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Choices you Face? | Choosing Between Femininity and Respect in the Workplace

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We all live in a world comprised of cultures with sets of rules, both written and unwritten, that dictate or at least attempt to dictate the manner in which we interact with one another. These interactions vary from informal to formal, familial to business-place, through virtual and technological media, face to face, within our own gender, and of course cross-gender. How we navigate this sea of interaction makes a tremendous impact on our day to day lives, and can definitely influence our professional success. Many variables play — and often interplay — their own significant roles in communication.

Many people dedicate careers to understanding, and helping their clients understand how to best parlay strategies into success. These fields include areas from public relations, marketing strategists, brand endorsement strategists, professional coaches and fashion stylists, to trained PhDs who study the slightest tendencies of our interactions. This has gained momentum because in a business world often driven by the bottom line, the numbers don’t lie. In an increasingly competitive workplace, professionals and employers seek every bit of leverage they can. It may indeed be more involved than going to see How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying.

It may not be the 1950’s anymore… So, how much has changed now in the 21st century?

Though there is no doubt that values such as education and experience levels serve a professional well, we are also very highly linked to our physical appearance — shallow and vain as that may seem. In other words, if you have two equally deserving job candidates, the nod may be given to one based heavily on the perception an employer gathers from physical appearance — rather than experience or other qualitative characteristics.

Important to note is that one’s physical appearance includes, but certainly not only pertains to your looks/attractiveness. Thus, attention to detail when presenting oneself through such avenues as wardrobe choices, hair styles, tattoos, jewelry, posture, eye contact, facial expressions, and speech — to name a few — is extremely important.

Professionals: Click HERE to Join the conversation … we want to hear from you! How do you navigate this issue in your career? Where do you shop and how do you decide what / what not to wear? Comment below and/or
Tweet to @aran_hart – #FemininityVsRespect.

With women becoming more and more present and involved every day in leading professional roles, research suggests that they face an added obstacle when presenting themselves. It seems, women must often choose between femininity and respect. Whether it be toning down, or jazzing up their workplace appearance, this decision can be either a gainful advantage or debilitating roadblock in their career.

New York image consultant and founder of DAMstyle, David A. McKnight, says in his book The Zen of Executive Presence (2013) “people instinctively judge each other by physical appearance, and a business woman’s motives and qualifications can be misconstrued because of a poor wardrobe choice, whether it be overly provocative, intimidating, or unflattering.”

David A. McKnight – author of The Zen of Executive Presence – says choosing between femininity and respect is a common challenge many women face.

Keenan Corrigan, Executive Asst.

In order to take a further look at this topic, I spoke to young professional Keenan Corrigan. She graduated from Duke University and has worked at two very different companies. First, Keenan worked for 2 years at the Department of Defense as a civilian analyst. She currently works in Baltimore, MD for Outward Bound as a field instructor — leading trips for students backpacking, canoeing, kayaking — and at the Outward Bound administrative office as the Executive Assistant — where she performs office related work including development and strategic planning.

At the Department of Defense, with obvious ties to the military, Keenan worked in a chain of command system where there were virtually only men working above her. She always noticed that there weren’t many women in positions of power, but said it “wasn’t surprising because there were proportionally fewer women in the organization in general. I didn’t think of it as a prohibitive factor.”

Being a young female in a male dominated workplace, she dealt with regular flirtation and at times harassment that made her feel uncomfortable. Keenan recalls, “I would err on the conservative side when it came to how I would dress. So even things that would be presentable in other environments, I wouldn’t wear to work. I didn’t want to put off a certain image in that office, because it was hard enough being young and working with a lot of older people. But being a woman as well, I wanted to be professional, I wanted people to take me seriously, and I didn’t want my appearance to dictate that. I felt like I had to work a lot harder to make sure that people knew I was intelligent, and competent, and didn’t just look at me and write me off.”

the office
According to ThinkProgress.org – one in four women, one in three teens, and one in eight men experience sexual harassment at work. Approximately 70% of incidents are not reported.


One instance involved a person of authority writing Keenan a provocative email after she wore what she called a “tasteful red dress that went below my knees, with sleeves and a high collar.” The individual described how he didn’t recognize her at first and thought he “had to go talk to that hot girl.” Keenan didn’t report the incident as she explained, “It wasn’t a battle I wanted to fight at that point in time. I didn’t want to aggravate the situation,  I wanted to focus on doing my job.”

