Monthly Archives: November 2012

Senior Swag!

Senior Swag On The Boulevard

By Tanisha Boyd and Lara Mirgorod


As we push towards the end of another grueling semester and everybody gears up for finals, SMU seniors stepped out in comfortable, but stylish, swag on campus.  These casual looks were accentuated by adding designer touches such as Louis Vuitton tote bags, vintage tees, knee high boots and sunglasses.  Looking great during finals deserves its own reward.  CHEERS!




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By: Thalia Pedrotti

Both men and women like to watch the annual Victoria’s Secret fashion show. Each year the show attracts millions of viewers with its supermodels and music performers.  The show’s creative production, which includes scenery and outfits, is also a point of attraction for viewers all over the world.

The Nov. 7 fashion show was criticized over one extravagant outfit. Some viewers were outraged when model Karlie Kloss walked down the runway wearing a floor-length feathered headdress. Some believe a Native American-style headdress worn in this way is offensive toward tribal culture, while others argue that the headdress was meant to be artistic, not offensive.

According to USA Today, headdresses are symbols of respect and have been historically worn by Native American war chiefs and warriors. Each feather is earned through some act of honor or bravery.

Victoria’s Secret and Karlie Kloss have publicly apologized for any offense the headdress may have caused.  The company says it will not showcase the outfit in the show’s television broadcast Dec. 4.

Courtesy of Google Images

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TOMS: Helping the world, one pair at a time

By Mercedes Owens

When Blake Mycoskie played tennis at SMU in the late ‘90s, an injury left him sidelined after his sophomore year. Mycoskie soon turned his energy to his other love: entrepreneurship.

Nearly a decade later, TOMS Shoes was born.  The California-based company operates based on the theory of “social entrepreneurship,” where owners give back to the community as much as they get.  The for-profit company has created a non-profit subsidiary called Friends of Tom.  For every pair of TOMS shoes sold, Friends of Tom in turn donates a pair to a child in need.  The shoes’ simple, classic design was originally based on the “alpargata” style of footwear traditionally worn by Argentine farmers.

Today the company also offers eyewear, and, in the true spirit of TOMS, the company’s “One for One” project ensures that for every pair of specs purchased, one pair will go to a child somewhere in the world who needs corrective lenses, but can’t afford them – yet another way to help change the world, one child at a time.


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Not your grandmother’s shoe

By Mercedes Owens

As the leaves and temperatures fall, it’s time to throw out your chunky pumps and get back to basics. The best shoes for the season are here – classics with a spunky twist.  Mary Janes and menswear-inspired loafers with a little bit of sass are some of my autumn favorites. Adding a fun pattern, texture or metallic flair to a basic shoe can guarantee a stylish season.

The high-heeled loafer will complete your cold-weather footwear wardrobe. The sleek, chic and terribly preppy pump is perfect for every Southern girl who doesn’t want to be left behind in the fashion world. Whether you’re going to lunch with a girlfriend or headed to an interview with a top Dallas law firm, the high-heeled loafer adds femininity and class to any outfit. And if you’re a flats kind of girl, have no fear. Miu Miu’s fall loafers just might make you die. They’re that good.


While a Mary Jane may not be a shoe you generally describe as fierce, brands like Milk and Honey prove that a little bit of sass can be good for the sole. With the help of designers, this ultra-feminine shoe has been turned into something ultra-fabulous for fall.

For instance, while everyone loves a good Mary Jane, everyone is obsessed with a good Mary Jane wrapped in bordeaux-colored snakeskin or complemented by a glittery sole.



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Movember: a Fun Twist on a Serious Issue


By Elyse Marriott

“Instead of a pink ribbon, it is an upper lip sweater preparing for winter, the mediator of flavor between your nose and mouth, a soup strainer, Dr. Fuzzenstein, Mr. Tickler, and most importantly, a symbol for all men that we recognize how impactful it is.”

–Max Avery


Max Avery stands at the bar, eagerly anticipating an introduction to his role model.  It’s his 24th birthday, and the event is exactly the way he wanted to celebrate that momentous occasion.

“Could life get any better than spending the night with the CEO of Movember, drinking Fosters and enjoying the lives we have been given?” asks Avery, team captain of Moustachio Bashio!

The Chicago Movember launch party was the perfect birthday bash for Avery. But the celebration was more than just a birthday gathering.  It affirmed the commencement of sprouting whiskers worldwide.

“I look extremely dapper in a mustache,” says Avery.  “But that is beside the point.”

Avery has been growing out his mustache since the start of November, and he is not the only one.

Aside from the amusement men find in watching their facial hair grow, why is it that thousands of men put down their razors for the month of November?



