A Case of the Mondays…and Why We Should Play

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It’s Monday, and some of us are getting back to work after a spring vacation. It’s amazing how refreshed you can feel in a Panama hat and a HEUCY Alter Ego jumpsuit…and then reality sets in as the week begins. My kids were so excited to get back to school and, full disclosure, I was pretty excited to get them back too!

As I watched my daughter spend several minutes picking out her outfit and accessories, and literally skip to school…it made me think. When did I become so un-excited about returning to my routine? Why was I not running to the mailbox to pay the bills that awaited me? Why was I not dancing through the front doors of my doctor’s office for my annual physical exam? I laughed at all of the #caseofthemondays posts on Instagram today…but it made me kind of pensive, too. When did we (or I, sorry to pull you into this) lose that sense of joy that children have?

Fortunately, some very qualified people have also looked into this topic – specifically, the idea of play and its importance during childhood and beyond. Sometimes we work too much – or we think too much about working. Or, worst of all, we worry too much about basically everything. This has repercussions beyond just being sort of unhappy – it can actually affect your health.

Which brings me to a TED talk you must listen to when you have a chance. According to Dr. Stuart Brown, we actually need to play as adults. For sharp minds and healthy hearts. And lucky for you, HEUCY’s eco-friendly jersey fabric is the perfect material for work and play. And everything in between.

Have a wonderful week ahead.

xx,

The HEUCY Team

Tuesday’s Top Five: Inspired by the South

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As one half of team HEUCY visits family on the coast of Georgia, we’re reminded of some of the many things that we love about the South. Peel ‘n eat shrimp, people with manners, and – to put it simply – the natural beauty in this area of the world. Even on a cloudy day (and we’ve had a few since our visit started), the marsh and town “square” are gorgeous and remain seemingly untouched by the modern world.

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Right now is vacation time for a few of you, and some have a break coming soon…so we wanted to highlight our favorite movies that were filmed and take place on the Southeastern coast. Hopefully you can kick up your heels, reward yourself for surviving the worst winter (ever?), and relax in some eco-friendly HEUCY jersey while you curl up and enjoy some of these flicks. A few are also books, if you’re so inclined.

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The Big Chill. So much to love about this movie. The setting, an antebellum house in Beaufort, South Carolina (where HEUCY Gal Claire Nitze hails from and where The Great Santini was also filmed), is absolutely gorgeous and the soundtrack is awesome: Rolling Stones, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations. The term “big chill dinner” is often used in my household to indicate the best type of cooking – when it’s paired with lots of wine, music and good company. Watching a bunch of baby boomer college friends reunite after their friend has passed away, and forcing themselves to confront their own thirtysomething issues, is pretty poignant. Fun fact: Kevin Costner was cast as the dead character Alex, but all scenes showing his face were cut…he’s made career strides since then, obviously.

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Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. This is one of the best books I’ve read, and it’s a pretty good movie, too. John Kelso, a “Yankee”, travels to Savannah, Georgia to write a feature about Jim Williams’ famous annual Christmas party. What Kelso discovers is much more – a cast of irresistible, hilarious yet incredibly real characters in Savannah and unexpectedly, a murder trial. Kelso’s dry descriptions of his new friends down South, amidst the beautiful architecture and setting of “old” Savannah, are spot-on in the book. The movie features one of Jude Law’s first performances on screen, and Jude demonstrates that he looks good AND he can act. We love seeing Kevin Spacey with a moustache too. Spacey’s southern accent in the film proves he was meant to play Frank Underwood one day.

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The Prince of Tides. I won’t lie. I never pictured Barbra Streisand as Dr. Lowenstein when I read Pat Conroy’s popular novel many years ago. But I have to say, she pulls it off (of course she does…I mean, Babs is a HEUCY Gal) and Nick Nolte is wonderful as Tom. This book is a great beach read – try to read it before you watch the movie.

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Forrest Gump. The scene in Forsyth Square in Savannah helped put that great town back on the map. Tom Hanks, Robin Wright and Gary Sinise play unforgettable roles in a movie that made me pine for the deep South even while I was living there. (Side note: Robin, if you’re reading this…PLEASE replace Claire Underwood’s wardrobe with some jersey).

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Glory. Filmed throughout Georgia and South Carolina and featuring a nearly unrecognizable Matthew Broderick. Denzel Washington is ah-mazing as a young, angry soldier, and Morgan Freeman – per usual – delivers a fabulous performance.

