Reasons to Start the Journey of a Lifetime

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 7.45.49 PM.png

New York has given me more fashion opportunities than I could have ever imagined, but I could not help but wonder about what else is out there. Of course, I am a frequent flyer, traveler, explorer, whatever you name it, but in my 20th year I was longing for a more in depth experience to better my education, life experiences, and of course, stickers on a map. In a few short months I will be heading to Florence, Italy to spend my junior year of college abroad, and I have some reasons why you should to.

I know it is hard to speak about an experience before even getting on the plane. This is not a list of places I have been, things I have seen, or friends that I made. That is or the future. Leading up to Florence, I can only explain the drive and passion that led me to make the decision to move, and hope that every single college student can relate. Fashion is something that has stuck with me my entire life. I am proud to say I think, speak, sleep, and everything else you can think of, fashion. New York has paved an amazing career path and professional network for me, but I am more than excited to learn the history, artistry, and craftsmanship that Italy and the rest of Europe contains.

Besides professional reasons, travel has always been my main life long goal. I always used to say that one of the things that matters most in the end is the places that you have been, and I still believe this wholeheartedly. I want to explore every crevice that this world has to offer and show others that there is truly no feeling that can duplicate it.

You are probably wondering what this has to do with anyone else. That is where the most important part of journey comes into play. I am working with WSA Europe to make the world within reach for college students abroad. “Weekend Student Adventures” is a travel company for college age students to make traveling experiences happen on a budget. The tours have friendly (and don’t forget fun) tour guides that show you the parts of a destination that WE actually care about. Memories of a lifetime can be made without breaking your wallet. I am looking forward to traveling with WSA during my year abroad to make my time in Europe an unforgettable experience.

Make sure to check my social media and blog posts during my adventures. And if things could not possibly get any better, use my promo code RUNWAY to get 10 Euro off guided trips, and 5 Euro off detours. Lets get traveling.

VISIT!!! https://www.wsaeurope.com

Runways.

The Jacket That Changed The Game

img_9983

New York nightlife has become a culture to us city dwellers. Those from all different ages and backgrounds agree that this is the city that never sleeps, and accordingly, neither do we. New Yorkers were made to last. We put up a fight and never quit. We are known for ambition, hard work, and passion. We handle cold weather, foot pain, taxi road rage, and most of all the crowds of people that will do anything to get into some of the city’s best venues. My list of essentials has been edited with a very important new edition to my closet, Covert NYC. A jacket that turns into a purse!!?? Dream no more.

Covert NYC was created by Fashion Institute of Technology Alumni that experienced the logistics of New York nightlife firsthand. Together they used their creative abilities to produce the most ideal jacket for not only a night out, but for any occasion. Covert jackets are well made (in the USA a may add), versatile, and most importantly fashionable.

img_0017

*pictured top left is covert in a bag form*

I put my new jacket to the test by bringing it along with me for a lengthy Friday night. As soon as I walked into a packed venue, I immediately took off my jacket. Those around me were more than intrigued with my new bag. The rest of the night I had my Covert right around my shoulder. It is very lightweight, making it more than easy to carry as a purse. I observed reactions as I walked out the front door and converted into jacket form. Those close by me seemed more than interested in my convenient accessory.

*Pictures courtesy of http://www.shopcovert.com*

But this is just the beginning. The fairly new brand is quickly growing and depending on New Yorkers (both geographically and at heart) to spread the word. You can get yours (and 10% off!!!!!) with the code LAURIA10. Go to http://www.shopcovert.com and join the nightlife revolution.

Runways.

