The global denim business is a $100 billion dollar industry and is a staple in our wardrobe. We had the chance to talk with Andrew Olah and his daughter Emily Olah, who are luminaries in their industry. Together with their team, they run a series of businesses that further the denim industy from Olah, Kingpins (which we attended earlier this summer) and Denim Days. We sat down to find out about the upcoming Denim Days taking place this fall.
ATHLEISURE MAG: We enjoyed checking out Kingpins and are looking forward to Denim Days in NYC this fall. We look forward to being media partners this year. Tell us about your backgrounds and how it led to where you are now.
ANDREW OLAH: Well we’re really excited to talk with you about Denim Days! Let me share a little about me first. I’m second generation in the textile sales business so early on I kind of changed it and switched to denim. We’re from Canada and we used to do every kind of fabric.
I grew up in jeans and in the 60’s, jeans weren’t so accessible and they didn’t have any connotation of any kind of social position. In my culture they did, but not in the rest of the world. I couldn’t wear my jeans - some schools wouldn’t allow you to wear them etc. So it’s all I wore and when I got to represent companies that made denim or corduroy I loved it because I knew that I could wear it – how could you not wear what you were selling? Even in the denim industry back in '97 when I was thinking of moving to NYC, I had to think about it because I would have had to wear a suit.
Eventually, we moved the business to fabrics in denim. I worked for the first denim mill ever outside of the United States which was a really lucky job. It was an Italian company – the Italians impacted the denim industry really really early on being the first ones to use denim in non-traditional shapes. In the American history of denim if you look at vintage pictures, it’s all workwear related and very traditional styles.
The Italians were the first ones to say, let’s make a sexy top, a sexy dress etc. I don’t know if you have ever heard of a company called Fiorucci that’s what they did – fashion tops and fashion bottoms in weird shapes. No one had ever heard of that or thought of it in America really. Obviously there were no fabrics in the United States to do that and when people were sourcing they realized it was cheaper for them to make that shirt outside of the US and to do it in Asia so this started to happen there and this started the denim industry in Asia. The Italians impacted the industry because they enlarged what was seen as a jeans industry by the shapes and the sizes and by women's wear.
The second job that I got was to work with a Japanese company. Again, the Japanese have a huge impact on the jean industry globally – I’m talking about global business and not just American. So the Japanese recreated vintage. Their emulation of vintage was better than the original vintage. It’s like someone copying a Mustang from ’65 and making it 10 times better than the original one and yet looking the same – that’s kind of what they did. They’re obsessed with the components and application so their obsessions make them uncompetitive. They have their own cache. So the company moved to NY in ’98 and we wanted to meet customers and we already had 20-30 customers but we wanted 70 so we started Kingpins as a tradeshow because we wanted to meet more customers and have them come in, hand out their business cards and say hello. When we first stated in the beginning, we used to do personal introductions to everybody because the shows were small.
Kingpins started in 2004 and we never even charged anyone for it, it was just a party and we did it for 2 or 3 years, until 2007 when the recession hit, and we switched the business model to being for profit and now Kingpins is the largest tradeshow in the industry for supply chain – not to boast and quite accidently. It was never our aspiration but it just happened. Our Amsterdam show is really really huge.
AM: And why Amsterdam?
AO: We picked Amsterdam because the community in Amsterdam loves jeans. The late mayor of Amsterdam was a believer in jeans and he felt it was the business for his city. They did a study and they found that Amsterdam had more jean brands per capita than any other city in the world. Which is easy when you have a population of 700,000 – a little more difficult if you’re a city like Tokyo, Istanbul, Sao Paulo* or LA even. That was their mantra and the fact is the fact that that is their business in Amsterdam. They have a lot of brands there and they made it their business to celebrate that to go with what was working for them and to try to get brands in this vertical to move there because they have an industry. They have the culture there and the population loves it there!
Do you ever notice that when we’re there people wear more denim there then here?
EMILY OLAH: Oh yeah 100%.
AO: It’s kind of weird because we’re jeans people and you go there and everyone is wearing jeans. Even in hotels the people working in the hotels and the restaurants - even the uniforms are jeans or denim! It's kind of weird whe you first see it. When we first went there, we stayed in this brand new boutique hotel and ever since people wore jeans and even their aprons were denim!
But anyway, we decided to do it in Amsterdam and there was also the issue of the House of Denim – have you heard of that?
AO: Over the course of my career, of 40+ years I was frustrated that there wasn't a school for those in the denim trade. We all got jobs and we had to just learn o the job, but there ws no place to learn outside of that.
I have produced a class on jeans for 14 years at FIT which is known as the Capstone Course and they're preparing for their 5th year anniversary. Recently it was announced that there would be a New Jean School in Milan - so this is the start of a big difference in our industry as we grow up!
Now the House of Denim in Amsterdam started the first jeans school in 2012. They're also planning on putting a laundry in the city so that people can wash their jeans.
So in doing our supply chain tradeshow Kingpins there, they said that they wated to do a festival known as Denim Days which led us to doing it there.
What we didn't realize was how many people all over Europe and Turkey and other countries liked Amsterdam and loved shopping there. They loved going there and being their for inspiration. It was an amazing decision.
AM: So Emily, before we delve into Denim Days, how did you get into the denim industry?
EO: I went to college for biology. I was not a good student so I went and had various jobs. One day I got a phone call from my father and his friend – they were in a taxi. He said I needed to go to Portugal and learn the business with our family friend. I had to get my life together, learn Portuguese in 6 weeks if I was serious. I said yes. I packed up my life, learned Portuguese in 6 weeks (I went to language school 4-5 days a week) and moved there about 6-8 weeks after.
I worked in a garment factory and worked in our friend’s shirt factory. I worked in every department learning each component of it together through it’s complete process. I had to make a garment where the pattern was made by me, sewn by me, finished by me and it had to be approved before I could work from the office.
AO: They wouldn’t let her out of the factory until it was approved.
EO: I was failed like 20 times. I sewed my finger, it was like your sleeve is a centimeter shorter then the other sleeve, try again So I eventually passed my production sewing job and I started
working in the office.
AO: Who were your customers?
EO: My customers were Paper Denim, Burton Snowboards, AG and Marc Jacobs. So I had the American market and the factory that I worked for was a boutique factory so we did small runs. We did all kinds of products and not just shirts – it was shoes, bags, sweaters etc. In Portugal, all of the factories around us did small run production so I would just have to drive in a 50km radius to go to factories that did any kind of production. And then when I was ready to leave from Portugal I had been working with Rogan for awhile and got an internship with them here in NY.
AO: At that time, he was one of the most renowned designers in the industry.
EO: He was growing his business really quickly and there was this small staff of like 6 people when I went there as an intern. They had me running to midtown to check on their garment factory and whether their production was going ok and in 2 weeks they were like, “we have this new brand and we want you to run it.” I was like, “really ok”. They said, “it’s a really big opportunity, we’re going to do jeans and t-shirts. Production is already set you just have to deliver the goods.”
AO: And that was Loomstate.
AM: Oooo we love Loomstate wow!
EO: I did all of the product development and the production. Jared who works here now, also worked there and developed the sales. That’s how I got started in the business.
AM: Wow everyone loved their jeans and the shirts were great! So how did you make your way here?
EO: So I worked for several brands in the premium area on the production side. I eventually moved to LA because a lot of them were there and I wanted to come to NY. I had an opportunity to work for the factory that I stated with and that brought me back to NY and I worked out of the Olah office. That’s sort of the beginning.
AO: A few key things happened that led to her being at the Olah umbrella. We never hired her.
EO: Yeah his business partner hired me.
AO: True, what happened was she was working with AG and Rock and Republic and then she moved back to NY to work with the Portuguese guy that she started with and we paid her salary because they weren’t going to pay her enough so we said there are things to do around the office and she had her own world and it had nothing to do with me so I thought that that was cool. Then he and I had some issues and the relationship got funky and one day when the relationship ended, she had no job, but was in our office. So we tried to see what she could do to justify her being her.
