Friday, August 29, 2008

JANSPORT®: AMERICA’S CLASSIC BACKPACKS GETS AN UPDATE


REWORKED STYLES HAVE US BELIEVING “WHEN ONE’S PACK’S JOURNEY ENDS, ANOTHER ONE BEGINS.”

OUTDOOR RETAILER MARKET S/S 09, SALT LAKE CITY, AUGUST 10th

Words, Images- Judith Ecochard

We still lug around our 15 year old leather trim/blue Cordura ® Jansport rump sack that we got years ago.

That’s how indestructible the carrier is-as we pack our life into it.

WHAT’S NEW:

Founded forty-one years ago by Skip Yowell, in the Summer of Love (1967)...Jansport® took the way back machine to re-visit some of the classic 60’s and 70’s styles that put the brand on the backs of hordes of outdoor dudes.










The new for Spring ‘09 “Heritage” series uses the original weathered nylon, seat belt straps, (the fav of every ski instructors worldwide), and vintage tag/logo that manages to look retro-cool not dated in designs like the Ski& Hike ($50), Nomad ($50) and Boomer ($40).












Already selling out at Urban Outfitter Stores is the “Captain America” style $55) that has the USA flag motif emblazoned on the huge outer pocket. Other flags (Union Jack, Rising Sun-Japan, O’Canada) are also popular…and all sport a hangtag with the history of the bag on it.























CRADLE-TO-CRADLE ECO ALERT:
We particularly liked the limited edition (300), one a kind “Reclaimed” series of knapsacks that are being funneled to upscale shops like LA’s Fred Segal. Apparently, boxes of old trim and patterns were gathering dust in a warehouse when the powers that be decided to reclaim the materials and let loose the creativity of the Everett, Washington State based seamstresses that stitch for Jansport.

The results are stylish-as the classic “Super Break” shaped bags, made from recycled packs that has been returned to the warranty center--- and can’t be repaired, are gleamed up with colorful graphics, original leather lashing squares and a signed by the ‘designer’ tag attached to the inner liner. There are three collections each for guys and gals.









LIFESTYLE OPTIONS:

A play for the younger types is set with the “Antics-Adrenaline” series that’s got “male driven” attributes as well as cool graphics. Details like padded laptop sleeves with Motorcross flourishes, back mesh panels (hey, guys and gals overheat), loads of inner pockets, and “caution” tags/key fobs-are just what urbanites need when hauling around office cargo or gym clothes.


INFO: JANSPORT®

ORGANIC TREATMENTS FROM KISS MY FACE, W.S. BADGER & Co., JOSHUA TREE PRODUCTS & J.R.LIGGETT’S

POTENT + EFFECTIVE HEALING, PROTECTING, AND CLEANSING WITHOUT THE TOXINS

OUTDOOR RETAILER MARKET, SALT LAKE CITY, August 11th

Words- Judith Ecochard, Images from respective websites

We think what goes directly on our skin is even more important than the clothes that cover us up.

Especially when we hear the stat that women absorb 5lbs of chemicals (via makeup) a year.

And if we can’t pronounce the name of any ingredient, our alert antenna always rises.

KISS MY FACE:

Started by New York City refugees twenty five years ago, KISS MY FACE has evolved big time- from the original products being sold out of the back of a Volkswagon Bus.





WHAT’S NEW:





We think the new Kids line of goodies will “put a smile in the aisle” and on the face of any caregiver who is concerned about all that chemical stuff that’s in a lot of bath/body products.



Made without artificial colors, any animal ingredients, (no animal testing), and no unnecessary chemicals –the nine products in the collection gets kids squeaky clean and can help them learn about endangered species that appear on the bubbly bright orange packaging.

Available worldwide, the Bubble Wash, Foaming Hand Wash, Detangler, Foaming Shampoo and Body Wash, Shampoo and Conditioner, Lip Balm, Toothpaste (with and without fluoride) and adorable Whale of a Soap Duo Pack retail for $5.95-$9.95 and come in fun Berry Smart, Orange U Smart , and Scentless versions.

INFO: KISS MY FACE



W.S. BADGER:

We applaud W.S.Badger Company –who makes a lip balm we’ve been using since the company first hit retail shelves-for their tireless toil to become one of the very few natural body care companies that has boatloads of goods that genuinely meet the tough requirements to be anointed “USDA CERTIFIED ORGANIC”.

