Super Saturday in the Hamptons: I Missed Kelly Ripa

I missed Kelly Ripa. After driving nearly three hours to a large field in Southampton with my best friend and a bag of trail mix to attend Super Saturday, I missed the most revered guest at the Hampton’s most charitable annual summer event.

Super Saturday is what it says it is: it’s a Super event on a day called Saturday where celebrities (like Kelly Ripa, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member (and Paris Hilton’s aunt) Kyle Richards, and Tiffani Thiessen) and a bunch of very charitable folk descend upon a lawn and shop, eat, and mingle for several hours—and then tweet about it later.

The best part. Well, wait, there are two parts:

1. Top designer clothes are sold at heavily discounted prices, à la Loehmann’s. Sant Ambroeus caters.

2. All the money raised via luxury raffle, expensive entry tickets, and on-site spending benefits the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. This year, Super Saturday raised $3.6 million. 

But anyway, back to the main point: I missed Kelly Ripa. Most likely because I was too busy eating my second plate of Sant Ambroeus bow-tie pasta and/or surveying the line for psychic readings with Betsy Wahmann and/or devouring a corn husk.

The downside was that a lot of the designer clothes, such as Free People, alice + olivia, Diane von Furstenberg, and Intermix, nearly sold out within the first hour, and by hour we mean “ the secret hour,” when the people with VIP tickets were able to get into the tent at noon—60 minutes before everyone else—and snatch up all the really good clothes, leaving the ordinary guests with the not-as-good-but-still-fashionable clothes.

But that’s okay, because what’s one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure or whatever. Just when I thought I couldn’t find anything to buy amid the soggy, muggy weather in the middle of this field—I did. Hanging on a rack at the Junk Food booth was the perfect t-shirt: a bright blue Batman t-shirt.

And suddenly, all of my cares faded away. Like the fact that it was raining and we were going to drive back in it. Or that we were probably going to have stop at a gas station bathroom to pee on the way. Or that we ran out of trail mix. But most of all, I didn’t mind that I missed Kelly Ripa. And that made my Saturday a lot more super.

New York Opening: Intermix

Arriving in the midst of a MePa renaissance, Intermix’s most ambitious boutique to date is more than 2,500 square feet of fashion delirium. Spread over two floors and a mezzanine, such marquee labels as Derek Lam, Helmut Lang, Mulberry, Rag & Bone, Proenza Schouler, and DVF grace the racks and shelves.

Its location just beneath the restored High Line allowed for incorporating the exposed steel structure as a rather fascinating design element, from which a massive metal screen is suspended, reflecting natural light and creating a sort of industrial-chandelier effect. Purple leather seating and grey-stained white oak complete the visual effect.

As such brightly lit femmes as Rihanna, Emma Roberts, Vanessa Hudgens and LiLo have all been spotted tearing through the racks at other Intermix locations, expect the celeb-spotting factor here to be not inconsiderable.

Intermix’s New Look

Last night, INTERMIX, the Soho boutique with over a dozen sister stores around the country and an e-commerce outlet to boot, hosted a slew of NYC taste-makers on Skylight West’s rooftop. The fashion pack was in full-effect, with Rag & Bone’s Marcus Wainwright and David Neville, Philip and Courtney Crangi, Giuseppe Zanotti, Jeffry Costello and Robert Tagliapietra, Yigal Azrouel, Hilary Rhoda, and other Style.com staples flitting about to live performances by Locksley and Deluka. The occasion for the fete: INTERMIX’s new look. A staple for a staggering 17 years, INTERMIX is now looking to re-brand itself with a formidable face-lift. The company, which is synonymous with everything from Balmain and Stella McCartney to See by Chloe, is updating its image (think logo, signage, and interiors), as well as its stock.

The brand is somewhat refining its selection of high-end labels, with “25% of all merchandise [remaining] exclusive to INTERMIX” and a roster of collaborations with the likes of Brian Atwood, Stella McCartney, and Rag & Bone in the mix. “We may have appealed to her while she was in college,” INTERMIX’s CEO Khajak Keledijan says of the brand’s former customer base, “but now, that woman has grown up. In order to maintain relevancy with our customers, we recognize a need to identify and evolve with them.”

