November 28, 2011

My Popular m0851 Tote (and how to get it on sale)!

My Refinery29 feature (more to come on that later) was posted almost two weeks ago and I'm still getting inquiries about the luscious leather tote bag I was rockin' in some of the photos.

With Cyber Monday in full effect, I figured this would be the best time to tell you about the bag and how you can get one at 20% off!

I stumbled upon the m0851 store while strolling in SoHo during my New York Fashion Week visit in September. I had never heard of the brand but the smell of leather drew me in. I was immediately impressed with the quality of the bags that lined the ramp as I entered the store.


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November 22, 2011

Support Local Businesses on Black Friday: In-Store and Online Sales to Add to Your List

Looking to bypass the mega retailers and outlet malls and, instead, support local businesses on Black Friday?

Well, here's a roundup of some of the best local shops offering great in-store deals post-Turkey Day! And since these are some of my personal favorites, you will most certainly bump into me at one of these spots on Friday.


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The Chicago Blogger Shopping Crawl: Fashion, Fun and Fellowship

(l-r) Andrea, Gabriel, me, Raijean, Dee Dee, Hallie, Patrice, Tabitha, Jen, Elise, Mariposa, Lisa
The Chicago Blogger Shopping Crawl has come and gone.  Yet, I'm still recovering from all the shopping, in-store scavenger hunt missions, Twitter challenges and fun times!

I put my tagline - "the enabler of fashion consumption" - to the test last weekend and passed with flying colors. Everyone left the crawl with tons of bags and lighter wallets. SCORE!

Here's a recap of the day.


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November 17, 2011

The Chicago Blogger Shopping Crawl and How YOU Can Participate Virtually

I'm excited to announce that ChiTown Fashionista is hosting its first ever Chicago Blogger Shopping Crawl this Saturday!! 

That's right! I've rounded up some of my blogger friends to indulge in my favorite

We will be "crawling" to three local TJ Maxx/Marshalls stores to kick off our holiday shopping and to share with all of you exactly why these are the best stores to find great gifts and even better deals. 

the crew:

Patrice of Afrobella (@afrobella)
and of course, me (@chitown_fashion) and Gabriel (@mistertyler)

Add to that a few guests and you have a van full of fashion-loving, shopping-addicted bargain hunters!

Now, what started out as a small shopping trip for a few friends to visit some of my favorite local TJ Maxx/Marshalls stores, has turned into a shopping event that YOU can also participate in!

TJ Maxx, Marshalls and I decided that it would be even more fun to allow the readers to track our stops and join in on the par-tay!  So, we're hosting a virtual giveaway at each location.

here's how it will work:

1. The bloggers will tweet out a photo at each store and provide our followers with the retail or "compare at" price.

2. The first one of our followers to guess the correct TJ Maxx/Marshalls price (or comes the closest) will win a $50 TJ Maxx/Marshalls gift card!

That's THREE chances to win a gift card. And who doesn't want one of those cards to help with that upcoming holiday shopping?! 

In addition to the giveaways, we will be live tweeting our finds using the official hashtag #CHIBloggerCrawl. So, be sure to stalk our Twitter timelines Saturday (10AM to 2PM) to be a part of the fun!

Can you guess which locations we're hitting up?

This is a "pilot" event that may turn into something even bigger. Who knows? I could be chartering a bus the next go 'round and inviting all of you to join me! Time will surely tell...

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November 16, 2011

Randolph Street's Holiday Market: Get ready for stress-free holiday shopping [EXCERPT]

"If you’re on the hunt for unique gifts this upcoming holiday season or one-of-a-kind home decor to spice up your holiday gatherings,  look no further than Randolph Street’s Holiday Market!

With the team behind the popular Randolph Street Market and Modern Vintage Chicago events as the hosts, the Holiday Market is bound to be yet another great shopping adventure. Under one roof, you can expect to find a wide range of items at various price points. Vendors offering up gift options such as artwork and vintage clothing will neighbor those selling home goods, antique dishes and serveware."