My partner kept telling me that she was really smart and I was glad to hear that, but I didn’t think about it.
EO: And now 11 years later, here I am haha.
AM: So what do you do here?
EO: So our business is segmented into 3 areas and I straddle all 3 in an operational way, but I spend most of my time in the events world like Kingpins and Denim Days.
AM: So how will Denim Days this year be different then Denim Days last year?
AO: One thing that we will do which is different is that we are changing the speaking. We had people speak last time. The day before we did Legends. But this year we will have something everyday on Sat and Sun all day long so the speaker element will be amazing.
EO: Right like speakers and workshops that will be engaging to the consumers that come in and it won’t be on a separate day. Quite honestly, our Legends last year were a bit more B2B. The access to the attendees will be a lot greater this year.
AO: If you come in and feel what’s going on, it will all be in one big room. It’s going to be much better this year!
EO: I think 2019 will be a big evolution because we are going to move Denim Days to be the same week as Kingpins so it allows us to have denim events for 6 days in a row as opposed to being segregated.
AO: Then it will be a proper festival because it will be 6 days in a row with B2B and B2C.
EO: It will be a lot more dynamic that way and will engage a lot more people.
AM: What made you want to introduce Nashville to Denim Days?
AO: They asked us. But they have started the Nashville Fashion Alliance* and the NFA people are nice and their arguments for the fashion industry to move there to me is compelling. They remind me a lot of Amsterdam.
EO: Yeah their local government is very similar to Amsterdam.
AO: Yes you have access to the mayor, the Senate, Senators, the governor – there is a whole level of community. When you have academia, politics and commerce mix, it’s like the perfect moment. It’s like nirvana – it doesn’t happen here, but when it happens, everyone is on the same page. All the people are not competitors you’re doing the same thing and it becomes a community. Amsterdam has nailed it – accidently – but they are in this status and if they don’t screw it up, it’s brilliant. Nashville sees it and is trying to create it and I believe that they will. Then they have the music industry and so when they came to us, we said yes. They said they would help us with the media. Little cities in many ways are the future. So it’s interesting for us.
AM: So what trends are you seeing in denim that we should keep an eye out for fall of this year and more specifically for Spring 19?
EO: It’s about fiber and performance.
AO: The biggest thing – everyone wants something special. In the old days, if you wanted something special it was about having the Jordache name on it and that was something special.
EO: And that was enough.
AO: I remember I had a friend telling one of the Hilfigers at the time that they should just sell their label at the checkout counter because you have all the same jeans. So Polo could be $5 for the label and Tommy could be $6 and this one is $10 and Levi’s could be $3 and you just stick it on because it’s all the same stuff. That’s the history of the jeans business.
Exceptional jeans products right now – I think that everyone makes exceptional jeans products so then the issue is what is the company like. Everlane has done really really well with jeans and they’re not a jeans brand – but they have done well. It’s about the company and what’s
inside it and most of all how it fits and performance. Performance is everything and that means that you have to step out and find new ways of doing things.
EO: I completely agree. People know more about the product and want to know more about it. They have to have a reason for its existence and it just can’t be another piece that’s lined up
on the shelf. Something in it that’s different than something else and that’s outstanding.
AO: Like, when you go to Selfridge’s. The jeans shop is huge and there isn’t one sign but the brand name – what is that? That is like having this table with bananas and then saying, which one do you want? This one is $105, this one is $98, this one is made in LA – I mean really? They’re bananas!
AM: Just so our readers are clear, in addition to having your tradeshow within the supply chain - Kingpins as well as a festival denim show - Denim Days; you also work with brands that want to become denim brands?
AO: Yes, we have 3 actual business models. In addition to the shows, we develop fabric and then we sell the fabric. That division would help small brands that we believe in. Scott Morrison he was doing Paper Denim – we helped him with that. We’re happy to help those that are looking to get into the business - to a point. You can give someone food, but you can’t help them chew it!
PHOTOS COURTESY | Olah Inc.
Last month we introduced our readers to Santa Monica based and Celebrity OB/GYN, Dr. Sherry Ross. Like a girlfriend that we have known for years, she talked with us about how she got into her practice and the depth of her career, the difficulty that women have in talking about their vagina, the importance of knowing how to take care of this area - especially as it pertains to an athleisure lifestyle, her partnership with Summer's Eve, what she is up to this summer and more.
Dr. Ross shared so much information with us, we thought that we would spread out more of her knowledge in additional issues. If you missed last month, you can read it here and in this
month's issue we are focusing on some of the common questions that she is asked by her patients and of course, she shares answers.
• What are some of the changes that occur with our vagina throughout the years.
The effect of aging on our body, including our vagina, is inevitable. Your vagina is as young and beautiful as you think it is in its appearance. Your personal attitude and vaginal confidence is the most important factor in how others perceive an aging vagina.
Just like any other part of your body with skin, glands and hair follicles, the appearance of the vagina is affected by the aging process and how well you care of it.
There are known offenders, such as childbirth and menopause, which leave battle scars that can be permanent, but there are things you can do to avoid needing a vaginal “face-lift’ also known as vaginal rejuvenation, in the future.
Hormonal changes over the decades also influence the integrity and elasticity of the vagina. First let’s be clear what we are talking about regarding the vagina. The “vagina” actually includes the lips, vulva or labia-minora and majora, the opening to the vagina and the clitoris.
Starting with puberty, the powerful effects of estrogen and progesterone, cause changes of the vagina including pubic hair, enlarging and more prominent labia or lips and more noticeable white vaginal discharge. As you age and lose your subcutaneous fat in your body, the fat in the vagina also decreases making the lips looks thinner.
Childbirth probably has the most dramatic effect on the vagina, especially if you have a vaginal delivery. A recent statistic showed that “30% of women who have a vaginal birth will have some form of trauma to the tissue and muscles in the vagina and pelvic floor. The vagina and all its elastic glory can only stretch so much during childbirth. With each vaginal delivery there is a little more stretching which has an accumulative effect that ultimately changes the outward appearance of the vagina. The pelvic floor muscles that stretch, distend and tear in the vagina to allow the baby’s head to come through this tight space will never be quite the same over time. The more vaginal deliveries you have, the more the vagina stretches, especially in the vaginal opening. Women often chose to have an elective cesaean section to avoid any trauma caused to the vagina from a vaginal birth.
There is a definite correlation between having a lot of vaginal deliveries and big babies that permanently stretch the outward appearance of the vagina.
With menopause and the loss of estrogen nourishing and hydrating the vagina, the tissue becomes dry, pale and dehydrated. The labia of the vagina can become fused and the vagina and clitoris shrink. The labia becomes less full, losing its fatty pads and the skin loses its collagen. The end result is lighter or darker appearing labia that sag. The medical term for this is vulva-vaginal atrophy.
• What are some of the reasons my vagina itches if I don’t have a yeast infection?
The itchy vagina can be challenging to figure out but is a common phenomenon. Once your health care provider has ruled out a yeast or bacterial infection it’s time to look other environmental causes including heavily fragranced body and laundry soaps, sanitary pads, sanitary wipes/pads, warming gels and scented lubricants, nylon underwear, diaphragms, condoms, saliva, semen and stress which are often the offending sources of the vaginal itch.
• What are reasons why my vagina smells funny?
The normal vagina tends to smell like “a vagina” which all of us women know what that means. When there is an unusual odor something is just not right down there. A classically smelling fishy vagina tends to be a bacterial infection such as Gardnerella. Other causes for a strange or offensive odor include a sexually transmitted disease such as Chlamydia, Trichomonas’s, Syphilis and Gonorrhea. Your diet, including garlic, onions, Brussels sprouts and red meat, can also create a different odor in the vagina. Smoking, alcohol and caffeine also affect the vagina’s smell and taste.
• What exactly is the importance of pubic hair?
The best kept secret about a women’s body is why we actually have pubic hair. No one really knows the answer to this question. The suspected theories, some medical and some not, include pubic hair prevents dirt and other floating germs to enter the vagina, it keeps our genitals warm, and it’s the perfect cushion during sex, bicycling and other forms of exercise that put pressure on our vagina.
