Style Icon of the Month: Jackie O.

This wonderful lady’s 85th birthday was 4 days ago, so to celebrate, we made her our August Style Icon of the Month!

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Jacqueline Bouvier by David Berne, 1935

Jacqueline Lee Bouvier was born in Southampton, New York in 1929 to parents John “Black Jack” Bouvier, a Wall Street stockbroker, and Janet Norton Lee, the daughter of a real estate tycoon.

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Jacqueline adored her dashing, high-living father, who set the glamour bar high: “Style is not a function of how rich you are, or even who you are… It’s what you are. It’s your essential self- it’s what makes you a Bouvier,” he told her.

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Jacqueline became quite the lady growing up. She attended Paris-Sorbonne University and fell in love with art history. After graduation, Jacqueline turned down a Vogue editorship to become a camera girl for the Washington Times-Herald after pressure from her mother.

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In 1953, she married John F. Kennedy. During Kennedy’s presidential campaign, Jacqueline fell under scrutiny by the American public for her Parisian wardrobe that contained the likes of Givenchy, Balenciaga, and Chanel. She was forced to abandon her Parisian wardrobe and consulted Diana Vreeland on a selection of American designers.

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“Mrs. Kennedy approaches the subject of clothes with the same qualities that gained political success for her husband—confidence, individuality, a mind of one’s own, and a knowledge of the issues,” reported The New York Times.

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On the day of Kennedy’s inauguration, Jacqueline wore a Cassini trim greige coat with Halston’s news-making pillbox hat and a little sable circlet and muff. She appeared on the cover of Time, wearing her signature three-strand pearls in an illustration during the week her husband took office.

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Jacqueline was heralded by the public for starting two fashion trends- (1) the pillbox hat that rested over her flipped bouffant and (2) the oversized sunglasses.

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Jacqueline Kennedy later on became known as Jackie O. after her second marriage to Aristotle “Ari” Onassis, a Greek shipping tycoon.

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Our August Style Icon of the Month, Jackie O., was truly a phenomenal woman. After Ari died, Jackie settled in New York and became a book editor. She also played an active role in the arts community, working with the American Ballet Theatre, the Municipal Arts Society, and more. Thank you Jackie for blessing us with your ever-so-graceful style!

Reference:
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.(2014) Retrieved from http://www.vogue.com/voguepedia/Jacqueline_Kennedy_Onassis

Nene by Nene Leakes

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When I first heard that Nene from the Real Housewives of Atlanta was working on a new clothing collection with HSN, I was rather anxious to see the end result. I think Nene dresses very well in clothing that compliments her body type. Her new collection Nene by Nene Leakes is a direct reflection of her personal style. The 20 piece collection runs in sizes 2-24 and features tops, bottoms, dresses, jackets and cardigans. The price point is $39 to $139. If you can’t pay for a piece all at one time, don’t worry. HSN offers payment plans!

I particularly love the mix of fabrics within the collection. The varying textures, patterns, and colors work well together. The cuts and draping on the garments are also well executed. All of these elements work together to create beautiful silhouettes for women who have casual to business casual styles of dressing. Here are my favorite pieces from Nene by Nene Leakes:

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Click here to shop the whole collection.

Let us know what you think about Nene’s new collection in the comments!

Della x Urban Outfitters

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Hey, Tampa Bay! There’s an awesome new collaboration in town! I’ve teamed up with Della to get the word out about the clothing line’s newest partnership with Urban Outfitters. I had never heard of Della before I was contacted to do a collaboration but after hearing what the company is all about, I couldn’t resist. I love the empowerment of women, and I especially love spreading “good” to all people.

Here’s what the Della x UO press release has to say:

Della, a Los Angeles-based fashion line handcrafted in Ghana, West
Africa, is proud to announce their second partnership with Urban Outfitters. Beginning the first week in July 2014, Urban Outfitters will be a “carrier of change” by launching an exclusive Della clothing collection both in-store and online.

A boho-chic collection, including cami dresses, flutter shorts, skort rompers, and paper bag pants, was designed exclusively for the collaboration. “I am thrilled to continue our partnership with Urban Outfitters. We are confident that our mission and style will connect with younger generations, and we look forward to spreading awareness about responsible fashion through our vibrant products,” said Della Founder and Creative Director, Tina Tangalakis.

In Hohoe, Ghana, Della’s products are each uniquely handcrafted by Ghanaian seamstresses who work directly with local vendors and fabric makers. Della is committed to the long-term advancement of the Hohoe community. Its latest venture with Urban Outfitters furthers its mission to build the foundation for Ghanaian women’s economic independence.

