This September, our cover is graced by Leah Van Dale who wrestles under the name Carmella as a WWE SuperStar who is also on E! Total Divas, which is back for its 9th season on Oct 1st! Our shoot took place during NYFW, which showcased SS20 collections that we can't wait to start rocking in a few months. Our shoot took place at The Mondrian Park Ave Hotel on the Mondrian Terrace as well as at their lower level lounge known as The Boogie Room.
As we showcased great transitional fall looks, we also got to know more about this athlete, whose career has included being a dancer for the New England Patriots as well as the LA Lakers as a Laker Girl and of course being a WWE SuperStar. In addition, she also launched her own wine label that embodies her mantra and how she sees the world as she continues to amass her empire.
ATHLEISURE MAG: You have had an amazing career, that has included cheerleading, dancing, modeling, wrestler and entrepreneur. When you were growing up, what was the moment that you realized that you wanted to be an entertainer?
LEAH VAN DALE: For as long as I can remember. I was dancing before I could even walk. It’s where I feel the most comfortable. I’ve always loved putting on a show!
AM: Earlier this year, our Feb cover included a few members of the Super Bowl Champions’ New England Patriots, what was your journey to becoming a cheerleader for this team for 3 seasons?
LVD: I danced my entire life. When I started college I knew I wanted to continue my passion for dancing. I found out about a try out to become a New England Patriots Cheerleader. I went to the try out and made it! The rest was really history.
AM: After 3 seasons with the New England Patriots, you became a Laker Girl for the Los Angeles Lakers for a season, what was that process like?
LVD: At the time, you could only cheer for the Patriots for three seasons. I had just graduated college in May of 2010 and I was ready for a change. I flew out to LA the day before the tryout. There were almost 700 girls there for the audition and only 6 spots open on the team. I felt so out of my element. I kept making it to the next round and after almost two months of tryouts and training I made the team! I picked up and moved to LA without knowing anyone or anything about the city, but I wouldn’t have changed a thing about it.
AM: As someone who was familiar with the WWE as your father Paul Van Dale is a mixed martial artist and worked with the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) in the 80s and 90s – when did you decide that you wanted to be in the WWE?
LVD: Honestly, I never thought I would end up in the WWE. I used to watch it when I was a kid, but it wasn’t something I aspired to do. I wanted to be a dancer. My dad would bring it up from time to time but I always shut the idea down. When I did everything I could with dance I found out about a tryout with WWE. The timing was perfect. All the stars aligned and my journey to become Women’s Champion began.
AM: Tell us about your journey for becoming a part of the WWE?
LVD: I moved to Orlando in 2013 when I was signed to WWE’s developmental brand NXT. I trained at the Performance Center for a little over two years; learned the basics in wrestling and created my Carmella character. In 2016, I was drafted to Smackdown Live and I’ve been moon walking and trashing all over TV since.
AM: Your ring name is Carmella, why did you choose that name and what is the persona of her when you're wrestling – how does this differ from you?
LVD: I wanted an Italian mob-wife character. I channeled my inner Carmella Soprano. I wore fur jackets and talked with an accent. We already had a girl on the roster billed from Boston (where I’m from) so they decided to bill me from Staten Island (which is my real life rival!! A New Englander pretending to be from New York?!?!) I did all the studying I could do to make sure I really gave off the Staten Island vibes and I pride myself on my character. She’s definitely more outspoken than Leah. But it’s essentially me with the volume turned up to 100!
AM: What is the process like when you are creating your ring persona and do you have input when it comes to the storylines that you are involved in?
LVD: I had all of the way in creating Carmella. She’s definitely evolved over the years, but I feel lucky that the first character I came up with is still what I’m doing today. Some people go years trying to create their on screen persona, so I’m very fortunate.
AM: You have had a number of amazing wins in your career at the WWE, what are 3 of your favorite storylines that you have been involved in?
LVD: I loved my story with Nikki Bella when I first debuted on Smackdown Live. It was my first feud and it was super high profile. I was so nervous to work with her, but she was incredible. She always had my back. I loved when I became Miss Money in the Bank. I made history in the first ever women’s MITB ladder match. I got to carry that contract and be so incredibly obnoxious about it. Of course my final favorite is when I cashed in on Charlotte Flair the Smackdown after Wrestlemania 34. I was an over the top champion with these ridiculous Mellabrations. It was so fun.
AM: Who do you consider as members of your squad within the WWE?
LVD: I have a good group of girls I’m close with. Bayley is one of my best friends. We got super close during our time in NXT and we’ve remained that way despite being on different brands the last few years. Natalya is my girl. We text literally every single day. She’s so funny. I love Sonya and Mandy as well. We all lived in Fort Lauderdale for the last year and they’re just super fun.
AM: As an athlete in the WWE, what does it mean to you to be in this organization as well as being apart of a number of the amazing things taking place within the women’s matches that take place there?
LVD: This is the best time to be a lady wrestler. I feel so fortunate to be a part of so many historical moments. These are the times everyone will be talking about when it comes to the Women’s Evolution.
AM: Fitness has been a key component of your career and you have even been in videos with Bob Harper, why is it so integral to you?
LVD: Fitness has been an important part of my life since I was a kid. My parents have always instilled that into my sister and me. When I’m active and eating healthy is when I feel my best. Of course we all fall off the wagon every now and then, but I always get back to it.
AM: What is a typical day like for you when you’re working out?
LVD: When I’m at home (which is RARE!) I train with my trainer or I do yoga. On the road I do empty stomach cardio in the morning, either 30 min on the stationary bike or walk on the treadmill on a high incline. Then I do some weight training. I alternate upper and lower body workouts.
AM: You were wrestling at Madison Square Garden earlier this month, what is your day like going into a day like that?
LVD: Usually it’s a workout in the morning then I just head to the arena for 2pm. Just to walk into MSG is mind blowing, nevermind knowing I get to perform there. It’s every entertainer's dream. This was my third time there. It never gets old!
AM: You’re constantly on the move, what is the average week like for you between taping shows, being in the ring and more?
LVD: It varies from week to week, but typically something like this:
Saturday fly from home to the first city, have the show, the drive to the next town. Have a show on Sunday, then drive to the next town. After our show on Monday, I drive to wherever we have our live tv show Smackdown Live that week. Of course the gym and finding healthy spots to eat inbetween all of that. When we’re filming for Total Divas, I would fly to wherever we are filming that Wednesday morning after TV. We film Wednesday-Friday then fly to the next set of shows on Saturday. When we aren’t filming, I sometimes get to go home Wednesday-Friday, in between show loops.
