Monthly Archives: September 2013

Kanye West and the Living’s Yeezy

By Morgan O’Hare

Seven years ago, if a high-profile rapper such as Ludacris, Nelly or Usher was spotted sporting an above-the-knee kilt and bejeweled mask, there could be only two explanations. Either he had decided to change his sexual preference or he’d been “punked”– and Ashton was hiding in a room nearby, roaring with laughter.

Today, however, one rapper frequently dons these outlandish accoutrements: Kanye West.

West, who also goes by the nickname “Yeezy,” has single-handedly changed the hip-hop fashion world with his avant-garde style choices and the designer brand names embedded into his raps. He wears custom-made couture onstage, and top designers compete to collaborate with him.

For West, “swag” goes way beyond the traditional rapper uniform of a white wife beater and saggy Levis. He has introduced his fans to not-so-mainstream designer labels such as Givenchy and Maison Martin Margiela. West’s risk-taking fashion sense has paved the way for new artists to experiment with what they wear.

Up-and-coming rapper and Dallas native Corbin Corona says that West is definitely one of the few artists he looks to for style insight.  West expresses his individuality through his clothing choices, he says.

“Kanye is more inspirational. He’s on his own level. He has a gift for doing his own thing,” Corona says.

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Kanye Wearing the Margiela Face Mask via Style By Deni 

West has also become a fashion icon to fans and a muse for designers. For example, during Jay-Z and West’s “Watch the Throne” tour in 2012, the creative director at Givenchy, Riccardo Tisci, procured custom graphic tees and jewelry for the music moguls to wear onstage.  The rappers created a global phenomenon with the graphic tees, emblazoned with Dobermans, sharks and stars.

Giueseppe Zanotti, a luxury women’s shoe designer, has told The New York Daily News how inspirationalWest has been to him:  ”He is not afraid of facing such a dangerous world such as the fashion one, he is not afraid of shouting to everyone who he is. He could shake the system with his adrenaline.”

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Kanye in Margiela Kilt via Huffington Post 

Why do rap stars like West connect so well with fashion?  Zack Shumway, an employee of the Dallas Tom Ford flagship store, says that artists like West inspire their fans and give brands street cred.

“West definitely influences the high fashion and couture world. I think he takes brands to a whole new level of reliability.”

West is an artist who experiments — both with music and fashion.  Shumway agrees that Yeezy’s style is an expression of his creative side.

“It makes hip hop seem more serious and influential . . . ,” he says.  “Fashion is art.  So is music. It makes sense that they go together.”

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The Origins of Hope

By Stacy Radley

For dozens of desperate women in Guatemala and Nepal, hope has come in the form of bracelets.


Photo: All Good Things

A Dallas-area jewelry enthusiast has given these women a fresh start making accessories, possibly saving them from hunger, rape, and even human trafficking. Gabby Vinnozzi started All Good Things, a line of jewelry handmade by women in Third World countries, as a way to give back and make a difference.

“The women might have been victims of sex trafficking or come from other harsh living situations,” says Ms. Vinnozzi, who is from McKinney.

All Good Things carries bracelets, necklaces, earrings and headbands—all handmade.  When Nepali women wear glass beads, it is a meaningful cultural statement. Thus, the pieces from Nepal are all beaded. Since the women of Guatemala have a rich weaving tradition, dating back to the Mayans, the items from Guatemala are woven. All Good Things’ suppliers are carefully chosen after a great deal of research.

At the moment, most of All Good Things’ sales are made in McKinney, the Dallas area and off the company website, Vinnozzi says she does not have a specific plan for where she wants the line to go, simply that she is “just letting it do its thing.”

However, Professor Robert Lawson of SMU’s Cox Business School points out that it may be hard for this line to make real economic advances because of the extremely competitive nature of the jewelry business. Lawson says the real deciding factor between success and failure is consumers because they are the ones who decide the value of the line.


Photo: All Good Things.

The jewelry collection includes a wide variety of styles.  And the pieces are affordable. Vinnozzi says that their “target buyer is the woman who wants to create some good in the world.” Vinnozzi says the Nepal Mission bracelets, in particular, are popular among all age groups.

