Deux Mains Designs: Creating Sandals From Repurposed Tires

 

On Tabarre road, hidden by the boisterous and hectic day-to-day activities of the airport, lies a local shoe manufacturer called “deux mains designs“.  At the atelier artisans craft beautiful handmade sandals and accessories from repurposed tires and local genuine leather.

Yes, you read right, repurposed tires! After hearing about this atelier, I was intrigued by how they use car tires to create those beautiful sandals and tote bags I saw online.  So I contacted deux mains’ VP and part Shareholder Sarah Sandsted. Sarah was more than happy to give me a tour of the workshop.

 
After the 2010 devastating earthquake, CEO and founder Julie Colombino came to Haiti on a complete leap of faith as a disaster response volunteer. In August, 2010, she founded REBUILD globally in an effort to seek alternative methods to traditional forms of charity, and employed four women to hand-make sandals from tires. Over the last five years, through expert guidance, product development and mentorship, REBUILD globally provided the start-up capital and training necessary to develop deux mains designs, an ethical fashion company, registered as a société anonyme in Haiti.

“deux mains” is a small footwear workshop in Port-au-Prince with about 20 employees and craftsmen that work together to create beautiful accessories with materials sourced in Haiti. “deux mains” started off with creating one simple sandal design. Now the atelier have expanded their creations to other accessories such as tote bags, clutches, earrings, passport holders to name a few.

The evolution of Deux Mains sandals

Over the years, the atelier invested in the research and development, and in the designs and aesthetics of sandals, wanting to create more appealing and wearable sandals. What were once plain and staple flip-flops are now sandals designed by Kenneth Cole and supermodel Heide Lindgren.

“Bèl Nanm” sandals designer by Heide Lingrend meaning “beautiful soul”

The Kenneth Cole “Love Haiti” for him sandals

While visiting the workshop, I had the privilege to meet and talk to a few employees. I was amazed at how passionate they are about what they do (some are even part shareholders in the company!) deux mains sandals are so beautifully crafted that you wouldn’t even think they are made with used car tires (believe me the fact that they are, makes them even more appealing!) I couldn’t help but wonder however, how I had never heard or seen them before. Sarah informed me that most of their sales are international and explained to me the difficulty she has penetrating the Haitian market. Surely such incredible work of art should be recognized locally as well. Therefore, I invite you to visit their atelier in Tabarre and check out their website deuxmains.com.

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Below are some employees’ testimonies:

Born and raised in upstate New York, Sarah Sandsted came to Haiti at age 19 to help her mom, a horticulturist, as a French language interpreter. After falling in Love with Haiti, she moved in 2008, as an English teacher in Les Cayes before leaving again to come back after the earthquake in 2011, and finally becoming part of deux mains designs in 2013.

“I believe really strongly that the fashion industry has the power to end poverty worldwide. The ethical fashion initiative is stepping up and challenging traditional fashion industry to make sure they are compensating people appropriately and using ethical practices. 20 families' lives have changed here at deux mains and our vision is to employ millions of people one day.” Sarah, VP.

 

“I used to have my own little cosmetics business before the earthquake. January 12th happened and I lost all of my hard work. Months later I met with Julie, founder of deux mains who employed me and I have been working with her ever since. This job means and represents everything to me. Over the years I bought a land, built my own home for my children and I, and now I am a part shareholder in the company. I love everything about this job and everything I do, my sandals are beautiful and I’m proud of being part of deux mains.” – Jolina.

 

"I’ve been at deux mains for 4 months. I intend to make the sandals even more beautiful than they are and help Haiti move forward. The pèpè business has been like bumps in the road for us but we are here to break the pèpè business.” Alexandre, cobbler.

 

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Poze Brand’s 4th Collection

Based in Miami, but inspired by Haitian culture, Poze brand is a Haitian street wear brand for both men and women. The word “Poze” meaning “chill” or “relaxed” in Creole, is heard in most conversations between Haitians. The brand, founded in 2014 by Jeff Appolon, prides itself in teaching the world about Haitians, one word, one picture, and one story at a time. So far 3 collections have been released and the 4th one is forthcoming.

