The delicate and fleeting beauty of nature has been preserved in Earth’s hardest natural substance resulting in the perfect combination of jewelry and flowers.
Jewelry inspired by flowers is not a new idea, but an enduring concept. When a stunning color or intricate design appears naturally that delicacy is what makes it memorable. Solidifying these two elements creates a unique union of fragility and strength that can last throughout the years. Diamonds, the hardest natural substance, exist far beneath the Earth’s surface for millions of years and the fragile life of a flower only blooms for a short time before it is gone. The perfect balance has been achieved in these pieces.
There’s no longer a need to choose between flowers and diamonds when selecting the perfect gift or adding to a collection. Whether it’s a ring, necklace or brooch these examples are the best of both worlds.
Alex Soldier’s Cornoair Brooch
Alex Soldier offers a multifunctional piece that is an unforgettable representation of nature. “Flower motifs celebrate life in its many beautiful manifestations,” says Alex Soldier, the president of the self-titled company. With the same intricacy found in a flower, the Cornoair Brooch with Mandarin garnet and colored diamonds appears as a work of art that can be cherished throughout the years.
Handmade in New York City, the piece is adaptable and can be worn as a brooch, ring, necklace, or a cuff. Soldier explains that in jewelry design there is “passion in detail.” The brooch is made of 18 karat rose gold and over 800 stones, including light and dark champagne diamonds, chocolate and black bead diamonds, rubies and more.
Photo courtesy of Alex Soldier
The Flower Diamond
The Flower Diamond stands out among other gems because of the flower-shaped inclusion that appears as if it has bloomed in the center of the stone. The pear-shaped, modified brilliant-cut diamond encases a perfectly symmetrical, six-petal flower, making it a natural marvel. Similar to a snowflake, the pattern that appears in the heart of the 3.02 carat diamond is one-of-a-kind.
Originally discovered in the jungles of Minas Gerais, Brazil and recut to showcase the flower shape, the main stone was mounted in a gorgeous, platinum necklace with a total of 32 carats of diamonds. John Humbert, the owner of Sterling Promise Inc. says, “You need to see it with your own eyes to understand how incredible it is. It’s hard to believe it occurred naturally.”
Photo courtesy of Sterling Promise Inc.
The White Gold Flower Ring
“There is something very romantic and beautiful about the simplicity of a flower,” according to Lauren Wolf, the owner/president of Lauren Wolf Jewelry. The White Gold Flower Ring has a 3.18 carat cognac diamond that is speckled with intricate inclusions that adds to the organic quality of the ring. Serving as the petals, are champagne marquis diamonds that are shockingly clear, according to Wolf.
“I’m attracted to the floral motifs from the late Victorian period and the early 20th century,” she says. “The idea that this symbol can carry such a special meaning throughout time is powerful.” The ring generates a sense of imperfect natural beauty that is typical in flowers.
Photo courtesy of Lauren Wolf Jewelry
Gold Astra Brooch With White And Black Diamonds
With the true detail found in a flower and the power of a stunning diamond, the Gold Astra Brooch is an unforgettable union of two iconic symbols. “Aster flowers have long been symbols of enchantment and mysterious allure,” according to Soldier. The 127 stones that make up the piece contribute to the authentic feel and overall romantic allure that Alex Soldier manages to capture.
Photo courtesy of Alex Soldier
Golf has always been considered an elitist sport, but when precious metals and exotic leathers are introduced, it’s a whole new game.
With its expensive equipment and country club heritage, golf has always been considered a luxury pursuit, even though aggressive youth programs and some hip touring professionals have begun eroding the sport’s buttoned-down image. Nonetheless, players with unlimited resources or a penchant for fantasy are fueling demand for some over-the-top golf equipment and accessories.
The venerable luxury brand of Tiffany & Co. creates some of golf’s most coveted trophies, including those of the PGA Championship and Arnold Palmer Invitational. It also produces an elegant sterling silver putter ($2,500), which is an ideal gift for any golfing enthusiast who likes to flash some bling on the greens. A more discreet way to glamorously accessorize one’s game is with the company’s sterling silver tee, which at $175 is a relatively inexpensive way to give a loved one a little blue box from Tiffany. Hopefully, it will not be lost on the course!
