Ottavia et Emma


Meet  Alessandra Coderoni the very talented head designer for Ottavia et Emma. In this interview Alessandra talks to Marta Walsh about her passion for fashion design which is greatly influenced by her Grandfather, a traditional Italian clothier.  How Alessendra had to put her dreams for becoming a fashion designer aside for years until one day she find the courage to finally do what she loves in creating Ottavia et Emma, her first line of women’s clothing.  Ottavia et Emma displays a rare blend of sophistication and chic simplicity. In so many ways, Alessandra’s fashion brilliance truly shines in Ottavia et Emma.
When did your fascination with fashion design begin?
I’m originally from Milan, Italy. The place my family lived in Italy is very famous for their leather goods. My grandfather was a clothier specializing in designing men suites for himself and for his friends. I’m very much into smells, and I remember really loving the smell of fabric and design. I began developing an obsession for design which at that time translated into sawing clothes for dolls. In 1985 I started to sketch. My father, however, wasn’t pleased with my interest in fashion and design. He’s idea for success was to pursue a career in Finance. So I put my sketch book to the side and followed my father’s advice. When I finished school, I did however, mange to work shortly for Giorgio Armani during Moda time, which is Milan’s fashion week as an interpreter. I was good with languages. Even just as an interpreter at Giorgio Armani people around me noticed my eye for style and fashion. In 1994 I moved to the USA and began working for JP Morgan. I moved to Merrill Lynch and worked there from 1998-2005. Our CEO was replaced with a new one and our company downsized. I managed to stay for a while but I was unhappy with office politics anymore, so I decided to leave. After my first daughter was born, I wanted to do what I actually love.

What was the first garment you’ve designed as part of the Ottavia et Emma collection presented during New York Fashion Week?
It was a very sensual chiffon dress, see through with silk underneath.

How would you describe the Ottavia et Emma design philosophy?
Ottavia et Emma designs are made with high quality fabrics and don’t follow fashion trends. The Ottavia et Emma fashion line is very simple, sophisticated but super cute. I choose to design in neutral and practical colors such as black. It is what I personally like to wear. I find the color black easy to live with. It makes any woman’s closet classic and elegant and wearable at the same time. For me it is a combination of basics. I like to combine styles or mix and match my outfit with different designer pieces. I see women wearing a top from Ottavia et Emma paired with Calvin Klein or Marc Jacobs pants. When I came to work the other day I was wearing pieces from the gap mixed with Chanel. Ottavia et Emma has many tops that you can layer also. I love mix and matching, it’s so much fun! I’m in love with my collection, and I’m wearing pieces from it as we speak.

” I’m fascinated with black. And that came from the time growing up in Milan in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Everyone was wearing black back then in Milan. I find black extremely sophisticated and easy to wear..”

Where do you draw the inspiration for the styles and colors for Ottavia et Emma?
I design for myself and pieces that I would like to wear. This is the design starting point for me. I would never be able to design clothes that don’t really belong to me or are a reflection of what I like to wear. I was pregnant during the fitting time for Ottavia et Emma and I couldn’t try on the pieces in my collection. I was desperate to try on the clothes in my collection to make sure they feel and wear exactly how I would like. So I would ask the fitting model tons of questions and make her do almost yoga moves to makes sure my clothes in the Ottavia et Emma collection are comfortable and just right! And I would listen carefully to the model’s feedback and make all the adjustments necessary to make my collection extremely comfortable and wearable to all women. Milan is also an inspiration for me particularly with colors. I’m fascinated with black. And that came from the time growing up in Milan in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Everyone was wearing black back then in Milan. I find black extremely sophisticated and easy to wear.

What some memorable moments do you have in your journey of creating the Ottavia et Emma fashion line?
Just watching the Ottavia et Emma collection evolve from designing tops into designing feminine dresses with lace and open back. When I had my first fitting I was laughing hysterically watching my model walking down my apartment wearing my clothes. It looked great! When I had friends gathering everyone wanted to have pieces from the Ottavia et Emma collection. All I was hearing was: “I want this one and this one…”. It is such a great satisfaction.

What does the name Ottavia et Emma stand for?
Ottavia et Emma is named after my two daughters. They have no idea what I’m doing now but I really hope that when they grow up they will have fun with it. I really want eventually when my youngest daughter turns 4 to design Ottavia et Emma Mademoiselle fashion line for children ages 4-12.

Why have you chosen Melody Vilbert who is Miss France 1995 to be the ambassador for Ottavia et Emma?
A famous French photographer took a cute photo of Melody Vilbert in Paris with her son Romeo on the bridge wearing Ottavia et Emma. And this is why Melody Vilbert is a perfect image for the Ottavia et Emma collection: she is sophisticated elegant and also a mom. Ottavia et Emma is also elegant yet practical and fits a busy mom’s life style. Melody was very excited to represent the line. In addition, Melody Vilbert, is a super model in Europe. She had a successful campaign with Luis Vuitton, Escada, Galliano, and Christian Dior. Melody is glamorous but a real woman and down to earth who we can all relate.

