TheFind Guest Post: Mother’s Day Inspiration Travel Bag Giveaway

Tell us about a Mom who inspires you!

Vera Bradley was founded by two life-long friends while on vacation in 1982. The savvy women wanted feminine looking luggage and soon founded the company named after and inspired by Barbara's mother, Veronica Bradley born August 9, 1909. Vera Bradley was a Model, Mother, Hostess and Friend and even worked in Florida as a sales represenative until her passing in the early 1990's. Today Vera Bradley headquarters are based in Fort Wayne Indiana with retail locations across the nation and many new fabric designs introduced season. This giveaway is inspired by mothers every where in celebration of Mother's Day. Enter for a chance to win this fabulous prize for the special mom in your life!

To enter: Leave a comment at TheFind Blog telling us about a mom that inspires you and why you want to win the Vera Bradley Travel Bag in Black!

The Vera Bradley Travel Bag in Black, valued at $165, is a stylish and practical piece to add to update your summer travel essentials. This microfiber tote makes the perfect overnight bag that has room for everything you need. There are even large pockets designed to carry your favorite summer sandals! The satchel bowler shape is roomy yet sleek for a sophisticated jet-setter look. It even comes with a matching slim shoulder strap.

The contest begins Monday April 26, 2010 and ends Sunday May 9, 2010 11:59 p.m. PST. A winner will be chosen via The winner will need to reply to our email within 24 hours after notification of winning. If there is no response an alternate winner will be chosen.

An exclusive coupon code for Vera Bradley Fans from TheFind Coupons here.

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.


Fans of Uniqlo's +J collection, rejoice: Jil Sander has renewed her contract with Uniqlo [subscription required]! The notoriously detail-oriented German minimalist is so pleased with how her first two collections for the fast-fashion chain have turned out, she will continue to work with Uniqlo indefinitely. With her confidence in the future of fashion at a price, it just goes to show how visionary she remains. In related news, Uniqlo is taking over the old Brooks Brothers store at 666 5th Avenue, and the store, which probably won't open until next year, will be more than double the size of the original location. So, in the meantime, don't forget--the Costello Tagliapietra collection hits the Soho store May 20.

Isabel Toledo's shoes and bags for Payless
won't hit stores until September, but Nitrolicious has sketches from the upcoming collection, which will include 7 shoes and two bags. Whimsical, no?

Speaking of shoes, Refinery 29 has photos of a Pierre Hardy for Gap fall design; the lace-up boots are reportedly from Gap's main line, but the gray peep-toe booties are Hardy's. All I have to say is: WANT! No details on price or when they hit stores, but as soon as I know anything, I will of course share it. In the meantime, Hardy's spring collection is due in stores next week (May 4th, to be exact). This time, I'm not waiting for my friends & family coupon--those nude wedges must be mine.

And, I totally forgot to mention this last week; bridal is not an area I typically cover, but this is pretty major: Vera Wang is designing a line for David's Bridal [subscription required}. Vera is obviously one of the best-known names in the bridal biz, and David's is, well, a place to go for a relatively inexpensive gown. Wang's dresses can easily run into the five figures, but her line for David's will retail between $600 and $1500, with most of the 20 dresses under $1200. The jury is out on whether this will impact Wang's high-end business; while I would venture that most people who shop a designer's namesake collection don't necessarily shop their masstige collaborations, a wedding dress is something you wear for one day only, and when it comes down to spending $10,000 versus $1,000 for two very similar dresses, I personally would go with the cheaper option. But that might just be me--after all, there's a multi-billion-dollar industry built around giving women their Perfect Day*. Regardless, this is likely to make a lot of brides, who otherwise couldn't afford Vera Wang, quite happy. The line hits David's Bridal stores next spring.

*I haven't yet acknowledged this here, but while I'm on the topic of weddings, I guess this is a good time to note that MW and I are engaged! I hadn't planned on blogging about my wedding, but if anyone is interested, I can talk about dress shopping and the like here. (Several people have asked me if I'm going to start a bridal blog, to which I just laugh.) If you have any opinions on the matter, leave them in the comments below!

Cheryl Shops Spring Shopping Guide: Platform Clogs

In spite of Lily Allen rising out of the floor to perform "Not Fair," Freja Beha and Lara Stone rolling around in the hay, and the overall country bumpkin look, the most memorable part of Karl Lagerfeld's spring 2010 show for Chanel was actually the footwear. While the classic interlocking Chanel C's have adorned everything from ballet flats to moon boots, never before had they decorated clogs. Well, until now. Clogs have always been divisive shoes--some look at them as comfortable and classic while others view them as the provenance of highly unfashionable hippies or the orthopedically challenged--but I have always been a fan, and thus I couldn't wait to get my feet into a pair, now that, at least in some circles, they're socially acceptable again. And it should be noted: In spite of the height of all the styles I'm featuring, clogs are quite comfortable and provide good arch support (although not, as my doctor pointed out, good shock absorption).

