2011 August 1

Chatting with Soludos' Nick Brown

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Nick Brown Nick Brown
Soludos Founder
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Last spring, Trinity College grad Nick Brown launched a small summer shoe brand known as Soludos. This summer, Brown's indie footwear company expands internationally to South Africa and Australia. Chic had a sit-down with the espadrille aficionado on the heels of a his second Opening Ceremony collaboration.

What sparked your Soludos fascination?
I’ve always loved espadrilles. There's nothing new about them. I grew up in England wearing them all summer. There’s something nostalgic about finding them in the markets in Spain and the South of France for centuries. They're hard to find here in the States, so I saw an opportunity, and Soludos was born.

Where do you source your materials?
Espadrilles are defined by their jute sole harvested in Northern India and Bangladesh. That’s really what makes the shoe breathe in the summer—and that's why they're so eco-friendly. 

How did your collab with Opening Ceremony come to fruition?
We originally met last January when we designed a black velvet espadrille for the opening of their Ace Hotel boutique. This season is our second collaboration. Humberto and Carol are very hands-on in terms of the design and fabrics, from washed-out linens to florals.

How hands-on are you?
I'm very involved in every step of the process, from distribution to customer interaction. Sometimes I walk down Broadway, asking people about their Soludos. They think that I’m trying to get them to sign a petition or something. Usually, I just end up looking like a crazy person.

Who would be your dream collaboration?
I’d love to work with a photographer or artist just to see the things that they could create.

Someone like Terry Richardson?
My girlfriend actually did a shoot with Terry down in Brazil about three weeks ago. He seemed like a real character. Obviously there’s a lot of controversy around him, which is what makes him so special. If we were looking for some shock value or attention, Terry would be the first person we would call. I'm sure the photos wouldn't be very PG-13.

Are you jealous of Toms?
No, Toms is an incredible brand, and it has a great charity-centered business plan. But I grew up in England, so I know that espadrilles have been around forever. Because of their incredible success in the U.S., a lot of people associate us with them since that's all they know. Soludos are different--they're great for the beach, whereas Toms are more like sneakers with a rubber sole.

Since Soludos are summer shoes, how do you manage the winters?
That’s why we go down to South Africa and Australia. I don’t think we're going to take a page out of the Crocs' book. You're not going to see wooly Soludos around. They’re the summer essential in your weekend bag when you're going some place warm in the middle of the snowy New York winter.

What does the future of Soludos look like?
Well, I think the main thing is just having shoes. We’re actually a shoeless shoe company right now!

2011 August 1

Emma Roberts' Super Duper Saturday

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Chord Overstreet and Emma Roberts Chord Overstreet and Emma Roberts
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Not-so-private couple Emma Roberts and Glee heartthrob Chord Overstreet joined Donna Karan, Karlie Kloss, Rachel Zoe, Kelly Rippa, Alina Cho, and more for Super Saturday 14 in Watermill over the weekend. The young co-host and her smiling beau skipped out on the endless racks of haute accoutrements to take on new heights--avec a carnival ride for two. Hold on tight, darlings!

2011 August 1

A Moment With...CC Skye

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CC Skye CC Skye
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Who knew CC Skye was once a backpacking, mud-hut dwelling adventurer? Chic caught up with the LA-based accessory designer for an afternoon tête-à-tête about all things travel. Behold the takeaway!  

What inspired your accessory craze?
I went to Nepal on a six month study abroad program, and they told me that we’d be hiking in the Himalayas. I could only bring what I could carry on my own back. I brought hiking clothes, which was ridiculous because that was heavy. After about three weeks, I thought I was going to lose my mind, so I went to these silk market stalls. I bought fabrics used in Tibetan temples and ended up making these amazing dresses that were kind of similar to the things on my runway in the Spring season. I blindly used my newly acquired Nepalese language skills and worked with a seamstress. They didn’t even have TV in those days in Nepal, so they didn’t know what anything outside a traditional sari looked like--even spaghetti straps took huge convincing.

What were your living arrangements like?
I lived in a mud hut--not even kidding. There were goats in the house, and I slept in a downstairs room with three kids. There was an attic where they cooked with the fire. The living room was also the bedroom, which was also the kitchen. Everything was simple and peaceful. There was no privacy--you just had to accept it. 

Is it true you lived with a shaman?
Yes! Shamans are hard to find, but I found one who was amazing. He was a 5th generation, who believed in exorcisms, or cleansings, to rid the body of disease. Villagers would come sit for five nights straight outside the house to watch and support. This one woman was like 80 pounds. She didn't look like she was going to make it. After the healing, all the color came back in her face. Days later, she was up at the top of the well, building a dam.

