Thursday, August 20, 2009

Project Runway Season 6: Logan Neitzel

Tonight millions of us curl up to watch the new Season 6 of Project Runway all scoping out which designer we are going to root for till the end. For Boutique Culture it is easy to pick! From Seattle Logan Neitzel will be our pick and we wish him the best! Did we mention that you can meet Logan at the upcoming Boutique Culture Warehouse Sale? He will be signing autographs and saying hi from 10-12 on Saturday! Hope to see you there!

GBP: Fresh Jess with Moksha

It's Tuesday and besides only being two days into the work week, it means another great Guest Blog Post! Today we would like to introduce to you to Jess from Fresh Jess. As a board member of Y.E.S. director of events for the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, and fashionable lady- Jess brings a (fresh) point of view to her blog. Please be sure to stop by her blog! Enjoy!

"I am a huge fan of supporting local small businesses with an appreciation for international culture and an organic nature of community. I believe there’s no better example of such a place than Moksha, a boutique and art repository located on the eclectic University Ave. in the U-District.

I started shopping at Moksha since its inception seven years ago, during my cash-strapped days as a student at UW. Fast forward to now, as a young professional I’ve found myself a loyal customer and quite possibly its biggest fan . I have always appreciated the world flair in Moksha’s offering of clothing and accessories. Its staff is as unique and stylish as the merchandise, but unlike a lot of small boutiques, they are incredibly NICE and helpful to everyone who comes through the space. Moksha goes above & beyond its counterparts by reaching out to the arts community, featuring a new artist on its walls every month (don’t miss their Third Thursday art opening parties!)

Moksha is also a staple at some of Seattle’s best community events, including: Folklife, the Bite of Seattle, Hempfest and the University District Street Fair. At this year’s street fair, I had the pleasure of meeting Moskha owner Aleph Geddis. Aleph’s kindly answered a few of my questions to give us more about the beauty that is Moksha."

Moksha just celebrated its 7 year anniversary last month. What inspired you to create & open the store?

Moksha was inspired by Joanna Segault and my travels around the world.   We traveled extensively in Asia and got really blown away by India and all of its color.   Moksha is a culture clash of our experiences. It started out more ethnic but has been going the urban direction since the beginning. It was a fun process to see Moksha take on its own identity after opening,  it seems to have a mind of its own.

The store has gone through some changes over the past year. What drives your vision for Moksha now?

I love old things, as you can see with all the trunks and suitcases plus I love pop culture.   My vision mixing these worlds and bringing the people interesting things from around the world. In the big picture i would like Moksha to to help build culture art.

What does "Moksha" mean? 

Moksha means “liberation from the cycles of rebirth” in Sanskrit

Describe those who love shopping at Moksha.

Our supporters are free thinkers, people who understand our crazy mix of things.  We do not buy large runs of anything, so our patrons know that that their clothing is unique, not everywhere


You travel to Thailand and other places to bring unique & interesting pieces back to the store. What is your inspiration when buying for Moksha?

I love buying directly from the people who are making the clothes.  That way i know what I am supporting.  I am always amazed at what people come up with, and how creative they are.  This is what inspires me;  I love the mix of old culture with modern city life in Asia.    In the US there is such a lag time between thought and creation, because we do not manufacture anything.  In Asia when there is an idea the next week it is in physical form.

What are you most excited about for fall (or the near future) at Moksha? New merchandise, artists on the horizon? Any other great projects or ideas brewing for Moksha's future?

I am really excited about the next two art shows: Pocket Full of Monsters in September and then Luke Yates in October.  We are having a customer appreciation party/tweet up on Sept 11th.  E.R. Don is playing with Tyler of Truckasaurus and DJ Introcut is also playing. We are having a keg and lots of give aways from Green Apple Tree, Obey, Brixton, Cole and many more.
I am planning to go to India this winter.  We have not had much new stuff from India for a few years so I am really excited to see what I can find.

Don’t miss Moksha at the Boutique Culture Warehouse Sale, August 29-30 at the Fremont Studios. For more on Fresh Jess, please visit her Blog!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Featured Boutique

Today we want to share with you a boutique who will be joining the Boutique Culture Warehouse Sale this Aug 29th and 30th at Fremont Studios.

