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An Interview With Stephanie Hayes ~ #FashionIsAStory

In Events, Fashion, Trends, Updates on September 21, 2017 at 3:51 am

A fashion followers favorite, Stephanie Hayes is the Features Editor at the Tampa Bay Times, overseeing all of the arts and entertainment coverage. She’s also one of the Deal Diva bloggers, writing for one of the region’s leading style blogs, Times Style, which provides the inside scoop on cool fashion, beauty and lifestyle finds and budget-friendly options for everyday people. In addition to her superb writing skills (she is a published author and wrote the book, Obitchuary), she has mad style game (you’ll see) and loves Beyonce just like every true style queen on the planet. Here’s a glimpse of Stephanie’s story…

What inspires you daily?
Never knowing exactly what my day is going to hold.

How did you pursue your career field?
I’ve always loved writing since I was a little kid, and I was determined to find a way to get paid for it. While going to community college and working at a record shop, I applied for an editorial assistant job at the Times. I’ve been here ever since, almost 15 years.

How do you or your organization help the Tampa Bay community?
We believe journalism is a cornerstone of democracy, and staying informed is the foremost thing anyone can do to participate in the community. In the features department, we keep readers informed about entertainment, art and fun things to do. But equally as important, in my mind, we put culture in context. Our critics and writers bring authority, thoughtfulness and experience to covering the music, movies, theater, fashion, visual art and pop culture that make our lives rich. It’s easy to tell you something exists. It’s more of a challenge to explore how and why something matters, and why you should pay attention.

How do you encourage creative thinking at the Tampa Bay Times?
In features, a team mentality is our jam. We have regular staff meetings to brainstorm ideas. Once a month, we all work within a prompt to come up with creative approaches to our work. What’s something you always wondered about? What’s a holiday story that hasn’t been written a million times? It’s amazing the connections you can make as a group if you just set aside regular time to talk. Also: snacks.

If you won a “Best Of” award, in what category would you win? (real or made-up category)
Best Karaoke Alone in the Car

A well-dressed person always has…
Options.

Describe your signature style in one sentence.
Sequins at noon are probably fine, right?

What piece of clothing do you wear every day or what item in your closet can you not live without?
My MAC matte lipstick in Russian Red. If you’re feeling a little meh, a swipe of red is the cure.

Do you have a favorite designer or which celebrity is your style icon?
I can’t afford it to actually wear this stuff, but if I’m scrolling runways on a lunch break, I stare at things that are a little extra. Zuhair Murad, Balmain. I’m inspired by women who dress like they aren’t afraid or hiding. I’d love to steal the wardrobe of Dr. Mindy Lahiri on The Mindy Project. In my own closet, I tend to have a lot of Betsey Johnson. I saw a BJ purse the other day with an actual telephone as the handle. I texted my friend: “I’ve never needed anything more or less.” One more note: required reading for anyone who wants to learn more about the roots of American fashion is Robin Givhan’s book, The Battle of Versailles.

What’s your favorite fashion trend?
I love high-low combinations. Sneakers with a cocktail dress, white tee with an embellished skirt, statement necklace with jeans. There are no rules.

Speed Round
Less or More? More!
Favorite Color? Peacock blue
Favorite Store? If I’m on a treasure hunt for some new stuff, probably Nordstrom Rack. But, secret: I get most of my work clothes at the excess inventory charity sales from Dress for Success, a nonprofit that I volunteer with.
Best spot to relax in the Tampa Bay region: Best kept secret you might walk right past: Marker 8 tiki bar in Dunedin.
Skinny Jeans or Bell Bottoms? You do you, but I’m a bit short for bell bottoms.
Heels or flats? Heels, flats in purse. Options!
Tie-dye, hot or not? Why not?
Dress, Skirt or Pants? A dress is the easiest way to fool people into think you’re fancy. It’s one and done.
Handbag, big tote, crossbody or tiny clutch? Clutch inside a big tote. Options!

Follow Stephanie on Instagram: @stephrhayes and Twitter: @stephhayes

 

 

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An Interview With Joey Redner ~ #FashionIsAStory

In Uncategorized on September 20, 2017 at 3:20 am

There are some things that are just clear favorites. For instance, quality designer fashion (of course we were going to say this!), the Florida sunshine, walks on the beach, Buccaneers and USF football, and a chill place like Cigar City Brewing where you can hang out with friends and grab a delicious cold drink. We had the chance to catch up with Joey Redner, founder and CEO of Cigar City Brewing and get his take on Tampa Bay style. We knew he’d be a great person to interview, because we can relate to this line on Cigar City Brewing’s about page: “We acknowledge that what we do at Cigar City Brewing isn’t for everyone, but we welcome all.” That’s just like fashion and staying true to your own unique tastes! Enjoy a bit of Joey’s story…

What inspires you daily?
Family is my biggest inspiration. Watching my kids become their own people is especially inspiring to me.

