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Americans Near Paris: New Exhibition in France Highlights Isabel and Ruben Toledo’s Work.




The museum at SCAD will present the first posthumous exhibit of Isabel Toledo’s art as part of its 20th-anniversary celebrations. “Love Letter” focuses on the collaboration between the late designer, best known for creating Michelle Obama’s Inauguration outfit, and her husband, Ruben. Christina Frank, the curator, explained that Ruben was a black-and-white artist who encouraged Isabel to bring color into his work. The exhibition reflects both those spectra. The majority of the exhibits are from the 2000s. This era is still being explored. Ruben Toledo speaks to us about Isabel and his connection to France and the definition of American fashion.

Isabel Toledo, 2008. Photo: David Handschuh / NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

The show’s title is quite poignant.

Although it’s still difficult for me to think about the future without Isabel, I want to honor her work, and SCAD is doing so. I value sharing her ideas and her philosophy. That’s my mission right now. Isabel is still my grief, and I am mourning her husband, the Toledos. They are gone, so I am their custodian. I help preserve their archive and ensure that their work is shared with the next generation.

Which aspects of the work are you most proud to show off?

I believe [the curators] chose pieces that showed how [Isabel] ‘s] engineering and smartness in construction are always super evident. They can be worn inside out, from front to back, and still, work.

Isabel has always stated that she dresses with emotion. Isabel expressed her feelings through cloth and how things were made. She loved to address everyone’s emotions, no matter how delicate or strong or aggressive or fragile. It allowed women to continue expressing their feelings and do the same for themselves. That is my favorite part. The idea of using Isabel’s quotations and some of my writings on Isabel. There are also personal notebooks, sketchbooks, and sketches. We wanted to discuss how fashion is at its peak, and good design is more than engineering. It’s also emotional and personal relationships. It feeds both the heart and the mind.

Fashion must live in the world and serve you. We distinguished between costumes and real clothes because we had the opportunity to work with outfits from a young age with our choreographers like Twyla Tharp and Bill T. Jones. Although costumes can sometimes be spectacular, they are merely costumes. Fashion must be functional; Isabel was acutely aware of this. You can’t keep it in your closet, and you should wear it often. Isabel also knew how to make those special occasions moments shine.

Ruben and Isabel Toledo with Karl Lagerfeld, 2005. Photo: Stephen Lovekin / WireImage

One thing that has been on my mind lately is the dressmaking traditions in Latin America and Spain. It seems more collaborative than couture.

Isabel was a seamstress and then a designer. She said that she was a seamstress first, then a designer. But, her idea was that she was a service, both to herself and to clients and women. It is possible to collaborate with the person wearing it and the courier. Because we are artists, we take it for granted that our vision is a reality. Even if the client states that she wants something simple so she can relax, you will still give her what she wants. Poetry is where it all begins.

Isabel’s patterns are full of poetry, which I find very inspiring.

Because Isabel’s patterns are still amazing, I decided to do ink work. I see these graphic symbols when I look at the patterns pieces. They can look like bugs or personages. Isabel was a genius. She thought of her clothes as fluid, fluid, elegant, and flowing things that follow your body. I honor her skill in pattern-making and shaping. Karl called her a Couturiere because she could make the pattern and cut the dress. Then she learned how to sew the entire cycle. Isabel believed clothes would last forever when she was making them. Isabel offered her service by allowing clients to send their clothes back to us if they needed repairs or rework. Isabel believes that whatever we make in our studio is meant to last forever and will outlive us. It’s a lovely way to look at what you create.

How does Isabel relate to couture?

We were fortunate to have amazing friends such as Bill [Cunningham], Juan Ramos, and Antonio Lopez [creative Director and illustrator], who helped us learn about fashion and couture. Juan commented on Isabel’s clothes that they were like …. old-fashioned couture. You see today in couture what wasn’t there when we first visited Paris. There were no couture shows, and you saw beautiful couture clothes, but you didn’t see the same. It was just Isabel in a beautiful gown, and you couldn’t understand why. It was not about proclaiming to the world that this brand is such-and-such. It wasn’t about branding. The dress made the woman feel beautiful, and it moved beautifully. She looked amazing. There were many secrets to the dress. The pocket was hidden in the seam. She slumped in it because of its construction. Or the way it moved. Isabel fell for these magic tricks because that was what she was already doing. Juan also saw the simplicity of her previous work. This [helped us stay focused] because our friends, up until that point, we’re like, “You have to wear snappier clothes. You have to make things stand out more.” But Isabel was such quiet talent. She was naturally inclined to create something mysteriously and secretly brilliant. It’s almost like she doesn’t know why but it just captures. She was that kind of person.