Owner Naoko Vaughn of Plane Jane brings smart and casual fashion to her surrounding community on the Issaquah Plateau. As many of you know the great number of boutiques that Seattle has to offer, are not limited to simply downtown shopping. Plane Jane provides Eastsiders an alternative shopping experience, that allows them to avoid traffic and hectic malls, while being able to shop over 75 vendors! With a long list of loyal clients and a reputation for amazing customer service, Plane Jane continues to grow, and will be launching an online store soon. Enabling women from outside of the Issaquah Highlands the opportunity to shop Naoko's amazing selection of clothing, jewelry, and accessories she proudly provides her clients. We look forward to sharing this Eastside jewel with you and hope you will be sure to stop by her booth and say hello!

Plane Jane
4564 Klahanie Dr. SE
Issaquah, WA. 98029

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Are you excited?

If you haven't already heard about this...well, hmmm.

Tues August 25th...were will you be?

Come downtown with some friends- enjoy cocktails and other relaxing treats while you network with other women!

GBP: A Girls Guide to Seattle

This Tuesday we are pleased to introduce to you our guest blogger Nadine of A Girls Guide to Seattle. Another friend and supporter we met on twitter- we are excited for you to finally meet her! If you are looking for a resource that seeks out the Seattle area's happenings with a fashionable twist, look no further. Please be sure to check out her blog!

Hey BC enthusiasts! I’m Nadine, the girl behind A Girl’s Guide to Seattle, a blog dedicated to discovering the many events and gems of Seattle. I am so excited to get the chance to guest blog for Boutique Culture. I’m especially excited to share my latest discovery with you, Haley’s Cottage, a home & lifestyle boutique in Mill Creek Town Center.

I never expected to find so many adorable accessories, so much amazing décor, or such fabulous beauty products.

This room layout was my favorite of all. The color scheme and fabulous furniture were stunning and dream décor for my apartment.

Each section of the boutique was so perfectly set up according to theme and color. I love, love, loved the seashell mirror and dreamed of having a spare room that was nautical themed.

One of my favorite parts of Haley’s Cottage is their effort to support local designers and artists. Amazing products from candles and signs to artwork and jewelry are done by local Seattlites.

The best part of Haley’s Cottage? The employees! Any day that you pay this little boutique a visit, you’ll likely find this little gem- Tinker, one of three long-haired Chihuahua pups that help Cindy Sullivan keep an eye on the shop.

This is the perfect boutique for everything including home décor, accessories, or grabbing a gift for others. You are sure to find something fabulous at this local shop! If you’re ever at The Mill Creek Town Center, be sure to check out Haley’s Cottage, located directly across from LA Fitness.

Special Thank you to Nadine!
A Girls Guide to Seattle
Twitter: @agentnoir

Be sure to stop by:

Haley's Cottage
15021 Main St. #E
Mill Creek, WA. 98012

Friday, August 14, 2009

Follow Friday!

For those of you who have braved the world of Twitter you might have noticed that on Friday's everyone does a recommendation of people they think you should follow (hence the #ff). So we figured here at Boutique Culture we would take the chance to introduce you to some of our friends!

So for this weeks #FF we have:

@SimchaBabe- love this blogger! Her blog provides Seattle exactly what we need- an opportunity to see some of the great style that hits our streets! Fun to not only get ideas, but learn about some exciting people in our community too!

@vuesociety- Rachel at Vuesociety provides the Eastside of Seattle with a voice, perspective, and opportunity all in one place. With a focus on exposing, growing, and channeling the fashion housed across the water from Seattle, Rachel also isn't afraid to let her personality and true perspective sneak into her writings! Bellevue, Kirkland, Issaquah, Sammamish, Medina- this is your girl!

@krocketkids- Love their cause! What more can we say-love that they are local-but have a global impact!

@styled_seattle- Seattle style goddess! Shows we have more to offer then the PNW look we have become known for and does it one day at a time by changing the way people dress! Thank you for what you do!

