Athleisure Mag’s April celebrity cover is Trinity Fatu who goes by the name Naomi in the ring as a WWE Superstar as well as being on E! Total Divas! We had the chance to hang out with her while she was here in NYC for WrestleMania which is the WWE’s equivalent to the Super Bowl. In addition to a fun shoot at The Loft in Flatiron and Limelight Fitness Club, we sat down with Trinity to talk about her journey from studying dance, being a NBA Orlando Magic Cheerleader, transitioning into the WWE, her love for performing and entertaining, sharing her personal life on E! Total Divas, endurance in the business and her coupleship with her husband Jonathan Fatu, who is a WWE wrestler under the name Jimmy Uso, and is half of the tag team The Usos.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Prior to coming to the WWE, tell us about your background as we know that you were an NBA cheerleader previously with the Orlando Magic.
TRINITY FATU: Yes! I started dance at the age of 8 and I studied tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, modern and hip hop up until the age of 18. I competed nationally and once I was 18, I was too old to compete and graduated high school. So it was time for that next chapter and from there, I auditioned and went to the Magic from there. I wanted to go to Alvin Ailey Dance School, but at the time I just wasn’t mentally prepared and honestly, I was just scared to leave home! I had never been away from home so I ended up doing community college and stayed local and ended up doing Magic.
I’m kind of glad now that I didn’t go, because I don’t think that I ever would have gotten into wrestling and then I would have never met my husband and so on and so forth! It all kind of worked out how it was supposed to. I also come from a very musical family. My father is a musician – he’s a guitarist, my uncle is George McCrae.
AM: Shut up!
TF: Yes he had the song, “Rock Your Baby” in the 70’s and some other songs! Yes it’s just the ability to perform and entertain is in my blood and in my family’s so it was inevitable for me that I would do something in entertainment. One year, I had 12 jobs working through temp agencies and just trying to find the right job for me. But I was never satisfied with a 9-5 job. It had to be something that involved me being with people and being active. Socializing and working with people is that I ended up realizing that I like to do.
AM: So what led you to going to the WWE and what was that process like?
TF: So at the time, I was still an Orlando Magic dancer and the wrestling show came to the Amway Center one night and I ended up just wanting to watch the show. My girlfriend and some of the dancers told me about it and we ended up watching the show. When I saw the women perform, I was in awe and blown away by the entire show. I didn’t know much about wrestling and let alone that women had a role in it as much as they did and that they could do all the things that they did. It was a 6 woman tag that I saw and I mean they were killing it and they looked so beautiful. I knew right then that it was something that I wanted to do and that I could do!
So from there, I talked to my friend who knew someone that knew someone that knew someone. I went around asking questions to figure out how to get a try out. Fortunately, at the time, the developmental was in Tampa which was only an hour and a half away. I literally drove one weekend to Tampa to do a try out and then 3 months later, I finally heard back from them and they told me that I got a development deal and that I could start training. Then I left right from home a few weeks later, moved to Tampa and started my wrestling journey!
AM: Did you have a mentor when you were coming up through the system?
TF: Well I met my husband (Jonathan Fatu who goes by the name Jimmy Uso in the WWE) and it’s crazy because he was there a few months before me. But when I first got there, my husband was one of the first people that I met and so he has always been a mentor to me and my guidance through this whole thing. Norman Smiley who still develops and trains new talent now. Dr. Tom Prichard is also a former wrestler, as well as Dusty Rhodes – developmental is diff
erent now with NXT because I came through a different name. Mine was called FCW. All the guys that came around at that time, I felt that they all had some kind of influence and help. But most definitely would be my husband.
AM: What does it mean to you to be a WWE Superstar?
TF: It has become so much of who I am and my identity at this point. When I came in, I was just looking for a transition, I had been cheerleading for a few years and I just wanted something new and to express myself creatively. I had no idea how big wrestling was and what type of platform that I would be on and that I could make a career out of it! At the time, it was something to do at the moment and to just get me to that next chapter of my life until I figured out what I wanted to go to school for and how I would make a living. I was just thinking of doing something that kept me performing and when I got into it, realized how incredible an opportunity that it was, how massive it was and how global it was and the effect that it has on people – I completely fell in love with it, the lifestyle and it came apart of my life. That's when I realized that it was something that I wanted to do.
So to me, this was my life and it is my world. At this point, it’s like everything – it’s how I take care of my family, how I found my purpose, it’s how my husband and I bond over it. It’s become so entwined into my life that it really is everything to me! I take pride and appreciate the responsibility to not only represent African American women, but to be a role model for all women on this platform
AM: Well we got the chance to do our photoshoot during WrestleMania – for those who may not know, can you tell us what this is and how important it is to your year?
TF: Wrestlemania is our Super Bowl! It’s our biggest Pay-Per-View of the year. People travel all over the world to come into town to see our WrestleMania. It’s what we work towards all year to be on that show and to be on that Pay-Per-View. The best of the best is on WrestleMania.
So, to be on that and to share the ring with the greats like John Cena, Randy Orton and all of these incredible Superstars it’s definitely one of the biggest events of the year to perform live in front of 80,000 people at Met Life Stadium, one of the biggest and known stadiums around the world. It’s epic and it’s massive and to just be in that environment to feel that adrenaline from the audience – it’s something that you can’t get anywhere else!
AM: Are there additional matches that we should keep an eye on that are also significant throughout your year?
TF: I am most stoked about the Women’s Main Event. It’s the first time in history that we’ll be main eventing at WrestleMania. Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair as well as the Fatal 4-Way Women’s Tag Team Championship Match for the first time ever as well. So the women, it really is an evolution they are just killing it and they are going to raise the bar. So aside from the Women’s Battle Royal at WrestleMania, you can also look forward to these other women’s matches that are going to be awesome.
AM: In addition to being a wrestler for WWE, you are also on E! Total Divas which we are a fan of. How did you come about getting on this show and how important do you feel that it is to amplify your brand as well as to showcase your personal life?
TF: Well the original cast was handpicked by the company – Vince and at the time, I had a tag team partner, Ariane Andrew known as Cameron. They thought that we would bring a different dynamic to the show and we were a contrast to The Bella Twins at the time for our angle. We worked against them at the time and her and I had a great chemistry. They were right about all those things at the time and that’s why initially we were selected for the show. I was apprehensive at first. I used to be very private and protective of my personal life – I mean now with social media and so many opinions, so many critics – I was protective of that. But I also saw the bigger picture, the platform that we were being given and I did want to be able to tell our story as women in the business as well as seeing the other side of us. To see how hard we work, that women can do it and to motivate others. I knew that there would be a different audience that we would be able to connect with and reach out to that we can’t always do with wrestling. That’s why along with speaking with my partner at the time, we decided to go ahead and do it together. It was a package deal, we had to do it together.
AM: That’s what makes the show so interesting to see you guys in the ring, prepping for it, coming off the ring and to see your dynamics when you’re with your colleagues as well as your personal life. Watching you and your husband talking about your business as well as your personal life. It’s something that is applicable to people regardless of what their jobs are. The dynamics of a coupleship and how you live day to day is a great component of this show that we get to see in your dynamic and it really strikes a cord as we watch it and can completely relate!
TF: I really wanted people to see that because there is only so much that you can know about me when watching, RAW or SmackDown. I just knew that with the girls that I was working with, with the show we’re on and the company that was backing us that it would be an empowering show and uplifting one for women. I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to do that.
AM: So what is an average week like for you as you could be prepping for your next match, maybe you’re going into tapings, doing a charity – if there is such a thing in terms of average, what would it be?