ABOUT DELLA: In 2009, Tangalakis volunteered in Hohoe and discovered how to infuse social consciousness into the design world. The local culture, people, and textiles instantly captivated Tangalakis. Hoping to initiate positive and sustainable change, she founded Della: a socially responsible fashion line that provides steady jobs, fair wages, and education, skills, and literacy training to Ghanaian women. Tangalakis not only proved that “doing good” can be synonymous with “doing well,” but also showed the U.S. market that West Africa can produce high-quality products when driven by a genuine care for humanity. Currently Della has a team of over 55 employees in Ghana, and positively impacts the lives of over 250 men, women and children in the local community per year.

Now you see why I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to spread the word, right? Della is doing something incredible for the world, and the fact that beautiful clothes are a product of the greatness is just icing on the cake for me!

The good stuff doesn’t stop there, though. For every purchase that you make from the new Della x UO collection, you will receive a Della change purse or headband. All you have to do is forward your confirmation email to nandi@dellala.com after you’ve made a purchase, and tell Nandi that Knick Knacker sent you to receive your goodie. How awesome is that? Not only will you become part of an incredible movement, but you will also receive a token for your support.

Check out the beautiful pieces from Della x Urban Outfitters below. I love the fluidity and relaxed fit of the garments, they are perfect for Summer. (Shop them here!)

I look forward to seeing pics of you all in your new Della x UO outifts! Share them with us on Instagram using hashtag #iLoveDellaxUO.

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A huge THANK YOU goes out to Nandi with Della for reaching out to me!!!

Style Icon of the Month: Josephine Baker

Last month, we celebrated Josephine Baker’s birthday and there was also controversy over Rihanna’s CFDA Awards attire. Therefore, it’s only right to make July’s style icon of the month none other than Ms. Baker!

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Josephine Baker is an American-born French performer. She was born Freda Josephine McDonald On June 3, 1906, in St. Louis, Missouri. She never depended on men for financial support, which was unusual for a woman during her era. She was married and divorced four times but chose to keep the last name of her second husband.

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Baker took Paris’ stage by storm in the 1920s, performing in her first show there entitled La Revue Nègre. She danced topless in nothing but a feathered skirt.

She is most famous for her Banana Dance. She also starred in four films and recorded music.

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Racism made it difficult for Baker to return to the United States, and her talents were not wholly accepted until 1973. She once stated, “One day I realized I was living in a country where I was afraid to be black. It was only a country for white people. Not black. So I left. I had been suffocating in the United States. A lot of us left, not because we wanted to leave, but because we couldn’t stand it anymore… I felt liberated in Paris.”

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Baker visited the U.S. in the 50s and 60s, fighting racism. The NAACP named May 20 Josephine Baker Day in honor of her efforts. Baker adopted 12 children from all over the world in her lifetime. They were called the “Rainbow Tribe.” Baker once quoted, “I think they must mix blood, otherwise the human race is bound to degenerate. Mixing blood is marvelous. It makes strong and intelligent men. It takes away tired spirits.”

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After her death in 1975, more than 20,000 people crowded the streets of Paris to watch the funeral procession. The French government honored Baker with a 21-gun salute, making her the first American woman buried in France with military honors.

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Today, Baker’s style still heavily influences the way we dress. At the 2014 CFDA Awards, Rihanna channeled Baker from head to toe. While this look was very controversial and many people stated that Baker was a class act, this is true. However, Baker danced topless multiple times, wearing nothing except a small skirt, so Rihanna was not the first to go out practically nude. Fashion constantly repeats itself.

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“I’m not intimidated by anyone. Everyone is made with two arms, two legs, a stomach and a head. Just think about that.” ― Josephine Baker

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Reference: About Josephine Baker. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.cmgww.com/stars/baker/index.php

Thank you Ms. Baker for showing us women that we can love ourselves, be confident, and be proud of our bodies. Thank you for gracing us with incredible style, being an incredible humanitarian and civil rights activist, and showing that true love knows no color. Please leave your thoughts below!

Fashpreneur Spotlight: Sky Unikue

In the words of Benji Brown’s character Kiki, “Happy Saturdee!” LOL! I hope you all are having a fantastic weekend so far. If you’ve got shopping on your list of to-do’s, I’ve got a great boutique for you to add to the list! Some of you may know Sky Unikue’s Elegant Boutique from my previous posts on the Discreet Elegance Runway Fashion Show, but who you don’t know is the beauty and brains behind the brand. She’s a full-time nurse by day and fashpreneur at all other times. When I say all other times, I mean ALL other times. I’ve emailed her at almost 2am, and she’s still up! Creative people rarely ever sleep. I won’t keep you waiting any longer though, let’s meet Sky!

