Erika Pena is a dreamer, who started her journey into Fashion design and accessories when she was 18 and attended Parsons school of
Art and design in New York City. Her Accessories draw inspiration from her move to Manhattan from Puerto Rico conveying the rough and edgy city life of NYC to the light and airy free spirited air of the Caribbean. All her work derives inspiration from her travels, the people she meets and the cultures she absorbs herself into – making her pieces extra special!
I played around with her pieces in the studio the other day I feel in love with the unique rings that sit just delicately on the tops of your fingers. The textures of her jewelry make for exquisite accessories perfectly dressed down for a festival and easily adapted for a lovely night out. Sasha wears the rings throughout our April book, they add that extra special to any outfit.
One trend of the season: Chinos rolled up a little to show sandals and letting your cute little ankles breathe. Our intern has styled her high-waisted chinos with a cropped jumper and a statement necklace, making a sophisticated look playful by adding braids to her hair. This is a perfect look for those mild, breezy days going into spring.
i have been waiting, patiently, ever since our meeting back in january about the april catalog product when i saw them all lined up in a rainbow of colors. birkenstocks definitely carry a strong sense of nostalgia with them… it is hard to look at them and not be reminded of a time in my life when i was too young to know or care about fashion, all that mattered was comfort and ease. i’m not gonna lie, wearing them now i even start to feel like a kid again. the famous photos of kate moss by corinne day capture that carefree feeling perfectly.
if you’re like me and grew up wearing birks, you already know how comfy they are, and that they mold to fit your feet to perfection. but another reason why i love these so much right now is that i’m a big flip flop girl- i like sandals that can slip on and off easily so if you’re at the beach or chilling at a park you can kick them right off. but i’m getting a little tired of the same old rainbows i’ve been wearing for a few years now and i have already decided that they will be replaced with these sunkissed tangerine birks very soon.
sasha pivovarova rocks the birkenstocks in a couple of awesome ways in our april catalog. our shoe buyer loves the look on the left – she says birks are the perfect shoe to pair with girly, feminine skirts and dresses this season to add a touch of laid back cool. the look on the right is one of my favorites in the entire catalog – the pop of color is perfect to complete this fun & funky look.
check out our birkenstocks online here – and tell me, what do you think about their comeback?
for this month’s survival guide i went to our art director, who is in charge of our web studio team and stylists. i love her style – it’s classic and very parisian, and she always look so well put together. here’s a look at what she’s loving right now!
1. i love the monarch wings dress from the april catalog- easy, feminine dressing- perfect for a spring day!
2. the hispaniola hat – i wear a hat almost every day, and always love to pair a little “boy” with a little “girl”. this one is my favorite from our current selection.
3. simple white tee – i buy mine from hanes’ boys in a medium- i love this photo of kate bosworth in a simple tee, she has amazing style! i also love boyfriend blazers like her’s draped over my shoulders or with dresses.
4. l’artisan parfumeur safran troublant- our design director introduced me to this scent, and i love that it lingers in my fabrics.
on a crystal clear thursday in january i took an early morning train up to new york city to meet up with our catalog team for the april shoot. anticipation and excitement were running through my veins as i listened to mellow tunes and thought about what the day ahead would hold – super model sasha pivovarova, one of my favorite photographers, guy aroch, exotic animals, and seeing our catalog team in action for the first time.
we shot at milk studios in NYC, an amazing space in the meatpacking district across from the chelsea market. studio three would be ours for the next couple of days, a large and inviting space flooded with light and located at the end of a quiet hallway.
when i arrived our team was setting up for the day. the set and the lighting have to be perfect, the outfits are all hung up and organized, and hair and makeup begins.
our catalog team chatted over coffee and breakfast as hair and makeup was underway. the team typically consists of our creative director, art director, producer, a stylist, hair and makeup artists, and the the photographer and photo/tech assistants.
sasha chilled with her laptop as she got her hair and nails done.
the clothes were separated into two racks to correspond with the catalog’s element theme – day one was air and earth, consisting of a soft color palette, natural makeup and all white animals. day two’s theme would be fire and water, with bright colors and tribal accents.
our stylist, creative director and art director looked over the outfits and made some last minute changes.
