Haute Street SPOTLIGHT: Nikki Pennie - COACHELLA BOUND!

 
 

We had the chance to catch up with our Music MUSE, the SHEJ herself, Nikki Pennnie! She talks music, must-have's and more! #CHECKIt #hautestreet #theMUsediaries

HAUTE STREET: We're so excited to catch up with THE SHEJ, Nikki Pennie! Who are your playlist favorites?

NIKKI PENNIE: Mark Ronson, The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar, Tove Lo, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding, Emeli Sande, Haim, Calvin Harris, Jay Z, Kanye West, Bruno Mars, Diplo, Sky Ferreira, Major Lazer and always love a bit of Queen B and Bad Girl Ri Ri :))...Oh and you can never go wrong with a bit of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye & Bob Marley!!

HS: And which upcoming artists should be on our radar this year?

NP: There are so many... it's hard to pin it down but love these. The Weeknd - again!!... LOVE them!! Disclosure, FKA Twigs, Banks, MO, Elephant, Jess Glynne, Clean Bandit, Route 94, Rudimental,  Jack U, Charli XCX, Duke Dumont & ARO, Philip George.

HS: What do you do to prepare for an event such as the ipsos girls lounge at SXSW? How do you curate your music?

NP: I always go prepared with tunes that I want to play and instinctively I have an idea of the direction the clients would like and sometimes they give specific direction but most of the time I have a good idea based upon the brand or type of event and crowd that I know will be coming.  Also, my brand is based on its Britishness so clients will hire me on that basis that I spin a lot of cool Brit tunes which is always popular :)). I can't prepare too much as I go off the crowd to when am in action and I know its sounds cliche but you have to feel the vibe and the crowds reaction to the different music. 

HS: What was it like being a part of such an inspiring event for women?

NP: I was incredibly honored to be at SXSW in Austin Texas last weekend with the IPSOS Girls Lounge.  The organization was created by Shelley Zalis is spreading throughout the country... It is precious, powerful, genuine and very relevant right now... So many amazing women are backing this movement... There were some very inspiring talks from different speakers including Amanda de Cadenet... Empowering Women of all ages and giving a camaraderie that is much needed and very unique... This is all very on par with my brand "The SheJ" and my mantra so it was the perfect partnership!

HS: We're getting ready for COACHELLA! What is your music festival fashion must-have this year?

NP: Sneakers or trainers as we say in UK!  I dont go anywhere without my gold nike air max :)).  Anything from H&M.. I love their H&M Loves Coachella collection, it's very cool, bohemian and fresh. Oh and you need a Meli Melo tallulah bag for every festival... I have been carrying her bags forever and worn to many coachellas!!

HS: What is in store for you next? 

NP: I am very excited to be DJing H&M's party for Coachella...thats going to be beyond fun!! I have just been made an amabassador for Skullcandy which is fabulous!  Have always been a big fan of their headphones and the whole Skullcandy culture so feel honored and cant wait to be rocking those cool designs at every gig :).  Then am heading to Cannes for Film Festival and travelling a lot this summer in US and Europe for some amazing gigs. All things SheJ this year!!! 

Haute Steet MUSE FEATURE: Clare Grant | Actress & Producer | LOS ANGELES & MEMPHIS

 
VALENTINO dress, CATBIRD earrings

VALENTINO dress, CATBIRD earrings

 

Meet our Memphis Belle, Actress & Producer, CLARE GRANT. She's a creative MUSE with an adventurous spirit and a laugh that is highly contagious. Find out how being the eldest of 8 siblings shaped her into the person she is today, what fuels her creative engine and how she turned her love of acting and animation into a blooming career. #CHECKIT #HAUTESTREET #theMUSEdiaries

Photographer: Easton Schirra

Fashion Director: Joey Tierney

Make-up: Jadyn Ngo

Hair: Gabby Mitry

Interviewed by: Cheryl Aldip

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HAUTE STREET: Tell us where you are from, and how you ended up in Los Angeles.

CLARE GRANT: Mostly I lived in Memphis until I was twenty five, when a local film director I worked with, Craig Brewer, urged me to pursue acting professionally in Los Angeles. One of my brothers was living in Los Angeles, which made the transition easier.

HS: What was your favorite part of growing up with so many siblings, and how have things changed as you have all grown?

CG: Growing up the oldest of eight siblings is one of my greatest life treasures. All but one of them are ten to eighteen years younger than me, which pretty much means I got to extend my youthful indulgences in their name. But I was also responsible for them, which, as a teenager, I both loved and hated. Being the oldest had it’s perks though, I got to be the fun big sister who took them to midnight premieres of the Star Wars prequels and check them in to school late the next day. Fun things like that, that your parents don’t want to do. Now that most of them are adults, I finally get to be friends with them, which provides a wealth of love and enjoyment.

HS: What is your favorite family tradition, and what would you like to carry on with your own family?

CG: I think cooking together and shared meals between a family are really important, and that is something I want to have with my own family. 

HS: Tell us about a moment that changed your outlook on life and why?

CG: Working opposite Christina Ricci in Black Snake Moan, I saw how hard she fought for her role, how hard she worked and how completely she embodied her character. I knew then that’s what being a professional looked like. She also helped me understand that the actor’s job is not just thinking about your own character’s role, but to think about every character and every single detail of the production and how it relates to your character.  

HS: Can you tell us about your greatest heartbreak? Your greatest love?

CG: When I was in the fifth grade, my mom wanted to throw me a surprise birthday party. Unbeknownst to her that I was bullied and picked on by most of my school, she called every single kid in my fifth grade class to invite them to the surprise. When the ringleader of the popular kids got the call, she decided to throw her own pool party on the exact day and time of the party my mom was planning. I was clueless about it, and a fair amount of kids showed up to my party. I was overjoyed with surprise and excitement. Until one of the boys came up to me and said: “Yeah, “Ringleader” threw a party today too because she didn't want anyone to come over to your house, but I felt guilty about it so I came here instead”. That crushed me and broke my heart. I had been thinking-“these kids actually like me!”, but really they just pitied me. It felt like something I would never get over, but the truth is, I did, and I was stronger for it. It made me realize that what other people think of me doesn’t really matter. You can take the ways other people hurt you, or bad things that happen to you, and really let it stunt you, or you can brush it off and be stronger for it.

My greatest love is my husband, Seth. Never have I known someone who loves me so completely, who believes in me, champions me, pushes me to be a better person or who makes me so unbelievable happy. He would never judge me, and understands me more than anyone. We laugh together all day and can talk about anything for for hours at a time. It’s truly the definition of a partner.  

 
the KOOPLES blouse, BALENCIAGA leather pants, Martin Margelia boots and rings, Shylee Rose jewelry

the KOOPLES blouse, BALENCIAGA leather pants, Martin Margelia boots and rings, Shylee Rose jewelry

 

HS: Can you share with us a time of hardship and how you overcame?

CG: When I came to LA, I had a nice bit of momentum booking acting jobs and within six months was able to quit my waiting tables job. Everything slowed down for me during the writer’s strike. Dramatically. Emotionally, that was a really tough time for me because I was scared it wasn’t ever going to pick back up for me. That’s when I decided it was important for me to start generating my own work, which has been an incredible experience. 

HS: What advice has someone given you to keep you going and growing, and what advice would you give your 23 year old self?

CG: The best advice I’ve ever heard was from the Genie in Aladdin: “Bee yourself”. Being true to yourself is immeasurably valuable. My advice to young me would be: “Move to Los Angeles sooner. Like, yesterday.” Ha!

 
BALENCIAGA dress and jacket, RAG & BONE hat

BALENCIAGA dress and jacket, RAG & BONE hat

 

HS: Which superhero would you be and why?

CG: I believe it's important for each of us to be our own superhero. No one is going to care about you more than you. No one is going to save you but you. As soon as you accept that, you stop waiting for some exterior person or force to get you through whatever hardships life sets before you. 

HS: If you could have any 1 super power. What would it be and why?

CG: Super strength. Then I could move my furniture around whenever I’d like. 

HS: What do you think that someone in your position can do to help the planet?