What was New York Fashion Week Like for Ottavia et Emma?
I wasn’t there, I was in France. But my team was there in New York. They had a fantastic evening at the Cellar Bar at the Bryant Park Hotel, where the party for Ottavia et Emma took place. It was packed. And I was told that even actress Emma Roberts was trying to get into the Ottavia et Emma party and the guy at the door sent her away because the party was just too full. All in all, it was a great success!

Which other celebrity women do you see wearing Ottavia et Emma?
Heidi Klum, Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres, and Uma Thurman.

What else should we know about Ottavia et Emma?
We focus on natural fabrics and on superb quality fabrics and design, yet allow the woman who wears Ottavia et Emma shine though. Ottavia et Emma is for a woman who is super feminine who doesn’t need the clothes to make her, she makes the clothes. She doesn’t need any designer label or logo to make a style statement.

Who are some of your favorite fashion designers?
Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein, and Jill Sander.

What’s next for Alessandra and Ottavia et Emma?
I’m extremely excited in what I’m doing right now and I just want to keep going. I really want eventually ,when my youngest daughter turns 4, to design Ottavia et Emma Mademoiselle fashion line for children ages 4 to 12.

It was a pleasure to interview Alessandra you can check out her amazing website

Ottavia et Emma Organic Cotton Tees now on sale! $68 on The Luxary Spot Store!



Habitual was founded in 2001 and established itself as one of the top leaders in the premium denim market. Habitual is best known for its impeccable fit, intricate wash processes and innovative design – one that is both forward and fresh. In this interview Renee Jaco, Habitual’s brand manager gives us an insight into the Habitual world.

How would you describe the Habitual denim line?
Founded in 2001, Habitual has established itself as one of the top leaders in the premium denim market. It is best known for its impeccable fit, intricate wash processes and innovative design – one that is both forward and fresh.  Habitual is often referred to as a designer collection that just happens to be made from denim. The Maltese cross design on the back

How does the name Habitual represent the line’s spirit?
The name Habitual represents the line’s spirit because wearing Habitual Jeans is very Habit forming. You cannot just own one pair!

"Vintage Washes and More Relaxed fits.  The Boyfriend Jean is really popular right now.  It is a trend you do not want to miss!"

What is the inspiration behind the Habitual denim collections?
Habitual draws inspiration from New York and Los Angeles combining a bicoastal sensibility to the brand.  All production is done in the USA.

With so many denim brand on the market how does Habitual stand out?
The Maltese cross design on the back pocket makes our product stand out.  It traces back to ancient Greece.  It was the symbol used by Warrior Monks in Malta, Celtic Knights and today’s firefighters represent courage, honor, truth and bravery.  The quality in production and staying true to our core styles each season keeps us strong and in the forefront of shoppers minds when they think of designer denim.

Who do you see wearing Habitual?
Habitual’s clean silhouettes and hand-distressed designs capture a true red carpet look with fabulous denim twist that is fitting for anyone with a sense of self and personal style.

What are some of the most popular Habitual jeans?
Standard Glory and Skinny Glory

Habitual Jeans



Can you tell us more about the Habitual denim collection for this season, and for the upcoming season?
The current season has a variety of washes including some sorbet colors and lots of white for year-around wear.

What does it take to stay as one of the top leaders in the premium denim market?
Keep your most successful styles in rotation every season.  People like to purchase styles that fit their body well over and over.  We have a great product and we continue to put it out there each season.  Consistency is key.

Where can we shop for Habitual?
Barney’s New York, Neiman Marcus CUSP, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Scoop, Ron Herman, American

Rag and Kitson along with over 500 of the most distinguished retailers around the globe.

Which celebrities seem to be fans of Habitual jeans?
Heidi Klum, Jessica Alba, Reese Witherspoon, Ann Hathaway, Katie Holmes, Cameron Diaz, Halle Berry, Sienna Miller, Ashton Kutcher, Patrick Dempsey, and Josh Duhamel.

What are some of the big trends in the denim market today?
Vintage Washes and More Relaxed fits.  The Boyfriend Jean is really popular right now.  It is a trend you do not want to miss!

What’s next for Habitual?
For Spring 09 we have expanded our women’s collection to include A-line dresses, high waisted pencil skirts, sailor shorts and jean styles with zippers and snaps.

Something new Habitual launched this October is our “Pink Ribbon” skinny jean (image attached) in support of the National Breast Cancer Foundation. 15% of all sales of this style will go back to the Foundation when purchased at  This “giving back” promotion will continue every season.

