Britt Olson

ALL POSTS Culture Style

Maaji Swimwear Has Planted a Forest in Colombia

For Earth Day, we reached out to Maaji Swimwear CEO Miguel Piedrahita. The executive was keen to talk about his company’s greening efforts in Colombia, where they’re located in Medellin, Antioquia. Planting an Ocean of Trees is a program coordinated by Maaji to offset the environmental impact of manufacturing. And they are more than compensating for their practices. To date they have planted more than 90,000 trees in rural areas of the Colombian departments of Antioquia, Boyaca and Tolima. Piedrahita himself has planted 3,000 of them.

Maaji Swimwear

“Our company is owned by two sisters and was founded 10 years ago,” Piedrahita explains. “This program is one which the founders decided to plant trees to reduce the impact of our manufacturing process. Now we have planted 82,000 trees, all planted in Colombia in an area surrounded by nature.” Part of the project includes protecting watersheds in Colombian areas where water potential has been impacted by regional violence.

Maaji Swimwear's Planting an Ocean of Trees

Maaji’s trees are planted in Colombian agricultural communities 

Surrounded by verdant forests (including the Amazon), rivers, the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Colombia contains some of the planet’s most beautiful landscapes and natural resources. It’s clear why a company set in such environs would feel protective about them.


ALL POSTS Art Interviews Style

Fashion Illustrator Megan Hess on Her Shoes of Prey Collaboration

There are many lives exposed online. Through Clarendon and Lark filters, most of them appear pretty glamorous, if not just prettily posed. But few can compete with the world of Megan Hess. Hess is a fashion illustrator, that once common but now rare art form that depicts lithe ladies wearing the latest styles. During the ’40s and ’50s, and even into the ’90s for many European magazines, illustration was the primary visual expression for designers like Oleg Cassini and Pierre Cardin to showcase their creations. Hess’s modern-day illustrations for Fendi, Chanel, Prada and Christian Louboutin have taken her around the globe on enviable projects–you can see the pictures of these trips on her insanely lovely Instagram account.

However, her latest project puts Hess in the designer’s role. Shoes of Prey selected the artist to collaborate on a new collection of shoes. We spoke with Hess about her dream job, drawing Michelle Obama and the shiny shoes she created, which you can shop now.

Megan Hess

How did this collaboration with Shoes of Prey come about? Why did it feel right?

Who doesn’t want to design a shoe collection? It was really exciting. In terms of the brands I work with, you know, I illustrate for everyone from Fendi to Prada to Dior; I’ve only worked with really high-end brands. So when I spoke with Shoes of Prey, their attention to detail, the way in which they were going to be making the shoes and promoting the shoes, everything from production to creative was really in sync with things that I work on. So I felt it was a great fit in terms collaboration. And then the fact that I could really start from scratch.


{ 1 comment }
ALL POSTS Interviews Style

Khloé Kardashian and Emma Grede on Their Denim Collection, Good American, and Social Media’s Body Revolution

Emma Gedde and Khloe Kardashian of Good American

We spoke with Khloé Kardashian and her cofounder and friend Emma Grede about their denim collection, Good American, which comes in sizes 0 to 24, how social media is changing body ideals, Rihanna as a denim icon and Instagram blocking.

Why create a denim line?

Khloé Kardashian: I’ve always thought there’s been something missing from the denim industry. Whenever I buy new jeans it’s hard for me to find a pair that fits my body type, and even when I do, I always need alterations. I knew if I’ve had this problem, there must be tons of other girls who do too.

Emma Grede: We started Good American because we want women’s shopping experiences to embrace the new body ideal. It’s just crazy that we still have plus sizes and are splitting up friends who go shopping together into different departments based on their size.



Meet Charlotte Tilbury Project Confidence Winner Vanessa and See Her New Look

Admittedly, we have mornings when we look in the mirror or in the closet and wish that someone would just appear to do our makeup or choose our clothes. Many days we’ve tried to summon a fairy godmother with superior taste, a way with concealer and a knack for outfit coordination to tell us that we’ve been doing it all wrong, there’s an easier way and here it is.

Maybe someone like celebrity makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury.

