All Posts By Megan Portorreal

Allison King Talks Her Roles in ‘Thank You for Your Service’ and ’12 Strong’

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After acting in several recent highly acclaimed films like Baby Driver and Midnight Special and appearing in many hit television shows over the years, Allison King’s talent has not gone unnoticed. Now, she can be seen playing Linda Sanders in the film Thank You for Your Service and soon as Marcha Spencer in 12 Strong, alongside Michael Shannon. Here, we chat with King about her most fulfilling roles and what we can expect from her next.

 

Cliché: You’ve been in films like Baby Driver and Midnight Special, as well as several hit television shows. What was your most impressionable moment and what did you learn from it?
Allison King: I think my most impressionable moment as an actor was walking on to the set of Midnight Special. I was so nervous and really wasn’t sure what to expect from Adam Driver, who I only knew from Girls at the time, and Jeff Nichols, who I was such a fan of. I just didn’t know what to expect from these two, who I looked up to artistically. Of course, they were about as lovely as can be and incredibly generous and kind. And so, during filming, I learned a big lesson, which is that every single person on a set is lucky to be there and should feel a great sense of gratitude and should work to set a tone of diligence and creativity. They work hard and long hours, all in the name of creating something meaningful and memorable. So, now, when I walk on to a set, I make sure to check my fear and allow myself to remember it’s a big band of creative people who just want to do good work.

You’ve worked with some of Hollywood’s biggest names. Have any of them taught you anything you’ll never forget?
Yeah, of course! I’ll speak generally here and this is hard to articulate, so bear with me: I never realized how powerful a lead actor is in the filming process in setting the overall tone of a set. Now, I’m a believer that film is a director’s medium and working on a film is essentially stepping into the mind of the director. But, a lead actor is the center of the project and it’s almost like you’re in their home when you’re on set. Imagine they’re hosting a party and you’re invited. The way they behave affects every other person on that set and how engaged and enthusiastic people are about that project long after shooting is wrapped. It’s my feeling that the lead actors we admire have an innate sense of this and set a tone that’s generous and creative and invites every single person on that set to their party. I can’t really overstate this. It’s like the special sauce. It has the power to make a good project great.

You play Linda Sanders in Thank You for Your Service. Can you tell us a little about your character? What drew you to this role?
I’d read The Good Soldiers by David Finkle and been moved by these people he followed and sketched so beautifully. What excited me about this project was that it was about the unseen side of war. In movies, we tend to focus on the battle and glory of it all, rather than the inherent cost of putting your life at risk and the cost on the families back home. It’s a harder story to tell and I found Jason Hall’s script incredibly powerful in its simplicity and humanness. I was deeply moved by it and just wanted any little thing to do with it.

Did you get a chance to work with Miles Teller and Amy Schumer, who have leading roles in Thank You for Your Service?
I really only worked with Beulah Koale, who is wonderful in this movie. He pulls off an incredibly complex role of someone battling inner demons that he never gets the opportunity to verbalize because he physically cannot. He pulls off the emotional center of this movie beautifully and in a way a lot of soldiers will identify with. I think this is the power of movie-making. When people get to see themselves and their struggles reflected in a positive way, a real conversation can be had and real healing can begin.

What do you hope viewers take away from the film? Does the film have a special meaning for you?
It does. I hope that we begin to see that mental health is physical health, that telling people to toughen up, man up, or shake it off just doesn’t cut it. I hope families can see themselves in this film and begin real conversations around getting better and getting help. Not just soldiers, but anyone who’s struggled with PTSD, depression, or any sort of mental health issue. There is help available to everyone.

You also have a role in the upcoming film 12 Strong, starring Chris Hemsworth, Michael Pena, and Michael Shannon. Can you give us some insight into your character?
12 Strong is based on a non-fiction book called Horse Soldiers, which follows a group of special forces into Taliban controlled territory just after September 11. I play the wife of one of the soldiers, sending her husband, played by Michael Shannon, off to an unknown place doing unknown things. Family is never told where special forces are going to protect them. It was challenging to get back into the mindset of post-September 11. It was such a scary time.

What was it like working with Michael Shannon in 12 Strong?
Our scene is very emotional and he gave me a lot of space and was incredibly generous. He’s one of the people I was talking about earlier. He’s a theater guy and understands the ensemble work ethic and sets a lovely, diligent, and creative tone for the set. I loved every minute of working with him. Fingers crossed I get another opportunity.

You are also a passionate philanthropist. Can you tell us about the some of the organizations you support and why they are important to you?
My husband and I always Adopt-a-Family instead of exchanging gifts for Christmas. We really enjoy the feeling of being Scrooge after the ghosts visit him, shopping and wrapping gifts for our community instead of just for each other. We find it really connects us to the true meaning of the holiday and keeps us away from the consumerism this holiday has come to mean. And, this sounds very Martha Stewart, but I also usually clean out our linen closet and coat closet and we donate our old linens and blankets to local animal shelters and coats to Goodwill. Everyone needs a little extra warmth this time of year. We keep it local in our community!

