Author Archives: Lauren R.

Dillard’s Exclusive Interview: Marc Ecko Watches Global Brand Manager, Stephen Scholz

Q: How did you get started with Marc Ecko?
A: When the opportunity came up to launch Marc Ecko Watches in 2002 I was working on another fashion watch brand within the Timex Group. I went down to the offices in New Jersey and met Marc and his team. I was blown away by the energy and creativity. Marc inspires people to trust their instincts and appreciate the process of product development as an art form. He’s a visionary.

Q: What is the coolest thing about being the global brand manager for Marc Ecko and UNLTD. watches?
A: I would say the coolest thing is the people I get to work and collaborate with, from artists and celebrities to the retail partners and all of my friends and colleagues. I don’t underestimate any of the people I have met and worked with. Everyone has their own unique perspective, and I enjoy putting creative minds together and coming up with ideas that couldn’t have existed from just one individual. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Q: What sets Marc Ecko and UNLTD. watches apart?
A: We strive to create products and brand experiences that connect with the end consumer on a meaningful level. Every detail is considered and contemplated from the very first step. Our objective is to offer watch styles that stand for something unique and have great value. That has always been our approach. The payoff is hearing from customers who have bought our watches and talk about how much they love all of the details.

Q: Who is the Marc Ecko man?
A: That’s a tough one. I have always believed that our customer profile is more about a state of mind than an age or ethnicity. The Marc Ecko man is an individual spirit. Bold, daring, youthful, artistic and creative. Culturally connected.

Q: Who/what are some of Marc Ecko and UNLTD. watch’s biggest influences?
A: Wow. We get influences from so many different people and places. Sometimes there’s one thing that leads to another. Many years ago we did an alarm clock with the rapper Flava Flav. It was crazy. We did a launch event at KidRobot in NYC. The success of that clock led to a second version with Biz Markie. It became this old school hip-hop series called the Legends Alarm Clocks. We met Biz, and he had this turntable with him that inspired us to create a Turntable Watch. We did it as a necklace and bracelet in silver and gold, and it sold out. Some influences are more direct like that and others come from mashing up different ideas.

Q: What are your favorite trends for fall?
A: Yellow Gold Metals. Animal Prints. Illustrative Graphics. Transparent Materials that expose inner workings.

Q: Tell us about the Rhino logo. Where did that come from?
A: Marc’s father collected wooden rhino sculptures. It always stuck with him. When Marc was 20 years old, he was going to college at Rutgers and spending more time and energy on his art. Airbrushing graffiti t-shirts and jackets out of his parents’ garage that he had turned into a studio. They say do what you love and love what you do. He dropped out of school to pursue his passions.

He changed his last name to Ecko because he has a twin sister Marci who was born just before him. His grandmother called Marc the little echo. That became the name of the brand. Ecko. When he went to his first trade show, Marc saw all of the other established brands there had a logo or symbol to support the name. He remembered the Rhinos his father collected, and it had cool implications. The rhino is somewhat prehistoric looking. It starts slow but can be unstoppable when it gains speed and momentum. It’s a strong creature and was the perfect fit as the brand logo.

Q: Where is the most exciting place one of your watches has been featured?
A: Several years ago, one of the wealthiest families in Dubai saw our watch and ordered 1,000 pieces to be used as gifts for visiting guests at their palace. That was pretty cool. But honestly we get pictures emailed to us or our Facebook page all the time with people wearing their Ecko Watch to places like Hong Kong, South Africa, Peru or even Brooklyn. Everyone has their own journey. It’s cool to create something that becomes a part of it.

Q: What is the difference between the collections (Unlimited, Marc Ecko and Cut and Sew)? And how do you style them?
A: Unlimited is fashion-active and more in your face. We style the Unlimited Collection into two categories, Ecko-Classics which has stones and is more going-out, like a club watch. And Street-Tech which we launched a year ago. Street-Tech is technical enough that you can sweat in it, but you’re probably not using it for a triathlon. It’s fashionable technology. We use bright colored silicone straps, digital displays, luminous glow in the dark details and really modern and interesting case forms. Tech is the new bling! On the other side, Marc Ecko Cut & Sew is more mature…more grown up. Marc and his team do such an amazing job with crafting the details and applications on the apparel that we really follow the lead. Our watches are dressy and contemporary with precision detailing.

