Get Inspired: From Trash to Treasures

In the early 1900s, residents near Fort Bragg, California, took all of their garbage to land that was owned by the Union Lumber Company. This land just happened to be right on the ocean, underneath a cliff, so for years, hundreds of tons of garbage was getting thrown off this cliff into the ocean. People threw glass, appliances, and even old cars off this cliff. This once beautiful beach became literally and figuratively, a dump.

Mother Nature, however, found a way to right herself. The glass that was thrown into the ocean got worn down and smoothed into pebbles by the salt water and ocean currents. In 2002, MacKerricher State Park purchased the 38 acre stretch of land that was known as ‘Glass Beach‘ and finished cleaning up what little trash remained in the area. Now visitors can even walk barefoot through the glass pebbles!

Examples of the glass pebbles on the beach.

The beach is once again safe to walk on barefoot.

The cliff where people used to dump their trash.

View of the beach overlooking the water.

This inspires us because no matter how bad things can seem, there can always be beauty that can come out of it. Whenever you think something is trash… give it another look! It might just end up being able to turn into a treasure!

Old Jeans, New Hope

From Wednesday, October 5th to Sunday, October 16th American Eagle is partnering with Cotton to bring ‘Old Jeans, New Hope’ to AE stores all over the US. Customers are encouraged to bring in their old denim to an American Eagle store and in turn, they will receive 20% off their entire purchase!

What can you donate to Old Jeans, New Hope?

Any type of denim! It can be your jeans that don’t fit anymore, your dad’s old jean shorts you can’t stand to see ever again, or Daisy Dukes from the 1970s! That denim jumpsuit trend didn’t seem to pan out? Bring ‘em in and get 20% off your entire purchase! It’s that simple!

Where is my old denim going?

Your old denim is going to be turned into UltraTouch Denim Insulation. Ultra Touch Denim Insulation then gets sent to communities in need all over the United States to assist with their building efforts. Your old denim is going to help keep someone warm!

Why is Ultra Touch Denim Insulation so awesome?

Ultra Touch Denim Insulation is made of 85% recycled cotton fibers. This insulation does not have carcinogenic warnings, formaldehyde, or any irritating chemicals. You can let babies roll around in Ultra Touch Denim Insulation, that’s how safe it is! This type of insulation has exceptional thermal performance and even helps block out sound 30% better. Can Ultra Touch Denim Insulation get any better? Yes! It has a natural mold and mildew inhibitor. Oh, and did we mention that your denim won’t be taking up space in your closet or in a landfill?

Step One: Take your old denim to AE, get some new clothes and 20% off your purchase!

Step Two: Your old denim gets sent to a recycling company.

Step Three: All the denim is processed back into its original cotton fiber state.

Step Four: Cotton is converted to insulation by Bonded Logic and put into homes for those in need all over the country!

Cotton: From Blue to Green Fun Facts

  • Approximately 500 pieces of denim insulate one house.
  • 1 pair of jeans makes insulation the size of a light switch on your wall.
  • An estimated 1,333 pieces of denim divert one ton of waste from a landfill.
  • In 2009, a Guinness World Record for collecting the most clothes to be recycled was set. Over 33,000 pieces of denim was collected to set the record and contributed to the Cotton. From Blue to Green.®program for recycling.
  • In total, over 1300 homes have been insulated with denim from ‘Cotton From Blue to Green’s collections.

Still want to know more?

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Get Inspired: Sierra Leone and African Fashion

Sierra Leone is considered the world’s least developed state by the United Nations. Until recently, Sierra Leone was known for civil war, child soldiers, and blood diamonds. 25 year old fashion designer Adama Kai lives in Sierra Leone and doesn’t let Sierra Leone’s dark history hamper her dreams or plans. After studying at Parsons in New York and later in Paris, Kai began Aschobi Designs, Sierra Leone’s first western style fashion brand in the company. Kai’s inspirations for her line are traditional African fashions with a modern twist. She makes clothing that proudly displays their African roots but is appropriate for the modern woman. She wants Aschobi Designs to be like its Western counterparts: “Ralph Lauren stands for in America, Chanel for France, and Versace for Italy, I want Aschobi to stand for African fashion”.

