Thursday, November 5, 2015

HAUTE HUNTER PRESENTS....The 'Balmain Forced Me Out of Retirement' Issue....

As many of you all know, I have been rather quiet for a few years now....
There are a few reasons why I decided to 'unplug my keyboard' for a bit (ranging from feeling as though this "little hobby" of mine was rather trivial in light of  'real-time' issues of "life and death" confronting family and friends to just plain not being able to control my 'purchasing power' during my daily "haute hunt" expeditions thus racking up unintended debt all in the name of keeping my readers abreast of what is new/haute/affordable in the world of fashion).
Nonetheless, the pull of Le Chic Urbain has tugged at my heart (and purse-strings in terms of making sure I kept the domain name and respective trademarks alive) for years and now I'm finally inspired to resurrect my "Haute Hunter" alter-ego.   What, you may ask, has influenced this change of heart damn near four years later????
 I'll give you a clue... "B.A.L.M.A.I.N"!!!!!!

As most of you are already aware (unless you've been living under a rock), TODAY  (November 5, 2015) is "B DAY" when H&M unveils it's 18th collaboration with none other than the French fashion house founded by Pierre Balmain in 1945 but currently helmed (since 2011) by Creative Director Olivier Rousteing, who joined Balmain in 2009.  The fashion house is known near and far for it's "rock and roll"vibe and sexy extravagance.  The capsule created for H&M includes highly embellished luxury pieces with price-points ranging from $17.99 to $699.  Some of my favorites include this amazingly rich beaded dress:

And these kick-ass beaded peep-toe booties.

Click here to see the full collection with prices and to find out where to buy:

Since we're talking iconic French fashion collaborations, I hope you were able to catch some of the 'tres chic' items featured in the Carine Roitfeld x Uniqlo capsule collection that launched last week. 
According to, this "collaboration with Carine Roitfeld, founder and editor-in-chief of the CR Fashion Book...reflects Ms. Roitfelds broad experience with numerous designers and creators to bring new styles to the world.   More than exceptional design, the new collection is based on UNIQLO’s LifeWear – innovative, high quality clothing that promotes comfort and is available at reasonable prices. The designs were overseen by Naoki Takizawa, UNIQLO Design Director, and it includes around 40 items from stylish outer to feminine innerwear."
If you haven't had a chance, I urge you to check it out.  The wool bodysuit is amazing!

Notwithstanding, Target is never too far behind in the collaboration game.  The retail giant has partnered with Katherine Power and Hillary Kerr of '' to create a fashion line consisting of 70 pieces priced from $14.99 to $49.99 that will span all four seasons for delivery to all Target stores during the first week of every month beginning in February 2016.   This is Target's first collaboration with a media company (Clique Media Group is the website's parent company) as opposed to a fashion brand. 

In more exciting news, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund awarded top honors to Aurora James of Brother Vellies footwear line (you go girl!), Rio Uribe of the Gypsy Sport clothing company, and womenswear designer Jonathan Simkhai (one of my favs!)  this past Monday during their 12th annual awards event.  According to, "'For the first time in the Fashion Fund's twelve-year history, we decided to award three equal winners because of the strength and diversity of this year's finalists,' CFDA President and Chief Executive Steven Kolb said in a news release Tuesday announcing the winners." Each award recipient receives the opportunity to invest $300,000 from the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund into their business while also receiving mentorship from industry vets for a year.

Also in the news (fashion news, that is) is the fact that our girl Mz RiRi has pulled out of performing at this year's infamous Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.  Rihanna was set to perform at the annual event, taping next week, but then suddenly decided she just wasn't that into them. I guess it is a girl's prerogative to change her mind!

Tyra Banks has also changed her mind in terms of the life cycle of America's Next Top Model! Mz TyTy recently announced that after 12 years on the air, the December 4h series finale will be the reality show's final bow.   We will surely miss your  SMIZE Mz TyTy!

