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octob er 2013

feathers and leathers




7 Who We Are

The Inspirare Dream Team.


Contributors The hit makers.

10 Letter from

the Editor




Our Cover Model AJ from Look Model Agency.

16 Haute Items

Falling for Fabulous.

80 Are you on the

list? Glamorama meets NYFW.


Marc Allison of MAJ.

108 Celebrity Corner Countess LuAnn de Lesseps.


Next in inspirare You know you wanna peek.


Girl of the Month Candy Kawaii Lover.


Fashion editorial Luscious Leather Lady.

36 beauty

Velvet Vixens.

58 behind the fashion Amanda Needham. Costume designer extraordinaire.


Feature Editorial Camelia Skikos.




26 4


CREATE YOUR OWN FASHION PROFILE ON INSPIRARE.COM See unique fashion from all of the world, follow and chat with amazing up and coming designers, shop from some of the most individual stores available anywhere! And don’t forget to link Inspirare to all of your favorite social media sites for an even better experience. STEP 1: Go to STEP 2: Click the SHOP button STEP 3: Click REGISTER STEP 4: Enter your information or register with Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Don’t worry you won’t get a ton of annoying emails from us, unless you want them! STEP 5: Click SAVE PROFILE STEP 6: Upload your picture and create your Fashion Profile! STEP 7: SHOP, CONNECT, EXPERIENCE!

who we are

Meet The Folks Behind Inspirare Magazine

Adrienne Glenn Executive Editor.

Jillian Garcia

Sales Executive.

Jeffry Raposas



PAOLA SOTO Design Director.

pearl michaelson Beauty Editor.

Paula Tabinski Journalist.


Lauren Bayless Photographer.

The amazingly talented people that add to the words, images and fashion of Inspirare Magazine To the ones who make our world go round...

A San Francisco based fashion and still life photographer. Her passion for photography is driven by what surrounds her; art, music, love, and experiences.

Alicia Garica Hair Stylist.

Hair, makeup, fashion. It’s expressive, it’s creative, it’s art. That’s what i love to do. I like to make hair do cool things. I like to create wearable art.


Travis Alexander Walls Stylist.


Jessa reanin Make Up Artist.

Passionate makeup artist since 2006 inspired by all concepts of art transmitted through beauty

An East Coast photographer for over 4 years now, she has made the move from shooting primarily weddings and portraits to what she truly loves, street style and fashion. One of the big apple’s greatest fans... you are lucky to have her NYC!

sarah law Photogtapher.

Runs around the country and the world photographing people and music and bands and life on the road. It’s a pretty lovely adventure.

He is an internationally recognized fashion stylist with a keen eye for detail and passion for the arts. He brings imagination and creative concepts to life through his work. Travis is represented by one of the most renowned talent Agencies in California, Artists’ Services.

Would you like to be a contributor? Contact us at 9

Letter from the Editor

Fall is my favorite time of year. Days get shorter, the mornings and evenings cool down and we try to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible before the winter finally settles in on us. This requires us to often layer up… which is this fashionista’s favorite thing. Layers. A tank, then a shirt, then a sweater, then a scarf, and then finally a jacket to peel off and add as the fall day goes through it’s temperature cycles. In this issue we celebrate fall in all of it’s glory, specifically this fall’s biggest trend, leather. You are going to see leather (or in it’s more PETA friendly version with a “PL”) on pants, dresses, skirts, jackets, gloves, or just as accents on all types of pieces. Don’t be afraid to unleash your inner tough-child… it looks good on everybody.

To contact our Executive Editor, you can reach her at or 415.449.8894

I also want to take a brief moment away from the fashion talk (very brief) and thank everyone that has collaborated with, supported and encouraged Inspirare. The supportive friendships and working relationships that have been created throughout the journey, thus far, means the world to me. To all of you that have taken part in our vision… thank you for being you. Now let’s go forth and continuing kicking fashion arse and taking names!

Adrienne Glenn Executive Editor.




Elisha Marie, Armed Cuff $45 | April Howard, Leather Shorts $275 | Studio NTK, Lia Top $40 | DZHUS, Steel Peplum Belt $155 | DAIGE Girls, Pink Mountain Top $88 | Taeseok Kang, Backpack $2073

To purchase these lovely items visit:


inspirare cover model

a moment with OUR GORGEOUS COVER MODEL Inspirare is a global company with thousands of different faces from all over, this month we celebrate that with the gorgeous Russian model, AJ. She has graced many covers in her career and not only boasts a gorgeous outside, but a strong, intelligent and driven inside. It is no suprise why this model is sought out for work the world over. Take a moment to travel the globe and learn a little more about October’s cover model: How long have you been modeling? Definitely the better half of my life. :) Tell us what got you started in modeling… My girlfriend brought me to the fashion theater in the Far East of Russia when I was 13 years old. I was a typical awkwardly-tall, funny-looking geek with an introverted personality. The desire to learn who I truly was, is what made me shine; how different I was from the rest is what helped me to become one of the few top models from Vladivostok that made it to Fashion Week runways around the world.

Photo by Billy Winters

Where were you born and where did you grow up? I was born and grew up in Vladivostok, one of the biggest sea ports of Russia in the Far East. San Francisco is the only city in the world that is considered to be a “brother city” to Vladivostok. These two cities are very much alike; both located on the bay, very hilly, beautiful, touristy, urban and unique. San Francisco makes me feel like home in many ways.