Originally found here.

Interview with Ann Shoket, Editor-in-Chief, Seventeen

Seventeen magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Ann Shoket, will be doing a book signing in our Times Square store on Tuesday, August 9th from 12:30pm-2:30pm. Ann’s book, Seventeen Ultimate Guide to Style: How to Find YourPerfect Look, offers style advice from every girl’s favorite magazine. The book features contributions from editors, Hollywood stylists, celebrity fashion icons, and real-world girls. The book is indispensable for young fashionistas everywhere, and if you’re in New York City, you can get it signed! You’ll also get the opportunity to meet special guest Ashley Benson, star of Pretty Little Liars and Seventeen’s September cover star. Get the book; get some hot fashion tips from Seventeen editors, and have a great time! To kick off the event, we asked Ann some of our burning questions.

AE: If you weren’t an editor, what would job would you be doing?
I love magazines and the media business so much that if I couldn’t be an editor (my DREAM JOB!) I’d be a reporter about the media business. I actually started my career as a business reporter—I love having permission to ask nosy questions! There are such fascinating people in our industry and there’s always something new happening in our world—that’s what turns me on! I love smart, engaged, forward-thinking, curious people!

AE: We’ve seen you a lot on America’s Next Top Model. What has been your favorite experience on the show?
The people who work on Top Model are so much fun! Nigel Barker jokes around between takes on the judging panel; Miss Jay is full of amazing stories; Jay Manuel is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met; and Tyra is a powerhouse (and one of the few other women I’ve met who is taller than me!)

AE: How would you describe your personal style?
Classic with an edge. Personally I don’t do girly or boho. I love clean silhouettes little (something body-con doesn’t hurt!). And I’ve never met anything studded that I didn’t immediately fall in love with!

AE: Who has been the greatest inspiration in your life?
There are so many women who have inspired me. I try to borrow the best habits and follow the best advice of all the amazing women I’ve met. My mom taught me how to listen to my own intuition; My first boss showed me how to command respect; Another mentor taught me about the importance of being nice (even in a cutthroat business); And the readers of Seventeen have shown me that being honest and authentic is so much better than being “fake fabulous” (my biggest pet peeve in the world!)

AE: What advice do you have for young girls trying to find their own style?
You have to try EVERYTHING to know what works for your body, for your vibe. I had an 80s New Wave moment (in the 80s!), then a preppy collar-popped experiment, there was grunge, and every once in a while I’d slip into a skinny mini and sky high heels! I loved every single one of those looks! And it all helped me figure out what worked, and what didn’t.

AE: What is your favorite Fall 2011 trend?
I love the cozy Adirondack look! Layers of flannel, plaid, denim, shearling and tons of knit with rugged boots—so fun and so cuddly!

AE: How did you work your way to your position at Seventeen?
After my first job as a business reporter, I started writing about big issues for teens at a teen news magazine called, React. I had no idea how much I would love writing for and about teenagers! To me being a teen is such an amazing time: Anything is possible in your life! The world is yours! And everything is FUN!

After a few years, I got a tip that Hearst was launching a new teen magazine—and I joined the launch team of CosmoGIRL! In the 8 years I was there, I had the chance to dive into everything from Health to Fashion to Guys to the confidence-building stories (my faves!).

But being at Seventeen has been the most amazing experience! I get to work with the smartest people in the business, we are tackling important issues, and our work is crazy-delicious-insane FUN!

AE: Tell us! What is the secret to battling writer’s block?
I can be a terrible procrastinator (don’t tell anyone at Seventeen—they seem to think I’m good at hitting deadlines!) But at some point you just have to put your butt in the chair and write something. It doesn’t have to be great, but just typing gets your brain going and after a few drafts your thoughts get clearer and your writing gets stronger. I try to imagine that I’m writing to my best friend. If I write something fancy or formal that I wouldn’t actually say to her, then it doesn’t get printed!

