Sunday, January 31, 2010

Brands that bring women together....

I never quite realised the impact that some brands may have on my life. Not so much in a fashion sense or even in the way they make me feel but in the most profound way of bringing great women together and in creating a friendship that will last for a lifestime.

As women we need our girls, the friends who will be by our side when all else falls apart. The friends who will be right there celebrating the wins and encouraging us on our path to greatness. What I have found and what I keep hearing is the disappointment that we as women experience from the betrayals of the friends we thought would be there for us! I often wonder whether its simply that some come to us for a reason, others for a season and the ones we so deeply cherish for a lifetime. A lifetime of sharing our lives with each other which is something men do quite well but for women seems to be more challenging.
I've travelled the globe and heard the same thing from women everywhere....the common element of betrayal is the same in every language and country!!

But this blog is about a brand which brought two women from very different backgrounds, races, religions and countries together in the strangest place. A few years ago whilst living in Miami I embarked on an adventure and a 3 day cruise with Carnival to the Bahamas. On arrival of course the one thing I really wanted was my daily Soy Chai Latte, Starbucks of course! Come on, as if they would have a Starbucks in Nassau out of all places....

As I disembarked ready for my shopping trip around the little town of Nassau I saw the most incredible thing ever, a Starbucks sign... At first I thought it was a joke, you know one of those fake signs, like the fake bags.... What does a woman do? Ask the locals and of I went happily into the sunset to the local Starbucks. It might sound pretty sad to some that the first thing I would think about was my Chai Latte but being stuck on a cruise ship with American coffee was not good!!! But its really what happened next that will forever be part of me....

As I'm standing in line waiting for my Chai, the girl in front of me turns around, looks at me, smiles and turns away. Then she turns back and compliments me on what I was her already! We struck up a conversation over a gorgeous top I was wearing, it was Guess by Marciano, I offered to share with her where I bought it and how she too could get her hands on one. Not something a lot of women do!!

The next few hours went by so quickly but we discovered a shared passion for fashion and for some of the worlds greatest brands..especially Marciano!! We even came to the Bahamas on separate cruise ships of the same brand....

What I realised and see even today is that women bond over brands. I once read a book called E-volution by Faith Popcorn who says "connecting women to each other, connects them to a brand" and this was certainly true for Miss Toni Hernandez and myself! Toni and I continued a wonderful friendship, her visits to South Beach, our long nights chatting away at Sushi Samba in Lincoln Road, my introduction to sweet plantain (oh soooo yummy), hot summer days at South Beach and the many more Chai Latte's we shared over the months that passed.

What really blew me away was the next time I saw Toni a few months later in Miami she too was wearing a hot pink dress by Marciano and she looked incredible!! So there are two lessons that I wish to share with you, firstly is that finding great friendships is what life is really about and that nurturing them is the key. To surround yourself with women who inspire you to be greater, women who will share the secrets of their success with you and not hold back in fear that you may get grow bigger than they are..... Its important to know what you're looking for in a friend and for the superficial ones that come for one reason or another, its time to let them go and start 2010 with the people who truly nourish you on the deepest level....and secondly, choose the brands you wear carefully because you never know who may tap you on the shoulder and when the greatest of friendship may begin... Thank you Toni xxx

Love affair with New York!!!

There are some place in the world that somehow grab a hold of your heart and never seem to let go. New York City is one of those of places for me! A love affair which began over 12 years ago and still today pulls on my heart strings everytime I think of the sights, the smells and the style which surrounds the greatest city in the world.

It is no wonder New Yorkers believe that they dont need to leave the city to experience life.... the melting pot of cultures and inspiration is enough for an entire lifetime. In New York they say that you could eat out at a different restaurant every night and not get through them all....

The city that never sleeps has a place in my heart and soon I too will occupy the space in the greatest place on earth, right on the upper east side living my very own privileged life.

Speak to anyone that's ever been there and their eyes light up, their heart races, beats a little faster and they too dream of being back in Manhattan eating the warm bagels on a freezing winters day, walking through Central Park, sipping a hot chocolate and watching the NYC taxi's and world go as a tribute to my favourite place in the whole wide are some of my favourite things to do and experience in the NYC....

Upper East Side Princess....