CG: I think it’s important to spread a message of love and tolerance everyday.

HS: Where is your favorite place that youve traveled to and why?

CG: When I was sixteen, I traveled to Belize with my boyfriend and his parents to visit the Mayan ruins of Caracol. What happened on our journey through the rainforest to Caracol is a story in itself, but what that trip sparked in me, is a deep love and fascination with ancient civilizations and ruined cultures. Since then, I have explored the ruins of Greece, Peru, England, Palau and Yap. I have a list of countries whose cultures I want to experience and wander through their ancient ruins.

HS: What hotel would you move into if you could?

CG: Last summer, my husband and I stayed at this place called Lords of the Manor in Upper Slaughter, Gloucester. It was peaceful, charming and serene. It’s amazing to think you could make a life there.

HS: Can you tell us about your time modeling?

CG: I found modeling to be challenging in ways I never expected. Traveling all over the world by myself helped to grow my independence and self reliance. I learned how to better communicate with people speaking a language I don’t understand. I learned how to communicate better with my eyes and develop a relationship with the camera. I learned that shooting with a good photographer will physically pain you, but the shots are always worth it. I learned that as much as I enjoyed traveling, meeting new people and experiencing art through fashion, I loved being an actor more. And if I wanted to pursue acting as a career, I needed to focus on that and leave modeling behind.

CG: What is the most difficult thing about being in the entertainment business?

HS: If you let it, never knowing how long it will be in between jobs can be torture. You are not right for at least 90% of your auditions, so you have to be able to stomach a lot of rejection.

 
VALENTINO dress and clutch

VALENTINO dress and clutch

 

HS: Tell us about your passion project, Team Unicorn.

CG: Team Unicorn started out as a passion project in the form of a parody music video of Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” called “G33K & G4M3R Girls”. It’s a love letter, really, to all the geeky things that brought me and three of my girlfriends together. Now it’s evolved to being a geek-girl production company and fashion project. Through my & fellow unicorn, Rileah Vanderbilt’s production company Danger Maiden Productions, there are now several Team Unicorn comedic music videos and shorts, and is currently being developed as an animated/live-action television pilot. We also design geek inspired clothes for WeLoveFine. Together, me, Rileah Vanderbilt, Alison Haislip and Milynn Sarley are Team Unicorn.

HS: When did you discover your love for animation?

CG: Animation is one of my earliest loves. In fact, some of my first crushes were on cartoon characters. As a kid, I grew up on animation and dreamed of doing voice over. Doing voice over as an adult, on childhood loves like Star Wars and Marvel shows, is especially fulfilling.

HS: How has being of southern roots influenced your creative engine?

CG: Being from Memphis, music has always been massively influential in my life. I feel so lucky to have grown up in a city with as rich of a musical history and culture as Memphis. Creatively, music elevates me as both an actor and a creator.

 HS: How do you manage to preserve your creativity?

CG: I preserve my creativity by surrounding myself with creative people. Working with other creative people is when I feel like I am at my best, which is why I love collaborating with other artists.  

HS: Who is an influential woman in your life and why?

CG: My Mom taught me how to be strong, independent & compassionate. I also inherited her creativity, which she encouraged me to explore throughout childhood.

HS: What would you ask our next MUSE?

CG: What does being a Haute Street MUSE mean to you?

VALENTINO dress and clutch

VALENTINO dress and clutch

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Meet the MUSE: Jen Woodward | Los Angeles | New York

 
Body suit by OYE, VINE high-waisted leather skirt, ST. JOHN metallic coat, CELINE bangle and chain bracelets SHYLEE ROSE rings

Body suit by OYE, VINE high-waisted leather skirt, ST. JOHN metallic coat, CELINE bangle and chain bracelets SHYLEE ROSE rings

 

Meet Jen Woodward, our Yuletide Muse of the Month. A self proclaimed "anger management graduate" she is a Fashion Product Placement PR maven by day that has undeniable charm, humor and wit. Find out how she made the leap from New York to Los Angeles, what her perfect day looks like and why she "Costs more than you".

Photography by EASTON SCHIRRA

Fashion Director JOEY TIERNEY

Make-up by JADYN NGO

Interviewed by CHERYL ALDIP

 

HAUTE STREET: Tell us about your upbringing. What it was like growing up, family, friends, things you remember most and traditions.

JEN WOODWARD: I grew up in upstate New York in a small town about a hour outside of Buffalo. My childhood was filled with canines, horses, musical instruments and karate. I was adopted from Korea as an infant and for the entirety of my adolescence I was the only Asian in town. Growing up in my Caucasian family I had angst about adoption, aesthetics and life in general. My parents and I clashed so I moved out when I was sixteen. I grew up fast and faced a lot of responsibility without maturity. Despite this, today my parents and I have a great relationship. Which brings me to my favorite family tradition: listening them sing “The First Noel” on Christmas Eve. They have beautiful harmonizing voices. Every Christmas if we are not together they will call me and sing the entire song.

HS: Who is an inspiring woman in your life and why?

JW: I’d have to say my mother. We are very different people and we disagree on a lot of life views but she is a strong, smart, compassionate person. I lack compassion and know it is a trait I need to work on. My mother inspires me to be more caring. Her mother, my grandma moved into my parents home several years ago. Both of my parents have sacrificed an easy retired life so that my grandmother can be comfortable with family she loves. When I go home and see how much my mother dotes on her mother I am very moved and inspired to be a better person.

 

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

JW: Don’t settle. If you want more in life and in love - go get it.

HS: Can you tell us about an "ah-ha" moment in your life and how it changed you?

JW: My ah-ha moment was when I decided to move to LA from New York. In a month I sold almost all of my possessions, packed my red escort with clothes and drove to LA in three days.  It brought me completely out of my comfort zone. I made the decision to turn my life down a different path and hit a restart. Los Angeles empowered me and showed me my own strength and now it is home.

Body suit by OYE, VINE high-waisted leather skirt, ST. JOHN metallic coat, CELINE bangle and chain bracelets, SHYLEE ROSE rings

Body suit by OYE, VINE high-waisted leather skirt, ST. JOHN metallic coat, CELINE bangle and chain bracelets, SHYLEE ROSE rings

HS: Have you had a hardship in your life that you have had to overcome?

JW: When you are experiencing a hardship in that moment it feels like nothing could be worse but looking back at the times I could call “hardships” none of it was. I am fortunate to have health, family, and happiness (most of the time).

HS: We love your blog - I Cost More Than You. Can you tell us about the name and why you started it?

DRIES VAN NOTEN gown, BALENCIAGA leather motorcycle jacket

DRIES VAN NOTEN gown, BALENCIAGA leather motorcycle jacket

JW: As old age starts to set in, I feel the need to remember things, possibly document more since I have started to forget a lot. Why “Icostmorethanyou”? I am adopted and I probably did. International adoptions can be pricey. They only allow people with some sort of money to take us cute Korean babies out of Korea. (which makes no sense as we are being adopted because we are being discarded for being female but I guess someone wanted Korea to look responsible in the process) My sister was also adopted but from Ohio. Therefore throughout our childhood “I cost more than you”, could be heard coming from my loud mouth, which may be a bit offensive and/or rude but quite fitting if you know me.

HS: Having to travel often for work- where is your favorite place and why?

JW: I think my favorite place is somewhere I haven’t been to yet but if I had to pick a favorite I would say Ibiza. (And it doesn’t have to do with work!)

HS: What are 5 things that you must do while there?

JW: 1.     I spend time there with friends I only see a couple times a year. It’s a special place where I can catch up with the people I love that live far away.

2.     Fish Shack. ALWAYS eat at the fish shack.

3.     Beach lounging and exploring.

4.     Es Vedra

5.     And of course the amazing parties.

HS: Finish these sentences:

JW: I am most happy when... Dasha and I are in bed watching Wes Anderson Movies. For a dog she has a very elevated taste in films.

My favorite part of the day is... whenever I am laughing.

I am most inspired when... music, art and fashion combine making a perfect trifecta.

My most embarrassing moment was when... I was 12 and I peed my pants standing in front of my locker.