This is a very big deal as many products out there claim to be “eco” or “green” but often are not-or contain such a small percentage of the good stuff-we feel why bother (to mislead??!!??).

But as of August 1st, many, many Badger’s products are 99%-100% organic (and they can prove it!).


To quote Bill Whyte, CEO-“Organic means that the oils, butters, waxes and essential oils in our formulas come from plants that have been cultivated naturally, without the use of chemical fertilizers or toxic pesticides. In our case, it also means that no chemicals or synthetics are used in the production process or the final product.”

And with the Leaping Bunny Logo-needless to say, there’s no animal testing or animal ingredients ever.

Yeah!

WHAT’S NEW:
W.S. Badger has recently solved the problem of our aching joints and over used muscles with the new Sore Muscle Rub Original Cayenne & Ginger Blend and another - Extra Strength with Chili Extract (that warms us up), the Sore Muscle Rub Cooling Blend (that chills us out)… and the Sore Joint Rub with powerful Arnica and Black Pepper CO2 Extracts that soothes aches and stiffness.


Also new are the aromatic Vanilla Madagascar and Pink Grapefruit flavored lip balm sticks.

Plus the top rated Sunscreen (SPF=15-SPF30+)- for safety and effectiveness by the Environmental Working Group-really protected us on a hike in the high altitudes of the Rockies, absorbed quickly without stickiness…and actually smelled decent (lavender , lime and sweet orange are part of the mix).


INFO: BADGER BALM







JOSHUA TREE PRODUCTS:

Climbers are a devoted bunch, dedicated to their vertical ascents like Dead Heads.

A chance stroll along some mezzanine in the Salt Palace Convention Center had us meeting David Lawrence, now proud owner of the Joshua Tree Company.

Naturally, he and his gal climbed their way across America to attend OR-and we know he is- and was- a proud user of J-Tree Climbing Salve ($15)… that got him all pumped about the company- started by Jenny Q Herbals- to begin with.

WHAT’S NEW:

With our paws healed by the multi-use balm packed with essential oils, it make sense that J-Tree would launch a line of theraputic, caffeine-free teas ($10) to keep the karma going.

Made with organic ingredients the dried teas- that come handsomely packaged in air tight jars-were all ready to sample. So we tried the AnxietyFree tea that’s billed as a stress buster without the drowsiness. Our take-it’s tasty and should be given out free on traffic-clogged highways and byways during rush hours. Or to raging straphangers.

Other brews include Dream, Rejuvenative, and Unplugged teas.

Another product, which should make climbers happy, are the innovative Herbal Chalks for $6.00… Fire (with cloves) and Ice (with mint) – that are ultra ground.

Plus, J-Tree offers petroleum-free lip balms ($4 each) that heal, relieve sun burns, and protects.

INFO: JOSHUA TREE

J.R. LIGGETT’S:

“Environmentally Correct,” "Handmade"and “Simple, Old-Fashioned, Quality” –are admirable mottos-and we’re happy that the 26 year old, family-owned New Hampshire company J.R. Liggett’s--has the chomps to back up words.

Boaters and world travelers are probably familiar with J.R. Liggett’s cult favorite best seller- the “Old-Fashioned Bar Shampoo” (3.5 oz $6.99) that defines multi-tasking. We used it to wash our clothes and our hair on a recent trip- that saw our luggage “over-nighting” at some airport somewhere.

Amazingly, we loved the fresh scent-and we usually avoid aroma anything. It lathered up toute de suite without much water (good for those out on the open seas and backpackers) and is 100% made from earth-friendly ingredients.

Brand new is the non-aerosol, moisturizing Shaving Foam ($9.99). Free of harsh detergents (sodium laurel sulfate) this hypoallergenic formula boasts soothing olive, coconut, castor, safflower, almond and jojoba oils…for a clean and comfortable razor experience.


INFO: J.R. LIGGETT’S




FACTOID: ALL THE AFORMENTIONED COMPANIES ARE STILL PRIVATELY OWNED!!!!!!!!!!!!

