Posted on June 22, 2015
“Lettermade is a brand for the modern traditionalist, who values classic design and decor stirred up with a contemporary flare,” boasts the Lettermade About page. I would say…I have to agree.
I have always loved picking up small treasures at street markets and boutiques throughout my travels. Putting them in the perfect place when I return home makes me smile and remember the memories that are held with that piece. I stumbled upon the Lettermade Instagram last week, and loved the line “modern traditionalist.” If I had to describe myself in two words, this would be it. I love a classic palette (hello light-grey walls!) mixed with pieces from my favorite street artists.
The next addition to my home-goods collection will be these hashtag cocktail napkins. The dainty design will look great out on a bar cart, as well as scattered over end-tables and beneath unique glassware. Quick tip: steal the idea in the above champagne photo and rim glasses with glittery sanding sugar to kick your cocktails up a notch.
Posted on June 1, 2015
Just because you are on social media, does not mean you are a social media expert. In the same way, having an Instagram…does not make you a professional photographer (sorry…duck lips don’t count). I joined Instagram at the end of my Freshman year of college when I first started my blog, StreetStyleChi. I knew little about how to use social media, or, how beneficial it could be. After spending a year working with the women of Nike in Chicago helping to open a concept store called NTC, I quickly gained insight and learned how important a strong social media voice is. The fact is, that good social media can move mountains between a brand and it’s consumers.
Back in 2011, social media was looked at as purely an egotistical form of media (which it still can be). It was just a silly place for teens to express their love for the latest member of One Direction (again, still very much alive). Only in the last few years have we started to fully take advantage of what it really is: a direct line to your consumer.
If you read my post about the FTC blogger guidelines last month, you know all about how paid endorsements online are supposed to work. While many view giving bloggers monetary compensation to wear certain products as deceptive, it is truly just another form of advertising for these large brands trying to tap a specific market; and it is SUPER smart. Consumers no longer want to click on a banner ad or follow a brand on social media; they want to follow a personality. Bloggers and “influencers” being sent product, help brands build a direct relationship with their consumer through this third party (being the blogger.)
A great example of Instagram marketing can be found at @WeWoreWhat, founded by blogger Danielle Bernstein. Her Instagram account boasts a million followers, with sponsored posts trickling down her feed, that to an untrained eye, look organic. In reality, Bernstein charges $5-15K per Instagram photo, with monetary compensation going up as the number of Instagrams goes up. So why would a brand be willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a single photo on a social network? Bloggers build lasting relationships with their readers for years, thus, when they promote a brand, the brand gains that loyalty as well.
When looking at famous instagram accounts, we are not just talking number of followers, but engagements, which are measured by number of likes and comments on a photo. If you have 20K followers on Instagram, but are consistently getting 15 likes on your photos, there is a very fair chance that you bought 19K of those followers and brands will keep their distance. Essentially, your data will speak for itself.
If you look through any “instafamous” personalities, their content glows. Their photos boast the same filter to show consistency, and their snapshots are taken with fancy camera attachments or a Nikon camera. Every photo is strategically placed on their feed with the same intensive thought that goes into a full-throttle pr campaign. Why? They are their brand, and their social tool of choice is their main place of marketing themselves, so it better be good.
Check back for tips on growing your social following shortly.
Posted on May 26, 2015
In a two part guest series, Ashley Altstadt let’s you in on her tips and recommendations for going after what you want, and ultimately landing a coveted spot in the fashion industry. This is part II.
Do as much as you can on the side.
When I’m not at my current job, I’m writing for online fashion magazines. Start a blog, take photos and show off your work anyway that you can. Companies want to see someone that takes the time to do what they love. Having a blog will also show off your personality and point of view to future employers.
Dress the part.
When you’re trying to land your dream job, you want to be taken seriously. I always go for a tailored pant or a midi dress for an interview. Employers want to see that you can put yourself together, but you also have your own personal style. Don’t wear too much jewelry, keep it light on the make-up, and always wear heels that you feel confident in.
Before every interview I always research the company inside and out. You want to impress these future employers by knowing the company background and philosophies. Doing your homework shows that you’re serious about the job.
Be smart on social media.
Make sure that you’re putting out a positive image of yourself on every social media platform. Employers will look there first to see what you’re like and who you are. I always stick to classy and respectable posts because you never know who is looking. Social media has become the largest representations of ourselves whether we like it or not.