Miu Miu's cat prints have been getting lots of attention this spring, but I like their dove prints even better (then again, I am not a cat person). These satin clogs are the kind of quirky accessory that really makes your outfit, and both the fabric and the gold studs make them a little more stylish and fancy than your average clog.

In comparison to the average clog, these Elizabeth and James Greta pumps are downright sleek, with their tapered heel and woven design. Design tweaks aside, these do qualify as clogs and are thus a great option for those concerned about the frumpy factor.

Another designer who does great themes-and-variations on the clog is Rachel Comey, who's known for her indie-librarian aesthetic. These Badger ankle-wrap clogs are not such a strict interpretation of the trend, yet they have a pleasingly clunky sole that's guaranteed to look great strolling down 5th Avenue (that's in Park Slope, not Manhattan).

Another rather loose interpretation of the trend is Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent's Tamara clogs, which look a little Native American–goes-downtown. Personally, I would find these more difficult to wear than more literal clogs, but these are fun, and isn't that what fashion is really all about?

A little more basic is this studded clog from Stuart Weitzman, a reliable resource for well-made, trend-conscious, but not-too-crazy shoes. The peep toe makes them a bit more springy, and the scallop detailing adds a little interest.

Of course, if you're a traditionalist, you could go straight to the source, and that is Swedish Hasbeens. I know several ladies (yes, all Brooklyn residents) who swear by these--they are both incredibly sturdy and, in their own way, chic. This is their most basic style, with enough of a heel to give your legs a little shape (although it's not nearly as high as the other mega-platform styles I'm showing here).

If neither real wood nor real leather matters that much to you, bargains can be had, such as this $29 platform clog from Newport News. I would worry about the foot-sweat factor with this pair, but if you're not sure the clog trend is for you, this is an inexpensive way to try it out.

In suede with a wooden sole and stud details, Steven by Steve Madden's Barc clog is a chic option at a reasonable price. The dusty shade of the suede is a bit more stylish than the typical tan or brown color.

The style I ended up ordering--and the closest to the look of Chanel's clogs, in my opinion--is Jeffrey Campbell's Charli Clogs. The strap can be worn across the instep or in back of the heel, and in spite of the 5-inch heel, these are really quite comfortable (thanks to a nearly 2-inch platform). I got yelled at by my doctor (again, the lack of proper shock absorption), but wearing them makes my feet quite happy.

The week in shopping

Belle shoes and boots are $95-$195 and regular Sigerson Morrison shoes are $150-$295, plus bags for $400 or less at this promising-sounding warehouse sale. 4/28-4/30; 10:30-7 W, 8-7:30 Th, 8-8:30 F; Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

If you love Swedish denim and contemporary clothing, find current-season Acne, Filippa K, and Nudie Jeans for 50%-75% off. 4/27–4/29; 11-8; 269 Elizabeth St. (Houston & Prince Sts.).

Aeffe's legendary sample sale has current-season Alberta Ferretti, Moschino, Gaultier, and more for 60%-75% off. 428-5/1; 10-6, 11-5 Sa; 30 W. 56th St. (5th & 6th Aves.).

Treat yourself to a Judith Leiber minaudiere for 30% off. 4/28-4/30; 10-6; 680 Madison (at 61st St.).

John Hardy's precious jewelry is up to 60% off; limit 10 pieces per customer. 4/29; 8:30-7; 270 W. 43rd St. (7th & 8th Aves.).

Matt Bernson's coveted sandals, flats, and boots are $40 and up at this cash-only sale. 4/30-5/2; noon-7; 450 Greenwich St. (at Desbrosses St.).

Charles Chang-Lima's sportswear, suits, dresses, and gowns are up to 90% off and available in sizes 0-20. Also find his Redux and Monik lines. 4/28; 9-6; 264 W. 40th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 10th fl.

For the man in your life, Hickey Freeman and Bobby Jones are up to 80% off at Soffier Haskin. As always, leave the strollers and children under 12 at home. Credit cards only. Through 4/29; 9-6:30, 9-5 Th; 317 W. 33rd St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

For kids, Clothingline has Kule, Jacadi, and a bunch of other labels; for adults, Milly, Free People, and more. Through 4/28; 10-6; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

Save 15%-50% on floor models and discontinued items at Ligne Roset's Park Avenue location only. 4/29-5/2; 10-6, noon-5 Su; 250 Park Avenue South (at 20th St.).

Hit The Prive's sale for children's clothes from Petit Bateau, Jacadi, and more for newborns on up. Prices are 50%-75% off retail. 4/30-5/2; 10:30-7; Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave. (15th & 16th Sts.).