Charlotte Tilbury

Tilbury is one of those magnetic personalities who attracts women as extraordinary as herself. She’s a makeup consultant to the likes of Kate Moss, Amal Clooney, Cara Delevingne and many glamorous others. Her upbringing included a stint on Ibiza with her bohemian parents followed by professional work with major beauty brands as a consultant and artist. A proponent of the transformative power of cosmetics, Tilbury likes to say, “Give a woman the right makeup and she can conquer the world.” All of that plus her bubbly British accent make her our top pick for that role of fairy godmother and style savior.

For one lucky lady, Tilbury played just that. Meet Project Confidence winner and lovely mother of two young children Vanessa Benke.

Charlotte Tilbury Project Confidence; BTS Behind the Scenes


ALL POSTS Street Style Style

How to Wear Over-the-Knee Boots: A Street-Style Guide

As the weather starts to chill, we see stylish ladies in the world’s fashion hubs boot up. Although ankle-grazing booties are still popular, many fashion fans are taking their footwear to dramatic heights with thigh-high, over-the-knee boots.

Wearing an OTK (that’s industry shorthand) can initially seem daunting. Their sexy thigh-circling style might feel like too much for daywear or, for many, too much for any hour. Non-leggy ladies may also fear that their height will cause less-than-supermodel-length stems to seem squat. These are valid concerns, but we have a couple of tips to allay them.

How to Wear Over-the-Knee boots

Sofie Valkiers and Evangelie Smyrniotaki at Paris Fashion Week

A simple mini sheath dress is the easiest article of clothing to pair with extra-tall boots. These dresses keep things neat and short, allowing the boots to stand out, which they’ll do no matter what you wear. But by not overwhelming your look with too many layers or accessories, the boots act as an essential part of, rather than an excessive addition to, the outfit. Petite ladies will have the best success with this dress and boot combo.



Best in Show: Behind the Scenes with Our Canine Models

As any model will tell you, the work really isn’t that glamorous. You hardly get to eat anything—just a biscuit after every take. There are long hours under the lights with your water dish out of reach. The photographers and art directors can be real handsy, too, always petting you, calling you “sweetie” and “good girl.” They just drool all over you.

Best in Show

And then there are the other models. Some are real amateurs. They’re so excited to be a model, without realizing what the job entails. They come in all excited, greet everyone on set affectionately and really kiss up to the crew. But when it comes time to work, they’re always taking breaks and darting off camera. It’s like they have no concept of time.

Best in Show


{ 1 comment }
ALL POSTS Fashion Week Style

10 Things That Happened at Paris Fashion Week

Concluding the Continental leg of runway shows, Paris puts a fin on Fashion Week. For Spring 2017, that finale left some things unresolved.

This season had creative director debuts at prominent French fashion houses Dior and Yves Saint Laurent. But even with all that newness, the ’80s were back in a big way, both on the street and the runways. With a jewelry heist (haven’t you heard?), AI on the catwalk and celebs in the FROWs plus behind the designs, fashion seems to be grappling with the questions and fascinations of modernity—parading them before us this week dressed in finery.

Here are some of the most memorable moments from Paris Fashion Week Spring 2017. To be continued next season, no doubt …

1. Chanel’s bots
Chanel Spring 2017

Image by Indigital Images

In a faux data-storage center, that unglamorous, bland space on which so many of our technological luxuries rely, Karl Lagerfeld presented Chanel’s Spring 2017. To kick off the runway presentation, two models-on-the-rise sported traditional Chanel tweed suits and wry smiles. The twin bots teed up a technicolored collection featuring programmer-approved baseball caps and purses with lights twinkling like a motherboard.


ALL POSTS Interviews Style

Champagne, Cranberry Salsa and Entertaining in an LBD | The Realest

Why should models have all the fun? Each month we take a lady we admire and give her the model treatment in our photo shoot, The Realest. We bring the wardrobe, stylist, photographer and makeup artist; she brings her anything-but-one-size-fits-all personality and style. Then we all head out on location for a professional shoot that showcases the looks in our monthly Dress Spotlight.