TF: Well we’re moving and traveling 5 days a week and we have appearances weekly with radio stations, charity events, signings and our show is each night. We perform, we fly into town, perform for the show and then drive to the next city, and we do that about 4 days a week and on the 5th we’re traveling to get back home to recharge and do it all over again, year around – there is no off season.
I think that the toughest part is the travel. You would think that it would be the wrestling and the physical part, but that’s the best part and easiest part. When you calculate and think about all the hours that it takes to get there just to perform for 10 minutes and for the women, you’re fortunate if you get the 10 minutes – it’s good! The hard part and the most energy draining portion is the traveling. Being on the road so much, you’re away from home, friends and family. But that is part of the lifestyle.
AM: Since you do travel so much, what are 3 must hav3s that you have with you in your suitcase whenever you’re on the road?
TF: I always have my travel blanket, because I am always cold no matter where I am or how warm it is. I am always just cold! I’d also say my makeup bag and just lotions and moisturizers – all of that good stuff since traveling a lot really dries your skin out. Sunglasses for those days when I don’t want to put makeup on.
AM: Who would you say are your go to people in the WWE squad?
TF: Other than my husband and my brother-in-law (Joshua Fatu/WWE’s Jey Uso) his twin. As far as girls, I would say Lana, Natalya and Tamina Snuka. We all kind of broke in around the same time and have been around each other for the last few years. We have experienced the ups and downs together which has naturally made us bond and be very close with one another.
AM: Because you do travel so much, how do you maintain your coupleship with your husband – do you have date nights?
TF: Yes! We always try to make sure that we tell each other to never stop dating one another. We are always together, but I feel like we’re always in work mode. The hard part is being able to turn it off – not to talk about work, not to talk about wrestling and really just tune everything and everyone out and just focus on each other. We’re together all the time, but there are so many distractions. We’re together, but we’re not. We get to the arena and we’re there for 12 hours a day. Sometimes, I don’t see him all day because he’s preparing or he’s meeting people and getting ready to do the things that he needs to do. I'm over here getting my match together or filming for Total Divas. Then we get into the car and we have whatever amount of hours to drive and I’m asleep or he’s asleep. It’s finding that quality time.
AM: Our Co-Founders are a couple and they totally get this – it’s a balancing act!
TF: I know! A lot of people don’t understand like how can you be together that much, but then you don’t have time? You just have to live it to explain it because it sounds ridiculous!
AM: We had the chance to work out with you a few years back at TapOut gym and some of your fellow Superstars. It was great to do some of your routines that were simple and yet effective to get a great physique! What are some routines that people can get into their workouts that they should pick out that you do?
TF: For me, I just eat in moderation, I have a really bad sweet tooth so I pretty much eat what I want, but I just watch my portions which works for me. I just do a lot of cardio. I’m not a stickler for any kind of regimen. I just get in there and really do what I want. I don’t really lift heavy with a lot of weight. I do more of a full body workout and lots and lots of cardio. I do at least an hour of cardio the 5 days that I’m on the road and then when I’m home, I’m off. But if I eat bad, it just means that I have to work harder in the gym and if I eat better, then I don’t have to work as hard. So I just try to always balance things out. For the most part, it’s just eat healthy, a balanced diet. I feel like as long as you’re active and moving, it doesn’t matter. As long as you’re using your body and making it do something, you can feel when you’re working and when it burns. You can feel when you’re tired. I feel like as long as you’re pushing your body to do something, you will be ok! If you're working, your body will work. If you don’t use it, you will lose it.
AM: So have you watched the release of her film Homecoming on Netflix?
TF: Girl, you know I did! I watched it like 5 times! I have been watching it everyday since it came out on repeat! I think that she is the greatest thing that has ever walked this Earth!
AM: She doesn’t quit!
TF: No no she doesn’t and I will not tolerate anything bad that is said about her! I will pop off on anybody that does. She is truly amazing and my idol – her work ethic, her personality and you never hear any bad stuff about her. To be in the entertainment business for so long and to just have that kind of character – it’s insane to me. She is a great feminist and humanitarian – I just love her.
AM: How do you take time for yourself as you’re schedule is beyond busy.
TF: Honestly, I don’t have much down time to myself. I do have a little room in my house that I call it my Little Lounge – it’s my She Shed. It’s very yoga like and bohemian. I have my pillows on the floor, the colors are warm and it’s very cozy and relaxing. I’ll get up there and relax and turn on my meditation music and nature sounds, write songs, think and relax. That’s probably the most that I feel to get away. I don’t like to go anywhere because I’m always gone so my home is the best getaway and vacation. We’re gone over 300 some days out of the year traveling. My home is my sanctuary. I go up in my little room and have my me time.
AM: We’re all about tribes and #TRIBEGOALS those who inspire us, who are 3 people that do this for you?
TF: Oh yes – one would be my Uncle Buck. He’s my best friend. He’s always on my Instagram. He has been an uncle and like a father to me since I was born, my whole life. We just have a really tight bond and relationship. He has always been there for me. He is a huge supporter has always been at every dance competition, every track meet, every prom – always there and still there. He really is my best friend. My mom – I mean just watching her strength growing up and being a single parent and just how gracious she has been my whole life. My mom can do no wrong in my eyes and I would probably say Beyonce and Michelle Obama!
AM: How would you define your personal style when you’re going out with the girlfriends for drinks vs date night vs just hanging out?
TF: I would say that I am very funky and spontaneous. For gym flows and my days off, I’m always very comfortable in sweats and a hoodie. For a date night, I like to be extra spontaneous – sometimes it’s a freakum dress and other times it’s an elegant dress. One day I could be dressed like 80s and retro and then the next day, I could want to be classy and in some designer stuff. I love rave clothes, funky, bright colors. I’m all over the place. Whatever I see, I like and I’m not set in a certain style. I do like to be loud and different. I have never been afraid to stand out. I would just say spontaneous and to just keep it fun.
AM: We’re a big believer in that if you don’t feel comfortable with what you’re wearing – no matter what it is, it’s not going to look right!
TF: That’s so true. I remember one day waking up and I had spent 5-6 hours getting braids put in but the next day, I just took them out because I didn’t want my hair like that anymore – I wanted a bob or a fro ha! I’m just like that and have always done that!
AM: We know you’re based in Florida, where can we see you grabbing a meal/cocktail, shopping and working out?
TF: Well nowadays, I shop online. I also like the simple stuff where stores have a lot of options so I like Forever 21, love Topshop, American Apparel, Fashion Nova, House of CB. I really love Fashion Nova which is taking over my closet because it’s affordable, it always fits and you can find so many things that fits my style. With what I do, I can’t wear something once it has been on TV and I can’t be caught wearing it again. I like to mix and match them with my style for whatever I am going for at the moment.
For food, I love Ramen noodles so Jinya Ramen Bar I could eat that everyday! They are a ramen bar and only major cities have them, but I love them and you can catch me there! I also love shopping at Whole Foods.
I workout everywhere. My husband and I have talked about getting a gym membership, as when we’re home there are a number of gyms but then when we travel, those gyms may not be in the cities that we are going to! Sometimes we’ll be in the Midwest and there won’t be a LA Fitness, they have Planet Fitness so we get to the town and look up the gym and we just take a day pass. When I’m home, I just train at our home gym in my garage.
