This spring and summer we are excited to carry some new jewelry lines and thought what better way to introduce these lines than through the talented designers themselves! First up is designer, Priya Kakkar of Chamak jewelry.
Give us a brief backstory of how you got started in the fashion industry?
I studied at FIT. I always knew I wanted to work in the industry. I focused more on the business side of fashion, I worked in sales for Burberry and Chanel. I am so happy to now be on the creative side as well. It is a wonderful and fun outlet. I think it has been an important aspect of my life that I have seen the industry from both sides. My experience in sales has helped me to effectively design successful pieces.
Who or what influenced you to start your own jewelry line? How long have you been designing jewelry?
Bendels first noticed me in a market appointment for another client. The first bangle that I ever made was a bangle that nobody had ever made before – it was baked clay and the only thing in the market at the time. It was an innovation that launched my life as I now know it! I was wearing one of these bangles I had made myself, and Bendel’s ended up buying them for their store. Next thing I knew, I was in Neiman Marcus’ Christmas catalog then on the Today Show as a top ten Christmas gifts for the year. The rest is fabulous history!
Explain the name behind your jewelry line, Chamak?
Chamak in my native language of Hindi means to shine and sparkle in a glitzy, glamorous way.
Who or what is your go-to for designer inspiration?
I am definitely inspired by haute couture and I pay close attention to the shows. I also think it is vital to notice what the Chamak girl is wearing on the street or out to dinner. It’s all about mixing high and low. It is important to find things that can be worn to work and to cocktails right after. I love, love everything from Marc Jacobs and Marni to J.Crew!
What five pieces of jewelry should every woman own?
-a pearl necklace
-a pair of pearl earrings
-a classic pair of diamond studs
-a big watch so you are always on time
-an armful of Chamak bangles
What is the best piece of fashion or jewelry advice you’ve received that we should all follow?
There is no such thing as too much! Stay true to yourself and show the world who you are through what you wear! And most importantly, have fun!
I know you have been bombarded this week and last with Mother’s Day gift ideas by email, Facebook, Twitter, ads, commercials and more. I know I have, and I was really going to try to avoid doing the same today, despite setting up a Facebook album for inspiration earlier in the week. But the truth is I try to blog every Tuesday and Friday…and I could not think of a single other thing to blog about. I have a few things in the pipeline, but nothing finished. I skimmed through Vanity Fair, InStyle and Real Simple (I was desperate), and still…nothing. So, here you go. Maybe the time I spent on this will be helpful to some of my readers. (Everything is from The Shoe Hive, obviously.) And, even though the Mother’s Day marketing has been relentless this year, our moms really do deserve to be spoiled–at least once a year!
(Click to enlarge.)
As I watched the Met Gala’s red carpet last night, it dawned on me how easily translatable some of these out-there, over-the-top, glamorous celebrity looks are in our very normal lives. It’s not about duplicating, but translating. Translate Gwyneth Paltrow’s dress color into the Pour la Victoire pink pumps (that are more vibrant in person than the picture would have you believe). Translate SJP’s out there print–and even her, um, crown–into Rachel Zoe’s ultra sophisticated flat (in store only) with multicolored print and gold buckle. Translate Rooney Mara’s cream lace gown into a cream lace espadrille by Bettye Muller, perfect for the coming summer months. Fashion isn’t as inaccessible as many people think. It’s just about translation.
Everyone is loving our TKees, and my goal in putting these looks together was to show you how versatile they could be–casual evening affair, daytime birthday bash, and the kids’ Saturday morning soccer game. After finishing the three looks, however, I realized that I am clearly loving a very specific color palette this season: coral and golds mixed with greens. Can you blame me?
- Wednesday, May 1, 2013: Favorite sitcom growing up? Facts of Life.
- Thursday, May 2, 2013: Favorite music group in high school? Bon Jovi..then and now.
- Friday, May 3, 2013: Paper or plastic? Paper
- Saturday, May 4, 2013: Your very favorite pair of shoes ever? A pair of vintage cowboy boots from my mom. She got them when she was a teenager. They are wild and I love the story behind her getting them.
- Sunday, May 5, 2013: How old were you when you began to realize you loved shoes? At a very very young age. I have been into clothes and shoes since I was a toddler. I try to remind my husband of that when the Neiman’s bill arrives. It is just something you are born with.
- Monday, May 6, 2013: Favorite zoo animal? Alligator.
- Tuesday, May 7, 2013: Six Flags or Disney World? Disney
- Wednesday, May 8, 2013: Do you have a green thumb? No but I would like to.
- Thursday, May 9, 2013: What chore do you dislike the most? Gardening
- Friday, May 10, 2013: Favorite mode of transportation in the DC area? Uber
- Saturday, May 11, 2013: Favorite mode of transportation in Old Town? my feet
- Sunday, May 12, 2013: Go-to dinner party dish? My husband’s fried chicken
- Monday, May 13, 2013: Looking back, what was your favorite age? 34, when I had my daughter
- Tuesday, May 14, 2013: Who have been your mentors? Sam, my old boss in politics.
- Wednesday, May 15, 2013: If you could meet one person in all of history who would it be? Susan B Anthony
- Thursday, May 16, 2013: If you could experience one event in world history what would it be? I would like to go to all three races in the 1973 Triple Crown.
- Friday, May 17, 2013: What is your favorite fictional novel? The Fountainhead
- Saturday, May 18, 2013: If you were to write an autobiography of your life, how would you title it? A Walk in My Shoes
- Sunday, May 19, 2013: If you could go back to one childhood activity, what would it be? Going to my grandmother’s farm in the summer.
A few months ago, Angela, the owner of Bellacara, approached me with a kind of genius idea: to collaborate with a handful of other stores in an effort to cross promote and show our customers what our stores have to offer, and how it all works together. We weren’t really sure at the time what that would look like, but we partnered up with Kiskadee in Del Ray and Zoe Boutique in Old Town, and got to work. Alexandria Stylebook is what came of it–a website that will bring you the newest trends, tips and insight on all things style and beauty in Alexandria.
Logo and website design: check.
First photo shoot: check.
Introductory video: check.
Email designed and (almost) ready to send: check.
More great content ready to be loaded: check.
We have worked so hard on this project, because we believe in it. Actually, you helped us believe in it. We put out a survey in March in an attempt to assess interest, and 350 people responded! I couldn’t believe it! We are attending to a few last details–final website changes, email template design, etc.–but as soon as that is all finished, we will launch tomorrow: May 1.