Blogger Feature: “Afternoon Espresso”

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Samantha May Photography

Ashley Pletcher’s fashion and lifestyle blog Afternoon Espresso, offers the perfect dose of style that is sure to satisfy any fashionista’s cravings. Get to know the beauty behind the brand!

Define your style?

My style depends so much on my mood and the day!  Generally speaking, I would say my style is chic and classic.  I tend to gravitate toward more feminine pieces with classic feel.  Occasionally I will even throw in an edgy piece like a leather jacket. 

What is your idea of a perfect date outfit (for a man and woman)?

The perfect outfit for a man is to keep it simple:  A white v neck tee, nice denim, and a pair of distressed leather boots- Clean and classic always makes a swoon-worthy look!  For a woman I love a classic blazer, tee shirt, distressed denim, and a cute pair of colored pumps for a pop! This look will never go out of style! 

In what ways do you think that fashion is evolving in Pittsburgh?

I think Pittsburgh is such a stylish town!  There are always such a variety of styles just looking around any corner.  I think where Pittsburgh is evolving in fashion is certainly the fashion community.  From Style Week Pittsburgh, Style Social Pittsburgh, Fashion bloggers, and boutiques, everyone seems to really be working together and building a strong fashion community and I love it!      

Using one word, describe Pittsburgh style?

Eclectic 

Who is your celebrity style crush?

I adore Blake Lively!  She is so naturally beautiful and her style is always so classic and timeless.  

What are your favorite places to shop in Pittsburgh?

For local shops my favorites are No. 14 Boutique and Bronze Coconut!  No. 14 always has the best color palate to choose from and such unique pieces!  Bronze Coconut stocks up on the cutest little tees, stationary, Free People, and plus I can get my spray tans there!       

What inspired you to start a blog and what makes your blog different?

I actually started my blog because I was just in a slump of being unhappy with my career choice of accounting.  I needed more creativity flowing so Afternoon Espresso became my little pick me up!   Afternoon Espresso focuses on my personal style, but what makes it different is that I like to add my own spin with a cupcake of the month recipe, travel, and of course, coffee.  All of these things I just simply enjoy and are very much me!      

What is your favorite lipstick (color and brand)?

My all time favorite lipstick is Mac Lustre Soft Savour!  I line it with Make Up Forever C22, and top it with NARS Turkish Delight lip-gloss!! It’s the perfect combination of pink for everyday wear.  

What trends can fashionistas look forward to for Spring and Summer 2016?

For the Spring and Summer trends this year, I’m obsessing over bell sleeves, off the shoulder tops, midi skirts, and lots of stripes!  Also anything flirty will go!     

What is your favorite accessory?

My favorite accessory is definitely my two tone Michele Deco watch.  The square face makes it so unique and the two tones allow me to wear it with anything!  

What advice do you have for someone who is trying to discover his/her’s sense of style?

Be yourself.  Choose items that match your personality.  I’m most comfortable with what I’m wearing when it feels like the clothing is me!

 

The 411 on Foo Conner

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Pittsburgh is gaining national attention for its arts and culture scene, and locals like Foo Conner, the man behind Jekko, is playing a major role in highlighting the people, brands, and happenings that are establishing Pittsburgh’s identify as a vibrant city to live, work, and play. Check out our recent interview with Conner!

What is Jekko?

Jekko is a new media outlet like Buzzfeed or Vice that just so happens to be based in Pittsburgh. It started as an experiment. I wanted to see if photography could drive a magazine today. After covering 1,000 events, Jekko has become a national platform that promotes arts, culture, and technology. All things Pittsburgh leads in. Our main audience is female millennials. 60% of readers are females and half of them are under 34.

Where are you from?

I am originally from West Virginia but Pittsburgh is my home.

What do you like about Pittsburgh?

Pittsburgh has an open door to be creative. That makes it the perfect launch platform for ideas. And if you don’t know how to do something, there’s always a neighbor willing to help.