My pet peeve is... butt revealing jean shorts and short bangs.

A quote that best describes me is... “You have corrupted my imagination and inflamed my blood...” Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Venus in Furs

 
DRIES VAN NOTEN gown, SHYLEE ROSE chain necklace, XIV collar necklace, BALENCIAGA leather motorcycle jacket

DRIES VAN NOTEN gown, SHYLEE ROSE chain necklace, XIV collar necklace, BALENCIAGA leather motorcycle jacket

 

HS: Top 3 instagram accounts that you follow and why?

 JW: @fuckjerry and @thefatjewish because they are just hilarious human beings.

And recently I started following and I am obsessed with @textsfromyourex. For example: First text: “I would cuddle you and tell you everything is ok” Response: “ I would punch you in the dick.”

HS: What does a typical day look like for you?

JW: My typical day is filled with telling my Doberman, Dasha how much I love her. Spending time at the showroom, working with stylists and communicating with our clients. Maybe a lunch or a dinner with friends followed by more admissions of love for my dog, some book reading and bed.

HS: How did you get into your line of work? What advice would you give to someone pursuing the same career?

DRIES VAN NOTEN gown, SHYLEE ROSE chain necklace, XIV collar necklace, BALENCIAGA leather motorcycle jacket

DRIES VAN NOTEN gown, SHYLEE ROSE chain necklace, XIV collar necklace, BALENCIAGA leather motorcycle jacket

JW: I went to school and studied law. I always had the intention of continuing to become an attorney but after working in law firms for nine years I realized it wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.  About three years ago I started interning for a Fashion Product Placement company, after two months I was offered a full time position and I left the legal field. I am now the Director of Fever LA. My advice would be don’t be afraid to take the lowest position because if you are competent and passionate it wont take long to be recognized.

HS: What advice would you give your 25 year old self?

JW: Don’t wear Herve Leger Bandage dresses just because everyone else is.

HS: Our November Muse of the Month, Tess Willcox asked, "If you could choose one thing to happen to you every single day, for the rest of your life, what would it be?"

JW: For my bangs to always be perfect. And world peace.

HS: All of our muses have a passion and desire to give back through their #PASSIONPROJECTS. Tell us about your passion project and why it is so important to you.

JW: If you could somehow merge Korean adoptees with orphaned Doberman pinchers into a program I’d never stop working.

Realistically, my passion project is writing. I love to write and would like to put together a book about adoption in a comical tone but also tackle the issues and questions that adopted kids have.

FAITH CONNEXION leather dress, personal black diamond rings

FAITH CONNEXION leather dress, personal black diamond rings

Artist Profile: Ugo Nonis

 
 

Interview by Lana Jolie Carlson

HAUTE STREET: Tell us about your upbringing.

Ugo Nonis: I grew up in Paris, in a good district raised by my mom and dad. My dad is very artistic; he is always using different media. Currently he does sculpture. 

HS: When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist? Who inspired you? 

UN: When I was in my early 20’s I realized that I wanted to create art, I was very interested in video game culture, pixelated art, art of video games, how computer games are represented, from the package to the game itself. "Mario” game, for example. 

HS: What difficulties did you have when you first started. 

UN: The biggest difficulty is pushing yourself to make first step. I was working for a long time in black and white. It was a challenge to go from black and white to color. Widening my horizons and opening myself to new techniques. 

HS: What is your creative process? 

UN: My creative process is continuous. I can just start painting any time. I try to work every day, even if it’s a ten minutes I still feel this need to create. 

HS: How you describe your style? What media do you use? 

UN: My style is figurative obstruction art. I use acrylics and oil paints on canvas. It’s very autobiographic. My stories are very often the subjects of the pieces. Sometimes there is a meaning and sometimes there isn’t. A good example is a piece that I created called “The meaning of life”. People overthink things in life. They try to put too much meaning in something meaningless, which I find to be pointless. I think there is not really a meaning of life, or we won't know it. So I just took definition of “meaning of life” from dictionary and put it in my piece. It’s kind of a joke. 

HS: How did you come up to this style ? 

UN: It’s an evolution of me as a person and artist. It has naturally came, I guess. I never thought about it or took anyone else’s example.

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

UN: Bali... I was there for 3 months, surfing. It’s a beautiful and inspiring place. I was there by myself, with my thoughts and ideas. Also, recently I went with my friends to South West of America, it was just amazing, especially Grand Canyon. 

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

UN: It wasn’t really an advice but just a phrase that someone just told me. - "It does’t mean anything”. It helped me to let things go. Be easier on myself and not to be too attached to my art. 

HS: Do you have a passion project? 

UN: Yes I do! To put a group show called "One by One", to proceed all raised money from the art to a charity that provides art therapy to kids. The show will include 30-50 art pieces, one foot by one foot from different artists. It will happen in early march. 

HS: What is the most difficult about being an artist?  

UN: In my world there is nothing difficult about being an artist :)

View Ugo's artwork December 11th in

Venice Beach, CA!

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Meet the MUSE: Tess Willcox | AUSTRALIA | LONDON

 
Photograph by David Willcox

Photograph by David Willcox

 

Meet our MUSE of the MONTH, Tess Willcox! This Australian native is a bohemian adventurer with an entrepreneurial spirit. Find out what she loves most about the Gold Coast, her top travel destinations and how this creative soul made the leap from her corporate career to focus on her passion - Ámes Collective. #CHECKIT #theMUSEdiaries 

PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID WILLCOX

HAUTE STREET: We’re so excited to have you as our Muse Of The Month! Tell us a little bit about yourself.

TESS WILLCOX: I’m a bit of a wandering spirit. Extremely self reflective and connected to the earth and the water. An island country girl at heart, with a yearn to explore the big wide world forever. Always changing course and direction, but with the same intent at the end of the day; to live a life that is rich in love and happiness, whatever it is that will bring me that at any given moment, I will do that. A wine lover, a tree hugger, and a searcher.

 HS: How did Ámes Collective begin?

TW: I like to think of it as quite the serendipitous moment. Right place, right time and right intention. I was already running the brand in my spare time, focusing on shoes and accessories. One day I broke my skatey, the next day got taught how to make them by a Shaper friend in Noosa, and just got hooked on the stoke it brought my best friend and I. We literally sat under Mango trees in the backyard shaping and painting, listening to music. We could never seem to find decks that were unique, that had the designs and things we wanted on them. Everything just seemed a bit generic. Who wants to walk / skate down the street with the same board as everyone else?! Why not celebrate uniqueness and originality and work on the concept of one offs! That’s when I incorporated the Soul Decks part of Ámes Collective, an avenue to put whatever resonates with your soul, on a deck!

 HS: When did you decide to turn your passion into a career?

TW: I guess it happened on its own accord. It wasn’t something I set out to actively pursue as a career; it just organically grew in a way that I could have never anticipated. I like to think the stars all aligned at the right time, for me to make the decision to dive right in and turn it into my career. It was the start of a new year, I had so many orders coming in every week, and I was in quite self reflective period (always) thinking, how can I better serve what my soul needs at the moment. What I needed was to hang up my corporate boots for a while and be present, travel the world on my own accord, pour myself into my art. So I jumped.

HS: You mentioned that you left your dream job to pursue Ámes Collective. Tell us about what you did, how you got there, what you loved about this job and how you came to terms that you needed to follow your passion.

TW: It really was THE dream job. I was working as a Marketing Manager for a boutique and Luxury Resort marketing company. I fell right into the job straight out of university where I studied PR and journalism, and my boss took a massive punt on hiring me because I had no experience. I still remember getting that phone call saying I had gotten the job, I screamed so loud haha! Essentially what it offered me was an awesome workspace with people who I absolutely adore (and who are still some of my best friends), the ability to travel to the most beautiful places in the world and experience amazing Resorts, all in the name of ‘work’. We worked so hard, but we loved going to work everyday. It was just the best lifestyle. Living on the beach, driving 10 minutes to work every morning, not even wearing shoes half the time, and then brainstorming with a team who all bought something different to the table. Then there was the travel, some glamorous, some not so much. I really loved that job, it was my life for a long time! But I suppose everything has an expiry date and after almost 10 years I was feeling a little burnt out. I pride myself on always being able to look at the best in every single situation, and being able to bring a good energy into the workplace. But if I get to a place where that isn’t happening, I know things need to change. It was a difficult decision, like ending a 10 year relationship, and scary as shit. Someone once told me ‘you will not be enriched unless you go to a place where the outcome is uncertain’ and I had been so comfortable and calculated for a while, so I wanted to challenge myself and see what happened next.

