The Inside Look Behind the FUNARI NEW YORK Collection

I am always drawn to collections that have a deeper meaning.  The FUNARI NEW YORK collection that walked down the runway at Style Fashion Week AKA the Fearless collection was epic! It was all about being fearless, never hiding behind a mask and being brave even if you think you might fail.

You should always be bold, strong and powerful.

I was so excited to interview Designer Janelle Funari, the heart and soul behind FUNARI NEW YORK. I wanted to find out more about her collection and touch on what makes her such a unique designer.

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Photo by Style Fashion Week

Here is our exclusive interview:

Jenny A. : Tell me a little bit about your Fall 2018 collection. What was the inspiration behind it?

Janelle: I was inspired by both the David Bowie exhibit I saw and also the 1980s! I loved David Bowie’s bold, daring attitude and the risks he took as a performer! This collection is about fun, bold punches of color, functionality, technology, & couture finishes. The line is inspired from the 80s where women were bold, strong, and powerful. I wanted to empower both woman and men to be who they want to be and not hide behind a mask. The collection is about freedom, excitement, and liberation!  There is a nostalgic feeling of that 80s carefree attitude. Reminiscing about enjoying life, spontaneity, and dancing in the streets or at an iconic club!<

Jenny A: Tell me a little bit about yourself as a designer. What makes you stand out from the crowd? 

Janelle: My newest endeavor is the couture performance market. The line stands out as it is elegant, timeless, comfortable and practical! The line can be worn all day and all night. You can go to the gym or out to dinner, just put on a pair of boots or heels! The brand is about versatility, technical advancement, and functionality. The FUNARI line is for both Men and Woman and represents quality, style, and innovation.

Jenny: What makes you fearless? What is your story?

Janelle: What makes me Fearless is trying new things and not being afraid to fail. Many people fail before they even try. They let others tell them it’s not possible. I say, “block out the noise!”  I give 200% in everything I do in life!  My mantra is to never look back, never regret, and to always give it your all! I believe that, in life it is better to try, then to not try at all. LIVE like there is no tomorrow & we only have today, so make it happen! Never say “no” or “it is not going to happen”

Anything and EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE! Put your heart and mind towards your goals and you’ll see that dreams do come true!

Jenny: What is your hardest challenge as a designer?

Janelle: Making my collection in New York City and sewing it in the USA! The cost is much higher for me because it is all made here in NYC.

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Photo by Style Fashion Week

I want to thank Janelle Funari for inviting me to her fashion show. It was fantastic. You can check out her collections here .

Be sure to subscribe to my blog and follow my blog’s Instagram @newstylemode 

XOXO,

Jenny A.

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I am Fearless : The Fearless Collection by FUNARI NEW YORK

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Photo by Style Fashion Week

In celebration of my fashion blog’s birthday, I wanted to do a special post on FUNARI NEW YORK. 

I was so pumped after watching the FUNARI NEW YORK collection at Style Fashion Week. All I could feel was the energy and excitement flowing through the air. The show left me dancing in my seat and wishing that I was also up on that runway.

I’m no stranger to FUNARI NEW YORK. Last season I saw her show and was very impressed. This season, designer Janelle Funari took it to the next level with her Fearless collection.

When I asked Janelle what makes her fearless she answered, “I try new things and I’m not afraid to fail. Many people fail before they even try. They let others tell them it’s not possible. I say, “block out the noise!”  I give 200% in everything I do in life!  My mantra is to never look back, never regret, and to always give it your all!” – Janelle Funari

My absolute favorite part of the show was when 2 of the models opened the show by dancing on the runway. They were doing flip and splits! They were jumping around and just lighting up the runway. I was completely gripped when they walked to the end of the runway, posed, looked at each other, turned their backs towards the cameras and clasped hands. I felt as though they were standing together and blocking out all the noise around them. They walked back up the runway hand-in-hand before running into the distance.

