Wednesday’s Women: Girls…Inc.

Okay, we’re not talking about the most recent episode of “Girls.” We’re actually talking about an organization called Girls Inc., and want to tell you more about it. The Lena Dunham conversation will have to wait until next week. (Yes, yes, we love Lena, too).

What is Girls Inc.?, you ask.

The Girls Inc. movement started in New England during the Industrial Revolution. At the time, young women were moving to cities from rural communities to work in textile mills and factories. This new working class of women needed mentoring to help them thrive in a completely new, foreign environment. HEUCY Dude Sean wrote an entire (awesome, Broadway-bound) musical around this new class of women and the many struggles they faced in a man’s world. (See previous post on “Factory Girls, The Musical”).

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Anyhoo, The Girls Inc. movement has grown quite a bit. Now it is an organization that provides life-changing experiences and solutions for over 138,000 young women across the U.S. and Canada. The basic premise: provide tools and programs to inspire young women to be STRONG, SMART and BOLD. Girls learn how to set and achieve goals, confront challenges, resist peer pressure, see college as attainable, and explore STEM curriculum.

I saw a couple of Girls Inc. “graduates” speak and I was beyond impressed by their stories. Every woman should be enabled to believe anything is possible. But it takes a village, so a combination of grit, savvy thinking, confidence and a support network is pretty crucial to success. As entrepreneurs, we couldn’t believe in this more.

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If you’d like to learn more about Girls Inc., and would like to get involved, go to www.girlsinc.org. Trust us, you’ll be moved by these young women’s accomplishments, and by the people behind the organization.

Xx,

The HEUCY Team

Monday’s Musing: MWA (Men’s Wardrobe Assistance)

This past weekend, I took a trip to Target en famille and noticed my husband sneak away to peruse the men’s denim section.  I thought to myself, Is he trying to avoid the toy aisle…or is he looking for new jeans? Perhaps it’s time for me to intervene.

The men in your lives may enjoy shopping (mine does not), but regardless everyone can use a little wardrobe advice.  And now that the “Dad Bod” is getting so much press, if your guy or friend (or dad!) has one, why not celebrate it with some cool new duds?  Which is why we turned to HEUCY Gal and style guru Nicola Harrison Ruiz to provide some invaluable men’s styling tips.  Nicola recently launched a men’s styling website and consulting service, called Harrison Style.  She can also be seen wearing the Perfect Ten dress on heucy.com’s “HEUCY Gals” page.  Trust us, you’ll want her advice!

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Here’s Nicola’s very simple, extremely doable take on Easy, Breezy, Handsome: Effortless Men’s style.  Enjoy!

It’s spring! Time for dresses and sandals, no more coats and tights and boots. No more taking 10 minutes just to layer up to face the cold. Spring and summer is all about easy, breezy dressing. But what about the men in our lives? As a personal stylist for men and women I find that while women have an easier time dressing in the warmer months, men tend to get a little sloppy when the temperatures heat up. So here are a few tips to pass on for effortless spring style for the guys.

Upgrade Your Denim

Everyone needs a good pair of dark denim jeans that fit right. They should be slim but not too skinny and definitely not baggy. Be sure they have a slight stretch and they’ll be just as comfy as the ones you’ve been wearing for the last ten years. I love Seven for All Mankind, Standard fit, or J. Brand, Kane fit, although there are number of brands out there with a slim straight leg, you just have to try a few on to get the fit that’s right for you.

Once you’ve got them WEAR THEM! I find that some guys save their dark denim for “going out” or dates. Don’t do that. Wear them to get coffee, to walk the dog, to go to brunch with your wife and kids. They instantly upgrade your look from those faded old jeans you’ve been wearing religiously for the past few years.

Don’t Sweat It

There’s nothing wrong with having a favorite sweatshirt or hoodie – just make sure it’s modern, flattering and fits well. Vince and Theory have some great options that are still casual but are more streamlined than that balloon-like sweatshirt you’ve been holding onto from your college days.

Get Sneaker Smart

Never wear your gym sneakers unless you’re going to the gym. Instead get a pair of what I call “street sneakers” to wear with jeans and casual pants. Converse and Adidas have various “cleaned up” versions, as do more designer lines such as Common Projects.

Invest in a Vest

Buy a thin vest (not the puffy kind) to layer under a sportcoat when it’s chilly, and to wear over a shirt or a sweater as the weather warms up. (It will also give you more pockets to store your keys and wallet so your pants don’t look bulky). You can’t go wrong with Barbour or Salence.