Click HERE to read my entire post on Chicago Like A Local and find out exactly where you need to be this upcoming weekend for some good pre-Black Friday shopping!

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November 14, 2011

The RLT Collection Trunk Show: Bracelets for Every Woman and Budget

The term "Arm Party" has become increasingly popular over the past few months. However, stylish women of all ages have been stacking bracelets for years! And one of these women is my good friend, and Emmy-award winning AIDS activist, Rae Lewis Thornton.

As if being an AIDS activist, thought-provoking speaker and a "DIVA Living With AIDS" isn't enough, Rae is also a jewelry designer. Her jewelry line, RLT Collection, consists of beaded bracelets that include everything from gemstones to freshwater pearls and certainly lives up to its tagline "A Bracelet For Every Woman". Although Rae has been designing bracelets for over three years, she decided to take her brand to the next level by hosting her first trunk show two weeks ago!


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Get the Look: Sorel and Columbia Outfits Handpicked by Daily Candy Editors and Us!

SOREL footwear has protected feet from snow and rain since 1962. However, the brand has not always been considered the fashion force we know it to be today. In the past few years, SOREL has recreated itself from head-to-toe, featuring a new look that marked the brand's descent from the mountain peak and into the fashion world. Last week, the footwear brand partnered with Daily Candy to introduce its new winter collection to the Windy City.

SOREL's transformation has been swift due to the brand's strategic press campaign and a fresh look. As a part of its transformation, SOREL created new looks that appealed to women and men who had to brave extremely cold weather conditions but didn't want to sacrifice style for practicality. It's no surprise that the footwear company would team up with Daily Candy, the online resource of editors across the globe delivering the scoop on choice online finds including fashion, food, home décor and must-have accessories, to push their new look to the masses.

SOREL and Daily Candy familiarized Chicagoans with the SOREL winter collection over finger food, sparkling wine, sweet candy and baked treats. The "Step Out in Style" event, which occurred at the Columbia Sportswear store on North Michigan Avenue, was the perfect blend of social and style.


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November 9, 2011

Art in Fashion Extravaganza: "By Latinos, For Everyone"

The 2011 Latino Fashion Week marked the 5th anniversary of the Latino fashion expo. This year's showcase was the perfect mix of Latin American culture and modern style. With a number of sponsors and contributors, including Walgreen's, Macy's, Akira, Univision and the Chicago Sun-Times, this year's Latino Fashion Week upped the ante just to make sure we'd all be paying attention this go-round.

Chicago's Latino Fashion Week is the only fashion exhibition of Latino designs in the United States. Although the Latino market has grown rapidly, representations of and opportunities for Latinos and other designers of color have remained limited. It was good to see a diverse crowd come together to celebrate the emergence of Latino fashion and acknowledge a culture often marginalized in the fashion industry.

This year's theme, "By Latinos, For Everyone", was a reminder that although Latino fashion is created by Latino designers, it is fashioned with every shopper in mind. The week-long celebration of Latino fashion concluded with the "Art in Fashion Extravaganza", a finale runway show featuring the collections of national and international designers such as Claudia Arce from Argentina, Paco Mayorga from Mexico, Tamaris Rubio from the Dominican Republic and Jorge Perez de la Habana’s 2012 Bridal collection. Lourdes Duarte, celebrity WGN-TV anchor and reporter, hosted the finale event.


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November 8, 2011

Eddie Bauer: The Blogger Day Styling Event and My Reunion With The Brand

As long as I can remember Eddie Bauer has been synonymous with quality. In my high school days, if you owned an Eddie Bauer backpack or portfolio (remember those?), you were definitely considered as one of the "cool kids". But there was more to it than status. Yes, they cost more than most bags. But we all knew that purchasing an Eddie Bauer meant you could last all four years with the same bag, no problem. It was one of my first examples of the consumer mantra "you get what you pay for".