AM: Season 9 of E! Total Divas premiers on Oct 2nd – why do you like being a part of this show and how important is it to be involved so that we can know more about you as well as your character?
LVD: I was on the show for season 7, but I didn’t get the opportunity to really open up and show my truth. I’m excited to do that this time around.
Nothing is off-limits, which scares me a little. It’s very nerve-wracking to put your entire personal life out there for everyone to judge, but I’m ready!
AM: What can you tell us about your upcoming season?
LVD: It’s all about our sisterhood. There’s six of us: Ronda Rousey, Nattie, Sonya Deville, Trinity and Nia Jax. You’ll get to see my relationship with my boyfriend Corey Graves and of course there’s a little drama with the girls.
AM: Tell us about Capo Cagna Wine – how did this opportunity come about, how long were you in development, what is the meaning behind the name and where can people get it?
LVD: It’s been in the works for well over a year now. It’s been such a long process with a lot of ups and downs. I wanted to start a brand and have it mean something. I want everyone to feel like a Boss Bitch when they’re drinking it, which is was Capo Cagna means in Italian.
AM: Wine is a beverage that a number of people enjoy or are just learning about, we love how you position your wine regardless of the sippers’ wine background – why is that your approach?
LVD: I think it’s important to feel confident. I want whoever grabs the bottle of wine to know they deserve to feel a little boujie, but it’s not going to break the bank. It’s all about being boujie on a budget. So if you’re a wine snob, this is not the wine for you! ;)
AM: Currently, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are available, will there be additional varietals that we should keep an eye out for?
LVD: Yes! We will have a Rosé launching for the summer of 2020.
AM: On average, how many times a year are you traveling?
LVD: 52 weeks a year. We don’t have an off season.
AM: As someone who travels quite frequently, what are 3 things that are in your carryon that make you feel like you’re at home?
LVD: I always keep one of my comfy sweaters in my backpack so I pull that out for the plane ride; my eye mask and my iPad so I can keep up on all of my favorite reality shows (Real Housewives is my guilty pleasure.)
AM: Do you have any philanthropies or charitable work that you are a part of that you can share with us?
AM: When you have downtime, what are 3 things that we could find you doing or eating when you’re taking time for yourself?
LVD: You will find me drinking wine on my couch, eating sushi or pizza and watching Netflix.
AM: In Ft. Lauderdale, where can we find you grabbing a drink/meal, working out and shopping?
AM: What are 3 brand/products that you’re loving within each of these three categories of - fitness, beauty and in style?
LVD: I’m all about skin care products. I love using rose water to spray on my face when I travel. Rosehip oil is essential. I’m always shopping on Revolve.com because they have free two day shipping, so my clothes are always there when I get home from the road.
Our cover shoot took place at The Mondrian Park Ave on the Terrace as well as the lower level lounge known as The Boogie Room which is managed by In Good Company Hospitality. We took a moment to chat with Chris Guidice, General Manager of IGC to find out about the spaces, what guests can enjoy and the hotel in general.
ATHLEISURE MAG: When did The Boogie Room launch?
CHRIS GUIDICE: The Boogie Room opened a little over a year ago and recently relaunched with brand new art on the walls and throughout the space.
AM: What is the ethos of The Boogie room?
CG: The Boogie Room is a place where art, music, drinks, and culture bridge the gap between approachability and exclusivity. This edgy bar, with its combination of street art and retro furniture, is the perfect hideaway from the hustle and bustle of Park Avenue South. The dim lighting and intimate space give an air of elusiveness, while still maintaining the warm and welcoming atmosphere that is typical of all IGC Hospitality’s venues.
AM: We love that there are murals at this lower level hotspot, what’s the story behind them and how often do they change?
CG: The walls feature beautiful murals full of bright colors painted by local artists serving as an homage to ’80s and '90s NYC street art. A group of talented artists were brought together and given the direction to create a fun atmosphere that has cultural and historical relevance to this amazing city.
AM: What are 3 signature drinks that we should have the next time that we’re at The Boogie Room?
CG: The Boogie Room’s specialty cocktails are everything on our bottle menu! Of course, we have a full bar with beer, wine, and spirits, but the parade of sparklers and bottles represent the ethos of a Boogie night.
AM: What events are taking place at The Boogie Room this fall that we should mark our calendars?
CG: The Boogie Room takes on a life of its own on Friday and Saturday nights. This nightlife hotspot features some of NYC’s most sought after DJs from 11:30 pm - 2 am every weekend. Think dancing, flowing drinks and bumping music.... There’s always something going on here!
AM: We also shot at the Mondrian Terrace as well – tell us about this space and more about this vibe?
CG: Mondrian Terrace is a year round terrace offering the best of both indoor and outdoor space. We are currently in the final month of our Rosé Terrace installation, a rosé lover’s paradise, and will soon be transitioning to a Fall-themed pop up. Our outdoor terrace overlooks the corner of Park Avenue South and East 30th Street. The indoor lounge is a canvas for seasonal soirees and NoMad nights.
AM: What are 3 signature bites that we should enjoy at Mondrian Terrace?
CG: We change the menu seasonally, but three of my current favorites are burrata with fig balsamic, beef short rib sliders, and the lamb meatballs with feta cheese and pine nuts. Each dish is perfect for snacking on as you sit and take in the great vistas of downtown Manhattan. If you’re feeling generous, they’re all very easy to share
AM: What events are taking place here that we should keep an eye out for as we continue into the fall?
CG: The Rosé Terrace at Mondrian Terrace is winding down and we’ll be debuting a new Fall/Winter pop up soon, so stay tuned! Our Beverage Manager Allie Klug and Executive Chef Todd Matthews are always working on incorporating seasonal ingredients into our menus, which means lots of specials to look forward to.
AM: For the Holiday season, is there anything taking place at The Boogie Room or the Mondrian Terrace that we should swing by?
CG: We’re planning our Halloween party at Mondrian Terrace. Guests can enjoy rooftop views, Halloween Cocktails, and a live DJ. Tickets for the event will be available soon, keep an eye out here for more details.
We also host a weekly Latin Night every Sunday. Of course, for those who really like to plan ahead, we have New Year’s Eve blowouts planned for all of the venues in Mondrian Park Avenue!
