BB – WHATS IN A NAME by Kate Johnson

BB Creme…. Unless you have been in a beauty-starved cave for the last couple months, you have probably heard of, seen and hopefully played with some BB Creme.  There are so many out there and most aren’t sure what it ACTUALLY is…..But I will tell you this– it’s AMAZING!
BB Creme was originally developed for post plastic surgery and  burn victims to rapidly repair and regenerate the skin. The high intensity of anti-oxidents that are not found in any other products on the market and the incredibly rapid way that they absorb into the skin have made BB Cremes a huge success for years in Asia. For whatever reason, the American market only in the last 2 years has jumped on board with this phenomenon.
While up until December, it was only skin care lines that had come out with BB Cremes  but now a couple makeup lines have come out with them. I wear the Smashbox one because it actually has a color range of shades (where most are one) and gives quite a bit of covereage without making me look shiny or opalescent, which I find some of the others do. As I have oily skin, I need the hydration it provides (water) to balance me out but want a more natural matte finish. Technically,  a primer is built in so this is an all in one product for that person who is on the go. And with an SPF ranging from 25-50, it also quite effectively takes care of sun protection needs while giving you that natural glow you often get from a tinted moisturizer. It gives light to medium coverage depending on the brand, protects with anti oxidants and SPF, hydrates your skin and most importantly controls oil.
So how do you wear BB Creme? 
  • As an all in one product? YES
  • As a PRIMER under foundation for complete coverage of redness or hyper pigmentation? YES
  • As a FOUNDATION over primer if you need instant visual results on oil-absorption or fine lines ( This is me)? YES
  • As a CONCEALER in any of the above situations? YES ( it will lift and firm the under eye area)
Now all you need is a little tiny bit and have someone show you how to apply this… this is not your basic foundation. You do not need to move this in circles. Fan this out with your fingers from the center of your face outward. Always going in one direction. As an example, just go down on your nose and out on your cheeks and under eyes. Take the face in sections. This will help with the pigment placement to look amazing still at the end of the day. The BB sets quickly and you will have your face done in less than 30 seconds after the first time.
So at the end of the day YES just wear it. Like your favorite pair of jeans that you can dress up or down, that go with everything and make you look your most amazing. Its the perfect summer foundation that will have your skin and wallet thanking you when Fall comes around.
by Kate Johnson, of Kate Johnson Artistry

Hello from SF!

Hey everyone! Lucie is in Houston this week for her NASA project so I am writing on her usual day.

As you know, I’ve relocated myself to San Francisco, California with every intention of sharing the ArielSimone love. I can say so far the things I love about being here the most include the exciting social life that SF provides, the ambition of multi-disciplinary professionals and the easy access to the beach (I am minutes away from the water and it is simply heaven!).


Now that I’ve been here for a few days, I am finally starting to feel re-aquatinted with the city I once called home. Here are some photos I’ve taken strolling around. Jealous yet? Come visit  me during SF Fashion Week!


But let’s not forget that I am in Cali to work, and I am happy to report that I had my first fashion-related meeting yesterday with Lexie Tiongson, who will be joining our team. I am very excited to be working with such a talented young women– a fashion writer, stylist and graphic designer are just a few of her many talents (check out her style blog)! Stay tuned for some future posts that we will incorporate into our blogroll. Lexie will be offering the ArielSimone community SF style tips and I can’t wait!

We peeped all the Hayes Valley boutiques and found a few contenders. We are working together to design a look book and line sheet of our collections to send to SF buyers. We will keep you posted!


by Nkechi Njaka

How to Measure Yourself Correctly

So with all the prom clients we have this month, we thought it would be a great time to share this video that we created to demonstrate how best to measure yourself when you are having a custom garment made for you. Let us know if you find it helpful! And of course everyone can benefit from these tips, not just our prom clients 🙂

Stay tuned for our special prom client photo shoot– you’ll squeal with delight (just like our girls did) when you see these gowns!