Read more Celebrity Interviews on ClicheMag.com

BY MEGAN PORTORREAL

Allison King Talks Her Roles in ‘Thank You for Your Service’ and ’12 Strong’: Photographer: Birdie Thompson, MUA: Anton Khachaturian, Hair: Matilde Campos

K-Syran and Her Love for All Genres of Music

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Norwegian pop singer/songwriter K-Syran cannot recall a life without music. She grew up with parents who loved music and filled her home with melodies every single day. Ever since, she has pursued music (and acting) as her career and has no plans of stopping anytime soon. Here, we chat with the artist about what it was like growing up surrounded by music, her creative process, and advice for other artists.

 

Cliché: Tell us about your life in Norway.  What was it like growing up?
K-Syran: My childhood was filled with music. I grew up constantly following my dad around the house. He’s a professional musician and plays every instrument under the sun, so I was brought up on a diet of music and melody from birth. My mum is a beautiful ex-Balmain model who sang her heart out like a bird to dad’s music. I quickly learned that music fills a home with so much warmth and happiness. I feel extremely blessed to have been nurtured within an environment like that.

Norway is a wonderful place for a child to grow up. I would sometimes ski to school (cross country). I would do ice skating nearly every evening. In the summer, I would have five boys ringing on my door to go bicycling. At school, I was not the type of girl who hung out, smoked, and played cool. I would play football with the boys; I think I was quite a tomboy, really.

How did you first get started in music?
At 7, I started playing piano, and my first memory is the piano teacher falling asleep. It was hilarious and I would keep playing very softly not to wake her up. I believe that’s why I have a very soft emotional touch to the piano. I would later reduce my teachers to emotional tears when I played a beautiful song. My last piano teacher tried desperately to persuade me to go the musical way and start the music academy in Norway at the age of 15, but I had other plans. I was going to be an actress.

You have a strong family history of music influence. How did that shape your progression and passion for music?
I believe it opened up my love for every type of music. My mother loves opera, so I grew up listening to opera at full volume on the speakers in the living room or in the car. I sing opera myself because of that.

My dad loves jazz, country, pop, and rock. I loved playing banjo with him and singing country songs. Listening to different genres of music at that young age opens you up to enjoy every type of music and if you have that open-mindedness to music, I believe it will influence you to be open-minded in every path of life. Music can only have a positive influence in my eyes.

Listening to different genres of music at that young age opens you up to enjoy every type of music.

What would be your dream venue in which to perform?
Every venue I have performed in has been amazing in its own way. I did love the Roundhouse in London though because the sound was so amazing. It was the same in Venice; I sang opera in one of their ballrooms and I honestly felt like I sang to the heavens. The sound just carried on and on.

Can you explain your motivation for the “Temptation” music video?
Because I’m an actress, I have worked with so many talented people, and one of those is British director Tracey Adam, who has her own film company Lex Filmed Entertainment. She loved the song and wanted to make this music video. I think she has done a fab job! I’m very pleased. She has managed to capture the sensuality and keep it classy.

Do you have a process you follow when creating songs?  Do you start with lyrics first or do you create the musical track first?
It varies. Sometimes I will go into the studio and improvise a melody and the lyrics will just pour out of me with the melody. Other times, I have the lyrics and a melody will magically come out because of them. I must say writing music has given me the biggest pleasure of all and I do hope one day I can get to that place where other artists hear my songs and would love to sing them. That would really be dream come true.

How would you describe your style?
My style is very unique. I will never dress like everyone else. This is a great influence given to me by my Balmain model mum. From an early age, I would go up to the loft and pick out all these beautiful designer clothes she had and dress up. At school, I would wear her old beautiful leather coats and boots and, as you can imagine conservative West Oslo with everyone dressing the same, I would be named the punk, which I was proud of. I never wanted to look the same as everyone and honestly never could with my wild curly hair, so better just to embrace being different.

Tell us something about you that most people don’t know.
I love tennis. I’m extremely competitive and won quite a few competitions both in tennis and skiing. I’m an extremely bad loser! On my honeymoon, my husband beat me three times in backgammon. I started crying and the evening was ruined. I think I shocked him then and we have never actually played since. [Laughs]

If you could give advice to younger musicians that want to get started in this business, what would it be?
Surround yourself with good people. There are so many sharks in this profession. With my label, Intimacy Records, I hope to be able to help other artists. I feel so blessed to have found five beautiful women on my team. One can never achieve anything by oneself; it’s all about teamwork! Also, persistence is crucial. You have to keep believing and dreaming.

Read more Music Interviews on ClicheMag.com

BY MEGAN PORTORREAL

K-Syran and Her Love for All Genres of Music: Photographer: Quavondo, Hair and Makeup: Ieva Radina 

STEWART/STAND: The Beauty of Stainless Steel

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Stainless steel watches are staples in the fashion industry, but have you ever seen any stainless steel wallets? Probably not. Cue STEWART/STAND, the innovative brand that is redefining how you think about textiles in the fashion industry. Their vegan stainless steel wallet collection is sophisticated and stylish, and their Diego Rivera collection is also filled with personality and beauty. Over the years, they’ve been featured in O Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Men’s Journal, and more, so if you haven’t heard of them yet, now you will. Here, we chat with the designers about why they chose stainless steel to work with, their Diego Rivera collection, and the future of the brand, and let me tell you: the future looks grand.

 

Cliché: What made you interested in working with stainless steel for your collection?
STEWART/STAND: Simply put, we were drawn in by the effect light had on the fabric. We have always been drawn to sustainable and eco-friendly materials; it’s part of our design theory.