Just some of the Seattle boutique's and designers who will be at the Boutique Culture Warehouse Sale- need we say more!

Hope you reach out to these people and connect! Thank you to the many great people who gave us a #ff blessing today! :)

BC Warehouse Sale..

...the countdown has begun!

GBP: Style-ish

Sorry we didn't get this posted yesterday! Today's Guest Blog Post is from Tiffany of I am Style-ish. We first found Tiffany's blog via her tweets on twitter (promise we don't get paid to talk about twitter :) ). Instantly we noticed the intense quality of pictures she posted- not to mention the most adorable outfits she puts together! With a common appreciation ( rather an obsession) for shoes we find ourselves constantly checking back for her new finds! Please be sure to stop by and take a peek at her blog! In the mean time...enjoy!

Hello to all the fabulous Boutique Culture readers! I was so honored when Kim asked me to guest post on her amazing site and am so excited to be here. I am Tiffany, better know from my blog I am Style-ish. I write about how I stay stylish in Seattle and tidbits of fashion and style that I love.

I think we all have complained about the weather here and how we maybe only have a month or two of nice weather, but to be honest, fashion wise, I think our weather helps me be more creative in how I dress and I actually enjoy it. It’s so easy in the sunny climates to put on a dress and sandals and be cute but when it’s cold outside it’s much harder to just pull on something easy and be stylish. I always like to start with something simple like a sweater and jeans and then add to it not only for the warmth factor but also to make it more stylish.

Here are some of my picks for the fall picked from Seattle boutiques and designers:

The best and easiest accessory of them all is a scarf. When you walk out the door, add a bright scarf over your jacket and then when you get inside add it over your outfit as well. It will always adds a great touch to whatever you are wearing and I do love how it keeps me warm.

(Sway & Cake)

A white coat always looks fantastic in the fall and winter. I think what you wear over your outfit is just as important because you want to look great walking around outside as much as you do inside. With so many people that own black coats a white coat like this Soia & Kyo one will always make you stand out and you can wear it over jeans or a dress and it will look great either way.

(Bossi & Ich Ky)

I think we can all agree that cardigans are a must in our weather and I love the versatility of this wrap cardigan as you can leave it loose over a dress of wrap it around and wear over jeans like this model.


And the best accessory to have is a nice big black bag that can carry everything. I think the easiest way to stay stylish in the cooler months is to keep accessories on you so that when you are caught out in the cold or the rain you at least have something to add to your outfit. I always keep gloves, a hat and an extra scarf in my bag so having something cute to carry those things in is definitely a plus. I love the diamond pattern and the buckles on this JAS MB bag. It's also great that you can carry it like a tote or you can use the should strap to sling it over your body.


Well, thanks for having me, I hope you enjoyed my picks and keeps you staying stylish in the fall!

Boutique Culture Warehouse Sale Featured Designer

A designer that you need to put on your radar if you haven't already, Spun. Spun will be joining us at the Boutique Culture Warehouse Sale in Seattle Aug 29th and 30th. We had the pleasure of meeting Sara, the designer behind these classic and comfortable designs, on twitter. In addition to an amazing personality, great story of how it all came to be, she has the most amazing organic products! All to often women feel they have to sacrifice one of the many elements that make clothes desirable in order to support an organic and locally made clothing line. However, Spun is a great example of a designer who has thrown these notions out the door! That being said, we have our favorites and can't wait to stock up!


Here are some of the items we wish for...

Today's Boutique Culture Warehouse Sale Featured Boutique

Today we would like to highlight a boutique who will be present at the Boutique Culture Warehouse Sale Aug 29th and 30th in Seattle at Fremont Studios. Each day leading up to the event we will share with you some of the amazing shopping finds you will see when you come visit!


La Rousse

One look at La Rousse's website and you know you be able to find unique pieces that will seperate your closet from all of your friends, while also allowing you to support local designers! Each season La Rousse showcases a hand-selected collection of up-and-coming designers from San Francisco to New York (Feral Childe, Grey Ant, Manisse, Margarita Saplala, Mary Meyer, Tag, Zuriick), hard-to-find rare gems from around the globe (American Retro, Erin Templeton, Melissa Footwear, Rodebjer, Something Else by Natalie Wood, Sretsis) and favorite basics (Sophomore, Parkvogel).