What does this mean for online? Expect a heavier dose of original editorial content and seasonal look books featuring INTERMIX stock. The well-curated selection of wares speaks for itself.

Industry Insiders: Lindsay Lebby, Arcade Games

Lindsay Lebby knows a thing or two about the needs of stylish LA women. She’s the director of Arcade Boutique, the West Hollywood one-stop shop for all things designer, and along with boutique owner Rochelle Gores, Lebby and the Arcade crew are making sure that every chic-loving girl in town knows about their fashion Mecca. More after the jump on accommodating celebs, the new in-demand website, and cleaning out your closet to get the perfect new look.

Retail on the brain: I’ve been in the retail industry pretty much my whole life. In high school and in college, I worked at little boutiques and managed stores. I briefly moved to New York, where I worked for Intermix , and I was brought back by Guess. There, I managed the retail marketing department for North America. It was quite a bit of travel and it was managing the day-to-day dealings of over 400 Guess stores. I met Rochelle shortly after moving back from New York. We hit it off right away and became very good friends. I helped her out when she opened her store, spent a lot of time there, and then we just kind of had an a-ha moment where something clicked between us.

On the day to day: My days here involve everything from overseeing all aspects of the sales floor and the sales associates to marketing and working every single day on ways to grow business. We just recently launched ArcadeBoutique.com, which has been a huge focus of mine.

On building the site: The whole process took about three to four months total. Researching everything and coming up with all the strategies of how we wanted the site to look, feel, and work. We had the site programmed specifically for Arcade. It was built by an amazing programmer and graphic designer and customized to our business and exactly how we wanted it to function for the customer. It’s working out very well so far. It’s only been a little over a month, but there’s definitely a buzz developing around it and it allows us to really take our West Hollywood store and offer it nation-wide to customers.

On the Arcade aesthetic: The aesthetic here was a vision of Rochelle’s. It’s modeled after 19th century European shopping malls, which were called arcades. The look and feel of our store feels very much like if you walked into a Parisian arcade. Our style is always a very feminine, very chic, classically sexy style. We reflect that in all of the products we buy, the lines we carry, and it’s really the same style and offerings that we have at ArcadeBoutique.com.

Store Faves: My favorites are Yigal Azrouel, as well as Kimberly Ovitz, who is a fairly new designer based out of L.A. Preen is another great British collection that we carry. Anita Co. Jewelry is a staple at Arcade. Doo.Ri and Barbara Bui. And we are one of the only stores in Los Angeles that sells Barbara Bui.

On personal shopping services: We try to set ourselves apart with an exceptional level of customer service. We can do anything our client needs, whether it is show up at their hotel room with a cocktail dress for a party in an hour, going to their home to clean out their closet and figure out the missing pieces they need in their wardrobe, and then tie that back to Arcade and style them. The clients we work with are fantastic and nothing over the top or real crazy has happened on one of those house calls. They have to have a relationship with us where they really trust our taste level and our own style as well as the style of the store in order for them to want and allow us to do that.

New York vs LA fashion: In New York, fashion is much more influenced by the season, where in LA, you dress the same because our weather doesn’t change very drastically. For me, the difference is that in the summer in New York it’s so hot and you’re wearing clothes that are comfortable and breathable, and you can get in the subway wearing. And then the winter is layers, coats, and cold weather accessories. Here, we’re really lucky to have beautiful weather all the time; it’s not really super cold or hot, and the lifestyle in general is more casual. At Arcade, our style reflects that women should always be feminine and chic and dressed even if you’re just going to a casual lunch with your girlfriend—really being outfitted and put together in a feminine way. I often wear jeans and a t-shirt but I’ll throw on a big statement necklace so the outfit looks completed. I wear heels. Even if I’m in jeans to go to lunch, I probably have on a wedge. I’m always accessorized.