The Garia “Golf Car”
The most expensive regular-production golf clubs are the platinum-and-24-karat gold-accented Beres 5-Star series from Japanese manufacturer Honma. Veteran golf retailer Bill Stauff er of Las Vegas Golf & Tennis Superstore reports that a 14-club set with bag sells for about $65,000 and is popular with status-conscious Asian tourists who would pay more for these products back home. “There’s no question the quality is there,” states Stauffer, who insists Honma products are not simply for bragging rights. He explains the clubs are all made-to-order by seasoned craftsmen, which results in an eight-week wait for delivery. While the brand has traditionally been more popular with billionaire duff ers than PGA pros, superstar Justin Rose just inked a 10-year endorsement deal with Honma.
Transforming the clunky electric golf cart into a sophisticated driving machine is Garia, a Danish manufacturer whose top-of-the-line vehicle begins at $73,000. The Garia “Golf Car,” inspired by Mercedes-Benz, combines luxury, state-of-the-art technology and the true spirit of the game. For functionality, it features a scoreboard displayed on a touchscreen and handy tray for balls and tees, while comfort is ensured by the inclusion of that essential amenity on the golf course — a built-in refrigerator. And with an attainable speed of 43 miles per hour, albeit not recommended at stuffier country clubs, Garia has not overlooked performance. This aerodynamic Mercedes Benz-styled ride puts an end to the plastic buggy age and allows luxury golf enthusiasts to express themselves on the links.
Anders Lynge, designer and co-founder of Garia, explains the inspiration for the product was to take Mercedes-Benz design values onto the golf course, noting the iconic automotive brand has previously applied its sense of style to yachts and helicopters. All Garia golf cars are more than just your average golf cart,” insists Lynge, citing features like sports car-inspired double-wishbone suspension with disc brakes and an integrated instrument cluster. While it offers the functionality and simplicity of a golf cart, the designer maintains it drives more like an automobile.
“Buyers are wealthy individuals who need the car for golf and street usage inside their communities or on their properties,” says Lynge, who reports the car is street legal in both the EU and U.S. “Some are Mercedes collectors, some avid golfers who want the very best, others are athletes or entrepreneurs who have made it and now live in a golf community and want the best possible vehicle for driving and golfing,” says Lynge of his globally diverse clientele.
Par West Custom Golf Shoes is another brand that has gained traction among discriminating golfers. Paul Raddatz founded the business after making his first pair of shoes for PGA pro Payne Stewart — the game’s most flamboyant dresser in the ’80s and ’90s — from NFL football leather.
Currently, three of the top 10 ranked players on the Tour are wearing Par West shoes. The Wisconsin-based company custom-makes all shoes from a foot mold kit, taking into consideration clients’ sock preferences and habits on the course.
Honma Beres S-06 Driver
Sterling in Tangerine Ostrich
Reporting he has sold shoes with more than 5,000 distinct color and style combinations, Raddatz says many of his customers are simply unable to find shoes that fit in any pro shop. “Others are people who really want to look their best and care about quality,” he explains. Traditional styles are offered for conservative dressers, but for those more daring in their golf fashion, perhaps influenced by the PGA’s Rickie Fowler, Par West has plenty of eye-popping options to choose from.
Raddatz, a leather industry veteran, utilizes sharkskin, ostrich, American bison, crocodile, African elephant, and stingray for golf shoes, among other exotic leathers. He reports bold color choices like fuchsia, canary yellow or tangerine are surprisingly popular, and a pair of royal purple American alligator shoes is priced at $5,200. An avid golfer himself, Raddatz states, “I don’t care how much you spend on clubs or lessons. Stability on the ground is the basis for a good swing.” A large part of Par West’s business is corporate gifts, ideal for the Fortune 500 executive who fancies himself as the best dressed golfer at his club.
