Celebrity Spottings at Blogher ‘10

Ok, so I knew there would be a couple of celebrities in advance of the Blogher conference, but there were a few surprises.

After I hit the registration table at Blogher, I went upstairs and a woman told me that Bruce Jenner was pouring OJ over at the Tropicana stations. I had to see.

Bruce Jenner & I

He was so nice. I told him how I’m a big fan of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” and he chuckled and said “those girls sure give me a hard time don’t they”, I chuckled back.

A couple short hours into the conference, I met up with Rebecca Weinberg, Emmy award winning stylist from “Sex & The City” at the eBay Fashion Lounge. You may read my interview with Rebecca here.

Tamra Barney & I

So I heard that Tamra Barney from “The Real Housewives of Orange County” was going to be at the Quickie booth, so I had to take a look. She wasn’t there. As I was walking away, guess who was walking right towards me? In the same color dress no less. Yup! It was Tamra! She looked beautiful. I asked if I could get a quick photo with her and she said absolutely. Then she noticed my orange Linea Pelle bag and said “I have the same bag in tan”, I replied “No way, Linea Pelle?” She said “yup, I love their bags”. “Me too” I said and told her how I went to their first ever sample sale in NY recently and had a blast. Not only were we wearing the same color dress, we have the same bag. Ahhh kindred spirits! (Click here to read my Linea Pelle blog post.)

Padma Lakshmi & I

So the last celebrity of Day 1 was none other than Padma Lakshmi. The hubs loves her and I mean loves her. I knew in advance she was going to be there and joked with him about me being in the same room with her. So I made a sign. It read “We love Nick DeVito” and was hoping I could take a photo with it. I knew the hubs would love it. Padma was at the Hillshire Farms booth as part of their sandwich showdown. The staff loved that I made a sign to hold up with her. We took the picture and Padma gave me 2 autographed photos of her, one for me and one for the hubs.

Day 2 I ran into Tamra again. I wanted to see if she was wearing a navy dress like me. No such luck.

Veronica Webb & I

Then guess who was at the Eucerin booth? Super model Veronica Webb! First of all she is stunning and had the cutest dress on and beautiful jewelry from her own jewelry line. Second, she was super nice. I mean ok, all the celebrities were nice, but Veronica was so genuine. Her hair stylist was there with her too and just as sweet. I told her about my NJ Unemployed group I founded and she wanted to hear more. No sooner did we take a few photos, but she had already talked me up on Twitter. How cool! Eucerin has a great spokesperson in Veronica. She was super sweet.

*Veronica Webb’s jewelry line will be available in September. She promised her Blogher girls will be amongst the first to hear about it. Stay tuned!

Who would’ve thought all these celebrities would have been supporting their brands at Blogher? Certainly not me, but I loved every minute of it.

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Fashion With Rebecca Weinberg

I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Rebecca Weinberg, Emmy Award winning stylist for “Sex & the City” at the eBay Fashion lounge at Blogher ’10.

 Rebecca Weinberg & I at eBay Fashion lounge at Blogher '10

Katie:                    I’m a huge “Sex & the City” fan. Which character was your favorite to style?

Rebecca:              Well I think Carrie certainly, because Sarah Jessica really inspired so much of what we put on her. She really added a lot to her character. It’s really a marriage between the character, the actual actress and the costume designers. That was a perfect marriage!

Katie:                    Debbie  wrote to me and asked “How do you feel about girls who are 5’10” and higher wearing the popular shoes that have a heel 4” tall and up?”

Rebecca:              There’s a place for everyone and everything. Would I prefer that on a small petite girl? Perhaps. It becomes a little overwhelming when the girl is 6’5”. Trends come and go, that trend will also go. If it empowers them, so be it.

Katie:                    Hilary asks “What trends have you started? What was your favorite/signature look from ‘Sex & the City’?”

Rebecca:              There are so many signature looks. It’s funny because one of the dresses I used on “Sex & the City” is actually here. I found it on eBay. It was just a classic coffee shop girl look that Carrie went shopping with Miranda in. The sweatpants and high heels perhaps, because it was so odd and off. I loved the Richard Tyler dress when Carrie goes to kiss Big in the park, that beautiful dress which I had to have 4 made because she gets thrown in the lake. So I think that’s a beautiful look. There are so many.

Katie:                    What’s the must have fashion item for fall?