To find out more about Habitual’s hottest styles visit their offical website

Yoga Army


Yoga Army is a fun fusion of sexy and classic chic fashion line created by Sandy Wee and Sebastian. The dream duo partnered after Sandy was designing for 10 years for other major brands and after Sebastian left  the music, film, and yoga biz. In this interview Sandy Wee tells the Yoga Army story and how it is destined to set fashion trends.
When did your fascination with fashion design begin and how did you get involve with Yoga army?
My fascination began as a tweenager growing up in the San Fernando valley during the 80’s – I learned how to sew in order to peg down the legs of my corduroys and jeans before there were leggings, then we got into fluorescent harem pants a la MC Hammer, and then we graduated to the cool Mod looks with fur lined parkas, peacoats, and bommer jackets.  We used to go thrift shopping and alter these shifts from the 60’s and make them shorter to wear over white tights and Mary Jane flats.  People used to look at us strangely, but my friends and I loved to stand out and make a fashion statement in a cool, classy way.Yoga Army began when we partnered up after my 10 plus years of designing for other major brands and after Sebastian left the music, film and yoga biz.

How would you describe the Yoga Army fashion line?
Yoga Army is a fun fusion of sexy and classic chic. .  I love working with leathers and soft jerseys, or cool fluid silks with a touch of flowery lace – it makes a dress a lot more interesting.

What does the name Yoga Army mean?
Actually Sebastian my partner came up with that name, it’s basically our own version of the yin and yang – yoga meaning tranquility and union of the self and Army which for us stands for strength and the  resolve to stand by your beliefs.  This is basically the design concept behind the line – finding the balance between two dichotamies, speaking in the design sense, the hard and soft aspects.

What is the inspiration behind the Yoga Army clothes?
The primary inspiration was to have both a seductive style and comfort simultaneously.  Most often men can attend any events wearing comfortable shirts and jackets to keep them warm while women are usually freezing in barely there clothing and high heels. We wanted to keep the silhouettes sexy but tried to keep the waists from being too tight, and if short, keeping the body very drapey and fluid so that the focus is not only on the exposed legs but on the movement above.  Balancing the two concepts is what keeps Yoga Army dresses a great staple to have.

“I think the absolute best thing about being an independent fashion designer is the ability to set the trends and make a statement that you believe in and not always follow what the entire market declares is trendy and IN.”

Who do you see wearing Yoga Army fashions from everyday women to celebrities?
Today’s woman, on the go, from business meetings in the daytime to the cocktail party at night, and on the plane for a relaxing trip to Dubai.  Celebrities? Lindsay Price, April Scott, Jaime Presley, Jenny McCarthy, Donna D’Errico & Holly Robinson are just a few

We would love to dress Zooey Deschanel, Milla Jovovich & Kate Beckinsale.

Yoga Army



April Scott - Yoga Army

What would be one of your most memorable Yoga Army garments you’ve ever designed?
Definitely the kimono with the leather obo waists.  We embroidered my artwork of a stork in a flowery pond and it came out beautifully.

Can you tell us more about the Yoga Army collection for this season, and for the upcoming season?
This season was very influenced by the Gilded Age – the turn of the century Victorian America.  Corsets, as you know were made with whalebones and were very stiff and restrictive, sometimes cinching women’s waists down to 13.”  We have updated the corset idea using soft leathers with jersey, thereby giving the appearance of a small cinched in waist while having the stretch and comfort of the jersey back.  The final effects are extremely modern and sexy at the same time!

For Spring the collection, we call it Lawrence of Arabia meets The Fifth Element – lots of drapey silks trimmed with soft leather straps and exaggerated, sculpted shoulders with bandaged leather mitered fronts – concepts that offer new silhouettes – if you are daring enough to wear them!

Who are some of your favorite designers of all time?
I’m inspired by Lanvin – for Elbaz’s gorgeous sense of classic elegance (he knows what looks good on a woman), Stella McCartney – always ever so modern and sportswear driven, and John Galliano – for his dramatic playfulness and attention to detail – all of these designers I ultimately respect for being masters of the technical side of designing as well as their vision.

Where can we shop for Yoga Army clothes? (847) 696-1700, Pulse in Stl Louis – (636) 519-4022,, Fred Segal Emphatic (310)394-1208 and about 300+ more stores in the US.

What do you love most about being a fashion designer?
I think the absolute best thing about being an independent fashion designer is the ability to set the trends and make a statement that you believe in and not always follow what the entire market declares is trendy and “IN.”

How would you describe your own style?
I’m a mixture of Rocker Chic and Relaxed Chic.  I always want to be comfortable so mostly I’m strolling around in flat knee high boots with leggings or skinny jeans and one of my silk tops or dresses.  Sebastian is very rock’n roll – all jeans and chunky heavy silver jewelry!