It all started in Melbourne, Australia, back in 2003 when two guys, Luke Slattery and Travis Garone, “wanted to bring back a past fashion trend—the mustache,” explains Katelynn Whitaker, a staff member on the Movember communications team.

The two Australians were able to convince 30 of their friends to grow out their mustaches for a full month to see who could grow the best “Mo.”

“Amazed by the fun they had and the conversations that were sparked,” says Whitaker, “four of the 3o original members came together to make their Mo-growing an annual, official charitable endeavor by adding an important cause—prostate cancer.”

The movement became known as Movember.

According to Whitaker, Movember is a global charity that encourages men to grow and women to support the mo (mustache) during the month of November to advocate men’s health.  Awareness and funds are raised for men’s health, specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives, through the power of the mustache.

By the next year, 450 people participated, raising over $43,000— the largest donation the Prostate Cancer Foundation for Australia had ever received (at the time).

Three years later, in 2007, Movember made its way to the U.S. where funds are raised to benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the LIVESTRONG Foundation.

Today, over 205,000 Americans are registered for Movember, making the U.S. one of the top four participating countries in the global initiative.



Here in Dallas, Movember is an affluent organization.

According to SMU alum Erik Herskind, the Dallas network ranked fifth last year and is shooting for No. 1.  “We want the Dallas network to be the biggest in the country,” says Herskind.

Herskind first heard about Movember four years ago in a Men’s Health article.

“It seemed like a cause that forced men to hit the issue head on and actually do something uncomfortable,” he explains.  “And as easy as it seems, growing a mustache forces you as a man to do something that is uncomfortable and unfamiliar.  Participation truly makes you talk about the issue of men’s health.”

Image from Dallas Moustache Facebook page

Currently, Herskind leads the Dallas Mustache team and spends much of his time advocating men’s health awareness because men need to be proactive: In comparison to women, the men’s health movement is roughly 30 years behind, according to Herskind.



The discrepancy between men and women can be attributed to men’s reluctance to visit the doctor and openly discuss the topic of their health.

“I think men are terrified of doctor visits mostly because they are afraid of their own mortality.  Men want to believe they are invincible, and doctors bring men back to reality,” says Herskind.

Unlike women, who are proactive and public about their health issues, men often deny themselves the opportunity to stay healthy by avoiding the possibility of hearing bad news.  Men need encouragement, which is why Movember came about.

“I think that men’s health should be made more aware,” says Nicole Avery, Max’s significant other.  “There is so much focus on breast cancer, but in reality, prostate and testicular are just as fatal.  Men think they’re too tough to get sick, and they don’t want to look weak, so if growing a mustache helps them feel tougher about it, then that’s a great plus.”

The mustache has the ability to encourage men to embrace their manhood and overcome their fears.  It’s a way to turn a serious issue into a more relaxed topic, allowing men to feel more comfortable and confident in the reality of their health; it’s a way to draw attention.



“Mustaches are great conversation starters,” says John Potts, an SMU senior participating on the Fiji SMUstache team.  “When you tell people you’re growing a mustache to raise money for cancer research, it helps make the topic of prostate cancer less taboo.”

A layer of fun and interest is added with the mustache.  And just as the pink ribbon does for breast cancer, the mustache acts as a symbol, or rather, a storyteller: It shares the facts of men’s health, the stories of those affected, while also narrating a MoBro’s personal traits.

“My mustache is a statement that I want to raise awareness and raise money for those who have been affected, are affected and will be in the future,” says Max Avery.

But, he notes, stylistically, a mustache is also a statement about who a man is and how he perceives himself.

“Too many people take life too seriously and are too worried about what others will think of them and their appearance,” Avery says.  ”We have grown to be a society that follows a lot of rules, and I believe that people are now finally coming to the realization that a touch of individuality may be more powerful and gain more trust and insight into who each other really are and what we stand for.”

Every mo uniquely represents its grower.  Just as clothes and a haircut can reflect personality and style, a mustache reflects individualism.



Without realizing it, have MoBros fostered a fashion phenomenon by restoring an old facial trend?

The Movember site carries various promotional items—jewelry, T-shirts, sunglasses, hats, socks and shoes.  And mustache-themed products as a whole have become a popular fashion trend over the past few years as well.

But do mustache merchandise and actual hairy mustaches coincide when it comes to fashion?

According to Herskind, mustaches are no longer “in-style.”  “The mustache has been a part of fashion on and off for years,” he says. “In the 1960s, ’70s and early ’80s, men embraced the mustache.  Their mustaches were a huge part of their identities.  But for some reason, the mustache went out of fashion in the late ‘80s and has really never come back.”

So while mustache-themed fashion products are currently trendy, it is not very fashionable for men to sport a mustache.

Why then, if mustaches are considered a thing of the past and out of style, have they been so successfully worn during the month of November?