Likewise, Lucky magazine is also closing up shop.  Launched as a jewel in the Conde Nast crown in December 2000, Lucky was created to focus on smart shopping. continues to operate.

Most of the most riveting fashion news in the last few days/weeks has centered upon the slow and steady departures of many of our fashion design icons from their posts.
Earlier last week, Lanvin's Alber Elbaz announced he would be leaving the fashion house after 14 years as its Creative Director.  While many of his employees have staged protests due to the unceremonious manner in which Elbaz was pushed out by Shaw-Lan Wang, who happens to be Lavin's biggest shareholder. Elbaz, however, may not be all that distraught due to the fact that he is rumored to be in the running for the position Raf Simons recently left open at Dior as Artistic Director.  
Co-Founder and CEO  of Nicholas Kirkwood- Christopher Suarez- has also exited from the role he held for ten years.

In other 'corporate shuffle' news, Anish Melwani was recently named Chairman and CEO of LVMH, Inc.  Melwani will be based in New York.
Joyce Green will promoted to EVP of Fashion for the US at Chanel, succeeding Barbara Cirkva.

Last but not least, I want to shout-out Mz EF for being such an integral part of her husband's new NYC venture- Noah Clothing.  Noah's founder and Little Mz Sailor's dad- Brendon Babenzian left his role as Creative Director for Supreme to revive the Noah brand he started over a decade ago.   The new boutique on Mulberry Street is, according to, where you'll find "surf meets streetwear".  Congratulations on the new venture!

So, i guess I can't leave without giving you one little 'hi/lo' comp just to re-engage you back into the fold.
Check this out....

Zimmermann Studded Jumpsuit $1,295.00
Forever 21 Studded Jumpsuit $29.99

On that note SweetHautes, I will bid you adieu until the next time.....


Sunday, November 11, 2012

HAUTE HUNTER: FOUR!!! (Four more years and four months M.I.A)

Hello SweetHautes/fellow Haute Hunters!
Congratulations on BARACKING THE VOTE with me!  FOUR MORE YEARS!!! Let's GET IT!
It appears that I only come out for 'special occasions' these days considering the last time we chatted, it was in the midst of the 2012 Olympic Games!  Nonetheless, we 'won' then and we're 'winning' now and that's what matters most!
Although I've been conspicuously absent (for reasons which I won't bore you with at this time), I have been thinking about you DAILY!  I've been literally 'fiending' to share my 'haute hunt' finds with you but first, let's talk about what's going on in the world of fashion!

Not sure you've heard but Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquière is calling it quits!  According to WWD, the French designer who was hired as Balenciaga's creative designer back in 1997 will vacate the fashion house on November 30th of this year.    Your guess is as good as mine as to Ghesquière's replacement....

On the heels of divesting itself of its Jetsetter travel site, Gilt Group is also on the executive search hunt.   The Wall Street Journal  is reporting that the luxury members only e-commerce site is actively attempting to replace co-founder Kevin Ryan as the company's chief executive. 
In other unfortunate news, the Ralph Lauren Corp. has decided to shut down their Rugby diffusion brand.


On the  brighter side, PVH Corp, which acquired the Calvin Klein brand almost a decade ago, has consolidated with the Warnaco Group, who just so happens to be licensee of the brand's denim and underwear brands.  Vogue UK reports the deal to be valued at almost $3billion!

On the subject of acquisitions,  Jay-Z and Mz. Bey may be considering a trademark acquisition....  As you may have heard, the Carters' attempt to trademark baby Blu's name went BUST and the current owner of the the trademark - a Boston based wedding planner- is open to make a deal!  I bet you when the Blue Ivy wedding planning company trademarked its name, they had NO idea what was in store! Hopefully they can cash in on their name in a mighty big way courtesy of the Carters!

For you legal eagles who have been following the Christian Louboutin/YSL red sole cat-fight, it seems as though the mess is finally over! Although courts  ruled in YSL's favor when CL decided to try to stop them from selling shoes with red soles (even though the validity of CL's red sole trademark was reaffirmed by the courts), Vogue UK reports that YSL has decided to dismiss their lawsuit challenging the trademark's validity altogether and that "(b)y dismissing the case now, Yves Saint Laurent also wishes to ensure that the Court will not make any further rulings that put at risk the ability of fashion designers to trademark colour in appropriate cases."  Louboutin has gladly accepted the truce!

Coach has also just scored a legal victory when it was awarded $257 million in a lawsuit against almost 600 websites selling fake Coach merchandise.  Umm,  good luck tracking down your cash  from these bogus websites Coach....

Speaking of tracking down cash, the Italian tax bureau has charged Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana to with tax evasion- which is considered a criminal offense in Italy! Whoa...not sure how well D&G will fare in jail (but hey, they may not be mad at it ;-).

Worse than being in jail, however, is dealing with a woman scorned! Chris Burch, Tory's ex, is now on the offense  after  suing his ex-wife on several contractual claims.  Tory not only answered those claims in a recent filing BUT, according to Fashionista, she made several counter-claims against Chris (mostly concerning his C.Wonder franchise)! Oh oh....this is going to get real messy!
And, in more news about women scorned, several fashion models have joined forces and initiated a $20million lawsuit against Ford, Elite Models Management, and Wilhelmina to recover monies they claim they lost when the agencies concealed funds from them.  Good for them going after the 'big boys' of the industry!

Now, let's get to the GOOOOOOD STUFF!

As you all know, I'm a sucker for these designer collaborations-  and have been really excited about the Narciso Rodriguez for Kohl's DesigNation collection currently available at Kohl's stores and online at  Beware, however, because Mz. TK has been serving as our 'man  on the street' and recently visited a Kohls location to check out the line in person. She reports that although the sizing is off (as in cut waaaaay too big) and some of the fabrics are a bit flimsy, there are a few pieces worth securing (especially for the price).   

Although Narciso's collection is receiving mixed reviews, the fall capsule I'm eagerly awaiting is the Maison Martin Margiela for H&M line!  

Set your alarm clocks for 8:00 a.m. on November 15th because H&M is opening the door early to let you in!  Here are a listing of U.S. stores where you can find the collection stateside (courtesy of

*640 5th Ave & 51st St
New York, NY 10019

*731 Lexington Ave.
New York, NY 10022

*111 5th Ave.
NY, NY 10003

*150 East 86th ST
New York, NY 10028

*60 Columbus Circle
New York NY 10019

*1328 Broadway
New York, NY 10001

*505 Fifth Ave
New York, NY 10017

*Queens Center Mall
90-15 Queens Blvd
Elmhurst, NY 11373

*100 Newbury St.
Boston, MA 02116

*Garden State Plaza Rte. 4 & 17
Paramus, NJ 07653

*435 7th Ave.
New York, NY 10001

*515 Broadway
New York, NY 10012

*1725-1727 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103

*1025 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20004

*231 18th St
Atlanta, GA 30363

*8001 South Orange Blossom Trail Suite 1400
Orlando, FL 32809

*3101 PGA Blvd E-129+P-223
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410

*551 Lincoln Road,
Miami Beach FL 33139

*840 North Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611

*22 N. State Street
Chicago, IL 60602

*8687 North Central Expressway – Suite 1620
Dallas, TX 75225

*13350 Dallas Parkway – space 2750 & 2760
Dallas, TX 75240

*11410 Century Oaks Terrace
Austin, TX 78758

*150 Powell St.
San Francisco, CA 94102

*520 Pike St, suite 100
Seattle, WA 98101

*340 SW Morrison St, #2380
Portland, OR 97204

*334 Sanatana Row
San Jose, CA 95128

*3500 South Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89109

*7014 E. Camelback Road #1409
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

