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A Fun Interview with Manolo Blahnik

Raised on a banana plantation in the Canary Islands, the exuberant Blahnik clacked onto the set of Sex & the City into Household-Name status on the heels of Carrie Bradshaw, and, at 68, works more today than he did 30 years ago.


For their February 2011 issue, HEMISPHERES snagged a fun interview with the personable - & hardworking! - shoe designer. Here are some highlights -



On toe cleavage -
'I think it's more exciting and sensual ... Before me, there was no toe cleavage at all.'



On becoming a shoe designer -
'Things happen by accident. But now I love what I do, and I can't live without it.'



Read more by clicking over to our friends at FashionTribes!

Giuliana Rancic of E! News Shows Us How To Dress For Success

You've got to guess that any girl who can hold her own on camera next to Ryan Seacrest is ... well, she's not just any girl. And E! News anchor, Giuliana Rancic, is far more of a powerhouse than anyone might have initially realized. The Italian bombshell is touring to promote her second book, 'I Do, Now What', tackling serious personal issues in the third season of her Style Network reality show Giuliana & Bill, and still makes time to appear for as the Trop50 spokeswoman for women-in-the-workplace non-profit Dress for Success.


Special contributor Lena Katz, editor of travel pop site Zingi caught up with Giuliana after a recent fundraiser, and got some excellent tips on how to stay stylish and keep your confidence levels up even when you're strapped for time and cash.



What are three inexpensive (under $20) accessories that can take a black pants suit from 'blah' to sophisticated?


1. Skinny Belts: Metallics are very in right now in terms of trends, so I would suggest picking up a silver skinny belt. Silver is classy and absolutely appropriate for an interview. One tip: When you sit down for your interview, unbutton your suit jacket to show off your belt. It will add the perfect flare to your outfit while keeping it classy.


2. Double strand Necklaces: While it is important to make sure your personality shines through in an interview, you don't want to come across as too loud. You can get a double strand of faux pearls or a simple metal double strand fairly inexpensively that will add a little pizazz to your suit, without being too over-the-top. Simple sophistication is the way to go at an interview.


3. Satchel Brief: One of the most important parts of any job interview is preparation! To really look polished, yet prepared, everything you need for your interview - resume, portfolio, cards, pens and paper - should be neatly stashed in a satchel brief. There are so many different cute styles and varieties, too! You can really have fun with this and select a bag that suits you and your personality. I guarantee you will get a ton of compliments on this accessory!



What's a trend this season that can be incorporated into professional dress and look good?


Kitten heels, a la 'Mad Men', are one of the biggest trends for Spring/Summer 2011. Luckily for us ladies, they look fantastic with slacks or skirts! Plus, the lower heel is definitely appropriate for any professional environment, not to mention they are much more comfortable than the platforms heels I€™m usually wearing! I can get away with sky-high shoes on the red carpet, but in many professions, wearing too high of a heel might not go over so well.



For girls without money to spend on all the latest trends, what's a wardrobe essential that wouldn't necessarily be obvious, but that has worked magic for you over the years?


I absolutely love big, chunky bracelets. I have a large collection of bangles that are all very inexpensive. When I€™m in a hurry in the morning, but need to add a little punch to my look, I throw on a stack of bangles and instantly my outfit goes from an 8 to a 10!



Please give us a trick you use to boost confidence for an important job interview.


Confidence is every woman's most important accessory. Yes, wardrobe is important, but no article of clothing is as important as exuding confidence. Applying for jobs is one of the most stressful things a person goes through and it's easy to get in a rut and lose confidence. When I'm feeling stressed out or like I'm losing some confidence, I always find that staying active helps. Walking is an easy and affordable way to exercise, and I know from experience that it helps! It's also important to be mindful about what you eat. I'm a big advocate of healthful eating and I am always reading nutrition labels to make sure that what I'm putting into my body is good.



Please tell us what Dress for Success is, and how you are involved, and why this charity is important.


Dress for Success is a fantastic organization that focuses on helping disadvantaged women become economically independent by providing them with professional attire, a network of support and career development tools. I'm so excited to be working with them through a partnership with Tropicana Trop50. We're really empowering women to help each other look and feel good. In fact, right now, if you visit Tropicana's Facebook page, share a free online gift with your girlfriends using a Facebook app and Trop50 will make a $5 donation to Dress for Success (up to $25K).
I also just spoke on panel in NYC with Joi Gordon, CEO of Dress for Success Worldwide, on tips for achieving career success. This is a topic that is hugely important to me, and, as women, I think it's important that we support and empower each other in the workplace. You can check out some of the tips shared during the seminar - including ways you can get involved to help Dress for Success - right here!



For those of us who aren't quite broke enough to qualify for Dress for Success, how would you suggest using the resources we have to re-invent our wardrobes (i.e. clothing swap with friends, renting dresses for special occasions, etc.)?


Yes, yes and yes! I recommend investing in a few key pieces and then adding inexpensive accessories to change things up each season. I love clothing swaps - although sometimes it's hard for me to find things to part with - and definitely agree with borrowing dresses on special occasions, whether it's from a friend or dress rental. Chances are your girlfriends are dying to swap for something of yours too!



For more style-on-the-go tips from Giuliana, plus info on her upcoming book tour stops, check out the Zingi interview here!

LimeLife Interviews Kelly Rowland: "Kindness Goes Further Than Anything"

Even as celebrity writers, it's not often we get the chance to talk to a singer with a number-one song that's up for a Grammy next week. "When Love Takes Over" star and former Destiny's Child Kelly Rowland talked with LimeLife's celebrity editor recently at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. When we asked Rowland how she's continued to fare so favorably in her solo career, she opened up in one of our most revealing interviews ever. If you've thought career success was about claiming territory and staring down competition, Kelly Rowland may transform your approach completely. Read on for the full Q&A, courtesy of our friends at LimeLife! Photo Credit: PR Photos

Enter To Win One Of THREE Jewelry Goodie Bags From Hello Drama!

If you've ever been in high school, joined a sorority, or had a roommate (or even just friends, for that matter), you've probably experienced what many like to call "drama." Think that ship has sailed? Well, not quite! Turns out there's some drama of a different sort headed our way, except this kind won't make you run for the hills or do things that fall under the category of snarky/passive aggressive. Hello Drama jewelry was created by designers and Nylon Pink band members Katt and Kaila, who cite rock, lyrics, and anime as inspiration for their girly, kitschy, and over all edgy collection. The jewelry packs some serious attitude, but is cute and clever too! Read on for an interview with the Hello Drama design duo, and find out how you can score a jewelry goodie bag worth $50!

Jewelry From Litter SF Is Everyone's Treasure!

Sick and tired of your usual jewelry? It's time to look beyond the boring bracelet and necklace and look to LITTER. No-- not the trash you find on the street, the line of jewelry created by the dynamic sister duo Mackenzie Burdick and Rachael Mann. The girls make shoe chains, rings, headpieces and all sorts of other unexpected things that have me coveting every single chain link they put their hands on. The entire collection has an expected toughness to it and lends itself perfectly to that rough and tumble aesthetic I've been known to rave about time and again. Turn your shoes into one-of-a-kind pieces with their fashion forward shoe jewelry. Take a simple t-shirt into extraordinary with one of their chain harnesses. Chain rings and ear cuffs as well as some crazy sterling silver cougar claws round out the collection of eclectic jewelry. I took a minute to pick the brains of this San Francisco-based duo and find out what goes on in those creative little heads of theirs. Read on to find out more, and check out the slideshow to see some the designs. You can purchase them on Littersf.com.

Meet Designer Nina Nikicio, Stylehive's Next Big Thing!

If anyone has had the misfortune of breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, then you've probably had the urge to stay in your room all day, watch bad movies, and wear the same thing for 2 weeks straight. While I can't help you with your choices of movies, it may be worthwhile to take a look at Nina Nikicio's newest diffusion line oneandahalf. Her first collection, entitled "Heartbreak" boasts affordable prices from $16-$55. Instead of wearing sweats that have seen better days, "Heartbreak" features shirts and blazers with detachable arms, collars, and cuffs that provide endless variations. That means no one will ever know that shirt dress you wore yesterday is the same as the sleeveless vest you're wearing today! With a monochrome black, white, and gray color pallete, it's easy to mix, match, and never clash. Indonesian-born and Singapore-based designer Nina Nikicio started her eponymous fashion line in 2006 after attending Lasalle College of The Arts in Singapore and earning a diploma in fashion design. She's certainly keeping busy with two fashion lines! I got a chance to find out what inspired Nina for her latest collection and what we can expect to find in the near future. Click here to visit the oneandahalf site and contact them directly to order. Read on for the interview and click the slideshow to see her oneandahalf line.

Meet Designer KahriAnne Kerr, Stylehive's Next Big Thing!

I love reading success stories from people who grew up in small towns and make it in the Big Apple. KahriAnne Kerr is no stranger to small towns. She grew up in a farm in Tripoli, Iowa which she describes as "a tiny town in the middle of no where" and taught herself how to sew and design clothes. After going to school for fashion design and moving to New York City in 2003, you can now find her designs online and in boutiques all around the world! Her fashion line Kahri has found celebrity fans such as Fergie, Aubrey O'Day, and Paris Hilton. With her motto: "Be Rebellious!" it's easy to see why women looking for unique designs go to Kahri. Her inspiration for her Spring 2009 "Baby Love" collection came from listening to music from the 1960s and she hits the right notes with clothes that the modern day pin-up girl will want to wear. Her clothes are sexy without being trashy and it's definitely not something you can find at the mall! Keep reading to learn about how she's using fashion to fight cancer and click the slideshow to see her Spring 2009 "Baby Love" collection!

Meet Koi Suwannagate, Stylehive's Next Big Thing!

Fashion designer Koi Suwannagate first came to my attention when she collaborated with Phillip Lim for his Spring 2007 collection (remember those rosette dresses that were sold out everywhere?). Also in 2007, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and Vogue chose the designer as a finalist for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award. Born in Bangkok and now designing out of Los Angeles, Koi is known for her romantic designs and signature draped cashmere pieces. It's easy to see why Kirsten Dunst, Oprah Winfrey and Christina Ricci have all worn pieces by Koi! We got a chance to talk to Koi, amidst her busy schedule, about who her favorite designers are and what we can expect from her next! Read on to see the interview and check out the slideshow to see her favorite pieces from her Spring collection, as well as a few beautiful looks that you can purchase from her online store.

Meet Shoe Designer Martha Davis, Stylehive's Next Big Thing!

While I am proud to be a San Francisco native, I know it's definitely not a fashion capital like New York or Paris. So my fashion spider sense definitely perked up when I heard about a local shoe designer making waves in the fashion scene. Originally from the East Coast, Martha Davis moved to San Francisco eight years ago for a job and never left. Looking to create something of her own after years of working in industrial design, Martha went to Milan where she enrolled in the Ars Sutoria program to learn everything about footwear. Lucky for me, I got a look of her current Spring 2009 shoe line and a preview of her upcoming Fall collection. Wearing a raw edged ruffle dress and mismatched shoes (from her line, of course!), Martha was a gracious host on the rooftop terrace of a posh hotel on the San Francisco waterfront. Everyone oohed and ahhed over the shoes and those with small enough feet got to try on the samples! Can you believe the shoes are made in the same Italian factory used by Chanel and Chloe? The leather is butter soft and even the tallest boots are generous enough to fit any calf shape without any zippers! By the way, every woman I asked wearing Martha's shoes said they were super comfortable. In the Bay Area? Her shoes can be found in Metier in San Francisco and Deliciouz in Walnut Creek. For everyone else, Shopbop will be carrying her collection in June! Mark my words, Martha Davis is a name to watch out for. Click the slideshow for some droolworthy shoes.

Enter To Win A Set Of Hair Products From WEN By Chaz Dean, Worth $164!

You may think your outfit is the bottom line when it comes to how you look, but anyone who's ever had a bad hair day knows that's just not the case! Even your best outfits don't feel quite right when your hair doesn't do its part, or does too much-- frizz, anyone? Coloring treatments and daily blow drying/straightening alone can cause a fair amount of damage, and that doesn't even take into account other factors like harsh weather and chemicals! But before you throw in the towel and resign yourself to a future filled with hats and last resort ponytails, let us introduce you to the WEN collection from Chaz Dean Studio. WEN is definitely not your typical hair care line- there's no shampoo! Instead of lathering your hair with chemicals, WEN cleansing conditioners use astringent and antibacterial elements to clean hair, while adding sheen, moisture, and strength. In formulas like fig, cucumber, aloe, sweet almond mint, tea tree, and lavender, you can be sure your hair will smell as wonderful as it is healthy! We spoke to Chaz Dean Studio about their hair treatments, favorite products, and advice for chronic blow dryers- click READ MORE to see what they had to say, and find out how you can win a WEN gift set!