Beyonce for H&M

Many stores have gone the designer route with focusing on international designers like JcPenney’s recent collaboration or local designers like Target but view have tapped the celebrity train. H&M has once again bridged the gap by tapping into the celebrity influence machine that helps turn American Culture. Of course, H&M is no stranger to celebrity fanfare but they have never collaborated with such a megastar.

The campaign is said to center around a music video atmosphere that will be set to Beyonce’s new song “Standing on the sun” which is being shot on the beaches of Bahamas. According to Huffington Post, Beyonce has this to say about the whole experience:

“I’ve always liked H&M’s focus on fun and affordable fashion. I really loved the concept we collaborated on to explore the different emotions of women represented by the four elements — fire, water, earth and wind. It was a beautiful shoot on a tropical island,”and “It felt more like making a video than a commercial.”

According to H&M, Beyoncé has worked with the in-house design team at H&M to create the perfect pieces for the heat of summer. We can expect shorts, airy tops and of course body con dresses. We do know that there will be Tye-dye styles in swimwear. Mid-drift tops in tropical prints are also a possibility. 25 percent of sales will be donated to H&M for Water, H&M’s initiative with WaterAid, which has so far raised £2,650,000 since 2002.

The campaign images were shot in Nassau, Bahamas by photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, while the commercial was directed by Jonas Åkerlund and is shot like a music video. It will be available to view online in its entirety, with edited versions for TV. (courtesy of

Interestingly, when People Stylewatch reported the possible collaboration back in January, H&M neither confirmed nor denied. I guess nothing before it’s time. We will be adding more pictures as more develops so stay tuned.


When JcPenneys created thier fair and square campaign a couple of months back, editors and investors alike had mix feelings about its success and the future of JcPenneys. Quarter losses followed and investors became antsy convincing JcPennys to return sales to thier philosophy, a strategy they had abandoned.
Flash forward, six months later and JcPenneys has risen like a Phoenix from the ashes by replacing tired clothing designs and adding fresh lower priced designs from well-known brands like Mango, Nanette LePore and Liz Claiborne.  Some feared the new designers would alienate the more loyal customers which were of the older crowd. So JcPennys started their button campaign for the holidays to attract new customers and it worked because I am now a JcPennys customer.
With all the changes at JcPenneys,  we were even more happy to see them embrace little known international designers at affordable prices. Similar to Targets “go international” campaign (which has become localized and a popularity contest), the campaign differs by focusing on new designers with a local following so enters the topic of the blog, African designer, Duro Olowu.


We loved the designer’s mixed prints which is all the rage of the moment and the price tag was equally nice starting at only 30 dollars. The fabric was light and the clothing looked expensive like this coat with brocade details.


The price is only 75 dollars! I had to admit, I was hesitate to look at the line upclose since the quality looked so expensive but after my twin and partner suggested we stop by after our purchases,  I agreed. I am happy to have made the journey. Okay, it wasn’t a real journey but it was like entering another country. We also loved the fact that he did not just stop at clothes but ventured into housewares, jewelry and my personal love handbags.



If we weren’t shopping for birthday outfits, one of these bags would have came home with us. The associate that was showing us the collection and I coveted the same long sleeve shirt at just 30 dollars, it was a steal. If you don’t like coat, the same detail was added to this dress for just 60 dollars.


So stop by JcPenneys or their website and check out the full collection and you be glad you made the journey as well.

Floral prints and psychedelic patterns were a hit!!

We reported back in October 2012 that Parabal Gurung was doing a line for target! Here is what we said would be the   highlights of the collection:

  • sweet heart styles, cut-out shoulders and one shoulder styles
  • structured pants with pronounced waist lines
  • Print wise expect psychedelic and watercolor like floral prints

After viewing the collection this weekend, we have to say, it was nothing that we expected but we could say it was definitely what we saw on the runways last year!! The collection did not feature pants but the signature pronounced waist line was added to dresses as seen above in the center and last picture above.

last image shows the cold shoulder look we predicted.

We also predicted that we would see some cold shoulder effects which was represented in the red dress above.  We also the psychedelic print in also every shirts and dress as well as the floral print as seen above.  I bought the shirt above to the left. As for what the retailer said about the collection:

“reflects Gurung’s distinct aesthetic, with impeccable tailoring and feminine silhouettes, and features striking prints, hot-hued palettes and sleek styles,” such as “refined dresses, mixed-media skirts, edgy blazers and striking shoes.”

We think the retailer was right! As for Gurung, he said:

“I am so thrilled to be working with Target on a collection that brings my designs to a wider audience,” said Prabal Gurung. “This collection was inspired by love and if Target’s guests can feel even a little bit of the love that I felt while I was designing this collection, then I will consider it a job well done.”