All the pieces that All Good Things carries are “fair trade” items, meaning the revenue from the sales goes directly back to the women making them. These women now have jobs and can provide for their families.  In addition, proceeds from the sale of the Nepali bracelets support Friends of Maiti Nepal, a company devoted to rescuing and treating female victims of human trafficking.

Think about how much good you could do by simply buying a bracelet or two for $16 apiece.

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Fitness Wear is Redefining Casual

By Brooke Bordelon

photo from

photo from

A toned Highland Park housewife breezes into Central Market clothed in head-to-toe Lululemon, her bleach blonde ponytail swishing behind her. A sorority girl sits in class at Southern Methodist University, bouncing her colorful Nike-clad foot up and down with impatience. Two teenagers delight in the arrival of their queso at Taco Diner, their slim figures squeezed into neon-colored workout tops.

Nowadays, it seems everywhere you look you are bound to see a woman dressed in some sort of fitness wear, whether or not she intends to actually hit the gym. However, the days of slouchy shorts and “Dad’s old tee” are long gone. In recent years, high-end, fashionable workout gear has burst onto the scene and successfully broken free from the confines of the gym.

An influx of better quality and more stylish sports wear into mainstream life is redefining casual wear as we know it.  With sleeker, minimalist styles, it’s no wonder that fitness clothing is becoming the new normal. It’s easier than ever to look put together without putting too much thought into one’s outfit.

“I definitely notice it’s a trend at SMU,” says senior Zara Walsh.  “I always look at girls and think, wow they look really cool or good, and they’re wearing workout clothes.”

In 2011, CNNmoney named Lululemon — the maker of stylish yoga and workout gear — the sixth fastest growing company in the nation, rocketing up 10  spots from where it  appeared on the previous year’s list.  If this is any indicator, the fitness wear trend is showing no signs of slowing down.

Maud Beelman, deputy managing editor for investigative projects and enterprise at the Dallas Morning News, teaches Communication Law at SMU.  She says she has noticed that many of her students sport (no pun intended) Nike shorts and Luluemon tops.

“I don’t think there is anything wrong with a student coming into class wearing fitness wear,” she says.

Beelman notes that it’s not just the younger generation hopping on the fitness wear bandwagon. Recently back from a beach vacation, she recalls how fitness wear was the clothing of choice amongst her comrades.

“We were just lounging around the house,” she says. “We weren’t hiking a mountain or forging a stream but we were all dressed in this super high-tech wicking sport wear or we were in our yoga pants and yoga tops.”

Caroline Montgomery, an employee at Dallas’ Lululemon store, thinks it’s great that women have incorporated more workout gear into their casual wardrobes. She feels that having stylish workout clothes is an excellent incentive for women to embrace healthier lifestyles.

“To have a brand like Lululemon that is stylish and on trend is a catalyst to the fitness movement,” she says, “just because women who are living active lifestyles can workout and look great at the same time.”

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The Cleanse Trend: Pros & Cons

By Jaclyn Castaldo


Photo Credit

Water bottles used to be an omnipresent accessory, but today it’s nearly as common to see stylish women carrying a bottle of cold-pressed, organic juice as they go about their day.

Juice bars are popping up on every corner in Dallas, from Nekter in Snider Plaza to THE GEM in Preston Center to Number One Les Jus in Highland Park Village.  They seem to be the newest lifestyle fad.

One Nekter employee says that business has been great ever since the juice bar opened in Snider Plaza. They have noticed lots of students coming in between classes to grab a juice or smoothie.

Juice-based detoxes and cleanses have become so mainstream, you may feel you’re doing something wrong if you haven’t juiced at least once. And the cleanses are good for you, right? It’s debatable. Juice cleanses have become more controversial as they’ve become more popular.

According to New Beauty Magazine, juice cleansing has its pros and cons:


  • Toxins are removed
  • You’re consuming large amounts of vegetables and fruits
  • Energy levels are increased
  • Skin looks more radiant
  • Causes minimal weight loss


  • Can be dangerous for people with eating disorder tendencies
  • Can leave out critical nutrients your body needs to function properly
  • Is expensive
  • Increases cravings for sugar and carbs
  • Removes fiber (which can lead to rapid fat storage)


Photo Credit

Photo Credit

Lee Lynch, a senior at SMU, has jumped on the juicing bandwagon. She says that while the three-day cleanse she completed last Decemeber was tough she loved the results.