So, when did you start your business?
I came back to the states, and I joined MTV for a couple of years working on rock documentaries and award shows. Then, I went to work at E! as a producer on the Style network, profiling documentaries on designers like Donna Karan and Vera Wang. After I left, I found a great manufacturer in downtown LA and created my first line. I got a great response immediately at Elle and Gen Art gave me an award for Best New Designer, so I kept going.

What's your wackiest travel adventure?
I was on an elephant riding in line with a bunch of other riders. At one point my camera dropped in the jungle. We'd been riding for an hour before I noticed. After talking about it, we circled back and a half hour later, my elephant picks up my camera and gives it to me with his trunk. I couldn’t believe it! Even if he understood Nepali, how could he understand English?  Somehow he sensed something was missing, but it was crazy that his trunk went directly to me even though there were four people there.

Wow. What are your traveling dos and don’ts?
I’m all about carry on, even three weeks in Asia. Only bring things that make you happy. Don’t bring things that you feel you’re obligated to bring. Do get out of the hotel and associate with the locals. Do fly easy--not too many connections.

What’s your airline of choice?
I like Cathay Pacific. The Asian airlines are extremely sophisticated like Singapore Air with their luxury suites. 

Favorite in-air activity?
I read a lot of books. Right now, I’m reading Wanderlust by Elizabeth Eaves. I also read a lot of business books. I love Napoleon Laws 16 of Success. 

What are you obsessed with right now?
I live in Malibu so the first thing that comes to mind if the surf culture. It's all about beaches, bonfires, and having fun. I’m obsessed with the concept of movement and I’m really inspired by Talitha Getty right now.

Are you planning on expanding your retail presence?
London is calling! We've been connecting with a ton of great "It" girls and stylemakers over there for our handbag line, like Jemima Khan, Pippa Middleton, Kate Reardon, Amanda Barcaly, Daisy Lowe, Lilly Allen, Lady Natasha Rufus, Yasmin Le Bon, Lisa b. and Jerry Hall and Keith Richards' kids.

What's next for CC Skye?
We’re thinking of sunglasses in the near future, and we have some amazing shoe designs were working on.  

2011 July 29

Things to Discuss: Pratt's Premium Price Tag

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Jane Pratt Jane Pratt
Patrick McMullan
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Move over, Linda Evangelista--there’s a new diva in town. The supe, once quoted as saying “I don’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day,” now looks like a bargain compared to editrix Jane Pratt, who apparently requires a whopping $15,000 as reported by the New York Observer. Last night, the magazine mogul declined to speak at the tribute to her defunct glossie, Sassy, claiming to be out of town on vaca. Some attribute the disappearing act to her five-figure paycheck. Discuss!

2011 July 29

Sergio Says! Weekly Musings from Marie Claire (and Beyond...)

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Sergio poses with Barbara Walters; pines for spot on The View Sergio poses with Barbara Walters; pines for spot on The View
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Sergio Kletnoy, our beloved Marie Claire assistant and so much more, continues his parade of awesome interviews with songstresses like Joss Stone and Keri Hilson, with a starry-eyed Barbara Walter encounter along the way and an extra-rich playlist du jour for good measure...

Sunday, 4 p.m.
The highlight of my lazy day was a Spongebob Square Pants ice cream bar and a relaxing pedicure at Broadway Nail & Spa in Union Square, after which my feet felt like they were made of cotton balls. Big. Fluffy. Cotton balls.

Monday, 1 p.m.
On this perfect NYC afternoon, I met up for an interview with—SURPRISE! Another Brit!—soul singer and songwriter Joss Stone. I dragged the statuesque and drop dead beautiful Joss to Central Park for a candid talk about her brand new album LP1. She raved about working with her genius producer (and one half of the Eurythmics) Dave Stewart, her unabashed love of cigarettes and chocolate, as well as her penchant for being overly emotional (which, as it turns out, happens to be quite good for writing songs). Over the years, Joss has performed with plenty of greats: James Brown, Smokey Robinson, Gladys Knight, Tom Jones, Rod Stewart, and Stevie Wonder. But her next project is beyond big—a group called Super Heavy featuring Stewart, Damian Marley and (wait for it!) Mick Jagger! Lucky girl, the closest I ever got to singing with Mick was this morning in my living room while “Sympathy For The Devil” was blasting out of my speakers. Be sure to pick up her new album, out next week!

