works, ideas and so much more.
Met with a Chic, talented, and down to earth designer in Midtown Miami last week. I call her the bohemian goddess, but she’s better known to the fashion world as Tanya Marie. She has an absolutely articulate, & eloquent flair when it comes to her designs.
Tanya has styled various celebrities, such as Timbaland, Marc Anthony, Pitbull, Kimora Lee Simmons, P Diddy, Jada Pinkett Smith, not to mention various Ms. Venezuela pageant models, the famous Basketball Wives, and the Housewives of Miami. Pedigree aside, she recently created a line of dresses, hats, & pieces, which were inspired by “The Great Gatsby”. Not to mention did a fabulous job, on designing Miami’s housewife Adriana De Moura’s wedding gown. Can I get a sexci?
Tanya Marie began her one of a kind line in 2006. Although she had not been formally trained in sewing dresses, She was inspired by her mother–also a fashionista. “She would come home with a killer Roberto Cavalli dress fresh out the shop… Grab scissors cutting straight across on the thigh, giving the dress a couture, unique look.”
Tanya’s posh boutique reminds me of a walk-in version of Carrie Bradshaw’s closet (minus the jimmy’s). It’s located in Miami’s Design District. On the rack you’ll see beautiful, long & colorful dresses, (making a girl feel like a princess all over again), funky fitting denim, sparkly bohemian tops, & deliciously crafted accessories & shoes! We shared a few laughs, played dress up, & I even got styled!
Tanya is not only a visionary but a fashion icon in the making.
Stop by, shop some & say “hello darling”. Tell her Stiletto Kat sent you…
Interview Transcript Below:
Kat: Tanya, tell us about your view on designing clothes<
Tanya: Some people will buy it just because of the name, but for me it has to be something that makes you look better.
Kat: I agree. I agree.
Tanya: That’s the most important thing. Fit first, fabric second, and then fabulousness always.
Kat: Is that even a question? (laughs)
Tanya: There is no question (laughs)
Kat: Now Tanya you’ve worked with artists such as Pitbull, Timbaland, and Mark Anthony. Can you tell us a little bit about that experience?
Tanya: Timbaland is an ongoing experience, because I’ve styled him and his whole family for the last seven years, but I’ve worked with Kimora Lee Simmons, P Diddy and his girlfriend Kim Porter — I’ve sold thousands worth of clothes to her. Over the years I’ve worked with Jada Pinkett Smith and a lot of celebrities that are in LA that come to Miami and they come to me. As far as doing the Pitbull video, I’ve styled videos for him, and for Amadai who’s an upcoming artist who’s being wearing my things a lot. But now with the new store our direction has shifted from styling and creating looks for styling to wholesale, and we’re trying to do the worldwide campaign where we’re branding of the TM label, Tanya Marie, and we’re selling to stores all over the world: Saint Tropez, the Hamptons, Venezuela, Argentina, you know all over the world. I already have three stores now in Argentina, and I’ve done a lot of Latin celebrities. Like a lot of Miss Venezuelas, and we’ve done wedding bridal dresses for some Miss Venezuelas, as well as Miss Jamaica, Miss Haiti. The reason why we even started this whole thing was because of the styling — not being able to find things that I needed or that looked amazing — so I started cutting things up and from there I started selling the pieces.
Kat: From there it just blew up. Now my next question Tanya: Now it’s mentioned that you started your line in 2006 and that you had no formal training. Can you tell us about the secret to your success.
Tanya: Yeah I never had it. It’s just a passion. I literally dream and sleep and think about something… I feel like I don’t know what other people are doing because I’m so into my head about what I want to do. I’m not a person that necessarily follows what’s going on in trends, because I know that what I want to put out is a trend or is like the new trend. So whenever someone where’s a piece of mine they always come back because they get more attention in something simple. Then if it was like a major label brand of clothing. I have people like Timbaland’s wife who I style alot — she’s at every red carpet, every Grammy, every celebrity event with artists like Beyonce who are wearing Louis Vuitton head-to-toe, and she’s like “oh my god who is your designer, because I want that”.
Kat: Because you want to stand out.