Some fashionable duffers may opt for a vintage Louis Vuitton golf bag, but among the most expensive currently available are ostrich, crocodile or carbon fiber bags from Barchi, handcrafted by Italian artisans. Customers should be prepared to spend more than $40,000 for these luxury bags, available in vibrant colors and accented with palladium hardware.
Considerably more modest but with plenty of cachet is Louis Vuitton’s golf kit clad in the design house’s signature Monogram canvas. The $850 item, which can be clipped to one’s golf bag or Garia cart, neatly holds three balls and four tees. Players with fancy accessories should probably consider membership at a country club that is equally selective, and the most expensive in America is Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey, where the initiation fee is reportedly $500,000.
Riviera in Cognac Calf & Chocolate American Alligator
Nisolo, a sustainable fashion brand, shares its impact report online and offers everything from jewelry and accessories, to heels, boots, bags and more.
This company focuses on more than low prices. The handcrafted process involves intentional designs, an ethical work environment, and comfortable fashion that can be worn every day.
We sat down with Devon Murrie, brand partnerships manager at Nisolo, to learn more about this industry.
What is the inspiration behind your company?
Nisolo has the vision to push the fashion industry in a more sustainable direction — where success is based on more than just offering the cheapest price — a direction that not only values exceptional design but the producer and the planet just as much as the end consumer.
What are some of the biggest challenges when creating sustainable shoes?
One of the biggest challenges of sustainable production is gaining complete visibility into every level of a supply chain. We took a much deeper look into our supply chain in 2018 after learning from Patagonia about their material traceability practices. We still do not have 100% visibility into every level of our supply chain (we regularly visit all of our factories and tanneries, but no farms to date), however, after speaking with representatives of our tanneries in León, Mexico, we know that a lot of our leather comes from farms in the USA and northern Mexico, and is a byproduct of the meat industry. Diving into this further is a priority of ours for 2019.
What does sustainable mean to you?
We at Nisolo feel a responsibility to the ethical treatment of our producers. We work to ensure living wages, safe and healthy working conditions, and additional benefits such as healthcare, time off, and bonuses for our producers. We also feel a responsibility to understand our supply chain and mitigate our environmental impact. All leather used in our supply chain is a byproduct of the meat industry, and we’re utilizing the more eco-friendly vegetable tanning method across many products.
Please explain why your company stands out among others?
Two things really set Nisolo apart: our attention to good, functional design and our vertical integration. We actually own and operate our factory in Peru, which allows us both visibility and flexibility into our design and impact practices.
Despite our confidence in those areas, we know greenwashing has reached new heights in our industry and we felt it essential to obtain third-party certification from a highly respected organization. So in 2017 Nisolo also received B Corporation certification — recognizing us as a company that uses the power of business to help solve the social and environmental challenges our world faces today.
Secondhand has gone upscale.
The names tell the story. The Vault Luxury Resale. The RealReal. Poshmark. Once the domain of nonprofits and local mom-and-pop stores, consignment and resale has become a big business, with new ventures adding a high-end twist to a timeworn model.
Resale, in which retailers purchase items directly from consumers and sell them outright, frequently replaces the traditional consignment model. No matter the method — consignment or resale — items are often not new. Still almost everyone in the business would be hard pressed even to utter the word “used,” instead opting for pre-owned, pre-loved, gently worn and secondhand.
“The attitude about resale has changed significantly over the last five years. The new consumer mindset sees the value in purchasing high-quality, well-made items that can last a lifetime, and our model creates access to these items,” says Rati Levesque, chief merchant for The RealReal, which sells luxury goods online (and in two recently opened brick and mortar stores) on consignment. ThredUp, one of the first online companies to focus on second-hand apparel for women and children, estimates 70 percent of their shoppers, which they often call “thrifters,” have never purchased secondhand before.