Meet Sky

Name: Sky Unikue

Current city:  Brandon, FL

Fashion business name/description:  My business is named after myself- Sky Unikue’s Elegant Clothing Boutique

Hobbies:  My hobbies are spending time w/ my son, blogging, and reading

Describe your style in 3 words:  Simple, yet trendy and elegant

Inspiration for starting a fashion business: I have always had an intense passion for style and knew that one day I would become a fashion designer. Although I’m a medical professional, I work in an office setting. With that being said, I found it very difficult for young professional woman to find places to shop and find attire that is elegant and trendy. Most places cater to older women or teenage females. I want to give professional women my age a variety of chic apparel that’s elegant and stylish.

Personal and business goals: I have set a long list of short term and long term goals; however, the main goal I am currently focused on is growing Sky Unikue’s Elegant Clothing Boutique into a store front here in the Brandon/Riverview area.

Favorite designers/stylists: Although I like many designers, I find Betsey Johnson to be the most intriguing. Her style is so unique and bold.  She uses a lot of contrasting colors and patterns which I find to be very eye-catching, and I’m a big fan of her handbags.

Favorite places to shop: I actually don’t have a favorite place to shop. I’m a big online shopper and pretty much buy whatever it is that I like. When I shop, I don’t go out looking for one particular item or color. I just browse through websites or stores and purchase things as I browse. Eventually, I will find something to go with it. However, if I had to choose a place, I would say ModCloth.  The designers featured on that site have very elegant and sexy dresses that I doubt you will find in your average department store. I always find something to purchase when I visit that website.

Favorite fashion quote: My favorite fashion quote was said by Rachel Zoe: “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” Sadly, this is very true. Before we even get to know people, they are judged by how they look, the clothes they are wearing, and the way it’s being worn. Although, it may NOT specify WHO you are, people base your looks/attire on whether or not they want to get to know you or work with you.

Top 3 favorite pieces from your boutique for Summer 2014: I LOVE dresses! For this season, you will find a variety of summer dresses for all styles and sizes. (see top 3 below)

Sky Unikue's Top 3

Keep up with Sky on social media!

Facebook

Twitter: @SkyUnikues

Instagram: @SkyUnikues

I hope you all find a Sky Unikue’s Elegant Clothing Boutique treasure to add to your wardrobe as the store sells tops, skirts, dresses, pants, curvy size, swimwear, and shoes at incredibly reasonable prices. My personal favorite is the All White Romper. Share a photo of your purchase with us on Instagram using #ILoveSkyUnikues!

Couples who SWEAT Together Stay Together

One of O’s and my most favorite things in the world to do together is you guessed it- work out! We believe this is one of the best things to do as a married couple. When your spouse makes you angry, don’t waste time holding that anger. Take it out on the gym! Put your heart and soul into it. Here’s why we love sweating our hearts out together:

  1. Support and motivation: It takes a tremendous amount of support and motivation when you decide to change your lifestyle. If it were not for O, I would miss out on my morning green smoothies all the time. While you’re in the gym, especially if you go to a crossfit type of place like we do (Core 5-Tampa), you will need that one extra push. The trainers are there to yell at you, but there is nothing like having your spouse there to say, “C’mon baby! You got it!”
  2. Acceptance and love: Let’s face it, no one smells nice after the gym. I know for sure that I don’t look pretty while I’m working out, and I don’t try to. I want my full workout. It takes true love to still want to hug someone while they’re nasty and sweaty and full of gym germs. It makes my day when O comes up to me and throws his big bear arms around me after we’ve survived a workout together.
  3. A feeling of accomplishment: Sometimes, you don’t feel like you’re going to make it through a workout but with motivation, you survive ‘til the end. Guess what is the best part about that… You survived it TOGETHER! The gym is a great reminder that no matter how tough times may get, you can make it through together if you stay strong and determined. I must say that O & I make the perfect balance. When he is down, I lift him up and vice versa. It takes an incredible load of mental strength to complete a workout, often times much more than that required of physical strength. If you stay positive in life situations, the outcome will be positive and sometimes you will accomplish more than you initially set out to do.
  4. Attire: While we’re speaking about reasons we love working out together, you know I can’t leave out the gym fashion! O & I always enjoy shopping for new gym attire. I love wearing my body hugging gym clothes to show off all of the hard work and dedication I have put into my body and staying healthy. One of my favorite fashionable athletic wear brands is Adidas by Stella McCartney. I love the comfortability, innovation, and usage of colors, patterns, and fabrics within the brand. Here are my favorites from the brand’s SS 2014 RTW collection-

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Photo Credit: Tyrone Lebon/Courtesy of Adidas by Stella McCartney via style.com

