Thursday, November 20, 2008

STREET STYLE: Pure and Simple

Junior Retail Management Major Lisa Cassese loves to look chic. She always wants to look polished but price drives her fashion decisions.
Favorite Item She’s Wearing: “I like my top. I got it at Target. It was a steal and decent fashion.”
Fashion Icon: “I like laid back fashion. Rachel Bilson and Kate Hudson.”
Trend She Loves to Hate: “I like leggings but I don’t like how people use them.”

HOW TO: Click on Vintage

As I write this, I’m bidding on 17 vintage items on E-bay. In less than a day, this vintage 80's blue avant garde swing cape wool coat could be mine for $25 dollars. An empty hanger hangs in my closet, waiting its arrival. I consider myself an expert. The proof: an 80's strapless sweater mini dress I nabbed for $9.99. Follow these tips on finding the perfect leather bomber jacket or a vintage ‘80s black tuxedo military skinny blazer.

1. Remember: Items go to the highest bidders. The seller sets a time limit (five days, for example), and users get the opportunity to bid on an item. I need to stress ONE POINT: If you dream about this item or skecth it in your notebook during your spare time,make sure you make a great maximum bid. Of course you need a budget, but these things are one-of-a-kind pieces you won’t find anywhere else.

2. Most of the vintage items I’ve looked at recently sold for less than $70. Keep this in mind when making your maximum bid, but if you can’t stop thinking about the item, it’s worth the bid.

3. Return to the places where you’ve found your favorite pieces. The following stores top my list:
*Lullie Vintage
*Art House Vintage
*Ohio Vintage
*MamaStone Vintage
4. One more thing: Even if you are outbid, you can return and place another offer. Check back frequently to see if someone else stole your dream coat, and always fight for the one you love.

PROFILE: Jewelry Maker with the Midas Touch

If you forced Carolyn Gang, SU alumna and president of Seiden Gang, an upscale jewelry company featured in stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, to identify one reason she became a jewelry entrepreneur, she might say gold. In 1980, gold cost $800 an ounce (today the price stands at about $732), and people wanted a big look with out having to pay big dollars. She began making and selling hollow, beaded bracelets to her friends at the local country clubs and offices. The bracelets sold well, and word of Carolyn's designs spread. That success taught her a lesson and prompted her to go into the gold business. Diamonds, art, real estate, and other manufactured items require a buyer. Not gold. Just melt and sell.

Carolyn grew up in New Rochelle, New York in an upper-middle-class family. Her father had his own accounting practice, and she developed an interest in business as a youngster. She came to Syracuse University as a history major with the intent of becoming a teacher. “The expectation that parents, at least mine, had for daughters rather than sons was to be a teacher or a nurse, get married and have children,” she says. “My brother was supposed to go into my father's business.”

After graduating from Syracuse in three and a half years, Carolyn received her master's degree in education at Bank Street College in New York. Despite her degree, Carolyn knew the structure and routine of teaching held little appeal.
After two sons and a divorce, Carolyn decided to start a new business in her home of Scarsdale, N.Y. “I wanted to be somebody other than my father's daughter, my husband's wife, and my children's mother. I needed to have my own identity,” she says. “I wanted to be financially independent and not have to rely on someone else financially, as I had been doing all my life.”

Carolyn takes her inspiration from motifs and designs of past cultures and civilizations, particularly the ancient Greeks. She says her days spent designing and crafting jewelry feel more like fun than work. Her Love of Life collection features pendants, bracelets, earrings, and rings. All pieces are made with 18K gold and precious stones, including diamonds. The exquisite Love of Life ring in 18K yellow gold with diamond enhancements adds sparkle to any outfit ($4,545, The Classic Life’s Circle Small enhancer in 18K gold with diamonds on a leather cord scream sophistication and style when worn to work or out on the town ($2,925,

Carolyn spends a great deal of her time working on advertising and sales and travels all over the United States, particularly to New York City, for jewelry shows. Carolyn loves the fact that she can start trends with her jewelry, but she considers her pieces timeless. “My jewelry is classic,” she says. “It will last forever.” And if you drop $2,400 for a ring or $20K for a necklace, it better be (