Brilliant designer Ilan Delouis and Faith Connexion

January 27, 2010
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Brilliant design. Brilliant photographs. Brilliant concept. FAITH CONNEXION. I want these clothes. Must-have dresses. Just brilliant.  I am a broken record.




December 18, 2009
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Some guys dread even the word “shopping.”  It means being trapped in the mall, outlet, or department store causing mental hyperventilation. They have no interest in finding the bargain: the experience of exploration this way. So retailers need to find diversions to help this. A jewelry store on the North Shore smartly has a big flat screen tv mounted on their wall with the latest and greatest surf footage. What a great idea because it keeps his attention, while relieving stress for any woman to shop at her leisure. Other stores have comfty sofas, a plethora of magazines, and food and drink. Ah yes, get to his stomach and satiate him. That is another answer! However, what if he needs something, but always procrastinates because he rather be outside surfing, golfing, hiking, running, or heaven help you, working. Well, if you are catering to men, this store in San Francisco proved to be an ideal shopping model for men: Cafe Coton. The store I saw had rows and rows of beautiful, cotton shirts displayed and grouped according to prints. It was a small store, but I found it very interesting as men would come in, tell the sales clerk his shirt size, pick it out from the rows of prints, (most likely not even try it on!), buy it, and be out the store within 15 minutes or so. It certainly was becoming a sociology issue to ponder. The store had a niche: upscale, collared, long sleeve shirts; ties; socks; and briefs. Guys bought it even if it may be a little more expensive than I think most may be willing to pay for a long sleeve shirt because it was easy, a very quality product, standard in the sizing, and it just looked great. A sure confidence booster and versatile to wear for day, business, paired with jeans, or an evening event.  I loved all the shirts and I don’t even think Cafe Coton does much marketing in the US.

I think everyone -the guy with the affliction, the woman who has a guy like that, or the retailer itself- can learn from this model: make the experience easy with definite organization of the inventory, reasonable price points, planning, and diversions. No big heaps of clothes to sort through or racks and racks of inventory to browse. Easy. Simple. Uncluttered. Maybe this can be applied in real life as well?  As a minimalist at heart, it speaks to me, but it is just so hard to maintain. Observe the stores out there and maybe you will have some tips to share!


The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (2009)…STRUT WITH CONFIDENCE!

December 3, 2009
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VIDEO: The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (2009).

Ladies, watch and learn! While entertaining, (and I love the BEP!), Victoria’s Secret is a top-notch marketing machine spinning a bigger and stronger Victoria’s Secret brand, despite not being a top luxury undergarment. However, Victoria’s Secret has brilliantly branded itself as pure sex appeal and the fashion show did not disappoint. Well, here’s top 10 things to learn from the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2009:

10. Never underestimate the power of undergarments. Always have sexy ones, Ladies!

9.   Marketing to women and men is first and foremost visual! Top models! Top theatrics! Top production!

8.  Create a “reality show” by having a casting call for the next Victoria’s Secret model by having loads and loads of contestants in lingerie. It’s Top Model crossed with a casting for the biggest fashion show in the year.

7. Send out a press release stating that this year it will have its first Asian descent model (from China) gracing its runway. (China also has more than a billion people.) (Part II on this subject to come in the next post).

6. Create the fantasy by having “angels” wearing the Victoria’s Secret underwear. Angelic, yet not so. Hmmm…

5. Have the Black Eye Peas sing live at the show!!! (I love the Black Eye Peas and Fergie!)

4. It’s a fashion show, but what is really the fashion? The pieces are not really seen, unlike an Oscar De La Renta show during New York Fashion Week, where the designs are celebrated and awed. It is just selling the concept, an idea.

3. Victoria’ Secret has attached the color pink to its marketing campaign, the color of romance, sweetness, and love. Not too hot, but not too dull. But, just sweet enough. Awww.

2. Show that even ordinary people can be a Victoria’s Secret model or at least part of the making of the Victoria’s Secret fashion show by displaying footage of their casting call in over four major cities and having the people choose their favorite model.

1. Ladies, above all, STRUT WITH CONFIDENCE. Take charge and be confident and that will jump start any sex appeal you have.

Stephanie (@honadvsmstyle)

Strut with confidence!

stephred email

©2009 by stephaniematsumotoSTYLE.


