Thursday, September 23, 2010

Brian Atwood Discounted Designer Shoes Label

It’s not often that a fashion trend emerges, gains momentum, and shows no signs of slowing down. Sure, we’ll see some designer trends remain on the fashion forecast from one year to the next (witness the staying power of last Fall’s over-the-knee boots and military-inspired styles), but it’s the rare runway look that just gets hotter and hotter, earning a unanimous “I have to have it!” from fashionistas of all styles, shapes and sizes.

However, if there’s one Fashion “Do” that we can all agree on, it has to be the recent surge in lower-priced diffusion lines by the top names in designer clothing and designer shoes, and even designer handbags and accessories. After all, while we might not be able to afford the luxe, premiere lines by our favorite fashion designers, who wouldn’t jump at the chance to own a coveted designer name with an affordable price tag? I know I would. (Hey, I’m still giddy over my $50 cardigan from the Zac Posen for Target designer collection that launched this past spring!) Being a serious shoe-a-holic though, my excitement was pretty much off the charts when I heard that the latest big name to launch a lower priced collection will be none other than famed footwear designer Brian Atwood!

Atwood has teamed up with Jones Apparel Group to create a new footwear and accessories label which will be a lower-priced counterpart to his high-end Brian Atwood shoe business. The new designer label will be called B Brian Atwood and will launch in two phases: B Brian Atwood shoes and boots will hit select department stores and specialty stores in Fall 2011, while B Brian Atwood handbags and B Brian Atwood jewelry are set to launch in 2012.

In the official press release, Brian Atwood to Launch Contemporary Footwear and Accessory Line, 'B Brian Atwood,' With Jones Apparel Group, the 43-year-old luxury shoe designer stated, “When thinking about a partner and building my brand, Jones was an obvious choice. I look forward to translating my design aesthetic and guarantee of high-quality, sexy footwear for a larger audience through a new, contemporary line.” The exclusive licensing agreement with Atwood will no doubt be a huge coup for Jones Apparel Group which is already home to such designer brands as Nine West, Anne Klein, Stuart Weitzman, Robert Rodriguez, Bandolino, and Joan & David.

Loca Studded Pumps | Net-A-Porter | Brian Atwood | Designer | Shoes
Brian Atwood Loca Studded Pumps
Since launching his namesake Brian Atwood line of footwear in 2001, the Chicago native has garnered global attention for his stunning shoe designs. With ultra-flattering silhouettes, bold colors, elaborate skins, and playful style names like Drama and Super Charged, it’s no wonder that he’s earned a loyal following among such Hollywood A-listers as Gwenyth Paltrow, Madonna, Sarah Jessica Parker and Victoria Beckham. SJP famously sported the super-chic Brian Atwood Loca Studded Pump in Lilac Suede (shown above) in this summer’s SATC movie sequel, while the Brian Atwood Maniac has quickly become a red carpet staple. Most recently, the Maniac has been sported by True Blood actress Anna Paquin at the 2010 Entertainment Weekly and Women In Film Pre-Emmy Party and, of course, at the 2010 Emmy Awards ceremony itself where Mad Men star January Jones paired her eye-popping Royal Blue Atelier Versace Atelier with Black Brian Atwood Maniac Platform Pumps.

Balleto platform sandals | Net-A-Porter | Brian Atwood | Designer | Shoes
Brian Atwood Balleto platform sandals
Although the new line of B Brian Atwood designer shoes will be considerably less expensive than the pieces in his signature collection, a pair of B Brian Atwood pumps is still going to put a sizeable dent in our pocketbooks. Footwear bearing the B Brian Atwood label will retail for between $200 and $400 for core items and up to $600 for a pair of B Brian Atwood boots – definitely pricier than last year’s limited edition Jimmy Choo for H&M collection where most pairs of Jimmy Choo for H&M heels cost between $99 and $149, and you could even score a pair of flats for $70.

