Wednesday, January 25, 2006

C&C T Shirts

Christine Shea writes in Time Magazine"...It's hard to say how a fashion phenomenon starts, when an item crosses the line from cute new idea to "it" item. But in the case of C&C California—the brainchild of thirtysomething principals Claire Stansfield and Cheyann Benedict—a few lucky breaks have catapulted the company's line of electric-colored slouchy T shirts into the must-have category. One of them was an endorsement in the fashion press from waifish style icon Sofia Coppola. Another was the starring role in a Visa small-business commercial. But the real coup was a prime slot on one of Oprah's famous "favorite things" episodes.

With fans ranging from Coppola to Oprah, Pamela Anderson to Gwyneth Paltrow, C&C T shirts obviously have an appeal that spans variations in taste, age and body type as few other items can. "I'm super tall, so I wanted to make them long. Cheyann's a size 0 and wanted a baggier '70s look, so we just made T shirts that would work for both of us," says Stansfield.

"Once people wear our T shirts, they get that emotion and that feeling and comfort," she adds. "Cheyann and I strongly believe that it's not a trend. It's a staple piece of society's wardrobe that was missing. You've got Converse, Dockers, Levi's. There wasn't really a classic T shirt..."

Photo by Steve Grayson of WIREIMAGE.COM

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Kate Spade

Rebecca Winters of Time Magazine writes"... The handbag designer who persuaded women in the '90s to trade what she calls "the nothing black bag" for a purse with personality is launching a home collection this spring. If Spade does for sheets what she did for the once sleepy luxury-handbag category, now a $2.5 billion business in the U.S., nesters will have more to covet than thread count. With her husband Andy, Spade runs a $70 million company selling purses, shoes, perfume, eyeglasses and stationery, all designed with a nostalgic wink. "I don't think you need to neglect the style of something that's functional," says Spade, whose neat updo and clipped Midwestern accent reflect the fresh-scrubbed femininity of her products.

Spade's notion that something as everyday as a handbag should tell a story—easy summer afternoon, for instance—springs from her mother's Kansas City, Mo., closet. "She had clutches, oranges, pinks, chocolates, huge pearl buttons," she says. While an editor at Mademoiselle in the early 1990s, Spade found little on the market that lived up to her mother's collection. So in 1993 Spade began sketching boxy totes in her Manhattan loft and buying burlap for her bags from a potato-sack manufacturer found in the Yellow Pages. "One [fabric supplier] said to me, 'Honey, you look like a nice girl,'" Spade recalls. "'You don't want to get into the business. Settle down.'" Instead, Spade rocketed into the fashion élite, as Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman began selling her nylon totes. She soon opened her own boutiques in the U.S. and Japan. In 1997 she launched a men's line designed by Andy. Two years later, the Spades sold 56% of their business to Neiman Marcus for $33.6 million, and partnered with Estée Lauder.

This year the Spade aesthetic will quite literally take flight, as employees of the new budget airline Song start wearing Spade-designed uniforms. Also, Spade's company will release three lifestyle books with Simon & Schuster called Manners, Occasions and Style. Spade is often asked when she'll do a clothing line. "I never say never, but I really can't imagine doing it," she says. "People are realizing accessories are important now. If I'm in the mood to shop, how fun is a great bag?..."

Photo Courtesy of

Monday, January 02, 2006

Opeyami Awoyemi

Rage says"...Hailing from Port Harcourt in Nigeria and having just turned 18-years-old Opeyami Awoyemi is one of the youngest semi-finalists for the Nokia Face of Africa 2005.

At 1.83m in height, Opeyami is also one of the tallest semi-finalists in the group. A student, who speaks English and Yoruba, Opeyami is a fan of gospel blues singers and also enjoys the music of Nigeria’s Styl-Plus and 2Face. Her favourite songs include African Queen and Everytime. In her spare time, Opeyami says she must have a radio on playing cool music! She also says, “I play a little piano and I sing a lot!”

Opeyami is also an Eddie Murphy fan proving her love for comedies. She plays badminton and sometimes, hits the hoops playing basketball. Her favourite place in Nigeria is Lagos State and her favourite Nigerian food is yam, eggs and rice. In addition, she says that, “the best thing about people in my country is that they know their rights in everything they do.”

When she was selected to be a semi-finalist for the Nokia Face of Africa 2005, Opeyami called her sister first to share the good news!

Photo Courtesy of Face of Africa