Isabel and Ruben Toledo, with fans he painted, 2006. Photo: Joe Schildhorn / Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

How do you relate to France?

In the late 1980s, we started to exhibit in Paris to make some money. New York’s business was really bad in 1987 and 1988. The budget was cut first when New York business became difficult. It was like Little Rascals, as we worked in a tiny hotel room until the morning before. Bill Cunningham was the one who showed us where to stay at a reasonable price. Suzanne Bartsch lived next to us because she was there for Love Ball and the whole crew. It was, as you can see, a hotel full of misfits.

It was a wild, beautiful, almost dorm-like fashion show in its first years. Before RuPaul had his TV show, I recall that RuPaul was part of the crew. We were shown in tiny cafes or little dungeons under restaurants and wine cellars. Although our shows were tiny and the audience was small, they were amazing people, like Bettina Graziani, who was Givenchy’s muse. We then started selling to Galeries Lafayette and Colette.

Before we did this, we had never been to Europe. This opened up a new perspective on fashion and how they view it as a culture. It was an amazing fusion, and it opened up intellectually for us to see how other people perceive fashion. Then we could leap by presenting fashion as pure art.

What was your experience in Paris?

Many French would respond, “You’re not an American designer. You’re a Spanish one.” But Isabel was so fond of industry. She loved sewing machines and mass production. And she loved patterns that were so clever, like puzzle pieces.

Isabel’s work is American.

The word serviceability is what I always refer to. Isabel and I greatly appreciated the army surplus, work clothes, and their utility. Add poetic fantasy to it, and you have a whole new territory. The American casualness, sloppiness, and acceptance of mistakes are refreshing. We get everything wrong, so we invent the wrong. We’re open to it, and that creates new friction. The American way of living life is inspiring. Even when you feel down, there is the idea that you can tap dance your way into the future. Everybody puts on a brighter, better face. We don’t have much historical background because we are busy inventing it. That’s a beautiful view of life. You don’t allow the past to drag you down. Instead, it would help if you made the next chapter. I believe that American fashion and design have this optimism that anything is possible.

Barak Obama and Michelle Obama, in Isabel Toledo, at the Inauguration, 2009. Photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Isabel’s clothes are both timeless and current. How do the show’s pieces reflect the 2000s?

This is why this period is so interesting. We were finally reaching financial stability. It took us a long time to be able to work with exquisite textiles at a higher price than we were able to afford. I believe that American society was spending more on clothing during this time. It was like an uphill climb. The lushness of things increased every season, and clients were expecting more exquisite treatments. It was an opportunity to spend more time creating truly wonderful stuff than ever before. Isabel was always interested in this kind of thing, even though it was a T-shirt dress ….. The idea was that we would now be using luxurious textiles and layering lace. Isabel would make the corsetry for the inside of a dress just as beautifully as the dress it would be fitted onto. Because there was a client who wanted it, she was able to put in that same amount of effort and energy.

What other information do you want visitors to take away from the “Love Letter”?

It is important to share that Isabel was a fearless creator who was conscious of her ability to be of service. She was a courageous woman in all aspects. She was brave about her talents and how she approached the world, and, for that reason, she gave women empowerment. That is what I love about her. This allowed me to witness her grow in fashion and general. It was amazing. I wish that all visitors to SCAD feel the same, that there is empowerment and nurturing when things are done in love. It is a ripple effect that reaches out to the audience. Your audience feels a ripple effect, and she was aware of this. She was.

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Shining Bright in the Business World: Exploring the Lucrative Diamond Industry




The diamond industry has become one of the most lucrative business opportunities in recent years. From the glitz and glamour of high-end jewelry to practical uses for industrial purposes, diamonds have long been a symbol of wealth and success.

But what does it take to shine bright in this multi-billion dollar industry? In this article, we explore the various facets of this lucrative trade, from mining practices to marketing trends that will help you make your mark in an ever-growing industry.

Navigating the Complexities of the Market

Navigating the complexities of the market is no easy feat, especially when it comes to the diamond industry. With a vast array of options and financial decisions to be made, understanding how to make your mark can seem daunting.

But with knowledge and research, you can become an expert in the field and capitalize on its lucrative potential. Knowing which diamonds offer value for money as well as those that are most sought after by collectors will give you an edge over competitors.