HS: Where is the most luxurious place that you have traveled to?

TW: A hard question for a girl who worked for luxury Resorts haha! I am not the hugest fan of opulent luxury. It feels inaccessible and excessive to me. My idea of luxury is more rustic chic, with a focus on connection to the earth. Any time I travelled for work was quite luxurious, speedboats through Fiji, helicopters to different islands, beautiful luxury Resorts. I think I am yet to find the most luxurious destination.... Stay tuned for my Europe move ;)

HS: Where is the most adventurous place that you’ve traveled to? 

TW: Definitely Mentawai Islands (remote islands off the West Coast of Sumatra) and Morocco. I have visited both quite a few times, and they always offer the most ‘off the well worn path’ experiences. Sailing through the Mentawai’s on a wooden yacht and exploring the islands barefoot after a surf, and riding camels through the Sahara desert in Morocco. Both unmatched experiences.

 
Photograph by David Willcox

Photograph by David Willcox

 

 HS: Where should a person travel to if they want to get the most for their money?

TW: Anywhere in Asia. Bali, Thailand, Sumatra!

 HS: In your opinion, where is a place that you MUST see?

TW: Everywhere! Step foot in all pockets of the earth. My absolute MUST DO’s are definitely Samoa, North Islands of Fiji, South Spain and of course, Margaret River in Australia (hometown).

HS: What does your perfect day look like?

TW: Waking up early, yoga on the beach and then a surf, meditate, coffee and breakfast in bed with someone special whilst reading a book, walking to the markets for fresh flowers, cruise around the neighbourhood on our skateboards, wine o’clock on a picnic blanket with best friends and partners as the sun sets, dancing into the night either on a rooftop or on the beach with beautiful music – the true bohemian dream.

HS: What is your favorite piece of art that you have created? 

TW: I think the sign of a true artist is not being able to pick a favourite. I always want to be growing, changing, improving my artwork, so what I loved a few months ago, I might feel needs more depth today. It is all a process for me. But I am impartial to a bright pink cactus painting I just did for my brothers office. 

HS: What is your creative process when working with clients?

 TW: I tend to wait until I have the vibe of the client sussed before I use a particular approach. Some people are extremely specific in what they want, in which case I have to make it pretty clear that the beauty of an artist is in the creative process, so you might not get exactly what you want, but you will get exactly what I felt like painting haha. I take as much or as little direction from my clients as they want, but the final design will always stop with me. I learnt the hard way to say no to things that just aren’t my vibe.

HS: Can you tell us about a hardship that you have had to overcome and how you turned it into a positive?

TW: Oh there are many hardships in life! Losing people, breakups, crisis of confidence and self-acceptance. It comes with the territory of most creative women in their 20’s. I’m in my 30’s now and have found a peace and a calm I seemed to struggle with when I was younger. I think meditating, yoga and actively keeping wonderful people in my life can completely change your life.

HS: Have you ever had an "AH-HA" moment? Tell us about it.

TW: I have daily ‘AH-HA’ moments when I am really in tune with the universe. I go through peaks and troughs of being super in touch, and then cruising along. There was one trip through Europe / Africa about 3 years ago that was quite defining. That trip was where I worked it all out. My turning point of inner alchemy. The understanding that we are all connected, and that there is no one person that can complete you in this world. It is up to you and unreservedly you, to be enough for yourself. Dirty hands and a happy heart! 

HS: Who is a woman that inspired you to be who you are today?

TW: My Mum. She has always been there to remind me that life will be continually kind to me if I allow it to be. I am thankful to have inherited her calmness and trust.  

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 10.56.16 AM.png

HS: What advice do you wish you would have given your 22 year old self?

TW: You are enough. You will find your way. Everything will be wonderful! 

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

TW: I am an open book! Wearing my heart on my sleeve CONSTANTLY and without reservation. For me, that is the only way to live life as opposed to letting it live you.

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

TW: HOW TO BE HAPPY : Decide every morning that you are in a good mood and that your life will be filled with serendipitous moments today.  

HS: What is the best thing about being an entrepreneur?

 TW: The best thing is getting to design your own day, your own life, your own path. You have to be able to motivate yourself and instill a sense of confidence in yourself and your abilities.

HS: And what would you say is the most difficult?

TW: Learning to take criticism and issues in a constructive way. When your work is so personal it is quite hard not to take things personally. For me, it’s about giving myself a time limit on emotion and then letting go of the issue. If shit hits the fan, I will react pretty quickly, but then I look at the situation and work out how to fix it, or just let it go.

HS: What do you love most about Australia?

TW: The beaches, the lifestyle, the appreciation of living a good life, the humour. I love everything about Australia, but I am CRAVING the culture of Europe.

HS: 5 things that you must experience while visiting Australia?

TW: Oh, the wine and the waves are the first 2! Of course!

The ‘Great Ocean Road’ drive in Victoria (one of my favourite places for a road trip).

Having Woodfire Pizza and cold beers at The Treehouse in Byron Bay after a day at the beach.

 Watching the sun set over the water with Fish & Chips anywhere in the South West of Western Australia.

HS: You have a new endeavor in London coming up! Tell us about it. What made you decide to move to London?

TW: Yes, London!! I am so excited. I make the big move next week. I had been living on the Gold Coast for 10 years this year, and after leaving my job and working for myself, I knew I was in for some kind of new adventure. The big wide world was calling, and I have wanted to live in London since I was a little girl. I’ve always lived on the beach, in bikinis and denim shorts. Even Winters in Margaret River (my hometown) where it gets pretty cold, were spent at the beach by bonfires. I wanted that elusive dream of living in a city, where I can dress beautifully and walk down the street to the markets, have a white Christmas, experience something different. There are some special people in London so I am really excited to make the move. Ames Collective will still be a huge part of my life, and I will see how it all goes in the European market (whilst still working on the Southern Hemisphere market) but I am all about growing and experiencing. So if I get offered the job of a lifetime there, then I might find myself on a new adventure and operating Ames from the sidelines again. I am open to every opportunity life throws my way.

HS: Tell us about your recent travels to Spain.

Photograph by David Willcox

Photograph by David Willcox

TW: I love Spain! My little brother has lived in Barcelona for the last 7 years so I have travelled there quite a bit. This year was the first time I have actually gone travelling with one of my best friends though, and spent time in the South. It blew my mind. It is legitimately one of my favourite parts of the world. Can you get anything better than the Spanish sun, grilled sardines on the beach, jugs of cold sangria and being topless on the beach. It’s like that place was made for me! The buildings are so majestic and the lifestyle is one that I could easily fit into. So relaxing! The only part of me that felt a little neglected was the early riser. I love to watch the sunrise over the water and do yoga. That does not happen in Europe – if you’re up before 9am then you aren’t doing it right.

HS: What was the most memorable moment of your travels?

TW: We met 2 Australian boys in Malaga, and jumped on their road trip around the South of Spain for a few days. So there were 4 of us drinking wine, finding secluded beaches, going on adventures, marveling at the whitewashed buildings along the Andalusia coastline. It was one of those periods in life where every single thing you would want to happen, happened. Divine timing at its best. We were there while the World Cup was on, so we were watching (or not watching) the games in crowded bars with locals, drinking wine and yelling. It was the best! Just stumbling across awesome little bars all around South Spain. 

HS: Any tips for someone traveling to Spain?

Learn some basic Spanish and have fun with it. The best moments are trying to speak Spanish, the locals just laugh at you, but they will always help you out. My Spanish is terrible because I’ve always had my brother and his girlfriend around who are both fluent. So this trip to the South helped me pick up a little more. My other piece of advice is to go to the places off the beaten track. Don’t go to the bars with all the tourists in it, go to the local bar around the corner where the old Spanish guys are drinking Vino Tinto and eating olives. That’s where you meet the best people.