Pubic hair is also thought to create ‘pheromones’ which are invisible sexual smells that are sexually enticing and erotic to your partner. We know pubic hair can be a decorative accessory under the sheets during Valentine’s Day or for different cultural preferences.
• What impact is the porn industry having on women and men when it comes to vaginas?
The truth is a lot of women don’t like their vaginas. 1 in 7 women have considered getting ”labiaplasty” which basically is trimming and tucking the lips of the vagina and tightening up the entrance. Many women admit that 1 in 5 compare themselves to those vaginas seen in porn. With porn on the rise, vaginas are everywhere. And yet, no one seems to want to admit how this new prevalence, and its resulting misconceptions about sex and the vagina is - or isn't - changing our romantic and sexual relationships and our relationships to our bodies and ourselves.
There’s no denying it. Porn is everywhere. Porn sites get more visitors each month then Netflix, Amazon, and Twitter combined. A recent statistic found that 70% of children ages 8 to 18 report having unintentionally stumbled across pornography online. The average age for a child to be exposed to pornography is now 11 years old. This means that our children are often “learning” about “normal” sexual behavior and physical appearance from the likes of Jenna Jameson and John Holmes. Many women (and men) now expect, even want, all vaginas to look like Jenna’s does. Girls and guys alike visit porn and other sexually graphic web sites, and not just for pleasure, but also to see what the perfect vagina and the ideal penis look like.
We as a society have to fight the porn epidemic and not allow our young women and men to think this is how they should be learning about sex and sexual relationships through porn. Awareness and education is vital!
• What are ways to keep my vagina young?
Your vagina is as young as you think it is. With that said, a young vagina is a healthy and confident vagina. Keeping the vagina clean and enjoying sexual pleasures keeps the vagina young regardless of age.
• Why do you think such little attention has been paid to women's sexual concerns compared with men's?
Unfortunately, there has been a history of “gender injustice” in the bedroom. Women have long been ignored when it comes to finding solutions to sexual dysfunction. If there were a scoreboard it would read 26 and O for men! In short, there are twenty-six approved medications for male erectile dysfunction and zero for women. Clearly, little attention has been paid to the sexual concerns of women, other than those concerns that involve procreation. Why is this the case? Why are women marginalized in every aspect of life? Sadly, this is a truth even in the medical space. Women are not getting the attention and respect they deserve.
Women simply want the same attention in sexual health and responsiveness from the medical community as men have had. With that in mind, the FDA is finally showing support for the challenges faced in female sexual health. Whether you choose a medical alternative, a little self-love in the afternoon, or a romantic weekend without electronics or distractions, the choice should be yours.
• What are the main sexual problems/issues affecting women in their 20s and 30s?
Our sexuality is as part of our lives as is eating and sleeping. Sexuality is an important aspect of our wellbeing, and in a healthy romantic relationship it’s as important as love and affection. Enjoyable sex is learned. Sure, there’s instinct and maybe a dusting of magic involved, but you don’t magically have an orgasm without having an active role in making it happen. You and your partner have to acknowledge each other’s likes and dislikes, and learn how to satisfy each other. Open and honest conversations are necessary to make the sexual experience optimal for both of you, whether you have multiple partners or self-esteem to spare. For women, the sexual experience can be broken down into four parts: desire, arousal, vaginal lubrication, and orgasm. I know you’ve heard it before, but it can’t be overstated; your largest and most important sex organ is your mind. It’s what makes all the parts come together in what can (and should) be a sublimely satisfying experience.
Intimacy, sex and orgasm often all begin with desire. If you don’t have any desire you will not be able to have an orgasm-plain and simple, mission will not be accomplished. Understanding the cause of the sexual dysfunction is the most important step in optimizing a treatment plan. Relationship counseling, stress reduction, sex therapy or a weekend away with your partner without the kids may be all that’s needed to get you back on track.
Hypoactive sexual disorder, the most common female sexual dysfunction, is characterized by a complete absence of sexual desire. For the sixteen million women who suffer from this disorder, the factors involved may vary since sexual desire in women is much more complicated than it is for men. Unlike men, women’s sexual desire, excitement and energy tend to begin in that great organ above the shoulders, rather than the one below the waist. The daily stresses of work, money, children, relationships and diminished energy are common issues contributing to low libido in women. Other causes may be depression, anxiety, lack of privacy, medication side effects, medical conditions such as endometriosis or arthritis, menopausal symptoms such as a dry vagina, or a history of physical or sexual abuse. It’s not a myth after all that women are more complicated than men.
Learning how to have an orgasm is not a rite of passage. Orgasms are learned and you cannot expect any one to show you how to have one until you know your own sexual body mechanics.
In fact, 10-20% of women (of all ages) have never had an orgasm. Women typically have sexual and emotional issues that get in the way of intimacy which interrupt the four parts of a sexual experience for women.
For some women, finding and enjoying sexual intimacy and sex is difficult. 43% of women report some degree of difficulty and 12% attribute their sexual difficulties to personal distress.
This month we chatted with the Cabin Crew of Emirates Airlines to find out some tips to keep in mind from packing to being active onboard. Their tips are worth noting when flying first class domestically and internationally.
Keep a Goodie Bag
No matter where you're headed, there are essentials you will always need. While airlines offer great onboard amenities, keep a ziploc bag at the ready and simply replenish the small bottles as needed. They suggest the recently updated The Urban Travellers collection, which is comprised of different pouches in a variety of sizes, styles and colors.
Assemble a Capsule Collection
Create outfits and pieces that are easily coordinated to create different looks. Think basics: black pants, white jeans, neutral t-shirts, jean jacket. Wear your bulkiest items on the plane to free up space in your luggage and keep you warm during travel.
Don't Forget Statement Jewelry
Bring a pair of statement earrings and bangles to add that pop of color.
Roll or Lay Flat?
The great debate! Roll your clothes to maximize space, or lay them flat to minimize creases. Fill suitcase gaps with socks, belts, intimates and hair tools to create a flat surface before laying down clothing.
Prepare for the Plane
Your brain and body will always thank you for a carefully constructed carry-on.
The Emirates' Cabin Crew recommends a few hydrating tools (lip balm, body lotion and moisture spray) to keep you feeling fresh while you're flying the friendly skies.
STAY ACTIVE ONBOARD
The crew suggests a few exercises that you can do while you're traveling so that you can stay loose.
Circle your feet at the ankles.
>> 20 times each foot.
Lift one buttock off the seat, tightening the muscles on that side. Hold to the count of 5.
>> Repeat each side 5 times.
Press the knees and thighs together and tighten buttock muscles. Hold to the count of 5.
>> Repeat 5 times.
Lift heels and press toes into the floor, then lift your toes and press heels into the floor.
>> Do this 10 times for each foot.
Read more from the July Issue of Athleisure Mag and see Something You Should Know | Navigating First Class in mag.
This month's celeb fitness editorial (front and back) is Corey Calliet, Celebrity Fitness Trainer who has A$SAP Rocky, Michael B. Jordan as clients. He also trains a number of actors who are in some of your favorite blockbuster action movies. He has also been a trainer on E!'s Revenge Body with Khloe Kardashian. Our editorial focuses on what inspires him, explains the Calliet Way and his approach to training. Our July issue is focused on fitness which includes our day of training (as well as interviewing) along with Celebrity Fitness trainers Harley Pasternak, Gunnar Peterson, Akin Akman, Nicole Winhoffer and Swedish pop duo Icona Pop. We also talked with Hunter "The Sheriff" McIntyre who competed in the Tough Mudder X Championship presented by Kill Cliff.
Within beauty and wellness, we have OB/GYN Dr. Sherry Ross with us sharing Part II of our conversation that we had with her. awareness of a number of issues. We talked with the Co-Founders of Australian cult beauty brand, Bali Body. Our second editorial, Bring it On has tips on how to look stylish from what you're wearing, beauty, hair, drinking and hanging out.
