6 Steps To Becoming Your Own Boss

#girlboss #bosslady #momboss #boss...there's a reason these hashtags are popular, but they're more than just buzzwords. The thought of flexibility/control/work-life balance is very appealing, but the distance between the hashtag and reality can be long and daunting.
Direct Sales offers so many affordable opportunities to dealve into entrepreneurship, and it doesn't mean you have to be the pesky person always trying to recruit or hound people. Direct Sales has come a long way and evolved into a very broad category with so many different options. And really, anyone can do it. If you've ever given a restaurant recommendation or shared your enthusiasm for a new book you're reading...you're basically already doing direct sales.

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So, here are my 6 Steps To Becoming Your Own Boss. 

1) Dream it. If you can dream it, you can do it. Your Dream is the root of motivation. Without it you cannot be passionate nor authentic about your endeavors. If your dream is to control your own destiny and work in fashion, you can do that.

2) Research. There are tons of choices out there...which company do you feel most confident putting your name behind? Look for a company that aligns with you ~ the product style and pricepoint for sure, but also the business model, investment, business practices, mission, and overall vibe. If you aren't loving and wearing the product you're representing, then you aren't representing at all, you're just trying to sell something. 

3) Invest In Yourself. Whether creating a business from scratch, opening a franchise, or becoming a Direct Sale independent business owner, entrepreneurship requires an investment and I'm not just talking about money.
When you decide to Invest In Yourself,  your energy, intention, dazzling personality, and unique bundle of talents and skills become powerful tools to benefit your dreams and your future...not someone else's.

4) Define your success. Success is not a one-size-fits-all concept. Maybe success is simply having a way to feed your clothing habit, or earning some income for your child's lessons, or a family vacation. Maybe it's a way to connect with other women and be part of something that feels like you. Maybe it's a way to earn part-time income around your family's schedule, or a path to replacing a full time job. Recognize what your success looks like. That will help you set attainable goals. 

5) Plan it; Do it. Ok, you have the Dream, you've done the Research, you're ready to Invest In Yourself, and you know what your Success looks like...now it's time to make it happen. Set goals. Create a calendar of do-able steps to get your business launched. There will be guidance and hand holding along the way, but you are the supreme leader of your own universe.
Nothing takes the place of DOING, and no one will work harder for your success than you.

6) Have Fun & Shine. When we say, "Do What You Love" we mean it! Work should be fun...life's too short for it not to be! The fun factor is the secret sauce and it's what attracts others to you, always. Shine being in your element, helping women look and feel wonderful, and being a part of our KOKOON community! 

That's it. Those are my 6 Steps. They're simple but they work.
And I truly believe that when you allow yourself to do what you love, everything else in your life becomes more fulfilling. 

I hope you love KOKOON as much as we do!

XO, 

Laine

Fashion Friday!

If I had to pick one surprise of the season, it would be the Natalia Jumpsuit.
I mean, I LOVE it, but I was just not sure many others would. It got of to a sleepy start, so I thought we would be lucky to sell through the 50 or so units we produced. 
And then, one day...they just started selling like crazy. I don't like to bring in re-cuts anymore, but this one I thought even if it takes a while, it could still sell all fall. 
Now the recut has almost sold out before even landing in our warehouse.
Go figure.

I call it a "Forever" jumpsuit...the kind of jumpsuit you will keep and wear forever.
The crepe is a substantial fabric, the straps are adjustable, the fit is amazing, and the cropped wide leg is the pant silouette of the season.
So much love for this piece!!
 

KOKOON Natalia Jumpsuit, $158.
Small Batch, Ethically Made in the USA.
Shop HERE.

Design Challenge Reveal

That week between opening the box and having to present the results went pretty fast, and as I mentioned before, it was way more stressful than I anticipated. 

So, on April 17th we had a special Facebook Live event that featured a bunch of "Few of A Kind" special order styles and then also pieces I designed using the fabrics from the 'mystery box' of fabric. 

 By Monday afternoon I had finished ONE of the 4 design challenge pieces.

By Monday afternoon I had finished ONE of the 4 design challenge pieces.

 By Tuesday at about 4pm, we had finished the main 4 fabrics and so...what the hell, why not do something cute with the 5th fabric???