Still, considering the anticipated quality of craftsmanship, not to mention the fact that a pair of Brian Atwood pumps typically starts around $525 and can easily command four figures (check out his sensational, crystal-embellished Balleto Platform Sandals for $2,085!), the prices in the B Brian Atwood line don’t seem too far out of step. While one pair would still be a major splurge for me, it’s an extravagance that, unlike the designer shoes in his premiere collection, doesn’t seem completely out of the question. (I’ve been lusting after a pair of Brian Atwood shoes for a few years now, and this will be the first time that they’re not 100% out of reach!)

And what will be the inspiration for Atwood’s new collection? Citing an interview with WWD, the In Style magazine article Brian Atwood to Launch More Affordable Shoe Collection quotes the former model (no surprise – he’s gorgeous!) turned elite designer: “The cool, East Village girls who have great style are kind of a muse,” he says. “Our brand essence is fun. It is lipstick, boys and killer heels.”

No surprise that Atwood finds inspiration in NYC’s ultra cool East Village. The superstar shoe designer was recently named one of US Weekly’s 25 Most Stylish New Yorkers. The uber-stylish group was honored at a glam red carpet event on September 15. Check out the adorable pic that Atwood tweeted of himself and fellow honoree, MTV reality star Olivia Palermo, at the Big Apple bash!

It’s been a huge month for Brian Atwood. In addition to announcing the launch of B Brian Atwood and making the 25 Most Stylish New Yorkers list, the famed shoe designer participated in the second annual Fashion’s Night Out on September 10, joining industry pals Victoria Beckham and Nicole Richie at Bergdorf Goodman. But this was no ordinary celebrity appearance. Brian was promoted as special guest DJ for the event. I’m not sure if it actually happened or not, but I love it nonetheless! If you were lucky enough to be there, let us know!

So, are you excited about B Brian Atwood or do you think the prices are still too high for savvy shoppers? What other high-end designers are on your discount wish list? Drop us a line in the comments section and share your thoughts. We’d love to hear them!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Victoria Beckham Handbags NY Fashion Week

On the ever-growing list of celebrity fashion designers, Victoria Beckham has earned a legitimate place among the 7th Avenue elite. In less than five years, the 36-year-old style icon has transitioned from former Spice Girl into a bona fide fashion and business mogul. It seems like just yesterday that I was coveting a pair of the Swarovski crystal emblazoned, crown pocket designer jeans that “Posh” had created in collaboration with California-based Rock and Republic. That was back in 2005, and I was pretty much obsessed with owning a pair of the exclusive “VB Rocks” designer jeans, partially because they promised to give my less-than-bootylicious derriere some much needed lift, but mostly because I lusted after that oh-so-chic VB signature, the crown logo.

Rock and Republic | Designer | Jeans
My VB Rocks Designer Jeans

Fast forward to 2010 and I was experiencing that same giddy excitement with news that Beckham was launching her own line of designer handbags! The Victoria Beckham Handbag Collection made its debut to a select group of editors, retailers and stylists on Sunday, September 12 during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York. The unveiling took place during an intimate preview of the Victoria Beckham Spring 2011 Collection, where pieces from the new designer handbag line were used to accessorize each look. Plans for a Fall / Winter 2011 collection of Victoria Beckham handbags are already in the works!

In the article, Victoria Beckham Designs Herself a New Everyday Bag—and a Travel Tote for David!, posted an exclusive look at the Victoria Beckham Spring 2011 designer dresses and designer handbags that are sure to be an immediate hit. Reportedly available in waxed matte croc, lizard and calf, the structured “Victoria Satchel” is one of Beckham’s must-have items from the line. “It’s one of my favorites. This is the bag I’ll use everyday,” she said.

Another Posh favorite is a roomy travel tote that she designed with husband David Beckham in mind. “I had to put a bag in the collection that David would use,” she stated. “It fits loads…He’ll fill it with track suits.”

Victoria has been well known to be a massive fan of Hermès designer handbags, but it sounds like she won’t need to add to her collection of countless Birkin bags and Kelly bags anytime soon. “A Beckham can replace your Birkin,” she was overheard saying to a guest.

