Kayu Summer Tote Bags

Ever since Jane Birkin first walked the streets swinging a basket from her arm, the nonchalant look has become a summertime go-to. This season, the ubiquitous basket bag has reached its peak. There’s Cult Gaia’s ark bag, which is modeled after a Japanese picnic basket, the St Barth's-inspired plain market bag, small bags, wicker baskets, and then there’s Kayu. Undoubtedly a favorite amongst the style set, they’re bags with flair. Handles are covered in stripes, bags are monogrammed and affixed with pompoms, and in some cases, stripes of shaggy raffia cover the front and back. While the label also stocks clutches and totes. The basket bag is undoubtedly its best seller. And for good reason—this is the bag you want as your beach companion.

Get yours here.  


Valentine NYC Bridal Lingerie

Paloma Jonas and Whitney Brown know a thing or two about lingerie. The designer duo behind Valentine NYC—a lingerie label that specializes in pretty, lacy, wireless underthings—have been creating lust worthy underwear for years. Now, the pair are launching their first ever wedding collection (and incorporating fashion forward designs).

Featuring three different styles, the collection is full of special details like one-of-a-kind lace, new designs such as the raceback, tulle detailing on knickers (made to look like a ballerina), and side ties. This is the type of underwear you want peeking out from beneath your dress, and certainly the kind that you’ll be happy to make an entrance on your wedding night. As with all of Valentine’s designs, the new collection is made by single mothers in Colombia, and remains at an affordable price point (the most expensive piece is the Cordette bra, at $70). “We wanted to offer something for everyone, as there are so many types of women out there with signature styles," says Jonas. "Ultimately we didn’t want anything that felt overly ‘bridal’ and needed each set to be able to be incorporated into an everyday fashion wardrobe.”exclusive and special."

Fall in love with Valentine here.


Sarah Flint Shoes

Starting a successful shoe label at the age of 24 may seem daring, but if you insist on wearing tap shoes to school, secured an internship at DvF as a teenager, and spent time at Proenza Schouler, it’s more of a natural progression than a crazy risk. Shoe designer Sarah Flint is such a person. Flint launched her namesake label in 2013 after studying at the prestigious shoe design school, Ars Sutoria in Italy, a locale she still looks to for inspiration and creation—all of her shoes are handmade in local factories.

Looking to Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and her Grandmother (who was an artist living in Paris) as influences, Flint’s designs exude luxury, elegance, and simplicity. Her love of the mid-height heel allows the wearer ultimate comfort, while still displaying sensuality. A combination which has gotten her designs into upscale boutiques and Barneys, not to mention onto the feet of celebrities such as Blake Lively, Alexa Chung and Amal Clooney, who counts The Emma as a favorite.

-Written by Scout Sabo


Yosuzi Hats

Come summertime, a hat becomes an essential accessory. Last season saw the rise of the boater style, while this year an entirely new brand is taking over the hat game. Yosuzi, a South American inspired label that focuses on hats with bright colors, patterns, and colorful adornments, has become a favorite of the fashion set (Poppy Delevingne, Tamu McPherson and Elina Halimi are fans). 

Created by Venezuelan-born designer Yosuzi, the label takes inspiration from her family's native American heritage. Hats are made from 100% Iraka palm straw and finished with a handwoven, diagonal weaving technique that is unique to the tribe (each hat takes eight hours to make). Consider them an investment that will last beyond this summer, and into the next.


Cinq À Sept

Named for that liminal, twilight moment between day ending and night beginning, new label Cinq à Sept has a goal: to bring chic and pretty back to everyday life. 

Created by Jane Siskin (formerly of 7 for all Mankind and Elizabeth and James), consider these pieces an antidote to the black, white and navy basics you have hanging in your wardrobe. There are prints, ruffles and flounces, and plenty of wide leg pants. "We were most inspired by our strong understanding of what the contemporary consumer wants and when she wants it," explains Siskin. "I feel we have a relationship with the customer and we're excited to be offering her something fresh and new." Launched late in 2015, the label recently launched their resort collection (shown above), with a focus on floral, unique silhouettes like flounced hems, and statement, off-the-shoulder tunics. Siskin looks to travel for destination (she just returned from Morocco and is soon journeying to London), and a touch of her own closet. "My personal style has always been diverse and not too serious," she says. "My closet is a curated assortment of pieces I have picked up all over the world. Personal style for me is about self-discovery and is very much a part of our design process."

Visit the Cinq à Sept world here.


Dear Frances Shoes

Australian-born designer Jane Frances is based in London, handcrafts her shoes in Northern Italy, and sells her label, Dear Frances, worldwide. Launched in 2014, her easy-to-wear and affordable line (no shoe is over $600) includes a mix of slides made from sumptuous materials like suede and velvet—a pair from her upcoming Fall collection, available to shop in August, are shown above—ankle boots, and low, block heeled pumps. Frances counts timelessness and simplicity as her main directives, but subtle details elevate her footwear from minimal to must-have. One of her signatures is a slice of plexiglas through the heel of a shoe, another is a shot of mesh on her slides. 

