New Balance and Sport Chek collaborate on Women’s Only Space

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Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to visit New Balance and Sport Chek‘s brand new Women’s Only Space at the store in Richmond, BC. This brand collaboration is rolling out across the country. You can already find these women-focused spaces in 18 stores nationwide.

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What’s great about this collaboration is that they provide not only running gear but also training and also lifestyle pieces for athletes, fitness enthusiasts or even just fans of the brand.

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I had the pleasure of being accompanied by one of New Balance‘s ambassadors, Gemma Slaughter (who finished 10th female overall at this past weekend’s BMO Vancouver Half Marathon, no big deal!), who showed me some of the brand’s new styles and features for this upcoming summer season.

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In addition to offering a wide variety of prints and designs, New Balance‘s latest collection features state of the art technology and pays close attention to detail thus creating a line that is not only affordable, but also comfortable and practical!

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Thanks to the help and pro running tips from Gemma, I was able to pick out a few key pieces for this current race season and my next half marathon, that is less than a month away in San Diego.

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Together Gemma and I picked out, the Reflective Lite Pack Jacket, which is super light and easy for me to bring on my travels and great for running at night.

I also grabbed an Ice Tank, with intuitive cooling fabric, which allows for sweat-activated cooling and 2-way air circulation for fast drying, thus being perfect for hot summer runs. I also couldn’t resist the Accelerate 2.5 Short, vintage-looking and ultra light. These mid-rise shorts will sit right where I want them and aren’t too tight, which should avoid any kind of chaffing while I run. To top it off, an ultra soft Run Viz Longsleeve Top that glows in the dark!

She also recommended the Pulse Bra for a secure feel and fit and most importantly comfort while running.

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We completed the ensemble, with a pair of new runners, the Vazee Pace, version 2, for a combination of speed and high performance. These shoes are some of Gemma’s favourites for races and training. I can see why, after giving them a try, they’re incredibly supportive and resilient while also not compromising comfort.

Did I mention that my entire outfit is volt? Gemma says that bright colours allow you to run faster, so coming from someone who runs a half marathon in 1h22mins, I will take her word for it!

A big thank you to Gemma Slaughter for coming to shop with me and for the serious running inspiration. The New Balance Women’s Only Space at Sport Chek in Vancouver is located at 6551 No 3 Rd in Richmond, BC.

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This post is sponsored by New Balance Canada as part of the New Balance Women’s Only Flex Spaces by Sport Chek. In exchange for this post, I have received perks in the form of products and/or compensation. All opinions on this blog are my own.

5 Questions With: Smash + Tess

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The mother and daughter best-friend trio hailing from Vancouver that make up Smash + Tess, are all about sharing their passion for dreamwear. They founded their business together in early 2016 and have as a mission to make women feel confident and beautiful at all times, from the boardroom to the bedroom. The trio uses ethically sourced and quality fabrics to design and produce their line in North America. Get inspired by this mother-daughter team by finding out more about them below!

1) What made you want to start Smash + Tess?

We wanted to fill the hole that we believe exists in sleep and loungewear. After years of trying to find the perfect sleep/loungewear, we decided it was time to just go for it and do it ourselves! Smash + Tess began with a serious love of all things cozy and fashionable, became a reality in Fashion college, and has been bringing dreamwear to Canada and the US since our launch in April of 2016.

2) Where do you draw inspiration for your designs?

From so many places!  We are native Vancouverites that love our city! It is so beautiful and we have a killer studio with high ceilings, in the creative area of Mount Pleasant to be inspired by! Just walking down the street and seeing huge murals of incredible art, and courageous street style makes us excited about creating. The rain (which I do love by the way) is the perfect catalyst for creating cozy! The three of us have long had a dream of creating “dreamwear” that can easily transition from bed to the street, that you can answer the door in and not be embarrassed, that doesn’t sacrifice beauty for comfort. So we’ve drawn on years of trying out different loungewear, and not being entirely satisfied. 

3) What is the best part of working as a mom-daughter bestie team?

We all bring something different and exciting to the table! It’s incredibly special. A true dream realized. Mama T is a fantastic decision maker. She absolutely trusts her gut and isn’t afraid to pull the proverbial trigger. Mercedes is incredibly detail-oriented and isn’t afraid to roll her sleeves up and get the job done. I would say that they likely admire and appreciate my vision and passion for communicating what we are all about!

4) How has a city like Vancouver helped your brand? Is there a lot of support in the city for small businesses?

We feel so blessed to be in such a supportive and amazing network of strong female entrepreneurs. We have been so pleasantly surprised at the collaborative spirit in our city. We continue to enjoy meeting and working with other boss babes from our hometown!

5) Where would you like to see the line in 5 years from now?

In five years from now, we would love to have grown exponentially. We so believe in our mission, and hope to have ladies far and wide rocking some Smash + Tess. We hope to continue to evolve and offer fun and exciting alternatives to male-inspired PJs and yoga wear.