By Tuesday at about 4pm, we had finished the main 4 fabrics and so...what the hell, why not do something cute with the 5th fabric???

(Thank Goodness the video worked. The last two FB Live events we did were simply horrible video quality and we lost a lot of viewers because of it. I was really nervous and trying to be confident which you can see at the beginning of the video.)

I really loved the results, and the 'audience went wild' (muffled cheering in the background), no seriously, the reaction was so fun and it's been even more super fun to get messages and emails the last few days from people who have since watched the video wanting to order the Few Of A Kinds from the show. 

So, here it is, the FB Live Show with the Design Challenge Results plus other super limiteds and Few Of A Kinds.  

Laine reveals the results of the "mystery box" fabric challenge and many other 'Few of A kind' limited edition designs available during this Facebook Live show!

We'll be doing more FB Live shows, and many more 'Few of A Kind' designs because...a couple reasons...it's a great way to use up little bits of fabric, so it's 'sustainable' (such an abused word) but most importantly, clients love it. 
And it is actually really fun.

(please join our VIP Group! For advance notice of stuff, updates, FB Live videos, and things like that)

XO,

Laine Sou

Design Challenge!!

So..I had this bright idea that involved opening up (Live, on camera) one of our many boxes of fabric had have been stored high up in our warehouse, untouched for the past 10 years, and then making myself design stuff with whatever was inside. 
It sounded like a fun idea at the time. And actually, the idea was fun. The execution however, not so much. 
The Live un-boxing was kind of my Geraldo Rivera moment. Except I kind of cheated but not really. 
We opened the box one week before the Facebook Live event in which I was to reveal the designs with the 'challenge fabrics'. I also had a bunch of other Few Of A Kind designs I had to get ready for this same deadline.
It was also 5 days before tax day, which also happened to be my wedding anniversary, which it is every year. That's how that works. 
Here's the un-boxing:

We chose a box of fabric unopened for 10 years...tune in to next week's Facebook Live show on April 17th show to see what we make with it!!

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Needless to say, my weekend was shit. 
We got 20 inches of snow (in freaking mid-April) which I was alternately pissed off about and grateful for ~ because it was a great excuse to stay home and work. 
I honestly didn't think the design challenge would be such a big deal, but it really threw me in to a different level of stress! I didn't want to dissappoint our reps, clients, viewers...and I wanted the results to be fun and something that you all (y'all if I was Southern, which I often wish I was, even just to be able to say y'all) would be delighted with. 

OK...check the next post for the design challenge reveal!!! 

And please, join our VIP Group on FB. 

XO,

Laine
 

Client Highlight: Tricia Utley

To help celebrate #smallbusinesssaturday, KOKOON is shining a spotlight on our community of clients and sales reps who walk the walk of being a small business owner! 
As our very first feature, we're excited to introduce you to KOKOON client and Girl Boss: Tricia Utley LE and her business American Apothecary!

Not only is Tricia a fashion queen (what KOKOON customer isn't?) she is also a Certified Holistic Skin Care Specialist and Holistic Lifestyle Coach.

Her passion for skin care and holistic remedies rooted from her personal struggle with dry, sensitive skin, and hormonal acne issues. After almost 20 years of dealing with these issues, Tricia was diagnosed with Autoimmune Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. Instead of sitting back and accepting her condition, Tricia became committed to her health journey and soon found the correlation between diet, stress, toxic skincare, and environmental toxins. Tricia works in the treatment room and also is an esthetics instructor and trainer. Her knowledge includes everything from skin nutrition to medical modalities. Through Tricia's personal health struggles, she managed to find the silver lining by helping her clients achieve healthy, radiant, toned skin, as well as overall health and well-being. Her current area of study is women's hormone health and Tricia is passionate about teaching women how to live in harmony with their cycles.

Tricia says: "Skin health isn't just about beauty, it's about living a beautiful healthy life!"

Give Tricia's FB page a "Like" and if you're looking for solutions for your own skin care issues, find her American Apothecary business in New Hampshire!