Check out our interview with Mr. “Poze” himself, where he discusses his latest collection.

Tell me about your new collection and what was the inspiration behind it.
• This collection follows up on the previous one which pushes the boundaries further. I want this collection to be engaging to the mind and also laid back. Half of the pieces in the 4th collection visit our rich history and capture moments of glory. As a country, we’ve taken so many L’s in the past that we forget that we were once great.

 
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How does the collection reflect your Haitian background?
• One of the shirt is inspired by the current success of our Haitian national soccer team. I mean, we haven’t won any world cup but we are doing better now. The shirt I’m referring to shows the picture of Haitian soccer Legend Manno Sanon as he scored the famous goal against Italian goalkeeper Dino Zoff during the 1974 world cup match Vs Italy. That goal ended Dino Zoff’s long standing 1142 minutes without getting scored on. After I read about it, I thought that it was important to celebrate that moment and glorify him.

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• Another shirt I have is a drawing of the statue of Marie Louise Coidavid, who was Henry Christophe’s wife. I visited the Palais Sans Soucis a couple of years ago and I remember seeing the statue. I remember how proud it made me feel. Somehow I feel that it’s the same feeling that a diaspora gets when they first visit Haiti. Even though only the ruins are left, it shows greatness once existed in our country. I feel like back then, our ancestors were a bit more courageous than us because they did more with less.

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When and where can one purchase the new collection? Will it be available in stores in Haiti?
• Yes it will be available in Haiti. I had the perfect store to sell, but unfortunately with the economic instability, the store had to close down. I am looking at some other places to carry it in PV. More information will be provided soon. Everything should be available beginning of June.

 
How does the brand Poze reflect your personal style?
• I tend to be more on the conservative side, so my designs will be a bit minimalist. I don’t really like loud colors and too much going on in a t-shirt. I usually go for neutral designs that you can wear when you’re out. But every now and then, I’ll collaborate with someone who may have a different taste than me. I try to have the designs balanced. I’ll take suggestions from my friends and see what they prefer. After all Poze is not my personal brand, it’s the people’s brand.

 
Where do you draw inspiration for your designs?
• I try to keep up with the current trends and add a bit of Haitian mix to it. I’ll be on fashion blogs all day and Instagram when I have some free time. If I see something that catches my eye at the mall, I put a note on my phone. Basically my whole environment.

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Is there someone from the fashion world that inspires you?
• I’m a big Kanye West fan. A lot of times I like his style but other times I feel like he pushes the boundaries but then again that is what fashion is all about. I like his style better when he’s rocking the tall tees, ripped fitted denims and yeezys. I also like Big Sean’s style, he’s always on point.

 

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What is your personal favorite piece of the 4th collection?
• I really like the Manno Sanon t-shirt and the hat with the Poze hands. I feel like I can see those items on the shelf of an Urban Outfitters store. I like that they are Haiti related but with a touch of pop culture.

What can we expect from Poze in the near future?
• I really want to branch out to different things. I wanna go deeper into female and kids clothing but I’m a bit limited as far as man power. I want the brand to evolve and get better with time. My goal is to keep the brand alive so that one day I see it in a website like Complex, The Source or Highsnobiety as a street wear brand to watch out for.

 Fashion Ayiti, the models and Mr. Poze doing the Poze hand sign.

OBI Brickhouse Happy Hour

Another excuse to ditch the heels and put on a pair of cool kicks? YES PLEASE!

Last Saturday Obi restaurant hosted yet another happy hour opting this time for an outdoor atmosphere. Inspired by Wynwood’s brickhouse, the outside patio at Obi was transformed into an urban setting with tables of beer pongs and  wooden benches with a variety of games available.

Staying true to the theme of the night guys and girls alike sported a “hippie chic meets urban grunge” look with denim, fringes, crop tops and sneakers to name a few.