AM: With 3 venues at the Mondrian Park Avenue Hotel, what was the process behind coming up with spaces and concepts? You have definitely created different vibes that would fuel guests of the hotel, those that book an event, people who staycation and those who are in the neighborhood that ware interested in swinging by.
CG: The three spaces at the Mondrian have all been designed to have their own unique feel. Cleo is a beautiful Mediterranean restaurant which has American influences in the dishes and distinctly unique décor. Mondrian Terrace offers a relaxed atmosphere and seasonal delicacies, perfect for a first date or corporate party. The Boogie Room stands in stark contrast to the posh and sleek look of the Mondrian and surrounding Park Avenue, it is perfect celebrating birthdays, or just a place to dance the night away. All three spaces are inspired by the hotel’s namesake - Dutch painter Piet Mondrian. The Boogie Room is actually named after one of his paintings titled Broadway Boogie.
AM: Tell us about In Good Company and other locations do you have that we should keep on our radar?
CG: IGC has more than a dozen amazing venues. All super unique and hospitable. We’re excited to recently welcome Woodpecker by David Burke to the portfolio, as well as our second nightclub, Jewel Thief - opening next month! Whichever IGC Hospitality venue you choose to visit, I guarantee you will find the common thread of good food, good drinks, and great people.
Athleisure Mag's cover story was shot by Paul Farkas, using Canon Mark IV; and selected Canon lenses: EF 50 f/1.2 L, EF 24-70 f/2.8 L II, and EF 70-200 f/2.8 L II.
MUAH Jessica Bonilla used a number of products and tools to create the makeup that is in this cover editorial with WWE SuperStar and E! Total Divas' Leah Van Dale/Carmella.
To hydrate the face, EMBRYOLlSSE Moisturizing Face Cream was used.
Bronzer: FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA in Sun Stalk'r (Caramel Cutie and Mocha Mami).
Blush: BH COSMETICS Blush Palette.
Eyes: KKW BEAUTY KKW X MARIO 10 Pan in Eyeshadow Palette in Miami and Albania.
KISS PRODUCTS lashes in Poise and smudged a little black lipstick from the ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS Lip Palette for a more natural styled sultry eye. The lips are brighter for the sporty look with a pretty pop of peach with FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA Diamond Milk over the top.
The lip for this look is FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA Gloss Bomb in Universal for a beautiful sporty look.
This look was kicked up a notch for this beautiful gold jumpsuit. We wanted a lot of color for the eyes. Jessica used MORPHE X JACLYN HILL Eyeshadow Palette in Bling Bling and the Metallic Purple Shade Gem in the crease. A light blue shade from NYX Petit Brights Pallette was used in the inner corner. For the outer corners, Jessica used colors Iri Ji (a pink shade) and Ofala (an orange shade) from the JUVIA’S PLACE Festival Palette with Odogwo (gold shade from the same palette) in the center, INGLOT COSMETICS' 77 Eyeliner and added more of FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA Universal Gloss Bomb on the lips.
Hairstylist Brooke Bogle used a number of products for the hairstyles in this cover editorial with WWE SuperStar and E! Total Divas' Leah Van Dale/Carmella.
Soft beach waves were created using a 1 inch iron. Prepped with CATWALK BY TIGI Haute Iron Spray.
Sprayed at the end as well for added shine.
LOOK II + III
Two side braids into a pony using BEDHEAD TIGI On the Rebound Curl Recall Cream for smoothness.
For added texture to the pony, fluffed and sprayed with TIGI COPYRIGHT Custom Complete Volume Finishing Spray.
Funky waves with spontaneous braids with accent jewels and rings.
For texture and separation used CATWALK BY TIGI Texturizing Sea Salt Spray and re-scrunched gently. Sprayed CATWALK BY TIGI Haute Iron Spray for added shine.
Athleisure Mag's Celeb Fashion Stylist, Co-Founder/Creative + Style Director Kimmie Smith focused on looks that incorporate a number of pieces that will become go-to's in your closet with the onset of warm weather.
FRONT/BACK COVERS + PG 19 - 29 | UMBRO Bodysuit | LAGOS JEWELRY Black Caviar Black Ceramic Diamond Earrings + Signature Caviar Diamond Pave Crossover Ring | ATHLETIC PROPULSIONS LABS Techloom Bliss White/Black/White Sneakers |
PG 16, 17, 31 | ALO YOGA Crop Cropped Short Sleeve Top in Caramel + High Waist Ripped Warrior Leggings in White | PARAJUMPERS Hybrids Olivia Puffer Jacket in White | ATHLETIC PROPULSION LABS Techloom Bliss White/Black/White Sneakers | LAGOS 18K Gold Caviar 12mm Ball on a Chain Necklace |
When it comes to fashion, there are some things where it really pays off to spend a bit more on something that looks really good and which is made with the best quality and design. Shoes are definitely one of these things, as while you can spend less on fast fashion brands for things like jeans and shirts without it being too much of a problem, the wrong shoes can ruin your outfit, and can also be a false economy as they won't last as long while still looking good, and are unlikely to be as well designed and comfortable.
This is why designer sneakers can be a really good addition to your wardrobe. They can give you a great look with minimal effort, and they can also make sure you feel comfortable as well as stylish. Here we look at three more reasons why your next big fashion purchase should be some high-end sneakers:
The Perfect Smart Casual Shoe Solution
These days, a lot of offices and other workplaces opt for a dressed down dress code, especially if you work in an industry like tech or media. Of course, while it kind of sounds like you can wear anything when your workplace has a dress code like this, you do generally still want to make a good impression, as your co-workers are probably the people that you see the most throughout the week and you may also have to meet with people from outside the business such as clients.
Designer sneakers can add smartness and sense of expensive luxury to a casual outfit, and make sure that you look like you have good taste! Choose from one of the designer men's sneaker brands at SSENSE, for instance, from their stunning range of Givenchy sneakers, and you can add some high fashion detail to even your most low key everyday looks. SSENSE has all of the latest ranges by all of the most coveted high-end fashion labels.
Great for Dates
If you're dating, then you may be surprised to know that one of the first things women judge men on is their shoes. This is often done subconsciously before you say that you wouldn't want to date someone who was picky over such an unimportant sounding thing! For casual dinner dates, going to a bar, a concert, the movies, or even just coffee, designer sneakers fit the occasion while giving that good impression you're looking for.