Tanya: Yeah they stand out. And the way that they fit — I’m really proud of the fact that I’m really into fit and coolness and fabulousity
Kat: Oh my gosh, I told you me personally it’s been an issue to find suits that fit me the way I want it to and still come across stylish and professional. And I feel that your pieces not only do that, but that it’s a different flair.
Tanya: They stand out!
Kat: Oh yeah and it’s fashionable!
Tanya: If you wear that walking down the street people will be like “Who the hell, who does she think she is with that suit on (laughs).
Kat: Oh no no no that has to be in my closet! (laughs)
Tanya: “Oh my god who is that girl and why does she look so good” (laughs)
Kat: That’s because Tanya Marie hooked it up — hello!
Tanya: Oh my gosh (laughs)
Kat: How was your experience with Adriana’s wedding dress? — it was just to die for (laughs)
Tanya: Adriana I had been styling for three years. And I know her style. She voted or touted as top best dressed housewife of 2013. So basically what they called her is the queen of the maxis, which is me. So she said that everytime she would wear my pieces Andy from Bravo would tell her that you look amazing. She didn’t want to wear it all the time because there’s levels, but when she would put on one of my pieces everybody would ask her who the designer was. She was trying to keep me under wraps for a while, but whenever we went to the wedding literally three of the girls including: Alexia, Marisol, and Elisa, they were all fighting about who should be able to wear my clothes.
Kat: She wants to be exclusive.
Tanya: Well Adri has been exclusive with me, but before she bought my stuff, Alexia who is the owner of Fenny Magazine said she was buying my pieces and was pissed off that all of a sudden Adriana was wearing my stuff, then Elisa
Kat: Fashion cat fights
Tanya: It was adorable and I loved the situation because it just gave validity to everything that I’m trying to do. And then the wedding dresses — she was supposed to where three pieces which she’s actually going to wear but they ran out of time and ending up wearing one of my gowns, which was the party gown.
Kat: It was amazing thank you for those photos!
Tanya: Yeah her body for me looked crazy! It showed her cuteness.
Kat: Now I know who to call.
Tanya: Yes, when you get married I’m doing your dress. Oh no you’re coming to see me.
Kat: Is that even a question?
Tanya: Look at you!
Tanya: Yes I’m doing your dress.
Kat: We’ll do a little confirmation after this
Tanya: Yes we’ll do a little consultation actually.
Tanya: No problem.
Kat: Let me ask you, what advice can you give your fans and young individuals looking to get into design and style?
Tanya: Like you?
Kat: Yes ma’am. Like Stiletto Kat (laughs)
Tanya: Well I think that basically my main thing is that you just be true to yourself. Don’t be a person that looks at everything and go “I want to do that”. You can want to do that but you have to do what you in your heart love. Like no matter what it is. If you’re a full-figured designer, make things that make you look the best, because people will love it because there’s people like you. I think that obviously I never got trained to do this, and I see that one of my interns is a student at DASH and she’s getting all of this training, but what it amounts to me is like a robotic formula. I think that you should improve your skills but just take from it the best of what they give you. Don’t take the whole thing because you’re going to look like everyone else. I feel like the market is full of the same kind of designer. They all look like BEBE. They all have the same thing — No do your style and be true to yourself.
Kat: Thank you for that. That was very inspirational.
Tanya: Well thank you.
Kat: Of course. What is your favorite piece that you’ve created so far?
Tanya: Oh my god! That’s not a question you ask a designer, because every piece is a baby. Like all my babies if I love it I don’t want to sell it. I don’t know what that is because I fall in love on a daily basis. Like I have tons of children out there and some of them I wish I could get back, because a lot of them are one-of-a-kind. I literally don’t even like selling them. The girls in the store have to trick me in order to. I’m like “don’t sell that piece”. I’m putting it here but don’t sell it. Some things I can’t make again. If I can make it again, then okay. But usually I collect fabric from all over the world and a lot of the pieces are not able to be duplicated.
Kat: And that’s what makes you stand apart with your talent and skills and makes you fabulous.
Tanya: Well thank you.
Kat: Of course. Where was the last place you went to get fabric?