Tips for effortless dressing: I’d say it’s really important to wear what you’re comfortable in, and that’s how you make it look effortless. It’s really important to read a customer’s own style, comfort level, and body image so that you can style them and dress them in a way that they feel good about themselves. If you put someone in something that looks fantastic on them to an outsider, but they’re not comfortable, they aren’t going to appear effortless.

On celeb clientele: In L.A. you get used to seeing the celebrities and it’s a delicate balance between treating them like a V.I.P and making them feel comfortable. It’s also offering them a certain level of privacy. We have a lot of celebrity clients that no one would ever read about because we make sure that their shopping trips are kept private and personal rather than photographed and exploited.

Most coveted piece for fall: Pieces I always, always covet for every season are Yigal Azrouel dresses. The way his dresses fit a woman’s body is unbelievable. You can put on any of his dresses and instantly feel special, sexy, and confident. I love his dresses for every season.

Go-tos: My favorite restaurant is Terroni, great food and music. My friends and I go there for long girl’s dinners. For a quiet dinner, Pace in Laurel Canyon is delicious and has an extensive wine list. The bar I enjoy most is Bronson Bar on Monday nights. I also like to get spicy margaritas and tortilla soup at El Carmen. I always love to go to Chateau Marmont. Any day or time this gorgeous, historic hotel makes me happy.

A First-Timer’s Field Guide to the Ballet

Let’s give a warm welcome to fall, which along with introducing you to your new fall wardrobe could also introduce you to the ballet, as the new season for the American Ballet Theater commences this week. If you lean more towards action movies and indie bands, getting decked out to make a pilgrimage to the uncharted wilds of the Upper West Side could feel a bit out of character. As daunting as trading in Converse All-Stars for conservative kitten heels seems, the ABT is something all New Yorkers should branch out and try. It’s recognized as one of the great dance companies in the world. A living national treasure since its founding in 1940, ABT annually tours the United States performing for more than 600,000 people, and it’s the only major cultural institution to do so. The ABT has also made more than 15 international tours to 42 countries, and this October the company returns home to Manhattan. Twenty-one-year-old Daniil Simkin, an award-winning veteran of the stage since the age of six, offers up his advice to a ABT virgin — or those with a serious aversion to men in tights.

So what do I have to dig out of my closet to wear to the ballet? Is it an excuse to get all dressed up? One wears definitely something elegant. I prefer dark colors. Depending on personality, something extravagant or flashy should work, too. A general outline would be: as long as you would wear it to a nice dinner, it should work. For everyday wear, I really like the clothes at G-Star. For something more extravagant , my go-to store is Emporio Armani.

Recommendations: Bergdorf Goodman (Midtown East) – The perfect afternoon destination for ladies who lunch. ● Blue&Cream (East Village) – This venue is the perfect place to really show off your style. Access Perk: 50% off a Lamptons Hoody. ● Intermix (Upper East Side) – Access Perk: Receive a $50 discount with any purchase of $300 or more at this one-stop shopping mecca for city fashionistas.

Where should one go to have a few drinks before the show? If the weather is nice, definitely go the Rooftop Terrace at the Empire Hotel right in front of the Lincoln Center.

Recommendations:Whiskey Park (Upper West Side) – Access Perk: 30% off your bill at this place for posh sips. ● Cleopatra’s Needle (Upper West Side) – Nothing to text home about, but if you’re up here, you might as well get in here. Cozy jazz scene that will make you seem cultured, even if it’s just your dress. ● P.J. Clarke’s at Lincoln Square (Upper West Side) – When you’re dolled up, step into the newest branch of this uptown classic. Enjoy your ballet with a side of burger.

I’m totally new to ABT; what would you recommend to newbies like me? For first-time ballet watchers, I would recommend the pirate tale of Le Corsaire. It is an easy to follow story about a pirate who falls in love with a beautiful slave girl. The production has strong pirates, gunshots, beautiful women in gorgeous costumes, and great scenery. If you prefer something less Hollywood-esque, go for our all-Balanchine evening.