Friday Feature: Kate Johnson, Makeup Artist & Educator

When we were in Chicago for our fashion show, we had the lovely pleasure of meeting Kate, a true artist and makeup genius. We were blown away by her ridiculous wealth of knowledge and the education we received in just minutes of talking with her.  Meet, Kate Johnson– a fabulous woman in the industry who really knows her craft.

 AS: What is the story behind your company and how you found yourself in design?

KJ: When I was in college at Cal State Fullerton, I was in a program to get my BFA in MusicalTheatre. A required class was Theatre Makeup and Hair design and I fell in love. The second semester I was the assistant teacher and learned I think more that year helping others do it than even doing it myself. After shattering my foot in a dance performance I had to change majors, so naturally I chose Special Effects Makeup and Hair Design. After doing so part time I became an Artistry Trainer for Smashbox Cosmetics and started my own company Kate Johnson Artistry. Between the two businesses I am able to fulfill my love of artistry and education. It has also blessed me to have amazing experiences in avenues I wouldn’t normally be able to do like teach inner city children art and be published.
AS: How would you describe your personal style? Design aesthetic? 
KJ: I don’t know that I can. I love the 50’s era and am obsessed with Mad Men. But I as much as I love it I don’t own much that would let anyone know. My style is what Im comfortable wearing and makes me feel feminine.

AS: What is your creative process like?
KJ:  It’s a system… I brainstorm, pull pictures off of Google Images to get the juices flowing… then when I’m totally at a block, I forget about it for a couple days and it just comes to me in any random second. I’ve tried to have a better way but this seems to be it.
AS: What projects are you currently working on?
KJ: I am a part of the Lakrem Producing team that did Battle of the Blush– some things are coming with that. The Goca “ Elegance of Maturity” show, and I have just started teaching an amazing group of children how to express themselves through art instead of violence.
AS: How would you describe your client?
KJ: My clients are a wide range of women and men. I love to hear their inspiration and how I can help develop it visually.
AS: Best part of your job? Worst part of your job?
KJ: The best and worst part of my job is that the creation walks away and I start something new every day.
AS: What advice do you have for aspiring artists? 
KJ: Know your products– not just what is advertised but WHY they do what they do.
AS: Where can we see your work?
KJ: You can see my work at either my Facebook Page or my website. I am always available to be contacted for bookings via Facebook or email at:

NASA: Final Stages by Lucie Jane

This past weekend I spent most of my time in the apparel design studios at my school (University of Minnesota) working on my group’s NASA project.  Its been crazy, but super interesting.

We’ve finally moved onto the final stages, which is mapping out the actual circuitry and where all the electronic components will go– exciting!  Our garment will completely enclose a circuitry system that powers the entire suit, which means we have to figure out how and where to sew our conductive thread traces.

Here is a photo of our pattern pieces with out trace markings:

We also have to make sure our system doesn’t short out or shock the user, so lots of resistance and conductivity tests have to be conducted. Here we are testing the resistance of our conductive thread when sewn through the fabric on both sides…it works!

This Tuesday we cleared our trace maps with our professor and the NASA team, and now are able to move forward with the actual suit!  NASA flies us down to Houston, TX a week from this Thursday, so lots to do!

XO, Lucie Jane

ArielSimone Q2 Newsletter

As we enter into the second quarter, we want to share some of the things that have happened and are happening! 2012 has been an incredibly exciting few months so far.  We will be saying goodbye to our first full-term intern and keeping another on for the summer.  We have built a manufacturing team and while learning along the way can be challenging at times, we are pleased to have stream-lined  a process that works for us. With that news, we have added another boutique in Minneapolis. In addition to Cliche, we will soon be selling at Corset, which is now located on Mainstreet in Hopkins, but will eventually move to Edina. We have had the wonderful pleasure of expanding our networks both online and in person. We just reached 500 likes on facebook, which at a year ago, we were at just a little less than 200.  Our blog readership is increasing– which is really exciting! We have added some very talented guest bloggers this season and we hope to continually provide interesting and relevant content for all of you! We’ve also added a new online retail space– I Like What You’re Wearing (ILWYW), which gives us the perfect segway to introducing our amazing staff photographer Mirza Nizamuddin.