 Tricia wearing KOKOON's Farrah Wrap Dress at work

Tricia wearing KOKOON's Farrah Wrap Dress at work

 Tricia in the Leo Peplum Top

Tricia in the Leo Peplum Top

 Tricia in KOKOON Otto Cigarette Pants

Tricia in KOKOON Otto Cigarette Pants

 Tricia in the Shimmie Dress and KOKOON Stylist Adria in the Reunite Dress

Tricia in the Shimmie Dress and KOKOON Stylist Adria in the Reunite Dress

Behind the Seams ~ Fall Photo Shoot

Last week's unexpectedly perfect weather mix of warm plus overcast allowed us to not only finish shooting some fall merch, but some spring styles as well! We were able to get most of it done before the sun burned away our cloud cover, then we booked it back to Melissa's studio to finish up some upcoming sale and SOTW items. 

Our new intern, Anne, joined us to do a little behind the scenes filming.
Take a peek at this fun behind the scenes look at our KOKOON photo shoot! 

Model: Ashlee

 

Facebook Live 10/10/17 Products

Peek Behind the Seams

A few more snaps of the photo shoot ~ featuring one of our new favorites, the KOKOON Hitch a Ride Pullover in Lagoon (for future release). The Celery and Navy were just introduced and these feel so amazing...the washed rib knit is spongy and really has nice substance.
From crunches to brunches, this top does it all in comfy style!

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 our adorable photographer

our adorable photographer

 outtakes from the screen of  Melissa Louise Photography

outtakes from the screen of Melissa Louise Photography

Coming soon, can't wait! 

Behind The Seams


Yesterday's photoshoot was so lucky ~ sandwiched between huge thunderstorms the night before, and even bigger ones to come later that day!
We're in love with this striped turtleneck that we just put into work.  Of course it has a "little something" to make it special, you'll just have to wait to see what it is ;-)

More sneak peek photos tomorrow! 

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The Simplest Way To Create Your Fall Capsule Wardrobe ~ And Other Fall Styling Tips

The idea of creating a capsule wardrobe may be rooted in good intentions, but the quest for freedom through wardrobe simplicity can get complicated and frustrating.
My mantra regarding a capsule wardrobe is my mantra about most things in life ~ it will reveal itself.

In this video of Bad Moms Unite ~ Back to Cool, I share my (truly) time saving trick to creating your capsule wardrobe with zero effort, answer pressing questions like, "What's the number one styling mistake that women make?", and dispense do-able tips to make the most of what you already own to help you fall in love with your wardrobe. 

To participate in all our Live interactive video events, join our KOKOON VIP Group, we would love to see you there! 

My mantra regarding creating capsule wardrobe is my mantra about many things in life ~ the answer will reveal itself to you. 

Repeat After Me. Change is Good, Change is Good, Change is Good

I attended a Fashion Group International trend event last week, and met an interesting (and very stylish) woman who asked me, given the current retail climate, what I felt the biggest challenges are and where was I spending my energy right now?  
I replied it's really two separate and completely opposite areas...on one hand you have the demands of social media and increasing online sales, and on the other you have the extremely personal part of the business with clients who seek out the personal care of their our stylists helping each one of their clients individually or at a pop up. To think one or the other is a satisfying business model is a mistake.  Women (everyone) are not one dimensional, and neither are their shopping habits. 
Social media enhances the hands-off online shopping model, but it equally enhances our clients' connection to their personal stylist and to our brand. You have to keep both plates spinning at the same time.

Which leads me to this...our first ever interactive Facebook Live shopping event,
this Tuesday, June 6th at 7 to 8 pm CST. 
Here we go...social media as driver of both hands-off online shopping and highly personal engagement between us, our clients, and our stylists.

After 29 years in business, we've adapted A LOT along the way, and we'll keep saying it...Change is Good!

So please join us Tuesday for live modeling of the Summer Solstice designs, some few-of-a-kind styles, raffles, and live purchasing! 
RSVP before Tuesday at 5pm CST to get your first raffle entry. Extra entries for inviting or tagging friends. 

RSVP HERE.
 

KOKOON ~ Behind the Seams

When I first started designing I was part of a design cooperative called Local Motion in Minneapolis. It stopped being a co-op many years ago but I still sell there, pretty much the last remaining retail relationship we have, and it has been an amazing relationship. 

And now I'm please to announce KOKOON is going to join another local Minneapolis designer collective, Showroom, on April 1st! Starting Saturday, you can find a nice selection of current styles at their Uptown Minneapolis store. Kinda back to our roots! I'm also excited because Tess' jewelry line, Belle Isle Design Co, is also there, and it's fun to do something together.

