HEAT WAVE MIXTAPE: EARLY SUMMER EDITION

We love summer - obviously.  For the latest addition of the mixtape, we put together a collection of songs to chill to.  Whether you are at a BBQ or cruising with your windows open, these tracks will keep you feeling good.

#MirameMuchacha Volume 1

Welcome to our new feature, #MirameMuchacha.  Each month we will highlight a woman who you can't help but notice.  She works hards and shines while doing it.  Read below to find out more about our first Muchacha. 

Volume one features Colombian born fashion stylist Lina Bracky.  

Where are you from?

I am from Bogota, Colombia and a proud dual citizen.  I came to the US as a teenager.  I spend most of my time in Greenwich, CT where I reside, and some play time in NYC whenever I can.  As for my vacation time, I love Europe and am working on visiting the countries on my bucket list.  So far I’ve made it to Germany, Spain and UK.

 

What is your job and what do you love the most about it?

I am a fashion stylist but also act as a creative director in the shoots I produce.  As a stylist I love enjoy the whole process, especially when there is a major transformation involved.  To make someone over from their regular beauty to an enhanced level that displays both their physical and internal qualities is a joy.  When working on photo-shoots, I not only style the model(s), but sometimes also act as the creative director; doing so means coming up with the story line for the shoot – which can be challenging, especially if budget is low, or none (cross-collaboration) – that is when creativity must kick in high gear.  It can be a very stressful process, but good stress if that makes sense.

 

What do you hope to contribute to the world?

 I hope my work contributes opportunity to the world.  I have worked many times in cross-collaborations, and although that isn’t the long term goal, the goal is to help promote talent.  Photographers, designers, models – (even want to be models who have talent), makeup artist, videographers, etc. they all start somewhere and it can be a long and arduous road, but some have a more difficult time than others and not all achieve success.  

As a freelancer and a startup I know how hard it is to find opportunities.  I have seen so many gifted individuals on the streets of NYC, hoping to collect enough money to buy food, it is heart breaking.  I have many goals in my life, the main one is to affect this world, to leave a very strong and recognizable foot print and to inspire others to do the same.  One of my intentions is to gather the troops if you will, and to help these people find a source where chances can be given to them, so long as they are willing to try hard and passionately.  No one works for free, I don’t,  but when starting up a little investment comes along the way.  

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

 In ten years, I see myself traveling the world alongside my sister who is a designer, learning and adapting ideas from other cultures and interpreting them into our own label and fashion brand.

What is your favorite beach destination?

Ah favorite beach destination – not a fair question.  Currently my favorite is the Hamptons – beautiful clear ocean, but as a former Floridian, I will always say Bal Harbour.  Anytime I visit Florida that is where I go.  Funny to see this question, my bucket list contains a list of countries whose beaches I would like to explore:  Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Maldives, Benidorm, Positano, etc…. ask me again in 10 years :).

 

Our mixtape is back!

We loved our mixtape and have recently been searching for a new home for it since our favorite site, Tapely shuttered its virtual doors.  We found that home in 8tracks.  Our latest addition of the tape is called Spring has Sprung and celebrates the positive mood the good weather is imbuing on us all.  Get your swimsuit ready and dream up your next holiday!

Sunday Bikini Bake

I love Sundays.  Sundays are the day to sit back, relax, and enjoy a little R + R.  One thing I love to do on Sundays is cook.  There is nothing better than making a pot of delicious and healthy food to share with family and friends.  The only problem is, my family has super healthy eating habits.  So what does a girl do when she wants a sweet treat….she makes healthy  tasting Bikini cookies!

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To make the cookies a bit healthier, we seek out alternative ingredients.  After reading Wheat Belly, by Dr. William Davis M.D., it becomes apparent that there is a connection between the consumption of gluten and wheat and chronic conditions, such as Diabetes and Thyroid disease.  As a sub to traditional wheat flour, we use Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Flour.  Instead of traditional white sugar, we can do sugar in the raw, the less processed version of its sister product.  The only other subs I do are to occasionally use applesauce instead of butter…but I usually do half and half.  I can maintain the butter flavor, while cutting down on the fat content.  Below is a great receipe for Banana-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies with a healthy twist:

  • 1 cup Gluten free flour
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup plain soy milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 ripe banana, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or other favorite nut
  • 1/3 cupsemisweet vegan chocolate chips 

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Combine first 6 ingredients (through sugar) in a bowl. Whisk together butter, soy milk, and vanilla in a separate bowl. Add wet mixture to dry ingredients; stir to combine. Fold in banana, walnuts, and chocolate chips.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop dough onto pan with a small ice-cream scoop. Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown, turning baking sheet halfway through. Let cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy your bikini cookies!

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Behind the scenes: Swim Journal Shoot

We had a great time last summer shooting the lookbook for the Superheroes Own the Night collection.  We shot it in and Brooklyn, mostly in Bushwick.  The crew was very ambitious, having scouted about 6 locations for the shoot.  With only 6 hours of daylight, we had a huge project on our hands!

We started prepping around 9 am with hair and makeup.  Lisa, owner of Salon Topaz was assigned the task of turning the models soft locks into a 1940s Old Hollywood Glamour look.  She did an amazing job of teasing and setting it to give it height, shine, and retro appeal.  Next we moved onto makeup.  I never knew that makeup could be airbrushed on!  It was really cool to watch the artist apply the eyeshadow.  We went for a really dramatic look, with an updated cat eye.

 Lisa DeMaria of Salon Topaz works the models hair.

Lisa DeMaria of Salon Topaz works the models hair.

 Primping between takes

Primping between takes

The hair and makeup team worked their magic for about 3 hours.  Can you imagine all of that for just one girl!  While they were prepping the beautiful model, the photographer and I were going over the looks.  We put them in order, corresponding each suit with its backdrop location.  When all of this was complete, we headed out in the van.

We shot in front of some gorgeous graffiti walls near the warehouses off Bushwick Ave.  It was lovely how the suits were able to pick up the colors from the different murals.  Even the gunmetal and golds were worked in.

 A mural off of Bushwick ave in Brooklyn

A mural off of Bushwick ave in Brooklyn

After about 5 hours of shooting, we started to get really fatigued, especially our gracious model Tanya.  But we powered through and got some wonderful shots.  The funniest part of the day had to have been when Tanya's beauty almost caused an accident.  A man was driving by slowly in his car, and he almost hit an oncoming bicyclist, who was also busy staring at the model instead of the road.  Ha ha!

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We were so pleased with all of the photos from this shoot.  We are excited that Spring is almost here so that we can share them with all of you.  In the meantime, enjoy the editorial in this month's Swim Journal to see the fruits of our labor.

 The Mirame editorial appears on page 8

The Mirame editorial appears on page 8