Q: What are your 3 must-have watches from Ecko?
A: The Flash in gold, The Flash in silver and The Supreme.

Shop all Marc Ecko watches.

Which Marc Ecko watch is your favorite? Tell us in the comments! 

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Dillard’s Exclusive Interview: Kerry Magnusson, Director of Bridal Merchandising for Nina Jewelry

Q: Where do you draw inspiration from?
A: The Nina Jewelry line was created by listening to the customer and inspiration is drawn by her experiences.  As creator of the collection, I noticed a lack of well-made, trend-right, bridal accessories at a palatable retail price. This became the foundation of the Nina Bridal accessories collection.  I set out to create a collection of made in the USA, hand-crafted sashes and veils.  After an overwhelmingly positive reaction, it became clear that we needed to expand the line to include headpieces and jewelry. Today, the collection is a full-circle accessories line where we offer everything but the dress.

Inspiration comes from everywhere. As a designer, you need to have your eyes and ears wide open. You can be inspired by travel, a beautiful chandelier, a floral arrangement, or a page from a magazine.  Just one image can spark a flurry of ideas and become the focal point of a collection.

Q: Who and what are your major influences?
A: First and foremost, the customer is my main influence. At Nina we democratize glamour.  The customer is central to everything that we do.

Secondly, on a personal note, I think back to my grandmother Mary.  She was a product of the Depression, raised 4 children on a shoe-string budget and always found a way to look fabulous.  In tough times, accessories were her way to stay relevant and reignite her wardrobe.   She would replace buttons on a jacket or put together a fabulous mélange of necklaces.   It made the same dress look new.   I think back to how glamorous she always looked and try to channel her creativity.  The Nina line is designed to be heirloom quality whether it is worn for everyday sparkle or the most special of occasions.

Q: What are some of the trends you are looking forward to?
A: The most prevalent trend right now is the return to statement pieces. What was fashionable 2 years ago is now deemed a “basic.”  The customer wants to own her look and command attention.   This is a very exciting time in jewelry because it really gives designers artistic freedom.

There are 2 main stories happening within the statement jewelry trend that I am most excited about:

  1. The return to the 1920s and emphasis on Art Deco.   Pieces like the Acacia necklace and the Mohalo earring are fabulous examples.   They are showered with crystal and have phenomenal shape and movement.
  2. The second story is organic and nature driven.   Flowers are always relevant in special occasion.  I try to find ways to incorporate a floral suggestion or a mélange look, instead of using the traditional, symmetrical flower.

Q: What is your favorite aspect of designing bridal jewelry?
A: My favorite aspect is the relationship with the bride. This is a monumental day in her life and it is a privilege to style her.

Q: What sets Nina accessories apart from other brands?
A: Nina provides a couture aesthetic at an understandable retail price.  Most department store special occasion lines are “safe” in their designs.   At Nina we try to break the glass ceiling and offer her elevated fashion.

Q: Who is the Nina bride?
A: We cater to all brides: the modern bride, the avant-garde bride, the romantic bride, the destination bride — the list goes on.   As in our footwear line, we have something for everyone.

Q: What tips would you give a bride trying to style her big day?
A: Be yourself and be comfortable in your own skin.   Your spouse is marrying you for the person you are inside and out.   So it is important to be true to yourself on that day.

Q: What are your favorite pieces from your line right now?
A: You are asking me to play favorites — that is very hard to do! My favorite is the Melaney necklace because I wear it once a week and it finishes any outfit.   The blush coloration especially is so versatile! A few ways to wear it:

For a night out: Melaney with a black dress and gold Nina Medina sandals.
To work: Melaney with an ivory blouse, black blazer, jeans and the Nina Deanna.
To run errands: Melaney with a T-shirt, jeans and the Nina Norway ballet flat.

I travel quite a bit and I find the Melaney is the perfect accessory.  It can be worn with every item in your suitcase!

Shop Nina Accessories, Nina Evening Bags and Nina shoes

Which Nina pieces are your favorite? Tell us in the comments! 

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Dillard’s Exclusive Interview with Sleepwear Designer Carole Hochman

Q: How did you get your start designing intimate apparel and sleepwear?
A: I studied fashion design at Drexel University in Philadelphia, and my first internship in my sophomore year was selling lingerie at Bergdorf Goodman in NYC…the rest is history

Q: Where do you draw inspiration from?
A: Inspiration is everywear in NYC. Today I can also do lots of interesting research on the internet.

Q: Who/what are your major influences?
A: I love everything vintage.

Q: What sets the Midnight by Carole Hochman line apart from other sleepwear lines?
A: The midnight line is intended for women who love comfort but want to feel very feminine and sexy.

Q: What are your favorite aspects of designing sleepwear?
A: I wear sleepwear, and I know how it needs to feel and look for myself. I love the discovery of a new fabric and a new lace.

Q: What are some upcoming trends in sleepwear we should watch for?
A: Sleepwear is getting lacey again and still very casual and comforatble. It is fun to get all the facets in one fabulous garment.

Q: What is your favorite material to work with?
A: I love modal because it is silky and drapey but very easy care.

Q: What is the most exciting place your designs have been featured?
A: I love seeing my designs on the web.

Q: What are your favorite pieces from the Midnight by Carole Hochman collection?
A: The Forever &  Always gown and pajama are fabulous pieces for this fall. They are an easy fit with a very flattering satin twisted neckline that is so very feminine and flattering to everyone. We have a pajama called Modern Comfort that I slept in last night and no one would believe they are pajamas — very sporty, soft and something you never want to take off.

Shop all Midnight by Carole Hochman.

What are your favorite pieces from the collection? 

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HotTotties: Layering in Cold Weather

As the days get shorter and the weather turns colder, layering your look provides much needed warmth outdoors. Let us introduce you to your newest line of defense against the chill: HotTotties. These cute-enough-to-be-worn-alone thermals are full of technological advances like ec2 Qwik-Dri thermoregulation and breathable antimicrobial fabrics.

The 360-degree stretch fabric moves with your body during all types of activities, while the 25+ UPF rating protects your skin in the sunshine. We love pairing these pieces with everything from workout clothes to our daily jeans. Not sure how to work these into your everyday wardrobe? Get inspired by these parings.

Shop our Picks: Merrell Origins Retro Ski Vest, HotTotties White Print Silk-Weight Top

Shop our Picks: Royal Robbins Bistro Belted Dress, HotTotties Cloud Nine Black Pants

Shop our Picks: NYDJ Straight-Leg Corduroy Pants, HotTotties White Silk-Weight Pant

Shop our Picks: Lovermarks Southwest-Print Cardigan, HotTotties Black Silk-Weight Top

Shop our Picks: Nike Open-Hem Workout Pants, HotTotties Cloud Nine Printed Scoopneck Top

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Which pieces will you layer with this season?

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Robert Lee Morris: In-Store Appearance

Robert Lee Morris, legendary jewelry designer, launched Robert Lee Morris Soho in Fall 2012.  In this new collection, he continues to push the boundaries of wearable art with a series of pieces that embody the spirit of his celebrated legacy. The core collection is a modern take on the designer’s most influential pieces — iconic bubble cuffs, striking statement necklaces, sculptural hoops and earrings and sleek pendants.

The Robert Lee Morris Soho Fall 2012 Collection fuses past and future and reflects the ever-evolving spirit of an iconic artist. Join us in celebrating the exciting launch of this new collection at with a personal appearance by award-winning  jewelry designer Robert Lee Morris at Dillard’s St. Johns Center in Jacksonville, Florida  on October 20 from 1 to 3pm.  While in store, register to win the  Windchime Circle Link Statement Necklace.

Shop all Robert Lee Morris Soho

Which piece do you love from this new collection? Tell us in the comments! 