What is your favorite color? Black. There is everything to be found in darkness, including the light. Black is perfect. What is your favorite food? My mama’s cooking. She is the best. In my own kitchen, I love raw vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, berries and fish. I can eat like that all day long. My favorite thing to make is a salad. As long as avocado, sunflower seeds, garlic powder, red onion, and avocado oil is present - a salad is always a success, no matter what else you add to it. A healthy body is important as a model, how do you keep yourself fit and happy? A reasonable nutrition plan is a key to staying healthy, happy and fit - as I learned over the years. Also, I have been physically active all my life trying different sports and setting different challenges to become stronger - physically and mentally. I ran on a cross-country team in college. I trained myself and finished the LA Marathon under 5 hours, in horrific weather. I participated in bodybuilding competitions with my brother, who inspired me to become a Certified Personal trainer, as well. For the last seven years I have also been passionate about Bikram Yoga and Vipassana meditation. I have sweated in more than 20 different studios around the US and Canada, and meditated in silence for more than 35 days. Meditation is extremely important to me. And let’s not forget about dancing - it is something that keeps me young, beautiful, and happy. I dance everywhere and always. What do you love most about being a model? Staying happy in the time of struggles and not giving up while being rejected. The moments “in between”, so to speak. And, of course, that special feeling that arises at every single show and a photo shoot - that is what I live for. What do you see as the biggest challenge in modeling? Self doubt. I believe it is what separates a working model from someone who dreams about being one. Dealing with rejections, other girls that “seem” to be better than you in every way, no consistency with bookings, imperfections with body and mind - all of 13


that may bring you down. The biggest challenge is to stay focused and to believe in your own magic. We all do as little or as much as we believe we will do. Doubt kills any possibility. Do you have a favorite clothing item or accessory? I am a shoe maniac, can never have enough shoes. I can easily live without dresses, but not without shoes. :) Who is your favorite designer? Whoever creates something that will scream my name. Lol. Seriously, I am very “all over the place” with clothes, shoes, perfume, and makeup. Whatever fits the mood - goes. I’ve been a big fan of Valentino classic gowns, Emporio Armani’s casualties, Yohji Yamamoto’s uniqueness, and Dolce and Gabbana’s chic. How did you prepare for this cover shoot with Inspirare? I went for a jog two days before, did a facial peel and deep hydrating masque with my mommy. The day before I had a show, so I made sure I came home early and went to bed not too late - to get a good rest after a light dinner around 6 p.m. Then there was a good breakfast before the shoot - lots of complex carbs to keep me going for a day, plenty of water to go, and light snacks to munch on during the shoot. If you met the designer, Camelia Skikos, what would you tell her about her designs? I love the way she uses colors. The graphics and lines in her designs are bold, edgy, elegant, and sexy. Her collection for women includes both, feminine and masculine notes - which is always a challenge to combine. I’d congratulate her on her success! What does fashion mean to you? For me Fashion is a state of being expressed through the way I look and act. It can be influenced or changed by the mood, circumstance, or an event. Fashion is the reflection of the way I feel at a time, inside-out. A special thanks to Look Model Agency. To book AJ, visit

about Inspirare

At Inspirare, we believe the best way to create innovative fashion is to connect inspired designers with individuals who love to express their own style. Out of that connection comes collaborative, unique and beautiful clothing. Discover



At Inspirare, we find emerging designers to share with you. You help launch new brands by voting, buying, and sharing with your friends

Inspirare is fashion empowered by consumers. Designers get their big break, and you get clothing that truly lets you express who you are because you helped create it.

Support your favorite designers by voting and purchasing, and let your personality shine through Inspirare curated designers. Be rare. 14



This season wrap up in angora, adorn yourself with lace and leather, and enjoy amazing fall colors and fabrics...

Haute Items

Mannequin Brass Necklace Monserat De Lucca $95

Spun Sugar Angora Scarf Abigail Stewart Studio $324

Selma Satchel in Navy Lingerie Dress ZARA $159

Michael Kors $358

Wooden Bangle Accent SF $16

Tuxedo Blazer ZARA $139

Mila Boot Sam Edelman $225

Tartan Tote Stella McCartney $1755 18

Bracelet Watch Burberry $650

Denim Jacket Levi’s $88

Smokin’ Saddle Shoe Mark McNairy New Amsterdam $385

Red/Black Leather Gloves Forzieri $116 19


Ashley Dy of Candy Kawaii Lover

Written by Paula Tabinski

Ashley Dy aka Candy Kawaii Lover is from Japan, but nevertheless smashing the fashion blogger scene in the U.S. Although she may look innocent her style is fierce with a girly, independent flair. It is obvious that Ashley loves skirts, dresses and bold colors, but her effortlessly fresh ensembles can also be sophisticated and casual. It’s easy to see that this bright beauty has a zesty attitude and isn’t afraid to express herself creatively through fashion. A self-proclaimed one-man team, she balances her photography work of and fashion blogging commitments. Ashley’s fashion blogger friends and celebs have made cameo appearances on the blog, and her success is a result of her genuine love for discovering unique ways to express her mood and ambitions. Just spend a few minutes on her blog and you’ll be inspired by her blithe feminine aura! Delve in to discover the personality behind her eternal style... 20


How would you describe your blog? Kawaii, dreamy, chic.

What are your current obsessions? Crop tops, pink wigs, anything cat-shaped.