TRINITY'S SWIM LOOK | SOUL OF A HIPPIE Sundown Kimono Floral Pastel | MEI L'ANGE Ella Ruched Maillot | Sequin Jewelry Turquoise Color Karma Tassel Necklace | LOVARD Gila Necklace | REVO Sunglasses | VIA SAVIENE Cut-Out Ring | QUPID Peep Toe Booties |
TRINITY'S OUT AND ABOUT LOOK | LOVE BINETTI EY: Sweet Dreams Sleeveless Cotton Dress | NAGICIA Bamboo Framed Donut Ring | QUPID Peep Toe Booties |
TRINITY'S FITNESS LOOK | HANRO Touching Feeling Crop Top + Touching Feeling Boyleg | CARTON OUTERWEAR Clear Hooded Jacket |
TRINITY'S EVENING LOOK | F21 Plunging Maxi Dress | MIRIAM HASKELL Necklace |
A few weeks back we popped into Vilebrequin’s store that is at Hudson Yards during their historic opening night. A few days ago we stopped in to the launch of Vilebrequin X JCC+ (Jean Charles de Castelbajac) at The Webster in NYC’s Soho. This line has always been on that we have loved as they make an assortment that includes mens, womens and kids. This collaboration adds an additional playful level and can be seen across a series of curated apparel as well as accessories.
Read the latest issue of Athleisure Mag.
And just like that March arrived, which means we can seriously think about transitioning into Spring and eventually changing over our closets to the next season! This month's cover editorial includes two Wilhelmina models Theresa and Mietta who showcase some of the things that we truly enjoy about spring as well as trends that you can expect to see as we continue through this time of year. Our photoshoot took place in the Financial District and also includes how one can get around town with the new 2019 sporty midsize SUV crossover by Chevrolet's Blazer which keeps you connected due to their OnStar service, enjoying SiriusXM channels which makes commuting, shopping, errands and roadtrips as well as being equipped with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and built in Wifi.
Athleisure Mag's March cover story was shot by Paul Farkas, using Canon Mark IV; and selected Canon lenses: EF 50 f/1.2 L, EF 24-70f /2.8 L II, and EF 70-200 f/2.8 L II.
To create the makeup looks for the March 2019 cover shoot, MAKEUP ARTIST Jessica Bonilla used the following products:
THERESA'S FITNESS LOOK
// FOUNDATION | BECCA Skin Love in the color Driftwood | Maybelline Concealer in the shade Sand Sable | Cinema Secrets Pro 300 Series for Cream Contour | Hourglass Veil Setting Powder | BH Cosmetics Blush and Contour | Dose of Colors Highlight in the Color Mirame |
// EYES | Morphe 3b Palette in the colors Kinda Natural and Deep Hue Brown eye liner | Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara |
// LIPS | Fenty Beauty Universal Gloss Bomb |
THERESA'S SWIM LOOK
// FOUNDATION + LIPS | Same as Theresa's Fitness Look |
// EYES | Morphe x Jaclyn Hill Palette-Ring the Alarm using colors Loli in the inner corners and Bomb Ass all over the lid |
THERESA'S OUT + ABOUT LOOK
// FOUNDATION + LIPS | Same as Fitness + Swim Look |
THERESA'S EVENINGWEAR LOOK
// FOUNDATION + EYE | Same as Out + About Look |
// LIPS | Fenty Beauty in the shade Universal Red |
MIETTA'S FITNESS LOOK
// FOUNDATION | BECCA Skin Love in the shade Cashmere | Cinema Secrets Pro 500B Palette Concealer and Contour | Hourglass Veil Setting Powder | Tatcha Dewy Mist for a glow | BH Cosmetics Blush and Contour | MAC Cosmetics Skin Mineralizer for highlight |
// EYES | KKW Beauty in the shade Albanian and Armenian | Inglot Eyeliner | Ardell Lashes Wispie |
MIETTA’S SWIM LOOK
// FOUNDATION + LIPS | Same as Mietta's Fitness Look |
// EYES | Morphe X Jaclyn Hill Palette Ring the Alarm in the shade On Camera and Boom all over the lid | Morphe X Jaclyn Hill Palette Ring the Alarm in Alert on the lower lash line |
MIETTA'S OUT + ABOUT LOOK
// FOUNDATION | Same as Mietta's Swim Look |
// EYES | Switched the eyes using the same Morphe X Jaclyn Hill Palette Ring the Alarm in the shade Rush all over the lid and lower lash line | Added a second pair of Ardell Lashes Wispie for extra fluff |
// LIPS | Fenty Beauty Universal Gloss Bomb |
MIETTA'S EVENINGWEAR LOOK
// FOUNDATION | Same as Mietta's Out + About Look |
// EYES | Morphe X Jaclyn Hill Palette Bling Boss in the shade Bling Bling for the inner corner | Morphe X Jaclyn Hill Palette Hush Hush all over the lid | Morphe X Jaclyn Hill Palette Gluts and Glam over top | Inglot Eyeliner |
// LIPS | MAC Cosmetics X Aaliyah Collection Lipgloss in the shade Lili’a Motor City |
// BODY GLOW | Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist used on both models |
To create the makeup looks for the Mar 2019 cover shoot, HAIRSTYLIST Lea DeLoy used soon to be launched by Lea DeLoy and Styling Company:
Lea started each look with blow drying in Enlightenment medium hold mousse heat protectant and style memory. For the down styles sprayed in for heat protection and long lasting curls. Wrapped each section of hair in the same direction, on the inside of the curling iron, to create a wavy beachy and romantic texture.
Lea used Sunday Ritual Texture Spray to give volume and an undone, voluminous, texture. It simplified the 1/2 half up half down looks, as well as making up-styling easier. Sunday Ritual Texture Spray also added another layer of heat protectant for heat styling, and anti humidity to ensure frizz free all day.
She also added a glow and extra shine on each style with Moonlight Oil, Shine serum to add a glow to each final look. It adds super soft and weightless shine to each look.
Lea finished with Retrograde flexible hold spray for moveable texture hold.
MIETTA'S FITNESS STYLE | OUT OF ORDER Illuminate Sport Bra | BEYOND YOGA Leggings | TRETORN Lexie3 Sneakers | KATE YOUNG FOR TURA Donna Sunglasses | CRISPY GREEN Freeze Dried All Pear Slices // THERESA'S FITNESS STYLE | PHAT BUDDHA WEAR Penn St Blueprint Sports Bra | GOLDSHEEP Neon Palm Leggings | UMBRO Runner M Sneakers | VINCE CAMUTO Sunglasses | GOLD TOE Socks |
MIETTA'S SWIM STYLE | OVID COLLECTIVE Funky Pineapple Print + Jungle Print Bikini Set | LOVE BINETTI Black Surger Girl Kaftan | STELLA + RUBY Calypso Earrings in Turquoise // THERESA'S SWIM STYLE | MEI L'ANGE Eve Bow Tie One Piece Swimsuit | OLIVIA VON HALLE Mimi Venus Short Length Kimono Robe | STELLA + RUBY Wilting Rose Earrings | LAGOS 18K KSL Dia 2 Finger 6 Pyramid Open Statement Ring |
MIETTA'S OUT + ABOUT STYLE | ROBERT GRAHAM Gabriella Beach Print Silk Shirt | MAVI JEANS White Denim | KELLY WYNNE 3-in-1 Belt Bag | QUPID Shoes | VINCE CAMUTO Aviator Sunglasses | LAGOS Maya Turquoise inlay 3 Circle Pendant on 2.5 MM, 18K Caviar, Icon Turquoise 6MM with Caviar Ball Stretch Bracelet and Caviar Icon Turquoise Beaded Bangle Bracelet | SOL DE JANEIRO Brazilian Touch Hand Cream | INNISFREE Lip Sleeping Mask // THERESA'S OUT + ABOUT STYLE | JUICY COUTURE Queen Bee Dragonflies Jacquard Jacket + Shorts | LAGOS 18K Caviar Color Amethyst Gemstone Ring | VINCE CAMUTO Acha Heels | DAGNE DOVER Essentials Clutch Wallet in Sunbeam | STELLA + RUBY Heart Drop Earrings |
MIETTA'S EVENINGWEAR STYLE | IMMACULADA GARCIA Gown | BE THE GOOD Good Necklace | NINA JEWELRY Earrings | LAGOS 18K Torsade Wide 23MM Rope Bracelet // THERESA'S EVENINGWEAR STYLE | HERNAN ZAJAR/GROUP 868 Macrame Gown | LAGOS Maya Drop Earrings in Turquoise |
We know that some of our readers may be battling the remnants of snow, while others have enjoyed amazing weather. No matter where you're based, we're thinking one thing - swimwear. Pretty soon, all of us will be able to rock our favorite suits and with so many days of summer coming on the horizon - we had to talk with Monica Hansen of Monica Hansen Beachwear. This swimwear model, Miss Norway 1997, reality show star and host launched a line that has been a cult favorite and opened FUNKSHION's Miami Swim show last year. We talked with her about her passion for swimwear, how she goes about creating her collection, her upcoming show for Miami Swim and where we can find her hanging in Las Vegas where she is based!
ATHLEISURE MAG: Prior to creating your swim line, tell us about what you are up to previously as we know you modeled and were Miss Norway 1997!
MONICA HANSEN: I started modeling when I was 14, so it was a long time. I started out as a model and I used to do a lot of swimwear modeling, everything from runway to then getting into TV, hosting, some reality shows. Some people when they want to become models, they want to do it so that they can become famous or to become an actress – for me I was really into fashion photography and things behind the camera as opposed to being in front of the camera haha! Believe it or not, I am actually camera shy! I can’t take selfies unless I’m really drunk. I’m fine when it is a professional camera or it’s in my mind that I am going to be on TV to host, I’m fine and I’m on it. But when a friend or someone close to me wants to take a family or a group picture, I become shy and I just can’t do it – but I made a living doing it this way! It’s always been out of my comfort zone. When I’m modeling, I’m thinking that I creating art – professional work and so I know that it makes sense that I will be a part of this art. It’s really strange, I don’t know why I am like that, but it’s just the way that it has always been for me!
My passion is that I really do love photography and I do love art! I love creating and I have always been a business woman – even when I was modeling, in order to get work, you have to manage yourself like a business as there is a lot of marketing. Many people think that just because you have an agent, you’re set – but you really have to take charge to put yourself out there. Since I have always been an artist at heart, creating bathing suits was a natural transition for me from a design standpoint as well as other parts of this business. I really do enjoy doing this even more then modeling!
AM: What was the moment that you told yourself that you were going to create your own swim line?
MH: I guess that I always wanted to – it was just a matter of time. The timing was right because I was starting to get some recognition in my home country because I did a lot of TV and I thought, I should probably get some product out there. Previously, I had done a lot of swimwear and had worked for a line that is very well known now and one time the owner told me that she didn’t have a sales rep, but that she knew that I had worked with her for so long that I knew the line by heart. She had an emergency as she had buyers coming and didn’t have the sales rep so I ended up being the sales rep and I got to see all of the numbers and I was like, “I’m in the wrong business!”
I started with swimwear not because it’s the easiest – it’s actually complicated. You have to understand the bodies, the fit and the stretch and how it changes with different cuts of fabric with your patterns. I never went to design school, but I make all of the paper patterns myself.
MH: Yeah because I can draw and I had a mentor that would help me and a designer girlfriend of mine. She taught me how to do the paper patterns, I was able to pick it up and now I am able to do them myself. I do the whole collection myself, I run the business myself as well! We’re a small business so I’m the CEO, but I still manage everyone as well as doing the designing. It’s a lot, but with swimwear, it’s cheaper production in general although all of my fabrics are 100% Italian and I wanted to create something that I could produce and not have to worry about a larger production where I would have to worry about investors. Hopefully we will expand into more beachwear, but right now we’re focused on swimwear.
AM: Who would you say is the Monica Hansen Beachwear girl?
MH: It’s interesting because our target market is that we are trendy so we focus on a younger girl, but believe it or not, we have a 95 year old woman wearing our line and sending me pictures! It used to be that you could say that a number of swimwear designers were focused on younger generations, but now I feel like more people are wearing it and it’s more acceptable to wear it out even outside of the beach. I mean we had Christie Brinkley just wear it in Sports Illustrated and she was just in my bathing suit and she looked amazing! I would say that any confident woman that is all ages. What I did with my swimwear is that we have a lot of mix and match so I have like 7 bottoms that can go with a top. So the good thing about that is that you can buy 2 tops with 2 or 3 bottoms and every time you pair them together, it looks like a different suit. Also, everybody’s body is different. I purposely did it like that because sometimes you will go somewhere and say I love the top, but I don’t love the bottom with it – and that happens with every woman! Were all so different and we cater to everyone. I have suits for everybody in every shape. Some of our suits are a little more sexy and more revealing, but I feel that every woman in any shape wants to feel sexy and hot no matter what you are. Regardless of your shape, you’re not saying, “I want to wear this big diaper.”
AM: That is what has drawn us to your line the versatility, recognizing that that there are a number of shapes out there and the quality construction and fabrication!
MH: When I first started, I began with small, medium and large. Now, we have XS and XL and actually, the grading is a lot tighter. I made them as opposed to a whole size up – doing a half size up.! Because when you do 3 sizes, you’re missing the in-between and the grading becomes a bigger gap. So when you add the XS and XL, you’re bridging the gap where someone would say that it is a little too small or a little too big. Because of the fabrics that have stretch, you’re even luckier due to the 4 way stretch which makes it fit just right.
I used to have 100s of bathing suits and yet I would only wear 2 that were my favorite. They were the most comfortable, they didn’t have metals on them, etc. So when I design, I think of something that’s classic, great style and colors that go well with the skin tone. It’s also about having fabrics that feel good because you don’t want something that feels tight sitting on top of you and that makes marks. I’m trying to focus on fabrics that give you that hold and stretch but when you wear it, it doesn’t feel like you have anything on. My focus was keeping it fashionable and also being inspired by the 90s as I love that time period because it’s kind of my generation also! These suits are a higher cut because it gives women a longer look and it compliments every woman’s body. It’s more of a minimalist approach.
AM: We couldn’t agree more. When we looked through your Instagram, we know you have a number of the 90s supermodels on your page. But even when you don’t see them, the suits do give off the 90s “It Girl” vibe which is so classic and timeless juxtaposed against the Bardot elements of the line. It’s fun and has core pieces that you can truly wear over and over.
MH: Absolutely, I mean think about leopard that is a classic print that someone can wear as it will always come back and never fade. All of my colors are custom made and I’m very particular. When I first got into this because I didn’t go to fashion school or anything, I would look at these suits that just came with these stock colors and I would look at this bright orange and say, “Oh my God how do you wear this?” As it’s something that my grandmother would wear.” What sets us a part is that even though everyone can copy and try to do the same thing, people will copy you and that is part of what happens when something becomes part of the trend they make similar items. There is no copyright unless you make a print. It’s a compliment when I have seen some of the big brands copy us – it means that you’re in fashion and it will become trendy and there is a market for what you make.
