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Posts Tagged ‘FashionIsAStory’

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.

An Interview With Claire Lessinger ~ #FashionIsAStory

In Events, Fashion, Trends, Updates on September 15, 2017 at 4:19 am

Claire Lessinger is the Director of Special Events at the Tampa Bay Sports Commission. The Tampa Bay Sports Commission is a non-profit, 501c3 organization that serves the Tampa Bay area by bidding on and hosting premiere sports and entertainment events. Thanks to the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, Tampa has had the pleasure of hosting major sporting events that range from the college volleyball championship to the Superbowl!

As the Director of Special Events, Claire serves as the lead liaison not only to the teams and staff she works to bring to the Bay area, but also to the Tampa Bay community. Everyday, Claire is dreaming up ways to positively impact our community and put our beloved city on the map. Read on to find out what inspires Claire, how she got started at the Tampa Bay Sports Commission and what her favorite fashion trend is!

What inspires you daily?
Passion. I’ve never had a job I wasn’t passionate about. I follow my heart, I’ve made a lot of instinctual decisions and I’m so fortunate to be doing something with so many rewards. I get up every day and serve not only the community, but the people who attend our events, the fans and the Tampa Bay Visitors. I firmly believe we live in the best city and love bragging about our growing area.

How did you pursue your career field?
I spent the majority of my career coaching college Volleyball. I played volleyball at the University of Florida and the day I graduated I got into coaching at the college level. I spent 13 of those years at the University of South Florida and served as head coach for 8 years. Even though most of my career was spent coaching, I worked very closely with Rob Higgins, the current Executive Director at The Tampa Bay Sports Commission Head Director. At the time, he was on staff in the marketing and event space and we worked closely together. When Tampa won the bid to host the college volleyball championship, I was able to serve on the host committee. That position opened my eyes not only to what the Sports Commission does but what our city does and what we’re capable of doing at a really high level for these major event. I just thought it was spectacular. That opened up many relationships and thanks to being at the right place of the right time, I was able to use some of the things I learned as a coach and translate those skills to my current position. The learning curve was steep, but it’s been a really fun transition.

How do you or Tampa Bay Sports Commission help the Tampa Bay Community?
We have a great community and it’s not hard to brag and help out the community. Everyone is all in to help Tampa Bay shine. It’s been so remarkable to see the sense of community in the area. The Tampa Bay Sports Commission’s mission is to bring sports and entertainment events to the town with the intent to drive positive economic impact. We’re driving visitors to our community, we’re marketing this destination, we’re helping put it on the map, we’re helping it gain national exposure and by doing that it gives our local community the opportunity to touch, feel and be a part of these amazing events.

How do you encourage creative thinking at Tampa Bay Sports Commission?
This may sound a little cliche but it starts with leadership. We have an incredible leader in our Executive Director Rob Higgins. He is one the most forward thinking, trailblazing figure heads in our community. He’s been very strategic in how he hires and creates a small staff that carries a powerful punch. We each bring our own unique, creative idea to the table. When we’re working with community bids, we’re always thinking about how to not just win the bid once, we want to plant seeds and build up a campaign that allows us to continuously sell and market our city.

At every turn, we are trying to raise the bar, think outside the box and play to our strengths. Our reputation is based on elevating the experience for student-athletes, fans and visitors alike. Here is a great example: we won the bid to host the 2012 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four, which everyone thought was unheard of at the time, a NCAA Hockey Championship in Tampa Bay… the nearest Division I hockey team at the time was located in Alabama. Against all odds, 2012 was not only a huge success but we were then the first city to get the Championship back as quick as we did in 2016. Team Tampa Bay is committed to raising the bar, elevating the Championship experience and highlighting our destination and our resume is a true testament to Tampa Bay’s ability to host large scale events at a very high level.

 

A well-dressed person always has…
Confidence

Describe your signature style in one sentence.
My style is traditionally eclectic.

What piece of clothing do you wear every day or what item in your closet can you not live without?
I do not have any items I cannot live without. At work I will wear a lot of pant outfits and outside of work I like to wear workout clothes.

Do you have a favorite designer? Which celebrity is your style icon?
There is no one that I mimic my style off of besides myself. My style is a little sporty. When I’m flipping through a magazine, I’m drawn more to Jennifer Aniston over Kim Kardashian any day.

What’s your favorite fashion trend?
My favorite fashion trend right now are jumpsuits. They are very cute and versatile. You can dress them up and dress them down.

