A ‘FashionBeautyPurpose’ Event By Studio15

Fashion, women empowerment, humanitarian work and social conscience. They are all things that speak straight to my heart. So does wine, but that’s a whole other story.

Recently I had the pleasure of attending a fashion event here in Calgary put on by an fashion forward online boutique shop based out of New York called Studio 15. The event was held at 80th & Ivory on trendy 17th avenue.

A chic location to showcase some very chic fashion, and yes, in case you were wondering, there was wine there too. Clearly, I had to indulge in a vino. Twist my little wine loving arm why don’t you?!

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I love the fun, chic and classy feel of every piece. They are all so versatile and can be worn on an everyday bases, whether you are looking to glam it up, or even just keep it tame – these outfits can suit any occasion. Studio15 has plenty must have pieces for every fashionista that will make sure you are dressed to kill no matter what the occasion.

The FashionBeautyPurpose event was so well put together, and had lots of fun little perks added to it.

There wasn’t solely fashion to be appreciated at the event, you could also see the lovely Kristen to get some Rodan & Fields products, specified to your skin type to get a radiant glow on. Chic fashion and glowing skin obviously compliment each other.

When I learned that the philosophy of Studio 15 was to not only create high quality fashion that is affordable to women from all walks of life, but also to give back by donating a portion of every sale to help fund women entrepreneurs in Uganda in starting their own business – my attention was instantly perked.

Collaborating with Kleos Microfinancing Group, Studio 15 has built a strong endeavor of philanthropy in fashion.

Upon meeting Jia Wertz ,the owner and founder of Studio 15, I was enamored and beyond impressed by her fashion, vision, character, and all that she stands for.

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Born in Africa, and growing up in Calgary, now based in New York, she has some very incredible history and experiences.

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Jia has had a life long love affair with fashion beginning about as soon as she could put one foot in front of the other. She is not only a designer, but a fashion writer and photographer, whom spent 16 very successful years having a career in corporate fashion for well known brands such as Aldo and Bebe.

After an inspiring trip to Gulu, Uganda, along side Kleos where she volunteered in helping local women develop sustainable businesses, Jia decided it was time to break away and begin her own venture, then seeing her vision come to fruition with Studio 15. She loves giving back, just as much as she loves fashion, and her soul wanted to combine the two passions.

Africa has been a large part of my life, I have spend almost 2.5 incredible years of my life in Africa. The first time visiting I completed over a year solo trip from South Africa to Egypt on local buses, and spending a couple of those months in Uganda, I also returned to Africa a second time for another year, it is an extremely special place to me. Africa changed my life forever. So the fact that we shared this, and the love of philanthropy, ignited my fire inside.

Not only did I love this little event, I loved even more learning about Jia, and what Studio15 stands for. Feeling beautiful in my apparel, and sharing the gift of success with other women whom wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity – is a winning combination if you ask me.

As Studio15 would say, ‘Giving back is always in style’.

Nature Inspired Fashion By Jean-Michel

Fashion, art, travel, nature, and scarves, are some of the most cherished things in my life. So clearly I was overjoyed when I had the pleasure of meeting Jean-Michel Gires, whom shares those cherished passions, and has combined them all to create some stunning wearable art in the form of scarves, leggings and fans.

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With an absolutely incredible life story of his own, not only was I enamored by that, I felt instantly connected with his creations.

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I love the classy packaging!

Originally from France, Jean-Michel graced Calgary with his presence for an executive position in the Oil & Gas industry. After a few years, he decided he felt too tied down, and was craving his freedom once again.

Us travelers love our freedom, what can I say?!

With his extensive travel history, having visited 102 countries to date, and 15 years practicing digital photography under his belt, Jean-Michel has extraordinary photos of natural settings around the globe that he has impressively exhibited over 20 times in various countries such as France, Venezuela, Bolivia and China.

Jean-Michel decided it was time to find a way to share all the beauty he has captured in a capacity that not only just shares it, but brings its beauty to a whole other level. This is where his silk scarves, leggings, and fans came into play.

Initially when he began brainstorming, trying to find avenues where he can pull his passions together and expose his work, he thought perhaps to transfer his photos onto curtains, cushions, and table clothes – however, it was not quite creating that spark inside of him at that moment that he was looking for.

Jean-Michel decided that he wanted to showcase his photography using women as his canvas. What more beautiful canvas could you imagine really? After a year of trial and error, the vision he was looking for finally came into full fruition, and so began ByJeanMichel.

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His idea was to enhance women’s natural beauty with a wearable form of art, with vibrant colors, printed on only the best quality materials, and accessible to all. Jean-Michel was not only looking to enhance women’s beauty, but he wanted to see the women wearing his fashion, feeling absolutely stunning inside and out.

His long time fascination with impressionist art is where he gets his inspiration for his photos. He has taken his photos from Canada’s Lake Louise, Javanese Volcanoes, Paris Boulogne France, and the White Dessert in Egypt(just to name a few), and has turned them into dazzling motifs for his apparel.

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Not only do I love scarves myself, I love that each and every scarf and motif has a story behind it. They are beautiful to look at, feel beautiful to touch, and look beautiful on. I love that when I am wearing them my fashion piece is telling a story. Leave it to the French to continually create the most amazing fashion. For me and my favorite French designers, there is Chanel, and now ByJeanMichel.

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Here I am pictured wearing the Segovia scarf made of silk crinkle. The picture for the striking motif was taken from a creek in the historical town of Segovia, Spain. It’s the eloquent patterns of the trees and leaves that create the motif. I chose this one to begin with for the fact that Spain is my other home, I have spent the better of the last 5 years living in Mallorca, Spain, so it spoke straight to my heart. Not to mention, I absolutely love the colors! Talk about feeling beautiful and chic.

With these times in Calgary being grim in the Oil & Gas industry, Jean-Michel wants to inspire people, and show them that there is life after Oil & Gas.

From corporate world executive to fashion designer, Jean-Michel breaks the barriers, and goes to show that with some ingenuity and passion, anything is possible.

Having only launched in November 2015 here in Calgary, and with many retail opportunities opening up, this is just the beginning for Jean Michel’s brand. I know I will be showing off his pieces every chance I get. Don’t you just love feeling beautiful?