Used items from premium labels such as Gucci, Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Chanel have always been in demand, often only obtained through a very small group of discrete local shops. In 1991, Sue McCarthy opened a consignment shop in St. Louis, eventually realizing that purchasing items outright was better suited to her upscale clientele. Today, she heads a multimillion-dollar enterprise, trading the original 400-square-foot storefront for a 7,000-square-foot boutique. Her roster of clients extends worldwide with approximately 15,000 individuals who send items to her. Additionally, along with her daughter who is the company curator and verifies authenticity, she frequently travels to view and purchase items from some of the largest closets in New York, Paris, London and other cities, something she calls “shopping the closet.” Clients include some of the world’s wealthiest women and celebrities, and more than a few stylists have her on speed dial. Also, customers travel to St. Louis to shop in her store. For some, like one group of female lawyers, it’s become an annual event.
The RealReal began at Julie Wainwright’s kitchen table and is now a major player in online luxury consignment. Following other online merchants, they recently opened stores in Los Angeles and New York and plan to add more brick and mortar locations in 2019.
Photos courtesy of The RealReal.
When it comes to selling secondhand items online, eBay was a game changer and 1st Dibbs broke new ground for luxury sales online. In the industry, ThredUp, which started with a pilot for peer-to-peer online sharing of men’s shirts, established the resale niche online. Now the company claims to be the world’s largest online marketplace to buy and sell women’s and kids’ secondhand clothes.
James Reinhart, co-founder and CEO of ThredUp says, “There is a powerful transformation of the modern closet happening and I’m proud that resale is a key driver of this transformation.” ThredUp estimates current resale market for apparel at $20 billion and projects the market to grow to $41 billion by 2022. Investors have taken notice. ThredUp, The RealReal, Poshmark and others have captured venture capital. Waiting in the wings as further resale disruptors, according to ThredUp, are depop, Rebagg, Tradesy and Grailed. Additionally, startups such as The Luxury Closet are tapping into a nascent resale market in Dubai.
ThredUp estimates approximately 13 percent of their most active thrifters are millionaires. Several years ago, McCarthy tried an online store but decided a focus on social media would make the best use of their online staff. They have a massive following on Instagram and Facebook, running special sales and events weekly. “We cast a wide net over every product,” McCarthy says. “Once we put an item up it sells almost instantly.”
The industry claims resale benefits the environment and most major players support a charity. But McCarthy believes her process allows wealthy clients to amp up their support of nonprofits. “We’re able to monetize it better for charities,” McCarthy says. Instead of receiving a check or cash for their items, many of their wealthy clients opt to donate the money to charity. “If they give the $2,000 purse to charity, the charity is going to sell it for $200. If they give it to us, we’re going to pay them a thousand dollars. We make the check out to their favorite charity,” she explains. But many opt to take the resale funds and use them to purchase the latest and greatest, underscoring the secret to resale. “The lady who wants the latest Chanel or Gucci bag is going to be the same lady that wants the next latest one. And that gives her a good incentive to sell the previous bags,” McCarthy explains.
Sue McCarthy pioneered the luxury resale model with The Vault Luxury. Stylists and fashionistas have her on speed dial. And she is called on to shop the most indulgent closets in New York, London and Paris.
Photos courtesy of The Vault Luxury Resale.
Alexandra Jimenez at Women’s Travel Fest 2019. Photo by Melissa Holtz.
For avid globetrotters, one of the biggest hurdles is trying to fit all the essentials into suitcases and bags that are manageable to carry from place to place. After leaving the corporate landscape and catching the travel bug, Alexandra Jimenez, founder of the Travel Fashion Girl blog and Compass Rose Travel Accessories, found herself trekking to India in 2008 and has been traveling and blogging ever since. Living out of a single carry-on suitcase, Jimenez’s nomadic style of travel combines with her fashion/business background and has helped her shape her best tips and tricks to travel with just a carry-on — whether the trip lasts a week or a year. Below are several key points to remember when packing light.
Keep in mind possible specific details about the destination and time
These factors can range from an assortment of situations and questions. What will the weather be during the time you are traveling? Keep an eye on the forecast. Are there any local customs or traditions that are present in that part of the region? Perhaps the destination has a more conservative culture, so more lengthy and less transparent pieces are necessary. Will you have somewhere you can do laundry? Plan for that by bringing at least 1 week of clothing.
