Interview: Tasha Robinson of Imperfect Concepts

How thrilled will you be if you found out that affordable offers from some of everyone’s favorite high end designers are literally right at your finger tips? Intelligence, a sense of style and a unique approach to conquering an online niche made it all possible. Allow me to introduce you to Tasha Robinson the owner the  luxurious online boutique Imperfect Concepts. The Chic Notebook held an exclusive Q & A with the style savvy entrepreneur and business owner for an insight on the background of her boutique, what’s trendy as well as an inside scoop and advice on making and breaking it in online fashion retail.

What is “Imperfect Concepts”?
Is a dream that became reality a little over 15 months ago for me. Imperfect Concepts is a high-end women’s online resale shop. We cater to the woman who wants to be fabulous in her day-to-day life without emptying her pocketbook to get there.
Brief us on the start up of your boutique and its background.
The start up was a process that I thought about but really didn’t think about it if you understand what I am saying. I always use the example of remodeling a house vs building that house from the ground up. I knew that my company was basically going to be like Ebay’s “Buy it Now” process, selling great pieces at the fraction of the price. I thought I was going to reinvent what Ebay was doing to fit my company. When I realized it couldn’t work that way, I knew I’d be laying all the foundation and going on a path I hadn’t traveled yet, but I always knew my journey was going to be a great story like The Great Gatsby!
Describe your target “it girl”?
My “It Girl” is the girl who not only dances to beat of her own drum but the one who leads the band with her beat. She wears what she feels great in all the time and doesn’t care what others think. She’s comfortable in her own skin.
My fave Hollywood “It Girls” are Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen, Rachel Bilson, Vanessa Hudgens & Nicole Richie. Yes, all them are bohemian chic girls!
As a rising entrepreneur I’m sure you’ve sprinted across a few hurdles on your way up, what advice would you give to someone who wants to enter this business?
Have a tough skin and do what makes you happy. You can’t (and won’t!) please everyone with every decision you make, so don’t try. I tell people I go to bed happy every night and wake up feeling awesome everyone morning. I make that conscience decision to run my own race and focus on my goals and myself. It’s hard not to listen to others especially close friends. You can paint a masterpiece in your eyes but to other it looks like crap. “Oh well” to that because only you can truly see the vision you are painting. Remain true to yourself and your vision. Have affirmations you say daily. Surround yourself with positivity at all times.
We’re officially in the midst of Fall and as the seasons progress so does style. Show us a few transitional pieces we will find on “Imperfect Concepts” this season?
The Calvin Klein Trench coat is a main staple piece for the Fall. Every woman, man and even child needs a good trench coat. I’d also say YSL boots. They have a low heel and be worn dressy or with a causal look. The Valentino & Moschino jackets are also great pieces to own. Finally I would say the Banana Republic dress which is a staple that translates from winter to spring. It is great when your wardrobe can transition season to season without going out and buying new clothes every time a new season rolls around.
What price points should The Chic Notebook’s reader’s expect? Any bargains for frugal shoppers?
Imperfect Concepts is a great place for the frugal shopper to pick up pieces for their wardrobe. Prices range from $15 to $500 dollars, with the average price being about $35. Also, if they are fans on facebook or twitters they get exclusive discount codes all the time.
Are there any recurring labels? What are your best sellers?
Being that the store is a resale boutique it is kinda hard to have recurring labels or brands in the store. We do have a couple; they are Marc Jacobs, Gucci, YSL, Juicy Couture, Tory Burch & Theory. Marc Jacobs is always a great seller along with Yves Saint Laurent.
Lets take a look in your closet. What’s that staple that you can’t live without?
I cant live without my Habitual Jeans, Michael Kors gold watch, basic white tanks and vnecks from Barney’s, TOMS shoes, Louis Vuitton 40 Speedy & Lovely ballet flats and my Christian Louboutin Mary Jane heels. Those are my staples. I’m wearing at least one this items daily — I call them my trademarks!
Do you think “Imperfect Concepts” reflects your personal style”? Or what’s trendy at the moment?
I think it’s a mixture of both worlds blending very well together. I’m far from trendy, but I know my customers want trendy pieces for a fraction of the cost. For example, right now, I’m on the hunt for Faux fur coats (which will hit the store soon) because it’s on trend and several customers have requested them. I love faux fur, and at the same time, can cater to my clients, so it really just depends on the trend.
What longterm goals do you have for your boutique?
I’m focusing on what is before me. Imperfect Concepts just took a huge leap becoming a partner store with reFINE style. It is a huge step the store just took so I’m extremely happy about that. Naturally, I want to see that partnership flourish and who knows where that will take the company in the next six to 12 months. I have my mind focused on a couple things and I’m realizing my dream with those things so 
they can become my reality.
Thank you so much Tasha! We wish you all the best in your endeavors and thank you so much for bringing affordable high end merchandise to us. For more on Tasha and Imperfect Concepts visit her boutique at and follow her on twitter @ImperfectConcept 

