Aquaria. Seven letters, that’s all.
Actually, it doesn’t take more to cause a rumble; with enough weight as a backing, the right name can generate quite a ruckus ― in the best sense of the word. Winner of the tenth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2018, Aquaria has garnered great fame and success across the globe: not only has she ventured into the world of music and beauty, but she has also made it to the cover of Vogue Italia and become entertainment editor at Dazed. Her style has led her to become the first drag queen to walk the Met Gala carpet, to model for Moschino and H&M, and to walk the runway for Savage x Fenty, RiRi’s brand!
We had the opportunity to chat with Aquaria, who shared with us a little piece of her soul — without further ado, let’s dive into her world.
DC: WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS LIKE? HOW DOES THE AQUARIA VISION COME TO LIFE?
A: My process can begin in a lot of different ways and also take many turns until I create a finished product. I don’t necessarily identify the steps of my process and normally just try to tackle projects in any way possible for the given assignment.
DC: WHERE DO YOU DRAW INSPIRATION FROM?
A: I’m a huge fan of dramatic and daring fashion choices. Runway and editorials definitely help guide my creativity. Additionally, I love taking inspiration from film and animation.I often will draw visual cues from particular styles or references in media and have always strongly related to flamboyant queer (or queer-adjacent) villains and characters. Many people are critical of how queer people can be depicted negatively as villains in media, however, I find a lot of power through said characters’ freedoms of dress and expression.
DC: DO YOU FEEL MOST AUTHENTICALLY YOU IN OR OUT OF DRAG? OR IS IT A COMBINATION OF BOTH?
A: It’s definitely a combination of both for me. Of course, drag allows me to express my visions artistically, however, I’ve learned to cherish the time I have out of drag since that is such a major element of my life as well. Finding a balance between the two is essential for me.
DC: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THE YOUNGER GENERATIONS ON BEING THEIR TRUE SELVES?
A: Know yourself and never let anyone convince you that you deserve anything but the best in life. Be prepared to make mistakes and experiment through all of life’s trials and tribulations. At the end of the day, our purpose in the world is to make life easier for future generations, so it’s best to always strive for that.
DC: WHAT ARE SOME ACTIONS EVERYONE CAN TAKE TO SUPPORT THE LGBTQIA+ COMMUNITY RIGHT NOW?
A: I think the most meaningful support people can give to the LGBTQIA+ community comes from putting in the time and effort to learn about our past/current struggles as well as what actions and advocacy you can do to create a positive change.It’s important to celebrate our victories, but there can’t be festivities unless everyone has a reason to celebrate. Donating to charities that uplift and support transgender people, specifically, will help these marginalized groups catch up to achieving the justice, freedoms, and rights they so desperately deserve.
DC: WHAT’S A MESSAGE YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH THE WORLD?
A: I think my best advice would be to try to continue throughout life striving to be more selfless and aware of what’s going around you. No person is perfect and there are always many ways we can each grow to be more kind people. Recognizing that everyone makes mistakes and doesn’t understand is a great step towards fewer mistakes and a greater understanding for all.
Making a place for yourself in the fashion world is no easy task; conquering it, of course, doesn’t happen overnight. And becoming a source of inspiration is also complex. And yet, Blanca Miró has managed to cross all this off her to-do list.
Blanca’s style is her calling card. Wherever she goes, whether at the biggest Fashion Weeks like Milan or Paris, at the Cannes Film Festival, at home in Barcelona, or on vacation in Ibiza, this entrepreneur echoes her colorful personal stamp, and also that of her business, whether we’re talking about La Veste or Delarge.
A lover of interior design (a taste inherited from her mother) and passionate about beautiful tables (if you haven’t already, keep an eye on @blanca_a_table), Blanca has decided to bring all her energy, exquisite taste, aesthetics, and expertise to VOICES by DAN CASSAB.
So, without further ado, how about giving the floor to this Spanish icon, passionate about creating and discovering in a world where fashion is a game —one of which she knows all the rules… and challenges them.
