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LOFT 2017 Winter Collection Media Preview

After almost 20 years in the retail game, LOFT has become known for their affordable head-to-toe looks and easy to wear separates, especially amongst women in the corporate world. In their earlier years, what I like to refer to as LOFT 1.0, the brand was more one dimensional and appealed to a more narrow demographic. However, over the last several years, the classic American brand and become more versatile in their product lines, producing more trendier pieces, allowing them to get on the radar of younger consumers.

A few weeks ago I got a chance to preview LOFT’s upcoming Winter 2017 collection before it hit stores in advance of my co-hosting gig at their press preview last Tuesday night at Lac Beauty, Toronto’s  premiere beauty and skincare boutique. What I found on the racks during my meeting was a little something for every woman.  The perfect skirt suit for the corporate go-getter. Bold prints and tons of stripes for the girl who is not afraid to stand out in a crowd. Statement sleeves on dresses, blouses and sweaters for the fashion forward chick and outerwear that even has me excited for cooler temperatures. It is clear this is no longer the LOFT we once knew. This is LOFT 2.0…cooler, younger, and more versatile than ever.

LOFT - Sasha Exeter

The lovely Erica Wark, stylist and on-air fashion expert of The Social TV and Your Morning, and I got to co-host an intimate evening of fashion and beauty for the city’s top editors. who got treated to a beauty service of their choice (eyebrow threading, manis, pedis and even eyelash lifting) and spent some one-on-one time with each of us to get a rundown of the collection. Guests were also treated to a portrait session by Ryan Emberley that was used to create personalized memes for everyone by the ladies behind @MyTherapistSays. The highly anticipated pieces will be hitting stores three times throughout the season with two drops in October and the final one mid November, so there will be plenty of options for the holiday season.

We kept the racks this time around more minimal than at previous previews with only the key and stand-out items selected. Erica and I both had a chance to to highlight our own favourite pieces from the collection on each floor of the multi-level space. With our own personal style being so different, we were the perfect dichotomy to represent what the line has to offer this season.

Stylist Talia Brown in LOFT’s most popular editor’s pick

My personal faves were not hard to identify on the racks. I loved the oatmeal coloured knits, sweaters with shoulder cut-outs, a jewelled jacquard dress pant that just screams “holiday season”, the navy suede shift skirt (paired with a chunky knit is just perfection), leather pants and seriously just about every single outwear piece in the collection. I actually own the navy military coat but have my eyes set on the fur collared army jacket and the blue fuzzy coat.

Photography by Ryan Emberley (RyanEmberley.com)

What I’m Wearing: Faux Leather Wrap Skirt c/o LOFT // Cutout Shoulder Sweater c/o LOFT

On Erica: Striped Wrap Skirt c/o LOFT // Striped Boyfriend Sweater c/o LOFT

 

Make Up For Ever Holiday Beauty Giveaway

Make Up For Ever Beauty Pack

Every single item in my “2014 Holiday Gift Guide For Her”, is either an item I currently have and love or one that is on my own wish list this season. I have been recently testing out some products from Make Up For Ever in preparation for the holidays and have religiously been using some of the products that come in the gift set pictured above. To help you achieve your festive beauty look this season, I am giving away one Make Up For Ever “Beauty Kit” to a lucky follower. To be eligible, you must follow both me (@SashaExeter) and Make Up For Ever (@MakeUpForEverCA) on Twitter and tweet the following, “@SashaExeter I want to achieve my festive beauty look with @MakeUpForeverCA’s Beauty Kit! #SoSashaxMakeUpForEver“. Contest begins Monday December 1st, 2014 at noon EST and ends on Wednesday December 3rd, 2014 at 10pm EST. *Contest open to Canadian residents only. Best of luck!

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!

So Sasha 2013 Holiday Gift Guide For Her

So Sasha Holiday Gift Guide For Her

Procrastination is oh so common during this time of the year…finding the right gift for your loved ones can be a difficult task – and leaving it until the last minute can cause even the most zen person anxiety. For all of you last minute shoppers out there, I’ve rounded up some of my ultimate favourite things from this past year that would make perfect gifts for your Mother, Sister,  Besties or perhaps you will find something  that you want to add to your own wish list!

1. Byredo Eau de Parfum 1996 Inez & Vinoodh – $175: Launched late into 2013, this unisex Oriental woody fragrance is currently my favourite scent from Swedish perfume house Byredo. Founder Ben Gorham teamed up with Inez & Vinoodh for this special collaboration inspired by a photograph of a young girl entitled “Kristen 1996” taken by the fame photog duo in that year.