If you're in the Twin Cities, be sure to stop by and check out the local design scene! 
Showroom | 615 West Lake Street | Minneapolis

 pulling together the assortment for Showroom

pulling together the assortment for Showroom

 Inside Showroom

Inside Showroom

The studio is super busy right now, designing to fill in for spring/summer.
These florals are so fresh and I can't wait to work them up. 

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One of our most frequent requests this season has been more options in our Santa Fe blouse...a simple top, I had no idea we would blow through them so quickly. But, sometimes the simplest wardrobe solutions are the best wardrobe solutions. 

So, we sampled one in the top floral, we're calling this print the Garten of Ina ;-) 

We had a really fun photo shoot on Tuesday with a new-to-us model, Alesya, who was just a doll and so sweet!

And, tomorrow...is our last day our cutter's facility in LA. We've been there for over 15 years and a few weeks ago Emma and I went out to sort through all the fabric...what to do with it all! Our cutter is moving to a much smaller facility and can't take everything with him. 
As of this afternoon, it's all out...either moved or shipped back to Mpls, or sold..except one pallet full that I have no idea what to do with :-/.

A Chance to Win our Favorite Dress!

Our Mitzi Dress has become a favorite of our stylists and clients alike, and here is your chance to win it for yourself! 

From brunch to beach, this adorable off shoulder dress is the perfect mix of sweet and sexy (name that movie) in a pre-washed cotton seersucker mini gingham check...with pockets of course! 

We'll be counting down the days and drawing the winner on April 3rd on our KOKOON Facebook page.  

Enter to win HERE.

I'm telling you, you need this Mitzi Dress!

Be sure to enter by April 2nd and good luck!!
If you want to snag one before they're sold out, shop here ;-)

Spring 2017 Trends

Pantone may have crowned Greenery as the Color of the Year, but I beg to differ. While there are wonderful greens in the market, they are mostly in the olive/teal range. 
My guess would have been a dusty rose or pale blush. The color is everywhere right now and looks spot on. 

The first real life peek into color trends for the season happen on the Golden Globes red carpet, and it was predominantly nudes/blushes along with some excellent metallics and shiny blacks (and tons of Embroidery). There were a couple nice pops of yellow, one standout red, one gorgeous blue, and one bad green. 

Here's a look at a wider color forecast chart for spring. 

Black made a huge comeback for spring, and much of it is heavy looking. Look for feminine embroidery mixed with a hard rock n' roll edge and shine. Even Coach's ads are promoting this look. 

Navy is basically a happier Black, but Navy pops color a million times better. White, ecru, yellow, orange, pink, coral, green...all look great with Navy.

Reds, from scarlet to corals, are right on. 

I thought stripes might take a break, but they came back stronger than ever, with fresh incarnations of awning stripes and banker stripes.

One of my favorite trends is Seersucker!
I literally never thought I would say that.

There is a general trend toward a return to classic patterns, including seersucker, gingham, checks, plaids, herringbone, tulle, embroidery. 

Spring. Florals. Ya know. 

We love tie dye and the abstract, free patterns. My favorite is Tory Burch's blue and white, it almost reads like a stripe. 

Embroidery is huge this season! So many beautiful interpretations, many are being mixed with tough accessories to tone the fragility.  

Going hand in hand with the return to classics and seersucker trend, all things preppy look very fresh.

I got hooked on the Amazon series, 'Good Girls Revolt', kind of a Mad Men for girls.  The late 60's into early 70's fashion was so fun. 

Ruffles are a huge trend, but one to be worn judiciously.

I love all the neck details happening, even chokers are making a comeback. From mock-t-necks to neck ties and criss-cross details, lots of attention is being paid to the neck. 

From waist-cinching to shoulder perching and everything in between, ties are a detail you'll be seeing everywhere.

Take your pick, but just a heads up...Victoria Bekham showed ONLY midi hems for her fall 2017 collection.

Waistbands have found their way to the natural waistline...or higher.

Who What Wear declared the cropped flared pant the worst trend of 2016. Haha! Maybe that means it will be the worst trend of 2017, too. Because it continues, along with all the other cropped pant silhouettes. 

I guess women like to flash a little skin, because this trend continues and is gaining popularity.

Casual athletic influence as lifestyle is everywhere and keeps getting stronger.

So much interest happening in sleeves, from splits, to trumpets, to tiered, to cape, to balloons, to flared. 

But, the number one trend continues to be the shoulder. Cold shoulder options, one shoulder, off shoulder, cut-out, in all combinations and variations. 

What is the trend you're most excited about for spring 2017? Leave a comment, I would love to hear!

XO,

Laine Sou

Golden Globes Breast Dressed

Holy Mother of Globes!

What was the most popular color of the 2017 Golden Globes? 
Boob. The color of Boob.
Remember when JLo caused a stir with her deep plunging chiffon number? Well, that was child's play compared to last night's Red Carpet looks. 
A surprising number of starlets got the memo and followed along...even sweet little Mandy Moore!
Let's take a look at some of the best.

 Mandy Moore in Naeem Khan. Mandy managed to look sexy and sweet at the same time.

Mandy Moore in Naeem Khan. Mandy managed to look sexy and sweet at the same time.

Even though I wanted to grab Kristen's bodice by both sides and pull them together, I loved this dress so much, and she looked adorable.

 Kristen Bell in Jenny Packham. 

Kristen Bell in Jenny Packham. 

Ditto for Jessica.

 Jessica Biel in Elie Saab.

Jessica Biel in Elie Saab.

In a sea of black and shiny neutrals, this stood out. I just kept feeling nervous that those shoulder straps were going to slip off while she was presenting.

 Jessica Chastain in Prada. I loved this color and cut, the bodice just looked a bit precariously perched.

Jessica Chastain in Prada. I loved this color and cut, the bodice just looked a bit precariously perched.

It's hard not to love Emma Stone, and she managed to make a jewel-encrusted, plunge necked, backless gown look demure. 

 Emma Stone in Valentino. Emma looked lovely in this.

Emma Stone in Valentino. Emma looked lovely in this.

And Keri Russell! She rocked this dress, and it was a LOT of dress. 

 Keri Russell in J. Mendel

Keri Russell in J. Mendel

Michelle Williams was my favorite look of the night. The hair, makeup, the little black choker...she was the perfect whisper in the room. 

 Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton

Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton

Reese has rarely looked better. She shined in canary yellow. 

 Reese Witherspoon in Versace

Reese Witherspoon in Versace

Tom Ford. A man of a million talents...why wouldn't a fashion designer be nominated for a Best Director Golden Globe?
Loved the clean, strong lines on Amy.

 Amy Adams in Tom Ford

Amy Adams in Tom Ford

One of the most daring looks due to the lack of skin, shine, and embelishment.

 Evan Rachel Wood in Altuzzara custom

Evan Rachel Wood in Altuzzara custom

How perfectly cool was Millie Bobby Brown from Stranger Things?

 Millie Bobby Brown in Jenny Packham

Millie Bobby Brown in Jenny Packham

I don't think I like this dress at all, but I loved The Crown so much, and after binge watching and staring at Claire's face for hours on end, I can't help but be mesmerized. To be fair, it appear better on film as she was walking to accept her award. 

 Claire Foye in Erdem

Claire Foye in Erdem

Same story for Tracee...I was really happy for her because I love her in Blackish (although not appreciating all the in-show adver-shilling for Microsoft and Buick. Like we're stupid.) Do we love the dress? I think almost....maybe if it was floor length? Or is it the horizontal corset-ry across the lady parts that throws it off? Because if I look at the hips up, I am in love. 

 Tracee Ellis Ross in a Zuhair Murad Couture dress

Tracee Ellis Ross in a Zuhair Murad Couture dress

The length might be what throws off Kerry Washington's dress for me, too. Close up on camera this was an amazing work of art. This photo does not do it justice.

 Kerry Washington in Dolce & Gabbana

Kerry Washington in Dolce & Gabbana

The Pinks:

I gotta say, I would have rather seen wide open boobies than this mess on Felicity. The skirt is really pretty...never been a fan of the trompe l'oeil thing. 

 Felicity Jones in Gucci

Felicity Jones in Gucci

This was done right.

 Lily Collins in Zuhair Murad

Lily Collins in Zuhair Murad

That's a whole lotta pink + a whole lotta ruffle on Zoe. 