Speed Round
Less or More? Less
Favorite Color? Blue
Favorite Store? Anthropolige
Best spot to relax in Tampa? Buddy Brew Coffee
Heels or Flats? Flats
Tie-dye ~ hot or not? Not
Pants, shorts, or dresses? Pants

Follow Claire on Twitter: @clessinger_tbsc and Instagram: @clessinger

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An Interview With Wendy Ohlendorf ~ #FashionIsAStory

In Designers, Events, Fashion, Trends, Updates on September 14, 2017 at 2:06 am

Bicoastal Wendy Ohlendorf of Ohlendorf, atelier has made her mark in the world of fashion ~ from the Pacific Northwest to the Gulf of Tampa Bay. Wendy Ohlendorf is a lifelong artist, who combines her educational background in fine art and design with her love of vintage technique and textile to create modern, romantic, visually impactful works of wearable art. You’ll see her on the runway this year, and you’ll have a chance to learn  more about her fashion story in this video with familiar Tampa Bay scenery!

Follow Wendy on Instagram: @Ohlendorf_atelier and Facebook.

An Interview With Leslie Joy Ickowitz ~ #FashionIsAStory

In Events, Fashion, Trends, Updates on September 6, 2017 at 9:21 am

Original and passionate. Two very appropriate words to describe Leslie Joy Ickowitz. Leslie has had the pleasure of serving in many creative roles in Tampa. She is the publisher and editor-in-chief at VERTICAL Tampa Bay, was the style editor at Creative Loafing, could be seen on local television every month and has made a name for herself as a celebrated art and destination photographer. (She has also been a long-time supporter of Tampa Bay Fashion Week!)

She has a fashion philosophy — “It doesn’t matter what size waist or the the size of your wallet. If you express your individuality and carry yourself with confidence you will rock whatever you’re wearing.” Leslie lives her fashion philosophy every day and is a great example of someone successfully pursuing her passions and turning it into a career. Read the interview below to learn how Leslie helps the local community, what her favorite accessory is and why people call her the Carrie Bradshaw of Tampa Bay.

What inspires you daily?
An opportunity to live creatively. It feeds my soul.

How did you pursue your career field?
Vertical Tampa Bay was launched in 2009 during one of the worst economic spirals in our country. At the time, people were really frightened because they did not where their next dollar was coming from or if it was even coming. Everything was going in the wrong direction and I asked myself how can I play an uplifting role in the community. It took a very honest conversation with myself to realize I would have a fashion and lifestyle magazine. That night, I created Vertical Tampa Bay Magazine. I named it, I created eight departments and named them. The next day I called one of my dear friends and colleagues to help realize my vision. That’s literally how I got started.

How do you or your company help the Tampa Bay community?
Vertical Tampa Bay was designed to showcase the local treasures in a very bold, very colorful, very polished way. It also gave people an opportunity to contribute and be featured. It was very important to me, for an integrity standpoint, that everything in Vertical Tampa Bay be completely local. I really wanted to have a prominent commitment to our community. So every model, every photographer, every hair and makeup artist and stylists was local. People could not believe we had this kind of talent and Vertical Tampa Bay was the vehicle to show people that we do. That’s how we helped the community, by shining a spotlight on local talent that should not be overlooked. Besides highlighting local treasures, we also gave back to the community. Our first fashion show was in downtown St. Petersburg. We worked with a local fashion designer and at the end of the show, we did a live auction of the garments with the proceeds benefiting homeless teens in the area.

How do you encourage creative thinking at Vertical or in other parts of your life?
Vertical has been on hiatus for almost three years now. I lost my father and it wrecked me and I put it down. It’s exactly where I left it and is accessible at verticaltampabay.com but I have not created any new content for Vertical in sometime. But that led me in to Leslie Joy Original. In addition to being the publisher and editor-in-chief of Vertical Tampa Bay, I was also the style editor of Creative Loafing and I was producing local television content every month for four years during that time period. What happened along the way, that was a very unexpected yet completely lovely thing to have happened is I developed an interest in photography and I have emerged as a celebrated art and destination photographer. I have some museum exhibitions, gallery shows and I have my biggest show ever coming up this month and it’s what I’m now focusing on.

A well-dressed person always has…
Individuality

Describe your signature style in one sentence.
I am the girl who you’ll find in a black t-shirt and jeans with great sneakers. When I get dressed up, I like to go vintage. I guess you can say that I channel my inner Jimi Hendrix — a 70s rocker, edgy situation.