2. Mackage Jori Medium Crossbody Bag – $495 : Although Mackage has just entered it’s second season of accessories, one could easily believe that this leather and outerwear brand has been creating gorge, must-have bags for years. This season, the Jori Crossbody Bag was the standout star of the collection. *Also available in a black & blue combination and all black.

3. “It” by Alexa Chung – approx $20: Already a Model, TV Personality, and Designer; “Brit-It” girl Alexa Chung can now add Author to her list of achievements. Chung’s newly released hardcover book shares her influences/inspirations, musings and gives readers a glimpse into her life via drawings, pictures and personal writing.

4. Acne Studios “Merci” Leather Jacket in Grey – Original Price $2,068 Sale Price $1,448: I don’t think I’ve ever met an Acne piece I didn’t like. The brand seems to have nailed down leather moto jackets with the quality of materials used, cut and design. The proof…the brand’s “Merci” loose fit moto. The rich leather in a grey colour is absolutely stunning and allows the jacket to be worn in any season.

5. Samsung Galaxy Optical Zoom Digital Camera – $499: Shoot, edit and share your pics and videos with this tablet-like digital camera. With 16 mega pixels, it delivers crisp and clear photos and stunning Full HD video, this camera is a must for documenting special moments or for taking the perfect selfie. Best part…using the 4.8″ touchscreen , you can edit your photos to ensure they are Instagram worthy and share them immediately on your social media accounts or via email.

6. Caravelle Oversized Men’s Gold Watch – $85: There is nothing more sexy than a classic, over-sized Men’s watch on a woman and in my opinion, the bigger the better. Bulova’s newly launched watch collection inspired by New York City has beautifully crafted watches guaranteed to enhance any outfit with unbelievably attractive price points. The collection can be purchased at Sears and Ben Moss locations.

7. Thierry Lasry Deeply Sunglasses – $440: Handmade in France, Thierry Lasry frames are the epitome of chic. I got introduced to the sunglasses brand at Pink Tartan’s flagship location and immediately fell in love with the line’s aesthetic. Totally crushed out on this pair’s thick ombre frame with scaled-down lenses.

8. Mulberry Textured Leather Jewelry Case – $600: What better way for a gal to pack and carry her prize jewelry possessions than in this luxe textured leather case? The ideal gift for any savvy traveler, the case has three separate components to keep all delicate pieces separated.

Dressing for the Holidays With Pink Tartan Part One

Pink Tartan

Last week I posted about my latest visit to Pink Tartan’s flagship which included some gift ideas from the brand’s lifestyle concept store and Founder Kimberley Newport-Mimran’s top picks for dressing during the holidays. However, I have some favourite pieces of my own and worked alongside Pink Tartan’s Shane Coleman to curate four insanely amazing looks appropriate for the festive season that will be a four-part So Sasha blog series.

Pink Tartan Mongolian Fur Vest

Pink Tartan Florence Pants & Shirt

Within my circle of friends we use any and every opportunity to get together, especially during the holidays – whether for brunches, apres work cocktails, Christmas shopping dates and dinner parties. We pretty much look for any excuse to dress up and this bright look is perfect for any of the aforementioned occasions, but I would most likely wear it out for early evening cocktails. Plus, wearing colour will be sure to make you stand out amongst the crowd. Pink Tartan is known for their classic separates and these blood orange cropped pants are ultra comfortable and chic. Plus, even as a full monochromatic look paired with the matching top,  it’s somehow not overbearing.

Pink Tartan Mongolian Fur

Neutrals paired with brights work really well so we chose this beautiful Pink Tartan Mongolian fur vest, stunning Mark Cross two-toned “Scottie” bag which is sold exclusively at Pink Tartan in Canada, gold accessories and a beautiful watch from Caravelle New York.

