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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.
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.
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.
This was going to be a very special sunglass, Brian explained, with an extremely limited run: Sama was producing only 35 of these sunglasses, and just 10 of them were going to be available to the public through Sama’s small, exclusive network of independent optical boutiques. The remainder would be available for purchase only at the Destination: Sama Beverly Hills, Rome, St. Louis and West Hollywood Boutiques and to a small, inner circle of Sama loyalists.
That’s right: There are only 35 of these sunglasses in the world.
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:
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.