Offering trendy on-the-go adults a stylish option to the brown paper bags or plastic shopping bags you're used to, is Canadian start-up Modern Mary. Their 100 per cent Made-In-Canada products use soft, genuine leather and feature removable utensil pouches, secure zip-top closures, and roomy, water-resistant, insulated interiors.
“In 2013, I used a lululemon bag as my lunch bag (don’t act like you haven’t before). Working at a trendy downtown office, I knew I needed to step up my lunch bag faux pas," says owner and founder of Modern Mary, Teresa Santarsia. “Modern Mary products are well-made classic pieces with modern designs. I wanted a lunch bag that was stylish and gender neutral – a piece that helped to express my personal style and stand up to my must-have list.”
These stylish food clutches even follow the colour trends as seen in high-fashion runway collections, with favourites ranging from electric yellow to sapphire blue. Neutrals like neutral black and scotch-hue crocodile embossed leather are colour options for those who are less risqué in their colour play.
Available in two sizes, piccolo (small) and grande (large), Modern Mary retails from $155-$188 and is available on their website, modern-mary.com.
Special thanks to Lotus Leaf Communications for introducing me to this line and for providing me with these amazing photographs!
💋 Megan xo.
3- D printing still has a long way to go when it comes to wearable clothing. This didn't stop Tel Aviv-based student Daniet Peleg from Shenkar College of Design from using this technology to create her collection.
The fashion industry is known for its reluctance to embrace technology and few mainstream designers are using it. This is due to not only the complicated process involved with printing clothing but the materials commonly used tend to be stiff. For the innovators that are embracing and utilizing the technology, it's being used to create mainly jewelry and prototypes.
Peleg created five full looks made entirely from the 3-D printers that are available for anyone to purchase for home use. She discovered FilaFlex, a new filament that's softer and more malleable, and settled in for a long process. First she created a pattern on Optitex, a fashion design software, after which she transferred the designs to Blender, a 3-D graphic design software. Lastly, she printed sheets of lace-like textiles and glued them together to create the final pieces.
It took Peleg nine months, over 2,000 hours, to print everything - spending approximately 400 hours of printing on each piece. She used three printers (during crunch time at school she used six) and kept them running 24/7 to meet the school's deadline. Her hard work paid off as her looks were chosen for the school's graduate fashion show.
3-D printing may seem like a futuristic tool of modern convenience but it is, in fact, a much faster way of making clothes in comparison to the old fashioned way of cutting and sewing fabric. While Peleg doesn't see herself selling the creations (if she does, she says they will be expensive) but is more focused on selling or giving away the files used to make them.
Perhaps this is an indication of how designs will be bought and sold in the future? Take a look at her YouTube video (below) to see the process of how she created her collection at home. What do YOU think, would you wear 3-D printed clothing?
💋 Megan xo.
I love fashion with a cause and my favourite happens to be a local company based out of Toronto, ON, Canada called Peace Collective. This inspiring organization brings together fashion lovers who are socially conscious and with a grassroots program, are helping to feed impoverished school children in developing countries through the World Food Program. With a portion of apparel sales also going towards local Toronto initiatives, consumers are able to make a real difference.
It's a clothing lines with a philanthropic aspect who experienced many speed bumps along the way, and founder Yanal Dhailieh almost gave up at one point. His confidence was renewed once he read, "Start Something That Matters," by Blake Mycoskie, the creator of "Toms." His view was refreshed and he was taken with not only the idea of giving back, but with the "One for One" business model. The model is simple to follow, you donate a product or tangible item for every product sold.
Dhailieh's vision for the company is humble, "I want the Peace Collective to represent the idea that in life you can love your work, follow your dreams and passions, while also having a positive impact on the world." The company's goal coincides with their vision and gives them the edge that has been driving their recent success, "The goal is to live life to the fullest, dream more, do more, and become more; while providing children in poverty the opportunity to one day do the same."
With designs like, "Home is Toronto" and "Toronto-vs-Everybody" becoming increasingly popular with streetwear enthusiasts (I myself have a "Home is Toronto" sweater in burgundy), they collaborated with athletic wear giant lululemon athletica and now have a capsule collection carried in each Toronto location (kudos to lululemon who rarely interacts with organizations at a grassroots level outside from their community involvement as demanded of each store).
Here are some shots of me in my favourite sweater (yes, it has been my favourite since I learned about the company and got one back in April), taken by my favourite photographer, Jerome Alexander. Leave a comment and let me know what your favourite Peace Collective pieces are, I can't wait to get a "Home is Toronto" jacket and a "Toronto-vs-Everybody" tee!
💋 Megan xo.
American Apparel has built a reputation as a hyper-sexualized, envelop-pushing brand with ad campaigns featuring provocative poses and inessential nudity - but now they may not have enough money to keep their doors open.
CEO Paula Schneider said their team is working hard on making the fall assortment a strong revenue driver but it may not be enough for the company to stay in business without outside help. In a press release published on their website, American Apparel said for the next phase of its turnaround plan, it's attempting to enforce a plan to reduce operating expenses by $30 million.