Street Chic: Erika Style Activist

It is not very often that you would come across a young style savvy young lady that is the exact epitome of CHIC. During New York’s Fashion Week IFB held their semi annual conference at the Hudson Hotel where I was granted the opportunity to meet so many fashion bloggers. Everyone was in the house, from Bryan Boy,  Suzie of Style Bubble as well as the curator of the famous Among the shuffling of business cards, inspirational as well as not so inspiring presentations and a few glasses of wine, I met Erika of Style Activist  (great personality might I add) and from here on I’ve become an avid reader of her blog. She drives creativity, personality and fun to her ensembles so with the launch of the new and improved Street Chic (an extended forum for personal style), I’ve decided to have Erika The Style Activist share some information with you… 

  • .Define “Chic” in terms of your personal style.
Chic is pulling something off in an effortless manner – you’re looking fabulous and everyone knows it. Nobody likes an outfit that makes you go “poor girl is trying too hard.” I feel chic when I put on my favorite girly dress; its the moment that I feel instantaneously pretty and suddenly, I am walking on a cloud. It’s just a big giant fantasyland for me, one in which I can do no wrong.
  • What are your top three outlets to shop and top 3 favorite designers?
Oooo, this is a toughy. I mean, truthfully it changes a lot with the seasons – I am such a girly girl so a designer that makes something that is me, just eats me up and swallows me whole. Totally not a bad thing, mind you. And I am such an online-shopaholic…
Shopping outlets, and let’s say this is in my ‘currently obsessing over…’ category: Topshop (the ethereal-like lookbook really has my engine revving), I always love shopping at H&M for staple pieces, and I am totally obsessing over vintage online shops., Persephone Vintage, LA Vintage are just a few.
And as for my favorite designers? I will always love Chanel – this is an obvious in everyone’s “favorites”. But, once again, in my ‘currently obsessing over category’, we have: Marchesa, Sass and Bide, and Haute Hippie.
  • If there’s anything from the Spring 2011 runway you’d splurge on what would it be?
Picking one is just about near impossible – because if I could have one entire line it would be Marchesa’s. But this is probably the one that I could see myself in the most, and a lot –

  • What’s that key product in your closet and makeup kit you can’t live a day without?

Key item in my closet has got to be my slate grey off-the-shoulder dress. First of all, summer is my favorite season, so I just love a mini dress and heels and chunky jewelry. And then I just love to blowout my hair and then the sun-kissed skin completes the look. Ahhh, I am dreading winter already, hmph.

And I can absolutely not live without my BareMinerals products. They freshen me up, and while being light and smooth, they will hide any blemish or dark circle kind-of-day that I may be having. Seriously little life savers!
  • Who is your style icon? 
    Oh em gee, this is another toughy! OK I am totally going to say the unexpected and say right now I just can’t get enough of Katy Perry. She is totally weird (but I love it) and while being weird with her wigs and flamingo dresses – she always looks flawless. I just need a little crazy in my life – and that is totally Katy Perry. From her pink cheeks, to her sequin hot pants, I am in love. Yup, I said it.

    Brief us on “Erika the Style Activist”.

  • Style Activist is all about finding yourself in fashion. I want to activate your inner stylista and bring out your confidence, too. There is so much fun to be had in fashion and I hate the idea of anyone taking it too seriously. I am young (21) and I love wearing something that makes my roommates react with a, “what the hell is that?!” It’s all a discovery of what buttons we can push and how many rings we can wear on one hand – fashion is supposed to be fun and I want my readers to see that through my blog. I am sassy, and in my world I can be very controversial. I like to laugh and wear heels when no one would expect it. Life is too short to ever say, “Damn, I wish I would have dressed chic today.”
Thank you so much for your sharing your insight on style with The Chic Notebook.
For more on Erika visit her blog The Style Activist ….


(Wide Gold Cuff with Leaf Imprints)

One doesn’t expect too much from a young entrepreneur who has a pocket full of aspirations, determination and drive but jewelry designer Sue Tsai is about to give us a definite reality check. I’m always inspired by any woman who can sing every word of ” Independent Woman” like it was a personal letter from them to Destiny’s Child. I embrace everything in the name of talent and enthusiasm this is why its a pleasure to feature Jewelry Designer Sue Tsai on The Chic Report. Not only does MTV reality stars and footwear designers Vanessa and Angela Simmons love wearing her jewelry (check TEENVOGUE March 2010 issue “Style Blogger“pg 80), she’s sponsors events (including Vanessa Simmons birthday party) and has been selected to participate in the Emmy gift bagging suite. Congrats! Tsai has combined her love for fashion and a handfull of tremendous talent to create an exceedingly fabulous line and will soon release an exclusive high end collection “Signature” by Sue Tsai. Her jewelry line offers pieces in a wide selection of flirty accessories everything from bands, bows, beads and crystals adds edge and exudes girlish elegance. As determined and talented as she is, Sue Tsai will undoubtedly continue flourishing in her spotlight not only as a designer but as inspiration for the up and coming young professionals. Read her interview with The Chic Report below…