 Zoe Saldana in Gucci

Zoe Saldana in Gucci

I did not get this at all. I don't know if those are pockets or finger warmers. 

 Blake Lively in Atelier Versace

Blake Lively in Atelier Versace

I'm sorry to say this is the second time recently that SJP has been among my picks for least favorite looks. It's not terrible, it just isn't fun.

 Sarah Jessica Parker in Vera Wang

Sarah Jessica Parker in Vera Wang

I think this has to be my least favorite dress of the evening...

 Emily Ratajkowski in Reem Acra

Emily Ratajkowski in Reem Acra

Except there was this. 

 Sophie Turner

Sophie Turner

Overall, I was surprised to see SO many neutrals, shiny metallics, ivory, and black. I thought there would be a ton of color, but the bursts of color were very sporadic. 
Of course the most memorable part of the evening besides the breast parade, was Meryl Streep's Lifetime Achievement acceptance speech. 

If you have a favorite (or not so favorite) I would love to hear!

Happy Fri-Yaaayy!!

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things...Seriously, this week's KOKOON Steal is one of my all time fave's, The Miles of Smiles cardi.
Versatile? Check. Slimming? Check. Pockets? Check.
Wear it a bunch of different ways.
There's a random variety, but not many, and they won't last long.
$59 to $69 this weekend only while they last. Shop HERE.

Behind the Seams ~ New Orleans

I thought today would be the perfect day to do a Behind the Seams throwback to a photo shoot we did in New Orleans. 

I had never been to NOLA, and after Richard spent a couple days there and told me all about it, I started envisioning a photo shoot. So last spring we scheduled a tourist weekend for the two of us, then tacked on a couple extra days and flew our photographer and model down.

We were on a pretty tight budget, and we booked last minute, so we were staying in a pretty marginal AirBNB, but the location was pretty good and it was just a place to sleep so, not a big deal. I booked a different AirBNB for Melissa and Giana, in what was described as a bohemian, up and coming neighborhood, and we drove there straightaway after picking them up from the airport so they could get ready to shoot. 

Just a word of advice. if you are looking to book a place to stay, 'bohemian' and 'up and coming' are code words for the hood. 

This was kitty corner from their place:

Seriously. And there were roosters randomly wandering the streets. 

I was pretty mortified. 
The AirBNB I chose for them was very highly rated and the host was considered a 'super host' and had raving reviews. She was a super interesting gal, and her home ended up being appealingly eclectic/kitschy. The first thing I saw when we entered the house were these awesome stairs.

The next morning I asked if we could do some photography in her house and she didn't mind. 

I loved her old school kitchen, where she had dozens of fresh eggs available for guests and she had made freshly baked bread and delicious, homemade apple butter! 

She informed us that she used to be a model also. 
She did fetish modeling for 10 years.

She told us about Hurricane Katrina, and showed us photos of the back of her house that went missing during the storm, showed us an entire photo album of the re-building process. I couldn't help but want to capture the authentic kitchy-ness. These weren't decorations, this was her home, her life. This was in March. 

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NOLA AirBNB coral tunic.jpg

After we left the AirBNB, we had a long day photographing all over the city, and ended it in a cemetery before we rushed to the airport. 

Richard and I had scouted this cemetery over the weekend and fell in love with it.

What ended up being so cool was seeing the cemetery transform in the camera into the perfect ambiguous neutral backdrop. 

Photo credit to our awesome photographer! Melissa Louise Photography Minneapolis. 

Hope you all have a Happy Halloween!

XO, 

Laine Sou

What To Wear Wednesday

This is my FAVORITE top of the season ~ The Tempest Tee.
I love the varying ribbed textures in the fabric, but I'm absolutely smitten with the slashed-sleeve detail. Its not often you find a sexy tee that's also warm (extra points!). I'm even further in love when this top is paired with the Verona Skirt, which is the perfect balance of sexy and sweet.

You can definitely wear either piece with many options in your closet to create different looks. I would also throw on a down vest over this top to show off the sleeves and still be warm enough for all my casual daytime commitments. 
Both the top and skirt are available in limited quantities online at KOKOON, or thru a KOKOON Stylist. 

Please forgive the shameless plug!