Paired with shorts, denim skirts and even dresses, sneakers were once again a favorite of the night.

Scroll below for more of our favorite looks of the night.




  

  

 

Le Get Away in Fort Alexandre

Ditching the usual little black dress and heels, girls, as well as guys put on their sneakers and jackets on Saturday night and headed to Nocterm’s hill top party in Fort Alexandre, located 45 minutes from Petion-Ville.


After a year of hiatus, Fashion Ayiti decided to come back and capture Haiti’s fashion, style and what better way to start back than at a hill top party with a mesmerizing view of our city.

Needless to say that the most common trend on Saturday were sneakers. From men to women can I just say shoe game on point?

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A surprising but very approving trend was faux fur and fringe vests amongst the ladies.

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You can never go wrong with leather

Girls in denim

 

Accessories made a big statement!

Ladies with chokers

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Hats



A big hair trend this season is the two dutch/french braids


Nocterm Entertainment first came up with the idea of Le Get Away about a year ago. With islands as previous destinations, the concept behind Le Get Away is to discover Haiti’s true beauty in a party atmosphere.

Picture credit: @verdyverna

 

Behind The Scenes of Viv Magazine Volume 9

For Viv Magazine’s February-March 2015 edition, we decided to shoot with Wild and Free Baby Wear for the fashion editorial.

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Melanie Brierre wearing her own creation

 

Wild and Free Baby Wear
Wild and Free Baby Wear is a classic bohemian line of outfits for little girls (and now little boys) ages newborn to 12. The brand stirs from the traditional pink dresses and embraces the freedom and wilderness that children often carry and reflect. Created and designed by Haitian-Canadian mother Melanie Brierre in 2014, the garments  are designed and handcrafted in Haiti. The pieces are “envisioned in a rain forest, on a beach, or on a lazy barefoot setting” explains Melanie, “I want my daughter A’Sya to get her hands dirty, to dance in the rain, to fall and pick herself back up. That is the ‘wild and free’ I want to celebrate and nurture”.

Wild and Free Baby Wear is available for sale at Abako store in Petion-Ville.

 

The shoot
To complete and emphasize the wild and free theme, we opted for Wahoo Bay Beach Resort as our location on a sunny Saturday morning. Unlike most shoots, this one was a particular challenge since it was our first time working with kids. As you can imagine, our “young models” preferred running around playing with each others instead of standing still under the beating sun. However the super moms who were present along with the Viv team did an awesome job and the outcome of the shoot came out beyond incredible.

Check out some pictures of the shoot:

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Photos by Frederick Alexis for Viv Magazine

For more about Wild and Free Baby Wear visit http://www.vivmaghaiti.com  

It’s All About The Big Apple

“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak” – Rachel Zoe

Trends come and go but having your own style is what makes you stand out. We spotted a few different looks over the weekend and we love how these fashionistas and fashionistos are embracing their own style. Check them out:

Look #1: The Brooklyn City Slicker
Her Misfit clutch in hand, pink shoes and funky jumpsuit, this Fashionista is ready to make an impression.

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Look #2: The Upper East Sider
With just a simple white shirt and black shorts, this fashionista is evoking a city chic look for a night out on the town.

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Look #3: The Wall Street Bachelor
Move over Chuck Bass, this bachelor is taking over!

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Look #4: The Hampton’s Heart Breaker
Every town has it’s heart breaker, and this lover boy is channeling his inner Nate Archibald.

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Which was your favorite look?

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Carl Eric Jabouin on his Style, Inspiration and being Haiti’s Summer “IT” Guy

This summer, we decided to be a little different in picking our “IT” person. We tend to look at women when they walk in a room, and we’re all about celebrating female form. This time however, we met a unique Haitian we felt earned this spot. With his Basquiat-esque looks, and Pharell swag meet Carl Eric Jabouin… Summer’s IT guy!

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He is a man of few words, armed with a sharp tongue, and quirky opinions. Carl Eric is a breath of fresh air indeed.

photo 4When did you become a fan of fashion?