 

Seoul Shopping Guide

A few years back, I traveled to Tokyo for three short days. I immediately fell in love with the culture as a whole. I then went on a search for different Asian cities that gave me the same spark and inspiration that I felt back in Tokyo. I have encountered many amazing places and cultures, but it was not until Seoul, Korea, that my fashion career changed forever. Here in Seoul, I have done the best shopping of my entire life. With much excitement I share with you my shopping day in Garosu-gil, the “Soho of Seoul”

img_9497

Similar to the Japanese, Koreans never leave the house underdressed. Especially around shopping areas, everyone is ready for photos to be taken of them. In spirit of the culture, I jumped right on in. Pictured above is my shopping day outfit. My jacket was purchased directly from a wholesaler back in Chelsea, NYC.

img_9471

The buildings themselves were gorgeous. The vibe was trendy, modern, and laid back. Just like Soho, there was a nice mixture of brand names, boutiques, and cosmetics. It was not until halfway through my trip that the reality struck me of the pure quality of such affordable goods. The materials used were more than natural, the manufacturing effort was better than anything I have seen at large bridge market names, and most apparel found in boutiques were made in Korea by Korean Companies. I am embarrassed to say I did not plan ahead. I had to purchase another suitcase on my trip. I rolled up my cheetah print sleeves and got to work.

img_9474

Coats range from 50,000 to 80,000 won. Estimated $45-$75 USD!

Most stores had a mixture of wool outwear and basic garments to go underneath. Most items were color coordinated, and store interiors were spotless. Although pictures were highly frowned upon, I knew it was easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission. Pictured above is one of my favorite store interiors. With coats at such reasonable prices, it made having multiple different lengths, styles, and colors very possible. All the Koreans stores I entered had one size only.

img_9484

Each boutique had a variety of accessories as well. One of my favorite discoveries here in Seoul, was how cheap fur prices were. Back in the USA, it is hard to find any kind of decent quality fur at an affordable price. In this city, things were much different. Most gloves, mittens, earmuffs, and accessories ranged between $20-$30 USD. Types of fur noted were usually mink and fox, both very expensive back in the US! Fur is also a very popular trend in Seoul fashion. Many jackets had a fox lining, and many women wore a mink key chain on their purse.

img_9479

This bomber was one of my favorites. I loved how the two different color dyed mink fur completed the look! Windows in Garosu-gil were beautify decorated and neat. It gave me further inspiration for clothing that I will wear later in NYC! At this specific store, I purchased a new leather back, a tradition of mine when I travel somewhere new.

And that’s a wrap! I cannot wait to wear all my new pieces back in my city. Seoul, you officially broke my inspiration rut. I have more ideas than ever before.

Runways.

 

 

Current Location: Seoul, Korea

One day in August I was doing my usual travel, shopping, city research on a lazy afternoon. I then noticed an Air China flash sale. Round trip tickets were less than $400 to Seoul, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. Long story short, anyone who knows me personally knows exactly what I did next. I decided to take a week getaway to Seoul, Korea this November to experience the culture the best way possible- by throwing myself in it. I practically just landed in this city, but my heart is already racing with excitement and inspiration. Here is a preview of what is to come from the other side of the world.

IMG_9205.jpg

Myeongdong, Seoul

Myeongdong is a world known as one of the largest beauty hubs on Earth. It is not just the quantity of retailers all congested in one area that makes it famous, but the quality of goods that influence the industry for the rest of the world. Korea is now taking the lead in the beauty market. Large corporations send researchers for ideas and marketing techniques. I spent my first day observing the different selling techniques of the retailers here in this neighborhood. Compared to the states, their tactics were rather intense. Tourists were being persuaded, tricked with free products, or even physically pushed into stores! I did snag some amazing products, I cannot wait to share with my friends back in NYC!

img_9124

5900 WON is equivalent to $5.30 USD!!!

The subways here in Seoul are truly breathtaking. Ever since my visit to Japan, I did not think I would ever witness a more efficient system. Seoul’s subway may have Tokyo’s beat. For someone who has not a single ounce of the Korean language under their belt, I was more than fine traveling solo through the system. Everything was clearly labeled and the floors were neat enough to eat off of. My favorite part about the subway system were shopping malls that exist at every single stop! I did research on these ahead of time. I had pictured knock-off China Town quality goods in a congested area. But I was wrong. The shopping fronts were boutique style. And the prices were truly breathtaking. On a quality scale, I would put the manufacturing effort of each piece at a 6/10. The clothing was made of quality materials such as angora, wool, and cashmere. I would say these products are the cheapest alternative to all American Apparel, Uniqlo, and Zara lovers. Most things were simple and minimal.

