection hits stores and online. For more information on Ann Taylor and to view their current collection click here – and make sure to follow the brand on Instagram and Twitter for some style inspiration!

Sweater + Leather Weather | What I’m Wearing

IMG_9761

The only upside to dropping temperatures this month is being able to wear leather without sweating like a cornered nun. During my past jaunts across the pond to London town, one of my go-to high street retailers is none other than All Saints, clearly because of their selection of leather – which may I add are priced quite reasonably. The iconic Brit brand made its way this side of the Atlantic earlier this summer, which has been great for its North American loyal fans, but not so great for my wallet. One of my first in store purchases in Toronto was this classic moto lambskin leather pant.

IMG_9784

At the beginning of every Fall/Winter season I go on the hunt for the perfect sweater, which I end up up wearing religiously, like it’s my job…and then it becomes totally unwearable the following season. With arms as long as a monkey and an equally long torso, finding the right one is not an easy task. This fab, marled mix cardi from Ann Taylor has a rich textured wool mix, a ginormous fold-over collar, extra long sleeves and functional pockets.  Just a heads-up, you can totally expect to see this repeated (without shame) over and over again on Instagram and Twitter!

Ann Taylor Marled Oped Cardi

Ann Taylor Marled Open Cardi

Photography by Tiffany S. www.tiffanysphoto.ca

What I Wore: Marled Open Cardigan c/o Ann Taylor // Leather Lambskin Leather Pants by All Saints old similar here // Handbag by Chloe // Sunnies by Rayban // Satin Prive Open Toe Pumps by Christian Louboutin

The Hunt For Red October | What I’m Wearing

Gap Exposed Zipper Dress

There is nothing I detest more than stupid fashion rules, i.e. “No white after Labour Day!” or “Bright colours are only for spring and summer”. Its complete bollocks and I refuse to abide by such ridiculousness. I also don’t believe that all great clothing and accessories have to come from high-end designers and luxury retailers and personally, I think real style is being able to mix both high and low effortlessly without anyone knowing which is which.

Gap Exposed Zipper Dress

Today I’m breaking both aforementioned fashion rules by wearing this bright red dress I found last week. It’s an ideal shade of red that works on so many different skin tones…believe it or not, this is my first time to the “red dress rodeo” – I’ve never owned anything in this colour before. This great transitional piece is great  to wear during this time of the year. The cotton blend has 2% spandex making this shift somewhat body hugging without being overtly sexy. The colour blocked clutch I’ve paired with the outfit is actually a crossbody bag with a detachable shoulder strap.

Gap Exposed Zipper Dress

Gap Exposed Zipper Dress

Photography by Tiffany S www.tiffanysphoto.ca

What I Wore: Red Exposed Zipper Dress by Gap // Colourblock Leather Crossbody Bag by Gap // Bracelets c/o Ann Taylor // Knuckle Rings by Aldo Accessories // Shoes by Zara (old) // Sunnies by Rayban

M Hearts Poppy Delevigne for Vero Moda Collection

M Hearts Poppy Delevigne for Vero Moda

Although majority of the chatter in the fashion world right now has been around Brit “It-Girl” Cara Delevigne, I’ve always been a fan of her older sister Poppy, who is the new face of Vero Moda’s fall campaign. Anyone who knows me is well aware of the fact that I follow her religiously on social media and live for her daily musings, fashion and travel pics. A few weeks ago a little birdie told me that the brand will be launching a collection this season inspired by the model’s world renowned style. I got a sneak peek at the collection and managed to get my hands on one of the key pieces from the line, which is perfect for fall layering…

M Hearts Poppy Delevigne for Vero Moda

M Hearts Poppy Delevigne for Vero Moda Collection

What I Wore: Vest c/o Vera Moda (coming soon) // Long Sleeve Tee by Rag & Bone // Black Japanese Denim by Naked & Famous Denim // Shoes by Christian Louboutin // Bag by Celine

Here’s a look at my other fave items that can be found exclusively at M for Mendocino stores throughout the GTA at the beginning of October and you can view the full Vero Moda fall collection here.

AYA LONG BIKER CARDIGAN 10105083

AYA LONG BIKER CARDIGAN

TEDDY WAIST COAT

TEDDY WAIST COAT

KAYLA  TUNIC

KAYLA TUNIC

Get social and stay up-to-date on the collection release date by following M for Mendocino and Vero Moda Canada on Twitter!

The Perfect Fall Topper | What I’m Wearing

Ann Taylor Floral Leopard Jacquard Topper

Fall has never really been a season that excites me as it’s usually just an annoying reminder that the colder temps are around the corner. However, I think this season I may have a change of heart due to this recently acquired luxe leopard print jacquard coat from Ann Taylor. This topper has been selling out so fast, it’s no longer online and only limited quantities are left in stores (so move fast if you like it!). Not surprising though, as it’s the perfect transitional piece for any fashionista’s wardrobe. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the volume, print, 3/4 length sleeves and it’s versatility – I can wear it with anything!

