If you follow my blog, you’ve seen the “fashion sets” that I insert into my posts. For those of you who are not familiar with these sets, I make them through a site called Polyvore. I’ve been creating sets on Polyvore for over two years, and I began creating before I started blogging. It was such a cool idea to me, especially since I’d created mood boards and fashion sets using magazine cutouts in the past. I got one of my merchandising jobs because of a magazine cut out mood board that I created years ago. Instead of using magazine cutouts, Polyvore lets you make the boards, or sets as they call them, online or through the app. A few weeks ago Polyvore reached out to me and invited me to come to New York City for a “meetup” with 12 other Polyvore users from around the globe as a thank you for being one of their best creatives within their community. It was such an honor!
The Polyvore team had it all set up and we had a day filled with activity. I arrived the night before the event and left the morning after, and stayed at the Soho Grand, a quaint hotel in Soho with a vintage, cast-iron, and artsy decor. Stepping into the hotel felt like I was stepping into an awesome boom-boom room from decades past. The people were extremely friendly, the rooms were amazing, and the view, well, I had a view of Freedom Tower. Since I was in NYC during 9-11, it was something special to wake up to the tower for the two days I was there. I’ll have to do a separate post on this hotel!
On the day of the meetup, we met at a quaint farmhouse-style, shabby chic decorated coffee shop called Manan. All of the ladies who were invited to the meetup were there including the Polyvore team who flew in from San Francisco, California. We ate pastries and did a round-robin to introduce ourselves and tell a little about how we became involved using Polyvore.
After breakfast, we walked a few blocks to the Dolce Vita showroom. The Dolce Vita showroom, located in the historic Puck Building, is a huge space with large windows, columns, chandeliers, leather and suede couches, lounge chairs, and chaises. Most importantly, it’s where the Dolce Vita shoes go from a thought to our feet. Megan Key, the Creative Director, told us how the shoes go from nothing, and in 4 months, a collection is born through a unique design process. The process is as such:
- Research by shopping. Yes, shopping! They shop in NYC and then Europe, London and Paris.
- Artisan shop for a week – buy handbags, shoes, and clothing.
- Make vision boards using 2-3 trend images.
- The team of designers get together and bring various perspectives.
- The shoes are built in China, and they research materials and add detail.
- The shoes are shipped to the US, and buyers come in to view the mood board and collections in the showroom.
Megan talked a little about trends – what’s in now? She stated that 1967 and 1970 Bohemian are in and it has been for a while now. The Dolce Vita line this spring will produce a shoe for the festival girl; relaxed, fun, sexy, and feminine. Current shoe styles are the transitional boot, shoes with wooden details and platforms, and trends that go from spring to summer. Since Megan and her team shopped in Morocco for the latest collection, fun colors and mixing details are highlighted. A new slipper will be introduced and the sneaker continues to transform; this season the sneaker has an almond toe shape and rubber sole. The goal in making shoes is to know your customer, have fun, and make key shoes that run over and over and through season to season!
The highlight of my day was meeting Editor-In-Chief of Lucky Magazine, Eva Chen. A style icon in her own right, Eva had a wealth of information to share with us about her journey from Med-school to EIC. Eva had so many inspiring words for us. One thing that she said that stood out to me was “Even if it takes you years to get your dream job, keep your eye on it. There’s no such thing as wasted experience.” Eva stated that she wasn’t afraid to move around, say yes to new experiences, and to learn new skills and master them. Each new skill became a stepping stone for the next experience. I didn’t realize that Lucky Magazine was the first magazine about shopping, and it came about before blogs and polyvore, etc. Eva shared that although she loves her position, on a more personal note, she has a six-month old baby named Bren that she’d like to spend more time with.
Eva offered her perspective on certain topics:
Blogging – bloggers must find additional outlets besides their main blog and IG/Polyvore/Tumblr, etc. Bloggers must offer original content and be specific and different.
Q & A –
- Best Beauty Products:
- Sunscreen. She said Paul Rudd’s secret to not aging is sunscreen!
- NARS, The Multiple
- Eyelash curler
- Most inspired by the style of normal human beings
- Vintage, minimalist looks, color, sneakers
- Top Shop, Zara are favorite places to shop
- Quality items – invest in pieces that will last forever
- Most Important Fashion Items:
- Good bra
- A good dress
Eva reminded us to keep an open hears and mind and to always be grateful. She stated that she still gets excited when she sees people like Karl Lagerfield and others in the industry, which is quite amazing being that she’s a staple name in beauty and fashion. Her point was clear; always remain humble and grateful.
There was more. After this came one of the most special treats of all…a pair of shoes, courtesy of Dolce Vita! Y’all know how much I love shoes!!!!!
We had a choice of shoes available in our sizes. My size yielded two pairs of flats and a pair of heels. I contemplated hard on the flats, but everyone who walked by volunteered their opinion and pretty much made me feel like why even bother trying the flats on. So me and the heels named “Helena” made our acquaintance and have been happy together ever since. 🙂 As you can see, we all had a great time at the showroom!
Miss Pop was there, giving mini manicures. I opted to get my nails done, not knowing that I was about to engage in a conversation I’ll never forget. She reminded me that we all have stories to tell. She also reminded me that no matter what our story or what it took for us to get to where we are, it will always be worth it. She’s also the face of a perfect vintage doll, in which I immediately fell in love with. On top of it all she did my nails super cute!
After our day at Dolce Vita, we walked to the Polyvore office to have a round table discussion about ideas, feedback, and general discussion around Polyvore. Then we gave hugs, exchanged numbers, and parted ways.
I have to admit, this was the best experience I’ve had this year so far. I met some amazing people, and some friends that I’ll probably have forever. Especially this babe, who I met as soon as I got off of the plane and we were together the entire time. Check out her blog Sunshades and Snowflakes. We took each other’s pictures the whole time so of course it was a match made in heaven!
What have you experienced this year that brings a smile to your face and joy to your heart? Tell us below!
xoxo ~ Yana B.