Shop with Eileen Fisher Tipsters tomorrow!

EFisherlogoHaute off the Press:

Everybody needs a little personal style advice and the designer Eileen Fisher has a solution: She is sending the company’s style mavens—known as “Tipsters”–on the road. On Thursday, May 9, Belk’s Summit location in Birmingham will host an EILEEN FISHER Tipster Event at 11:00 am, complete with a fashion show and personal style advice from Tipsters, Gaetan Karr and Maryanne Morella. This event will benefit GirlSpring

“I find our Tipsters endlessly fascinating,” says Fisher, “because they’re so creative in the ways they put the clothes together.”

For the May 9 event, Belk has selected EILEEN FISHER Tipster Gaetan Karr, who works as one of the company’s personal shoppers. “I’ve been in retail for 50 years,” says Karr. “I used to shop the collections in Paris and Milan. Over the years I’ve learned a few things. One of them is how to be edgy–with the wisdom of age.” 

Gaetan’s co-tipster, Maryanne Morella, is a Regional Merchandise Manager for the brand’s wholesale department stores, and traveling light throughout the country is a top priority. Her carry on is always ready to go and inside, one would find her wardrobe staples: a simple black dress, a lightweight cardigan, and her signature style silver hoop earrings. “Maxi, midi or anywhere between, I love the simplicity of our dresses as the staple of my wardrobe. I personalize them with big, bold bangles and chunky necklaces to add fun and dimension.”

Shoppers who attend the Tipster Event will not only get great fashion advice, they will also have a chance to help a good cause. EILEEN FISHER will donate 5% of the event day sales to GirlSpring, a non-profit organization that provides access to reliable information and positive role models to girls and young women so they can make sound decisions and good choices.

To RSVP for this event, please call 205-968-4200 ext. 305.

Fashion Recap: Belk/BBJ Women’s Summit Fashion Show!

I had a fabulous time hosting the Belk Fashion Show during the Birmingham Business journal’s Women’s Summit this past Friday at the Wynfrey Hotel! The models were Belk’s store associates, and they did an amazing job showcasing looks from Trina Turk, Plenty by Tracy Reese, Sunny Leigh, Vince Camuto and more. If you’re looking for on-trend attire that is appropriate for work and play this Spring, Belk has it!

Like my outfit? I’m wearing an antique white and hot orange Bar III Spring Collection peplum dress from Macy’s and Manolo Blahnik stilettos with a fuchsia rattan clutch (similar here, here and here). I thought I’d try some color-blocking to accent my (new) red hair!

Cam Newton talks ‘MADE’, personal style

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There are many ways I could lead into this, but why make you wait? SCDD already told you Cam Newton was launching a menswear line with Belk, and very recently I had a quick chat with him about the collection.

The Carolina Panthers quarterback, number one draft pick, former Auburn standout, Heisman winner, GQ cover model and philanthropist has added yet another title to his resume: fashion designer. Newton presents MADE Cam Newton to suit the modern, Southern style for which our region is known – although in his words, the man who wears MADE can be found anywhere. The line features sophisticated but affordable and versatile pieces which can be mixed, matched and easily incorporated into a one’s professional and casual wardrobe. Newton was gracious enough to take time away from his many endeavors (including his studies at Auburn University) to share his views on style and what sets his collection apart.

“I understand the customer because I am a Belk customer – I think that authenticity is going to be paramount to this collection’s success,” says Newton. Confidence and comfort are two hallmarks Newton considers when getting dressed, and those qualities carry over into the collection’s pieces. “If a person is confident there’s no telling what that person is able to do,” he notes.

How did you balance your day job and other commitments with designing MADE? Anything done right will take a person’s time. Belk’s staff did a great job taking my thoughts and vision and bringing it to life. A lot of credit goes to those guys. My job was easy.

Who is the MADE “man” and what sets your collection apart? I think the ‘MADE man’ is a man that is smart. One thing I really wanted to make an impact with was having the ability to mix and match. If you have a shirt and sportcoat you really like, you can buy MADE jeans without having to pay for something top to bottom. It gives the consumer that resource. That’s the fun thing about it.

You’re 6’5. What considerations were made for men who are tall (or who have an athletic build) during the design process? It was something that was part of the focus. I stressed the importance of making clothing a person of that stature will be comfortable wearing. In this day and time, many don’t have the money to buy expensive clothes that would be tailored. I also had in mind it being comfortable for the bigger guy. I think this brand allows those guys to have an outlet to look good as well. [MADE Big & Tall will be sold on belk.com in the near future.]

What should every well-dressed man have in his closet? Different colors. You have different seasons, you have different events; having options is what this brand is about.

How would you define your style? When the opportunity is right I look up to par. From a young age my parents stressed that the first impression is the last impression. In a post-game interview, at a dinner or corporate event I always want to look the part. Not to be the flashiest or flamboyant. I want people to be able to say ‘He looked clean or well put-together.’

How does being a high profile person affect what you wear? Or does it? Nowadays social media gives everybody a voice. That voice is going to be heard. You can be at the gas station or a lounge and a picture can be taken and no matter what you have on, first impressions are the last impression.