Consider your fabrics
The most important factor, Jimenez stresses, is choosing the right fabrics. Not only do the clothes you pack affect your outfit choices, they also affect what other essentials you’ll need based on their weight. She says to weigh each garment in your hands to determine if it will add unnecessary weight to your luggage. Not only that, but for organizational reasons it is good to fold and roll the garments beforehand to determine if they will be too bulging to pack effectively.
One fabric Jimenez raves about is merino wool, available in an assortment of styles and individual pieces. Not only is the fabric lightweight, it also wicks away moisture and helps you stay warm during cold weather.
Create your perfect capsule wardrobe
A great way to first get a grasp on exactly what to pack is to pick pieces that make a complete capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is a sampling of outfits composed of between eight and 15 pieces, everything from tops and bottoms to dresses and pantsuits. These pieces should be interchangeable with each other, another key factor, in order to maximize your outfit options.
To help, Jimenez notes to choose a color story to stick to when planning outfits, pieces that are in similar or complementary shades.
Finalizing this capsule wardrobe also requires you to “choose pieces that you love and feel good about yourself,” Jimenez says. A fun way she recommends planning outfits is to take time beforehand to try on outfits and take pictures in front of a mirror. Not only does this help you plan outfits you love and decide what pieces will work together, but can also help you on trips on days when you don’t want to think about what to wear.
To further complete the perfect capsule wardrobe, key factors to keep in mind are your planned activities. This affects choices like which shoes to bring, what accessories to wear, etc. For shoes, she stresses to pick 3 types: comfort for activities like walking or sightseeing, function in case of more active adventuring, and a wild card for more formal or weather-permitting instances.
Image courtesy of G-RO.
Once everything is assembled, the best way to fit everything into a carry-on, Jimenez recommends, is using packing cubes. Not only do these essential make it easy to fit as much into one suitcase, they also help with organization. Jimenez’s travel accessory company features packing cubes to help travelers achieve carry-on status.
In 2012, SoffiaB was created by British designer Sophie Burkart after she realized that her search for a stylish and comfortable robe was limited. Burkart’s luxury robes and dressing gowns are crafted in New York’s iconic garment district with a special attention to detail and a sophisticated style.
Burkart also realized that it was difficult to find a robe that works in more than one season. However, five collections offered at SoffiaB have soft cotton linings to accommodate more versatile climates. For example, the Delphine, Delphine Shortie and Hermione collections are silk charmeuse lined with feather-light, sea island cotton.
- The Hermione Shortie Collection was designed for warmer weather and falls on or around the knee when worn.
- The Persephone Collection was designed for Autumn/Winter and is slightly longer, making it fashionable and chic.
- The Delphine Collection is the Spring-inspired collection of full-length silk robes that are accented with printed silk.
- The Delphine Shortie Collection is a collection of shorter, knee-length robes.
- The Daphne Collection is the original Winter-inspired collection of full-length silk robes. They are lined with brushed ultra-soft cotton with rich velvet accents.
Julianna Rae is another luxury brand that keeps real women in mind. The brand ensures original designs that are crafted with top-quality materials and a particular attention for detail.
A Julianna Rae spokesperson describes the Ariadne Silk Robe as “a sumptuous full-length robe made from mulberry silk. It has a gorgeous pleated collar and pleated cuffs.”
The Moonlight Serenade Silk Short Robe is a shorter robe made from our gorgeous silk and rich European Leavers lace on the sleeves. The lace is what really sets this robe apart — it’s wonderfully detailed and enhanced even further by the pattern our designers have cut from the lace to make the cuffs on the sleeves, according to a Julianna Rae spokesperson.
Luxury robes are the perfect holiday gift or addition to your wardrobe. These two brands offer a mix of styles and fabrics that may make your holiday shopping that much easier.
By Brielle Bryan
Moved by the desire to tackle the notion that comfort does not require a sacrifice in style, Jaclyn Jones has produced a selection of shoes that appeal to women of all different foot sizes. Her newest collection is inspired by the sights and smells of flowers, and consists of “summer-friendly, playful, bold colors that are immediately mood-boosting.”