With fans such as Beyoncé, Bella Hadid, Emma Roberts and the ever-stylish Amal Clooney, it's no wonder her line has already amassed a cult like following. 

 

-Written by Scout Sabo


Isolda The New Fashion Label

The beauty of clothes is their ability to transform you, allowing you to step into character if even for a moment. Brazilian label Isolda does just that through their vivid hues and dramatic silhouettes, which for all the world look like the clothes you would pick up on vacation, pulling out of your closet when you need a little joy.

Designed by friends Juju Affonso Ferriera and Maya Pope, who describe their customer as "loving life and the luxury of how a beautiful, soft natural fabric feels close to her skin. She is very motioned by art and is always seeking for new adventures. She is very interested in life itself," the line is known for its hand painted, signature prints. The duo, who met in London but both hail from Brazil, draw upon the colors and festivity of their homeland to create the line. "Brazil, our home country, was and still is our main source of inspiration," says Ferriera. "However it was in London and the time we spent living there that aroused the desire to create something truly new, exciting and unique which we then called by the nickname of my great-grandmother, Isolda."

Often realized in off-the-shoulder dresses with trailing ruffles, A-line skirts, and dramatically printed trousers, theirs is a collection that feels instantly romantic, but also entirely wearable.

Discover Isolda.


Roxanne Assoulin Jewelry

Hear the name Assoulin and chances are you'll think of the chic, New York-based fashion designer and her dramatic, ruffled-filled line. However, Assoulin's mother-in-law, Roxanne Assoulin, has long been a force in the fashion industry. The jewelry designer began her career in 1983, when she launched her namesake line from her basement. It was sold at Henri Bendel and Neiman Marcus, and quickly gained the attention of designers like Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass, and Marc Jacobs. She soon began creating custom pieces for their runway shows, and shortly thereafter launched another line, Lee Angel. 

In 2014 the designer returned to her eponymous label to work with Rosie, where she collaborated on pieces for her collections. Case in point: the mosaic-inspired chokers and button earrings in the designer's fall 2016 collection (shown above). Just like her daughter-in-law's playful designs, Assoulin's jewels are brightly hued and full of joy. In her own words: “Uncomplicated indulgence.” Things that provide pleasure but are not meant to be overthought—like a swim in the ocean or buying a fresh bouquet of flowers. And above all, the importance of a smile when you catch a glance at your wrist, ears, or neck.

Buy it here.


Lovehard NYC Shirt Label

Think of white shirts as flowers. There is an abundance of them, and each can seem more beautiful than the last. There can also never be too many. Such is the case with LoveHard NYC, a recently-launched label with an entirely new strategy. Rather than deliver one collection with a smattering of shirts, pants, and dresses, the brand will release one 'series' at a time, presenting different versions of one piece—like a white shirt or navy trouser—each time. Series 1 consists of four different takes on the classic menswear button down.

Launched by Lindsay Cohen, who also heads up New York-based luxury retail and brand consultancy GogoLuxe as the creative director and market editor, the idea was born from a desire to break down the basic model of a traditional ready-to-wear collection due to how people are actually buying clothes these days. "Not everyone goes out looking for a full wardrobe at once," says Cohen. "You go searching for the perfect shirt, or dress, or jacket. I created a spectrum of styles based on one silhouette, so people can choose what works best for them."

With a new series launching each season, the idea for each collection is "to focus on a piece of clothing you always want to have on hand," she explains. "Your go-to item in your closet for day-to-day, as well as the first thing you grab to pack for a trip. The next series will most likely be an arrangement of blazers."

Cohen's vision stemmed from her years spent working directly with the consumer, rather than a traditional design background. "From a very young age I was constantly cutting everything up and reworking items. I have some really embarrassing notebooks filled with fashion thoughts/designs dating back to my middle school era," she says. "Because I never had any formal training I thought it was important for myself to gain industry knowledge and perspective before properly launching. I started to think about it in a real way approximately a year ago." Her inspiration however, comes from the way those consumers style their real wardrobes—the pieces that we pull out daily and can be worn over and over again. "I don’t have specific style icons, however I always appreciate people who dress for themselves. There’s always an element of ease that comes from that which I admire."

Buy it here. 


Off-the-Shoulder trend

There was an undeniable trend that emerged at the Spring 2016 shows, and now that those clothes have finally hit stores, it’s taking over the streets, too. The off-the-shoulder top (or dress, if you sway that way), is officially making the rounds. New label Caroline Constas’ poplin version with a sweetheart neckline and voluminous sleeves is an Instagram favorite, and is both comfortable and flattering. Tibi has long been an off-the-shoulder brand, whose offerings are both work and play appropriate.  