Ann Taylor Floral Leopard Jacquard Topper

Ann Taylor Floral Leopard Topper

Ann Taylor

Photography by Darryl Waddell

What I’m Wearing: Floral Leopard Jacquard Topper c/o Ann Taylor // Parkside Peplum Skirt c/o Ann Taylor // Boutique Crossbody Bag (worn as a clutch) c/o Ann Taylor // Townhouse Pave & Leather Wrap Bracelet c/o Ann Taylor // Modern Classic Skinny Bangles c/o Ann Taylor // Statement Necklace c/o Ann Taylor // Shoes by Rachel Zoe // Black Wayfarers by Ray Ban

You can shop these pieces online or in stores during Ann Taylor’s “Chic Makeover Weekend”. Book your appointment and get styled head to heels

Chic Makeover Weekend_Invite

Phillip Lim x Target Capsule Collection

PhillipLimforTarget

Every non-American fashionista has been “Green with Envy” for the past few years since Target commenced their highly anticipated designer collaborations. Think it’s safe to say that Canadians (myself included) rejoiced when the news spread that the retailer was opening stores north of the border earlier this year and we would finally be able to be privy to their once in a lifetime capsule collections with the hottest designers. Well peeps – mark your calendars, on September 15th the Phillip Lim for Target line will be hitting stores…it’s like Christmas has come early this year.

Phillip Lim

Chatting womenswear and accessories with Phillip Lim during the press preview in Toronto

I got a chance to view both the men and women’s collections last week and had a chit chat with the super cute Designer and three time CFDA award winner, who told me that “consumers will be blown away at how much style is in the line for such an amazing price point!” By the way, the prices are so reasonable its scary ($20-300). And further explained that being asked to collaborate with gargantuan retailer was really personal because growing up he was a target customer – who knew?!?!?, “My parents were always taking me to Target for back-to-school shopping, and I would find things, but they were not quite right. This was my chance to go back and relive this and do it right.”

PhillipLimforTarget

What to expect from the line? The designer surprisingly stayed very true to his namesake line – comic book prints, classic trenches, a colourful twist on leopard print, gorge intimate wear (which the designer told me can be worn as street wear if you dare),  and let me not EVEN forget about the handbags and accessories that left me GAGGING – in a good way.  The latter is so delish, you will find me at my closet Target location at an ungodly hour the day it hits stores to guarantee I snag my fave items. Honestly, the satchels are completely TDF with the mini one looking almost like a complete replica of Lim’s famous Mini Pashli.

PhillipLimforTarget

View the lookbook, full collection and video campaign here and don’t forget to get tweet and instagram your Phillip Lim for Target pieces (if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on it) using the hashtag #PhillipLimForTarget.

XOX,
S

Gold Accents | What I’m Wearing

Ann Taylor OOTD

My brand ambassador family Ann Taylor revealed some big news last week – they have partnered with Vince Camuto, who also co-founded the women’s footwear brand Nine West, in their first ever footwear design collaboration. After the I got wind of this news, I didn’t pass go, or collect $200 and proceeded directly to the closest store to check them out soon as they hit the floor. Finding shoes that combine both fashion and function these days is almost impossible – although when it comes to looking good, I’ve been known to put fashion before comfort, but I know I’m not the only one. The Fall footwear collection has a little something for everyone from Sloane Ranger style riding boots, suede smoking slippers, quilted Chanel-esque flats, classic metallic cap toe pumps and a variety of booties.

Ann Taylor OOTD

I literally tried on every single shoe in the store and wore these cap toe pumps running errands all over the city and they are now the most comfortable shoes in my closet. I am not sure how they did it, but it’s almost as if they design team put clouds in the insoles of each and every shoe. They are so unbelievably comfy, it’s unreal.

Ann Taylor OOTD

Not to be out-staged by the new shoe line, the latest jewelry and accessories are definitely holding their own. So classic, timeless and sophisticated and you can’t beat the price point…such great value. I almost never leave home without wearing these two gold bangles which I stack on the same wrist and this bag is super versatile; it comes with a long strap, that’s detachable, so it can be worn as a cross-body bag during the day or as a simple clutch in the evening. So, it’s pretty much like having two bags in one!

Ann Taylor OOTD

Photography by: Tiffany S. www.tiffanysphoto.ca

The Fall 2013 footwear collection is now available both in store and online. View and shop the line here.

What I’m Wearing: Lara Leather Cap Toe Pumps c/o Ann Taylor // Draped Ankle Pants c/o Ann Taylor // Black Silk Blouse (old) similar here // Pave Infinity Bracelet c/o Ann Taylor // Wood Statement Necklace c/o Ann Taylor // Boutique Crossbody Bag c/o Ann Taylor Ann Taylor

XOX,
S

Falling For Fashion

For my entire life I have been a perpetual lover of summer… enjoying beach days, cut off denim, Starbucks Refreshers, maxi skirts/dresses, barely there bikinis and vibrant colours – I mean, what’s not to love, right? However, I feel that I am slowly warming up to the idea of fall. That is, if I actually get to experience the season properly. Being a Torontonian, I have become all too accustom to frigid cold fronts entering immediately after Labor Day weekend and instead of being able to enjoy the gradual change of seasons with crisper air allowing for the ever so desirable layering effect, eternity scarfs, fur vests etc, I am usually given very chilly weather conditions which have me dreading the inevitable occurrence of snow, yuk! Seeing as though we are expected to have somewhat of an Indian Summer this year, I am now looking forward to fall with vengeance and gearing up to unnecessarily expand my closet with what I feel are essential pieces. A few things on my autumn wish list; the perfect leather pant, chunky/oversized sweaters, collegiate blazer, bold statement accessories, jewel –toned denim, velvet loafers and fur, fur, fur! The hunt begins tonight as I attend Toronto’s “Fashion Night Out” extravaganza.

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