I’ve always been a fan of fashion, I just never knew it. When I was younger I even used to dress my dad every morning telling what I liked and what didn’t.

What draws you to fashion?

I just love looking good. It gives me confidence.

 What is your favorite item of clothing?

I’m a shoe guy.

Do you follow trends or do you prefer to have a timeless style?

I like to think I have my own style doesn’t matter if it’s the trend or not. If I like it, I will wear it no matter what people think about it.

Who is your favorite designer?

I don’t have one. Like I said, I don’t follow trends.photo 2

Who is your biggest fashion influence?

I look up to Pharrell Williams and Will-I-Am. Clean cuts, bold colors and effortless.

What is your favorite girl’s clothing item?

I can’t say I have a favorite women’s apparel favorite. But I do love a girl who embraces different styles and changes her look up often. I like women with bold fuchsia hair, it’s sexy and shows confidence.

How do you decide what to wear?

On the spot. It’s easier that way.

 

Meeting this humble young man with a flare for fashion was a pleasure. His style reflects his unapologetic uniqueness. A quiet and cool confidence is always in. Whether roaming the streets of Montreal or spotted in Haiti, look out for this one!

 

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Best Dressed Couple

Who says a couple has to be in a romantic relationship?

As promised, our best dressed couple by a landslide are two besties that always manage to make heads turn when they’re together.

Although we saw plenty of originality and individuality at LAVISH no other twosome came close.

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Meet our December “It Girl” !

Ever see a girl walk in a room and completely own it? Is it the way she walks or talks? Those killer heels? Maybe the way her hair flows? It’s the package! It isn’t about beauty or a killer body (although that certainly helps), it’s about confidence. When a girl walks in to a room and all eyes are on her, the one thing everyone will agree on is that she has a certain air of confidence, whether it be a bold or quiet air of confidence.

Scrolling through our Instagram timeline we couldn’t help but noticing this particular girl’s pictures. Her selfies are always on point, and her OOTD pictures are always a “hit”. Now without further ado, we present to you our December it Girl: Capucine Moise.

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Earlier this week I met and sat down with our It Girl. What was supposed to be a casual interview quickly turned into a fun conversation with what seemed like 2 old friends.

Meet our December “IT GIRL”:

photo 3– How would you describe your personal style?
I would say simple but chic at the same time. I love jeans and accessories. I love to accessorize. Necklaces for me, they make an outfit. I also love white tees. I have so many white tees!! I like neutral and pastel colors, I’ll wear colors but in the summer and i’m not too crazy about wearing a lot of make-up I think less is more. I love Kourtney Kardashian’s style. I feel like what she wears, I could wear too. She’s very elegant. I don’t really like Kim’s style that much anymore.

photo– What is a must have in your closet?
Loafers.

– Really?
Loafers and white tees. Seriously, I love them, they’re so comfortable I have so much of them.

– What is your favorite item to shop for? What do you go crazy for?
Accessories! Rings, necklaces, bracelets. I love them. I go crazy for accessories. When I go shopping I head straight for the accessories. My boyfriend has to grab me and pull me away. He’s like “NON! buy shirts, buy jeans!”

– What’s a trend you’re currently obsessed with these days?
Boyfriends jeans … distressed jeans … Oh mon Dieu J’adore! You can dress it either up or down. 

photo_1– Who is your favorite designer?
I don’t have a favorite designer, they’re all very creative but I will say … If I had to pick one … Zuhair Murad his dresses are amazing. But favorite stylist is Monnica Rose. She dresses the Kardashians and the Jenners, she’s so good. I followed her the other day on  Instagram. She’s amazing, she has the sickest style. She’s simple but her idea of fashion is … crazy!


– You said you love Kourtney’s style, besides her which other celebrity or blogger’s style inspires you?

