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FASHION STEELE NYC ! ! !

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2014 REVIEW!

MONROE STEELE ISSUE 1


FASHION STEELE NYC!

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MONROE STEELE ! EDITOR & CHIEF!

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JADE FORD! ASSOCIATE EDITOR!

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DEEM SANDERS, NIGEL CLARK, EMILY MALAN

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PHOTOGRAPHERS!

! WWW.FASHIONSTEELENYC.COM! !

FASHION STEELE NYC REVIEW 2014 is written and produced by editor-and-chief, Monroe Steele. All photos and content are copyrighted and are owned by Monroe Steele.  

! LETTER FROM THE EDITOR!

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! This year with Fashion Steele NYC has definitely been phenomenal and one to remember. I decided to put

together this little end of year magazine instead of doing my basic end of year blog post. 2014 was my 3rd year blogging and I really felt like I hit my stride this year. I became a little more strategic as well as brought on some help. I also feel as though my style is much more honed. The biggest mile stone had to be turning 30!! ! This year I got to cover some amazing events, I debuted my YouTube show Thrift and the City, and I did some amazing collaborations. The highlight of my year was definitely going to Milan and Paris for fashion week. I hope you all have enjoyed this year with me. ! ! ! ! ~xo, Monroe Steele!

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Table of Contents! 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. !

New York Fashion Week Fall 2014! Dirty 30! Hitting My Stride! Thrift and the City! Collaboration Station!

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6. Noted Fashion Events! 7. Designer Discovery of the Year! 8. Fashion Month Recap! ❖New York Fashion Week SS 2015! ❖Milan Fashion Week SS 2015! ❖Cinque Terre, Italy Vacation! ❖Paris Fashion Week SS 2015! 9. Noted Press 2014! 10. Special Thanks!

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“I’m happy for the friendships I’ve made that have come from blogging.”— Monroe Steele

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New York Fashion Week Fall 2014! ! New York Fashion Week is always a fun time. The Fall season’s are always freezing cold though but that never deters me from making my way to the tents at Lincoln Center. This season it was a little different being that in December of 2013, Catherine Bennett, senior vice president and managing director of IMG (the company that heads up Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week) gave an interview to The Wall Street Journal and in short stated that bloggers aren’t invited to fashion week. ! ! This generated a HUGE amount of buzz and the conversation went on for weeks. All the bloggers in my circled wondered whether those prized invites would come rolling in or not. There were whispers that only major bloggers such as Aimee Song of Song of Style, Leandra Medine of Manrepellar and Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salade and other bloggers in THAT category, would be the only bloggers invited. These are the bloggers that are always front row at shows such as Rebecca Minkoff and BCBG. !

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! Not only did IMG announce that blogger invites would be severely limited they also announced a few changes to the actual venue at Lincoln Center. In short, there would be less seating for show attendees. Some designers didn’t take to well to this new information. There were rumors floating in January that Diane Von Furstenberg, Michael Kors and Carolina Herrera were leaving the venue, but in the end all stayed at Lincoln Center and had amazing Fall 2014 shows. ! ! I must say that the atmosphere at Lincoln Center has TOTALLY changed and not necessarily for the better. The open space you used to walk into was light and airy, with a DJ, volunteers stood ready to hand you various fashion news and it was generally welcoming. You could feel a rush of anticipation for the shows. There used to be tons of kiosk to visit ranging from make-up to beverages. There were little goodies to take and lovely seating areas.!

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That welcoming and easy breezy atmosphere that once existed inside the tents at Lincoln Center is now completely gone. In February for the Fall 2014 shows, the space was dark, so dark in fact it felt like a night club. There was no communal seating where you could sit, take it all in and chat with your fashion pals that you only see twice a year. There were no smiling faces to greet you with the latest fashion news. The mood was dark. ! I get the feeling that it was done purposely to keep people from loitering around the waiting area. Well it worked, after each show I attended there I was all to eager to exit that place out into sunlight. Luckily you can still make your way across the street to the lounge at The Empire Hotel, and get that old feeling back, along with a cocktail. It was there that I ran into Cynthia Bailey of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. !