XO,

Laine Sou
 

A Little KIS for You

At long last, we are about to launch our active wear capsule.

Dik-San has been asking me to do this for years. I've always resisted just because my plate is so full designing KOKOON.
But, here we are.
My philosophy has become, "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em." I may not be able to get you to wear a dress everyday, but if you're going to live in your workout clothes, maybe I can help in my small KOKOON way.

So, I introduce to you, KOKOON Inspired Sweat. KIS for short.

We're starting with a small capsule collection, basically a beta test, and we will build from there. Here's a sneak peek.

Of course, it's all about leggings. 
It's not like I'm workout obsessed, but I've tried my fair share of different brands as I'm sure you have also. 

I like a pair of Athleta just fine, was not impressed with Fablethics (they just sit in a drawer) wont do Lulu (for a number of reasons, and I gave mine away) my favorite fit is from Nike, but even those I just wish were a bit different.
So, like most things, I started with what I wish for.
1) A higher waist. I'm always pulling up to hide my muffin but then have to pull back down to avoid camel toe. Such an annoying dilemma!! 
2) A waist elastic that STAYS PUT. Just STAY where you're supposed to stay!!
3) MORE compression! I want those leggings to SQUEEZE my thighs!!
4) Please tell me I'm not the only one whose thighs rub together. That 'flat seaming' that decorates the seams of most (all) active wear...because my thighs rub together, the thread wears out before the fabric does. So I skipped it. I also like the leggings looking like street wear and not from the gym (KOKOON Inspired Sweat...it means something).
 

These (above) are the Erin Leggings. They were our bestselling cropped leggings for KOKOON, and in this fabric they are AMAZING.

We're going with the mantra, "Looks Funny, Fits Great!" 
Because they do really look funny ~ all wrinkly and puckered...until you put them on and then they are smooth and sleek and feel AWESOME. 

The material is a quick dry, anti-microbial, true performance fabric.
The day we made the first test sample I wore them to a Core Power Yoga Sculpt class (basically hot yoga with weights and cardio), the kind of class where you come out SOPPING wet, which I definitely was. Dik-San was playing tennis across the U of M campus so I walked the 8 minutes to meet him and my leggings were literally DRY by the time I got there (there was admittedly a lovely breeze outside at the time, but still.)

This was our first 'road test', and during class I noticed the fabric was sagging a bit in my crotch area, and so the next day at work I asked Emma to try them on (I'm an XS, she's a S) and she loved how they felt, so I gave them to her and she wore them to roller derby practice that night. (i forgot to tell her I had worn them and not washed them, but they seriously smelled terrific!) Emma reported back that they were the BEST fitting spandex she had ever worn and didn't have to pull them up once during practice. Her boyfriend saw them and said he wanted a pair!

So, I guess to me that meant we had the green light to start an active wear line. 

Next, we took our all time bestselling Peggy Flegging and tried it in this fabric.
Why is it so popular? 
The fold-over tummy panel...it just gets you hooked. I like it folded over, some people like to wear it up as a torso slimmer.
Adjust according to your preference.
 

Workout tops are always a challenge. I like a coverage, ya know? I also do not know a single woman who can workout without wearing a bra under their tank, so I don't really see the point of a built-in shelf bra. Even if you're flat chested like me they are just inadequate. I'd like something cute that I can wear with my favorite sports bra, and I would be happy to have something that covers the lady parts.

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And most of all (not most of all, because the leggings are most of all) but really, the biggest non-performance challenge, the 'how we really live life' challenge, is how do we dress to and from the gym? The other 80% of the day?

Already I see crossover from KOKOON to KOKOON Inspired Sweat. 
At the July meeting the discussion inevitably turned to "can you put that into KIS?" and "I would wear that after working out to meet a friend for coffee".

This is a mesh version of the Figlio Pullover, a new bestselling body for KOKOON early fall. 
It works perfectly as a 'skimmer' over your workout clothes, but I know we'll all be wearing it out with jeans as well. 

I love the idea of 'skimmers' by the way. Pieces that skim over your body, either for working out or for transit.

As we grow, the technical side will evolve, but the lifestyle portion will really grow. And that makes perfect sense because that's what KOKOON has always been ~ casual, feminine, active, modern lifestyle.

