Discover Homegrown Talent At New Social Site And Marketpace, Sense Of Fashion
When I first stumbled upon Etsy.com, I wound up spending three hours browsing through different categories and salivating over the work of various artisans from all over the world. Within a few weeks, I morphed into a compulsive Etsy shopper, buying everything from belt buckles to earrings, necklaces, hats, and all-natural body butters on the popular online marketplace. Whenever I discovered a new handmade good, I felt as if I'd unearthed some mythical buried treasure, and it added to the overall thrill of the experience. Of course, once my pockets started to take a lickin', I had to wean myself off of Etsy. Whenever I did log on after that point, I doubtless found some remarkable pieces — and yet, by this point, the site had grown so tremendously that shopping involved sifting through countless lackluster offerings and wading through the clutter to finally spot the crown jewels.
As a former Etsy addict, then, my eyes widened in childlike excitement when I first visited SenseOfashion.com, an online destination for fashion lovers that includes an Etsy-like marketplace but also features a social media component, allowing fashion photographers, stylists, and models to showcase their portfolios, network with one another and seek out exciting opportunities. Created by Israeli-designer-cum-entrepreneur Daria Shualy, the site also offers a section where bloggers can promote their sites and where fashionistas can upload pics of their latest looks and await feedback from other style hounds. There's even a blog dedicated to providing informative content for up-and-coming designers, bloggers, makeup artists, and stylists: from announcements about beauty and fashion competitions to member spotlights and tips on business topics (such as a recent entry about how to go about launching a brand internationally).
Though Sense of Fashion is still in its infancy, visitors will already find a dynamic array of designers and style movers-and-shakers. As a shopper, I loved that most of the designers on Sense of Fashion possess a youthful aesthetic and an urban sensibility. Featured here are pieces from three of my favorite designers on the site. At top, you'll find some rocker-meets-gypsy jewelry from LA-based designer Liz Larios, with many fusing the mysticism of smoky and clear quartz stones with the bold flavor of 18k gold plated, hematite and sterling silver chain strands. I'm loving the Quartz Drop Hoop Earrings (pictured second from top), which feature 18k gold plated, flattened rings with hollow interiors, adorned with spear-shaped clear quartz stones with faceted sides, tiny smoked topaz and black tourmaline beads, black and gold toned chain strand, and, for added spunk, a single golden box chain strand.
If you're a handbag hound (and who isn't, right?), check out the handmade pieces created by Israeli designer Jenny Weinstein (who goes by "Jennybags"). Infused with a tough biker sensibility but softened through the usage of vibrant colors and supple materials, these handmade handbags feature exciting details ranging from detailed stitching to zipper accents, snap buttons and intricate, origami-esque folds. My favorite piece is, of course, the Biker Bag (pictured below), a roomy shoulder bag with slightly curved top ridges, rows of stitching that follow the natural contours and folds of the silhouette, and exterior zippers that create pocket-like spaces. Though it's pictured in a cyan color below, this style is available in a bevvy of colors including coral pink, basic black, and a cerulean-esque blue.
Lastly, I included two eco-chic jewelry pieces from fashion and jewelry brand PopLove: a necklace made of an antique key covered in colorful Swarovski crystals, forming a heart shape along the top, and a ring made using an upcycled earring wrapped in colorful turquoise and silver wire strands and adorned with Swarovski crystals along the center so as to create a flower-like shape.
Pictured at top: Liz Larios Zeitgeist Pendant Necklace, currently sold out; Liz Larios Gold Quartz Drop Hoop Earrings, $50; Liz Larios Quartz Bib Spike Necklace, $152. Available at Senseofashion.com/LizLarios
Pictured below: Jenny Weinstein Mint Bikers Bag, $120; Jenny Weinstein Rough Vintage Handbag, $100; and Jenny Weinstein On The Road bag. Available at Senseofashion.com/JennyBags
Pictured last (bottom two): PopLove Sparkly Swarovski Keuareart Upcycled Necklace, $40; and PopLove Sparkly Swarovski Mystic Blue Upcycled Ring, $40. Available at Senseofashion.com/PopLove