Just last month, in its article The Beckham Bag Lady, British Vogue reported that Beckham had enlisted none other than accessories designer extraordinaire Katie Hillier to consult on the new line of designer handbags. Hillier, who was named by Elle Magazine as one of the 50 Most Influential Names in British Fashion on its yearly Power List, received the coveted title of Accessories Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards in 2009. A fashion powerhouse in her own right, she has worked with London-based fashion designer Luella Bartley, hip young UK designer Henry Holland, British fashion royalty Stella McCartney, and most famously, as Creative Consultant for Marc by Marc Jacobs where various styles of her Hillier Hobo Handbag remain best-sellers. Late last year, the 36-year old launched her own

Neiman Marcus | Marc by Marc Jacobs |  Hillier Hobo |  Women's | Designer | Handbag
Marc by Marc Jacobs Hillier Hobo
line of designer jewelry, a collection of whimsical “animal doodle” necklaces that appear to have been crafted from, of all things, paperclips! Beginning with her signature 18 Carat Gold paperclip bunny necklace – which was recently worn by Academy Award and Grammy Award-nominated Rapper M.I.A. in a photo spread for Rolling Stone magazine – Hillier to include a diamond-eyed owl, mouse, dog, snail and squirrel.

But fear not, VB fans. Animal shapes (not that they’re not adorable – I want that bunny necklace!) were not the basis for Beckham’s designer handbag collection. Speaking to the UK’s The Daily Mirror (see A VERY Posh bag lady: Victoria Beckham hires top designer to consult on first handbag line), a Beckham spokesperson confirmed that, while Hillier was consulted, the designs themselves are 100% Victoria. “Katie has consulted on the technical aspects of bag construction in line with her experience in the industry,” said the Beckham rep. “This collection is not a collaboration. As with all her ranges, Victoria has sought the best consultants to ensure the highest level of quality at manufacture for her designs.”

Initial news of the designer handbag line came on the heels of some significant changes within the fashion arm of Beckham Brand Limited. In 2009, as the Victoria Beckham Dress Collection entered its fourth season, the famed fashionista gave a complete overhaul to her designer denim and eyewear collections. As reported by Women’s Wear Daily in December (see Victoria Beckham: A Celebrity Designer Driven to Succeed), Beckham’s designer eyewear is now being handled by British company Cutler and Gross. As for her line of designer jeans, she is no longer working with Western Glove Works and the dVb designer label has been phased out, replaced by the even more craveworthy Victoria Beckham Denim Collection. Available at and at such leading retailers as Bergdorf Goodman, Harvey Nichols and Maria Luisa, the high-end designer denim line consists of everything from ankle-zip skinny jeans and lace leggings to a draped leather jacket and a sexy, sheer double layer tank.

Speaking to WWD about the changes, Beckham explained, “After the success of the dress collection, it just seemed like a natural progression to really take control and take the denim and the sunglasses in-house…Everything is now under Victoria Beckham. DVb is no more. Everything is different,” she said, adding that the silhouettes, denim and factories have all changed.

And based on everything we’ve seen so far, I, for one, couldn’t be more thrilled. While I admit that it would be hard for Mrs. David Beckham to do anything wrong in my books, the revamped denim collection, which debuted this past Spring, is sharper and sleeker than its dVb predecessor. With edgy elements like rivets, back zippers and panel detailing, the new and improved (for me anyway!) Victoria Beckham Denim Collection seems to have a lot more variety and fashion-forward appeal.

Not to mention the fact that I’m head-over-heels crazy about what we’ve seen from the 26-piece Spring 2011 Victoria Beckham dress collection that she previewed on September 12. Narrating the show herself, Beckham said, “What’s alluring for me this season are the curves of a women’s figure—sensual volume and a defined silhouette that allows for a freedom of movement.” Elegance, figure-flattery and comfort: what more could a fashionista ask for?! :)

Now, if we can just find out when the new Victoria Beckham handbag collection will hit stores! Are you looking forward to checking out the Beckham designer handbags for yourself? Let us know! Until then, I hope you’re enjoying a chic and stylish end-of-summer. Fabulous Fall fashion is just around the corner!