We found a stainless steel fabric when we were touring a factory in Italy to produce our first product, a patented cufflink design my brother-in-law drafted for the groomsmen in his wedding. Walking around, we noticed a shimmery, sparkling effect coming from the back of the factory. As the fabric was being woven, hundreds of strands of stainless steel thread were being whipped back and forth on an industrial loom. As light hit each strand, reflections were sent in every direction, creating a mesmerizing light show. The material was being woven for use in architectural applications and for luxury Italian car engines.

We decided the material was so beautiful it should be repurposed for everyday use; we just had to find the right application, something people carry with them every day. We sought out a factory that could make the weave we wanted with the right alloy that was appropriate for handling. The idea of a vegan accessory that was beautiful and strong was so enticing to us. The fabric is as smooth as silk and shimmers in the light. I couldn’t think of anything else I would want in an accessory. Working with a structural textile was so enticing. The material could be molded and hold a form, a blank canvas for endless geometric and natural patterns.

With every bend we made in the fabric, light would be increasingly reflected, creating an incredible effect as light poured over the beveled surface. The idea of playing with light and shadow to obtain a pattern was just thrilling. Back in the USA as we were finalizing our patent application, we were pleasantly surprised that a similar material was on display at an exhibit at The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York. This material had been used in space suits to protect astronauts from meteorites while they were spacewalking. The exhibit was named “Extreme Textiles.” The lightweight nature of this material paired with its strength and flexibility lends itself to incredible modern applications, especially in architecture. To be frank, the material still blows my mind to this day. I am inspired by it continuously.

 

What inspired you to create vegan, cruelty-free products? Do you wish more brands did?
Cruelty-free products…to us, this goes further than just the materials that go into a product. We sense a tremendous responsibility to leave this earth a healthier place than we have left it and to treat the craftspeople who make products with respect. Respect for our environment and the people who live in it are what inspire us to create responsible design. Over the years, I have been pleased to see a rise in makers who consider these things and I hope this trend continues. We have worked with the same team of talented tailors for the past 10+ years. The specialized material means hiring a team full time and employing them year round. To retain the well-trained staff, we need to ensure a comfortable work environment, and more. Our material is made from 85% post-consumer recycled stainless steel and each wallet is 100% recyclable. The stainless steel fabric is vegan, of course, and our top-selling styles are vegan. Paul Stewart-Stand is often quoted as saying, “The last thing the world needed was another leather wallet,” which is our main selling point. There is so much room in accessories design for alternative materials that are vegan. We are one of the few options out there and I expect this category to grow. There are so many celebrities who are demanding vegan design and luckily ours is a luxury look which easily fits into evening attire for events, especially with our women’s designs.

What was the inspiration behind the stainless steel collection? What was your design process?
We draw most of our inspiration from architecture. These monuments play with shadow and light on a grand scale, one that I can walk around in. They use reflective materials and voids for illumination and to provide interior light. Louis Kahn is our primary source of inspiration, Frank Ghery, and most recently Zaha Hadid has been fun to explore as well. I pull patterns from shadows and geometric formations from these buildings, create texture blocks and use a 20-ton press to impress the texture into each piece of fabric that is used in our wallets. I also pull textures from traditional fashion patterns; men’s herringbone and women’s quilted textiles are a perfect fit for showing off the reflective nature of our steel textile. For construction, I create most design models from paper and then reverse engineer the pattern. It takes a lot of consideration deciding where the steel can be applied to the model since it can permanently crease when bent at an angle that is less than 20 degrees. The greatest challenge was finding materials to pair with the steel. We sought out upholstery textiles for their durability and strength knowing that they would withstand any friction with the stainless steel fabric best. There was a year’s worth of research finding the right thread that could contain the strength of the stainless steel fabric.

 

Your So Cal Coast collection was inspired by southern California. Which piece from the collection is your favorite?
The clutch wallet in periwinkle blue + yellow from the So-Cal Coast Collection has to be my favorite; which I think is the same for most women. Driving along the coast, you are presented with a vast blue sky. Every day it’s a similar shade of relentless blue. Between the sky and the water’s edge, there is a marine layer that settles over the horizon. As the sun sets, an electric yellow blends with the blue and creates an incredible effect; they are almost stacked one on top of the other, with this silvery haze between the two. The clutch wallet was inspired by that effect that occurs every day. It’s a recognizable moment for anyone who lives in that part of the world. For me, it’s yet another reminder to be kind to this planet. We are both a spectator of this remarkable place as well as its custodian. Coming up next is a handbag made from this same periwinkle blue, with a similar composition. I think it will be the go-to for 2018.

Tell us a little about your collection featuring artwork by Diego Rivera. How did that collaboration begin?
Collaboration is key, especially in a company that works with unconventional materials. There is a learning curve to every project we approach. I do my best to create a collaborative atmosphere in the studio. I had a wall taken down in our new office, opening the studio to a high traffic area. The result was fantastic. Making the studio so accessible allowed people to wander over, creating opportunities to brainstorm, obtain feedback, and watch people interact with our design as it developed. STEWART/STAND has worked closely with museums and galleries since our company’s inception. We are very lucky to have a PR Firm that encourages these opportunities. We get excited about collaborations that we dream up in meetings with RAW, and because of the relationships Paul has built through the years, we are lucky to see these projects materialize.

