Kick it up a notch: All kinds of good things are afoot for the footwear-obsessed this Spring. DIANI Shoes (1324 State St., Arlington Plaza) is hosting its fourth annual soles4souls shoe drive. From now till the end of the month, stop by to donate new or gently worn flat-soled shoes for men, women, or children, which will be shipped to impoverished communities around the world. And don’t forget to shop while you’re there: donors score a 10-percent thank-you discount on whatever they buy the day they donate. … For those whose style leans more downtown, check out InSoul (909 State St.), where they’re busy spring cleaning their inventory, built mainly of stylized streetwear and classic sport-inspired brands with a decent-sized side of quality Italian leather à la Wolverine’s 1000 Mile Vintage Boot Collection to … boot. Ahem. Right now, they’re rocking a Buy One, Get One Free sale going on now through May 31, as well as clearance markdowns of up to 75 percent off.
Luxe Lullaby: For stylephiles who double as mommies and daddies, there’s a new space in Summerland that offers plenty in the way of coos and awwws. After recently consolidating Botanik’s separate garden and home stores into one, proprietor Erin Taylor has turned the space at 2325 Lillie Avenue into a fairytale-inspired baby and toddler boutique. The result, dubbed Amelia Jane, has taken shape in a remodeled 1910 Victorian, in which each room tells a different story—or nursery rhyme, as the case may be. Check it out this Sunday from noon-4 p.m. at the grand opening “Old-Time Country Fair,” where the furniture, bedding, and toys will be accompanied by a lemonade stand, sidewalk chalk, balloons, and a petting zoo—with goats! (Cue those awwws.)
Spotlight On: Adesso
Santa Barbara jewelry designer Samantha Goldstone is exploding onto the scene, and, like her beautiful, conversation-starting pieces themselves, she comes with one hell of a story. Raised in Beverly Hills, Goldstone earned her BA in American History and African Studies from Tufts, a Masters in International Relations from Johns Hopkins—and some Julia Child-flavored cred at New York’s institute for Culinary Education. She bounced from fashion marketing in L.A. to a slow food program in Harlem to a think tank in D.C., with a couple of stints in Italy thrown in for good measure, and moved to Santa Barbara a couple of years ago, when she was 7 ½ months pregnant.
But it hasn’t been all eat, pray, loveliness: Her life has been a staggering mix of darkness and light, and Goldstone is profoundly open about her battles. She faced thyroid cancer at the age of 21; several years later tested positive for the BRCA1 genetic mutation; and then, at age 33, given her own history and her family’s history of breast cancer, elected to have a preventative double mastectomy. (In fact, “Adesso,” Italian for “in the moment,” sums up what Goldstone says all of this has taught her that a willingness to be in the moment—even if that particular moment happens to suck—is the most direct route to physical, emotional, and mental healing.)
Throughout it all, jewelry-making was a constant, but she only recently decided to make a serious go of it. And her work is as distinctive and eclectic as her life. A striking mix of bohemian and luxe, her limited-edition pieces bring together vintage glass and ethnic beads, semiprecious and precious stones, antique and modern metals, and one-of-a-kind charms, all of which she meticulously sources from every corner of the world (though she’s yet to venture into one New York supplier’s garage, despite frequent invitations).
Having come through so much, she’s committed to incorporating philanthropy into her work, and has designed charity collections to benefit the Dream Foundation, the Butterfly Project, and the Tribal Trust Foundation. Find her current collection at Angel in Montecito, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and online at her Web site adessoshop.com. Look for her Fall line at Wendy Foster State Street.
Shop This: American Apparel
Love it, hate it, or love to talk shit about it, American Apparel has become an American institution, where style is served with a delicious side of scandal. (And if the details of the scandals elude you, go directly to Google. Do not pass go, do not collect $200 … but you might want to make yourself a snack and get comfy. You’ll be reading for a while.) Whether you’re in the market for a basic staple or a gold lamé bodysuit—or you’re the sort who considers a gold lamé bodysuit a staple—AA’s got you (and your Roller Girl alter-ego) covered. And this weekend, the brand’s rummage sale tour makes a stop in S.B. Prices start at $1 (yes, you read that right), and discounts run as high (insert additional Boogie Nights reference here) as 85 percent off. The affair goes down this Saturday and Sunday at the old Von’s Parking Lot (the corner of Chapala and Victoria sts.), 10 a.m.-8 p.m. both days. Is it just me, or is anyone else feeling nostalgic for Solid Gold?