I was delighted when Donna, the lady behind the brand Donna Ida agreed to be interviewed. I first connected with the lovely lady on Twitter as I am a big fan of designer denim. One of the things that really stands out about Donna is the fact that she loves what she does and you get a real sense of that from her tweets (and this interview confirms it). She is simply, dedicated to denim...
Firstly, tell us how your fashion career began?
It all started in 2006 when I opened our first shop. That was literally the beginning – before 2006 I was just a very keen shopper.
Tell us about the Donna Ida brand and what inspired you to start it?
I have always loved denim but was frustrated that there was nowhere to shop all the best denim labels in one place. Department stores were the only answer and I couldn’t get the help I needed. I decided to open a shop that just sold jeans – it was such a simple concept when I told people what I was doing they all said what an obvious and simple idea – so strange that no one’s done it before!
What have been the highlights of your fashion career to date?
Being nominated for the Drapers Awards twice – the next Awards is on the 17th of November! Building a strong customer base of loyal customers and working with a team of amazing girls who all believe in the business as much as I do.
Describe the typical Donna Ida customer – what is she like?
We have such a broad range as we are very specialist but there is a very core customer group who is 25-60, knows exactly what look she is going for, what her body shape is, what she wants to wear for the season.
Who are you favourite fashion designers?
It varies from season to season but there is a look I admire – I love the 70’s, flares, anything high-waisted. I prefer a more sophisticated silhouette so love references to Dior’s New Look, I like YSL and Louis Vuitton. I generally prefer French designers so Isabel Marant is on my radar but also like the older American designers who are constantly referenced now such as Roy Halston and Oscar de la Renta.
What is your definition of style?
Knowing what looks good on you and wearing it well. I think we should all work with what we’ve been given – confidence is key.
Who are your style icons?
I love the old images of Marilyn Monroe and Bridget Bardot, women who were beautiful and glamorous. I like the 60’s when Jackie Kennedy was the First Lady and the glamour of the South of France. There’s still something special about the South of France now – it’s kept that glamour and Monaco always feels like an event. For modern day icons I love Diane Kruger, Cate Blanchett and Rachel Zoe. Women who are all comfortable in their own skin and are confident and successful.
Do you have a personal favourite, when it comes to denim brands?
That would be like choosing between my children! I have a few favourites, or brands that work for me.
J Brand, Earnest Sewn, James Jeans, Goldsign and Current/Elliott.
Has the world of social media had an impact on your brand?
Definitely, it’s such a great way to connect with new customers and also our peers. I find that I chat to so many other retailers and everyone supports each other. Twitter has been great in that way – it feels like a casual friendly way to connect. You can tweet literally anyone you want.
Do you have any exciting projects/collaborations planned for the brand?
Oh soooo many!! We have a new shop opening in Guildford at the end of next month and are looking at new locations all the time. We have an exciting new website launching early next year and we have a few other collaborations on the boil with designers.
What advice would you give to aspiring fashion entrepreneurs?
‘Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life’ is a wise old quote. I work long hours but it’s not ‘work’ to me – I love it. If you love fashion and people just get in there – don’t put it off. You really can make anything happen if you believe in it enough.
The STYLISA blog has now officially joined Handpicked Media.
Handpicked Media is a collective of independent sites and blogs with a reach of Beauty, Style, Entertainment, Food and Culture. Handpicked Media champions sites that are creative and unique with high quality content offered throughout.
As a lover of couture, I was delighted to be at the launch of ‘Couture in the 21st Century’ – a collaboration between Harrods Publishing and world renowned photographer Rankin.The book consists of a number of interviews with well known designers like Armani, Roland Mouret and Oscar de la Renta, talking about their relationship with couture.Up and coming designers such as Erdem and Hannah Marshall are also featured in the book, which is a must-have for anyone who has an interest in or love of couture.The book itself, is absolutely beautiful, with an intricate cover, that actually looks like is has been designed by a couturier.
The event was very well attended, and it was great to see designers like Antonio Berardi, Roland Mouret, Hannah Marshall, and Stephen Jones, mingling with up and coming fashion bloggers, which is a new and interesting direction for Harrods.Fashion and Beauty Director, was also in attendance, as was Deborah Bee, Author and Editor-in-Chief of Harrods Publishing.
