What it is: KARA Double Date Bag
Why we love it: The convertible duffel does double duty as a slim mini bag.
Wear it with: Go with the duffel silhouette for day and the mini-bag style for night.
Menswear is a fantastic resource for the fashion-inclined female, and accessories are a great gateway. Men's bags are durable, classic, and usually free of gaudy hardware. I carried one for years! And men's jewelry has that perfectly oversized quality that so many women's jewelry designers seek to emulate. In terms of apparel, sweater sleeves can be really long and bulky, but if you're not afraid to get creative or riff on the ’90s, knits can steal the show. Lastly, look to men's collections for fabulous shirting. I look for oxfords or great plaid flannels from Gant Rugger.
Now, when it comes to tailored items and denim, I say stick to menswear-inspired items found on your favorite women's site, (like Shopbop, naturally). The fit will be superior—cut generously in the right places—and ensuring a chic look.
Drawing from the rich creative sources of graphic design and fashion, husband-and-wife design team Julie Haus and Jason Alkire created the innovative label HAUS ALKIRE. We talked with the couple about the origins of their brand, the importance of local production, and the inspiration behind their latest collection.
SHOPBOP: HAUS ALKIRE started as an underground project. How did that influence your designs?
JULIE HAUS & JASON ALKIRE: We began by making one-of-a-kind pieces for private clients—pieces they would treat as collector items. So, our design philosophy is to be distinctive and to live up to that original uniqueness in each garment. We develop and use complex textiles, precious materials, and our own prints, each of which is a painting, drawing, or photograph by Jason.
SB: You merge fine art with fashion design. How did you first come up with this concept?
JH & JA: We were looking for something personally fulfilling that we could build together, so the concept was a natural fit for us, as we have experience in those fields.
SB: HAUS ALKIRE originally specialized in made-to-order pieces. How do you maintain that level of uniqueness now?
JH & JA: We approach our select retailer clients the same way we approach the made-to-order clients of our own shop in New York. Each season, we personally sit down with your buyer, Justin, and discuss how we can make special pieces just for Shopbop. Therefore, most of the pieces you see on the site are limited editions, or in many cases the only pieces in existence.
SB: What is the one HAUS ALKIRE item every women needs in her wardrobe and why?
JH & JA: The Maldonne Blazer, because of its poetic and timeless take on the classic tuxedo jacket.
SB: All of your designs are made in Manhattan. Why is that important to your brand?
JH & JA: Unfortunately, in this mass market, cheaper/faster, knock-off world, the US fashion trade is eroding. Every time fashion is imported it means a bit of the American industry is being exported. We feel a sense of duty to do something to counter this. For that reason, and our emphasis on quality control, we design and manufacture here.
SB: Can you explain the inspiration behind the fall/winter collection?
JH & JA: We spent the wake of Hurricane Sandy in darkness, and it was really a visually stimulating experience. That experience is at the soul of this collection. The colors, prints, and textures came directly from our life during this time. The prints on Shopbop are artworks of a banksia flower photographed by candlelight reflected in an antique mirror, an abandoned Washington Square Park scene, and an image of an entire SoHo street block with one apartment lit by candles. The collection also explores texture through the use of exotic eel and anaconda skins, flat textured furs, washed crepe silks, cashmeres, fused wools, and the hard surfaces of Swarovski crystals.
Shop HAUS ALKIRE.
What it is: NAMELESS Faux Shearling Jacket
Why we love it: The oversized lapel drapes beautifully to expose the soft, faux-shearling lining.
Wear it with: Baldwin Denim skinny jeans and a Rag & Bone/JEAN henley.
As we move closer to the start of the holiday season, the weeks seem to fly by at an accelerated pace. It’s hard, but I’m doing my best to be present and enjoy every last day of 2013. In honor of slowing down, check out three of my favorite, slightly longer, articles from the week.
This is the time of year for giving thanks and appreciating the things that are often taken for granted. It’s easy to forget, so I was very moved by this article accounting for people’s cultural surprises upon coming to the United States for the first time.
Did you know, there is actually a historical significance to people putting traffic cones on statues? It’s even strong enough that a Glasgow council is no longer trying to stop people from doing it.
Esquire interviewed the ever-charming Mr. Clooney, completely solidifying our love for him.
Shop What’s New.
Don’t be mistaken, we’re willing to pay for our fashion, but when a find comes along that’s cool, forward, and under $200, it makes our style-loving hearts skip a beat. In this weekly feature, we’ll highlight some of the best style steals on the pages of Shopbop.com.
The Steal: A graphic BB Dakota dress.
The Price: $84 (USD)
Why it’s worth it: A bold pattern gives the sweet silhouette a vintage feel.
Shop this BB Dakota Sylvie Dress.
Todd Selby launched The Selby in 2008 as a place to post photo shoots he took of his friends in their homes. Five years later, TheSelby.com has showcased the stylish lives of countless tastemakers, spawning two books: The Selby Is In Your Place and The Edible Selby. A third volume, Fashionable Selby, is set to publish in 2014.
We partnered with Todd on an exclusive set of notebooks featuring his illustrations, available on Shopbop and East Dane, and here, we took a few minutes of his time to find out what makes the man behind The Selby tick.
SHOPBOP: Tell us a little about the origin of TheSelby.com.
TODD SELBY: All people are curious and I'm definitely one of them. I love meeting people, seeing there spaces. I just started taking pictures of my friends and their spaces and everything fell into place from there.
SB: You worked on an exclusive set of notebooks for Shopbop and East Dane. What made you land on the sketches you drew for each sets’ covers?
TS: I wanted to do something fun and lighthearted and thought these designs would hit the spot.
SB: You’ve published two books, The Selby Is In Your Place and The Edible Selby, and recently announced a third to come out in March, Fashionable Selby. How did you go about editing photos and features that were included in the books?
TS: I traveled all around the world to find great people for each book and then worked with my editor at Abrams to see what fit together and what didn't for the final edit.
SB: How are the books different from your site? How are they similar?
TS: You have to do a lot more editing when you make a book. With a website, you can put as much content up as you would like.
SB: If you could visit the home of anyone, historical or contemporary, who would it be? Why?
TS: Lil Wayne, because he's my inspiration.
SB: In the spirit of The Edible Selby, which just hit Shopbop and East Dane, what is your favorite meal and who would you most like to eat it with?
TS: My favorite meal would be wine and cheese with my fiancée Danielle Sherman at the Osteria Senz'Oste in Valdobbiadene, Italy.