Why J.O.A Is The Brand Of Your Dreams

Finding a solid balance between quality and price can be quite the challenge when it comes to fashion. Scrolling through news-feeds, we see online powerhouses like Vogue posting about Balenciaga and Refinery29 posting $35 and under Valentine’s Day Dresses. While neither of these are ideal, I began to wonder if I would ever find a happy medium between not breaking the bank, but also  buying quality clothes that will last.

Just One Answer, or J.O.A. seems to be the perfect, well…answer. J.O.A. is located in the heart of Los Angeles and although it just launched in 2013, is in boutiques all over the country. The pieces that fill up the page of the website are fun, runway inspired, and easy to throw on. With skirts at $108.00 and tops at $50.00, it isn’t a problem to stock up when you need new garb. J.O.A. looks expensive, and can easily be mistaken for a $500 Alice + Olivia creation.

My personal favorites from the SS15 collection include whimsical striped sundresses and dresses with leather cutouts.

Find the current collection on the Just One Answer website, or Shopbop.



Where To Get Toned In Chicago

NTC Chicago

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NTC Chicago offers a variety of complimentary classes throughout the week. Class attendees swear by the NTC workout, which brings the app to life with a fast paced, sweat inducing workout that challenges your mind and body. The class is built on the core values of core training, endurance exercises, cardio, and fast paced drills.

NTC Chicago, 669 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611, 312.642.6363.


Pure Barre

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Pure Barre is a favorite of the fashion crowd and pr industry. The website boasts that Pure Barre is the fastest, most effective way to change your body, and from the results I have seen, I would have to agree. A class is 55 minutes long, and you will work on hips, thighs, seat, abs, and arms by performing low-impact movements followed by stretches to create long, lean muscles. This is the perfect workout class for everyone of all skill levels.

Pure Barre, 2058 North Halsted St. 872.206.5154.


Flywheel Sports

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Flywheel is not just a spin class. It is an experience. While climbing and descending on a spin bike, class goers also use weighted bars to tone their arms. Seating is stadium style, so every seat in the room is a good one, making it easy to see the instructor and follow along. Flywheel also incorporates music into their classes, making it an essential part of the 45-60 minute rides.

Flywheel Chicago, 710 North State St. 312.624.8485.

The Man Behind The CFDA: Chatting With Steven Kolb

The CFDA is known for being a fashion powerhouse. With more than 400 members and designer Diane Von Furstenberg as the president, how could they not be? However, there is always someone behind the scenes helping everything to chug along smoothly, and for the CFDA, that person is CEO Steven Kolb. The CFDA website refers to Steven Kolb as “the nicest person in fashion,” and I would have to agree. As we sat down in the private lounge at the W Hotel Chicago, Kolb made small talk and was calm and collected as press and designers whizzed by around us.

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A: What’s it like to oversee all the day to day operations at the CFDA?


S: Well, um, that question makes me nervous. It’s quite an exciting thing, and that may seem cliché, but I am very lucky that I have the job that I have for a couple of reasons. One, there are 400 members in the CFDA, like major designers that are around all the time and I know them all personally. As designers, as business people, as colleagues, as friends. And the passion that designers have, the creative passion that they have…is really inspiring. I don’t necessarily see myself as a creative person, but when I work with a creative person I can take those ideas and make them work. For me, that is a really exciting thing. There are 23 people that work at the CFDA. We have this amazing team and many of them started there as interns and stayed with us. They are just so committed and wonderful and they are fully in support of our mission.


A: That’s really rare in fashion, especially at a big corporation…to have everyone work there be someone who started as an intern. I know that your career has always consisted of non-profit work, previously at the American Cancer Society. Why did you decide to go over to a fashion non-profit like the CFDA?


S: So the CFDA is a not for profit, but a different kind of not for profit. I was last at the American Cancer Society, and then previously at an AIDS organization, and then I was at MTV helping to start a not-for-profit. My colleague Lisa and I knew each other because when I worked for the AIDS organization, Lisa and I had worked on a project. She’s been with the CFDA for over 20 years. So when the person before me left, she suggested that the search committee interview me. So I came to meet the selection committee which was Diane Von Furstenberg, Stan Herman, the president of the board, and talk about the job and the organization, so how I ended up there was because I wasn’t a fashion person. That’s what they liked, I had this experience running an organization, managing an organization, I understood how an organization works, and bringing that experience and that skill set to the job. That’s what got me the job. Shockingly, why I took the job wasn’t because it was a fashion job, although I’ve learned to really love and appreciate the fashion part of it. What I love about it is that back when I was a student in college, I never wanted to work in corporate America, I wanted to work on social issues and give back and help people that need it. The truth is, the same thing I did at my previous positions, I am doing at the CFDA. We’re helping emerging designers gain business development. We’re helping students get jobs. We’re helping experienced designers with licensing, etc. We do a lot of philanthropy through our organization so I still get that fulfillment of helping people, but just in a different way.

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A: One of your greatest accomplishments that you’ve had at the CFDA is creating the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. How did that come to be?