Here are a few pieces we can't wait to get our hands on!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

GBP: Vuesociety

This Tuesday we are honored to have Rachel from Vuesociety as our Guest Blogger! We were fortunate enough to meet Rachel on twitter ( do you see the trend here) and hit it off instantly over a cup of hot soup and coffee. Instantly appreciated her honesty, pizazz, and passion for all things in the fashion industry. Please be sure to add her blog to your list of must reads!

Shopping on a Budget. How?

We're on a tight budget right now. Differentiating what you need and what you want is just the beginning. It sounds so foolish and repetitive, but it is a task so simple that must be embedded into the average American consumer. In previous times consumer spending was more flexible. Now spending behaviors have drastically changed to accommodate harder times that are currently as we speak. While being style conscious, you can't fail to realize how vital it is to be sensitive to budget. Can you relate?

Begin by figuring out your most needed pieces for the fall. Work with your body figure and see what are some refreshers that can brighten your wardrobe. Classic items that will last season after season may be a start whether it maybe the LBD (little black dress) or some great pair of quality denim. Make your list and budget accordingly. Pieces like thigh-high boots or even shredded skinnies may be best to put aside for another economical quarter.

After choosing your top items that you think you will need for this coming season, take a look at how much you can afford to splurge. Investing is the key and don't forget that word. Buying many cheap, trendy pieces is only damaging your credit score and leaves you only to wear it lesser than you thought you would, so choose wisely.

Now to find your items, since you're on a budget your initial reaction may be to hit the lowest, bargain friendly fashion retailer available. Finding great deals at Forever 21 or H&M can be the way to go for some of you, but look at it this way; calculate the total cost including tax and divide it by the number of times you can wear the piece. If wearing it only a couple of times at the end may come out to be more expensive than purchasing that same piece at a mid-level retailer where there are higher quality products at affordable or sometimes pricey (depending on budget) price tags that will last you many more wears.

Or an option is to take the wanted items list such as trendy clothing (not your needed items) at low-cost retailers like Forever 21 and H&M because post season these items will end up at GoodWill. (Please note that it is still a wasteful consumption that can be utilized into buying your better needed classic pieces).

By hitting up your local department store or off priced department store retailer is a great start. Begin by finding sales professionals to show you quality pieces that will last you. At the end, it will be a more satisfying transaction than the ones ending up at GoodWill.

Most consumers fail to realize that investing and splurging a bit more on pieces that you will rock from season to season is a better steal than that $29.99 sweater you found on sale with garment care instructions that state Dry Clean Only. Sometimes, you will end up spending more on caring for the clothing than the cost you paid for it.

Calculating wisely and planning ahead is wise. With all the money you save at the end is a great way to hit up Happy Hour with your friends and brag about your latest splurges on pieces you SO NEEDED for this season and how you sacrificed trendy pieces to look great in this economical state!

Written by vuesociety

Monday, August 10, 2009

Clutch's 2 year Anniversary

What does your handbag say about you?

A question that if we actually tried to answer some of us would find we might need a new side kick or an upgrade! We have the perfect event for you this week. Join us and many of our friends from Twitter, the Eastside, and all over Seattle as we gather at Seattle's only handbag boutique, Clutch! Clutch will be celebrating their two year anniversary by throwing a soiree. This celebration is complete with hors d'oeuvre, gift bags, and champagne. It won't take up your whole evening since it is 5-8 and you can stop in at any time!

Clutch is a personal favorite of our's here at Boutique Culture because their store truly embodies the boutique shopping experience. You will receive unsurpassed customer service from the staff, an amazing selection of bags, and a shopping experience that will compel you to return next time you need a side kick/handbag.

If you can't make Clutch's two year anniversary you can also visit them at the Boutique Culture Warehouse Sale!

Hope to see you soon!

Thursday Aug 13th 5-8pm
1212 Fourth Ave.
Seattle, WA. 98101

Friday, August 07, 2009

Step up and donate!