ISIS: “NUTURING THE ACTIVE WOMAN WITH FLATTERING STYLES”




















NEW ECO FRIENDLY FABRICS FOR SPRING/SUMMER ‘09

OUTDOOR RETAILER MARKET, SALT LAKE CITY, August 11th


Words, Images Judith Ecochard

Tired of wearing ill-fitting men’s clothes, outdoor enthusiasts Carolyn Cooke and Poppy Gall are celebrating the tenth anniversary of their feminine collection- ISIS (the Greek Goddess of Fertility)-that’s chock full of performance wear that fits, is comfortable, and looks good.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ISIS!

WHAT’S NEW:

RAINWEAR:

ISIS’ mid-thigh Drench Coat, $139, and longer Cloud
Duster, $159 are available in five colors with a unique vine print on the lower hem and chic matte fabric finish. We loved the inner fleece high collar, and iPod and inner mesh lined pockets. And with taped seams, and an adjustable hood we say “Rain”-bring it on.





For more active types, the new Misty Mountain Jacket, $99, is a rain jacket with adjustable roll down hood with brim, zippered underarm vents for easy breathing, mesh-lined pockets and drawcord hem.

All rainwear is made from coated nylon fabrics with a waterproof/breathable XPR™ protein coating formulated to reduce interior condensation. Plus a feminine unique interior star print design, taped seams and DWR treatment insure a waterproof performance.

TRAVEL:
The Journeys Collection includes shaped, easy care tops, bottoms, dresses, and skirts that are fashionable enough to wear everyday. Two skirt options…
the knee-length Excursion ($59), and calf-length Outbound ($69) have hidden money waistbands, and zippered passport pockets that manage to lie flat. Coordinators will want the matching semi-fitted Detour Jacket, $89, with asymmetrical front closure and internal security pocket.





Shirt-wise the Chelsea ($55) and Dinah ($59 and$69), are made with a soft and breezy fabric with a built-in sun protection UPF rating of 35+. Other lightweight top selections with a SPF 50+ protection include the First Class Tank, Tee and Tee, $42-49, made with a sheer stripe and vine patterned micro polyester fabric with Lycra® for shape retention and comfort.












INTIMATES:
For Spring 2009, ISIS adds the CD Sport Bra ($48) with high impact protection for C/D cup sizes. This compression shelf bra includes adjustable padded shoulder straps, rib knit support channel under cups, chafe-free seamless construction and engineered knit pattern for moisture management that gets where women most. Made with a comfy blend of nylon/polyester/spandex yarns, the bra comes in a bunch of colors (nude, white, cornflower blue, etc).












ECO:
100% organic cotton returns to ISIS, with an assortment of shaped tops with
unique details including cap sleeves, twists, embroidery and silkscreening ($42-$49). Also eco made are the playful printed Flirt Skirt ($49) and Serendipity Dress ($69).

And we would live in the linen-like Do-Be Capri made from hemp and recycled polyester.




RETAIL: Versatile slim to relaxed fit garb is available in sizes 2-16. Widely available.

INFO: ISIS

SNEAK PREVIEW: Italian shoe and accessories designer CESARE PACIOTTI’S special collection of shoes for the OHNE TITEL SHOW








Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Images of Cesare Paciotti campaign, storefront from the official website
Images of past Ohne Titel Collections from www.fashionista.com and also from www.refinery29.com

WHEN CAN WE SEE THE SHOES?
Cesare’s special collection of shoes will debut during New York Fashion Week at Ohne Titel’s Spring/Summer 2009 runway show on Monday, September 8th.
This is the second consecutive season Cesare has collaborated with Ohne Titel, the luxury women's collection designed by Flora Gill and Alexa Adams.

WHY COLLABORATE WITH OHNE TITEL?
“I’m drawn to forward-thinking and innovative designers which Flora and Alexa are. Just as their creations aim to enhance a modern woman’s form while paying attention to the fine details, I strive to GLAMORIZE and EMPOWER a woman through shoes which are a perfect complement to her clothes.”
Cesare has a passion for supporting new talent. In addition to working with Ohne Titel, Cesare Paciotti has an on-going affiliation with Istituto Europeo del Design in Italy through which he helps young shoe designers cultivate their talent.