We have a number of features that are in each month's issues including The Art of the Snack - focusing on Kelvin Slush Co, Bingely Books, Bingely Streaming, Something You Should Know with Emirates Airlines, Athleisure List, Athleisure Beauty and more roundups that focus on tennis style, 5 must have sports bras and more.
Read the July Issue
We're in that stage of life where we are going through milestones or watching those going through - rocking our careers of choice, launching businesses, getting engaged, married and having babies. We're aware of these benchmarks but the one we thing we hear after someone announces that they are expecting, there is a bit of a groan about what they can wear, what options exist and if they can go up a size. We sat down with corporate veterans and Co-Founders of of Mia Tango to talk about connecting mommies to be with brands that won't sacrifice their style and how this company was conceived.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about your background pre Mia Tango as our readers love knowing about trailblazing women.
STEPHANIE RETCHO: I began my career working in direct marketing - the great precursor to the digital age (darn, did I just age myself ?!). I remember so vividly interviewing for my first job in advertising at Leo Burnett in Toronto. It so perfectly combined my love of data with my creative talents - my inner geek did a happy dance. After working at Leo Burnett for a few years, I took a big leap of faith and moved to New York City. I played hookie for a week and flew to NYC, to interview with 6 or 7 different agencies. By the end of it, I had 2 job offers. 3 weeks later, this was home. I worked in agencies most of my career until moving to KAYAK. KAYAK was a marketer’s dream - the chance to work with smart people, building something you believed in, and then to watch it fly. KAYAK is where Melissa and I met, and working on Mia Tango feels like the perfect next step. This time, the journey is even more personal - it’s a problem that we truly believe needs solving!
MELISSA BIRGE: After college, I went to work for Arthur Anderson as a CPA in the adult division. I have always loved puzzles and solving problems, and that's what accounting felt like to me. Working for a large professional services firm gave me the opportunity to see a lot of different industries and company environments, and I found I preferred working with emerging companies that were in a high growth mode. After Andersen went under following the Enron crisis, I went to work for one of its clients: Orbitz. I loved the fast paced, demanding environment and the “newness” of the internet, plus travel is a big passion. I learned a lot about building a team, creating processes and working with different disciplines. Orbitz was acquired and a year later, I took some time off to travel the world on a solo journey, and then enjoy the Chicago summer before I started my new position as the Controller at a restaurant chain called Potbelly Sandwich Works. I loved learning about managing multiple retail sites and helping to profitably grow this beloved sandwich shop, but when I got the call to join the team at KAYAK, I packed my bags and moved to the east coast. KAYAK was a dream job - earning the CFO title and taking the company public before selling it for $2.1B. Having achieved everything I wanted to in finance and after having worked for some great start-ups, I felt it was time for the next great challenge: creating my own business.
AM: What was the moment that led you to creating Mia Tango and tell us more about this e-commerce platform.
MB: Mia Tango was really conceived from my own experience in buying clothing during my pregnancy and 4th trimester. I like to tell a story about my ultimate humiliation when I had to wear slippers to an important business meeting because I could not find any shoes that were wide enough to accommodate my big fat pregnant feet, and that's because there is no such thing as shoes made for pregnant women. But there were so many things that I found dissatisfying aout the whole experience - it felt like no
one really cared about pregnant women and new moms. It was like retailers were just putting forth the minimum effort because it wasn’t a big enough market to really care about. Well, I care about it deeply. I feel you pregnant women and new moms!
My husband and I were enjoying a glass of wine after we’d put our twins to bed, and he just asked me what I wanted to do next in my career, because he knew I was ready. The answer came out of my mouth so quickly and so naturally, and yet I was surprised to hear myself say it. I told him, “I want to start my own business.” From there, I just told him everything that I saw that was broken about buying maternity clothes and how I would change it. Retail was changing, the sharing economy was growing and millennials were embracing new ecommerce brands. Maternity was the last to adopt the trends, which really came as no surprise.
One of the things I really wanted to address head on was the guilt factor in buying maternity. When I was exploring the idea of Mia Tango, I interviewed dozens of pregnant women and new moms. I started out asking them to tell me about their pregnancies. Every last one of them described their pregnancy in joyful terms. Mind you, many of these women suffered horrific physical effects: debilitating morning sickness; a full body rash that itched like mad; preeclampsia; gestational diabetes. These are not little inconveniences – these are painful and frightening experiences – and yet, the women still felt their pregnancies were wonderful, because they all know, as every mother does, that the birth of a healthy child is a miracle.
Then I asked them to tell me about getting dressed for pregnancy and I got an entirely different reaction. Frustration. Resentment. And Guilt. A lot of guilt, which is kind of bullshit given the burden they’re carrying. Woman after woman told me where they usually shop and what they usually spend on clothes, and then described how they completely changed their entire shopping strategy after they got pregnant. They went from buying high quality, well made and fashionable items to cheap basics. Most often, the brands they knew and loved didn’t care maternity, so they were forced to shop brands they weren’t familiar with. The service was nonexistent at most big box stores and online, and they felt confused by what to buy and how to make a new wardrobe. They bought as little as they could get away with, focusing on plain tees, leggings and jeans. The result? They hated their clothes. The poor quality made their sensitive skin itch. The colors faded and the materials pilled and sagged. They wanted to burn their clothes in the end. Worse yet, like me, they felt like a lesser version of themselves. At the exact time they should have felt their most beautiful, they felt anything but.
AM: Mia Tango allows shoppers to be introduced to brands that provide maternity and new moms with attire as well as the ability to purchase pre-loved items - how important is having these avenues for your audience?
SR: We’ve heard time and time again - and experienced ourselves - how uninspiring shopping for maternity clothing is. The brands you like most often don’t make maternity, it’s hard to find things that you like, that are good quality and that you feel like yourself in. There are some really great designers out there making high quality, beautiful and intelligently designed pieces...it’s just that no one knows about them and they’re hard to find. First and foremost, we want to bring these great products together for moms-to-be and moms - all in one plae. The other side to the struggle is that mot women view buying maternity as a "temporary" thing. They feel guilty about investing a lot of money in it, but as a result they end up wearing things that they don’t feel good in. Our trade-in program lets mamas trade in most items purchased new at Mia Tango for 30% cash back. We also offer pre-loved items at 40-60% off the new purchase price. These programs are both designed to help mamas look great and feel great about their purchases. We really just want to be the brand that gets it. It’s so needed.
MB: Prior to starting Mia Tango, we talked to dozens of moms who told us all about their frustrations when searching for maternity and postpartum clothing. Chief among them was the challenge of finding chic clothes that fit their personal style, and so we felt it was vital to do this work for them and bring the best brands together. Then there was the conflicting feeling of wanting to look great, but not wanting to make a big investment in a temporary wardrobe. This was especially hard when they weren’t sure if they’d grow out of the clothes and they didn’t know the quality of unfamiliar brands. So we’ve designed our store to have generous and easy return policies, along with the option to have us buy back items within nine months of purchase. We also heard that many women love to shop pre-loved clothes because it makes them feel good, whether because they reduce their carbon footprint or because they score a great bargain. All of these features were designed to address the wants and needs of our customer.
AM: How do you go about finding designers that are featured in Mia Tango?
SR: All credit to Melissa on finding simply the best designers out there for pregnancy and new moms! She has a great eye! We’ve also benefited a lot from networking with other mom-preneurs. Many of the best styles in maternity and postpartum clothing are coming from women who saw a need and decided to solve the problem themselves by designing their own line. (Shocker, right? Moms making it happen!) We want to make it easier for other moms to find these great brands. That’s a huge part of why Mia Tango exists.
MB: We started with four designers and have now expanded to over 20! We’re always on the lookout for great new brands. When we see someone wearing something that we love, we research the designer and what they’re about, and designers seek us out as well. Quality is important to us, as is the designer’s vision - it’s got to fit with our woman’s lifestyle, values and aesthetic. We really believe in the brands that we carry.
AM: Will you extend these offerings to baby clothes as well?
SR: We have so many great ideas about how to expand our offering - we’re excited about all of them.