We cropped Diego’s work to feature its details as a graphic pattern to tell a color story as well as feature the work as a whole. Recognizing his focal point in such an unusually large mural, we were able to highlight these elements individually as well. We paired the artwork with cool grey tones to emphasize the industrial aspects of the story he told. The largest item, a beautiful tote bag for women, is the star of the collaboration. At the debut event, the museum lobby was filled with women carrying the tote bag. It’s a beautiful neutral item that is an everyday essential. The men’s wallets feature the same archival ink prints that either envelop the entire exterior with a touch of Diego’s artwork inside, or a subtle exterior application of the DIA logo with an all-over display of a mural that spans across the card pockets and up onto the money welt. Working with the DIA was a fun experience. I think people are surprised how receptive we are to collaboration and how open we are to learning about their needs as a client and partner. Our company is always open to collaboration. I am not shy about continuing to get the word out.

 

Why did you choose Diego Rivera’s work for your collection?
The Diego Rivera project for the Detroit Institute of the Arts (DIA) was so compelling. The piece is a source of tremendous local pride.  When we launched the collection at one of their member’s events, people kept coming over telling stories about relatives who worked at Ford’s Rouge Plant. The DIA was looking to feature this signature installation and we were lucky to have this artwork chosen for us. Diego’s art tells the story of each individual who pulled the levers and stoked the fire at the Ford Factory. His depiction is beautiful and the strength of the factory men are as crucial to the end product as the great machines that they are commanding. Diego celebrated the people behind the production of the automobile, industry, agriculture, innovation as well as the history of indigenous people.  It’s important not to lose the connection to the past, as the world rapidly accelerates. I think this is a very relevant topic today as people in America are concerned about being replaced in a future of automated factories.

With these types of collaborations, we seek to bring focus to local content. From a technical standpoint, we were able to achieve many of the details in the art, translated into the accessory.  Standing inside the DIA’s Rivera Courtyard, we were struck by the innumerable stories depicted by the murals.  Having the opportunity to translate several of these stories into an accessory, carried by people every day, is a source of particular pride for our company as well.

Do you have a particular person or consumer in mind while designing new collections?
Every product we make is a request by a customer, to the extent that we have never designed a product that does not have a customer in mind. The new collections for women were designed due to a need for larger women’s accessories. For years, women have been asking us to make our wallets larger so they can fit their lipgloss or compact or keys inside. It’s a compliment that our wallets are so aesthetically pleasing that women want to show them off. We took note of what our customers were looking for and reformatted the composition to fit the proportions. We were so pleased with the result and the insiders who have had a sneak peak were as well. It felt like such a great success. Our customers range from young fashionistas to the established style icon. I think this question overlaps with our previous answer about collaboration. You might be able to say that our collections are collaborations with our customers?

What can we look forward to next from STEWART/STAND in the new year?
We are rolling out larger women’s accessories in every collection and freshening up the collections with new textures. There are over a dozen new handbags that should be rolling out, each in multiple colorways and a diversity of materials—all still featuring our stainless steel textile, of course. The versatility of our design is something we are pushing to new limits, adding chain straps that can adjust from short/shoulder or satchel length and extending long enough that they can be worn across the body below the hip. We’ve added special features to the interior to keep the chain from roaming around. Our men’s collection will of course expand once again. The demand for well-designed men’s accessories is incredible. The new year is full of exciting new designs for men and women and we are anticipating and prepared for a very busy workflow.

Learn more and browse the collections at http://www.stewartstand.com.

Read more Fashion articles on ClicheMag.com

BY MEGAN PORTORREAL

STEWART/STAND: The Beauty of Stainless Steel: Images courtesy of STEWART/STAND

Beauty Brand to Watch: Ayr Skin Care

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Like many success stories, Ayr Skin Care (pronounced “air”) was first created after many years of struggles. Ever since the founder, Kirsten Thomas, was a child, she had a difficult time finding products that didn’t irritate her sensitive skin. From laundry detergents with added perfumes to facial washes with harmful ingredients, everything seemed to wreak havoc on her skin, and so her quest to find non-toxic, unscented products began. However, she quickly realized how tough that mission was going to be.

 

While the terms “organic” and “hypoallergenic” are commonplace today in the beauty and skincare industry, they weren’t always. In fact, Thomas had to look far and wide for products that were deemed “natural”—and even then, they didn’t help. When she finally spoke to her friends and family about her struggles, she realized she wasn’t alone.

“I always thought that I was alone in my skincare problems, but it turned out that almost every other person that I talked with had someone in their family with similar challenges,” Thomas said. Desperate to help herself and others who faced the same struggles, Thomas decided it was time for her to roll up her sleeves, do some research, and make the products she needed herself. That’s when Ayr Skin Care was born.

According to the company’s website, their ultimate goal is “to provide handcrafted products carefully prepared in small batches and made from natural and organic products of the highest quality.” After trying the products ourselves, we can see they mean every word of that.

“Our philosophy is that you’ll not only feel the difference that a luxurious product imparts, you’ll need less of it to experience vibrant and visible results,” reads the website. “We call it ‘the ultimate in affordable luxury.’”

“Affordable luxury” is correct. From a Revitalizing Eye Serum that fights wrinkles and stimulates collagen production to a Moisturizing Hand Cream that soothes dry skin and promotes stress relief, Ayr Skin Care provides several high-quality products that go the extra mile for a great price. Our favorite product, however, is the Reveal Exfoliating Foam Facial Wash with Alpha Hydroxy Acids.