While you wouldn't actually train in designer sneakers (it is always best to go for athletic shoes made for the sport you do to get the right foot and joint support), they still pair well with more sporty fashion, allowing you to adopt the current athleisure trend for streetwear. Athleisure is comfortable and practical but has a trendy, stylish edge, and is a great way to dress if you want to look effortlessly cool.
There you have it, all the reasons you need to start shopping for a new pair of great looking designer sneakers this fall!
Read the latest issue of Athleisure Mag.
This month, our eyes turn to the US Open which takes place here in NYC. A number of tennis greats will battle with the best in their sport to walk away victorious. In addition, there are a number of fun activities around this time of year to hang out with your favorite player, to take in the game and more. Right before the Taste of Tennis, a culinary event that celebrates the US Open along with a number of athletes within the game and outside of it, we had the chance to chat with Danielle Collins who is known for her phenomenal playing as well as making jewelry for the court. We talk with her about the game, her passion for it and being a jewelry designer.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about what made you fall in love with tennis and drew you to the sport?
DANIELLE COLLINS: My draw to the sport goes back to my grade school days. Back then, every Monday to kick off the week we had Show and Tell. There was a boy at school who would bring in these shiny trophies he'd won over the weekends to show our class. I remember seeing the trophies and asking my Dad how I could win trophies like that, and he told me if I worked really hard I could win some trophies, too. I guess you can say that I've always had the competitive spirit from an early age, and loved the way tennis makes you problem solve on your own.
AM: What was the moment when you realized that you wanted to go pro?
DC: I knew I wanted to go pro when I was seven years old watching the Grand Slams on television with my parents. I didn't really know how to put my game all together as a junior, and didn't have the opportunity to turn pro right out of finishing high school. College helped me grow so much personally and as an athlete. Winning two national championships at UVA gave me confidence to know I could also have success at the professional level.
AM: How was playing in the quarterfinals in doubles at Wimbeldon?
DC: I absolutely loved competing with Bethanie. She was so much fun to share the court with and her energy is contagious! Getting to the quarterfinals was really huge for me personally, as I had never made quarterfinals in a Doubles Slam before.
AM: How has the current season been since the US Open is around the corner?
DC: The current season has been great. I am continuing to make progress within my game, and gaining the experiencing I need. Sometimes I don't get the results I want, but right now I am more focused on trying to continue to develop my game, and on the daily process to get myself to the next level.
AM: What is an average day like when you are in training for your next match?
DC: Training days are always different unless we are in pre-season. When I'm on the road, there are many variables during tournaments. We make time for strength and conditioning workouts everyday, put the hours in on court, and work with my sports psychologist/ performance coach. We also spend a lot of time focusing on recovery and making sure my body is getting what it needs to relax.
AM: What is the tennis season like?
DC: The tennis season is very long, but perfect for me since I love competition and traveling.
AM: We love accessories, what drew you to jewelry and how did this interest become another passion?
DC: What I love most about jewelry is the story each piece can share, and how sentimental jewelry is for people. For me, every piece of jewelry I own has some type of unique story behind why I designed it or what drew me into buying it. Designing jewelry allows me to use my creativity and imagination, in a way that is much different from tennis. I've always been passionate about fashion and art, and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to partner with Ritani to showcase my other passion in life.
AM: We know you have partnerships/sponsorships with New Balance and Head Racquets. When did you start working with them and what do you do with each of these relationships?
DC: Head and New Balance have been incredible for me and my career. I have been working with Head for about two years now and New Balance for a little over a year. There is no better feeling when you have two highly respected companies like these two, giving so much care and support to my career. The teams that New Balance and Head, work so diligently behind the scenes to make sure that we have the best equipment. Head has been so great in helping me accommodate to any specific needs that I have had with making sure my racquet is just the way I want and need it to feel. What both of them do is really special, and I am so grateful to have them a part of my career. They mean the world to me!
AM: Tell us about the Danielle Collins Jewelry line and of course about your diamond tennis bracelets?
DC: Launching at Wimbledon was so incredibly special to me. Wimbledon is the holy grail of our sport, and the rich tennis tradition is something that cannot be compared anywhere else in the world. When we launched, I was happy to carry on the tradition of elegance that the tennis bracelet represents. So many of the fans and jewelry lovers remember back in the 70s when Chris Evert was sporting her diamond tennis bracelet on court. I loved bringing back that vintage aesthetic, and was proud of the exquisiteness that Ritani engrained into each of the small details and sparkly diamonds.
AM: What is the full offering of pieces available at Danielle Collins Jewelry line?
DC: The full offering available is Necklaces, Bracelets, and Earrings. We offer some finer pieces and some more fun whimsical ones as well.
AM: What pieces from yourdo you wear during your matches?
DC: The jewelry that I wear during my match are a diamond tennis bracelet and double pendant diamond necklace.
AM: When creating your line, what inspires your pieces from legendary tennis players to various aesthetics?
DC: When designing, I enjoy creating a variety of different pieces. All of my pieces have one thing in common -- they are timeless, and will not go out of style. While some pieces are more whimsical and playful, and others follow a more classic design, at the core, it’s about the meaning behind them.
AM: When you are creating your pieces as you intend to have them worn during playing, what are you looking to include and to avoid?
DC: When I am creating my pieces and intend to have them worn I like wearing pieces that are edgy and sophisticated. I try to make sure each piece is lightweight enough to wear so that I am 100% comfortable moving around on court. The material that I like to include the most is diamonds. They are one of the world’s toughest materials, and at the same time, they shine and are sophisticated. I try to be one of the toughest players on tour, and at the same time I try to be fashionable! The art of jewelry and wearing these pieces allows me to showcase my creative sense of style, and reminds me to be tough on court.
AM: As a professional player and entrepreneur, what lessons did you learn that inform how you go about your endeavours?
DC: Being both a professional tennis player and entrepreneur has taught me a lot of lessons along the way. Both have taught me how to network, organize, and manage my career and jewelry line. But the most important thing both have taught me is knowing how to take appropriate risks.
AM: In St. Pete, Florida, where can we find you grabbing a meal/cocktail, working out and going shopping?
DC: On the weekends, you can find me at Bern's Steakhouse in Tampa, grabbing my favorite meal. I enjoy going to hot yoga on the weekends, and shopping at Restoration Hardware to draw inspiration for my home.
AM: What are 3 items that you tend to carry in your carry on when you’re traveling?
DC: Three items I carry in my bag when traveling: sunscreen, hair brush, and mascara.