For me, the book is a delightful insight into the world of couture. Personally, I was introduced to this wonderful world many years ago by my mother, who is a lover of all things Chanel and Armani.Reading the book brought back memories of her beautiful wardrobe and her exquisite attention to detail.It also reminded me that true lovers of couture have a very special relationship with it that goes way beyond the realms of mere fashion.For me, couture is art and when applied to the body, it becomes art in motion.A truly magical experience, that stays with you for a lifetime and leaves a stylish imprint on the soul.
For anyone out there, who wishes to indulge their senses in couture, then this book is a must-have.
To celebrate the launch of its new Full effect your life competition, Wonderbra has picked the brains of its expert panellist, fashion model and X-Factor star, Lucie Jones to share her top tips to giving your look a boost:
The one item you have to have in your wardrobe whatever the season is a leather jacket. You can throw it over anything and it just gives your outfit a bit of edge. I’ve updated it slightly this season by getting a shearling aviator jacket, I’ll be living in it come winter
Equally I could not live without mascara – it just makes you look ten times better in about 10 seconds!
The best tip I’ve picked up from working on fashion shoots is that fashion can be comfortable! If you feel comfortable and sexy then you will look sexy. If you don’t feel right in those heels, wear another pair otherwise you may as well be wearing your Nan’s hand me downs. . .
On a night out I always make sure I choose my outfit before I start getting ready, last minute cupboard raids are just way too stressful. I always, always do my hair last, that way you can match your hair and make-up to your outfit and your whole look will look polished
The new Full effect bra from Wonderbra is amazing. It gives you such a natural amazing cleavage, just pair it with a bodycon dress and you’re good to go
From modeling, I’ve learnt when applying make-up, pick one feature and really make the most of that. I love a smokey eye and have learnt that if you use a colour eyeshadow, such as purple, to create it you get a real boost.
For the best photos on your night out make sure you don’t try to hard to pose. Since I’ve started modeling I’ve realised that the natural shots are the best shots so just relax and have fun and you’ll have some great pics of the night
Lucie Jones has teamed up with Wonderbra to find three stylish girls to win an amazing fashion experience as either a fashion buyer, stylist or journalist. To find out more and to enter visit www.wonderbrafulleffect.co.uk
Not only do I want this fabulous Nichole de Carle lingerie, I also want the watch!
Audemars Piguet was founded in 1875 and is a brand that is seen as one of the four most important watch manufacturers in the world. Their three key values are tradition, excellence and audacity, which when you see the watches up close, is abundantly clear - the attention to detail is exquisite. The brand also has the distinction of being the last remaining Swiss watch Marque to be owned by the ancestors of the founding families. So not only are these watches incredibly fabulous, they are incredibly posh too! Love it!
I was lucky enough to see these beautiful creations during London Fashion Week, at a fashion in aid of Hauser Bears - a charity concerned with the welfare of bears worldwide. I have never been a fan of watches, but my opinion changed when I was introduced to Audemars Piguet. These exquisite timepieces are the perfect accessory to any outerwear, or underwear if you prefer.
So if you're reading this Santa, I would just love to find one of these watches in my stocking...pretty please.
For more information on Audemars Piguet, click here
To celebrate 25 issues of their business magazine, Orange have revisited a number of businesses who have featured in the magazine before, to see how they have evolved. STYLISA was lucky enough to be one of the businesses chosen to feature in the magazine. Read the piece here
At last, it is the return of our guest blogger feature, Style in Your City. Today we are delighted to be featuring the fabulous Rachael Lechliter from Red Rover Style:
Greetings everyone, my name is Rachael and I am one of the founders of Red Rover Style, an online magazine about lifestyle and charity. We are based in NYC. Our magazine has about 20+ writers, whom we call Rovers. As you can imagine, managing over 20+ writers can be a handful, but very colorful. I even contribute to the magazine as the Social and Savvy Entrepreneur rover. Also, my Red Rover Style partner, Elena Baxter and I , founded an online PR firm called Red Rover Public Relations. We call it our empire, but luckily the two platforms work hand-in-hand with each other.