What’s next for Yoga Army?
Always something new and exciting

Style Interviews would like to thank Sandy for sharing her love of fashion with us and please check out Yoga Army’s official home online at

Fashion Designer Vera Wang Talks About Look Her New Perfume- Video Clip

Fashion designer Vera Wang has recently launched a new perfume to add to her repertoire of beautiful fragrances: Look.

Here is a video clip of Vera Wang talking about the inspiration and meaning behind her new fragrance, Look.

Joan Hornig

Joan Hornig is a talented jewelry designer who has developed a way to encourage others to join her in support of educational and other philanthropic initiatives. Joan Hornig is doing so by giving 100% of the profits on each jewelry sold to the purchaser’s charity of choice.  In this interview Joan Hornig talks about her fascination with jewelry which began in early childhood, defines the Joan Hornig jewelry line philosophy, describes her first ever jewelry piece she designed, explains her desire to give back, and even talks about her own personal style.

When did your fascination with jewelry design begin?
My fascination with jewelry began in early childhood.   We know that small children are attracted to shiny, moving things like metals and gems. I guess I never got over it!  I cannot remember a time when I didn’t want to wear jewelry. However, my intellectually based interest probably formed in middle school while visiting museums. I began studying the jewelry worn and made by all cultures and peoples around the world.What is Joan Hornig jewelry’s philosophy?
The Joan Hornig jewelry philosophy is that jewelry is intensively personal, must compliment not overpower a wearer and must be distinctive. – like the woman herself!   It should be easy for the woman to put on herself, look good from all angles and sides (back as well as front).  It must be recognizable as a Joan Hornig design because of it’s practicality – day to evening versatility, choice of materials and balance and harmo ny in design.  It is not mass-produced and should be obvious as hand crafted and finely made. Joan Hornig jewelry is meant to communicate that the wearer understands that the jewelry is a good investment and has lasting value on multiple levels.  This comes from the materials, the design, and the donations from sales driven to the non-profit world.

“What I love most about being a jewelry designer is seeing someone put on my jewelry, walk over to a mirror, smile at herself and feel delighted with her reflection.  When a woman is drawn to my jewelry, I know she is secure and passionate and understands how much impact fashion has.”

How would you describe the Joan Hornig jewelry?
Jewelry should be fluid and move with the wearer.  The earrings I design whether highly feminine, i.e. flowers, art nouveau motifs, pearls, diamonds, or more architectural and reflective of  a strong mid 20th century aesthetic and today’s fashion, all incorporate some of my basic principles. They catch the light when they move, there is an obvious  contrast between textures and materials further highlighting the excitement of sparkle and glow; they cover the torn earholes that so many women experience, and they can be worn comfortably when talking on the phone.   The necklaces also incorporate this philosophy.  They are feminine and soft, caressing a woman’s neck or they are dramatically long and layerable making them double/tripleable.  There is always a sparkle and they too are sculptural.  Bracelets are substantial, wearab le and relate to nature.

What was the first jewelry piece you designed?
The first piece I designed for the Joan Hornig line was a watermelon tourmaline and gold necklace.  However, I always designed jewelry even using seeds, wood, leather and found objects and beads as a teenager.  I also designed statement diamond jewelry, reworking antique pieces into personal pieces for myself during the ’80’s.

Where do you draw the inspiration for your designs?
Everything inspires me – travel, the grocery store, the economy, the stones and materials themselves.   Nature and the history of art are very much in my design vocabulary so I suppose I take many of my inspirations from them whether consciously or not.  A texture or a fabric or pattern can set me spinning with excitement to try something new.

Who do you see wearing your jewelry?
I see everyone wearing my jewelry!  That is why I design things that can be worn as t-shirt treats, business meeting accessories or  black tie gala designs. Price is always a factor so I design strong message pieces in both sterling and gold.  Women and men from around the world are attracted to the jewelry. It’s meant to be seductive on many levels.

What is your own personal favorite jewelry piece from the Joan Hornig collections?
I always have 2 favorite pieces – the one I just sold and the one I am making. I have a special fondness for the Georgette’s  (named after my husband, George), the classic diamond and pearl together earrings (as you know- when a person buys my jewelry I give all the profits on the piece to the charity of his/her choice.)

What styles are you working on for the upcoming seasons?
I am working on a lot of different designs that are dramatic, architectural and inspired by my travels abroad.

What do you love most about being a jewelry designer?
What I love most about being a jewelry designer is seeing someone put on my jewelry, walk over to a mirror, smile at herself and feel delighted with her reflection.  When a woman is drawn to my jewelry, I know she is secure and passionate and understands how much impact fashion has.  I know that wearer will get noticed and talk about not only the jewelry but also the charity aspect of my collection.  The ability to spur conversation and inspire is awesome.  Women will only wear and buy jewelry they like.  What could be a greater validation for me as a designer and philanthropist than to have that kind of validation while making a difference in the future through charitable giving?