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! I spent hours at PJ Clarkes restaurant as well over french fries and speciality ordered grilled cheese sandwiches discussing blog life with friends and new fashion friends alike. It seems that, that old kids returning to camp feeling died at Lincoln Center and was rebirth day at nearby establishments such as PJ Clarkes Restaurant and the lounge at The Empire Hotel. Once during a quick brunch is a window seat looking out onto Lincoln Center, Kelly Cutrone walked by with her entourage and taped the window and waved hello. I couldn’t even comprehend that she knew we existed.! ! I love Kelly Cutrone and it’s because she and her PR agency People’s Revolution are all about THE BLOGGER. They have consistently invited my blogger buds and I to all their events. They aren’t so exclusive as say, KCD Worldwide, which seems to be the pinnacle of PR and harder than Fort Knox to penetrate from a blogger standpoint. I don’t blame them though, with the influx of bloggers that invade their inboxes every season, they are allowed to be selective. I believe its up to the blogger to make a name for themselves and warrant the invite, but that definitely doesn’t stop me from trying. If anything it motivates me to step my game up, so that maybe the next season, they will consider me an asset to have at their show.!

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Noon By Noor Fall 2014!

! My NYFW Fall 2014 Schedule consisted of Karen Walker, Rebecca Minkoff, Noon By Noor, Rebecca Taylor, En Noir, Emerson, Alice + Oliva by Stacey Bendet and Skingraft. By comparison to the previous season, I was definitely invited to less shows, but I also expected that with the new IMG rules and regulations. It was actually quite nice not to have to cover so many shows. It really let me rest a little and enjoy myself and my friends. I even attended my first fashion week after party, for Charlotte Ronson. Her sister Sam Ronson spun the tunes and I resigned myself to get a little tipsy and dance with friends and let loose. The parties are where fashion folk really let their hair down. It was nice to see everyone having a great time. ! ! I was very impressed by the styling of Rebecca Minkoff’s show. I also love that she always has live performances which really adds to the experience of her fashion shows. Noon by Noor blew me away with their luxurious outerwear. Karen Walker is always one of my favorite shows. The prints were amazing. I also love the crowd and she always give the most amazing gift bags away filled with Karen Walker goodies. Fall 2014 New York Fashion Week was an awesome one for sure, but I hope the atmosphere at Lincoln Center changes for the better come Spring 2015 season. !

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DIRTY 30!

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! I did something this past May, that everyone has to do in their lives…I turned 30! At the beginning of 2014 I definitely had a few reservations about entering this third decade of existence. I worried about not being married. I worried about not yet having children. I worried that my savings was pretty non existent and then I finally just didn’t give a damn.

! That’s pretty much my take on being 30. You really reach a point in your life that you just don’t care about what people think. Which frees you to do what you really want, go for what you really want without having to ask permission or even the two cents of others. I’ve never felt more me, than I do at this moment in my life. Once I let all those “you are supposed to be here by this age” stereotypes go, and just accepted that I am where I am supposed to be in life, I became a much happier person. So instead of dwelling on being older, (and maybe a little wiser), I decided to celebrate for the entirety of May 2014. ! ! I partied every weekend and a few week days. I danced on stage, I laughed, I had the best damn meal at Hillstone that I’ve ever had in life. I had at least 3 cakes, one handmade by my good friend. I kissed a random guy at a club. I got a new tattoo and a nipple ring. My excuse for everything and my motto for life is simply “I’M THIRTY!” Which essentially means, I’m grown and can do whatever the hell I damn well please. !

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Turning 30 was one of the highlights of 2014

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Hitting My Stride!