Tuesday, 8 p.m.
Today still feels surreal. It began with the stunning Keri Hilson, who came by the office for an interview. Currently on tour with Lil’ Wayne, Keri is promoting her sophomore album No Boys Allowed, which features the female anthem “Pretty Girl Rock” and my favorite, “Lose Control." Apart from being a singer, dancer, fashionista and all around fly girl, Keri is a major songwriter, writing for the likes of Usher, Pussycat Dolls, Mary J. Blige, Ciara and Britney Spears. Keri loves Bart Simpson, Family Guy and South Park, all of whom are my heroes. Needless to say, she and I are soulmates. Yada yada yada, work work work. By the early evening I was off to JoCo’s big event—a panel discussion on the dangers of social media with Chelsea Clinton, ESPN’s Erin Andrews and Facebook’s other famous sibling, Randi Zuckerberg, at the Hearst Tower. The conference hall at the top of the tower was jam packed. I was busy chatting up guests and drop dead gorgeous supermodels, Angela Lindvall and Coco Rocha, when I spotted television royalty, Barbara OMFG Walters!!! My focus shifted entirely on Babs, so I made my way over and introduced myself. I told her about my visit to the set of The View last week in hopes of meeting her, with no luck. Barbara was super nice, and told me that next time I must come over and say hi. I die! My ultimate goal is a seat next to Babs on The View. You never know, stranger things have happened. 

Wednesday, 3 p.m.
The must-have book of the year has just arrived at my desk, “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier.” JPG is one of my all-time fave designers, not only for his groundbreaking and unapologetic collections and his theatre-like fashion shows, but most importantly for his work with the Queen of the Universe, Madonna. The best part of the book is the chapter on Madge, which includes never before seen photos from the fittings of the Blond Ambition Tour--the greatest collaboration between a fashion designer and a musician, in my opinion.

Thursday, 8:45 p.m.
Off to dinner with my BFF Courtney and the infamous Jared of JustJared. Whenever Jared and I get together, we always “discuss” his favorite, Lady GaGa and my favorite, Madonna. The conversation is never boring and always feels like the 1992 presidential debate between Bill Clinton and Ross Perot. Just call me Sergio “Clinton” Kletnoy! 

Friday, 11 a.m.
My go-to bible for new music and old favorites is Stephen Sears and his awesome blog called "The Middle Eight." The best part of the blog is his mixtape recommendations, and as a tribute to him, here are my mixtape picks: Melanie Fiona and her brand new single “Like I Love You,” a reggae infused R&B jam that will magically transport you into paradise. Simply flawless. New single by the Canadian-born Lights with Holy Fu** & Shad called “Everybody Breaks A Glass,” a pop hybrid of Britney, Shirley Manson and Bjork, totally A-MA-ZING. My fave Swede, Robyn,  did a cover of Coldplay’s “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall,” and the result is kickass. Brit Pop Idol winner Will Young is back with his new single called “Jealousy (The Alias Remix).” You will be hooked on this pop ditty, just like me. And finally, the eerie and dark “Video Games” by a 24-year-old New Yorker, Lana Del Rey, a self proclaimed “gangsta Nancy Sinatra” and a stunning beauty who I am dying to meet. The song is just too beautiful for words and sounds like something from another galaxy. What are you waiting for? No need to thank me, just run and download these now!

2011 July 29

From The Daily Dan: E2NY Hits the Hamptons

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Fred Fellowes Fred Fellowes
Giorgio Niro
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Lightsabers! Pillow fights! Patti Smith! Southampton is amping up the volume on the concert circuit with Escape to New York, a music and art fest from August 5-7 at the Shinnecock Reservation thrown by Fred Fellowes, curator of the U.K.’s fabled Secret Garden Parties. 

How did The Secret Garden Party start in the U.K.?
I started nine years ago with a friend from university. We had 500 people on my family’s farmland. We had a falling-out—he kept the company, and I kept the event. Now we’re bringing it to the U.S. for the first time.

Why did you choose the Hamptons?
The Shinnecock Reservation was available and looking for another stream of revenue, and it seemed like a nice opportunity to host something like this, which might be hard to do otherwise. 

Tell us about this year’s theme.
It’s regeneration of the actual site. We’re landscaping, and there are a lot of things made from beautified scraps and trash. Our festivals are always very costume-oriented. People dress as tigers, earthworms and traffic cops.

Will Hamptonites dress up?
They’re encouraged to! We’re also offering makeovers with high-class painting so they can get wacky makeup. 

Tell us about the on-site ‘glamping.’
There are two types of glamping: tepees and safari tents on the reservation. It’s a way to cater to the people who don’t typically like to camp. They have all the luxury amenities—room service, 24-hour restaurant by The Fat Radish, personal bespoke cocktail bars, and real beds. 

Friday, August 5: Patti Smith, Best Coast, Chairlift, Lissy Trullie, The Ettes, The Postelles, The Static Jacks
Saturday, August 6: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, The Vaccines, The Psychedelic Furs, White Rabbits, Au Revoir Simone, The Submarines, Graffiti 6
Sunday, August 7: Of Montreal, The Jolly Boys, Mates of State, Reptar, Hank & Cupcakes, Tiger Love, Savoir Adore
For more information, check out escape2ny.com.

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