“The first day I felt very groggy and crashed around 3 p.m. The second day I felt better than ever.  I had more energy and didn’t feel hungry whatsoever,” she says. “The third day was the hardest. I was craving everything, especially the sensation of chewing food.”

Juice cleanses are a good way to flush your system, lose some water weight and feel like you’re getting a clean slate.  However, they can be dangerous for some people, says Karin Hosenfeld, a licensed, board-certified sports dietitian in the state of Texas.

“Nutritionally speaking, a cleanse can actually be detrimental to overall health,” she says. “If the cleanse involves strictly fruit juice, the result is low in protein and essential fats that the body needs in order to maintain necessary bodily functions such as temperature regulation, a strong immune system and hormonal balance.

“During long cleanses, muscle mass may be lost as well, ” Hosenfeld says.

Of course, eating the right foods on a regular basis will still give you the same results you’re expecting from a juice fast.  But the cleanse trend isn’t going anywhere.  So remember: Juice responsibly.

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What’s ‘In’ — And WHO Decides Anyway?

By Caroline Hicks

A trend by definition is a general course or prevailing tendency, drift, style or vogue.

Style trends are all around us.  They’re walking in front of you on the streets, clinging to the rails on the subways, even sitting in your English class.

It doesn’t take an experienced fashionista to realize they exist, but the real question is: Where do they originate?

“I think the trends begin on the runways,” Bradley Agather of the popular luella and june fashion blog says.  “The editors then report on them, [and] once they hit the streets, they take on a life of their own.”

Every fall and spring, designers present their newest lines at New York Fashion Week for large audiences of bloggers, marketers, retailers, celebrities and other fashion-minded folk.

“Trends can start as the figment of a single designer’s imagination and then spread,” says Professor Chelsea Bell who teaches the Fashion Media and Culture class for Fashion Media students at SMU.

Most people look to the runways for inspiration, or indirectly do so by shopping a designer’s line at a clothing store.

Regular people who can’t afford the couture styles seen on runways find other ways to follow trends by shopping at “fast fashion” shops like H&M and Target. Designers create lines for these stores geared toward shoppers on a smaller budget.

While the runway is a sure way for designers to get their lines initially noticed, it’s what happens after the shows that causes the trends to spread like wildfire.



Through the use of social media, trends leap from the runway onto the computers and iPhones of people worldwide.

social As if not bright enough, smart phones light up the runway. (

According to Harper’s Bazaar website, there were 671,028 tweets about fashion week this year, which is twice the number of last year.

With the prevalence of fashion blogs as well as social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr, these trends are noticed by a larger demographic and then tweaked to fit individuals’ personal styles.

Bloggers often help move a look from the runway to the streets.  For instance, the crop top — an essential trend from last season that is re-occurring this season with a new twist – has been a hit with the collegiate crowd.

“Crop tops still hold their ground,” says SMUStyle blogger Michelle Knutson, who reports on trends from the runway that appear on campus. “Burberry was the most notable fashion house to carry the trend into the autumn/ winter collection, pairing them with trousers and trench coats.”

crop Crop tops hit the Christian Siriano S/S 2014 runway (

 As soon as these flirty frocks were spotted on the runway, bloggers began commenting on the look– and so it goes in the modern era of the blogosphere.

Fashion bloggers have the freedom to focus on whatever they like.  Oftentimes they post trends from the runway — but tweak the styles to show readers how to give them a more personal touch based on individual inspiration.

Agather will often choose a popular trend to spotlight with photos and ideas for how to pair the style with the unexpected.  She says she finds inspirations “all over the place.”  “I get inspiration from everything – magazines, movies, art blogs, Pinterest.”



Trends are an essential aspect of the fashion world, and companies in the industry rely on the anticipating trends accurately to succeed.

Recently, the practice of something known as “trend forecasting” has been been used more and more by big names in fashion.

One high-profile trend forecasting company, WSGN, says in a mission statement on the company website that it “provides fashion and design businesses with the intelligence to drive commercially successful products and services.”

