Cultivating Your Personal Style

We all know her: the well put together women that seems to have an effortless signature style. However, it is difficult for those who consider themselves to be less stylish to develop their own personal style. How exactly do you even develop a signature style in the first place? Realize that that effortlessly chic woman has been developing her personal style through a process of trial and error over a period of time. She has learned about what looks work for her, what doesn’t and how to incorporate the latest trends into her wardrobe without losing sight of who she is. She has a creative mind and likes to express herself visually.

The one thing that all creative people have in common is the search for inspiration and a muse. This does not mean to copy someone else’s style, but instead study what some of your favorite celebrities are wearing, creating Pinterest boards to collect some of your favorite items and outfit ideas as well as read magazines to see what’s in style and how you can incorporate it into your wardrobe.

Below are 10 quick tips for helping you to cultivate your own personal style.

1. Know the character you want to portray. In the same way that a costume helps to define a character in a movie or show, the clothes you choose are a way to showcase your personality and character to others. By knowing what you want to communicate, you will be able to find your signature style easier.

2. Following the trends can be expensive and pointless. Every single trend will not work for you, therefore, you have to be more selective about what you invest your money in and how it fits into your already existing wardrobe.

3. Always be mindful to remain consistent in your style choices but also modern.

4. An often ignored part of your personal style, but a very important one is your hair. Your hair style is equally a part of your signature style as your clothing is. Learn what works for you and what you feel comfortable in. Are you going to stay conservative, get a new cut, color, style? Whatever you choose, it should speak to the personal style you are attempting to cultivate.

5. Style is not only about fashion, it’s a lifestyle. From the phone case that you carry to the perfume you wear and the music you listen to. All of the pieces of your personal style should work together to tell a story.

6. Don’t be afraid to experiment or bring trends back. If you haven’t realized, fashion is recycled each and every season, so what may not have worked for you a few years ago, may be perfect now. Fabrics have changed, your body has changed and the way you wear it will be totally different. Take some time to keep classic pieces. They will be staples in your wardrobe for years to come.

7. Make sure the clothes you have fit immaculately, meaning that they do not lead to constant tugging, fussing, and fidgeting. The fit of an article of clothing is what differentiates it between being mediocre and being great. Have you seen a man in a tailored suit, compared to one he just wore off a rack? Fit is everything. Be mindful of how the clothes fit before you purchase them. Ill-fitted clothing affect your confidence and your attempt to be effortless will be a failed one.

8. We all need that go-to item that is in our wardrobe. Make an effort to find something that works great on your body shape and makes you look and feel confident. Once you have found this item, purchase it in multiple colors and stock up on it. That way, you will always be ready for any last minute outings, events and dates.



Beyonce Drops Surprise Album with Fashion We Adore

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Beyonce shocked fans and the entire world after releasing a surprise visual album late Thursday night via iTunes. The self-titled album contained 14 songs and 17 videos and sold 80,000 copies in just three hours. Social media went into a frenzy as fans tweeted, instagramed and facebooked pictures of the album’s videos shortly after its release. She did 17 videos within a four-month period and the project was styled by Lysa Cooper, Ty Hunter, B. Akerlund, Marni Senofonte and Karen Langley. Each stylist brought their own twist to videos, each of them working on a different group. Some highlights included a bedazzled bikini,  a large silk muumuu, her signature leotards, and other designer styles from the likes of Saint Laurent, Tom Ford, and Anthony Vaccarrello. One of the album’s most talked about video is “Drunk In Love,” featuring her husband Jay-z on a private beach in Miami. Lysa Cooper, stylist for this video said she was originally supposed to wear three different outfits, but Jay Z had a different idea after seeing her in her sheer number. He said, “You’re wearing that the whole time.” In this shot she is wearing a vintage Eres bathing suit from the 90’s, Wendy Nicohl dress and all the jewelry is by Jennifer Fisher.

As you go through the videos you think the fashion can’t get any better until you see a compilation of supermodels in the ‘Yonce video. Joan Smalls, Jourdan Dunn and Chanel Iman joined Beyonce for this song. Beyonce and Chanel Iman are both seen wearing Herve Leger bandage swimsuits. Beyonce’s suit is from Leger’s 2011 collection, while Chanel’s is strikingly similar in gray from the brand’s resort ’14 lineup and available here.
With its ’70s disco flair, “Blow” is depicts a good time at the roller rink and features a fun and flirty Beyonce sporting everything from fluorescent green two piece with orange lipstick to riding up on a bike in a giant neon yellow tiger-print fur coat from Versace and patchwork denim jeans. You can see her in the scene above wearing a Missguided Jayden Tropical Print Bralet.

