We live in a time that allows us to have a worldwide connection at the tip of our fingers, anywhere we may be. Through this we can connect with women from all around the globe and share, learn, grow, support and thrive together as we go through this journey called life. Through fashion we are able to express ourselves and with the use of the internet immediately share our style with our fellow women comrades. Here is how my journey with fashion and style began.
I started this blog to share my own self through my style, as I always have done, even before social media existed. I was born in Albania (a small but beautiful country in the Mediterranean) in 1993 and developed a passion for style and fashion at an early age along with my sister. It is inherent in us as our grandmother had a sense of style well beyond her time. Now, that I think about it, she was expressing herself in a time and place where communism and conformity was the ideal. She was a revolution in her on way- expressing herself in bold colors, various prints, and accessories of all types to enhance the details in her outfits. While everyone had the same color scheme in their clothing and one toned hair, I distinctively remember her wearing bright reds, blues, yellows and highlighting her hair with various colors.
We would visit her every week and she would open her closet and let us create our own outfits using the countless number of pieces that lived in her closet. I still remember the delicious smell of her house (as she had been cooking our favorites all morning) and smile on her face as she would open the door and scream of excitement, hug and kiss us to pieces. Then, after all of us were dressed, we would go out on the town and enjoy the day with the first coffee of the day. On a side note, going out for a coffee is a very cultural event in Europe and Albania and the Kafe’s are some of the most beautiful places to see. As for us, since we were kids, we had our favorite peach drinks- AMITA!
She would take us to her favorite boutiques after our coffees and into various stores within the local bazaar (a market for clothing/fabrics) and strip-malls in the town center. There I remember feeling a sense of belonging, like being at home, when looking and feeling various fabrics and prints. It was a sense of self and belonging that I still feel today when putting on an outfit and touching the fabric, my fingers sensing their unique textures.
Even though she could shop at any store, she did not care for labels. We would go from make-shift store in the bazaar to the high-end strip stores downtown without thinking it was different or contrasting styles. She always told us that “you are the label” so you can never have an imitation. All other labels are just copies of another. You are your own label. This has always resonated with me and has become my mantra in fashion. I believe that a woman can express herself just as effectively in a $30 outfit as much as a $300 because she is the brand. Her strength, her individuality, her beauty, her personality. It all comes from HER.
Remember, you are the label- not the stitched letters/images on your shirt, bag, pants, etc. Your clothes compliment YOU, not the other way around.
My mom did not miss the fashion gene. To this day she is surprises me with the one-of-a-kind pieces she can spot in a store with just a quick glance. I envy this about her. Still after 25 years, I just cannot pick a piece out from a sea of clothes as quick as she can. I think this is largely because the women in our family have always been able to express themselves through their style and have had a strong sense of who they are. For this, we are thankful. Since Albanian culture is a very male dominant one, it is easy for women to get hidden behind their husbands and forget to embrace their uniqueness. Once again, for this I am thankful. The men in our family have always been open-minded and modern in their life perspectives which allowed my sister and I to grow up in an environment where women were allowed to be strong and were respected and honored.
Fast forward to 2019 and in a different continent (Naples, Florida), I am lucky to be able to continue sharing my passion for style with all of you. Some people think that because you are a fashion blogger you spend all your time coming up with outfits. For some it may be true. However, most of my outfits begin in my mind before they are realized and it comes organically. I will wake up and see an outfit in my mind with pieces that I already have or may need to get. Or see an image of a look while in the store and then put together various pieces to recreate the image in my mind.
This has been with me for as long as I can remember. And when it happens it brings me back to the excitement I felt as a small girl playing dress up with my grandmother. Its a form of recurring nostalgia which defines my passion for style and clothing. See some people can go back in time when they recreate a family dish. For me, i can go back in time by recreating an outfit or look. The texture in the fabric, the colors in the clothing and various materials that clothing and accessories are made from transport me to past times in my life.
Social media has allowed me to connect with so many women from various cultures, backgrounds, and ages so that we may support and inspire one another one outfit at a time. My fashion journey began a long time ago, and ours, together, begins today.
I would love to hear all of your feedback and thoughts on my contact page.
Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton