Tommy Hilfiger + George Esquivel Create a Special Edition Shoe Collection

Esquivel Designs is a modern American workshop specializing in rare handcrafted leather shoes and accessories. Their goal is to create a unique, one-of-a-kind experience for every customer. 
I had the pleasure of asking Founder, President and Design Director, George Esquivel a few questions to see what stems from the mind of this genius!

GEORGE ESQUIVEL

What is your design philosophy?  I love that we are “hecho a mano en California” that is, “made by hand” in California. We pride ourselves in the quality of each shoe that is made.

Tell me about your collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger? Tommy and I met and he asked me to make him a pair of shoes. I also made a pair for his wife Dee and the collaboration came a bit afterwards.  I am  honored to be mentored by such an iconic global brand and Tommy, the man behind it! Tommy is all about the preppy look and I like making the classic a bit edgy, so we make a great team.

What is your number one challenge as a designer? Our goal is always to make quality shoes so the quality of the leathers, the colors and of course the actual craftsmanship is key since every detail of the shoe is made by hand in my shop.

Any words of encouragement for emerging young design talent? “Work hard”, my mother always said and have faith in God. You must also work hard and now I share these thoughts with everyone because I am living the dream!

Mens Loafer

Womens Brogue

Quien es George Esquivel

George Esquivel, diseñador y artesano basado en California, ha corrido el atelier Esquivel en el Condado de Orange desde hace más de 10 años. Su atelier especializado produce un máximo anual de 4.000 pares de zapatos – para hombres y mujeres – y artículos de cuero. Todos los productos son hechos a mano y son diseñados especialmente para minoristas y clientes personales en todo el mundo. Formado en la fabricación de zapatos, Esquivel diseña con un enfoque práctico, trabajando en estrecha colaboración con su equipo de artesanos la cual ha orientado personalmente.

 La CFDA / Vogue Fashion Fund seleccionó a George como finalista en el 2009, lo cual atrajo a los medios de comunicación a la marca que sigue hoy en día.  Hoy en día Esquivel es un miembro de la CFDA.  La edición de septiembre 2012 de Vogue nombró a George como uno de los 120 diseñadores más influyentes con menos de 45 años de edad. Las colecciones exitosas de Esquivel lo han llevado a colaboraciones con diseñadores y etiquetas (incluyendo Irene Neuwirth de Barney’s NY, Juan Carlos Obando, Zero Maria Corney y Field Notes) los cual han buscado su estética moderna y experiencia en  calzado, cuero y artesanía.

George es una historia de éxito Americana en el verdadero sentido de la palabra. George se sobrepuso luego de una niñez atropellada en  donde su padre se pasaba dentro y fuera de la cárcel. “Con mi padre siempre gastando todo su dinero en drogas, nunca podíamos permitirnos tener zapatos de marca”, dice Esquivel. “Siempre usábamos zapatos  de marca  falsos. Recuerdo siendo muy envidioso de aquellos  niños que tenían zapatos de marca.”  Adquiriendo la disciplina y habilidad a través de la necesidad y la pasión fue que logró su sueño y fundó la marca que lleva hoy día su nombre.

Además de pasar tiempo con su esposa, la cual también fue su novia desde la secundaria, y tres hijos, George ha invertido en su comunidad – sobretodo ayudando a jóvenes menos desfavorecidos. George está involucrado con We’ve Got Your Back, un programa que alimenta a niños sin hogar. Esquivel también ha dado discursos de motivación  a  jóvenes encarcelados en el sur de California. Esquivel continúa participando en varias organizaciones benéficas de la CFDA y sigue enseñando a los jóvenes en su taller, a que sean aspirantes a diseñadores, zapateros novatos, o simplemente a que formen parte  de Esquivel y lo que esta marca representa.

El calzado y los artículos de cuero Esquivel se encuentran en tiendas al por menor de renombre, incluyendo: Net-a-Porter EE.UU., Europa y Asia y el Pacífico; Colette, París, Matches, Londres; Pupi Solari, Milán, Quartier 206, Berlín; Tomorrowland y Super A Market, Tokio; Corso Como, Seúl, Bergdorf Goodman, Nueva York; Baldwin, Leawood, Kansas, y The Grocery Store, San Francisco, California.

For more information about George Equivel, please contact The Dream Team Agency, Susan Stipcianos at susan@thedreamteamagency.com or visit esquivelshoes.com

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Naeem Khan RTW Spring 2014 at Neiman Marcus Merrick Park – Coral Gables

Naeem Khan’s opulent take on Mexican & Spanish culture is Muy Caliente!