She continued, “I didn’t want to dress frumpy, because I care about my appearance, but there was a fine line between feeling good about the way I looked and not projecting certain viewpoints onto other people. A lot of times I left the house feeling great about what I was wearing. Then I would get to work and think… I shouldn’t have worn this. I was constantly thinking about what I should wear, or not.”

Professionals: Click HERE to Join the conversation … we want to hear from you! How do you navigate this issue in your career? Where do you shop and how do you decide what / what not to wear? Comment below and/or
Tweet to @aran_hart – #FemininityVsRespect.

Now at the Outward Bound Baltimore office, many of Keenan’s co-workers in leadership roles are female. She says, “I think one of the reasons I love my job as much as I do is because of the strong women in leadership positions. They are wonderful role models and trail blazers.” She explained that even though the outdoor education industry is still a male dominated workplace, due to the type of people working there she feels much more comfortable. Keenan stated, “I think in this work culture I’m able to remain more focused without worrying frequently what others think of my appearance.” She paused when I asked her about her dress code at her current job and then answered, “You know, I don’t even know if there is one… but I know we are expected to make good judgement when choosing work clothes.

Gabriele Goodman, PhD

Gabriele Goodman, who has earned both an MA and PhD in Organizational Psychology, has worked for over 10 years gaining expertise gender issues in the workplace. She has developed practice guidelines and strategic initiatives that help both women and men understand and identify how gender politics play out in organizational settings. As Goodman describes on her LinkedIn profile, “By providing insight and tools that help women became stronger forces in the workplace, [I] teach them how to reach their career goals.”

Goodman points out that, “It’s still such an unequal playing field. The thing about femininity [versus respect] is that women who can use their femininity strategically often do so in service of meeting their professional aspirations in an unequal gendered organization system. Depending on organizational culture, context, and social players involved, the strategic use of femininity may garner respect, but it is mainly used consciously as one possible tool in a big tool kit utilized only as a means to an end.”

She added that contrary to popular belief, these issues do not only exist across genders. Goodman says, “Yes, men do tend to sexualize situations to a much greater extent than women. But the biggest barriers to women’s advancement in the workplace are often other women. Many women feel threatened and think ‘I’m not as pretty as her,’ ‘I’m not as fast as her,’ and/or ‘I’m not as young as her.’ Comparisons of personal worth on often unconscious levels transpire, competition may surface, and the internalized message of ‘I’m fundamentally not good enough’ becomes externalized as a ‘me vs. she’ power play instead of a collaborative ‘we’ mobilizing effort.”

Help a sister out! Research suggests it’s not always cross-gender… A woman’s biggest barrier in the workplace is often  other women.

The harsh reality is that beyond just feeling comfortable at work, research indicates physical appearance directly corresponds to the average salary a person will make in his or her career. In his article for Salary.com, Aaron Gouveia discusses 7 Ways Your Looks Affect Your Pay. Citing multiple sources from top University studies, outlined are the facts and numbers that support height, weight, hair color, physique, make-up, general attractiveness, and being “too pretty” all directly affect average salary.

For example, in regards to make-up, Gouveia writes, “Not only do people judge beauty based on how much make-up a woman is wearing, make-up adorned women also rank higher in competence and trustworthiness, according to a study funded by Procter & Gamble, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston University, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. A study in the American Economic Review said women who wear make-up can earn more than 30 percent more in pay than non make-up wearing workers.”

In some cases, appearance can jeopardize your job altogether. You can certainly be too attractive, or perceived as too provocative for the workplace.

In 2010, Debrahlee Lorenzana — an ex-employee at Citibank, was fired for being a distraction in the workplace. While the employer admitted that the employee was following the same dress code as everyone else, given her natural appearance in such attire, several co-workers described her presence as a distraction and negative influence. Lorenzana sued and her case was to be settled in private arbitration.

*Jun 02 - 00:05*
Is this woman ‘too hot’ to work in a bank? Citi Bank believed she was…

The fired employee was following the rules, so to speak, but unable to maintain her job because she was considered by others as too attractive. This seems unfair, and yet another example of an obstacle someone must consider when expressing their femininity versus gaining and/or maintaining workplace respect.