The Tan Suit

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If you don’t have a sharply tailored tan suit to get you through the spring and summer, now’s the time to get one. You can wear it to work, to a wedding, out to dinner, or wear just the jacket paired with jeans for a date. You can dress it up or down. Tan is so neutral that you can wear it with white, turquoise, lavender, powder blue – it’s hard to mess this up. It’s the one suit you should invest in now.

If you have a style question or you’re stumped about what to wear and how to wear, feel free to email me at Nicola@harrison-style.com or check out my website at http://www.harrison-style.com

Hope you found this as useful as we did!  Happy Monday.

xx,

The HEUCY Team

Behind The Seams: The Making of the Burnout Dress

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We just released another awesome, HEUCY Gal-friendly addition to our Spring 2015 collection: the Burnout dress.  It has a drawstring waist, pockets, and all of the simply chic comfort your day and night requires.  And it’s made right here in NYC.

Not to sound like a broken record, but I’ll go ahead and say it again.  Team HEUCY is really inspired by our relationship with our factory in Manhattan’s Garment Center.  Our factory owner Rosanna is a true partner, and we value the mentorship she has provided since we launched the brand in October.  We produced this video, in conjunction with NYC Fashion Made (nee Save the Garment Center), to show other young designers the importance of a collaborative relationship with a factory like Rosanna’s.

We’re very committed to thoughtfulness in design and production, which is why we use sustainable fabric and produce HEUCY garments locally.  We know you care about this, too.

Take a look when you can, and get your Burnout before it’s gone!

xx,

The HEUCY Team

Monday’s Musing: Motherhood

I’m sure many of you were celebrating, or being celebrated, yesterday for Mother’s Day.  Hopefully your day started with champagne wishes and caviar dreams, in bed, like mine.  Kidding!  I did get to take a nap, which was lovely.

HEUCY is all about celebrating women — moms, daughters, grandmothers, godmothers…the entire ethos of our collection is all about YOU.  We want to enable our HEUCY Gals to do all of the amazing things they do, unencumbered by synthetic, uncomfortable material or an outfit that won’t make it past 5pm.

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For those of you who are moms, you would probably agree that motherhood in this day and age is definitely not black and white; it’s complicated, busy, challenging, full and wonderful all at the same time.  Many of us have several different roles we need to fill throughout the day.  Which is why this article from The New York Times back in November really struck us.  It’s all about what “mommy-hood” has become in the 21st century, and how popular expectations for parents, and mothers, have become somewhat unattainable and unrealistic.  Here’s a link to Heather Havrilesky’s article, from The New York Times‘ November 9, 2014 Sunday op-ed:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/09/opinion/sunday/our-mommy-problem.html

We’re not saying we agree, or disagree…but it’s a great, interesting read.  Especially if you’re spending part of this day in line at the post office, or waiting somewhere else, and are in need of some quick lit and something to think about.  Besides waiting.  Hopefully you’re wearing HEUCY, so at least you’re comfortable.  Happy musing, gals.

xx,

The HEUCY Team

Thursday’s Top Ten “Made in USA” Mother’s Day Gifts

It’s Thursday, May 7th, people.  And if you’re like me, you may wait until the very last minute to buy something for a special occasion.  Thank goodness for online shopping and free (or almost free) shipping.  We’ve put together a list of our favorite locally made Mother’s Day gifts, in case you’re behind on this one.  Don’t worry, we are too…and it’s not too late if you act now!

Here’s our Top Ten for Mom (and/or You):

1) Lindsay Emery’s gorgeous porcelain plates are rolled out by hand in her North Carolina studio. They’re very reasonably priced and would make a lovely, thoughtful gift for Mom (or yourself). http://www.suiteonestudio.com

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2) HEUCY at 30% OFF!  HEUCY is ageless and is made for women-on-the-go, which includes moms, aunts, sisters and women in general who are traveling to visit you.  Remember, jersey barely wrinkles and our styles are extremely versatile!  Shop our sale now through Sunday on heucy.com.

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3) Pierrepont Hicks’ Dunoon Parka is a cool take on a preppy classic.  It’s good looking and practical, so of course we love it!  A water repellent shell, draw cords at the hood and waist, four outside pockets, and adjustable Velcro cuffs make this jacket a keeper.

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4) Page Sargisson Orchid Earrings are a subtle, beautiful way to tell Mom you love her.  These 10K gold cuties are made right here in NYC.

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5) Leontine Linens — a great gift for those who love a monogram!  These linens are “as sturdy as they are beautiful” and almost all are washer/dryer safe. Hand-sewn in the South.

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6) An Edie Parker bespoke clutch bag.  These aren’t cheap, but if you want to give someone a very special, personalized and cheeky gift that they’ll keep forever…this is it.

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7) Hanky Panky lingerie.  Okay, this might seem a little too personal.  But it will be appreciated.  Underwear — especially the type that comes sans panty lines — is the gift that keeps on giving.

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8) The Best American Short Stories of 2014.  This anthology of amazing literature never fails to entertain, and this year’s stories were chosen by one of our fave authors, Jennifer Egan, who won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel A Visit From the Goon Squad.

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9) Shinn Estate Wine from the North Fork of Long Island.  This vineyard never disappoints.  And they deliver.  Nuff said.

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10) A donation to a school via Donor’s Choose, on your mom’s behalf.  Definitely one of the best ways to spend your money.

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Happy Mother’s Day to you and/or the women in your life!  And happy Spring!

xx,

The HEUCY Team

Introducing…our two latest HEUCY Gals

Yesterday was one of those days where time flies by, but you’re having so much fun you don’t realize it!  We know, firsthand, that this is not always the case…so if you want to live vicariously, read on about our shoot yesterday and the incredible HEUCY Gals (nee “real life” models), Robin and Asa, we were lucky enough to photograph.  Hopefully they will inspire you too.

Setting: it’s 10:30am, on a Thursday.  Suwha and I are consuming our third (or fourth?) cups of coffee, working.  At that moment, a beautiful, statuesque, cheerful woman appears at the door of HEUCY HQ.  It is Robin Wilson, our first model for that day.  We knew Robin was attractive.  And we knew that she was an entrepreneurial powerhouse; her second book, Clean Design: Wellness for Your Lifestyle just came out (she’s currently in the midst of a 12 city tour now to promote it) and she is the CEO of Robin Wilson Home, a line of eco-friendly home products that is sold at Bed, Bath & Beyond.

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We wanted to photograph Robin partly because of her advocacy of green living, a natural synergy with HEUCY.  But as we chatted with Robin after she arrived, Suwha and I realized that we had won the model lottery!  Not only would Robin look amazing in a potato sack (I mean, those arms…), but she also had a lot of invaluable business advice for us.  Robin has been incredibly successful in a variety of roles, and she has learned a lot along the way.  And, because Robin had been a model back in the day, she was a natural in front of the camera.  Robin is also a mom, and she successfully juggles her growing empire with being a doting parent.  It was really encouraging to talk with her about motherhood and running a business.

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After bidding Robin adieu, and best of luck on her book tour, we trekked to Williamsburg, Brooklyn to photograph our other new lady crush Asa Larsson.  Picture Gwyneth Paltrow with a shorter haircut and a slight Swedish accent.  Asa Larsson had been head of PR at Marc Jacobs for years, and she made the brave choice to leave one of the most coveted jobs on the planet after her adorable son Odin was born.  She decided to pursue a path that was just as creative and challenging, but more flexible than that of high fashion PR.

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Asa and her husband David recently launched ATELJÉ 71, a line of Swedish-inspired shoes that are featured throughout HEUCY’s Spring 2015 look book.  They are seriously some of the coolest shoes we’ve ever seen.  When our stylist Kristen Ingersoll introduced us to ATELJÉ 71, we said we had to meet the founders because “Nordic Spring” was our inspiration for this season…and because ATELJÉ 71 and HEUCY are brands rooted in the same conventions and aesthetic.  Both are focused on creating beautiful and thoughtful design for strong, dynamic women…who do a lot of sh*t and who move around a lot!  These women need a practical, chic uniform to accommodate a full life.

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I don’t exaggerate when I say I wanted to move into Asa’s apartment.  I was really hoping she and David would adopt me, so I could just hang out on their sick terrace (that view!!) all evening and drink wine and laugh and chat about life.

But, alas, we needed to give Asa, David and Odin some space since they had hosted us for a few hours and Asa and David had to get ready for a night out on the town…as cute couples do.  Yesterday was one of those days when you realize how important it is to get out and meet women like Robin and Asa to get inspired, and to feel connected to the world around you.  This is especially true now, when so many people have lives and careers that are more gray than black and white.

More photos to come.  Until then, happy May Day and TGIF!

xx,

The HEUCY Team