The look in “Haunted” was on of the most eerily striking one as Bey, rocks a Saint Laurent Fall 2013 Menswear Fur Coat and Saint Laurent Blue Pinstripe Tailored Wool Trousers with her flapper-inspired, finger- waved blonde bob and polished red lips. She is also seen wearing a Michael Cinco Fall 2013 Lace Cape in another scene.

Tom Ford’s Fall 2013 boots have been a celebrity favorite with Rihanna being one of the first to sport them. Beyonce wears them with Grown Woman video with her signature bodysuit.

Take a look at our slideshow below of 10 designer looks from the Beyoncé album videos.

by: Malikah Kelly

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[Recap] Art Basel Miami 2013

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Art Basel just wrapped up in Miami Beach this past weekend as artists, collectors, and the curious flocked to the Sunshine State to get a glimpse of modern and contemporary works. Art Basel is an independent art show founded over 40 years ago by three gallerists from the Swiss city of Basel. This production has grown to become a cultural event welcoming the leading galleries across various continents. The audience has also grown internationally to include collectors, museum directors and curators and happens annually in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong.

At this year’s event, paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, photographs and films were on display at the Miami Beach Convention Center, while other artworks and performances were viewed across the city at galleries, museums, tents and private events. The 12th annual Miami art week featured events hosted by Dom Perignon, Maserati and Ferrari just to name a few.

On Saturday, I attended the Southern Freeze party featuring photography by Ben Watts, Montauk-based English photographer whose work has been featured in publications like Vogue, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar. The Southern Freeze party took place at Freehand Miami and guests were able to enjoy art works and Watts’ WattsUp Rosé. Afterwards, I attended the Empty Kingdom X Select Fair Art Expo. Each room in the Catalina Hotel was transformed into personal galleries featuring the work of emerging artists around the world. Originally, I came to Art Basel just for the experience, but actually ended up buying a Lauren Rinaldi piece that I absolutely fell in love with! So I am officially an art collector now.

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Before flying back to NYC on Sunday, I visited the Versace Casa Casuarina on Ocean Drive and had breakfast at The News Cafe, where it is rumored he would stop by daily for breakfast and to buy the morning paper. Take a look at some of the photos below.

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Isabel Marant Madness in Times Square with H&M Store Launch

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Isabel Marant, French designer worn by celebrities like Beyonce, has collaborated with Swedish retailer H&M  and is the latest in the brand’s ongoing series of luxury collaborations. Past collaborations include Versace, Marni, Lanvin and Maison Martin Margiela. Set to launch in 250 stores worldwide, Isabel Marant will debut her first men’s line as well as a collection of womenswear pieces.

After five months of anticipation and waiting, fashion connoisseurs will be able to shop this highly anticipated collection starting on Thursday, November 14.  The collection’s launch is in conjunction with the launch of the new H&M Times Square location. Times Square will be the first store in the world to sell it, beginning at 1 a.m. ET. The New York city location will celebrate its grand opening with Lady Gaga and a feature a different sale each hour for 24 hours. “This is truly a milestone moment for H&M, to have a footprint at the crossroads of the world and own a piece of the NYC skyline with our brand illuminated on top of this impressive building.” says Daniel Kulle, U.S. President for H&M. “With over 7,000 square feet of LED screens, and a 53 foot glitter wall in this ground-breaking location, we knew we had to partner with a star who shines as bright as the store.”

All other stores will begin selling the collection at 8 AM. The final countdown has officially begun, and fashionistas globally are preparing to gather outside of H&M stores. However, for those who want to opt-out of the madness, on a cold day in NYC, the collection will go on sale online at noon ET. Back in 2011, Versace for H&M crashed its UK site, so we are looking forward to seeing if the retailer has prepared for the surge of traffic.

Isabel Marant is a Paris native and launched her first collection in 1994. Her luxury label has expanded globally with 11 shops in Europe, Asia and the United States.

by: Malikah Kelly

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3 Fall Inspired Drinks You’ll Adore

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Fall not only marks a change in the weather and welcomes fall fashions. It also means the return of pumpkin-spiced everything. Many coffee shops like Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks see great success from their seasonal beverages, but this year, there have been reports that many of these pumpkin-flavored drinks actually don’t contain any pumpkin at all. The UK’s Daily Mail reported that Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte doesn’t contain any pumpkin, just pumpkin pie flavored syrup and a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. This may be a little upsetting, but here are a few other autumn-themed beverages for you to try.

