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This Catalyst T-Shirt Design Contest Is For You!

By January 29, 2014 Designers, Fashion News

Do you sketch in your moleskins during staff meetings you should be paying attention in? Do you have a secret Pinterest account none of your friends know about just to pin cool designs that inspire you?

Here’s what we’re thinking: we want you to create a T-shirt design that you would want to wear, and the team at Catalyst wants to print it, yes your heard right… We want you to get your creative juices flowing and create the next Catalyst T-shirt! Even if you don’t fit into the criteria above…the Catalyst T-Shirt Design contest is for you!

Here’s what we’re thinking: we want you to create a t-shirt design that you would want to wear, and we want to print it! That’s right! We want you to get your creative juices flowing and create the next Catalyst tshirt!

Here’s the list of things you have to know:


What do you win, you say? Glad you asked. Our grand prize winner will receive a brand new INTUOS PRO TABLET FROM WACOM (Small) AND TWO FREE TICKETS to the 2014 Catalyst Event of your choice!

Sound good? Good! So get your pens, pencils, markers, or tablets ready. The contest starts… NOW!


Must include Catalyst “C” Logo or Catalyst “C” and Wordmark (Download here)
Maximum Size: 14 inches by 17 inches
Maximum Number of Colors: 3
Minimum Resolution (Final File): 300 DPI
Preferred File Types: Adobe Illustrator (.AI), Encapsulated
PostScript (.EPS), or
Portable Document File (.PDF)
Also Accepted File Types: Adobe Photoshop (.PSD)
No more than 3 entries per person
Click Here to upload and submit your entry.



Although you will be submitting your art at a lower resolution – 72 dpi (dots per inch) for web – you will want to create your art at at least 300 dpi. If you win, we will request the high resolution version.

Avoid using copyrighted images, tastelessly offensive concepts, or graphics that cannot be printed on a t-shirt.

Submission requires one image: a JPEG display image (1000 x 1000 pixels)

Got questions? Please contact

This contest is sponsored by Real Thread, find out more about them HERE.

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Stock Up On Sparkle: Giftable Baubles

By December 11, 2013 Designers, Fashion News, Jewelry

Ring in the season with sparkle—this holiday, it’s all about the blinged-out baubles and glamorous gems. Give them what they really want (or make a shining statement yourself) with our list of bejeweled beauties.

1. Dione Necklace – 

2. Skull Pave Bangle – 

3. B Zippy & Co Ceramic Necklace – Koshka

4. Stylestalker x Luv Aj 3D Triangle Necklace – Koshka

5. Bahati Rope Necklace - 

6. Elena Earrings – 

7. Gold & Opal Dangles –

8. Shark Tooth Beaded Chain Necklace –

Image credits: photography Amber Mahoney


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Sister, Sister: An Exclusive With Annie Griffin

By October 10, 2013 Designers, Womenswear

Two sisters, one fab collection: in 2009, Annie Griffin and Robin Gerber launched Annie Griffin—a diverse collection filled with bright colors and flattering silhouettes. With Annie’s creative background in art and design, and Robin’s marketing and sales skills, the business-savvy duo found their recipe for success—the line is now sold in over 150 boutiques nationwide. two+seven caught up with the sibling team to see what’s what’s next for the feminine-flirty-classic Annie Griffin.


Don’t Miss: Get 25% off your purchase at Annie Griffin with code twoseven25

two+seven: Give us some background: how did you get started in fashion design?

Annie Griffin: I concentrated on painting in college, but have always loved textiles. I worked in interior design after graduating, and I constantly found myself thinking about how those beautiful fabrics could be put together in clothing. So I enrolled in SCAD, and launched the line when I was 25.

2+7: What was the hardest part about starting your own business? The most rewarding?

AG: The most rewarding? Design is what I love, but learning the ins and outs of how to run a start-up business were definitely the most challenging aspects for me. When my sister started working with me things became a lot easier, as she was the salesperson I desperately needed. Trying to do it by myself was too difficult, and Robin is great at networking and making sales. I would say that the most rewarding part is seeing how all of us at Annie Griffin have each grown in our roles. We’re a team, but we really use our individual strengths to contribute to the company as a whole. And of course it’s also so rewarding to see a collection come together in production after working so hard to design it!

2+7: Being sisters and business partners, do you guys ever butt heads?