Herskind believes that because of its unfashionable nature, the mustache is able to serve as an effective tool.  “If men embraced the mustache and brought them back into fashion, seeing them on men would not seem out of the ordinary and would therefore not stimulate conversation, and conversation is what Movember is all about,” he says.

Therefore, a mustache is not a fashion statement.  It’s simply a statement, one with the intent to gain awareness.  And that is what makes it so powerful: its ability to stand on its own, representing its own culture and cause, breaking barriers and challenging the norm.  The mustache doesn’t do what’s expected or try to conform, it does what it believes.

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Vbeaute makes its Debut

By Elyse Marriott


While I may still be young, I won’t be young for long… so I decided that I should start taking care of my skin now: hopefully I can eliminate some of the wrinkles that are bound to be in my future.

Fortunately for me, I intern at Stanley Korshak in the cosmetics department where the employees are considered veterans and know their products inside and out.  So when I asked for advice, I was handed a kit of slender, sleek, purple tubes branded with the name vbeaute.

Made with the most advanced skincare bio-technology and intense botanicals, vbeaute is a skincare line designed to significantly delay the aging of skin.  It uses an age antagonist called vComplex, which is a cellular concentrate taken from Swiss Alpine Rose Botanical Technology.

The explanation may sound complex, but I’ll take their word for it because I love what it’s done for my skin!  This product is not only great for those who want to refine their fine lines, but for those who have naturally dry skin.  My face feels hydrated and smooth (without feeling heavy or oily) when I use the products daily.

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Uptown Country turns Shabby into Chic

By Elyse Marriott


“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.”

I am drawn to the blue, sparkly, embellished frame that encases this Audrey Hepburn quote when I walk into the store.  As I approach an employee to ask if I can purchase the framed quote, I notice that she’s wearing an apron covered in paint and glitter.  Her hands have paint on them as well.

As I scan the store, I soon realize, that she is responsible for all the decorative furniture and trinkets that fill the store.

Mother-and-daughter team Fran Holley and Jenny Grumbles own and run the store, Uptown Country.  This hidden gem, located in Snider Plaza, is filled with recycled items that have been transformed into unique, shabby-chic home décor.

Both Holley and Grumbles contribute to the store through their distinctive skills: Holley has created a line of refurbished furniture and home embellishments called “Frantiques,” while Grumbles is known for her alluring art, which is sold at Uptown Country as well as art shows.

Uptown Country offers custom painting of both store-purchased items and customers’ own items.


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Glory to Trick & Treatment!

Soap & Glory’s Trick and Treatment

by Tanisha Boyd

My new Holy Grail makeup product is Soap & Glory’s Trick and Treatment Under Eye Dark Circle Concealer.  The brightening formula combats under eye circles in two ways:

First. the “trick” — a yellow pigment mixture neutralizes dark areas and contains light-reflecting  tones to conceal.  After applying foundation, the effect is a bright under-eye area.

Then, the “treatment” — special peptides containing Haloxyl™, an ingredient clinically proven to lighten dark circles, treat the problem and fight dark circles from within.

I recently had a makeup artist try this out on me at Sephora in NorthPark Center.  I’ve tried other under-eye concealers that didn’t seem to do the job.  As an African-American, I looked at the makeup artist like she was crazy when she asked if she could try it out on me, but the result was a welcome surprise.

I found the coverage to be “buildable.”   The concealer alone definitely goes on yellow. But you can either mix your own foundation/tinted moisturizer with it before applying.  Or layer your foundation over the concealer.

This is by far my favorite new product.  Not only is it suitable for all skin tones, I’m definitely beginning to notice that my dark circles are fading.  No waiting for Halloween for this kind of trick or treat!

Soap & Glory products are sold at Sephora stores nationwide and at

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Internships For Sale

By Katie Hamilton

Photo courtesy of

Hoping to land a summer internship with a big name in the fashion industry?  You may be able to bypass that stressful application process – given the right bank account.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America has partnered with Vogue magazine to auction off one-of-a-kind internships with coveted fashion brands, all to raise funds for those affected by Hurricane Sandy.   The proceeds from the online auction will go to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and to other relief organizations based in the tri-state area.

Some positions available for auction are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. For instance, Alice + Olivia will offer a summer-long internship in New York City working with the brand’s design, public relations and sales teams. Helmut Lang will auction off a similar internship experience in the department of your choice.    And Mara Hoffman, famed New York-based swimwear designer, will  auction away a two-week shadow experience in her offices as she and her team prep for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.

Photo courtesy of

These internships and others available for auction are any fashionista’s dream come true, and the money would go to a worthy cause.  But do you want to be labeled as “the girl whose daddy bought her a job”?  Is the opportunity really worth the price tag? You be the judge.

