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MOSAICStyle's Michelle Obama Inauguration Pick

We could not resist a post about how MOSAIC loves Mrs. O's signature style! She is the epitome of the modern woman and her personal style reflects a clean, timeless sophistication with a little bit of an edge.

MOSAICStyle's vote for the big day? After reviewing Womens Wear Daily's wildly popular designer "sketch-call", the Michael Kors blue gown is definitely "that one"! Simply said-she would look spectacular!

View all of the submitted sketches at Womens Wear Daily.

A Must-See Documentary: Pray the Devil Back to Hell

Make sure to check your local listings for a powerful documentary that speaks to the unrelenting strength of women and the human spirit.

The Best Documentary Winner at the Tribeca Film Festival, Pray the Devil Back to Hell is a riveting account of the power of women who banded across religion and tribe to bring peace to war-torn Liberia. After decades of civil unrest, this heroic group of Liberian women demanded that warring factions find the road to peace and stability. The documentary details terrifying experiences of survival that can be heart-renching,yet it will still inspire you to do your part to move mountains. A MOSAIC must-see!

The Smithsonian Museum Does An Evening of African Chic

The infusion of African-inspired textiles and silhouettes is becoming more relevant in today's fashion industry. Tribal influences were clearly evident across Spring 08 runway collections by Kevan Hall and Michael Kors. Batik-print tops and dresses also gained shelf space with retailers like Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie. On Tuesday, October 28th, 2008, the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art hosted an event to pay homage to all that is "African Style". Aptly named "African Chic: Inspiring Global Fashion" the event set to celebrate.

The roundtable discussion on African textiles and their influence in modern fashion was driven by a panel of fashion leaders including Project Runway alum Korto Momolu, G. Kofi Annan of Annansi Clothing Co., Vogue Magazine Sally Singer, Gallery Asha's Julie Ward and Brenda Winstead of Damali Afrikan Wear. Check out upcoming events at Smithsonian National Museum of African Art.

SURevolution Wins Coveted ACE Award in Washington, DC

This month, our beloved vendor SURevolution was the small business recipient of the coveted Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) by the US State Department in Washington, DC. Each year, several small businesses and multinational corporations are selected based on their commitment to corporate/social responsibility in countries where they do business.SURevolution's founders, Marcella Echavarria and Dina Rothstein, are both Colombian-born. SUR's mission is to link the ethereal world of artisans with the luxury consumer market.

They actively work in Colombia and India with urban, rural and indigenous communities, offering an opportunity to preserve their heritage through design and earn a living wage. MOSAIC loves all of SURevolution's intricate designs-their jewelry (best-seller leaf cuffs and earrings anyone?) and home accents. Most of all, we love partnering with companies whose ideals emulate MOSAIC's core values!

Great job Marcella and Dina! Kudos to you on your wonderful accomplishment!

Pura Lopez Dress Shoes Are Haute!

It is without question that we are die-hard fans of Spain's Pura Lopez footwear. In fact, our Fall 08 MOSAIC Pura Lopez evening shoes are so smoking "haute" that both Instyle (p.271) and Essence(p.62) magazines have featured them in December '08 editorial spreads.

What is it about both pumps that adds polish to any holiday evening look and thereafter? It's simply all in the details! Both pumps are the perfect blend of attitude, mixed with soft femininity. Plus a rosette or ribbon detail on any of your signature items this fall adds just the right hint of drama. The results?
Absolutely magical.

DESTINATION: Tunis, Tunisia

Dubbed North Africa´s hidden jewel, Tunis is located near Africa´s northernmost tip. A short flight from Barcelona's El Prat airport via TunisAir or AirFrance transports you into a captivating world of rich history, warm hospitality and modernity. Expect hearty lamb tagines, cous cous, and plenty of, surprisingly, excellent wine.

MOSAIC´s Global Escapes List of Must-Sees are:

1. Carthage- The scenic drive along the Mediterranean to view splendid ruins of ancient Carthage offers a glimpse of the country's presidential palace. Who has not learned of Hannibal and the brave Carthaginians who challenged ancient Rome´s might? Today, ruins of ancient Roman baths, shrines and temples offer a glimpse into history. Check out the Roman theater ruins, still used for the annual Summer Festival of Carthage.

2. BIWA Restaurant-Eat your heart out New York City. Located in the yuppie Berges du Lac neighborhood, this local favorite serves up waterfront meals with Euro-Tunisian flair. A prominent destination for well-heeled locals, this spot is perfect for casual dining and scenic views of Lake Tunis. Be sure to request ¨the´a la menthe¨, North Africa´s age-old mint tea specialty, with your meal.