AG: Being partners and sisters certainly has its challenges, but our personalities tend to complement each other in business. Robin has never met a stranger, and I can be on the shyer side and love to design. It’s been great having Robin here as a support system and a sounding board for ideas.

2+7: What inspires you on a daily basis?

AG: My inspiration is really everything around me in my daily life. I am inspired by architecture, nature, my closet, interiors, my travels, nail polish colors, Pinterest—you name it. I’m constantly taking pictures on my phone for inspiration.

2+7: What’s next?

AG: We just got samples in for our Spring ’14 line, and I couldn’t be more excited about this collection. It is by far the most complete collection we’ve ever had, and so far it has been very well received. Robin is working on selling the spring collection now while I am working on designing Fall ’14.

Want more?

Instagram: @anniegriffincollection

Twitter: @AGCclothing

Pinterest: anniegriffinllc


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An Exclusive: Emerging Designer Rinat Shayna Brodach

By October 1, 2013 Designers, Womenswear

The Designer: Rinat Shayna Brodach

Rinat Shayna Brodach grew up in Israel, knowing at a very young age that she wanted to design. Rinat was drawn to fashion as a way to express herself and pursue her curiosity of the movement and draping of fabric. After fulfilling her duties in the Israeli army and empowered with a stronger sense of self and direction, she moved to the United States in 2005 to attend the Academy of  Art University in San Francisco. She was offered the experience of a lifetime in her senior year when she won the grand prize for her thesis, a year in Paris.

In 2010 Rinat moved to France to study at the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. She remained in France for one more year working at the fashion house of Steffie Christiaens, among others, before returning to the States in 2012 and settling in New York City, where she currently resides. She will be launching her first ready-to-wear women’s collection through her presentation “Exposing the Heart” expected in February 2014.

The Aesthetic

Rinat Brodach creates designs draped to enhance the art of a woman’s body, and bring to light the soul underneath. Crafted in New York, expertly finished and built to marry the androgyny of mankind with the sensuality of all women, Rinat Brodach designs  speak to the desire for indulgence and the necessity for truth. Each piece makes the woman more confident and continually pushes growth of self.


To design comfortable, versatile, and luxurious garments for women that experiment with drape to transcend time, enhance inner beauty, and afford the woman an escape into a more beautiful world.


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Exclusive: The Giving Keys + Giveaway

By September 30, 2013 Jewelry

The Giving Keys

The Giving Keys exists to employ those transitioning out of homelessness to make jewelry out of recycled keys that get sold and shared around the world. Each key necklace is unique and carries a message like HOPE, STRENGTH, DREAM or COURAGE. When the wearer of the key encounters someone else who needs the message on the key, they give it away and then tell us their story

 The Giveaway

The Giving Keys partnered with the team behind So Worth Loving to spread the message of self-worth and self-love. What better way to share the importance of this message than by partnering up with a community entirely dedicated to reminding people that they are valuable and loved? By wearing the WORTHY key you are reminding the world of a message that we so often forget: you are valued. You are loved. You are WORTHY.

* Image of actual key you can win. Each is unique.

Enter to win your very own WORTHY key by telling us in the comments below (or entering on Facebook) who you would pass the key along to. All entries must be in by Friday, October 4th. The winner will be selected on Monday, October 7th. And don’t forget to share your actual story with The Giving Keys once you receive your key!

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An Exclusive: Restrepo Leather

By September 26, 2013 Accessories, Designers

Strictly handmade, the fine bags and small goods made by the husband-and-wife power team behind Restrepo Leather offer a taste of old-school craftsmanship mixed with fashion-forward style. After moving from the US to Colombia to launch their business, Robin and Jerry launched a collection devoted to creating beautiful, timeless pieces while utilizing handmade methods of production. two + seven  caught up with the design duo, learning more about their process and production—and what’s in store for this one-of-a-kind line.

Don’t miss this! Restrepo Leather is offering two + seven readers a 10% discount on women’s wallets. Just enter the code TWO+SEVEN at checkout! Valid until TKTKT. Shop Now

two + seven: After moving to Colombia and discovering a hand-made leather workshop, your lives were pretty much changed! Tell us about what it was like to start a business abroad.