All tees are 50% off at Built by Wendy (also in stores) through 4/30.

Take 25% off during Vince Camuto's Friends & Family sale with code APRFF through 5/2.

Take 20% off all orders of $75 or more with code BRTAKE20 at Banana Republic through 4/27.

TheFind Guest Post: Chic Eco-Friendly Style for Earth Day

Every year the demand for eco-friendly, sustainable, fair-trade and socially conscious fashions grow. This year TheFind's editors have rounded up their favorite style-worthy picks in honor of Earth Day. Forget the hemp tunics and cork-soled clunky sandals. Today there is something for everyone who wants to glam it up while embracing the best eco-friendly and socially responsible fashion brands.

Green is the New Black

For one day only on April 22, 2010 Louis Vuitton will donate 10% of all sales on its U.S. Web site to Global Green USA. Your donation will help to support the Green Schools cause for children in New Orleans and Los Angeles. To raise awareness to this cause check out Louis Vuitton's twitter stream to hear what fashion editors André Leon Talley, Nina Garcia and Kim Hastreiter have to say about saving the environment. Featured above is Sofia Coppola's exclusive design for Slim Suede Clutch (middle right, $1,400 at LouisVuitton)

Eco-Luxe Leather

For those who are lulled by leather but want to avoid the harsh chemicals used to treat them, Donna Karan has created a gorgeous shoulder bag called "The Bandito" organic leather bag (bottom left, $1,295 at Net-a-Porter). This bag is a luxurious design with ruched panel detailing, a drawstring tie close. The leather comes from a chemical-free farm, which treats the leather using natural vegetable oils.

Earth Friendly Cardigan

From Bassike is slouchy black and white striped organic cotton cardigan (upper left, $190 at Net-a-Porter) that is sure to be a well loved essential part of any eco-maven's wardrobe. The draped front adds an interesting silhouette and buttons in the front, you'll also love the stitched detail at the back and the fact that it's machine washable!

The State of Organic Denim

Loomstate is known for their organic cotton jeans. We love the look of the Revelation Jean (upper right, $54 at Greenloop) for its low-rise slim leg styling. These jeans are made of 99% organic cotton. The other 1% is made of elastane, which helps to give a snug fit. Loomstate is a sustainable company, which uses socially conscious and environmentally responsible manufacturing practices, and organic materials when possible.

Happy Earth Day!

Buy It: Kerastase Ciment Thermique

When you are a blogger (or fashion journalist) and go to a lot of events, such as I do, you end up with a bunch of swag, and much of it is haircare products--everything from Aveda and Redken down to Tresemmé. As a result, I haven't bought shampoo or conditioner in ages. And while I am content to use up my freebies, I recently came to a revelation: I spend a near-ridiculous amount of money on my hair color and cut, so why do I use any old product? In other words, if I'm driving a Lexus, why fill it with regular gas? So last week, on my stylist's advice, I went to Gideon's Drugs (at 38th and Broadway) and bought three products, all by Kerastse: Bain Miroir shampoo, Chroma Riche masque, and Ciment Thermique, which is a heat-activated styling product. Now, my hair is very fine, but it's wavy and prone to frizz. And while I think all three products have already made an impact on the quality of my hair, I would say Ciment Thermique is really the star of the show. I've used it only three times (I wash my hair twice a week), and I already notice a drastic change in my hair. It's bouncy, shiny, and virtually frizz free; I caught my reflection in a revolving door this morning and almost didn't recognize myself. The best part is that I feel like my hair is getting stronger with every use. It's not quite as good as getting a blowout at a salon, but it's pretty darn close. And at $36, a tube is much less than a single blowout (at least at my salon), and lasts a lot longer. As for my haircare swag, I'm going to donate my current (and future) stash to the YWCA of Brooklyn, home to women who need free hair products far more than I do.


I was going to post about this last Thursday, but my Internet was down (thanks, Time Warner!), but luckily now there's even more good masstige news to share.

Last week Target hosted a Zac Posen Go International pop-up shop for slightly over 24 hours at the New Yorker hotel, and I was lucky to attend the press preview. By the time I got there at 8, the racks were already dilapidated; I managed to snag my favorite dress (the one I had blogged about earlier this month) in an XL, which was far too large. However, as is always the case, it's good to make friends with the salesgirls, because it turned out they had a bunch more in the back. So I ended up with my favorite dress, in my size. My only quibble is that it's polyester, but it's pretty nice polyester (is that an oxymoron?), and for $39.99, I suppose I can't complain too much. There's also a cute version of this dress in solid pink, a navy grommeted dress that went quickly, and a safety pin-print dress was extremely popular. The one-piece swimsuits looked pretty good to me too, however I can't wear them (I have a freakishly short torso). The Zac pop-up shop is long gone, but the collection hits stores this Sunday, April 25th.