Throwback of us in action, January 2013:

Gym Throwback

If you are a gym lover like O and myself, we want to hear why you love working out! Also, stay tuned for an upcoming giveaway with one of my favorite athletic wear retailers, Six:02! Please leave lots of comments below. :)

Mink Wink Lashes

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On the afternoon of June 7th, Mink Wink Lashes came to beautify Tampa. As O & I strolled onto the scene, I was overwhelmed by the number of gorgeous, fashionable women I saw at this event (a few men there were killing the fashion scene too!). The room was filled with energy as everyone was mingling, taking photos, and getting their lashes done. There was even a signature drink called “The Wink Rosé” which was very tasty, by the way!

Mink Wink Lashes launched earlier this year, and it’s definitely a company you’ll love, especially if you’re an avid eyelash wearer or makeup artist! I was invited out by the one of the company’s founders, Joyela. While I was there, I had the opportunity to meet the company’s other founder, Michelle. These two “glam girls” are too sweet. They are the epitome of what beauty product owners should be, beautiful from the INSIDE out. Now on to the lashes…

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Mink Wink Lashes are flexible, lightweight, and made from 100% natural mink fur, providing a subtle shine. They can be worn up to 25 times (WOW). The collection includes 12 different styles, ranging from those that will leave you with a very natural look to those that will give you incredible volume. Michelle so graciously gifted me with my very own pair of Mink Wink Lashes, which came with an awesome Mink Wink dustbag. I chose the Monaco lash since I prefer a super natural look. I plan on using them for a beauty shoot, so I can’t wait to share the photos with y’all!

When you’re ready to add some glamour into your life, head on over to minkwinklashes.com to shop, get your free lash kit, join the VIP club, and more. With many of the lashes priced at $25, that’s only $1 per wear! And trust me, it’s worth it. Don’t take too long, though! Complimentary shipping and launch sale prices are for a limited time only. Happy shopping, and remember to “Live. Lash. Love.” :)

Check out the action of the event-

The Mink Wink woman is a confident woman who will turn heads in jeans and a t-shirt because of who she is and how she wears them. She is the woman who chooses lashes as an extension of herself depending on who she wants to be that day. Mink Wink Lashes has a collection that offers variety in terms of styles, shapes and lengths. There is a perfect pair just begging to be applied. A pair that will transform you into a modern age of glamour.

Stay in touch with Mink Wink Lashes-
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We look forward to reading your comments below!

Father’s Day 2k14

Ok folks, usually I wouldn’t post cell phone pictures, but the photo quality on the Samsung Galaxy S5 is so dern good that I just had to share! Yes, we abandoned the iPhone and crossed over to the dark side. Anywho, O & I had a pleasant Father’s Day today. We enjoyed a bit of brunch at Piquant in Hyde Park and strolled around the shops afterwards. It was our first time eating at Piquant, and the food is awesome! I had the banana bread french toast with a side of fresh fruit and O had the poached eggs with salmon. If you’re ever in the area, you should definitely eat there! BTW, I was so happy I was finally able to pull together a crop top/skirt look. We hope you all had as great of a day as we did. :)

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“Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife.” -Franz Schubert

If you have any outfit questions, leave a comment and I’ll be happy to answer!

JC’s Boutique

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This past Wednesday, JC’s Boutique held their “Summer Styling Event” with special guest, stylist Tristan Richards. It was filled with discounts, drinks, food, and fun! I was surrounded by mingling, laughter, and beautiful, vibrant Summer colors. I mean, this boutique is so great for an evening out shopping with your girlfriends. There’s even a little lounge area where you can relax if you’ve pretty much shopped ’til you’ve dropped.

Aside from the atmosphere of JC’s, it was cool to see Tristan in action, giving the ladies styling tips and advice as they went back and forth to the fitting rooms and perused through the store. There is truly something for every woman at JC’s Boutique. All of the women looked so happy as they wrapped up their purchases.

I was personally intrigued by all of the great little knick knacks. There were flasks, soaps, customizable jewelry, picture frames, bowls, and magazine clutches. Oh, and I can’t forget the necklaces! If you are in search of the perfect statement necklace, you need look no further than JC’s. You can create your whole head to toe look there.

After reading the sweet owner Cat’s story, I fell in love a little more with the boutique. Cat is an inspiration to all women. Even when you feel your lowest, humble yourself and step out on faith. Your biggest “failure” is only preparation for your greatest comeback!

Be sure to keep up with JC’s boutique on social media- Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Featured vendors:
Fibi & Clo
Gemara’s Gems

Be sure to stop by JC’S Boutique! Who knows, we may even see you there ;)

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