Blake Lively! I fell in love with her in Gossip Girl. I love her style, she never goes wrong. Even her hair! I also like Blogger Aimee Song. I like how she mixes things. Her sister too has a really cool style, Dani Song but she’s more tomboyish.

photo_3– What makes you feel sexy?
That’s a good question. Ummmm… when my hair is done, I feel sexy. My hair and my eyebrows. I thread my eyebrows every week.

– I’ve noticed (through your IG pictures) that you like to go to the gym. How often do you go and what’s your favorite workout?
I work out 5 days a week. I used to dance when I lived in Haiti. But I started working out about a year ago. My favorite workout? Squats and stair master. I put ankle weights on stair master.

– Do you have your December shopping ready?
Yeah I’ve had it ready for a while. I hate stressing out last minute so I bought everything before. I know which parties i’ll be attending so it made it easier for me.

 

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Look out for this sweet and always fashionably dressed lady this December, as she will certainly turn heads. And take cues, simplicity should never be underestimated.

Haiti Fashion Week 2013

IMG_6520On Wednesday evening, a red carpet greeted international guests, media, and a fashion savvy crowd for the opening gala of the second edition of Haiti Fashion Week with the theme “Mod’ifions notre environment”. After the usual long welcoming speeches, Haitian singer Luck Mervil opened the show with an interpretation of je t’aimais, je t’aime et je t’aimerai while stilt walkers dispersed throughout the crowd. Soon after, we assisted what was really an extravaganza show in which our Haitian designers each presented their muse in an eco-friendly costume made with cereals, corn, natural flowers, goat skin and all kinds of junk recycling.

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Day 1: “Beach and Sun”

It is Thursday evening at the Karibe Hotel, and as expected, the show is running late. Designers, stylists and makeup artists are finishing their last minute touch up on the models. At 8:45, the theme song of Haiti Fashion Week silences the anxious public while young girls wearing Jacqueline Francis’ creation open the show.

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Throughout the rest of the evening, we saw the clothing and accessory lines of designers Jean Yves Marchand, Gaelle Nerette, Farah Pierre Louis, Tamara Depestre, Cora Sajous, Melissa Etienne, Nora David and Daphne Floreal.

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Day 2: “Casual”

Friday nigh at the Karibe Convention Center, all models, (international and local) are wearing wigs from Bijoux Hair. At 8:30 PM, they walk down the white catwalk modeling the casual wear creations of designers such as: Grégory Vorbe and his t-shirts displaying creole messages; Harry Lafond, Sonia Noël, Watson Saint Louis, Malou Cadet, Michaelle Baussan, Irilene Geffrard, Marie Therese Fouchard, Daphne Stephenson, Gerry Romain, Christelle Paul, and Verona School of Fashion.

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Day 3: “Evening and Cocktail”

Finally the last and most anticipated day has arrived. Since 7:30 a long line is being formed by impatient guests waiting to go inside. Finally at 8, the doors open and the seats are quickly taken.

Opening the show is Dominican designer Jenny Polanco with her white cotton and linen collection. Following her were Haitian designers: Madeline Ledan, Mario Andresol, Musset payant, Miko Guillaume, Maelle David, Maguy Durcé, Phelicia Fell, Michel Chataigne, Creations Dorées’ accessories, Oberti luxury eye wear from Argentina, and Esther Joseph from Saint Lucia.

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Most designers received applauds and stand ups from the pubic but only two designers left the public in awe. Fauvette Nartco from Paris surprised us with an impressive exhibition of urban chic menswear. As the lights turned off, about a dozen of male models aligned themselves on the catwalk and one by one advanced the catwalk. To end the night, Haitian-Canadian designer Helmer Joseph made a tribute to the Holy Mary with a lace short piece and Ave Maria playing as soundtrack. In addition, his collection included bold colors and geometric prints with a captivating black final piece.

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Although the overall organization of this year’s event surpassed that of last year’s, many issues need to be taken into more serious consideration. A lack of professionalism in the modeling was somewhat evident as models struggled to find the right rhythm and timing regarding their runway walk. In addition, presenting twelve designers per night is too much. A more strict selection on the participation of the designers should be enforced.  Some designers fail to incorporate the aesthetics to their designer’s collection while others remain limited with their choice of fabric and textiles due to the limited resources available to them.