What I have noticed is that when you have custom colors it makes it harder to do that as you’re mixing colors. It’s about the tones of the suit. We try to get colors that work on every skin tone as well.
AM: We can appreciate this because you have a gold tone on your website and it’s not brassy or more of an ancient, tone it’s just a great gold hue that we can see whether you’re fair, caramel complexion or olive in tone – it will work for you.
MH: I’m particular, I custom make every color except for black and white. Everything is made in Italy and I am proud of the fact that everything is Italian made! We have that stamp that says that we are 100% Italian made because from start to finish that is what we did. It wasn’t initially the plan to go that way, but when I started sourcing I consistently kept picking Italian fabrics. Our prices are in keeping with our competitors pricing but the difference is that when you buy their suits it’s not these quality fabrics manufactured in Italy, but our pricing is the same. I wanted to have quality.
AM: When you’re creating each season, what is this process like for you when you’re seeking inspiration and what is this process like for you when you’re deciding on your styles and cuts?
MH: Well that is the difficult thing. You have to be almost two years ahead when you’re designing. Because I have been in the fashion industry for so long and I was so tuned into it by looking at the editorials, photography, models and more – you can’t really go to school for that. It’s all about going into cycles were certain things are trendy and the predictions are difficult because it can be a bit hit or miss. All year around I pay attention to all of these factors and I see where the trend is going. The process is constant. I take tearsheets, screenshots and more and I have them in a folder where I put them together and label what that inspiration is. Then I start sourcing the fabrics. Right about now, the vendors have their 2020 selections available, so I sit down to then design. The process is that I get the idea and I do the sketches, the flat drawings and the paper patterns. Of course, the paper patterns – when they come in, there is a lot of back and forth between Italy which means a lot of late nights. There are a lot of video calls and more. It goes back and forth and then we get the final product – some works and some doesn’t. It’s a lot easier now because I have my classics that I do season to season and I can change the fabrics/colors or the trend idea. I also do runway pieces as well to have a little difference and we build them around the core collection. It’s a long process and it’s a difficult one. Being creative is not logical – when you’re creative, you can’t just always do it on demand. Some days you’re more that way and other times you’re not. So when you are pressured by time and a deadline, it’s not easy. Creating for yourself is great because you know what you like, but there are more elements involved when it’s for a range of women so it’s like being locked in a box and still being creative!
AM: Will Monica Hansen Beachwear be heading to Miami Swim this year?
MH: YES! We opened their Fashion Week last year and that was the first year to do a big show with the FUNKSHION platform. It was a big show and we had 30 models along with a full house. It was amazing we has Sports Illustrated, Elle Magazine. It was overwhelming and a lot of pressure because we knew that some people didn’t know who we were as we’re still a growing brand. People had heard enough that they were curious. More then just opening Miami Swim it was also my first show to do. I wanted it to be a big brand and I learned a lot from last year and we will do it even bigger this year!
There are a lot of brands that don’t have to do the fashion shows but where we are, we’re in that phase where we need to do that. We do 3 big events there that include the stores, the influencers, and it’s becoming such a big deal with that show and it’s like the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and it cost a fortune too!
AM: How would you describe your line for 2019?
MH: Definitely 90s influenced, retro and the main piece of our line is called Bardot. The reason that we called it that is because we did that shoot in St Tropez and our model looked like her! That particular suit that she is wearing is actually from the 70s and so it’s a little like a spin off of that, but is inspired by that time. We have the animal print, there are colors that are more earthy tones and a bit of a safari/military aesthetic because we have the olive green. The summer/spring will still have the leopard which started last summer and trended into the winter so it will be there through the summer.
AM: So when you’re sitting poolside or at the beach, what are your 3 must hav3s that you love having?
MH: Obviously one of my bathing suits that I have made! There is a sunscreen that I like with a doctor friend of mine, Dr. Garth Fisher MD – Doc Block, that it’s the only medical sunscreen that you can actually wear makeup over and it’s healthy for the skin. It is clinically approved and I swear by it! I also bring a spray bottle with water and I like to bring virgin coconut oil for my hair. Coconut is also a natural sunscreen and is really good for you! I’m a huge fan of natural products and hydration.
AM: So you’re based in Vegas, we’d love to know where you enjoy going out for a meal/cocktail, where we could find you working out and of course where you like to shop!
MH: Oh boy! So I do Mega Pilates and it’s not like your grandma’s pilates. It’s called Mega Pilates and it has a reformer and it’s called Studio Remixx. It’s one of the toughest things that you can do and I have done everything because I’m a fitness fanatic. I do that 4 times a week. My favorite place to go out to for dining is Estiatorio Milos at the Cosmopolitan Hotel. I love the Apex Social Club at the Palms Casino Resort – which is more loungey. I love to shop at the Fashion Show Mall, but I also like the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace as they have the high end shops like La Perla! It’s always so packed with people but it’s one of the most beautiful malls.
PHOTOS COURTESY | Monica Hansen
Read the March Issue of Athleisure Mag and see Something You Should Know | Get Your Swimwear Ready in mag.
We had an interesting conversation with Dr. Christopher Robinson a physician and partner at Charleston Maternal Fetal Medicine and Jessica Caron about Inflammatory Bowel Disease and the IBD Parenthood Project. We talked about what you need to know, myths and the importance of having clinicians that can help those who are involved in this journey.
ATHLEISURE MAG: What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
DR. CHRISTOPHER ROBINSON: So Inflammatory Bowel Disease is a medical condition that is faced by 1.6 million people in the United States. It’s important to note that half of those people that are affected are women. So as a result, reproductive care comes into this discussion when you’re talking about Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Usually, we think of two conditions primarily – Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis as being key contributors to the diagnosis of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
AM: Why is this such a concern for those that are thinking of having children?
DR. CR: We know that planning a pregnancy and getting ready for having a pregnancy – control of a medical disease is important for a healthy mother and a healthy baby. It also assists that mom in going through that pregnancy from having complications that may occur. This is the same for Inflammatory Bowel Disease where recurrences from Inflammatory Bowel Disease contributes to things like smaller babies, babies that may experience a preterm birth, and that may expose the family as well as the baby to increased risk. So one of the key features here is to really control the disease process so that the pregnancy can proceed normally. That’s why we are here and why we have developed this tool kit for providers as well as patients.
AM: So what is this tool kit and how does it prepare those that are preparing to have children?
JESSICA CARON: The tool kit available to moms online at IBDParenthoodProject.Gastro.org is a great place that captures a lot of the misconceptions that women may have about pregnancy and parenthood with some advice for them as well as information for them to share with others while they are making their decision. As well as a checklist that they can use when they are talking to their clinician to make sure that they address all the things in preconception, pregnancy, and even post-natal – breastfeeding etc.
AM: What are the common myths that people have about IBD and planning their pregnancies?
JC: Some common myths can even be – can I even get pregnant with IBD? In fact, women can and do get pregnant with IBD and can do so with healthy ways when they are in remission. Another misconception is, are my medications safe throughout pregnancy and in fact most medications are. I don’t know if you have anything else that you wanted to add to this?
DR. CR: I think it’s one of the very first things that women focus on – am I going to be able to have a healthy pregnancy and then medications that they are taking – are they compatible with a healthy pregnancy? In deed, often times they are healthy and they are actually also beneficial in achieving remission such that the pregnancy can continue normally. So one of the key features that we see in patients is that they initially questioning the safety of continuing their therapy which is keeping them in remission during pregnancy for fear that it may harm the baby.