In the meantime, Target's Cynthia Vincent and Eugenia Kim collaborations are now available on the site--in theory. All that's left of the Cynthia Vincent shoes are the strappy heel and the flat sandals (the wedges are, unfortunately, long gone). It appears that most, if not all, of the Eugenia Kim hats are still available, however.

In super-exciting news, Brooklyn-based designers (whom I saw walking down Clinton Street Sunday afternoon) Costello Tagliapietra are designing a line for Uniqlo! The lumberjack-ish duo are known for their gorgeously draped dresses, and they set out to create a work-friendly collection, which will retail for a very nice $29-$39, so you can buy two or three or everything in the line, which I am contemplating. The dresses hit Uniqlo May 20th. Looks like I'll be, ahem, late to work that day.

Finally, if you can't wait till May (or till this weekend), here's a masstige collection you can shop right now: Richard Chai and Jeremy Scott have teamed up with Alternative Apparel to create knits exclusively for Refinery 29. Prices are a big higher than your usual masstige collaboration, but tops like the one pictured are a luxe modal/silk blend and thus a step above the average. The line will be available only for a month, so shop now or forever hold your peace.

TheFind Guest Post: The Ultimate Little Black Dress – Summer Style

I wish I could buy this dress for every woman I know. It really has every single must-have element on the Little Black Dress list. It's comfortable, sophisticated, easy to walk in, feminine... and given that it's a cotton poplin, it's breatheable and absolutely perfect for summer. The Nantucket dress from Shabby Apple contours with princess seams and touts a wide flouncy skirt accessorized with two scrunch pockets. The v-neck and collar add a nice crisp finish to this versatile dress which is made of cotton poplin with spandex to allow for comfort and movement.

The price is a steal for $86 considering you can wear it both day and night. Given the classic wrap silhouette and quality of this dress, it's certainly worth every penny. The perfect little black dress should be seen as an investment, and with such a feminine, classic style, you'll be able to wear this dress for many seasons to come.

Pair it with shiny patent leather peep toe pumps like these Christian Louboutin Hyper Prive Peep-Toe Pumps for day or strappy sandals like these Miu Miu Patent-leather slingback sandals for evening.

Save on your purchases at Shabby Apple from's coupon site

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops

The week in shopping

Score Kooba bags at deep discounts. 4/20–4/23; 10-8 (closed 2-3); 141 W. 36th St. (Broadway & 7th Ave.), 10th fl.

Inhabit's modern minimalist-chic sweaters are chiefly under $100 (cotton cardigans and linen tunics are $50) at their must-see sample sale. 4/21–4/22; 10-6; 1441 Broadway (40th & 41st Sts.), 24th fl.

Frette linens--sheets, robes, tablecloths, and more--are up to 80% off. 4/25–4/29; 1-5 Su, 10-6 M-Th; 4 W. 58th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), 9th fl.

Slane & Slane's precious and semiprecious jewelry is 40%-50% off; freshwater pearl necklaces are $165. 4/20-4/21; 2-8 T, 10-8 W; 40 W. 25th St. (6th Ave. & Broadway).

This weekend is the Manhattan Vintage Show, featuring 90 top vintage dealers and the top-name designers who love them (I've spotted Cynthia Rowley, Anna Sui, Donna Karan, and Betsey Johnson there in the past). Admission is $20, but sign up for the VIP list and save $5. 4/23-4/24; 1-8 F, 11-6 S; Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves.).

Apart's dresses and basics are $25-$150. Through 4/22; 10-5; 253 W. 28th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 4th fl.

Terra Plana's eco-friendly shoes are 15% off for Earth Day. 4/22; 11-7; 254 Elizabeth St. (Houston & Prince Sts.).

More than 100 new bridal gowns are up to 90% off, plus find more than 300 vintage day and evening dresses at Vintage Thrift. 4/22; 5-8; 286 3rd Ave. (at 22nd St.).

Head over to the 7th floor Barneys Co-Op on Wednesday for a Trunk-A-Palooza, where you can meet the designers and shop ALC, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Rag & Bone, Shipley + Halmos, Alexander Wang, Helmut Lang, Richard Chai Love, Vena Cava, VPL, and Wayne. The fun starts at 5 p.m. on 4/21; 660 Madison Ave. (60th & 61st Sts.).

Then on Thursday, head over to Elizabeth Charles to meet designer Behnaz Sarafpour, drink champagne, shop her spring 2010 collection and/or pre-order her fall 2010 collection. Email to attend. 4/22; 5-8; 639 1/2 Hudson St. (Gansevoort & Horatio Sts.).

Design Within Reach's Tools for Living store is closing, but in the meantime, you can save up to 60% on its architectural, high-design household objects. Ongoing; 11-7, noon-6 Su; 142 Wooster St. (Houston & Prince Sts.).