MB: At our heart, we are about the mom and what she needs, so any product extension that we consider has to pass through that filter first.
AM: As mothers who run this boutique, how important is it for women to ensure that they maintain self-care, take care of their families as well as to find outlets whether they are creative levels of expression and/or entrepreneurial?
SR: Whether a woman works outside of the home or in the home (and let’s be clear - it’s all work, and it’s hard work) so often, as moms, we’re told to put ourselves last when really we should be putting ourselves first. That’s a tough shift in thinking. But, it’s a crucial one. Everyone needs a base level of care in order to be able to function as a human. But, to really share your gifts with others (yes, you have gifts!) you need to be fed spiritually, mentally and physically. Family is a big part of that, but something to feed your brain and maintain your body and mind is equally important. How you feel about how you look is a big part of your physical being and your physical presence. That’s where Mia Tango comes in and it’s a big part of why I love it so much. Pregnancy and motherhood should be a time when you feel great about yourself, and clothing plays a huge part in that. For all the sacrifices you make, getting dressed should make you feel like, “heck ya, I’ve got this!”
MB: When I feel like I don’t have time to even take a shower, I always remind myself of what the flight attendants tell you during the routine safety demonstration: put your own mask on first before assisting others. As moms, this is so unbelievably counter-intuitive, but you really can’t help anyone if you aren’t well yourself. For me, self-care is about sleep, exercise, proper nutrition, a bit of meditation and quality time with my husband. When anyone of those things is missing from my routine, I find that I’m less patient and less able to cope with whatever hijinx three little boys cook up for me during the day. And work for me has always been a creative outlet, which sounds funny given that I’m an accountant by trade, but it’s been a way to use my mental energy to solve problems and it really feeds me. Our children are not ours to keep forever - we are here to teach them, guide them and then let them go. It brings me to tears to talk about, but that’s our job. And when they leave our home to start their own journey, we better hope that we have something else in our lives that keeps us engaged and energized, or else the void is going to engulf us.
AM: How important is it for women to encourage other women within business?
SR: It’s critical. While I think it’s also important (and much needed) for men and women to support each other, I think that women are truly able to understand each other’s situations - to be able to relate to the challenges, fears, and - yes - insecurities, as well as knowing first-hand the hurdles we have to get over every day.
MB: I remember hearing Sandra Day O’Connor talk about how the conversations and arguments on the Supreme Court changed as soon as there was one other woman on the Court. Suddenly, her views were amplified because there was another person in the room who could understand where she was coming from. I’ve noticed it in management meetings as well when I’m the only woman in the room vs. having at least one other, and it’s vital that women be heard and our needs be considered. So if you want to have products and services designed with women in mind, if you want women's specific healthcare issues researched, if you want better childcare, then you better make sure there are women in the room when these topics are being discussed. The best way I know how to do that is to help them. Network and make introductions. Serve as references. Give them feedback. Help them think through an issue or prepare for a presentation. Tell them how you managed through maternity leave. Advocate for policies that help women in the workforce. We all win when women succeed.
AM: How do you give of your time from a philanthropic standpoint?
SR: I so wish I had more time to give to the various causes I believe in. Right now, my philanthropic efforts are really focused on giving as much as I can in support of those causes, and to get involved where I can, which is mostly working with my girls to put together donations for various local drives. I think a lot of people - men, women, whether they are moms, dads, or entrepreneurs - struggle with adding this into the mix of their everyday lives. I’m no different.
MB: Having three young boys and running a new company is taking everything I have, so volunteering my time is something that I’ve had to set aside for now and instead focus my philanthropic efforts around giving donations of cash and goods. I feel that it’s important for my children, even as young as they are, to take part in passing along their own clothes and toys, and so we do this together whenever possible. One day, I’ll be able to give my time as well.
PHOTO CREDITS | PG 92 + 97 Nynne Schrøder | PG 95 Stephanie Retcho (left) and Melissa Birge (right)
Known as "The Most Influential Hairstylist in the World," via New York Times, Jen Atkin has styled the tresses and has the most loyal clientele of some of the influential people including Kourtney Kardashian, Katy Perry, Jessica Alba, Jennifer Lopez, Chrissy Teigen, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Gigi and Bella Hadid. In addition to being a Celebrity Hairstylist, she launched OUAI haircare line in 2016, a range of Beauty Works hair extensions, her line of Chloe + Isabel hair accessories and works closely with Dyson to bring their innovative Supersonic blowdryer to market.
With a passion to unite the hair industry and to create a community for hairstylists, she created ManeAddicts.com in 2014 and provides access to top hairstylists as well as featuring products and instructional videos. Due to its success, she expanded to Mane University, a global education resource that brings top stylists to major cities around the world to inspire hairdressers.
We took a moment to chat with Jen about her career, her favorite summer hair looks as well as a new pop, OUAISPACE that is being held at Gurney's in Montauk.
ATHLEISURE MAG: What was the ah ha moment that drew you to being a hairstylist? Tell us what your journey has been as you have built your name in the industry to being one of the most sought after hairstylists?
JEN ATKIN: I’ve always loved doing hair and was obsessed with Natalie Imbruglia’s short haircut in her ’Torn’ music video when I was a teenager in Utah. No one could give me the cut I wanted, so I went to the store, bought a pack of shaving razors, and started cutting my own hair. Soon I was cutting all my friends’ hair in my parent’s garage. After high school, I drove to California with literally only $300 and my Honda Civic hatchback. I called al the salons in Allure's beauty directory until finally someone returned my call and I started working as a receptionist at Estilo Salon in Beverly Hills. I remember running out to feed meters for Bette Midler and I was so excited and thought “I could move back home that was enough for me” lol.
I’ve just really worked hard and tried to be an honest good person. I’m so lucky I’ve had such support from my clients and friends.
AM: In 2016, you created OUAI - why did you want to add a haircare line to your ecosystem?
JA: It felt very odd to me that there were a lot of men in boardrooms making decisions about what women want for our hair. I wanted to create the first product line a community helped create, promoting a realistic lifestyle that feels inclusive. It was important for me to have a group of women talking to other women about their haircare needs. I think that more brands are trying to empower women. I want to change the conversation in business and beauty! I wanted to stop making the conversation only about women being pretty and start celebrating the spirit and power of being a woman in business.
AM: Why and how did the partnership between Gurney's Resorts come about?
JA: We’ve had pop-ups in NY & LA before so it only felt natural to partner w/ Gurney’s in Montauk.
AM: Will there be future integrations of OUAISPACE of this nature like this and if so why did you start at Gurney's first?
JA: Yes! The look and feel of Gurney’s is so relaxing and just feels easy. Which goes hand-in-hand with what OUAI’s aesthetic is.
AM: With summer hair dreams in our minds what are 3 products that are a must to give you perfect beach hair?
JA: OUAI Rose Hair & Body Oil – Rosehip Oil reduces the appearances of scars and redness and is known to lock in moisture, so it’s great for both skin and hair.
OUAI Sun of a Beach Ombré Spray – In the summer people want to spend more time outdoors and less time sitting at their salon. There are new trending ingredients (like the coconut water in our Sun of a Beach) that help keep hair hydrated and give this fun throwback product a modern update.
OUAI Wave Spray – Give your hair natural wave & body without the crunchiness and it’s made with rice protein instead of salt so it won’t dry out your hair.
Christophe Robin Prickly Pear Balm - This is a non-sticky, multipurpose balm infused with all butter and oils to nourish the hair and skin so you can use it all over. Rub some together in your hands and rub it on your ends for a more textured look. To tame frizz, rub a little on your hair and smooth down those flyaway. And for curls, it can be used to redefine and add shine/hold.
AM: What are your favorite products from your line?
JA: My favorites would definitely be the OUAI Treatment Masque because I love the individual packettes that are perfect for throwing in my purse or gym bag and doing a treatment while I work out. I’m also obsessed with the OUAI Dry Shampoo Foam because it’s unlike any other hair products on the market. You can extend between washes 3-4 days. It’s dry shampoo on steroids. You need it in your purse, your gym bag and your hair right now.