They were fearless

I wanted to be them.
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Photo by: Noel Valero Photography

The couple’s outfits were so cute! The Fearless collection is elegant, comfortable and practical! It can be worn all day and all night. Can you imagine you and your partner going to the gym together and then going out to dinner in these matching outfits?!

“In this crazy world, we all need someone to turn to.” – Designer Janelle Funari

My Favorite Looks:

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Photo by: Style Fashion Week
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Photo by: Style Fashion Week
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Photo by: Style Fashion Week
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Photo by: Style Fashion Week
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Photo by: Style Fashion Week

I want to thank Janelle Funari for inviting me to her fashion show. It was fantastic. You can check out her collections here .

Be sure to subscribe to my blog and follow my blog’s Instagram @newstylemode 

XOXO,

Jenny A.

 

From Last Year to This Year: Meeting Victoria’s Secret Model Sadie Newman

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Jenny A. (left) & Sadie Newman (right)

It’s that time of year again! New York Fashion Week is right around the corner, school’s back in session…and models from all over the world come into New York City to audition to be in the big Victoria’s Secret fashion show!

Last year I blogged about what it was like to be at the Victoria’s Secret castings. This year, I didn’t know what to expect. I only had 20 minutes to be there. But what can you really do with 20 minutes? Little did I know that in that short amount of time, I was able to meet Victoria’s Secret model Sadie Newman. Some may call it destiny and some may just say it’s a coincidence, but last year Sadie was the first picture in my Victoria’s Secret post. Now a year later, she’s posing with me in the middle of Manhattan.

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If the Jenny last year could see the Jenny this year, she’d be shocked. So much has changed in my life, it’s incredible. Many of you have been asking where I’ve been… The truth is I took the summer to refocus on myself. Just a few days ago, I received the sweetest phone call from one of my original models, Shinice Kelly. She told me that she is actually putting her first fashion show together in March. It really touched my heart to hear what an impact my blog had on her life. It’s moments like those that really remind me how important my blog is.

So with that, I just want to thank you for all of your love and support.

 You can read last year’s post about what it was like to be at the Victoria’s Secret casting auditions here.

XOXO

JENNY A.

Nothing is Impossible: Charlotte Smith Models for Designer Dan Liu

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“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible’” – Audrey Hepburn

I can’t tell you how proud I am of model Charlotte Smith. She’s made something that might have seemed impossible into a reality. She walked for her favorite designer Dan Liu during New York Fashion Week. Here is the inside scoop of what it was like!

Catching up with Charlotte Smith:

Jenny Alweiss: How was modeling for Dan Liu?

Charlotte Smith: Absolutely incredible! He’s my favorite designer. What I love about Dan is that he cares about every model. He won’t put a model in a dress he doesn’t think fits. He wants the model to look incredible. He puts heart and soul into every look and it shows!

Jenny: What inspired the collection?

Charlotte: The Spy Who Loved Me movie with James Bond. His collection was a powerful Bond girl. It was sexy. We wore sunglasses and a headscarf on the runway which was based off of Audrey Hepburn. I adore her.

Jenny: What is Dan Liu really like?

Charlotte: He’s so talented. He has a strong vision and brings out your confidence. He told each model “this is what you’re doing” and explained what he wanted. He boosted the overall moral and he’s very enthusiastic. He was so excited to be there. He told us for this collection, “no smiles, you’re dangerous – you’re a badass spy!”

Jenny: What was it like to be on the runway?

Charlotte: I was on cloud nine the whole time! I wore one of his signature pieces – a jacket with a bird on the back. Dan chose me to be the one to rip off my sunglasses and wink at the end of the runway.

Jenny: What were you thinking about when you were on the runway?

Charlotte: I was imagining myself as a spy. I kept thinking “I am a spy. I am a bad ass. I’m so happy to be here.”

Jenny: Were your outfits comfortable to wear on the runway?

Charlotte: Yes! His clothes are incredibly well made.


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Jenny: Speaking of being a spy, do you have a favorite spy movie?

Charlotte: I love the James Bond movies. They’re great!

Jenny: Were there any funny moments at the fashion show?