Spiced Apple Cider

1 gallon

1 gallon fresh apple cider

10 cinnamon sticks

5 anise pods

3 teaspoons whole cloves

1 cup extra dark rum (optional)

Orange slices for garnish

Pour the cider into a large pot and simmer with the spices for 10-15 minutes. If you want, tie the spices up in cheesecloth for easy removal later – or just let people deal with cloves in their drinks. Add the rum at the end. Garnish with a slice of orange.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Prep time: 10 minutes



• 1 15-ounce can pumpkin (chilled)

• 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk (chilled)

• 8 ounces vanilla yogurt

• 1/4 cup sugar

• 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

• Whipped cream, to taste (optional)



1. Combine pumpkin, milk, yogurt, sugar and spice in a blender; cover.

2. Blend until mixture is smooth.

3. Pour into glasses; top with whipped cream (if desired) and an additional sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice. Serves four.



Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

For a twist on standard hot chocolate, you can add in other flavors like peanut butter. This recipe from takes a few hours to cook, but once it’s ready, you’ll have a rich, warm beverage to share with the household, office or party.


Prep time: 10 minutes, Cook time: 1-4 hours



• 1 cup powder chocolate milk mix or powder cocoa mix

• 8 cups hot water

• 3/4 cup chocolate syrup

• 1/4 cup peanut butter

• 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla



1. Pour cocoa mix in a 3-4 quart slow cooker.

2. Carefully stir in hot water.

3. Stir in chocolate syrup.

4. Cover and cook on low heat for 3-4 hours or on high for 90 minutes to 2 hours.

5. Whisk in peanut butter and vanilla until smooth.

6. Ladle cocoa into mugs. Serves nine.

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“The Università di Bologna,” by Malikah Kelly

The Università di Bologna (University of Bologna) in Italy has a centuries-long tradition of scholarship. The school is said to have been formed in 1088. At first, its scholars taught rhetoric, logic, and grammar, but in 1158, the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire declared the university to be a place of independent research. In subsequent centuries, the university added studies in arithmetic, astronomy, Greek, and Hebrew. Experimental science appeared in the curriculum in the 1500s, followed by the study of medicine in the 1600s and 1700s.

As the modern Italian state became unified in the 1900s, the University of Bologna assumed a central place in world culture. After the two World Wars, the university shifted its focus to a European system of education.

Today, the University of Bologna offers programs in the arts, the humanities, economics, law, engineering, and psychology, among others. It also provides courses in Italian for international students.

About the Author

Malikah Kelly is a recent graduate. She obtained a Master of Business Administration in Design, Fashion, and Luxury Goods from the Università di Bologna.

A Brief Overview of the Università di Bologna’s Alma Graduate School By Malikah Kelly

Located in Bologna, Italy, the Alma Graduate School has earned renown as one of Europe’s leading schools of management. Since its inception in 2001, the institution has educated students pursuing graduate degrees in communication, technology, and management. The school offers a variety of unique programs, including full- and part-time MBA programs that cater to professionals and executives as well as international students. Alma Graduate School takes an interdisciplinary approach and instills in its students the value of solid decision-making skills. Furthermore, the school encourages students to embrace an international orientation, making them dynamic candidates in their fields.

Situated just outside of Bologna’s city center, the Alma Graduate School is housed in the Villa Guastavillani, which dates from the late 1500s. The restored villa now features 4,000 square meters of state-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories, and technology.

About the author: A recent graduate of the Alma Graduate School, Malikah Kelly earned her masters of business administration in design, fashion, and luxury goods. Today, Malikah Kelly serves as the business manager of NEIMASITAWI Luxury Boutique Fashion.

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Steps for a Successful Social Media Strategy by Malikah Kelly

As a recent graduate of an international Master of Business Administration program, I have confidence in my contemporary marketing education. It is in any emerging business’s best interest to examine the marketing opportunities that social media offers.

The first step is to analyze the audience. This allows a social media director to create the type of content that will immediately grab attention through a relatable “voice,” one that fits the age group, education level, and interests of a target demographic and establishes the company as an authority.

The next step is to decide on one of three specific goals: awareness, loyalty, or sales. Developing one of these specific obectives will eventually lead to increases in the others.

The final step is to measure and monitor. Loyalty can be measured through increased numbers of engagements and instances of influence. EdgeRank Checker and Klout are tools that provide this information. Awareness can be monitored through subscriptions, shares, and likes. Sales are measurable with click rates and similar procedures.

Malikah Kelly received her MBA at the University of Bologna, Italy. Her work with Neima Sitawi Luxury Boutique Fashion provided her with extensive business management experience.