Hand painted kids wear:EFVVA
How did you get into the children’s fashion design world?
I grew up in an artistic family where design and art intertwined with each other each day – following this path worked out as a child and was natural, but the birth of my first son became the inspiration for the merger of three life loves: painting, fashion design, and children-The EFVVA Brand was born.
What does children’s fashion mean to you?
I love to be part of children’s fashion, because the kids I already have. I love the aesthetic of kids and all this gives me a lot of fun.
Describe the type of child that would wear EFVVA?
Like Pablo Picasso said, “Every child is an artist..(..)” Our clothes are individually made for our little individualists! For everyone who loves color and original prints, good quality and a lot of fun with fashion. Our small individuals are our greatest treasure. Therefore it is important to protect their future through care of the environment. EFVVA aims to create clothes with respect to the environment and human rights.
Where do you find your inspiration and decide what to paint on the clothing?
I get most of my inspiration from arts and various cultures. Every collection is inspired by a different artist. I have many ideas for collections flying around in my head. The biggest difficulty is choosing which concept to go with.
See all EFVVA has to offer here.
Fashion Photographer, Stylist, Blogger, Mama:Helen Berkun
Can you tell us how you got your start in fashion?
Well, I always knew I would do something in fashion. I was obsessed with clothes, growing up I had my own sense of style and wasn’t afraid to break any if not all the rules! I colored my hair all shades of the rainbow, went through a punk stage, a goth phase so on and so forth. I knew that I needed to do something creative with my life. I grew up with both my mom and grandmas being really well dressed and having impeccable style. In High School I took up photography and started photographing myself mostly dressed up as different characters, they were both male and female. Think Cindy Sherman, she really always inspired me. I did #selfies decades before the term had an actual meaning. After that I fell in love with the craft and went on majoring in photography in College. My senior year at Columbia I started to shoot actual jobs. I shot ads for Akira, Hazel & Jeloux, Threadless and The Bell campaigns. One thing led to another and I was also testing Ford models. Because I styled all my own shoots/tests I was constantly asked who did the wardrobe and the answer 9 out of 10 times was always me. Fast forward and I have been repped with Ford Artists for almost a decade as a stylist.
We love your style, who is your favorite designer? Favorite place to shop?
It’s hard to choose just one favorite designer but I love Alexander McQueen, I love fashion that has a darker sensibility to it and a dreamy aesthetic. I’m also really into Ulyana Sergeenko, Balenciaga, Valentino, Saint Laurent, and Givenchy. I love shopping especially finding new deals. I shop everywhere from ASOS, ZARA, IKRAM, Luxury Garage Sale, TJ Maxx, Last Call and Nordstrom Racks. I travel quite a bit and also love finding new boutiques to shop in different cities and countries.
You’re a stylist and photographer, where do you go for inspiration? Blogs, magazines?
Honestly sometimes the inspiration just lives in my head. I’m awfully visual in every sense. I’m inspired by dreams, street, my kids, food, everything really. I don’t follow many blogs but Instagram is wonderful for visual stimulation!
Have you ever considered starting a clothing line?
I’ve considered it definitely. Or opening up my own store, starting a jewelry line (because most of my fine jewelry I design and people always ask me about it). Sure I’ve thought about it a ton and I’ve partially done it. My mom knows how to sew and cut patterns and I would design things in High School and College and she would make them for me. I still wear some of the things she’s made for me.
However being a blogger, mom, photographer, stylist and a wife keeps me pretty busy. I don’t think I can add any more to my full schedule as of now. I love to cook and work out and travel and be with my family, I would have to give up some of these things to pursue the clothing line and or open a store. Who knows what life hold for me in the future though… never say never. Little fun fact! I did own my own tee-shirt line when I was 20 years old and sold my tees in Akira. I shot a look book and everything and the line did great! However I got busy with other things and couldn’t keep it up.
If you could give advice to aspiring stylists and photographers, what would it be?
Believe in yourself even when no one else does! Positive thinking and being kind takes you to great places.
Find out more about Helen Berkun here.
Jewelry Designer:Alexis Simonian
Tell us about yourself and how you got your start in the jewelry design industry?
It’s really been an organic trajectory for me. I’ve been designing and creating pieces by hand for years… since I was a little girl. I founded my company over 10 years ago when I started selling pieces to friends and a few select boutiques while still working fulltime in my job in TV & film production. After having kids I decided to pursue my passion of being a fulltime jewelry designer. It’s been such a rewarding experience for me, to be doing what I love most.
As a designer, where do you draw inspiration from?
I’m really lucky to live in the rustic hills of laurel canyon, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city while still very close to it. I draw a lot of my inspiration from my surroundings – the trees, leaves, mountains, ocean, beaches & fresh air of California. I also find a lot of inspiration through traveling, photography, and my friends/family closest to me.
What makes your collections unique in the industry?
I’m passionate about creating pieces that are delicate, everyday items that can be stacked and layered together or worn on their own. Pieces that you put on and wear daily. I strive to keep my price points down and offer both pure and plated versions of many pieces to fit every budget range.
Who is the Alexis Jewelry customer?
My average customer ranges in age from about 30-50, stylish chic and on-trend.
What is your favorite piece you ever created? Why was it so special to you?
My favorite piece as of recently has been the diamond dew drop ring, in rose gold. It is one of my signature pieces in the newer collection I developed since leaving my job in the film industry. There really isn’t anything out there exactly like it- I usually intend it to be worn on your pointer finger though it can be worn on your middle or ring fingers. I have a passion for rose gold & rings in particular.
What is your advice for individuals wanting to get into jewelry design?
Follow your heart, it can be challenging at times (as any job can be)… my main piece of advice is to work by referral and find people that you can trust and believe in you.
See the entire Alexis Jewelry collection here.