 HS: What are 5 things that you MUST do while there?

TW: Visit Tarifa – across the Straits of Gibraltar facing Morocco. It is the cutest, quaintest little town on the South Coast. Absolutely magic! 

Eat grilled Sardines on the beach in Malaga.

Visit El Palma – cutest little town of beach shanty’s. A total throwback to the 1970’s.

Wander around Valencia and marvel at the stunning architecture and street art. 

Surf in San Sebastian. I didn’t get to on this trip – it was fricken freezing while we were there.

Complete these sentences:

HS: My dream career growing up was...

TW: Presenter on Getaway (Australian Travel show).

HS: My style is best described as...

Photograph by David Willcox

Photograph by David Willcox

TW: Wishing I was a cowboy, hanging at the beach, with a twist of classic and boyfriend rock. Erin Wasson – ish  

HS: My most embarrassing moment was...

TW: On my last night on the Gold Coast, someone told me to go skinny dipping in the moonlight out the front of my house. So I did, and I fell on the run into the water. Around the same time I realized there was a guy watching. Naked falls, so graceful!

HS: My idea of the perfect date is...

TW: A rooftop terrace at sunset, with cushions and blankets, outdoor cinema and wine. Somewhere I can cuddle and enjoy the company of who I am with, I don’t like showy shit. I am more of a cute romantic. The simple stuff matters to me.

 HS: I’m most afraid of...

TW: Losing the most important people. Which is why I make a point of telling the how much I care, every day.

 HS: My drink of choice is...

 TW: Wine. Red red wine. Or Coconut Water and Sailor Jerry’s

HS: I am most happy when...

TW: I am present. If I am exactly where I am. No thoughts of the future or the past. Just the now.

HS: Can you share things to come for Ames?

TW: Right now, while I am setting things up in London, I am taking a few months to establish the new direction of my ranges. I want to keep it fresh, exciting, relevant. So come back to me in a few months and I will have an answer :)

HS: Who is your muse?

TW: Erin Wasson

HS: What do you want people to take away from your MUSE diary?

TW: Just the want and need to be happy in your circumstances. We always have a choice. I hate the thought of anyone being unhappy, it actually hurts me to know that some people are. If I could get a few more people meditating and doing yoga, that would be awesome. Just the lesson of being present, gracious and gratuitous of what you have. 

HS: Tell us about your PASSION PROJECT:

TW: The ‘Protect the Reef’ cause here in Australia that I am extremely passionate about - https://fightforthereef.org.au. We are at a crucial time in the history of the world, where greed is really taking over the need for us to protect our natural resources and wonders. The Great Barrier Reef sustains millions of different ecosystems and to put it in plain terms, without the synchronicity of these working together, we lose everything. I am always concerned with the environmental decisions our government is making, and the way we are treating our earth.

HS: What would you ask the next Muse of the Month?

TW: If you could choose one thing to happen to you every single day, for the rest of your life, what would it be? 

Photograph by David Willcox

Photograph by David Willcox

Meet the MUSE: Kodi Kitchen | Los Angeles | Ojai | Wyoming

 
Kodi is wearing CHANEL high-waisted trousers, leather crop top by THAKOON ADDITION and vintage CHANEL earrings.

Kodi is wearing CHANEL high-waisted trousers, leather crop top by THAKOON ADDITION and vintage CHANEL earrings.

 

Meet our MUSE of the Month for OCTOBER, Kodi Kitchen. This fitness guru is spreading the word that you are a work in progress - be the BEST U that you can be. In this exclusive Q & A she opens up about her big move to hollywood, why getting "fired" was possibly one of the most amazing things to happen to her and the moment she figured out that happiness is a choice that everyone has to make for themselves. #CHECKIT #theMUSEdiaries

HAUTE STREET: We hear your a Rodeo girl. Can you share a little bit about yourself and your upbringing, your family background, and where you grew up?

KODI KITCHEN: I like to joke that I am the product of a cowboy and a hippy.  I was born on a ranch in Wyoming, big city living in a town of 100.  My dad was a bull rider, my mom a teacher. We grew up playing outdoors at all times (aside from the 20 below when in Wyoming.) We moved to Ojai when I was four, although my dad went back to Wyoming so summers and often winters were spent up there.  Both places are beautiful and lent themselves to a completely active upbringing.  I was never coordinated, but loved doing sports, particularly soccer.  We would spend the days riding horses, rodeos, hiking, camping, anything that involved movement.  

HS: How did you end up in Los Angeles? 

KK: The usual... a phone book! In truth I had wanted to model since I was in high school, but was extremely active in regards to sports and activities.   Long story short, I opened the phone book and set up a meeting, which my mom then caved to the idea.  One thing led to another and I began working. I went to college in San Diego but spent half the week up here, staying with friends like Britt a.k.a @Batmansmom and the other amazing girlfriends I had met.  I have found that the women in Los Angeles are spectacular and that there is an abundance of simply rad women. Eventually the stars decided to point me towards full time living here and I have never looked back. 

PIERRE BALMAIN denim skirt, CHANEL boots, VINTAGE belt, ISABEL MARANT tank top and GORNER BROTHERS cowboy hat.

PIERRE BALMAIN denim skirt, CHANEL boots, VINTAGE belt, ISABEL MARANT tank top and GORNER BROTHERS cowboy hat.

HS: What is your current state of mind?

KK: Full and happy! I am running a business, planning a wedding, decorating a little ranch house and selling the first house that I bought myself.  Not to mention day-to-day living. I feel grateful every minute and I have learned the art of the to-do list.  I like the range of things happening, knowledge is one of the greatest gifts we have. One of my favorite things about best U is the range of information I need to and get to acquire.  It has not been an easy task to not get overwhelmed by that, and now that I have figured out a bit more how to manage this it has evolved into something fun. An hour learning the body and workouts one day, an hour learning QuickBooks the next and marketing strategies the following.  There is no shortage of information out there that's for sure. 

HS: Tell us about Best U. How did you develop the U bar and what are the benefits?

KK: The concept of the U bar is the brainchild of my amazing girlfriend and business partner, Nadine Loren. Much of my business plan revolved being the best version of you. I think one of the most harmful things we do to ourselves is to compare and when we focus in a positive way on becoming our best selves amazing things happen.  We are all different.  To have the courage to be who we are, the best version of that person is a powerful thing.  I also don't think in regards to a workout that everyday should be the same. Some days you push yourself, some days you just want movement.  It is important to honor that, which is one of the reasons we created these fun magnetic mantras in a total range to remind you of that.  That is a bit of the philosophy behind the studio.  When Nadine and I decided to go into business together, she read all of this and purposed the idea of creating "U bars" instead of ballet bars to coincide with the founding beliefs.  She is one of those woman that truly believes she can turn the sky purple, so full of love and optimism.  When I told her that, she said "well yea, wear purple tinted sunglasses and there you have it." An incredible example of your reality is in the eye of the beholder." So we went to work creating the U bar.  It went thru many various evolvements until we created what we have now, which is patent pending! It comes in four different weights, goes on the wall and then it comes off for free weights as well as added core resistance. The distance is wide enough to keep your shoulders wide and force your core to engage as you do various forms of cardio and dance. We are currently working on at home version so stay tuned for that. 

HS: What books are on your nightstand at the moment?

KK: The Goldfinch, A fitness book, (my personal training manual, I was doing a refresher) and The Spymistress. The latter I picked up at the airport, it is historical fiction, which I love. The story is a true account of a woman during the civil war who defied the Confederacy and aided in helping the Northerners. I find it so interesting, especially when done by a good author who writes as though it is simply a story you are witnessing. I recommend it. 

HS: Who is someone you would consider your mentor?

KK: I am starting to meet more women in the fitness and the small business community.  There is so much to learn when starting a business that I find mentors in various ways.  I have recently found myself looking for some great networks of women in Los Angeles.  I don't know if they are my mentors per say, but I have inspiration in a range of people from my fiancé to my dad, to Britt to my business partner. These people and more help tremendously on the days that are tough, when the world seems too overwhelming instead of too possible.  