“I imagine our customers having the freedom of versatility while wearing pieces in our collection,” Jones said. “They’re ready for everything from outdoor weddings to happy hour to vacationing in the Hamptons.”
Jones sources the highest quality materials, including a custom 4mm thick foam insole, luxurious lamb lining and signature features.
“Our manufacturing takes place completely in Los Angeles, and we are proud to support U.S. workers and our local economy,” Jones said.
Jones saw the opportunity to create Jaclyn Jones USA, the first luxury women’s footwear brand handcrafted entirely in the U.S., after working in men’s shoes for years. Jones worked for Pinnacle Brand Group, a premium design house that designs, sources, markets and distributes fashion footwear and accessories, before she came to a pivotal revelation.
“After some market research, I found that the industry was vastly dominated by male designers/owners, and it clicked — all of these shoes were so uncomfortable because they were designed by someone who never had to wear them,” Jones said.
Following her realization that women needed someone who understood the perils and anguish of uncomfortable shoes to design their footwear, Jones began crafting her namesake brand in San Diego in October.
After successfully taking her experiences and producing shoes that provide both comfort and style, Jones’ empowering brand for women is now available for purchase on her website in half sizes from 6 to 11.
Posey in White Multi Foral
An excellent choice for workweek styling and your wedding season wardrobe, this pointed-toe shoe will be a real showstopper for any nice occasion. The Posey style features a hand-carved 4-inch solid wood heel and custom 4mm foam insoles, which offer comfort similar to wearing 2-inch heels! This style is crafted with ultra-soft lamb leather lining and white multi floral printed leather, which is exclusive to JJUSA. $1,375.
Clover in Sage
An adorable low-heel sandal crafted in versatile sage-colored suede, the Clover style features eye-catching gold studded accents. Built for walk-all-day comfort, this style features a hand-carved 2-inch solid wood heel and signature 4mm custom foam insoles. $1,095.
Water Lily in Gold
“Our easy-to-wear Water Lily sandals are the perfect vacation companions, featuring a pebbled gold leather upper, nude leather foot bed and fashionable strap with gold-studded accents,” Jones said. “The half-inch heel is built from stacked leather and the outsole features a rubber inset for added traction.” $850.
Calla Lily in White & Gold Dot
One of JJUSA’s most-loved styles of the season, Calla Lily is designed with a comfortable 1-inch stacked leather heel and an easy slip-on style. In addition to comfort, this chic pointed-toe shoe is made of premium lamb leather with a gold-dotted pattern, making this pair perfect for the seamless transition from the office to happy hour. $1,050.
Chrysanthemum in Tie-dye
This open-toe slide sandal is the epitome of summer design with its JJUSA-exclusive playful tie-dye print and logoed stud embellishments down the front of the shoe. The Chrysanthemum is crafted with premium lamb leather and a 2-inch hand-carved wood heel that features JJUSA’s signature heel plate and 4mm custom foam insoles for added comfort. $1,250.
Photos courtesy of Jaclyn Jones USA
Olivela, a luxury merchandise platform, allows consumers to indulge their excesses while making the world a better place.
Typically, shopping at fancy designer boutiques and contributing to the welfare of the world’s most vulnerable or neglected people are at opposite ends of the spectrum of human behavior. But the website Olivela allows customers to shop for luxury fashion and beauty products, knowing that a portion of all proceeds goes to designated charities.
“Our reason for being is the good we’re able to do,” says founder and CEO Stacey Boyd, who previously founded Schoola, a second-hand clothing site that raises money for schools. “The way we were able to scale Schoola, from an initial five schools to more than 35,000 today,” was a model for Olivela, she reports. Her inspiration for the concept, however, was a visit to a refugee camp in Kenya where she met young Malala Yousafzai, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy of education for girls and young women in developing nations. “I reached into my handbag for my cellphone to take a photo and realized that the cost of that bag could send a girl to school,” recounts Boyd.
