Au Courant

LABEL LUST: Susan Pitcher and company are at it again. At dressed (1253 Coast Village Rd.), you’ll find Missoni’s spring collection and Lanvin accessories, and at ready (1253 Coast Village Rd.), look for spring lines from Anna Sui and Helmut Lang. And being tied to your desk is no longer a legit excuse for sporting sweats: Recently launched is bringing high fashion to a desktop near you. Not to be outdone, Wendy Foster State Street (833 State St.) welcomes buyer Jenna Palmer, who’s snagged some great new lines for the shop, including Hazel Brown, Stephenson, Organic, and Tony Cohen-recently featured in Lucky magazine.

THE BIRDS AND THE BEES: Blue Bee (or should we call it Blue Bunny?) has reproduced yet again and will welcome Blue Bee Luxury (1100 State St.) to its ever-expanding brood; Saturday’s official grand opening will include food and drink (nothing like a little buzz to loosen a shopper’s grip on her checkbook). BBLux will offer must-haves from the likes of Marc Jacobs, Dolce & Gabbana, Paul Smith, McQ by Alexander McQueen, Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti, Rogan, and Michael Kors.

BEAUTY JUNKIES GET THEIR FIX: The highly anticipated MAC Cosmetics shop has opened its doors at 716 State Street. But this is one makeup company that’s more than just a pretty face: MAC is known for being socially responsible, favoring such causes as recycling and cruelty-free testing. And Aqua Nail Bar (3457 State St.), which prides itself on its meticulous (dare I say “anal”? I do, but I mean it in the best possible way) attention to hygienic practices, is now offering private mani-pedi parties-the perfect idea for bachelorette parties, preparty primping, or a testosterone-free group gab-fest.

The Great Outdoors: Santa Barbara Outfitters

(1200 State St.) is busily gearing up for spring, stocking its shelves with warm-weather wear from local outdoor outfitters like Horny Toad and Simple Shoes, among others. And you know what that means: Now’s the time to grab some great deals on winter wear : assuming winter still exists, somewhere.


For the foot fetishist in all of us: Caroline Diani, of DIANI and DIANI Essentials fame, has really outdone herself this time. How, you ask? Shoes.

Mention shoe shopping to any stylephile in your life, and watch her eyes go dreamy. Diani is no exception, of course; she’s had the space DIANI Shoes occupies since November of last year, but waited until everything was just so before opening her doors March 3. The woman is no stranger to style: Her twin Arlington Plaza shops have kept Santa Barbara’s fashion fanatics looking good for years, but, recently, she noticed a huge void in the form of a footwear boutique and set her sights on filling it. And she has done so, finally, fabulously, and with her signature attention to style.

The shop, also located in Arlington Plaza (1324 State St., Ste. H), boasts a beautiful, beach-inspired interior with a touch of Moroccan flair, and, at the moment, high-fashion shoes for spring and summer from 14 of the most talented footwear designers around, including Pedro Garc-a, NCD, DusicaDusica, Tracy Reese (check the amazing zebra pumps), French Sole, Chloe, Gwendolyn Carrie, and Tashkent-a current darling of mags In Style and Lucky.

Yes, shoes are the ultimate accessory, and though DIANI Shoes has been a long time in coming, it was most definitely worth the wait.

Shop this: Punch Interieur

(4950 Carpinteria Ave., Carpinteria) will host a Paris Flea Market Day on Saturday, March 24 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Stop by to check out vintage and antique furniture, jewelry, clothing, home decor items, and lots of other treasures from many of Carp’s best antique stores and dealers, all at flea market prices. Look for the black-and-white striped awning and the Eiffel Tower (seriously). [UPDATE: Punch has since moved to 1223 State Street in downtown Santa Barbara.]: On Saturday, March 17 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., shop for a cause-or six of them, to be exact: Saks Fifth Avenue (1001 State St.) is teaming up with six local charities for Saks’ annual Charity Day, during which Saks will donate 5 percent of all sales to the designated charities. Shop while enjoying entertainment and refreshments, and then temper your credit-card-bill blues with the knowledge those fabulous new Louboutins are hooking up more than just your tootsies. : SBMA’s Gift Shop (1130 State St.) will play host to once-local sculptor and jewelry designer Somers Randolph during a trunk show on Saturday, March 24 from noon-5 p.m., which will feature the artist alongside the gift shop’s collection of his sculpture-inspired wearables. : Local designing duo Kara Smith and Nina Firestone will host a trunk show at Karanina’s corporate headquarters (in Goleta at 5324 Ekwill St.) on Saturday, March 31, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Meet the designers while enjoying champagne, appetizers, music, and shopping for samples from Karanina and Tamsen.

Check Out: Simple Shoes

Simple Shoes (, S.B. Outfitters, S.B. Running, Outfooters, and Hempwise) has been “getting in touch with its inner hippie” as of late, and while, of course, their shoes are nothing if not cool, comfy, and stylish, we found three other reasons to love S.B.’s favorite “nice little shoe company.”

1) Their commitment to making their products 100 percent sustainable and their user-friendly “Green Toe” rating system, which makes green shopping as easy as 1-2-3: a ranking of good, better, or best indicates exactly how sustainable that adorable pair of kicks is.

2) Their clever use of recycled car tires for the bottoms of many of their shoes, sustainable materials like jute, hemp, cork, straw, latex, bamboo, and water-based glues, and the biodegradable, cornstarch-based bags in which they ship their fabulous flip-flops.

3) Their classic tees sporting genius slogans like “When in doubt, go to the bathroom,” the naming conventions used for their bags (the Feedbag, the Combover, and the Hangover), and their well-documented fondness for VW buses.


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