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2014 was definitely the year in which I reached my stride with blogging. I decided to only post 2-3 times weekly and to step up covering more Fashion and Beauty events in NYC. It’s definitely been a challenge staying on top of blogging and working a full-time job. But I love blogging so much and it’s opened so many doors and new friendships for me that I’m 100% invested in growing Fashion Steele NYC and taking it to the next level. I’ve been stepping up my photography and also doing a little more writing within my blog post to keep things fresh. I also decided to do more video for my Youtube Channel. I’ve definitely seen the progress and I can’t wait to expand more. ! ! I also stepped outside my comfort zone and threw my first blogger event with my good friend and fellow blogger Sherry Blossom. That event really tested me because I was sure I would fail and that I wouldn’t be able to do it. I surprised myself with how much I was able to accomplish, the sponsors and special guest I got to attend and the overall event. I couldn’t actually believe all the connects I made and that it went off pretty well. I am more sure of myself now when it comes to reaching out to brands for collaborations and sponsorships. The key when approaching a brand is to come with ideas and show exactly how you can implement those ideas for the benefit of the brand which will in turn benefit you and your brand or blog.! ! I’ve definitely had a ton of fun styling my outfit of the day shoots and finding the perfect locations around the New York City to shoot. I really try and let The City be a part of the story. It’s not always about the fashion and what I can find for a STEELE….it’s just as much about New York City as it is about fashion.!

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This area where I shoot a lot is an apartment complex in Harlem called Dunbar Apartments. It was built by John D. Rockefeller Jr. from 1926-1928 to provide housing for African Americans. It was one of the first of its kind. It was named in honor of noted African American poet, Paul Lawrence Dunbar. Those who’ve lived there include: W.E.B. Du Bois and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson.

Top: Top Shop 2 for $14! Denim Shorts: American Apparel! Jacket: H&M sale $15! Shoes: Sigerson Morrison! Hat: Top Shop! Necklace: Juliet & Co!

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! ! I like to shoot in area’s around that city that mean something to me. Like Washington Square Park. It’s one of my favorite area’s in the city because I did my graduate studies at NYU and spent a lot of time in that area. I always get a little nostalgic around NYU campus. There are also tons of great thrift shops in the that area.!

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! 2014 was also the year I went natural. Well actually I went natural November of 2013 but I really stuck in through throughout 2014 with the help of senegalese twist and Marley twists. I am gently transitioning and this is the best way for me. I seriously can’t yet handle my hair in its natural state and this is allowing me to have time for growth until I decide to do a big chop or not. We shall see what 2015 brings in regards to my style and my hair!!

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! Thrift and the City!

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2014 was the year I finally launched my Thrift and the City Video Series on my YouTube Channel. Thrifting is a huge part of Fashion Steele NYC. I love finding a great bargain. It all started when I moved to NYC in 2006. I was fresh out of college and didn’t know a soul and spending a small fortune on school and school books. I barely had enough money to get by so I ended up getting a part time job (against the wishes of my academic advisors). The first thing I did was learn where all the thrift stores were in NYC and my love with thrift grew from there. Even though I’ve graduated, gotten my degree and making a substantial amount of money, I will never stop thrifting. I first began doing Thrift and the City shopping tours, and that expanding into me writing an eBook called Thrift and the City: A Guide to Thrift and Vintage Shopping in New York City. From that I got the idea of doing a video series. It’s really grown from there. Any given day you can find me in something I’ve thrifted. I love mixing thrifted and vintage items in with my modern wardrobe. The clash makes it more unique and fun! It also doesn’t hurt that you can shop without spending too much!!

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Collaboration Station!

My biggest collaboration this year was with MIDORI Line Jewelry. MIDORI Line specializes in hand-crafted jewelry made in the USA from high quality materials including 14k gold filled, gold plating, gem stones and semi precious beads. MIDORI jewelry includes handchains, bracelets, necklaces and earrings. I worked with founder Sakura to create my very own hand chain the MONROE. Helping to design a hand chain was really fun and is awesome to get to wear something I helped to create. We actually connected when I did a collaboration with Nylon Magazine Online and choose to wear one of the MIDORI Line hand chains and the rest is history. !

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Top/Pants: American Apparel! Shoes: Aquazzura! Bag: BCBGeneration! Necklace: Boohoo! Hand Chain: MIDORI! Watch: Guess

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2014 Noted Events! THE BRANDS AND BLOGGERS NETWORKING EVENT!

