I came across Maira’s profile on Instagram while searching for stylish ladies living in the Boston Area. I was quite impressed with her style and inventive use of the “selfie” which has become known as her “elevator series”.
It came about when she was at work. She is a store ambassador at Barneys New York in Boston and one day took a photo of her #ootd (outfit of the day) while looking in the mirror on the store’s elevator. It became a trend and her growing audience loves it. I quickly got in touch with her to see if she was willing to meet with me and talk a little about her unique style and fabulous series of photos that have gotten so much attention.
We met at the Starbucks on Boylston Street across from the Mandarin Hotel where we got to talking about living in Boston, what it means to be stylish and how the “elevator series” came about. It turns out she was also featured in the Boston Globe! I knew I had an eye for talent. :)
Q: Are you from Boston originally?
A: I’m from Cambridge and I love it there. It reminds me of New York’s Soho, with it’s unique shops and restaurants. I live near Inman Square which is home to the East Coast Grill and Christina’s which if you haven’t been is the best ice cream in town.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Comfortable and simple. I like clothes that are functional and stylish at the same time. I’m very active at my job so don’t want to be confined by clothing that is to tight or shoes that are uncomfortable.
When I’m not at work I have a very relaxed style. I sometimes feel as though people expect me to be dressed up all the time and when someone notices me on the street as the “elevator series girl” on Instagram I’m a little taken a back and wonder if my outfit disappoints.
Q: What is your go to outfit when you don’t know what to wear?
A: I love jersey, whether it’s a t-shirt or skirt. You can always dress it up or down. Dresses are great too, so easy to throw on and go.
Q: How did you come up with the “elevator series”?
A: I was in the Barneys elevator one day and it’s just one of those places you look in the mirror and just have to take a photo. It’s the perfect place to take a “selfie”, people do it all the time! There’s a great mirror and lighting.
Q: Who are some of your fashion inspirations?
A: Alexander McQueen is the first that comes to mind. He had an amazing life. His designs were incredible and even his posthumous collection is phenomenal. More designers I like are Isabel Marant, Helmut Lang and Alexander Wang are at the top of the list.
As far as celebrities go, Beyonce is one to watch but I’m not big on celebrity style.
Q: What’s it like working at a high-end retailer like Barney’s?
A: Working at a place like Barney’s you get to see some amazing inventory come through. It’s inspiring. I love being around it.
Q: What trends are you really into right now?
A: I really like that fringe is popular, but in general I’m not really a “trend watcher”. I see something I like and I style it, that’s all.
Q: Do you have aspirations to do more in the world of fashion?
A: I went to school for Fashion Design, MassArt. I love the design and illustration aspect of it but for now am really enjoying my work at Barney’s.
Thanks so much Maira for taking the time to meet with me! Your style and positive attitude are inspiring.
I discovered this brand while strolling through Nordstrom at South Shore Plaza one afternoon and quite simply fell in love. The patterns are vibrant, charismatic and sophisticated. And in my book they’ve pretty much cornered the market on the mixing patterns trend. And the best part, their pieces are manufactured in California! Here’s more about Clover Canyon…
“Designed and produced in Los Angeles, each Clover Canyon collection reflects the eclectic, joyful spirit of California through vivid prints and streamlined silhouettes. The Clover Canyon atelier is unique: Working collaboratively, and drawing on their shared passion for travel and art, the team designs original prints, and hand-engineers them to frame and enhance the body. New technology meets old world craftsmanship as garments are designed, patterned, cut and sewn in-house.”
Here’s a taste of the collection, to shop more clock here and key in Clover Canyon in the brand menu.
Which is your favorite piece from Clover Canyon?
I’ve been getting a lot of compliments on this big floppy hat I’ve been wearing to beach lately. Not only is it a great classic style but it gives perfect coverage. I think people are starting to realize the importance of wearing hats in the sun. I just realized it myself a few years ago when my mother had a cancerous mole removed from the top of her head. It’s a place that we don’t pay attention to because we think our hair sufficiently covers it but that’s just not the case. Hair dressers are now being trained to look for such moles while cutting hair. That being said, here are some stylish hats that you can wear to help protect your head and face from sun damage…
Do you wear a hat at the beach? What kind of sun hat is your favorite?