During yesterdays luncheon and fashion presentation at Neiman Marcus Merrick Park – Coral Gables, models sashayed past enthusiastic guests wearing mesh dresses, gowns with intricate beading and embroidery in red floral patterns and lace galore. Khan also displayed cleaner pieces in simple shapes. Naaem Kahn can do no wrong in my fashion book!

The gorgeous beauty filled with laugher in the image below is former Argentine model & actress, Ines Rivero.

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BOCONCEPT – PREMIER URBAN DANISH DESIGN RETAILER CELEBRATED THE OPENING OF ITS MIAMI SHOWROOM

As an avid shopaholic, I couldn’t help visiting the new Miami Bo Concept store right before their Grand Opening celebration! I found contemporary home furnishing and accessories at an affordable price.

Here’s my glimpse into the world of Bo Concept 

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About BoConcept

The modern global Danish home furnishing retailer, proudly announces the opening of a new store in Miami’s Brickell neighborhood. The official grand opening celebration was on Wednesday, October 16, BoConcept Miami showcased contemporary furniture and accessories, which highlight Danish design traditions of comfort and simplicity.

Known for its modular designs, BoConcept offers sofas that can be customized with different seats, fabrics, and legs; shelving units can be combined freely; chairs, tables and beds can be assembled in countless ways. Shoppers can create furniture that fits their space and aesthetic, as well as shop for accessories for the perfect final touches.

Denmark-based BoConcept has become a global leader in modern furniture design over its 61 year history, with more than 230 brand stores and 90 studios in more than 50 countries.  The new Miami store opening brings the North American store total to thirty. All stores are staffed with trained design consultants who offer in-store or in-home design consultations.

 Enjoy some images from the Grand Opening Night at Bo Concept!

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 For more information on BoConcept and the Miami store located at 800 Brickell Avenue – Suite 107 Miami, FL 33131 (On the corner of 8th Street and Brickell Plaza) please click here.

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Ana Quincoces – Sabor!: A Passion for Cuban Cuisine at Books & Books – Coral Gables

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WHEN: Nov 7, 2013 at 8:00 pm
WHERE:  265 Aragon Ave. Coral Gables, Florida 33134-5008

¡Sabor! offers a mouthwatering look at the food and flavors that make Cuba’s culinary heritage famous. The author’s unique wit and feisty voice weave the lively and spirited traditions of her family with classic recipes from the island of Cuba. Recipes are easy to read and follow, and are illustrated throughout with full-color photos. ¡Sabor! provides an intimate look at a culture that embraces food with the same enthusiasm it has for life—spicy, hot, and delectable, beginning with the “holy trinity” of Cuban cuisine (garlic, bell pepper, and Spanish onion) and moving on to a variety of delicious and authentic recipes.

About the Author

Ana Quincoces grew up in a Cuban household in Miami where she was routinely conscripted to help her mother in the kitchen, which eventually led to her passion for the art of cooking that she shares with her family and friends. She has appeared in several magazines and newspapers and is the latest addition to Bravo’s hit show The Real Housewives of Miami.  Ana lives in sunny Miami.

For more information on Ana Quincoces, please visit www.anaquincoces.com

FROSTED WILLOW Jewelry: A Labor of LOVE by New England’s Hidden Gem

Personalized Bracelet, Custom Initial Bangle Bracelet, Gold, Monogram Initial Jewelry, Personalized Jewelry, Gift, Initial Monogram Bracelet

Big Sister Bracelet Little Sister Bracelet Set, Big Sister Jewelry Little Sister Jewelry, Big Sister Gift Little Sister Gift Big Sis Lil Sis

Half Heart Friendship Bracelet Set, 2 Best Friend Bracelets Bangles, Broken Heart Jewelry, Gold Friendship Jewelry, Gift Best Friend Jewelry

About Frosted Willow designer, Katrin:

After a happy childhood in Germany, Katrin was just going to the U.S. as an AuPair for a year to perfect her English. Instead, or in addition, she met her future husband and never left.

She loved working as an Interior Designer after graduating from the New England School of Art and Design at Suffolk University in Boston with a Degree of Fine Arts in Interior Design. But after having her baby girl, she returned to her first passion of creating jewelry. Interior Design as well as creating jewelry, is all about color, form, and texture – and that’s what Katrin integrates into her jewelry designs.

She draws inspiration from everything around her. It’s hard for her to stop thinking and creating jewelry! Katrin also LOVES to work on custom designs. So please send her an email to sign up for her monthly newsletter, since you never know what will come next… 😉

Frosted Willow is not in Miami “yet” but Katrin is planning on moving here next summer. Too cold for her in New England… Can’t wait to have her here!!