Select lighting fixtures are 30% off during Artemide's Simply Beautiful event. Click here to find store locations or shop online.

Use code spring10 for 20% off anything at Le Train Bleu through 5/3.

Tuesday only: All jewelry is 40% off at Banana Republic with code BRBLING at checkout through 11:59pm ET on 4/20.

Get 15% off Bliss, Elemis and Laboratoire Remede products
at with promo code MAY10 through 4/26.

Shop Friends & Family at Lord & Taylor--take 25% off almost anything with code FRIENDS through 4/25.

It's also Friends & Family at Saks; use code FRIEND3 at checkout for 20% off now through 4/25.

Take an extra 20% off all orders at The Body Shop now through 4/25.

Gilt Groupe is having a blowout Earth Day sale, with eco-friendly goods from Edun, Dr. Hauschka, Loomstate, and more. Proceeds benefit the National Audubon Society and the Nature Conservancy. Not a member? Click here to join.

New shopping news! Girly edition

Show me a woman who doesn't like Anthropologie and I will show you a liar. Hence, everyone should be happy that the Urban Outfitters–owned chain is opening another location, this time in the Chelsea Market. In addition to the usual mix of vintage-inspired clothes and housewares, the new store will feature several exclusive lines: SOR reworked vintage dresses from Nolita's Some Odd Rubies, one-of-a-kind dresses from Lorraine Kirke (of the West Village's Geminola), and hand-painted jeans by Carol Horn. The store opens this Friday, 4/16, at 75 9th Avenue (15th & 16th Sts.).

For vintage lovers with a slightly bigger budget, Milly by Michelle Smith has launched an e-commerce shop. My favorite feature is that you can shop directly from a video of her fashion show, although you can also shop more traditionally by look, occasion, or item. Milly is always one of my favorite fashion shows because what goes down the runway is what actually ends up in stores. Case in point: this asymmetrical ruffle dress was my favorite look from last September's show. When it comes to getting straight-from-the-runway looks, there's nothing like going straight to the source.

The week in shopping

Satya is closing its home store in the West Village, but you can score items for 60% off through Tuesday. Through 4/13; 11-8; 330 Bleecker St. (at Christopher St.).

Girly-cool pieces are $25 and up at Julie Haus' sample sale. 4/13-4/16; 10-8; 39 W. 38th St. (5th & 6th Aves.), 6th fl.

Lee Angel's fashion-friendly jewelry is up to 75% off, plus look out for a $5 bin. 4/13-4/16; 5-8 Tu, 11-7 W & Th, 10-5 F; 524 Broadway (at Spring St.), 6th fl.

Rock & Republic recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which might explain why you can score their jeans, dresses, and tops for 50%-80% off. 4/16-4/18; 4-9 F, 9-7 Sa-Su; Metropolitan Pavilion, 123 W. 18th St. (6th & 7th Aves), 4th fl.

Score Betsey Johnson clothes for 75%-80% off (accessories are 50% off). 4/14–4/16; 10-10; Millennium Broadway Hotel, 145 W. 44th St. (6th Ave. & Broadway), 6th fl.

Spend Tax Day at Olive & Bette's one-day sale, where you can put your tax return toward up to 75% savings on Vince, Tibi, Ali Ro, and other contemporary designers. 4/15; 8-7; 384 Bleecker St. (at Perry St.).

Elie Tahari clothes and accessories for men and women are a nice 70%-80% off. 4/13-4/17; 8:30-7:30, 10-5 Sat.; 510 5th Ave. (at 43rd St.).

All merch at the Bulgari sale--accessories and perfume--is now 70%-80% off. Credit cards only; leave strollers and children under 12 at home. Through 4/14; 9-6:30; 317 W. 33rd St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

French Connection is in a bit of financial trouble, but you can score their fashiony clothes for men & women at 50%-70% off retail. 4/14-4/18; 10-7; Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave. (15th & 16th Sts.).

One-of-a-kind hats by Selima are 50% off. 4/16-4/17; 11-7; 7 Bond St. (Broadway & Lafayette Sts.).

At the Cheap Thrills Pop-Up, find Hayden Harnett, Eskell, and other cool designers for 25-80% off. Through 4/26; noon-8 (closed Mon.); 253 Elizabeth St. (Houston & Prince Sts.), 211 Franklin St. (at Freeman St.), Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Love Brigade is hosting a multi-designer sample sale, with indie designers like Laura Dawson and Brooklyn Royalty for 40%-75% off. 4/17–4/18; noon-8; 230 Grand St. (at Bedford Ave.), Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Maxx New York handbags are on sale; get an extra 10% off when you pay cash over $100. 4/16-4/27; 10-6, 10-5 F, 11-5 Sa (closed Su); 385 5th Ave. (at 36th St.), 10th fl.