Trends typically forecasted could be anything from clothing colors that will be in style to materials – say, for instance, tweed — that are sure to be in high demand in the upcoming season.

Trend forecasters follow retail trends and prepare information on which trends are on the rise and on the way down for their clients.

WSGN’s website provides viewers with the latest information from New York Fashion Week including new designers and retail openings.

“[These] companies . . . predict future trends by analyzing past and current trends and keeping up with cultural and societal events,” Bell says.



While such services are a common practice within the fashion industry, you don’t have to jump on every trend to call yourself a fashionista.

“I don’t believe in absolutely adapting to trends,” Knutson says.  “I find trend forecasting to be a bit lackadaisical in its creativity — scouting future trends to copy them before they even unveil themselves.”

Many fashion watchers say it’s also important to choose clothing that suits your own unique taste and style.

“I am personally concerned more with personal style than with trends,” Bell says.  “I only adopt trends that fit within the realm of my style, that I feel will span several seasons.” 

Yet regardless of whether you’re a slave to trends or follow your own style muse, when it comes to fashion, trends aren’t going anywhere.  They’re inevitable because of the nature of the fashion industry and the way styles spread when people become inspired by what they see.

Designers will always look to see where trends originate so that they can decide whether to follow or adapt them.

To quote the fabulous Alexander McQueen: “As a designer, you’ve always got to push yourself forward; you’ve always got to keep up with the trends or make your own trends.  That’s what I do.” (


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Technology Meets Fashion: The Google Glass

By Melanie Galindo



You don’t normally associate Google, with its durable search engine and nerdy office complex in Silicon Valley, with sophisticated fashion magazine Vogue and its sleek New York newsroom.

But the two have recently joined forces in a 12-page futuristic fashion spread in Vogue’s infamous September issue featuring Google Glass Expedition.

Google Glass is a hands-free, head-mounted device that can be worn by users as wearable computing eyewear, according to Natalie Thompson of Google. The device looks like a pair of normal eyeglass, but “the lens of the glasses actually have an interactive, smartphone-like display with voice command support as well as Bluetooth and wireless connectivity,” she said.


Photo: “Forbidding Planet” :

With groundbreaking features literally changing how people see things, Google Glass is a hands-free device that allows users to live in the moment instead of juggling among their phone, tablet and computer. But as Google enters the market of wearable technology, the biggest challenge doesn’t around revolve engineering this futuristic product. Instead, the real challenge lies in the task of making their product stylish.

“While it is fascinating that this may mark the beginning of a technology that changes how we interact and process information, I couldn’t help but feel like character from a science fiction movie,” said Lisa Steppe, a business analyst at Apple, after demo-ing Glass.

With co-founder of Google, Sergey Brin, recently reporting the prototype design represents a near complete model; Google must erase any “dorky” connotations from their product’s name before its official release to the public. What better way to build a fashionable reputation than decorating the pages of Vogue?

Featured against a variety of retro-futuristic backdrops in a Vogue spread called “The Final Frontier,” Google Glass makes its high-end fashion editorial debut. Shot in Lubbock against a 110-ton steel house, the layout features chic, sleek model Raquel Zimmermann displaying the forward-looking accessory in a trendy and modern light. Aligning its product not only with the fashion world but also with one of fashion’s most sacred texts, Google hopes to replace its “sci-fi” standing with a more stylish reputation to generate consumer appeal.


Photo: “Slight Lines”:

“The Vogue September issue has become a cultural touchstone ahead of New York’s Fashion Week,” said Chris Dale, communications manager for the Glass team at Google. “Seeing Glass represented so beautifully in this issue is a thrill for the entire Glass team.”

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Karl Lagerfeld’s Highland Fling

By Schuyler Mack

Where does a visionary genius go when he’s already conquered the world? To a sheep farm in Scotland. That’s what Karl Lagerfeld has done, launching this fall’s hottest trend: plaid.

Lagerfeld has had a long love affair with Scotland and has created a fall line to pay homage to the land and its people, says Pilar Hubbarb with Chanel’s corporate headquarters.