Charlotte: Yes – Madeline, one of the models needed to borrow my heels even though were in the same show! It was chaotic. Also, there were like 5 people working on me at the same time –  spraying my hair,  touching up my makeup, and helping me get into the clothes. They were just zipping up my dress right before I had to go.

Jenny: What were the other models like?

Charlotte: They’re so sweet. We were all supportive of each other. We got waffles together after the show with all of our hair and makeup still on!

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Photographer: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images North America

Jenny: Question from Igor in the audience: What drives you?

Charlotte: I have a mantra “I’m working to be the best version of myself.” You can’t change yourself for a designer. You have to stay true to yourself. You are enough and if a designer doesn’t like you, don’t take it personally. Always keep your options opened. Be your best self.

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Photographer: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images North America

 

Check out my first blog post about Charlotte and her sister, Natalie Smith. You can follow her on Instagram @charlotte.smith

I want to give a special thank you to photographer Frazer Harrison / Getty Images North America for the photos. Thank you! 

Be sure to subscribe to my blog and follow my blog’s Instagram @newstylemode 

Love always,

Jenny A.

 

 

 

Aspiring Model Maggie Doyle Captures the Runway

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Photographer: Sean McCoy

….Beauty is being able to walk a runway and silence a room by your presence…” – Victoria Whetzel

When model Maggie Doyle walked down the runway at the PLITZS Fashion Marketing’s model competition, captured my attention. I remember sitting at the Judges’ Table and looking into the chattering audience. The moment Maggie walked down the runway, the room they were silent. All eyes were on her.

Even though the PLITZS Fashion Marketing competition was Maggie’s first runway experience, she held herself like professional model. She was able to capture the room.

Almost a month later, when I was at New York Fashion Week,  I was very happy to see her walking for Emuleos’s Tougher Than Diamond Collection. It’s really exciting to know that I was there to see the first step towards her modeling career. She walked for PLITZS Fashion Marketing during New York Fashion Week!

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Photographer: Deno Imaginator

Meet Maggie:

Jenny A (Me) : What was it like to win the Women’s Model of the Year Award at PLITZS Fashion Marketing’s model competition?
Maggie: It was such an incredible feeling! I had no prior experience modeling but I worked hard leading up to the show. I practiced my walk and selected outfits for each category that would best represent me and that would look good on the runway. When I heard my number being called [as the winner], it was surreal. It inspired me to pursue further modeling opportunities.

Me: What do you think about when you walk down the runway?

Maggie: Before stepping onto the runway, I think about what I need to do in order to best model the clothing. As I take my first step onto the runway, the only thought I have is to exude confidence. I know what I am supposed to do as a model and once I’m on the runway it’s all about delivering that. If you’re not confident, people will notice, and they won’t buy what you’re ultimately trying to sell in both a figurative and literal sense.

Question from Kristy my followers: What was your favorite item to model?

Maggie: My favorite look that I modeled in the PLITZS’s Model of the Year competition was the black formal outfit. I chose a versatile black romper with an attached skirt and heeled booties. It was a bold look and made me feel very confident on the runway.

Me: What is the hardest challenge you’ve faced so far as a model?
Maggie: I think the hardest challenge I have faced as a model is accepting that I may not always like the way the clothing looks on me or how the photos turn out, but it’s part of the job. In order to be a good model, you have to wear the clothing with confidence and make it look the way the designer intended on the runway. You have to be willing to get out of your comfort zone.

Me: What was your craziest modeling experience?

Maggie: With the little experience I have had, the PLITZS New York Fashion Week show was my craziest modeling experience. Modeling for twelve different designers in the span of 6 or so hours was hectic. I had no idea what it would be like beforehand! It was crazy walking off the runway to a team of people waiting to help me change outfits, makeup, and hair for the next designer.

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Photographer: Sean McCoy

Me: What are your goals and dreams?
Maggie: My goal in life is to help others. I plan to graduate with a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Social Innovation. There are far too many people in this world whose needs are not fulfilled and I want to change that. My dream in life is to one day see my photos in magazines.