The Reveal cleanser has a list of impressive benefits for all skin types. Not only does it moisturize your skin while gently cleaning out your pores, but it also gets rid of toxins, fights signs of aging, and promotes cellular regeneration. Perhaps its most important benefit is that the formula is gentle but effective, especially for those with sensitive skin. Many people with sensitive skin cannot use exfoliating products that contain alpha hydroxy acids because they are often harsh and do more harm than good. However, the Reveal cleanser uses AHAs obtained from fruit extracts as well as other ingredients that contain soothing properties. This harmonious balance is why the Reveal cleanser is different from many exfoliators currently on the market and is a dream come true for those with sensitive skin.

The Reveal cleanser also has a fresh citrus scent and gives you that spa-like feeling you desire when using a skincare product. Since this product foams into a lather instead of using harsh bead exfoliators, it won’t irritate or dry out your skin. Even after the first use, you will notice smoother (thank you, humectant-rich honey) and brighter (thank you, goji berries) skin.

“We’re making the products everyone wants, but can never find,” says Thomas. And now, we’re so lucky we found them. Visit ayrskincare.com for more information.

Read more Beauty news on ClicheMag.com

BY MEGAN PORTORREAL

Beauty Brand to Watch: Ayr Skin Care: Images courtesy of Ayr Skin Care

The Sweaters That Will Keep You Cozy and Cute This Winter

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Whether you are a fan of cold weather or not, it’s safe to say most people love the appeal of getting cozy. That means fuzzy socks, a hot drink, a big plush blanket, and best of all, a warm, oversized sweater. However, that doesn’t mean you necessarily have to sacrifice cute for comfort. You can look cute while you’re relaxing, too. Whether you’re snuggled up in bed watching Netflix on a snowy day or having some friends over to just relax, here are some of the sweaters that will keep you cozy and cute this winter.

 

Tobi is one of those brands that has everything you need in your wardrobe. From sexy, trendy dresses perfect for a party to oversized sweaters perfect for relaxing, they’ve got you covered for any occasion whatsoever. Their Give Love Sweater Dress in “Wine” is the perfect combination of sexy and cozy. Show a little skin with shoulder cut-outs and keep toasty with that ribbed turtleneck and long sleeves. It’s a win/win.

It’s time to show off those pearly whites–knits, that is. This white Oversized Fisherman Sweater from Forever21 is perfect layered over a dress or tucked into a pair of pants. The cable knit screams “winter wonderland” and the draped shoulders and long sleeves makes for a flattering silhouette.

The classic jacquard look isn’t going anywhere this season, and Zara has even incorporated sequins into the mix. Their Sequinned Oversized Jacquard Sweater is perfect for holiday activities or a cozy night by the fire–but do so in the company of others. The sequin appliqués and ribbed trims deserve to be seen by all.

Looking for something cute but perfect for a cuddle session in bed? Tobi has your back again with their aptly-named Just for Comfort Sweater Dress in Taupe. It also comes in Black if you’re feeling chic or Red if you’re feeling festive, so the choice is yours! Pair it with fuzzy or over-the-knee socks for maximum comfort and let the relaxing begin.

Read more Fashion articles on ClicheMag.com

BY MEGAN PORTORREAL

Featured image courtesy of Tobi

HEIRLOOM Bags Founders Discuss Their Latest Collection

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When designers Tiffany Wu and Lynn Lu created HEIRLOOM, they had a trendy world traveler in mind. Combining fashion with function, HEIRLOOM was born and has garnered great acclaim since its inception. Here, we chat with Tiffany Wu about the inspiration behind their latest collection and how their lifestyle is reflected in their work.

 

Cliché: You started HEIRLOOM Bags because you could never find the perfect bag for your traveling lifestyle. Is it safe to say you design your bags with your own personal style in mind?
Tiffany Wu: We definitely design our bags with a personal touch. We believe that putting yourself as the user when designing is extremely important because functionality plays such an importance in our daily lives and we want our customers to feel connected to our products and make them feel comfortable. For example, we add a hidden card slot at the bottom of our bags for key cards or subway cards, allowing women to swipe through effortlessly, saving time and staying organized. Our passport holders have slim card slots and multiple currency holders, designed for the world traveler. HEIRLOOM is something that is close to the heart, and a woman’s handbag holds her everyday necessities and knows her the best. We design not only for fashion and style but having functional details embedded within the bag are our core values. We believe in beauty on the inside and out.

You created a capsule collection for laptop bags back in 2014 for Apple. What was that experience like? Would you consider creating another laptop bag collection in the future?
We were honored to work with such an innovative company like Apple and work closely with their retail/product team. They believed in our quality and attention to detail, offering products for women that have a demanding lifestyle. The capsule collection was an extension of our main line, created to hold the 13” MacBook with a designated iPad slot and earphone pouch, but can convert into an oversized clutch for a night out. Unlike most “tech” bags, our collection was chic and modern and can be used for other function.
How has your heritage and lifestyle played a role in your company message and your designs?
As parachute kids and work, we did our fair share of international traveling. This inspired us to design for women like us with demanding work schedules and busy lives without sacrificing on aesthetic. HEIRLOOM’s designs are vogue, enduring, versatile, and fun. We design for modern, independent women like ourselves that seek quality and design without sacrificing on practicality.

