WRITING REWIND: Why We’re Obsessed With This Fresh Jewelry Brand

WRITING REWIND: Why We’re Obsessed With This Fresh Jewelry Brand

Screen shot 2015-04-23 at 5.26.07 PMThere are two types of people in the jewelry industry: Those with a long lineage of jewelry making with strong connections in the precious metal and stone world. And self-starters who have a unique aesthetic, clear vision and practical business plan.

Meena Osei-Kuffour is the latter. As the founder and designer of Vintage Royalty Jewelry she has evolved the company from its original focus of handmade paper accessories to include metal work, stones, and beading. Making regular appearances at festivals including the Brooklyn Night Bazaar, AfroPunk, and Sweet Spot Festival, the recently relaunched line draws inspiration from everything from Salvador Dali to the Ivory Coast of West Africa.

Her pieces speak of art, history, world travel, and high fashion without loosing their vintage flair. Approachable yet affordable, Vintage Royalty’s beauty lies in its constant evolution. Meena who started the line in 2006 knew that it was time for her brand to move in a new direction saying, “I have decided to completely change the form of jewelry which I was known for to create strong, classic, pulled together collection that I think would pair perfectly with a stylish 20 or 30 something year old woman.”

The relaunching of this line was particularly important to Meena, because it shows not only the growth of her line but of herself as an artist.

“Throughout my entire career as a jewelry designer, I had been trying to define what kind of creator I was. I feel this line introduces me as a real jewelry designer. I want people to feel what I felt when I created the pieces; I want them to imagine just like I did. And I think this collection does just that.”

If you are into conversation-starting jewelry, and are attracted to color, shape, and prints we can almost guarantee that you will see something that you like within the Vintage Royalty collection online. If you happen to be in the D. C. area, you can also shop the collection at the Nomad Yard Collectiv boutique.

Screen shot 2015-04-23 at 5.25.58 PMStyleBlazer candidly spoke to Osei-Kuffour about her success, lessons learned and future plans.

On her background: “I am from the suburbs of Chicago, born and raised.  I studied Fashion Marketing in college and have done many internships in shaping my fashion knowledge.”

On what her creative process is like: “My creative process begins with a cluster of ideas and inspirations.  I usually try to narrow it down to a theme of some sort, then I start with sketching some jewelry aesthetics and it goes from there. Usually there is not a certain time or place that helps me. I used a lot of mixed media in this collection. Taking inspirations from India, Africa, and religions like Buddhism.”

On challenges she’s faced: “I continue to face multiple challenges developing the brand. I feel everyone does. You can never be 100 percent, there’s always something to improve on. My challenge lately has been Marketing. I need to do it more and more and more to compete with all the other jewelry designers out there. So finding the right people to help market my line and finding the time to market it myself has definitely been my biggest challenge.”

On her future plans for Vintage Royalty: “I hope to have my pieces in boutiques worldwide or in my own free-standing store. For myself, I want to learn as much as I can in art and business. Both of these I studied in school, but I just want to learn by travel and taking different artistic lessons.”

On advice she has for up-and-coming jewelry designers: “Plan Plan Plan. Never jump into anything no matter how eager you may feel. Business plan is a great start. And never stop developing your brand.”

5 MINUTE INTERVIEW: Catrice Harvey of A Bridge to London

5 MINUTE INTERVIEW: Catrice Harvey of A Bridge to London

 

WRITING REWIND: Print Mix Style Guide

WRITING REWIND: Print Mix Style Guide

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Naturally when spring rolls around, brightly colored clothing and pastel printed fabrics dominate store shelves—almost uniforms for the season. So what is a girl to do when she wants to break away from the fashion pack? Mix it up with mixed prints! J. Crew, Stella Jean, Proenza Schouler and Rodarte were a few of the many designers who played with prints, mixing unlikely fabric combos within their S/S 2013 lines. Contrasting patterns not only look super  chic, but make each piece pop that much more. Wearing mixed prints is also a great way to rework your closet and breathe new life into old clothes.  With punchy prints, just be sure to keep silhouettes simple, wear complimentary colors, and consider the size and proportion of each print.

Get inspired from our top 3 Mixed Print Match-Ups!

Stripes and FloralsStipes and Florals

J. Crew Factory Colorblock Stripe Boatneck Tee

Matthew Williamson Floral-print Silk Pants

Leopard & Polka Dot 

Leopard and Polka Dot

Topshop Animal Print Strapless Bralet

Jonathan Saunders Axel Polka-Dot Stretch-Cotton Twill Pencil Skirt

Snake & Paisley 

Snakeskin and Paisley

A | Wear Lux Peplum Top

Vince Camuto Ornate Paisley Pencil Skirt

How do you prefer to play with colors: print-mixing or colorblocking?