Rebecca:              I think some of the key items are having a great dress, not a great black little dress. Finding a great color that is going to enhance your inner happiness. I only buy one or two dresses a season. I like to buy one designer and I like to buy one branded. A high designer or a vintage. I’m not a big dress wearer per se in my real life. A dress is a good way to feel good about yourself. As a stylist, I love to find the confidence in women and a dress somehow does that for you. You take a place like eBay and you can have the world at your fingertips to shop, and its overwhelming, but at the same time if you have an idea of who you are and a certain sensibility you can find great value.

A little side note – there’s a new application out for the iPhone that you can click and drag different items and put them on images of yourself so you can see what they look like. It’s from eBay and just launched in July. If you are afraid to wear aviator glasses, click it and drag it to an image of yourself and you can see what it looks like.

Katie:                    Do you have an iPhone?

Rebecca:              No but I do have an iPad.

Katie:                    What style advice do you have for people with a limited budget?

Rebecca:              You don’t need a lot of items. You need key items. Key items that are perhaps timeless and you can work into a season, or you can work into your every day that can be more seasonless. I’m a girl on a budget, I have a daughter and I have more responsibility than whats in my wardrobe. I think some of the key things are a great jean, a great blazer. Whether its from a website like eBay or you are going into a shop. Find items that will transcend from work into evening or work into dinner out with the girls. Picking up your kid and bringing him home from school. I feel like going too trendy may not be the way to go if you are on a limited budget and you can’t afford head-to-toe something. There’s so much to choose from. I feel that sticking with a brand or a silhouette that you know works for you is always a safe way to go. As a shopper, more than a stylist, I’m a shopper. I love the Bill Me Later aspect of eBay, which really allows you to stylize your expenditures. It’s something that I’ve been taking advantage of lately to help me stretch my budget.

Katie:                    You’re most proud fashion item in your closet?

Rebecca:              I have to say I’ve been enjoying my Lanvin dress lately. I don’t get too dressed up that often. But my coveted  coveted coveted are my studded combat boots. I’ve been wearing combat boots since I was 15 years old and I’m still wearing them and I keep going back to them.

Katie:                    One fashion piece you’ve loved all your life and still do?

Rebecca:              Blazer. I am a blazer girl. I’m not a hand bag person. I love a blazer with a patch pocket, because I can keep whatever I need in that patch pocket and that’s one of my go-to standby’s. I have a lot of blazers. Single button, two button , three button, open, I just love that. Roll the sleeves up and get down and dirty.

Katie:                    What celebrity do you think has the best overall style?

Rebecca:              Well I think Sarah Jessica is one of them. I love Gwen Stefani. I think they both have a real sensibility about who they are and what they can handle. I think those two girls are great. Daphne Guiness also has great personal style.

Let’s Talk About Swag Baby – Blogher Sponsor’s and SWAG

Getting my swagger on…

With my background in event planning, I have attended many a conference in my day. The rows and rows of exhibitors handing out pens, notepads, magnets, stress balls and letter openers. But at Blogher 2010… no way! These exhibitors know how to conference! Offering full size bottles of products, toys, celebrities, it was unbelievable.

My friend Hilary (@mrsmonj) wasn’t able to attend Blogher because she just had baby #2 and sold her ticket to me. I was thrilled because I wanted to attend so badly, but the conference was sold out. It was my mission to score some cool finds for her and the fam. Playtex provided me with two baby bottles for her newborn, I got a cute stuffed animal from the Quickie booth for her little girl and a fellow Blogher attendee Jen (@jenrab) gave me a onesie and formula for me to bring back for Hilary. Score!

I had always wanted to try out a Soyjoy bar and to my surprise they were there. So I took a banana and a blueberry bar. I love the banana! Gonna have to stock up on them. They make for a great snack post workout. Butterfinger was also there showing off their bite size Butterfinger Snackerz which were delish! GoodSkin Labs provided a wrinkle treatment for fine lines. Bausch & Lomb handed out Biotrue a contact lens solution and Hasbro provided the Trivial Pursuit Steal card game. Perfect for travelling, it’s so compact.

I landed a sample of Wrigley’s Extra Dessert Delights in Mint Chocolate Chip which tastes just like the ice cream. It is out of this world! I was a bit disappointed though. There was a note on the gum to all Blogher attendees to visit a website, enter a code and receive another free sample. I went on the site to obtain another sample, and the site said the program closed. There was no disclaimer on the note, though. Oh well!

Loved the Eucerin booth! Received the Daily Skin Balance and Everyday Protection lotion in full size bottles, plus some hand lotion. I’ve been using the Daily Skin Balance every day since I received it and love the fresh scent. The scent stays on your body all day long which I love. Couldn’t be happier with this swag!

Aquaphor gave out a lip repair as well, which I’m loving and using nightly and throughout the day if my lips need a little pick me up. Super hydrating!