Finding reliable sources of ethically sourced gems also helps ensure that your business practices are sustainable and ethical. By taking stock of all these factors, you can create a profitable enterprise while making sure that everyone involved benefits from it equally.

Understanding Quality and Pricing in the Business


When it comes to understanding quality and pricing in the business world, few industries can compare with that of diamonds. As perhaps the most valuable commodity on earth, diamonds have long been viewed as a symbol of wealth and success for those who can obtain them.

But what makes diamonds so expensive? What factors go into determining its quality and value? To understand this unique industry, it is important to examine the various elements that contribute to both price and quality. From clarity ratings assigned by gemologists to color grading scales used by experts, there are multiple steps involved in evaluating a diamond’s worth.

Cut also plays an important role in assessing a diamond’s beauty; different shapes like round or square can influence its appearance drastically when compared side-by-side. The four Cs – cut, clarity, color grade, and carat weight – all come together to form a complex system that helps determine how much money one should pay for any given stone. Furthermore, current market conditions often dictate pricing shifts due to the supply & demand equation; if there is greater demand than available stones then prices will naturally increase accordingly.

However economic uncertainty may also cause prices drops as buyers become more cautious about their investments during such times – something savvy investors keep close track of when making decisions regarding their purchases within this lucrative industry. Understanding these underlying principles helps buyers make well-informed decisions while allowing them to take advantage of opportunities presented within this unique space.

Leveraging Technology for Increased Efficiency and Profits


In the ever-changing business landscape, staying competitive requires leveraging technology for increased efficiency and profits. In the diamond industry, this is especially true as diamonds are a valuable commodity with high demand that require careful handling and tracking.

Utilizing modern technologies such as big data analytics to gain insights into customer behavior and preferences can help maximize sales performance while keeping costs in check. Additionally, automation tools like robotic process automation (RPA) can streamline operations by managing tedious manual tasks such as reconciliations or stocktaking which would otherwise take up significant amounts of time. By relying on technological advancements companies can not only reduce labor costs but also increase accuracy when it comes to processing orders or performing quality checks for example.

Furthermore, using automated systems instead of manual processes helps alleviate potential errors that could lead to costly repercussions down the line. The use of robotics has become increasingly popular within the diamond industry due to its cost-saving benefits in addition to its ability to handle complex tasks with precision and speed – ultimately leading businesses toward greater success through improved productivity levels and profitability margins.

Best Practices for Successful Diamond Trading


If you are looking to make a big splash in the business world, then the diamond industry is an excellent place to start. Not only is it incredibly lucrative, but with a few best practices, you can be sure of achieving success.

Here are some tips for successful diamond trading: 1. Research thoroughly- Before investing in diamonds, research both current and historical market trends for insight into potential returns.

Analyze data regarding pricing fluctuations to estimate how much your investment could be worth over time. 2.

Only purchase from credible sources- When buying diamonds, make sure that they come from reliable sellers who have years of experience dealing with gemstones and jewelry markets and provide quality assurance guarantees on their products. 3.

Don’t fall prey to marketing tactics- Diamonds can often be marketed as “investment grade stones” or “high-value pieces” when they may not match up with this criterion at all; always do your research before making any purchases or investments so you know exactly what you are getting yourself into! 4. Think long term- Investing in diamonds doesn’t have to mean purchasing large quantities upfront; consider spreading out smaller amounts over a longer period instead so that if prices drop unexpectedly during one period, there’s less risk involved overall since the majority of your capital wont be affected by short-term price changes like this one instance might suggest otherwise!



The diamond industry is a highly competitive and lucrative business. In recent years, the introduction of lab-grown diamonds has opened up new possibilities for those looking to enter the market.

Lab grown diamonds provide an ethical alternative to traditionally mined stones, as well as offer more economical options for consumers. This makes them particularly attractive in today’s economy where people are seeking good value for money alongside environmental awareness.

With its ever-changing landscape, it is clear that the diamond industry will continue to sparkle bright for many years to come.

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How to Prepare for Affiliate Conferences: Tips for First-Time Attendees 2023

Melanie Days



Affiliate events are essential for anyone involved in the affiliate marketing industry. They provide a platform for networking, learning about the latest trends, and discovering new opportunities to grow your business. For first-time attendees, preparing for these gatherings can be a bit overwhelming. In this blog post, we’ll share essential tips to help you make the most of your affiliate conference experience.