These are the black bands in which first started Sue Tsai Designs and became widely popular. They come in almost every color and combination and people mix and match them to create a set of bangles. They are 14k gold filled with swarovski crystal, gold beads & charms, and have a rubber tubing over memory wire. They are flexible.

Vanessa Simmons wearing her own mixed match set of Black Bands out in LA.

This is a set called Bamboo Vermeil Bangles.

These are large crystal beaded bracelets that tie together with an oversized bow that come in 3 different color combinations.

One of a kind Rose Ring, hand-made, 14k gold and swarovski crystal with a coral cut rose

The Chic Report: Who is Sue Tsai?

The world will soon find out 🙂

The Chic Report: What inspired you to start your own business?
Sue Tsai: From a young age I’ve always been exposed to art as both of my parents are designers. Designing is something that I want to do for the rest of my life and in order to do that I have to make money doing it. I love fashion and I’ve always made jewelry and clothes for myself. I took the next step and want to share that with everyone else. That’s why I started my line.

The Chic Report: You’ve worked with designers/reality stars Vanessa and Angela
Simmons, are there any other celebrities that you would like to wear
your pieces?

Sue Tsai: I really love Rihanna and Keri Hilson’s style. Look out for them to be wearing the pieces soon. But I dont want only celebrities to wear my pieces, its for everybody. I wish everyone could be my personal accessory barbie and I could just decorate them from head to arm in my stuff! haha

The Chic Reporter: Did you face any hurdles while building your brand and how were you able to overcome them?

Sue Tsai: As with accomplishing anything in life, there are going to be hurdles. I feel like you don’t deserve your accomplishments unless you worked hard to get there and your perseverance has been tested. Honestly, most of my hurdles have been more mental than physical. All of the finance, labor, and time hurdles I’ve faced are nothing to me, they’re just a part of the plan. As much as I hate to say it, the worst is dealing with haters; people who cant stand to see someone else on their way to success and constantly try to bring them down. But you know what, they’re not really hurdles, more like stepping stones. Gotta step on them to climb to the top. Ha

The Chic Report: True…So tell us how do you perfect your craft as a designer? For instance, did you go to school for accessory design?

Sue Tsai: I actually went to school for marketing not design. A lot of my technical skills I’ve picked up from my parents. I believe that design and creativity is not something that can be taught, only technicalities. I decided to study marketing because I believed that was going to be the most applicable major for my business. I had no problems designing and making the jewelry, I just had to learn how to sell it.

The Chic Report: Just by reading your tweets I see that you travel alot, what does
your working day / week look like?

Sue Tsai: I’m usually away on the weekends for trade shows. In the past 3 months I’ve done shows in LA, New York, Miami, Atlanta, Baltimore, Sarasota, and Philadelphia. During the week I’m in the studio making new pieces or in the office shipping out orders. I think I spend more time in the air than on the ground though. You wouldn’t believe my frequent flyer mileage.

The Chic Report: Without giving away too much, what other projects are you currently working on?
Sue Tsai: I just recently finished designing a jewelry line for a popular clothing line. I can’t tell you which one until it comes out, so I guess you’re going to have to wait and see. Rite now, I’m working on my new high end line. These pieces are all one of a kind and less commercial. I’ve always been making them for individual custom orders but I want to be able to sell them while keeping them exclusive. I’m really excited about this line, its called Signature by Sue Tsai and the only person who’s seen the pieces are my mom haha. I’m having the launch event early May, so be on the look out.

The Chic Report: Where do you see your business Sue Tsai Designs in the next 5 years?
Sue Tsai: I’m going to take over the world. (evil laugh)

The Chic Report: Lol, So where can interested readers find out more about your business Sue Tsai Designs?
Sue Tsai: They can check out my website or read more about me at I tweet a lot so if they want to get to know me on a more personal basis they can follow me on twitter at @SueTsai (parental discretion advised ha)

The ChicReport: Congrats with the success of your line and keep up the great work.
Sue Tsai: Thank you so much, I appreciate it. Hope both of us can continue to work together on our journey to the top.

Definately… Thank You for your time!

Hope you guys enjoyed this post as much as I did…dont forget to comment!


