She’s Got Style by Lexie T.

When I opened up my e-mail and saw that Dan had sent me the photos from this shoot we did withOlivia and Jen, I jumped for joy!


Dan and I haven’t done a colorful shoot together recently and our goal is actually to get more out in the next month or two. The most recent colorful editorial we did was this one, back in May.



We added a little funk to this shoot by adding these glasses. Dan got really creative with that idea, hah! I really really love how this shoot captures Olivia’s personality. Some people think that models are really stiff and don’t like to have fun during shoots… but this girl, she’s got that good attitude.



Every shoot I style, I typically have a favorite look where I say, “WE NEED TO SHOOT THIS.” But, during this shoot, I liked it ALL. Part of it is because we all communicated really well as a team with what we all wanted. That’s what collaborations should be like, ya know?



These photos are amazing, needless to say and I can’t wait to show you what Dan and I have next for a fashion editorial 🙂 Stay tuned!

Photography by Dan Rappa
Modeling by Olivia Frischer-JE Models
Styling by Lexie Tiongson
Hair & Make-Up by Jennifer Toy 


Meet the Community Manager of Popular Social Media Site Copious

Almost right when I arrived in SF, I had the amazing opportunity of meeting Kaitlyn, Community Manager for Copious through involvement with a Copious photo shoot.  Instantly, I felt that Kaitlyn was  going to be a great person to get to know as a newbie in SF– the whole combination of new fashion tech start up plus creative opportunites was encouraging.

We have been very impressed with how our relationship with Copious has evolved– ArielSimone has been super successful with 6000 followers to date! We have Kaitlyn to thank. So now, we want you to meet her because she is just sooooo cool!


AS: Please give us a brief bio, where you are from and how you started in this field?

KB: I’ve worked with start-ups for three years now ranging from international communication platforms to social enterprise.  I’m currently working in the social commerce space as the Community Marketing Manager of Copious, a social marketplace to buy and sell the things you love.  Right now, marketplaces are set up as a ‘one size fits most’ package.  Copious, however, creates a unique experience for each user based on the their interests and social connections- essentially, an E-bay meets Pinterest marriage.


AS: Could you tell us about some of your work?

KB: With Copious I’ve had the privilege of getting my hands dirty in all types of projects, from marketing videos to fashion shoots to creative marketing campaigns.  I’m the touch point to our community which is an amazing privilege since our community of buyers and sellers include some of the most creative and inventive people across the US.

Right now I’m managing the sweepstakes we’re running for a trip to New York City for Fashion’s Night Out.

AS: What inspires you? How do you stay motivated?

KB: The Copious team is incredible.  I work with some of the most intelligent and innovative people in the industry so I’m constantly learning and trying to push boundaries.


Not only that, but I get to interact with our eclectic community of buyers and sellers directly who inspire me on a daily basis .  I love finding ways to collaborate, like when we were able to get ArielSimone pieces in our first fashion shoot [styled by the elle tee].  After all, the only way Copious succeeds is when our sellers succeed.

AS: What is something that you always carry with you?

KB: Purse essentials: Android phone, wallet, gum, a spare of flats and five shades of lipstick (you just never know).

AS: What is the hardest part about your work?

KB: Both the hardest part, and in my opinion, the most rewarding part of working at a start-up is the unknown element.  You have to constantly poke, prod, innovate, redesign and take big risks in order to keep moving forward.  There’s never a dull moment working at a start-up, but then again why would you want things to be dull?

AS: Could you share one goal that you have?

KB: To be on the cover of Forbes.

AS: How would you describe your style?

KB: Boho rocker meets gold-centric drag queen.

AS: What it is that you love about your work?

KB: I’m constantly introduced to incredible minds within our Copious community of online sellers and buyers.  That always keeps my wheels turning.

Working in Silicon Valley has allowed me to meet so many brilliant entrepreneurs.  It’s a really inspiring environment and always keeps you thinking about what’s next.

AS: How do you bridge the gap between business and art?

KB: Give artists a social and sustainable platform to do business.