What do you look for when you’re photographing What are your pet peeves? street style for fukulog Manila? I abhor bad-odor. Knock-out shoes. No matter how awesome your outfit is if you have poor shoes, it’s pretty useless. What are your favorite mundane hobbies? Scanning magazines. What are you most confident in? In wearing high heels and in talking about Japanese Can you see foresee any trends that might make a culture and fashion. comeback in the future? Lace and tutus. What are your ambitions in life? To travel the world in style and have relevance in the What’s the style like where you live? world. In Japan, you will be grouped according to your style. If you are more into trendy, “gyaru” style, you’ll find yourself What is your favorite time of the year and why? in Shibuya. If you are obsessed with vintage, you might be It would be spring and autumn. I love the cherry blossoms in Koenji. As for me, I live in Kobe/ Hyogo where people are and flowers that spring brings and the red maple leaves a little-bit sophisticated but experiment from time to time, during autumn. and no one goes out without make-up on. What do you think fashion’s importance is? It makes you believe in yourself more. What are your favorite or most visited websites?,, What’s your favorite autumn outfit? I would go for all-white/beige. It enhances the colours of autumn. Name a few of your winter essentials/trends. Essentials: Leather jacket (in white and noir), Red blazer, Black tights and boots. Trends: Neon-colored jumper, chunky heels. What made you want to start blogging? How and when did you start? In 2009, my friend and I had heaps of free time at our on-the-job training so we decided to take photos of my everyday outfit.  What or who are your fashion influences? Films, Japanese magazines, Kiko Mizuhara, Audrey Hepburn.



To learn more about Ashley visit

Inspirare designers Snacku and Marc Allison Jeans come together to show us fall’s hottest blend‌ leather and denim! Photographed byJeffry Raposas Model: Bianca of Exalt Model and Talent Agency Stylist: Phyllis Smith Make-up: Autumn Hunter Hair: Alicia Garcia


Rider leather jacket, Snacku; Sweater, Theory; Gina slim book cut jeans, Marc Allison Jeans; Luxe Square Cuff, Jeweliq; Heels, Enzo Angiolini Right Image: Bomber leather jacket, Snacku


Moto leather jacket, Snacku; Shirl classic boot cut jeans, Marc Allison Jeans

St. Cavemen Manuscript Embroidery blazer, Snacku; Blouse, Elie Tahari; Gina slim bell cut jeans, Marc Allison Jeans

Rider leather jacket, Snacku; Michi skinny cut jeans, Marc Allison Jeans; Ivory Tribal Spikes Necklace, Jeweliq; Heels, Calvin Klein



Leopard print top, Michael Kors; Shirl classic bell cut jeans, Marc Allison Jeans; Moto leather jacket, Snacku; Tortoise Crystal Drops earrings and Omega Cuff, Jeweliq; Belt, H&M.


THE VELVET VIXENS Photographer: Sheldon Schear: Makeup Artist: Ashlynn Erika Hair Stylist: Kristen Cutberth Models: Sheila McFarland and Sara Roudebush Stylist and Coordinator: Allison Marie Cullen:


THE VELVET VIXENS Written by Pearl Michaelson

A tireless lawyer brushed her un-kept hair away from her eyes as she received the call that would spiral into a day away from the office. Virginia felt her naked cheeks flush with anger as she hung up the phone with the man that would occupy her day’s anxieties and night’s renewals. But at that point, she felt forced to meet the man who had thrust her into identity oblivion after their first date. The glamour of a boutique almost kept her from entering, but with Leona’s urging, her best friend was coerced into modeling dress after dress. Leona’s unceasing optimism shouted, “Because you deserve this!” With a sigh, Virgie sought to relieve her anger and embarrassment tonight. And why not bring the heat while I’m at it, she thought. After humoring Leona’s encouragement, Virgie walked out of the boutique empty-handed. While attempting to change the subject, she caught sight of herself in a mirror in the Macy’s window. Virginia paused. Her hand’s mirroring movement to her lips looked foreign; she seemed a stranger. You look sad, she thought. Before she could talk herself out of the idea, Virgie allowed herself to be the canvas of a make-up artist’s hands in Impulse Beauty. The artist adorned Virginia’s cheeks with Benefit Cosmetics’ matte Hoola bronzer, highlighting with their High Beam highlighter to give an extra contrast and dazzling sheen in the moonlight. Virginia’s hazel eyes carried worldly insight, as years of law will stipulate. Wisely applying Urban Decay’s eye shadow primer before dusting their Naked 2 palette’s Half Baked and Snakebite to her eyes, Virginia felt as refreshed and

youthful as her seductive eyes showed. Her look was topped off with a black liquid liner to sophisticate the smoky look. Virginia stared in amazement at herself, wide-eyed and jaw agape. Leona approached, beaming with approval slowly revealing her hands from behind her body. The most incredible Vince Camuto heels peeled away another layer of caution, diving deeper into Virginia’s fashion desires, winning her heart at the first glance. An idea came as naturally to her as the rediscovery of her vixen identity over the course of the day. Once Virginia reached home, she tamed her wavy tresses into sleek perfection to perfectly frame her Smashbox Cosmetics’ liquid Halo foundation induced glow. The doorbell rang as she zipped up the same creamy, brown velvet dress she wore on their first rendezvous, dressed in a revived confidence. One year after he fired Virginia from her previous law firm after their first secret date, her old boss asked for her back in more ways than one on this second, desperate date. She closed the night with a passionate kiss, streaming her fingers through his hair as she lightly tugged his head to one side, whispering softly into the other ear, “Don’t ever call me again.” Once home, Virginia shut the door to her cozy apartment. The second date is always the sweetest. Her smeared berry shade of MAC Cosmetics lipstick, Hang-up, carried the last remnant of him. While undressing her night’s velvet skin, the dress fell to the floor as she recapped the day’s perfection in a true vixen’s victory.