"Even if American Apparel increases revenue and cuts costs, there can be no guarantee that the company will have sufficient financing commitments to meet funding requirements for the next 12 months without raising additional capital, and there can be no guarantee that it will be able to raise such additional capital," the company said in a statement.
Between sinking sales and mounting legal fees due to controversial ads, American Apparel says they plan to close underperforming stores while opening others with more promising demographics, as well as to "streamline its workforce to reflect a smaller store footprint and general industry conditions."
While the vast majority of layoffs are rumoured to be in the company's head office and retail locations, it will be interesting to see if this international business will have enough money to continue to operate and fully overcome the stigma placed upon itself by former CEO Dov Charney.
It was Charney's aim for American Apparel to live beyond his lifetime. He said, "We'll be a heritage brand. It's like liberty, property, pursuit of happiness for every man worldwide. That's my America."
💋 Megan xo.
Since 1886, Triumph has been tailoring to female confidence as the world-leading maker of lingerie and shape wear. Their products display the company's dedication to craftsmanship, passion for detail and innovation, as well as their commitment to helping you find the perfect fit - did you know 64% of women don't know their own bra size?!
Triumph's Spring/Summer 2015 inspiration was Joie de Vivre (French for "exuberant enjoyment of life") and it came with an array of vitality and youthfulness. Embraced were colours, prints, and cultural exchanges. The colours were fresh with an emphasis on blues, sea greens, and pinks while giving the impression of art-inspired fashion. Their creativity stretched further by mixing lace on the beach, florals and stripes, and pink as the new black.
They carry cup sizes from AA - H and have a variety of styles to find the needs of every woman, including a Bridal collection and a Beauty-Full collection. Want to #FindTheOne for you? Get your Triumph bra fitting at The Bay today or check out their website for bra-fitting tips and tricks!
💋 Megan xo.
We all have clothing in our closest that's worn, torn, or just terribly out of style. Instead of letting it pile up or throwing it out, put it in a grocery bag and take it into your local H&M store. H&M Conscious is the company's commitment to making fashion and quality accessible to everyone. The company has seven commitments: provide fashion for conscious customers, choose and reward responsible partners, be ethical, be climate smart, use natural resources responsibly, strengthen communities, and reduce, reuse, recycle.
H&M collects any clothes and/or home textiles in any condition from any brand and in return, for each bag of clothes you bring in, you'll get one voucher for $5 off your purchase of $30 or more, limit of two per day. Their main goal is to create a closed loop in which textiles are recycled into new creations and in 2014, they collected over 7,600 tonnes of textiles that were no longer wanted - that's as much fabric as in over 38 million T-shirts! That was also the year they introduced the first pieces made with 20 per cent recycled cotton from said textiles.
The clothing is sent with the store's normal deliveries to the nearest processing plant where they are graded and hand-sorted to ensure zero waste. Textiles that are no longer suitable to wear are turned into other products, like cleaning cloths. When re-wear, reuse and recycle are not options, the textiles are then used to produce energy. For this process, the company partnered with Worn Again, a UK-based innovation company which is developing technologies for textile-to-textile recycling that H&M consider promising. The company says for them to increase the share of recycled textiles used, without compromising quality, more technological innovation is required.
The revenues collected from this program are used to reward H&M customers, to invest in recycling innovation, and to make donations to local charities. For every kilogram of clothing collected, 0.02 Euro will be donated to the local charity chosen by H&M - in Canada, the proceeds go to UNICEF Canada. As of June 17, 2015, H&M's Canadian customer base has raised 3.240EUR (162.00kg) and worldwide their customer base has raised 329.204EUR (16.460.189kg) for the 2015 year. To track your country's progress or to see the local charity selected for your country, visit H&M CharityStar.
This trend never grows old and experiences many changes and progressions, helping it to gain fresh and non-traditional perspectives. This season, nautical has gone far beyond the classic blue and white breton stripes and is giving voice to the subtle interpretations. The neutral palate and sleek tailoring lends to what makes this trend one that is easy to come back to.
For a day spent sailing...
Those sweltering summer temperatures make these breezy seperates even more appealing and give a new take to the LBD (little boat dress). The accessories and floral print help to steer the outfit away from taking maritime styling too literally and smooth out the total appearance.
Yachting in style...
The jumpsuit is a modern twist to the LBD (little black dress) making it the new staple for summer evenings. As with the classic LBD, it leaves room to express your personal style with accessories and gives you the chance to showcase those statement pumps you have tucked away in the back of your closet.
For the days you just want to be a Beach Bum...
Fringe is all the range and boho is one of my personal favourite styles. Pairing the neutral colour with denim shorts gives an old favourite a fresh look, while the floral print ties together the accessories.
Any questions? Leave a comment or fill out the contact form and I will get back to you!
💋 Megan xo.
Images courtesy of Lotus Leaf Communications.
Time Magazine's Person of the Year in 2006.