Barrie Knitwear, one of Scotland’s oldest cashmere mills, was acquired by the designer in October 2012. The Hawick-based mill, which has produced Chanel’s cashmere knitwear for a quarter of a century, was in danger of shuttering after its parent company, 140-year-old textiles conglomerate Dawson International, was on the brink of bankruptcy.

Lagerfeld was so excited about the latest acquisition that his Pre-Fall show, “Dressed to Kilt,” was an extravaganza devoted to Scottish heritage. The over-the-top bold plaid statement pieces, textured knits, and patchwork, layered in swingy jackets, were truly spectacular. It is no wonder that after this show the tartan trend started popping up in the runway shows of all major designers.

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“Lagerfeld has had a long-time love affair with Scottish garb and their way of dress,” Hubbarb says.

One may ask how the purchase of a cashmere plant transitions to plaid trending this fall. “He created his Pre-Fall collection as an homage to the Scottish and his recent purchase in the country,” she says.

Fashion houses such as Riccardo Tisci, Moschino and Michael Kors have featured the highland-inspired trend on and off the runway, making it a clear front-runner for this season’s craze.  is a buyer at the original Dallas Neiman Marcus in Dallas. Opitz notes: “It was an overwhelmingly easy-to-spot trend circulating down the ranks. After our buyers meetings we all came to a comprehensive decision — plaid was to be the main fall must-have print.”

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It is an interesting process to uncover how a trend emerges. What started out as a  financial crisis at a small cashmere  mill in a small town in Scotland, spurred by Lagerfeld’s genius, became a global fashion statement that yielded a billion dollar surge in the fashion business. Now, Scottish-inspired plaids can be found in any campaign from Phillip Lim, trickling down to mass-market shops such as Zara and H&M.  The trend is so pervasive that one can spot it in fashions from the lowliest form of workout wear to the ensembles worn by the most elegant women striding the streets at New York Fashion week. Thank you Mr. Lagerfeld.

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From Stetsons to Fedoras: the rise of Dallas’ creative class

By Ashley Nicola Wali

The new Dallas (image via National Geographic)

The new Dallas (image via National Geographic)

Dallas was once the land of starched button-downs, neat crew cuts and hair gel galore. But in the shadows of the omnipresent skyscrapers, a completely different side of Dallas is coming to life. This Dallas is brimming with vibrant tattoos, chic ensembles and quick wit. And while it may seem contradictory, Dallas’ new creative class is putting our oh-so-conservative city on the map for ceaseless innovation.

Something good is brewing in Dallas. Take a closer look and you’ll find that many of the city’s success stories lie in its budding creative class. It’s tough to say when the creative era officially began in Dallas, but Rob Brinkley, editor-in-chief of FD Luxe, and Jennifer Dunn, agency director of Sisterbrother Management, have played undeniable roles in its rise.

Editor Rob Brinkley with designer Tom Ford (image via FD Luxe)

Editor Rob Brinkley with designer Tom Ford (image via FD Luxe)

Rob Brinkley

Rob Brinkley isn’t just an exceptionally prominent magazine editor, he’s also one of the nicest guys around. Brinkley drives a distinctive vintage Rolls Royce, likes to roll up his sleeves just above the elbows and writes with unparalleled imagination.

As the leader of FD Luxe, Brinkley has helped transform the creative culture of Dallas. The tall, dapper Kentucky native’s efficacy in constructing iconic stories can be ascribed to a cool blend of sharp instincts and unbridled passion. There is a lucidity and emotional honesty to a Brinkley story that somehow captivates the reader: They are smooth and intriguing, but also intimate, which is part of the reason why people come alive between the lines.

Brinkley counts himself as one of the lucky ones who love every single aspect of their job. He lists reinventing FD Luxe as his biggest accomplishment. Brinkley sees the fashion and lifestyle glossy, which is the monthly luxury magazine of The Dallas Morning News, as “a place where creatives can be celebrated.” FD routinely features stories where everything isn’t so divine. Staff write unsung stories — about creatives who have slipped and the anomalies of the fashion world. “That’s an elephant in the room that a lot of style magazines won’t dare poke, and I’m proud that we do at FD,” says Brinkley.