CAN YOU SHARE WITH US A BIT ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY, FROM EARLY BEGINNINGS AND INTERESTS TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
BM: I’ve always been interested in everything that comes to aesthetics. I was born into a creative family. My mum is an interior designer and my father was in the automobile industry. I’ve always said, “If you like interior design you’ll probably like fashion, and the other way”.Both my mum and dad had great taste (at least for me) and I was very inspired by them, and also by my grandma (mother of my mum), she was the coolest mixing! When I left Barcelona to study in London for a year, I opened my mind and lost the fear to wear whatever I felt. I wasn’t afraid of what anyone would think about my outfits. It wasn’t the same in Barcelona. I’ve loved playing with clothes and accessories since I was a little girl. I used to explore my mum’s closet and tried to dress her, telling her what she had to wear, pretending I was her stylist. But in fact, I was learning from her taste. Once I was studying my career back in Barcelona, I started to help brands do whatever they needed. That’s how I started to introduce myself in the industry.
DC: ARE THERE SPECIFIC PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE – FAMILY MEMBERS, ARTISTS, MUSICIANS, THINKERS, OR OTHERWISE – WHO HAVE PLAYED A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN SHAPING WHO YOU ARE?
BM: Of course! The artists of my life are my parents. It can sound very mythical but I’m not lying. They played a whole role in shaping who I am. I wasn’t an easy child. I was quite rebellious, so I’m very proud of how hard they worked on redirecting me.
DC: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE AND WHAT WOULD YOU SUGGEST OUR READERS FOLLOW AS FAR AS FASHION?
BM: I think I’m quite eclectic. As my friends say, I’m a pro at mixing all this stuff you’d never imagined together and making it possible!I created my own game. I love to play when I get dressed, but I don’t like to take it too seriously. It’s funny to create an outfit and think about what made you make that mix. Something you saw recently while traveling? Someone you met? A film? A book? What?
DC: WHAT’S COMING UP NEXT FOR YOU?
BM: Focusing on my projects such as LA VESTE and Delarge, and making them grow more and more.
MUST PLACE TO VISIT IF IT’S YOUR FIRST TIME IN THE CITY?
It depends on your interests but I recommend going to Fundació Miró. It’s a must! Libreria Finestres is a very beautiful library and bookstore decorated by my friends from Quintana Partners.You should eat at Gresca or have breakfast at Brunells.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING IN YOUR FREE TIME?
Working out, driving far from the city with my husband, or going to Menorca, where our second home is (with family). Vintage shopping (clothes or furniture), skiing during winter, walking in the mountains, and reading a great book.
FAVORITE COFFEE SHOP:
BEST VINTAGE STORE:
In Barcelona: Alabama Collect, and Le Swing vintage.
Joining us at our Voices section is the stylish Patricia Sañes. Her looks are always colorful, eclectic and is never afraid to be fashion forward and authentic.
Lucky us, Patricia shares some of the practices that she lives by in the following article.
DC: TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND – WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND HOW DID YOUR INTERESTS AND JOURNEY TAKE YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
PS: I was born in Barcelona 38 years ago. Since I was a little girl I was already showing my talent: when I was two years old I emptied my maternal grandmother’s shoe rack to try on all her high heels and, already at school, I won many writing contests. Writing and fashion have been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I studied Journalism and started working at TELVA —one of the most prestigious fashion magazines in Spain—, to later become the correspondent of Grazia magazine in Barcelona, after a stage in the Communication Department of L’Oréal Professionnel.In 2010 I launched Coolhunterdiary.com, the first digital fashion and art magazine edited by a Spanish journalist and digital talent. Today I use my social media to express my passion for niche brands, contemporary art, decoration, colorful tables, and writing. I like to accompany many photos/videos I post with small texts that usually invite reflection.
To date, I have collaborated with brands such as Chanel, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Anine Bing, Current/Elliott, Mira Mikati, La DoubleJ, Manoush, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Chopard, La Mer, Sisley Paris, Antik Batik, Rochas and Cartier, among others.
DC: IS THERE ONE PARTICULAR AREA OF YOUR LIFE THAT YOU FEEL MORE DRAWN TO CURRENTLY?
PS: Indeed, I’m now immersed in my role as a writer. I miss writing the way I did before the boom of social media. My first book is in the oven…
DC: WHICH SPIRITUAL COACHES, WRITERS, OR SPEAKERS HAVE GIVEN YOU TOOLS TO TRANSFORM SOMETHING IN YOUR LIFE?
PS: I’m Catholic and I practice religion in my own way. I get to know God thanks to Opus Dei during my time at the University of Navarra. The people I met there helped me to give a much more transcendental meaning to life and to try to make mine useful to others —although I don’t always succeed.