In May of 2014 I co hosted my first blogger event, The Brands and Bloggers Networking Event with Sherry Blossom of Sherry Blossom Beauty. It was a huge undertaking but the goal was to bring together influential brands and bloggers to foster promotions and collaborations. We really wanted to cut out the middle man and get brands and bloggers talking and showing how they can help elevate each other through cross promotions. The event was a huge success. We had noted brands and sponsors such as Dark & Lovely, Midori Line Jewelry and Saks Off 5th. It was pretty eye opening to see just how many connections I’d made over the last 4 years of blogging. We also had special guests from Harlem’s Fashion Row as well as Bri Scullark of America’s Next Top Model who hosted giveaway for a candle from her business Brvelle.!

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JEFF KOONS X H&M 5TH AVENUE FLAGSHIP STORE OPENING!

I had the pleasure of covering was the H&M x Jeff Koons 5th Avenue Flagship Store Opening in NYC. It was definitely one of the most star studding and glamorous events I got to cover. Olivia Wilde, Natalie Joos, Nicky Hilton and Alek Wek were all in attendance. Shoppers got the run of the 5 floor space and enjoyed a 30% off everything in the store whilst drinking cocktails and nibbling on relish treats. It was a pretty awesome experience all the way up until the moment I tried to leave and ran smack dab into Jeff Koons himself. After excusing myself profusely I made my way down 5th Ave with a bag full of clothes and of course a limited edition Jeff Koons x H&M bag.!

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This was one of my favorite shoots this year. I love these sandals by Loza Maleombho and have been wearing them non stop all summer. !

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Dress: Mango! Sandals: Loza Maleombho

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! ! Designer Discovery of The Year! I always come across amazing designers and last year that designer was shoe designer Aminah Abdul Jillil with her now infamous Bow Pump. This year it was no surprise that again my fashion discovery of the year would be another shoe designer. Loza Maleombho not only designs shoes but clothing as well. Her lace up Zebra sandals have been a staple in my wardrobe this year. They are super unique and versatile and definitely a statement standout sandal. I also love that they are affordable! They can be sexy or even playful depending on what you pair them with. Whenever I wear them I always get tons of compliments and keep a screen shot of Loza’s instagram account in my phone for days when I wear them. She’s also stunning and I love her style!!

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FASHION MONTH SS 2015! ! This year my my first year attending fashion month! Well technically I didn’t do London so it doesn’t count but one year I will cover all 4 major fashion weeks. This year I covered New York, Milan and Paris fashion weeks and it was amazing and extremely tiring. I really don’t know how the people who cover all fashion weeks survive. I definitely had an amazing time though and meet some wonderful people. I also took a little mini vacation in Italy between Milan and Paris fashions weeks and I’ve never been to a place so beautiful.!

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NEW YORK FASHION WEEK SPRING SUMMER/SUMMER 2015!

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New York Fashion Week was so much fun this season. I always love covering fashion week in the warmer months but my goodness we experienced the hottest heat wave ever during NYFW. I nearly melted on a 93 degree day. This season was the season I finally got some help with Fashion Steele NYC. I brought on another contributor Jade B. Ford to assist with fashion week. She has been a major asset in helping me to cover all the shows and promote collaborations during Fashion Month. She’s also an excellent photographer. Between the two of us we covered 18 shows for NYFW and a few events as well. It was such an awesome whirlwind and it really tested my drive and will to report whats going on on as well as off the runways. For New York Fashion Week I was a little more relaxed in terms of what I wore to fashion week. I went with more sporty casual looks. Sporty chic is trending in New York more than any other city so I thought to incorporate that trend into a few of my looks for New York Fashion Week. !

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WHAT I WORE NYFW SS 2015 

Top and Skirt: H&M

Durham Bulls Baseball Tee! and Thrifted pleated skirt!

Converse Sneakers

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One of my favorite accessories during NYFW were these checkered Proenza Schouler sandals. They were post breakup shoes and perhaps my best purchase of the year at over 70% off! Fashion STEELE!

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Dress: Demestiks by Reuben Reuel! Sandals: Loza Maleombho! Lip: Nars Train Bleu

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Custo Barcelona SS 2015 !