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

KB: I think it was best said in Galaxy Quest: “Never give up.  Never surrender”.

by Nkechi Njaka

Falling into the Gap & Stepping up to the Plate

Last night Lexie invited me to an event at the Gap Flagship store in downtown SF. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but it was actually very, very fun! One thing that we noticed was that Gap is very much stepping up their retail game– a lot of their new fall items are super cute, obviously very affordable and on trend (eg. stripes, dots, neons, skinnies with zippers).  I took some photos of some of the styled looks that I found most adorable!

I’d have to say the best part of the event (aside from cute people and the champy) was the hot, amazing new online lookbook called LookMazing.

They had a photo shoot set up for their site, which I encourage you to register for.  We registered with a cute rep on their ipads, met with a Gap stylist to create a look (Lexie styled our looks) and then we jumped in line to get our photo taken. After all that, the LookMazing reps helped upload our look to the site.

It was so much fun to peep other party guests and their Gap outfits. Here is a photo of my friend Jason– Love the double layering of scarfs!

An amazing feature is that you can tag items of your look online so that they are easy to shop.  You can also easily pin the look to Pinterest! I love fashion and tech.

Here are our photos! Head-to-toe Gap.

by Nkechi Njaka


Friday Feature: Meet Vanessa– a Cool, College-aged Business Owner

The other week, we met the beautiful and tenacious Vanessa Gabriel. She was pitching her company to a panel of fashion and tech entrepreneurs (myself included)  as well as to a panel of Investors.We were super inspired by her motivation and her successes so far that we wanted to know more! We are pleased to share our interveiw with the founder of Make sure to check it out, especially if you are a student looking for great deals on a student budget.

AS: Please give us a brief bio, where you are from and how you got started in fashion technology?

VG: My name is Vanessa Gabriel and I’m a 20 year old full time student/entrepreneur. I founded (pronounced a society) an E- Commerce site exclusively for college students offering 50-80% off retail prices of their favorite fashion brands. I’m from a small town called Tracy where there are fields where cows roam and everyone knows everyone. I’ve always loved shopping ever since I was a little girl. I was no stranger to bargain shopping since I was raised by very young parents. I quickly became an expert at shopping at stores like Ross, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Target, etc. My shopping addiction didn’t change when I moved out to Colorado for college. The only thing that was different this time was that I was now paying for my own wardrobe instead of my parents. Being on a limited student budget with no car only to find out there was no mall in my town was ridiculous. I quickly turned to the Internet to shop instead and was quickly disappointed by the lack of sites that catered to my style and budget. Websites were either way too our of my price range or did not cater to my style tastes. I was then immediately inspired and envisioned the future of how college students would shop online. A place called aSociete.

AS: You are a fulltime student? What do you currently study?

VG: I’ve been studying business for the past two years. My first year and a half was at the University of Colorado at Boulder. I just recently transferred to the University of Pacific here in Stockton where I’ll finish out my schooling while I run aSociete.

AS: How would you describe your personal style?

VG: I have a very laid back comfortable style that I like to infuse with accessories. Each year my style evolves and I grow a little more comfortable in being bolder with my wardrobe. Whether it’s buying statement pieces, bold colors, etc.

AS: What inspires you? How do you stay motivated?

VG: My parents inspire me everyday. They continue to strive for their dreams and do what makes them happy. They encourage and support me to achieve greatness and reassure me that I can achieve anything that I set my mind to. My motivation is knowing how far I’ve come in the past year or so with launching aSociete and the success we’ve achieved so far. My team and I have achieved things that are not normal of 20 year olds and to think of our bright future ahead of us keeps me going.

AS: What is something that you always carry with you?

VG: I always carry my iPhone and lipstick. I’m always going to meetings and connecting with successful people in the Bay Area so my phone keeps me organized and my lipstick to make sure I always look presentable!

AS: What do you find is the hardest part about your work?

VG: The hardest part about my job is that it’s a constant learning process everyday since I’ve never founded/ran a company before. I’m grateful for all the advisors and guidance I’ve received thus far because aSociete wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for them.

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

VG: Like I said before my parents are huge influences in my life because they continue to work hard for their dreams. Everyday they fight for what they believe in and stop at nothing to make their dreams come true. I also look up to Tony Hseih the CEO of Zappos because he took his company and catapulted it to great success. He has an amazing story and has truly changed the E-Commerce industry forever.