3. Sidi Bou Said-This gorgeous, white and blue hued Northeastern village is filled with Tunis´ elite and a hot spot for global nomads. Spend an afternoon shopping local stores filled with Tunisian ceramics, mosaics and other handicrafts. Explore rustic art galleries like Art Galery El Artista, featuring art and jewelry by owner, Mounir Letaief. A tour of Dar El Annabi, an ancient Tunisian-style home turned museum, showcases traditional customs. Lounge and sip tea at the infamous Café des Nattes with its signature birdcage handing outside its immaculately carved doorway. Marvel the exquisite views of the jeweled Mediterranean sea under the stars from outdoor Cafe´ Chabaane, decked with authentic Tunisian rugs and other textiles for added flair.

4. The Medina Souk, located on Avenue Habib Bourgiba, Tunis' "Champs Elysees¨, is the marketplace of choice. Endless choices of old-world Tunisian textiles, ceramics, lanterns, leather goods, scented oils and other treasures abound. Be ready to perfect the art of bargaining with local shop owners for great prices on the perfect souvenir that captures your Tunisian adventure.

5. Drive to Korbous- The scenic hour-long drive outside of Tunis showcases the vibrant lifestyle of traditional Tunisians. Stop by a local restaurant along the way to experience authentic Tunisian grilled lamb specialties. Top it off with some ¨mlewe¨, a crepe-like delicacy or ¨tabouna¨, Tunisian unleavened country bread baked in a clay domed oven. Once you hit Korbous, dip your feet or swim in the local hot springs alongside residents to receive storied blessings.

6. Indulge in the luxurious Hamman bath at Hotel Les Berges du Lac - Queens of yesteryear and today make this a must-have. Experience the eucalyptus steam-filled chambers of the ancient bath and simply relax. After bathing, prepare to be exquisitely massaged from head to toe with precious oils.

MOSAIC Chats with Chie Mihara at MODACALZADO in Madrid, Spain

While walking MODACALZADO, Spain´s premier international footwear and accessories showcase, I am really excited about Fall 08. In footwear, there are lots of greys, taupes and glossy patents. Suedes in rich jewel tones such as purples, blues and rich yellows are everywhere. Yellow is also hot this spring. Oxfords are more feminine than they were last fall, with softer accents and delicate heels. Leather boots, made to travel the earth, are in all shaft heights. The focus on textures continue, with large-scale croco and snake dominating. Satin finishes and jewelled embellishments in dress shoes from Magrit,, and Pura Lopez , a hot MOSAIC brand, are exquisite. Watch out Manolo, Magrit is stiff competition and a gem at this show!

I stop by the
Chie Mihara booth, ¨rocking¨ my favorite ¨Chies¨. They continue to command attention from urban sophisticates wherever I go. I cannot contain my excitement, as MOSAIC will carry Chie Mihara footwear in Fall 08. The woman behind the brand is pretty and petite. Chie Mihara is unassuming, despite the modern-day movement she has created in expanding Spanish-inspired fashion across the world. Her life story reads like a true global nomad´s. Of Japanese descent, she was born and raised in Brazil. She studied design in both Japan and at FIT in New York, and worked for American footwear brand Sam and Libby. After working with Charles Jourdan in Spain, her vision to create a line of sophisticated, feminine yet comfortable shoes, made for and by women, came to life. Chie purposely does not design shoes more than a certain height to ensure proper balance of a woman´s proportions. She really understands the woman´s foot. Alas, this is why I can strut the streets of Madrid in my marvellous ¨Chies¨ with relative ease.

In only a few years,
Chie Mihara is now an international sensation. Her love of fashion is very evident. She designs from her own inspiration and is not bound by trends. MOSAIC loves her creative genius. The brand´s signature is Spanish craftsmanship, coupled with unexpected details like cone heels, interesting hardware, buttons, pleating and stitching for added flair. Her Fall 08 collection offers intricate stitched details on t-straps, mary-janes and boots.

So I ask her, "When can we anticipate a
Chie Mihara concept store stateside?" Sorry folks, but her first concept store will open in Tokyo, Japan. She does have her eye on a New York location, having lived there for five years and loves the city. A one-stop destination with over a hundred Chie Mihara shoes to choose from?! Chie, just tell us when and where.

DESTINATION: Madrid, Spain

Viva España! Spain is red-hot! Its solid influence in the global fashion scene is quickly emerging. From high-fashion brands like ethereal Manolo Blahnik, Balenciaga and Custo Barcelona, to modern-day chic from Chie Mihara and Camper, Spain´s age-old commitment to excellence in the craftsmanship and quality of its leather goods permeates the industry.

Scouring Fall 08 Footwear and Accessories trends for MOSAIC brought me to MODACALZADO in Madrid, Spain´s premier international showcase that highlights its artisanal brands, including Pura Lopez, Magrit, Pedro Garcia, Jaime Mascaro and Farrutx. It has been a phenomenal experience.