Me: What are your hobbies?
Maggie: I like to cook. I love cooking for friends and coming up with new & healthy recipes. I also like to paint! When I’m visiting home, my mom and I paint together in her studio.

Me: What is your favorite superhero or animated character?

Maggie: My favorite animated character is probably Remy, the rat from Ratatouille. He’s so determined to be a chef despite the fact that he’s a rat. I love his determination!

Question from Gabriella my followers : Do you have a certain workout routine?
Maggie: I have a very busy schedule between work and classes so a lot of the time my workout is speed walking through Grand Central to make a subway or train! But when I do have time, I go for a run or take a SoulCycle class. However, I do follow a pescatarian diet and try to cut out any processed foods which helps make up for my erratic workout schedule.

Me: If you could be a fruit or vegetable, what fruit or vegetable would you be?
Maggie: I would probably be a mango since it’s delicious and versatile. It also reminds me of being at the beach, which is my favorite place.

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Photographer: Sean McCoy

Maggie modeled for New York Fashion Week at PLITZS in Feb 2018. You can follow her on Instagram @maggiedoylem

Be sure to subscribe to my blog and follow my blog’s Instagram @newstylemode 

Love always,

Jenny A.

The Tougher Than Diamonds Collection by Emuleos at New York Fashion Week

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Photographed by Emuleos

“Upon the onslaught of doubt, lift your chin and raise your gloves.” – Emuleos

Channel your inner boxer because designer Emily Prozinki’s Tougher Than Diamonds Collection by Emuleos was kickin’ ass at New York Fashion Week. My jaw dropped open when the first model strutted onto the runway and modeled like a female boxer. She wore boxing inspired hand wraps and threw some “punches” in front of the cameras while wearing a beautiful off the shoulder black dress with diamonds on the side of her torso.

Glamour meets a fighter. Each piece was a mix between a stylish diva and fierce warrior. I noticed that all of the models were wearing either wearing boxer inspired hand wraps or bedazzled boxing gloves. Every model wore a sparkling visor protecting her eyes along with one of the shimmering outfits from the collection. I really love the fact that each outfit has a killer name like Dimond ClassRival, Monarch and Showstopper. 

When I saw Emuleos’s collection on the runway, I immediately knew that I needed to get the inside scoop. The collection represents facing yourself and shattering your inner demons. Designer Emily Prozinski asked me “what’s tougher than diamonds? Women are!” She explained to me how as woman, we often doubt ourselves and we shouldn’t.  We should say “I can” and not the words “I can’t.” All of her pieces were influenced by female boxers who fight their battles. The message behind her collection was extremely empowering.

Her collection really spoke to me since the past few months have been challenging for me both personally and professionally. I have to remember that I am tougher than diamonds and no matter what comes my way, I need to stand my ground. Sometimes you just have to raise your gloves and fight for what you believe in. I can tell you that I might not literally be wearing boxing gloves but there is a fighter inside of me. I am so glad that Emuleos expressed the female warrior though her collection.

Behind the Scenes:

Here’s an exclusive interview I had with designer Emily Prozinski where she explains the inspiration behind her collection. Standing next to Emily is model Alicia Ann, modeling the outfit named Diamond Class, the collection’s signature look. This is the first time that I added subtitles to one of my videos, so if you would like to use that feature, it is available to you. Just click the little “cc” button on the bottom of the video and the subtitles will appear.

My Top Runway Looks from this Collection:

  1. Rival

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Photographed by Jenny Alweiss

2. Monarch

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Photographed by Jenny Alweiss

3. Showstopper

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Model Maggie Doyle, Photographer Sean McCoy

 

If you want to check out more of the Emuleos collection, you can click  here to see more!

I’d love to know… What are your thoughts on this collection?

Love always,

Jenny A.