November 18, 2009
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At first blush, it’s easy to say the cover is sexist. And it is, as the Newsweek honchos attempt to discredit Sarah Palin through her attire, or lack of, no less, by using a cutesy posed photo she took for Runner’s World magazine.  Haha, the Newsweek team probably smirked with pleasure at its brilliant “marketing” decision, using a unprofessional photo of Sarah Palin in running attire, to really show everyone how problematic she really is.  And then, they creatively prepared a heading “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Sarah?” which has nothing to do with running at all. Wow, genius idea. Makes you run to pick up a copy. NOT.  Well, I am not here to defend Sarah Palin as it was a photo taken of her, albeit a little too posey, for Runner’s World magazine and a magazine I have read and enjoyed myself. And the photo was relevant and apparently sold copies of Runner’s World off the shelves. Here, this is a commentary about how boring, irrelevant and old fashioned this cover is, and how Newsweek’s cover falls miserably short of modern and lacks any creativity. The magazine cover looks like out of the June Cleaver era. Take some clues from TIME, which can be just as critical of Sarah Palin, but they can create covers that are much more modern, artsy, young, and edgy. What is Newsweek trying to say with its cover? While its goal may have been to criticize Sarah Palin in a “shocking” way, in fact, Newsweek just shows us it needs a refresher course in being modern, relevant, and creative. Right now, it’s so boring. Maybe it may redeem itself with its next cover.


©stephaniematsumotoSTYLE. All rights reserved.


November 17, 2009
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Honestly, I am not a fan of t-shirts as most t-shirts are cut too big or are ill shaped for a woman’s figure. The worst offenders are those who wear these heavy, 100% cotton shirts thrown over jeans, or shorts and emerge with no waistline, a choke collar, and bulky, bunchy sleeves. I mean, let’s throw sexy out the window, please. We can do better than that because there are some t-shirts that have style (great, artistic designs), silky skin fabric and cut, and luxurious comfort without throwing sexy out. Who doesn’t strive for simple, chic, and comfortable?

1. Organic Bamboo T-shirts from Blend Apparel (Jason Mraz is a partner in the company.)



Tshirts found at the Blend Apparel website.


2. Hemp Organic Cotton T-shirts from Herban Development

Men’s T-shirt

Woman’s tank


T-shirts from Herban Development’s website.


3. Martin + Osa Silk/Cotton blend T-shirts


Martin +Osa (a store not in Hawaii yet, but its products can be found online), had some great silk/cotton t-shirts that were casual dressy, thin (ditch the bulky shirts!), and oh so comfortable. Great for layering too for those colder climates if traveling.














November 13, 2009
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In business, your appearance counts. Granted there are different levels of appearance: the functional level and the level of having great, personal style. The functional level is where you have thrown on the black, grey, or navy suit, and it serves to help you function without your attire being a distraction. It is like No Man’s Land, the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, or the standard of mediocrity. The look is not bad, but neither is it impressive. It is just okay. Like having a so-so, comfortable living space versus one expertly styled fabulously. I think a majority of people fall under the functional level as a default of time, money, effort, priority, fitness, and knowledge. People may just not see the value in investing in anything more. More so, men think this way more than women. I’ve seen in business, men do not really place any priority on appearance with another guy, who could look like a slob and get away with it, and the business can still be taken care of at hand, while a woman has to be held to a higher standard. The value of her appearance may not only be because beauty is part of American consumerism, and women have placed a higher priority on it, but to a degree an attractive appearance holds a lot of power in it. And yet, the power is often capped when vital decisions are being made or deals are being brokered. It’s not a secret, the playing field is skewed. So what’s the point? Are we here just to complain? NO. But it is a start of a discussion that may not be spoken. And we can begin –and should– still hold everyone accountable to invest beyond mediocrity and reach another level of having great, personal style. This is not meant to emphasize the pretentious, but rather displace the same standard on everyone and only by becoming aware of it will we be able to begin noticing the details.


September 28, 2009
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My blog post on Carissa was previously published in the Honolulu Advertiser’s blog. COMING SOON: Some rockin’ cool people… Keep reading.

Check out surfer girl champ Carissa again here.




September 28, 2009
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See my post and photos on the here.


Photo Credit: Jennifer Chung


Gorgeous Michelle!! Red is Power

September 28, 2009
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I love this red Michael Kors silk suit on Michelle. She looks great in this straight skirt and tailored top, as opposed to the boxy, pleated salmon colored suit I was disappointed with and blogged about here. Gorgeous! Red is power!!



September 22, 2009
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Check out my post on the with a photo slideshow of touring the Hilton Waikoloa.



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    My Mantra

    DEFY FEAR™ Be open to change. Take risks. Revel in adventure and new experiences. Travel. Read. Engage your senses. Learn from your mistakes, your successes, and from the wisdom of others. Unravel a puzzle. Create and use your imagination. Be active. Find the positives. Keep it fun. Be EXTRAORDINARY. Love. Live the good life. Enjoy the ride. - I AM. Copyright 2009 by Stephanie Matsumoto STYLE. All rights reserved.