What’s a better way to start off a new and productive year but with a feature on a young and talented Fashion Photographer by the name of Ali Evans. It is not very often that I meet people with a pocket full of aspirations like myself, so you could image how astounding it was to get to know the man behind the lens more professionally. Unlike many rookie’s in the industry Ali knows his craft and carries with him a heavy resume and groundbreaking experience in field of fashion photography. Graduated with a degree in Film Production and showered with the L.A. film experience he is ready and willing to conquer the world of art. Here’s his one on one!

1.Describe yourself in one sentence.
Driven, innovative and complex, did you say a sentence or adjectives? I like adjectives better 🙂

2. When did you realise that Fashion Photography was your calling?
During my freshman year in college I worked at the Gap and during that time I was developing an eye for fashion.
One of the members of the visual merchandising team was a photographer, and me I fell in love with the art, and I knew
this is something I wanted to do.

3. What is your inspiration?
I am inspired by everything and anything from films, music and even every day people I meet on the street, but right now
I must be honest when I say Rhianna is one of my current inspirations. I respect the fact that she is staying true to her art and doing
what makes her happy. Her style is dark and edgy and I love that.

4. Name 2 people in the industry you would like to work with and why.
Well Rhianna for one, I’m pretty sure that was obvious and also male model Chad White, he’s represented by Major Models
I’ve seen his work and I just think he brings something fresh and new to the industry.

5. How do you perfect your craft as a photographer?
By not conforming to industry standards, Fashion photography is an art form and you can’t put any limitations or restrictions on art.
The funny thing is I actually watch more films than I read fashion magazines. I like to watch films by Italian Horror director Dario
His movies are all about angles and colors.

6. Give us a summary of your work.

I have shot for agencies like Vision and L.A and Boss, as well as MTV personalities. I really enjoyed working with Male Model turned actor Drew Van Acker at the time that I shot him he was represented by Vision L.A.

7. As a fashion photographer you have an exceptional eye for ………………?
black and white photography, I feel that black and white photos are timeless, and always convey a lot of emotion

8. Where do you see your self professionally in the next 5 years?
To be honest I don’t know because I have always been involved in different aspects of art, such as acting and even hip-hop dancing
but it will definitely be art related. I’m not your typical blue collar kind of guy

9. How can interested readers get intouch with you?
Well my website should be up shortly, but for the time being feel free to drop me an e-mail, I am always open to feedback and remember “A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words”.

This is Chic Report’s First Interview…Many More to Come! Hope you guys enjoy it! Be inspired! Thoughts? Comment!!!

Wale for Honey Magazine

Perhaps you’ve seen him perform at the entire VMA’s with his band and artists, Pitbull and Solange but now gives you an inside scoop on who the entertainer really is… Check out Wale’s interview for the November issue of Honey Magazine.

Interview snippet:
Wait, could it be? A witty reference to his rumored industry crush? The blogs have been buzzing about a relationship between him and Solange for months. The infamous Central Park picnic pics. Their flirty (and very public) tweets don’t do much to hinder the gossip, either. Back in the telly, we get a glimpse of another side of Wale. (Truth serum comes in many forms and flavors.)

“I do love her,” he admits of Solange, flashing a Cheshire. “We’re friends. She’s amazing. She’s a good person. Any single mother contributing to society the way she does — I got a lot of love for them. She’s got to do a lot on her own and raise a young black man in this day and age, so my hat goes off to her. She’s definitely an anomaly. And the way she can do that and manage to do the same things that I complain about having to do.”

His affection is as obvious as a set of flushed cheeks. And impossibly adorable. Wale, the former mixtape rapper from inner city DC, is borderline giddy. “Did you interview Solange about me?” Wale asks. He’s sprawled across his bed; head practically buried in the pillow. “Did she smile when you mentioned my name?”

More pics and the entire interview on


Rihanna Interview on 20/20

I know I’ve said it before but this is the last time I will write up a post on this issue. I’m over it …

Let me know what you think…

Rocsi for Honey Magazine

Rocsi Diaz from BET’s 106 and Park vogued for BrookeNippar (photographer) in one of Charles Wade’s (Stylist) best creative ensembles. In this interview Rocsi is definitely giving commenter’s a look at her most vulnerable side. Yes, she’s been talked about alot lately;The “Lisa Ray situation” as she referrs to it and her wardrobe (which has definately improved). Basically viewers have consistently been comparing her to Free, which sometimes makes her think “suicidal”. Yes….this was a dark interview. The most enlightening part for me was this…
“I would love to do film and [be] casted … in a dramatic role. I just want to be great at [acting]. Until then, I love my job and there’s nothing in the world that would bring me to leave 106th. I think we’re getting bigger and badder and there’s no point in me leaving right now. But I could dab,” Rocsi says. “Acting is my therapy. I could be somebody else and if I want to cry, I can cry, if I want to scream out … because if Rocsi does it, Rocsi looks crazy.”

Aw, go for it girl!