Recently [July], a news story cited by BleacherReport.com indicated how this issue exists world-wide in many work arenas – no pun intended. Kazakhstan National Team volleyball player Sabina Altynbekova‘s appearance has “upset and distracted” her teammates and coaches.

[“The player’s teammates and coach complained that Altynbekova was simply too attractive and was distracting fans… The coach complained “It is impossible to work like this.”  Sabina also admitted that things are getting a little out of hand.” I was flattered at first but it’s all getting a little bit much,” she said. “I want to concentrate on playing volleyball and to be famous for that, not anything else.”]

Professionals: Click HERE to Join the conversation … we want to hear from you! How do you navigate this issue in your career? Where do you shop and how do you decide what / what not to wear? Comment below and/or
Tweet to @aran_hart – #FemininityVsRespect.

Goodman’s findings support how influential  attractiveness can be, whether positively or negatively. She explains, “If you’re deemed ‘too pretty’ it can be a liability, but definitely having good looks generally helps. Beware of the catch-22 though: If you’re seen as ‘too attractive,’ you may not be taken seriously by both men and women alike.  Men want to sexualize you and other women can feel threatened by you. So the bimbo affect comes into play. Although this is a huge generalization, it appears that once women can prove their business acumen to their male counterparts through their work ethic, their emotional intelligence, their ability to think creativity, etc., the fact that they are good looking may fade into the background. However, female co-workers might have a harder time changing original assumptions made and continue to pigeonhole these threatening ‘femme fatals’ into a classification system whereby they are seen as allies, enemies, outliers, or outsiders.”

Goodman continues, “Conversely though, if you aren’t seem as ‘pretty enough,’ a judgment call made by both genders in seconds and usually registering first and foremost on an unconscious, strictly biological level (I’m speaking in vast generalizations here and am assuming heterosexuality as the primary orientation), you may be seen as non-threatening by other women, and an ‘after-thought‘ by other men. Of course in both cases, this is a temporary state and likely opinions will shift based on that individual women’s mental and emotional capabilities. However, being ‘good looking‘ still opens more doors than it closes.”

Goodman adds there is far more to it than physical appearance, stating, “That being said, if you don’t have confidence – which is measured by both verbal and nonverbal communication styles – you could be extremely attractive, but in the end it becomes a moot point.”

As public figures and two of the most recognizable women in the United States, Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama face constant scrutiny of their appearance. Both have been very successful in using their strong communication skills and wardrobe in their favor — though many would argue Clinton still faces negative attacks that may influence her run at the White House in 2016.

Goodman explains that men benefit from being taught to use stronger communication styles. “In terms of verbal styles: men are better at asking for what they want than women. Men preface things as statements — women preface things as questions, asking for permission. Men tend to overrate their abilities — women tend to underrate their abilities. With nonverbal styles: women tend to sit with their legs crossed, hands in their lap — men tend to sit with their legs open, chest open. All of these seemingly subtle cues have a huge impact on both self – and other – perceptions.”

Of course, context has to be considered in examining any of these general findings. Where you work and with whom you work determines how you interact. Goodman states, “It does depend on the industry. For example, in medical fields, in male-dominated fields, and in other high risk professions that often deal with life and death issues, a culture ethos often exists whereby both genders have a greater tendency to engage in sexual banter and bathroom humor without getting stymied by worries of being PC or being blamed for sexual harassment. There’s less censoring and more humor used in part because it gets both men and women through the extreme stress — and often tragedy — of their jobs. The traditional 9-5 Corporate America workplace is much more constricted by formal organizational rules and codes of conduct. There are many more ‘official’ social rules of engagement to consider. ”

It goes beyond your threads… Communication and body language characteristics are proven to play a major role in regards to your perceived appearance.

So then, relating back to the main question: Is it in fact a constant choice for women between femininity and respect? Goodman doesn’t believe so. “No, women don’t need to choose between femininity and respect. It depends on the definition of both. We have to question: Number one, what is the operative definition of femininity and respect? Number two, who is crafting, instituting, and regulating these definitions? Number three, what are the implicit and explicit cultural norms around how these definitions are actually manifested in the workplace? And number four, what are the ways that both genders uphold/maintain or resist these definitions? In order to understand the debate proposed here (to be feminine or to be respected), these aforementioned questions need to be addressed. I don’t think it’s a black/white, either/or scenario, but perhaps a both/and prospect.”