 

Your Twin collection received the 2016 10th Annual Independent Handbag Design Award for Best Overall Design & Style. What inspired this collection and why do you think it resonated with so many people?
This collection was actually the first line ever created for our brand. Not only is it named Twin collection for the fact that Lynn is a younger twin, but it also encompasses the core essence of our brand: functional designs that are also unique, sophisticated, and well-crafted. The collection was a product of our blended lives after spending many years living in both U.S and Asia. Our Asian culture influenced our designing of a more proper and structured bag, while our American influence reminded us of the “practical spirit” that every bag must also have. We’ve included in most of our bags functional features such as a dog-clip leather strap for keys, multiple interior slip/zip pockets, and a designated metro card pocket for easy-swipe access. The end product is not only a bag with purpose but also a bag that you can delicately hold as an evening top handle or wear as a cool, chic crossbody bag during the day. I think that’s why people love the bag; it can be your go-to bag for so many different occasions.

Your Spring/Summer 2018 collection is called “Memphis Movement.” What inspired this collection?
The Memphis Movement was an impactful design movement in the ‘80s, a generation where we grew up in, drawing inspiration from art deco and pop art. We used a lot of geometric shapes and pops of color, moving away from the minimalism and monotone color palette, which we have incorporated into our SS18 collection with the use of leather layering, exaggerated mirrored hardware, and geometric shapes. We wanted our products to be visually impactful and fresh, and to stand out from what exists in the market.

Our Asian culture influenced our designing of a more proper and structured bag, while our American influence reminded us of the “practical spirit” that every bag must also have.

Which bag from the Spring/Summer 2018 collection is your favorite and why?
I love our Memphis Shoulder bag from SS18. It’s really HEIRLOOM’s take on the classic flap shoulder bag. We’ve made it a bit “cooler” with wider side gussets, a wide handle strap with nice buckle detailing, and a generous hardware piece in the middle for a bit of pop. We loved it so much, we designed several versions of the bag, with our signature emboss, mixed trim leathers, and (our favorite) the Spiked version.

Which other collection of yours would you recommend for new buyers?
In addition to our signature Twin collection, we would highly recommend the Veronica collection. It’s a classic flap bag with unconventional detailing. Inspired by a jewelry designer friend, we incorporated exotic and luxurious materials on the bag, mixing delicate python with durable cowhide with front zipper detailing and quilting that is feminine and wearable. On the interior, multiple compartments and zipper pockets were designed to keep personal items well organized and divided; a design detail is rarely used in classic flap bags. We added double chain straps that not only can be converted into three different looks but also gives movement and flow when carried.

You also sell a range of accessories on your site, including sunglasses, key charms, and pouches. How does the design process for these accessories differ from the design process of your handbag collections, if at all?
When it comes to designing our accessory line, we need to be much more focused and really hone in on what our key design elements are for each season, whether it was color combinations, special trims/leathers, or emboss patterns, and make it work on something much smaller and compact than a regular bag.  For example, the size of our signature emboss pattern had to be reworked a few times to make sure it was something that looked good on both handbags and small leather goods. But one thing we always keep in mind when we design anything for our line is that it has to be both functional and fashionable.

What are you working on next?
We are working on our Fall/Winter 2018 collection now. It’s still a work in progress, but we are getting really excited about it.  You’ll not only see a slight evolution in our signature Twin collection but also some exciting new shapes and some beautiful, rich colorways for the fall season as well.

Read more Fashion news on ClicheMag.com

BY MEGAN PORTORREAL

HEIRLOOM Bags Founders Discuss Their Latest Collection: Photographs courtesy of HEIRLOOM

Ed Letter: Dec 2017/Jan 2018

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When I think back on 2017, I think about sitting in front of the TV on January 20, watching Donald Trump get sworn into office. It was the beginning of something I wasn’t ready for, but it was happening regardless, right in front of my eyes, and there was nothing I could do about it. Although troubling news reports would follow nearly every week for the rest of the year, I tried to remain positive, as there were plenty of other things going on in the world that were wonderful, too. Looking back, 2017 gave me so many things, people, and experiences to be thankful for. While this issue covers so many delightful things, especially the accomplishments of our two influential cover girls, The Magicians’ Summer Bishil and social media superstar/fashion designer Liane V, here are some things that personally made my year special.

 

Year of Games
2017 was, without a doubt, one hell of a year for video games. Beginning with the Nintendo Switch launch in early March (yes, I waited in line for hours on my birthday to get the console and it was worth it), many brilliant games followed on various platforms. Tales of Berseria (released in January), The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Persona 5, Splatoon 2, and even Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp on mobile are responsible for keeping my sanity in check this year.

Backstage, Baby
Going backstage at Naeem Khan’s Bridal Fashion Show in April was such a treat, as was getting a closer look at the gorgeous gowns and meeting the Make Up Pro team.

Bring on the Music
There were several albums that I listened to on repeat this year: Lana Del Rey’s Lust For Life, Lorde’s Melodrama, The National’s Sleep Well Beast, and Coldplay’s Kaleidoscope EP. Harry Styles also gets an honorable mention for surprising me.

We’re All Sad Here
There was one book this year that stole my heart and then broke it: Sad Girls by Lang Leav. Already a world-renowned and Tumblr-favorite poet, her first novel is sure to be the first of many.

megsignature

Megan Portorreal
EDITOR IN CHIEF

Now I want to hear from YOU! Got questions or comments about the new issue? Send me an e-mail at megan@clichemag.com or tweet me @meganportorreal for the fastest response! I am also on PinterestInstagram, and Tumblr.