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE?
For spring 2009, the designers were interested in applying sculptural form to the body, inspired by transparent layers and body conscious lines. A visual reference for inspiration on the collection was also drawn from the works of Russian sculptor, Naum Gabo. Cesare Paciotti created shoes in synergy with the motifs of Ohne Titel’s collection.
CELEBRITY FANS
Rhianna, Alicia Keys, Cameron Diaz, Eva Longoria, Lindsay Lohan, Fergie, John Legend are just a few names on this list.

WHERE TO GET CESARE PACIOTTI

This is a full range accessory line, being that Cesare is a prolific designer. He designs men’s and women’s footwear, handbags, eyewear and jewelry available at:

All of CP’s accessory collections are available at all Cesare Paciotti boutiques nationwide.
Please visit the official website for additional product information,
www.cesare-paciotti.com


To view previous designs by Ohne Titel, visit their website,
www.ohnetitel.com

Thursday, August 28, 2008

INJINJI: PATENTED PERFORMANCE SOCKS TO “FREE YOUR TOES”


STRENGTHENS & PROTECTS PEDS FOR OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES AND INDOOR LIFESTYLES

OUTDOOR RETAILER MARKET, S/S ’09, SALT LAKE CITY, August 9th

Words, Images Judith Ecochard…and from the INJINJI website

That’s all we needed to hear-that our hometown favs…the NY Yankees… wear INJINJI Toesocks ™-patented performance socks. Ah- we’re finally feeling a bond with A-Rod, thereby freeing up Madonna. (Joke).

What really amazed us was concept of allowing our toes to experience complete dexterity grip, and agility…plus warmth when needed.

As explained to us by the helpful Injinji sales team, the concept is similar to the mittens vs. gloves argument. We actually got the moisture management MO as toes aren’t rubbing up against each other for easier foot drying and less blister potential.

But we liked how our feet are more anatomically balanced-aiding action sportsters or snails' pace walkers just out for a stroll.

WHAT’S NEW





The CoolMax™ inner liner wicks sweat away like nothing else- especially the COOLMAX™ XTRALIFE™ that is durable enough to survive the pounding feet of ultramarathoners.

Injinji Bamboo liners for extra warmth or to wear alone are also naturally breathable and anti-bacterial.





But we were most jazzed about the new snowboard/outdoor hiking versions soon to hit the market. SINCE our biggest complaint about shredding the slopes, besides out of control beginners…are our painfully cold feet.

WHAT EXCELS:
The Tetrasok series that are made with the Anatomical Interface System (AIS) that’s engineered to separate toes with a thin, anti-friction membrane that is both lightweight and breathable. Seamless in construction, the Tetratsok forms to every contour of our kickers… for true restriction free movement from heel to five toes.

BEST SELLERS:

Channeling Munchkind Land from The Wizard of Oz was probably not on founders/brothers Randuz and Joaquin Romay’s minds when they launched the eye poppin' Rainbow colored socks…but they’re HUGE. We love how the re-launch is made with CoolMax™ EcoTech™ (recycled fabrics).

INFO: INJINJI

RETAIL: Priced $12 and up…and widely available nationwide, including REI stores.

IBEX: INNOVATIVE MERINO WOOL FOR PERFORMANCE WEAR & BASIC APPAREL

COLLECTION OUTPERFORMS FOR ACTIVE TYPES AND IS COMFY ENOUGH FOR COUCH POTATOES

OUTDOOR RETAILER SHOW, Salt Lake City, August 9th

Words, Images Judith Ecochard and from IBEX website

We had preconceived notions of what Merino Wool is---as we have lots of winter stuff made from the no-itch, super warm yarn.

Well, those thoughts were vanished within five minutes of our review of IBEX’s Women’s and Men’s S/S 09 day and foundation wear.

FACTOIDS: Merino Wool- that in IBEX’s case, is sourced from the finest pink-nosed New Zealand sheep… (humanely raised and sheared, ecologically sensitive-sustainability traceable) …regulates body temperature and “is more comfortable” than any polyester textile on the market. It’s naturally anti-microbial and “works dynamically with the body” to keep one dry and cool. And Merino Wool is practically weightless.

In fact, “…the military loves it because it doesn’t melt and is thermal regulating”…has natural water wicking properties…and is machine washable.

Who Knew?


