The Official Blog of ShopAKIRA.com

Shop the Runway: Fall ‘14

Look picture perfect with pieces from our fall 2014 fashion show: The Last Dimension.

Left to right: 
Dress, seen on Melody & Ashley: AKIRA’s Oversized Flannel Dress
Dress, seen on Juni & Cayley: For Love & Lemons Wrangler Mini Dress

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Left to right: 
Coat, seen on Evgenia & Ashley: BB Dakota’s Liezel Coat
Skirt, seen on Amber & Ashley: AKIRA’s Asymmetrical Zip Skirt

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Left to right: 
Skirt, seen on Sharon & Ashley: AKIRA’s Festive Rose Skirt
Skirt, seen on Cecily: AKIRA’s Sequin Spider Web Midi Skirt

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Left to right: 
Skirt, seen on Alexis & Ashley: Gracia’s Hi Low Shine Skirt
Top, seen on Ashley & Jasmine: AKIRA’s Deep V Crop Top

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All runway photos courtesy of Steven Chellappa. PR/Marketing services provided by Molise PR.

Met Ball 2014: Safe, Sexy, and Strange

The Met Ball has quickly established itself as the fashion world’s Oscars. We all wait with baited breath to see how top models & celebrities interpret the Metropolitan Museum’s theme of choice.

This year’s gala took its inspiration from Charles James, America’s first couturier. Guests were instructed to arrive in the highest level of formal attire: “white tie and decorations.” (What a departure from last year’s punk vibe!)

Charles James gowns, 1948.

As a result, many celebrities played it safe in floor-sweeping organza, liquid silver lamé, and minimalist monochrome.

Charlize Theron in Dior Couture. Get the look with AKIRA’s S/L Color Blocked Mini Dress.
Allison Williams in Oscar De La Renta. Get the look with AKIRA’s Pique Zip Back Flared Dress.

Emma Stone in Thakoon. Get the look with Bariano’s Miranda Drape Skirt Maxi or AKIRA’s Lace Insert Scuba Top.
Lily Aldridge in Michael Kors. Get the look with AKIRA’s Banded Metallic Dress.

Others embraced their shape in slinky crop tops and risqué high-slit gowns.

Georgia May Jagger in Thierry Mugler. Get the look with AKIRA’s Sexy Mesh Mini Dress.
Leighton Meester in Pucci. Get the look with Modern Vice’s Ghillie Pumps.

Rihanna in Stella McCartney. Get the look with AKIRA’s Asymmetrical Ruched Skirt and AKIRA’s Chain Cage Double Ring.

And a small contingent flaunted all the rules in shockingly bright feathers, see-through skirts, and lace-up gladiator heels.

Kristen Stewart in Chanel.
Lupita Nyong’o in Prada.
Rita Ora in Donna Karan. Get the look with Haus Von Lila’s Dogma 2.0 Gladiator Sandal.
Shailene Woodley in Rodarte.

Arm Candy

Go Full-On Arm Candy This Season!

Snag our Penelope Clutch in Black Hologram. Also available in Pink, Navy & Lime. 

As seen on #ShopAKIRA Featured Blogger, Eugénie Grey from FeralCreature.com.

#2 TOP ShopAKIRA BLOGGER, MICHELLE RYU!

INTRODUCING: Our #2 Top ShopAKIRA Blogger, @WickedTides!

Picking the finalists of our Top ShopAKIRA Bloggers series was a very simple process, especially when the contenders have personal style as undeniably easy like Michelle’s.  Each month or so, our team’s goal will focus on recognizing the lovely ladies that inspire us with their personal styles. We love to catch up with them, as well as seeing how their fashion tastes and preferences have evolved over time. Since we give them freedom to style pieces however they want, collaborating with them & seeing their end result is what keeps our crazy fashion schedules much more fun and fresh!

When it comes to a trendy piece like a pair of Pleather Pants, we love how Michelle reinvented the typical ‘sporty’ look. Most girls are doing this by pairing them with a crop top and beanie, but we love that Michelle did NOT. She made our ‘Glamorous Slouchy Pleather Pant’ just that, feminine yet so sexy. It’s the perfect ‘Shopping Look’ or for running errands around town!

Snag our Glamorous Slouchy Pleather Pants here: http://bit.ly/1fiBoun

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#1 Top ShopAKIRA Blogger, Danielle!

AND THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS!

INTRODUCING: Our #1 Top ShopAKIRA Blogger, @hardtshapedbox!

Every time I think of Danielle, it reminds me of Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box” released back in…well that will reveal how old I am. Can’t deny that as an 80’s baby, Nirvana was an epic part of growing up back in the 90’s. In spite of everything, this entry is not meant to correlate her to the meaning of this influential song. 

