Monthly Archives: April 2014

Designer, Artist & Fashion Entrepreneur Spotlight:: Sonia Smith-Kang of Mixed Up Clothing

Meet the first childrenswear designer in our DA+FE Spotlight Series:
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MixedUp9w_thelookbookphilosophy.com.jpg Colorful, playful prints @ the Mixed Up Clothing Headquarters . . .

MixedUp1w_thelookbookphilosophy.com.jpg Creative Director of Mixed Up Clothing, Sonia Smith-Kang

MixedUp11w_thelookbookphilosophy.com.jpg Mixed Up Clothing has collaborated w/ Taye Diggs and received his Chocolate Star Award . . .

MixedUp12w_thelookbookphilosophy.com.jpg Mixed Up Clothing’s collaboration w/ Garcelle Beauvais + Sebastian Jones for their book, I am Mixed . . .

A few fun prints from this season’s collection . . . mixedup1_thelookbookphilosophy.com

1. Peasant Top  2.  Pink Sugar Skulls Bloomers by Mixed Up Clothing

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Senorita Dress by Mixed Up Clothing

15 Questions w/ Sonia Smith-Kang of Mixed Up Clothing

1. What Inspired you to create Mixed Up Clothing?

Growing up I was always asked “What are you?” I have always been answering that question and in turn, teaching others about what it is to be multicultural. As a multicultural adult, I married someone of a different culture and had kids. So I basically just blended my love of teaching about different cultures with my love of sewing and created Mixed Up Clothing.

2. Did you go to school for design? If so, where?

I went to school to become a registered nurse. I was a registered nurse for 15 years. While I was a nurse, I became a teacher, teaching others about how different cultures react to being in a hospital setting. Mixed Up Clothing is just another step in that teaching process. I use clothing as my vehicle to teach.

3. Tell us about your ideal customer . . .

My ideal customer is a mom who loves to teach her children about different cultures; it’s anybody who has an interest in exploring the world, and teaching our little mini global citizens about someone else, in hopes of accepting and learning about others.

4. What advice would you give someone wanting to start a clothing line?

Don’t be afraid. Find your passion and don’t chase after the trends. Find a message and what you want your clothes to be about, and don’t veer from that.

5. What inspires you? What inspires your designs?

My inspiration always comes down to teaching and educating others. The inspiration for my designs comes from finding a fun print or fabric that has a cultural feel to it, and then I will learn about the culture. That’s what inspires me; finding out about someone else, and learning about a different ethnicity or culture.

6. What has been your biggest challenge starting/running your business? 

Definitely money and time. As a mother of 4 and a wife first, I find that trying to be an entrepreneur and make it all happen is very difficult . . . . and finding the money. There’s money out there. It’s just taking the time to find out where the money is and how you can get that, and use it in your business. If not, you just move a little slower, and that’s where the time comes in.

7. What would you consider to be one of your greatest moments or achievements related to your line/ business?

The smart thing to say is that it has to do with publicity . . . being on the TODAY Show or being in a big magazine, but I would say that the happiest I was, was when I saw somebody in a mall wearing my clothes. To me that is somebody who gets what you are doing, digs it and wants it for their kids.

8. How would you describe your style in 3 words?

Relaxed. Vibrant. Effortless.

9. How often do you add new pieces to your line?

I create 2 seasons/year. Spring and Summer.

10. Describe a typical day in your life:

A typical day starts at 6am for me. Monday-Friday it’s about getting the kids up and off to school. Then I come back and shower, do emails, check social media and prioritize my day. I then drive to my office in downtown LA. Once there, I start on my To Do list. My day consists of getting orders out, sourcing, putting out production fires, accounting and working on display and marketing. By 2:30 I am picking up the kids and doing their activities until about 6pm, then it’s dinner, bath, and bed for them. After they go down I go back to work from 9pm-12 midnite.

11. Looking 3-5 years out, what changes would you like to see, or can you forsee any big changes in your industry?

I would like to see retailers giving indie designers more of a chance. I think the public really loves the underdog, and roots for them, so I would like to see big retailers respond to that. As for big changes I see in the industry, I definitely see a trend to where the person who did not go to school for design can now create something and navigate their way through the industry and make it. You just have to have a plan. You don’t necessarily have to have the educational background to make it.

12. Where do you manufacture your line? Do you manufacture domestically or abroad?

I work with 4 different manufacturers. They are all domestic. I like to be able to see, feel and touch what they are doing.

13. What can we expect to see from Mixed Up Clothing in the future?

I’ve been asked to do a mommy and me line. I may entertain that. But for me, it might just be branching out and doing clothes for bigger girls. Right now I do sizes 0-7, I’m considering expanding to include 9-11 in the future.

14. Where can we purchase Mixed Up Clothing?

You can find us online at www.mixedupmarket.com. We are also in boutiques across the US as well as Zulily.com, and Vault Marketplace.