Mark Cross Scottie Bag

Caravelle New York Gold Watch

Photography by Talya Macedo // Outfit co-styled by Shane Coleman and Alanna Levine

What I’m Wearing: Florence Pant in Blood Orange c/o Pink Tartan // Round Neck Top in Blood Orange c/o Pink Tartan // Mongolian Fur Vest (available only in Pink Tartan – $895) c/o Pink Tartan // Two-Tone Scottie handbag by Mark Cross also available in store at Pink Tartan // Gold Watch c/o Caravelle New York // Shoes by Zara (old) // Accessories c/o Ann Taylor and Karatoya

Stay updated on new items and get style inspiration for these fabulous brands on social media: Pink Tartan Twitter and Instagram // Mark Cross Twitter and Instagram // Caravelle New York Twitter and Instagram

Get Ready for the Holidays With Luxury Clothing & Lifestyle Store Pink Tartan

Pink Tartan Flagship

With a phenomenal design career that has no plans of slowing down, a thriving brand that has expanded outside of Canada, season after season has one of the most anticipated collections during World Mastercard Fashion Week, and a handsome hubby who is Canadian fashion royalty…it’s safe to say Kimberley Newport-Mimran is Canada’s First Lady of fashion. The last several months have been really busy for the mother and mogul. Newport-Mimran just showed her Spring/Summer 2014 collection in October during Toronto Fashion Week to rave reviews; think flouncy pleated skirts, vegan leather, mod geometric patterns, tons of jacquard and bold florals – you can find my review here. During this time the designer was also working on an innovate washable Pink Tartan collection with Tide and until recently was touring the country promoting the line in Holt Renfrew and The Bay.

Kimberley Newport-Mimran

Kimberley Newport-Mimran at the close of her SS’14 Collection runway show during World Mastercard Fashion Week Photo by George Pimentel

Although Pink Tartan can be found at fine department stores across North America, it’s the brand’s flagship location that people really gravitate towards. The former interior design showroom in the heart of Yorkville was converted into a chic, classy two floor retail space and lifestyle concept store, that almost makes you feel like you’re in a posh townhouse. Inside, one will obviously find the entire Pink Tartan collection but also a carefully curated selection of other designers, accessories and lifestyle products I would imagine are personal faves of the designer. What you can expect to see in store? Glam shades by Thierry Lasry Paris, pieces from Anna Sui, See by Chloe, and Rochas and stunning bags from Mark Cross, which are now on my wishlist. And with the holidays right around the corner, Pink Tartan has some fabulous items perfect for gift giving this season like; dreamy scents from Ortigia Sicilia and Olfactive Studio, Cire Trudon candles, cult beauty products from Tammy Fender, Mariage Freres teas, the Pink Tartan x Keurig collaborative mug (with 100% of the profits going to support the Toronto East General Hospital) and of course Mrs. John L. Strong Fine Stationary to send out Holiday and Thank You cards.

Cire Trudon candles at Pink Tartan

Heavenly scented Cire Trudon candles

Olfactive Studio Perfume

Fragrances by Olfactive Studio

Mrs John L. Strong Fine Statiionary

Mrs. John L. Strong Fine Stationary

See by Chloe Gold Boots

See by Chloe Gold Boots

Photography by Talya Macedo

I recently made a trip over to the flagship, fondly called “77” after its Yorkville Ave address by true Pink Tartan fans, to get some inspiration of my own for holiday party outfits; and to chat with Newport-Mimran about her washable collection project and her top picks for holiday season dressing:

SE:  In recent years I’ve spent a fair amount of money on dry cleaning (much more than I actually would like to admit) so naturally I was thrilled when I first heard about the washable collection you did in conjunction with P&G and Tide. How did this special collaboration come about?

KNM: The idea of caring for your favourite pieces at home is ideal for me. Both fabric and fabric care technology have had such a great advancement. Our team did some research and tested our fabrics to care for at home and our detergent for testing and our choice was Tide.

SE:  Over the  last several years I’ve watched the Pink Tartan brand grow exponentially. Where would you like to see the company be in the next 5 years?

KNM: In the next 5 years, I would love to open more retail stores and grow our presence in international markets.

SE:  With the holiday season quickly approaching, most of us ladies have a ton of events to attend either for work, friends or with family. What are your top picks from your current collection to wear to cocktail events and parties?

KNM:

1. Our  Carey Dress with beautiful textured metallic fabric and contrasting satin back panel – $395

PinkTartan. Carey Dress.jpg

2. The classic Pink Tartan Point Turtle Neck in merino wool with quilted leather elbow patches – $395 paired with our Snake Midi Skirt in black and green – $325

Pink Tartan Point Turtle Neck and Snake Midi Skirt

3. This season’s Fit & Flare Vegan Leather Dress in black and gunmetal – $345

Pink Tartan Fit & Flare Leather Dress

Obviously I’m in love with each of these gorge looks but had my eye on a few other fab pieces during my visit. Stay tuned as I will be sharing my fave Pink Tartan looks with you over the next couple of weeks! To view the entire collection, find locations and to shop online head over to www.pinktartan.com.