Danielle exemplifies the meaning of effortless style! In other words, it’s time for you to get inspired. It’s easy yet sexy! And a little bit of Rock & Roll never hurts.

She keeps it sexy by lengthening her legs with strappy heel sandals, and accessorizing in all the right places. From sharp cuts, to the mix of pleather and faux fur textures, it’s safe to say that after seeing this, you’ll be trying to replicate her look! 

Lusting over her pants? 

Shop our Glamorous Slouchy Pleather Pants here: http://bit.ly/1fiBoun

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What, oh what, to wear on NYE?

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Ah, a riddle for the ages. Every December, girls around the globe wring their hands in anticipation of the year’s glitziest evening. Before you go off the deep end & declare the night a wash, look to the silver screen for a little inspiration. We’ve interspersed our favorite cinematic looks of yore with style tips and ShopAKIRA suggestions…read on!

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ShopAKIRA Spirit: “Belt It Out” Contest

Belt It Out Video

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Belt It Out Video II

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"Wrecking Ball" and "Roar" are all over the airwaves—and our Sorority Spokeswomen’s Instagram feeds! As part of this semester’s internship program, 100+ girls around the nation are showin’ some ShopAKIRA spirit by belting out their favorite tunes.

Two of our fave submissions were turned in by Jeanette from FSU (top) and Kate from the U of I (bottom), who paired some pretty sweet choreography with their lip-syncing skills. The Spokeswoman with the most creative video will score an AKIRA holiday dress for each of the girls who participated! 

To spread the ShopAKIRA love on your own campus—and participate in fun assignments like this along the way—submit a résumé to Amanda at amanda@shopakira.com. More information on the Sorority Spokeswoman & Campus Rep programs can be found here.

Shop the Runway: Looks From our Fall Show

Pull together a fresh-from-the-runway look with pieces from our fall 2013 fashion show: Supersonic Boom. All items mentioned are available on ShopAKIRA.com.

Left to right: 
Skirt, seen on Caroline & Tea: AKIRA’s Zip Back Pleather A-Line Skirt
Jacket, seen on Ashley: Elliatt’s Mini Dots Jacket

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Left to right: 

Jacket, seen on Erica & Jessica: AKIRA’s Woven Cross Zip Jacket
Bomber, seen on Carly & Ashley: AKIRA’s Textured Zip Front Bomber

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Left to right: 
Hat, seen on Erica & Ashley: AKIRA’s Mayra Wool Hat
Top, seen on Amber & Ashley: AKIRA’s Bad Romance Ivory Pleather Top

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Left to right:
Gown, seen on Katrina & Ashley: Bariano’s Mesh Gown
Gown, seen on Bridget & Ashley: Bariano’s Full Length Sequin Gown

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Fall 2013 Fashion Show

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Have a blast at AKIRA’s signature event of the season: Supersonic Boom. First, soar into sensory overload with small bites from Grass Fed, Forever Yogurt, Black Bull, The Haute & The Dog, Polanco, Bridge House Tavern, Real Kitchen, Tocco, Moe’s Cantina, Old Crow Smokehouse, Municipal, Take Me Out, The Burger Point, Insomnia Cookies, West Town Bakery, Wood, Bodega, and Frog N Snail.

Then, shift into overdrive with dance performances from Brickheadz and mini-massages from ellehomme Holistic Med Spa. Next, supercharge your style at our one-night-only pop-up shop. Go out with a bang at this year’s runway presentation, featuring host Kristin Cavallari & thirty of Chicago’s top models.

Proceeds from Supersonic Boom will go toward the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago.

Snag your spot by purchasing one of three passes: GA ($15), Guaranteed Seating ($30), or VIP ($100). Proceeds from the event will go to this year’s charity partner, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago! Tickets are available for purchase online & at all 17 AKIRA stores.

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To get a feel for the show experience, see below for photos from last year:

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Bootie Call

As fall breathes its cool air upon us, we have to wonder: what, oh what, will we wear on our pretty lil’ feet this season?

Here at ShopAKIRA, we offer a variety of booties for every cutie. Now is the perfect time to beat the September shopping rush.

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                                      Helmut Newton’s X-ray of a Karl Lagerfeld boot, 1995

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                                                         Carla Bruni in ELLE France, 1995

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                                                              Versace in Vogue Italia, 1992         

Some of our favorite boot trends for F/W ‘13 include gold hardware, suede, monochrome, and outlandishly high heels.