Setting Your Goals and Expectations


Selecting the right affiliate conference is crucial for maximizing value and aligning with your goals and interests. Thoroughly research each event, considering factors such as target audience, speakers, agenda, and location. Focus on gatherings catering to your niche, with high-quality speakers offering valuable insights. Assess the agenda for relevant workshops and presentations, while weighing the pros and cons of each location.

By choosing an event like affiliate conference June 2023 tailored to your objectives and preferences, you’ll be better positioned to form meaningful connections, gain actionable insights, and enhance your professional development. Investing time in this research will contribute to a successful and fulfilling experience.

Choosing the Right Conference for You

With so many affiliate gatherings to choose from, it’s essential to select the right one that aligns with your goals and interests. Research each event thoroughly, considering factors such as the target audience, speakers, agenda, and location. Attending an event tailored to your niche and interests will maximize the value you receive.

Research and Networking


Once you’ve selected the right gathering for you, begin researching the attending companies, speakers, and exhibitors. This knowledge will help you identify potential business partners and networking opportunities. Additionally, connect with attendees on social media or through event-specific platforms. Establishing relationships before the conference can make networking in person more comfortable and productive.

Preparing Your Business Materials

Ensure you have up-to-date and professional business materials to share with potential partners. This includes your business cards, a one-page company overview, and any promotional materials you plan to distribute. A well-prepared elevator pitch will also come in handy when introducing yourself and your business to new contacts.

Dressing for Success: Conference Attire


First impressions are crucial, especially at professional gatherings. Dress professionally while remaining comfortable, as you’ll likely be on your feet for extended periods. A smart-casual dress code is generally acceptable at most affiliate conferences, but be sure to research the specific event’s dress code to avoid any faux pas.

Building Your Agenda

Most affiliate gatherings will have a packed schedule of workshops, panels, and networking conferences. Take the time to create a personalized agenda, prioritizing sessions that align with your goals and interests. Don’t forget to factor in breaks and time for networking, as these are equally important aspects of a successful experience.

Essential Items to Bring with You


To make the most of your conference experience, pack the following essentials:

  • Business cards: Have plenty of these on hand for networking opportunities.
  • A notebook and pen: Jot down important information during sessions or conversations.
  • A charged phone or tablet: Stay connected, take photos, and access your digital agenda.
  • Comfortable shoes: You’ll be on your feet for extended periods.
  • Snacks and a water bottle: Stay energized and hydrated throughout the day.

Maximizing Networking Opportunities

Networking is a crucial aspect of any affiliate gathering. Make an effort to introduce yourself to as many people as possible and engage in meaningful conversations. Keep your elevator pitch handy, and don’t be afraid to ask for business cards or contact information. Remember to listen more than you talk, as this will allow you to gain valuable insights from others.

Engaging in Workshops and Sessions

Take full advantage of the knowledge shared at the conference by actively participating in workshops and sessions. Ask questions, take notes, and engage with the speakers and other attendees. This will not only help you retain the information but also demonstrate your enthusiasm and commitment to your professional development.

Utilizing Social Media for Networking and Updates


Social media can be a powerful tool for networking and staying updated during an affiliate conference. Follow the official event hashtag and engage with other attendees, speakers, and organizers online. Share your experiences, insights, and photos from the conference to create a buzz around your presence and showcase your expertise.

Maintaining Your Energy and Focus Throughout the Conference

Affiliate conferences can be both exciting and exhausting. It’s essential to maintain your energy and focus to make the most of your experience. Stay hydrated, eat regular meals, and take breaks when needed to recharge. Prioritize self-care and rest to ensure you’re at your best throughout the gathering.

Post-Event Follow-Up and Relationship Building


The relationships you’ve built at the event shouldn’t end when it does. Following up with the contacts you’ve made is crucial for long-term success. Send personalized emails or LinkedIn messages expressing your gratitude for meeting them and reiterating any agreed-upon next steps. By nurturing these connections, you increase the chances of turning them into valuable partnerships.

Measuring Your Success and ROI

After the conference, it’s essential to evaluate your experience and measure the return on investment (ROI). Consider factors such as new contacts, leads, partnerships, and gained knowledge. Assess whether your goals were met and if the gathering was worthwhile. This analysis will help you make informed decisions about attending future events.

Applying Lessons Learned to Future Conferences


Lastly, use the insights and lessons learned from your first affiliate conference to improve your strategy for future gatherings. Identify areas where you excelled and areas where you can improve. By continuously refining your approach, you’ll maximize the value you gain from attending affiliate events and contribute to your long-term success in the industry.