I’ve learned that being nice to people will get you further in life than anything else. Always be pleasant, be nice to everyone you meet and SMILE! Also, HAVE FUN! Fashion is supposed to be creative, artistic and exciting.
Posted on April 8, 2015
Posted on March 2, 2015
A few years ago, I would walk around in a dress and sneakers and people would look at me like I was crazy. If you threw on sneakers with your outfit, no matter the brand, observers assumed you were lazy and couldn’t be bothered with proper footwear.
Take it back to Fall of 2014 and fashionistas running between fashion shows in New York were photographed in bright kicks and clean New Balance slip-ons. Suddenly, it became the “it” trend and was the new norm. While a sneaker has always been an essential part of my everyday rotation, I am happy to see people embracing how great a classic sneaker in the right colorway can be.
This spring will be no different for me. While Chicago seems to be stuck in the dog days of winter, the light at the end of the tunnel is near. New Balance makes the perfect classic shoe, with clean colorways to add an effortless pop to any outfit. Grey is my personal favorite color for Spring and it pairs nicely with everything which is great for transitioning from winter’s dark tones to spring’s bright colors and pastel hues.
Many times, I have trouble finding a colorway I want in the women’s sizing. I usually wind up taking home a men’s shoe. You can find out what size you are in men’s shoes, here.
How do you like to style your sneakers?
Photos: Kohl Murdock for StreetStyleChi.com.
Posted on January 8, 2015
Skincare overseas, for example Korea and Japan, is serious business. It is a daily essential that involves many, many steps and is quite exhaustive. Yet, in the US, we are still trying to figure out what the wonder is behind Korean skincare. Beauty blogger Coco Park recently discovered Korean beauty care in her Korean-American boyfriends parents bathroom, and decided to check it out for herself. She went from using only a few products a day…to 17. On her blog, she says that she saw an immense difference in just three weeks, and her red spots and pores have essentially disappeared.
When you think about it, the invasion of Korean beauty products started a while ago. More specifically, in 2011 when companies started introducing the originally based Korean BB cream. BB cream is said to be an all in one product that will take care of the skin. Soon, American companies started producing their own versions, and we have BB creams, CC creams, and so on. As it turns out, this was just the Americanized version of Korean skincare because in the US, we like to keep things simple. In reality, we should also be scrubbing, moisturizing, cleansing, and treating.
Now that the beauty obsessed in the US are starting to reap the benefits of foreign beauty traditions, other interesting new treatments are starting to pop up. Two weeks ago, I got my monthly facial. I was surprised in my sleepy state of mind when something ice cold rolled around my face…under my eyes, down my nose, on my neck…it never seemed to stop. While reading Refinery29 this morning, I discovered that it was an ice roller. Essentially, this is a fancy substitute for throwing some spoons in the freezer. The ice roller can swiftly clean up the look of tired eyes, redness, puffiness, and minor bruising. My first question is…where do I get my hands on one?
For more information on best Korean beauty products, I would check out:
Posted on December 23, 2014
“Why not accept that manufacturing is gone from this country? Why not let the rust and weeds finish what they started? Why not just embrace the era of disposability? And why didn’t we buy a warmer coat before we moved here?”
These are the questions the team at Shinola ask themselves throughout the long winter. As more and more companies start to move out of the US, Shinola is opening more factories and stores within boundaries; specifically in Detroit and around Michigan. Shinola chose Detroit because they are both restoring beauty and history to something that was once vibrant; in one case, a watch company, and the other: a city.
Shinola started out as a shoe polish company in World War I and World War II, and slowly disappeared. In 2001, after being bought by another group of investors, Shinola decided to try again with luxury watches, leather goods, and now, bicycles that are all produced in the US. They bought a portion of an automotive factory and opened for business. I like Shinola as a company because they truly seem invested in their employees: training them with Swiss partner Ronda AG and giving them a chance to become great at something.
Shinola is one of the few watch makers based out of the US, and gets all of their leather for goods and watch straps from the Horween Leather Factory in Chicago, which is the oldest leather tannery in the US opened in 1905. Shinola recently opened their own leather factory in Detroit, and plans on starting to produce small leather goods through it by the end of the year.
I recently ordered a watch from Shinola, and was impressed by the quality of the watch and small personal touches. Every watch comes with a serial number, and a card with who made the watch. The watches come in beautiful wooden boxes, and really stand out from other companies.
You can check out Shinola on their website.