SPRING/SUMMER ‘09


BALANCE:

In development for two and a half years, the chafe free, super comfy seamless (a circular machine sews it just so)- BALANCE collection launches just in time. With technically superior designs for all gals’ chest/body types, (Light Bra, Bralette, Sport Bra, Support Bra, Sport Top- in A,B, C cup sizes for the later three) …the 86% merino, 10% Nylon, 4% Spandex composition ensures shape retention and ultra-fine softness.

Plus, the matching Briefs, Thongs, Runner and Boy Shorts in solid colors (triathlon red, alligator, ivory, violet haze etc) and feminine flower patterns in black/white and violet haze/white … ensure all is appropriately covered.





For guys, Tanks, Tees, Briefs, Boxer and Runner Shorts are “body mapped” for comfort and support-and super silky soft too.













DAYWEAR: Ibex’s women’s collections has expanded to include merino wool and organic cotton nylon blend, and an organic cotton canvas fabricated fashionable separates (skirts, capris ) with flattering waistbands that hit just below the natural waist. No wonder Ibex gets this-a woman, Ginesse Reynolds, is the head designer.





The best-selling Izzi pants (heather grey, black) with a slimming wide waist-band with cross-over at the center-front—can be matchy matchy with the new all organic cotton, and New Zealand Wool Merino Wool tee shirts. Our top pick is the semi-fitted scoop neck Print-T with a floral hand-screen print and contrast flat lock seams (no rub!) stitching.





Men also get some new threads. The lightly brushed organic cotton canvas options include the Five-O Long Short with a zippered stash pocket and two back zippered pockets with locking pulls, and knee darts for effortless bending.














Echo T tops are the latest handsome upper body cover-up- with a nifty contrast collar on the collar and sleeve cuffs.

RETAIL: Wide size ranges (W-XS-XL), (M-30-38, S-XXL)…widely available in stores nationwide and ONLINE














FYI: Ibex makes superior cycling apparel too.

CERTAINTEES: EDGY ECO TOPS-KEEP GIVING




MULTI-MEDIA ARTIST’S VISION TRANSLATES ONTO EARTH FRIENDLY FABRICS

Words, Judith Ecochard
Images, CERTAINTEES


Lee Tracy’s CERTAINTEES, an artful collection of “wearable wisdom” is on a mission:

“… to respond to the need to reduce our environmental impact by using sustainable fibers, recycling, low-impact packaging and shipping, carbon-offsetting, while increasing human benefits through cause related marketing and supporting others.”

Fashionistas may be on a different mission – one of fabulous attire… or personal expression.

But given CERTAINTEES subtle hip graphics, sleek fit, super plush feel and breathable/antibacterial properties courtesy of its 70% renewable bamboo, 30% organic cotton composition, extra long length (for wear all the time low rise denim), and soft rich colors (natural, lilac, sky blue, sun ray)…





We think the latter types will be happy with the former’s visionary creations-as these tee shirts are comfy and cool…and (YEAH) easy care.





BACKSTORY: The thoughtful and talented Lee Tracy started up CERTAINTEES inspired, in part, “by the Penny Magazine, the Society of the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (circa 1832-1844); a weekly magazine for the working class.” Fusing artistic expression with an eco clothing line… after loads of research into what is truly “green”…Tracy taps her imaginative side to conjure up the eye-catching graphics that adorn the garments.





LIMITED EDITION DESIGNS: Currently six series of graphics-Energy, Food, Freedom, Nature, Peace and Women-are emblazoned on the tops. We are really drawn in by the imaginative, gentle engraving-like and hand drawn elements- plus the subtle messages the shirts tap into…like an image of a lightbulb with a pointed blurb below- on a tee from the Energy group.

FACTOID: CERTAINTEES donates $5 of each tee ($34) purchased online to select non-profit organizations.