AM: So what should these women know that do have this condition before they begin to think about becoming pregnant? Will looking at this website give them the information that they need before they begin their next steps when they are in the beginning phases of considering?
DR. CR: It absolutely will! For instance, one of the simple things is starting a pre-natal vitamin – one that has folic acid that reduces the risk of fetal abnormality with things such as spine defects, heart defects and sometimes even clefts in the face. All that can be improved through just taking a vitamin. The other things is actually just opening a dialogue. One thing is that fear can come out of a lack of knowledge. One thing that we are trying to do is to arm women and to arm their providers with reliable information that has been adjudicated and evaluated by both the American Gastroenterological Association as well as the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine. So they can rely on this information and use it together to create an optimal plan. I think that this will be very helpful in opening a dialogue for these women.
AM: What is a Maternal Fetal Medicine Subspecialist and why is it important to have one early on in the pregnancy process?
DR. CR: So a Maternal Fetal Medicine Subspecialist (MFM) is actually a person who has gone through the formal training to be an Obstetrician and Gynecologist just like an OBGYN; however, they have gone through an additional 3 years of training specifically targeting the management of complicated medical disease, surgical disease or any problems that may come up in utero and how to manage those conditions. So they are really the high risk specialists that can take care of women who have medical disease that is also present at the same time that they are planning to have a baby. So they are uniquely qualified to handle those patients and to make those decisions about medications that are safe, medications that should be avoided as well as looking at the entire picture of how to get that woman from planning a pregnancy to all the way through delivery as well as decisions about lactation. And not to be left out, this also includes decisions about contraception. What are the best ways to plan on when one should have a baby and what kinds of contraception should they be considering.
Read the latest issue of Athleisure Mag.
Day 2 of Vancouver Fashion Week for FW19 had a number of fashion designers that his the runway. Without a doubt, Camila & Castillo, designed by Camila Castillo was a head turner with its form fitting ensembles that really showcased the model’s bodies. An intersectionality of geometria design, metallic accessories and cut outs created visual texture of the eyes with clean silhouettes that played with a neutral palette.
PHOTO COURTESY | Filippo Fior/Imaxtree.com
Read the latest issue of Athleisure Mag.
With a new year ahead of us, we wanted to showcase go to looks when it comes to living our lives - a lounge look, fitness look, an on the go look as well as an evening look. These ensembles take us through a number of the activities that we do throughout the week. There's nothing better than being able to share those moments with a friend and our Wilhelmina models from this shoot, Charlie (cover, right) and Alyne (cover, left) show us how to get out of the doldrums of what can be monotonous weather with hot bodies, fresh faces, fun prints and pops of color.
To create the makeup looks for the Jan 2019 cover shoot, MAKEUP ARTIST Jessica Bonilla used the following products:
CHARLIE LOUNGE STYLE + FITNESS STYLE // MAKEUP | Foundation/Concealer/Contour - Cinema Secrets 500A Series | Foundation Pallet Powder Contour - NYX Cosmetics Contour Pallet | Blush - BH Cosmetics Blush Pallet | Glow/Highlight - MAC Cosmetics Skin Mineralizing Highlight | Lips - KKW Beauty Lip Gloss in Super Nude | Mascara - Inglot | Eyeshadow - KKW Beauty Shadow Pallet in "Albanian" | Sweat - Kryolan Transparent Jelly |
CHARLIE ON THE GO STYLE // MAKEUP | Same products above | Lips - Tarte Cosmetics in "Cast" |
CHARLIE EVENING STYLE // MAKEUP | Same products above | KKW Beauty Shadow in "Loyalty"| Lips - Tarte Cosmetics in "Cast" | Lashes - Ardell in “812” |
ALYNE LOUNGE STYLE + FITNESS STYLE // MAKEUP | Foundation/Concealer/Contour/ Cinema Secrets 500B series | Contour - NYX Cosmetics | Blush - BH Cosmetics | Glow/Highlight - Dose of colors “Mirame” with the Tatcha - Dewy Mist Over Top | Eyes - KKW Beauty in "Armenian, Albanian, and Loyalty" | Liner - Inglot Gel Liner | Lashes - Ardell Faux Mink Wispies | Brows - Benefit Cosmetics Clear Brow Gel | Lips - NYX Lip Liner in “Nude Suede Shoes” with Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Over Top | Sweat - Kryolan Transparent Jelly |
ALYNE ON THE GO STYLE // MAKEUP | Same products above | Eye color was deepened with Anastasia Beverly Hills Shadow in “Violetta” |
ALYNE EVENING STYLE // MAKEUP | The look was enhanced with adding a bold lip with the MAC X Selena collab in “I Could Fall in Love” |
To create the hairstyles for the Jan 2019 cover shoot, HAIR STYLIST Lea DeLoy used the following products to achieve the looks:
Lea started each look with Kevin Murphy Anti-gravity spray. Added a light layer of spray to each layer of the hair to protect from heat, hold the curl and add style memory for long lasting waves. Went through the hair picking up random pieces and wrapped on this inside of a classic curling inch iron. Use the inside of a classic iron in the same way as a wand because it gives a better wave. This also was how the finished down do was created on Charlie in the dress.
The lived in side braid- sprayed in KM Bedroom hair for that lived in volumized sexy hair look. Secured the top half if the hair with a hair tie, but placed slightly off to the side. Pulled at it slightly to create loose feel with random pieces pulled out. Pulled the rest over to the side and braided. Pulled the braid apart for a thicker more dramatic braid.
The up styles sectioned the hair into 2 or 3 ponytails. Top/middle/bottom keeping them all close together. Slightly pulled through each pony and pulling them apart creating a messy “bun” look on each pony. Wrapped the extra hair hanging out from each pony and secured them with bobby pins to fill in the voids between the pony tails. Finished up with Kevin Murphy Flex spray for a light moveable hold.
The dramatic bubble pony looks amazing for any occasion, from working out to a dressy evening out. Started with Kevin Murphy Bedroom hair to bulk up the texture. Sectioned hair into 4 pony’s starting at the top and working down to the nape. Secured hair together with a hair tie right below each pony and pulled apart to desired “bubble” size. Simply continued this effect by adding hair ties throughout the Extra hair below the nape and pulled out each section. Finished with KM Flex spray.
CHARLIE - FITNESS STYLE; COVER, 24-27 + BACK COVER | WOLVEN Sport Bra | HANRO Leggings | APL Sneakers | DAGNE DOVER Backpack // ALYNE - FITNESS STYLE; COVER, PG 24 -29 | HANRO Sports Bra | WOLVEN Mandala Shorts |
CHARLIE - LOUNGE STYLE; PG 16 + 18 | MAISON DE PAPILLON Cashmere Set | HANRO Tank | VIRGINS, SAINTS + ANGELS Necklace // ALYNE - LOUNGE STYLE; PG 18 -22 | THE OVID COLLECTIVE Sports Bra | AUM COUTURE Sweatpants | MAISON DE PAPILLON Cashmere Arm Warmers | VIRGINS, SAINTS + ANGELS Necklace |
CHARLIE - ON THE GO STYLE; PG 30 | SATURDAY SCHOOL V-Neck | MAVI Jean | MAISON DE PAPILLON Cardigan | VIRGINS, SAINTS + ANGELS Jewelry + Belt // ALYNE - ON THE GO STYLE; PG 30 + 31 | HANRO Body Suit + Pants | KUT FROM THE KLOTH Denim Jacket | LAGOS Earrings + Black Caviar Bracelet |
CHARLIE - NIGHT OUT STYLE; PG 32 | LEANNE MARSHALL Gown | QUPID Shoes // ALYNE - NIGHT OUT STYLE; PG 32 +33 | LEANNE MARSHALL Gown | LAGOS Earrings, Black Caviar + Diamonds Necklace | VIRGINS, SAINTS + ANGELS Ring |
Select images from our January 2019 cover shoot were taken with Hasselblad X1D-50c and XCD 3.5/45mm and 3.2/90mm lenses. We find the X1D-50c to indeed be a game changer, bringing mirrorless technology to digital medium format for the first time ever. The 50MP CMOS sensor captures fine details with true natural colors for the studio and on travel. The feel is light and balanced and boasts a modern, sophisticated build per its iconic Scandinavian design heritage. We recommend it for endless opportunities for rich and dreamy professional and personal captures!
