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Cali Crushes

    California Girls: Melahn and Aja Frierson

    California Girls: Melahn and Aja Frierson

    These two are a true sister act. Not only do Aja Fierson and her sister Melahn create our favorite line of vegan nail polishes, Habit Cosmetics (Santa Sangre is the best deep, red ever), these LA ladies also have a down-to-earth cool style that’s equal parts designer, street and some to-die-for vintage pieces. Here’s where they eat, shop, read and escape in Southern California.

    What’s your style?
    Melahn: Quirky, fun and a little outrageous.
    Aja: Platforms, patterns and anything seventies

    Who are your style icons?
    M: Grace Jones, Patti Smith and the stylist as well as my forever friend/muse Catherine Baba.
    A: Stevie Nicks, Jane Birkin and Julia Restoin Roitfeld.


    Best fashion purchase ever?
    M: This incredible faux tiger print trench coat that I scored at a thrift store in San Francisco for $12.
    A: Pink sparkly sock boots from Zara—they instantly upgrade any outfit.

    Current obsessions?
    M: DIY beauty masks and late nights watching film on Fandor or UbuWeb with my boyfriend.
    A: Homemade coconut yogurt, lavender highlighter and the Guerilla Tacos truck.

    Next on your reading list?
    M: Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz by Cynthia Carr.
    A: Art as Therapy by Alain de Botton and John Armstrong. I have yet to open it but I’m enchanted by the prospect of finding new inspiration in my old favorite pieces.

    Guaranteed smile inducer?
    M: Any John Waters film starring Divine and a night out dancing my sister, Aja—she’s got moves that would give Seinfeld’s Elaine Benes a run for her money.
    A: Hah, how can I follow up that? Novelty socks and the TV show Insecure is amazing.

    Fave thing about California?
    M: Being so close to the beach and all the incredible food.
    A: I love that you can drive 20 minutes in any one direction and explore a different culture and community.


    Fave places in Los Angeles?
    M: Cinefamily has incredible screening of films you wouldn’t normally see, The Last Bookstore in downtown LA and The Rosebowl Flea Market for clothing and household decor.
    A: The Getty Villa for weekend afternoons, The Greek Theater for concerts and Melrose for people watching.

    Roadtrip destinations?
    M: Ojai. My friend’s mom has a house in an orange grove and we’ll go up there and BBQ and hike.
    A: Santa Barbara. It’s close enough that you can do a quick getaway but it still feels like a different world.

    Fave way to unwind in LA?
    M: Going out for drinks with friends is always good and Tom Bergin’s is one of my favorite neighborhood bars.
    A: Dinner at an amazing restaurant and right now Osteria Mozza is my go-to for fresh pasta, or Anarbagh for Indian food.

    Finally, early bird or night owl?
    M: Night owl! Having said that I’m trying to create a balance between the two because I feel and look so much better after a full 8 hours of sleep.
    A: Both, I get so much done in the late/early hours when everything is quiet.

    Check out their polishes on our website here.



    Designer Tracy Wilkinson is the epitome of a renaissance woman. Originally from Yorkshire in Northern England, we first met this cool blonde over 20 years ago when she was designing her own clothing line (her perfect-fit sailor pants still live nicely in our closet) and since then, she’s designed for us, let us set up photo shoots in her enviably styled house (her abode has been photographed by more magazines and blogs than anybody else we know) and she is just a whip-smart, funny, generous and gorgeous human. The consummate creative, a few years ago she added ceramic artist to her resume, so nowadays you’ll most likely find her in her home studio where she hand forms beautiful, organically shaped vessels and pots from clay and basketweave. We picked her brain on all things cool from shoes to the best low key LA hot spots.

    What’s your personality in a nutshell?
    I’m a little bit introverted, a little bit OCD and creative.

    What’s your style?
    Casual, understated and always relaxed

    Style Icon?
    Lauren Hutton

    Favorite fashion purchase to date?
    A matte jersey bodysuit from Norma Kamali

    Most recent splurge?
    Silver sparkly Mary Jane sandals from Isabel Marant

    Favorite fragrance?
    Night Jasmine

    Current obsession?
    Pod Save America podcasts

    Charities you support?
    ACLU, Hope for Paws and Planned Parenthood

    Next on your reading list?
    The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

    Best childhood memory?
    Back in England, watching my dad play cricket on hot summer days.

    Your favorite thing about living in California?
    The landscape and the light

    What’s your fave California weekend escape?
    29 Palms Inn in Twentynine Palms. I’ll go hiking and then lay out by the pool.

    Top 3 best spots in Los Angeles?
    Self Realization Fellowship ground in Mount Washington, the Getty Center and Angeles Crest

    Fave way to unwind?
    At home, on my back patio with my dog, Brownie and a glass of wine. I never get tired of the gorgeous mountain view.