Granted, some designers have shown merit, but some still lack the originality and competence to partake in this event, and are therefore clouding the little good that results. I believe a show with less designers would create more opportunity for our already talented designers to shine even more

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Resan: Welcome to the Future

Resan, literally meaning “recent” in Creole, but redefined by Haitian band T-Vice, as “fresh”, is their new single that has everyone adding the urbanized word to their everyday vocabulary.

T-Vice, one of the most popular bands in Haiti, celebrated their 21st anniversary last weekend. Their countless singles and Carnaval songs have consistently been hits and have always led thousands of fans to sing along in every concert and ball. Their new single, Resan, is no exception.
image3With a futuristic theme of the year 2033, the music video redefines the image of the Konpa group as edgy and although having been around for 21 years, proves nothing less that they are in fact resan.
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Transporting us to the future, the video starts off with the band members dropping from an alien spaceship on metal motorcycles with a futuristic new age look and dare we say it… Punk Rock! Leather jackets, spiked boots and cuffs, completely black shades, are all essential components of the desired look. The new age appearance is not limited to the band; the girls in the video are wearing all black, leather and punk attire as well. But nothing says future fantastic like extreme cat eyes and funky-colored lipstick such as purple, blue and bright pink.
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What’s more, the Haitian group, took a futuristic concept to set a trend going worldwide. Punk, is coming back this Fall as it’s been on every major runway for this upcoming season. So hear us now fashionistas: grab those black leather jackets and rock those spikes and cuffs. Turn heads in a good way. As for our fashionistos: leather, leather, leather! No man can go wrong with a good leather jacket. It’s stylish while still allowing you to remain manly.
Reflecting this current trend in their video, T-Vice proved how “fresh” and “Resan” our little island really can be.
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GET THE LOOK:
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Boots           Necklace              Earrings               T-Shirt                  Jeans                  Jacket
Check out T-Vice’s video Resan : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKP0m5WoJUU

Colors, Confettis and Carnaval

When we were younger, Carnaval or Kanaval was mostly associated with costumes, bals masqués and such … Now, all the hype of getting ready for Carnaval goes into styling T-shirts.

Commercial T-shirts in different bright colors and neons, are worn in various styles: fringes, holes, sleeveless, strapless, deep Vs and open backs … to each it’s own according to their individual style:

image2   12345123456photoThe famous tie-dye shirts of Vorbe & Fils do not need much to stand out.

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It Girls: Niska & Vanessa Garoute

Nothing screams fame and spotlight like a family with an abundance of talent. The Kardashian sisters, the Olsen twins, Venus & Serena Williams, Paris & Niki Hilton… and the list goes on!

Two sisters have caught our attention lately, mainly because of their individual style, their vivacious colorful characters, and their popularity. To top it all off, one of them is a music performer. We are talking about Niska and Vanessa Garoute. We interviewed our first “it girls”, and we must say… They did not disappoint!

Meeting with our "It Girls" Niska and Vanessa
Meeting with our “It Girls” Niska and Vanessa
Close up time!
Close up time!

These sisters, as we have come to learn, are not only original and beautiful, but also smart and witty. They made us feel at ease as soon as we sat down for the interview, and what was supposed to be a serious endeavor, became a dinner amongst old friends. We got sidetracked quite a bit, but it made the whole experience light and fun.

 Describe your personal style

V: I love new style, not always accepted and different, I like to have what no one has. If someone has what I have it bothers but I get over it eventually. I love shoes, I would kill for shoes, I can go a whole day without food to get shoes.

N: If I’d have to describe my style in a few words it would be “simple” . I like neutral and warm colors, summer times I obviously brighten up a bit. I’m into shoes but I’m not as much as a heel freak as Vanessa. She always makes me feel underdressed. My favorite things are my glasses, my bras and my shoes.