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Dillard’s Exclusive Interview: Robert Lee Morris

Q: What made you want to get into the jewelry business?
A: I never started off wanting to go into the jewelry business. It all just evolved magically like a Hollywood movie. I was discovered, put into the most prestigious jewelry gallery in the country, (Sculpture to Wear in the Plaza hotel) and my career just exploded without my ever intending to have a career in jewelry. I knew I was an artist, and I was just feeling my way into the art world when the jewelry I had started making became a business all by itself.

Q: Where do you draw inspiration from?
A: I draw inspiration from sacred geometry, the natural beauty of all living things. I am inspired by ancient history and futuristic visions. I am the bridge between the past and the future, between tribal and urban cultures.

Q: What are your major influences?
A: My major influences are the great artists who demonstrate that in everything they create there is a powerful signature handprint, a DNA imprint, a message from the soul that is consistent and recognizable in absolutely everything they make. Examples of these artists are Brancusi, Calder, Picasso, Arp, Warhol, and many of the great visual artists who move from one classification to another without ever losing their signature style.

Q: What is the most exciting place your jewelry has been featured?
A: The first most exciting moment in my career was when I had my brass bubble collar on the cover of Vogue in 1976. While I have had countless similar experiences of publication, that still remains the most critical in terms of my career trajectory.

Q: Which collaborations have you enjoyed the most during your career?
A: My first most enjoyable collaboration was with Calvin Klein and his design staff for his fall 1981 show. It was thrilling and fun and ended up gaining me a Coty award. The next most exciting collaboration was in 1985. I was an integral part of the Donna Karan launch, where the theme of black and gold was really the wedding of Donna and Robert, which lasted for 36 collections, and influenced the entire fashion and jewelry industries for years.

Q: What sets your designs apart from those of other lines?
A: The key features of my work, those that set it apart from all other jewelry collections in the world, are the bold sculptural forms that emphasize the sensuality and comfort of fluid shapes, undulating and sexy. My jewelry is more about the metalwork and the sculptural foundation of my look than the setting of jewels, decoration and trendy effects that have little lasting value. What sets my work apart is the fact that there is content, storytelling and the integration of my own personal philosophy of design and aesthetics as opposed to most other lines that emphasize decorative details, stones and bling.

Q: What is your favorite material to work with?
A: I favor brass and silver.

Q: What are your top styling tips?
A: Top styling tips? Use jewelry to empower yourself, to increase your confidence and create a body language of strength and simplicity.

Q: What are some of your favorite trends for fall?
A: My favorite trend for fall is the use of major necklaces. Adorning your neck is an important, creative statement above all other trends.

Q: What are the 3 must-have pieces from your collection?
A: A major statement piece from the Iconic metals collection — large hammered gold or silver metal earrings or a large iconic cuff. You also need something with movement like the pieces from the Windchime collection.

Shop all Robert Lee Morris Soho.

Which Robert Lee Morris Soho piece is your favorite? Tell us in the comments! 

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Elizabeth Arden Beauty on the Wild Side Color Box

Right now, receive this fun and fierce zebra-print color box for $39.50 with any $29.50 purchase of Elizabeth Arden. The box includes:

  • 12 Eyeshadows in Golden Ivy, Plum, Silver, Aqua, Lavender, Midnight, Spice, Sky, Blonde, Truffle, Apricot and Cinnamon
  • 2 Cheekcolors in Sugarplum and Tearose
  • 3 Exceptional Lipsticks in Fiesta, Caramel Glace and Winterberry
  • 2 High Shine Lipgloss Wands in Honey Glaze and Berrylicious
  • 1 Lip Pencil in Taupe
  • 2 Eye Pencils in Smoky Black and Espresso
  • 1 Ceramide Lash Extending Treatment Mascara in Black
  • 1 Nail Lacquer in Sheer Pink
  • 3-piece Brush Set
  • 1 Cheekcolor Brush
  • 1 Eyeshadow Brush
  • 1 Angle Eyeshadow Brush

Just think of the holiday gift possibilities!

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Have you started holiday shopping yet? Tell us in the comments! 

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