AM: What classic updo hairstyle do you suggest should become our go to look this summer? Let us know how we can achieve it and what products we need to have on hand to make it happen.
JA: I suggest the Textured High Pony
1. Pull hair in back into half pony
2. Add the rest of hair and secure with an elastic at the crown of the head
3. Use OUAI Dry Texture Foam to pony for added volume and fullness
4. Finish with a toothbrush and OUAI Medium Hair Spray to smooth flyaways
AM: When you're not working, where do you go for a cocktails and a great meal, where do you work out and where can we find you shopping?
When you're out with your girlfriends, you enjoy hanging out and a number of sips - that's when the conversation gets real. You talk about your love life, what you should do in your careers and then its down to talking about what's going on down there. Maybe you have questions or are prepping for when you have your next visit with your OB/GYN. We decided to find out answers to some questions that readers have asked us by talking with Dr. Sherry Ross who is based in Santa Monica. We found that talking with her was like adding her into our tribe of girlfriends!
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about your background and how you knew that you wanted to be an OB/GYN. In addition, if you can, feel free to let us know about celeb clients that you have worked with.
DR. SHERRY ROSS: When I was a young girl, I would go on hospital rounds with my father who was a Urologist—I must admit that initially I went for the endless supply of donuts and apple juice in the doctor’s lounge. However, over time, I learned firsthand how much my father embraced and loved his patients and loved his profession. I took careful note of his compassion and the positive impact he had on his patients, as well as the powerful impact that my father’s patients had on him. I knew I wanted to be a doctor in order to experience that same powerful and healing give and take. I can honestly say that the most gratifying thing about my 25-year career in medicine has been the relationships and bonds I’ve developed with my patients. I gravitated to OBGYN in my 3rd year of medical school since I loved delivering babies and being a part of such a joyous and memorable experience. Helping women was so satisfying and enjoyable and I really felt as though I could make a difference in their wellness journey.
I felt as though when women's legs go up in stirrups, the conversation really begins and I could serve as their best friend or favorite therapist.
I am fortunate to take care of many A-list celebrities who also are committed to women’s health and wellness. Reese Witherspoon was incredibly kind and generous to write me a wonderful forward to she-ology. Social and celebrity influences can help promote the messaging of empowering women to take better control of their health and wellness.
AM: We had the chance to have lunch with you. Why do you think that women's health in terms of vaginal issues, questions etc seem to be difficult for women to address and what can we do to make these conversations easier to have?
DR. SR: Women need to be comfortable talking about their vagina’s. 50% of women never talk about their vaginal health with anyone, not even their doctor. If you can’t even say the word vagina how are we supposed to talk about it? Women need to talk about their specific health care issues, issues that are often ignored and not dealt with. There are very few places where women feel comfortable talking about their vaginas without feeling judged, so at the very least, a doctor’s office should be a bastion of comfort. 90% of women wished they had more information about vaginal health.
The inability to say the word “vagina” has been passed on in our culture from outdated attitudes, societal norms and misconceptions about the vagina and sex. It doesn’t help that our society as a whole is undeniably juvenile about our approach to vagina. As an example, in June 2012, a bill was presented on the House floor seeking to regulate the use of the word "vagina" after Micigan Representative Lisa Brown was banned from speaking because she used the term in a debate over an anti-abortion bill. "Brown's comment
so offensive, I don’t even want to say it in front of women,” complained Representative Mike Callton (R: Michigan). “I would not say that in mixed company.”
A ban on a word that is a medical term used to describe our female genitalia? Politics and mainstream media will not allow the word "vagina: to be said out loud without some sort of backlash. We need to change this reality for the sake of women’s health, especially since there doesn’t seem to be a problem in mainstream advertising for the treatment of erectile dysfunction!
I am counting on our younger generations of women to help lead the way and change the narrative on how we talk about our health, our bodies, and especially, our vaginas. Women need to take control of their bodies in every way. We cannot be afraid to ask uncomfortable questions. We need to learn and explore the changes our bodies experience throughout our lifetime.
The conversation needs to start at a young age with our girls, daughters, nieces and granddaughters.
It’s not just one “talk” we need to have with our daughters. There are many “talks” about their bodies and overall health that needs to happen depending on the developmental (hormonal!) milestone and what is age-appropriate. Before you start talking about human sexuality and sexual behaviors you have to have created an environment where your daughter feels comfortable discussing other sensitive topics such as puberty, proper nutrition, body image issues, recreational alcohol, tobacco and drug use.
When young girls learn about their body part—“here is my nose, my ears, my belly button”---they need to learn and use the word vagina from an early age so they become comfortable with their own anatomy. When mothers teach their daughters code names for their vagina, such as "Vajaja", this does not move the needle in the right direction of changing this narrative.
If mothers or other role models to young girls don’t initiate these types of sensitive topics, your daughter will find other ways of learning about her health and wellness from other resources. This is where the problem lies. Social media and porn have damaged our children in how they look at themselves.
It’s important for moms to normalize these conversations between a mother and daughter. The more comfortable and candid you can make these conversations, the more relaxed your daughter will be when her breast buds, period, body image concerns and sexual health issues present themselves to her.
In life there are a handful of sensitive subjects that feel completely awkward between a mother and a daughter and talking about her first period, breast development, pubic hair, the vagina, where babies come from and sexual health. In
truth, talking about your sexual health may be a completely off limit subject between mom and daughter.
Even though the average age of a young girl getting her period is 12 years old, puberty, in all its glory, starts as early as 8years old. Breast buds are noticeable 2 years before the period actually starts and can be detected between 8 to 13years. Pubic hair, hair under your arms and legs and acne also joins the hormonal party during the "tween" years. It's important to skowly and comfortably ease your daughter ito talking about her body and changes associated with puberty which empowers young women to embrace their body in a healthy way.
Promote body confidence. Teach your daughter about her body, use the correct descriptive terms when talking about her breasts, vagina and period. If young girls and women are not able to confidently own the proper words to describe their female body parts, it makes it difficult to comfortably talk about their personal needs and experiences.
AM: Vaginal care is an essential and we liked your analogy to taking care of this area as we do our faces. Can you break that down for us?
DR. SR: The one thing I wish women knew was where their vulva was located on their "vagina". This is vagina confusion that women will appreciate understanding more about...
You must get to know your vulva and vagina, up close and person. First - let’s be clear what we are talking about regarding the vagina. The “vagina” actually includes the vulva, labia-majora (outer lips) and labia minora (inner lips), the opening to the vagina is called the introitus, the inner vagina, the urethra (small opening leading to the bladder), the clitoris and the protective hood of the clitoris. The inside of the vagina, where tampons go, is a temperamental and ultra-sensitive area. 50% of women wonder if their vagina is normal looking. My first and foremost advice to women is to get to know your lady parts, know what your “normal” is so you will know when a potential problem arises. If you have not done so already, pull out the mirror and get to know your vagina, your vaginal health depends on it. Every woman needs to take a “vagie” to really know this lady part intimately.
Your vulva and vagina are very sensitive to everyday feminine rituals. Using the wrong types of soap can cause irritation and bad odor. Avoid soaps which are heavily perfumed and are not pH balanced which upset your body. Using a gentle, lightly fragranced wash and natural skin moisturizer daily is ideal, especially ones made specifically for the vulva. Your vulva and vagina does need a special cleaning routine and it usually begins with using a special wash and warm water. You cannot use the same soap to clean your feet and underarms to wash your vagina! I highly recommend Summer's Eve Cleansing Wash made specifically for our most sensitive area on our body. Vagina friendly washes carefully clean the vulva, remove odor-causing bacteria and are balanced for a woman’s natural pH.
Cleaning the outside of the vagina or the vulva, clitoris, and vaginal opening every day with a vagina friendly wash is so important. You can use a wash cloth or your fingers to clean this area in the shower or bath.
AM: Why have you partnered with Summer's Eve and why is it essential to utilize cleansing products like this as opposed to total body soaps that are not formulated for the vagina.