HS: Do you have any hidden talents? 

KK: I can remember the lyrics to any country song! Any.  Lucky are those that get to ride in a  car with me, because behind the wheel I will belt out George Straight like nobody's business.

HS: That's AMAZING!!! We can't wait to plan a #ROADTRIP! Can you tell us about pivotal moment in your life?

KK: Being fired from my job was a very difficult time in my life.  It happens to many of us, but it is not easy from an ego standpoint nor a financial.  I had just gotten my first steady acting job on General Hospital, loved having somewhere to go and something to be inspired by.  There was a regime change, and with the new producer came a slate cleanse of many of the newer actors.  I had a 4-year contract and ended up doing less than 1.  It turned into the biggest blessing of my life.  It forced me to look at what I really wanted to do.  I was scared of what the future held and I hadn't finished college so I was feeling unsure of myself. I didn’t know that I wanted to pursue acting anymore because it was never the game plan to act forever.  I took the opportunity to find what it was I wanted lifelong.  I started taking business classes, got certified as a trainer, read business and motivational books like nobody's business and realized it was time to "cowboy up." I made the life I wanted, which was being surrounded by incredible people and helping them to realize they are stronger than they think and that they can do anything that they set their minds to. 

INDAH jumpsuit and SYDNEY EVAN hoop earrings

INDAH jumpsuit and SYDNEY EVAN hoop earrings

HS: Have you ever had an "AH-HA" moment?

KK: There was a time I put it as "I couldn't figure out how to be happy."  Happiness is a choice, and sometimes it is difficult to figure out how to actually feel that happiness and contentment within instead of simply aspiring for it.  I was not happy and couldn't figure out how to get that way.  Once I opened up to friends and trusted myself, the happiness started to come.  Amongst starting to do other things, but I think there is a lot of fear associated when we know we SHOULD be happy, yet are not. We can enclose ourselves in our own world for fear of being a burden, when in reality true friends are the ones that are there regardless of your state of being. I realized how blessed I was and how to create the days I wanted, which in turn led to the life I wanted. Everyday I am grateful. 

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

KK: I am the messiest human known to man. There...I said it! Basically a walking human explosion, which is something I have had to improve since other people are at my desk too.  True-life confession, there you have it. 

HS: Tell us about a woman in your life that has inspired you. 

KK: My best friend, Britt.  She has been my friend since we were four, my first friend when moving from Wyoming.  Watching her go through breast cancer is hard, but to see her resilience and the way she lives life is truly inspiring. 

HS: Being an entrepreneur is difficult and rewarding. What is some advice you have for someone starting his or her own business? 

KK: Fine tune the task at hand.  One of the most overwhelming things when I started, was knowing how much I had to learn and how much I WANTED to learn. Don't get too overwhelmed - every step counts towards the big picture. Dream big and take the little steps needed to get there. 

HS: What is something you wish you knew when you were 22?

KK: That a healthy diet isn't vodka red bull and patron!!! And that you do deserve to be happy.

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

KK: Italy! My fiancé and I went last year; I absolutely fell in love with it.  The fact that the people spend their days loving life, enjoying in the beauty and the simplicity was so inspiring.  I believe simplicity is often overlooked.  This pertains to both the way of life to the culture.  The ingredients are simple, yet of an incredible quality.  I didn’t eat pasta until later in life, safe to say I love it!  It's not a meal you can have often so when I do I make sure to savor every bite.  I fell in love with everything about the Italian culture… the history, the architecture, the fact that people spend an afternoon enjoying an espresso and people watching. 

HS: For someone who has never been there - what do you suggest they see/do/eat/drink there?

KK: We went to a few parts of Italy: Milan, Lake Como, Verona and Venice.  There is SO much to explore, but I only speak for those locations.   In Lake Como we took a boat tour across the water, our guide was incredible and so kind and full of facts and history about the Lake.  At one point we hit a wave and the small boat got doused.  It was amazing.  I was wearing a white Dolce & Gabbana mini dress and cute sandals.  Within three minutes I was looking more like a little drowned Chihuahua it was hilarious! Love those types of adventures.  Another piece of advice - eat EVERYTHING! In Verona we went to a restaurant tucked away on a side street.  So much of life is people that you cross paths with, and they were beautiful there.  We didn't speak Italian, other than a few inappropriate phrases that didn't do me much good there. So going to this restaurant and their limited English ordering the most delicious meal because we simply put ourselves in their hands. In Venice we stayed at the Hotel Cipriani, which has a claim to fame that the Bellini was invented there.  Venice had so much glamour.  Not to mention, hundreds of years ago they literally BUILT a city. In the ocean… I mean… I definitely returned home saying, "well if they can build an island I can learn QuickBooks." Yet again, the world is full of possibility. You really can't go wrong anywhere in Italy. 

HS: Where is your next travel destination?

KK: I have two answers: one I am getting married, so many of my weekends are spent trying to find a venue that suits us.  We are going to Napa soon and I am taking full advantage of this engagement.  The second answer is I am heading to Kentucky with a pit stop in Nashville.  Another amazing girlfriend Desi just got married there.  Louisville is an awesome town! And the antiques... it became a joke that we wouldn't stop talking about the antiques we found.  My dad and I are flying into Nashville, renting a U haul and driving the furniture we got back from Kentucky.  You just can’t beat the prices! And when you're 200 miles from Nashville and have never been it makes sense to start there.  I am from a family of truck drivers and rodeo cowboys so 2000 mile driving across America sounds like a magical way to spend a week.  

HS: Finish these sentences:

If I could live anywhere in the world it would be… LA but with the opportunity to get out of town. 

Someone I admire most is… my dad. 

There’s nothing better than… laughter.

My most embarrassing moment was when… I walked my first red carpet. I had food in my teeth, so after smiling and beaming for pictures, I was informed that I might want to take a look in a mirror.  

My guilty pleasure is… having a great glass of wine and watching Nashville. 

HS: Who is your style crush? 

KK: Sienna Miller

 
PIERRE BALMAIN denim skirt, ISABEL MARANT tank top, GORNER BROTHERS cowboy hat, VINTAGE belt.

PIERRE BALMAIN denim skirt, ISABEL MARANT tank top, GORNER BROTHERS cowboy hat, VINTAGE belt.

 

HS: What is your idea of happiness? 

KK: Authenticity. Being surrounded by great people.  The ability to work hard and enjoy every minute in my life.

HS: What is a quote that best describes you and your outlook on life? 

KK: "Never let enough reality in to your life that there is no room to dream." My dad is a big advocate of dreaming, working incredibly hard and that if you struggle with your mindset or a situation in life it is your power to change it.  Create the life you want.  

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 10.55.52 AM.png

HS: Ojai is on of our favorite places on the west coast. It must have been magical growing up there. Can you share some things that make this place so beautiful?

KK: Rumor has it is one of the only valleys in the continental US that runs East to West, making it a spiritual mecca. I believe that it is also special because it has small town qualities.  We grew up outside, skateboarding the neighborhood, strolling through orange orchards.  I don't think that mentality has left the place and I hope that it never will.  

HS: To somebody who has never visited Ojai, what would recommend them see or do while they are in town?

KK: One of my favorite hikes is up the 33.  It is about an hour to the top and an hour down. There is an incline so your booty really feels it, especially if you run up hill.  When you get to the top you see the entire valley. It’s a great place to sit and do some yoga. The hike is called Cozy Dell. Also, Boccallis restaurant! They have homegrown Ojai produce (TIP - they don't take cards just cash or check!)  They have the best strawberry shortcake you will ever have, there’s a great patio and it feels very small town.

HS: Top Instagram accounts that you follow and why?

KK: I tend to follow my friends often.

@Batmansmom - Beautiful and inspirational & @DesiLydic my girlfriend who is coincidentally, gorgeous and absolutely hilarious. 

@Mlle_Clothing - Mlle Mademoiselle. The line is sexy, the pictures gorgeous. 