DC: WHAT KEEPS YOU MOTIVATED IN YOUR DAILY LIFE? DO YOU HAVE SET REGIMENS, HEALTHY HABITS, AND SELF-CARE ROUTINES YOU CAN’T DO WITHOUT?
PS: I’m motivated by my work and my children. I’m also motivated by taking a step further in my pilates classes, which I can’t live without. In addition, I do strength training with a personal trainer every Monday. As for my eating habits, I eat a lot of fish, vegetables, and fruit during the week to let myself go at the weekend. There are no secrets here. What I don’t forgive is my two ounces of dark chocolate after every meal, whatever day it is.
As for my daily beauty routine, I’m very disciplined. Every night I remove my makeup, then I apply toner, serum, moisturizer, and eye contour. In the mornings I follow the same order, without toner and eye contour.
I also take care of myself on the inside: I do therapy every week and have a chat with a priest —friend of mine— from time to time.
DC: SHARE WITH US AT DAN CASSABS VOICES, A MANTRA YOU LIKE TO LIVE BY, AS YOUR CORE VALUES.
PS: Rules are there to be broken. I don’t like to live “in a corset”, and I try to translate that into the way I dress.
THE BEST PLACE TO HAVE COFFEE?
The garden terrace at the Planta Baja restaurant.
CONCEPT STORE OF THE MOMENT?
Without a doubt, Luzio.
FAVORITE MUSEUM? AND WHY?
Moco. It’s a museum of contemporary, modern, and street art that brings together works by some of my favorite artists such as Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Yayoi Kusama, Mark Rothko, and Andy Warhol.
ANY FURNITURE OR HOME FURNISHINGS STORE YOU LIKE THE MOST?
Les Eines, where you will find handcrafted, unique decorative objects and other iconic pieces from the interior design world.
Joining our Voices at Dan Cassab, is an extraordinary woman who is known for her glamorous style and travel journeys. Her fashion and art background have made Annacarla a passionate influencer and trendsetter.
She has also had an important spiritual journey that has marked her path and has opened up in the following article with some inspiring stories.
DC: TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND – WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND HOW DID YOUR INTERESTS AND JOURNEY TAKE YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
AD: I was born in Arezzo, Tuscany, in 1989. Because of my work, I now live in Milano, but I’m still very close to my hometown. I always come back when I have time to spare! I’m the oldest of four children. My family is the most beautiful thing in my life, and every day I feel grateful for all the love I receive from them and that I give to them. My partner is the best person I could’ve asked for, and I’m crazy in love with him. He makes me happy and proud of who I am. Feeling surrounded by the most beautiful people —and by love— is what makes me happy and what gives me the strength and passion to be who I am, to be where I am now, and to work hard to reach my objectives, facing sad moments and difficulties of life.My family allows me to be free in all aspects of my life. I always say that my mum represents the sky for me, the possibility of being a dreamer, to dream impossible things, day after day, and make them happen. Instead, my father is completely different: he represents the land, the capacity to always be concrete, and to stay with my foot anchored to the ground despite being a dreamer. Regarding my background, I’ve always been passionate about fashion, since I was a child! I grew up surrounded by a great sense of aesthetics and beauty. My mum is a jewelry and home decor designer. This allowed me to develop my passion for art, fashion and also design.
My father owns a quite big goldsmith jewelry company that produces gold and silver jewels for big worldwide luxury brands. His company, based in Arezzo, is called TREEMME and it was founded in 1982. When I was a child, I used to go there all the time. I was fascinated by all the goldsmith processes. My father often made me work on some pieces, which allowed me to develop good manual skills. Still to this day, I love to imagine and design some jewels, and then create them for myself. After high school, I graduated in Fashion —marketing and communication— at Polimoda, in Florence, and, at the same time, I got a degree in Art History at the University of Literature and Philosophy, also in Florence. After this, I did a master’s in Art at the Sorbonne, in Paris, where I lived for a year. This permitted me to learn French!
What I like the most —in fashion or jewelry or accessories, whatever— is discovering new brands from all over the world and finding vintage pieces everywhere. I also enjoy buying handcrafted items during my trips. I always explore markets or hidden places looking for art pieces.
Now I make a living as an influencer, fashion consultant, and content creator. I worked for my company for 3 years, until the end of 2019, when I decided to leave the family business to follow my dream and build my personal career in the fashion industry.