*3000 East 1st Ave, Unit 126
Denver, CO 80206

*30 S. Main St. – Suite 130A
Salt Lake City, UT 84150

*8500 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048

*891 Americana Way
Glendale, CA 91210

*8580 W. Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069

*10250 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90067

*3333 Bristol Street Suite#2819
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

*7007 Friars Road – Space # 713
San Diego, CA 92108

Note: Please be sure not to spend all your money on MMM at H&M, because , as I previously reported, on December 1, 2012, Target and Nieman Marcus will launch their cross-promotional 50 piece holiday collection featuring the clothing, house ware, and accessory designs of 24 CFDA designers.   You can nab a piece from Jason Wu, Rodarte, Oscar de la Renta, or Tracy Reese for  $7.99 to $499.99 simultaneously at Target and Nieman Marcus!   Take  look:

Since we talked up Target..... once they clean out the shelves on their holiday joint venture with NM, they will resume their solo collaboration efforts on February 10, 2013 with Prabal Gurung! Gurung, one of Flotus' fav designers, has created a line of clothing and accessories ranging from $12.99 to $199 "'inspired by love' said Gurung" as reported on

Japanese retailer Uniqlo isn't going to sit back and allow H&M and Target to have all the fun!  Although I never thought they could make a 'collabo comeback' after they ceased production on their +J collection, they are peaking my interest once again with their new  "T Down" collection with uptown girl (and guy) favorite- Theory.   The "T Down" collection hits selves at both Uniqlo and Theory (and on November 15 and will consist of a range of hooded jackets retailing around $149.  I'm sure going to take a look!   

Uniqlo isn't the only Japanese company solidifying meaningful 'cross-continental' relationships....
Sanrio has re-upped their partnership with Forever21 to create a sophomore  capsule in their "Hello Kitty Forever" collection.   The new offerings will be available on November 16th and will  consist of over 110 clothing and home items ranging from $4.80 to $29.80.  I saw a couple of the clothing pieces and they were really cute. Mz. CA will be VERY happy!

In other fashion 'hook up' news, Fashionista has hipped us to the news that rapper M.I.A. is sharpening her fashion design skills with Donatella at Versace!    I'm very interested to see what these two ladies have in store for us....

And he may not be a rapper, but Nigerian-born/U.K. designer Duro Olowu is a star in my eyes so I'm so glad I can FINALLY afford one of his pieces! How, you may ask?!? Well, Olowu is teaming up with J.C. Penney (yes, you heard me...) to design a limited-edition capsule of clothing and accessories under $100 featuring his signature prints.  Look out for Olowu's J.C. Penney collection this coming March. 

Speaking of rappers/stars, former 'hip-hop wife' Rachel Roy is 'going guru'....spiritual guru, that is....
Roy and Deepak Chopra have made a 'spiritual connection' with their line of t-shirts and jewelry ranging from $38 to $245  featuring Ayurvedic  mantras and symbols. 

In other jewelry collaboration news,  Vera Wang for Zales is now including rings for the groom! How's that for "equal opportunity"?
Likewise, Karl Lagerfeld's Fossil watch collection, which will make its debut next year, will be marketed to both women and men and "will come in an assortment of colors and be decorated with pyramid studs, metallic leathers and shiny chains. Also, each one will incorporate an engraving of the Kaiser's unmistakable ponytailed profile", according to

In beauty news, supermodel Iman is expanding her cosmetic line to include Beauty Balms  or "BBs" (a combination of foundation, skin corrector, and sunscreen all rolled into one) according to    Personally, I'm really excited and very proud of Iman for being such an innovator!
Another lady on the move is actress/producer turned Cover Girl Drew Barrymore.  Barrymore is preparing for the end of her Cover Girl contract this coming January by solidifying plans to launch a make-up line exclusive to Wal-Mart.  WWD reports the line will be a collaboration between Barrymore and Italian beauty supplier Inercos. recently featured a limited edition  nail collection resulting from a collaboration between OPI and Mariah Carey.  Mz. Mimi's line features exciting finishes and textures that are sure to please.   