Where does your passion for philanthropy come from?
My passion for giving back comes from my family. I have personally been so fortunate to have had the opportunity to be well loved, well educated and brave enough to take risks.  I believe that education is the key to a great many things.  Having gotten one of the finest educations available, my world and thus my responsibility to be a citizen of it became quite clear to me.

How would you describe your own style?
My own style while not flamboyant is one that says “notice me”.  I am not afraid to wear color or mix old and new things in a very personal, unexpected way.  I mix modern and tradition like sumptuous things, but believe in being comfortable and relaxed.  I am, however, always seen in jewelry and would feel naked without it.

What’s next for Joan Hornig?
I am hoping to expand my Philanthropy is Beautiful line into other areas which can be part of everyday life.

It was a pleasure to interview Joan you can find out more about her jewelry at her official website:

Lana Fuchs

Lana Fuchs is a Russian born fashion designer and the designer of Lana Fuchs Couture, the lifestyle brand Billionaire Mafia and the founder of Emerald Dream foundations, a charitable non-profit  organization. In this interview, Lana Fuchs chats with Marta Walsh about her trip to India and how it drove her to finally pursue her dream to become a fashion designer, her inspiration behind the Lana Fuchs Couture Spring/Summer 2009 Collection “Rhapsody In Boom” presented at LA Fashion Week, her dreams to dress Middle America and help women to feel good about themselves, how she would love to dress Cindy McCain, and her fascination with legendary fashion designer Coco Chanel.

When did you fascination with fashion begin?
My fascination with fashion began probably when I was eight years old, when I moved to the US with my parents from Russia. We settled in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn New York. We moved into a terrible studio apartment. It was the classic immigrant story, we all have them. I was an overweight child and didn’t speak English which led to a somewhat hard time in school. My uncle bought me a Barbie Doll for my ninth birthday. My life has changed. I began living my life vicariously through Barbie. I felt that Barbie’s clothes were not good enough for her. I use to cut my mom’s curtains and her vinyl table cloths and turn them into pretty clothes which I sewed by hand.  This is when I decided that when I grow up I want to be in fashion.  But when I grew up I wasn’t allowed to go to school to study fashion because it wasn’t considered a real education by my parents. They wanted me to be stable and have a steady profession.  I ended doing everything they wanted me to do. To make long story short, when I turned 33 I went on a trip to India for a month. I was at a good place financially and with my family but I didn’t feel I was fulfilled. When I came back from India I knew what I had to do. I quit everything and I told my family I was planning to do what I love, which is fashion. I never wanted to live with the notion’ I should have could have.’ I never looked back!What was the first garment you have ever designed as the Lana Fuchs Couture?
I first began making clothes for myself. Everywhere I went people used to compliment me for what I wore and asked where they can buy it. I ended up making one of a kind gowns and various outfits for others.  I have pictures of every garment I have ever designed. The first gown I designed was a beautiful ball gown in black and burgundy for a friend of mine. We were going to the same party in Europe through an organization called YPO, which my husband and I belong to.  It is a group of about 11,000 or 12,000 members worldwide. As a member of YPO we travel to various countries with educational programs during the day, and amazing and fabulous parties and formal balls at night. The fist dress I’ve designed was for a YPO woman.

“I would like to dress Middle America. There is a great need for affordable yet nice clothes. With just a few great pieces of clothes women everywhere can feel so much better about themselves.”

How would you describe the Lana Fuchs fashion line?
The Lana Fuchs fashion line is timely and timeless for the woman who has arrived.

Where do you draw the inspiration from for your designs?
I love to travel and I travel a lot. I have a fascination for exploring new courtiers and new cultures. Every time I leave a country I take something from it. What I have learned is that there are different standards for beauty in every single country.  But the most amazing thing I’ve discovered is that one common denominator for all these women around the world is their femininity. This is why many of the Lana Fuchs dresses are very feminine. For example my latest collection for spring 2009 “The Rhapsody in Bloom” was inspired by the sites of Giverny France from the gardens of Monet mixed with colors of Indian women working in the field. I observe and study how women are and what they wear to different occasions all around the world. Every woman is an inspiration to me.


Who do you see wearing the Lana Fuchs clothes?
The Lana Fuchs fashion line is for women from age 20 to 60 who are interested in wearing classic and elegant clothes as opposed to following trends. These are women who have developed their own sense of style, and know what they like and what looks best on them. She could be a woman from all walks of life: a homemaker, an attorney, or a doctor. In Hollywood, I would love to see Sophia Loren, Angelina Jolie, and Nicole Kidman wearing the Lana Fuchs Couture. I also would have loved to see Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in one of my dresses. And, Cindy McCain would be perfect. Cindy is so classy and elegant, always well put together.