We are indeed in love with your collection and a job well done!!!

This site is so cool and has a ton of indie labels as well as well known designers. They are doing 40% off site wide and if you use code HAUTE317 at checkout you save another 20%!! They have stuff for girls and guys!

Core Collection 5 pocket Twill Pants on sale $33.95

Sole Boutique Serra Shoe on sale for $33.95

Fresh off the presses, Parabal Gurung has just signed a contract to collaborate with target next year. Our source, accessories magazine state that clothing will be as low as 19.99 and jewelry will start at 12.99! Accessories magazine prepared this quote:

“I am so thrilled to be working with Target on a collection that brings my designs to a wider audience,” said Prabal Gurung. “This collection was inspired by love and if Target’s guests can feel even a little bit of the love that I felt while I was designing this collection, then I will consider it a job well done.”

We are thrilled and the dates are already announced: the collaboration is set to hit stores and online for six weeks only (Feb. 10 to march 23, 2013).  Here is what we think the collection with feature:

I think cold shoulder styles would be something that would be seen at Target. I am thinking more sweet heart styles, cut-out shoulders and one shoulder styles because they are easy to reproduce at the lower end cost. I also expect structured pants with pronounced waist lines since I have seen this style repeated in his runway collections.

Print wise expect psychedelic and watercolor like floral prints to show up on everyday staples like t-shirts and shorts.  We can’t to see it all so mark your calendars and we close with another quote for Accessories magazine:

The retailer says the collection “reflects Gurung’s distinct aesthetic, with impeccable tailoring and feminine silhouettes, and features striking prints, hot-hued palettes and sleek styles,” such as “refined dresses, mixed-media skirts, edgy blazers and striking shoes.”

Launch date: Feb. 10 to march 23, 2013

Luxury to the masses was once the most coveted political move of any established brand. The idea was simple; start high to gain exposure among the jet-setting crowd and then come up with a more affordable line for everyone else who wants to be like them. However, that idea seems to be going away with the addition of capsule collections (invented by Target and now embraced by macy’s and others soon to follow) which allow designers to offer lower prices for a limited time without have to think about creating affordable clothing season after season.

Another occurrence, starting at the masses and then selling to the classes. Let’s talk about the Olsen twins who started at Wal-mart and now have the multi-billion dollar The Row which has won a CFDA award. The Olsens were one of the first celebrity designers to ditch mainstream affiliations, canceling their wal-mart account and re-inventing their line until i can neither afford nor want something from The Row. It is not just the price but the fact they have slowly drifted away from the initial customer that they have insulted those who actually made their business successful. Other more notable designers have followed.

Skaist-Taylor launch party at Bel-harbor Neiman Marcus in Miami in late July.

The Juicy Couture founders, Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor, have left their not so fairly priced company to build a new company offering higher prices and more generic looks.  Skaist-Taylor has just reached Miami shores with a spot on Deco Drive showcasing their new “refined” clothing at the Bel harbor Neiman Marcus recently (the line debuted during February fashion week in NY). A hint towards this new turn may have been the launch of the bird collection with Juicy Couture in 2009 (which used cheap fabric to create demi-tailored looks in drab colors). The bird collection was not successful and we wonder if the best friends can create the fun and youthful look of Juicy in Skaist-Taylor because the new looks are not so appealing and too trend based. The brand is already the darling of Neiman Marcus and there is speculation that Dillard’s may be interested.

Finally we saw Betsey Johnson liquify her old company and sell off licenses just to launch a new dress line to department stores this coming spring 2013. She has already stated that the pieces would be paired down from her Betsey Johnson past. We can probably count on short dresses with bright animal prints, a line cuts, and maybe a little twirl appeal. We are sure not to see tulle, bows, lace and sequin. Of course, the prices would probably be lower has BJ is one of the few designers in this run to make the leap from class to mass (even though it was the masses who initially bought those 400 dollar dresses which was way to detailed for the classes). This new collection may appeal more to the classes showing once again that designers are willing to sacrifice their aesthetics to reach that 1% of the population.

It seems the sign of the times, corporate america has entered the fashion world and what seemed a more forward push to reach more of the market is now being undone by the lingering economy as 70% is the new 50 and profit margins are the main concern. Our future may solely relay on trend stores like H&M, Forever 21, Tod’s, Joe Fresh and Top Shop. Let’s pray the economy gets better before designer lower end lines begin to disappear.