What is it about the spirit of Madrid that stimulates all the senses? Is it its history, its architectural marvels that abound? Could it be the city´s world class museums? Or, its fabulous tapas available on a whim? Whatever the answer may be, Madrid is a city that never sleeps.
A five-day ¨tour de Madrid¨ has inspired MOSAIC´s first Global Escapes list in this world-class city:

1. Calle Serrano is the premier shopping district for the city´s well-heeled and fashion-conscious. El Corte Ingles is Spain´s department store destination, with the Calle Serrano 47 location as its flagship. You can find every brand, from Carolina Herrera to Pura Lopez and Loewe,, a signature Spanish luxury brand popular across Europe.

Check out Swedish Ordning & Reda, located at Calle Serrano 98. This is my new favorite store to organize my life-at home and at work! Drool over their killer, ultra-modern laptop bags, snakeskin journals and other fun storage accessories. Also check out Farrutx, located at Calle Serrano 7. This Spanish footwear empire dominates in both well-crafted casual and dress shoes. Their fresh take on wood bottoms and espradrilles for Spring 08 still lingers .

ZARA Home is still one of my favorite global home destinations. This latest visit validates that global chic is everywhere! See beautiful images from their Spring 08 catalog. ZARA has a presence stateside in major US cities, but its home store is a strong extension of the Spanish lifestyle. Ethnic and tribal influences from around the world are plentiful, in a wide variety of textiles, and in housewares and decorative accents.

2. Maneuver the Metro and the Renfe to truly experience the city.
Madrid is Spain´s capital and largest city, with over 3.2 million city residents. The best way to see all that the city offers is to purchase inexpensive metro renfe for endless travel possibilities. A modern, extensively-mapped system makes it a welcome way to discover Madrid.

3. Plaza Mayor and the La Latina area evoke the history of the city´s artisans.
Walking through Plaza Mayor channels centuries-old history. The square has served as a farmer´s market during the Middle Ages, a bullfighting center, and has even held old-world inquisition trials. More recently, Plaza Mayor has become a foot-traffic mecca with shops, restaurants and entertainment for both tourists and residents alike. In and around the La Latina area, the bohemian arts neighborhood, is the origin of the city of Madrid,where authentic tapas bars are plentiful and nightlife teems.

4. Visit the Museo Nacional del Prado and Museo Nacional Reina Sofia. Do not visit Madrid without tapping into its world-class musuems. My top two picks are the Museo Nacional del Prado, which highlights classical art throughout the centuries. The Museo Nacional Reina Sofia is an eclectic modern-contemporary museum, now running an extensive collection of Picasso´s life-long images and La Noche Española, highlighting the history of Spain´s flamenco art form.

5. Callao and Gran Via neighborhoods are key destinations for shopping and nightlife.
A great tourist location, Callao and Gran Via are home to some of the city´s monumental buildings. This area is also Madrid´s ¨Broadway¨or theater district, as it ranks third in the world for musical premieres. With a strong selection of chic restaurants and great shopping, this area has enough to entertain all.

6. The Chueca neighborhood is alive and hot!
A small gem in Madrid, this neighborhood reeks of urban, cool sophistication, with great boutiques, restaurants and bars. Visit Consuelo Arenas, located at Calle Hortaleza 78, an ultimate shoe-tique for the global fashionista. The store offers high-end brands like Pedro Garcia, Etro and Magrit. Next, head over to Divisa, located at Calle Hortaleza 102 or its sister store at Calle Argensola 2, to unearth signature leather handbags, delicate tops and dresses. NAC, a global fashion paradise with offerings from Juan Lopez Garcia, Maloles and other emerging designers, is home to clean and modern sophistication. Simply amazing!

After a full day, Areia,, located at Calle Hortaleza 92, is the ultimate bohemian cavern for relaxation, while sipping a cup of Moroccan mint tea, or laying out on one of their beds, enjoying a great dessert or cocktail. Next up....Barcelona, Spain.

MOSAIC´s Official Launch Event & Exclusive Shopping Night in Oakland, CA

MOSAIC´s official launch event was held on Friday, February 22nd, 2008 at the Esteban Sabar Gallery in Oakland, CA from 6-9pm. It was a magical evening, filled with family, friends and well-wishers.

Guests took advantage of an exclusive discount and enjoyed a private preview of premier Spanish designer Pura Lopez´s footwear and Corso Como shoes made in Brazil. Complimentary signature cocktails and global hors d'oeuvres were served. Music from around the world played, as guests experienced the MOSAIC brand and shopped its ¨live¨ store set up for the evening at the gallery.

A portion of the proceeds from the evening benefitted Tigerlily Foundation and The African Women´s Cancer Awareness Association

To purchase any featured images, contact photographer Janet Sheard at
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