A New York Holiday: JayZ + Barneys Exclusive Holiday Collaboration

BNY SCC

After hearing humors over the summer months about a potential collaboration this winter between Rapper JayZ and US luxury retailer Barney’s New York I almost passed out this week when the first images of the forthcoming collection was revealed. Some may be puzzled as to why the hip hop mogul was chosen for such a monumental fashion project seeing as though he has never really been known as a “clothes horse” per se. However, I will be the first one to admit that anytime HOV drops a new album, he puts 80% of his fan base on to brands they’ve never heard before (most likely due to the price point) so in essence, maybe he can be viewed as being fashion savvy to a certain degree, no? I must confess, sometimes I get irritated when this 80% jump on these brands like they’ve been into them all along when I’ve authentically been a fan of them for ages, argh! And although I think many of JayZ’s clothing choices have been questionable, I couldn’t wait to find out which designers wanted to participate in this apparel and accessories project that is part of Barney’s annual holiday collaboration.

BNYSCC Sagmeister & Walsh Shopping BagsShopping bags were co-designed by JayZ and  NYC based design firm Stagmeister & Walsh

I think it’s safe to assume that the collection, titled “BNY SCC”, which stands for Barney’s New York Shawn Corey Carter, it’s themed window decor, ads and release party will obviously be consistent with everything else the rapper touches…meaning nothing short of amazing, “With this project, Barney’s New York and I were able to take the slickness, energy and inspiration of New York City and translate it into quality, timeless pieces. Everything that encompasses ‘A New York Holiday’ – the items chosen, the amazing designers that participated, the windows, the design of the BNY SCC Gallery represents a perfect example of a unique and groundbreaking collaboration that I hope demonstrates how inspiring New York has been to me” JayZ said.

The designer line-up for the collection is so MAJOR and reads like a fashionista’s dream team; Alexander Wang for Balenciaga, Lanvin, the Elder Statesman (Founder Greg Chait is one of my Designer crushes), Proenza Schouler, Balmain, Acne Studios, Cutler and Gross, Just Don (coming soon), Hoorsenbuhs, Stutterheim, Rick Owens, and to round of the pack, a leather lovers dream, En Noir. Allegedly there will be a Hublot watch, natch, with a black alligator strap for a mere $33,900 and the most modest priced item will be a Barney’s cotton white tee for $70. All items are said to be only available in a limited colour palette of gold, silver, white and black – shocker! In typical Shawn Carter form, he’s given us thirsty fashionphiles a little taste of what we can expect once the collection hits all Barney’s locations on November 20th.

BNYSCC Baleniaga Leather Backpack

Limited Edition Alexander Wang for Balenciaga Leather Backpack

BNYSCC Hoorsenbuh Ring

Limited Edition Gold Hoorsenbuh  18K Double Ring

BNYSCC Balmain Scarf

Limited Edition Balmain Black Square Print Scarf

BNYSCC The Elder Statesman Cashmere Blanket

Limited Edition The Elder Statesman Ivory & Black Colour Block Cashmere Blanket

BNYSCC Stutterheim Rain Jacket

Limited Edition Stutterheim Rain Jacket With Gold Snap Buttons

Seeing as though the holiday is about sharing and giving, Barney’s will be donating an impressive 25% of sales to the Shawn Carter Foundation, a NYC based charity that gives Uni scholarships to students in need. After taking a moment to reflect on how a kid from Marcy Projects turned himself into a self-made mogul, business and successful brand; inspiring people across the globe, while never forgetting where he came from…the city of New York…I think Barney’s did good choosing JayZ to collaborate on this very special project!

For The Hostess With The Mostess!

photo(50)

We are right in the holiday thick of things and the other day I couldn’t help but wonder; “I’ve made a wishlist of items I would like to receive. I have other people’s wishlists so I know what to buy them and I have done some community work and given back to those who are less fortunate – so, I am done for the holiday season!”. But clearly I am not. What about thank you gifts for all the gracious people that are hosting me and my family over the next two weeks at their homes for dinners, get-togethers and over night visits. It has become more evident that gift giving to the hostess is more a thing of the past, which I am not sure I like. Gone are the days when a package or a hand written card would show up at your doorstep a few days after hosting friends for dinner. The most hostess’ get nowadays is a quick text thanking them for the shindig and a pile of dirty dishes to clean up on their own. So…I have decided to practice what I preach, take it back to the “old school” and make more of an effort to do the little things that show a host or hostess I was appreciative. In case you need a little assistance picking out the right item, here are a few suggestions that I am sure would put a smile on any hostess’ face – even if they are left cleaning up solo at the end of the evening!