Tanya: We’re going to Morocco this summer. But we just travel. What I want to do next — I never do anything with my heritage. People think I’m Moroccan or they don’t know where I’m from.
Kat: You do look racially ambiguous
Tanya: Well not me personally. But the style of the clothing is very traveled. It like has pieces of leather, a lot of embroidery. It feels like India, Morocco — it feels more Arabic. I’ve done Saudi Princesses. So I think I’m going to do a group called Jamaica, which is where I’m from. And do like a really like “my tribal”. I feel like it could be Italian. It could be some many things but something that is something that is very indigenous of my own country. Where are you from?
Kat: I’m part Dominican, and Spaniard, and I just found out that I’m part Puerto Rican
Tanya: So you’re like from all over.
Kat: What are you doing when you’re not designing? That’s a good question.
Tanya: Sleeping. (laughs)
Kat: And dreaming of designs (laughs)
Tanya: Sleeping yeah. Getting my little mojo back. Because it’s just wherever I am, say we’re out to lunch somewhere, I’ll get inspiration for something and can’t wait to get back and start to do it.
Kat: That’s how you know it’s natural.
Tanya: Yeah, I will just be sitting there cutting in my head. Because I create my own cuts…
Kat: You have a lookbook in your head already..
Tanya: It’s like the cut of things, how they fall. I feel like like I create my own cut that other people don’t do .
Kat: It’s like your signature
Tanya: Different things. Yeah. That aren’t everywhere or are something typical. I’m trying to figure out a new way to do things. Do you know what I mean?
Kat: I like that. You’re fabulous. We gotta go out for cosmos.
Tanya: Even though I don’t drink I’ll go and I’ll sip it up.
Kat: We’ll get some virgin cosmos. Edyna are you down? (laughs)
Kat: Thank you so much Tanya Marie. I want to thank you on the behalf of FASHIFY.
Tanya: Yeah FASHIFY! I’m looking forward to seeing everything about you guys.
Sexy sexy tango is making a comeback in shoe styles (-or at least every gal’s Call It Spring seems to think so!).
Valentina Shah is one of the next up and coming designers to keep your eye out for. Her asymmetrical cuts, vibrant colors, and connection to the female sensuality make her clothing something that all women should be trying to get into their wardrobe. I became aware of Valentina Shah after being contacted by her company asking if I would be interested in doing a feature on her designs and after going through her 3 current collections and finding out that she had spent part of her life growing up in Miami I whole-heartily agreed. Her current Spring/Summer collection, which can be purchased at your local Saks Fifth Avenue or Nordstrom’s, feels like the epitome of the Miami woman. Thin and breezy fabrics paired in muted and vibrant colors make all of her pieces transition effortlessly from day to night, something that is a key essential to anyone living life on Miami Beach. I wanted to know more about the woman behind this beautiful brand and thankfully she agreed to answer a few questions for me.
Ashley Garner: How would you describe the modern woman you are designing for?
Valentina Shah: My customer is an ageless woman. She has an opulent level of taste, and is seeking out for impeccable quality, attention to detail and designer innovation. She is an intelligent consumer, embracing herself into a brand that she can fulfill her wardrobe with designer pieces for a value price point. She has a very busy life style: she travels, she works, has events to attend, so she looks for versatility on the styles she wants. She is feminine and sophisticated. All our pieces are designed so that she can wear dresses and outfits day to night and we make her sensuality effortless.
AG: What made you decide to switch from being on the business side of the industry to the creative side?
VS: I did not make a career change. I am ever so involved on the business side but incorporating my creative vision to the company. I engineered this brand by using the knowledge and information I gathered during the past 10 years of business and merchandising experience.
AG: You site your grandmother as being a huge inspiration for your style and collections. Can you describe further how she has influenced you and your work?
VS: My grandmother is a big inspiration because she had all the elements that make a woman powerful: regal beauty, class, independent character, knowledge, wisdom, and killer legs
AG: On your website it states “Shah’s designs share her unique point of view about the context of feminine fashion in the modern world.” Can you describe your point of view on this issue further or do you believe it is something that can only be expressed visually?