He has been with us at the majority of all our shows last quarter and has shot all our recent retail photoshoots. We can’t  thank him enough, his work and generosity is truly unmatched. We are happy to report that we have a solid team right now, and we feel unstoppable and excited for what’s next.

What IS next?

We have some bitter-sweet news. ArielSimone is expanding! And in our growth, we feel that we are ready to move and set up in California. For this to happen, we have to say goodbye to Nkechi Njaka, who will continue to direct and support the operation and communication efforts from afar. She also will be representing the brand to new boutiques and presenting our collections to a new fashion community. She is very excited about this move and we promise to keep you posted!

Of course we can’t forget the shows. Some of our favorite events so far this year were Cliché’s Avoid the Grey and Arena Dances  Arena Bikini Beach Baby!  We also took a trip to Chicago and we were able to show our pieces to Chicago fashionistas as well as make some great connections.


Here is an upcoming show to put on your calendar:

KTWIN Show: Thursday May 3rd, 2012 at The Brick (Downtown, Minneapolis)

Make sure to keep visiting our blog to hear about upcoming events, new garments, behind the scenes at photoshoots, fashion tips and more! Also, our Facebook fan page has a lot of really great daily updates to keep you in the loop about styling, events and inspirations. Thank you for your support–ArielSimone is not what we are without all of you. Wishing you a fresh, happy, and love-filled Spring 2012!

** If you would like to be on our email list and receive the newsletters each quarter, please drop us a line–we’d be happy to add you!

We All Know Peter = Photography Genius

OK, so we kind of feel like this Friday Feature doesn’t need much of an introduction, but in order to stay true to our format (a little consistency goes a long way!), we have a wonderful local artist to share with you this beautiful Friday the 13th. Peter Jamus of Peter Holme Photography is a reputable and extremely talented Minneapolis-based photographer that we have had the pleasure of getting to know and work with.

AS: So tell us about your involvement or interest in fashion…

PJ: That’s a pretty interesting story, actually… as I have never really been invested much in fashion. It was only until I was invited to shoot a show a couple years ago that it started to snowball into what it is now. Initially I had a bit of a distaste for most things fashion, really. I never really liked the images I would see, whether it be in magazines or otherwise. Besides not knowing (or caring about) anything in the fashion industry, I found most of the (mainstream) fashion material I would see to be empty content-wise and conceptually there was nothing which interested me about it. They were vain, luxurious, and so ‘Americanized’ (if you catch my drift) that it was actually kind of disgusting to me. This of course changed as I learned and saw more but at the time I had those feelings, I was very focused on being a fine artist (even though at the time I had no idea what that really meant).

















Things changed slightly as I started to shoot fashion shows. The first fashion show I ever went to, I probably shot more images in a small amount of time than I ever had before. I remember filling up both of my memory cards and having to borrow a friends in order to keep shooting. It was nuts! But I wasn’t ever really shooting the runway, ironically enough. What interested me more was everything else; the luxuriously-dressed fashionistas, the waiters, the wine glasses…the atmosphere. It was all so foreign to me, it was like I had entered another world– one which I only saw in film or some magazine or something. So, I kept going to shows and kept shooting. Eventually I even grew to appreciate what these shows were organized for…the clothes themselves. When I actually was able to shoot backstage things started to get even more interesting! I would be shooting these models right before they hit the runway, finding interesting ways to contrast the dirty, grungy hallways they came out of with the lush, rich…high class clothing they were wearing.

After a while I would go to shows only to shoot models, but not necessarily for beauty (although I was able to get numerous beautiful shots of them before they hit the runway), but for the interesting contrast they would provide in a brief moment, with them usually unaware. It was all very interesting to me. Here we have these models…these ideal human beings, beautiful people… walking up and down a runway simply as canvases to the art they were wearing. In that moment they aren’t usually seen in the same way we look at people. They were simply objects. Where else in culture do you see something like this? I found it fascinating, and still do… although showing that in my images is the real challenge. I feel like I still haven’t really breached the same hard-hitting ideas that I think of when I shoot, but I enjoy the challenge.

AS: How would you describe your personal style?

PJ: Fhew… That’s REALLY tough for me, as I love to dabble in different ‘genres’ of photography. I still always think of myself firstly as an artist, and a photographer second. There are so many things one can do with photography, it is such a flexible medium. And I’m young, I used to be very conscious about my age, as many would confuse me for someone older, but now I’m proud to be where I am and doing what I’m doing at only 20. I feel accomplished in that sense. But as far as style? I think I could probably verbally describe it, but not visually, as it changes every time I click the shutter. In words, I would say that I am a finder of truths; more specifically, I unveil ironies and like to show the reality of moments. A lot of my artwork and projects tend to revolve around the city, or around popular culture and how our society or ‘cultural ethos’ shapes us…and what I dislike about that. While I love living in the city, there are many aspects of that lifestyle that deep down I disagree with wholeheartedly; I try to show that in my work as best I can.

Besides that, I am a portrait photographer by trade (gotta make the dough somehow, right?)… and I love it for different reasons than I do my artwork. It’s amazing, really. I love to capture people being who they are… I feel very much like a psychologist at times. I have to examine and realize what makes my subject ‘tick’…what makes them smile naturally, what makes their eyes tell the entire story. Then I have to have the abilities to capture it at just the right time. I love it.

AS: What are you impressions of the Minneapolis fashion community?

PJ: It’s very interesting. I like how small it is for my needs…as most know me and my work by now, and I can easily get backstage and shoot what I want… however for everyone else? Not so good. I think it’s a relatively hostile environment to new-comers who aren’t as lucky as me…something needs to change in order for it to grow and flourish to support the kind of amazing artists we are known to create in this lovely state. I would love to see more shows which are focused on the art…the creations made by creative designers…instead of the focus on selling. Yes, I understand these designers may have mouths back home to feed…but I do wish they would make art for arts sake every now and then (and they do! just not very often…). I also wish the events were more opening to the rest of Minneapolis, instead of stuffy, private shows which only those in the industry (or press) get to ever really see firsthand.

AS: What is your creative process like?

PJ: Very spontaneous, I take an idea and run with it. Either that or the opposite… I spend months developing an idea in my head, putting it to paper, then to photoshop, then I go out and make it happen finally.

AS: What projects are you currently working on?

PJ: Currently I’m still working on my fashion series (have been for a few years now). As well, I have quite a few commercial and fine art projects that I have been keeping under wraps for a while now until they are published (yes, published!). Excited to share them once everything is finished. I also am in the middle of a ‘365’ project, where I take images every day. Although it has evolved into a ‘take photos on the weekdays, rest on the weekends’ sort of thing…I still want to be pushing myself as often as possible to create work. It is very demanding on me, as I am quite the perfectionist when it comes to my imagery. I have just returned from Peru and Washington state!

AS: Any influences or anyone you look up to when it comes to your work?

PJ: Oh man, too many to say here in one long-winded post… but I will say that I am deeply inspired by the ‘masters’, the classic artists who shaped what photography is today.

AS: If you weren’t creating, what would you be doing?

PJ: I used to play soccer 5 days a week on a very competitive and demanding team, but quit because it was too draining. I was pretty good, I played with an Olympic Development Program for a few years before I found my feet deeply seeded in art. I think if I hadn’t been exposed or pushed to explore that more, I would still be kicking balls in the net. I still play a couple days a week, but nothing like I used to… I was even given a few scholarships to various colleges, but never went through with that.

AS: Lastly, any words of advice for aspiring artists?

PJ: Do what YOU have to do in order to create exactly what you want. Opinions matter… and are a very important part of growing as an artist/photographer…but you need to follow your own gut. Also, never give up, and never be satisfied with where you are with your form… challenge yourself and you will find opportunities await around every corner.As ‘fortune cookie’ as that may sound, it is very true; if you focus on creating good work, people WILL eventually notice and you will find yourself being desired by those who need your kind of imagery.

In Praise of Didi by Jesse Leaneagh

I have long been obsessed with Cheb Khaled, the Algerian music celeb who made famous the Algerian form of folk music “raï ” by adding pop and rock elements. Most of all I return again and again to the song “Didi,” perhaps his biggest hit and definitely a banger.

