“Are new lash-growth serums the end of mascara as we know it?”
But if you dig a little deeper, this question goes more than skin-deep.
So ladies, before you throw out that tube of Chanel Inimitable to test drive one of the many eyelash growth products on the market, be sure to read this month’s column to understand how and why they work, as well as the potential risks.
Last month Candace Dickow at 944 Detroit approached us with a very cool opportunity: 944 was looking for 10 of Metro-Detroit’s leading Independent Trendsetters to participate in a special two-page feature in 944’s September Fashion Issue on what we thought would be hot this season in terms of fashion, style and accessories.
What we especially loved about the concept was that unlike many of the other major local, upscale lifestyle magazines in Metro-Detroit, 944 chose to focus on smaller, independent businesses, versus simply falling back on the big, upscale department stores that seem to be featured over-and-over again in other local magazines’ fashion spreads and pictorials.
At Urban Optiques, we’ve always scratched our heads when we see the local glossies turn to the giant department stores for product and insight on style trends.
We have scores of fantastic, smaller, independent boutiques and retailers right here in Metro-Detroit that have deep expertise in their industries and are blazing fashion and style trails at a pace that the more conservative department store buyers simply aren’t willing to commit to. And many of these featured businesses are offering deeper, more unique and exclusive collections than the corporate giants at Somerset Mall. In fact, in the case of Urban Optiques, most of our eyeglasses and sunglass brands simply can’t be purchased
Last month Urban Optiques sponsored the 2nd Annual “Buy Michigan First Festival” in Northville, and based on attendance and response, there is a tremendous amount of demand in Metro-Detroit for supporting the types of businesses featured in the “Independent Trendsetters” spread in 944. These smaller businesses create jobs, keep a large portion of their profits in the local economy, tend to reinvest into the community and are quickly putting Detroit back on the map as as an up-and-coming center of creativity, entrepreneurship — and yes — style.
The three day festival will feature sidewalk sales, live music, children’s activities, a health fair, fashion shows and plenty of Michigan-based businesses and Michigan-made products.
Urban Optiques will be actively participating during two of the three days of the festival: On Friday August 6th we’ll be providing free vision screenings from 10 am to 5 pm to festival attendees as part of Blue Cross Blue Shield’s day-long Health Fair.
Then on Sunday we’ll be sponsoring and participating in “Style Sunday” which showcases made-in-Michigan fashion, jewelry and accessories. The day includes fashion shows from renowned Michigan designers Katerina Bocci, Project Runway finalist and co-creator of Fashion in Detroit Joe Faris, and designer Cynthia LaMaide. We’ll be on hand at the events showing the latest in trends and styles in eyewear and sunwear.
We’re particularly excited about this sponsorship because it lets us emphasize two different parts of Urban Optiques that we think make us unique: Our focus on full scope vision care for life (helping you see) as well as stocking the area’s largest collection of premium-quality boutique and couture eyewear that get you seen.
The “Buy Michigan Now” movement, spearheaded by Lisa Diggs, challenges Michigan residents and supporters of the state to factor Michigan into their daily buying decisions. In other words, whenever possible, buy locally. Whether that’s products manufactured, grown or distributed by Michigan companies, or services provided by Michigan businesses (like Urban Optiques, for instance), the idea here is to jump start and grow the local economy by supporting businesses that keep the dollars in the state.
Today’s look, which again features the Loree Rodkin Hunter Special Edition sunglasses, is the perfect example.
The first words that usually come out of people’s mouths when they see the Loree Rodkin Eyewear Collection is “edgy” or “gothic.” And it’s true: Loree’s distinct style of jewelry and eyewear design is rife with daggers, skulls, serpentine embellishments and crosses.
So you might be tempted to think the only way to wear her jewelry or eyewear is with a pair of leather pants and stilettos.
But as many of Loree Rodkin’s devotees will attest, her designs are combined with formal wear all of the time. Watch the red carpet at any Hollywood or major fashion event, and you’ll likely see at least one luminary wearing Loree’s jewelry alongside their couture dress. A quick glance at Loree Rodkin’s press book will settle any lingering doubts you might have.
We were just perusing the July 19th Edition of Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) and were delighted to find that an interview we gave to fashion reporter Lauren Benet Stephenson at WWD a few weeks ago helped shape a full-page piece on 24-karat gold lensed eyewear in this week’s July WWD Accessories Issue.
While we’re a pretty modest group around Urban Optiques (aside from all of our flashy sunglasses), this is one of those times when it feels okay to brag a bit. After all, it’s not every day that a small, independent eyewear boutique like Urban Optiques receives this kind of exposure in the fashion industry’s premier global daily. We were also excited to see sunglasses from both Sama and Badgley Mischka featured not only in the article, but on the cover. We love it when we can help our best partners get more exposure.