Whether it's bell sleeved, ruffled, for evening or day, the off-the-shoulder top is 2016's official summer uniform. Check out some of our favorite versions below.

 


Hugo Matha handbags

French designer Hugo Matha has a way with accessories. Take his plexi glass and wooden clutches. They sound a little complicated, but the light-as-air 100 year old wood and curved, clear plexi glass (which acts as the lid), are both beautifully handcrafted sculptures and incredibly unique purses.

Born and raised on a vineyard in the Aveyron region of Southern France, Matha employs the same grape makers to craft his bags during the wine making off-season. For Fall 2016, he introduced a new silhouette to his repertoire: the tote/clutch hybrid. The shape is traditional Matha: inventive, practical, and unexpected. Wire handles make it sturdy and easy to carry and the front pocket practical. Consider him a new—and standout—member of the French fashion guard.

Own your own.


Quiet Storms

Located in Williamsburg on an unexpectedly peaceful stretch of Grand street resides Quiet Storms, a new jewelry boutique that feels more like a chic apartment than a place to shop for your newest accessory. A curved couch and ficcus tree greet you at the front door, and jewels are laid out on a center table, making it easy to touch (and try on), pieces you might want to invest in. The atmosphere however, is perfectly in line with the exquisite pieces that owner, Reshma Patel, has curated for the space. New standout jewelers like Annelise Michelson and Charlotte Chesnais sit beside Kathleen Whitaker and Sorelle NYC. Including a perfect mix of fine and fashion jewelry, these are lines that offer pieces you spot on your favorite fashionistas and wonder they got them.

Visit the store, 142 Grand St, Williamsburg


Monse Travel Guide

Living in New York is akin to living in a dream—anything can happen, and quite frequently does. There's also one thing that almost everyone in New York agrees upon: sometimes you have to leave the city in order to best enjoy it.

As such, there are plenty of places to go and plenty of people with wonderful suggestions. Two of those are Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia, the designers behind Monse, a two-season year old label with a penchant for creating clothes that can easily transition from wandering a market to an evening out. Here, they share their summer guides to jet setting the globe.

Favorite travel destination?

Laura: I love to go to Canada, because it's a bit cooler during the summer months.

Fernando: London because it's not so hot. And there's beautiful countryside to explore! 

Packing essentials:

Laura: All my beauty and hair products are La Mer, SKII, and Kerastase. I also always take a denim jumpsuit with tennis shoes. and one pair of heels.

Fernando: Two t-shirts and a pair of jeans.... 

Reading material? 

Laura: Zinio, the digital magazine

Fernando: System Magazine

Must-Visit Places:

Laura: I love to stay in the Lake Louise Chateau and order room-service and go to the spa. 

Fernando: Chiltern Firehouse is a hotel and restaurant in London. It's like a little world inside. It reminds me of Greenwich Hotel, which is also a favorite of mine in NYC.  It's very good for people watching.

Favorite thing to do on vacation?

Laura: Sleep

Fernando: Explore

Newest destination you'd like to visit and why?

Laura: Dubai to understand the market. 

Fernando: The new Harry Potter section in Universal Studios - I am dying to go!

What do you always pack in your plane bag?

Laura: An SKII mask and my laptop. 

Fernando: Toothpaste

Soundtrack?

Laura: k-pop

Fernando: M83

Must-do:

LK: Walk around and explore!

Fern: I like to go to obscure towns and vintage stores, outside of the main city.

Travel candle/scent? 

Laura: Red Flower Icelandic Moon Flower

Fernando: Ralph Lauren Christmas candle


Summer Sandals: Brother Vellies and Carrie Forbes

Summer is for sunning, sunshine, sangria, and sandals. The bleak cold months of winter are over, and your toes can rejoice in open toe shoes. This season, there are two brands making the case for new shoes, Carrie Forbes and Brother Vellies.

Straight from her CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund win this past fall, Aurora James (the founder and creative director of Brother Vellies) continues to deliver artistic creations that range from polished to show-stopping.  Not only will a pair of her sandals enhance any wardrobe, but they will also add an international flare. James’ designs, which are based on traditional African footwear, are hand produced by artisans in South Africa, Kenya, and Morocco.

Carrie Forbes also has a preference for the handmade. Following a successful career in hand crocheted bags, Forbes transitioned to footwear in 2014 after being inspired by a traditional Moroccan shoe that used raffia palms. The raffia goes through a rigorous treatment of oil and water to obtain dream-like comfort. Now all that’s left is a pedicure. 

Buy Brother Vellies and Carrie Forbes.