How did you pursue your career field?
I had a passion for beer styles that when I was growing up were very hard to find. Through educating myself about those styles I became passionate about the history and variation in beer.

Joey’s favorite Cigar City Brewing beer: Bourbon Big Sound

How do you or your company help the Tampa Bay community?
We have partnered with hundreds of charities both big and small. Everything from providing free beer for fundraising events to buying and building bikes for an entire elementary school.

How do you encourage creative thinking at Cigar City Brewing?
By example. We had a lot of unique challenges when we started and I was always willing, sometimes even preferentially, to look for the less obvious solution.

If you won a “Best Of” award, in what category would you win? (real or made-up category)
Best: Self-Hair Cut.

A well-dressed person always has…
My eye.

Describe your signature style in one sentence.
Blue collar work shirt practicality.

What piece of clothing do you wear every day or what item in your closet can you not live without?
Do accessories count? Watches. I gotta wear a watch or I feel naked.

Joey’s favorite store. He has great taste!

Do you have a favorite designer or What celebrity is your style icon?
Tom Ford.

What’s your favorite fashion trend?
I tend to eschew the trends in favor of the classics. So my favorite trend is when people rediscover/re-popularize classics.

Speed Round
Less or More? Less
Favorite Color? Royal Blue
Favorite Store? Neiman Marcus
Best spot to relax in Tampa? Davidoff of Geneva
Sneakers or dress shoes? Dress shoes
Tie-dye, hot or not? Not. Never was.
Pants or Shorts? Depends, most of August….shorts
Button up, Polo or T-Shirt? Button Up

Follow Joey and Cigar City Brewing on Twitter: @JoeyRedner @CigarCityBeer  and Instagram: @joeyrednerccb @cigarcitybrewing

An Interview With Melissa Dolce ~ #FashionIsAStory

In Designers, Events, Fashion, Trends, Updates on September 18, 2017 at 2:36 am

Melissa Dolce

Melissa Dolce of Dolce Couture will make her debut on the Tampa Bay Fashion Week runway this fall, and we can’t wait to see what she brings to the stage! With a lifelong involvement in all forms of art and design, Melissa has a passion for creativity and is constantly searching for new and challenging endeavors to feed that passion. Known for her avant-garde sensibility and bold yet classy, confident designs, you’ll love getting to know more about Melissa and her story!

Gorgeous Melissa wearing her first designed dress ~ blue sequins for her prom!

What inspires you daily?
I’m inspired by everyday things of serendipity! I had a huge bird sitting outside my office window one day, that I couldn’t stop watching. So I decided to do a collection with feathers. Looking through my closet of “old stuff,” my 24 year old prom dress (my first design that I did and my grandma sewed for me) inspired me to do blue sequin garments! Thank goodness sequins have come a long way since then!

How did you pursue your career field?
I grew up a very artistic and creative kid. Typically exploring my creativity in ways that got me in big trouble by mom ~ drawing on everything in sight, cutting up my sisters clothes to look better… After several different types of design classes in college I fell in love with advertising and graphic design. I graduated from Indiana and moved all over the country (and out) working at several amazing companies as their Graphic Designer/Art Director.

How do you or your organization help the Tampa Bay community?
I volunteer in many different Tampa Bay organizations. Whether it’s working with children fighting cancer or handing out food to the homeless, it is so humbling and rewarding to help those in need. I also do pro bono graphic design work for charities whenever I can!

How do you encourage creative thinking?
I participate in several different area events showing my avant garde fashions. When people see the unique and creative designs they get inspired to think outside the box. There is no right or wrong when it comes to being creative, you just have to start!

If you won a “Best Of” award, in what category would you win? (real or made-up category)
Best dumb jokes.

A well-dressed person always has?
Confidence!

Describe your signature style in one sentence.
Bright, unique and a little edgy!

What piece of clothing do you wear every day or what item in your closet can you not live without?
Yoga pants! Besides wearing them to the gym daily, I need to be comfortable when I work on my fashion!

Original design creation by Melissa Dolce of Dolce Couture

Do you have a favorite designer or What celebrity is your style icon?
I don’t really have a favorite. I love to see all the unique styles that the celebrities wear to the Met Gala.

What’s your favorite fashion trend?
I don’t like following trends. I’m a fashion brat and do whatever I want 🙂

Speed Round
Less or More? Less
Favorite Color? Royal Blue
Favorite Store? Amazon (I oddly don’t like to go shopping)
Best spot to relax in Tampa? My backyard
Skinny Jeans or Bell Bottoms? Skinny Jeans
Heels or flats? Heels
Tie-dye, hot or not? Not
Dress, Skirt or Pants? Dress
Handbag, big tote, crossbody or tiny clutch? Clutch

Follow Melissa on Instagram: @dolcecouturefashions and Facebook.

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