After launching last year with 12 brands, Olivela now offers more than 200 luxury brands — iconic labels like Givenchy, Jimmy Choo, Prada, Valentino, and Burberry — and a portion of every purchase goes to one of the company’s affiliated charities. Olivela’s giving is focused on the Malala Fund, CARE and Too Young to Wed, all committed to ensuring that girls at risk of child marriage stay in school.
Boyd is pleased to see more companies asking themselves how they can contribute to urgent social causes without compromising their commercial success, and cites the example of Toms shoes, which donates a portion of profits to improve lives around the globe. “There’s an opportunity through commerce to do an amazing amount of good in the world,” says the entrepreneur, who genuinely believes in the power of giving. Olivela may, in fact, prove to be a model for a diverse range of ventures, whether Internet-based or brick-and-mortar.
Every piece of merchandise on Olivela is listed with the actual impact its purchase can affect, such as the 28 days of school funded by a $995 Ferragamo wallet. The shopper can learn which organization each purchase is funding, the nation the donations will be sent to and even the specific girl being assisted. “You’ll know, for instance, that you’re helping a 15-year-old Syrian refugee named Joury and will receive notice of her first day of school and see her report card,” explains Boyd. By allowing customers to monitor the progress of the individuals whose lives are changed by their purchases, a culture of accountability and connectivity is created.
“Educating one girl can help transform an entire village,” suggests Boyd, who insists education not only keeps young girls out of unwanted wedlock but helps them and their families overcome poverty. “When a customer is wearing a beautiful necklace she purchased from Olivela, she’ll be reminded of the impact it’s having on the life of a young girl, her family and community,” says Boyd.
Originally launched in 2010 as a designer and product lab, Ecuadorian design brand Sensi Studio is known for crossing into bolder territories when it comes to fashion. The brand’s use of color and intricate, artisanal products from its summer and fall collections are making statements within the industry, all by the innovative thinking of owner and designer Stephany Sensi.
Sensi, who studied Fashion Design at Istituto Marangoni in Milan, takes much inspiration from her surroundings. Many designed pieces showcase a deep appreciation for Ecuadorian artistry and the natural landscapes of Massai Mara in Africa, blending the tribal aesthetic with the brand’s South American vibe. The studio’s upcoming collection highlights both warm and cool tones for the summer and fall, offering a more natural, down-to-earth approach. “We always take inspiration from nature and the colors that surround us here in the Andes region where we produce,” says Sensi. These sparks of creativity from the Andes are demonstrated through the mixture of strong color palettes and softer, feminine tones.
The studio also consistently works with local artisans to learn more about the surrounding natural landscape and new techniques to develop more unique designs in all of its handmade products. “My goal is to stay true to our identity and DNA while being current, fresh, and innovative,” Sensi affirms. These efforts have not only helped women in Andean communities claim job independence, but have have instilled a sense of social responsibility that has spread to 15 countries. Sensi Studio offers artisanal concepts through a current approach to entice fashion-savy clientele.
Whether it’s an old-fashioned sofa, refurbished dresser or antique painting, vintage decor has never been more popular inside the home.
Century-old furniture, artwork and accessories often merge style with luxury, with antique prices ranging anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
Designers and homeowners alike are beginning to use online marketplaces, such as Ruby Lane, to search for one-of-a-kind, antique pieces — buying anything from delicate vases to large, kitchen tables.
For homeowners seeking a vintage vibe, an old-fashioned accent — such as a lamp, table or rug — can help to bring your home back in time. Here are five vintage pieces perfect for the creative homeowner.
Featuring original polished brass fittings, this pair of exquisite Murano glass lamps is made up of latticino ribbons of green with Zanfirico white stripes. Created between 1940 and 1950, the ornate tiered base also features delicate embossed floral detail and serpentine loops.
Available for $2,800.
Chinese Oval Rug
Tracing back to the 17th century, the dragon heads displayed in the main border of this rug are representative of ancient Chinese design. Complete with shou symbols and bats, the rug was meant to bring good luck to all. Available for $2,750.