AE: What is the most rewarding part of your career?
Letters from our readers saying that a story we printed had an impact on their life. That’s the whole reason I get up in the morning—to make girls lives as awesome as they can be!

Remember, if you’re in the New York City area, RSVP to Ann’s book signing on August 9th at 12:30pm in our Times Square store.

Interview with Sasha Charnin Morrison, Fashion Director for Us Weekly

Us Weekly’s Fashion Director Sasha Charnin Morrison will be doing a book signing in our Times Square store on Tuesday, July 26th from 6pm-8pm. Her book, Secrets of Stylists: An Insider’s Guide to Styling the Stars, offers a behind-the-scenes look into the glamorous (and sometimes gritty) world of styling. You’ll learn tricks of the trade from Sasha and the people she interviews. The transformations of stars like Nicole Richie and Katie Holmes are used as discussion points in this very informative guide. On July 26th, you’re invited to get a copy of the book signed by Sasha herself! Robert Verdi, celebrity stylist, will also be in attendance. To get the event started, we sat down with Sasha to ask a few questions.

AE: What was your first job to break into the fashion/ writing industry?
I was Madonna’s dresser and assisted this stylist, named Kevin Dornan who was costume designer by night (Goose and Tom Tom at Lincoln Center around “True Blue” Madonna phase) and creative director of a now defunct magazine called Beauty Digest. After the show was over, he hired me as his assistant and I was able to do everything-call in clothing, style shoots, organize his life, and do all my all own returns. That’s how I learned how to be an independent. We shot some wild, iconic stuff like Geoffrey Beene, Bill Blass and Giorgio Di Sant Angelo. It was all luxury, 24-7. A little crazy but that’s what it was all about when I was 21.

AE: What advice do you have for people who want to break into the fashion industry?
1. Listening. Very important. Hold your tongue because you simply know nothing and that’s ok. Do not think being a know-it-all is the key.

2. Learn. Absorb. Do not shut anything out or down. You can’t. Good or bad-bad being the best-work experiences propels you to grow. Jobs in fashion need time and patience and building to get somewhere. It’s not the place to think your rise to the top spot will be overnight and meteoric. I have always said the super top spot sucks, let someone else handle the numbers and the meetings…I want to create and I want to produce pictures and moments I’m proud of. I want to be the authority and grasp as much as I can possibly know-being the BEST at referencing old pictures, knowing where to find or have made the perfect red patent leather high-waisted panty (Funny but I have made several of these exact requests thru the years working at magazines) for a shoot, and always figuring out a way to make it work, because you can if you try hard enough.

3. Never throw anyone under a bus because it ends up stinging you.

4. Try to be focused on what you want. You’re very clear on what you don’t want! Don’t go into an interview professing your love to design a line of handbags with your name on it when you’re interviewing at a fashion magazine or blog. You’re there because you want this more than anything in the world. That’s how fashion people think and feel. It enters your blood. The power, the glamour and the constant change in styles and trends draw you in.

AE: What are your three essential style items that you can’t live without?
1) My kids who keep my brain young and fresh.

2) Shoes: I just love my footwear. All of it. We can all wear a black dress but we can’t all buy the SAME Azzedine Alaia shoe or the same YSL Tribtoo, now…

3) My library of images, pictures, old magazine clippings. I use these to reference and think of ways to reproduce those great images in new and modern ways.

AE: What’s your favorite thing about working at US Weekly?
The product. I have always loved reading it, absorbing it and owning it. I love knowing about breaking news before everyone and how it’s always handled glamorously. Seriously, what’s not to love?

AE: If you weren’t an editor, what would you be doing?
Had I been a great, trained dancer, I would be in every company of West Side Story at this point. My mom was a Shark girl and my dad was a Jet in the original Broadway production in 1957. I could sing the score, I can act. I can move well. That didn’t cut it. Just like fashion, I needed to either stick with the show biz or get out. So at 21 I had a choice: a roller-skating musical audition or Vanity Fair assistant. Whoever took me, I would stay in the “profession”. I nearly broke my ass at my inline skate dancing audition but aced Vanity Fair.