Robin + Jerry: We were very fortunate when we started our business. The leather workshop that does all of our production is very talented and has decades of experience in the craft, so we didn’t have to build things from scratch. Plus we have a close friendship with the leather workshop, which made it much easier for us to resolve any cultural differences between the U.S. and Colombia. Probably the biggest issue we’ve had is that U.S. Customs once cut open one of our bags – ostensibly to look for illegal drugs.

2+7: As husband and wife (and business partners) do you guys ever butt heads?

R+J: Being great business partners is much like being good partners in the rest of our lives – the most important thing is clear communication. We have to make sure we’re on the same page about both what we are doing in the present and also our goals and vision for the future. Luckily, we complement each other well in terms of who is in charge of which parts of the business, playing to each of our strengths. Jerry works on new product design and working directly with the leather artisans. I (Robin) work on anything that has to do with the website, graphic design, and press. We come together when thinking about our strategic vision for the company and laying out the steps to get there. In many ways we make great business partners because we know each other so well and know when to push each other further and also when to back off.
2+7: Restrepo designs transcend trends with classic shapes and made-to-last construction. What inspires this aesthetic?
R+J: Because our bags are made with high-quality materials and the highest attention to detail, they’ll stick around for more than just a year or two. We don’t believe in fast fashion. So of course we need to provide designs that are timeless, something that you will still want to be using 15 years down the road. Colombia’s vibrant traditions and extreme natural beauty inspire our aesthetic – everything from the asymmetric curves of the Magdalena Handbag to the range of suede colors we line our bags with. We think we’ve struck a nice balance between timeless and unique.

Minca Tote

2+7: You have a “strictly handmade” policy when it comes to creating bags. Can you tell us about this process?
R+J: “Strictly handmade” is a fundamental part of our company’s identity. It’s a long process, noted for the painstaking attention to detail that is given along every step of the way. Each of piece of leather is hand-cut. Then each hole is hand-punched and sewn. Finally, the edges are hand-painted and sealed. Our most popular women’s bag, the Minca Tote, requires 15 hours of personal attention and takes about 4 days from start to finish.

2+7: What’s next?

R+J: The biggest thing on our radar is that we’ll be expanding what we offer in terms of small leather items like watch bands, belts, and wallets, since so far we’ve been focusing on bags. We also want to start offering 100% custom-made products, working directly with people to design and make exactly what they want, including crazy leather colors we don’t offer for our usual products. One advantage of making everything by hand is that we can work directly with the artisans to create anything you can imagine.

Want More?

Twitter @restrepoleather



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Ryan Jordan Spring/Summer 2014

By September 16, 2013 Designers, Events, Fashion News, Womenswear
Picture 2

Menswear accents met fierce feminine attitude at Ryan Jordan’s packed presentation Friday September 6, 2013 at Banchet Flowers in the fashionable Meat Packing District. It was Jordan’s unwavering dedication to female empowerment and sexuality that inspired the sharply tailored styles we saw last week.

Even with menswear-esque sartorial silhouettes, a strong-sexy femininity still showed through. The girly-girl side came out with a slip-like pencil skirt, curve-hugging frock and red haute dress complete with a plunging neckline and dramatic slits.

Fashion’s favorite material this season, leather also made an appearance in the form of a sexy-chic bustier bralette.

About Ryan Jordan

Ryan Jordan began his career in fashion at only 14, going on to attend the prestigious Parsons’ School of Art and Design. He has completed internships with W Magazine, Alexander Wang, Alexander McQueen, Visionaire, Sonny Groo, and Tom Ford. He worked under the eclectic art direction of Nicola Formichetti and is a favorite of pop icon Lady Gaga. Jordan’s impressive experience and skill have made him a rising star in the fashion industry.

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Charlotte Ronson Spring/Summer 2014

By September 11, 2013 Designers, Womenswear

It was effortless city chic at Charlotte Ronson with her Paris-meets-New York-inspired Spring/Summer 2014 presentation on Saturday night at The Box in Lincoln Center. Charming sun dresses, jumpsuits and separates with pops of print—polka dots, florals and plaids—brought a whimsical touch to classic silhouettes. Echos of fall’s menswear trend were evident in collared blouses and tailored trousers. Overall, a delightfully effortless collection sure to make warm weather dressing tres facile.

Images: and twoandseven

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Ann Yee Spring/Summer 2014

By September 5, 2013 Designers, Events, Fashion News, Womenswear

It’s day one of New York Fashion Week and we’re excited for the return of our favorite shows. After last year’s rooftop presentation at the Standard Hotel, we were anxious to see what designer Ann Yee had prepared for her Spring/Summer 2014 presentation.

