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Every year I launch a Summer Blog Series dedicated to empowering and inspiring women through fashion. And this year I wanted to write about the "muse that we may know" -- if you ask your friend or read designer interviews it's always, "oh Kate Moss, Josephine Baker, David Bowie, Warhol..." the list is endless. But as I delve into designing for new seasons, I started thinking about the incredible women that are doing inspiring things right here, right now in front of me with authentic voices that herald a new type of fashion girl and one that I KNOW - ripped straight from the page of life, not Vanity Fair. A woman who doesn't live for fashion but who fits fashion into her life her way, not following anything or anyone (take that insta), but making it up as she goes along. These are the women that I design for, the real, the true, the unafraid women we may know.

My first muse of Summer '17 is Victoria Rose, the Blogger and Social Media consultant behind The Rose Reserve. Above she and I are wearing looks from the CHAIN SERIES COLLECTION outside my Chicago-based Wicker Park showroom. Victoria is wearing the Chain Crop Top and Denim Track Pant paired with her Jeffrey Campbell boots. I am wearing the Dolman Chain Top and Kaleidescope Pant. Victoria is a kind of chameleon that I have always identified with. She can do anything, and do it her way, bold and defiant, she is in charge and her look says she is beautiful, strong, and full of brains, but she doesn't need your vote. Although soft spoken and always classy, her fashion packs a punch. I first met Victoria when she attended one of my early fashion shows and well, the rest is history. She has been a supporter of the brand since then, but this isn't the reason I love her, frankly, it's because she wears leopard and doesn't give a shit. Her ability to wear strong pieces and mix them into her wardrobe in a way that still allows her to be professional is inspiring. In fact that is what she likes about Christina Karin, "the pieces have a perspective, offer an original viewpoint, and many times they have been conversation starters." She also appreciates the mindful details on the downtown basics, such as the open back blouse that strategically features a cool back band so that a bra can still be worn. Let's face it ladies that's always a perk. Shop her favorites from the Summer Remix here.

Rose attended Loyola University with a degree in Journalism and has always had a creative spark. She started her blog in an effort to connect with like minded individuals and also pursue her other passion, clean beauty. Victoria is a pioneer for the newly minted, clean beauty revolution taking place. She has researched, tested, and reviewed hundreds of products and is in the works to launch a hair product this Fall that you won't want to miss. Friendly hint: I was part of the beta trials and can tell you first hand this stuff is liquid gold.

So here is what I want to say to all of you. My muse is YOU. Don't get me wrong I love Sophia Loren, but we never went to Ravinia together, laughed (or cried) about our dogs or kids, had a drink together or took bathroom selfies, so as you can tell I'm feeling a serious lack of relation, wouldn't you? What I really crave now, both personally and as a Designer, is something, anything that is TRUE, original and unabashedly authentic. Put down the phone and think about who you are and then dress this fabulous woman for the ride you want to take. Own it and live like the fearless MUSE you are damnit! Don't bother with all the noise because let's be real here this is fashion...not neurosurgery. We aren't saving lives here people. We are making life more of an adventure.

Hope you liked the kickoff to my Summer Series and stay tuned as we explore more 'MUSES we may know' all Summer long.

Happy to hear from you... comments, questions, feedback, whatever

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