Sheena Kalso, The Invisible Hostess

Adelyn Rae strapless jumpsuit | Topshop velvet choker | similar style flat: KENDALL + KYLIE Sage ghillie flat

When October rolls around, the holiday party invitations start rolling in. So we turned to Sheena Kalso of The Invisible Hostess for pointers on surviving the busy entertaining season in style. Not only did she give us excellent advice—and a killer recipe for cranberry salsa—but she also showed us how to rock a little black dress (or jumper) with serious panache. As we goofed around while photographing her at the funky party venue WithinSodo, we learned that part of being a great hostess is knowing how to relax and be available. Sheena’s fun-loving temperament makes her a natural. Here’s what else she told us.

Tell us about your job and company, The Invisible Hostess.

Sheena Kalso, The Invisible Hostess

I started The Invisible Hostess in 2006 to help the average party hostess enjoy her event.  Shortly after launching, I was asked if I coordinated weddings. My excitement for domestic hospitality seamlessly translated to weddings. After 10 years, The Invisible Hostess has won a record amount of local planning awards in Seattle. I’m really proud to say we executed 250 events in 2015 with a staff of 50.

With the 10-year anniversary, I reflected on what made me get out of bed every morning and what kept me fulfilled—as one will with any milestone in one’s life. This year I decided to streamline operations by offering wedding coordination only and to focus on my next adventure, mentoring college grads as The Wedding Mentor.


{ 1 comment }
ALL POSTS Fashion Week Style

10 Things That Happened at Milan Fashion Week

There was no shortage of glitz or glamour in the fashions presented in Milan last week—the embellishment at just Gucci or Dolce&Gabbana alone could outfit a parade float. While these decorative flourishes create a luster of new, the industry in Italy is an established bedrock of the national economy and craftsman culture, something Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi enthusiastically acknowledged at the opening of MFW during a lunch held at La Scala, Milan’s famous opera house, with the fashion elite (including Donatella Versace, Pierpaolo Piccioli, Giorgio Armani and Anna Wintour).

Here are some of the highlights from Milan Fashion Week. Each shows why Italy is still the home of alta moda.

1. Dolce&Gabbana tropical accessories
Dolce & Gabbana MFW Spring 2017

Images by Indigital Images

Introduced by tarantella breakdancers, the exuberant clothes on Dolce&Gabbana’s spring 2017 runway suggested a cheerful albeit fictional vacation destination, one that offers band instruments aplenty, LED lights, and a menu of fish, pizza, pasta and fruit. The theme was “Tropico Italiano,” described as “an imaginary line that marks the territory which stretches from Naples to Sicily.” Although the clothes were as refreshing as a tropical trip, the accessories were pure delight. Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce created elaborate crowns and turbans as headpieces, drum kits and mandolins were really handbags, and the shoes both literally and figuratively shone.

Dolce&Gabbana MFW Spring 2017

Images by Indigital Images


{ 1 comment }
ALL POSTS Fashion Week Street Style Style

10 Things That Happened at New York Fashion Week

Designers were intent to have a good time with their collections for spring. Prints erupted into bouquets on the runway. Color appeared everywhere, even in the unexpected: hair extensions, earrings, fingernails. Even the scene on the street seemed far more sincerely lighthearted.

As expected during an election year, political undertones surfaced in presentations by Hood by Air, Opening Ceremony and Veronica Beard, still, the atmosphere remained joyous. If the country is nervous about November, fashion seems to be ready to cheer them up come spring. And although the audience at shows was often intentionally smaller and more intimate, technology opened the steely invitation-only door to new, remote audiences who were delighted to engage in conversations about diversity and inclusivity in the industry.

Here are some of our observations and highlights from spring 2017 in the Big Apple, in bite-sized form.

1. Alexander Wang‘s fest
Alexander Wang Spring 2017

Images: InDigital Images

Following his sun-and-surf themed show, Wang revealed his tightly guarded collaboration with adidas Originals, a collection of black tracksuits and sweatshirts all featuring an inverted logo, available in spring 2017. He and his gang (#WangSquad) then partied amid a McDonald’s pop-up, Slurpees and mini-mart treats. Cans of spray paint circulated, inviting guests to decorate salvaged RVs. During the party, the new capsule adidas collection was sold out of the back of a van and packaged in a garbage bag tied in an Alexander Wang bow. You’ve got to give Wang his no-frills fun approach to fashion, with a side of fries.