Lane Marinho Shoes

Hand making shoes seems like a lengthy process, but Brazilian designer Lane Marinho wouldn’t have it any other way. She equates the process with sculpting beauty and creating poetry, which is exactly what she achieves with her line of intricately decorated flat sandals. 

After studying graphic design at her local university, Marinho worked with a jewelry designer where she cultivated her appreciation of natural stones. She then won a national competition for Melissa Shoes and began her career in shoe design by working at some of the top shoe companies in Brazil. However, in 2013, her passion for the handmade inspired her to start her own line.

With Matisse, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Brazil as inspirations, it’s no surprise that color and material are driving forces in her collections. Through the process of experimenting on her own feet, she creates shoes that incorporate rope, natural shells, and embroidered stones—such as pearl, jade, and coral—creating footwear that seems more artistic endeavor than simple shoes.

Visit her website here. 

-Written by Scout Sabo


Regal Tiger

When Sarah Lalji set out to launch Regal Tiger, her new line of diaphanous, light-as-air dresses, caftans, and separates, she had two goals in mind. One: to produce the most luxurious lounge and resort wear possible, and two: to raise awareness for animal conservation. A huge animal lover, the second mission came easily through a partnership with Panthera, the world's only organization dedicated exclusively to the protection of wild cats and their vast landscapes (they work to protect big cats all over the world by working with local people to save them).  The partnership is founded on activism and transparency, with a dedicated percentage (15%) of each purchase supporting ongoing global preservation efforts.

Consequentially, the big cat theme runs throughout her inaugural collection. Featuring animal prints such as tigers and cockatoos, the 100% silk garments were inspired by exotic destinations, and look just as chic with a bikini as when worn as a matched, printed suit. “Everything is 100% US made and with the best quality silk,” explained Lalji over tea. Exceptional quality, tailoring (the maxi dress has a thoughtful, small train that floats out elegantly when you walk), and luxury were the key elements for the designer; who is as passionate about animals as she is fashion. Raised in California, Lalji held a senior level corporate position (which she consequentially found unfulfilling), before deciding to launch her own label. “My husband is Indian, and after learning more about his culture and wearing sari’s I fell in love with their beauty and craftsmanship,” she says. “I wanted to merge that Eastern influence with my Californian background and decided to launch Regal Tiger. I’m also a huge animal supporter and wanted to merge fashion with animal activism without making it too granola-y. I call it fashion activism.”

Available at RegalTiger.com, the collection has the sort of luxurious ease that allows for a couple of pieces to be thrown in a suitcase before jet setting off on your summer vacation (with the knowledge that you’re also helping the animals). In the end, Lalji says it best, “We’re promoting purpose beyond profit in the luxury space. Our customer is always compassionate- and that's what's truly beautiful.”


 

New Evening Wear Designers: Caroline Hayden, Elizabeth Kennedy, Solace London

For the past few seasons, a change has been stirring in fashion land. Sleeves have gotten bigger, pant hems have widened, and oversized ruffles are commonplace. Whether you call it fashionable dramatics or eccentric maximalism, it’s a trend that's making a marked difference both on and off the runway (Gucci!). It’s also upping the anti on how we dress. While streetwear and athleisure is still growing (especially thanks to Kanye’s Yeezy line and Rihanna’s Fenty collection), dressed up, daytime glamour and evening wear is getting stronger. Jeans and t-shirts are accessorized with dramatic earrings and “going out” outfits are making a comeback. Oscar de la Renta alum’s Fernanda Garcia and Laura Kim’s new brand Monse introduced silk evening dresses in a whole new way, Brandon Maxwell is winning applause for his incredibly tailored suits and evening gowns (Karlie Kloss debuted a stunning cutout dress at the Met Gala last week), and a new collection of labels launched their own evening wear options for Fall 2016. New York-based Elizabeth Kennedy debuted a beautiful collection this season and has already won fans (Laverne Cox and Maura Tierny have worn gowns on the red carpet), thanks to her couture-like craftsmanship and luxe fabrications. Having spent time working for designers such as Donna Karan, J Mendel and Isaac Mizrahi, she honed her skills creating one-of-a-kind gowns that sit in the same field as Delpozo and haute couture. Solace London has also taken over the red carpet with their modern and elegant designs (Rachel McAdams, Lily Collins and Anne Hathaway have all worn their pieces). Created by designers Ryan Holliday Stevens and Laura Taylor, these are night out worthy pieces that could also be paired with jeans for a cool day time look.


And finally, custom-gown designer Caroline Hayden. Made in the US, her pieces are directed towards the fashion forward bride (although her designs are so forward thinking you could wear your wedding dress to a fantastic party later in the year). Debuting nationally this season, Hayden spent her youth embroidering quilts, a skill she has transformed into designing and making custom couture gowns.

From left: Elizabeth Kennedy, Solace London, and Caroline Hayden.