IMAGES TAKEN WITH HASSELBLAD X1D-50C | PG 21, 22, 27, 28 + 33 |
Our cover editorial was shot at 498 West End Ave on the UWS in NYC. We sat down with Louise Phillips Forbes, Licensed Assoc. Real Estate Broker, Halstead Real Estate located at 499 Park Avenue to discuss the property.
ATHLEISURE MAG: We were in this building a few years ago when we first interviewed you for Athleisure Mag. What can you tell us about the building as a whole, how you came onto this project and what your involvement is?
LOUISE PHILLIPS FORBES: I remember that interview well and it's always a pleasure to spend time in conversation with you. I'm a big fan of Athleisure! I have the privilege of being the director of sales and marketing for the development project underway at 498 West End Avenue, which is a pre-war conversion of a beautiful turn-of-the-20th century building from a rental residence to a luxury condominium by developer Samson Management. The magnificent bones of this quintessential Upper West Side landmark and its ageless edifice constructed in 1910 by
Neville & Bagge who provided the ideal envelope for CetraRuddy Architecture to thoughtfully design and reimagine it for a 21st century lifestyle. The result is sublime and we refer to it as "A story of exceptionalism."
AM: The lobby is stunning, please tell us more about this area.
LPF: The extensive renovation began outside the building with the restoration of the façade, which was re turned to its original splendor through an extensive cleaning and repair process. A highlight is the elegant and fully-restored ornamental metal marquee with glass canopy. It's a beautiful entrance to the building with period wrought iron doors that open onto a newly re-designed lobby. Complete with a 24-hour doorman, the lobby features decorative bronze wall panels in a geometric pattern, and walls and flooring in a composition of Vanillis Pearl polished and honed marble and St. Laurent honed marble. It's very inviting, and although more contemporary than how it was, it pays homage to the original pre-war splendor.
AM: This duplex penthouse for our January cover shoot has amazing views, multiple terraces, sun-drenched rooms throughout, and abundant bedrooms, what can you tell us about this property?
LPF: It's a spectacular, one-of-a-kind residence that possesses a grandeur, both in scale and workmanship, boasting spectacular finishes and impressive room scale. This newly-constructed, expansive, full-floor duplex penthouse is an addition to the building's architectural heritage, with 3,646 interior square feet containing grandly proportioned rooms, and 3,002 exterior square feet made up of five terraces, two of which are off of the master suite, with amazing views in all four directions. There are five large bedrooms, four full bathrooms, one powder room, and a huge eat-in kitchen with truly high-end appliances and finishes - custom chocolate-stained cerused oak cabinetry with light bronze accent trim and pulls, Calacatta marble slab countertops and backsplash, and appliances from Miele, Gaggenau, and Bertazzoni. The premium grade designer details that grace the interiors impart a pervasive sense of quality, and the curated design ushers in a new vernacular - a rare combination of prewar craft and contemporary artistry, perfect for entertaining as well as restorative time at home. This penthouse residence is a standout amongst its competitors, elevating it to a timeless sophistication satisfying the needs of the most discerning buyer.
AM: The interior design for this unit is gorgeous! Tell us about the interior designer and what was the inspiration behind the aesthetic.
LPF: As we do for most of our projects with this developer, we contracted with Robin Mayer of Robin Mayer Designs. Together with her team and my director of PR and marketing, Richard Johnson, they brought the space to life and created a home that everyone can see themselves living in. It's both inspirational and aspirational, with furnishings and accessories that while lavish and sophisticated, are also warm, comfortable, and inviting. Capitalizing on the abundance of natural light, breathtaking views, and voluminous rooms, they incorporated many notable brands. Highlights include: outdoor furniture and several indoor pieces from Restoration Hardware, rugs from ABC Carpet & Home, furnishings and accessories from Ralph Lauren Home, Keno Brothers Furniture Collection, Homenature, and vintage mid-century pieces from Italian designer Marco Zanuso. I'm so pleased and proud of the results.
AM: Tell us about the artwork that is in this unit and is there anything about the artist that you can share?
LPF: We have many stunning pieces of artwork showcased in the staging of this home, but I'm thrilled to feature two exceptional works by artist Aubrey Mayer - (1) Christopher Wool Contact Sheet v.3, 2016, ink jet on canvas 72"x59", hanging in the foyer, and (2) Laura Owens, Nate Lowman, Mark Grotjahn Contact Sheet, 2017, framed dye sublimation on aluminum 70"x50", hanging in the dining room. We are so fortunate to have his art on display in this home and everyone who's been here has fallen in love with these two pieces. They are simply stunning! Aubrey Mayer is a self-taught photographer and painter, and he has works included in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum and the Columbia University Art Museum. I would like to see the two works we have in the penthouse become permanent additions here (wink, wink). They are so perfect for the space. Fingers crossed the future buyer agrees.
AM: What amenities are offered in the building?
LPF: The renovation of this pre-war gem includes the addition of a fully-equipped fitness center and children's playroom, along with the conveniences of secured storage units and bicycle storage, both of which are things New Yorkers appreciate in a city where space is limited.
AM: What neighborhood is this building located in and what can you tell us about the area?
LPF: This building is located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan at the corner of 84th Street and West End Avenue. It's an ideal area of the city because it's convenient to so many things. Riverside Park is just one block away with a wide variety of outdoor activities - bike and jogging paths, skateboarding, dog runs, tennis and basketball courts, soccer fields, and much more. You have easy access to the West Side Highway, plus Equinox and SoulCycle are close by, as are boutique shops and retail stores, charming cafes and fine dining restaurants, grocery stores, and parking garages, in addition to the crosstown bus and subway. It's also the area of the city where I call home and reared my two sons, so I might be a little biased.
AM: For people interested in purchasing this apartment, how can they find out more information?
LPF: Showings of the home are by appointment only and interested parties are welcome to contact me directly on my cell at 917-846-8640 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also check out the online listing to view beautiful photographs and a floor plan here.
AM: Where can readers see other properties that you represent?
LPF: It's easy, simply visit my website at LouisePhillipsForbes.com and click on the tab for "My Listings." I represent a wide variety of homes and we have some very special active listings at the moment so I encourage people to check them out. They can also find out more about me and my team. I have negotiated deals all over NYC and even some in the surrounding suburban areas. I'm networked with the best brokers domestically and globally so I would welcome the opportunity to chat with folks and find out how I can best be of service. I consider myself more of an educator than a salesperson, and it's a privilege to be a part of the buying and selling process for people. After all, your home is the foundation upon which the rest of your life is built.
Our favorite looks from the Red Carpet at the Golden Globes are below! Of course, we are sharing all the details on the outfits and accessories and will share more details in terms of getting the hair and makeup looks as well. Keep coming back to see updated on our favorite stars and why we love their looks. See the full list of winners from the Golden Globes - including the predictions that we guessed correctly.