When people ask “What do you do?”, how do you respond?

I say that I’m a social entrepreneur. It has the right activism mindset for me. This means I work on businesses that find solutions to social problems. It also speaks to the seven-year-old me and gives me a wonderful excuse to explore everything.

How do you define your style?

Relaxed and quirky. 

Favorite Accessory?

Goggles

Where do you shop?

For the right thing, right now, I go to EONS in Shadyside. For adventure, I do this thrift shop run on Tuesdays. It takes about an hour and a half. I start at the Salvation Army and Goodwill in South Side, and then I head to the Red, White, and Blue. Do this once a month and you’ll build a fantastic wardrobe.

What’s your favorite date outfit?

I prefer something classic to start. Vintage fashion that fits exquisitely well.  Then accessory nuances, like a pocket watch or unusual necklace.

How would you describe Pittsburgh style?

Coming into itself. Traditionally Pittsburgh has imported culture, now we’re defining our own style.

One word to describe Pittsburgh style?

Evolving.

What makes Jekko different?

We are authentic. We show up. We aren’t afraid to cover the worst.

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Blogger Feature: Meet “Fast Fashionista”

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Meet Emily S. Kilgore, the style maven behind Fast Fashionista, a fashion and lifestyle blog devoted to giving fashion advice, beauty tips, recipes, and everything in between to readers.

Define your style?

I would describe my style as glam and classic. Very feminine.

What is your idea of a perfect date outfit (for a man and woman)?

For the ladies, you need to start with great base, exquisite lingerie. Next, I love a bright skirt, black top, and leopard pumps. Don’t forget a fun clutch and a scarf to complete the look.

For the guys, a nice pair of pants, a crisp button up shirt, and I’m a huge fan of suspenders. Also, every man should have a perfect pair of black dress shoes. If he has the confidence, he can finish the look with a fedora.

In what ways do you think that fashion is evolving in Pittsburgh?

I think that the amazing thing about Pittsburgh style is that it’s constantly evolving. There are no rules. It seems that everyone makes his or her own unique style and I love that. Pittsburgh really is a melting pot.

Using one word, describe Pittsburgh style?

Eclectic.

Who is your celebrity style crush?

Olivia Palermo. Her style is polished and always on point. To me, she can do no wrong.

What are your favorite places to shop in Pittsburgh?

I really like to shop local. Boutiques are my favorite because they usually have more unique things. I love Lex & Lynne and e.b. PEPPER.

What inspired you to start a blog and what makes your blog different?

After a sweet message from a long time friend comparing my fashion trends on Facebook to Cosmo Magazine I started exploring fashion blogs and I thought why not start one and see where it takes me. I try to make my blog a little different by incorporating “Fast Tips” into each post to keep my readers coming back to learn something new.

What is your favorite lipstick (color and brand)?

I’m all about red nails and lips. My go to is Rouge Coco 444- Gabrielle by Chanel.

What trends can fashionistas look forward to for Spring and Summer 2016?

A higher waist pant, lingerie inspired looks, and fringe.

What is your favorite accessory?

Shoes!! I’ve had a love obsession with them for as long as I can remember. Once I remember going into my older sisters bedroom to try on her heels. I’ll never forget that   feeling! My Mom love shoes too, I guess you can say I inherited it!

What advice do you have for someone who is trying to discover his/her’s sense of style?

Always be yourself and stay true to what you love. Keep up with trends but don’t become them. There have been a lot of times in my life that I was told to “dumb down” my look to fit in. I’m not okay with that for me or anyone else. You should always do your own thing when it comes to personal style because if you don’t like yourself then no one else will either. Self love all the way.

 

Blogger Feature: “Zoe With Love”

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Zoe Namey, Creator of Zoe With Love is next up in our special feature on fashion and lifestyle bloggers. She is dishing the scoop on her favorite Pittsburgh based boutique, Spring and Summer trends to look out for, and her idea of the perfect date outfit. Check it out!

Define your style?

Feminine and chic -all the way.

What is your idea of a perfect date outfit (for a man and woman)?

A killer dress and heels for the ladies and a tailored pant, casual jacket and slim button up shirt for the guys. That’s how my husband and I usually dress, anyway.

In what ways do you think that fashion is evolving in Pittsburgh?

Well… I just think it’s a good time to be doing anything related to style and fashion in Pittsburgh right now. It seems like there is a genuine interest from the city as a whole and people are in search of things like this to follow locally. It’s great to see it unfolding.

Using one word, describe Pittsburgh style?

Eclectic

Who is your celebrity style crush?

I have 3 in particular that I swoon over. The always fabulous Sarah Jessica Parker, the age defying JLo and the Olsen twins who I grew up watching since the Full House days (I guess that’s technically 4.)

What are your favorite places to shop in Pittsburgh?

No. 14 has never disappointed me. And this isn’t fashion related, but my all time favorite place to stroll and shop is the Strip District on the weekends.

What inspired you to start a blog and what makes your blog different?

It started with searching for a creative outlet and a place to organize all my thoughts. I liked the idea of funneling things that inspire me into one place. This is a difficult question because every blog is different since each blog incorporates something unique about the writer’s personality and interests. My interests go beyond fashion and into interior styling and florals, which I personally believe go hand in hand with fashion.

What is your favorite lipstick (color and brand)?

Dior Addict Lip Glow in Lilac.

What trends can fashionistas look forward to for Spring and Summer 2016?

Lots of floral prints!

What is your favorite accessory?

A great bag, if you’re going to splurge on one item, this is it.

What advice do you have for someone who is trying to discover his/her’s sense of style?

Think of your personal style as a means to express your personality. It’s a way to visually express ourselves without having to say anything.

Connect with Zoe at Zoe With Love.

Blogger Feature: “Yes, Wear That!”

IMG_5164Kimberly Allera – Yes, Wear That!

Recently, we decided to do a special feature on Pittsburgh-based fashion and lifestyle Bloggers and Kimberly Allera, the mastermind behind the fashion blog Yes, Wear That! is first up. Check out her thoughts about fashion, trends, and more!

Define your style?

“I think this is a difficult question for most people to answer because often our style is a collection of things. I love following trends, but as I get older I know that it makes more sense to invest in timeless, quality pieces. I think your style can change with your mood and what’s on your “to do list” for the day. There are days I thrown on leggings and sneakers because I know I have a ton to get done! There are other days when a classic pencil dress, heels, and bright lipstick are needed to get that confidence boost to go out and conquer the world.”

What is your idea of a perfect date outfit (for a man and woman)?

“For a woman, I think you can’t go wrong with the perfect pair of fitted jeans paired with a chic blouse or tank under a blazer. Top it off with heels and a clutch (you don’t want to start off with too much baggage). If it’s summer, I say rock a cute sundress and sandals. For guys, I think a great pair of dark denim with a button-up. If it’s a cooler time of year, I think blazers are great. I’m a sucker for a guy in a baseball hat, but wouldn’t recommend it for a first date outfit.”

In what ways do you think that fashion is evolving in Pittsburgh?

“I think there’s a pretty big style evolution going on in Pittsburgh right now. I think it’s due in large part to the many awesome boutiques popping up in and around the city. I also think events like Style Week bring attention to fashion and style in Pittsburgh. I think people are feeling braver, more confident. They are more willing to step outside of their style comfort zones and try something new and a little bit different. I think the city is totally embracing it – which is great to see!”

Using one word, describe Pittsburgh style?

“Thriving”

Who is your celebrity style crush?

“I’m not sure who my “style crush” would be because I take inspiration from a lot of people. I think for high fashion, Olivia Palermo has incredible style and I can’t imagine having access to her closet. I love seeing pics of celebrities like Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston, and Mila Kunis – they do the effortless casual thing so well.”