Find Loro Piana cashmere for men and women at wallet-friendly prices. Bolts of fabric available too. Credit cards only; leave strollers and children under 12 at home. 4/18-4/22; 9-6:30, 9-5 Th.; 317 W. 33rd St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

This week, Clothingline has Milly, Repetto, Free People, Lewis Cho and more. 4/13-4/15; 11-7 T & Th, 11-6 W; 261 W. 36th St. (7th & 8th Aves.), 2nd fl.

Take 15% off your purchase at Sephora with code MADNESS through 4/19.

Take 15% off regular and sale items with code BEST at Lord & Taylor through 4/18.

Take up to 70% off new styles on sale at

Use code SPR2010 for 20% off sitewide at through 4/18.

Get 20% off body products, waxing and cellulite with promo code SUN20 at through 4/18.

Shop new sale items at Free People.

Shop new contemporary markdowns at

TheFind Guest Post: Emerging Designer Spotlight - Alyssa Nicole

During our recent visit to New York in February for Fashion week and the Chicktopia 10 Social Influence Summit, TheFind caught up with emerging designer, Alyssa Nicole. Alyssa was one of the featured designers at the Chictopia Summit who treated the audience of fashion bloggers, retailers and media to a preview of her Spring 2010 collection. Alyssa's romantic whimsical designs caught our eye and we wanted to share her most recent collection with you. Read on to learn more about this youthful and talented designer.

Alyssa Nicole knew at an early age that she would persue a career as a fashion designer. She has been designing since she was 12 when she created her first line of handbags. Alyssa created her very first collection for Spring 2008 at age 16 when she primarily created custom designs and prom dresses. Alyssa's designs are available on her site

We interviewed Alyssa to find out a bit more about her most recent Spring 2010 collection and the inspiration behind it.

1. What inspired you to become a fashion designer?
Fashion design is my creative outlet. Every collection I have ever designed has a purpose or meaning behind it. When I realized that I could design a dresses from abstract concepts or emotions, I immediately became inspired to become a fashion designer.

2. What are your influences for this season's collection?
For this seasons collection my influences were Amanda Palmer and The Dresden Dolls, cupcakes, bike riding hipsters in SF, and punks.

3. Can you describe the collection for us?
My Spring 2010 collection is inspired by the evolution of my personal style. It is designed into 2 different segments. The "badass" segment is very edgy, with a punk flair to it and my "cupcake cute" segment is very romantic and sweet. The collection was inspired by two completely different concepts, but I used color to make the collection cohesive.

4. Describe the girl you are designing for.
The type of girl I imagine wearing my clothing is very outgoing and social,
fearless, open-minded, she would generally be interested many different genres of music and films, her passions would include art, vintage clothing, and classic films. I picture her having a very busy and upbeat lifestyle, like going out to lunch with girlfriends on her break from work, then going out for cocktails later that night. She has to be properly dressed for each occasion, so I try to design many different types of dresses to fit that lifestyle.

5. What do you love best about designing each collection?
The best part about designing collections is when a collection is completely finished and seeing how beautiful it all comes together after all the hard work I put into making it.

6. What is the worst thing about designing each collection?
There is nothing that I don't like about designing collections. I love every moment of it.

7. What is the one item every woman needs in the city?
One item every woman needs in the city is hand sanitizer. There are a lot of germs floating around public transportation.

8. What is the one item you can't live without?
One item I cannot live without is my cell phone, I have GPS on it. If it wasn't for having maps on my phone, I would be lost all the time.

9. Favorite shops in SF? LA? NY? or online?
My favorite shops are always Betsey Johnson, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and anywhere where I can find cute vintage clothing and hats!

10. What is in your handbag today?
Today in my handbag there is: A cell phone, keys, prescription glasses, vintage Raybans, ipod ear buds, a red pen, and black pen, hand sanitizer, lip gloss, lipsticks in 4 different shades of red, my business card holder, my wallet, receipts from Starbucks, and about 4 expired muni transfers.

Thank you to Alyssa Nicole for taking time to share her inspirations. You can see more from Alyssa Nicole at her website,!

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.

Cheryl Shops Spring Shopping Guide: Skinny Cargo Pants

While cargo pants aren't quite as ubiquitous as jeans, they're just as comfortable and almost as iconic. So considering all the reincarnations jeans have enjoyed, it's kind of amazing that until now, cargo pants have generally stuck to the same silhouette: baggy. Under the super-influential direction of Balmain's Christophe Decarnin, however, cargo pants have taken on a much skinner shape for spring, and, all of a sudden, they look incredibly fresh. Here are my favorites, from straight-from-the-runway on down.

Tory Burch has a reputation for being preppy and accessible, but I think she has a good dose of badass lurking under her Main Line exterior. Case in point: these leather cargo pants, which are stretchy and quite sexy, especially since the buttery beige color makes one look almost naked. Of course, considering the weather we've been having in NYC, you might need to save them for fall.

