Upon arrival I was greeted by two handsome young men who escorted me to a room where Sanuk’s new Fall Collection was on display, which included the debut of the “Pulse Massaging Footbed” sandal. I learned all about Sanuk and their yoga mat sandals during their SS12 launch event back in April. The line also features the popular sidewalk surfer, ballet flats, bedroom slippers, and boots with a train-traction outsole for those slippery winter days. Sanuk footwear is crafted from recyclable materials and most are vegan friendly (They even use vegan friendly glue). The company has a number of fashion forward styles lined up for fall with an emphasis on comfort.
Next I had the pleasure of viewing a dazzling display by JNJewelry. Designer Jacqueline Nerguizian is a third-generation jeweler and a certified gemologist. She crafts one-of-a-kind pieces with a black and white theme that are perfect for the red carpet. She tends to favor Art Deco styles and is often commissioned to bring new life to family heirlooms. You’ve probably seen JN Jewelry on Sandra Bullock, Rachel McAdams, and Sofia Vergara.
My next stop was a giant walk in closet filled with clothes, jewelry, and watches. Stella and Dot’s new Fall Collection was on display as were a number of fabulous pieces from Glamhouse LA. Founded by Pascal Mouawad, Glamhouse LA is a fashion jewelry division where artists and celebrities are given the creative freedom to design jewelry collections under their own label. The house currently represents House of Harlow 1960, Belle Noel, Low Luv x Erin Wasson and ALC Collection (coming soon). The lines are carried at major department stores and leading e-retailers.
I also noticed some fun wrap-around watches from LaMer. Founded by Martine llANA, LaMer’s focus is on classic watch faces designed exclusively by Martine. These stylish time pieces are inspired by her travels - such as South Africa’s colorful markets, Bali’s lush flowers, Italy’s gorgeous leathers, and Thailand’s clear blue ocean. Each leather wrap watch is hand assembled and made with care in the USA.
I had a very nice chat with the representative from JohnVarvatos, She was kind enough to tell me about John’s inspirations (Rock ‘n’ Roll) and how he got his start in the business (Polo Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein). She was very proud of the new Fall Collection, which offered a mix of tailored pieces and casual wear. John Varvatos specializes in American contemporary high fashion menswear. There’s lots of emphasis placed on attention to detail and the overall quality of the finished product. Most people don’t know that John was responsible for creating the Polo Jeans Co.
The closet was also filled with apparel from Ted Baker and Life After Denim. I imagine that the fashionable guys and gals of BIWIR PR pull from here whenever they have an important event to attend.
A representative from Dell was in the lobby to tell us about Dell’s new line of mini notebooks – the XPS 13 Ultrabook and the XPS14. Both are lightweight and perfect for travel. Also on display was the Dell M110 Ultra-mobile portable projector, which is prefect for hosting movie night in your backyard.
In the conference room I had the pleasure of talking to AlexMaine’s founder Bron Heussenstamm. Bron is the grandson of a Pearl Harbor survivor and two of his cousins are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. He is passionate about reversing the outsourcing of American jobs. Thus, Alex Maine’s motto is: Create jobs, Buy American, Go America! (Alex meaning “defender” and Maine meaning “homeland.) The goal of the company is to bring textile jobs back to America and it does its part by producing 100% of its product within the U.S. Alex Maine specializes in ultra-comfortable non-denim pants for men featuring never before seen cuts, fabrics, and washes. Also included in the menswear line are t-shirts, hoodies, thermals, and trucker caps (of which Ashton Kutcher is a fan).
Lined up on the conference table was a wide selection of shoes from the Washington Shoe Co. Western Chief, Western Chief Kids, Chooka, and Staheekum fall under the company’s umbrella. Staheekum’s moccasin style slippers and boots are lined with natural sheepskin and feature a genuine suede upper. Chooka was introduced to the world in 2003 as a fabulous and fashionable line of sheepskin boots. Now there are two new additions to the Chooka collection – the rainboots, which are fitted with an adjustable buckle so the calf width can be adjusted, and the weatherproof Skimmers. The Skimmers are fashionable flats that are made with a light weight natural rubber sole, so it feels as if you’re walking barefoot. The Western Chief line consists of rain boots made from natural rubber and a neoprene upper and Western Chief Kids offers stylish rainwear for your tot featuring popular characters such as Hello Kitty and Batman.
My last stop was the beauty lounge, which was pretty much heaven since it was filled with gorgeous shoes from Shoedazzle. You probably are already familiar with the site but you may not know that they no longer charge a monthly fee. Membership is now free as is shipping. Personalized selections are still sent to your e-mail box; however, there is no need to opt out or make a purchase right away. You can buy the items featured in the showroom at any time and purchase as often as you like.
The e-boutique now offers more than shoes. You can also purchase handbags, jewelry, apparel, and accessories. The site features specialized boutiques where you can purchase a complete outfit coordinated by one of Shoedazzle’s professional stylists. The boutiques are broken down by style: Madison – Modern Chic, Scene – For a night out on the town, Casual Chic – Every day wear, Signature Sole – The Pink Sole collection, Dazzle Ever After – Bridal, Lace – Lingerie, and Summer Getaway – Beach essentials.The lovely gals from Blushington were also in the lounge providing complimentary makeovers and manicures and Coolhaus treated us to their delicious ice-cream sandwiches. There was even a sorbet version for those who were lactose intolerant. They also offer vegan and gluten free cookies.
Upon leaving we were given a goodie bag filled with products from BIWIR PR’s clientele. Mine contained a pair of Chooka weatherproof Skimmers, a bottle opener made in the USA by Alex Maine, winter socks from Ted Baker and a reusable tote, a bracelet from Stella and Dot that I’ve had my eye on for a while. A molten gold hair chain from Bell Noel. Ibiza sandals from Sanuk, a day-glo wrap watch from LaMer, a memory stick from Dell, jewelry from Shoedazzle in addition to the Sebree Uptown Tote from Shoedazzle, which can also function as a stylish briefcase. I think I’m pretty much set for fall. Now all I need is a pair of killer heels from Shoedazzle!
Narrative and photos by Nikki Neil