What would be your biggest achievement as a fashion designer?
I would like to dress Middle America. There is a great need for affordable yet nice clothes. With just a few great pieces of clothes women everywhere can feel so much better about themselves. That confidence in women comes across and it is so evident.

Who are some of your favorite fashion designers?
My personal favorite fashion designer is Coco Chanel, I always used to look up to her even as a child. Coco Chanel has managed to achieve international recognition through so much adversity and obstacles. She left an important mark in the world which doesn’t end in just fashion. Coco taught women how to be independent and to think outside the box. She also taught women around the world to wear clothes that are comfortable and not fit into what is expected of them to wear.  I also like Armani, Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent, and Christian Dior.

How would you describe your own personal style?
I describe my personal style as timely and timeless pieces with an attitude.

What’s next for Lana Fuchs?
I would like my clothes to be available at department stores and specialty boutiques. And, hopefully next season I would like to show my collection in New York Fashion Week.

It was a pleasure to interview Lana you can find out more about her fashion line at her official website: and her other sites: Billionaire Mafia and Emerald Dream Foundation

Pamela Pekerman


The Pamela Pekerman story is a very inspiring one. Pamela launched in April 2005 after several internships at leading fashion magazines including InStyle, Cosmopolitan and YM. Pamela then launched, and her blog My Bag-a-Licious Life. She is the resident Bag guru at the Home Shopping Network, a regular on VH1’s The Fabulous Life, and the handbag writer/expert for AOL’s Pamela Pekerman was even mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, and it looks like she is having the time of her life. I had the chance to chat with Pamela Pekerman during her bag-a-licious adventures at the 2008 Mercedes-Benz Swim Miami Fashion Week about her passion for bags, and plans for the future.
When did your fascination with handbags begin?
I was always into handbags ever since I was a little girl. When I went to New York University for Journalism I was fortunate to take on some great internships, I worked at the fashion accessories department for In Style, and also for Cosmopolitan. I was always around bags. It kind of developed on my last semester in school when I launched one thing led to another. led to HSN and to VH1. I’ve always loved handbags and to be able to turn your passion for something into a career is really exciting.Can you tell us about what is all about?
It’s a three year old online magazine. It was launched before the online fashion media boom so we had that spot for ourselves for a while. We cover handbag trends, particularly, the contemporary market. My main interest is upcoming bag designers, and who’s going to be tomorrows  Luis Vuitton or Gucci. Three years ago the brands I was writing about had just come out, but three years later every celebrity under the sun is wearing them. So my passion is finding the next ‘it’ handbags. includes monthly handbag trends, and every Friday I have my weekly picks, celebrity handbag trends, we also try to cover Fashion Week. I also write in blog which is a bit more personal.What shows are you planning to watch during Miami Swim Fashion Week?
Diesel , Ed Hardy, and Tommy Bahama. Seeing what’s going on with swimsuits this season in terms of colors and patterns are important in trying to identify beach bag trends. 

“Being a bag expert is about being curious and serious about it. Proving to people that you are not somebody that just happens to like this, you are somebody who is making a career around it.”

What does it take to become a bag expert?
You must have the passion and the drive for it! Just follow your passion. For me it’s about going to all the appointments, making the connections, and seeing the collections as soon as possible. Because I work with WSA, which is the World Shoe Association, and I attend the WSA Show the largest and most comprehensive footwear and accessories show in the world, I get to see the trends way in advance. Being a bag expert is not about only what I think, it is about being aware about what is also happening in the market, traveling and seeing what people are wearing on the streets around the world and in different cultures. Many designers reflect their exposure to travel and other cultures in their designs, for example, Gwen Stefani with L.A.M.B and Marc Jacobs.  It’s about being curious and serious about it. Proving to people that you are not somebody that just happens to like this, you are somebody who is making a career around it.

What other ways do you tend to spot bag trends?
Developing a relationship with the designers and talking to them about what they think we are going to see in upcoming seasons in a very casual way. I also ask about what leathers they are interested in or what colors, is  there any cultural reference that is appealing to them the most, and what is entertaining them at the moment. I also look outside of fashion, I look at furniture, I look at celebrities. It is then very important as a trend forecaster to take in all you have observed into a point of view.

What are some of the ‘it’ handbags at the moment?
For the fall season one of the big trends is lace. I saw that trend a lot at the Prada runway shows both in their clothing and handbags. A shopper will have options buying into this trend with Target or H&M, or if they choose to splurge with expensive designers. But chances are you will get bored with a lace handbag, so it’s not a purchase you want necessarily spend $2000 on, so I’ll suggest to go with H&M and this is how I play around with the lace trend. Another big trend we are expecting to see is handbags with a long chain. A little clutch or a purse on a very long chain. This trend has been seen on the runway and celebrities and it will translate well into everyday life. Marc Jacobs and Rebecca Minkoff have amazing options. So the idea is a small purse or a clutch with a very long chain or chain and leather sitting at your waist. It is very modern and very fashion forward.  You can also wear the look in a messenger style, across your body. And Grey which was popular last fall will stay strong this season. It is going to be the backdrop color both in fashion and accessories. I love grey, that is something I will invest in. It is a great option if you are used to black.

