2014….Thank You!

Wow, I am amazed how quickly 2014 went by, but sometimes the best times always seem to move at a faster clip!  It was such a great year for Leigh’s and I want to thank you for making it so wonderful.  As you know, we are passionate about what we do; bringing the very best fashion the market has to offer right here to West Michigan for you…..our amazing customers.  You get it all from us….clothing, shoes, accessories and cosmetics and we love enhancing your own personal style all while delivering you an exceptional Leigh’s experience.  As I reflect on some of the new labels that we had in store for you in 2014, it makes me smile….Stella McCartney, Band of Outsiders, 10 Crosby Derek Lam, Derek Lam main collection, vintage Chanel and Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, Barbara Bui, Monique Lhuillier, Ella McHugh, Wes Gordon,Veil Cosmetics, Damone Roberts, Aerin and so many more.  With all this and all of your perennial favorites,  it might not surprise you when I share that we had another record year at Leigh’s and were once again voted one of the best women’s stores in Grand Rapids.  We are flattered and humbled by this.  We know there are a lot of choices out there and that you choose to support our local business not only allows us to be successful but means the world to us.  So, thank you.

We are also excited about what 2015 has in store….this is our 40th anniversary!  Yes, Larry Leigh founded the business in 1975.  My partners and I are also celebrating 10 years of owning the business and building the new store.  And…this will be our 10th anniversary of our signature runway presentation Couture for a Cure benefiting the Van Andel Institute (October 8…save the date).  We’re looking forward to celebrating these milestones with you through out the year.  Cheers to 2015!

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All I Want For Christmas

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I love the holidays because I love gift giving!  For me, there also is the whole other fun factor of assisting husbands/significant others with securing the perfect gift from Leigh’s.  My girlfriends happily anticipate having a beautifully wrapped Leigh’s blue box (or plural is even better) underneath their Christmas tree. (Of course, how fabulous is it making sure their holiday wishes come true?!?) When husbands come in for their inaugural Leigh’s shopping excursion, the look is  always the same…a deer in the headlights….frantic, stressed, unsure.  Then, relief…as they see all the options that have prepared and all they have to do is just point and  say, “Yes”….Easy Button.  Veterans (that rely on us each holiday season), typically coordinate with their buddies to meet at Leigh’s for their “shopping therapy” which consists of “refreshments” and some lively catching up as they sit in our comfy chairs by the fireplace with ESPN on the television. They know the insider scoop, Leigh’s has them covered…no worries, no panic.. just praise, praise, praise Christmas morning!  So, if you are getting down to the wire and need gifts that inspire, stop in and see us and we will help you wrap it up!

Sweater Weather

sweater weatherIt is officially my favorite time of year. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE our Michigan summers and always think how I would like to have extended play of June, July and August.  But then fall (the start of sweater weather) comes along and there’s the cool chill in the air, the leaves start changing colors and I am in season heaven and dying to pull out my sweaters!  Being from Northern Minnesota, sweater weather was 10 out of 12 months every year and so while other kids in the nation collected stamps, I had a collection of sweaters. (No, I am not kidding; it was my favorite thing to buy with my babysitting money!) This love affair with knits has continued to present day.  Sweaters are just so easy. Pull out the cashmere, throw on a pair of jeans and a great pair of booties and it’s a perfect day of autumn fashion. But, of course, I have not had time to change over my closet yet (which is the perfect excuse), so I had to go shopping for a few new additions….at my favorite store.  Fortunately, Leigh’s is brimming with fabulous sweaters and after a few laps around the store this morning I am feeling like I am ready to meet our cool weather forecast….fashionably!  Hope you can stop in soon; your next new sweater awaits you!

Athleisure

untitledEveryone has been asking me, “What is this athleisure thing that there’s all this buzz about?”  I am here to assist, so let’s discuss…  Perhaps you love the comfort of your Lululemon workout gear to the point that it is your go-to even when you are not headed to the gym.  I sense you are nodding your head.  (I know this because I love my Lululemon too.)  However, you have determined that you need and want more…..more fashion that is.  You’d rather look like you walked out of a fashion magazine than the gym. So, voila…athleisure! I like to think of it as the fashionable alternative to your yoga pant inspired workout attire.  Athleisure is still about easy, comfortable, cozy pieces….but adding the adjectives of chic, sophisticated and fashionable.  Someone pinch me…this is a dream come true!  Plus, put your running shoes back in the closet and grab a trendy “sneaker” to chase around town in or put a great fashion shoe with it.  If you’re like me, this gives you an excuse for more shoes….so don’t miss the opportunity!  I am all about athleisure and I think  you will be too.  We have it in store for you now from new labels such as Skin, Wilt, Nesh and Anatomie;  we can’t wait to show you!