Thank you Katrin, for my lovely customized Frosted Willow pieces.

They are fun and easy to mix and match!

For More information about Frosted Willow, please contact www.frostedwillow.com

frostedwillow@hotmail.com Follow on Twitter: @frostedwillow

New Delhi Fashion Designer, Mohammad Shahabuddin Ali Ahmad aka “Sha” Takes the U.S. by Storm

It was a treat to interview New Delhi-born designer named Mohammad Shahabuddin Ali Ahmad better known as “Sha Ali Ahmad”.

Sha Ali Ahmad currently lives & works in New Delhi where he is preparing for his next fashion show in Kauai Hawaii in March of 2014 for his signature brand, Ahmad Couture.

He calls Kauai, “my home away from home”. His love for the island, its community and advocacy for community service, is the driving force behind Kauai Fashion Weekend, which was recently held on February 9th of 2013 at the Kauai Beach Resort.

Since his first visit to Hawaii years ago, he has designed for local events and pageantry such as Miss Hawaii Filipina, Miss Island Mokihana, and Miss Hawaii (Miss Congeniality) including donating custom designed dresses for local charities & events. Expanding beyond, his work also includes designs for Miss Teen USA, Miss Latina, Miss Brazil, Miss Florida, Miss Miami, all winning the gown competitions. He designs for celebrities such as: Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Jane Pratt ( former owner of Jane & Sassy Magazine), Shannon Hori (CBS4 Miami News Anchor), Lynn Martinez (DECO Drive Anchor), Somy Ali (Former Bollywood Actress) and Kavvy Sonhos (IFFB Pro Winner and Celebrity Fitness Trainer). Previous designs have been created for fine women’s clothing at Bloomingdales, Saks 5th Avenue, Lord & Taylor, and Neiman Marcus among others.

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I’ll share a little secret with you… “Sha Ali Ahmad” is designing a dress for me! I’ll make sure to post images in January when I spend some time with him during his visit to Miami. I can’t wait to see all his designs.

Please enjoy my interview with “Sha Ali Ahmad

(1)When did the Sha Ali Ahmad Collection unveil?

For many years, I have been creating designs for women, men and children individually, as well as, for fashion houses in India which supplied my designs to fine clothing stores. My designs have been displayed by various individuals at events and venues all over the world. I have created designs for beauty pageant contestants such as Miss Teen USA Hawaii 2009; Miss Island Mokihana 2010; Miss Hawaii Fillipina 2010 Miss Hawaii 2010, Miss Teen USA, Miss Latina , Miss Brazil, Miss Florida, Miss Miami , Miss Intercontinental, Top Model of the World 2013 representing USA and Cuba, Ms. International World Supermodel, Miami Swim Suit fashion show. I have created for individuals such as Jane Prat (former owner of Jane and Sassy Magazine, Katie B. of Katie B. Cosmetics/Celebrity Makeup and Hairstylist Hollywood Celebrity Catwalk.

Some other notable people who have worn my designs are Jennifer Anniston, Courtney Cox, Lynn Martinez on Deco Drive (Miami), Shannon Hori (CBS4 News Anchor, Miami), Somi Ali (Former Bollywood Actress in India), just to name a few.

I was given the opportunity by invitation to be the featured designer to present my last collection in February 2013 at first fashion show at the Kauai Beach Resort in Kapaa, Hawaii.

As a freelance designer, my next collection, which shall be under my label as Ahmad Couture by Sha Ali, will be unveiled at a fashion show in January of 2014 to be held in Miami, Florida. I will also be showing this collection in Hawaii in March of 2014, as they have invited me to be the featured designer for another fashion show again. (2)What is your design philosophy? The beauty of women and nature create inspiration to fuse my instinct, intuition, art and design into fashion with the use of fine Indian embroidery and diverse materials to share with the world. 3)Tell me about the woman you design for? I love to design for the opulent to the everyday working woman. I aspire to make a woman feel beautiful in my designs regardless of whether she is on the red carpet, at a special occasion or any other life event.

(2)Any muses?

I consider no individual as a muse. A woman, as wonderfully and beautifully created, is where I draw my inspiration from.

(3)What is your number one challenge as a designer?

Maintaining my design / brand recognition on a broad level throughout the world’s fashion community in order to continue a viable business that sustains my family.

(4) Any words of encouragement for emerging young design talent?

Be patient, persistent and work hard to follow your dreams. These are a just a few of the attributes you must have in order to achieve your goals.

For more information about “Sha Ali Ahmad” please visit ahmadcouture.com , USA (205) 265-5601 , INDIA 91-9818843678

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