Model Victoria Summer Whetzel Speaks Her Mind

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Photographer: Jake Pierce

Back in January, model Victoria Summer Whetzel and I were both fashion show judges for PLITZS Fashion Marketing’s Model of the Year competition. I admire how sincere she is. First off, she had a really cute Betsey Johnson telephone purse which has a removable phone set handle that plugs into her cellphone. Basically, her purse can turn into a working phone. How cool? But in all seriousness, Victoria is a really sweet and down to earth model.

During the competition, she pointed something out to me that I didn’t realize. For the Model of the Year competition, there were 3 categories – petite female models, male models and 5’8″ female models. She mentioned how PLITZS Fashion Marketing didn’t have a plus-size category for curvy models to compete in. As a curvy model, Victoria hopes that the next year’s PLITZS Fashion Marketing’s competition will have a plus-size/curvy category.

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Photographer: Jake Pierce

Meet Victoria:

Jenny A. (Me) : When you were a judge at the PLITZS Fashion Marketing competition, what were you looking for in each of the model candidates?

Victoria Summer Whetzel: I was mostly looking for someone who could command the space as soon as they hit the runway. This is the modeling industry, so everyone is beautiful. But I believe the standard of beauty is changing. It’s more than a pretty face and a physique that lives up to society’s standards. Beauty is taking care of yourself and being proud of who you are.  Beauty is being able to walk a runway and silence a room by your presence. Beauty is being kind to others and being kind to yourself. That’s what I look for in a model.

 

Me: Is there something you are looking to see more of on the runway? A specific look, personality, walk…etc? 

Victoria: I would love to see more plus-size and curvy models of course. Models like Ashley Graham, Denise Bidot and SO many more. Plus-Side models are body activists and I think their activism has moved mountains in the modeling industry. They have paved the way for many emerging models, including myself. I hope one day I can be a leader in this movement too.

 

Me: You’re trying to break into the modeling industry as plus-size model. What is the hardest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Victoria: I think the hardest challenge I’ve faced so far, is proving to myself that I have what it takes. Far too often, we are the ones holding ourselves back. Sometimes it’s important to take a moment to remind ourselves that we are enough and celebrate ourselves for all that we have to offer.

Question from Liana in the audience: What kind of food do you usually eat? We hear all these stories about how models don’t eat to stay thin because “thin is in.” How do you cope with that kind of mentality?

Victoria: Being thin has never been a part of who I am, so I just try my best to put foods into my body that make me feel good.

Me: Do you eat certain foods before modeling?

Victoria: I don’t eat anything specific. I eat whatever I feel will make me do my best work that day.

Me: If you could be a fruit or veggie, what fruit or veggie would you be?

Victoria: I would be a watermelon. They have a ton of seeds that represent growth and they are better when shared in the summertime. 🙂

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Photographer: Jake Pierce

Me: Overall, do you find it difficult to be a plus-size model? 

Victoria: Being a plus-size model is hard. Being any kind of model in this industry is hard. But you just have to remember that you get to tell people who you are. They don’t get to tell you who you are. One example of this comes from a recent experience here in New York City.

I attended an open call for an independent designer’s showcase for their swimsuit line. Most of the girls at the call were sizes 00-6, but there were a handful of plus-size girls there too. Probably around 5 or 6 in all. All of the petite model’s took turns modeling a bikini from the designer’s line. The designer then decided she wanted me to also model one of her designs. She said I was the most ‘fit’ of the plus-size girls and she wanted a curvy model. She gave me a swimsuit to put on, and as soon as she handed it to me, I realized it was the same exact bathing suit she had the petite models wear. This swimwear was not designed for girls like me. It was made for a model probably around a size 6.

At first, I felt embarrassed because the swimwear didn’t fit, but I put it on anyway. That day, I saw my first real glitch in the industry. I was being asked to wear this suit, so the designer could say she designs for plus-size models. But I am not a Size 6. I am a Size 12 and I am grateful for designers out there who celebrate me for being just that.

 

Victoria modeled for New York Fashion Week at PLITZS in Feb 2018. You can follow her on Instagram @theofficial.vsw

Be sure to subscribe to my blog and follow my blog’s Instagram @newstylemode 

Love always,

Jenny A.