And in more nail collaboration news, the Bauble Bar jewelry website and Essie have gotten together to create six $50 bracelet/nail polish combos.   Check out to take a look!
Now that we're in the fashion 'know', let's tempt ourselves with some 'haute hunt' fashion finds!

Because I was able to acquire TONS of 'hi/lo' comps in the last four months, let's start with a sampling of just a few of what I've collected this fall!

Michael Kors Cable Knit Sweater $150 @Netaporter

Narciso Rodrigues Gold Cable Knit Sweater $58.80 @Kohls

Kaelen Contrast Dress $625 @Shopbop

Love Illusion Contrast Dress $44.28 @Asos

Derek Lam Oxblood Leather Dress $2485 @ Netaporter

Urban Code Oxblood Leather Dress $166.89 @Asos

Dolce & Gabbana Cherub Dress $1545 @Netaporter

Cherub Dress $66.28@Asos

Hakaan Blouse $980 @Netaporter

Zara Blouse $79.90

Balenciaga Leather Tuxedo Stripe Pant $$$

Wax-coated Tuxedo Stripe Pant $27.80 @Forever21

Alexander Wang Leather Combo Dress $765 @Netaporter

Alexander Wang Leather Combo Skirt $1150 @Netaporter

Alice & Olivia Leather Combo Dress $596 @Shopbop

Leather Combo Dress $258.69 @Asos

Just Cavalli Leopard Print Blouse $765 @Shopbop

Leopard Print Blouse $22.80 @Forever21

Rick Owens Shawl-Front Blouse $395

Shawl-Front Blouse  $89.90 @Zara

B Brian Atwood Green Textured  Metallic Pump $350 @Shopbop

Fall 2012  Green Metallic Snakeskin Pumps $$$

Alice & Olivia Wedges $295 @Shopbop

Wedges $99 @H&M

Victoria Beckham Sheath Dress with Leather Sleeves $2825 @Netaporter

Leather Sleeve Sheath Dress $99 @Zara

Valentino Puff Sleeve Dress $3100 @Netaporter

Puff Sleeve Dress $99.99 @Zara

Blaque Label Cape Jacket $88

Sass & Bide Cape Jacket $758.82 @Asos

Camilla & Marc Blazer  $720 @Shopbop

Blazer $32.80 @Forever21

Long Sleeve Jumpsuit $99.90 @Zara

Valentino Fall 2012 Long Sleeve Jumpsuit $$$$

Valentino Studded Pump $895

Schutz Studded Pump $185

Dolce & Gabbana Open-toe Lace Bootie $925

Silvia Tcherassi Open-toe Lace Bootie $49.99 @Payless

Free People Sequin Pant $168 @Shopbop

Sequin Pant $79.99 @Zara

Oscar De La Renta Earrings $440 @Netaporter

Kirna Zabete for Target Earrings $7.49

Now, check out some smart buy 'flyness' in the area of shoes and accessories that  I've gathered during my latest 'Haute Hunt' expedition:

Topshop Gold Heeled Platform Shoes $130

Iridescent Hunter Boots $180 @Topshop

Senso Wooden-heeled Platform Booties $299.03 @Asos

Glitter-heel Pump $110 @TopShop

Oxblood Platform Pump $176 @Topshop

'Funny Face' Platform @124 @Topshop

Wedge Boot $199 @Zara


Aqua Lens Ray Bans $155 @Shopbop

Necklace $34.95 @H&M

Hope Bracelet $45 @Holbrooke by Simone Berry

Chain-link and rhinestone Necklace $19.80 @ Forever21

Well SweetHautes, I'm wrapping it up for the evening...hope you enjoyed our chat!
In the meantime, check me out on twitter (pending my pre-existing technical 'glitch') and instagram @MzHauteHunter!

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