Which beach handbags do you think are hot at the moment?
Because not everyone is comfortable wearing wild colored swimsuits and often stick to understated colors such as black, a bright and bold beach handbag is a great way to accent your look. Jill Stuart has a really fun beach bag which is semi transparent so it’s also picks up on the peek-a-boo trend, or the see-through look. Cole Haan has a very nice bag which I’m obsessed about, a woven plastic. Cole Hann took their signature woven detailing and kicked it up a notch to make it fashion forward. I love that.

What advice can you give to women making their first handbag investment?
Every woman should own a great work bag, and if you can only afford one, I would stick with the classics. Go with the black, tan, grey, or a very neutral metallic color. Not gold, that can be too much. I’ll go with a satchel in a black or a grey, you can never go wrong with that. You can get a great one by Elliot Lucca. Another bag every woman should own is a great clutch, and you can find one for $30! But if you want to invest in a good clutch but can’t afford the Marc Jacobs, Lauren Merkin makes amazing clutches for $180. Eva Longoria Parker and Lindsay Lohan have worn Lauren Merkin on the red carpet.

Pamela Pekerman

What handbags are wearing right now?
Right now I’m wearing a woven bag by Elliot Luca, it’s mostly white but the center has a silver panel. It is perfect, it even fits my laptop. Elliot Lucca Handbags are amazing for the price point, because I know how expensive it is for designers to make the bags. And by the way, I keep my makeup in a small clutch this way my makeup is easily accessible. Think BBC (Bag, Baubles, and Coat): you need a great Bag, jewelry, and a coat, and you are good to go!

Have  you ever been tempted to design your own line of handbags?
I have been approached to do it, but I wouldn’t do it unless I have someone behind me. It is a very difficult process. I wouldn’t do it right now, but I also wouldn’t rule it out.

Why do you think bags have  become such a big obsession for women?
It’s much more practical for a woman to rationalize this type of purchase. It is much easier to walk into Escada purchasing a $2000 bag because you know you can wear this bag every single day forever. Yet you won’t necessarily purchase a $700 pair of pants, it’s seems more complicated.

What is the best part of your job?
Seeing all the bags!  It’s about knowing that for good or for bad I had no connections in this industry, so everything I’ve accomplished it’s not working 9 to 5, but literally 24 hours a day. Also, enjoying the travel and discounts here and there.

What’s next for Pamela Pekerman?
Hopefully doing some more stuff with HSN. I’m also working with my partner Michelle, and my fabulous assistant, on a bag trends party, called: Bag Trends Arm Candy Party, where we invite ten to fifteen really hot contemporary handbag designers to sell their merchandise to our customers. The point of this event is that it is a luxury shopping experience, we have an open bar, appetizers, and a spa to compliment the people who come to shop.

It was a pleasure to interview Pamela you can check out her amazing website; shop for your own perfect purse or read about Pamela’s Bag-a-Licious Life at

Nina Garcia

Nina Garcia is one of Bravo’ Project Runway famous judges along with supermodel Heidi Klum, and fashion designer Michael Kors. Nina is also a magazine editor who until August 2008 acted as the Editor-at-Large of Elle Magazine. Nina is now a fashion director for Marie Claire Magazine. In 2007 Nina Garcia released her first book called: The Little Black Book of Style, by Harper Collins, which is a must-have read for any woman who would like to discover her own fashion sense. In August 2008 Nina published her second book: The One Hundred: A Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own. In this interview Nina Garcia tells Marta Walsh what it takes to be successful in the fashion industry, the best part if being a judge on the Emmy nominated Bravo series Project Runway, her inspiration behind her latest book The One Hundred, and the Nina Garcia definition for style.
Why did you decide on a career in fashion and what does it take to be successful at it?
I was immediately drawn to the fashion industry’s constantly evolving nature.  To be successful?  It takes determination and a thick skin.

What is the best part of being a judge on Bravo’s Project Runway?
I love being a part of a show that has brought a great deal of attention to the fashion industry.  I think it has made fashion cool again and it has illustrated that it is an industry full of creative, vibrant, intelligent people.  I am very proud of that. 


What was your inspiration behind your new book: The One Hundred?
Really, the inspiration came out of necessity.  I had to move out of my apartment for 8 months while it was being renovated.  I couldn’t take my whole closet with me, so I was forced to ask myself, what are the items I cannot live without?  This is, for the most part, is a list of those items.

What is Nina Garcia’s definition for style?
You know when you can’t take your eyes off of someone and you are not sure why?  That’s style. 