The Yellow Umbrella teamed up with makeup artist Debra Macki for the conference and I won their raffle. Whoo Hoo! I won a Debra Macki mineral eye shadow palette in Monaco which is beautiful. The Hautelook company was handing out full size Lorac 3D lip glosses and I scored one in Vivid. In the bottle it looks hot pink but on, it has a gold sheen. Super cute!

Playdoh gave away an adorable travel case with tons of playdoh and gadgets to build something fun. My nephews were thrilled I went to the conference for this little treat.

Scored some Cherry Vanilla flavored Nyquil which sounds delish, but I’ll wait till the winter when it’s cold season to test it out. Vicks also supplied me with a full size container of vapor rub. Again, I will wait till cold season hits me and will be all over my Vicks vapor rub.

The P&G booth was my favorite booth hands done. They had an entire house set up with different products in each room with someone explaining them. It was so cute. I scored a Venus Embrace razor (which I love and use at home), Oil of Olay Total Effects Bodywash & their Regenerist Anti-Aging Eye Roller, Secret Clinical Strength deodorant that’s waterproof (perfect for the pool), PUR water filter and Febreeze Set & Refresh Air Freshener in Spring & Renewal (no plugs or batteries needed) which smells divine. Loving it!

I came home with bags and bags of swag and couldn’t wait to rummage through it all. The hubs said “I wonder how many pens you got”. After all that, one. I got one pen. Now that’s some swag.

Getting Lucky with Lucky 17 Photography

Chatting it up with incredible photographer Michelle Lawlor, owner of Lucky 17 Photography

How long have you been interested in photography and taking photos? What made you get into it? Just for fun?

I’ve been interested in photography for as long as I can remember. I have my grandparents to thank for that. I spent a lot of my formative early years with my grandparents, and would often fall asleep looking at the old-time portraits of them hanging on their wall. My grandparents were also very big into swap meets and yard sales, and I started to collect antique and often non-working cameras thanks to my travels with them. I loved (and still love) the way old cameras looked and felt. When I could actually put film in them and make pictures, it was like no other joy I’d ever known. Going on into high school and college I was constantly taking photos everywhere I went and filled my room with photos of friends and family. My first long-term job was at a busy portrait studio in the mall, and I put myself through college working full-time making pictures there. At times it was incredibly stressful, but I look back at that time in my life as a valuable learning experience, because I learned to think on my feet and adapt quickly to get the shots I was after. You have to move fast with little kids – their attention span is very short so every second counts. J So while my “career” did start just for fun, it still continues to be a huge source of joy in my life today.

When did you start your company Lucky 17 photography? What has been your proudest moment since its inception?

I started Lucky 17 Photography initially as Lucky 17 Consulting about 6 years ago. At the time, I couldn’t decide which profession I loved more: Graphic Design or Photography. Back then, I was doing more graphic design work than photography (logos, business cards, flyers, etc), and that was what I focused on initially. However as time passed I started to do more photo work and used my design skills to help me design complimentary products using my photography. Finally, it felt like I’d found my calling and things really started to click. I still maintain both halves of my business today, but a larger portion of my business comes from photography. I design all of my clients’ greeting cards, books, and albums, and so the graphic design skill set constantly comes in handy. I can give my clients unique, one-of-a-kind pieces, and that means a lot to them.

My proudest moment? Wow. That’s a tough one. There have been a lot of milestones along the way. I think I would have to say that my proudest moment was delivering my first wedding album to my very first bride. She was so thrilled with her album she literally carried around everywhere she went for a whole week. And that was no small feat because the book was 11”x14” and weighed about 12 pounds. That meant a lot.

Tell me about the type of photography you do.

Without trying to sound cliché, my photography blends a photojournalistic approach with traditional portraiture to get a complete observatory perspective on my clients’ events. Let’s be honest, many of us have a particular vision in mind when we say we want photos of something. I know that with a formal event like a wedding, for example, 99.9% of brides I encounter envision the pictures they’ve seen in bridal magazines. They see celebrity weddings and say “OH, that’s what I want!” They want to be the gorgeous, laughing bride with the debonair, handsome groom, and they want the romantic candid shots. And I LOVE that. I find that when you ignore the camera and truly just live in the moment – that’s when the real “you” comes out, and that’s what I love to capture. However, that’s only one half of the event. In my humble opinion, there is still a need for formal photos, like the ones taken of your parents and grandparents. There is something to be said about tradition. You still want the grand portrait from your wedding that you can hang proudly on your wall. I can keep them ultra-traditional, or we can mix it up a bit and give your portraits a modern edge. I strive to give my clients both styles of photography with my event coverage.