RETAIL: Unisex sizes S-XXL available ONLINE

Baltimore Fashion Week









Text, Casi Densmore-Koon
Edited by Vivian G. Kelly

Images, Casi Densmore-Koon

What: Baltimore Fashion Week
When: August 11th – 15th

Where: War Memorial Building, Downtown Baltimore, MD

ABOUT BALTIMORE FASHION WEEK: THE WHO AND WHY

This was a fashion event we couldn’t miss, and we didn’t have to travel to Milan, Paris, or New York. Instead, we drove 25 minutes for the glam and glitz of Baltimore Fashion Week. The event was defined just as it was advertised: Focused. Poised. Community Driven. It was the first inaugural showcase of not only the city’s local designers but also models that took the runway showcasing the latest fashion trends. The fashion week proceeds went to four non-profit organizations, one of them which is the well known Susan G.Komen Foundation of Maryland - it wasn’t just about fashion, it was fashion for a cause. As for Sharan Nixon, founder/CEO was in tears as the week came to an end - she made it all possible with her love for fashion. She gave many inspirations and hopes to fulfill their dreams, as a second fashion week for next year is already under way. Without her this project wouldn’t have been possible. After all the hard work and five full evenings of not just local designers. One even[ came all the way from Japan to show her collection (Miyoko), while another decided to show in Baltimore rather than in New York (KAS COLLECTIONS].
Here are a few favorites at the top of our list. “the best of Baltimore”.
TOP COLLECTIONS
KAS COLLECTIONS
The first runway event started off with KAS Collection, Inc. who featured model SHEILA DIXON, MAYOR OF BALTIMORE CITY. The KAS Collection is based in both Washington DC and New York. Designer, KENNY FLANNAGAN, is well known in the city for his high-end couture fashions that specialize in evening wear that’s both sophisticated and elegant along with stylish women and men’s business suits and urban apparel. His designs have also been seen on NAIMA MORA, AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL WINNER [2005] as well as other red carpet events. We’re sure any businessman would love to go to work in a pinstripe suit by KAS Collection. As for the ladies - It was all about drama as the designs took the runway - dramatic and breathtaking all in one.
www.kascollectionsinc.com

IRREGULAR
Irregular, was a just that with their unique design concepts. Mixing plaid and lace, different fabrics, and styles gave Irregular a bold look on the runway. The Marilyn Monroe style halter in true American colors along with the green and blue plaid trimmed in hot pink dresses stood out in the collection. The shiny fabric, retro prints and bright colors gave it a modern eighties feel.

MADISON WALKER
Madison Walker opened the show on the third day with a trendy brown and white bolero styled jacket – perfect for the fall season. This wasn’t the only trendy jacket to walk the runway- bright colors and stripes were soon to come after – paired with jeans and boots make an all around chic look. The grey long dress with a delicate lavender sash seemed to be the hit in the collection. The best part was any item could be worn right off the runway and would be perfect for the city streets.
Madison Walker showed again on the finale night. The collection was filled with plaid, brocade, tweed – all displayed in rich brown colors. A few to take note of: a quilted skirt and maroon all -about -volume quilted strapless dress. The details and trim made you watch closely. The collection had all the essentials for a fall wardrobe – lace included.

YING EDGE
Ying Edge by BISHME CROMARTIE was by far one of our favorites. Ying Edge quotes himself as a “motivational type of person”. He describes his clothing line as “mainly chic with a hint of couture” – described perfectly. As he began sewing at age 9, his clothing line may name him more than just a local Baltimore fashion designer. It was jaw drop after jaw drop; especially we found out that a mere 17-year-old male designed the collection! The feminine dresses, ruffles, beautifully executed denim were among the top designs. Also of note was his mixing of prints and colors and display of unique silhouettes. So what’s up next for Ying Edge clothing? You can catch him showing at Philly’s Fashion Week or on his MySpace page – www.myspace.com/ying.edgeKeep your radar on – he may be the one you see showing at Bryant Park in the near future.

FORMAL DEN
If you have a formal affair, Formal Den has a gown for you. From a slim silhouette-wedding gown to a short cocktail dress to Cinderella’s dream – one thing you couldn’t miss was the shine and sparkle. Intricate beadwork and beautiful gowns in all colors from bright hues to dark tones were at your fingertips making you feel like you were witnessing a fairytale come true.

END NOTES: Elena Siri was a phenomenal designer as she crocheted her entire collection, quite amazing and something we’ve never seen before. And if you are looking for a glamorous evening gown that is chic and sophisticated – Maria Lepe of Lepe Fashion can make you look classy as she showcased her Fall 2008 “Femininity” collection.
www.elenasiri.com
www.lepefashion.com