15. Because I am a handbag designer I have to ask: Shoes or Bags, pick one;  and tell us what you look for in a shoe/bag . . . ☺

I would definitely say handbags. They must be versatile, I need to be able to access things easily, like pull out a business card and carry a capri-sun at the same time. Basically it needs to be durable and fashionable.

Thanks Sonia!!! Had such a fun time hanging with you, and sharing our mompreneur stories!! Love the line, and what you stand for! xx

You can keep up with Sonia and Mixed Up Clothing here: web :: www.mixedupmarket.com :: twitter :: @mixedupclothing :: facebook :: facebook.com/mixedupclothing :: pinterest :: pinterest.com/mixedupclothing

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Come on Now, Move Somethin’ . . . .

keep moving forward

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This message seems to be whispering to me from every corner. Lately I have not been able to go throughout my day without finding some gentle (and pretty) reminder to keep moving forward, keep going. I love how God always sends me messages when I need them, and often (though not always) just the way I like them (pretty). This message is very specific and speaks to the momentum God has been helping me to create in my life recently. I love movement . . . and I love how movement begets movement. So I’m passing my gentle reminder along to you. Keep moving forward guys. Moving is living!!

Happy Friday!

xx

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Behind the Scenes | The Young & The Restless Wardrobe Dept.

Y&R_WardrobeCloset1_thelookbookphilosophy.com.jpg The thoroughly organized wardrobe closet was a blatant reminder of what a poor job I am doing with my own measly closet at home! If you could see what my closet looks like . . . it’s absolutely ridiculous to say the least. That’s why I love other people’s closets. But I digress…

Y&R_SewingRoom1a_thelookbookphilosophy.com.jpg Did you know that Y&R is one of the few shows that actually has their own costume rental department ? . . .

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Liz_Missy_Me_thelookbookphilosophy.com Elizabeth Hendrickson, Missy Egan + Moi on set . . .

Last week I had the fun experience of spending the day behind the scenes of The Young & The Restless with friend and fellow blogger, Theresa Broadnax. Before I go any further, I just have to give a shout out to Theresa. We’ve only recently met, but we have connected on a several levels, both creatively and fundamentally. I think it is so wonderful when women can come together and support each other in their endeavors. I’m really glad God placed her in my life. Theresa is a costumer for the wardrobe department of The Young & The Restless, as well as a designer, make up artist, and celebrity stylist. This woman lives and breathes fashion and creativity. There was much to talk about as she showed me around CBS studios, introducing me to her friends and co workers. Many of them faces we see on our TV screens every day. Theresa has worked on Y&R for ten years, though she first started at CBS on the Tyra Banks Show. She was even awarded an Emmy for her work on the show!

The Young & The Restless is one of America’s longest running soap operas. In fact, they recently celebrated 41 years on CBS. To say the least, my visit to the studios was a treat. I got a full tour of the wardrobe department & sewing room, the “double decker” wardrobe closet, the sound booth and was also able to sit in on a scene taping with Elizabeth Hendrickson, who plays “Chloe Abbot,” and Melissa Claire Egan, who plays “Chelsea Lawson.” The whole “behind the scenes” aspect of television is just as interesting to me as the part we, as the audience, get to see every day. I enjoy watching the actors pour life into the words in their scripts . . . and from a clothing standpoint, it is really a treat to be able to see the characters through their wardrobes. 

The Young & The Restless has a wardrobe team of 7. The team is responsible for selecting, cataloging, creating, shopping for, preparing and maintaining the wardrobe of the regular cast of the show, as well as the extras and special guests. It is a job that requires strict organization and attention to detail. When filming scenes, there are always a minimum of 2 people from wardrobe on set to keep track of the outfits and accessories worn during the scene, as well as the placement of these items on set. Since actors can go through many takes, it is imperative to take note of what is worn in each scene, especially since a scene may need to be picked up or added on to later. Y&R films approximately 40-50 scenes per day, which averages out to 100-110 pages per day. That is a lot to keep track of wardrobe wise. I happen to be one of those people who gets a kick out of spotting a mistake on film, but I would hate to be the one responsible for it! 

17_will_best_friends_chloe_elizabeth_hendrickson_and_chelsea_melissa_claire_egan_be_able_to_work_together_admist_all_the_chaos_in_their_lives Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe) in Sachi + Babi, and Missy Egan (Chelsea) in BCBG. Image courtesy of cbs.com

Random Fact* Soap Operas got their name due to the fact that the first major sponsors of these shows were mostly soap manufacturers (Proctor & Gamble, Palmolive etc.) so the media began to refer to them as Soap Operas. I really wanted to know why they used the term opera… but I didn’t find any info on that aspect of the name.

A few images of more fun things I saw while visiting CBS Studios . . .