What piece of clothing do you wear every day or what item in your closet can you not live without?
There are three things that I never leave the house without. My rings. My wedding band is worn on my left, ring finger, my engagement ring is worn on my right, ring finger and I must always have a ring on my right, middle finger. The ring could sometimes be a simple one or it can also be a outrageous cocktail ring. I always have to wear rings. Also, in my left ear is an earring that belonged to my father. I never take it out. It’s very important to me.

Do you have a favorite designer or what celebrity is your style icon?
I have often been called the Carrie Bradshaw of Tampa Bay. In part because I look like Sarah Jessica Parker but also because I do my own thing when it comes to Fashion as I believe she did in her role as Carrie Bradshaw. When it comes to designers, I do not fill my closet with brands but I do appreciate the beauty and the artistry of fashion. So Valentino, Dior, Betsey Johnson are brands I like for the artistry of work they create.

What’s your favorite fashion trend?
I do not have a favorite fashion trend. But I would say the most important fashion accessory is a smile.

Speed Round
Less or More? Less
Favorite Color? Sunshine Yellow
Favorite Store? La France
Best spot to relax in Tampa? My home is my sanctuary.
Sneakers or dress shoes? Sneakers
Tie-dye ~ hot or not? I don’t know about hot but I do appreciate the colorful nature of it.
Pants, shirts or dresses? Jeans

Leslie biggest solo photography show is coming to Downtown St. Pete this week. “LoveLife” is an exhibition of photography that takes the viewer on a global tour, stopping at destinations like Cuba, California, Ball, home and so much more. The opening reception will be held on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017 at The Studio@620 from 6 to 9 PM. It’s free and open to the public. Join us there!

Follow Leslie on Instagram: @lesliejoyoriginal and Facebook.

~Michaela

(Photo credit: DAPhotospot)

An Interview With Elizabeth Carson Racker ~ #FashionIsAStory

In Designers, Events, Fashion, Trends, Updates on September 6, 2017 at 4:21 am

Elizabeth Carson Racker

You’ll recognize Elizabeth Carson Racker from the Tampa Bay Fashion Week runways. A crowd favorite over the years, Elizabeth’s keen sense of style and dynamic personality sparkles on stage. In this interview, you’ll get to learn her story…

What inspires you daily?
My daily inspiration is pushing my business.

Original creation by Elizabeth Carson Racker Design

How did you pursue your career field?
At the age of 12 I attended my first Ebony fashion fair runway show. Having a chance to see all these amazing black women and men walk the runway wearing the most lavish garments changed my life. Leaving the show I wanted to be a model, designer, fashion producer; I wanted to do it all; so I did. Throughout middle school and high school I coordinated, produced, and modeled for many fashion shows. To my friends, I was their personal stylist and my closet was their closet. I was always pushing the boundaries of fashion “good and bad.” The pursuit of my career field started with Savannah College of Art and Design. SCAD allowed me to spread my wings and truly find where in the Fashion Industry I belonged. After graduating, I traveled with Ebony Fashion Fair as their featured Designer and Wardrobe Assistant.

How do you or your organization help the Tampa Community?
I believe in giving to my community, each year I donate my time and garments to non-profit and for-profit events within the Tampa Bay area.

If you won a “Best Of” award, in what category would you win?
Best Designer Show (Garments, Music, leave you wanting more)

A well-dressed person will always…
…wear the proper under garments, as the foundation is most important.

Elizabeth Carson Racker Design at New York Fashion Week

Describe your signature style in one sentence.
My signature style is bold, unique and simplistic.

What piece of clothing do you wear every day or what item in your closet can you not live without?
I have a ring that I wear every day and no it’s not a wedding ring… lol! My ring is silver moon shaped which has ivory, yellow and red amber stones. It’s a master piece and everything to me.

Do you have a favorite designer and/or what celebrity is your style icon?
My favorite designer is Donna Karen. Most recently Queen Latifah is my celebrity icon.

What’s your favorite fashion trend?
My favorite fashion trend is when something old/dated is made relevant and current to a younger generation. Like right now the blouse/leotards are everywhere now.

Speed Round
Less or More? More
Favorite Color? Purple
Favorite Store? Nordstrom
Best spot to relax in Tampa? Beach with my Dog “Miss Demi”
Skinny Jeans or Bell Bottoms? Skinny Jeans
Heels or Flats? Heels
Tie-Dye ~ hot or not? It can be hot
Dress, Skirt or Pants? Dress
Hand Bag, Big tote, Cross Body or Tiny Clutch? Big Clutch

Following Elizabeth on Instagram: @ecrdesigns and Facebook

 

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