Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Introducing Maya Gorgoni of Royal Jelly Harlem, as seen on Fashion Hunters

I was beyond excited and glued to the TV while watching Fashion Hunters one episode because of a consigner, Maya Gorgoni who walked in wearing a dress that I knew I had to have.  I of course decided to do some research to find out who she was so I could ask this fashionista who her dress was by.  Was I amazed when I found out that she designed the amazing dress that had a 50's silhouette and African print!  I decided that there wasn't enough out there about her and her line and I had to share what I could find out because I knew all of you would love her style as much as I do:)  Here is a glimpse into the up and coming line I know we will be seeing of everywhere.  I love getting into a creative person's mind...so inspiring!  Makes the pieces you buy even more amazing.  P.S., I can see Solange Knowles and Tracee Ellis Ross rocking these designs for sure!

1.  How did you get onto Fashion Hunters?  (I'm always curious how people get onto shows like this...so, I thought I'd find out...in case anyone was wondering why I asked:)
1   A good friend/fashionista referred me to ‘Fashion Hunters’.  I spoke with the shows producers and told them I had two great vintage pieces w/ great stories behind them. One was a YSL and the other a Valentino. They chose the “Valentino” anecdote.

2.  I LOVED your dress on the show, where is it sold and for how much?  (Where can the rest of the line be purchased as well:)

1   The dress you LOVED (as seen here, if you missed the episode) is called: ‘Paloma’! It is currently available through our bespoke, made to order Soho Showroom. The other dress worn on ‘Fashion Hunters’ is called the ‘Lola’ and she too is made to order. Paloma retails for $375 and Lola retails for $295.  The rest of the RJH line includes Men’s and Women’s clothing, Home Décor and accessories.  Beginning mid January, four pieces from the line will be sold exclusively in Japan at SHIPS department stores nationwide.
These are:
·      Women’s ‘Pencil’ skirt

·      Women’s ‘Maxi Angeline’ dress

·      Women’s ‘Jet-Set’ pants
I'm in LOVE!!!

3.  How would you describe the rest of your line?
1   Royal Jelly Harlem has been strongly influenced by the silhouettes of the 1950’s and 1960’s combined with African print. This retro-fit in my opinion was and still is the best (I totally agree!) fit for Women of all shapes and sizes, but specifically those of us with curves ;)

4.  Where can people purchase your designs?
1   Contact us at: www.royaljellyharlem.com for further information on custom bespoke orders and to make an appointment at our Soho Showroom.

5.  How did you get into designing clothing?
      RJH was conceived in February of 2011.  After a trip to Harbor Island, Bahamas with my Mother, I decided it was time to start it up after getting approached by ‘Sip Sip’ restaurant and boutique owner, Julie Lightbourn. Her interest in one of my dresses turned into my first order. She loved it so much she ordered 48 pieces while I was on vacation! The Men’s ‘Tam-Tam’ board shorts soon followed. 
My Mom used to own a boutique called ‘This Time Around’, located on the campus of Fashion Institute of Technology. I grew up around Fashion and Art, having been amongst the first generation of kids born in to the new and emerging Art Community of what is now known as Soho. I love fashion and consider myself a Fashionista—I have spent a small fortune on fashion to date! It just makes sense for me to parlay my Passion for Fashion and put my own spin on it.  (And, I'm glad you are!:)

6.  How would you describe your style?
1   From high to low price points: YSL, Ferragamo, Prada, Hermes, Dries Van Noten and Thakoon, Jimmy Choo, and Louboutin to J.Crew, Zara, H&M,  Forever 21 and Converse!  Best worn in a choreographed ensemble!

7.  How would you describe you line?
      Fearless, Forward-thinking and Fabulous are a few adjectives to explain RJH! Our line is for Men and Women who consider Boldness a Virtue J

8.  How did you come up with the name, Royal Jelly Harlem?
1   Royal Jelly Harlem stems from a childhood nickname “Bee” from the international cartoon “Maya the Bee”.  Below read the scientific definition:           

‘Royal Jelly is a secretion made by the glands of honeybees and feed to all bee larvae for the first three days of life. This rich concentrated jelly continues to be fed to the ‘chosen’ Queen Bees which as a result make her  fertile. It is also good for humans, very high in B-complex vitamins.

The Harlem reference comes from my current neighborhood, home for the last two years after my year abroad in Rome, Italy in 2009It is in Harlem where I found my creativity, starting with curating culinary dinner events before realizing it was all about Fashion and African inspired clothing that made me happiest. The one-of-a-kind pieces and items are inspired by the incredible artistry of each individual print.  All of our clothes are proudly made in the USA.
I practice Green living and after learning some years back about the vanishing Honey Bees in North America, I wanted to draw attention to this.  I’m concerned that we’re going to lose these beautiful producers of Earth’s most perfect food.

9.  What should all fashionalities (fashionistas) have in their closet?
1   All Fashionistas should have in their closet any one of our top pieces: The ‘Bee’, ‘Lola’, or ‘Paloma’. The ‘Tam-Tam’ board shorts or ‘PJ/Palazzo’ pants are HOT for Men too!

10.  What is your rule to fashion?
1  I believe in building a wardrobe through investing in good classics, whether vintage or contemporary, good fabrics/textiles and great workmanship. I love mixing period pieces with current must-haves. A color palette that makes an impact both visually and emotionally, and comfort when possible.

11.  What inspires you?
I love to travel! Meeting people from all cultures, tasting new foods, learning new languages---so I’m very much influenced and inspired by my environment. I’ve been to Africa four times since my first trip in 2006! I Wish I could visit a new African country every year J Also, I still need to do a tour of Asia.  I like mixing it up, it’s a lot more fun!     
12.  What are your favorite magazines, blogs, sites?
1   Some favs in no specific order: Vogue, Bazaar, Allure, Town and Country, WSJ magazine, Time, Vanity Fair, People and US Weekly. I’m new to Twitter and don’t really follow any other Bloggers but LOVE Urbandaddy.

13.  Which celeb or fashion star would you LOVE to be wearing your designs?
All of Hollywood, Bollywood and Fashionistas Worldwide!

14.  What can we expect from Royal Jelly Harlem in the near future?  (Is anything exciting happening soon?)
1   We’re adding accessories, like clutches and bags with exotic skins (ostrich, lizard, snake, chamois) all embellished with African prints. Expanding our current Home Décor line of Duvet covers and shams, place mats/napkins, pillows, shower curtains with reupholstered vintage and antiques pieces in African fabrics as well as Woodin.  (I'm so excited and can't wait to see what happens!  Good luck!!)

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