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Haute Street PROFILE: New York Nail Artist, Mei Kawajiri



HAUTE STREET HEARTS Mei Kawajiri, a freelance nail artist residing in New York City. She is an entrepreneur who is changing the #NAILGAME. Find out #MORE in this quick Q & A with the woman behind @ciaomanhattan2012! 


Interview answered by: Mei Kawajiri

Website: nailsbymei.com



HAUTE STREET: At what moment did you realize you could make your skill into a career?

MEI KAWAJIRI: My brush stroke is from Japanese “SHUJI” which I’ve been doing since I was young and has always come naturally to me.

HS: NYC vs Japan - What is the difference between the two nail scenes?

MK: NYC – Everyone has amazing ideas that are super unique and fun to create. Everyone has a different style!

Japan – They stick to trends. If something starts trending, everyone will do the same trend, yet they are always looking for new style. Very cutting edge!



HS: Describe the creative process that goes into your work before you even get started with a client.

MK: I start by asking the client about colors they like, specific things in fashion, or style. Sometimes clients want very specific art, and sometimes I will create a sketch of the client’s idea. If they trust me…sometimes I can do whatever I want with their fingertips!

HS: Being a woman entrepreneur in New York were there any challenges that you’ve had to face getting into the industry?

MK: One of my dreams was to change nail culture here in NYC. I want to share with people in New York what is going on in the nail industry!

HS: Typically how much would the usual house-call mani/pedi cost?

MK: At the salon it would be around $100-$150. House calls would be more expensive.

HS: How far in advance do you recommend booking?

MK: 2-3 weeks

HS: Favorite jobs to work on?

MK: I love to work on television shows & doing work for fashion magazines.

HS: Talk to us about upcoming nail trends.

MK: 3D ART! Not just painting but art that actually comes off your nails!



HS: Best advice someone has given you that has kept you going and growing?

MK: Do what you want! So many people told me that “nail art would not be popular in New York!” but I kept doing it! I bring my own style to the industry!

HS: Favorite place you’ve ever traveled to (and why)?

MK: I love Paris! I did nail work at Colette at fashion week in 2014. Everyone there has cool style.

I also really love JAPAN. Japanese fashion is crazy!

HS: What are some upcoming projects/collaborations viewers can look forward to seeing in the near future?

MK: I am planning on going on a world tour to do nails soon!



Haute Street Review: L.A.M.B SS15


It’s been three years since Gwen Stefani had a presentation during New York Fashion Week, and it was WELL worth the wait. The multi-talented woman knocked it out of the park. 

As “Rock Steady” came on, the models slowly emerged and started dancing to the beat which created a fun atmosphere from the start. This was very reflective of the line which included many vibrant and fun designs. Inspired by the idea of the “New Nomad,” the ss15 collection included bold tribal prints, loose-fitting trousers, jumpsuits, over-sized bags and more. The collection stayed true to her laid-back, edgy and cool sense of style. All you have to do is throw on a pair of one of L.A.M.B’s printed pants or pair one of the bold tops with your favorite jeans and you’ll instantly feel cool and chic just like Gwen herself. 




Meet the MUSE: Chiara Mazzucco | New York | Milan


Meet our MUSE from MILAN, Chiara Mazzucco. This italian beauty proves that she isn’t just a pretty face. In this exclusive interview she opens up about her first american memory, the struggles of starting her own business while being a single mother and the moment she decided to live the life of an “INDIE CHICK”. #CHECKIT #theMUSEdiaries



Photography by MARC ROYCE

Styling by JOEY TIERNEY

Hair by SHANNON KIM

Make up by JADYN NGO



HAUTE STREET: Tell us about yourself. Where you grew up, siblings, family, friends, dreams, traditions, etc.

CHIARA MAZZUCCO: I grew up in a wonderfully open-minded household of do-it-yourselfers. I woke up every morning being pushed to educate myself, question authority, and to never take life so seriously, most of which Ive adopted as general life mantras. The majority of my life was spent in a magical little home in West Hollywood; a place filled with cats, dogs, and family friends coming for dinner, card games, and viewings of my dads movies. My brother and I moved here with my parents, while my older sister stayed in Italy to finish school. Now that my entire family moved back to Italy and I moved to New York, I treasure those memories and am so grateful they built such a foundation for my definition of happiness. I will accept nothing less than my household becoming a circus of laughter, creativity, and inspiration for every guest.