She continues, “It’s sad that it’s viewed as an either or choice. I think women should be taught how (and allowed to) ask for what they want, how to be confident, how to be assertive, and how to be competitive in a healthy way, the way men are. If this were the case, the workplace may not only become more egalitarian, but offer both genders a platform for  creativity, increased productivity, heightened social intelligence, and overall improved well-being and happiness.”

This topic will undoubtedly continue to be part of our human experience. So much of the analysis is subjective, and certainly how factors such as appropriate communication styles and appropriate attire impact given situations is tied strongly to the context. Whether it be the industry, the individuals involved, the perceptions of those involved, and of course culture and gender, many pieces are in play to consider.

Research supports the cliché that first impressions are important. Yes, how you present yourself, how you dress, and what your physical appearance is carries a lot of weight. But moving forward you still have to be able to bring your job’s skills to the table. If you’re at an accounting firm, you have to be a good accountant. The advantage for someone with good physical appearance is they will probably receive more opportunities to show their talents.

And in an incredibly competitive job market, there is no telling how many chances anyone will be given. It could make all the difference…

Professionals: Click HERE to Join the conversation … we want to hear from you! How do you navigate this issue in your career? Where do you shop and how do you decide what / what not to wear? Comment below and/or Tweet to @aran_hart – #FemininityVsRespect.

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HGR Compound Classic Bronx, NYC: Recap

Wednesday March 5, 2014 – Bronx, NY

The Bronx, NYC was home for a Heineken Green Room two-part night of music and party with big-name DJ’s and music industry faces co-mingling with select HGR members. To begin the night,  The Compound opened the doors to its decorative and street dapper Bronx creative space “The Compound” for a meet and greet party, hosted by creative connector Set Free and DJ’d Ambush and Young Guru.

After this pre-party wrapped up, attendees joined a larger crowd of HGR members just down the street at the neighborhood hot-spot “Bruckner Bar & Grill” that featured the headlining set of DJ Enuff’s (NYC HOT 97 FM).

Tailor Made

Men of Philly, this is the final weekend to get into the suit of your dreams!

Indochino’s Traveling Tailor and virtual menswear phenomenon wraps up their two and a half week run in Philadelphia on Memorial Day.  This six-year-old brand from Vancouver, BC, brings their luxurious online label to life with their Pop-Up Shop tour that aspires to make men fall in love with their offerings, purchase a piece-by-piece suit, and become a loyal customer—looking to the Canada-based operation to provide all of his future menswear needs.

Situated on 1518 Walnut street—near the business district, blocks from the Gayborhood, and alongside some of the city’s best apparel shops—it would be hard for Philadelphia’s stylish men to have missed this moving gem.  And with custom suits starting at $379, free gifts with a suit purchase, and an online profile that captures the entire fit experience, what guy wouldn’t want to get fly before the innovative shop bids Philly farewell?  Even if your budget doesn’t allow a major splurge this weekend, Indochino brand manager, Crystal Walton, encourages both window shoppers and garment grabbers alike to make an appointment with a tailor before they go bye-bye:

“Every guy that has come into the Traveling Tailor in Philadelphia, whether he’s made a purchase or not, has had an online account profile created for him.  Once we’ve taken his measurements, we’ve now uploaded that onto Indochino.com.  For future purchases…he would go to Indochino.com and it’s point and click: he chooses his suit, his fabric, his customizations and feels confident in the fact that we’ve taken his measurements for him.  In doing so, we have now removed the majority of the work for that guy and made it very easy for him to shop with us in the future.”

To further capture the essence of what Indochino offers within the four walls of the Pop-Up Shop on Walnut Street, two.one.five magazine asked one of our readers to take a walk through the Traveling Tailor and share his experience.  Here’s what Cleveland Pickett, UPenn student and former Saks Fifth Avenue menswear associate, had to say about shopping at the Pop-Up Shop for an Indochino dress shirt:

“For a novice gentleman who has never had the chance to treat himself to custom tailored clothing, the Indochino process was both simple and rewarding.  

During my visit, I met with Hassan, one of the executives and tailors for Indochino’s Traveling Tailor Pop-Up Shop. Within ten minutes, Hassan measured me for a perfect fit from the neck all the way to the break in the pants. During this time we talked about my likes and dislikes with off-the-rack suits and what I should expect from the Indochino brand.

 After my measurements, I was able to start creating my shirt from its beginning. The combinations of colors, patterns, and fabrics seem endless—they have the oxfords, the poplins, broadcloths, twills, and end-on-ends–they’re all here. The patterns range from plain, stripes, checks and plaids to other unique patterns. After I’ve made these selections, I must finally choose which collar and cuffs best fit my style.  My options are spreads, button-downs, pinned, and even tuxedo collars; the one, two button, and French cuffs.

 When it’s said and done, I’m pretty confident that I have just created the best shirt that, in about 2-3 weeks, I will have the pleasure of draping across my back. I’m excited that I’ll have the chance to have an ensemble that compares to the same pieces I’ve seen every month in GQ Magazine for a fraction of the price.”

Still curious about the Indochino brand? Take a look for yourself!  Book an appointment at Indochino.com/Philadelphia and receive a free custom dress shirt and gift set with your suit purchase.  Open Saturday, 9am-7pm; Sunday, 11am-7pm; and Memorial Day, 8am-8pm.

Accessories To Die For: Philly Fashion Week 2013


By Jenna Tripke; photography by Sarah Winn

Designer Jaclyn English of Game Jewelry
Designer Jaclyn English of Game Jewelry

Every year, designers and fashionistas city-wide congregate for a weekend full of colorful jewelry, clothing and couture. Philadelphia has steadily been making its mark as a fashion-conscious city with its eclectic mix of the avant garde and the wearable. This year, dozens of designers showed off their wares, culminating in three extravagant fashion shows during the last weekend in February.

Philadelphia Fashion Week 2013 kicked off to a glamorous start at the Crane Arts Building in Northern Liberties with its Accessories show, featuring an array of Philadelphia accessories designers.

Designer Jermaine Pratt of J.Pratt Footwear
Designer Jermaine Pratt of J.Pratt Footwear

From the delicate to the funky, there was something for everyone, including Eco-conscious jewelry from Kevin Molnar Designs and blinged-out shoes from designer Jermaine Pratt. Philadelphia’s finest gathered to shop, socialize, and admire the various forms of wearable art.


Valentine’s Day: Where To Get Primped In Center City

By Jillian Wilson

Whether you’re in a relationship or riding solo, Valentine’s Day makes for the perfect excuse to kiss those winter blues away and to treat yourself to some winter primping for the love-filled holiday!

On February 14, relationships will be celebrated in honor of Valentine’s Day 2013. Love isn’t the only thing that deserves celebration on Valentine’s Day, say goodbye to winter beauty and style blues with clothes and treatments from some of Center City’s great shops and salons. Get primped by the best that the city has to offer and read below!

Hope Chest

When it comes to primping, the days leading up to Valentine’s Day are just as important as they day itself. If you’re looking for lingerie to wow your partner, Hope Chest is your destination. The shop recently opened their doors past their suburban Haverford shop, and welcomed a new location on 19th and Chestnut Street. Customers who shop on February 12 or 13 will receive a $20 credit for every $100 spent. South Moon Under on 17th and Chestnut is sure to provide you with the perfect Valentine’s Day outfit and accessories, as well. Whether you’re going to dinner with your significant other, or to happy hour with the girls, there are plenty of outfit and accessory options for any type of shopper.
G&P Hair
To get some salon service in time for Valentine’s Day, Center City houses a few of our favorite places. Giovanni & Pileggi near 11th and Locust is happy to do the dirty work to ensure your hair is looking fabulous for your Valentine’s Day plans. A stylist will take you through the process so you can learn how to create the perfect blowout on your own. With the blowouts start at $40, you’ll definitely want to splurge on getting your hair looking shiny and perfect for those crucial Instagram photos later! Also,  salon staple, Rescue Rittenhouse Spa on 17th Street, is able to calm your nerves before Cupid’s big night. Get a massage from the professionals at the Spa for as little as $65!