@Hautestreet (it's true) to see what everyone is up to and to keep the inspiration flowing.

@SpiritualGangster, love their clothing and the message behind it.

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

KK: "You get each day once - make the most of it."  When we look at a day as though we will never get it back, we treat it with respect. That doesn't mean I work my booty off everyday, it means to committing what you want out of a day: relax, alone time, friendship, a wild one... choose and don't feel bad about it.  

HS: What is your favorite item in your closet?

KK: It would have to be a belt that I have. The buckle is my dad's that he won riding bulls and I have it on a belt I love that I got in a small town in Wyoming. I actually brought it with me today!

HS: Who are your top three fashion icons?

KK: Coco Chanel, Kate Moss, Brigitte Bardot

HS: What upcoming projects & involvements can Haute Street viewers look forward to seeing?

KK: Lots with BEST U! Everyday I have the greatest time putting together events.  We are doing a workout with "Burn This" and Marie Claire in October. I am also putting together a fun country music workout class, lots of stuff. In regards to my personal life, my wedding! 

HS: HAUTE STREET x the MUSE diaries is all about giving back to those that are in need. Tell us about your “Passion Project.” Why did you choose this cause?

KK: I am currently talking to a few people about how to get more involved, but I am passionate about helping young girls build confidence and realize they can do anything. There is a difference between self-confidence and self worth.  The more we can help to build self worth in an individual, the more people will realize their own power and potential. More and more women are realizing that, more organizations being formed and the power of women collectively is truly being recognized. If we start with young girls, imagine what the next generation will bring.  

HS: Continuing on with our tradition, "What would you like to ask our next muse?"

KK: What is a culture that you respect and admire, either in past or present times?

 
Wearing OYE bodysuit, GORNER BROTHERS hat, VINTAGE leather trench coat.

Wearing OYE bodysuit, GORNER BROTHERS hat, VINTAGE leather trench coat.

 

 

Haute Street SPOTLIGHT: Brooke Saward of WorldOfWanderlust.com



All images courtsey of Brooke Saward

All images courtsey of Brooke Saward

The SPOTLIGHT is on Brooke Saward, the inspirational travel blogger behind WORLD OF WANDERLUST. This Tasmanian adventurer exclusively shares with us how she put her "idea into motion", upcoming collaborations, and her best of the best from around the world. #CHECKIT #theMUSEdiaries 

 

HAUTE STREET: Tell us about yourself. Where you grew up. Your background. Your passion for travel - where it all began.

BROOKE SAWARD: I grew up on an island in Australia called Tasmania. My entire family are originally from the farm so I guess you could say I'm a small town girl! When I was young my family moved to a bigger city on the island called Launceston, which is where I grew up. My parents believed this would give me and my sister better opportunities, but the city was still relatively small with a population of 100,000 people.

When I was age 13 I was selected to perform in a children's choir for a movie premier in Hong Kong - my first trip overseas! I fell in love with the 'big city lights' and as cliche as it sounds, I was a small town girl in a big city - my love for travel stemmed from there!

 

HS: Where is your favorite spot that you regular?

BS: Fly me to Paris any day of the week.

HS: Best Off-the-beaten path spots you've discovered while on an adventure? 

BS: Bruges, Belgium; Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic; and Hallstatt, Austria. (images of each on my website if you just use the search bar!)


HS: Best places to that you’ve stayed at or want to stay at while wanderlusting (Hotels, Camping & Glamping).

BS: My all time favourite was the recent luxury tree house I stayed in - Singita Sweni - inside the Kruger National Park. A serious case of glamping.

HS: How did you start your blog and when did you know that it really took off?

BS: I started from scratch and it has grown exponentially in the first 18 months - it is still under 2 years old! I'm not really sure if I feel as though it has even really taken off yet as I have so many more ideas and projects in the works! I'm always so busy of thinking ahead!

HS: How did you get started/ build a following?

BS: It really was just as simple as putting an idea into motion. It's one step at a time - which I explain to readers of my new Ebook 'How to create a successful blog'. You really have to work hard on each step rather than rush ahead trying to get an audience before you have great content - it's all about the process!

HS: What makes a good social media photo?

BS: Aim to inspire. In almost all of my photos I try to tell a story rather than just show a scenic shot or touristy shot. It's all about inspiring others!

HS: How do u connect with your social media fans?

BS: I'm best contacted on twitter! @worldofwlust

HS: Favorite treasure you've acquired in your recent travels? 

BS: Because I travel full time year-round I try my best not to collect tangible goods! My photos are my best memories.

HS: Top 3 places on your bucket list that you haven't been to yet and why?

BS: Antarctica - the last continent I will need to step foot on after I visit South America in August; Iceland because it looks unreal; and Norway for the hiking/scenery.

HS: The most interesting person that you've met on one of your travels-where and why? 

BS: A girl I met up with in Copenhagen, Denmark. She had contacted me out of the blue to see if I would like a tour of the city with a local as I had been doing a few meet-ups before then. She was the most genuine, down to earth person I had ever met. An absolute inspiration in every sense of the word. She was also Bosnian and very proud of her home country, despite having to leave in the 1990s due to the war. She had told her parents about me and my website and her dad was incredibly pleased to hear I would be visiting Bosnia later in the year. From that encounter, I was determined to do a good job of promoting Bosnia to my readers. It wasn't hard because I absolutely loved the place! One of my articles went viral in Bosnia and I now have heaps of readers from there! Crazy!

 

HS: We all know you love travel, what are your other passions?

BS: Really, you do? Haha.... I also love to sing, play piano, dance, yes - I was a 'theatre kid' in school. I have a great passion for writing which I'm sure you knew already... but my dream is to publish a novel one day!

HS: If you had an unlimited budget and could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and what would you do? Why is this your choice?

BS: The moon because you said 'unlimited budget' and I'm a dreamer.

HS: Travel fashion/packing tips?

BS: HATS! I wear them all the time so I don't have to do my hair... they also make any outfit immediately fashionable. 

HS: Tell us the best locations in your home town for the following: 

BS: best food - Burger Got Soul - my favourite burger joint. My favourite is the "Mind body and soul" veggie burger. mmmmm!

best fashion - Justin Paul Boutique

best people - You'll find the best people everywhere... there's something about Tasmanians, they're a friendly bunch!

best architecture - The city of Launceston is filled with interesting architecture from the past and present - head to Inveresk for the best insight.

best beach - We don't have one! Crazy, huh!

best history - The Inveresk Museum

HS: Number one travel essential (besides a passport!)?

BS: My frends headphones!

HS: Favorite travel buddy?

BS: My Canon DSLR! I love traveling solo at the moment - I'm sure it will change in the future but for now, I am my own best friend!

HS: Who is a woman that has personally inspired you in your lifetime?

BS: My mum. Words can't even do it justice to explain how tremendous she is. She's like that superwoman mum that you swear has superpowers to accomplish everything she does in each and every day. She works full time and always manages to have an impeccable household and an elaborate dinner on the table every evening - that to me is one of the most selfless lifestyles a person can have. She's amazing.

 

HS: Can you share any trips or collaborations you have planned?

BS: I have an exciting campaign with Ford Car Company - it will be filmed so you will get to see the whole thing!

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

 
Erica is wearing high-waisted trousers by EMILIO PUCCI, bodysuit by OYE, THE KOOPLES blazer, vintage CHANEL charm bracelet, SHYLEE ROSE chain, lariat necklace, midi ring and CELINE sunglasses.

Erica is wearing high-waisted trousers by EMILIO PUCCI, bodysuit by OYE, THE KOOPLES blazer, vintage CHANEL charm bracelet, SHYLEE ROSE chain, lariat necklace, midi ring and CELINE sunglasses.

 

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

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.     

Wearing CARINE GILSON silk slip, JENNIFER FISHER gold and rosegold cuff and SHYLEE ROSE midi ring.

Wearing CARINE GILSON silk slip, JENNIFER FISHER gold and rosegold cuff and SHYLEE ROSE midi ring.

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.  

 
Wearing THE ROW silk dress, SAINT LAURENT tassle necklace, CELINE chainlink bracelets, SHYLEE ROSE rings, STUART WEITZMAN sandals and ALAIA stingray belt.