VS: Women have become more powerful and independent today; I have noticed around me that it has become hard for women to express power without losing a part their femininity. I see many designers that offer designs that are inspired by menswear, minimizing women femininity. I think being feminine, wearing a feminine dress that highlights a sophisticated sensuality, is more powerful than wearing “a boyfriend pant”. I also feel women need to wear clothes that are effortless, that can frame around their lifestyle. For instance, wearing an outfit that is chic and easily transition from day to night is appropriate for all occasions.
AG: In your spring collection it feels like you were extremely inspired by the Miami woman based on your use of color and thin fabrics. Do you agree or did you have something else in mind?
VS: The inspiration was inspired by marine life. The fabric and colors were inspired by textures and colors of the seas. I was leaning more towards the Mediterranean waters…
AG: Many designers today are accused of ignoring the brand and philosophy of thehouse and focusing more on their sales. Your fall and spring collection are extremely different but similar in the use of cuts, tailoring and symmetry. As a new designer do you already know what the DNA of your brand will be?
VS: I launched this brand with a specific vision: “offering the luxury consumer a brand that offers designer details, quality, lifestyle versatility for a value price point”. The DNA is clear. However, when you make a new car to become a winning car, you need to test drive it and make the proper adjustments before the race. We are at the third season, and every season we are challenged on “how to make it better”.
AG: What do you see in the future of Valentina Shah?
VS: My goal is to grow the brand into a lifestyle brand. Eventually, become a company that will be able to support charitable causes around the world.
Photographer/Stylist: Ashley Garner
Model: Lydia Ramos
Hair/MUA: Orestes de la Paz
I recently had the opportunity to interview one of the most influential down to earth, and truly passionate designers. Nicolas Felizola is a true inspiration both as a designer & person. I was amazed by his articulate, sophisticated, & ingenius designs. Team FASHIFY & I had too much fun with Nicolas! And yes, this happened to be pre-cosmo’s.
StilettoKat: “What was your inspiration for this line?”
“Beautiful women that love to enjoy the passion, the color & designs. The latin passion, & the beautiful life that we have here in Miami to help celebrate this resort collection”
StilettoKat: “When you are in Miami, what do you do or recommend for fun?”
Felizola: Absolutely NOTHING! When I’m in Miami I love to relax.
StilettoKat: “What advice do you give your fans, & young people whom aspire to be designers?”
Felizola: Stay true to who you are. Do not copy or imitate anything or anyone! There is not enough originality!
Be true to yourself, & your ideas and you will succeed.
A red-carpet must-have for Miami Beach.
A polished and sophisticated look.
From left to right: Fashion designer Nicolas Felizola, fashion editor Stiletto Kat.
For Rihanna’s World Tour this year, the singer has chosen Riccardo Tisci as her costumer designer, as he has created a number of unique and bespoke Givenchy outfits to wear on her Diamonds world tour. The collection of outfits are merged with haute couture and Tisci’s signature sportswear innovation, the designs showcases a graphic black and gold hooded parka as well as silk- satin shorts and white leather bra! Another strong outfit includes a floor- length silk- crepe cape, which is styled with a thigh- high boots, which Tisci stated is a symbol of “female empowerment and urban haute couture elegance.”
This year’s PGA TOUR’S World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship will return to Trump Doral from March 6– 10, 2013, and with it an exciting first-of-its-kind post-championship entertainment event, “Live on The Green 2013 Charity Social Weekend.” One of the most exclusive tournaments of the year, the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship is set to observe some of the finest golfers from around the world competing for title positions at Miami’s iconic Doral Golf Resort & Spa. The championship has been hosted on its grounds for more than 50 years now and will soon be facilitating a $200 million renovation to restore Doral to its utmost grandeur, having just been recently purchased by the TRUMP HOTEL COLLECTION™ in June of last year. “Live on The Green 2013 Charity Social Weekend” will then ensue, offering a weekend full of entertainment, fashion, and music for all ages, interests, and backgrounds to enjoy.