AE: Who is your business inspiration?
My stepmother, Jade Hobson. She was the Creative Director at Vogue when I met her at 13. I knew when she walked me into the Vogue fashion closet at that moment, whatever was going on in there…was what I REALLY wanted to do. She exposed me to the business and she was nice and liked and of course, ICONIC. EVERYONE loved her and that’s a great feeling. My mother and father nurtured this behavior but Jade made me see it could turn into something bigger.

AE: You’ve described yourself as a reality TV junkie. Which show is your guilty pleasure?
Which show isn’t? I love breaking news item, and just knowing it all at every second. My father produced and directed TV in the early 1970’s, the set was always big and always on. I loved watching variety, news, episodic all of it. Now it’s reality. All of it. Real Housewives of Beverly Hills pretty much makes me insane-in a good way and do not laugh but kind of obsessed with The Suite Life with Zack and Cody.

Sasha on her first styling job

So if you’re in the New York City area, RSVP to the event on 7/26 at 6pm on Facebook.

Interview with Amy Astley, Editor-in-Chief, Teen Vogue

Teen Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief, Amy Astley, will be doing a book signing in our Times Square store on Tuesday, July 12th from 6pm-8pm. Amy’s book, The Teen Vogue Handbook: An Insider’s Guide to Careers in Fashion, offers an inside view into the fashion industry. It provides interviews, stories, and a behind the scenes look into the worlds of design, modeling, photography, and more. Anyone who wants to learn how to break into the industry should definitely pick up Amy’s book, and if you’re in New York City, you can get it signed! Teen Vogue editors will also be in attendance. To kick-off the event, we interviewed Amy to get some answers to our burning questions.

What personality traits do you think are most important for someone wanting to work in the fashion industry?
AA: Passion — a mad passion for fashion! You have to have that burning, core desire to be around clothes.

What is the most important piece of advice you have for aspiring fashionistas?
AA: Take assistant level jobs cheerfully and soak up every bit of information you can. If you are good, you will be noticed!

How can someone who wants to work in fashion stand out from the crowd?
AA: Do EVERYTHING really, really well. People will notice. Also, look great! Our business is about expressing yourself through clothing and beauty. Be gorgeous, be odd, be special, be unique, be out-there. Be yourself. Don’t try to look like someone else or who you think you are meant to emulate. Truly express yourself visually — this too will be noticed. I want to understand what someone is thinking when I look at them. I like to see a lot of creativity, individuality.

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in your career, and what did you learn from it?
AA: My biggest mistake shall go unmentioned — my motto is learn from your mistakes but don’t draw attention to them!

What drew you to work in the fashion industry?
AA: I am very visually driven. I am always pursuing beauty. Fashion is a very good fit for me.

What is your favorite (and least favorite) thing about working in fashion?
AA: My favorite thing about working in the magazine industry is meeting my fantastic readers. Young people really thrill and inspire me. Working in fashion suits me — it is very fast paced, always changing. Least favorite thing about working in fashion? You always feel sick of your wardrobe since you are seeing so many great new ideas months before they are available to buy.

What can someone do while they are in school to prepare for a career in fashion?
AA: Educate yourself. Watch tons of films and look at photography, art. Working in fashion is so much about a visual language of references. Look at old films and new. Go to museums, try to look at designer clothing up close in the best stores in your area. Learn about fabric and cutting. Read fashion books – there are so many. I love it when I meet a young person who has really delved into the history of fashion.

If you weren’t working in fashion, what would you be doing?
AA: I wanted very much to be a professional ballet dancer when I was younger. Maybe I would work in that field — like I said, I am always pursuing beauty, and ballet is the most beautiful thing on earth!

What’s next for you and Teen Vogue?
AA: Teen Vogue is always evolving — gotta keep it cool!

We thank Amy for taking the time to speak with us, and we encourage all of you to meet her at the book signing on July 12th at 6pm in our Times Square store. RSVP HERE.