Wearing THE ROW silk dress, SAINT LAURENT tassle necklace, CELINE chainlink bracelets, SHYLEE ROSE rings, STUART WEITZMAN sandals and ALAIA stingray belt.

 

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!

Courtesy of @BLONDFIRE's Instagram

Courtesy of @BLONDFIRE's Instagram

Courtesy of @BLONDFIRE's Instagram

Courtesy of @BLONDFIRE's Instagram

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.

Wearing ALICE + OLIVIA kaftan sequin dress, JENNIFER FISHER chain necklace and cuffs. MARGELIA neck cuff, IPPOLITA arm bangle and SHYLEE ROSE midi rings.

Wearing ALICE + OLIVIA kaftan sequin dress, JENNIFER FISHER chain necklace and cuffs. MARGELIA neck cuff, IPPOLITA arm bangle and SHYLEE ROSE midi rings.

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?) :-)

 
 

 

 


Meet the MUSE: Nikki Pennie LONDON | LOS ANGELES

 

NIKKI is wearing a leather moto jacket by ANINE BING.

 

Meet the incredibly cool Nikki Pennie, our July MUSE, also known as @thebritishbardot. This trendsetting DJ opens up about the start of her musical career, her most recent exotic travels and what she loves about being a woman in the "boys club". #HAUTESTREET #theMUSEdiares

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HAUTE STREET: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your upbringing in London?

NIKKI PENNIE: I grew up in the countryside of England in the most beautiful place, Henley on Thames that is wear my parents still reside.  I moved to London when I was 18 to study and lived there until I moved to the US.  I did a degree in Fashion Management and the rest is history...

HS: When did you move to the United States and why did you decide to do so? 

NP: I was constantly traveling back and forth from London for 2 years so I finally decided to move here permanently over 5 years ago.  I was working for a British fashion house called Issa and then moved here and fell into styling. That then brought me to DJing and now that is what I do full time. 

HS: How was that experience and how did it impact you?

NP: My experience of moving here was amazing as I had quite a few good Brit friends here from London and I had already spent so much time in the city it was already my 2nd home.

 HS: How did you get into DJing?

NP: I started being asked by a few fashion brands to DJ at the beginning of last year.  I then got introduced to this amazing British music producer; Dave Garnish, he was coming out here to train Paris Hilton as she had some big DJ gigs in Europe.  He very kindly trained me for a couple of months and that was the beginning!

HS: What is the process of getting booked on a job?

NP: I am fortunate to get approached by brands or event organizers who will book me as they have heard about me through word of mouth, recommendations or seen me at an event.

 

MARNI shift dress, STUSSY jacket with leather sleeves, WILDFOX sunglasses and CHANEL watch.

 

HS: Can you tell us about your creative process?

NP: The client will normally give me musical direction for the evening and I will come back with ideas of songs or a sample playlist and then will plan my set accordingly.  A lot of times I will read a room at the party and play according to the vibe, this is part of the art of being a good DJ ;).

 HS: Have you encountered any situations being a woman in your field?

NP: Yes!!! DJing was originally a boys club and now, thanks to all of the latest DJ technology, no more bags and bags of records to carry to every gig.

HS: What are the advantages to being a woman in your field?

NP: You get to meet lots of cute boys that love music just as much as you do!! Being creative with fashion for each event I do, I channel a different look or designer. I love that I get to incorporate my love for fashion with my love for music.

HS: How would you describe your personal style?

NP: Eclectic and a mix of everything, it depends how I am feeling that day; Rock n Roll, chic, elegant, glam...a real mix!! 

 

BALENCIAGA white leather moto jacket, TOM FORD high-waisted pencil skirt, AMERICAN APPAREL crop top and BAUBLEBAR chain necklace

 

HS: If you could raid anyone's closet - who's would it be?

NP: Kate Moss 

HS: Finish these sentences:

My fashion icon's are ... Carine Roitfeld & Kate Moss

Something that people don't know about me is…I love to drink hot milk before I go to bed!

My most embarrassing moment was…10 years ago in London, I was walking down High Street Kensington and my wrap skirt fell down and I didn’t realize until I looked up and everyone on the bus was pointing... BEYOND!!

Three words to describe myself are … Fun, Sweet & British

My pet peeve is… men that care too much about fashion

Nothing is better than ... white chocolate

 HS: We heard that you have a VW bug with eyelashes…

NP: Sadly, it’s no longer. I just got a mustang!

HS: Who are your favorite artists of the moment? 

NP: Tove Lo. Disclosure. Jessie Ware

HS: What are the top 3 instagram accounts that you follow and why?

NP: Beyonce...Queen B

Diplo...love him!!

Stefano Gabbana- Genius

HS: What is an essential piece of social media advice that someone has given you? 

NP: #hashtag !!!

HS: What do you miss most about London?

NP: Victoria Sponge Cake from Marks & Spencers

British boys 

My family  

HS: Tell us about a female who has influenced you personally in your life.

NP: My mum is an incredible woman in every way. She is strong & determined. 

Nikki is wearing ANINE BING flared jeans, printed tee and leather jacket. SHYLEE ROSE diamond and rose gold drop necklace.

HS: Tell us about your favorite travel destination.

NP: Uruguay, its amazing there during wintertime & there is a very chic bohemian, glam scene. 

HS: For someone who has never been there - what would you suggest he or she SEE/EAT/DO while staying there?

NP: Everything!! Red wine & red meat 

HS: What destination is next on your travel wish list?

NP: I would love to visit New Orleans.

HS: Your asked to go on an impromptu trip to an exotic location for 72 hours but you aren't told where. What's in your carry-on?

NP: Sunglasses and Sneakers!

NIKKI in Cannes for the Cannes Film Festival. Courtesy of Nikki's Instagram

NIKKI in Cannes for the Cannes Film Festival. Courtesy of Nikki's Instagram

HS: Tell us about your most recent trip to Cannes and Marrakech.

NP: I was in Cannes to DJ a very glam party for Cannes Film Festival hosted by Relativity & Variety magazine. I then went on to Marrakech for a dear friends wedding, which was BEYOND amazing!! A day extravaganza.

HS: What advice would you give someone who is trying to get into your profession?

NP: Determination, hard work and persistence.

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

NP: Don’t give up!! 

HS: Can you remember a time in your life that "changed" you and how so?

NP: When I experienced the Tsunami & Earthquake in Japan, it put my whole life in perspective.

HS: If you could give your 15-year old self a piece of advice based on what's to come - what would it be? 

NP: Enjoy life!! 

HS: Can you share any upcoming plans and collaborations? 

NP: Working on a fab remix right now with some amazing producers and lots more to come!!

HS: Tell us about your "PASSION PROJECT". 

NP: My passion project is to help everyone in the world in any way that you can, especially young girls! 

HS: Continuing on with our tradition - our June MUSE, Nadin Naumann asked, "What do you want to be remembered for?"

NP: Being kind :)))

 

FOR LOVE AND LEMONS lace long sleeve crop top, H&M hat

 

Haute Street MUSE feature: Fuschia Kate Sumner - Playlist

HAUTE STREET asked Fuschia Kate Sumner - What's on your Playlist right now? 


Erik Hassle- Pathetic

Erik Hassle- I don't want to talk about it

Haim - Forever

LIZ (feat. RiFF RAFF) - Underdogs 

Iggy Azalea(feat. Charli XCX) - Fancy

James Blake - Life Round Here

Beyoncé - Superpower

Bettye Swan - Tell It Like It Is

Aaliyah - Back & Forth

Arctic Monkeys - One For The Road

MYPET - Tiger

Phil Collins -  Against All Odds

Frank Ocean - Super Rich Kids

John Williams - End Credits E.T. The Extra Terrestrial 

Dusty Springfield - You Don't Own Me

Errol Garner - I Cover the Waterfront

Michael Jackson - Dirty Diana

Plan B - ill Manors

N.E.R.D - Rockstar 

Aaliyah - all songs(feeling nostalgic, she was the first artist I ever liked)