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Seeing how other creatives work is a driving force in my creativity. Not sure why, but the workspaces of other people have always been something that I am drawn to. I hope you enjoyed the tour! xx

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DA+FE | Designers, Artists + Fashion Entrepreneur Spotlight

TLBP_EDAFE SPOTLIGHT One of the best and most rewarding sources of inspiration for me are the people around me. Local designers, artists, photographers and fashion entrepreneurs. Real people who are getting up and going to work (or bedside desk) where they put in countless hours creating, building, crafting and curating their dreams. Many of them are students, mothers and people with “real jobs” that are building their dreams on the side. There is so much we can learn from each other by sharing our stories. My undying passion for fashion, design, and encouraging others, has lead me to create the Designers, Artists & Fashion Entrepreneur Spotlight (DA+FE Spotlight) feature to give you guys the opportunity to learn about creatives in fashion and fashion related industries. Regardless of our chosen fields, each of us has success stories, milestones reached, and goals accomplished that can be inspiring to others on a similar path. Part of the mission of THE LOOKBOOK PHILOSOPHY is to foster creativity while encouraging women to follow their dreams and create the lives they want to live. My goal for the DA+FE Spotlight is to highlight the women (and sometimes men) behind the dream, in the hopes that you will learn about the artist’s journey and what encourages them to work hard at fulfilling their vision day to day. I hope that sharing the paths others have taken will be inspiring to you as you continue working toward your own goals. #keepmoving

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Instantaneous Obsession:: Christian Louboutin Pik Boat Slip Ons

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Christian Loubouitn Pik Boat Studded Leather Slip On Sneakers $795 here

You guys already know I’m a sucker for studs and leather, and these Louboutin studded slip ons are calling my name!!! I really love the current trend of combining luxury with sport influences. Is it possible to have too many pairs of slip ons? I already own 2 pair and I’m drooling over these!!

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similar styles here, here + here

Randomocities: 5 Reasons to Start With What You Have . . .

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Start with what you have. This has recently become a mantra of mine. I’ve been in the design industry for some time now. It’s my passion, and honestly, it sometimes borders on obsession. Obsession in the way that I must create. I must get the ideas out of my head and into some sort of tangible reality or else I start to feel stifled! When I lie down to sleep, I see images of handbags, dresses, furniture and jewelry just waiting to be created. New design ideas are always flooding my brain. I keep a pad and pen next to the bed so that I can capture these inspirations. Design truly excites me!! The problem is that I like things to look a certain way. I don’t like to present things to the world unless I am happy with the way they look. I’d say I have a mild case of Perfectionism. Sounds like a good trait for a designer, no? Well, it is and it isn’t. It is when you know what you want and you are able to convey that to your team and the people working with you. It helps you to reach the final product faster. It isn’t when you let that stop you. And that’s what I have done in the past. This past year was a real learning experience. I stepped out on faith and fell flat on my $%& It took a while to recover. I had to pick myself up and move forward without even knowing what really happened. But the most important thing I could do (after praying and mentally processing things) was to just start again, EVEN THOUGH I didn’t feel like I had all my ducks in a row.  And here’s why you should too:

  1. By starting now, you will gain momentum. You will create energy around whatever it is you are doing that will begin to propel you forward. Once you take the first step, you will find yourself needing to take more.
  2. I believe we are all receptors of great ideas, however only a few of us actually act on them. If you have an idea, chances are someone else has or has had that idea as well. Why not be the one to carry it through to fruition? You were given that idea for a reason. If you can’t do it first, do it better. (Speaking of ideas, when we don’t act on ideas we are given, they tend to come around less and less. It’s like your brain thinks “She’s not going to do anything with this, she hasn’t done anything with the last 7 ideas that came her way, so maybe I’ll just stop sending them…”) Signal to your brain, your body and your surroundings that you are a doer and there will inevitably be more for you to do!
  3. Recognize that the majority of the population is learning on the job. I am an advocate of preparation; Yes, you should always research, take classes, and be open to continuously learning about your craft/field, but real learning comes from on the job training, and you don’t get that by sitting around “thinking” about doing something. 
  4. We’ve all heard the acronym for fear: False Evidence Appearing Real. Fear is binding. Our powerful brains can come up with soooo many scenarios and reasons why NOT to do something. Try putting more focus on why you should do something. Learn to take control of your fears by facing them head on. The best way to face your fears head on is to do it anyway!!!
  5. Reason number five points back to reason number one. As my Dad always says, “Nature abhors a vacuum.” If you use what you have, and use it wisely, you will be given more. It takes something to make something, so use that something you have in your possession right now to create, build on, or lay the groundwork for that idea that’s been mulling around in your head for a while! Go forth and Do!!!

(please note, this is just my personal opinion. I believe all ideas should be thought out, and researched to determine pros, cons, need and viability before starting… in other words, when you do start, start with a plan, even if it’s a general one. )

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