What is next for Nina Garcia?
I just started a great new job at Marie Claire, I will be shooting the next season of Project Runway, and I have a few other ideas and opportunities rolling around.  We’ll see.  I’m always looking for a new challenge. 

Style Interviews would like to thank Nina for sharing some of her secrets with us. You can find Nina on Bravo’s Profect Runway and look out for The One Hundred at major bookstores / online retailers.

Sheri Drobnick


Sheri Drobnick is the founder of Credibility by Sheri Drobnick which is a jacket trench and coat line designed for the woman with on designer headset but not a designer budget. In this interview Sheri Drobnick talks about why she insists that everything in her fashion line is on the “WOW” or else it isn’t on the line, her favorite fashion designers, her own eclectic style, and plans for growing her business while getting more balance in life.

When did your fascination with fashion design begin?
I guess i would have to say my fascination. In design began when i was working summers at casual corner in springfield, mass. As the top salesperson. As well as the fashion coordinator for most of the customers, I realized i had an affinity for clothing , merchandising and ultimately design.

How would you describe the Credibility by Sheri Drobnick fashion line?
Credibility by Sheri Drobnick is a jacket trench and coat line
designed for the woman with on on designer headset but not a designer budget. All of my fabrics are from Europe and i am designing for the woman 30 on up who is sophisticated but always has any edge. The clothes will always be on trend without being trendy. They can be worn by any executive and then go to a reception feeling perfectly chic. Or on the other hand they can be worn by ladies who do volunteer work, lunch or just want to look fabulous going out to dinner or the movies. We are really known for our fabrication and detailing. I want everything to be on on “WOW” or else it isn’t on the line.

How do you go about deciding what garment to design?
In a previous life I was a textile stylist. I would buy art work from the major capitals in Europe and then color these
designs in other colors. At the same time i was exposed to the most beautiful fabrics especially in France and Italy. So when I see fabrics they sing to me. I was always ahead of what the masses wanted so because my lead time for fabric and production is so long the designs just work. In addition I am always shopping stores around the world and have a gut level for the next step.

Where do you draw the inspiration for the style and color of your designs?
The inspiration for design and color comes from the most
sophisticated colorways I any choose from as well as what bodies seem to be the NEXT STEP IN WEARABLE FASHION as well as influences from European magazines and travel.

“We are really known for our
fabrication and detailing. I want everything to be on on “WOW” or else it
isn’t on the line.”

Who do you see wearing Credibility by Sheri Drobnick fashions?
Credibility can be any woman that has the confidence to be recognized as on on lady with style.

What would be one of your most memorable garments you’ve ever designed?
One of my most memorable designs is a high low asymetrical coat we shipped in a sophisticated neutral for spring and we will be shipping it in august in black this fall and also in. A lightweight beautiful Italian fabric with a shot of metallic. This coat was memorable because i had to try it on for everyone to appreciate the architectural lines, bu once on everyone wrote
it and it was our first style to reorder this past spring. Also wwd editor wanted the spring style for herself. The style is chic yet sophisticated with any edge….my absolute favorite combination.

Can you tell us more about the Credibility by Sheri Drobnick collection for this season, and for the upcoing season?
Fall 2008 was all about affordable luxe with any emphasis on outrageously beautiful fabrications and details with trenches and coats being among the best

For spring 2009 we are introducing. A new category that for on on lack of a better term I’ll call wispy toppers. My largest volume is coming from the southern belt from LA to Florida and Atlanta. These weightless fabrics provide that third layer that finished the outfit with a wow. In addition there are beautiful new finishes to fabrics that scream Modern!!!!!!

Who are some of your favorite designers of all time?
Tough question…. I guess Valentino, Alexander McQueen, YSL and Dries Van Noten.

Where can we shop for Credibility by Sheri Drobnick fashions?
I am currently selling over 400 specialty stores around the country from Stanley ‘Orshk in Dallas to Barbara Katz in Boca to Tally Ho in NC and Elan at the lodge at Pebble Beach and Mark Shale in Chicago and Harari in Beverly Hills and Santa Monica and Glenn clothing company in Bel Air.

What do you love most about being a fashion designer?
Making women excited about my clothing and working with fabric in europe.

How would you describe your own style?
My own style is very eclectic and I also have fun with clothes. One day I dress totally sophisticated without any edge and the next day I might take on a vintage slim skirt and modernize it with a jacket of mine and killer shoes and handbag. I have become the Emelda Marcos of handbags in the past few years. I have always loved wide leg hepburn looking trousers with short jackets or a feminine top. Jeans are also a staple for me yet I love to also dress up!

What’s next for Sheri Drobnick?
Growing my business and trying to get more balance in my life.

It was a pleasure to interview Sheri you can check out more of her amazing designs and the Credibilty line at: