New York Fashion Week

Time Square
Time Square…we’re back!
Cushnie et Ochs high waisted pant with cut out knit top
Cushnie et Ochs
Cushnie et Ochs
Cushnie et Ochs
Cushnie et Ochs inspiration board for Spring '14 collection
Cushnie et Ochs inspiration board for Spring ’14 collection
Creative ways to get to your next appointment when you can't find a cab!
Creative ways to get to your next appointment when you can’t find a cab!
Betsy and Caroline (not pictured) at Lela Rose are our restaurant directors!
Betsy and Caroline (not pictured) at Lela Rose are our restaurant experts!
Rebecca and Deb at ABC Kitchen....their cosmos were just as tasty as the food!
Rebecca and Deb at ABC Kitchen….the cosmos were just as tasty as the food!
Big Gay Ice Cream
Big Gay Ice Cream Shop!
"The Glob"
“The American Glob” No, you really can’t have just one bite!
Oooh...ahhhh...Starbucks Gold Card!
Oooh…ahhhh…Starbucks Gold Card!

Sometimes I just can’t believe that I am New York looking at the next season when the current season is just beginning! I love giving you glimpses into our market trips and this Fashion Week is no exception. You have been loving what we have in store right now for fall (thank you for being so supportive of our local business) and you will be over-the-moon for the spring ’14 fashion we are hand-selecting right now for you!
As you know, I like to highlight a few experiences of our trip and one that I couldn’t wait to blog about was the inspiration for Cushnie et Ochs spring ’14 collection. Designers Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs always push past the norm in inspiration and this season held true with their focus being the straitjacket. The model came out in these sophisticated, edgy looks that are so striking and then their sales director lead us to the inspiration board. I had to take a picture to show you (peek at it a second). You actually can see in the looks the similarities to the straitjacket. Would you ever in a million years think that such luxuriously modern pieces could have been derived from an association with an ugly  medical garment that is meant to constrain and bind ? Carly and Michelle are truly creative and talented designers that continue to get accolades from CFDA and dress celebrities such as Rihanna, Eva Longoria, Selena Gomez and even First Lady Michelle Obama!
We are creatures of habit and after a day of back-to-back appointments, we always like to conclude with dinner at a great local restaurant. Our Lela Rose reps take great care of us in this category (and with their exceptional collection) and always recommend yummy restaurants that are in their neighborhoods. In fact, when we walked in the showroom, Betsy had a list all ready for us…we just love her!  ABC Kitchen in Union Square was the must-dine-at winner for the evening with its local organic environmentally conscious food offering. Here’s the link: We waited close to two hours for a table. And after getting up at 3:30am to catch our flight that morning, I wasn’t sure it would be worth the wait, fortunately, I was wrong. I would wait three hours if necessary….it was soooooo goooood!  They also recommended we go for ice cream to Big Gay Ice Cream Shop (you would only know about this ice cream place if you’re a local). So, we made the pilgrimage to have ice cream and both ordered the American Glob…ice cream rolled in pretzels and sea salt and then dipped in chocolate. I thought I might have to wear sweat pants the next day I was so full, but I couldn’t stop eating it. It was nothing fancy, but it was INCREDIBLE! It is a must for you, put it on your list now…you will be sending me gifts of thanks later!

On our last trip we had our flight home cancelled.  This trip we continued the trend…ugh…I guess we are consistent if you want to look at it that way.  Our flight was cancelled due to weather and we couldn’t get a flight until the following night!!!  I swear I am jinxed!  Fortunately, Deb Clark our merchandise manager was also in market and so we joined her for her appointments…atleast we were productive during our misfortune!

Lots of time in market creates the need for caffeine and quick food during the day….our favorite choice while in the city is Starbucks.(Venti China Green Tips tea, please!)  Today at home when I was opening mail, there it was…..the Starbucks gold card.  I never even knew this secret club existed, but I’m feeling kinda cool and that this is the moment in which I have “arrived”…ha!  Who would have known being in the fashion business would have these type of perks!


Spring Break Fashion

photo5Tomorrow starts my kids’ spring break and we are off to sunny Florida! The weather here in Michigan has been more than challenging to endure this spring (more like unending winter) and I have been eagerly anticipating my 10 day escape! Of course, it wouldn’t be right to go on vacation without doing some shopping and as everyone knows, shopping is quite easy for me to accomplish.  Leigh’s, of course, is the only place I shop (I know this is not surprising to most of you!)! So, I took a peruse through the store today and deciding is the toughest part….I L-O-V-E everything….except my husband would not L-O-V-E me bringing the entire store inventory home.  Choices must be made, but I am happy to report that I came up with lots of goodies for my suitcase without overdoing (I think).  I’m dying to share with someone my selections…so that means you are going to be the first to know! I displayed it on my office door so I could provide a picture for the post….visuals are so much easier. Top Left:  Look at this darling Kate Spade yellow and white stripe dress with the Magaschoni wrap. When is the last time you indulged in a new dress for Easter? This year, I decided I’m splurging (Who says new Easter dresses are only for our sweet daughters?) and this dress is like a ray of sunshine…makes me smile! And since we’re talking about dresses, I just love dresses when I’m on vacation; they’re so easy to pack and wear….one article of clothing and, ta-da,  you have a complete outfit! Move your eyes to the middle dress; what’s not to love about this little black DVF number with the embellished neck?! I don’t even have to think about an accessory (This is a very good thing when I’ve been floating in a pool all day sipping on a marguerita…thinking is not a top priority.)!  Right next to it,  is a great casual dress from Veronica Beard (VB was recently featured on ….our first season having this collection in the store and everyone is loving it…including me!  Which leads me to the pink slicker with black trim. I did check the forecast in Orlando and guess what?  It might rain. Bummer…not!  What a good reason to invest in a raincoat…such as this feminine one from RED Valentino (You should see it on – AMAZING – so girly!). Finally, we all need some super casual (yet, very cool) attire when we are kickin’ back for some R&R.  I wanted color after all these gray skies and Trina Turk and LePhare had just what I was looking for…FUN shorts and tops…so cheery!  Well my suitcase is full, stop in and we’ll make sure yours is too!

Fall ’13 Market in NYC

photophoto2photo3photo9photo11232323232fp543;3_nu=3287_785__56_WSNRCG=388;76;__932_nu0mrj[1]photo12photo13Pic 1:  View from Agnona showroom….beautiful Central Park!  Pic 2:  l-r Rachel Ruiz and Rebecca Wierda   WOOD TV8 Rachel Ruiz met us in market to see how we pick the best fashion to bring back to West Michigan!  Pic 3:  Chelsea Morrison our account executive at Yigal Azrouel happens to be from Holland, Michigan and is a U of M grad (We heart her!)!  The beautiful models show Deb Wurfel and I looks from Yigal’s fall ’13 collection as WOOD TV 8 films for an upcoming eightWest segment.  Pic 4:  Douglas Hannant runway show….glamorous as always!  If you’re in NYC during Fashion Week, seeing your favorite designer’s presentation is a must! Pic 5: l-r Rebecca and Deb   If you work hard all day, you must find great dining!  We always ask for recommendations when we are in the showrooms and our friends at Lela Rose gave us a great one (two thumbs up)!  The Dutch, located in Soho ( was AMAZING!  Put it on your short list for next time you are in the city!  Pic 7:  One of our favorite new collections we viewed; Japanese designer Adeam has brought her collection to the US.  This is her 4th season and 1st in the US…..and, of course, we had a pulse on this and were the first specialty store in the US to see it!  Pic 8: l – r Rebecca, Doug and Deb What do you do on Valentine’s Day when your sweetheart is in another state?  Deb and I made a date with Doug!  We love to stay at Ink48 on 48th and 11th.  They have a wonderful farm-to-table restaurant called Print (  No, this is not your ordinary hotel restaurant…it is extraordinarily hip and cool!  And, since we stay here frequently, Doug who works at Print made sure we had reserved seating and champagne for the big heart night!  Pic 9:  l-r Deb, Tia and Rebecca Designer Tia Cabani (who had once designed for Ports 1961) has broke out on her own with her own collection – Tia Cabani.  We were thrilled when we walked in the showroom and there she was to greet us!  She is such a great talent (and an enjoyable person) and I think we loved every single piece in the collection!  I begged her, “Please show us something we won’t like!”

As I shared with you in an earlier blog, Leigh’s was voted the Best Women’s Clothing Store in Grand Rapids.  There’s a lot that goes on well in advance of each season to bring the very best in fashion to West Michigan  (Isn’t it crazy to think we were looking at fall ’13 fashion this trip when spring ’13 is just arriving at our store?!) .  We go into NYC so that we can feel the fabrics, see the detailing and workmanship of each garment,  scout for the hottest up-and-coming designers and forecast the latest fashion trends all for that perfectly edited selection.  So, when you walk into Leigh’s you can feel confident that you are seeing the absolute best fashion the market has to offer from designers whose labels are typically only found in major cities!