As we transition from the Summer to thinking about the Fall, we love when there's apparel in our closets that's truly seasonless and easy to move around, travel and do an array of activities in. At Athleisure Mag, we became major fans of Aviator Nation and started incorporating it into our celeb shoots last fall. In addition, our team has defintiely rocked these pieces when we've been on set, hitting a day of activities and more.
We took some time to sit down with Page Mycoskie, the brand's founder and designer who launched the brand back in 2006 with a focus on that retro vintage vibe and super soft fabrication. We remember her and her brother Blake Mycoskie (founder of TOMS Shoes) when they competed together on CBS' The Amazing Race season 2.
We wanted to find out how this brand was created, how being an athlete has tied into the ethos of the brand, how she approaches bringing on new designs and styles into the line as well as how she approaches finding and opening her stores at various locations. Along the way, we learned how integral music and specifically music festivals, as well as aviators, play into the brand and how manifesting her passions and interests continue to fuel the direction of this lifestyle brand.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Can you tell us about your background as you’re an artist, an entrepreneur, an athlete – how did this all come together in terms of your background and bringing you to the creation of Aviator Nation?
PAIGE MYCOSKIE: It’s kind of funny because ever since I was a young girl, I really had this mentality that I could do anything that I wanted to do. I really think that that came from hanging with my grandmother a lot. When I was little, I used to spend time with her during the day and she was super creative and super artistic. She would be like, “hey what do you want to learn today?” She was all about teaching me new things and I wanted to do creative things. It’s kind of interesting and I’d be like, I’d like to know about pottery and we’d spend the day learning how to do pottery and a lot of times, it was creative stuff. She was super artistic and she made her own clothes. So hanging out with her, I became very hands on and it’s super interesting now because a lot of what I do is very hands on. I think that that’s something that makes me very different from other people who start companies. I like to be super involved in all of the details at Aviator Nation.
It’s also funny to look back at the entrepreneurial thing. When I was little, I was constantly trying to sell things. Being an entrepreneur extends from that and I love being able to create things from scratch. I just loved the whole interaction of making something, selling something, earning money and then going to shop. Then being an athlete, that was an important part of this too. Now, I’m in a super competitive industry, the fashion world and being an athlete – ever since I was a young girl, I love doing sports.
Team sports was an important thing for me because the team I am building and the culture with the company is directly from when I was a child and on team sports with other people a lot. I think that being super competitive has always been inside of me and l like to compete because I like to win. Being an athlete and learning – the more you practice the better you will be and when you continue with that, you’ll be the best. I’m all about constantly making the best product and every time we do a production run, I’m all about testing the fabrics and new methods. It’s not just about putting out clothes every few months like new designs. It’s about continuing to make the product better. I think it helps that I wear the products because it’s all I wear. I’ll be like, “this is actually a little bit tighter than what I want it to be." Or I'd like to make this fabric a little lighter weight during this time of the year. Being an athlete, learning that the more you practice and the more you work with your team, the better that that team can be.
AM: What was that moment when you realized that you wanted to create this brand and what was the thought process behind the name, Aviator Nation? Your brand is really unique from your 5 stripes, to other designs, its gender fluidity and we love that you can literally look at your Instagram and see you truly building your company and the brand heritage that you present as well as continuity.
PM: It all kind of started with a personal obsession with clothes that are super comfortable and had this colorful look to them. I was living in California at the time and I had a job in a surf shop and I was doing photography. I didn’t go to school for fashion or for business. I went to school for journalism because I always liked to write and to tell stories. When I moved to California, I was interning with Shape Magazine for a little while and I realized that I loved the culture and the stories, but I couldn’t see myself working in an office.
So I got a job at a surf shop and I started to get into the retail world through that. I learned how fun it could be to work at a mom and pop shop and that was the beginning of my experience working in that world. What happened was, I personally had these ideas for clothes that I wanted to find and couldn’t. I would go shopping and the clothes were never soft enough for me. I have always been obsessed with my dads old t-shirts because they are so much softer then anything that was out there. Then I learned, that you could get them at thrift stores and I started shopping there and would look for old t-shirts. I just liked how those broken in garments felt. Then it was of course, not the right fit. So I found myself chopping off the bottom and cutting off the sleeves. I was manipulating these garments that I found at these thrift stores, Then it dawned on me when I found this one shirt – I loved how it fit and I wanted all my shirts to feel like that. I took the t-shirt a part and I laid out paper and made a pattern and bought a sewing machine and I taught myself how to sew. So I literally started doing it for myself because I couldn't find garments that felt the way that I wanted them to feel. Then, when I realized that I could make other garments that fit the way the t-shirt did with patterns and being able to sew, I could do the same thing with the designs that I wanted. So if I wanted sunsets or stripes, it was pretty simple because my skillset was there. I didn’t have experience. So I cut out stripes and put them on this garment and it was looking super cool and it was simple. So the reason why we do this applique technique now (which is essentially sewing fabric ontop of another fabric) was because that’s how we started in terms of creating a design to put on the garments.
Once I started to do that, I was wearing the clothes around town in Venice and wearing it to the surf shop that I worked at and everyone around me was asking about it, the brand that I was wearing and I told them that I made it myself. Not only did it feel good but the clothes felt good because I made them with this comfortable material from soft old t-shirts and the colors were attracting people.
AM: So where did the name come from?
PM: So growing up, my favorite movie was Top Gun and I had the movie poster on my wall, I still have it in my office. I just love that movie and I love the style of Tom Cruise and Kelly McGinnis and the aviator sunglasses were just such a key part of that style and that look. When I was little, I always had aviator sunglasses and all through high school and college – aviator sunglasses were always my go to. So I had this vintage collection of aviator sunglasses on my desk when I was thinking about the name for the company and I looked at them and thought, “I really love aviator sunglasses and I really love that word aviator and I feel that this brand is going to bring people together.” I always thought that aviator shades did that. I could have had a long night in college and then put on those shades and then I would look great. The aviator sunglasses were just the go to and I wanted the clothes to be the go to as well.
AM: Completely agree with everything that you’ve said as we’ve styled it in our shoots and have had great feedback and when we wear it around the city, the feedback is always so much fun. Especially when rocking the velvet ones which have such a retro vibe to them. How do you get your inspiration when you are creating the line?