What are your favorite places to shop in Pittsburgh?

“I’ll be honest, I shop online a lot. Like probably way too much. It’s just so easy and convenient! However, with all of the new boutiques taking over Pittsburgh, I have found a lot of new favorite places this past year. No. 14 in Lawrenceville, Kristi Boutique in Aspinwall and Rosewood in Sewickley are some of my faves! If you love cute mugs, decorative prints and other fun items, check out the Sweet Water Décor website – the owner is also from Sewickley.”

What inspired you to start a blog and what makes your blog different?

“I was working at a job that was rather uninspiring and was really just looking for a creative outlet. I went to school for Fashion Merchandising and had worked in various retail roles in the past. I’ve always loved writing and I felt like starting a blog would be the perfect way to combine all of these interests. I am constantly trying to come up with new ideas to set my blog apart. I recently started a couple of new series “splurge vs. steal” and “Friday Favorites.” I also work in the events industry, so I use the blog as a place to showcase some of my wedding and events work and to also offer insider tips and advice on event planning. Finally, when I started the blog, I really wanted it to be about collaboration and highlighting other creative individuals and entrepreneurs in the city. I’ve profiled quite a few local businesses and plan to continue with this in the coming year.”

What is your favorite lipstick (color and brand)?

“I actually owe this discovery to my “birthday gift” from Sephora this year. The gift contained a Marc Jacobs eyeliner and lipstick. The girl helping me at Sephora said the lipstick is one of her favorites because it’s the perfect “not so pink” pink. It’s called “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” and I would have to agree that the color is fantastic! I think it would really work with any skin tone.”

What trends can fashionistas look forward to for Spring and Summer 2016?

“I haven’t done much peaking at Spring trends yet (trying to control myself). Some of the highlights from runways I have seen are the shifting of lingerie styles into everyday wear – so feminine silks and slip dresses. The body part to bare seems to overwhelmingly be the shoulder. There are a ton of dress and top styles that are off the shoulder or have unique shoulder cut-outs. Ruffles and tiers will also be big for shirts, skirts, and dresses. I think color and prints always make a come-back for spring and summer as well.”

What is your favorite accessory?

“I think I would have to say sunglasses. I’ve had a pair for years that I should probably part with, but I can’t think about letting them go! When you find the perfect style for your face shape, it can change an entire look!”

What advice do you have for someone who is trying to discover his/her’s sense of style?

“Don’t try too hard and don’t worry about what everyone else will think! Fashion is about creativity, self-expression, and putting your best foot forward! You can find sources of style inspiration everywhere, so try new things and see what works for you. As your style matures, you’ll be able to quickly know what will work for you and what won’t. And you don’t have to be locked into a specific style. Your style will grow and evolve with you.”

Follow Kimberly’s Blog Yes, Wear That!

Call for Nominations: 2016 Style Awards

Style Week Pittsburgh™ is seeking Nominations for the 2016 Style Awards. The Style Awards honors the leading women and men in fashion, business, and the arts for their outstanding accomplishments.

Style Week Pittsburgh’s Ambassadors and Board Members will select winners based on a number of criteria including the nominee’s merit, accomplishments, strength of nominations, and supplemental information submitted.

Please submit any supplemental documents such as resumes and portfolios to styleweekpgh@gmail.com and include the nominee’s name in the subject header.

Submit your nominations here. Nominations end on May 31, 2016 and the winners will be announced at the 4th Annual Style Week Pittsburgh Style Awards.

Previous Style Awards honorees include Renee Piatt, Harris Ferris, Demeatria Boccella, Stephanie Taylor, Diana Misetic, Philip Pelusi Salons, Studio RAW, Vanessa German, Vanessa Doss, Jackee Ging, LaMont Jones, Bridgette Perdue, Leigh Solomon-Pugliano, and Debbie Norrell.

For more information, please visit http://www.styleweekpittsburgh.com and our page on Facebook.