Okay, gals.  You made it through winter.  Throw on some HEUCY, relax and enjoy!  Whether you’re on vacation or not…

xx,

Team HEUCY

Amanda Freeman, HEUCY Gal Du Jour, in Indigo…

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As you probably know, HEUCY is sort of obsessed with our customers.  The HEUCY Gals who wear our clothes inspire us — and our designs — every single day.  So in addition to photographing some of these amazing gals, we wanted to share their “everyday” tips and thoughts.  Below are a few from successful entrepreneur Amanda Freeman, the owner of SLT NYC.  Beware, Amanda’s favorite vacation spot makes us want to rob a bank and get out West…fast!  Enjoy.

AMANDA’S FAVORITE VACATION SPOT:

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Hmm…I love travel, so it’s hard to pick one favorite…guess it would have to be this amazing hotel in the middle of nowhere in Utah called Amangiri. I’m actually shocked I just picked that because it’s nowhere near the beach (which I love, love, love). However, it’s one of the most stunning settings I’ve ever seen in my life. The canyon vistas are so amazing, they look fake. You can hike, rock climb (so scary), take a boat ride on a nearby lake, lounge by the pool and indulge in spa treatments. If it wasn’t so difficult to get to, it would be crazy expensive and always booked.

FAVORITE FOOD:

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Another tough one…I guess I’d have to say chocolate. Dark chocolate bars, molten chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies…pretty much anything with chocolate in it.

CURRENTLY READING…

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It’s taking me forever, but I’m determined to finish it…The Goldfinch. It came very highly recommended, took me some time to get into, but I’m very curious how it ends. It’s a giant book and I am almost there.

FAVORITE HEUCY OUTFIT (HAD TO ASK):

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That’s a tie between The Weekender and The Alter Ego…both so cute and comfy.

IF I HAD TWENTY FREE MINUTES RIGHT NOW, I WOULD…

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It’s March Madness time and I’m a big college basketball fan (Go Duke!), so I’d have to say watch basketball or SportsCenter.

And how fitting, the Indigo Weekender is blue…perfect for watching the Duke Blue Devils.  Have a great weekend, friends! TGIF.

xx,

The HEUCY Team

Why Do We Live in New York? Here’s One Reason…

Here in New York, a lot of talk has revolved around weather for the past few months.  Specifically, how cold and miserable it is.  A friend told me this morning that in addition to being frigid cold this past month, she spotted a rat “napping” on the street right outside of her house as she took her kids to school.  She instructed them to step over it, but is currently looking at real estate in Florida.

But hold on.  Now that it’s — finally!!! — getting warmer up here in NYC, it’s time to take stock of some of the amazing things one can find only in New York.  We know this is a phrase some people use to justify living in overpriced apartments the size of dog houses…but it’s also true in many respects.

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For instance, I recently went to 54 Below to see a live reading of “Factory Girls”, a Broadway-bound musical about women working in a fabric mill in Lowell, Massachusetts at the beginning of the industrial age.  Our friend Sean Mahoney (who also happens to be HEUCY’s very witty go-to DJ, and husband of our Sensei/Life Coach/HEUCY Gal Emily) is the brilliant musician behind it, along with three other incredibly talented HEUCY Dudes: musician Creighton Irons and book writers Rob Ackerman and Sam Forman.  The masterly cast of performers was out of this world and reminded me why I don’t even dare to do karaoke.

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But “Factory Girls” is about much more than a mill.  It’s about women who were moving out of the kitchen and into the workforce.  Work conditions back then were grueling (it makes you feel guilty about ever complaining about a missed lunch or a cubicle) and the women were treated like the machines they operated.  But this type of work — and that era — paved the way for some women to to speak on behalf of others, for better — if not equal — rights.  And the music is absolutely fabulous.  It’s like Les Mis and other musical theatre that you can’t get out of your head…because the story and the words are just as dissonant as the tunes.  There is a love story, there is heartbreak and tragedy…and there is redemption.

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The “Factory Girls” show coincided with our production of HEUCY’s anxiously anticipated “Behind the Seams” video of our factory in New York City’s Garment District.  Without the partnership of our factory girls — and guys — on 36th street, we wouldn’t be able to produce and sell our line.  It was also empowering to see women on stage singing about equality, and rights, and happiness.  In an age when women were considered inferior to men, and “equality” was a dream and not a reality.

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Also, seeing a show at 54 Below — the former basement of Studio 54, where Mick Jagger and Halston and countless other fashion and entertainment icons boogied the night away (among other things we can’t put in writing) — reminded us that yes, there is a reason why we live, and create, in NYC.

For updates on upcoming “Factory Girls” shows and news, follow HEUCY on Facebook and @heucydotcom on Instagram and Twitter.

xx,

The HEUCY Team

Topic du Jour: Photography…and Forty

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Yesterday we had a really great time photographing two HEUCY Gals in our Spring 2015 styles.

Our first stop was the SLT (Strengthen Lengthen Tone, www.sltnyc.com) headquarters in Manhattan. Amanda Freeman, super-successful (and game-for-anything) entrepreneur and health and wellness expert, was kind enough to model a couple of new HEUCY looks in SLT’s bright, happy, sunlit offices.

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Then we headed downtown to Tribeca, to photograph Claudia Wu of Cherry Bombe magazine (www.cherrybombe.com). Claudia and her co-editor, HEUCY Gal Kerry Diamond, worked at Bazaar together and launched Cherry Bombe because they love food and they love interesting women. (In their words, they profile women in their magazine who “do cool shit”…in the kitchen and in life in general). Naturally, this makes us love Claudia and Kerry because we are kindred spirits. The Cherry Bombe Jubilee conference is on March 29th and we’re so sad to miss it, partly because our gourmet spirit guide Ina Garten will be speaking on a panel. And they’ll be celebrating women and food, which are two of our favorite topics always, in all ways.

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Sometimes it helps when your models are friends, and not real models (even though they look like they should be)…because you can talk about “real” things and laugh and actually connect with each other.

Case in point. Throughout the day, our conversation kept going back to age, especially at SLT where a bunch of hard bodies were sweating it out on reformers while I debated what I would eat for lunch. Our photographer Vanessa (who also happens to be a playwrite and a mom and a wife and ergo pretty darn cool) turned 40 last year, one of our fave HEUCY Gals Alice turned 40 the day of the shoot (sorry to out you, Alice). And I’m skidding toward that birthday in September. It made me think, what do I want to do when I’m 40? Does it need to be something “big” and impactful…or do those big and impactful things happen over time? And is part of “maturing” accepting that we will never be perfect? We spend a lot of cumulative minutes and hours beating ourselves up for not doing enough, not “making it happen”…which is a waste of precious time and headspace.

It also happens to be International Women’s Week this week, which is the perfect time to remind ourselves of the real world out there and our place in it. I came across a great quote to share that makes sense whether you’re 25, 40, 65, older or somewhere in between. Because we know that HEUCY Gals come in all shapes, sizes and age groups. Which is what makes you so awesome.

Here’s the quote of the day, from Alyssa Goodman, Professor of Astronomy at Harvard University and Research Associate of the Smithsonian Institution (we’re not messing around):

The thing that’s grand about spending your time thinking about the universe is that it makes you feel insignificant. I don’t mean that in a bad way. If you understand that we’ve now discovered entire solar systems that contain planets similar to Earth, and that those are just the ones we know about, since most of the stars we’ve looked at are within about 300 light-years of Earth and the distance to the center of our galaxy is nearly 100 times that—then you realize that the laundry you’ve left undone and the dumb thing you said yesterday are about as significant as slime mold.

Enjoy your day, no matter what birthday is coming up!  And thank you again, Amanda and Claudia, for being such exceptional HEUCY Gals and models!

xx,

The HEUCY Team

A Really Good Reason to Buy a Coat

It’s March 5th today. And, for many of us, it’s still cold outside. Snowing, in fact. Which makes it a perfect time to highlight a wonderful charitable organization called Operation Warm (www.operationwarm.org) — a non-profit that has provided brand-new coats to nearly 2 million children in poverty since 2002.

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We just spoke with Operation Warm’s lovely and dynamic Program Director, Renee Koerner. Renee is only 26 years old (which means she was born in or around…oh my goodness…1989?!) and she is incredibly articulate and passionate. We are proud to call her a HEUCY Gal and even prouder of her “boss” and the program’s founder, philanthropist and entrepreneur Richard Stanford, for giving Renee the autonomy and support she needs to help the organization grow. Many of us didn’t have this type of “supervisor” when we were toiling in the trenches after college.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Some background for you.

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In 2012, Renee joined Operation Warm and worked with a Washington, D.C. Firefighter to bring the entire International Association of Fire Fighters on board, to raise money across the U.S. for new coats for kids in poverty. Firefighters – in addition to being kind-hearted, strong, capable, selfless and, in many cases, very cute (we’ve all seen “Backdraft”…which may have been released before Renee’s birthday, but I digress) – see a lot of things within their communities that other people don’t. Such as, freezing kids coming into the firehouse to keep warm. This one firefighter had organized a lot of coat drives and ended up discarding about half of the coats received because they weren’t wearable. Which led to the idea to fundraise for new coats, on a national level.

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One more reason why we love this organization? Renee and Sanford have been the driving force behind moving Operation Warm’s production back to the United States. They provided 300,000 coats to impoverished children in the U.S. last year, and 60,000 of these were made in the USA. Renee hopes to increase this number every year.

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And Renee is launching another brilliant initiative this year: Buy Warm, Give Warm. If you buy an Operation Warm coat for a child in your life, then a new coat will be donated to a child in need. Renee hopes to produce womens’ coats at some point, which we think is fabulous. We’d love to see an Operation Warm coat on top of a HEUCY dress or jumpsuit. I loathe being cold, but would be happy to put on a coat if I knew it was helping people who can’t afford to buy their own.

Click here if you’d like to get involved in Operation Warm’s mission.

And thank you, Renee, for inspiring us to give.

xx,

The HEUCY Team

Monday’s Musing…on a Tuesday

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A few months back, we were obsessing over Carrie Mathison’s choice of accessories. A cross-body bag didn’t seem like the smartest choice for a CIA operative in Pakistan, especially when she’s being chased by bad guys. But we’ve let that go, as we’ve noticed how fabulous a cross-body bag would look with our Nordic Spring styles. Once again, Carrie, you were right.

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Alas, we have to wait many months to see how Carrie’s wardrobe choices and love life evolves. Fortunately, House of Cards is now available on Netflix! We can throw down our books and binge watch five episodes at a time, as one is meant to do, regardless of wake-up time and other more serious obligations.

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And as we watch House of Cards, we can’t help but analyze Claire Underwood’s wardrobe. If anyone has a uniform, it’s this first lady. Claire is much more high fashion than Carrie, natch (no pant suits in sight)…but her style also lacks a comfort that could benefit the busy days and nights of WOPOTUS. Maybe Claire wouldn’t be so darn mean and conniving if she weren’t packed into a tight, unforgiving pencil skirt?  Perhaps the scheming would stop, or lessen a bit, if Claire was wearing the Alter Ego jumpsuit and daydreaming about her more innocent days as a Harvard undergrad?

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We can see that Claire loves a very well-tailored garment, and that won’t change. But with all that back-stabbing, manipulation, running around the Capitol and – literally — running…we think Claire should incorporate some HEUCY sustainable jersey into her life. It would accommodate her active lifestyle much better than those stiff dresses and tight blazers. And we think the environmental lobbyists would go crazy over her eco-friendly fashion.

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Here are our top 5 picks for Claire, just in time for Spring and the cherry trees abloom.

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The Date Night in feather print. Lots of allusions to eggs and feathers in episode 2. Again, we won’t go there…but we do think the print would look FAB on Claire and could be perfect if she decides to escape D.C. again to visit an old amour. This dress is so easy to pack and it doesn’t wrinkle. (Remember, last time, she didn’t even change clothes. This could fit into her Celine bag).

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The Alter Ego in gray bamboo microstripe. Gray is such a House of Cards color…and this jumpsuit is perfect for lounging on the White House couch, lobbying senators for that coveted UN appointment.

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The Weekender in Indigo. We can’t wait to release this style very soon (stay tuned). Once campaigning starts, Claire will need this dress. She’s obviously very disciplined about what she eats…but chicken wings and donuts are part of the job when want red state votes. (I come from one, so I’m not judging). A little looser fabric around the middle can’t hurt when the photo-op snacking starts. Sorry, Claire. But it must be done for the sake of the country.

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The Problem Solver. This dress is great for women like Claire, who love to run and who always have problems that need solving. She could throw this on after a jog around the Mall, and quickly pop into Hector Mendoza’s office to tell him what she really thinks.   A “hothead”, Mr. Mendoza, would not wear a cool dress like this.

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The Burnout. We haven’t finished Season 3 yet (don’t tell us the ending!), so we’re still placing bets on what happens. I’m thinking Claire finally has a crisis of conscience and she decides to run off to the Greek Isles with her ex-amour, the cute photographer.  A Mediterranean diet and lots of sunshine could do her a world of good.

Which leads to a spin-off…the photog is actually a CIA Operative who has had a fling with Carrie Mathison. A Claire/Carrie face-off would be phenomenal, don’t you think?  In jersey, of course.

xx,

The HEUCY Team