HS: When did you move to the states? Tell us about that experience.

 CM: I moved here February 20th, 1994. The first thing I remember was opening my eyes as we were leaving LAX and seeing a gigantic donut (courtesy of the iconic Randys Donuts). This is America?I asked my dad. Yup, this is America.

I had a bowl cut and a unibrow, wore leotards, and didnt speak a word of English. Mean girls tried to get me to go into the boys bathroom, while assuring me that in America the color blue meant for girls, and I would go home frustrated with the English language. Pretend you have a hamburger in your mouth. Itll help the words not come out so crisp,my dad would say.

HS: What is the hardest part about starting your life here in the states?

CM: Being a kid is hard in general. Remove verbal communication and youre left with hand signals and facial expressions, neither of which is well developed at the tender age of 7. Not only that, but the culture shock was unbelievable. Growing up in Milan I had made friends with the Nigerian man who sold bracelets on my corner, but aside from that I wasnt used to seeing people that were much different than I was. I was also so young, I wasnt really looking for it.



HS: And what was the best part?

CM: The adventure. My dad was the only one who spoke English, so we would have lessons and hed tell me stories and secrets on how to remember things like Wed-nes-day. It was a big bonding thing for my family. It also prepared me for the discomfort of starting new jobs or going to a new school, because lets face it, feeling like an outsider happens to everyone, many times, in many situations. 



HS: What is a piece of advice that has kept you going and growing?

CM: No matter what you go through in life, youre the only one guaranteed to be in it. 

Its helped me redirect the focus to me when I have most needed it. A broken heart can easily make you feel like your entire world is shattered for good, so what do you do? You remind yourself that even soul mates are just visitors on your path and that you alone walk it. Nurture yourself and direct the energy where its needed most.

HS: Can you tell us about a life changing moment that you’ve experienced?

CM: I have had many life changing moments, but none have played as big of a role into my todayas the moment I was raped by my boyfriend when I was 15. Yes, it changed my life and my definition of sex and had, and continues to have, an impact on my relationships. However, its the reason I started blogging. Its the reason I wrote a book. Its the reason I went through the transformation I went through that led me to start The Indie Chicks and lead a movement of self-empowerment. So really, its impact was much greater, and better, than anything I could have ever imagined.

HS: How did that Change you?

CM: For the better. After him, I was in an emotionally abusive relationship, and the two combined made me hide into an empty shell for the better part of my high school years. The day came I could no longer handle the darkness and I decided to change. I created an ideal version of myself - a badass, dont you dare think youre worthy of breaking me - and I devoted an entire year to becoming her. One day, I was her, and from that day on, shes been the foundation of strength for every single struggle I have faced in my life.

HS: When did you get your first Tattoo?

CM: I was 15, in Italy, and my tattoo artist cousin who is covered head-to-toe did it. My mom held my hand while he placed a pretty little butterfly, representing femininity, on my shoulder, representing strength.

HS: How many do you have?

CM: I have 5 now and am working on a sleeve for my left arm.

HS: What is the most significant meaning? 

CM: I have a band around my left arm that says, The Universe Beside Me.It means that no matter what I go through in life, I have the biggest support system by my side.



HS: You lived in Los Angeles for some time - what made you want to take the leap and move to New York?

CM: My ex-husband and I had just had our son and my family decided to move back to Italy. We wanted him to have family near, so we moved to New York where Jasons parents live. Though weve since split, moving across the country was a great move for both of our businesses and Luca, our son, has a beautiful and special relationship with his grandparents.

 HS: When and why did you decide to start the indie chicks?

CM: The idea came up in February of 2012 and the site launched in May, so weve been up and running a little over 2 years. As a dating blogger, a lot of what I was writing on my personal blog was tailored to the individual and the concept of self-improvement and self-analysis came up a lot in my advice. I realized there was a real need to target the self and decided the best way to do so was to put together some of the best women writers on the web and start a movement.

HS: What has been one of your biggest challenges when starting a company like this?

CM: Anyone with an online presence knows how hard it is to get noticed. You may have a great idea for a website, but when youre competing with big sites overpowering the web for a readers attention, it makes it pretty hard to get your site noticed. Gathering writers, doing brand outreach, hyping up the launch, and building something that would actually retain visitors was a lot to juggle with such a small team. Finding balance and learning to prioritize was definitely a start-up challenge.