Following on from my love for New York City is the fashionable women of the Upper East Side. I love watching Gossip Girl, getting the latest preppy looks and being inspired by the upper echlons of society!! There's just something to be said for women who are professional, polished, primped and perfect!! We can try right....So here are some of my favourite Ivy League, polo club looks to try for the Private Access Woman.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Exclusive Italian Jewellery....LAUNCHING SOON

I used to read the t-shirts that said "Italians do it best" and I guess when it comes to fashion they seem to know a thing or two about style, elegance, extravagance and beauty.

Launching soon in Australia the Collection by Milena Zuliani will no doubt become part of your jewellery box.

The collection not only empowers those who wear the pieces but also women across the globe who are less fortunate. The Italian Designer will be donating 10% of the purchase to an organisation that uses a business approach to solve the problem of poverty. Rather than a hand-out, they provide women living in poverty with a small loan (microfinance) to help them start or grow their own small business.

By purchasing the beautiful pieces by Milena Zuliani, you join a brand which works to help millions more leave poverty behind for good. Shopping never felt sooooo good!!!

Available soon with privileges through Private Access....

Friday, January 29, 2010

This is not a shoe....its a fashion accessory

Shopping at whats become my favourite place-Marina Mirage and right next door to the Palazzo Versace....ahhh heaven~
I found the cutest shoes by Melissa Australia . J Maskry designer for the collection shares her inspiration ....."Since I moved to Paris at the beginning of this year, romaticism took over me and my thoughts ... so I decided to create a line both feminine and modern ... beautiful shoes covered with crystals that will illuminate the steps of melissa's customers".

Here are my favourites and yes I know rubber shoes for $350....ouch!!

Rich girl.....Lesson 4

click here for lesson 4

Monday, January 25, 2010

Rich Girl....Lesson 1

The money-making market scene out there is a crowded jungle. I recently came across the videos of a wise teacher.... I think it may have been "accidently" and yes I know there's no such they say when the student is ready the teacher appears.

Harv Eker is a business and personal success coach that went “from zero to millionaire in only 2 1/2 years.” He is the founder and president of Peak Potentials Training, a company that offers various seminars, coaching, and camps that claim to inspire and educate people into “taking action in the real world to produce success.”

He teaches about the Millionaire Mind and what holds us back from manifesting the riches we so desire. It's one thing to have a dream but another to make money and learn how to actually keep it. I hope you enjoy the next 7 days as much as I've just enjoyed and the reason I would love to share this with you!!!

Click here to watch

Chewy Vuitton.....same same but very different

I was late night window shopping with a friend at the Marina Mirage, a glitzy shopping haven for fashionistas on the Gold Coast when I saw a Chewy Vuitton and Sniffany & Co Bag for your much loved pooch....sooooo very cute!!

No doubt we have all faced the dilemma and many of us would have in our possession a designer handbag, Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Hermes....but not of the real kind, the kind that we bought on our recent trip to New York, Bangkok or Bali. The debate continues whether a fake is the same bag just coming from a different factory in Asia.... many argue that they shouldnt have to pay the designer price tag for the designer bag. This is the time when many decide that living a life that looks like you've made it is actually the same as truly achieving the success which affords you the luxury to buy a real designer bag.

We live in a world where many pretend to look rich without taking the time to truly be rich and there comes a time where we realise that same same is very very different!!

I've often been tempted myself to purchase a look a like Louis Vuitton and I also grew up with the contradiction that it was same same. My early influence in life taught me that Evian was the same water just packaged in a different bottle, that Estee Lauder was the same as Nivea and that the luxurious shampoo and products which I spent a small fortune on were nothing more than the same supermarket cheapie my mother was buying! So for a while there I bought into the belief and felt completely and utterly ripped off by these brands that were claiming to offer something of value to me as the consumer...but now I know better!!!

I remember growing up and shopping with my mother, I would inevitably always select the most expensive shoe or item in the store.... I was born with a taste for the good life. At times we all have role models, people, parents, teachers who mean well but unfortunately do us more harm than good. I was watching a video by Harv Eker who teaches wealth principles and about developing the millionaire mind.... He teaches that our failure to achieve the true success and riches is due to our belief system and the role models who dominated our lives. We literally model what our parents did, said and what we experienced as children determines our relationship with money and how much of it we make and keep.