A bit more traditional in color and in fabric, these Blumarine cargo pants are a little less adventurous and yet still a clear move toward a skinnier silhouette.

But if you're going to splurge, why not go straight to the source? There are many Balmain cargo pants out there, from ultra-luxe leather to shredded and distressed, but I like this chain-detail pair the best. They're cut squarely through the hips, the pockets are strategically placed, and the fit is slim but not skintight, which is key.

Green cargo pants are always obvious, but a lot of this season's styles come in a nice grayish green--a new neutral if you will. That shade, combined with a slightly slouchy fit make these 7 For All Mankind Josefina pants a smart pick.

J Brand's Houlihan skinny cargo pants are already selling out left and right, and since they're the most Balmain-ish, you can see why. They're also quite sexy, with a rather snug fit and long side zippers. I'd size up if you want a slouchier fit.

These Juicy Couture cargo pants aren't reinventing the wheel, but the not-too-skinny fit is accessible, and I like that they come in fresh colors--steel gray and rich brown instead of the more typical army green.

Leave it to Victoria's Secret to come up with a red cargo pant. Color aside, these cotton poplin pants have a nicely slim-yet-slouchy fit, and if the red is a bit too much for you, they also come in a much more practical khaki.

These Heritage slim cargo pants are pretty much what you'd expect from Banana Republic--quiet and refined, in a nice linen blend. However, the details really make this pair stand out: The wide waistband is flattering, and the leg appears to be well cut. They're also on sale, which makes them even sweeter.

I ordered these slim utility pants from Martin + Osa, which is soon shutting down. They were one of the first slim pairs I came across, and the fact that the cargo pockets aren't too baggy appealed to me. I should warn you that they run a bit snug--I decided to exchange for the next size up, and I'm hoping those will have a slightly slouchier fit. If they end up not working out, I'm marching over to Banana Republic for the above pair. The navy is not very Balmain, but then again, maybe neither am I.


With all the excitement over Gaultier, Liberty, and the upcoming Zac Posen collaboration, I nearly forgot about Target's accessory collections! Cynthia Vincent has created a bunch of very cute sandals and flats for $24.99, with more tricked-out wedges and platforms going for $29.99. Like most Target shoes, these are synthetic (and animal-friendly!), but the chunky wedge sandals pictured here are very similar to those of her signature line, which retails for more than 10 times that amount. Plus, aren't the yellow pair fun? Hitting stores at the same time is a first for Target--a hat collaboration with the East Village's own Eugenia Kim. The hats are super adorable, and for $14.99-$19.99, you can afford to get more than one. I have my eye on this straw number, but there's also a great floral-print sun hat that I have a feeling will become indispensable this summer. Both collections hit Target on April 18th.

And speaking of Zac Posen, his Target collaboration doesn't arrive in stores until April 25th, but next week, Target is hosting a one-day popup at 481 8th Avenue (at 34th Street). It runs from 11 p.m. on 4/15 through 11 p.m. on 4/16; I will be at the press preview on Thursday before it opens to the public, so please follow me on Twitter if you're interested in my real-time assessment of the collection.

Also, did you know The Limited has a collaboration with designer Jodi Arnold? Neither did I. This might be related to the fact that there's no Limited store in Manhattan, or maybe The Limited doesn't quite ride the marketing machine like Target and H&M do. Either way, you can shop the collection on, and clunky browsing experience aside, there are some cute pieces, like this exotically detailed top and this cropped trench coat. I love this ruffled trench (pictured) too. Synthetic fabrics abound (this is The Limited, after all), but there are a lot of great work-friendly looks, and prices are reasonable. Let's hope for The Limited's next collaboration, they come up with an easier way to shop it.

The week in shopping

Jewelry and flatware from Buccellati, crystal and glass from Steuben, and handbags and accessories from Judith Leiber are all up to 70% off and under one roof at Soffier Haskin. 4/6-4/9; 9-6:30, 9-5 F; 317 W. 33rd St. (8th & 9th Aves.).

Colorful leather bags and accessories for men and women are 50%-70% off at Tusk; spend $200 and get an extra 5% off, or spend $300 and get an extra 10% off. Women's wallets are $40, travel bags are $100, and totes are $80. 4/9-4/17 (closed 4/11); 11-7; 242 W. 26th St. (7th & 8th Aves.).

Fancy Dempsey & Carroll stationery is on sale all this month; a 100-sheet-and-envelope set is $225 (was $325). Through 4/30; 10-6 M-W and F, 10-8 Th, 11-5 Sat (closed Sun); 1049 Lexington Ave. (at 74th St.).

