19 Dec Empowering Style. The Celebrity Wishmaker Simonetta Lein Meets Tech Fashionista Eva Peralta
Empowered women empower women. Simonetta Lein
As my readers know, The Wishmaker is all about empowering other women and girls. With The Wishwall In Every City project, I had the opportunity to bring The Wishwall to Marlton NJ (In collaboration with Girl Talk Marlton), and honor a special woman from that city, Christina Grimmie – The Voice finalist that was tragically killed in Orlando. – Read about The Wishwall and Christina Grimmie on The Metro US.
What inspired me the most was witnessing how many girls are inspired by her, because of the amazing singer she was but also because of her advocacy for self-awareness, freedom of expression and self-empowerment. Seeing these girls in tears but also seeing them motivated to become successful leaders in society, gave me a real sense of how much women who empower other women are fundamental.
On this week’s Empowering Style, I have a woman that advocates fashion as a tool for her mission: Eva Peralta. She is passionate about how technology is applied to fashion. I think we can all learn a lot from Eva’s perspective. Of course I met her through social media as usual 🙂
Who are you and what is the name of your business?
My name is Eva Peralta and I’m the founder & editor of Posh.Life.Miami – which is short for Think Posh + Speak Life + Inspire Miami. I started Posh.Life.Miami as a blog (www.poshlifemiami.blogspot.com) and social media presence to support and advocate for various causes, promote innovative ideas, inspire girls & women and connect the innovators to the dreamers within my community and beyond, by using fashion as a platform.
What is your brand about?
Posh.Life.Miami is all about inspiring girls and women to rid themselves of previous misconceptions associated with beauty in the hopes to redefine and expand what we perceive as beautiful, sexy, feminine & strong through stories and fashion images. I love the fashion industry, not just because of the clothes but because I know the power that the Fashion Industry has over Cultural Perceptions – and my brand is determined to challenge them.
For example, “The Evolution of the Fashion Model” was an article I wrote about 2 separate shows during NYFW. One show featured the agency, Models of Diversity, which represents various models with disabilities and other minorities in the modeling world. The second was Carrie Hammer’s show, in which she used real life role models as fashion models; Jamie Brewer, a talented young actress with down-syndrome was one of the role models that graced the catwalk along with other industry leaders and chief executives.
Another article, “Monokini 2.0” spotlights a Finnish social Art project that challenges the popular & cultural expectations of a woman’s body by creating glamorous bathing suits for breast cancer survivors that expose their mastectomy scars beautifully as a way to reclaim that part of their body and empower the wearer. The idea is that everyone wears clothes and everyone should be represented properly and have the right to feel empowered by what they’re wearing and how it is presented to them as valuable customers.
What is your mission?
As a feminist, activist & futurist, I am interested in presenting, supporting and investing in innovative tech fashion ideas. Especially ones that can tip the scales in our favor in terms of production against China and other countries – which currently dominate fashion production jobs.
Traditional manufacturing processes along with current technology has not just made the creation of American fashion manufacturing jobs too expensive to sustain; it has also created the perfect environment for worker abuse in poor countries such as China, Bangladesh and India among many others in which even children are being exploited with the end goal of producing affordable clothing and accessories.
The Fashion Industry itself can be a positive driving force for change, by investing in technology to develop new production techniques, bio diverse textiles & materials, and designs that aren’t just visually appealing, but functional and even helpful for the wearer. If I can help the fashion industry evolve for the better by promoting, sharing and investing in these ideas, that’s what I’ll do, that is my mission.
**I recently interviewed Ilaria Venturini Fendi, as a former Fendissime designer and member of the Fendi family she has the know-how for top quality fashion yet she is devoted in re-discovering fashion. There are many materials not being utilized that she recycles to create her “Carmina Campus” bags and she thinks that ethical fashion can become the new rule. She puts a lot of hope into new designers and underground designers.
As a fashion icon and style expert myself I do think that fashion as an industry can be a leader in change. I dream of a fashion that brings innovation, that doesn’t use under-developed countries but instead would bring their culture to light and use these materials so that what you wear would be a piece with a story. I strongly believe in the necessity of stories and culture for the progression of our species, art is essential. Fashion is a form of art and we shouldn’t forget that.
Are you a Millennial? What do you think about Millennials?
Yes, I was born in 85’ so I am one of the older Millennials and I identify as such, especially when I realize that not everyone has the computer and technology literacy I possess and take for granted. I very much admire Millennials and a recent study showed that Millennials are more inclined to work in collaborative environments versus competitive ones, they are more likely to volunteer their time and talent for social good and they would rather invest their money in experiences rather than accumulating material possessions (aside from technological devices, Millennials love their tech toys).
The Millennials from my own community flock to Idea & Startup Hubs where they collaborate with each other in order to grow and strengthen their independent businesses. This has created an explosion of Millennial start-ups, especially in creative fields. They’re also risk takers; while past generations preached “get a good paying job or career to pay the bills”, Millennials preach “find something you are passionate about and get a job in that field or make THAT your career”.
This implies that the generational values have shifted. What was once considered a frivolous idea, think of Walt Disney, he was mocked for years for following his passion, has now become a compass for finding the right job and career. I am incredibly proud to be a part of this revolutionary generation.
If you are here it means that you love fashion. Why?