The new 50% is up to 70%

Everyone knows that retail has been hit hard by the recession but with deep discounts at almost every turn, shoppers have a lot of decisions to make on where and how they could spend their money. So why the deep discounts? Retailers are having a hard time clearing out inventory. This fact was evident to anyone who still sees sweaters on sale at 80% in may (I bought one for my trip to New York) due to unseasonable warmth during the holidays. Lesson learned: People are more likely to buy items when they are clearance off during the season then afterwards. So the sales started early this year and wah la, 70% off summer essentials in June!! The sales are so huge, retailers are running out of bags. Recession?…What recession? So what are our top sale alerts?

Best Accessories: Aldo

We stopped by this store last night and picked up a pair of beaded sandals that are very tribal and a shimmering backpack – all for 48 dollars!! Aldo has always been one of our favorite go to store for accessories and besides their clearance they are now offering items starting at 20 dollars. The store may only have a few items left (there were empty shelves at Coral Square Mall) but the site still has some great 40% + extra 30% deals.

Best Clothing: Lohemann’s

We went to this store for its extra percent off sale and found great deals. We also found out that they are having a spectacular 4th of July sale with clothing marked as low as 5 dollars!! For a quick fix, shop their dresses which come up to a mere 20 dollars for designer clothing like Marc Jacobs, Anne Klein and BCBG. Our second pick is New York and Company which had 3 dollar belts, and a 80% off sale. Check them both out below:

Any ideas for stores you think should have made the list or have images of items you scored during these sales then post images to our facebook page at


If you haven’t been on twitter lately then you are missing out on the buzz that “triple M” is doing a holiday capsule collection for H & M scheduled for a November release. Maison Martin Margiela is famous for its pant suits loved by celebrities ( a favorite during film festivals) and we have to wonder how such tailored and deconstructed designs can translate to H & M’s fashionable but low price points.

We can either see high price points with less functionality like the Lavin designs that went to clearance (well in Florida where such obulence is hardly necessary) or the paired down success of Marni in 2011. Here are something we think “Triple M” will offer this fall for H&M:

A jacket in a unique cut is definately going to be seen at H&M

We think a jacket in a unusal cut will be the first thing offered at H&M for this designer which of course is my favorite.

An asymetrical dress is sure to be seen by the designer

The designer is famous for asymetrical cuts and pleats so we are sure to see a design like the above (featured in thier FW 2012 collexction). We also know the color red will also be prominent. Well, we are just guessing here.

Unusual skirts

Finally, we think that unusual cuts in skirts will be seen at H&M. Because it is fall, we are speculating long skirts with high splits and multiple tiers in constrasting fabrics.

What do you think the collection would look like? Post you pictures on our facebook page – and we will tell you if you are warmer or colder or just hopeful.

Shoegasim-A feeling of utter joy and happiness that transports you to another plain. That is what happens to me and other shoe addicts when we try on and/or purchase a stunning pair of shoes. I own lots of shoes and have started to get bored with the selections when at DSW shoe warehouse I came across Irregular Choice shoes and was blown away! I tried them on and did a runway walk down the aisle and every head turned instantly complimenting me on the shoes. I was hooked and bought them right away! So I’d like to share this little piece of heaven with you and here is something to sit back and stare at while you are waiting for the barbeque to cook on the grill this Memorial day! Enjoy!!

Irregular Choice shoes are very whimsical and feature stunning details like carved acrylic heels, embroidery, fabric flowers and lace. They come in flats, booties, heels, wedges and platform and are priced $89-$200.

Irregular Choice is a UK-based shoe company started in 1999 by british designer Dan Sullivan. He stated he wanted to make shoes that were unique and different like nothing seen before which is why he chose “Irregular” as part of the name of the company. he has flagship stores throughout the Uk and Europe and he had a flagship store in NY but unfortunately it is now closed. You can still purchase his designs in the us through his website

The shoes that got me hooked! Irregular Choice Fabric Footwear Sandal $80

Milkshake Mush $150

Can’t Touch This $139

Stick Of Rock $145

I know the economy is so bad but and we have seen a LOT of companies go out of business. But never in a million years did I believe that one of the strongest designers in our time, Betsey Johnson would fall prey to this crumbling economy! She started her business in the 80s with a strong punk domination and had become a brand worth Millions of dollars. But Betsey Johnson sold most of her company in 2010 to Steve Madden and then it was downhill from then. So now we lose the Queen of Punk Betsey Johnson and the Betseyville Brands forever. Steve Madden says he will relaunch The Betseyville brand in Shoes only and the Betsey Johnson brand in Daytime Dresses; but her handbags, evening dresses and jewelry are being discontinued. My heart is broken and I can hear the collective screams of Cool, edgy and punk girls everywhere. So for now her stores will remain open until July 16, 2012 and they have started the sales (20-50%) so grab all what you can for now and I don’t know where that leaves the future of fashion and all us cool edgy or punk girls. :'(

Betsey Johnson

Betsey Johnson Ad