This year we’re in West Chelsea being ushered into the elevator of an industrial pre-war building. In complete contrast to last year’s naturalistic theme, the designer draws inspiration from her Michigan roots and the slow economic decline of Motor City, Detroit. Yee takes a positive and survivalist approach by incorporating a sense of hope for a revival or better, a “Resurgence” for the once prosperous city. “Through my work, I’d like people to see the possibility of the city being something of value once again”, shares Yee.

Models sport metallic eye shadows, cornrow braids and white stiletto heels. An androgynous canvas highlights the feminine knit textures paired against mint green silk shorts, a taupe loose fitted trouser and a white full pleated skirt. A structured tweed moto jacket and a printed mix-media blazer made for great layers over open-knit tops.

Stepping away from knits for a moment, a pleated white dress and bomber jacket was a look I was most excited about. It embodied the feeling of revival and rebirth that comes with spring—and hopefully for Detriot.

-Alex Avila, Traveling in Heels




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Introducing Prospekt Supply + The New Windbreaker

By August 28, 2013 Designers, Menswear, Womenswear

From the city streets to the back country roads, rain and windy weather can really put a damper on your mood—and not to mention, your style. That’s where Prospekt Supply comes in, debuting their label with arguably the most high-end windbreaker on the market. Designed in New York and made in Vancouver, this outerwear is rendered premium Japanese water-resistant breathable fabric and finished with leather accents and quality zippers. Best of all, we love how this timeless staple folds away conveniently into a little travel pouch—perfect for the gal (or guy!) on the go.

Want more?




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Paper Fixation: Frances Lab

By August 27, 2013 Accessories, Designers

From whimsical note cards to custom orders, paper goods from Frances Lab give us something to write home about. Handmade in Brooklyn by Johnna West, these screen-printed designs are made using water-based inks and eco-friendly printing methods. We caught up with the artful entrepreneur to see how she got her start, and what we can look forward to (hello home goods!).

two+seven: Give us some background: how did you get into illustration and screen printing?

Johnna West: Well, I guess my first real introduction to screen printing was in college, where I got my BFA in Printmaking. I really felt like screen printing was this great balance between a process adding it’s own personal touch, while still being able to maintain control over the finished product. I find the most satisfaction in making one of a kind products, you know, getting intimate with the details of each nuance, so screen-printing was the most natural way for me to make multiples of something and still feel like I hadn’t lost the quality and uniqueness that goes into hand-crafted items.

Illustration has been a huge part of my creative process for as long as I can remember. I find that I have as many notebooks filled with diagrams and descriptions as I do actual drawings and doodles. I’ve always felt like any process of getting something in our mind into our hand, is one of the most rewarding practices, and for me, everything starts with some form of illustration.


2+7: Where did the name “Frances Lab” come from?

JW: The company is actually named after my grandmother, Frances Beaudry. She was a phenomenal seamstress and an incredibly strong and independent woman. I have a huge affinity for the past and genealogy. I feel fortunate to have come from a family of wild cards, bold makers and shakers, and I feel like everything I do stems from the paths they, and all our ancestors have paved. I feel like it’s important for me to constantly remember what an honor it is for myself, and all other artisans and craftsmen, to be able to carry on making new paths and paving new ground for future generations. That’s what Frances Lab is really all about, and I’m so excited for things that lie ahead for the company!

2+7: What has been the hardest part about launching your business? The most rewarding?

JW: For me, the hardest part of starting and running this business is also kind of the best part: there are no right or wrongs and every decision has an alternative. It can be so easy to let yourself be paralyzed by the number of choices you have to make in a business. I constantly have to remind myself that that’s really the best part. Obviously, getting to do what you love everyday is wonderful and making something that others can get enjoyment from is unbelievably rewarding, but I think I’ve learned that a huge part of making that happen is really focusing on what the best decision for my company is, what will make me and my customers the happiest, and then following it through. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t—but either way, that makes every success and failure so much more gratifying than I ever could have imagined.

2+7: What’s the coolest (or weirdest) custom order request you’ve gotten?

JW: Weird custom orders? Hmm… I can’t say I’ve had anything that’s totally out of left-field yet. Getting requests for wedding invitations is always especially heart-warming. It never ceases to amaze me when someone wants us to help be a part of such a personal and memorable event in their lives.