BLING bonanza




ELISHA MARIE JEWELRY In a time when you see mass produced jewelry on everyone’s neck, wrist and fingers… Elisha Marie Garza is creating gorgeous, specialized, one-of-akind pieces that will make all of your friends exclaim, “Ooooh, where did you get that?” Elisha was raised in a family where artistry was key and in 2011 she discovered her love for the craft of jewelry design, that was when Elisha Marie Jewelry was born. Each piece is created organically through Elisha’s inherent appreciation for natural beauty. Her formal training in jewelry fabrication coupled with a keen eye for style is what manifests itself into the beautiful coveted pieces you see in her shop. Created from sustainable materials and recycled precious metals, not only are these eye-catching designs good for you, they are good for the environment. Fabricated in the artist’s studio in Austin, Texas these unique designs are truly one in a million! To shop Elisa Marie Jewelry visit




BIRCHBOX Photographed by Lauren Bayless Written by Adrienne Glenn

I was having dinner with a few of my girlfriends one night, when Lauren turned to me and said, “Adrienne have you heard of Birchbox yet? You have to try it!” Lauren is one of those incredibly naturally beautiful women who, unlike me, doesn’t coat herself with product and paint to look even a little presentable. So, I was a tad surprised that she was the one suggesting beauty products to me; this was when I knew I had to log on and check this Birchbox thing out. I got home, poured my glass of Sauv Blanc and I logged onto the site. I was impressed with the simplicity and ease of maneuvering through the information. For $10 a month you receive a box of samples, which you can designate preferences for; there is also a male and female version for those men that aren’t afraid of the term “metrosexual.” I took my friend’s advice and signed up right away. I was sad to see there was a few week wait to get started, but I can tell you right now it was well worth it. I love Birchbox!

Anxiously checking the mail for the package each day I came home, one day I left the office and arrived home to find it waiting for me on my doorstep. I sat down like a kid at their birthday party to unwrap my new goodies. To start, the box is lovely, simple and understated. Inside everything is wrapped in a pretty pink paper and as you unfold you let the sample fun begin! My first box was terrific, my second box was just as great… and i’m anxiously awaiting my October box! I have found a killer dry shampoo (picture shown here) that I would’ve never thought to try before, I realized that I actually love bright orange nail polish and not to mention I have plenty of travel size products to use on the weekends that I get away! If you love product, trying new things and the smell of beauty, try Birchbox. I’m pretty certain you won’t be disappointed. To sign up for your subscription visit




MILAN, ITALY Photographed by Raffaele Ingegno Asst/co-photographer: Angela Rosati

Milan is the second largest city in Italy. Found in the northern part of the country, it is the main industrial, commercial and financial centre of Italy, and a leading global city. This iconic place is one of the top four fashion capitals of the world, which is why you see such amazing style on every street corner. Most of the fashion greats, such as: Valentino, Gucci, Versace, Prada, Armani and Dolce & Gabbana are all headquartered in Milan. The amazing fashion photographer, Raffaele Ingegno, graciously hit the streets to show us just what spectacularly amazing fashions walk those sweet streets of Italy. As you flip the pages, imagine yourself under the Italian sky and enjoy the styles in the piazza del Duomo and corso Vittorio Emanuele II.






Milan is a large city in northern Italy. It is the economic capital of the nation and is the home of fashion, design and image.



The behind Fashion the fashion Insider

Portlandia’s Closet Master

Amanda Needham Photographed by Sarah Law Written by Pearl Michaelson

If you haven’t seen Portlandia, you are missing one of the funniest shows on television. The blend of satire, ridiculousness and some of the showcases of- let’s face it- our very own idiosyncrasies creates a show filled with characters to match the eclectic society Portland, Oregon offers. So who is the woman behind the fashions that bring these characters their fashion styles? Amanda Needham is a two-time Emmy Award winning costume designer for Portlandia. This Portland raised success story shows how Needham’s dedication and creative talent brought her opportunities bigger than her Barbie dressing young self could have only dreamt.



Needham started her journey in the industry as a selftaught makeup artist for varying projects. As she continued to work, she found herself in need of another, more creatively stimulating line of work. Through her hunt, she fell into styling and Needham explains this process as, “Getting into who people are and helping to create them. I crossed over into styling and found my happiness.” Needham’s pursuit landed her styling positions and creative director opportunities with incredible companies. Her hunger for the industry grew with each opportunity, as she explains her road to success, stating, “I networked and was really persistent. I worked for free and worked hard while I was there. I would send ‘thank you’ cards to the crew and producers to thank them for the opportunity. I was always excited and interested in everything.” The positive and confident energy Needham brought to every project she worked on helped her career bloom. This genuine appetite for the fashion industry and costume design took her all over the world and ironically brought her right back to her hometown of Portland.

on Portlandia. How was working with funny megaminds Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein? Needham gushed, “They are two of the most lovely, hilarious people I have ever worked with. I consider myself so lucky to work with them as actors and producers and I am so happy to be here. I dress them in the craziest outfits and we are always laughing.” She finds fortune in the ability to combine work and play. This collective environment of creativity bred top producing workers on the show. Needham finds hard work and challenges motivating, as she states, “I am in the trenches sometimes and I want someone to work with me who is willing to work as hard as I am. I think that’s important to have, as well as people that are nice. We chose an awesome career, so don’t forget how lucky we are!”