Ladies and Gents with the Boutique Culture Warehouse Sale only weeks away we want to ask you to not only make the journey down to Fremont Studios to shop till you drop on Aug 29th and 30th, but also take a moment to donate and save as many as 3 lives.

Puget Sound Blood Center will be on site taking donations and needs you to help them by RSVPing ahead of time! Here is a common question and excuse for those who are on the fence!

Who Can Donate?

Anyone in good health, is at least 18 and weighs at least 110 pounds may donate blood every 56 days.

Other people must be giving enough blood (who hasn't said this).

Only 8% of western Washington's population gives blood and these donors cannot give all the time. Donors move away, become pregnant and go on vacations. The needs of our community can only be met by people like you!

This being said we hope you will help us save lives, and take a moment out of your day to donate.

Please RSVP at the Boutique Culture Warehouse Sale Blood Donation Event Page

Thank you on behalf of Boutique Culture, Puget Sound Blood Center, and the hundreds of people whose lives will be touched.

Product Runway Volume 2

With the end of the month quickly approaching we reached out to Product Runway to find out more about this fabulous event! We were honored with the opportunity to interview Erica Clemeson, Jill Marasigan, Heather Nye, and Ian Stewart from Product Runway's team. If you haven't already be sure to visit Product Runway's website and mark your calendar for another fabulous night of style and entertainment here in Seattle!

Erica, can you describe to us what Product Runway stands for or represents?

Product Runway is first a fabulous party and a chance to be dazzled by the creative talents in the interior and architecture industry in Seattle. The event is a competition among teams of interior designers, architects, and students who have been paired with a product for the industry (carpet, tile, furniture, even plumbing fixtures!). Their challenge is to design and fabricate a couture garment out of the material that is fashionable, stylish, and wearable. It also represents over four months of hard work that the teams have put in designing and constructing their garments. Fashion, cocktails, and fun…what more could you want?

Can you share with us some of the amazing interior designers/company’s that will participate in the second Product Runway?

Sure so to name a few:

JPC Architects & Statements Distinctive Tile and Stone
SKB Architects & Pental/Luwla
IA Interiors & Formica

So I have to ask, how did the vision for Product Runway come together? Was it around coffee with a colleague or…?

The idea originated about two years ago from Christina Stewart, last year’s Runway chair. She was talking with a colleague about a similar show in Denver that has been going on for a few years. Christina went to visit the show, came home, and said “We can do this bigger and better!” Last year’s show proved that, and we’re looking to make it even more exciting and entertaining this year and in years to come.

Probably not, but can you reveal the next season (not date) you are hoping to have your next event?

It’s too early to discuss Runway Volume 3…the show is such a huge undertaking that the entire team needs time to regroup after the show. I can guarantee we’ll be back, but we’ll need to recharge our batteries for quite a while first!

Erica, do you have plans to expand Product Runway?

Every year we’re going to try and make improvements to what we do and add twists as our attendees suggest them. For example, one thing we’re really excited about this year is the People’s Choice competition and our partnership with the Seattle Ronald McDonald House charities. At the show, people can buy batches of “votes” for $5 each to vote for their favorite garment 5 for 20. All the proceeds from the People’s Choice competition goes to Ronald McDonald House, a charity that we absolutely love. The winner will be announced the day after the show. So we will keep you posted. We are also collecting canned food at the door for the Seattle Ronald McDonald House. For every four cans a person brings they will receive one raffle ticket.

So your Emcee’s this year include several local fashion/industry leaders as well as your two primary’s Jack Mackenroth and Kevin Christiana. How did you go about picking your Emcee’s and can you tell us a little about them?

One of the biggest inspirations for establishing this event was Bravo’s Project Runway. So it seemed like a natural pairing to have Jack and Kevin participate in this event. Jack was a judge for Product Runway Volume 1, and we had a lot of fun with him, so it was great to ask him back.

People wonder, what did you look for in pairing your design teams together?

Teams were selected at random done at our Kick-Off party. Take a look at team BiNW-who is a commercial office furniture dealership paired with NEWH-a hospitality design organization.