He advises aspiring creatives to immerse themselves in whatever they want to do, in whatever way they can. He explains: “The more you’re exposed to whatever it is you love, the better informed you’ll be, . . . the more that passion finds its way into something you really, really love doing. That is so important.” Having interned at FD last summer, I can attest to Brinkley’s advice.

Brinkley points out that creativity is everywhere — “in the way you converse, the way you write, the way you put an outfit together, the way your house or apartment is decorated.” Brinkley notes, “Creativity is anything you do that feels off the norm . . . true creativity is that moment when you take off on your own path.” He logs architects and artists among his creative heroes, as well as fashion designers like Cristobal Balenciaga, Charles James, Madame Gres and Tom Ford.

Brinkley considers the City of Lights as the most creative and visited it on his birthday for years. “Beautiful, chic, gritty, vast, intimate — it’s got it all. Dallas is cleaner and more optimistic – but just as chic, it its own Texas way,” Brinkley quips.

He believes Dallas has grown tremendously in terms of creativity, particularly in art and architecture. “In just a few years’ time, we’ve had the Nasher, the Wyly, the Winspear and the Perot — buildings by creative, modern thinkers. The art scene is on fire, too, with Dallas artists getting more international attention.”

He cites exposure as the best way to foster creativity in Dallas, as well as attending everything you can in the arts. He says, “Making sure everyone has a chance at expressing themselves, from young school kids all the way up to senior citizens. It’s extremely important to make it easy for everyone to express what’s in them.”

Jennifer Dunn (image via

Jennifer Dunn (image via

Jennifer Dunn

I first met Jennifer Dunn in a spartan studio in a derelict part of town.  Better known as Studio 1816, it is a minimalist’s dream-come-true. In walked Dunn, with her vibrant tattoos and rocker chic threads. She had the cool vibe of an artist and the spirit of Janis Joplin. And that’s when it hit me — Dallas has changed.

As agency director of Sisterbrother Management, she represents the most unique photographers and stylists in Dallas and New York. Dunn is a tastemaker — a purveyor of creativity in a city typecast by its buttoned-up culture. But Dunn is more than optimistic about Dallas’ creative population. “There is an active and evolving community of progressive artists, and they are patronized by other Dallasites,” says Dunn. While she lists New York and Marfa as centers of creative inspiration, she notes that Dallas is the sweet spot in the middle— “there is an easy balance here.”

Dunn has become known as something of a creative innovator, boldly combining creativity and commerce to build new avenues for artists. She defines creativity as “elemental” and says, “It’s our natural urge to take all of the tools we have at our disposal and combine them to make new tools.” She notes her best friends, her children and the artists she works with as her inspirations.

Dunn says her role at Sisterbrother Management provides her biggest sense of professional fulfillment. “I do work quite hard, but I do it for and with artists, friends, family I admire so greatly that it hardly feels like work.”

While Dallas’ creative growth is commendable, there is room for improvement. She warns, “I’ve witnessed a disappointing history since my high school years at Booker T. of ‘brilliant mind migration’ to the coastal cities. If we have any hope of changing that, we have to mobilize and create an audience. And all that wealth we’re so famous for, how about buying some art? Artists have to eat and wearing that ‘starving artist’ badge of honor is tiresome.”

So what advice does Dunn have for aspiring creatives?

“Do it,” she insists. “Take one tiny step toward your goal every day.  After working a double shift waiting tables, come home and Google an artist or a process or a movement you’ve been curious about. That counts.”

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The Woods Fine Jewelry

By Dulnaey Miller

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Photo: The Woods Fine Jewelry

If you like jewelry and all things diamond, click over to The Woods Fine Jewelry for some irresistible online shopping. Sisters Shawn and Samantha founded the brand together in 2005. Their items are on the pricier side, so shop smart! Find one or two pieces that you love and can be worn with everything from your bikini to a bomber jacket to an evening gown.  Pick from among the many beaded bracelets and necklaces with diamond accents or go for the dainty diamond encrusted earrings. Whichever you choose, these pieces will last forever and so will the compliments you receive. I love my brown-based pieces and can’t wait to add something white to my collection for winter!