Center City is the place to be if you’re looking to get primped and prepped for Valentine’s Day, so be sure to visit one of these great shops or salons to look your Valentine’s best this week!

Oxygen Network’s “The Face” To Appear At King of Prussia Mall

The Face

Philadelphia fashionistas, prepare yourselves for the Oxygen Network‘s newest reality tv show – “The Face airing Feb 12 and starring supermodels Naomi Campbell, Karolina Kurkova, Coco Rocha and host Nigel Barker!

To jumpstart the show before it hits your tv, there will be an awesome pop-up experience right outside of Nordstroms at the King of Prussia Mall tomorrow, Saturday, January 19th from 11 to 5PM! Come visit Oxygen Network at the mall and test your modeling skills on camera while also entering to win the ultimate supermodel treatment. One random winner will be chosen to win an amazing trip to New York City where she and two friends will receive professional hair, make-up and wardrobe styling for a photo shoot with the show’s host and famed photographer Nigel Barker!

To enter to win the trip, either visit the pop-up experience at KOP tomorrow, or create and upload your own short video at the show’s YouTube page portraying one of the following: Naomi’s strut, Coco’s many poses, or Karolina’s natural beauty.

The first 25 attendees to also mention “two.one.five magazine” will receive a $25 AMEX card on site! So get some beauty sleep tonight, and see you all at King of Prussia Mall tomorrow afternoon.

Philly Fashion and Beauty Bloggers Unite

The fashion and beauty community in Philadelphia has just become a little stronger. Two of Philly’s own bloggers, Jessie Holeva of Trend Hungry and Lauren Mantilla of The Style Darling have created a brand new fashion and blogger network called “Philly FABB.” The exclusive network premiered last Thursday night for a kickoff bash for local bloggers. Hosted at award-winning Andre Richard Salon on 12th and Locust, Philly’s top fashionable bloggers enjoyed free manicures via doorBella, treats and bites by Cupcakes by Vickie and Opa, social media and branding advice by Bad Rhino Social Media, and even fabulous blowouts by Andre Richard Salon itself. Bloggers even got to leave with FABB-ulous goodie bags with products by DermablendFine FeatherheadsNich boutique, Monroe and MainMidnight Velvet, nail polish by Coterie, Simple Adeline jewelery, and more!

I got to sit down with the co-founders Jessie and Lauren of Philly FABB to get a more inside look at this brand new blogger community! Jessie is a former radio DJ turned fashion aficionado as seen on her hit blog, Trend Hungry. Lauren is a former Southern Belle turned Philly-area makeup artist, popular for her posts on “beauty, fashion, photography, design, and all else artistically gratifying” on The Style Darling. Read more about them and their vision below!

Founders Lauren and Jessie

two.one.five magazine: What is Philly FABB and where did the idea come from?

Jessie Holeva: Philly FABB is an elite and exclusive network for female fashion & beauty bloggers of the Greater Philadelphia Area. We felt Philly needed a community to embrace the fashion and beauty scene of the city, and we wanted to unite and help bloggers grow.

Lauren Mantilla: Jessie and I started Philly FABB to unite FABB bloggers and hone a sense of community within the fashion and beauty circles of Philadelphia. Our main goal is to create a voice for Philadelphia fashion and beauty through our network of bloggers.

two.one.five magazine: What makes a good fashion and beauty blogger here in Philly?

J.H.: We picked our FABB girls for a number of reasons. Do they blog often? Do they cover local events? Do they have that special quality you can’t put your finger on, but it keeps you coming back? So much makes up a good blogger, but we ultimately want to collaborate bloggers that want to learn, grow and genuinely love blogging.

L.M.: I believe what makes a good fashion and beauty blogger is their authenticity. Readers, especially in Philly, can tell when you aren’t being real and that will turn people off. Another huge factor is your originality, Philadelphia has its own unique culture which is unlike anywhere else and we love that each Philly FABB member represents a part of that special culture.

two.one.five magazine: Where do you foresee Philly going within the blogosphere? What are your hopes for Philly Fabb?

J.H.: We see Philly on the map in a big way! You don’t have to live in NYC to be a top blogger or to get a taste of the fashion scene. Philly has a lot to offer and the more united we are, the more our voices can be heard. We hope to help our FABB ladies grow as bloggers. We want to provide education, insider access to blogworthy events, and we want Philly FABB to facilitate rewarding relationships that can benefit bloggers and also our local fashion & beauty community.