I realised the importance of choosing successful people to model and that despite what we are taught as children we can change the conditioning of the past and begin to realise a very different future. In saying that I come back to modelling which does not mean that we go out and buy a fake bag, because that is the message we ultimately send out to the universe. We are literally screaming to the world that we cannot afford a real one so we buy a fake instead.

A fake anything will never say that we believe we are worth the wealth and success we desire, it will only reinforce that we cannot afford the real deal!!! So if your goal is to be successful buying home brand water and pouring it into an Evian bottle wont cut it either.... it only reinforces the poverty thinking!!

And if you're thinking of buying a same same but different designer bag you might think twice about what your bag actually says about you!! Kathryn Eisman author of "How to tell a woman by her bag" wrote an entire book about it, spent 2 years researching and becoming somewhat of an expert on the subject!! Click here to watch her video

And if that is not enough to deter you, The Harper’s Bazaar Fakes Are Never In Fashion™ campaign is dedicated to exposing the criminal activities connected to the sale of counterfeit luxury goods—child labor, drug trafficking, and even terrorism. Not a great cause to be supporting for a woman on the rise to greatness!!!

There are some people who go through life with a fake name, a fake identity and never really knowing who they are - be true to yourself and the designer life will follow, pretending you have one with a fake will only stop the true wealth from coming into your life....

If you really must then buy a Chewy Vuitton for your dog like our style icon Paris Hilton....

Friday, January 22, 2010

The climb to the top.....

It was an interesting day today....I was invited to be a part of a World Peace Campaign...sounded good enough right, so I went off to a meeting with the "dream team".....and I have to say that some dreams never quite make it into the realm of reality and now I know why!!!
The PR Campaign Manager started off by telling me that they are not a charity, they are there to make some serious money!!! So far, so good....

After some feel good videos and the soft sell, he told me, perhaps unconsciously that he himself has not made any money in the last 3 months but he know the big dollars will come! He didn't seem to be able to explain exactly what WE would be doing there for the no surprise he's not making any money!!! Not what an ambitious Capricorn like myself wants to hear from a prospective business partner....

This unproductive meeting taught me that its important to have a dream, to envision what we want to achieve but when the time comes it is up to us to see it through and to make it happen. These guys were simply dreaming and simply "hoping" to make a lot of money.

I was finishing the book "Trump Card" by Ivanka Trump and she tells a story about a press conference she attended with her father who addressed the audience and then said "Ivanka will take over from here".... completely unprepared and thrown straight into the deep end it was her time to sink or swim.....her first time in a press conference addressing the that's a huge risk even for the Don but being a Trump she pulled it off!!

Be careful what you wish for because if you dream big and wish for success than the tests for greatness become bigger and bigger. Harv Eker leading wealth presenter and author says, if you're goal is to be comfortable you will never be rich because what you must do and who you have to be to be comfortable is worlds apart to what and who you have to be to be rich.

The message here is that you don't need to become a Trump but more importantly that there are those times where FEAR looks us straight in the eyes and it is those times when true greatness is born! We have the opportunity to shrink away or to step into the light and shine, to take the risks and accept nothing less than the best and what I call the making of a privileged life for ourselves.

So here's to a great woman who inspires me greatly because even though she could easily not do a thing she seems to be doing everything!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The power of a woman.....

There are some brands that seriously know how to make women feel powerful, strong and incredibly feminine.

Last night I began reading the life story of Ivanka Trump in her new book "The Trump Card". Bearing the Trump name has definately given her some heads up but as a young woman in a male dominated world of real estate she writes of her initial challenge in finding the fashion which allowed her to express her uniqueness instead of what we women believe we have to wear to make a point in the boardroom and be taken seriously. She has learnt that wearing pink doesn't mean she is a pushover and that being feminine in a male dominated environment works to her advantage.

So let that be inspiration to us women that to be feminine IS powerful and that wearing pin stripe suits with the crispy white shirt and the black pumps is not being true to who we are as women. And if Miss Trump's success is anything to go by I would be taking her word for what works and what doesn't even if she does have the upper hand and a trump card to go with it.