Check out these live auctions and more at

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Neiman Marcus recipe for success blends tradition and innovation

Photo courtesy of
When parched shoppers enter the iconic Neiman Marcus Downtown, they’re handed water bottles bearing labels that read, “How may we delight you today?” Neiman Marcus leads the retail industry with its dedication to customer service.

By Brooke Reagan

Stanley Marcus knew how to put on a good show. The son and nephew of Neiman Marcus’ sibling founders further enhanced the upscale department store’s illustrious reputation with his traditional fall “Fortnight” sales events and the introduction of the opulent Christmas catalog that Neiman’s is known for today.

Brother and sister Herbert Marcus and Carrie M. Neiman, along with Carrie’s husband Al Neiman, founded Neiman Marcus in Dallas in 1907.

Herbert’s son Stanley was elected president of the board in 1950. He introduced the first Fortnight in 1957 in the hopes that a fancy fête would increase sales during the typical October slump.

The very first Fortnight transformed Dallas into France. One visitor at the time called the theatrical production “an artistic triumph and a commercial success.” The Fortnights continued through 1986 bringing exotic performers, treasures, and even celebrities from all over the world— Sicilian singers and folk dancers, Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco, and Picasso paintings all arrived in Dallas for Fortnights.

Stanley Marcus executed another smart business move in 1960. He revamped the Christmas catalogue, published since 1939, filling the pages with extravagant, one-of-a-kind gifts.

Although few shoppers actually purchased these items, the catalogue lured them into the store to buy socks, sweaters, and other more mundane items. The Christmas “book,” as it is often referred to today, remains a well-known part of the Neiman Marcus mystique.

The 2012 Christmas catalogue offers everything from a flashy $354,000 sports car to a $150,000 trailer designed for tailgating at college football games—the perfect gift for that SMU student who wants to stand out on the Boulevard.

Krystal Schlegel is a Dallas-based fashion blogger, stylist, and SMU alumna. She says her favorite luxe items from the Christmas book are the matching Van Cleef & Arpels watches showcasing French landmarks. Included in the $1.09 million price tag is a trip to Paris and Geneva as well.

Schlegel acknowledges that while perusing the Christmas catalogue is fun, that’s not what encourages her to shop at Neiman Marcus.

“Neiman’s is no. 1 in the retail industry when it comes to customer service. Neiman’s really knows its clients,” Schlegel says. “Because I live in Dallas and have grown up here, I have specific salespeople I work with. My relationships with these associates make me feel more welcome.”

Ginger Reeder, Neiman Marcus vice president of corporate communications, believes Neiman’s success and longevity can be contributed to the store’s longstanding practice of nurturing relationships with its clientele.

“Each of our stores is different from the others, in that the core of our business model is the relationships our associates have with their customers,” Reeder says.

Neiman Marcus Downtown is also different from any other Neiman’s, because it’s home to the buying offices for every store across the country, says Marjon Zabihi, the public relations manager of Neiman Marcus Downtown.

“The president and CEO of Neiman Marcus and all of the top execs are all there walking in and out of the stores every day and personally looking at the merchandise and selection,” she says. “So in a sense, it’s all happening in the downtown store location. Downtown is where it all begins.”

Neiman Marcus Downtown also represents a rare breed of luxury retailer in that the store combines a classic emphasis on service with an active social media scene. Many SMU students follow Neiman’s daily blog, and accounts among others. Engaging social media tools bring the younger generations into the store.

SMU Retail Club President Elyse Marriott ’13 says students enjoy shopping at CUSP, Neiman’s lower-price alternative for fashion-forward girls on a budget.

“I especially love the jewelry at CUSP. It has fun spunky items that are versatile, so I can wear them every day, whether I’m just going to class or to a formal function,” Marriott says. “Neiman’s is great in that it has upscale items for the older crowd as well as more contemporary things for young adults who are looking for more stylish things that aren’t quite as expensive as the higher-end parts of the store.”

Zabihi says that Neiman Marcus Downtown’s many events spotlighting designers and vendors also draw crowds of all ages. She compares these VIP events today to yesteryear’s glamorous Fortnights. For instance, the Crystal Charity Ball Luncheon, which honors one designer annually, is hosted at the downtown location. Downtown also holds fashion shows in its iconic restaurant, the Zodiac Room, which emanates history with archives adorning the walls and the traditional popover served at the start of every meal.

With most stores still reeling from the recession and even Barneys New York closing its Dallas location this spring, Neiman’s has been able not only to survive the test of time but to thrive. It all goes back to Stanley Marcus’ simple but effective business ethic of excellent customer service with an extra touch of glamour.

Neiman Marcus Downtown is located at 1618 Main St., Dallas, Texas, 75201. Its hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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