However, as time went on, Eddie Bauer fell off my radar. I knew it was the best source for down coats - I even blogged about one of their coats 2 years ago - but hadn't made a purchase in years!

So, when I was invited to to attend Eddie Bauer Blogger Day (#EBBloggerDay) and style models in the 2011 Holiday Collection, I jumped at the chance to reconnect with the brand and see what the store had to offer besides outerwear.

Before arriving to the Mag Mile store (600 N. Michigan Avenue), I had a chance to view some digital images of the collection and knew that the quilted leather Military Jacket (shown below) would be a blogger favorite.

But I was determined to use some of the other great pieces in the collection to style our lovely female model, Jade.


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November 3, 2011

The Art of Fashion: Chicago Designers Up the Ante

The finale headlining show for Fashion Focus was The Art of Fashion hosted by and it was certainly impressive!  The sold out crowd descended upon Millennium Park to preview the Spring 2012 collections of some of Chicago's best established designers: SWABY, Squasht by Les, Lara Miller, Borris Powell, RÜCH, Zamrie, Eva Pazola, Nora del Busto, Sylwia W., Nade Baer.

Sidenote: I must admit, I had the highest expectation and anticipation for SWABY.  Designer, and former Project Runway Canada contestant,  Shernett Swaby has been on my radar for over 2 years. I own one of her handbags and truly appreciate the level of detail she incorporates in every piece. Even though she's been in Chicago for over awhile, it was her first fashion show here. So, I couldn't wait to see her looks walk the runway.

These designers did not disappoint! There was at least one item in each collection that I would be willing to purchase right off the runway.  The show represented the versatility of the Chicago fashion scene. From the practical every day wear by Lara Miller and Zamrie to the avant garde looks presented by SWABY and Nora Del Busto, there was something for every woman.


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November 2, 2011

Anna Fong presents "A Mayan Tale"

Fashion Focus Week 2011 quickly came to end, and if you've ever believed in saving the best for last, you would have been pleased with Anna Fong's "A Mayan Tale" Collection Preview presented at the historical Renaissance Blackstone Hotel.

Anna Fong is an emerging designer whose ability to tell a story well has set her apart from many of her local contemporaries. She has been known to put a modern twist on a vintage look, which rings true in her latest collection, "A Mayan Tale."

Anna said she was inspired by her recent journey to Guatemala, where she learned about her heritage and translated that sense of identity and knowing into designs full of vibrant hues, timeless shapes and rich fabrics. There is no doubt that Anna can construct a well-designed piece.


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November 1, 2011

Trendevous at Carson's: An unexpectedly great shopping experience for the department store skeptic

With Autumn in full swing, everyone is looking to update their wardrobes with items that keep them warm while maintaining their sense of style.

So, when Carson's in Yorktown Mall (Lombard, IL) invited me to Trendezvous, their Fall trend show, I was certainly curious to see what this department store had to offer this season.  As a shopper that tends to avoid department stores like the plague, I was highly impressed with the fashion show.  

I already expected the show to consist of items by designers such as Michael Kors, Kenneth Cole, John Bartlett, Victor Alfaro, and the store's newest addition, Vince Camuto. But it was the use of Ford models and the coveted looks created by the Carson's styling team that pleasantly surprised me. The mixing of patterns, the execution of layering and subtle styling choices - like the fur infinity scarf worn off the shoulder - provided the audience with ideas on how to wear the trends this season.


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Dress Code: Student Designers Continue to Shine at Fashion Focus

Nicole Paprusky (Illinois Institute of Art)

Every time Fashion Focus rolls around, I look forward to the Dress Code runway show. Featuring students from the city's top four design schools - International Academy of Design and Art (IADT), Columbia College, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and Illinois Institute of Art -  Dress Code usually ends up being the most innovative and creative show of the week. And this year was no different.


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