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The Duo Behind ‘A Piece of Toast’

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Photo via APOT

By Emily Sims

You can put anything on a piece of toast — jam, butter or cream cheese, depending on what you’re craving.  It’s simple enough to eat every day and plain enough to pair with endless possibilities.  This is the idea behind the style and fashion blog A Piece of Toast, written by Sally and Molly Miller.

In November of 2010, the sisters from Kansas City stepped into the world of blogging not knowing what to expect. Now, three years later, A Piece of Toast is a well-known style blog with a following of super-devoted readers. In addition to their talent for styling, the girls’ charm, which shines through both in their writing and in person, has played a key role in their success.

“They have a very authentic and true voice, which is evident in each of their posts,” says Mallory Harrison, owner of Haven Boutique and faithful A Piece of Toast reader. “They were so sweet and genuine in person that it made me enjoy reading their blog more afterward.”

Getting started

The sisters were inspired to start a blog after their friend and fellow Kansas City native, blogger Fallon Elizabeth of A Lovely Being, suggested that their taste would be popular with readers.

A Piece of Toast covers both fashion and beauty on a regular basis.  Molly, who earned a BFA in interior design from Miami University of Ohio, also puts her expertise to use in a home interiors section.

In addition to spending three to five hours each weekday — and more time on the weekends — on their blog, the Millers, who both reside in Dallas’ Uptown neighborhood, work full-time. Sally teaches kindergarten and Molly is social media editor for Fossil.

Although running A Piece of Toast is a big time commitment, their work is paying off.  The sisters traveled with other popular Dallas bloggers to take part in New York Fashion Week this fall.

“Being able to travel with two of our best blogger friends in Dallas and spending time with so many other blogger friends around the country was so fun,” says Molly about her favorite Fashion Week memory. “It’s such a good time to see everyone!”

Of the shows they attended, they both agreed their favorite was Mara Hoffman, a designer known for her eclectic prints.

“The colors and prints were out of this world and it was such an energetic show,” says Molly. “The long caftans were the most memorable, especially the ones with rainbow embroidery.”

Focus on Style, not Trends

Despite their interest in the NYFW shows, A Piece of Toast is more style- than trend-driven.

“Our blog is about style, not necessarily fashion or trends, so while we might end up wearing looks inspired or seen on the runway, they will have our own spin and probably hit more on wearability than trendiness,” says Molly.

It is the sisters’ focus on what’s wearable rather than current trends that inspires readers’ devotion. For SMU student Caroline Morehead, however, it’s the sisters’ relatability that makes A Piece of Toast her blog of choice.

“You can just tell that these sisters are real people when you read A Piece of Toast,” says Morehead, who is an avid A Piece of Toast reader. “They give visitors helpful information on sales and discount codes and it never seems like they are trying to promote things or sell things on their blog.”

And it’s true: The sisters aren’t trying to sell anything. For them, their blog is a place to highlight examples of their taste and style pulled from their day-to-day lives.

“We just post what interests us,” says Molly. “Our editorial calendar is pretty flexible and while there are certain posts we know are happening at certain times, the rest is just of-the-moment things we have seen or love, usually both.”

Young women relate to the Millers because they are typical 20-somethings trying to balance their lives with their jobs. And the sisters inspire these women because they both manage to look fabulous while doing it.

“The blog is clever, fabulous and focused on a simple lifestyle, all in good taste,” says Morehead. “Every time I read it, it’s always polished, beautiful and filled with fabulous discoveries and an infinite amount of inspiration.”

All Part of the Job

Like all jobs, fashion blogging has its perks. For Sally and Molly, the friends they’ve made and the companies and brands they’ve worked with remain their favorite part. However, there is always a flip-side.

“It’s like school and every day you have homework due,” says Molly about the responsibility that comes with writing a popular blog.  Another tough part of the job:  the sometimes critical, even hurtful comments.

As the influence of blogging in the fashion community grows, so do the number of aspiring fashion bloggers. As their third anniversary approaches, the sisters have acquired enough wisdom to share with those just getting started:

“Be you, don’t do anyone else.  Have patience.  Success does not come overnight. And do it because you love it and have a unique point of view to share, not because you want to make money and quit your day job.”

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