PM: A lot of times, I will randomly think of something that I want to put into clothes. Sometimes things just pop in my head and I just want to see what that color combo would look like. Color is just a part of my brain. I’m always wanting to put colors together. I have Pantone books everywhere and I am always looking at putting them together. I walk around with a Ziploc bag of fabric in all different colors everywhere I go. I’ll be at the beach and I’ll say, I want to see this color with this color – so it just comes to me and I’m surrounded by old things all the time. I go to flea markets all the time because I love finding vintage stuff. I have hundreds of vintage skate boards and surf boards. I’ve always been really into retro stuff from the 70s and I have a ton of vinyl – album covers are a part of my inspiration because I’m playing vinyl all the time. I think that the old stuff that’s around me plays into it as well as it’s always around me. The color thing is just something inside of me – it’s weird.
Sometimes I’ll go to rock shows and different concerts. It’s what I do for entertainment. I don’t go to bars a lot, I’m not extremely social but I do love concerts and festivals and things like that. I remember when I thought about the velvet for example. I was backstage at a rock show and I was inspired by velvet curtains and things like that. It definitely came from Rock & Roll and there’s a lot of velvet in that world. I think sometimes my lifestyle whether it’s being at Venice Beach or at a rock show plays a little bit into my inspiration.
AM: In terms of product assortment, you have apparel, accessories and surfboards. Do you see other things that could grow into Aviator Nation as it really is a lifestyle brand.
PM: Yeah totally, I love creating new things whether it’s clothing, stores or whatever. I love building things from scratch. I see myself creating new products. It’s funny because I want to do everything, but I force myself to not do that because it could be taken the wrong way. I don't want to be that brand that tries to do everything. I really do try to draw it back and look at what I am really passionate about right now and focus on that. We just came out with outerwear this last year and that was something that I was super passionate about, but that we weren’t doing. I love snowboarding and I love the mountains and I'm always throwing on a jacket. I feel that the right jacket is a game changer and a jacket that you can travel with, stands up to the elements, it’s not too hot or too cold. I found this insulation that was kind of beyond what is being used right now – even with high end performance jackets. I want the best quality because it’s for me too and I like pushing the envelope on quality. Anyone who has my jackets understands. It's a super lightweight jacket that’s extremely warm and it packs down into your backpack. I’m also passionate about high top tennis shoes so right now I have a big collection myself and I’m always thinking that it would be cool to make shoes and doing a collection of high tops. Stuff that makes sense for me personally that I’m passionate about because it is authentic. For people that are fans of the brand, they’re all about authentic. I think everyone is becoming that way and it works well for business. This brand has been this way from day one as I started it making it for myself. If the quality is not good enough for me, then I am not going to put it on the shelf. I’m extremely picky.
AM: We appreciate the pickiness of it. You can literally travel in it without a problem, it photographs well, it‘s great and so soft.
PM: It’s crazy comfortable. I’m turning down washes all the time. I’m like that’s not good enough, it’s not soft enough. The people that work in my production at times they’re like, this is crazy this is soft and I’m like, “not soft enough.” I feel that the best feeling is like you don’t have clothes on at all. So if we’re going to make clothes, we should make them feel like you’re not. That’s what I like to think that the sweats feel like – it’s just an extension of your body.
AM: It seems like you partner with a lot of events including Austin City Limits Music Festival and Global Citizen. How important is it for you to grow your brand and to be aligned in that way?
PM: Yeah, it’s super important. It really happened organically. When I opened my first store on Abbott Kenney and built that stage on the patio, that was kind of the beginning of getting involved in the music world. I always say, “if you build it, they will come” very field of dreams. That’s what I did. I built this stage and I had all kinds of artists wanting to play on our little patio in Venice. Doing that was such a cool experience. Getting to know the artist and creating a place where bands get to play – Foster the People rolled in there one day and played on the stage and it was a couple of years before they got cool. That was happening all the time and now I have other stores with stages as a lot of my stores have these stages and I’m always saying yes to artists that want to play. It’s so fun and one day someone from Austin City Limits came into the store in Venice and they loved what I was doing. I really personally love Austin City Limits Music Festival and so when I met that person it was such a unique moment. When I did that festival, it was funny because I go to music festivals a lot – it’s part of my life and I’m always kind of feeling like I don’t want music festivals to be super commercialized and I felt like that old school vibe. I like to imagine what Woodstock would have been. I love when festivals aren’t super commercialized and built up and the one Austin really is a lot less commercialized than others. The thing is, it’s surrounded by trees and grass. Another big thing is that I felt like the artists as I’m friends with a number of artists now and was back then too – they were 3 years into having stages and a lot of the artists were burnt out I noticed – especially on the festivals. It was something that was fun but exhausting. They’d show up, they’d play their show and get back on the road. I have a lot of friends in the music industry and know how it is when they’re going on tour as I’ve actually joined friends on tour too. It’s grueling. So when the people at Austin City Limits came to my store and asked for me to get involved into what they were doing, they wanted to know that if I could do anything, what would I do?
It was an interesting moment and I said I wanted to do something for the artist. They just have these basic trailers backstage and they have their beer or water. They play their show and then they leave. Back in the day, the artist used to sit around and play music together and sit around and get to know one another. I know that because of my friends in the industry and their parents are people like Grand Nash. People who were in that world, I read a lot of books, seen a lot of documentaries and I know about how it was back in the day. I’m always about restoring the past. I told them, “what if I built a teepee that was backstage” and they could hang out there and it was just a place for the artist to chill in between their sets. They loved it and thought it was amazing. They let me build a teepee backstage where only the artists and friends and family of the artists could be and I designed it, drew it and had these Native American guys make it out of fabric and hand painted it. It has this cool rainbow look to it and we set it up backstage at ACL and it was the most incredible thing that I ever witnessed. Basically, I set it up and then bought some old vintage guitars and instruments and had it in there, candles, a couch and blankets. It was super chill and not commercial at all. They asked if I wanted signage and I said no, I just wanted a teepee. I made t-shirts that I was going to give to the artists as a gift and I make clothes and I wanted to make cool ones. The artists come to concerts but they don’t really get gear. So I wanted to make a shirt that I felt that they would wear and not the typical concert shirt. So I designed this shirt that was a vintage cool looking shirt that said Austin City Limits on it, but it was a cool one that didn’t look like the typical concert shirt. On the back of it, it actually said, “It’s All About the Music.” I felt that it was all about the artists and a festival is better if the artists is super stoked. Literally all day for the full weekend, artists would come into the teepee and they would sit down, pick up a guitar and jam out. We had The Alabama Shakes and Phoenix jamming out together.