HS: What has been your biggest motivation?

CM: Once we started getting positive feedback for the website, there was no going back. Every email that begins with, Your website helped me…” or, Because of you, I…” motivates me to keep going, be better, and give more. Building something I can tell my son I started building when he was a baby motivates me. My partners and my entire team motivate me. My reflection in the mirror motivates me. I cant stop now. I have to keep going.

HS: Who is a woman who has inspired you in your lifetime to become the woman you are today?

CM: I have been inspired, one way or another, by most women in my life, with my sister and my mother being the two most consistent players in inspiring me to develop my heart. A lot of my teachers and college professors have pushed me to develop my mind. Random women I have met, at various stages of their careers, have inspired me to develop a career path. I choose to absorb and be inspired by as many people as possible.

HS: What is a piece of advice you could give your 20 year old self? 

CM: Keep going, listen to yourself. Youre on the right path. Every bit of doubt youre feeling is coming from the right place.

I was about 20 when I started giving in to the doubt that what I was told was supposed to be my life - college, husband, white picket fence and 2.5 kids- was actually not for me. I truly believe were a lot more self-aware at a much younger age than we give ourselves credit for. So my advice would be to give in to that self-awareness.



HS: Where do you see the indie chicks 5 years from now?

CM: Louder. I think were really on to something because were feeding into a womans real need. Our brand is about focusing on the inner sense of self. Were about empowering the person you are those 5 seconds you first wake up in the morning, before you become someones mother, wife, lover, or business partner. We all have a core that needs to be nourished. Were tapping into as many microphones as possible so we can get our message to more people. So in 5 years, I expect us to be bigger, better, and most of all, louder.

HS: Finish these sentences 

CM: If I wasn’t doing this, I would be. Working with apes. My second love is evolutionary psychology and Im obsessed with primate behavior.

If I could have one super power for a day, it would be Clone myself so I could get more done.

The most spectacular thing that I have ever witnessed is Holding my son for the first time and him opening his eyes to search for me the second I said hello and introduced myself as his new mommy.

HS: What is something that most people don’t know about you?

CM: That I fall in love a little bit with everyone I meet, men and women, even if I never see them again.

HS: We all have embarrassing moments - can you tell us about your #1 most embarrassing?

CM: I broke a guys sink by sitting on it once. Seemed like a good idea at the time until I was drenched in water, standing in a flooded bathroom, and the guy never wanted to see me again.

HS: How do you choose a cover girl?

CM: One thing that sets us apart from other women magazines is the fact we keep our readers involved in everything we do. We hold nominations open for about a week per issue and then we choose from that selection. Our cover girls have to be active in their community and be an inspiration, one way or another. Our cover girls are not models, they are brand ambassadors who represent the brand and have the ability to inspire and motivate our readers to become the best versions of themselves.

HS: Who is the indie chick reader and why is she so bad-ass”?

CM: An Indie Chick is a self-empowered woman. Whether shes a stay at home mom, a single 20-something or a devoted career woman, shes committed to being the best version of herself and not letting anything stop her on her path in life. Shes a woman whose ability to tap into her inner badass makes her unstoppable.



HS: Tell us about your partners. How you guys came to be. 

CM: Weve had a few women come and go with the company, but the three current partners have held on strong for about a year. Julie, our VP and Senior Editor, has been with the company since about 2 months after we launched and Chrystal, our President and COO, has been with us for about a year. I brought both on with the exact same approach: I told them to trust me, that I had something great, and that I needed them to be a part of it. One is in North Carolina and the other near Philly, so we meet virtually every week and get together as often as possible.

HS: What is a piece of advice you can give women who are starting their own companies?

CM: Find mentorship in everyone you know. I think a big mistake we make is think we need to seek out mentorship specific to our field, but one thing Ive learned is that mentors invest in people, not conceptsor ideas. Ask as many questions as you can, even if youre outside sharing a cigarette at a party. The absorption of information from experienced individuals will  get you further than any textbook can. Oh, and network, network, network.




HS: And advice about going into business with partners? 

CM: Dont forget youre all people, with personal lives. The number one advice you get is to keep friendship and business separate, but Ive found that advice to create more trouble than anything. Be conscious that running a business is a part of your lives and that there will be times, no matter how hard you try to keep them separate, that your personal life will cross over. Learning to be sensitive to that, especially throughout the start-up phase, is crucial to developing a strong, respectful, long-term relationship with your partners. You just have to know when to draw the line.

HS: Where is your favorite place that you’ve traveled to and why?

CM: As a single mom entrepreneur, I dont get to travel much, though I am grateful to have spent so much time in Italy. The culture changes so much depending on where you are in the country, that its easy to feel youre visiting different worlds. Its pretty magical.

HS: Where is your next travel destination?

CM: Right before I met my now ex-husband, I had bought a one way ticket to Italy. From there, I was planning on going to Spain, Buenos Aires, and Australia. I didnt know how Id bounce from one place to another, but I knew I wanted to visit them all. I still plan to, in whatever order it happens.

HS: Tell us about growing up in Milan? 

CM: I had some pretty spectacular friends growing up in Milan, many of whom are still in my life today. We went to tennis summer camp together, even after I moved to the States, and kept in touch throughout the year. There was a lot of ice cream, bike riding, and late night dancing with cute italian boys in town. My dad was a director, my mom a model, and my uncle in theatre, so most of my memories are a mixture of lifestyles.

HS: One thing that all of our Muses have in common is their need/want to give back to the communities and to their passion projects. Can you tell us about your passion project?

There are so many causes that are near and dear to my heart. Right now Im looking to get involved in campaigning for self-esteem amongst our youth, and against bullying. I was bullied pretty badly growing up, and seeing what its doing to teenagers now, with the aid of social media, is absolutely terrifying. Children are committing suicide because of it. I want to be able to offer more than, It gets better.Growing up is hard enough without being a target for someone elses abuse, but unfortunately bullying is common and no amount of campaigning is going to put a stop to it. What we can do is invest in strengthening them from within, so that they are strong enough to fight against it.









http://www.hautestreet.com/lifestyle/category/muse-feature-erica-driscolls-playlist

blondfiremusic #themusediaries #PLAYLIST!

Photo: Easton Schirra

Styling: Joey Tierney

Hair: Shannon Kim

Make-up: Bebe Booth

WWW.HAUTESTREET.COM

Haute Street PROFILE: NOE Undergarments




Interview answered by:  Bonnie Rae + Shelah Jean from NOE Undergarments

Website: NOEUNDERGARMENTS.COM

Instagram: @noeundergarments



 Tell us a little bit about how NOE Undergarments came to life.

NOE Undergarments came to life from our love and passion of lingerie and “little things”.  We grew up on the island of Kauai and since we were babies lived in bikinis and you could say more “skin showing” apparel.  I think this started the fantasy of loving tiny things… lingerie, swimwear and body showing fashion.  Since we were teens we talked of the idea of starting a lingerie line… we always loved how something you can wear that is so small and often discrete can make you feel so sexy, confident and beautiful. We started really seriously conceptualizing a few years ago and then put the creative ‘pencil to paper’ in late 2012.

Describe the type of woman wearing your NOE Undergarments.

The woman who wears NOE Undergarments is strong and willing to take risks by not following trends but merely setting her own.  She loves to feel sexy and beautiful for herself and that’s why she is beyond attractive.  At the same time she is understatedly simple and finds interest in clean lines, uncomplicated garments and takes pride in noticing the little details of things. Whether it be in her daily life,  the people she is with or her style.  When you meet her in person, you leave completely touched by this contagious confidence and beauty…. that is the NOE Undergarment woman.

Lingerie is generally worn in the bedroom but your aesthetics are different. How can a woman wear your designs outside of the bedroom?



Yes, exactly… even the word “lingerie” stems a feeling of bedroom wear.  When choosing our brand name we made the decision to not use ‘lingerie’ in our name, as we don’t fit completely in that category.  We felt ‘undergarments’ let us be a little more abstract and open to how we were designing.  We design the collection to be very versatile… every piece is made to be worn in the home or out in public as a layering piece or simply stand-alone fashion statement.  Our collection is constructed of fabrics that are “showable”… shiny silks, premium grade meshes, patented Nano Lycra, Lambskin leather and most styles are trimmed with bold Herringbone Japanese elastic for strapping.  The styles are more forward with untraditional silhouettes, back cut outs, deep V-fronts, bonded style bandeaus, etc.  Between the fabrication combinations and silhouettes of our collection it really stands out from traditional bedroom lingerie.  When you put on NOE Undergarment pieces, they don’t feel like “lingerie” some pieces may act as a function of lingerie, but as the wearer you want to show them off.  We consider the collection very much a hybrid between lingerie and RTW.   All our bras are designed to be worn under low scoop tanks or dresses or simply cropped tops, our leggings can be worn alone or as a perfect piece for a shorter dress or long tee and our slips can all be worn as cover ups, layered or our favorite way to style as a stand alone sheer slip with a pop bra/panty beneath.   

What was the inspiration behind the most current collection?

The most current collection, SS14 was inspired by lines, we used geometric lines and shapes in this collection to add unique silhouette and seaming lines to create pieces that we’re very progressive in feel.  We don’t use prints in our collection so playing with seaming details is a way we love to add a unique feel in styles as well as a perfected fit to more of our body-hugging pieces.  We have our Peter group where we layer mesh panels on top of each other in certain areas of the garment to make a more contoured shape when wearing the style as well as a unique look.

We noticed that many of the pieces in the current collection are named after men. What’s in the names??

This is so fabulous you noticed this.  We’ve never been asked this question and there is a reason behind each.  The reason we decided on men’s names is we have a very much “yin and yang” of the brand—anything we do that is girly we love a masculine compliment so that is where the men’s names came into play… a rougher addition to a more feminine natured garment. The entire collection is based in capsules that all work together and divided by styling and fabrication.  In the current collection we have the Ryan, Peter, Edward, Zachary, Oliver and Alfie capsules.  Both of us are married and Ryan/Zachary are named after our fabulous husbands and the other men’s names have certain reasons from characters in books, poems, and movies to real life.  

Being women entrepreneurs, what are some of the challenges you’ve faced getting into the lingerie industry?

With the August launch of AW14, it will be our 3rd season and we’re constantly facing new challenges and learning new things on a daily basis that surprise us.  Both of us are not from the lingerie world, when we went to NYC to present our first collection at Curve NY (the biggest US lingerie tradeshow) in February 2013… it was so scary and we didn’t know what to expect.  We met the most amazing and supportive network of people and everyone was so supportive to see we were doing something different.   Since then the most challenging element has been breaking the preconceived notion that ‘innerwear’ can also be exposed.  We also are such a hybrid so sometimes we hear “oh we don’t carry lingerie” or “where is your basic T-shirt bra” but we’re not exactly lingerie, we don’t make the perfected “t-shirt” or “push-up bra”…

Originating in Hawaii, did you face any challenges in exposure to the states?

We’re both from Kauai, Hawaii and Shelah still lives there while I live in Laguna Beach where our studio HQ is.  We actually have more accounts and have seen more receptivity from both buyers and customers in the city spaces—NY, LA, etc.  With our collection being a bit forward, it seems customers in these city locations find the collection more wearable.  However, at the same time we have some sheer silk slips and triangle bralettes that do really well in Hawaii and West/East Coast beach areas.  Originating from Hawaii has actually been an opening topic for many people as a point on the label… I think it’s a unique combination that people find interesting, twins that grew up on a small island and then making sexy forward undergarments.



How do you stay connected to your social media fans?

Social media is such an interesting and essential part of today’s world, it’s almost like a love and hate relationship.  It’s so amazing to see people respond to your brand and love what your doing but at the same time it opens you up for critique and comparison that can be slightly overwhelming as well.  Being a small niche brand, social media has been and is currently a way we use to show the personality of the brand and get feedback from our fans.  We really try to show a combination of the day to day of the brand as well as polished imagery that we create, a combination of ‘spur of the moment’ and the ‘perfected’.  We love doing shoots with our friends and new friends we meet in our pieces.  We’re all about doing spur of the moment impromptu shoots… this shows the wearable side of the label and also allows us to show cool ways to style the collection.  We’re lucky with the nature of our product people find it interesting… who doesn’t want to see a little sexy bod in undergarments?

Top 3 Instagram’s that you follow and why?