L.M.: Philadelphia is just beginning to see the bloggersphere opening up and we believe Philly FABB will be instrumental in furthering the exposure of fashion and beauty bloggers in the city. We hope that by individually supporting the voices of Philadelphia bloggers we, in turn, strengthen the collective voice of Philadelphia’s fashion and beauty community.

For more information on the Philly FABB, please visit their site above or Like their Facebook page here. Keep an eye out for these FABB ladies here in Philadelphia!

Skai Blue Media Hosts “Style Off”

Fashion lovers, stylists, and industry professionals convened last Friday, October 26th to view a unique competition between designers and stylists. Hosted by PR agency, Skai Blue Media, alongside Bel Espirit in the beautiful Skai Blue Showroom in Midtown Village, attendees were able to mingle and network while also preparing to vote for a virtual “Style Off” competition via the Skai Blue Showroom Facebook Page. Designs and jewelry were provided to the stylists by designers StrangefruitLobo Mau, Shauntele, Elvis LaskinCaterine Sanchez, Concrete Polish, Joanna Je Designs and Marina Makaron Moscow. Stylists in the competition include Kiley Baun & Betsy Helm of Shophouse, Craig Arthur Von Schroeder of Commonwealth ProperAngelique HunterMelanie Gershman and Dominique Negron of Couture Vulture.

And to get our two.one.five readers involved, vote for your favorite look by these local stylists by “Liking” the style on this Facebook Album. The winning stylist wins a display in Arcadia Boutique thanks to Skai Blue Media!

Phillips House Jewelry Collection Featured at Saks Fifth Avenue

On Wednesday, October 17th, Saks Fifth Avenue hosted an exclusive event on behalf of Phillips House jewelry. Attendees gathered on the first floor of Saks’ accessories department to enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres while shopping Phillips House’s latest collection featuring colorful gemstones and sophisticated designs. Designers Lisa and Danielle Frankel, a mother-daughter design team based in Miami, Florida, were on hand to mingle with their customers and showcase their brand.

Lisa Frankel, co-designer and  creator of Phillips House, is a creative force who has been artistic since she was young. “I have been designing for so long, which is ever since I can remember” she explains. “I’ve always been very creative and {jewelry design} felt very comfortable and natural for me, but I never really knew I was good at it because I thought everyone could do what I was doing and was interested in it. It took me a long time to realize that I actually did have a talent that other people appreciated.” After years of private high-end design, she enlisted daughter and co-designer Danielle Frankel as a partner in the burgeoning business. Now, the collection is featured at various Saks locations, with the line coming to several more around the country.

The Frankels’ designs are elegant, sophisticated, and very wearable. Their signature piece? The Love Alwaysbracelet. The piece features a signature “button” that pops the cuff open and closed and can be easily opened with one hand – a feat that bracelet-wearers have always struggled with.

The Love Always bracelets

The design came about when Lisa had trouble finding bracelets that fit. “My mom has thin wrists but larger hands,” Danielle says. “She couldn’t find a cuff that would fit over her hand, so she designed one that opens with a click and is very durable and wearable. It’s made so that, even when you’re at your desk, it’s comfortable on your hand.” The cuff comes in a variety of metals and is engraved on the inside with the words “Love Always”.

Those who made a Phillips House purchase on Wednesday will have 10% of their purchase price going to the non-profit organization Belmont Sprouts. The West Philadelphia-based cause promotes healthy eating and living habits to Belmont Academy students and the Belmont Community. “Supporting local charities is important to us,” says Lisa. Adds Danielle, “{Belmont Sprouts} helps those in the community who may not have the best eating habits, and educates them on a healthier lifestyle.” Their ties to Philly? “My brother goes to school here” explains Danielle (he attends the University of Pennsylvania).

The duo’s design philosophy of creating stunning designs that are wearable and timeless has earned them rave reviews across the country. Each of them brings a unique perspective to the design process and the brand. How do they feel about working with each other? Lisa explains, “We actually get along really well. We’re really good friends, and we love to design together.”


Written and photographed by Jenna Tripke