Click here to read the Dec 2017/Jan 2018 issue

Read more letters from the Editor in Chief on ClicheMag.com

BY MEGAN PORTORREAL

Ed Letter: Dec 2017/Jan 2018 originally appeared in Cliché Magazine’s Dec 2017/Jan 2018 Issue

The Best Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals to Take Advantage Of

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Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it is officially the Christmas season, and you know what that means: holiday shopping! Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are in full swing, but you don’t need to head to the crowded malls to score the best savings; you can do so from the comfort of your cozy home! From Tobi offering up to 70% off on end of the season styles to our partner RealHer having a buy one, get one free sale, here are some of the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals you’ll want to take advantage of immediately.

 

TOBI

  • Friday, 11/24 – Saturday, 11/25: Take up to 70% off TOBI’s end of season styles
  • Friday, 11/24 – Sunday, 11/26: Black Friday blackout – take 60% off all-black styles listed at http://www.tobi.com/sale/black-friday-sale
  • Friday, 11/24 – Wednesday, 11/29: TOBI’s hosting an extended sale – enjoy 50% off sitewide at TOBI
  • Saturday, 11/25: Get winter-ready with 60% off select TOBI holiday dresses
  • Monday, 11/27 – Wednesday, 11/29: Snag 60% off TOBI‘s new arrivals
  • Monday, 11/27 – Wednesday, 11/29Indulge in 50% off sitewide at TOBI
  • Monday, 11/27 – Wednesday, 11/29: Grab some stocking stuffers with 50% off TOBI‘s holiday gift shop

PETITE STUDIO

  • Tuesday, 11/21 – Monday, 11/27: 25% off for orders over $450 and 20% off for orders below $450

REALHER

  • Wednesday, 11/22 – Saturday, 11/25: 25% off sitewide.
  • Sunday, 11/26 – Tuesday, 11/28: Get One, Give One sale. (Buy one, get one free) on products of equal or lesser value.

ZOYA NAIL POLISH

  • Friday, 11/24: 50% off ANY order, plus Free Shipping with code FRIYAY

MARULA

  • Tuesday, 11/22 – Wednesday, 11/29: Get 25% off ALL purchases on Marula.com with code Thanks17. Purchases over $100 (after discount) will receive a limited—edition Marula Cosmetic Bag*, valued at $15! Free shipping over $50 (after discount is taken out) applies.

JURLIQUE

  • Friday, 11/24 – Sunday, 11/26:  Get 30% off Sitewide purchase with code FRIYAY
  • Monday, 11/27 – Monday, 12/4:  Save $10 off $50 + free shipping & Save $40 off $100 + free gift (40ml RHC) with code FRIYAY

FLAWLESS BY GABRIELLE UNION

  • Tuesday, 11/22 – Monday, 11/27: 50% off + free compact mirror with purchase while supplies last at FlawlessHair.com

LA ROCHE-POSAY

  • Friday, 11/24: 30% off all orders
  • Saturday, 11/25 – Friday, 12/1: 30% off all orders + 4 deluxe samples on orders $75 or more, PLUS a makeup bag with orders $75+ on Cyber Monday 11/27 only

SHU UEMURA

  • Tuesday, 11/22 – Saturday, 11/2520% off on any order over $50 and 25% off any order over $100 with code SHUBF
  • Monday, 11/27 – Tuesday, 11/28Lightning offers with different flash sales that change every 24 hours

Read more Beauty and Fashion news on ClicheMag.com

BY MEGAN PORTORREAL

The Best Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals to Take Advantage Of: Featured image courtesy of Tobi

Dessert Recipes Perfect for Thanksgiving Dinner

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Thanksgiving is all about two things: good company and delicious food. The holiday is so beloved because it’s a time to get together with the people you love in life and celebrate with traditional cooking (and ok, some people also say it’s a great time to get together and watch football). However, perhaps the only thing we love more than Thanksgiving dinner and family games is the dessert. Whether you are cooking yourself this year or want to recommend a dish to your host (“Please, mom!”), here are some tasty dessert recipes perfect for Thanksgiving dinner and the rest of the holiday season that we found on Delish.com.

 

Pumpkin Pie S’mores
This child-friendly Pumpkin Pie S’mores recipe is both tasty and fun to make, no campfire required (unless you absolutely can’t resist).

Apple Crisp Cookie Cups
Here’s another child-friendly take on classic apple pie: Apple Crisp Cookie Cups! Since the ingredients include rolled oats, it’s kind of healthy, right?

Sweet Potato Pie
Serving sweet potato pie on Thanksgiving is a tradition in my family, and this marshmallow-topped recipe is one you can’t ignore.

Caramel Apple Cake
Forget your basic apple pie; this caramel apple cake is a new twist on an old favorite.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
For all the candy lovers out there, this one is for you. Get your cheesecake and Reese’s peanut butter cup fix in one delicious dessert.

Pumpkin Cannoli
Instead of your traditional pumpkin pie, why not mix it up? These pumpkin cannolis are perfect finger foods that are delicious to boot.

Caramel Apple Crescents
This quick and easy dessert is just as tasty as it looks. Treat yourself to these flaky caramel apple crescents and top them off with a small scoop of vanilla bean ice cream!