Rock and Republic | Designer | Jeans
My VB Rocks Designer Jeans

P.S. As you can see from the pics above, I eventually did get a pair of those “VB Rocks” crown pocket, Rock and Republic designer jeans. Although they put a massive dent in my pocketbook at the time, they remain one of my fave denim purchases to this day. It’s been four years since I bought them and they’ve held up incredibly well. (Too bad I can’t say the same for the derriere. LOL!)

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Exclusive Lanvin Designer Collection for H&M

Fashionistas, if you're savvy about designer fashion then this is definitely for you!!! The cheap chic, high-street global retail chain H&M has just confirmed that its next high-fashion designer collaboration will be Lanvin, the luxury, super chic and one of the hottest designer labels in Europe. As in the case of other high-fashion labels like Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Sonia Rykiel and Jimmy Choo, in this designer collaboration the Paris-based Lanvin will aim to reach the wider mass-market with much lower priced designer fashion pieces.

Alber Elbaz, artistic director of Lanvin said that:
H&M approached us to collaborate, and see if we could translate the dream we created at Lanvin to a wider audience, not just a dress for less. I have said in the past that I would never do a mass-market collection, but what intrigued me was the idea of H&M going luxury rather than Lanvin going public. This has been an exceptional exercise, where two companies at opposite poles can work together because we share the same philosophy of bringing joy and beauty to men and women around the world.
Alber Elbaz | Lanvin | H&M | Artistic Director | French | Luxury | Chic | Fashion | Designer | Mens | Womens | Clothing | Shoes | Handbags | Jewelry
Alber Elbaz, Artistic Director of Lanvin

I recently read in New York Fashion magazine "everyone loves Lanvin while almost no one can afford it." So, so true and what about the key words in the video where Alber Elbaz says it's "not just a dress for less" it's about "H&M going luxury". Oh I can't wait.

About the collaboration and Lanvin designer collection Margareta van den Bosch, creative advisor at H&M is quoted at saying:
We are thrilled about Lanvin’s collection for H&M, it is such an exciting moment. Lanvin will bring to H&M a luxurious French tradition that is also modern and playful. It is very much a Lanvin collection, using their cut and tailoring, with lots of focus on form and details for both women and men. The launch in November is going to be full of wonderful surprises.
Margareta van den Bosch | Creative Advisor | H&M | Lanvin | Fashion | Retailer | Chic | Clothing | Shoes | Handbags | Jewelry
Margareta van den Bosch, Creative Advisor at H&M

The collection, designed by Lanvin’s artistic director Alber Elbaz, and menswear designer Lucas Ossendrijver will be seen for the first time on the H&M website on 2 November and will be on the racks in stores in North America on November 20 followed by its worldwide release on November 23; fashionistas, if you haven't before, then this really isn't too long at all to wait to own a little piece or your own collection of this coveted luxurious French designer label!!!

Lanvin for H&M - The Collection

The designer collection will include both a 30 piece collection of womenswear and a 25 piece collection of menswear. In terms of the womenswear collection, I'm hoping that it will be as classy, sophisticated and super chic as Lanvin is well known to be and looks like it will be given that Margareta van den Bosch, creative advisor at H&M has said that "it is very much a Lanvin collection, using their cut and tailoring, with lots of focus on form and details for both women and men." Does the video above from the Lanvin, Fall Winter 2010/2011 Fashion Show for women give us any clues? Am I dreaming? Although I'm personally not into the big coat or jacket look, don't you just love the Fall designer clothes, oh the styles, the fabrics, the colors, and of course the designer shoes and designer handbags aren't they just hot, hot, hot!!! H&M, bring it If you're hot for Lanvin and who isn't, then you'll really be looking forward to seeing this much anticipated collection.

See Update: Lanvin for H&M