We had Leon Bridges come in and sit down and start playing a song. He said he had just made up the song by being inspired in the teepee to make this song. It’s exactly what I wanted to happen and all the artists really started to love the teepee. It was a dream come true to come up with this environment. I think it made their experience at Austin City Limits so much better because it was so much more grounding for them, they made friends and they had the t-shirt.
Everyone wanted the t-shirt because they knew it wasn’t available but they wanted to know where they could get it. It was authentic to the artist because they had met us and hung out with us, the shirts were super soft and they probably had a bag filled with dirty clothes. Now we have done it with ACL since 2012, I’ve done a lot more festival shirts for others as well. We do the same thing where we take the teepee and it allows us to get to know the artists backstage and we make sure to make pieces where it doesn’t feel like the typical concert tee.
My thing is, I want to make gear that people will want to continue on wearing. As the customer myself, I will buy a shirt at a festival and not wear it. What you want to do is to wear a shirt that is super soft from the start and that you will want to wear. I make festival gear that is more fashionable and that people will want to continue wearing.
AM: Do you see the brand being at NYFW or at Miami Fashion Week?
PM: I think that with the swim collection, Miami Fashion Week is a great way to showcase that and I really love Miami. We did a small fashion show at the Soho House Miami when I first released our swim collection with the new velvet collection. I got invited to be a part of an event right at the time that it was coming out and it made sense. It was fun, a small show and I think doing fashion shows is really cool. I love putting the brand in front of a lot of people that love fashion. I think that sweats and swimwear really is fashionable. I don’t say no when I think that something comes about that makes sense doing. I think NYFW and Miami Fashion Week is great for us.
AM: Do you sponsor or have any athlete ambassadors?
PM: We have several athletes that shop with us that come in and a lot of times, managers reach out to us and ask if you want to sponsor. We’ll send them things and it’s about people that specifically and personally like the brand. We don’t have any specific sponsorships but we have a lot of athletes that shop in the store.
AM: As someone who is active and an athlete, what are 3 things that are always in your bag when you’re heading to the beach to relax or to surf?
PM: When I go to the beach to surf, I always have to have my speaker – a portable one that I love and I take everywhere I go. I always have a good book – I love to read and I’m into business books. It’s interesting to read on philosophies that entrepreneurs have taken. Maybe my ukele – I grew up learning whatever instruments I could get my hands on and I have always liked this instrument because it’s small and easy to carry around.
You can hear Paige Mycoskie on our show, BUNGALOW SK which is a part of Athleisure Studio, our multi-media podcast network! Make sure to subscribe to find out when the episode drops. You can hear it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Google Podcasts and wherever you enjoy listening to your favorite podcast.
NYFW is always a hectic time and for the past few days, we have enjoyed seeing all the fashions that will be available during SS20. A number of shows present one designer; however, there are always those that run as a collection of designers which really allows you to maximize seeing a number of looks by multiple designers typically within the one hour showtime!
One of our favorite collective designers that we enjoy seeing season after season is Indonesian Diversity. This show included 4 designers that present their lines during NYFW. The designs within this show were diverse as some had street forward looks, others were oriented to a night out look. Today, we fell for the looks created by glam designer, Julianto at Spring Studios.
From sweet looks such as this layered and ruffled look that added shimmer to the runway to a number of rich hued looks and dramatic draping - there was visual texture throughout the looks that he presented during his portion of the show. Another key look that stuck in our mind was this dress and extended vest ensemble. Clearly, they can be worn together; however, when broken a part, this extended vest can also be worn with a tank and denim look, a sleek catsuit or a myriad of ways. The detailing on the embellished vest lends itself to enhancing whatever it’s being paired with. The two tone nature of the dress with the vest is also a nice textural play as well.
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Thanks to social media, footballer’s lives are more documented than they ever have been before and for those who really want to show off, it’s the ideal spotlight. Fashion is the perfect way to be creative and to reveal your true style and for these football stars, it’s an opportunity they’ve taken seriously. These are some of the most stylish football players who can’t get enough of showcasing their wardrobe.
Spanish captain Sergio Ramos seems to get more stylish with every passing year and now that he’s embraced his thirties, he’s taken on a more sophisticated wardrobe, from tailored suits and waistcoats to stylish chinos and a smart casual look.
If there’s one person leading the next generation of style conscious sports stars onto the scene, it’s Gnabry. It’s easy to see how growing up in a world of social media has influenced Gnabry’s impeccable style. From his casual streetwear to moments where he’s donned a full suited attire, Gnabry always looks Instagram-ready.
Arsenal’s right back, Hector Bellerin, is arguably one of the most recognised footballers when it comes to style in the Premier League. It’s fair to say that he’s curated a look all of his own, where high-end fashion meets casual streetwear, and he’s not afraid to think outside of the box when it comes to his clothing which makes him both a darling for fashion blogs and football blogs at Infogol.
There aren’t many athletes who could pull off a fashion shoot with Hypebeast but Tim Weah is one of the few who can. Weah is yet another member of the social media elite who is comfortable dressing with a photo opportunity in mind and he’s certainly one of the best dressed footballers of the moment.
Gall has the perfect mix of stylish influences on his side, having grown up in Paris, playing for Malmo in Sweden and representing the USA internationally. For a 23-year-old, he’s incredibly well-travelled and that has played a part in his curation of a unique and inspiring wardrobe.
Everton’s midfielder Tom Davies has found a way of taking his work attire off the pitch and into everyday life, with a laid-back style that’s most comfortable but stylish, and always eclectic.
Gregory van der Wiel
One of the most fashionable players in the sport is Gregory van der Wiel. From rocking old Manchester United shirts to rocking a smart-casual look when hanging with his kids, the Dutchman has found a way of pulling off every look as if he was born to wear it.
Alaba never seems to get it wrong when it comes to fashion. It can be all too easy for a look to veer from innovative to tacky, but Alaba always executes every style opportunity to perfection and with the perfect balance of creativity and thought.
From donning Dior to hanging out with Beckham at Paris Fashion Week, Trapp is at the epicentre of fashion, making him the most stylish goalkeeper in history. Germany’s goalie has the perfect mix of classic and on-trend style that works perfectly.
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Basketball sneakers have a very storied history that spans decades upon decades. Did you know the first basketball sneaker made strictly for performance was made almost 100 years ago? Today, with the help of Sports Domain Lab we’re taking a look at the history of basketball shoes and five of the most iconic basketball models of all-time.
Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star
What many consider the first “official” basketball sneaker, the Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star made its debut way back in 1917 when it was released by the Converse Rubber Shoe Company. The Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star got its name in 1921 when it was named after Chuck Taylor. Taylor was a salesman for the brand who also happened to be playing for Converse’s semi-pro All-Star basketball team. Chuck Taylor needed a durable shoe and gave Converse some suggestions on how they can make that possible. Thankful for Taylor’s input, Converse agreed to the enhancements, made the shoe and named them after him. What makes this model even more iconic is the fact that it became the first basketball shoe casually worn off the court.
Pro Keds Royal
The Pro Keds Royal made its debut in 1949. Like the Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star, this model was also constructed using a canvas upper and gum sole. The shoe was worn by notable players such as George Mikan and Willis Reed throughout the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. Known for being an affordable sneaker that was also durable, the sneaker may look simple in appearance, but it had all the qualities and traits to support your game on the court. Unlike the Converse brand, Pro Keds did not manage to remain relevant after all these decades. That being the case, you can still find the brand at select retailers throughout the globe. Down, but not out. W could not have expected anything less from Pro Keds.
The adidas Superstar made its debut in 1969. By the 1970s, the Three Stripes model was being worn on the court by superstar players like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The Superstar stood out thanks in large part to its leather upper and distinct rubber shelltoe. The shoes were so highly coveted that the biggest hip hop artists in the world began wearing them casually during the 80s, shout out Run-DMC. As you can imagine, soon thereafter the adidas Superstar became a fashion staple in the urban community. It’s safe to say that the adidas Superstar has had a bigger impact off the court than on.
The year was 1973. Walt “Clyde” Frazier and the Knicks had just defeated the Lakers to win their second championship. That very same year, Frazier had signed with Puma for $25,000 a year. His on-court shoe of choice, the Puma Clyde. According to Frazier, the Puma Clyde was based on the Puma Basket and borrowed details from the Puma Suede. Just like Clyde Frazier, the Puma Clyde redefined street style with it’s smooth aesthetic. It was the perfect mix of style and substance. It was also the first sneaker that was designed to make a fashion statement, hence the suede upper, a trait rarely seen on basketball models back in the day. Even after all these years, Puma continues to release new iterations of the Puma Clyde. Talk about withstanding the test of time, eh?
Nike Air Force 1
Is there a more iconic basketball silhouette than the Nike Air Force 1!? At the very least, it has to be a top 3 candidate, right? It’s hard to argue that any other sneaker has had as much of a crossover into street culture than the Nike Air Force 1.
The Bruce Kilgore-designed model is said to have been released in at least 2,000 colorways since the shoe made its debut back in 1982. When the shoe was made, it was considered a peak-performance basketball shoe. The original Air Force 1 was a high-top that came with an ankle strap, a full grain leather upper and of course, for the first time ever in a basketball shoe, Nike Air technology. Soon after debuting on the court, the AF1 growth spread throughout the globe like wildfire. We’re now in 2019, and sneakerheads are STILL feening over certain Air Force 1 releases. That’s wild.
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Last month, we had the chance to catch up with Vanessa Williams who partnered with Kellogg’s and Penguin Random House for Kellogg’s Feeding Reading Program, encouraging childhood reading at Kellogg’s NYC. Vanessa read to the kids through her support with Kellogg’s Feeding Reading program with Penguin Random House. She read one of our favorite books growing up, The Pokey Little Puppy. We took a moment to ask her a few questions as we are inspired by the first African American Miss America, recording artist, Broadway star and actress.
ATHLEISURE MAG: What was the moment that you realized that you wanted to be this triple threat from being the First African American to be Miss America, being a recording artist as well as an actress – was it always a plan to showcase your talents across various verticals?
VANESSA WILLIAMS: Growing up music was a requirement in my household. The arts were revered and my parents who were music educators never told me to get a “real job”. They supported my love for the arts and to major in musical theater that combined my talents. A Broadway career was the goal. All the rest of my career has been a huge blessing that I never dreamed of.
AM: Looking back on the legacy that you have created, what is the takeaway that want others to have in looking at what you have accomplished throughout your career?
VW: My career has been an example of being brave to take unexpected opportunities when they arise and then being prepared to do your best when given those opportunities. You can plan all you want but life always gives you challenges that you that force you to grow and change your path
AM: The Pokey Little Puppy is a book that we enjoyed growing up – how did this partnership with you and Kellogg’s as well as Penguin Random House come about and why did you want to participate in this?
VW: As an author, mother of 4 and the daughter of two teachers, I know the importance of reading in order to fuel kids. It helps you think and learn and grow your imagination. I read to my kids as they were growing up and The Pokey Little Puppy was one of our favorites. I also showed the kids the picture of my new Great Dane puppy Roscoe Rider that I just got this week. Plus, I’m also working on a children’s book so when Kellogg’s reached out it was a no-brainer.
AM: Can you tell us about Feeding Reading Program and why this is so important to you?
VW: The Kellogg’s Reading Feeding program gets books into kids hands to fuel their minds and bodies, which is so important to me. Last year alone, more than 400,000 books were distributed to kids and families across the country.
It’s easy for parents to participate, too. Buy a specially marked Kellogg’s product to earn a credit for one of 125 Penguin Random House books across multiple reading levels. Books also can be donated to a school or library. Visit www.FeedingReading.com to learn more about the program.
AM: What was it like to be with your mom and reading to the children yesterday and what do you hope that the children got from being able to participate?
VW: I came alone to read to the enthusiastic kids entering 2nd grade next fall. I asked lots of questions of course about puppies , pets and the many creatures that are featured in the book. The highlight was hearing the children ooh and aah about my new puppy
AM: What projects are you working on that we can share with our readers to keep an eye out for?
VW: I have a new children’s book coming out soon by Sterling Publishing called “Bubble Kisses”, just launched a fashion line on HSN, recording a new album for BMG records and have a few scripts in the works for future projects that I’m producing
AM: You always look phenomenal, what are 3 beauty/skincare products that you swear by that you can share with us?
VW: Ziip microcurrent portable device helps keeps my skin toned. I use it before any appearances on camera. Eye lash extensions are my new favorite go to for instant killer eyes and the HydraFacial does wonders for pore cleansing and rejuvenation.
Read the latest issue of Athleisure Mag.