shoes were lined up and accessories carefully arranged on a table.
the day prior our team had done some prop shopping – the props above would be used day one.
guy aroch arrived and got set up, taking a couple test shots to make sure the lighting was just right. i was so nervous to meet him but he’s extremely laid back and cool.
guy and sasha talked for a few minutes and then it was time for shooting to begin!
it may be spring but that doesn’t mean you should put away your scarves just yet! there are so many ways to wear them well into spring and summer, and our team made this awesome video (featuring one of our stylists and our assistant web merchandiser) demonstrating several of those ways. i am in love with the scarves shown above on sasha pivovarova from our april catalog…check them and more out online here, but first watch the video below :)
London has some of the best department stores around – all offering a different shopping environment.
Today I headed to Liberty’s, my favorite store of all time. I love the Tudor relation and the creaking floorboards. It makes shopping there a delicate experience. I’m the biggest fan of liberty fabric – I’m drawn to everything that has it, so you can imagine my eyes are wide open every time I’m in there!
As I walked through the main entrance there was a huge hanging display coming from the ceiling. It kind of translated into a basketball net, which makes sense as there was a private event being held there that day for the launch of the Nike air and liberty print collaboration.
For a quick afternoon snack Leon is a beautiful organic cafe. It’s fast delivered and no fuss. I had the sweet potato falafel and cloudy apple juice with mint and lime. Yum!
The second department store I headed to was Selfridges. In contrast to Liberty’s this is a very upbeat shopping experience. Expect loud music, bright colors and flashing lights. A perfect place to shop Friday after work to pick up something to wear out on the weekends. It will sure get you bumping!
So after a lovely day of strolling around being a magpie, I headed home. Below are 4 photos that make me smile. Flowers outside liberty, old bentley racer, shopping for spring clothes and yes, of course I couldn’t help myself – a royal wedding mug!
Tomorrow I’m heading to broadway market – I hear the fashion there is happening on the weekend, so I aim to do some street style. I’m also going to head to buckingham palace – why not :)
I headed to the V&A today (Victoria and Albert museum), but before I arrived there I stopped off in Angel. Angel is a great place to go for breakfast and quiet stroll in the mornings. It’s not too crazy, but the right amount of busy-ness to keep you stimulated. They have cute, old world charm restaurants and great vintage stores. The vintage stores are a little more on the pricey side here, the selection is unique and a bit more carefully curated. I adore Annie’s for its reference to the Victorian era. I can’t get enough of the delicate Victorian lace.
The V&A fascinates me every time. I love the location. Situated in the more upper class area of London – South Kensington – you can expect to see a vast majority of pleasant “sloanes” walking about, well dressed and full of charm.
As you walk into the grand entrance of the museum you instantly feel ready to get soaked in culture. I headed straight to the Asia and India section. I was drawn there due to the familiarity of the Free People aesthetic.
Seeing the chintz costumes of the 1600 was mind blowing. A fashion made from Indian painted cotton. In the 1600s, Chintz fabric was a huge fashion statement amongst women — dresses constructed in England made from beautiful hand painted fabric in south east India was the main “fashion” of this era.
I was in awe of the fine Bengali muslin praised as “woven air”, painted so beautifully, they looked so delicate and light. I stood for hours admiring the beautiful aesthetics from Asia and India. Every time I leave the V&A I always feel like I’ve travelled a little around the world and that enlightens me.
around the South Kensington/Chelsea area you get some pretty well dressed people. One of the best Art collages around is situated here “the royal academy of Art”, so you get the incredibly unique art students strolling around. You have a lot of celebrities and models living here. Here are some details that I enjoyed while walking around Kensington. ( above)
After the day was over I met up with my two BFF’s for a drink at Jaguar Shoes Old city. This area is far too cool for school it often hurts my head thinking where all the absurdly “cool” people came from. It’s pretty entertaining. We had a glass of wine and a great catch up then headed home. The day was perfect!
We’re intrigued by fashion everyday – it stimulates, inspires, and influences everything we do. We’re always looking for the freshest trends and the newest movements in street style and boho fashion, and we constantly fuel our ideas with the best from fashion culture.