  1.  Wolfcub Chronicles (@wolfcubwolfcub) – Brides (Brydie Mack) who runs the Aussie blog wolfcub chronicles is a friend and such a talent. Her instagram is always full of the most amazing high quality curated images – both from others and her own photography/styling. When we first started NOE Undergarments she was the first one outside ourselves to shoot and style the collection for her blog.  She did one photo particularly that created a lot of interest on our label- a back shot of the Alfie Silk Slip just showing the bold T-strap down the center back, it was stunning!
  2. Garage Magazine (@garage_magazine) – we love the WTF with their photos.  They show it all from soccer playing chickens to sexy nipple showing black and whites.   We can laugh, get shocked and get inspired all through one photo source.
  3.  Sticks and Stones Agency (@sticks_and_stones_agency) —Ains (Ainsley Hutchence) and her hubby Sebastien Fougere own Sticks and Stones Agency, which is a sales/creative/press agency in Australia.  Their instagram is phenom… crazy, wild, weird, horrifying, incredibly sexy and unique.  I love that they don’t care what people think or say, they do it their way.  Their photos also make you laugh, get disgusted, get inspired and get turned on!

Favorite piece in the current collection?

This is something we both agree on… we have 2 favorites in the current SS14 collection—The Ryan Leather Zip-back corset and Oliver sport Bra.  The Ryan Leather Zip-back corset is a white lambskin mid-length corset top.  This piece has boning and structured cups to hold it’s shape, it’s lined with our premium mesh and has a bold gold zipper up the back.  It’s a statement-maker and different … we love the softness of the lambskin, the intricacy and beauty of the construction and how damn hot you look when you have it on!  Pair this with a casual menswear pant, healed booties and the look is pretty amazing.  Our other favorite, the Oliver Sport Bra is one of our top selling styles for SS14, it’s simple yet very progressive and sexy.  The style is made from European Nano Lycra and has a front high neckline and dramatic open t- back that encompasses our signature herringbone elastic and gold hardware.  We love this piece as it has such a good balance of being sexy without trying.



What’s on your office playlist right now?  

French Café Radio from Pandora, which will probably be followed by Iggy Azalea or Jay Z (haha!)

Best advice someone has giving you that has kept you going and growing?

“Listen to your gut instinct.   Don’t deviate from your vision.” 

Current obsession?

For fashion, we’ve become obsessed with R13 and what they’ve been doing lately and of course our favorite Jeremy Scott is always so incredibly brilliant.  Non- fashion, we are obsessed with good coffee and running (we both love to run… a good way to clear the crazies that can go on in your head and keep you sane!)

What gets you up for work every day?

The idea that NOE Undergarments is doing something different, the idea that we can create what we want to create, the idea that this world has very open limits and our amazing husbands and family! 

Idea of happiness?

Love + passion in all areas of life.  Good love with your lover, love of your work, love of your friends and family and love of the life you have…



Your favorite place that you’ve ever traveled to, and why?

We’ve both have been fortunate to travel to many areas of the world and places that stand out as amazing have been Tavarua, Fiji—amazing surf and people,  Bali— unrestricted freedom, Interior Canada—incredible beauty, Italy—coffee and food and we always resort back to Kauai as one of our favorite places on earth for it’s beauty both in the land and the people.

What can’t you live without?

Coffee, chocolate + pen and paper.

Do you have a MUSE that you’d love to see rock NOE Undergarments

This sounds so cliché, she is not our MUSE but we would love to see Miley Cyrus rock NOE Undergarments… she has our collection and we can’t wait to see her rockin’ it as she could rock it like no other with her confidence and attitude.

What are some things viewers can look forward to seeing with NOE Undergarments for F/W 2014?

Some demure and some forward…. One of our favorites for AW14 is a “flame” lambskin leather ‘caged bra’ and an ultra light sheer menswear pajama set amongst some other feminine and masculine style pieces.  In general, the AW14 collection is incorporating a progressive step on SS14 and we’ve spent more time really ensuring our collection can be exposed… #INNERWEAREXPOSED   Follow us on instagram at @noeundergarments to see all the peaks before the collection launches on NOEUNDERGARMENTS.COM on August 1st!








joeysglossies:

💘 @blondfire is taking over our #instagram starting … #NOW! 💘 #FOLLOW along for a #bts look at a day in the life of Erica Driscoll! #hautestreet #themusediaries

Follow @hautestreet on #instagram for a #behindthescenes look at a day in the life of Erica Driscoll! blondfiremusic @blondfire 🔥🎶💘 #hautestreet #theMUSEdiaries

👇👇👇👇👇 FOLLOW 👇👇👇👇👇

blondfiremusic
joeysglossies
eastonschirra
thebeautyhaus

And READ 👇👇👇

http://www.hautestreet.com/thespotlight/category/j43ew97taflup72dz9dzok5oehmiir

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Meet the MUSE blondfiremusic 💘💘💘 http://www.hautestreet.com