What has been your favorite part? I also really like Le Corsaire because I like to perform the role of Lankendem — the bad guy who tries to kill his friend and steal the girl. I am able to have more fun on stage when I play the bad guy. I also really enjoyed dancing the lead role in George Balanchine’s Prodigal Son, which I did for the first time in May.

What are some helpful tips that can keep me from looking like a fool? Before the curtain goes up, there are three bells, normally sounded by the ushers. By the time the bell rings for the third time, you should move towards your seats. Normally the evening starts with a short overture by the orchestra before the actual dancing begins.

It seems like the evening is pretty long; what if I need a drink? Usually the evening is divided into two to three parts with an intermission of 20 minutes in between. Snacks and drinks are available during the intermissions and before the shows at various spots outside the seating areas.

How long are we talking here? Generally speaking, an evening last from two to three hours.

So, while I’m having cocktails in a nice outfit before the show, what are you doing? There is a long and complicated routine before every performance. You have to be in hair, make-up, and costume for the show. But most importantly, the dancer must be properly warmed up. If you are not, the probability of suffering from an injury is heightened. There is a half-hour call where all stagehands and dancers need to report to the stage to make sure everyone is where they need to be. That is also when the audience starts to be seated. We all warm up and feel out the stage starting at that time and prepare ourselves mentally and emotionally to take the stage for that evening.

What’s the atmosphere like backstage? Backstage I have to say it is not as glorious and imposing as the front of the house. There are costumes in costume racks everywhere, various headpieces for different costumes, props, and sometimes even animals. And there are usually so many people everywhere running around, on and off stage at any point.

After the ballet, where should I go to complete the evening? There quite a few restaurants around the area which also might offer special after-performance dinner. There is a list of them in the program which you will receive while entering the audience area. Personally I can recommend Fiorello’s next to Lincoln Center.

Recommendations:Dovetail (Upper West Side) – Stealth door, only slightly formal, totally modern. ● Compass (Upper West Side) – Access Perk: Enjoy half-price wine on Sunday evenings at this innovative downtown-style New American with an uptown zip code. ● Jean Georges (Upper West Side) – Access Perk: “Half-Glass” Wine Special means you pay half the cost of a normal glass and get a generous half-sized glass of wine.

What are some of your favorite places to eat, whether or not you are in ballet attire? Shake Shack on Columbus. As you might have noticed, I don’t go out much while we are performing at the MET. But I have to say, the best food in the very end is my mother’s. She cooks Russian specialties with a western touch, which is quite unique. There is still no place that comes even close to how she cooks.

What is the best and hardest part of being a part of the ABT? The best part of what I do is doing what I love and being even appreciated for that. The hardest part for me is getting up in the morning.

What do you hope first-timers will find out when they come to see you at the a performance? People will be hopefully love what they see so that the first performance will not be the last.

New BlackBook Guides for iPhone, Now with Access!

The new BlackBook Guides for iPhone has been released — an in addition to tons of new features, fixes, and improvements, it also features the premiere of our new Access program. The red key symbol on any listing means you can access free, custom perks at that location by showing off the BlackBook app on your iPhone. From a special store discount to a comped cover charge, the list of perks is growing fast. Check it out now! Full press release after the jump.

CONTACT: {encode=”Andrew@BBook.com” title=”Andrew Berman”}, BlackBook Media Corp, (212) 651-1720 {encode=”JTalbott@intermixny.com” title=”Jennifer Talbott”}, Intermix, (212) 741-5075 x228

BLACKBOOK ACCESS mobile perks program launched for location-based marketing Premier shops, restaurants, bars & clubs, and hotels can market real-time, location-based special offers on BlackBook’s 36-city, international mobile iPhone City Guides.