 
 
 

Katie & Nick DeVito Wedding

When I saw some of the wedding photos you took for various couples, I knew you had to be our wedding photographer. Besides weddings, what other types of people/things do you shoot? Tell me about some of the bands you’ve shot and celebrities.

Katie! That’s so sweet. Thanks so much. Your wedding was a blast to shoot and I’m so glad to have been a part of that amazing day. Aside from weddings, I also do general portraiture, which includes families, teens, seniors, children, maternity, pets, and live music and promotional shoots. I also do some music journalism, freelancing for various publications, and that’s really a lot of fun. Music’s a huge part of my life and I get a real kick out of shooting bands.

I work with a lot of great local bands but also occasionally get to shoot major acts too. I’ve had the great pleasure of covering performances from bands like the Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, Green Day, Foo Fighters, Phantom Planet, OK Go, Van Halen… the list goes on and on. My boyfriend is currently in the band Honah Lee, and I do a lot of their publicity and live coverage, as well as when they go on tour. It’s a whole lot of fun!

Green Day

What services do you offer? What do you think separates you from the rest of the photographers out there? Everyone thinks they’re a photographer nowadays with the easy access of special cameras and PhotoShop.

Aside from photography and graphic design, I can also do photo restoration, scanning, archiving, and some light retouching. If you have some old family photos you’d like digitized to either enlarge or share on Facebook/Myspace and don’t have a clue where to start, get in touch. I adore old photos and just love breathing new life into faded, cracked, ripped and stained old prints.

The age of digital photography has brought a lot of new photographers to the field. Modern cameras make it easier and easier to take a good picture. It’s incredible what you can do now even with your small pocket camera. My pocket camera is pretty souped-up and any advanced amateur can make great images with it with only minimal practice.

However I believe what sets me apart from the pack is my training, my knowledge of the history of photography, my ability to pose and address difficult lighting situations quickly and effectively, my experience with digital processing, archiving, and color correction, and most importantly, my passion for each event or assignment I undertake. Photography is my art, my outlet for my creative energy. I pour a little bit of my soul into each and every shoot, and I strive to make it fun for everyone involved. Believe it or not, I hate being in front of a lens as a subject. I 100% know how it feels to dislike being photographed, and keep my shoots lighthearted and fun. It’s a very personal experience to be photographed by someone you don’t know, and so I immediately work on establishing trust between my clients and I. I’m not going to take unflattering photos of you and then smatter them all over the internet. I want you to look your best and I’ll do whatever it takes to get the best pictures I can create.

I really, truly care about each of my clients and take my work very, very seriously. I’m not one of those photographers that will spend half of your wedding reception outside smoking cigarettes, missing the little moments that make a wedding day so special. I work very hard for each of my clients and treat each special event as if it were my own. I throw my heart into it. My ideal clients are those that value photography as much as I do. When I connect with those people, the possibilities are endless.

If you could shoot one celebrity who would it be and why? Place you would most like to visit to shoot?

One celebrity? Hmm. That’s a tough one. I think it’d have to be Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters. I’ve taken pictures of him playing live but I’d really like to take a crack at doing a portrait session with him while his band is on the road, sort of a tour documentary style thing. He’s been called “the nicest guy in rock and roll,” and though he seems to be a private individual, I’d love to get behind the scenes and really try to capture his personality through photography. So Dave if you’re out there, give me a call. LOL.

As far as a place to visit and shoot, I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland. My ancestors were from there and someday I hope to travel to the town that my family’s from and document the rolling countryside and my family’s history. Oh, and I’d love to stop off at the Guinness factory for a pint as well. People tell me there’s nothing like a Guinness poured in Ireland. I’d like to find out for myself.

I love to travel as well, and am available for travel around the world. Have camera, will travel.

What is your favorite photo someone has taken of you? Why?

This one’s easy. Last June I was hired to photograph the wedding of two of my very close friends. I brought my lovely and talented second shooter Heather with me to cover the reception because the bride and groom wanted me to be a guest when it came to be party time. We split the day in half and I shot all of the early day’s events and then handed the reigns over to Heather when we hit the reception. My boyfriend was also a guest at this wedding and so he and I had the rare opportunity to dance together. Of course Heather was on her game and snapped some photos of him and me laughing and dancing. It was really “us” – having a great time and enjoying the night. There’s one in particular where I’m in a mid-laugh in his arms and I just love it. We’re not “cheezing it” for the camera, just enjoying the moment.

 

How can people contact you? Why should someone hire you?

Contacting me is a piece of cake. You can visit my website at http://www.Lucky17Photography.com, email me at Michelle@Lucky17Photography.com or call me at 609-610-2953. I’d love to hear from you!

Choosing a photographer for a special event or portrait session is an important decision. A client should take into consideration a few things when deciding on hiring a photographer:

  1. Does his or her style fit what I’m looking for? Am I looking more for a candid approach or formal portraiture or both?
  2. What’s my budget? Does this photographer fit into my price range?
  3. After our initial consult/email/phone call or meeting, do you feel that we get along on a personal level? Do you feel comfortable around him or her?

I pour my heart into each session, shoot, event and assignment. A potential client should hire me because I truly care about the art of photography and the customer experience. I’m not a photo factory and I only take on a limited amount of assignments per year, in order to ensure a level of customer service and personal availability that you won’t get with a larger studio. When you meet with me regarding booking an event, you’ll be seeing my smiling face behind the camera at the event, not some stranger you’ve never met. When you have questions or need help, I’m the one there to assist. In an era of automated everything, I find that a personal touch makes all the difference.

Super Sample Sale

Today I attended my first ever sample sale. Who you ask? Only the super trendy Linea Pelle known for their plush, malleable leather bags, belts & bracelets.

I had never been to a sample sale. I had no idea what to expect. Would women be pushing and shoving to land their fave LP bag or would it be totally organized and like shopping in a store?

The hubs and I arrived at the building, went to the 9th floor and walked right into the Linea Pelle NY office. Tables were set up and bags and belts were hanging off walls and laid out on tables. Sales people were ready to help any way they could. It was a bit crowded, but there was no pushing and everyone was in good spirits and very polite.

A few years ago I was drooling over a super cute Dylan bag in black, but never purchased it.  I was so excited to hear about this sample sale, because it would be my opportunity to finally buy a cute LP bag. I was crossing my fingers that I would score that black Dylan bag. No such luck! No black Dylan’s to be found. But they did have a wide variety of other colors in the Dylan to choose from.

I opted for a super cute and comfy orange Joey bag and grabbed two leather bangles with embellishments.  I was thrilled! I can’t wait to start sporting them.

Linea Pelle - Joey

Linea Pelle - Bracelets

We waited in line and my husband and I helped a woman choose between a few different bracelets. I even helped put it on her. We walked up to pay and the two girls ringing people up were great. They were having a great time at the sale, chatting with all the customers and making it personal. My husband whipped out the credit card and they were impressed and wondered where they could get such a great guy like mine. He’s a one of a kind I told them. I chatted it up a bit with Morgan and we exchanged Twitter names and she promised to keep me posted on future events and sales. Whoo Hoo!

Maybe I’ll score that black Dylan after all.

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Salon Hair Every Day

 

Anthony Robert Salon

Before

Everyone knows that your hair looks its best when you step out of a salon. The problem is, trying to replicate that look every day when getting ready. When I heard that Anthony Lombardi of the Style Network’s hit show Jerseylicious was doing blowout sessions at his salon the Anthony Robert Salon in Verona, NJ, I had to inquire.

Anthony came up with a great idea! Clients can come in and schedule a blowout session with him and he will teach them how to replicate the look using the tools and products they already own. I thought this was fantastic! I could learn how to get great hair by doing it myself with the tools I already have. What girl doesn’t want to wake up, get ready and look like they just stepped out of a salon? I sound like a commercial.

Since I was long overdue for a haircut, I figured I would kill two birds with one stone and make a haircut appointment and blowout lesson with Anthony. I couldn’t wait to see him again! When I met him at the Jerseylicious premiere, he was so nice and such a down to earth guy.

The hubs and I arrived to the Anthony Robert Salon and was greeted with such enthusiasm and a hug from both Anthony and Jeff, who is a stylist there.  Anthony invited me to have a seat and we discussed what I wanted to do with my hair. I told him that I am growing it long again and was looking for a little trim. I needed a sprucing up and maybe some layers, but not too Jennifer Aniston first season Friends!  Anthony laid out the styling tools I brought with me. I felt the need to explain why I had each item. But he guessed them right on! The wide tooth comb is for detangling after a shower, the boar bristle round brush is for styling while blow-drying and the other brush is just to detangle throughout the day. Ok, he knows what he’s talking about!

I headed off to the shampoo area where Jeff did my shampoo. Then back to the chair where Anthony would snip and cut away. Once he was finished cutting, Anthony said you shouldn’t blow-dry immediately after a shower. Once you take a shower, towel dry your hair, keep a towel on it, do a few things and then blow-dry. You should be able to wring your hair and it not be dripping. It should be damp. Anthony then sprayed a Bio-Ionic leave-in conditioner in my hair, followed by the Bio-Ionic Thermal-Active Bodifying Blow-Dry Spray and finished with a dime size amount of Moroccan Oil. The blow-dry spray will add texture to hair but not leave it sticky or hard to manage. I told him that in the past I’ve bought tons of products to use before blow-drying, but that I can never get a brush through because the product leaves my hair sticky and tough. He assured me this product would not do that. The Moroccan Oil is meant to give your hair a little shine and help to create the look you are going for.

Anthony then grabbed a few hair clips and sectioned my hair off. He said to always blow-dry your hair in ¼” sections. This will help from getting your hair tangled in the brush. He said the back of your hair is typically the hardest for most people to do because of the angle, so people should do the back first and then work forward. Anthony grabbed a section of hair on the back of my head, his blow-dryer and couldn’t stress enough how important it is to keep the nozzle on your blow-dryer. You know what I’m talking about ladies. You buy a new blow-dryer. It comes with a diffuser and this other nozzle looking thing. The nozzle thing goes in the trash. Right? That’s what I’ve always done. But we can no longer do that. That nozzle is what helps to isolate the hair you are trying to blow-dry so your hair doesn’t blow everywhere. It keeps it all together.

When working on each section of hair it is important to, again keep the nozzle on your blow-dryer, and work from your roots down with your brush and blow-dryer. If you are looking for more volume hold a section straight up, bring your round brush to the root and blow dry out. Make sure your blow-dryer isn’t right up against your hair, give it some space.

Anthony worked on the left side of my hair and once he showed me the proper technique, I mimicked his work on the right side of my head. I’m not as coordinated as Anthony with holding a dryer in one hand and a brush in another and working quickly. I kept having to put the dryer down to get my brush just right and meanwhile shooting all the hot air from the dryer right on to Anthony. Sorry Ant! By the end of my lesson, I was a pro. Ok, maybe not a pro, but I was able to blow-dry my hair without constantly putting my dryer down. Anthony and Jeff were very supportive and gave me positive feedback throughout my lesson.

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Once my hair was dried and blown out, Anthony applied SemÍ DÍ LÍno Diamante™ Cristalli Liquidi, an illuminating serum to add some shine to my new do. I immediately recognized the smell of the product. I said this smells so good. Everyone agreed. It reminded me of boy’s in the 80’s wearing Drakkar Noir. Remember those days? Not only did my hair look amazing, but it smelled amazing too.

After

I was thrilled with my new do and my blowout lesson. I really learned a ton! I gave Anthony and Jeff a hug and was on my way, but before I left, Anthony gave me a great summertime tip. If you aren’t able to rinse off after a swim in the pool, mix a bit of conditioner with water into a spray water bottle and spritz your hair after swimming. This will help rid your hair of some chlorine from the pool and help to keep your hair healthy and shiny and not dull and fried.

Ladies… I highly recommend that you schedule an appointment with Anthony Lombardi of the Anthony Robert Salon for a blowout session. You already have the tools, now you need to learn the technique. Don’t you want to be able to style your hair like you just stepped out of a salon every morning?

To schedule your appointment call the Anthony Robert Salon at (973) 857-1922.

Anthony Lombardi on Twitter
Anthony Robert Salon on Twitter
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Anthony Robert Salon on Facebook

Gladiators? Gladly!

I was thrilled to be invited to the Sam Edelman event at Nordstrom’s, Short Hills Mall. What girl wouldn’t want to cover a shoe event is beyond me. We arrived a little early, which allowed me time to browse through the Sam Edelman collection. I may have drooled a bit. Customers were all a buzz as they checked out the hot new designs and trends by the famed shoe designer. His designs are incredible. It’s no wonder he is considered one of the best shoe designers of our time.

A few models roamed the women’s shoe section showcasing his famed designs. Servers passed around some delicious vanilla milkshakes, which was a nice little treat. I couldn’t wait to be able to chat with Sam.

Sam was immaculately dressed as you could expect, and nicer than I could ever imagine. Before I chatted with him, he walked around introducing himself to customers, helping them find the perfect shoe for them. He took photos with people and signed customer’s shoe boxes. He opened each box to see what each person selected and commented on each pair. He really made everyone’s purchase personal.

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The Nordstrom’s staff, along with Sam Edelman’s staff and family was ready to answer any questions and help out in any way. Everyone did a wonderful job organizing this event.