Her realization of her incredible journey is motivating because of the reality. Needham hasn’t lost focus of the truth in her fast-paced, exciting career, and her genuine living makes her all-the-more endearing to us fashion folks. Motivation for Needham is founded in After all her hard work and successes, Needham won her creative drive, but the secret to her continual suctwo Emmy Awards in 2011 and 2013 for her work cess is her search for answers- her curiosity. Need-


ham expands on this, “If I don’t know, I find out!” It’s so easy to point fingers for responsibility, but Needham pushes to find the answers herself and assume the role of leadership because of her continual curiosity and rich industry knowledge bank. She finds motivation in her challenges, because she truly believes, “We have the power to make changes and do great things.” While working on a collection of projects, Needham has become no stranger to change, stating, “The industry will constantly change. You need to be flexible.” Needham vehemently believes in the strength found in flexibility. Due to her variety of experience on set, Needham suggests genuine creativity and endless passion for the industry to reach your aspirations. The more you know, the easier it is to be flexible in your career. So, where does Needham find the creative food to fuel her fire? Portland, of course! She describes the city as prized for its, “Fresh air, delicious food and an incredible place to revive yourself so that you can go back into the game again.” She drinks from this reviving city to quench her thirst for inspiration. Needham travels throughout the city, constantly inspired by the people and sub-cultures that inhabit the area. Needham expands on Portland, explicating, “The people are so fascinating and inspirational. Everyone you can think of lives here- there are endless sub-cultures and it’s an endless learning process about society.” Needham’s close examination of society, paired with her tendency to photograph individuals to replicate the details that compile their unique styles brings mate-

rial authenticity to Portlandia. Her attention to detail in the everyday dress of people surrounding her enables her to, as she states, “Shop and build with their perspective.” Her understanding of the fashion variety Portland offers gives her the momentum to create intricate details in all her costuming, highlighting her niche for specificity. A specific style for a stylist seems to be an oxymoron, as Needham explains, “I am not dedicated to one look. I try to stick away from things that are trendy and try to stay with classic pieces. I like things I feel and look good in- something fashionable and functional.” So how are we to follow in Needham’s fashion footsteps? Well, the only logical next step for Needham would be to take over the fashion world with her own line. Needham relays her plans, “I want to get into something that is fashion-based. I am able to create something beautiful and fun for the show, but finding a balance between my stylist roots and designing pursuits is where I see myself going.” With an understanding of endless fashion concepts, Needham’s journey to fashion-line stardom is a given. There’s no project Needham can’t take on, because as she explains, “In the scramble and the chaos you are able to be creative. I want to be involved and work with as many people as I can.” Her fashion and style genius are boundless and harvest success that is incalculable. With a hunger like Amanda Needham’s, the fashion world is bound to become the playground for such an insightful and fearless designer mind.



FEMME Clothing Designs by Camelia Skikos Photographed by Billy Winters Model: AJ of Look Model Agency Stylist: Travis Walls of Artists Services Make-up Artist: Christian Alvarez/Vincent Longo Hair Stylist: Shelly Cross of Look Artists


Boots, Alexander McQueen Right Image: Clutch, Alexander McQueen; Ring, Stephen Webster





Earrings, Givenchy; Necklace, Vintage



Earrings, Givenchy; Lipstick, “Calypso Pearl” by Vicent Longo Left Image: Gloves, H&M; Tights, Merona; Shoes, Michael Kors Collection


Behind The Scenes

BEHIND THE SCENES! Who doesn’t love the voyeuristic moment of those behind the scenes shots? This issue we went behind the scenes of the cover shoot, with photographer Billy Winters, to show you the lovely model AJ as she prepares to do her thing. The talented stylists got everything tinted, sprayed and lined up perfectly so the shoot went off without a hitch!


Photos by Billy Winters


Feathers, Leathers and Vintage Fabrics‌ oh my! A nip in the air and the sun disappearing past the horizon long before the end of the workday has us all clamoring for an extra layer. This season sophistication and style moves to the trend forefront. Think Mad Men meets Matrix this Fall when leather and vintage fabrics meld into pure awesomeness!

BUSINESS Michael Kors


FEATHERS Pamella Roland

layers Isabel Marant

Trench coats Burberry Prorsum


checks Gucci


leather Alberta Ferratti


Bret Cota of Exalt Model & Talent Agency Exalt Model & Talent Agency LLC was founded in 2009 by Northern California native Bret Cota. Growing up in cities like San Francisco, Sacramento, Mountain View and Petaluma gave Bret a true understanding of everything our great region has to offer - and why after a 6-year stint in Los Angeles, he eventually made his way back north - where he feels most at home. A chance meeting with an old friend turned agent led to Bret’s own work as a model - and while he enjoyed the experience, he was always more interested in what occurred behind the scenes - the workings of the agency itself and of production. While picking up a check one day at the agency - he was asked if he might want to help out - answering the phones and handling paperwork. This eventually led to the position of Marketing Director - where he helped double the income and reach of one of the region’s top agencies.

