Au Courant:

REBIRTH, RELIEF, AND EYE SHADOW: Imagine their surprise over at Direct Relief International, when, apropos of nothing, the S.B. nonprofit received a call from mineral makeup company/QVC darlings Bare Escentuals, saying it had been decided by online fan decree that DRI would be a beneficiary of Bare Escentuals’ BE Cares philanthropy program. (Truthfully, DRI PR guy Jim Prosser had no idea whom he was dealing with; upon sharing the news with his female coworkers-and his mom-he was duly enlightened, and appropriately stoked.) For every purchase of “Rebirth” eye color, a smoky, iridescent, denim shade created by BE customers, now through April 27, 100 percent of the net proceeds will be donated to DRI. Not only that, but an additional 50 percent match will be donated by Leslie Blodgett, CEO of Bare Escentuals. To buy, visit

FISHING (AND HORNY) FOR COMPLIMENTS: It’s not that outdoor-to-indoor, fun-to-functional clothing company Horny Toad ( thinks men are incapable of dressing themselves, it’s more that : well, that they just need a little encouragement sometimes. Ergo, the (likely female) minds there have hatched a genius plot. Called the “Get Noticed Guarantee,” the deal works like this: Wear any Horny Toad item three times without getting a compliment, and they’ll take it back, no questions asked. But, with cool, new organic tees, sweat-wicking trail shorts, the perfect morning-after cashmoore “Hangover Pant,” and no-iron-needed collared shirts, I’m pretty sure they’re not going to have many takers.

MAKING IT WORK: Strolling past the storefronts these days, one could certainly be forgiven for thinking that State Street is growing increasingly to resemble Anywhere, USA. A sad fact that makes this little tidbit so exciting to those of us yearning for a little more diversity in our credit card statements: Independent mom-and-pop-owned shop k.frank (1023 State St.) is celebrating its one-year anniversary this month, and, in true stylephile fashion, they’re celebrating with oodles of new spring collections. Stop in to check out what’s new and fabulous from Elijah, Smythe, Rebecca Taylor, Etro, Relwen, and Agave, and congratulate Katie and Kevin on their well-earned success.


Woe be the expectant stylephile: You don’t want to surrender your sense of style along with your waist, and yet, it seems such a waste to fork over the cash for designer duds that are destined to become anything but oft-worn, old-reliable investment pieces (unless, of course, you plan on spending enough time pregnant that, one day, you’ll be able to field a baseball team with your brood). Such was the dilemma that faced Kristina McKean, now a mother of two. Actually, McKean, a former product development designer for The Gap, wasn’t about to forego her fabulous sense of style, but, once her kids were born, she was left with a lot of great clothes she knew she’d never wear again. “I thought, it’d be great to sell these clothes, so I went on eBay, but was really overwhelmed by the inventory,” she recalled. And since Santa Barbara doesn’t have a maternity consignment shop, necessity became the mother of this mother’s invention. Called, her site is devoted to designer maternity wear, and invites moms and moms-to-be to list their garments and name their prices. McKean collects 15 percent of the transactions and has plenty of fun perusing the goods, like Isabella Oliver dresses and Citizens of Humanity jeans-although whether she’ll come across a frock so fabulous it makes her wish she were pregnant again remains to be seen.

Shop this:

Summer’s coming, and smart stylephiles are misbehavin’: which is to say, Miss Behavin (6551 Trigo Rd.) has tons of new inventory-bikinis by Salt Swimwear and Birdie Jo, Bunny Jackson dresses, retro terry shorts from US Rags, tops by Sky Luxury-and a killer deal. Now through the end of the month, any purchase of $40 or more scores you a free pair of sunglasses. : Stop by Bee’s Wing Arts (3001 State St.) any time through next Thursday to score 40 percent off all Maruca handbags. Here’s a tip: The sale just started today, so methinks now’s the time if you want lots of choices. And, while I’m at it, here’s another tip: While you’re there, check out the cute new line of fabric bags from Sl¡inte, perfect for carrying everything from your laptop to your yoga mat. : With the warmer temps and longer days, fall may be the last thing on your mind, but at DIANI Shoes (1324 State St.), it can be the first thing on your feet-at a serious discount: All Fall ’07 footwear is 50 percent off. Hello!

Check Out: Zuzu Clothing

Launched in December as an offshoot of her graphic design business, Josephine Tournier Ingram’s Zuzu Clothing ( is all about being cool, comfy, and conscious. So far, the line consists of one collection, but the sweaty, skin-baring days of summer are coming, and Tournier Ingram’s hard at work finishing the next one. Here are three reasons you should look forward to checking it out.

1) Tournier Ingram’s design chops, honed during her years as a graphic designer for Skate One and perfected doing the graphics for her sister’s London-based shoe company, ensure that Zuzu’s silkscreening and embroidery strike an ideal mix of style and edge.

2) Tournier Ingram is devoted to keeping Zuzu’s carbon footprint petite: The graphics are created and printed locally, and the duds are manufactured without the use of sweatshops-in the U.S. or overseas. And the fabrics are eco-friendly, using a mix of organic cotton and recycled poly-fiber, which is made from such unlikely suspects as disposable food containers and water bottles.

3) The name, which was inspired by George Bailey’s daughter, Zuzu, who delivers the most tear-jerking of lines in It’s a Wonderful Life. “Look Daddy,” : I dare you to finish it without going for the Kleenex. Adorable bibs and kimonos for the kiddies, Skateful Dead tees and hats for the skaters, and dresses, tees, and Feisty Swimwear’s quintessentially cool bikinis for the ladies (and the men who love them).


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