DREAM TEAM 👇

📷 eastonschirra / Style joeysglossies / Hair thebeautyhaus / Make up Bebe Booth /

(Source: )

Meet the MUSE: ERICA DRISCOLL - BRAZIL | MICHIGAN | LOS ANGELES


Meet Erica Driscoll, a stunning Brazilian songbird and our Muse of the MONTH. You may recognize her as the voice of the indie-rock band #BLONDFIRE. This self proclaimed shy MUSE has secured a place in our YOUNG HEARTS not only for her multi-instrumental talents but she also reminds us that as cliche as it may sound - to listen to the universe.  In this exclusive Q & A you’ll find out what #tourlife is like for an #indie band, the exact moment that she knew she was on the right path and what her definition of success is. #CHECKIT #HAUTESTREET #theMUSEdiaries



Photography by Easton Schirra

Styling by Joey Tierney

Hair by Shannon Kim

Make-up by Bebe Booth



HAUTE STREET: Erica, we’re so excited to have you as a part of our Haute Street family. Can you share with us a little bit about your diverse upbringing?

ERICA DRISCOLL: I grew up between a city in the North of Brazil called Belém, and Grand Rapids, Michigan.  My Mother’s Brazilian and my parents met when my Dad lived there for a few years while he was in the Peace Corp.  Both places seriously couldn’t have been more polar opposite from each other, so it definitely made for an interesting childhood. While I enjoyed growing up in Michigan, I feel like being able to spend time in Brazil really opened my eyes to the fact there was a big world out there.     



HS: What is something that most people don’t know about you? 

ED: I can be incredibly shy.

HS: What is the hardest thing about being on the road?

ED: I mostly miss the simple things at home.  My own bed, healthy food, having a real day off.

HS: What is some advice that has kept you going and growing?

ED: Don’t settle and never give up!  I think most of the reason people are successful, is that they won’t take no for an answer.

HS: Who is a woman that has influenced you to become the person you are today?  

ED: Definitely my Mom who loved the arts and exposed me to that world growing up.  We were always going to see the symphony or to an art museum.

HS: Who would you say are your music icons?

ED: So many, but off the top of my head…Pet Shop Boys, Morrissey, Sinead O’Connor, Debbie Harry, many more…

HS: What is a hardship that you have had to overcome in your lifetime?  

ED: A few years ago we actually got signed to EMI UK and we’re dropped while we were in the process of writing for the record.  The label had gotten bought out by another company and they were dropping bands and firing A&R people left and right.  It really felt like such a let down to think we were going to be putting out an album and have it not happen for us.  We definitely felt a little bit lost after that, and weren’t really sure where to go from there.

HS: How have you turned that into a positive?  How did that change you?

ED: I think it made me more self-reliant.  As cliché as it sounds, I feel like everything happens for a reason.  At the time they had us doing a lot of co-writes for the album, which were fun, but sometimes the songs weren’t feeling completely like us.  This time around we knew what we wanted, had created a buzz on our own, and were already having a decent amount of success with or without a label.  So when it came down to it, people just trusted that we knew what we were doing.  



HS: Can you tell us about an AH-HA moment in your life?

ED: When I was living in NYC, my publishing company had set up a songwriting trip for me to go to LA to collaborate with different songwriters and producers.  This was my first time doing anything like this all by myself, and I was really nervous, but excited about it.  I ended up having a great experience with everyone I worked with and really felt like I was in my element.  Funny enough, I actually worked with Wally, who is now my husband, on the very last day I was there.  We hit it off right away and not only did I meet him, a song we wrote ended up making it onto Jessica Simpson’s album.  If definitely felt like the universe was trying to tell me I was going in the right direction. 

HS: What do you do to calm your nerves before a big show?

ED: A nice glass of wine…or two ;-) 

HS: What is the hardest part about being a musician and making a career out of it?

ED: That there’s no set way to succeed in this business, so it’s all about finding new and different ways to keep going.  





HS: What advice would you share with someone who has similar aspirations?

ED: Figure how who you are musically, what makes you unique.  Don’t just follow trends, but follow your heart. Envision exactly where you want to be, not just that you “want to make it”.  What exactly does that mean to you?  Then make little steps everyday towards getting there.  

HS: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

ED: Sipping champagne in the south of France!  