NEW YORK, April 22, 2009 — BlackBook Media Corp. (BBook.com) announced today the release of BlackBook Access mobile perks program on the BlackBook Mobile City Guides iPhone application — the authoritative insider-curated database of restaurants, nightlife, hotels and shopping in 36 fashionable international cities. Leveraging the GPS technologies embedded in the iPhones, the BlackBook Access platform enables local retail venues which are featured in the City Guides to provide special offers directly to mobile iPhone users who are on the go.

“This is what local marketers and retailers have been dreaming about for years,” commented BlackBook CEO, Ari Horowitz. “The ability to target consumers who are near their venues and who are in purchasing mode, and to put special offers directly onto the mobile phone is the ultimate, location-based marketing platform. We believe this is the next step to truly make local marketing work.”

Available to marketers and retailers for all 36 international cities, but with most of the initial Access offers based in New York, BlackBook Access gives the City Guide iPhone users the ability to find special offers for the BlackBook editors’ picks of the shops, restaurants, bars & clubs, and hotels that are worth checking out. The special offers are another feature on top of the BlackBook City Guides, and they can be found both on BlackBook’s iPhone City Guides as well as on BBook.com.

“The advantage of having offers directly on the mobile device,” added Horowitz, “is that it’s hassle-free, immediate and available at the user’s fingertips. For marketing programs to work to drive foot traffic and purchases for this demographic, it needs to speak to the users’ lifestyle.”

“We are delighted to partner with BlackBook on this innovative application — Intermix is always looking to offer the newest and most cutting edge technology for our customers — and this seems to be a big part of the future,” commented Intermix CEO, Khajak Keledjian. Intermix is testing two offers at different stores around the country including 15% off all purchases and $50 off purchases over $300.

“Today’s customer has so many options, and it’s a major advantage to leverage mobile technologies to provide an extra incentive to steer those people to our venues,” added Noah Tepperberg, co-owner of Marquee in New York City and Tao and Lavo of Las Vegas — all of which provide free admission through the BlackBook Access program.

Like hidden treasures, BlackBook Access “keys to the city” highlight the venues that offer special deals.

“In a recession, everyone is looking for that special deal,” noted Horowitz.

New York: Two-Hour Soho Speed Shopping

If you’ve got two hours and room left on your plastic, we’ve got your personal shopapocalypse. These seven Soho streets will help you enjoy wonderful, personal economic collapse in record time.

START: West Broadway (between Houston and Broome)Max Mara – Newly accessorized office couture for the career-minded urbanite. ● Swiss Army Soho – High-quality accessories don’t just includes knives. ● Reiss – Britain’s answer to Barney’s.

Wooster (between Houston and Spring)The North Face – Gear for the urban tundra. ● Betsy Johnson – Frocks for youthful ladies of all ages. ● Diesel – A wardrobe staple for any New Yorker. ● Tibi – Crusty casual basics.

Greene (between Houston and Broome)Paul Smith – Charming vintage meets modern design, UK style. ● Marc Jacobs – Marc might be out of his closet, but he should certainly be in yours. ● Jack Spade – Accessories for the modern man. ● Catherine Malandrino – Sexiness abounds in the form of frilly frocks. ● AG Adriano Goldschmied – The in-house tailor will ensure a snug fit in a variety of styles.

Prince (between Greene and Mercer)Intermix – Intermixed style runs deep.

Mercer (between Prince and Spring)A.P.C. – A must stop for anyone looking for Soho chic. ● Agent Provocateur – The light burlesque flavor of their lingerie will spice up any bedroom.

Spring (between Mercer and Broadway)Ben Sherman – UK preppy for the Soho set.

FINISH: Broome (between Greene and Mercer)Temperley London – Don’t be put off by the walk upstairs, it’s worth it.

Spiky, Snakey Baubles from the Olsen Twins

Remember Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s forthcoming book, Influence? Intermix has a preview of the Olsen’s first jewelry line. The twins paired with designer Robert Lee Morris to create the industrial-inspired collection. The mostly metal line ranges from snake rings ($125) to a dagger necklace ($525). This jewelry collection is under Intermix’s Elizabeth and James fashion line; you can pre-order any of the seven pieces at Intermix’s website.