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Custo Barcelona’s SS 2015 collection was colorful and full of texture and asymmetrical designs. The collection was one of my favorites of New York Fashion Week! The styling was key as well. I’m getting more and more into pattern mixing and bold colors and this collection was the one that satisfied my craving for patterns and texture. Usually I’m not a huge fan of the brand but this season made me a new and engaged believer and I’m super excited to see how the brand progressing in this modern way. 


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Zimmermann SS 2015!

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Zimmermann was hands down my favorite show of New York Fashion Week SS 2015 Collections. The collection was massive and perfectly styled and I just loved the light and airiness and simplicity yet extravagance of the looks. I was so busy admiring the clothing, I barely tweeted or instagramed. The show was THAT GOOD. The Australian brand is certainly making a splash stateside. I can’t wait until they have a sale!!

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MILAN FASHION WEEK SS 2015!

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Milan Fashion Week was an experience. It’s definitely a lot harder getting around to the different shows. They don’t really have great public transportation in Milan which meant a huge chunk of the budget was spent on taxi rides. Jade and I learned quickly that you can’t hail a cab in Milan. You have to call them via a special service and they pick you up like an Uber. Being that Jade nor I had cell service we relied on the citizens of Milan to call taxis for us and then walking the few blocks to the taxi stand any other time. !

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Milan’s street style was much more subdued that I expected as well. When you google image Milan Fashion Week it looks so colorful and carefree and bright and just fun! But that’s not really what we saw in person. The fashion is very tailored, a lot of black, a lot of flats and pretty much just stiff. I definitely felt like I stood out. Based off my google image searches I planned outfits that were colorful with lots of prints and just carefree fun clothes. !

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Vintage DVF Jumpsuit! Old Navy Scarf! Proenza Schouler Sandals!

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At the Duomo Cathedral Roof in Milan

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The highlight of Milan Fashion Week for me was being invited to the Jimmy Choo SS 2015 presentation. The invitation alone is one of my prized possessions now. The presentation was colorful and set against a stark backdrop. It was quite fun mingling with the guests and checking out the amazing shoes. We even ran into Anna Dello Russa whom I’d only ever seen in instagram photos and on the internet. She’s actually quite tiny but her persona is radiant. She can definitely command a room. While in Milan I also made a great blogger friend as well and did a tiny tiny bit of shopping at an outlet designer store. 


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CINQUE TERRE, VERNAZZA, ITALY


The best thing I did this year was plan an actual mini vacation in between Milan and Paris Fashion Week. Last year I discovered Cinque Terre, 5 towns in the Italian Mediterranean they are a hikes away from each other. The first photo I saw of it was via Instagram and I instantly knew that it was some place I had to visit. With it being only a 3 hour train ride from Milan, I decided to tag it on to the trip and I’m so glad I did. When I vacation abroad I always use airbnb.com to find a lovely home to stay in. It makes me feel more like a local and I generally like having my own space. There are a few places on airbnb.com but it took some digging to find a place to stay in the most charming of the 5 towns, Vernazza.

Vernazza is old and charming and beautiful. It has the train station at the top of the hill and you follow the towns only main rode down past gelateria’s, souvenir stores, restaurants and homes down to the towns lovely harbor. The little harbor is filled with yellow and green boats. Looking out over the harbor you can see in the distance the next town over which is Monterrossa (the beach town). At night the town in quiet. You hear nothing but the waves splashing against the harbor. The air smells like red wine and sea. It’s the most magical and beautiful place I’ve ever been in my life and I completely fell head over heels in love with Vernazza. I will definitely make a return again soon. !


Top: American Apparel! Skirt: Mango! Sandals: Loza Maleombho! Handchain: Monroe x Midori Line Jewelry!