Exciting, the 2nd volume of Product Runway is right around the corner! Tell us what your day-to-day projects consist of from here on.

Lots of phone calls, emails-oh my goodness the emails…meetings...more phone calls and more emails…twittering…

Like many people, you have a great team of women/men that help you each year put on the Product Runway event. Where have you acquired these leaders?

The leadership is all from within the interior design and architecture community in Seattle. One of the many things we are trying to do with Product Runway is to show that interior design is more than just picking paint and arranging furniture that you see on TV. Interior designers are skilled project managers and possess a wide variety of skills and creativity.

Despite the dismal landscape of today’s economy, the interior and architecture communities stay committed to keeping involved and boosting their profession.

Besides Product Runway what are some of your favorite events in Seattle that are fashion/style oriented?

Seattle Fashion Week
First Thursday’s
Pecha Kucha
Girl Power Hour
Any event held by LEVEL, another great organization of Interior Designers and Architects that raise funds to support the Seattle community.

We do keep our eye on fashion events, but we, interior designers and architects, stay plugged into local organization events in Seattle as well.

Product Runway

August 28th @ 7pm
Seattle Center Exhibition Hall

Product Runway's Blog

Let us know if your coming so we can say Hi!!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Interview with Joan Kelly of Fashion First

We are excited to share with you today a personal look at one of Seattle's leading ladies in the Fashion Industry.

We were honored when Joan Kelly Founder of Fashion First, and an instructor at The Art Institute granted us an interview with Fashion First being only weeks away. Fashion First has been slated as Seattle's leading fashion show by incorporating local retailers, an amazing team, and flawless execution to pull off this stylish event. If you have always wanted to attend a fashion show, but your list of excuses prevents you - brush those aside and join us this September as we gaze at the perfectly paired fall pieces to hit Fashion First's runway here in Seattle! Read below to find out more about this amazing woman and Fashion First!

Joan, tell us about where you were born/raised and how you settled in Seattle?

I was born in Greenwich, CT and Raised in the NY/NYC area.

What is one thing many people may not know about you?

I love the Grateful Dead!

Everyone wants to know what a day is like in the life of someone who is in the center of the fashion industry! What is usually the most exciting part of your day or week?

Monday morning! I wake up all rejuvenated and rearing to go!

How would you describe your own sense of style?

Classic and street-influenced.

If you can share Joan, what are some of the projects you are working on for remainder of 2009 and then 2010?

Fashion First, of course. The AIS show which I am involved in every year. And we have another Fashion show we are confirming; more details soon!

Since you are immersed in the industry/culture here in Seattle, how do you describe the fashion scene?

Better then San Fran or WASH DC. Burgeoning.

Do you think Seattle's fashion scene is evolving?

SURE. I think that is why I do what I do, to be apart of this scene's growth.

Joan, since we all are familiar with fashion bloggers, do you have a fashion blog you steal a quick read from here and there?

Well I am always about the Fashion First Blog, then there is IN Seattle National, the Sartorialist ,, and Customized Girl.

Okay so you have been asked by Vogue to recommend one beauty product, accessory, item of clothing…what would it be?


What is your favorite trend for this fall for both men and women?

Anything architectural and in black of course.

The Sixth annual Fashion First is right around the corner! Tell us what your day-to-day projects consist of from here on.

I am constantly on the phone, I easily make 100 phones calls a day! I focus my day around all the Fashion First marketing, sales, and all the details in order to make it a smashing success. Anything from dealing with all our fabulous retailers, reaching out to people about the event, or meetings with Seattle Magazine and The Starlight Foundation. I also teach at AIS 3 days a week and If I am lucky I sneek in a shoe sale or two. Or lunch. :)

You have a great team of women/men that help you each year execute a flawless event. Can you tell us a little about them?

They are Fantastic! I have the best team in town. Elena handles the press, Wendy handles the fashion show and Marissa runs the event.

Besides the Fashion First event, what are some of your favorite events in Seattle that are fashion/style oriented?

I know the Niemen’s opening is going to be great . I like the Diffa events. There are always fun!