Which Thanksgiving desserts are a tradition in your family? Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

Read more Holiday blogs on ClicheMag.com

BY MEGAN PORTORREAL

Images courtesy of Delish

Our Favorite Celebrity Halloween Costumes of 2017

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If there’s anything we love more than dressing up for Halloween, it’s seeing who or what our favorite celebrities dress up as. For Halloween this year, we’ve seen our favorite celebrities dress up as their favorite icons (Karlie Kloss as Marilyn Monroe), movie characters (Jessica Alba as Juno), and supervillains (Rita Ora as Poison Ivy). It’s also the perfect time to dress up as your favorite Stranger Things character, complete with a box of Eggo waffles (we’re looking at you, Wells Adams), since Season 2 was recently released on Netflix. Whether you’re dressing up this year or staying in, you won’t want to miss some of our favorite celebrity Halloween costumes.

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#juno #happyhalloween @kellysawyer and I 👫

A post shared by Jessica Alba (@jessicaalba) on

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#strangerthings have happened #happyhalloween

A post shared by Sarah Hyland (@sarahhyland) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/BaukbT2hela/

https://www.instagram.com/p/Ba0gxw9lhI7/

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My 🍯was 🔥last night ❤️ #maximhalloween

A post shared by Peta Murgatroyd (@petamurgatroyd) on

Whose costume was your favorite this year? What did you dress up as? Let us know in the comments below!

Read more Celebrity News on ClicheMag.com

BY MEGAN PORTORREAL

Our Favorite Celebrity Halloween Costumes of 2017: featured image courtesy of Karlie Kloss/Instagram

The New Heated Styling Products You Need to Try

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Now that summer’s over and cooler weather is upon us, it’s safe to again experiment with sleek, voluminous hair and big, bouncy curls without the fear of frizz caused by humidity. While heated styling tools may cause damage your hair, the right tools and the right products can help keep the damage at bay. Here are some tools that keep your hair looking shiny, healthy, and fabulous after each use.

FoxyBae’s Rose Gold Trés Sleek Flat Iron, $179
If sleek, super-straight hair is what you crave, then Foxybae’s Rose Gold Trés Sleek Flat Iron is perfect for you. This multi-purpose rose gold flat iron isn’t just a beauty to look at. It is also plated with titanium, which heats evenly, helps keep frizz away, and gives your hair a beautiful shine. The 360-swivel cord makes it comfortable to use, and the auto shut-off feature gives us peace of mind in case we forget to turn it off in the hurry. (Come on, we’ve all been there before!)

Revlon’s 360° Dual Fast Dry Hair Dryer and Styler, $59
If you’ve ever shopped for a hair tool that works well and doesn’t put a dent in your wallet, chances are you’ve come across Revlon. Their innovative, new 360° hair dryer is creating quite the buzz among hair enthusiasts for many reasons: it makes blow-drying your hair vertically easier and can also be used as a traditional blow-dryer. While I wouldn’t recommend this product for anyone with thick or curly hair (it would just take too long to do your entire head), it does help you achieve a shiny blow-out since the 360° air jets surround and target each hair section.

FoxyBae’s Rose Gold 7 In 1 Curling Wand, $289
Do you want all kinds of different curls but don’t want to buy half a dozen different wands? Then allow us to introduce you to FoxyBae’s Rose Gold 7 In 1 Curling Wand. The brand’s signature rose gold titanium barrels return in this ultimate collection of curling wands. Easily swap between its seven interchangeable barrels to achieve endless styling options based on your mood or occasion, and use the digital temperature dial to control just how hot you are willing to go.

Which styling products are you loving lately? Let us know in the comments below!

Read more Beauty news on ClicheMag.com

BY MEGAN PORTORREAL

The New Heated Styling Products You Need to Try: Featured image courtesy of Revlon

5 Must-Have Pieces from Petite Studio’s Fall Collection

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With fall comes warm colors, lightweight layering pieces, and statement coats, and Petite Studio is channeling all of those things with their Fall 2017 Collection. From carefully tailored mustard-colored tops to plaid blazers, there’s something for every petite girl to add to her wardrobe this fall.

Marigold Top, $119
Petite Studio’s Margiold Top makes you rethink how you feel about the color yellow. This mustard-colored top is lightweight, flattering, and perfect for layering. Pair it with a high-waisted skirt and you’re set.

Alice Dress, $129
Every girl needs a lightweight shirtdress for fall and this one is perfect for so many occasions. With a nod to fall’s staple belted trench coats, you’ll want to wear this dress as often as possible.

Esmeralda Top, $125
Who says never wear white after Labor Day? This off-the-shoulder top is the perfect transition from summer to fall and the ties on the cuffs make this even more sophisticated.

Jane Blazer, $229
Get full-on #Girlboss vibes with this polyester and wool blazer. This piece looks professional with a matching mini skirt or business casual with a pair of blue jeans and boots.

Fleur Trench Coat, $249
Petite Studio is taking the timeless trench coat up a notch by selling it in this dusty rose shade. The faux suede material and big buttons also give this an ultra-feminine edge.

Read more Fashion blogs on ClicheMag.com

BY MEGAN PORTORREAL

5 Must-Have Pieces from Petite Studio’s Fall Collection: Photographs courtesy of Petite Studio