Power dressing has just taken on a whole new level with Iconic Australian label SIMONA, which not only paves the way to the top of your game but also helps you celebrate the success in style with their flirty dresses, metallic accents, fur trims and luxurious gowns.

And as you make your way from the boardroom you have to love brands like SIMONA created for every facet of a woman's life -work, evening and weekend play.

The range hits stores February's a sneak peak

Monday, January 18, 2010

Fashion that's out of this world.....

There are some designers that seem to be in touch with a world beyond the senses. There purpose is to empower women and to bring down the light and the transformational energy to heal our planet. We only need to take a look at our skyscrapers in Dubai and our super sleek cars to see that the world of design is changing forever. We laughed at the thought of wearing spacesuits in the world to come but looking at the catwalks today and the jewellery collections taking centre stage, it seems to be the way forward.....

With 2012 fast approaching many are asking the question of what this time in history is all about and its significance. The basis of this event lies in the Mayan Calendar, in which time, as we understand it, comes to an end and a major shift occurs in human conciousness. Some believe it is the beginning of a new world? Some believe that the shift will reveal the 4th dimension (time) or maybe the 5th (unity with the unseen spirit world/heaven).

But for many of us we can just revel in the fashion and enjoy brands like the Galaxyan Collection of jewellery by Milena Zu which will soon be launched and available in Australia and connects us to this new world to's a sneak peak....

The future is here.....Sass and Bide and beyond...

... Is it me or is fashion right now very futuristic and inspired by another world, galaxies, constellations and outer space? In this months Vogue Omega have launched a new watch collection "Constellations". Sass and Bide's FUTUREGRAND fall/winter 2010 collection with names like "Let there be light" and the "Afterworld" with its metal details and flowing etherial like dresses.
I've always loved classic styles with a bit of an edge and this season it's all about pushing the limits.

Fashion empowers us to express what is within us to the world outside. I love the way that fashion changes each season allowing us to change and explore and push the boundaries of what we thought was possible. An important ritual for me is to clear out my wardrobe of the woman that I was and start building slowly the new look and the new me I am becoming.

Let this be a message, maybe from our higher self that we at times need to be pushed to the limits to find our true greatness inside. And thank God for fashion which makes it a fun journey along the way.

Here are some of my favourite classic and edgy looks....from a galaxy not so far away!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Girls in white dress with blue satin sashes...

How often has a song come to mind and it just wont go away. The last few days have been like that for me where all I can think about are girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes, snowflakes that fall on my nose and eyelashes, brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favourite things! God knows why I started singing a song from the sound of music and then I realised the importance of staying connected to some of MY favourite things.

Dr John Demartini, a leading personal transformation master says that songs remind us of what is truly important, music touches us in profound ways and that if we pay attention they can guide us to knowing what matters most.

It is easy to get caught up in everyday life and forget what truly moves us and the daily rituals that create a sacred way of living. It can be the simplest of things that make the biggest difference. I know for myself when I don;t take the time to simply light incense and candles each and every day, I find that my days are little bit more mundane. My morning venti chai latte, Starbucks of course!! And the most important ritual of all that keeps my mind sharp and my body energised and my soul revitalised is the 30 minutes I spend jogging and strengthening my core.

We all have little things that are so unique and special to us, our rituals whether a dab of our Chanel perfume or our favourite cocktail ring or simply just going to the ocean and taking a swim. And as the songs reminds us....when the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad...I simply remember my favourite things and then I dont feel so bad!!!!

A beautiful reminder that our favourite "things" and our favourite brands do give us meaning and purpose and even though I never believed in "retail therapy" because later you need "financial therapy" I do encourage not giving up what makes you happy even if others around you don't agree. The importance of the small things make us who we are even if its just a Venti Chai Latte and for anyone that has been around me has always been infected by my love for brands and unfortunately for some Starbucks too!!

So whether I'm saluting to the sun or hanging out at a cafe I always make sure to do it in style with my favourite brands!!!

Worn daily.... Chanel Mademoiselle

Travelling in style...Private Access all the way

Home away from every city of the world

Jogging in Style courtesy of Adidas for Stella McCartney
(thanks to the one who taught me how to jog)

My always looking glamorous...
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