So now that you know a little background on my entrepreneur world, I want to share my personal fashion with you as a social and savvy entrepreneur in NYC.
First, my number one fashion dedication is to my hair, and that is probably because I grew up in my mother’s salon, and more or less, I am obsessed with hair.
I have experimented with every color from black, medium brown, auburn, blonde, Heidi Klum platinum blonde to fiery copper red, Jennifer Aniston’s golden locks, and back to brown, back to blonde, well, I’ve done it all with different types of highlight placements and trend-haircuts in between.
Today, I think I’ve nailed down my look with red, which is really a rich auburn color. I think it brings out the green tinting in my eyes…Of course, I’m not just one color, I have some fiery copper peekaboo highlights too.
Now that I’ve fulfilled my impulsive obsession to talk about hair, I want to talk about style here in NYC as the fall weather is upon us! It’s crisp, cool, and all I can think about is pulling out my boots and fall suit jackets. BUT, Since, I’m jumping around NYC from one meeting to the next, I need to go from flats to heels and turn my office day style to suit an evening with cocktails, dim-lighting and networking. Don’t forget, since my office is mobile, I need to lug around a laptop, charger, make-up, and I even carry around my SLR camera, hence is why I need flats.
So here it is, my most desired look for a social and savvy entrepreneur going from a September office day to a September cocktail party.
My day look screams sophistication and comfort. I adore these colors because they go perfect with fall and my hair color. Oh, since NYC can get pretty windy, this dress will keep me feeling secure as I know it be blowing all over the place…
My evening look screams passion and edgy style. To be honest, I’m a bit shy when it comes to slipping on a pair of leopard heels, but I’ve paired them with classy jewelry and so my look here is balanced.
Feel free to share your thoughts, and be sure to visit me at RedRoverStyle.com
Today was an interesting day for a number of reasons, but the main reason was that one of my beauty prayers has been answered. As much as I am happy in my own skin, there is one little thing that has always bothered me…my eyelashes. I have always felt that they do not look as long or as thick as they should. Well the eyelash gods (who go by the names of Marci and Elke) have given me a solution to that problem.
Now normally I am a little sceptical about products that claim that they can change the way you look in one form or another. But I had to humbly eat my words today when I was introduced to the wonder that is M2 LASHES. This revolutionary product comes in two forms, EYELASH ACTIVATING SERUM and EYELASH REVITALIZING GLOSS.
The serum increases the length, thickness and strength of your lashes. It is a combination of nutritional and active ingredients, one of which is used in ophthalmology (the branch of medicine concerned with the eye and its diseases). It must be applied every evening, once the eye area has been thoroughly cleansed, to the base of the upper eyelids’ lash line (a brush applicator is provided).
Visible results are supposed to appear between six and eight weeks – maximum results are achieved by week 16. So guess what I’ll be doing tonight…yes that’s right, applying my serum before bedtime. The excitement at the prospect of lovelier, longer, luxurious lashes is seriously overwhelming.
The gloss works in unison with the serum to the growth, give lashes definition and a healthy shine. It is very easy to use (a definite plus for me), and is to be applied morning and evening (from the base of the eyelash to the tip). What’s even better is that the effects are immediate. And just so you know ladies (and maybe gentlemen too), this is to be applied before you apply your regular mascara.
To prove that it works, I have decided that I will take weekly pics of my eyelashes, which I will post onto my blog, so you can see the effects. I feel like a scientist in my lab conducting research…my sister (who is an ‘actual’ scientist - I have included the 'science-bit' for you below, Louise) would be so proud.
If you would also like to be the proud owners of perfect lashes, then M2 LASHES is available exclusively at Harrods, both in store and online
So in 16 weeks, I’m not going to be STYLISA, I am going to be Lisa Lashes…and I can’t wait!
Additional Product Information
The key active complex MDN is a prostaglandin derivative, which in an alternative form is used in ophthalmology. This modified and carefully dosed ingredient compound, stimulates eyelashes at their roots to increase the number of lashes whilst extending the growth phase and delaying lash loss.