In 2009 Bret decided to go out on his own and started a production company - producing high-end photo and video shoots for clients across the state. The talent side of the industry never fully left him though - and he opened Exalt Model and Talent Agency later that year. Starting a new agency in the middle of what is arguably one of the greatest recessions of our country’s history may not have seemed the best of business ideas - but with hard work and dedication Exalt grew from one model to several hundred in a very short span of time. The expansion was so great that Exalt opened it’s second office - in San Francisco - last year. Now representing many of the region’s top models and actors, Exalt works regularly with such clients as Levi’s, MAC Cosmetics, Old Navy, Macy’s, Chevron, Bank of America, Banana Republic, Intel and a slew of other fashion and commercial clients - both large and small. Bret’s philosophy with Exalt has always been “quality over 76


quantity” - and the recipe of personal service and attention to its clients and talent has secured Exalt’s spot as one of the premier agencies in Northern CA. When not working to discover new talent and servicing Exalt’s clients Bret enjoys traveling throughout the west - making regular trips to LA (where he still has roots and where he can keep abreast of what is current and hip in the country’s pop culture capitol) and Portland Oregon (where much of his family now resides). As for what the future will bring? Maybe a 3rd office in LA or somewhere in the Northwest - definitely continuing to expand the opportunities for our talent to work with all the wonderful and international clients we have here on the west coast. As he prepares for a large 2-day shoot for the Kendall-Jackson Winery next week in Sonoma - where the weather looks to be a comfortable 80 degrees and where the splendor of Fall will be visible all around, Bret can only say “Life is good - I am very proud of our team and what we have accomplished in such a short period of time - we are definitely a family here at Exalt and I wouldn’t have it any other way.” To learn more about Exalt visit


Bret’s Top 5 upcoming Male and Female Models to watch: 1. Kriztina 2. Zelly 3. Karlie Kloss 4. Arizona Muse 5. Lindsey Wixon 1. Spencer 2. Sean O’Pry 3. David Gandy 4. Clement Chabernaud 5. Travis Smith




Each September Macy’s puts on their big Glamorama show, and it is truly spectacular. This is definitely an event you want to put on your “mustsee” list for next year. Held in the beautiful venue, Orpheum Theatre of San Francisco, this show captivated me from moment one. Designers, musicians and city officials walked the red carpet while we sipped champagne before the show began. Glamorama is a benefit for Project Open Hand, Glide Foundation and the AIDS Emergency Fund; a captivating video shared with us exactly what the dollars from this event were doing for our community, and after a standing ovation there weren’t many dry eyes in the house. Designers such as Rachel Rachel Roy, Maison Jules, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Diesel, Weekend Max Mara and Tallia Orange showcased eye-catching 81


fashion installations throughout the show. Macy’s also entertained us with great music by Summer Set and Sheryl Crow, as well as gasp inducing feats by Cirque Du Soleil. Not only is this show mesmerizing, upbeat and just an overall super fun night, they have one of the best after parties around! This year it was hosted in the Asian Art Museum. Patron drinks greeted you at the entrance and glowing pink appetizers were passed at every turn. Upstairs the DJ duo A Plus D rocked the house while you hydrated at the hydration station and nibbled a wide selection of mochi, housed on gigantic blocks of ice. Next year keep your eyes peeled for the Glamorama event, you will be sorry if you miss it!



Photos courtesy of Macy’s and Jeffry Raposas




Inspirare’s Executive Editor Does New York Fashion Week

Written by Adrienne Glenn

So rarely do life-changing events fall in your lap, and when it happened to me I couldn’t have been more ready for it. My entire life I have watched videos of the runway shows at New York Fashion Week, just dreaming of sitting there watching the show with a room of like-minded fashion lovers. When the opportunity arose for me to finally attend in person, I truly couldn’t believe. As I was in the trailer collecting my Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week credentials, I had to pinch myself to see if this was really happening. Standing in line for shows with the top tier people in fashion, sitting across from celebrities, looking up in



the tents and watching the E! Fashion Police filming and then going back to my hotel to watch that exact moment on the television, was the most surreal and wonderful moment of my life to date. It is what I have been dreaming of since I was a little girl when I drew pages and pages of differently styled dresses while watching cartoons on Saturday morning. I hope you enjoy the picture journal of my experience, and don’t forget all of the amazing Spring collections that follow! Next year is going to be an amazing time for fashion... black and white with splashes of every color you can imagine. It is going to be amazing!

MBFW OFFICIAL!!! New York City

Central Park.



Away from t he Tents. 86



y!!! t r a P r e Aft

Mark McNairy New Amsterdam Show

ADrienne at Izod


S/S 2014 Runway Preview New York Fashion Week Vera Wang Academy of Art University Christian Siriano Tracy Reese Emerson Joanna Mastroianni Fashion Shenzhen

VERA WANG “Artsy meets athletic,” pronounced Vera Wang of her spring 2014 collection, “it’s my version of ‘Swoosh’!” 89



Eight lucky student designers got the chance to showcase their collection in the tents of MBFW, these designers were: Didvik Kuang, Gwen Shihyao Lai, Marine Rongrong Wei, Winbo Shiau, Leslie Dilloway, Vicken Derderian, Melissa Avalos and Nika Tang. Photos by Randy Brooke

CHRISTIAN SIRIANO Christian goes Resort in next season’s collection, featuring graphic striping and flowing sheers that will entice anyone who adores feminine. Photos by Jay Marroquin

FASHION SHENZHEN Designers Ellassay and Denghao made their Mercedes Benz Fashion Week debut. The audience at Lincoln Center was delighted by Ellassay’s ladylike elegance and Denghao’s provocative, colorful knits and silk .




Designer Jackie Fraser-Swan returned to the tents for her fifth show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. This season, her designs were inspired by the idea that “A group of punk rock kids crashed a private garden on the Upper East Side where the Ramones were playing a secret show .” Photos by Randy Brooke

JOANNA MASTROIANNI “The organic brilliant architecture of Gaudi is my vision for Spring 2014. My admiration for his innovative use of materials and engineering inspired me to create a flirty, seductive and playful collection. It was a labor of love to translate his great works of architecture into something feminine, contemporary and most importantly wearable.” - Joanna

TRACY REESE Her spring 2014 collection radiates sensuality, energy and optimism with an array of bold, spirited styles infused with Afro-Cuban influences to create an aesthetic full of texture and movement. Photos courtesy of Tracy Reese




MARC FLASHBERG of Marc Allison Jeans

Feel the Fit, Experience the Difference Written by Pearl Michaelson

Marc Allison Jeans came to fruition through the natural progression passion will take true pursuers of fashion. After years of working in the textile industry, Marc Flashberg saw the need for a true premium denim. He and his wife, Allison, embarked on their fashion journey with the purpose of their customers’ complete satisfaction in mind. Flashberg details the women their brand targets, “We’re looking for an independent woman who is confident in herself, and not so concerned with labels- a woman who recognizes quality and value not only in a jean, but all aspects of life.” A brand catered to true fashion genius for confident women willing to wear them?! Well, now he’s got us listening! When comparing Marc Allison denim to any other premium jean, Flashberg feels confident in the superiority of his product and passionately about their best interests. The brand vehemently stands for the best fashions for every woman, stating, “If I believe it is right for my customer, it is done.” Due to the innovative textiles they use, Flashberg has confidence that women who adorn their unique shapes with his product will find a satisfaction they have yet to experience with a premium denim. What’s their secret? Stretch in both width and length, enabling women to have an all-over hug to their shape. No more baggy knees or saggy butts, my friends! Marc Allison Jeans has sought the answer to our casual fashion woes 95


by creating a denim that is wearable longer with designs that appeal to our individuality. The difference between Marc Allison Jeans and most denim is their X-fit technology. When getting into the intricacies of their textile format, Flashberg advises us to, “Think of your knee- when you bend it, why would you care if the jean stretches in the width? As long as it stretches in the length, the garment will move with your body.” The four-way stretch in their denim allows women to move in their daily lives without worrying about the destruction of the fit in their jeans. Flashberg expands, “Combining the Pima cotton and the X-fit technology, you have the most innovative, comfortable, performing jean in the world. Add our fashion forward washes, and you have the only true premium jean in the market today.” This revelation within the denim world combines comfort with fashion in a way that finally makes that effortless look we all strive to achieve, while consciously avoiding bending our knees whenever possible, and simple wear ability. Ladies, this is huge! We can finally move without washing our jeans after every use because they acquired a baggy look in one day’s wear. We can finally obtain a casual, everyday look without forfeiting fashion. Trending in most denim products is the staple recipe for expense: 98% cotton and 2% lycra. Flashberg

asks his clients why they are paying so much for the same product that is mass produced. What is so special that you must pay extra for the same jeans that are sold nearly everywhere? When Flashberg decided to leave the textile industry, he embarked on a journey to enlighten women to a smarter way of casual attire. The Flashbergs’ main drive is to produce a true premium denim, seeking to bring a new reality to the denim world. Their four-way stretch textile enables women to feel sexier, slimmer, and better about their fashion expenses, as Flashberg explains, “Shouldn’t the fabric actually be the deciding factor in a premium jean? That’s where the real difference is.” By addressing this problem, women can begin to rethink denim purchases based on the label, and begin to think about denim in terms of fabric and making a difference in their appearance. Not only does this jean seek to relieve women of their baggy blues, Marc Allison Jeans wants to do so in a show-stopping way. By making sure their jeans are fashionable, they climb even higher in the denim culture. What Marc Allison Jeans stands for is premium denim while looking realistically fashionable. Flashberg breaks down the process of washes in his denim, “We wanted the jean to look naturally worn, which is why sanding and other forms of abrasion came to be. A white butt and white thighs looks contrived.” This blunt statement has gone through every woman’s mind while trying on department store brands, but we never could pinpoint what seemed so unappealing about those jeans. This breakdown of fashionable denim makes sense for the customers. The reality-based vision of their denim washes makes their brand fit into daily life in a realistic and wearable way. Their business acumen matches their perfect jeans, as the Flashbergs endeavor to create the best premium denim without being cost-prohibitive to their customers. Marc Allison Jeans pursues denim fashions with gusto towards the customer’s desires with the faith that their clients will be pleased with the results, proving their superior product and building their business. They choose to bypass retailers more often than not because, as Flashberg tells us, “The cost of wooing the retailers was killing us. We do trunk shows throughout the country. We have

women who are entrepreneurial, and looking to increase their extra income.” This direct marketing and business take proves that Marc Allison Jeans serves their customers, both in fit and attitude. The brand’s sole purpose is to provide a jean fit that makes women feel great. In doing so, Marc Allison Jeans has built a strong legion of customers who share the magic found in the coveted X-fit technology in their denim to new audiences all over the country. Marc Allison Jeans is the modern woman’s dreamcome-true. Flashberg leaves us with this telling speech, “Fashion inspires me, but what motivates me is showing a woman she can have fashion and comfort in a jean.” Life is on-going, and while some trends are attractive to our fantasies, the reality of our lives brings us to need wearable fashions. Marc Allison Jeans has brought our casual day’s saggy sorrows to a halt with an introduction to a new version of everyday dress, one where fashion and comfort perform for women the way they always wanted. 96