I miss working at my company and many times I think it’s time to create my own jewelry brand, and probably I’ll do it soon!
DC: IS THERE A SPECIFIC MOMENT IN YOUR LIFE YOU CAN RECALL THAT REALLY SHAPED OR GROUNDED YOU?
AD: There have been many moments in my life that shaped and grounded me, but I want to speak about two that I consider extremely important.
The first one is my experience working as a personal assistant for a famous woman from Lebanon, who, in 2016, created her own jewelry brand, HRH Jewels.
This episode of my life was important because I was very young —22 years old— and it was my first job. It made me learn a lot and I thank her, more than anything, for all the trust she placed in me. She’s an amazing woman. So important but, at the same time, so kind and humble.
The second exciting experience I want to recall here is the one I lived in the UK in 2016, 2017.
I was in London to attend a couple of fashion and jewelry short courses —at GIA London and Condé Nast Fashion School— and I decided to start working as a sales assistant for a big department store. For six months, I worked at Selfridges. Then I moved to Harrods and worked for Alberta Ferretti as a sales and marketing assistant for the Italian team.
This experience challenged me a lot and it allowed me to directly understand clients, their needs and their way to purchase.
DC: WHICH SPIRITUAL COACHES, WRITERS OR SPEAKERS HAVE GIVEN YOU TOOLS TO TRANSFORM SOMETHING IN YOUR LIFE?
AD: I’ve always been passionate about philosophy and when I was younger, I used to read many books! Among my favorite philosophers are Socrates, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Kant.
Speaking about coaches directly connected with my work —and with fashion, in general— I’d like to mention the Italian entrepreneur Chiara Ferragni. She’s an amazing woman! She’s ambitious and determined. A dreamer who never stops fighting for her dreams, achieving great success.
Chiara invented the role of “influencer” and now she’s one of the most important digital entrepreneurs in the world. As if that were not enough, she found time and love to create her beautiful family, have two children and dedicate her time to all of this.
I admire her as a businesswoman, as a mother, as a friend, and as a wife because she always keeps her innate sense of compassion and kindness despite her accomplishments.
DC: WHAT ARE THE BEST PLACES YOU HAVE TRAVELLED TO AND WHY?
AD: Sometimes I say to myself: “Why not be a travel blogger?”, or even better: “Why not be a tour operator and open my own travel agency?”.
I really love to travel. Not only to visit new countries and discover new cultures but because I love to organize my adventures and, to be honest, I’m really good at it! I’m a very enthusiastic and positive person, and I think traveling is the biggest gift we can make to ourselves. Let me note 3 places I’ve visited recently.
Mexico. I love this country and its people! They’re sunny, super kind, and always ready to help you. Mexicans made me feel at home in a period of my life I felt completely lonely.
I arrived in Tulum with my best friend for the new year of 2021 for a vacation and, in the end, I stayed more than 3 months, coming back twice the next year. At that time, I’d been practicing yoga in Italy for 6 years and in Mexico, I continued practicing and I really went deeper into it, discovering new parts of myself and better reconnecting with my body and with nature.
There I also understood the importance of being anonymous, of being loved and appreciated by others not because of my style or for being fashionable, but because of my soul, my spirit and my values. It was very important for my growth.
Hawaii, April 2022. This place was —and still is— significant to me because it represented my capacity to be alone in the world, even far away from all my safe places and securities. I was working at Coachella in Palm Springs and, after this adventure, I decided to take a plane and go to this state. It was a long time since I’d visited Hawaii and I did it all by myself!
Colombia, Summer 2022. One of the best in my life! Me, my boyfriend, my sister, and her boyfriend too. We went to Colombia for a really adventurous trip: 20 days, a backpack for each one of us, and no looks at all, hahaha! I felt so free! Many cities and places to visit with the most important and funny people in my life.
We went to Bogota, Medellin, Cali, Cartagena, San Andres, Providencia, to the Islas del Rosario and Punta Baru. Everything was amazing!
Il Cantuccio, Agania, La buca di San Francesco, Le Chiavi d’oro. I love Tuscany’s food. It’s my favorite in the world! You should definitely try it. The local cuisine with fresh products from the nearby Valdichiana and Casentino Valley has a following of its own.
Coolest Concept Store:
SUGAR store (www.sugar.it) is the coolest luxury concept store, not only in Arezzo but in Italy. SUGAR boasts an exclusive selection from the best designers of clothes, shoes, bags, and accessories —both for men and for women.
The store is owned by Beppe Angiolini, an important figure in the fashion system. He made my hometown, Arezzo, world famous thanks to the great job he did. Also, he helped me develop my style and my excitement for fashion. He’s very passionate about art. I have known him since I was a little girl going to his shop with my mum, impressed by all the beauty and innovation I saw around me.
Your favorite go-to reading spot:
My country house, where I grew up. It’s located at a 15-minute drive from the Arezzo historical center, where I live now.
My grandmother’s home, at the historical center, where you have an amazing view of Arezzo from the top. Il Prato, a public garden close to the Duomo of Arezzo. And, last but not least, the Anfiteatro Romano.
Arezzo has a lot of museums because my city is very important from a historical and artistic point of view. It’s a place for art lovers. Its amazing Medieval Square is one of the city’s main attractions, used in the Oscar-winning film “La Vita è Bella” by Roberto Benigni.
While visiting Arezzo you can’t miss the stunning “Affreschi di Piero della Francesca” in the Church of San Francesco, and you have to see the main square Piazza Grande with the elegant loggia designed by Vasari —yes, the same Vasari who planned the Uffizi in Florence.
On the first weekend of every month, Piazza Grande becomes the grand setting for the most popular Antiques Fair in Tuscany.
Words: Megan Vega
Megan Adelaide Vega is a model lifestyle photo blogger who lives in Long Beach, California. Sharing her voice, we are happy and proud to have her at Dan Cassab.
DC: You are the perfect description of a fresh relaxed California free soul girl, who manages at the same time to have the allure of a cosmopolitan city, how do you do it?
MV: Living near the beach helps me stay balanced. Work can get very busy and as much as I love the rush of things, I simply love to slow things down, go to the beach with a book in my hand and turn off my phone.
DC: When did you discover that you liked fashion and that it would be your way of life, and that you could write about it?
MV: I discovered my love for fashion at a very young age, I started modeling at the age of 11 and I was infatuated with the rush of it all, putting looks together and creating art. Ever since then I knew I would forever be involved in this industry.
DC: Sharing your blog with others, is also being a role model, what are your messages to your followers?
MV: Simply just by being yourself.
DC: Which spiritual coaches, writers or speakers have given you tools to transform something in your life?
MV: Joan Didion, always and forever.
DC: Share with us at Dan Cassabs Voices, a mantra you like to live by, as your core values.
MV: Just do you and stay true to yourself.
DC: Describe a regular day in your home by the beach, where you love to sit in your backyard?
MV: I love to start my day off with a hot pilates class, followed by coffee and then working at my computer for a couple of hours normally lol. I’ll shoot any projects that I have coming up and then enjoy the rest of the day by playing with my pups in the backyard or down by the beach.
DC: Who influenced on you when growing up to love fashion?
MV: My Grandma Margaret, she used to model as well and I admired her deeply.
DC: Give us an epic moment that is always in your memory, from a fashion show:
MV: Honestly every fashion show had epic moments, grateful to be a part of them all.
Great coffee spot:
Best place to watch the perfect sunset:
The beach, always.
Favorite spot for a healthy lunch:
Sushi On Fire
A good hike in LA: Griffith Park, Bronson Canyon, Runyon Canyon.
Entering the new year with excitement, we welcome Alexis Badiyi, to our Voices at Dan Cassab, proud to have this empowered woman, share her secrets and tools to achieve her goals. Alexis is currently living in Brooklyn, she was born into a family of talented and creative entrepreneurs, where she learned that everything is possible.
Her intuition and the way she works with energy, makes her a well known stylist, she can style a picture, a flower vase, a location and a model with the best eye in town.
This courageous artist, has embarked on a new adventure, and is now on a business of her own.
DC: You are proud of your heritage, what specific talents did you learn and inherit from your family?
AB: Fearless imagination and creativity
DC: Tell us about this new adventure of embarking as an entrepreneur?
AB: Its been about a decade of being a freelance creative. I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs, dating back generations. This was the example I grew up with and looked up to. This has always felt the most familiar and comfortable to me.
DC: Working with your dreams, and then bringing them to life, is a state of the art, how do you do that?
AB: Working on strengthening your imagination & visualizations. Once I see something in my mind’s eye, it’s as if it has already happened. This fuels me like nothing else to bring these things to life. I’ll think of something non stop until it is fully visualized. Sometimes i’ll fall asleep thinking about it and then dream about it all night. Then when I wake up I’m hit with a wave to create it. I grew up seeing my family do this. My grandmother would be dreaming about something until it clicked & then leap up to create it.
DC: How do you keep grounded in such a hectic city?
AB: I’m from LA where being in nature was always my form of grounding. This can be hard to find in the city. I have found a combination of things to help ground myself. Exercise, meditation, acupuncture, therapy and good friends help.
DC: What advice would you give our readers, as far as vibrating in abundance instead of scarcity?
AB: Abundance attracts abundance, nothing can be created in the paralyzing space of scarcity. Visualize the feeling of abundance, voice gratitude for the areas in your life that are already abundant & feel that warm light expand to all areas of your life. The abundance you seek is also seeking you.
DC: You are an amazing artist, share a mantra of yours for us to keep:
AB: Hold on to the images of your dreams and the illusion of your dreams becomes your reality.
Favorite coffee shop
Abraco East Village, Bittersweet Fort Greene
Coolest vintage spot in town
Desert Vintage, Stella Dallas ,Tokyo 7,L train, 9th street, my favorite way to buy vintage however is online through ebay, etsy, auctions, depop & IG
Where to find perfect flowers
Where do locals shop for good furniture?
I’m a big online vintage shopper for good furniture. Once you have keywords, take them to craigslist, facebook marketplace, ebay, etsy & auction sites. I also love thrifting Upstate & Pennsylvania.
Words: Nicole Huisman
Joining our Voices at Dan Cassab, is a wonderful young successful woman, big time influencer, by setting a great example of how to so simple and elegant styling.
Nicole Huisman, started in Elle doing what she loves, she now works free lance and inspires many that she dresses up with her styling.
Nicole also works with Vogue, L’Officiel and other big league editorials. The queen of Styling has the tools and knows how to play the game.
DC: What do you look for in a person when doing their styling?
NH: I try to figure out what their personality is all about and how and in what they feel like the best version of themselves – is that by wearing a sexy minidress, or a cool oversized suit, for example? When I know who they are and what they are looking for, I always try to push them a little bit out of their comfort zone, trying something new, so that my work really has added value 🙂
DC: In your personal wardrobe, what style do you prefer?
NH: I’m completely schizophrenic when it comes to my personal styling, haha! I believe I’m a little bit of everything, except a minimalist. I envy people with their 5-piece-french-wardrobe vibes, it looks so calming, but I will never be able to join their club, I’m afraid. I’m eclectic, always colorful, always comfortable.
DC: What advice would you give us for a simple and elegant look, yet at the same time original?
NH: You can never go wrong with a beautiful oversized suit, a great fitting (vintage) pair of jeans and a qualitatively basic T-shirt. Choose something bold and original to top it off with: a crazy cool coat, an outspoken colorful bag. Focus on 1 item to put in the spotlight, that’s always a good idea.
DC: In your combo looks when wearing leopard, denim, silk, how do you create the finishing look?
NH: I always look for balance, no matter how crazy my look is. When I wear silk for example, I make sure to combine it with a heavier fabric, like denim or leather. And when wearing something oversized, I look for something more slim to combine it with – like an oversized jeans + oversized T-shirt with a mini-bag. Surprise elements, I guess.
DC: What is your favorite phrase for these times?
NH: So much is happening, be open to the good
DC: How did 2020 add to your growth?
NH: I found more calmness, more thankfulness and even more enthusiasm to get the best out of this crazy life!
DC: Hearing you say: Life is better in a bikini…
NH: Does that mean less is more? I do believe less is more, but sometimes less can be so boring. With ‘life is better in bikini’, I’m referring to my favorite season & surroundings. I feel best in summer, or at sunny destinations – gives me so much positive vibes and energy.
Favorite coffee shop?
Favorite place to shop for vintage clothing?
What place would you recommend to anyone who is visiting for the first time?
Come visit my favorite area, the place where I just moved to, Amsterdam Noord! So much is happening there, love the raw, original vibes.
What are you reading/listening to these days?
Back at ‘The Best of Sade’
Hobby or what is it that you like doing on you free time?
I’m busy renovation our new house, from scratch, so I’m, always working on interior and moodboards, my new obsession.
Words: Fia Hamelijnck
Fia is our Voice at Dan Cassab, she is beautiful inside and out. Half Dutch and half Nigerian, she has an eclectic and playful style. Fia loves life, and is a very positive person, she now lives in Amsterdam, where she has found her base, and enjoys it.
Big time influencer, she enjoys doing mix and match with colors and styles. Also a philanthropist, helping many Cancer Foundations.
She is always positive, her mantra: you may rest, but never quit!
DC: Fia, you remind us of the beautiful flowers that grow in the Netherlands, specially the sunflowers, how does your character relate to that?
FJ: Oh that’s a good one, to be honest I do see some similarities with a sunflower. The biggest one is that they always grow facing towards the sun. So they look forward to a bright and fun future. That’s exactly how I live my life. Not everything goes as planned, but when you look for the bright side of things, your life will fall into place.
DC: You were very young when you moved to the big city, how did you make that decision?
FJ: I grew up in a small village together with my mom and my sister. There are only seven thousand people living there. I knew from a very young age that my place in to world was not there.
As soon as I visited Amsterdam and especially when I met the people that where living there. I love Amsterdam, as well as the people who live in it. I get inspired by just walking on the street, my love for fashion and art awakens.
DC: You have mentioned that you love your home land, what is that you like there?
FJ: I just love the Dutch mentality. Very down to earth, direct and honest. But the the thing that really keeps me here are my friends and family. Such a cliche, but can’t image my life without having them close to me.
DC: Instagram and Pinterest set the turning point for you to be an influencer, we love your style, what made you start this?
FJ: I always had my own style when I grew up. I started experimenting with fashion and styling in high school and never stopped pushing boundaries of what I believed is cool and what you can mix and match.
DC: Being a role model carries responsibility, which is the message you give to your followers?
FJ: That’s it’s OK to be different, and that the most important thing is to express yourself. But most of all you should always stand for inclusiveness. And that’s something I want to stand for.
DC: This past year, what was your most important lesson?
FJ: “Do you” just always do you. Go for what feels best for you, wear what you want and look like you want. Don’t ever think you are not good enough, because you are. We all are good enough 💙💙💙
Must place to visit if it’s your first time?
So many places to visit. But for me a visit to Amsterdam isn’t complete without visiting the “Noordermark”. This is a vintage clothing heaven every Monday. You can find vintage designer clothes, but also other eclectic vintage finds. Noordermarkt is a market / food place that you will find every Sunday. They have really nice organic snacks and great oysters!
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I love walking trough the city. I have a dog and since he’s part of our family we walk from one side of the city to the other. We usually stop for lunch, snacks and coffee.
Favorite Coffee Shop:
Yusu! It’s close to my home and they have THE BEST cappuccino oat and banana bread. Say Hi for me when you are there:P
Best Vintage Store:
Words: Anna Winck
Anna Winck, is an American girl, now living in Copenhagen, she became popular in the Scandinavian Fashion Scene, and is now a big time Instagram influencer, her followers love her warmth, freshness and the way she plays with the outfits, wearing all mix and matching colors, structures and patterns.
She is a fan of vintage clothing as well as Jewelry, reason why Anna considers herself a collector, where her advice is to gather antique pieces from the family that could be amazing for wearing and keeping.
Winck had always fun with fashion as long as she remembers, today she is a freelance stylist, creating looks that are always trendy, her most important intention is to giving confidence with what her customers acquire.
Recently embarked on a collaboration with Apne, with a wonderful outcome of beautiful Jewlery, featuring blends like a chunky masculine bracelet, with a touch of a femenin diamonds. She wakes up every morning, and depending on her mood that day, wears all kinds of rings, that have each a special meaning.
Anna has raised her voice and has set an example. Now she joins our Dan Cassab Voices, where we embrace her courage.
DC: Your pictures have a sensation of free air, a breeze of colors and flavors that go from the Scandinavian look to the Mediterranean, what connects you to these places?
AW: I grew up next to the ocean. In a Small town called Helsingborg. I feel very at home whenever I am close to the sea and out in nature. And I definitely think that reflects in my Photos.
DC: Being a lover of vintage clothes and Jewlery, do you feel like an old and wise soul?
AW: I actually dont. Maybe wise but certinaly not an old soul haha.