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                     Rodarte, Rick Owens, & Saint Laurent boots (L-R) on the fall ‘13 runway

Give Your Wardrobe a Reboot at ShopAKIRA.com

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                  Privileged Shoes’ Dragonar Platform Boot in White, Black, & Army (L-R)

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Clockwise from top left: Zigi Skate Platform Boot, Penny Sue Envy Cutout Boots, Jeffrey Campbell Hyatt Boot, and Jessica Simpson Octave2 Boot in Black.

-Alexa Winner

Back 2 School

Hard to believe, but it’s already time for back-to-school shopping. Whether you’re in high school, college, or grad school, we at ShopAKIRA promise that we have something new for you. Scout’s honor!

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Step into school on the right foot with a brand-new pair of Deandri oxfords. Be voted “most trendy” on campus with a Brian Lichtenberg beanie. And dazzle your way down the hallways with a cute carryall & jazzy jewels from our very own AKIRA label.

Shop our back to school picks (left to right):

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Top row: Deandri Archie Cutout Oxford, Joey Backpack, and Brian Lichtenberg Feline Beanie.

Bottom row: Jewel Chain Necklace, Crystalline Earrings, Rope Texture Bracelet, Spike Linked Bracelet in Gold, and Turquoise Bracelet.

-Alexa Winner

What’s In My Bag: Natalie, Web Associate

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                                                            AKIRA’s Joey Backpack

Name: Natalie Jordan

Title: Web Associate & Inventory Lead

Tumblr: http://nataliejordn.tumblr.com/

How did you start working with ShopAKIRA?: While browsing the online store, I stumbled upon a listing for an internship position. I quickly sent in my résumé and cover letter—the possibility of working at one of my favorite local shops seemed too good to be true! Plus, the timing was perfect since I had graduated a few months prior. After an amazing internship in the Web Marketing office, I transitioned into a full-time position in the Web Operations department.

What are your main duties?: I manage the inventory that comes into the web store, familiarize myself with each product’s fit, and make sure that our customers are satisfied with their purchases. Do you ever wonder how that ShopAKIRA dress you’ve had your eye on gets marked down? I make it happen by updating the sale section on the web. The best part of my job is getting to see the newest arrivals before they hit the stores & the web!

How was your style as a teen?: As a Catholic school girl, I lived in my plaid skirt and blazer, so the weekend was my time to express myself. Those years were filled with far too many Abercrombie and Hollister items; thankfully, that All-American style got phased out of my wardrobe.

Five words that describe your personality: Ambitious, compassionate, energetic, funny, and insightful.

Signature style: Feminine and fun. I like to mix classic pieces with bold, boho-chic accessories. I would wear a patterned or bright-colored dress every day if it didn’t get so cold in Chicago.

Favorite designers: The classics: Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, and Valentino.

Interests other than fashion: Baking and cooking—my fiancé never goes hungry! I also like to relax by doing hot yoga, dancing, and walking our dog, Penny.

Favorite store in Chicago: Besides AKIRA, I frequent The Green Goddess Boutique & Beatnix.

Favorite store in another city: Hemline or Rich Hippie, both located in Dallas (my hometown).

Most recent clothing purchase: ShopAKIRA’s Colorblocked Racerback Dress.

Shopping advice: Wear what flatters your shape and don’t fret if you aren’t the same size at every store. I think this sizing dilemma can frustrate consumers who “always want to be a size 4.” Sizing guides aren’t universal; if they were, there would be no value in hiring a knowledgeable sales team!

Recommended beauty products: Lancôme Hypnôse & Benefit They’re Real are both amazing mascaras—it’s worth spending the extra money to keep these lashes long and lush! Once a week, I condition my lashes with Vaseline. NARS lipsticks, MAC lip glosses, Essie nail polishes, eos lip balm, and Smashbox eyeshadows are a few of my other faves.

5 things you can’t live without: Coffee, peanut butter, mascara, We Are Frends headphones, & family.

What not to wear: I thought socks with flip-flops were a given…but you’d be surprised by how often I see them on the street. And remember those stretchy “popcorn shirts” from Limited Too? Those should never have happened.

What to wear this season: ‘Tis the season for maxi dresses! There is nothing better than a confident woman in a flowing, fabulous maxi.

What are you dying to own?: A rainbow of Hermès Birkin bags.

What’s on your playlist?: Alt-J, The Black Keys, C2C, Daft Punk, Justice, Metric, Phantogram, Phoenix, Purity Ring, & Sleigh Bells. And every once in a while, I can’t deny my guilty pleasures: Britney Spears, Beyoncé, and Justin Timberlake.

Shop Natalie’s AKIRA picks (from left to right):

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House of Harlow Anais Sunglasses, Joey Backpack, and Deco Cutout Bracelet Cuff in Gold.