DR. SR: Partnering with Summer’s Eve was an easy and authentic relationship since I wholeheartedly believe women have to care for their vagina in the same way we care for the skin of our face. Using vagina friendly and specially made products for this sensitive and temperamental area of our body is so important and necessary. Summer Eve’s has been around since the 70’s and they have created products for the vagina that are clinically and gynocologist tested for safety in this delicate area. You can’t use an everyday soap on the vagina like most women used daily. When you use a vagina friendly wash that’s designed to be balanced for a woman’s natural pH and sensitive to the vagina you feel fresh and avoid irritating residue. I am on a mission to change the narrative on how we talk and take care of the vagina.
AM: As many of our readers enjoy cycling, hot yoga, pilates etc how do we take care of our vagina in order to ensure that we are keepig it healthy in the midst of these activities.
DR. SR: Certain sports can be hard on the vagina. Cycling and spinning are at the top of this list!
The way the vagina is positioned on the bicycle seat exerts unfamiliar pressure on certain parts of the delicate soft tissue of the labia majora and minor, better known as the "lips" of the vagina. With prolong bicycle rides or spinning classes the intense pressure on certain parts of the vagina, tailbone, lower back and groin creates restriction of blood flow, skin irritation, and ultimately numbness of the area, especially the clitoris. Some women even report disruptive genital pain and discomfort with reduced genital sensation.
Other problems that are associated with cycling, spinning and horseback riding include vaginal infections such as yeast and bacterial due to the poor vaginal ventilation and moisture buildup that occurs with these sports. With constant pressure on the vagina, skin cysts can develop as well. Your cycling posture and the way you sit on the bicycle seat also affects the pressure that is exerted on the delicate parts of the vagina.
Recumbent cycling does not create the same problems on the vagina that upright cycling cause. The pressure and problems of the vagina that are typical of upright cycling are transferred to the buttock for those recumbent cyclers causing minimal discomfort.
You can avoid some of these problems by using the appropriate saddle seat, cycling shorts, professional bike fitting, using proper cycling posture, allying emollients and moisturizing creams to the vagina. Also taking a shower or long bath following these types of activities is helpful.
Hot yoga and any activity that brings excessive heat and sweat to the vagina can increase the risk of a yeast infection or vaginal skin irritation. Changing ito clean and dry clothing after these types of workouts is important to prevent these types of problems. I also love the Summer’s Eve Cleansing Cloths to freshen up after a hot workout. They are balanced for a woman’s pH and also get rid of any odor causing bacteria, so I can feel comfortable all day.
AM: Picking an OB/GYN is such a process - what are the questions that we should have to ask our potential caregiver to see if they are a match for our needs.
DR.SR: Many women are given a list of providers to choose from according to their insurance policy. With social media, Yelp and other physician review sites you can and should learn about the doctor you are going to trust with your health. You can always interview a potential doctor first before you commit to making an official office visit. You want to be comfortable with the doctor you select. Depending on what is important to you, you may want to ask the following questions:
1. Will I get a call back with my test results?
2. Are you accessible via email?
3. How long does it take to get an appointment with you?
4. Will you be calling me back or will it
be one of your office staff members?
5. How often do you suggest I get a pap smear?
6. Make sure the OBGYN is board certified and there are no malpractice claims against them.
The most important quality to find in a new OBGYN is that you feel comfortable talking openly and honestly with her/him.
AM: Over the last year, we feel that we have learned about conditions that women are battling such as Endo and thanks to social media we have learned about symptoms and the stories of celebs, influencers etc that have given us information - but what is a resource that you suggest that women can use to find out answers to their questions when they aren't talking to their OB/GYN?
DR. SR: Your medical information is as reliable as the source you are using. I would stick to WebMD, Mayo or Cleveland Clinic and the Harvard Health Newsletter and avoid chat rooms that can lead to a lot of confusion and misinformation. I also like GoAskAlice.com for relatable and accurate medical information.
AM: Tell us about what are you up to this summer and fall as we know that you are working on a number of things - feel free to share with our readers.
DR. SR: I am working on my next books, She-sequel and the 7 Cycl Systems that women experience. During the summer I enjoy spending time with my sons who come back home for vacations and family time. My wife who is a high school principal in Watts, California, also has more free time to hang out together.
AM: We know that you have a book out called She-ology. For those that are not patients of yours, how can they connect with you and find out their pressing questions.
AM: We also know that you have created a line of supplements - can you tell us more about that?
DR. SR: My mission is to change the narrative of how women talk and learn about their health and overall well-being.
Over the course of my 25+ years as a practicing OB/GYN and women's health educator, I came to realize that women can experience up to 7 distinct hormonally-driven cycles. Each of these life chapters introduces both unique wellness challenges and opportunities to maximize well-being. During this same time, my patients were asking for potentially harmful prescription medications to deal with concerns such as PMS, stress, and hot flashes and my advice on what products could help them feel their best during complex, hormonal life stages, such as Fertility, Postpartum and Menopause.
I researched extensively to find a credible source of natural, high-quality supplements designed specifically for women and was shocked to discover the impurities found in many supplements — up to 50% of the ingredients can consist of fillers, chemicals, and preservatives.
That's when my 7 Cycls System was born — an easy-to-follow women's health management framework that addresses specific onerns in each of the 7 cycles with scientifically-formulated nutraceuticals to target each life stage.
Ultimately, the 7 Cycl system delivers practical nutrition and wellness advice that’s science-backed and easy to apply.
I embarked on this journey in 2014 and have been refining my formulations over the years through customer feedback.
I’m excited to introduce you to my Co-Founders. Jennifer Beals is an ardent women's healthcare advocate and serves as Cycl’s spokesperson, and Amber Bezahler, our CEO who has tremendous experience in the direct to consumer and eCommerce space.
AM: We know that you are based in Santa Monica and anytime we're out there we're always looking for great spots. Where would we find you going out to grab a bite to eat, where do you workout and where do you shop?
DR. SR: I work out almost every day on my Elliptical located in my garage. My goal is always to hit 10,000 steps a day. I am a bit obsessed with my Fitbit to make sure I reach this goal. I spend most of my free time with my family and close friends. Weekly barbeques, family dinners, scrabble games, making puzzles, playing ping pong and binge watching on Netflix are common daily activities for me. One of my favorite places to have dinner and just chill is at Blue Plate Taco or Lares Mexican Restaurant. My favorite food…is Mexican food, with the hottest salsa possible!
AM: Please feel free to share anything that we have not covered that you would like for our readers to know!
DR: SR: Your Vagina is talking to you ladies, PAY ATTENTION!
Just like any healthy relationship you have to have good communication with your vagina ladies, your vagina is talking to you and you must pay attention to what your vagina is telling you!
You cannot be distracted or be multi-tasking when your vagina needs your undivided attention…because if you don’t pay attention, your vagina will feel excluded, lonely, depressed and anxious and will act out!
Open communication with your vagina will create the foundation for a healthy, happy and sexually satisfying relationship.
This is the year of the women. The #MeToo movement has brought out so many good things through empower ing women to let their voices be heard and mobilize to fight injustice and inequities. I want women to use the same voice and power to change the face of how women talk about their bodies, especially their vagina’s.
I am here to empower you to have courageous conversations about your bodies. I want all of you to speak out and stand up for the most vulnerable and voiceless among us. I do have an agenda. It includes encouraging women of all ages to take control of their health and well-being and I am challenging women and others to help me change the narrative and status quo on women’s healthcare.
Read more from the June Issue and see She-Educate with Dr. Sherry Ross in mag.
Each season, we look at must have style that we suggest you should include in your wardrobe. We love luxury leather goods by Alexandra Clancy known for clutches, wrist straps, satchels, totes and more. We also suggest that Romply is the perfect romper to add to your closet as it goes from day to night.
We loved shooting at 15 Hubert St (we had earmarked this apartment since we went to their launch party) in Tribeca which is a stunning apatment that has a phenomenal terrace. We sat down with Louise Phillips Forbes of Halstead to find out more about this unit!
ATHLEISURE MAG: We enjoyed attending the launch party for this unit as there are so many great aspects to this apartment from its layout to the terrace - what can you tell us about this Tribeca property?
LOUISE PHILLIPS FORBES: It’s the quintessential Tribeca duplex loft with 2-bedrooms, 3.5-baths and 2,830 square feet of indoor living space, and an impressive 630 square foot landscaped terrace with stunning open views facing east and south, including a view of One World Trade Center. Interiors of this former warehouse, ingeniously designed by CetraRuddy Architecture, retain the authenticity and openness of the original space, with wide rooms, truly high ceilings, stretches of exposed brick, and oversized windows. The fixtures and materials artfully echo the historic aesthetic of the building. The expansive living/dining room with open kitchen features, high-end stainless steel appliances, marble counters, a wine fridge, and a large island. The grand master suite contains two walk-in closets and an en-suite marble spa bathroom with a walk-in glass shower, deep soaking tub, and custom double-sink vanity. Located on the upper floor, the media room or den is a highlight of the home, with access to the stunning terrace. Beautiful wide-plank solid oak flooring, central A/C, full-size W/D, and ample closet space throughout complete this luxury residence.
AM: What amenities are offered in this building for residents (common areas, services, etc.)?
LFP: Nestled on a quiet cobblestone street and with just twelve residences, this boutique building affords residents privacy. The building's lobby is appointed with concrete paneled walls and wood paneled ceilings, and is attended by a part-time doorman, as well as equipped with a state-of-the-art package reception and retrieval system. 15 Hubert boasts a beautifully designed and landscaped communal rooftop lounge offering scenic views of the Hudson River as well as One World Trade Center.
AM: We love the interior design for this unit - tell us more about it as well as the stunning painting that is in the apartment!
LFP: The beautiful interior design of this model residence was done by Cheryl Eisen and her creative team at Interior Marketing Group (IMG). They really did an outstanding job bringing this remarkable home to life with their sophisticated and elegant furnishings and accessories. I’m also thrilled that my dear friend, notable artist King Saladeen, loaned us one of his incredible paintings. Titled, “Fight for Equality”, it’s prominently featured and has an asking price of $30,000.
AM: Tell us about the neighborhood that is directly around this building (Wholefoods, workout studios, eateries, etc.) and what neighborhood is this considered?
LFP: Tribeca is one the most coveted areas of the city to live in and this particular building is conveniently located to just about everything, including the West Side Highway, parks and bike paths, multiple fitness clubs, SoulCycle, boutique shops, fine dining and charming cafes, Whole Foods, specialty wine shops, and nightlife. The area is not only family-friendly, it’s also close to Soho, the Financial District, and Battery Park City.
AM: For those that are interested in purchasing this unit, how can they find out more information?
LFP: It would be very easy to call this unique apartment home given the grandeur of the rooms, designer details throughout, and large terrace! To schedule an appointment to see Penthouse-C, your readers can simply contact me directly and I will be happy to give them a private tour and discuss the purchasing details. I can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 212-381-3329.
AM: Where can readers find out about additional properties that you represent?
LFP: Visit my website at http://louisephillipsforbes.com/ and click on the tab for “My Listings”. You can view pictures, 3D floor plans, and videos along with detailed descriptions of each property I’m working with from downtown to uptown. The available homes range from this loft in Tribeca to a 4-bedroom corner penthouse on Park Avenue with a large wrap-around terrace on the Upper East Side.
We're OBSESSED with AMC’s "Dietland" (Mondays at 9pm EST/PST) which takes on a number of industries from fashion, publishing, the state of women and how we are portrayed and more with a series of amazing characters and actresses! After this show airs, it is followed by its companion talk show, “Unapologetic with Aisha Tyler” airs every Monday at 10pm EST/PST, immediately following this show. Aisha Tyler is typically joined by a “Dietland” series star as well as two additional panelists. Tonight the show's star Erin Darke, American civil rights activist, DeRay McKesson and comedian and actress, Cameron Esposito came to unpack this week’s news headlines and chatted about the politics of political movements, the “bangability” theory and Miss America’s modernization. If you have yet to watch either show, we suggest that you get on it and of course, set your DVR's accordingly!
When it comes to that time of the month, we all have our kits of sorts that span what we use to handle our periods directly, our comfy clothes that allow us to be a bit more comfortable, food and beverage and of course our anytime distractions - your streaming platform of choice. It's interesting that that series of days has a number of routines and must haves that we gravitate towards to get back to our normal day to day.
When it comes to our actual periods, it's about finding effective products that ensure that there are no mishaps made in our clothes as well as remains comfortable for us as we continue about our normal activities. A number of these methods are those that we have used for years as they have been things that mothers, sisters, aunts, friends etc have shared. But, we also know that there are alternatives that you can take out of your underwear drawer.
When it comes to your underwear, it is an essential garment that moves with us no matter what we do in our day. The importance of comfort and being able to transition from a number of activities is an essential whether you're working out, at the office, lounging at home and more. As this is one of the most essential layers that you rock, why not try something that's leakproof that will protect you during your period and provide you the confidence that your body needs to ensure that you are not creating stains on your clothes.
Knix is reinventing knit wear by creating 3 styles of athletic leakproof underwear in thongs, boyshorts and bikinis in black and nude tone. The underwear has a super absorbent pad with a leak resistant backing that is built into seamless underwear. Even more important in its durable construction is that the underwear itself is thin so you won't add any bulk to your outfits and it wears just like your other intimates that you own!
Earlier this month, we had the chance to head about an hour or so outside of the NYC to the Monticello Motor Club, an automotive country club for race cars and those who love to drive them! We had the opportunity to go off roading with the 2018 Chevy Colorado ZR2 and we literally had a day of driving through a Jurassic Park-like setting which included muddy trails, bumpy terrain and so much more!
While driving up, we enjoyed utilizing Apple CarPlay (Android Auto also available) via 4GLTE Wifi which allowed us to connect up to 7 devices to it, 4 USB ports, and a 12V charging port. We also loved that there was a lot of room so that you could store your must have items as you head to wherever your travels take you. In addition, since it is a truck - there was ample space to hold whatever shopping runs you have.
Interestingly enough the smooth ride that we enjoyed while driving to and from the raceway was an interesting contrast to still having a smooth experience when we went offroading. The ability of this midsize pickup to showcase its abilities in off-road technology is something that lends itself to weekend fun. Some of the highlights include a lifted suspension that is 2 inches higher and front and track widths widened by 3.5 inches. There are also segment first off-road application of Multimatic Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSVTM) damper technology and functional rock sliders to ensure better performance over rocks and obstacles.
An interesting feature involved Surround Vision which is a first Chevy that uses 4 strategically placed cameras that create a virtual bird's eye view of the truck when driving at a low speed. The camera seamlessly merges the vantage points to see what is behind as well as around you!
On this trip, we had the pleasure of talking with and riding caravan style with Anita M. Burke, Vehicle Chief Engineer for North American and Global midsize pickup trucks at General Motors. In this role, she oversees all engineering aspects of midsize pickup truck development at GM. In her role, she covers Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon and the all-new Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 in the US.
Pickups that have been developed by her team have won major industry awards, including back-to-back years for 2015 and 2016 Chevrolet Colorado models as Motor Trend "Truck of the Year." Globally she covers Chevrolet Colorado/S10 pickup and the Chevrolet Trailblazer SUV. Collectively, she leads the engineering development of trucks sold in more than 90 countries. She even reignited the dormant midsize truck program at General Motors and since the launch of the Colorado and Canyon in 2014, GM has sold more than 400,000 midsize trucks - in the US alone.
“I feel like a proud parent of the revitalized midsize truck program at GM, and take a great deal of pride in enriching our customers’ lives throughout the world. I also love presiding over a team of some of the smartest and most passionate engineers in the business. This is my dream job, and it’s been a career highlight to both nurture and be challenged by some of the top talent in the automotive world as we help to make GM the most complete truck company in the industry,” said GM 26 year veteran Burke.