WRITING REWIND: Instagram’s Best “Under Beat” Natural Makeup Looks

WRITING REWIND: Instagram’s Best “Under Beat” Natural Makeup Looks

 

Underbeat CollageThe art of makeup has taken on a life of its own especially over social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram. With thousands of budding and veteran MUAs displaying their work, Instagram is the perfect place to grab a seat and witness firsthand the latest trends in beauty and cosmetics literally minutes after they’ve been created. Different ideals of what constitutes the perfect made up face all lie within the eye of the beholder, but one trend that has become center stage is the “under beat” look.

The “under beat” is all about minimalism and “appearing” to have no makeup on at all, even though you do. Think along the lines of what you would see in a cosmetic campaign or how you would do your makeup if your bae was coming over for a movie date. Just in case you still aren’t sure what we mean, we pulled together some of Instagram’s best “under beat” natural makeup looks.

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Who are some of your favorite “natural” beauties?


WRITING REWIND: Eyelash 101 With Jamaal Buster

WRITING REWIND: Eyelash 101 With Jamaal Buster

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Back when I wrote for EDGE Magazine, I had the privilege of interviewing the “Eyelash Guru to the Stars” Ja’maal Buster. I was so super excited because #1 I LOVE lashes and #2 Ja’maal has worked with countless celebrities including Beyonce, Rihanna, and Kim K. I followed Ja’maal and his work and truly learned a lot from our brief encounter. Check out a snippet of my interview that originally appeared on EDGE Magazine Site.

What advice would give your younger self about what you know now concerning the business of beauty?

I don’t think I would want any advice for my younger self, from what I know now. I feel and believe that my mistakes in business have gotten me to the point I am now. I think that we all need to make mistakes to learn and grow. It’s all apart of life. If everything about having your own business was easy, then anyone could do it.

What’s is your biggest piece of advice for concerning branding?

Identify Your Competition: Knowing how your competition brands themselves can help you in developing your own brand.

jamaal busterHow do you maintain your integrity in such a competitive industry? 

Honestly, I just enjoy what I have built. I dont really have time to watch what my competition has going on. I know my product is great, and always try to offer and experience that people will never forget.

How is it to have an amazing roster of celebrity clientele?

I’m more intrigued and in love with the person that is behind the celebrity…the manager, the publicist .There are actually people that have built these celebrities; no one can do it by themselves

Did you always know you would make it big within the beauty industry?

I always knew whatever I did I was going to be the best…but for the most part of it, my journey was free formed.

What message would you like people to walk away with from this interview?

You have to definitely believe in what your brand is and then go with it, and don’t let anybody tell you that “oh that’s not going to work” maybe they tried to do something and it didn’t work for them doesn’t mean that it’s not going out work for you.

So class, what did you learn? 

 

 

WRITING REWIND: StyleBlazer Time Machine: Get Dionne Davenport’s ‘Clueless’ Style All Grown Up

WRITING REWIND: StyleBlazer Time Machine: Get Dionne Davenport’s ‘Clueless’ Style All Grown Up

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Don’t we all remember staying up for hours spilling the tea about what happened in second period with our high school girlfriends? Or what about the bond made shopping for the perfect Homecoming dress? If you didn’t experience this firsthand, luckily the hit movie and sitcomClueless perfectly captured all the fashionable ups and downs of the stylish Bff’s Cher Horowitz and Dionne Davenport. Of the two, Dionne may have sported some of the 90’s trendiest fashion. Who could forget the ridiculous scene where she pranced down the hall in her plaid suit and matching derby hat while talking to Cher? Classic. On Friday we celebrated Stacy Dash’s birthday with a look back at a few fashionable stills from Clueless. In this week’s time machine shopper we thought it would be fun to look forward to what Ms. Dionne Davenport’s style would be like all grown up.

Check out what we came up with.

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WRITING REWIND: LBS Runway Report A MOI SPRING 2015

WRITING REWIND: LBS Runway Report A MOI SPRING 2015

 

LBS-Runway-Report-A-MOI-Spring-Summer-2015

Inspired by the breezy seaside French town of Biarritz,  Designer Alejandra Alonso filled her  A MOI Spring 2015 NYFW collection with cool coastal tones of white and blue, while adding a few pops of metallic neutrals along the way. The entire collection exudes effortless sophistication using clean silhouettes and an occasional asymmetrical hemline. There are definitely a few standout looks from the collection that if added to your wardrobe would surely turn heads.À-MOI-SS15-Look-10-resizedWho doesn’t need a metallic leather iridescent top in their life?  Adding in the super adorb coral midi leather skirt wouldn’t hurt either. This LBS Chic worthy dream outfit could easily be worn together or separately, making each piece potential wardrobe staples. Continue reading “WRITING REWIND: LBS Runway Report A MOI SPRING 2015”