If the New York Times is where you go for world events, and the Wall Street Journal for financial news, WWD is the first place every fashion designer, retailer and industry mover-and-shaker goes to see what’s hot in the industry. So serving as the primary, trusted retail source for this article (we’re actually the only consumer facing source in the article — everyone else quoted represents the brands and eyewear manufacturers) is kind of a big deal for us.
We’re also particularly proud of the job that our Practice Manager, Lindsey Champine, did working with the writer on this story. Lindsey’s quotes are golden (no pun intended), especially her response to the reporter’s question about why she believed ultra-lux eyewear products like 24-karat gold lenses continue to sell so well, even in a struggling economy.
As we mentioned earlier in the week, Urban Optiques has partnered with 944 Detroit Magazine to give away a pair of fab Loree Rodkin eyeCouture Special Edition “Hunter” Sunglasses with 18K white gold lenses as part of 944’s new “Detroit Swag” feature.
I won’t go into all the reasons that these are amazing sunglasses worth every cent of their $1,200 price tag (okay, I will: They have genuine hand-cut calfskin leather inserts, 18K gold couture lenses and, of course, the jewelry-grade sterling silver Loree Rodkin signature skulls at the temples.)
The real question on everyone’s mind is how do I wear them?
So to provide some inspiration, we’re putting together five looks this month ranging from mild, to a little bit wild — to completely wild — to show you how easy it is to accessorize these super-lux aviators.
This is a unisex frame, so be patient men … we’ll provide some looks for you also. But today we’re going to start with a cool, urban look that combines the Special Edition Loree Rodkin Hunter with a pair of Alice + Olivia seamed biker pants, Brooke Western Snake Tee, and a pair of Giuseppe Zanotti pumps.
We also tossed in some great accessories that play off from the leather, sterling silver and platinum finish on the Hunter sunglasses, including a vintage Chanel ring, Sonora Leather bracelet and dog-tag style monogrammed charm from Helen Ficalora (you can customize it with your initial.)
All of the elements of the ensemble (minus the Loree Rodkin sunglasses) are available at Shopbop.com.
To enter the 944 Detroit/Urban Optiques giveaway and have a chance at winning the Special Edition Loree Rodkin Hunter sunglasses, visit the 944 Detroit Swag Microsite.
Well, Sama is simply producing some of the most amazing, contemporary couture eyewear on the planet. Forget about Chanel, D&G, Dior, Burberry and Coach. Anyone can buy that at Sunglass Shack or Lenscrafters. If you want something truly unique, you’ll want Sama.
If you don’t believe us, check out this great video filmed at the Angiolucci Lunettes Boutique in Catania, Italy. Not only does it feature some of Sama’s hottest sunglasses, but it also includes some great clips from Sama founder and lead designer Sheila Vance.
It speaks for itself.
Enjoy and Grazie! to Angiolucci for sharing this with us all:
That’s exactly what happened when we first set our eyes on the Chloé “Tilia” sunglasses.
When our Chloé rep pulled out the Tilias, the first word out of all our mouths was: “Beach!”
From the oversized, 50s-inspired cat-eye shape to the muted, earth-tone pastels and adorable little metallic star in the corner of the lens, the Tilia just seemed to evoke images of toes-in-the-sand or lounging poolside with a mojito in your hand.
It turns out, though, that the Chloé Tilia is a remarkably versatile sunglass. Combine it with a pair of vintage jeans and billowing peasant blouse and it takes on a decidedly Boho vibe. Not bad for a single pair of shades. continue
We centered the entire look around the beautifully light and airy purple and orange Diane Von Furstenburg “Layly” Tiger dress, which puts a new, colorful twist on this season’s continued obsession with animal prints.
We tried to carry the “Au Naturale” theme through the entire look, choosing accessories that utilized natural materials like wood and cork: Purple D Squared wood platform heels, a Tahari cork clutch and a wood and gold bangle bracelet to finish it off.
Of course, there are also the Sama Heart of Gold sunglasses, which complement the rich, royal oranges and purples that dominate the ensemble.
Don’t forget to check out the other four looks we put together with the Sama Heart of Gold sunglasses:
With just one more day left in our “Sama Heart of Gold Sunglasses: Five Ways Over Five Days“ Style Series we decided to put together a more casual, street-smart and urban look with the Sama Heart of Gold Sunglasses.
Today’s look starts with a pair of sleek, latex-look leggings from Alice + Olivia paired with a cool, over-sized graphic jersey by Pagano.
We then added the Sama Heart of Gold sunglasses in platinum and 18K white gold, a fantastic Costume National black leather purse with silver accents and finished it off with a dangerous flash of red under the outfit’s monochromatic theme thanks to some truly killer Michette Daniele black leather patch sandals with sky-high red heels.
If the Michette Daniele heels are bit too edgy for your taste, this ensemble also works great with a pair of black leather booties, pumps, slingbacks or even chunky leather knee boots.
Check it out and let us know what you think.