One must ask, what is your largest style pet peeve?

Passive aggressive people!!

Fashion First
September 17th
Qwest Field Events Center
The Line Up

Monday, August 03, 2009

Guest Blog Post from Little Designer Book

Today's post is from a friend we have discovered on Twitter known as @designerbook. Andrea was gracious enough to share with us her thoughts on local designers. Enjoy and support our friends by following them on twitter, facebook, or via their blogs!

.. I’ve been following emerging designers very closely for several months now, hearing their design stories and offering them resources while they prepare to launch their collections. I absolutely love what I do and I’m thrilled to share some of my favorite “local” designers for you on Boutique Culture.

Before the Internet, local was just that…small businesses in our local communities that used community art fairs and word-of-mouth to sell their wares. Unless a designer was ready to mortgage their house for the money to pay their publicity and marketing expenses, they weren’t going to move far outside of their local area.

So, what is a local designer today? Etsy, twitter, facebook and thousands of fashion/design blogs have given local designers an inexpensive platform to market their lines. I am often amazed at the caliber of designers I meet. Many are fresh out of design school with little money but a whole lot of talent. I feel so privileged to be one of the first to share their stories with you. Here are just a few of my favorites:

Jesica Milton, creator of Jesica Milton

Jesica Milton’s designs come straight from Jesica’s studio in Seattle, WA. Her Fall ‘09 collection was inspired by ruffles. She was even awarded Best Emerging Designer by Seattle Magazine and the award for The Most Cohesive Collection. If you’re in the Seattle area, pick up a copy of the September edition and you’ll see a spread of her story. I’m impressed by Jesica’s very clear vision for her line. Her designs are very well thought out and executed. She doesn’t stray far from her initial inspiration, which says a lot about her talent and marketability.

You can find Jesica Milton designs at Aspiring Couture, Habit Boutique in Chicago and soon at Stanton James and Portland Fashion Week. This is certainly a designer to watch!

Melissa Baswell, creator of Mountains of the Moon

Melissa is an up-and-coming designer from Chicago, which…if you follow fashion, is a great place to be right now! (We have found amazing talent in that city, so far) Melissa’s story is another exceptional one.

We all know that today’s fad is eco-fashion. But this is a designer that has been intrigued by the idea of creating green fashion even as a little girl…long before it was trendy. And, what’s more, she creates fashionable eco-fashion. No burlap bag skirts here! On the contrary, Melissa’s designs are fashion forward and pushing the envelope of eco-designs. In fact, Melissa told me, [she’s] “not designing eco-friendly apparel that is based on trends so much that it won’t be ‘in style’ next season, but we’re also not creating stereotypically “granola” pieces. I really try to design clothing that will make the most discerning fashionista feel chic and stylish, but that can also be worn on many occasions, for many years.”
My favorite image from Melissa’s portfolio is a dress made of candy wrappers! Last fall, during Chicago Fashion Week, her candy wrapper dress was exhibited at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, which Melissa describes as one of her most amazing moments as a designer.

You can see more from Melissa and Mountains of the Moon on her website:

Erin Voorhies, creator of Kempt Handbags

Another favorite designer of mine is Erin Voorhies, the creator of Kempt Handbags. I love, love, love handbags and Kempt is a great example of quality and careful craftsmanship that I appreciate in a favorite bag. Erin designs from her studio in New York City and uses a re-purposed factory in MA to carefully manufacture each piece.

What I love about Erin is her dedication to each bag. She puts so much thought into each detail and isn’t afraid to spend all of the extra time necessary to make it perfect. A Kempt handbag is a handcrafted gift!

And…apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks so. Erin was recently chosen as a finalist in the 2009 Independent Handbag Designer Awards under the category of Best use of Swarovski Elements. And now, her final bag in on a world tour with Swarovski.

I can’t wait to watch what Erin does next.

I hope you enjoy all of these designers as much as I do. I love dishing the latest on the very best in new fashion design. You can read more inspiring stories from emerging designers on my blog, And if you have favorites, tell me! I love learning about new talent in the business!