Anyway, I hope you will love it as much as we do! 
KIS launches September 6th. Stay tuned for more in the near future.

XO,

Laine Sou

Trends My Friends! Fall/Winter 2016

It's always so fun to see what's IN and what's OUT for the upcoming season. 
The thing is, not much is out...everything just keeps rolling forward and women are not quick to be dictated to and not likely to give up their favorite items simply because the powers that be proclaim it so.
Choice is power.
Even the ultra feminine exudes strength, not vulnerability.  
Viva the age of #girlbosses.
The attitude has latitude, yo. 

The color stories this season offer a new perspective. How exciting to see pinks and blues alongside traditional fall colors! That feels powerful to me...like a freedom that has not existed before. Once women shed the notion that they could wear white jeans only in the summer, it was inevitably going to lead to all sorts of color anarchy. 

Every hue of Blue.

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I've always loved Mustard and Gold, and I think they are among the most versatile of colors and I often view them as a neutral that unexpectedly compliments so many colors. 

 

Talk about the ultimate power color...From Ruby to Tomato to rich Burgundies, Reds are being embraced by every woman. 

Green is the color of calm. It's also the color of combat. And envy. Go figure. 

Eeeeekkkkk!!! Can it finally be time for Pink to make it's long awaited comeback? I hope so. I think so. So much love being thrown this way. 

What's color without a straight man? Neutrals prevail in mostly Greys and Beig-ey Taupes this season. 

White is Right. Right on. 

When you wake up to freezing temperatures it's so easy to get all wrapped up in safe colors...try these combos and you'll give yourself and your spectators a happy boost! 

Luxe abounds with rich velvets, brocades, & jacquards. Downton Abbey's influence is alive and well.

Favorite!!! Knits...Rib knits....I'm obsessed!!!! So, so good. I mean, it's really impossible to survive winter without knits, and rib knits have an innately very forgiving quality. This season the rib knits rule.

Life is better with balance, and sheer elements are a foil to all the heaviness of fall textures.

Denim and Chambray take on new vibes with patchwork and a distinctly 70's influence. If I should come home with something acid-washed, I trust you will save me from myself. I'll do the same for you.

Leather and Suede is everywhere this fall. Loving the retro patchwork & modern trims! 

Yes! Exaggerated everything. Be it color or shape, this is the most interesting fur (faux over here) has been in a long time! 

Designers get creative with quilted textures and bring puff daddy coats to a whole new level. 

Metallic, The other neutral. Shine makes some star appearances. 

Plaid isn't just for grunge anymore. 

Tie Dye is always a crowd favorite, and the 70's influence is just fuel for the fire.

My other favorite...Houndstooth!! In all its incarnations...this feels the freshest and most exciting to me.

Animal prints shift back to favor Leopard prints, which is always welcome. Just ask Mrs. Robinson.

Love children, unite! And meet me at Coachella. 

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Good fabric draping is a supremely feminine trick. 

Pleating, razor pleating, ruffles, all making a huge comeback.

What looks sporty, tough, sexy, sophisticated, and even sweet, all at the same time? Yup. 

And the most popular cut out concept right now across the board is the cold shoulder. It prevails as the most recognizable trend out there. 

Turtlenecks are at once sexy, demure, conservative, and did I mention sexy? I want one, or three, don't you?

You know I love ties...be it a waist tie, a neck tie, a sleeve tie...

Peplums are BACK...with a vengeance!

Hemlines short? Long? Why decide when you can have the best of both worlds?

And I have a long love affair with midi lengths. I personally feel they are extremely sexy. I hope everyone else is with me. 

I never thought I would embrace cropped pants...then I became obsessed. 

Jumpsuits keep on truckin'.

Loving cape-let shoulders and capes!

Well, there's a way to make this trend cute....

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Biker chic is everywhere. Even in the gym with moto inspired workout wear turned to street wear. And it's not going away anytime soon.

And really, I feel this is the biggest trend of all...Tough Mother...reflecting a growing cultural mindset of girl bosses, Game of Thrones house leaders, fierce maternal instincts, and all around strong female role models everywhere you turn. 

I take it back...THIS is the biggest trend of all...

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. 
Stay tuned for the next incarnation of KOKOON.
KOKOON Inspired Sweat. 

XO,

Laine