-Natalie Jordan

Something to Converse About

Converse shoes: an iconic staple in nearly all Americans’ closets. It’s one of the only footwear brands that can say it’s penetrated nearly all ages and socioeconomic demographics. To put it simply, Converse shoes are the soles (and souls) of American culture.

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Marquis Mills Converse—former manager of a footwear manufacturing firm—founded the Converse Rubber Shoe Company in 1908. Initially, the company only produced winter-ready rubber-soled shoes for men, women, & children.

However, in the years that followed, Converse began making shoes for athletes in sports such as tennis & basketball. The Converse All-Star Basketball shoe made its début in 1917 & quickly took the business to another level.

image Then, in 1921, a basketball player named Charles H. “Chuck” Taylor walked into Converse complaining of sore feet. With his on-court experiences in mind, he suggested that the shoe be made more flexible & supportive and that a patch be added on to protect the ankle. Converse’s team was so impressed with his input that they made him a traveling salesman and national ambassador. For years, he drove around in a white Cadillac with a trunk full of shoes, making sales to high school & college basketball teams all across the country.

                                                                Converse on the court

Due to his extensive contributions to the Converse brand, Chuck’s signature was added to its star-emblazoned patch & the shoe officially became known as the “Chuck Taylor All-Star.” To date, 600 million pairs of Chuck Taylors have been sold worldwide.

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image                                                          Converse ads through the years

Fast forward to 2013: Converse has expanded well beyond the Chuck Taylor, and now sells a bevy of limited-edition shoes produced in partnership with Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Jimi Hendrix, and Green Day. Because of its timeless style and easy-to-wear construction, the Converse is now a fashionista favorite.

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      Axis: Bold as Love,” one of the shoes in 2010’s Jimi Hendrix Chuck Taylor collection

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                                                         Musician Lil Debbie in Converse

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                                                 Model/socialite Olivia Palermo in Converse

ShopAKIRA has caught a ride on the Converse train, and now sells five different styles from the brand.

Shop our Converse picks (from left to right):

imageConverse Chuck Taylor Two-Fold & Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top

-Alexa Winner

What’s In My Bag: Stefanee, HR Manager

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                                                            AKIRA’s Valerie Clutch

Name: Stefanee

Title: Human Resources & Recruiting Manager

How did you start working with ShopAKIRA?: I was stuck in the grueling corporate grind and was desperately seeking to work for a cool company. I was browsing Craigslist one afternoon, and to my disbelief, saw that one of my favorite stores was hiring for a recruiter. I sent in a cover letter and résumé begging for the job. I interviewed the next week (alongside 40 other people) and was lucky enough to win the hearts of AKIRA’s management team. Here I am, 2 years later.

What are your main duties?: My main duties are to recruit top talent for AKIRA and to make sure that the company follows employment guidelines. Since I’ve started, I’ve taken on additional duties, and I now like to refer to myself as the “jackie” of all trades.

How was your style as a teen?: I’m not trying to age myself, but I was a teen in the ’90s, so everyone’s style was just awful. My teen years definitely taught me how not to dress. I was 16 years old wearing baby barrettes in my hair—not a cute look.

Five words that describe your personality: Outgoing, laidback, witty, sarcastic, & funny.

Who’s your style icon?: I really love Jennifer Aniston’s style. She always looks chic and classic.

Signature style: I love flowy blouses, high-waisted and flared jeans, and cool boots. Also, the color red always makes me feel good about myself.

Interests other than fashion: I haven’t had cable or the Internet at home for 4 years, so I’m an avid reader. I also love to write, paint, hang with my dog, go to concerts & shows, and support the Chicago Bears in any way possible.

Shopping advice: Spend the big bucks on classic pieces. Fun, trendy items are great, but they go out of style quickly and eventually become the “what was I thinking?” pieces.

Recommended beauty products: MAC lip gloss, Dermablend concealer, Moroccanoil hair treatment, Lancôme mascara, Neutrogena face wash, Mario Badescu under-eye cream, and Smashbox line filler.

What’s on your playlist?: Pearl Jam, Lionel Richie, Daft Punk, Robin Thicke, Robyn, Hall & Oates, Jason Aldean, and Justin Timberlake.

5 things you can’t live without: Music, water, Chapstick, hoodies, and Lloyd (my dog).

Shop Stefanee’s AKIRA picks (from top left):

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Clockwise: Valerie Clutch, Tamara01 Heel Sandal in Black, Glass Stone Earrings, and Tom Ford Eugenia Sunglasses in Brown. Also, Leather Chain Bracelet (not pictured).

-Stefanee Horwitch

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