My friend and neighbor gave me a lovely gift of a Tori Nicole clutch this past Christmas. I didn’t know who the designer of this clutch was when I first received it but I loved every aspect of its unique size, shape and its intricate design. I got in touch with Tori and she was very receptive to meeting with me which was a breath of fresh air in the often arrogant world of design. Especially when a designer has already made name for them-self and doesn’t need to be talking to “another” blogger like myself.
Meeting Tori Nicole is a breath of fresh air!
Upon meeting her I was taken by how kind and down to earth she was. Her outlook on life is very uplifting and her attitude about her handbag company stays humble and grateful despite the amount of success it has achieved since its inception, the clutch below was recently featured in U.K. Vogue!
I met her at the Starbucks off of the Boston Common and Charles Street in Beacon Hill. We had really nice conversation about everything from how she started making handbags, why she moved to Nashville to how she tries to give back to those who have helped her so much in her career and try and help those who are just starting out.
ToryNicole.com has grown quite a bit since she sewed her first bag by hand about 5 years ago. Tori’s path was not toward the world of fashion back then however. She was in school pursuing a masters in DC when the itch to pursue fashion design finally got the best of her. She decided to attempt making her first clutch, having no real training it was quite a learning experience for she explains to be cathartic. The concentration on design, structure and sewing of the bags is creatively challenging and mentally fulfilling when the work is complete.
Initially she made bags for free for friends and family ultimately beginning to sell them when the demand clearly existed for her well crafted, unique and chic clutch purses. Today she lives in Nashville but stays close to her roots in Boston. Her career really took off here when a small boutique on Charles Street, Vira, offered to sell them in their store. They were very popular and her relationship with Vira, who now exists as an on-line store (http://www.shopvira.com/) and no longer in Beacon Hill, has been mutually beneficial professionally and creatively.
Her company continues to grow with the help of the connections she has made here in Boston and with her family who have supported her and helped her build her business.
Take a look at some more of her designs below. Which is you favorite?
Do you know an up and coming designer who should be featured here? Let me know about them: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those of you that don’t know I’m Brooklyn born and raised, so I wear this shirt with pride and a little apprehension as I am weary of all the hype around my home town these days. I’m sure some of you have experienced this same feeling. Pride that there is a certain amount of appreciation for the town you grew up in that was once thought of with distaste, but slightly annoyed that it has been over run by affluent young white kids from the mid-west or New Jersey, whose parents are subsidizing their brief exploration of the “big apple” until they settle down in Greenwich, CT, start a family and send their children off to boarding school. Maybe I’m being presumptuous and I’m the only one that feels this way, I do have a tendency to over think things. :)
Anyway, this t-shirt was found at T.J. Maxx, skirt from H & M, sandals are Pastelle ( I bought them in Paris, I know I’m wicked fancy!) but Birkenstock makes a similar style. The bag is Cambridge Satchel that I adore!! I love how the yellow adds pop to any outfit. If you’re doing the Brooklyn look you have to keep it real with the big hoop earrings. The sunglasses are actually my husbands, clear colored Gants.
What do you think? Would you change anything? What’s your “look of the day”?
I’m not the biggest Kardashian fan or advocate of the self-indulgent life-style that they seem to advocate with every documented move they make, but I do love this ad campaign featuring Kendall Jenner. Kendall is a very good model, not just for her looks but there’s something intriguing about her. Maybe it’s because she’s a reality TV star and we know so much about her personally or that she’s just got that “Je ne sais quoi”. Either way I’m liking it and this pictorial with her taking selfies in designer clothing is an amazing depiction of how social media has transformed our lives. Now everyone around the world can potentially see our #ootd thanks for Instagram, twitter and tmblr. It’s an amazing tool that I find inspiring as a stylist and blogger.
In an effort to inspire, I want you to send your stylish pics, #stylishselfieSA, and I may feature them on my site. It doesn’t have to be you, it can be your kids, friends, even pets! Get creative and start posting.
Thanks for stopping by!