Giving In Style

Behind the scene with the Leigh's team, l-r:     Patrick Plank, Natalie Cleary, Leslie Krumpschmid, Lauren Beattie, Katie Oostema, Carly Hanson-Birkhold, Giovanna Reilly, Lynnae Kalawart, Lesley Goebel
Behind the scenes with the Leigh’s team, l-r: Chris Trezciak, Patrick Plank, Natalie Cleary, Leslie Krumpschmid, Lauren Beattie, Katie Oostema, Carly Hanson-Birkhold, Giovanna Reilly, Lynnae Kalawart, Lesley Goebel, Billi Sue Potter back: Jane Hall
Our beautiful models reading to walk the runway, r-l: Anna DeBoer, Alex
Our beautiful models ready to walk the runway, r-l: Anna DeBoer, Alex Rozema, Abbie Strange ,Blair Badge , Emma Hall
The finale of another amazing runway show by Leigh's!
The finale of another amazing runway show by Leigh’s!

Leigh’s partnered with the Babies Welfare Guild for their Giving In Style fashion show to raise funds for Camp Blodgett. Camp Blodgett provides educational and camping opportunities to children that might not otherwise have these special summer experiences. It always warms my heart when we can do fashion shows to shine the spotlight on some of our community’s worthwhile organizations that support programs for women and children. Once again, my Leigh’s team put together an outstanding show for our guests. As I watch the different looks come down the runway and the ease of the show, I am reminded how talented our team is! Thanks to The Guild for inviting us to be a part of your event, to our beautiful models, to my team and everyone who attended….what a success the night was and what fun the kids will have this summer at camp!

Spring Break 2014 Suitcase

photoFriday cannot come soon enough…..warm weather and sunshine awaits me in Florida for my spring break getaway with my family.  As we all can commiserate, it’s been a long…super long….painfully long  (emphasis on painful) winter. I am so ready to show my toes and wear a dress without an opaque black tight (you know exactly what I’m talking about and are nodding your head right now). As you know, a girl cannot go on spring break without picking up a few new fun items to wear while vacationing. I strongly adhere to this motto and fortunately it is always so convenient for me to shop….just walk out my office door and I am surrounded by enticing clothing, shoes, cosmetics and accessories. This morning I made a few laps around the store and found way too many must-haves….I might need to extend my vacation to accommodate my wardrobe additions! As I do for you every year, I like to share my top picks for the suitcase….drum roll please….  As you can clearly see by my provided picture,  I  love dresses and this spring is no different. Look at the fun colors in the little Trina Turk number on the top left…love.  As I have been preaching to you, white is so on trend and I L-O-V-E this white Veronica Beard dress which has an exposed zipper in the back. (Reminder: White is now a year round color…it’s not just for Memorial Day – Labor Day.)  We have Joie in store this season and I loved (yes, I am overusing this word, but it’s how I am feeling about my selections) this easy, casual sundress. Joie also caught my eye with the cute floral short and fun striped top (floral and stripes…you may). Finally, I ventured outside my norm and invested in a maxi skirt by Bailey 44.  I always thought you had to be tall to pull-off wearing a maxi skirt or dress, but Patrick assured me that this is not the case and even I (at a whopping 5′ 4″) could wear one. You should definitely try one if you haven’t before….regardless of your height.

photoThen I went to look at shoes.  As I have shared in previous blogs, shoes are my weakness….how could I possibly choose just 1 or 2 pairs when we have so many FABULOUS shoes at Leigh’s?!  I needed heels and flats and I couldn’t decide…just glance at my picture.  How I love Stuart Weitzman and VC Signature by Vince Camuto, let me count the ways. You have to be proud of me for narrowing it down this much!

Last, but not least, I walked on over to see our amazing makeup artists in cosmetics and they hooked me up with Sun Bum sunscreen and a great moisturizer from Laura Mercier with SPF 15 so that I could enjoy the sun, but still keep my skin safe while I am basking in the rays of the warm sunshine.

Wow, I feel like I just pushed the Easy Button!  I have everything I need for vacation and I got it all at my most favorite store….Leigh’s.  Let me know if we can get you vacation ready too…we promise lots of fun and fashion!

Since You Asked….

Rebecca and Deb meet Eddie Borgo at his showroom.
Rebecca and Deb meet Eddie Borgo at his showroom.

Who is Eddie Borgo? After years of designing for other stylists and designers, New York based designer Eddie Borgo launched his own collection in 2008. He describes it as, “Part punk, part sleek and architectural. The Eddie Borgo collection centers on a modern definition of luxury.”   He has many accolades for his work such as being named 2010 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund runner-up as well as winning both the CFDA Swarovski Award for Accessory Design and the Tiffany & Co Development Grant in 2011.  You can find his accessories in over 100 luxury stores worldwide, from New York’s Bergdorf Goodman to London’s Harrods and right here in West Michigan at Leigh’s. On our recent trip to New York, we spent some time with Eddie in his showroom as he shared with us his inspiration board for his fall 2014 collection. What a talented and likeable person Eddie is.  We are excited to have his collection in store for you at Leigh’s; we think you will like it as much as we do!

Eddie has been featured in many publications. Here is a sampling of his most recent…
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