I was allowed the opportunity to sit down with Sam and ask a few questions. Sam grew up in New York City with his three sisters. More so, he graduated from Sarah Lawrence College. “I went there as one of 100 men and 900 women, so I practically had 800 sisters at one time or another”. Needless to say, Sam grew up having a lot of female friends.

I asked Sam “Did you always want to be a shoe designer?” He stated “That’s the best question anyone has ever asked me. It should be the first question people ask, but they don’t.  I always grew up knowing I wanted to be in the leather business, or shoe business or something like that, because my parents were in the leather business. Going back to your question about a lot of female friends, my first day at Sarah Lawrence College, I was standing in line to register for classes and this really pretty girl was in front of me and I said ‘what are you registering for’ and she said’ Italian cause I want to be a singer’, she said ‘what are you’, and I said ‘Italian cause I want to be a shoe designer and work in Italy’ and I speak fluent Italian because of that”.

Sam Edelman

As a young man, prior to designing shoes, Sam worked as the Vice President of New Business & Licensing for Candie’s Corporation. He was in charge of all new business activities. He went on to a short stint in the real estate business, but again geared towards shoes. He opened up design centers and sales centers for the shoe industry. He then started Kenneth Cole with Kenneth. It was during that process with Kenneth that he really got immersed in product development. Following that, a man named Doug Tompkins hired Sam as President of footwear for ESPIRIT in 1984. When Sam got to Espirit, Doug told him to hire a designer and while he was thinking about hiring a designer he started designing the shoes himself and has been designing shoes since 1983/1984. The couple founded the Sam & Libby shoe brand which they sold in 1996. About a year and a half ago, Sam Edelman shoes was developed and is now being sold in Nordstrom’s, Macy’s and Zappos.com to name a few.

I asked Sam if he had any plans to eventually expand and include a men’s line. He said “No. Not interested in doing men’s shoes I find men’s customer’s so slow to respond and react where women really understand fashion. That’s not to say young men’s fashion isn’t interesting. It is interesting. I like women’s fashion first and foremost. Maybe in five years my son and I will do something in men’s, but not right now”.

I stated to Sam that his shoes are beautiful and very detailed and asked him where he gets the inspiration for his creative designs. He stated “our inspiration comes from almost anywhere. It can come from the bazaars in Morocco or it could come from vintage jewelry. The truth is inspiration always has to be trend on. Just having an idea when you are working in a field, mountain or reading a magazine isn’t enough. Inspiration has to mix with being trend on, with understanding what’s happening. We specialize in trying to understand the trends and what’s really going on. So I would say, inspiration comes from the streets of Europe and it always comes from fashion”.

Little girls love to wear their mommy’s shoes and in turn, grow up with a love of great shoes. I know I did. I asked Sam why he thinks that’s the case. He says when little girls are born they love shoes. “It’s totally chemical, hormonal, it’s part of what women are all about. So often you put a pink dress down in front of a two year old and the little girl goes crazy. She has to have it! Nobody taught her that pink dresses are a good thing; it’s something that comes out of the sky. I’m a big believer in that. I know a lot about horses and I know that one out of three little girls dreams of having a pony and there is no reason, it just happens. It’s just hormonal. It’s part of being a girl”.

Sam was a delight to speak with and after speaking with him; I was introduced to his beautiful wife Libby Edelman, who was more than thrilled to chat with me about her new line, cleverly called, Libby Edelman.
Sam and Libby worked together for 30 years, and are about to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. Their life has always focused around shoes and have always worked creatively together “although he really is the shoe designer for Sam Edelman” she stated. It just sort of came about that they were going to design a second line and would utilize the name and Libby jumped right on it. “I’ve never really done it full on until now”.

Libby Edelman’s line is available on HSN, in Lord & Taylor and some independent stores across the United States. They are currently working on selling Nordstrom’s, Dillard’s and a number of others.

I asked her how her shoe line differs from Sam’s. She said “we shop together and use the same inspiration, but mine are more affordable, they are half the price. We are gearing it towards a different customer”.  One of the questions I had for Sam was what would he say to someone who might not be able to afford his shoes, I guess he’d say go buy my wife’s shoes. Libby went on to say “we have some shoes under the Sam Edelman label that start at $49 retail and go to $150”. Sam Edelman was started 6 years ago to really be an affordable priced shoe. “We were starting the company and looking at magazines and they were showing inexpensive clothing with high and low kind of stuff and the shoes were $700-900 and we said that’s crazy. No one’s doing great fashion trend shoes that are $100 or less so that’s where Sam Edelman started” Libby said.

I asked her “why do you think women love shoes so much?  Men always pick on us for it because we take up the whole closet, but they have their tools and gadgets”. Libby motioned to my husband Nicholas and asked if he was my husband. I said absolutely and she said “here’s a piece of advice and Sam would say the same thing, it’s much cheaper to let her buy shoes than to get a divorce”.  She went on to say, “as much as we try to explain why women love shoes, part of it is you can gain weight or lose weight but you will still have the same shoe size. You can brighten up your wardrobe with just one pair of shoes. You don’t have to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe. If you’re depressed you buy a pair of shoes. When you’re happy you buy a pair of shoes. When you get married you buy a pair of shoes. It’s all about striking that emotional chord in a woman when designing shoes”.  Isn’t that the truth!

“I’m guessing your shoe closet is bigger than Sam’s” I said with a wink and a smile. Libby responded “it probably is. Although he has great shoes. His shoes may look very simple, but they are fantastic. I don’t have as many shoes as people would think, because we are designers and we are always a year ahead so we’ve moved on so we have to have some shoes to wear but we’re always thinking about the future. I donate my old shoes and move on to the new shoes. I have more evening shoes than day shoes. I keep my evening shoes, because you don’t wear them as often”.

I asked Libby what she thinks is the biggest style trend for shoes this season. She talked about a lot of organic things, such as, stones and metallic’s.  And of course, a lot of bling. “Anything that’s very different whether its stones or bling, a lot of gladiators. We have a lot of beading. A lot of wedges which goes forward to next year, lots of cork details lots of espadrilles. Those are things that are very strong now and get even stronger” she stated with enthusiasm.

After chatting with Libby, my husband Nicholas was dying to know what shoes Sam wears. Sam was wearing grey leather loafers by Alexander McQueen. Who he feels was one of the top designers ever. We asked Sam what men’s designer he recommended; he said John Varvatos makes great men’s shoes.  

Before we headed out, I was able to chat briefly with Erika King, Women’s Shoe Manager of Nordstrom’s Short Hills Mall. “How would you describe the collection as it relates to shoe trends for Spring/Summer and what do you see as a potential best seller” I asked. Erika replied “Sam Edelman always hits the trends. Right now spring and summer is big on embellishments. Gladiators are always really big and nude is also a really good trend for spring & summer”. We both agreed that Sam’s collection is really hitting these trends well. She stated the gladiators are big sellers and whenever they get Sam Edelman shoes in, they sell out right away.  I can understand why. His shoes are magnificent. Erika mentioned that Nordstrom’s has been carrying Sam Edelman for many years. They carried his designs since they were Sam & Libby years ago. I asked Erika if she had a personal favorite in the collection. She said that she loves all shoes, but tends to gravitate towards the gladiator style. Regarding Sam Edelman she said “I really love his embellishments and textures. I love all of them”.

My husband and I walked around a bit more and I decided to try on the super cute Daria gladiators, in nude, which has a bit of a wedge and a back zipper. They fit really well and you can tell they are well made shoes. My feet felt extremely secure in the shoes. I debated if I should purchase them or not, but being that the hubs and I are both unemployed, thought we should wait a bit for the splurge.

Daria

We grabbed a bite to eat and walked back through Nordstrom’s and I’m glad I waited on the Daria’s because I then spotted them in charcoal grey and decided I liked those better than the nude ones because I felt I would wear them more and they would go with more clothes I own. My birthday’s coming up. Who knows! If you’re wondering, I’m a 7 ½.

Daria

Some of my other faves from the line are the Kinley in black leather, said to be the “It wedge of the season” and I also liked the Quinly a totally cute suede open toe sling back.

Kinley on Model

Kinley paired with trouser socks

Quinly

Nick really liked the Hudson “a signature gladiator sandal with embellished front and back zipper”.

Hudson

I saw many people purchasing the Quebec, a suede open toe shootie with zipper mania, in a bright teal.

Quebec

It’s definitely a show stopper of a shoe. Or a toe stopper? Ok, a bit cheesy. It’s one hot shoe. Unfortunately I’m not that daring or balanced enough to be able to pull it off well. I need to be a bit closer to the ground. Thank goodness gladiators are one of the top trends of the seasons.

Rachael Zoe even named Sam Edelman’s Portia boot one of her Top Picks on Piperlime. His style is feminine, trendy and sexy. All of his shoes are detailed to perfection. Remember the movie “What Women Want” with Mel Gibson? Sam Edelman could have made this movie, since he knows exactly that.

Thank you Sam Edelman for making flats sexy and mile high heels affordable. You rock!

Make sure you follow these shoe mavens on Twitter!

http://www.twitter.com/samedelmanshoes
http://www.twitter.com/libbyedelman