CELEBRITY GROOMER: Kindra Mann
SUIT: Dior Pre-Fall by Mr. Kim Jones
Darren won Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television. The cast has also won Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television.
We chatted with Makeup Artist Kindra Mann to walk us through creating his grooming look:
First, she started off by prepping Darren’s skin using the NEW Goddess Cleansing Ritual Dual Cleanser. This two-step miracle spa-in-a-jar duo is perfect for a fresh, perfectly spa-cleansed complexion, and the essential oils help to calm, hydrate and soothe even the most sensitive complexion. She started by massaging Ritual 1, the Radiance Citrus Oil into the complexion to remove any surface impurities, and then I used Ritual 2, the Purifying Bamboo Charcoal pollution solution to adsorb any deeper rooted build-up. This incredible cleanser leaves men’s complexions looking so clean, glowing and refreshed.
Next, she applied the soothing, calming Goddess Skin Clay Mask – the Spanish clays bring down any redness, and the oils instantly moisturize. I followed this with the Revolutionary Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask for 15 minutes – the bio-mimetic technology delivers the ingredients to the third layer of the epidermis. This mask is a skin savior.
To ensure the skin was properly hydrated and looking it’s best, I applied Charlotte’s Magic Cream. This award-winning, hydrating moisturizer features a uniquely magical blend of oils & actives - a ‘magic 8’ of skin-savior ingredients that includes Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamins C & E, BioNymph Peptide, Aloe Vera & Shea Butter - for radiant, healthier-looking skin. Magic Cream is Magic Skin!
Lastly, to help brighten and re-energize the eye area, she used her ring finger to gently apply the Magic Eye Rescue Cream. This incredible gel-cream has stem cell extract that protects and rejuvenates and brightens the eye area!
To even out Darren’s complexion and mask any imperfections, she applied Unisex Healthy Glow Hydrating Tint that gives you a healthy, holiday glow in seconds. I followed this with a little Light Wonder Foundation in Shade 5 using the Magic Complexion Brush.
To combat any shine that might come up throughout the night, she used the Powder and Sculpt Brush and applied the Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder in Shade 2 along the T-zone, followed by a light dusting of Charlotte’s Genius Magic Powder in Shade 2 all over the face.
Lastly, she applied a little Legendary Brow Gel in Perfect Brow to keep the brows in place and complete the grooming process.
CELEBRITY STYLIST: Elizabeth Stewart
ENSEMBLE: Custom Stella McCartney
JEWELRY: Chopard Jewels
SHOES: Alexandre Birman
Julia is nominated this evening for her work in Amazon’s series Homecoming.
CELEBRITY STYLIST: Rebecca Corbin-Murray
CELEBRITY MUA: Monika Blunder
CELEBRITY HAIR STYLIST: Clariss Rubenstein
DRESS: Valentino gown
SHOES: Christian Louboutin
The Crazy Rich Asians cast is nominated for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy.
Gemma’s classy up do was created by her hair stylist, Clariss Rubenstein. We found out how you can rock her hairstyle.
“I started Gemma from dry hair. I first sprayed her hair with water to dampen it so that it would absorb product easily and so I could add a bit of volume with a blow dryer. I ran the Marc Anthony True Professional Dream Big Volume Perfectly Full Thickening Cream perfectly through her hair from root to end and brushed through thoroughly.”
“I sectioned the hair and blow dried the roots using a ceramic blow dryer and round brush. Then, I ran a curling iron through her hair to give it a slight bend. Then I brushed it with a round bristle brush.”
“I sprayed a few puffs of Marc Anthony True Professional Dream Big Volume Volumizing Super Powder at the crown and top of her head.”
“Using only my fingers I secured a ponytail at the back of her head. I then split the ponytail in three and did a messy loose braid. Then I secured the braid into a bun with French hair pins and applied the Marc Anthony True Professional Dream Big Volume Thick & Full Hairspray on my hands to add a bit of texture to the hair around the face.
“I gave the overall look a quick spray with the Marc Anthony True Professional Dream Big Volume Thick & Full Hairspray without taking away some of the great wispy pieces that make the hair look perfectly imperfect.”
CELEBRITY STYLIST: Micaela Erlanger
CELEBRITY FACIALIST: Joanna Vargas
DRESS: Custom Vera Wang
SHOES: Giuseppe Zanotti
CLUTCH: Roger Vivier
Constance is nominated for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for her role in Crazy Rich Asians. Crazy Rich Asians is also nominated for Best Picture – Musical or Comedy.
DRESS: Monique Lhuillier
CELEBRITY FACIALIST: Joanna Vargas
Keri is nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series for her role in The Americans.
SHOES: Jimmy Choos
ACCESSORIES: Lorraine Schwartz
CELEBRITY STYLIST: Erin Walsh
DRESS: Vera Wang
ACCESSORIES: Harry Winston jewels
SHOES: Jimmy Choo
CLUTCH: Jimmy Choo
Allison is nominated this evening for her work on the Netflix series Glow!
SUIT: J. Crew
SHOES: Tom Ford
SUIT: Ryan Seacrest Distinction Collection
TARAJI P. HENSON
CELEBRITY STYLIST: Jason Bolden
CELEBRITY MUA: Ashunta Sheriff
CELEBRITY HAIRSTYLIST: Tym Wallace
DRESS: Custom Vera Wang
JEWELRY: Roberto Coin
Celebrity Makeup Artist, Ashunta Sheriff created the makeup look for Taraji and believes that, “Flashing has become mine and Taraji’s ritual before every major red-carpet event. The theme of this look was GLOW, and nothing makes makeup glow more than DERMAFLASH LUXE—it removes the dead layer of skin including peach fuzz to leave behind silk baby smooth skin which only makes makeup GLOW that much more!”
CELEBRITY STYLIST: Elizabeth Saltzman
CELEBRITY MUA: Kara Shimotobua
CELEBRITY HAIRSTYLIST: Ben Skervin
DRESS: Custom Gucci gown
JEWELRY: Chopard jewels
Saoirse presented the Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy to Christian Bale.
CELEBRITY STYLIST: Jessica Paster
CELEBRITY MUA: Jenn Streicher
CELEBRITY HAIRSTYLIST: Laini Reeves
CELEBRITY MANICURIST: Jenna Hipp
DRESS: Alexander McQueen gown
JEWELRY: Neil Lane pair of 19th century hand cut diamond earrings (approximately 10-carats each), two 19th century diamond flower hair pins, a ruby & diamond ring and an antique cut diamond ring set in silver and gold.
Emily is nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for her role in Mary Poppins Returns.
CELEBRITY STYLIST: Erin Walsh
DRESS: Custom Michael Kors Collection
Thandie was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for her work on the HBO show Westworld.
CELEBRITY STYLIST: Mimi Cuttrell
CELEBRITY MUA: Ash K Holm
CELEBRITY HAIRSTYLIST: Justine Marjan
DRESS: Amen Style
JEWELRY: Chopard Jewelry
Kristin provided insight into who she believed would wear a number of designers on Live From the E! Red Carpet pre show.
CELEBRITY STYLIST: -
MUA: John Mendez
HAIRSTYLIST: Justine Marjan
DRESS: Marc Bouwer
STYLIST: Julie Kozak
JEWELRY: Neil Lane pearl, diamond & platinum earrings, a diamond & pearl 2-stone gold & platinum ring and a diamond & platinum ring.
Catch up on the latest at Athleisure Mag.
Read more from the Oct Issue of Athleisure Mag and see How to Dress for Tropical Getaways in mag.
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.