The fun kicks off Friday, March 8th, with Miami Heat’s very own DJ Irie scoring the soundtrack for the evening’s hottest summer looks by celebrity designer, Nicolas Felizola, renown for having immortalized jet setters and celebrities internationally. His feature in various publications as one of the 100 Most Outstanding Artists of the 21st Century, Felizola’s total passion and devotion for the Haute Couture style has caused him to fall widely recognized and recipient of multiple prestigious awards, such as “Best Designer of Miami Fashion Week,” awarded twice by Tiffany & Co. for his Privé and Uomo collections, amongst others, such as the “Zanetti Murano Award” in Italy.
In the following evening of Saturday, March 9th, onlookers will enjoy a high energy performance by multi-platinum American hip hop artist, Taboo, of the Black Eyed Peas, who has sold out across the world with his multi-talented skills as singer, rapper, dancer and DJ.
All-star performances and entertainment from around the world, the action doesn’t stop there. Local charities such as the Irie Foundation will be benefitting from Friday night’s fashion extravaganza to help improve the lives of South Florida’s youth through education and extracurricular opportunities that may otherwise fall outside their reach. Then on Saturday, the Little Dreams Foundation will be receiving proceeds with the aims of fulfilling and offering guidance for the dreams of young talent in their pursuit of music, sports, and the arts.
All those in attendance to the weeklong Cadillac Championship will be automatically invited to general admission of the weekend festivities, and enthusiasts are reminded that youth 18 years of age or younger will be admitted free of charge when accompanied by a ticketed adult. Those not attending the Cadillac Championship may purchase separate VIP tickets for the end of the tournament “Live on the Green 2013 Charity Social Weekend”, to include access to the VIP Lounge Area sponsored by Miami Magazine and full open bar courtesy of Diplomático Rum, Ketel One Vodka, and Johnnie Walker. VIP tickets will also include exclusive access to the after-parties hosted at the Doral Golf & Resort Spa’s prestigious own Bossa Nova Lounge Bar.
Cadillac, a leading luxury auto brand since 1902, having been responsible in recent years for a historic renaissance led by artful engineering and advanced technology. http://media.cadillac.com
About the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship
The Cadillac Championship is one of four World Golf Championships sanctioned and organized by the operational committee of the International Federation of PGA Tours, which includes the Asian Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour. In addition to the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, the other World Golf Championships include the Accenture Match Play Championship (Arizona, USA), the Bridgestone Invitational (Ohio, USA) and the HSBC Champions (China). The Cadillac Championship is broadcast to approximately 800 million households in 224 countries and territories in 31 languages outside of the United States. Proceeds from the Cadillac Championship primarily benefit The First Tee of Miami, Boys and Girls Clubs of Broward County, Make-A-Wish Southern Florida, and the City of Doral Parks and Police 4 Kids. The Cadillac Championship has generated more than $9 million for charity since its inception. The World Golf Championships as a whole have generated more than $39.5 million for charitable causes since the series began in 1999.
For more information on the World Golf Championships—Cadillac Championship and “Live on The Green 2013 Charity Social Weekend”, visit: http://www.worldgolfchampionships.com/cadillac-championship.html
VIP Tickets by Ticketmaster https://oss.ticketmaster.com/aps/pgamex/EN/buy/quickbuy/158
Double leather is just the sexier version of denim on denim! You might think an outfit with more than one leather piece, isn’t that too much? Well Céline and Hermès proved it with their autumn/winter 2012 collection that it isn’t and it makes the whole look even more sensual!
Katie Eary, London- based designer, created this Spring/ Summer 2013 collection, inspired by Californian streetwear. The collection visually shows off a range of saturated high- impact prints in conjunction with an urban vibe, also summarizing her signature style of “street couture.” The use of black, turquoise, and rich gold in the palette creates for prints that are representative of baroque and ocean-inspired silhouettes. The key texture for the collection is silk, adding a luxe feeling to the season, with garments ranging from button- up shirts to maxi dresses and micro shorts.
The weather is still gloomy and windy in London but don’t worry to brighten up your day why not pair your outfit with these neon knitwear! Just another fun way to enjoy the icy weather. Also bright hues is one of the new trends for spring summer 2013, so maybe this is a good way to start changing your winter wardrobe and get ready for the summery season.