In conclusion, preparing for an affiliate event as a first-time attendee may seem daunting, but by setting clear goals, researching the right event for you, and following the tips outlined in this blog post, you’ll be well-equipped to make the most of your experience. Remember to focus on networking, learning, and growing your business, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful conference experience.

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When Should You Hire A Life Coach? 5 Things To Know




Life coaches play an important role in the life of many people, but still, the concept is new for others. It is undeniable that they play an important role in life because of the kind of support and mentorship they offer. Hence, if you ever need to reach out to a professional coach, you should not hesitate or shy away from putting such a need forward.

Apart from the basic decision-making capability, a life coach Melbourne can help you to figure out various things that are helpful at different life stages. You cannot do everything on your own in life; having someone with an alternative opinion will benefit you in various ways.

You might be confused about the right time to hire a life coach. So, you can consider hiring a life coach whenever you feel the following.

1. A Lost Feeling With Nowhere To Go


There are many instances in life where you will feel lost in your daily life and feel like you don’t have anything to do or anywhere to go. It is common with young adults during this time; they have many things and thoughts on their plate. When you hire a life coach, they will help you find a way amid your thoughts and help you escape the confused state.

Also, if you think you are walking in an endless tunnel, the coach will help you understand yourself and the things you like, followed by those you don’t. Whenever you want to begin something new or let go of something old, the kind of support that you seek will be provided by a coach.

2. You Are Entering The Self-Doubt Stage

There comes a hard stage in life when people begin to overthink, and their highly emotional state leads them to enter the stage of self-doubt. When you begin to doubt yourself, you need to get reassurance for the same, which helps clarify the present situation in life. Deep down, people tend to know what they want but are confused due to many factors which further push them into a vacuum.

Also, suggestions and recommendations pouring in from all spheres further worsen the situation. Instead of doing anything better, such things harm a person’s personality, and they may reach a position where they cannot decide anything for themselves. In such a situation, you need a life coach to help them realize their dreams and opt for ways to help them reach the set goals and objectives.

3. Lack Of Planning And Implementation


Another hint that you need to know your need to hire a life coach is when you feel there is a lack of planning and implementation. It can be due to any distraction, but the main thing is that you lack the effort needed to meet the goals or objectives you have set for yourself. Having a goal is good but useless if you don’t know how to achieve it.

The life coach can help you with the much-needed guidance that will help you create an action plan to move from where you are and reach the place you have set for yourself.

Many potential people have excellent creative skills, but because of their overthinking and lack of confidence, they tend to give up on this side of theirs. It is the worst that anyone can do with themselves; hence, whenever anyone feels like drowning, a life coach should be reached out. Not only do they help act as a ray of hope amid the darkness, but also, their experience is something that everyone can learn from.

4. Looking For A Career Or Field Switch

Often, there are times in life when people get bored with their routine or feel the absence of that spark, making them feel the fear of competition around them. Also, staying unemployed for a long time pushes them to stay where they are, and they tend to lose interest in everything they once enjoyed or loved.

When you want to break out of your lifestyle and want to do something else, you will get everything you need from the help of a life coach. Whether you want an entirely new business line or want to switch your professional field, the coaches will help you cater to your mind. It is the stage when you need rock-solid support, and the coaches will help you get it in every possible step.

It is a big thing, and having various things in your head is fine. So, you need not avoid it. Doing so can take a toll on your health and, further, worsen your physical and mental well-being. It is better to hire a professional before you worsen your condition and consider the same thing later on.

5. Becoming Forgetful, No Follow-Ups, And Procrastination Mode


When you spot an unusual thing about yourself, like when you begin forgetting your routine activities, it means something is wrong. Many people forget things out of habit, but you should pay heed to it if it is a sudden habit. You need to realize the responsibility, and when you need an external factor for the same, the best way is to go for a life coach.

Also, if you want someone who can help you with your accountability, a life coach is the one who can help you. There are some important obligations that you need to fulfill and help you with the daily dose of motivation. These professionals are the best source for the same.

Also, if you want to focus on your habit of becoming a procrastinator, they will help you. As a procrastinator, you will feel stuck and never move a step toward what you seek. You must have a schedule, consistency, perseverance, and do things on time. Your coach will have everything covered and will never make you feel alone.


You should always seek help when you need it the most. Seeking the assistance of a life coach is a sort of help that will not only shape you into a better human but also help you develop habits that will stay with you for a long. It is a cycle. The way someone helps you will help you inspire the people around you, and they can reach out for help too. It is nothing bad to reach out to a life coach, as they will certainly help you somehow.

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