I just discovered the official video, which confirms this song is meant for party time– Pan horns, shirtlessness, and random crowns of leaves set the stage for a Dionysian bacchanal. And the said musical horns add the perfect, special brand of Arab funkiness (this was also the same year Prince released his Love Symbol album, FYI).

Anyway, there are some amazing looks in this video: Khaled’s shirt and rattail, every woman in this video is wearing something cool (that green and gold dress!!), and that guy wearing a black and white vertical-striped tank under overalls?! Meow.

Pitchfork said last year was the year of the saxophone. Let’s extend that trend and resurrect “Didi” in 2012. When do fashion trends repeat? Every ten years? Let’s say every twenty.

by Jesse Leaneagh

Another NASA Update by Lucie Jane

NASA has been going very well over the past few weeks! Lots of work, prototype testing and circuitry sewing!

A big part of our project has been figuring out how to integrate the apparel and electric parts of our suit design. Our team has been testing various ways to plot out the paths and locations that the electrical leads and “wires” (conductive thread) will take.  We have decided on two layers, an outer suit layer and an inner lining layer, each to house four swatches’ electrical paths.

Here are a few images!

The paper rectangles are representing the swatch locations that our suit will have.  The thread maps out the paths that the electrical charges will run along when the suit is finalized.

We, as a group, are also working on a research paper about our project; research and results are to be published!

Houston, TX in two weeks!!

xo, Lucie Jane

Fashion Group International Fashion Show This Thursday!

We have a Fashion Show event this Thursday, 4/12 to share with you! Mingle and sip on fabulous Minnesota wine while watching 6 Minnesota designers show their collection on the FGI runway.

And guess what!? ArielSimone wil be there presenting some of our S/S12 collection. Plus, you won’t want to miss the unforgettable Warehouse Winery venue.

Place: Warehouse Winery, 6415 Cambridge Street, St. Louis Park
Date: Thursday, April 12th
Time: (change): 6:00PM wine tasting & open networking, 7:30PM Fashion Show!
Cost: $25 members, $40 Non-members (plus, bring a friend for FREE!)
Purchase your tickets here!

Event Info:

Place: Warehouse Winery, 6415 Cambridge Street, St. Louis Park
Date: Thursday, April 12th
Time: 6:00 PM Wine tasting & open networking, 7:30PM Fashion show!
Cost: $25 Members, $40 Non-Members (Plus, bring a friend for FREE!)
Purchase Tickets now!
A little about FGI
It all began in 1928 when 17 women, gathered by Edna Woolman Chase, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue, met for lunch in a modest midtown New York restaurant. They had three things in common: Each held a job of consequence in the business of fashion, each held all the others in high regard and together they held a belief that fashion needed a forum, a stage, or a force to express and enhance a widening awareness of the American fashion business and of women’s roles in that business.

The Fashion Group®, conceived at an informal luncheon in 1928 became an organization in 1930, with a place, a purpose, by-laws, officers and women eager to be members.

Some of those Founding and Charter members were:

Elizabeth Arden, Margaret Case, Eleanor Roosevelt, Helena Rubinstein, Julia Coburn, Lilly Dache, Jessica Daves, Nan Duskin, Edith Head, Eleanor LeMaire, Claire McCardell, Clare Potter, Virginia Pope, Dorothy Shaver, Adele Simpson, Carmel Snow, and Miss Tobé.

Their first office space was donated by Louis Fairchild in his Women’s Wear Daily building on East 12th Street. The second office space was at 572 Madison Avenue, donated by Harper’s Bazaar. Then in 1934, from the minutes of the Board meeting of October 18: Discussion as to how to meet the rent of the contemplated space in 30 Rockefeller Center included a Fashion Group party using talent within the membership lampooning fashion, to be known as The Fashion Follies™. Today, The Fashion Group® offers membership to both men and women.

We are lucky to have a Minneapolis/ St. Paul Chapter. Please come and join us this Thursday!!