For more info on Smash + Tess, go here.

WMCFW FW14 Day 3 Recap

A rainy but warmer night at the tents last night! Another 5 back to back shows to check out. Here’s my recap:

KLAXON HOWL

I first saw Klaxon Howl last fall in the studio room. An interesting structure greeted the show guests last night. The men strolled around the structure with as per usual much swagger. What I love about Klaxon Howl is that the collections and models are always so effortlessly cool. All types of hats, shades, wool blazers and suits, pants, overalls, suede jackets and jackets with leather detailing, could be seen during the presentation. A lot of the pieces had a very 30s prohibition era feel to them. Overall, a collection very representative of the hip urban men in Toronto. My favorite suit of the night is the first look below!

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Pictures by George Pimentel / Getty Images

G-SUS

It was my first time being able to catch G-SUS on the runway. The first so far this season to include a live music act. Though the performance wasn’t flawless, it added a cool vibe to the show. I can’t say that I absolutely loved every single piece on tonight’s runway but the things that stood out the most were definitely the men’s knit sweaters, the printed leggings, bold prints as well as that standout pink bomber jacket. I also loved the models’ looks with the dark black smokey eye and plum lipstick. Very grunge!

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Picture by George Pimentel / Getty Images

PINK TARTAN

Always love seeing the sophisticated designs from Pink Tartan‘s creator Kimberley Newport-Mimran. I especially loved last night’s collection because it had a darker twist to it. Some notable pieces – red houndstooth pants, all of the fur coats, plaid coats, the oversized furry gloves and clutches, the shimmery black blazers and coats and the long dresses. I like that she used a more rock n’ roll palette this time, opting for black, white and red, for most of her pieces, which is a little tougher than usual. The standout item – furry pants! See the last picture below. Honestly, a brilliant collection!

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Pictures by George Pimentel / Getty Images

JOE FRESH

I was beyond thrilled to have been selected by Joe Fresh as one of their #VirtualFrontRow bloggers for the show last night. As part of this experience, I was able to share some exclusive content on my social media networks pre and post-show about Joe Fresh’s #JoeFreshFW14 collection. Make sure you go check my Twitter & Instagram pages @melsays to check it out! In Sochi, Canada’s slogan was #WeAreWinter, I therefore only found it fitting for Joe Mimran‘s FW14 collection to represent the great (& cold!) Canadian outdoors. Many collections often present clothes that are beautiful but not as practical for winter but Mimran’s latest offering presented practical, affordable & beautiful winter pieces. For the occasion, we were offered a rad black Joe Fresh toque along with information on the collection. On the runway last night we saw lot’s of chunky knits, oversized jackets, parkas, furry toques, graphic sweaters, side lace waxed jeans and lot’s of fur pieces. The color palette went from earthy tones to Joe’s signature orange. Some of my favorite pieces of the show were: the green biker jacket, the furry oversized camel coat and those green tartan trousers. After the show, everyone was also talking about the models’ side braids, they were definitely a hit! As per usual, the models walked down the runway to a super fun and energetic soundtrack. I think that what I love most about attending a Joe Fresh runway show is that everyone is always in the best of moods, dancing around, the models seem to be having fun and also Joe Mimran always seems so happy! Props to Joe Mimran and his team for another fun presentation! You guys hit it out of the ballpark again!

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SONY DSCPictures provided by Joe Fresh

 

MACKAGE

Ah yes!! The perfect way to end my week at WMCFW. Leather, fur & so many dreamy pieces. Over the past couple of seasons, I’ve definitely become a HUGE Mackage fan. I was thrilled to be greeted by a seat with my own name on it, way to make a girl feel special! I loved their runway set up with colorful leaves representing the fall. The show started with some beautiful fuchsia coats with black leather detailing for both ben and women. I loved that the models were sporting some Frends headphones. We then feasted our eyes on quilted bomber jackets and skirts, fur hats, fuzzy camo bomber jackets, fur shorts and skirts, leather pants for men & women as well as tartan from head to toe. Then, all of a sudden, two men dressed in leather onesies came to the runway to sweep away the leaves and make room for the “snow” for their winter portion of the presentation, clever! They presented a handful of warmer coats with fur detailing and a bunch of rad jackets. I also loved their variety of handbags, clutches and backpacks for men and women. Honestly, too many dreamy looks to choose from. I absolutely loved it all without exception! You can witness the beauty of the show below!

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Pictures by J R Bernstein

Thank you to all the designers and organizers for an amazing and incredibly inspiring week of fashion! Can’t wait to see what next season has in store!!

 

J R BERNSTEIN

This Beautiful Day Interview

The lovely Lisa Ng from The Hip & Urban Girl recently relocated to Los Angeles and has started a fab new blog for women called This Beautiful Day. I was beyond thrilled to be featured in her This Beautiful Life section alongside some very inspirational women. Thanks so much Lisa! See full interview: http://thisbeautifuldayblog.com/this-beautiful-life-melissa-hetu/

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