Niska, how do you describe your stage style and how it influences your performance?

N: My stage style is a lot like my everyday style. As far as influencing my performance I like to be comfortable. I’m trying to get in top shape enough where I could just wear a bra on a stage with maybe just a cover up around it but everything else open. Like Selena.

Do you borrow each other’s clothes, and do you fight about it?

(Hahahaha)

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Niska

V: Your recording is going to be so long after we tell you stories. But before we start this argument, you have to know the person that got us into fashion and it’s our mom. And her closet is our closet so we shop when we go to Haiti.

But, to answer your question, yes we do steal from each other, a lot … and physically fight. We hurt each other for clothes. Now we don’t live together anymore so it’s much better because we don’t have to deal with each other all the time.

What trends are you currently obsessed with?

V: Black and White! I’ve been buying a lot of white for summer but since my grandmother died I had to throw in black. I love Neon yellow. And Leopard any season all season.

N: She’s the trendy one I’m more vintage. I prefer being a bit different, questionable at times.

Style Inspiration (Any celebrity or any individual whose style you admire?)

N: My mom and my grandmother. If I have to answer for Vanessa it will be Kim Kardashian, my mom and Rihanna.  

The fashion Icon they swear by
The fashion Icon they swear by

Any favorite designers?

N: Depends on the season. But current favorite designer Tom Ford.

V: Ahhhhh! Okay skin care product: Chanel. Make-up: anything in Sephora. Actually I went

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Vanessa

to Sephora in Dubai, and every Sephora in Dubai is different than America. You knew Dolce and Gabanna made make-up? People I never knew made make-up have a make-up line. Okay, lipstick: the Sephora Lipstain, Mascara: I use “they’re real” by Benefit. For clothes: Marchesa, I can’t afford Marchesa but their stuff are so different with so many details. And I love Kenzo also. Shoes: I don’t want to say Giuseppe because it’s so common but he’s an artist. So Giuseppe and Cassadei

N: Honestly for shoes I like boutique brands I’m not really a name brand person but if I have to chose a brand, it’s Lanvin. As for heels, I really love YSL. Make up Chanel hands down and Guerlain. For clothes it’s too much I like to mix no brands with brands.

What’s A “Must Have” in your closets?

V: My red Sephora lipstain…IMG_3535

N: In your closet girl, not your cosmetic drawer.

V: Sorry, a must is a pair of leggings for that one day that you don’t feel like doing anything, a nice pair of heels, at least one. And a scarf cause it can dress up or down anything.

N: I’d have to say, leather either leggings or pants, any kind of ballerina slipper. And any button down collar preppy style shirt. I need linen, white linen.

V: Oh I forgot to say! Nail polish, I change my nail color every 2 days, and when I travel I bring a big bag full of nail polish, it’s so hard to pick a color!

What is sexy to you?

N: Back out! Anything low cut reaching almost to your but, I think is beautiful. Open front is so overrated these days, it’s all back!

V:  I agree but, these days what I’ve been looking for and haven’t been able to find are zippers. It’s like “what’s under there?” … and it’s so easy to just …. Unzip !

And what do you find sexy in men?

V : I think fitted pants. Anything fitted, anything custom tailored that fits their body …

What’s a big Fashion DON’T in men style

V: I hate flip flops!

Bold jewelry
Bold jewelry

N: Baggy pants. I don’t like when guys wear their baggy pants under their but. I like it when they wear on their hips.

Lastly, do you ladies have any shopping secret you want to share with us?

N: Retail therapy sporadically. (Great quote we’re stealing)

V & N: We’re not picky. We will go to wall Mart … We like everything and we’re willing to try anything.

We believe in you and really wish you girls all the luck in the world. Stay amazing!

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Do you have what it takes to be our next “It girl”? Stay tuned!

TOMS Haiti Artist Collective

“Before, I was cutting metal but I had to focus on painting after the death of my father to help my family. I’ve been painting for five years and I want to paint more and more.” Haitian artist, Norelus MacKenly, 18.

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Haitian artist, Norelus MacKenly and his blue ocean design. Source: Toms.com

Philanthropic shoe brand TOMS, known for its One for One principle that matches every purchased pair with a new pair of shoes donated to a kid in need, took this time a different approach by commissioning 30 Haitian artists to design a limited edition of TOMS shoes.

Photo Source: Toms.com
Photo Source: Toms.com

The project behind this initiative is to support the recovering country by creating jobs for these 30 artisans with the collaboration of Haiti-based Caribbean Craft , an organization dedicated to work with Haitian artisans.

In addition, it gives the artists the opportunity to show and express to the rest of the world  their cultural visions while portraying the Haitian scenery, community and life-style on the footwear.

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Haitian Artist Carlène Ruben painting her pink flower design. Source: Toms.com

The shoes, which are individually hand painted by local artists between the ages of 18 to 45 in a Haiti based TOMS atelier (workshop) will be available for both women and men for a price of $68.00 at the TOMS website or US flagship store.

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Source: Toms.com
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Haitian artist working on his design. Photo source: Toms.com

For years, I have been inspired by the perseverance and passion of Haitians and the work done in Haiti by people such as Donna Karan and others. The Haiti Artist Collective is the first small step toward us going beyond One for One in Haiti. Our ultimate goal is to provide sustainable jobs that drive artistic expression and generate a desire with customers throughout the TOMS community to participate in this exciting new program,” Words by the company’s founder Mycoskie.

Below is a short video about Haiti Artist Collective and its artists:

All pictures and information are take directly from Toms.com

Down the aisle Fashion

Wedding march, white roses and lights, that special White Dress …

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It was all there, the decor, the setting, the music, the entertainment, the loved ones … a dream wedding. Perfection from beginning to end.

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SHE walked down the aisle and wow-ed everyone with her gorgeous Vera Wang mermaid style gown in organza.

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Fashionable guests:

photoThe Maid of Honor was stunning in her sheer top embellished with black flowers with a black slit skirt. Her hair was pinned with a black pearl and crystal head piece with soft waves falling down to the side of her face and wore black Louboutin pumps.

imageAbsolutely gorgeous was the mother of the Groom in this light gold lace straight dress with a boat collar.

imageRaya had a stunning mint green strapless mermaid gown with crystal beaded waist belt.

IMAGE_1Black long sleeve sequin dress with open back, ankle strap sandals and a touche of pink on the lips.

image_3Short bell shaped dress in hot pink. Veronica styled her hair in a hump slit back pony tail. She added a bold metallic necklace to her outfit and chose strap sandals with animal prints.

Also spotted:

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Bea in a sweetheart neckline beaded dress in silver.

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Abir wearing a flowy red dress with an open front, a sheer back with a low U-shaped draping.

image_2Left: Deep V top with black belittlement, a beaded belt at the waist, and veil slit skirt. Designed and made by me and mother. (see end of post)
Center: Bianka wearing a gorgeous strapless embellished with silver stones, finishing with a beige veil and a mid-thigh slit.
Right: Melissa in a long sleeve dark blue dress with a sexy cut in the front and back. Made by a Haitian designer (see end of post)

image_1Ladies in back and red

Accessories: Ankle strap sandals, Bold necklace, Millinery hat …

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Some guests had their dresses made by Haitian designers:

photoDoris in a Mejeanne Couture (Christelle Dominique) red halter dress.

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Dark blue long sleeve dress slightly cut open in the front, with an opening in the back as well. Made by Djenane Desrouleaux.

In my case, my mother and I took on the challenge of making my “Geisha style dress” as I like to call it.

I had so much fun and STRESS working on it that I had to leave you with a few pictures! Hope you enjoy them!

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Working on the pattern and lining …

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The details on the top: Embellished with flower designed that were hand glued to the top right of the dress, and back lace sown around the V cut all the way to the back of the neck.

image_2End result:

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