We know you design menswear, but what’s the most stylish thing a woman can wear? That would get my attention? I’m into shoes, and I always compliment my mom about the shoes she wears. Any outfit for a female can make one dramatic change or turn heads with her [choice of] shoes.

MADE is available now in Belk department stores and online. I did notice a lot of orange and blue tones, which I’m sure will please Auburn and Carolina fans. Prices range from $28-$65 for casual sportswear and $80-$240 for suiting separates; complete suits are $500. Be on the look-out for the development of an accessories line from the brand in the future, as well as childrenswear.

Check out the tv spot:

Follow Same Chic Different Day on Facebook or Twitter @SameChicSouth

Images via MADE Cam Newton/Belk

Meet designer Donald Pliner at Belk

Donald Pliner will appear at Belk at the Summit this Saturday, March 30 in the Ladies Shoe Department from 11 AM-4 PM!  During the appearance he will showcase (and sign!) pieces from his spring collection.  Billed as “chic, evocative and exotic,” Mr. Pliner’s line is known for luxe materials and fine details.  It’s almost sandal season and we’re currently obsessed with the Tiam, a fabulous crepe espadrille with a 4 1/2 inch wedge heel and braided detail!

About Donald Pliner: “The Donald J Pliner Company has built a reputation for its innovative materials and quality craftsmanship in men’s and women’s luxury footwear and accessories. Since 1989, the brand has been known for the combination of fashion, fit and comfort that embodies every design. Donald J Pliner products are sold nationwide in select specialty stores and upscale department stores including Nordstrom, Dillard’s and Bloomingdale’s, and at the company’s five retail stores (Aventura, Coral Gables, Houston, Las Vegas, San Jose).”

The public is invited to attend this free event and refreshments will be served.

Belk announces 125th Anniversary celebration plans

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Did you know that Belk – your destination for “modern Southern style” – turns 125 this year (on May 29)? How fabulous is that? And the family-owned retailer is ready to celebrate in a very big way, which means great things for its customers and the community at large.

I had the privilege of attending Belk’s Media breakfast yesterday, where I was seated right next to President and COO Mr. Johnny Belk himself! Mr. Belk spoke candidly about the plans to celebrate this special anniversary by opening more flagship stores, expanding private labels like Cynthia/Cynthia Rowley and Cam Newton, and continuing their commitment to community service by giving back to the local communities through “125 Days of Service,” its $2 million dollar commitment to helping makeover schools with the Points of Light Institute.

Mr. Belk also shared with us that Belk has major plans to improve the store’s online and in-store shopping experience to meet the demands of customers who are shopping in a variety of ways.

And if you’re shopping with Belk you’re going to love the 125 exclusive products Belk will have available from designers such as Michael Kors and Jessica Simpson, as well as 125 Days of Prizes, during which time Belk will award a prize valued from $500-$6,500 every day. Customers can register on Belk’s Facebook page or on belk125prizes.com. And yes, there’s more: designers like Cynthia Rowley and the Southern Design Showcase winners (whose collections will be featured online and in stores) will make appearances at in-store events!

Stay tuned for more details regarding Belk’s 125th anniversary!

Meet designer Faith Thornburg at Belk this Sunday!

Meet Savannah-based designer Faith Thornburg, a 2012 Belk Southern Designer Showcase winner, at Belk at the Summit on Sunday, February 24, from 1 pm to 4 pm! The designer of one-of-a-kind bridal gowns will meet with customers at Belk at the Summit, discuss their dream wedding dress and sketch her ideas for each dress in store. From that sketch, Thornburg will create a custom gown that the customer will pick up at their local Belk store upon completion. Thornburg will showcase sample dresses while light appetizers and refreshments are served.

Faith works with clients to create custom wedding gowns, eveningwear, and cocktail dresses, giving her the chance to be a part of a special moment in each woman’s life. She has shown collections at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City (featured in ELLE Magazine) and Charleston Fashion Week in Charleston, S.C. Thornburg is a graduate of Savannah College of Art & Design. Same Chic Different Day is pleased to bring you this interview with her.

Did you start with bridal gowns? When I decided to go into fashion, I never dreamed of bridal being where I’d end up. My intentions were to go into ready-to-wear, but once I started school, I just didn’t feel passionate enough to do that for the rest of my life. I thought about switching my major to something else but then I discovered the whimsy of bridal and instantly fell in love! Bridal became more than a passion, and from then on out, I used my projects at SCAD to learn more and more about the industry and sought out designers and retailers to gain experience.

Is your life in hyper-drive right now?
Hyper-drive is an understatement! I’m constantly learning new things everyday, doing new research, looking for new ideas and inspiration, and working on custom dresses, all while running a business! I have the best job in the world, even if it means staying up all night to get things done!

What’s the most in-demand feature for bridal gowns right now? Every bride is different and is looking for something that makes her dress unique. I tell everyone all the time that the days of the cookie-cutter bride are gone (and thank God)! The best way to personalize a dress and make it special is to accessorize. A simple velvet sash can add a ton of personality and spice up an otherwise boring dress. Add some “bling” from a family heirloom and now you’ve got a regal dress ready for the aisle. Another “trend” I’ve seen is having two dresses, a gown for the ceremony and a party dress for the reception. To accommodate this, many dresses in my collection are shorter and versatile so a bride can purchase for the wedding and use again for a later event.