AS: If you weren’t creating (or designing) what would you be doing? 

VG: I’d be a normal college student in Colorado working two part time jobs.

AS: Where do you see yourself in the next ten years either personally or artistically?

VG: I see aSociete being a success and me as CEO. I picture myself traveling the world and running my company.

AS: Share with us something funny that has happened to you recently.

VG: I was asked by a company to put together a gift guide for college graduates and I’m not even graduating college. I barely just finished my second year of college lol. I didn’t express that I wasn’t qualified to help them out so I just asked my friends about what they would want if they were graduating college.

AS: What was the last thing you ate?

VG: I ate frosted flakes for breakfast this morning.

AS: Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone?

VG: I talked to my dad.

AS: What it is that you love about your work?

VG: I love my team and the culture we’ve created. Our warehouse is our creative space/ headquarters and we are really close friends like a family. We are a for college students by college students company. We are college students ourselves that gives us a relevant advantage over many other companies. Plus I love knowing the fact that I’m helping my peers by saving them money when they shop.

AS: Describe yourself in 5 words.

VG: Ambitious, believer, caring, persistent, and  outdoor lover.

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

VG:You only live once and make the most of it. Life is too short to not pursue your passions and doing the things you love. Don’t ever give up and don’t let the world convince you that you cannot achieve greatness. There is no age requirement for success.

*** All photos were provided by Vanessa Gabriel

Digitally Chic: Meet the SF Fashion Geeks and Fashion Freaks

There’s hoping! When Lexie invited me to attend Digitally Chic’s Summer Fling at the San Francisco W, I couldn’t refuse the offer. Described as an event to mix and mingle with SF fashion nerds and techies, discussing trends and tech topics while sipping delicious cocktails, what person would resist such an opportunity?!!  Certainly, not I, since I might even consider myself a bit of a fashion freak….

The only place I felt I failed in preparation, was in showing up in a vintage blouse, my favorite Top Shop navy blazer with dark Theory skinny denim and camel color ankle booties. I should have maybe dressed according to theme with some great, flirty, colorful pieces– maybe a killer neon and white pairing or a fabulous peach and fuchsia color block dress…but no. Since I had other meetings before this event, I chose to dress less radically and went for a more conservative look. This photo was taken right outside the Academy of Arts University, where Lexie and I were scouting for sf street fashion inspirations (that post will come later!). So back to the event at the W….

The ladies behind Digitally Chic are Ashley GustafsonNatalie Grinnell and Angelica Benjamin. Aren’t they adorable? They host fashion/tech events every month, so I am super excited to spend more time with them and their friends!

The event was great! We met some really wonderful and inspiring people, and I am happy to share with you who they are and what they are doing.

I met a lovely fashion blogger named Cheryl van den Berg who has an amazing style blog called Oh to Be a Muse. She just moved to the Bay Area with her tech hubby so they were the perfect Digitally Chic pair.

I aso met the lovely ladies Emily and Jennifer  of SnobSwap, a cute online marketplace where fashionistas can swap, sell, and shop for coveted fashion and luxury brand clothing, handbags, and accessories. Its a great concept, and plan on using it! They are based out of DC and I love that they are also new in the SF fashion scene just like me!
One of the founders of Digitally Chic, I discovered, has an excellent personal blog too. Check out the day to day writings of Angelica Benjamin. She had to dash off to another event, but I look forward to reading about her and running into her at other events in the future!
I also met Erica Takeuchi from Sneekpeeq, which is another cool social marketplace that is currently partnered with Facebook. I love the layout of the sight– they do a lot of marketing for the listings so that the seller/retailer/distributor doesn’t have to. Think Spotify for clothes. It’s something that I plan on looking more into for ArielSimone.
Of course we will keep you posted on other events and people we meet! It was super fun. As I asked earlier, who can resist meeting cute fashion/tech people, drinking champy and eating a baby blue frosted cake???! Not I! SOOOO glad I made it out to the W last night!
by Nkechi Njaka