HS: What is a piece of advice that you would give your 18 year old self?

ED: Don’t worry, it’s all going to work out! 

HS: Where did your love of music come from? When did you know you wanted to do this? 

ED: My Mom was definitely a big influence on me discovering my love for music.  She taught me to play the piano when I was really young and always had records playing in the house that she’d be singing along to. Ever since I was little, music was the one thing I felt confident about. It just felt natural to me and I didn’t have a choice, but to keep going with it. 

HS: Where do you draw inspiration from? 

ED: I get inspired by so many different, sometimes random things.  I really love quirky movies like Beetlejuice, Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory, Old Disney flicks, Shriley Temple, Fred Astaire, just being out in Nature is inspiring.  Sometimes reading a random word or phrase somewhere, like in a magazine will inspire a song title or concept for me.  I just never know where it’s going to come from.

HS: Do you have a favorite BLONDFIRE song?

ED: That changes all the time for me.  Although, “Where The Kids Are” was such an important part of people discovering the band, that it will alway be a favorite of mine. 

HS: What’s it like being the only girl on a tour van? 

ED: At this point I’m used to being the only girl, but I definitely become one of the guys on the road.  Usually, as the tour goes on, the jokes get dirtier and dirtier and I pretty much become a weirdo that can’t relate to a mature human being!  Insanely long drives will do that to you!






HS: Travel tips for being on the road? 

ED: I usually pack mostly black clothes and throw in just few colorful things.  It’s so much easier to put outfits together on the road when things are easy to coordinate. Plus, black IS rock and roll!

Food wise, we always try to hit up Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods whenever we find one.  There are so many times that the food options are horrible.  Pizza and burgers once and a while are fine, but when you’re living this as your day to day life, you start craving something healthy and it’s good to stock up when you can.

HS: Can you tell us about one of your favorite shows you’ve ever performed at?

ED: There have been so many good ones, but one that sticks out in my mind is Firefly Festival in Delaware last year.  That show marked the end of 4 months on the road for us and we had a huge, really fun crowd.  Plus, Tom Petty headlined that night, which was the night of the “Supermoon”! We listen to him a lot in the van, so it was a pretty epic way to the end the tour, singing along to every word under the giant, magical, Super Moon!

HS: Is there a destination that you haven’t performed at yet where you would love to do a show? 

ED: I’m really hoping that we get to perform at Lollapalooza in South America this coming year!

HS: Do you have any upcoming collaboration you can share with us?

ED: I’m really excited about a song I just sang and co-wrote with the amazing Russian DJ, Arty!   That should be coming out soon on his new album.



HS: Where is your favorite place that you’ve traveled to?

ED: I have to say my Brazilian hometown, Belém.  It’s a big city that’s located right on the Amazon River and the streets are lined with Mango trees. Beautiful people, culture, and amazing food!

HS: What would you recommend that someone do/see/eat/experience while there?

ED: I would definitely tell them to go see the Ver O Paso fish market, take a boat tour on the Amazon, and see a show at the beautiful opera house, Theatro da Paz. Food wise, eating a bowl of the real, pure Acai is a must.  They serve it with sugar and tapioca and it’s the most amazing thing ever! 

HS: Finish these sentences: 

ED: I can’t live without…My guitar, good coffee, watermelon with cinnamon on it, coconut oil for everything, white cotton sheets, dry red wine, and most importantly, my Wally.

My biggest pet peeve …Judgmental people. 

My most embarrassing moment was…I’ll never tell!





HS: How do you define success? 

ED: Success is about living a healthy, happy life, surrounded by the people you care about, doing what you love.  If I ever get frustrated that things aren’t going the way I want them to, I like to remind myself that “Life is a journey, not a destination.” 

HS: The top 3 on my bucket list are …

ED:  I definitely feel like playing music has allowed me to have so many amazing experiences in my life already.  If I can dream though…play a sold out show at the Hollywood Bowl, do a song with Tom Petty, The Pet Shop Boys, U2, Johnny Marr, or Dave Gahan, and I’ve also always wanted to go to Greece… 

HS: What do the MUSE diaries mean to you? Why did you decide to be a part of this movement?

ED: I love that the Muse diaries are all about women telling their stories and inspiring others.  Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that!?! 

HS: What would you like to ask our next MUSE? 

ED: What would you answer for question number 4? (What is some advice that has kept you going and growing?) :-)







 

 


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