Heart,Soul and Bones Inspirare designer Alejandra DeCoss gives her all to fashion. Photographed by Leah Watanabe Wardrobe by: Alejandra DeCoss Model: Annie with Exalt Model and Talent Agency Photog Asst: Benjamin Lovett Makeup: Jessa Reanin Hair: Kaitlyn Vitug

Bracelet, JCrew; Earrings, Jewelmint; Ring, Jewelmint; Zipfel Heels, ALDO



Necklace, Stella; Booties, Steve Madden






Earings, JCrew; Shoes, Aldo




Necklace, earrings & bracelet JCrew; Shoes, Aldo


celebrity corner

Secretly, Happily Chewing Gum The Countess LuAnn de Lesseps Photographed by Paula Bartosiewicz Written by Adrienne Glenn

Kindness is one of the main pillars of good manners. If you start with that simple theory, your elegance will supersede you… that is exactly the case with the Coutness LuAnn de Lesseps. A woman of obvious kindness, she handles life with a certain elegance that few can master. With each challenge and change, this “housewife” lives, experiences and continually learns. While she is lucky enough to spend her days in obvious wealth, she doesn’t lose site of reality and focus. Currently in the works with a new fashion line, filming the next season of the Real Housewives of New York City and keeping close with her family, she still graciously found the time to invite us into her showroom and took a moment and share some her innermost thoughts in an exclusive interview with Inspirare…


According to your bio you grew up in Connecticut, how did your childhood years shape you for what you have become today? I enjoyed growing up in a big family, I’m one of seven and ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to have a family of my own. My parents by their example instilled in all of us how important it is to work hard and be kind to others. I still love the outdoors and playing sports with my kids and I’m grateful that when they need first aid, I have the know-how to help them because I am a nurse.

I was modeling to move to Europe was one of the bravest decisions I’d ever made as a young woman and finding success with my modeling and acting on Italian television, then meeting and marrying my husband (the Count) set me on the path I’m on today. Living in a new culture, especially my time in Europe, guided my education and expanded my horizons. What knowledge did you take away from that experience? The greatest lesson I learned from moving to Europe was that if you take chances and believe in yourself, anything can happen. Success is not guaranteed but you will never succeed if you don’t try. I guess that’s why I agreed to be on the Real Housewives of New York City…I’m always up for new adventures!

What drove you to become a nurse? Early on I was exposed to nursing through my job at a local rest home and once I got to know the residents and their stories, I was inspired to pursue a career where I could have an impact on their lives. From these wise elders, I learned that being interested is what makes you interesting and that life-long learning and making new friends Secondly, how dramatically did your life change can keep you young. after the first season of RHofNYC? My life didn’t dramatically change after the first How did your life change once you began season of the RHofNYC except that I would modeling and living in Europe? occasionally be recognized on the streets of NYC, One of my motivating principles in life is to take which was (and still is) a lot of fun and I got to chances without fear. Leaving New York City where write my book “Class with the Countess”.


Now going into the 6th season, do you continue to learn something about yourself through each season? I’m always learning something new about myself! We’ve gotten to travel to some really interesting places on the show and I think that travel is a great way to expand your understanding of yourself and others. Some people are good travelers and others are not. I love to learn new languages, see new things, and try new foods. I’ve learned through the seasons that there is always room for improvement.

What is your favorite rule to break when no one is looking? Happily chewing gum.

I too, find manners and etiquette one of the most important things when it comes to social interaction. If you could pick only one rule, what do you think the most important is? Being considerate of others is at the heart of elegance and grace.

What has becoming a celebrity taught you? Becoming a celebrity has taught me that sometimes what I’d like to remain private and what will remain private are two different stories. Celebrity has brought me into contact with so many wonderful people. I love that I can be traveling here or abroad

What has life taught you about love and relationships? You have to be open to love and you have to be an active participant in all your relationships so that means setting priorities and being organized. Living life to the fullest is only possible when take care of yourself and those you love. I still have a great relationship with my ex-husband.


and fans will come and introduce themselves and Where can we purchase your clothing line? tell how they enjoy watching the show. We are currently in talks with major retailers. Tvvell us about your new fashion line. What does FASHION mean to you? I’m developing a ready-to-wear line that’s chic, Fashion to me means self-expression and putting fun and affordable. your best foot forward. Do you have a favorite piece in the collection? My favorite piece is my signature dress that you can travel in, go to the office in and then wear to a cocktail party. It doesn’t wrinkle and can be worn day or night. How involved were you in the design process? I’m very hands-on in every aspect of my collection. What is your favorite fabric? Ponte stretch fabric.

In your personal closet, do you have a favorite piece? If so, tell us about it? My signature dress of course! It’s my go-to piece for most every occasion. Television, music, books, stage, house wares, fashion… a Jane of all Trades, what is next?! I’d love to have my own show. Tell our readers one thing that we can’t Google about The Countess LuAnn de Lesseps… I love shopping at TJ Maxx for bargains! For more information visit


CONTACT Adrienne Glenn, Executive Editor Jillian Garcia, Sales Executive Paola Soto, Design Director Pearl Michaelson, Beauty Editor 350 Townsend St, Suite 220 San Francisco, CA 94107 415.666.2002









Profile for Inspirare Magazine

Inspirare Magazine - Issue 005  

Cozy up with Inspirare this Fall season for all the greatest fashion finds!

Inspirare Magazine - Issue 005  

Cozy up with Inspirare this Fall season for all the greatest fashion finds!

Profile for inspirare