    Hey there beautiful people! If you live in the LA area and want to check out some of Tracy’s recent ceramics and weaving work—and meet the lovely TW herself—she’s doing a one woman show of her gorgeous ceramics and weavings on June 10th in downtown LA. Go to www.twworkshop.com for more info. We suggest you come and be inspired.



    This jewelry designer is not only a nearest and dearest of our creative directors, Jenny and Toni, but LA transplant, Mara Carrizo Scalise has that enviable style and attitude that is equal parts rock ’n roll mixed with boho queen. She was born in Buenos Aires and became captivated with fashion thanks to her mom’s collection of vintage clothes and the burgeoning punk scene at the time.



    When it comes to jewelry, she makes the type of pieces you put on and wear forever (FYI: the number one piece of jewelry in our office is currently her RAIN NECKLACE). Elegant, handcrafted, laid back and with a cool-girl edge that we can’t get enough of. Here we picked her brain on everything from good causes to fashion finds.

    How would you describe your personality in 3 words?
    Rocker, chic, classic

    Fave childhood memory?
    Going with my dad for long drives in the country side when I lived in Argentina.

    Guaranteed smile inducer?
    My kids

    Current obsession?
    Nutella and caramel crepes

    Favorite charity or cause?
    I have two: Children International and the Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center

    Best fashion purchase ever?
    A pair of Maison Margiela boots, though my most recent splurge was a pair of Yves Saint Laurent sparkle sandals.

    What’s your go-to outfit?
    When in doubt, a great pair of jeans with heels.

    What’s in your purse?
    Original Good Goods lip balm, and probably my laptop and a piece of jewelry

    Your favorite scent?

    Ideal California weekend away?
    Palm Springs or Joshua Tree

    Favorite places in Los Angeles?
    Malibu, Topanga and Laurel Canyon

    What’s for dinner?
    Skirt steak, lightly salted and cooked in the over. Served with mashed potatoes and salad. Yum.

    Early bird or night owl?

    Mara has an incredible style, substance and lust for life that is as infectious and alluring as HER JEWELRY. She’s also the one that hooked us up with KIRSTY HUME years ago and that friendship spawned our gorgeous SPRING COLLAB.

    Thank you Mara!



    It’s no surprise that we have a soft spot for the laid back charm of California style—we live it, love it and wear it everyday. In our new series, California Girls, we’ll be profiling our favorite west coast women to find out how they spend their days, as well as their thoughts on everything from shoe choices to favorite reads. Their common thread? Bold, smart, inspiring and Golden State gorgeous.

    We launch our series with Kirsty Hume; mother, model, activist, artist and co-creator of our summer collab collection, VELVET X KIRSTY HUME. In the 90’s, this thoughtful blonde was the epitome of minimalist luxe, often on the covers of Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and W. Now a mother to thirteen year-old Violet, this self-professed nature lover embodies California cool. Her modern meets vintage aesthetic fits in perfectly with her Topanga Canyon lifestyle.

    Kirsty likes her surroundings and clothes soft, full of light and with natural fabrics.  She believes in the importance of being true to yourself, and she seems to do that with a relaxed ease. “She’s beautiful inside and outside,” says our Creative Director Jenny Graham.

    We asked her a few questions about her daily life. Here’s a peek:

    Early bird or night owl?
    Earlybird. Mornings are my favorite, I only wish they were a little longer. I love it when I have time to do a little yoga, meditation and journaling.

    Coffee or Tea?
    Tea. Always tea.

    Current obsession?
    Sipping on nettle infusion all day.

    What is your favorite way to unwind?
    Painting and spending time with my daughter! I love to paint while watching the birds outside my window.

    What do you like to do when you have time off?
    Hiking and going on a sunset walk with my big girl.




    Favorite Beauty Product? 
    Aftelier Honeysuckle Face Elixir.

    In your bag?
    I don’t wear makeup unless I’m going somewhere really special and, even then, I’ll just put on a little RMS Lip2Cheek stain and a dab of concealer.

    Best Beauty Tip?
    I color my hair myself, out of a box. I use Susan Henry Natural Color Process in Light Blonde, I use a very light blond color just at the roots, and let it grow out.

    Heels or flats?
    Sheepskin clog boots

    What’s for dinner?
    Butter roasted chicken, I mostly eat a plant-based diet but we’ll have meat about once a week

    Beach, Desert, or Mountains?
    The beach in Scotland. Whenever I go home to see my family, it’s the first think I do, go to the beach and breathe some fresh air.

Here’s where we showcase everything we’re loving this minute. From great reads to must-try trends to inspiring people we’re crushing on, it’s a peek into our lives here at Velvet. Also updates on contests, collabs and where our newest stores are cropping up. Enjoy!




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