Monday, August 30, 2010


Having just returned to the city from a one week idyll at several beaches, one can only be reminded of those places by the scent of that cool ocean breeze or those specifically indigenous aromas that remind us of those happy moments while on vacation.

Melanie Apple-Fields has endeavored to capture these times that we most cherish while on vacation, the times when we are freed of everyday jobs and domestic routine. Her specific travels to the resorts of Europe have led her to create “re-livable memories” through the distinct smells that one encounters while “en vacances.”

There are candles, “rocks,” soaps, sprays for your bed linens, and lotions for the body. Let the essences of Majorca, Mykonos, and Capri, Monaco. Cap Ferrat and many more envelop you into the most peaceful and restful times of your day to day lives. All of the products are uniquely packaged of recycled materials and are created of 100% natural products and manufactured domestically, here in the United States.

As an extra dimension to her already growing roster of products, Ms. Apple-Fields has just added a small selection of ready to wear. The tunics are travel inspired yet suitable for city wear as well. The tunics have a slight Moroccan inspiration yet perfectly cosmopolitan.

Be sure to visit her website at for the full selection of sizes and scents

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


In the annals of fashion history there are few who boast lineage and genetics as part of their resume but Ivanka Trump (Kushner) can boast both. While they may not have directly contributed to her growing success, there was a portion of those elements that created this young woman and her passions.

I met her mother when she was pregnant with Ivanka and Trump Tower was about to make an indelible splash onto the landscape of New York City. Much to my delight, Ivana was a charming and unassuming young woman who had come to us for her maternity clothes, okay so she wasn’t exactly a wall flower. Be that as it may, the young lady she and her husband raised turned out to be accomplished, poised, well spoken, of her own mind and talented on so many levels. The talents are what interest me and the talents which she has used to market herself and mold herself to the public and their tastes.

When I first read of her fine jewelry venture/partnership, I was skeptical that this was the type of “arrangement” that would hold water especially due to the category and the raw materials and well….. the sheer expense of the items. It also made me question whether or not Ms. Trump was capable other than lending her name and personage to this realm of product. I was greatly surprised to find a literal “jewel box” of a shop on Madison Avenue which was filled with a large amount of some very tasteful jewelry. The boutique offers up a wide selection of styles which range from the Cartier/David Webb inspired pieces to the more contemporary pieces that are just plain wearable and not that expensive………..relatively speaking. What I discern from the selection is a desire to utilize some not so common materials and make them approachable and appealing in a 21st century kind of way. All this has contributed to the expansion of now offering the brand at jewelry boutiques world wide.

Presently, Ms.Trump (Kushner) is lending her name and input to a new venture……..handbags. through another partnership she will try to bring this product to “real people” ……….my take is that this will hardly be for the masses but a wider audience than she has for the fine jewelry. If done carefully, I believe that the task at hand is absolutely probable and more than possible give her level headedness and her business acumen. She will know who to reference and what to put out there that will bear her name and style. She is far tamer than her mother and certainly with great appeal to younger women around the world and this might be the beginning of Ivanka Trump……….THE BRAND!

Monday, August 9, 2010


Imagine yourself in a store, might be Wal-Mart or Neiman Marcus, and you are looking at a tee shirt, a child’s watch, or a piece of china – what you never take into account is who was really responsible for that item. We look at the label or the brand and assume that they are the direct creators of said item, and this cannot be further from the truth.

The most common moment might occur when you are searching the stores or online and looking for a tee short which has some art work on it, whether it is for a child or an adult the art that you see was created either from a “style guide” or from pure imagination. The style guide is issued by the “owner” of the brand or property such as Mickey Mouse or Cinderella, which are both owned by Disney. The style guide dictates, with no deviation permitted, the stance, activity, coloration, apparel of each particular character or property which will then be submitted for approval by the owner of the brand. This is no easy task regardless of having a standardized base from which to work. The enormous undertaking of perhaps taking Mickey or Minnie and putting them in a beachside situation which will eventually become the front of a tee shirt, is by no means as simple as it appears and yet “the unsung hero,” the graphic artist has first put it on paper and corrected it according to the specifics of the brand, and then has sent it through all the steps until the tee is on a hanger in a store. Once in the store that designer has created something that suddenly stirs the consumer to a purchase. The process is long, lengthy, and tedious at times, but it is our “heroes” who have started the process and who have ultimately created the sale. It is a process that holds true for clothing or home accessories or any other item which might bear a brand name from which other brand extensions have been derived.

I wanted to spotlight 2 designers who have captured my attention, one from having had the pleasure of being a business colleague and the other for his inventive use for his talents. Both are based in New York City and continue to be vital within the industries where they continue to contribute. Powell Burns is still an unending source of admiration, after over 10 years, for his seemingly boundless talent and the ease with which he uses them.

Mr. Michael Lawrence has continued on the same path as Mr. Burns and both of these men have probably been responsible for some item or items that now live in your home, though you may never see their names! So I guess I took the long way around to tell the story but I wanted to tell a story that needs to be told more often.

Please “search” these genuine artists and see what strikes your fancy or might even look familiar, there is more to be found than just the few photos that I used to tell the story.

As always, look for me at or on Facebook. PS you might also find Mr. Burns there as well.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Smartest Gentleman in the Room: Daniel Storto, The Art of The Glove

The Smartest Gentleman in the Room: Daniel Storto, The Art of The Glove


August is upon us and the summer is almost half over but on the bright side, it is sale time, and I do mean SALE !!! With the economy being what it is and the retail business being in a less than stellar moment, it is the time to reap the benefits and shop on sale!!! Do not be taken in by 20% off or even 30% off, the real bargains lay in the 50% off and more category and you will find them everywhere. From Old Navy to Nordstrom, from Bergdorf’s to Bealls and every other specialty store you can imagine. The only non-participants or limited participants are the upper end branded stores like Tiffany and Gucci.

The secret to finding the bargains is to be tuned in online and in your local newspapers and to focus on specific items rather than an open ended shop fest. The sale season is ramping into high gear now, the Fall merchandise is already in the stores and back to school is already closer than we care to think. Obviously, retailers are looking for maximum traffic so they will tend to promote sales on weekends, but there are plenty of sales still going on all week long, even unadvertised sales. Don’t be put off by the lack of signage directing you to a sale as there might very well be signage once you get into the store and to your particular department. Do not be taken by the “Take an Additional 20% Off the Sale Price.” This simply means that if an item is already marked down 50%, you are only getting an additional 10% off the original price, do the math.

It has been a very hard time for those of us who love to shop and buy lots of new things but if you have been frugal all season long, now would be a great time to splurge on a few new pieces for what might be more than just 4 more weeks of summer. The things to consider are this ….color, don’t fall for the fad or “it” item of the season, think about will you start off next spring summer with these items, and above all ..DO NOT BUY JUST BECAUSE IT IS CHEAP OR SO MUCH OF A BARGAIN. Keep your sense and wits about you when you bargain shop and again do not wait for the weekends. There are “Flash Sales” online and coupon discounts and shipping discounts, it requires focus on where you like to shop and a routine check of what’s available and that includes HSN or QVC if you are a TV shopper.

Please let all of us know if you have any hints on SALE SHOPPING, watch for me at or on Facebook