Do you ever meet with a bride who isn’t really sure what she’s looking for yet and how do you guide those appointments? This happens a lot. The best advice I can give a bride is to just try on various styles and be open minded. She won’t really get an idea of what she likes until she puts it on. Then we can determine what styles, shapes, fabrics, etc. she likes better and go from there.
Do you have an absolute favorite gown you’ve designed so far and do you have a most memorable “famous” wedding dress? Picking a favorite would be like picking a favorite child! I have great memories with each custom dress I’ve done, and that’s what I cherish most. From the dresses in my collection though, I just can’t determine my all time favorite! As far as “famous” wedding dresses go, I will forever love the dress that was worn by Jane McNeil in 1953. I have a picture of her walking into the church with the paparazzi behind her that I could stare at for days! I love the veil that Jane wore so much that it’s now a part of my collection!
What’s next for Faith Thornburg? My next big step is to show at market in the Fall and start working with bridal boutiques all over the country. Seeing my designs hanging in boutiques everywhere is my new big dream.

Images courtesy of Faith Thornburg

We have a winner!

Jessica Simpson pleated chiffon shift dress $148 at Belk,

Jessica Simpson pleated chiffon shift dress, $148 at Belk

Congrats to KTomas, who won the ‘Spring Forward’ beauty giveaway! The prize features luxe beauty products from Belk, including Isaac Mizrahi’s “Fabulous” new fragrance, Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair and Perfectionist Wrinkle-Lifting Serum, a 5 Piece Nail Polish set by Parisian Beauty (perfect for jump-starting your manicure), and AHAVA Deadsea Water Mineral Hand Cream and Time to Clear Purifying Mud Mask…sure to bring your winter look out of hibernation!

Thank you to everyone who participated, and stay tuned for more great giveaways!

Who’s ready for Spring Break?

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Yes, I understand that Punxsutawney Phil is a rodent, and not a meteorologist. But was I the only one happy he predicted an early Spring? I’m ready for tribal prints, shorts, sleeveless sheaths, single-sole sandals and pumps, chic mix-and-match patterns, seersucker and linen!

We’ve already told you Emerald Green is 2013’s signature color, but if you’re ready to spring forward fashion-wise, here are the top ten looks for ladies and gents suggested by Arlene Goldstein (Belk‘s Vice President of Trend Merchandising and Fashion Direction) at their recent Spring Fashion Tour:

Women’s Most Wanted:

  1. Bold-print dress (tribal prints are so NOW)
  2. Silky top
  3. Spring jacket (how about a soft motorcycle jacket?)
  4. Fancy pant (try a cropped length in a super-chic pattern!)
  5. Fashion wedge (give your platforms a rest this season!)
  6. Novelty knit
  7. Something lacy (so ladylike!)
  8. New tote (Michael Kors has some great options)

Men’s Most Wanted:

  1. Slim-fit jean (ahem…not skinny)
  2. Novelty short
  3. Preppy shoes (time to break out the boat shoes, fellows)
  4. Prominent patterns
  5. Prepster ties (prepare to see knit ties return!)
  6. Spring sport coat
  7. Tees
  8. Bold stripes
  9. Soft-colored dress shirts

To help spring-board your style statements this season, how about a giveaway? SCDD is giving away a goody bag featuring Isaac Mizrahi’s “Fabulous” new fragrance, Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair and Perfectionist Wrinkle-Lifting Serum, a 5 Piece Nail Polish set by Parisian Beauty (perfect for jump-starting your manicure), and AHAVA Deadsea Water Mineral Hand Cream and Time to Clear Purifying Mud Mask…sure to bring your winter look out of hibernation! These lovely products are all available at your destination for Modern Southern Style: Belk!

Want to win? Leave “I want to Spring Forward!” in the comment section, “like” SameChicDifferentDay.com on Facebook, or follow SCDD on Twitter (@SameChicSouth). If you’re already following SCDD via social media, you must post a link to this contest and tag @SameChicSouth (Twitter) or SCDD (Facebook) so that I can track your sharing. Please use a valid email address so I can contact you if you are the winner! The drawing will be held this Friday, February 8 at noon. All decisions final.

We have a winner!

Drumroll, please…congrats to ONYA, who won the “I Want a MAC-Over” swag bag! Onya,your prize is on its way!

Thank you to everyone who entered, and if you didn’t win you still have the opportunity to enter the “Send Me to the Outlet Shops of Grand River” giveaway!

Like SCDD’s Facebook page or follow SCDD on Twitter @SameChicSouth and Instagram @tongueinchic1!

We have a winner!

Drumroll, please…congrats to SARA, who won two general admission tickets to The Market! Sara, please check your email so we can get your prize to you.

Thank you to everyone who entered, and if you didn’t win you still have the opportunity to enter the “I Want a MAC-over” swag bag giveaway!

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