Hostess Gift_1

Kate Spade Sweet Pea Posy Vase $35

 

Hostess Gift_2

Lollia In Love Bubble Bath $34

 

Hostess Gift_3

Jo Malone Travel Candle Set in 3 scents $95

 Hostess Gift_4

Laura Mercier Ambre Vanille Bath and Body Collection $50-70

 Hostess Gift_5

Pottery Barn Monogrammed Oval PaperWhite Soaps $50

 Hostess Gift_6

Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Rose $80

 Hostess Gift_7

ILLUME Eternal Nomad Mediterranean $28

 Do you have any sweet and chic gift ideas for hosts during the holiday season? If so, please share with us in the comments section!

XO,

S

2012 Holiday Gift Guide

Need some gift suggestions for your stylish mother, make-up obsessed sister, fashionista bestie?…Or perhaps a few things you wouldn’t mind finding under the tree with your name of it. Here are 9 items that any So Sasha reader would covet this holiday season!

1. Yves Saint Laurent BEAUTE Holiday Cracker – $50
2. Elizabeth & James “Warm Hearted” Wool Nylon Sweater – $250
3. Vita Fede Gold “Mini Titan Bracelet” – $225
4. Hermes Refillable Lock Spray (lock in one of four scents by the French luxury brand) – $90
5. Wilfred Free for Aritzia Bobine Lambskin leather jacket – $598
6. Diptyque 2012 Holiday Candle in Frankincense – $68
7. Nars Andy Warhol Edie set – $85
8. Chanel #5 Limited Edition Bath Soap – $75
9. Stubbs & Wootton “Screw You” College Slippers – $400

XO,

S

Missoni x Holt Renfrew | Margherita’s Charitable Collaboration

The heiress and (eldest grandchild) of the family-run luxury Italian brand Missoni, Margherita Maccapani Missoni, came to Toronto’s Holt Renfrew’s flagship store this past Thursday, sporting a newly cropped hair-do, to discuss the recent collaboration the fashion house has done with the Canadian luxury retailer in efforts to help raise funds for OrphanAid Africa.

It is no secret that the Italian stunner has had a long love affair with Africa and after her summer nuptials to Eugenio Amos, the pair enjoyed an African safari on their honeymoon, but the future Missoni Creative Director has had the continent close to her heart for almost a decade with her role as Italian ambassador for OrphanAid Africa. The organization helps children and their families through education, health care, family support and basic infrastructure. The charity is so important to Missoni, the newlyweds generated over $80,000 in donations, which they accepted in lieu of traditional wedding gifts.

OrphanAid Africa, founded in 2002 by former Vogue editor and author, Lisa Lovatt-Smith, goal has been to strengthen Ghanian communities so that families can take care of their own children. Taking involvement in the organization even further, Missoni created M Missoni, which is an affordable capsule collection in addition to this month’s Missoni x Holt Renfrew limited edition pair of stuffed toys, just in time for the holiday.

I lined up with other bloggers and fashionistas to have my newly adopted Missoni elephant autographed by Margherita, who was extremely gracious and patient – she made time for EVERYONE! Although she was told NOT to pose with individuals during the signing, she broke the rule for me, which had me blushing like a tween at a Bieber concert. Congratulating her on her recent nuptials and commending her on all her philanthropic efforts, I also took a second to inquire about the ridiculously sexy backless shirt she was wearing, which wasn’t Missoni…her response, “Do you really love it?! It’s Margiela!!!!” I mean, are you kidding me…I can’t deal. And just when I thought this chick couldn’t be any sweeter, I left the event tweeting a pic I took and she retweeted it within the hour to her 35,000 cult followers. I DIED!

My adorable Missoni x Holt Renfrew limited edition elephant

Post signing and interviews, a private dinner was hosted by Holt’s Cafe, with the most stunning Missoni inspired table scape.

Buy your limited edition Missoni elephant or bear and help Holt Renfrew reach it’s goal of raising $100,000 for the organization. Available now in stores and online ($50 HoltRenfrew.com)

Check out Margherita’s interview with Holt Renfrew discussing her passion for the organization and how she got involved…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7STVP8avCc

XO,

S

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