img_9294

Bukchon Hanok Village

This snowfall in Bukhon Hanok Village was my first of the season. The village was made up of neighborhoods lined with traditional Korean style homes. The flurries added further character to the architecture. It was nice to get a break from the city and go to what I like to call a knock-off suburb (suburb looking surroundings in the heart of a major city). On my walk down from the village, I found tons of unique boutique style shopping. All the stores were affordable! One of my favorite stops was this flea market above where I purchased a coat. Another one of my favorite experiences was a tiny perfume store hidden between homes. I persuaded the shop owner into letting me take a photograph of the shop interior. He even was nice enough to personalize my perfume bottle after purchase! It was truly an unforgettable experience.

IMG_9246.jpg

Granhand Handmade Scents

I will keep up with blog posts as my trip goes on. I hope to pass my inspiration from this amazing city onto all readers. More to come.

Runways.

The Fashionable Humans of New York

Traveling to different parts of the world gives me even great appreciation for my city. I thank New York for all of my new ideas, amazing opportunities, and individual style. I decided to look further into New York as a fashion hub. After research, fashion shows, and a TON of people watching, I made the determination that New York has some of the most creative, innovative, and bold humans in the means of fashion. Here is why:

  1. Street Style

screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-3-44-50-pm

One night on my way home from class, I was walking the streets of The Meatpacking District. I saw a man sitting at an outdoor cafe sipping a latte with his poodle seated next to him sipping from the same cup. My thoughts immediately led to “only in New York”. No where else in the country do you witness things like that. And I think street style works the same exact way. When I walk out the door, I can wear whatever I want. The city streets are here to serve as inspiration. I get some of my best style ideas from the shoppers in Soho. When I sit in Daniel Wellington at work, I love to ask locals where they purchased their clothing.

2. New York Fashion Week

screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-3-30-19-pm

DKNY Spring 2017

I was still in high school when I worked my very first New York Fashion Week. I was told “this is about to change your life forever” when the lights dimmed for the Rebecca Minkoff show all those seasons ago. It is more than just what is on the runway that creates an incredible experience that makes this city known around the world, it is the week as a whole. The streets where the shows are held have bloggers, editors, and celebrities wearing things together that are seen later in the season, New York night life is cluttered with all the models, locals or flown in from different world known cities, and of course, the collection. New York Fashion Week made me fall in love with the industry. I dream of the day of earning a front row seat at some of my favorite shows.

3. SHOPPING.

ny3_nyc_chelsea_3

Buffalo Exchange Williamsburg Location

Although I can talk New York’s shopping selection for hours, I am going to try my best to summarize. I cannot walk out my door without looking into a window, looking at a price tag, or feeling a material with my hands. We have world class shopping minutes away. The luxury market and selection is one thing, but shopping is more fun when it is a hunt. Vintage stores line every shopping neighborhood where you get to learn some lessons from some fashionable previous owners. All those “vintage inspired” denim collections done by major retailers do not stand a chance.

I hope this inspires other locals to take a deeper look into our streets. You can learn something that social networks, magazines, and large retailers cannot teach you.

Runways.