2+7: Can you give us the inside scoop on your home goods collection? What can we look forward to?

JW: Ahhh, the home goods collection. Well, the first thing we have in the works is a series of pillows, prints and also some accessories that follow suit with our current one of a kind items. We also have some plans for ceramics and woven goods in the works. My mind is always all over the place with new ideas, and I love being able to tackle new projects, so we’re always open to what new opportunities await!

Want more?

Instagram: @franceslab


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Redefining Elegance with Esma Jewelry

By August 21, 2013 Designers, Jewelry

Pennsylvania-based social-worker-turned-jewelry-designer Amy Martin is redefining the meaning of elegance when it comes to her designs. “Elegance, to me, is being comfortable in your own skin, embracing who you are without worrying about what everyone else thinks, and following your passions in a way that lets you share your unique purpose with the world,” explains Martin. With clean lines and organic textures, Esma Jewelry embraces this idea with a modern-meets-eclectic aesthetic. We caught up with talented designer to find out more about her process, her inspirations and what we can look forward to in the future.

two+seven: We’re always inspired by the creative minds whose careers do a 180, landing them on a completely different path than the one they started on. With a background in social work yourself, what was the pivotal point in your career that made you take the full leap into jewelry design?

Amy Martin: Making the decision to completely change directions is always a little scary. I had gotten to the point in my social work career where I knew that if I wanted to move further in the field, I would need to go back to school. I had been making jewelry for a couple of years at that point and loved it, so I had to decide if I wanted to continue to pursue jewelry or stick with social work and go back to school. Social work drained me, while my jewelry business excited and energized me, so I had to pick jewelry.

The Savanna Necklace, $79

2+7: What was the most challenging aspect of this switch? The most rewarding?

AM: The most challenging aspect was definitely letting go of something stable and certain for something unpredictable. Working for myself has that intense factor of everything relying on me. There’s no one there to tell me “this is what you need to do today.” While that is the biggest challenge, it is also what makes it incredibly rewarding. Fortunately, I’ve found some great coaches who are able to help give me some guidance, so I’m not just floundering aimlessly. Every time someone buys a piece of my jewelry, it is amazing, because there are so many choices out there, and they chose mine. I’m always grateful for that.

2+7: Your jewelry is somewhat minimalist and modern, yet unique and eclectic. Tell us a bit about your “reticulation” process and the materials you use in order to achieve this look.

AM: I started using reticulation in my designs a couple of years ago, because I just loved the unique texture it gives to the surface of the metal. No two pieces will be the exact same, which makes it really special. I start with a piece of metal that I’ve cut out in the design I want. I then use a torch to basically melt the surface of the metal to a point where it begins to move. It sort of resembles the surface of water moving back and forth. I then put it in a solution called “pickle” to clean the surface. This is repeated multiple times until I get the texture I want.

Often when reticulation is done, it is done on larger sheets and then the design is cut from there, however I prefer to cut my designs out first, because I like how the process softens the edges of the piece. Once I get the texture I like, I then finish the piece of jewelry. I will say that it has taken a lot of practice to not completely destroy the piece of metal I’m working on. In the past, I ended up with a lot of pieces with holes in them from the torch being too hot. Actually, sometimes the holes ended up looking cool, so I would create a piece with it anyway, but ideally, there are no holes.

2+7: What’s one of your favorite piece(s)? Best sellers?

AM: My all-time favorite piece is my Veronica Bracelet, which I’ve had a version of pretty much since I started working with metal. It’s been one of my best selling pieces, and it’s so easy to wear and looks great stacked in multiples. My favorite earrings at the moment are the Nell Earrings, because I love big hoops! I’ve been wearing these almost every day. My customer favorites are the Tamryn and Stella Earrings, because they are both classic styles, yet cool and unique.

The Veronica Bracelet, $58

2+7: What’s next?

AM: I’m really excited to be taking an enameling class this month! I’ve been wanting to learn this process for quite a while, and attempts at teaching myself haven’t worked out too well, so I’m pretty psyched about finally learning how to do it. My plan is to incorporate enamel into my spring collection, which means – color!  Spring just begs for color, so I’m excited to be able to be able to experiment with this and hopefully create some really fresh new pieces.

Want more?





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