S: It started as…it’s an interesting story. 911 happened during fashion week, and this predates me, I started in 2006. Because of that [911,] all the fashion shows were cancelled, so a lot of young fashion designers that were just starting out lost their deposits and a significant amount of money for shows that they were unable to do. So the industry rallied, particularly under Carolina Herrera’s efforts. These big designers said “come show in our showrooms, we’ll help you,” and they did these shows that they wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. Anna Wintour saw this kind of hole and how vulnerable these designers were. She worked with the CFDA to create the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. I came in the third year and helped to build its financial strength and grow the organization of it. I think its contributions to American fashion is so great. It has helped create this new American Fashion…Alex Wang, Prabal [Gurung,] Phillip Lim, Rodarte, Joseph Altuzarra…they all came out of the Vogue fashion fund. Not only has it created a new generation of American fashion, but it’s also influenced other parts of the world. Having said that, why we’re here in Chicago is not this dissimilar to what we have done at the Vogue Fashion Fund. A few years ago, we created the CFDA Incubator for emerging designers and it is a business development program where we give them mentors, studio spaces, and we are able to give them opportunities, like bringing them here to Chicago through our partnership for the W hotels. The W has a strong passion for fashion…that rhymes. Working with us, they know that for these designers to get to the next step, they need to increase their distribution so an important market like Chicago, for them to be able to come here and show in this awesome space that W Hotels set up, is game changing for them.


A: It’s so nice to see this kind of fashion in Chicago. It’s so nice to meet everyone here, the designers are all so lovely and so invested in their collections. The W did a wonderful job with this space.


S: This right here for them is a huge investment. If they were just doing it as like a marketing opportunity, it would just be a big party, but that’s not what they’re doing…they are setting up the collections of these designers, where the guests can see the product, making sure that the right people are here and seeing it, and that’s what is so refreshing about the W.


A: The W truly cares. Do you have any advice about going into the creative industry?


S: Look, I think that you have to be patient and you have to put in the time. I think in the world of instantaneous gratification and our own hyper celebrity around what we do ourselves with social media, and how we can have a face and be known on the internet, can somehow distort our own well being and self worth. You have to go out and learn. What you think you’ve learned in college is good, but you actually haven’t learned anything until you get a job and are working around people that have been doing these things for a long time, that’s when you’ll learn the most. Continue to be a student, work hard, and have an opinion, but know that you’re around people that have been doing it for a long time and take advantage of that. Use it to your advantage and learn from them. That’s how you’re going to grow your career.

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Photos: Kohl Murdock

Packing List: Sundance Film Festival

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Photo: Kirsten Miccoli

Sundance Film Festival is taking place in snowy Park City, Utah for the next two weeks. I’ll be there helping A Drink With cover the festival and assist with production which means a lot of running around and hopefully an endless amount of great style. Check out last years Sundance coverage, here. Keep up to date on A Drink With at Sundance by searching the hashtag #ADWxSundance, following them on Instagram, Twitter, and myself!


1. ASOS Sunglasses. 2. Sorel Joan of Arctic Wedge Boots. 3. Free People Embroidered Dress. 4. ASOS Suede Hat. 5. AG Black Ripped Jeans. 6. TopShop Poncho. 7. J.Crew Wool Socks. 8. Mophie Phone Case for IPhone 6. 9. Herschel Backpack.

The Most Expensive Sports Bras On The Internet

Because apparently someone out there wants a $235 sports bra.

sports bras #1sports bras 21. Lucas Hugh Rio Printed Mesh Sports Bra, $235.00. 2. Lisa Marie Fernandez The Jasmine Micro Fiber Sports Bra, $195.00. 3. Lisa Marie Fernandez Elisa Sports Bra, $195.00. 4. FALKE Ergonomic Sports Bra, $125.00. 5. Michi Siren Bra, $155.00. 6. T by Alexander Wang Sports Bra, $145.00. 7. Michi Helix Sports Bra, $169.00. 8. Lucas Hugh Sports Bra, $245.00

5 Foods For A Flat Stomach

Half the battle of flat abs is what you eat, no matter how many planks you put yourself through. Some foods aid in digestion, reduce water retention, and are naturally anti-inflammatory. Why not add them into your daily diet?

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1. Almonds: These little gems are packed with Vitamin E which is great for your skin, and contain high levels of protein and fiber, which will provide you with extra energy. Although these are a relatively high calorie snack, research says that almonds do not contribute to belly fat. Fitness Magazine says that all you need is an Altoids tin full of almonds per day.

2. Oats: While oats will not necessarily aid you in losing weight, they are a filling, low calorie breakfast that will keep you satisfied longer. At about 150 calories per serving, you won’t feel guilty. Oats have also been linked to lowering cholesterol.

3. Berries: Health experts say that the more fiber you eat, the less your body will adsorb other fats that you put into your body. Luckily, berries are tasty and packed with fiber, making them the perfect snack or accompaniment to meals. Berries are also high in antioxidants, which help improve blood flow and provide your body with the natural things it needs.

4. Leafy Greens: Losing weight is all about a low calorie, nutritious diet. Lettuce, spinach and kale are all very low calorie and packed with fiber and vitamins that aid in weight loss. Leafy greens, as well as green veggies, help reduce water retention in the waistline and do not cause bloating.

5. Green Tea: Green tea is one of the best things you can flood your body with. Green tea helps to flush out toxins and excess liquids, in turn helping reduce water retention and bloating. Green tea has also been found to speed up the metabolism, which can help you burn more fat.

Two Words: Designer. Sale.

While we are in the worst days of winter, there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel: sale season is upon us. Designer sites like Shopbop and Net-a-Porter have some of the best sales going on all year, so it’s time to dig deep for the best finds. Not ready to make a purchase just yet? On Lyst, you can make lists of your favorite items and the site will send you an email when it goes on sale and every time the price is reduced. Happy [sale] shopping!

lyst slae

1. Proenza Schouler Triangle Ankle Strap Sandal. 2. Kacey K Fine Jewelry Initial Necklace. 3.  Sacai Wool Knit Sweater. 4. Christian Lacroix Coquette Clutch. 5. Pierre Hardy Cutout Textured Tote. 6. Bettye Muller Suede Mary Jane Pumps.

shopbop sale


1. Black Halo Two Piece Dress. 2. Dolce Vita Nikka Boots. 3. Tibi Amber Ankle Sandals. 4. Salvatore Ferragamo Fibbia Bracelet. 5. Alice + Olivia Triss Maxi Dress. 6. Rag & Bone Leather Bomber Jacket. 


netaporter sale1. Victoria Beckham Wool Mini Dress. 2. Stella McCartney Knickers Of The Week Set. 3. Sophia Webster Riko Sandal. 4. FINDS Sarah’s Bag Velvet Beaded Clutch. 5. Altuzarra Wool Peacoat. 6. Lisa Marie Fernandez Neoprene Bikini.

Foreign Skincare Takes Off In The US

Photo: R29

Photo: R29

Skincare overseas, for example Korea and Japan, is serious business. It is a daily essential that involves many, many steps and is quite exhaustive. Yet, in the US, we are still trying to figure out what the wonder is behind Korean skincare. Beauty blogger Coco Park recently discovered Korean beauty care in her Korean-American boyfriends parents bathroom, and decided to check it out for herself. She went from using only a few products a day…to 17. On her blog, she says that she saw an immense difference in just three weeks, and her red spots and pores have essentially disappeared.

When you think about it, the invasion of Korean beauty products started a while ago. More specifically, in 2011 when companies started introducing the originally based Korean BB cream. BB cream is said to be an all in one product that will take care of the skin. Soon, American companies started producing their own versions, and we have BB creams, CC creams, and so on. As it turns out, this was just the Americanized version of Korean skincare because in the US, we like to keep things simple. In reality, we should also be scrubbing, moisturizing, cleansing, and treating.

Now that the beauty obsessed in the US are starting to reap the benefits of foreign beauty traditions, other interesting new treatments are starting to pop up. Two weeks ago, I got my monthly facial. I was surprised in my sleepy state of mind when something ice cold rolled around my face…under my eyes, down my nose, on my neck…it never seemed to stop. While reading Refinery29 this morning, I discovered that it was an ice roller. Essentially, this is a fancy substitute for throwing some spoons in the freezer. The ice roller can swiftly clean up the look of tired eyes, redness, puffiness, and minor bruising. My first question is…where do I get my hands on one?

For more information on best Korean beauty products, I would check out:

A Beginner’s Guide To Korean Makeup

Soko Glam

Peach and Lily

Photo: R29

Photo: R29


Not Your Average Snowboot

With the first real snowfall of winter hitting Chicago hard the last few days, it left me with a style dilemma: to Ugg or not to Ugg? I haven’t worn Uggs in public in two years, but these last few days have tested my devotion to looking stylish top to bottom. The powdery white fluff left me pulling old favorites out of my closet; my beloved Nike duck boots, Tory Burch fur lined wedges, and beat up Air Force 1 sneakers. While I am often guilty of leaving my boots at coat check and swapping in heels, my tried and true options allow me to not worry about schlepping around more than I have to. Here are the best, stylish, boots out there right now that will allow you to get around without falling flat on your ass.


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1. Nokian, Warm Boot. 2. Sorel, Joan of Arctic Wedge Boot. 3. Nike, Air Force 1 Duckboot (Men’s Style.) 4. Aquatalie, Chance Boot. 5. Hunter, Original Shearling Boots. 6. IRO, Hannah Shearling flat Boot. 7. Alexander Wang, Anouch Chelsea Boot. 8. Nokian, Wedge Ankle Boot.

Where’d You Get Those?

2003 marked the year Where’d You Get Those? was released, detailing the sneaker culture of New York City from 1960 to 1987. Bobbito Garcia is well respected for many things, including bringing unknown, unsigned, hip-hop artists to light through his shows Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show (Jay-z, Nas, Busta Rhymes…etc.) Garcia chronicles 400 pairs of ground breaking sneakers that have come and gone, but remain classics.

The book is currently available again in a anniversary addition, that includes an updated forward and new sneakers.

You can pick it up through Amazon.


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