I love fashion because of it’s evolutionary and representative nature. Fashion styles are constantly changing and seemingly represent their era in time and this is obvious just by looking at the popular fashion of any particular time. Though Fashion has been relatively the same for the last century in terms of production, purpose and functionality, as we introduce and apply technological advancements we are essentially lending a hand to the evolution of fashion and our species. Think about it, we have designers currently developing a bra that will be able to detect small traces of breast cancer!
This can prolong the lifespan of many women, which means it would essentially prolongate the lifespan of our species that is seriously exciting! It’s also interesting to see the correlation between clothes and our emotions. I find that on days I’m not feeling well, I tend to dress in pajamas or over sized t-shirts and on days where I’m most susceptible to depression I had been walking around in pajama pants and over sized t-shirts, my comfy at home clothes.
When I forced myself to dress up and accessorize, even put on a little makeup, I find myself feeling more awake, more confident and I catch myself smiling when I pass my own reflection on a nearby mirror. Though, of course, fashion and shopping can never compare to formal therapy sessions with a licensed professional specializing in Depression, but it is, at least it has been for me, a valuable addition when I’m feeling blue.
**I firmly believe in the power of self-image – when you learn how to project your inner beauty to the outside everything changes. Fashion can also be one of the key tools for successful empowerment therapy. Like Eva said, if you feel down and you force yourself to get dress nicely and throw on bit of makeup you can shift your mood. Retail therapy is one of the most common forms of therapy and it can be effective as long as you don’t over do it.
This is my Empowering Style list for Eva: boho-chic, exotic, vintage and sophisticated.
I love everything about this outfit and your Latina-infused inspirations. Very sophisticated and sexy at the same time.
In this outfit I appreciate the attention to detail, from the jewelry to the hairstyle which reminds me of the Frida Kalo style. It is a simple but researched combo with boho-chic vibes that will not leave you unnoticed. I love the shoes as they tell the world a lot about you.
This is a denim on a t-shirt street style in which I appreciate the accessories: from the jewelry to the glasses. I am in love with the baby on the t-shirt wearing her mommy’s shoes because she wants to be glam. I think most women did that when we were younger.
What cannot be missed from your wardrobe?
My jeans, a comfy pair of shoes and statement jewelry pieces, mainly from my own jewelry collection (I’m also a part-time jewelry designer). I want to be able to pull an outfit together quickly, so much of my wardrobe revolves around a small selection of jeans, structured skirts and flouncy tops & dresses; these are my foundation pieces.
My priority is always comfort because what I wear plays the role of my second skin and I’m not going to wear something that makes me look good but has me looking forward to “peeling it off”, so because of this you’ll rarely see me wearing heels. When I want to jazz things up a bit I add some jewelry and a pop of color.
Your favorite pair of shoes and why?
My colorful Nicaraguan Huarache leather sandals I bought for $15 from a local shop in my neighborhood that sold Nicaraguan goods, and what makes them special is that they were hand-made by native Nicaraguan women. I was born in Nicaragua but came to the U.S. at 3 years old and I was not exposed all that much to Nicaraguan culture, but every time I wear my Huarache sandals I feel pride in my roots, especially because they looked so good with everything I pair it with! I get a lot of compliments when I pair them up with a long black suit vest and jeans, it’s delightfully unexpected, and I’ve yet to see anyone else style it that way.
What is your style and what can you not stand in people, inside and out?
I’m a laid back, multi-faceted individual and my style is a reflection of that. If I had to put it into words I would call it – laid back & exotic with a hint of business chic. I also don’t follow trends, my style is very personal and I much rather dress to express myself and only include trendy items into my outfits as long as they make sense with my already existing aesthetic. I cannot stand people who are vain, mean and lack compassion.
What is your fashion mantra?
“I don’t do fashion, I AM fashion”, by Coco Chanel. What I took from that quote is that to Gabrielle, Fashion was personal, it was not something that you ‘do’ or ‘follow’. The way you put together an outfit and are able to add your own personal signature, your “look”…that’s the moment you create and become fashion. That’s what Gabrielle did.
**My column on La Voce di New York it is called I Am Fashion – my life is dedicated to show all that is fashion about me and others.
What is that magic word that speaks about you and only you can show it to our readers?
Avant Garde – Favoring or introducing experimental or unusual ideas. If it is innovative or unusual in an empowering way I cannot wait to share it with others.
What is a wish that you would commit to grant this year to someone paying it forward?
A wish I am committed to granting this upcoming year is to provide my old high school with a 3D printer for the students to use and begin to experiment with, with the hopes of not just empowering them by providing them access to this technology but to also hopefully spark their curiosity and inspire them to consider careers in STEM.
My old high school is in a predominantly black & impoverished neighborhood which is practically a financial ghost town. Exposing these kids to this technology and it’s possibilities can help our communities flourish from the inside out. To tie in fashion, my friends and I are planning to present local 3D printed fashion & prosthetic to the students and their parents as one of the exciting possibilities of 3D printing.
I recently read that a group of students in Texas had designed and printed a prosthetic arm for a 6 year old girl and the students raved about feeling fulfilled by being able to help the little girl. If we can tie in that feeling of pride, accomplishment and fulfillment to academics and technology, we can help underprivileged students to confidently pursue their dreams no matter what they may be.
**This is amazing! Please keep me updated on this beautiful project. This is the Empowering Style: be empowered to empower others!
Thank you Eva for this tech fashionista interview. I loved your vision and your mission.
As always, make your wishes come true.
From Philadephia, Simonetta Lein The Celebrity Wishmaker.
Credits: Adam O’Reilly, Collaborator.