Scott Ian McFarland Runway Collection Preview

This Monday, I had the opportunity to take a peek at Scott Ian McFarland‘s latest collection, which will be on the runways this Sunday for San Francisco Fashion Week.

I had no idea what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised to find a small intimate gathering when I walked into Jillian’s. The venue was cozy, with dim lighting and wood-paneled walls that reminded me of a cabin in the woods. It was a classy affair with crudités, french bread, and cheese to snack on and waiters taking drink orders.

I browsed through racks of men’s and women’s sweaters, cardigans, coats, beanies, scarves, and knit leggings and played dress-up with the models. The knitwear collection worked well as a cohesive unit and I was impressed by how easy it was to mix and match individual pieces.

At first glance, the collection seemed basic, but upon further inspection, I discovered intricate knit work and lacing, interwoven braided ribbon, ruffled piping, and a palette of grays, deep indigo, and pearlescent hues. The first thing that came to mind when trying to describe it was Alice in Wonderland meets Where The Wild Things Are. The pieces possessed the effortless comfort of Max’s wolf pajamas and the whimsy of Wonderland. It was a match made in children’s book heaven.

Most of the pieces were masterfully crafted by Scott Ian McFarland himself, a rare feat in a world where many fashion designers do not sew their own designs. As a formally trained sculptor, Scott brings a fresh perspective to the San Francisco fashion scene. He experiments with three-dimensional shapes, color, and texture in a way only a sculptor can.

The inspiration behind Scott Ian McFarland’s latest collection is androgyny, the 1920s, ships, and the blues.

Androgynous influences are obvious in the gender-neutral colors and silhouettes, while the 1920s shows itself in the form of loose-fitting cuts and breathable fabrics. The ruffled piping and knitted diamond-shaped patterns reveal ships’ masts and sails. But the blues? Really?

I thought long and hard about how a musical genre could act as the inspiration for a clothing collection before I decided to do some research of my own. The term “the blues” comes from the use of the indigo plant in West African cultures during death and mourning ceremonies. The mourner’s garments were dyed blue to indicate suffering. The indigo plant was also grown in many plantations in the southern United States, where slaves sang of their suffering as they worked in the fields. These songs were called “the blues”.

It was no coincidence then that Scott Ian McFarland used a deep indigo color to accent the neutral grays, pinks, and tans in his collection.

Although Scott Ian McFarland is relatively new to the fashion world, I have high hopes for the new designer and I’d like to see how his clothing translates from the runways to the streets!

by Samantha J. Yee, originally posted on Sam Goes Glam

Artist Interview: Tushita Chechani by Joanna

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting one of the new University of San Francisco MBA students, Tushita Chechani. She instantly attracted my attention with her distinct style and elegant jewelry.

After getting to know her a bit better I thought you would all want to hear about her adventures in the fashion industry and her aspirations for the future. She has an incredible story and a very bright future in design.

Please give us a brief bio, where you are from and how you started in this field. What steps brought you to this point?

I grew up in India, San Francisco is now home where I live with my husband and my five month old Golden doodle puppy. My mom is a textile designer and appreciates all forms of design and art, so I always appreciated art, especially traditional forms, early in life. I started making jewelry in school because I couldn’t find what I wanted in stores. Soon I was designing stuff for friends and holding small exhibits while I completed my undergrad. After school I started working in Advertising with Lowe Lintas and work got so busy that I did not even realize it when I stopped designing [for a while].

Did you study your particular field formally? Where?

I have an undergraduate degree in Business from Gujarat, India.

Where are you currently studying and what do you hope to do with your current studies/what is your focus?

I am currently studying for my Masters in Business Administration at the University of San Francisco. I enjoy analytics as much as design 🙂 I hope to do something that involves both after school.

Could you tell us about some of your work?

I like my jewelry pieces to be statement pieces, something that can be worn with multiple things. Something that’s timeless and not just trendy. I try to keep them eco-friendly and vegan. I don’t use any leather products because of personal beliefs.

When did you first discover your creative talents?

I am still discovering them 🙂 On a serious note I remember trying to make a head band with changeable colors when I was about 9.

What inspires you? How do you stay motivated?

Travelling and exploring traditional art forms always inspires me. When I can’t take international trips I love to take off in nature for a trek or walk and listen to music to stay motivated.

What is the hardest part about your work?

To manage all the other aspects like marketing and sales.

How would you describe your style?

This one is tough! Maybe a mix of elegant and edgy.

What is your approach to design? Or your method? Ritual?

My work is more material centric than design centric. I usually put music on, spread all the beads and material I have and play around with things until I am satisfied.

Any influences or anyone you look up to when it comes to designing?

I love traditional Indian jewelry. I also love Lanvin Jewelry.

What was the last thing you ate?

Peach Panna cotta

How do you bridge the gap between business and art?

It’s tough. I try to not make stuff just because there is a demand for it. So I take custom orders where customers want something specific. But otherwise I try to make stuff I love and I would like to keep if it doesn’t sell, which is probably not a good business idea.

Lastly, any words of advice for aspiring designers/artists?

Be fearless.

Tushita is truly an inspiration. We look forward to seeing what she creates next as she combines her business education with her creativity and love for art and design. Don’t forget to check out her virtual store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ ChechTJewelry or contact her if you are interested in custom orders.

Tushita’s Virtual Store.

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!


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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.


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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.


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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

Meet our SF Team– Lexie & Joanna

Oh, we love it when we add people to the ArielSimone Team! We are so lucky to have support out West. We want to formally introduce you to our SF Interns. Meet Lexie (left), and Joanna (right). They have been supporting our rebranding and SF launch efforts with their creative ideas and amazing energy and talents. Since we have been getting to know them for a while, we thought that you should too! We asked them a few questions about style and the city…

LEXIE. Contributions to ArielSimone: Graphic Design, Branding & Visual Styling

Favorite Restaurant in SF: Mamacita in the Marina District because I absolutely love mexican food!

Favorite ArielSimone Piece I can’t wait to wear: the Flyaway Jacket!

School: Academy of Art University

One word to describe my style: Prepster

JOANNA. Contributions to ArielSimone: Marketing & Social Media

Favorite Restaurant in SF: Kokkari

Favorite ArielSimone Piece I can’t wait to wear: Elegant Single Sleeved Top with Shoulder Accent

Education: MBA, University of San Francisco, School of Management

One word to describe my style: Chic

Aren’t they adorable? We are so excited to be working with them– they are adding so much value to our operation efforts! Feel free to ask them more questions in the comments or on facebook!

Written and Designed by Lexie Tiongson, the elle tee.

SFFAMA Event at Pigment: Product Pitches

I think that it is rather a funny (and yet an amazing!) concept to have fashion and technology events in SF. I mean, on one hand you run the risk of meeting nerdy, socially awkward men, which has been an issue of mine previously when I worked as a scientist in Silicon Valley. But on the other, which was my experience last week, I found that I enjoy learning about the technology at fashion events (the geek in me gets to show her true colors!). It’s a genius way to diversify the fashion world. Plus, sitting in a letture talking about robots that fold your clothes is such an interesting, intellectual conversation.

Last Thursday, I went to the SFFAMA product pitch event at Pigment Cosmetics. I went to learn about what people here are up to, to network with key industry leaders and to drink wine and eat delicious cookies.  Let me give you a short recap on some of my favorite presenters.

FoldiMate: a smart clothes-folding robotic appliance, which will soon be available to both laundromats and sophisticated retailers. Who doesn’t want or need an intelligent apparel folding robot? ArielSimone sure does!

The Google+ team are huge supporters of fashion and their product presentation was on one of the Google+ features– hang outs. The cool thing about hang outs is that it allows people to stream what is happening in another space. It gave me some ideas for our upcoming launch party, here in SF. Hopefully, we are able to use this feature to virtually stream our party or a future runway show. Wouldn’t it be amazing if all of our fans around the world could attend our event or watch our collection presentation at the same time?? I am certain that it would be phenomenal. Google+ is also co-hosting a workshop for creative communities with Fashion+TechSF at FIDMSF on August 8th (RSVP here). I plan on attending that and providing you all with an update on that so stay tuned!

I also really enjoyed the presentation by Atelier Advisors’ founder Lili Balfou, who covered the ABC’s and F of finding funding for entrepreneurs. The stand out was B- thinking BIG! Also F, which was for financials. It’s super important for all entrepreneurs to thing long term and to know how they are going to make money in a way that will sustain their business.

There were so many good pitches, but I’d have to say that the one that gets the prize for most entertaining was a presentation given by the the dry-witted sense of humored Stewart Keller, owner of  E-ttorney at Law™. He spoke on basics of fashion copyright  and trademark law, which was amazingly informative. I have never given parody law much thought but it’s really interesting what action some companies takes in order to protect their brand, name, logo, fabric, etc. This was the best example:

Chewy Vuiton– this is literally a bed (not bag) for your dog!! I encourage you to read more about this lawsuit.

Here are some photos of the event, curtsey of SFFAMA.

Jean Paul Gaultier @ the de Young Museum

Greetings from the West Coast! 🙂 This past week I was in San Francisco visiting friends and sightseeing!  I had a wonderful opportunity to see designer Jean Paul Gaultier’s exhibit at the de Young Museum!  Nkechi and Adrienne will be doing a full blog on this in a few weeks, but below are a few images from my visit as a teaser!
I love Gaultier’s playful edge to design, he manages to be free spirited and fun, while also being edgy and pushing all boundaries.  His all time favorite design element (sailor stripes) is evident in many of his pieces, and seeing him use something so classic in new and innovative ways is incredibly inspiring. As for the rest of the week, we’re off to Vegas, The Grand Canyon and more!  More on that next week 🙂  I’ll be back in the cities this weekend, just in time for new work with my new agency: Agency Models and Talent! 🙂 If you’d like to book me for anything modeling/acting related, go ahead and email Agency! I’d love to work with you 🙂
xo, Lucie Jane

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!).

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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!

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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!

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by Nkechi Njaka