 

 

 

Charlie Air Aviation Apparel

img_2750

What does a typical pilot wear? As a child, when I pictured aviation enthusiasts, bomber jackets and aviator sunglasses came to mind. As I have gotten older, I am able to reflect my personal style, and my interests embrace them. Those bomber jackets and sunglasses are more than just symbols to me, they are aspects of my style that I am able to add in to further explain who I am. Then, I stumbled upon Charlie Air Aviation Apparel, my style inspiration was forever changed.

img_2740

Charlie Air does the difficult and unique job of creating functional yet stylish clothing for aviation enthusiasts. I was awestruck by the amazing styles and ideas that the brand came up with! I wanted to take aviation apparel a step further, it is a huge aspect of who I am. I teamed up with Charlie Air and took the challenge of wearing my aviation apparel here on the streets of Manhattan. Whether I was walking into a rural town airport, or walking the streets of Chelsea, New York, my outfit got numerous compliments!

Pictured I am wearing the “first solo” tee. Don’t we all love that blissful feeling of taking off all by ourselves for the first time? I think the gal on the back of my tee shirt captured my reaction perfectly.

img_8716

Each of the designs seemed to tell a story. I made that story mine by styling the apparel to fit my personal style. One of my favorite ideas is to personalize my bomber jacket to make it more my own. I often add patches or pins that I collect from airshows. I cannot wait to see all the brand has in store to transform the world of aviation.

Get your men’s and women’s aviation (or everyday) apparel at

http://www.charlieair.com

Do me a solid, mention me! I love to know who is out there reading, and who gets inspired! The company is based in the sunshine state of Florida, and is doing big things all around the country! Stay tuned as Charlie Air and I continue to change the streets of Manhattan, forever.

Runways.

 

A Love Letter to Airplanes

College was one of the biggest transitions of my life. But today, I am more than grateful for all the wonderful people, experiences, and knowledge that it has given me. It is still just the beginning. But as I return and get back into the groove of a wonderful semester, I take a moment to appreciate the wonderful world of aviation, and try to explain the big question that I have struggled with for so long- Why is it that I love airplanes so much?

img_6792

I know that growing up with such a heavy exposure to the sky would make me rather bias. When the phonetic alphabet is taught to you the same time as the english language, there isn’t any second thoughts on the importance that planes take. But for me it goes much deeper than technical language and aeronautical charts. These devices have transformed our world’s culture. They have made the impossible, possible. Airplanes have connected us all.

When I went away to school, anyone who knew I was a student pilot was rather confused. I would get strange looks followed by that one dreaded question- “Why?” How do I explain the whole basis of my future in a single statement? It could be because my most fond childhood memories were getting strapped into our Cessna 172 Skyhawk SP. It could be because our most common activity while waiting in an airport is “name that plane”. It also could be because of all the family members I have scattered around the world; it is planes that connect us.

img_6979

On difficult days I like to remember the feeling of pulling back the controls to lift myself into amazing heights. I like to stop for a second and look up to try to guess the type of plane that is making its way over to JFK airport. I like to look back at my log book and remember some flights.

The world does look much different from 2000 feet. Flying over the beloved city of New York gives me greater appreciation for how large it is and how tiny we are. There was a day in time when the world was not in reach. And thanks to planes, you can wake up on the other side of the world, come on, that is pretty cool.

I sometimes like to dream about my future in the aviation community. I think about teaching my future children all different things about aircraft the way my siblings and I were taught. I like to think about building something experimental and taking it to airshows around the country. But most of all I dream about finding a better answer for the question “why?” I think this is a good start.

img_5881

 

Runways.

Remembering Japan

It is finally time to go back to school. I am more than excited to see all that New York City and Fashion Institute of Technology have to offer this semester. Before I exert all my energy into my internship, schoolwork, and outfit planning, I would like to look back on one of my biggest inspirational fashion destinations- Japan.

Summer of 2014 I traveled to Japan, this was the first Asian country that I had the chance of visiting without my parents. I immediately fell in love with the amazing culture. Exactly two years later, I am more than appreciative for the wonderful people and places that I was exposed to.

IMG_8285

I describe Manhattan as chaos. Everyone is rushing, drawing attention, or getting in the way of other’s daily cycle. Tokyo’s streets were much more crowded. Tokyo is not just chaos, it is organized chaos. Everyone is moving, everyone has somewhere to be, but no one is getting in each others way. These four way crosswalks had a rhythm to them. The subway system was more than clean and clearly labeled, public facilities were nearly spotless, and the streets? You can probably eat off of them if need be.

The style in Tokyo was truly something worth seeing. Everyone seemed to walk out of their apartment as though they were shooting for some sort of comic book. These were not entertainers, but normal locals on the streets that were kind enough to let me photograph their style choices.

After spending a few days in the huge city, we explored the quaint side of things, Kyoto. Kyoto holds so much history. It is home of some of the last remaining Geisha. I am not talking about the ones who just wear the pretty dresses, but the ones who live there lives day in and out under geisha law. Although these girls do not like to be photographed, approached, or interacted with by American tourists, I was able to find some other friendly locals who dressed in a similar part. IMG_8139

These girls were visiting from another area of Japan. We just happened to bump into each other on the same green tea soft serve ice cream line.

Kyoto is where mountain ski village and suburban neighborhood meet. It was modern, yet had the charm of historical Japan. The streets were lined with beautiful temple and the shopping was some of the best that I have seen to this day. Every couple steps, I could not help but walking into a geisha shop, bakery, clothing store, or chopstick boutique.

IMG_8215-2IMG_8216

I can go on for hours. But these were my highlights. It was truly the most amazing and inspirational destination that I have ever been to. I search the world near and far for that same feeling, but something always brings me back to Japan.

A Farewell To Summer Style

As last semester closed, I rolled my eyes at the thought of months of summer clothing. Black being my favorite color, and jackets being my favorite statement of an outfit, I always found myself struggling with summer fashion. This summer, I took on the challenge. It turned out to be a ton of fun. Looking back, I made peace with summer clothing. Here are a few of my favorite ideas.

Work Attire 

Although I will not be entering the big league challenge of corporate dress for a couple more weeks, I am more than happy for the beginner round of business friendly clothing. Manhattan in the summer is a very hot place. Light fabrics that are not too warm or tight to the skin is what I live in day in and out.

IMG_1596

This outfit allowed me to stick to my usual style without over heating. Platform sandals have always been super comfortable while still giving me a bit of height.

As much as I can help it, I try to wear closed toed shoes in Manhattan. My toes feel much safer (and cleaner) when protected by shoes. Sneakers are one of my favorite staples in my wardrobe. They go with everything, and can turn any piece into sporty chic.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

My usual go-to pair are my Adidas Stan Smiths. I pamper and clean my sneakers weekly, the way some people may treat their car. And for my signature white cross body bag, we will never part. The day I saw it in a boutique back in Hong Kong, we formed a connection. Finding a bag for the next seasons will be a challenge.

Beach Attire 

My biggest pet peeve with swimwear has always been the struggle to find something unique. I felt as though everyone has seen or bought the same swimsuit somewhere. I was inspired to dig deep into the world of swimwear and find something that was not owned by someone else laying on a towel next to me. I searched near and far. Blog after blog, boutique after boutique, Etsy shop after Easy shop, and I finally found suits that others did not own. I was even more successful than I thought I would be. Now I have tons of ideas for next season’s round of swimwear shopping.

IMG_2131

Although my tan line was pretty interesting, this is one of my new favorite bikinis. The high neckline adds a surfer vibe to the whole look. I rarely experiment with patterns, but the black and white allowed the fabric to stand out without being too far out of my comfort zone.

It is pretty clear to anyone who knows anything about me that I am in love with the sky. Summer has some amazing sunsets due to pollution and heat in the air that causes the sky to turn some stunning colors. No sunset should be watched indoors. The beach does get chilly at night. One of my biggest beach bag staples is a sweater. Come sunset prepared.

IMG_2014IMG_7666

And just like that, summer is coming to a close. Although I am more than excited for the fall clothing style ahead, I do have to say that I will miss beach days and colorful sunsets. Cheers to many more years of sandy bodies and wavy hair.

Runways.