As a teenager, I was a runway model. I was obsessed with fashion in every sense of the word. In fact, my mother told me from the time that I was about three years old that I insisted on wearing a dress every-single-day. And if she didn’t put me in one, I would cry until she caved in. 😂
"Aren't I the cutest little thing?" Age 3, with my sister and mom.
I guess that explains my obsession with dresses…that, and since I’m so tall, finding pants has always been a challenge. I figured I would just avoid them most, if not all of the time.
When I went to LA several weeks ago to shop for the fall collection, I set out to find pieces that reflected more closely who I am - which is basically a big ‘ole city girl. As persistence would have it, after visiting about 70 vendors, I found a few that fit my list of demands, and as an added bonus, they even reminded me of the pieces that inspired me on that fate-filled trip to Italy that started it all back in 2013. They were minimalist, unique, and of excellent quality.
As timing (life) would have it, the move to Florida threw me off balance for a few years. It’s such a different aesthetic down here - essentially the opposite of everything that I know and love from a life spent up north in Chicago. If when summing up northerners, we respond best to blacks, grays, and browns, you can sum up Floridians with whites, floral prints, and an excessive amount of animal prints. (Lol, which I now find myself wearing..often.) Needless to say, this was a 180 degree departure from everything I knew when I originally developed the concept for the store. I laugh now thinking about it, especially as I’m buying pieces for each type of client regularly. But this little process of self discovery also reminded me of something else…I don’t have to choose which group I prefer (which is the thing that held me up for a long time) - I am both a northerner and a southerner. So, armed with that discovery, I decided to split the difference - highlighting both on the website. The Urbane Collection focuses on the modern, minimalist aesthetic and shapes that I obsess over - like striking asymmetrical lines rooted in architecture and fluid silhouettes. They’re little pieces of art and certainly complement-worthy.
Here are a couple from this week's shoot:
They’re little pieces of art and certainly complement-worthy.
Since I could easily source the resort wear here in Florida, the LA buying trip shifted focus on building out the Urbane Collection. In addition to finding high-quality minimalist pieces, I was also able to find what I would call fashions’ version of a unicorn. I found and sourced pieces that focus more on a size-reality spectrum, meaning they can adjust themselves to the female form, regardless of if my clients are up 5-10 lbs up or down. In the world of online shopping, figuring out your sizing can be a tricky bit of business, and can dampen ones experience if after the wait, it's ill-fitting. By focusing more on these one-size pieces, My clients are able to order with confidence knowing sizing won’t be an issue. I started out with a few of these for the collection. As it turns out, my clients love them! They've been looking for this unicorn, so I’m already reordering more.
The Resort Collection (not pictured) highlights everything you’d wear on vacation, or when you live in a vacation climate. This collection focuses on lighter color palettes - whites and creams, and printed fabrics like florals and animal prints, for every occasion from Sunday brunch on the water to “coastal glam” outfits for decidedly dressier occasions.
While in LA, I had time to hang out and incorporate some fun into the trip. I was able to meet up with friends that were there at the same time and do lunches and lots of dinners. I made it to SUR and The Ivy. Each offering its own unique scenes.
I even made it to Santa Monica (in an Uber gone terribly wrong 🤨) lol - but that I have no regrets about.
Flying back was a challenge. I say that laughing to myself right now. I pulled the cardinal sin of not paying attention to the timezone I was in. I missed my flight and worse yet, I had zero interest in staying another day. That was my first trip to LA, and those really aren't my people. I have no interest in celebs, and everyone there is trying to be one, see one, or is trying to work near one. Not knocking anyone's dreams - it's just not mine, and was such a weird vibe. I found one of my favorite spots was The ROW in DTLA. It was this massive industrial building with boutiques and shops on the ground floor. It had so much character, and really great restaurants. It felt like I was somewhere in a Merchandise Mart between Chicago and Brooklyn - so cool. In any event, after spending hours trying to change my flight, I ended up on a red-eye out of there later that night.
I was SO happy to get on that plane and head back HOME to FL that I took a picture of the Hard Rock Guitar Hotel as we neared. A heavy sigh of relief ensued. "Now, the real work begins." I uttered under my breath.
In the following 6 weeks, most of the pieces I purchased have arrived, so now that I have them, I've been busy prepping with behind the scenes business: photoshoots, getting and planning content and uploading everything to the site. I'm excited for the last 2 months of work to finally make its debut.
Stay tuned, THE FALL EDIT LAUNCHES on SUNDAY, August 15th at 9:30 PM EST