At Louis Feraud's first-ever sample sale (really?), glam dresses and separates are a nice 75%-90% off. 4/6-4/10; 9-7, 11-7 Sat.; 260 5th Ave. (28th & 29th Sts.).

Sferra linens (normally found at fancy department stores) are 50%-80% off retail at this Prive sale. 4/7-4/11; 10-7, 10-6 Su.; Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave. (15th & 16th Sts.).

Take an extra 10% off sale items at Kirna Zabete's online warehouse sale with code WAREHOUSE10 through 4/7.

Get 2 free body butter minis with any purchase at with promo code 2BUTTER at checkout through 4/9.

Save up to 50% at Express, including an extra 20% off clearance items through 4/30.

Use code GAPNEW20 for 20% off all new arrivals for adults at through 4/8.

All accessories and select bamboo alpaca knits are 25% off through 4/30 at Rogan (in-store too).

Summer cotton sweaters are up to 70% off at Inhabit's Big Cotton Sale.

Coming next week...'s the return of the Cheryl Shops Spring Shopping Guide! This time I'm doing things a bit differently: Instead of dumping everything in a few weeks, I'll be rolling the guide out slowly--a item or two per week. This way I can still post about other stuff and also reflect the deliveries as they arrive in stores. Plus it will be great for those of you who need to pace yourselves when it comes to spending. So please come back next week--I've already started shopping this season, and I'm excited to share my picks with you.

TheFind Guest Post: Garden Party Worthy Floral Dresses for Spring

It's hard resist the trend for floral prints this spring. With the buzz around the Liberty of London for Target collection and Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland film, fashion is a bloom with floral styles. Just this past weekend I attended a lovely Alice in Wonderland themed tea party in the hills of Marin. The party was hosted for children but the parents had a fabulous time as well - devouring scones topped with Devonshire cream, madeline cookies and a samovar filled with the most delicious chai tea you can imagine! For the tea party, I picked up a couple of Liberty of London dresses for my daughter and myself and so I am on trend for florals this spring! Here are my picks for the most fabulous floral styles to set your wardrobe all a bloom this spring.

Go for florals prints that look modern, not matronly. Choose dresses with a modern silhouette in smaller floral patterns or larger abstract florals. A mix of two or three floral prints on a dress adds a unique twist. A feminine version of a pool-side worthy caftan is the Liberty of London Draped-Sleeve Caftan (upper left, at Neiman Marcus $330.00). Anna Sui is a master at combining florals for her signature boho chic look. Sui's Printed silk dress (upper right, at Net-a-Porter $475 ) touts a floral print silk with bow tied high neckline and drapey peplums at the waist. Stella McCartney's luxe ruffled wisteria print Strapless Ruffled Dress (lower right, at Bergdorf Goodman $1965). This ultra feminine a-line style has an empire waist, strapless neckline and ruffled hem. Floral accessories should be used with restraint with a maximum of one or two per outfit. How about this lovely handmade Multi-floral Lili clutch---Liberty of London cotton Medium clutch (bottom left - top, $69 at BagatellesAndCo's Etsy shop)? I love the pretty colors on this cheerful floral clutch handmade in England by the designer and lined with corn yellow satin lining. Dolce & Gabbana's Floral Print Patent Leather Sandal features narrow patent leather straps and is waterproof (bottom left - middle, at Nordstrom $495). Perfect for unexpected April rain showers! Kenneth Jay Lane's multi-colored enamel and metal flower bracelet is embellished with glass pearls, blue beads and multicolored diamanté and has a push-lock clasp to fasten on your wrist.

Save on your purchases at Nordstrom from's coupon site

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.


Target has gone collaboration-crazy this spring, with great collections from Jean Paul Gaultier and Liberty of London already on the shelves, plus we have Eugenia Kim, Cynthia Vincent, and now Zac Posen to look forward. I'll have more info on Eugenia Kim and Cynthia Vincent next week, but in the meantime, The Cut has photos and prices of the Zac Posen line, and I must say, it looks pretty good. (Then again, I say that a lot about Target.) The higher-than-usual prices also lead me to believe that it's not all 100% polyester (my biggest criticism, as you know, of the Target lines). There are some sexy-looking one-piece swimsuits, great party dresses, and some sharp tuxedos and jackets too. This is my favorite dress; at $39.99, my fingers are crossed that it's cotton. The collection hits stores April 25 and will be around for approximately a month (or while supplies last).

Lucky reports that cool-girl contemporary line Kova & T is creating a line called KNT for Urban Outfitters. I tend to forget about Urban Outfitters' collaborations, but they have a lot of cool ones, from Geren Ford and Lyell to Steven Alan and Corpus. KNT is a little more feminine than Kova & T, but it still retains that downtowny vibe that's sure to enthrall the twentysomethings who shop at Urban Outfitters. And like most items there, the line retails for under $100. Look for it in stores in May.