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Vernazza, Italy


PARIS FASHION WEEK SS 2015! Paris Fashion Week is always a fun time. Last year I did it alone but this year I joined two fellow fashion bloggers Trisha and Krystin. The highlight of Paris was definitely just being back there. Paris is one of my favorite cities and it immediately felt like home. Another highlight was being able to attend Jean Paul Gaultier’s very last runway show as well. Everyone was there and it was a HUGE production. Set in the largest and oldest theatre in Paris is had a real show feel rather than an actual stoic fashion show feel. It was a celebration with music that got you up out of your seat, and cannons of bursting confetti. I felt very lucky to have been able to attend this show with the likes of fashion elite. Once the

show ended there was a standing ovation and some people were so overwhelmed that they actually had tears in their eyes. Another of my favorite shows was actually just a showroom visit to the Sandra Mansour SS 2015 presentation. Everything was just stunning and so well made. I have visions of wearing her pieces in the middle of the desert for some reason. Also being a total shoe girl, I enjoyed crashing the Altuzarra SS 2015 presentation as well. I can’t wait until the fantastic shoes I got to see hit the streets in about 5 to 6 months. I had a great time with my fashion looks in Paris as well. I went a little more laid back yet chic and I even made Vanity Fair’s site for Paris Fashion Week Street Style! That was pretty awesome for me as well. !


Dress: Vintage Cynthia Rowley!

! Bag: Thrifted! !

Shoes: L.A.M.B. Mya


NOTED PRESS!

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The coolest thing I did this year in regards to press was being asked to the the BET Year End Fashion 2015 Video. It was such a fun experience yet I was super nervous! I’ve done tons of video for my blog, and even starred in a commercial a few years back but this was really unlike anything I’ve ever done. I was just thrilled that I was considered to drop a little of my fashion knowledge and two cents on who was making all the right fashion moves in 2014! I hope you all had a chance to check out the video because its pretty hilarious. Earlier this year I was also featured in Essence Magazine as well as on their website a few times for fashion and hair. In 2014 I partnered with Guess Watches to become one of the fashion access bloggers and I also did a cute video with them as well as wrote for their website. That was a great foray for me in regards to fashion writing. Lastly I made the top 100 fashion bloggers list and was featured in an online magazine for it. That was pretty cool. It’s really nice to be recognized for fashion and that my opinion on fashion matters, even if just a tiny bit! Hopefully in 2015 I can do more fashion and travel writing and be featured more in publications. !


Top: Pixie Market! Skirt: Derek Lam! Clutch: Shop Roxxy! Shoes: Kurt Geiger!

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SPECIAL THANKS!

There are tons of people I need to thank for all the awesome things that have happened to me in the blogging world in 2014. Firstly I’d like to thank my biggest supporter and fan, my mother for always being so encouraging. Even when I don’t feel like I'm making the strides I want to in regards to blogging she always has encouraging words for me. Next I would like to thank everyone who reads and comments on my blog. You can go anywhere on the internet and you choose to come to my site and I appreciate that so so much. This goes for those who tweet, and instagram and Facebook me as well. None of you go unnoticed and you all keep me motivated to keep pushing along in the blogging world. I want to thank Deem Sanders, Nigel Clark, Emily Malan, Iasiah Pickens and Jade Ford for their fantastic photography skills and keeping me a float with photography. I wouldn’t have been able to blog without you all. I want to thank Jade Ford for making the craziest excursion with me to Milan and Paris. She helped create some fantastic content throughout the entire 2015 fashion month and was integral in keeping the blog fresh with show reviews. Thanks to the awesome folks over at GM Drive the District for letting me create content for the NYC District and hone my writing skills even when it wasn’t in reference to fashion. I want to thank the good people over at Guess Watches for giving me an awesome platform to write about fashion and express my fashion choices through accessories. I want to the Sakura, founder and creator of Midori Line Jewelry for taking a chance with a relatively new blogger and letting me create my own hand chain. You have been so amazing and are such an inspiration to me and I look forward to our future collaborations in 2015. Thanks again to everyone for reading and here’s to another year of Fashion Steele NYC!!


FASHION STEELE NYC 2014 REVIEW

FASHION STEELE NYC 2014 MAGAZINE  

Fashion Steele NYC is a fashion blog founded by Monroe Steele in 2010. This magazine chronicles the year of 2014 for Fashion Steele NYC from...

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