DC: Your sister and family are very important to you, what advice would you give the young crowd about this values?
AW: They are. They mean everything to me. I lost my dad when I was only 8 years old and that really gave me a perspective of how fragile life is and how you never should take anything nor anyone for granted. Cliche but so fucking true. Losing a family member is something that I can’t put into words on how that feels.
DC: Swimming every day and power walking, keep you up and energetic all the time, what do you use your acupuncture mat for precisely?
AW: I use it for my sore back. I worked in grocery store for 5 years and that pretty much destroyed my back. My acupuncture mat really helps my muscles relax – trying to use it 20 mins everyday. I really recommend it.
DC: Believing in yourself has made you raise your voice to set examples for others to do so, what would be a powerful message that you would like to transmit?
AW: Speak your mind and speak out against things that harm other humans. I would personally say it is a part of your job. I see it as a part of my job to make others aware of what I think is wrong. If you do not fight the problem, You are a part of the problem.
DC: Any cool vintage stores that you would recommend?
AW: All vintage stores in Tokyo.
DC: What place would you like to travel to?
AW: Sri Lanka
Favorite coffee shop?
Lille Bakery / Atelier September
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Going for a swim, working out, eat swedish ice cream ”SIA” (seriously the best) Scrolling on Vestiaire Collective and watching “How I met your mother”.
Words: Estelle Chemouny
Estelle Chemouny was born in the South of France, she moved to London after her studies, and hard worked on many jobs, they gave her time to reflect upon what she wanted to do with her life.
She then took a good offer being a sales person, there she had the opportunity to meet many people, and knew in her heart she could style them. Besides that Estelle loved to buy clothes for herself, when put together the outfits were very original, she was asked where she found her clothes, and that’s when something clicked giving her the answer, her path was without a doubt styling.
Estelle moved to Paris, the city of Light and Glamour, she resides there today, being followed by several thousands of fans that love her advice. She now has her own business, and happy to do so. Bringing her example to our Voices at Dan Cassab, we are proud to share her story.
DC: Where do you like to live better, in London or Paris, since each city has a different type of life style?
PT: It is hard to pick, London is where I actually grew up, built my career. It is the city that made me who I am today. And in London you can be whoever you want to be!
Paris is more grown up for me, if I can say that. Thats where I decided to settle, get married, open my store. Do grown up stuff!
Let’s say Paris is more beautiful but London has the best energy!
DC: You have started your own business very young, and in times where people are hesitant about retail, what gave you courage to do so?
PT: When I moved to Paris 4 years ago, I wanted to go shopping and I had not much to buy. It was all pretty classic and neutral, not my taste at all. In London, shopping was my passion and also my job, not because I love spending money but because I found pieces that I needed to own!
That is what was missing in Paris, a place where you desire pieces and realize you might not be able to live without them!
I know retail is difficult, and fashion has changed. But, I also believe people need to not only buy clothes they need to invest in very rare pieces, made by talented upcoming designers, made in very tiny quantities with the best quality.
That is what is missing! The retail experience from back in the days. When you were going to one store and knew you will only find one of a kind pieces, those pieces that will make the difference and make you feel special!
This is what we do at Paradise Garage 🙂
DC: YAs an advice to your readers at Dan Cassab, give us a phrase to keep:
PT: If you are not yourself, who else are you going to be?
DC: Share with us the lessons 2020 brought to your life:
PT: That my own happiness was my responsibility. Life is what you make it.
DC: In such a hectic work, do you practice mediation or any sports?
PT: Sports are not really my thing but during the first lockdown I have been working out watching Melissa Wood Health videos and it helped a lot. I have also started meditation to focus on the essential, and taking care of my mind. It has helped a lot!
DC: We’ve seen your style is very eclectic, even wearing men’s clothes is a signature of yours. Give us some tips on how to truly find out what our individual style is:
PT: I started wearing men’s clothes pretty young as I could get very oversized pieces (I am very tall!) My style is all about being comfortable, that is what I think first when I dress up. I hate tight clothes, it is my worst nightmare! I don’t have a particular style, I just wear what makes me happy and confident and that is what people should think of when they dress. Wear what you feel beautiful in, don’t follow the trends, just be you!
Favorite vintage shop?
Perfect coffee and patisserie?
Le moulin de la vierge
Most fashionable arrondissement?
I think 10/11
Favorite picks from Paradise Garage store: