Designer Highlight: Simply Wynn Custom Clothiers

  Our designer of the week goes to Simply Wynn Custom Clothiers.  Mr.  and Mrs. Burford, the dynamic duo of Simply Wynn Custom Clothiers, has fashion in their blood. Influenced by their grandmothers’ sense of style, it has helped shaped who they are today. Serving in the United States Air Force heightened their sense of self image and attention to detail; two elements that are vital to customer clothiers. Their background in Business Entrepreneurship and Fashion Marketing and Merchandising was the perfect combination to their passion, knowledge and vision to life.

Always striving to make their clients feel comfortable, clients will work with a personal consultant in the privacy of their own home, office, or location that is most convenient. The consultants will  showcase fabric swatches and design a wardrobe that fits you and your lifestyle. Simply Wynn Custom Clothiers believe the way you dress influences the way you feel.

Besides designing a wardrobe specifically for you, Lauren Burford will also organize your closet, update your seasonal wardrobe, and provide a style makeover.

Just like they served their country, they also support several charities: Mending the Gap Inc., Pearl School of Modeling, National Association of Foster Youth Inc., True Lee Hope Restoration, and MTS Sickle Cell Foundation.

They provide special pricing to those who have served and are serving in the Military.

Follow them on Instagram: @simply_wynn_custom_clothiers or visit their site:

Photo credit: https;//
Contributing Writer: Gail Preddy, Secretary of the Pearls




Model Highlight: All Breast Cancer Heroes

Our Model Highlight goes to all Breast Cancer Heroes

This month we celebrate National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) more than 276,000 women get breast cancer annually and 1 out of every 100 breast cancers diagnosed in the U.S. is found in a man.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women. Supermodels like Naomi Sims and Janice Dickinson (pictured below) battled the disease. To date, there is no known cause of breast cancer however there are numerous risk factors to include: age, gender, race, family history and genetic factors, diet, and lack of physical activity to name a few. 

2020 has been a powerful reminder of just how important it is to take care of one’s own health. I implore everyone to  educate themselves about breast cancer. “The best protection is early detection”-National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.

To find out more about breast cancer visit: The Mayo Clinic

Photo Credit: People, Getty Images, InStyle
Contributing Writer: Lauren Burford, VP of the Pearls

Designer Highlight: Vera Wang

Designer of the Week-Vera Wang

Our designer of the week goes to Vera Wang. Who hasn’t heard of a Vera Wang wedding gown? Born and raised in New York City, and of Chinese descent, her parents were born in China and came to the United States in the 1940’s. She earned a degree in Art History from Sarah Lawrence College. Before that she began figure skating at the age of eight and competed in the 1968 US Figure Skating Championships. She was featured in Sports Illustrated Faces In The Crowd in January 9, 1968. When she failed to make the US Olympics team, she entered the fashion industry.

After graduation from Sarah Lawrence College, Wang was hired to be an editor at Vogue (she was the youngest editor at Vogue). She was there for 17 years. She left in 1987 to join Ralph Lauren for two years. At 40, she resigned to become an independent bridal wear designer. The rest is history! Besides her bridal gowns, Wang has designed costumes for figure skaters including Nancy Kerrigan, and Michelle Kwan, to name a few. Wang was inducted in the the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2009 for her contribution to the sport as a costume designer.

Many celebrities have worn her gowns on the red carper from Viola Davis to Sophia Vergara. Vera Wang has been recognized by many including the Andre Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2006 and was awarded the Council of Fashion Designers of America Lifetime Award in 2013. What a long and magnificent career she has had and continues to have.

Follow her on IG@: verawanggang

Contributing Writer: Gail Preddy, Secretary of the Pearls

Photo Credit: and

Model Highlight: Alton Mason

Our model highlight goes to Alton Mason!  This fresh, 22 year old model, was named Australia’s male model of the year in 2019. How was he discovered you ask? On Instagram! He did not aspire to be a model, he dreamed of being a dancer. He was scouted on Instagram while dance for choreographer, Laurieann Gibson! Mason has danced on the BET awards for some legendary artists.

In 2016, rapper/designer Kanye West afforded Mason the opportunity to walk in New York Fashion Week to present his Yeezy Season 3 collection. In May 2017, Gucci selected Mason to present its 2018 Gucci cruise collection. According to Mason, “I’ve made many sacrifices to be where I am in my career. The highlight thus far would have to be the Gucci campaign. My little brothers and sisters are proud to know that I had a hand in a masterpiece that projected acknowledgement, inclusion, and diversity.” Another turning point in Mason’s career was the Chanel Métiers d’Art collection unveiling at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Mason was the first black male to grace the runway for Chanel!

Even with all of his accomplishments, the coronavirus pandemic shaped Mason’s outlook on life. He said he is grateful to be with his family, and that his outlook on unconditional love and unity has heightened. His family keeps him inspired and motivated to be his best self. 

This young model seems to be a grounded, well-rounded individual with a flourishing career and a bright future ahead of him.

Follow him on Instagram: @altonmason

Photo Credit: Nicola Formichetti-IMG Models, Hunger TV
Contributing Writer: Lauren Burford, VP of the Pearls

Designer Highlight: Galatea Berger

Galatea Designs

Our designer of the week goes to Galatea Berger. What’s in a name ? This is the real name of the magnificent jeweler Galatea Berger but you probably don’t know it’s meaning. The Greek myth of Pygmalion, is about a mortal who sculpted a statue so beautiful he fell in love with it. Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love took pity on the lovesick artist and brought to life the exquisite sculpture, which was named Galatea.

The name Galatea Designs carries connotations of striking visual appeal and a man’s love for a woman. You will definitely fall in love with Galatea’s exquisite jewelry designs. From a simple engagement solitaire, to more ornate designs,  she creates from precious stones and metals. After attending the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Galatea’s early designs were the focus of attention while she worked in a local financial institution. Many customers were dropping in just to see what she was wearing. She began selling jewelry way before she opened her own business.

Known originally as “ Jewelry and Gift Exchange” when founded in 1985, Galatea Designs quickly secured reputable and reliable contacts with jewelry manufactures. From its inception, it has offered a superior line of jewelry designs and personalized jewelry creations. Galatea Designs serves men and women with refined taste. They work by appointment only which allows customers to select a diamond or consider the design of their jewelry in a more relaxed setting, free from distraction, which permits Galatea to give you her undivided attention.

Follow her on Instagram: @galateadesigns

Photo credit: Galatea Berger

Contributing Writer: Gail Preddy, Secretary of the Pearls



Model Highlight: Pranav Bakhshi

Our Model Highlight goes to Pranav Bakhshi! 
Meet teen model, Pranav Bakhshi. Bakhski was born in New Delhi, India and was born with Autism. Born in 2000, Bakhski had a traumatic birth with many health complications. His parents learned of his diagnosis at the age of two and vowed that whatever he wanted to do in life, they would help him achieve his goals. 
Bakhski knew at a young age that he wanted to model and his mother researched various modeling agencies to help him fulfill his dream. He is the first teen model with autism in India! He is currently a model for well-known labels like U.S. Polo Association and Benetton and he says, “Autism is my superpower!”. What is Autism? According to the organization Autism Speaks, “Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication.”
Currently signed to Ninja Model Management, Bakhski desire is to change the rules of the fashion game and walk for some of the most leading brands. Bakhshi is a fitness enthusiast and encourages others to take their own health seriously. Bakhski says he does not use Autism as a reason to fall short. Trailblazer’s like Bakhshi show us that what others perceive as our weaknesses, can be our greatest strengths.
Follow him on Instagram: @pranavbakhshi
Photo Credit: The Better India
Contributing Writer: Lauren Burford, VP of the Pearls

Designer Highlight: Diane von Furstenberg

Best known for her iconic “wrap dress”, you have not lived until you own one! Diane Simone Michelle Hafflin was born in Brussels, Belgium to Jewish parents.  Eighteen months before Diane was born, her mother was a prisoner at Auschwitz concentration camp. She credits her mother with being a great influence in her life. Her mother taught her that fear is not an option.

After studying Economics at the University of Geneva, she moved to Paris and worked as an assistant to fashion photographer agent Albert Koski. She then moved to Italy to be an apprentice for the textile manufacturer, Angela Ferretti. In his factory warehouse, she learned about cut, color, and fabric. It was there she designed and produced her first silk jersey dress.

Shortly after her marriage to Prince Egon von Furstenberg, she decided she wanted a career of her own and not just to be a plain little girl who married beyond her “desserts “. After separating from her husband in 1973, she moved to New York and met Vogue editor Diana Vreeland who said her designs were absolutely smashing.

In 1974, she introduced her knitted jersey wrap dress. After the success of the wrap dress, Furstenberg was featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine in 1976 and was declared the most marketable woman since Coco Chanel. She has gone on to launch a cosmetic line, fragrances, and a home shopping business to name a few. Many celebrities have worn her clothes from Madonna to Michelle Obama.

You have not lived, until you have worn this iconic wrap dress!! here are 45 free standing shops world-wide.

Follow her on Instagram: @DVF

Photo credit:

Contributing Writer: Gail Preddy, Secretary of the Pearls

Model Highlight: Joan Smalls

Joan Smalls Rodriguez was born in Hatillo, Puerto Rico, USA. She began her modeling career after graduating from InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in 2007. At the young age of 19, she was signed to Elite Model Management and began modeling for department stores such as Nordstrom’s. She then moved to IMG models and landed brands such as Givenchy and Victoria’s Secret. In 2012 she was named, Model of the Year!  Smalls appeared on 11 international editions of VogueHarper’s Bazaar, i-D, Interview, Porter, Love, American ElleT Magazine, and more. Aside from print advertisements and runway, she took a leap of faith and made a small business venture; Smalls partnered with Estee Lauder. She still enjoys modeling but feels that it is important to contribute to her community. She is involved with various non-profit organizations and is very socially cognizant of the issues all of over the world. One of her favorite organizations is the Garden of Dreams Foundation; an organization dedicated to helping children facing obstacles such as homelessness, extreme poverty, illnesses, and foster care challenges.

Joan always remembers the words of her mother, ” Joan remember, you’re the star…not star as in celebrity star, like a bright star.”

Follow Joan on Instagram at: @joansmalls

Photo Credit: IMG Models, Getty Images
Contributing Writer: Lauren Burford, VP of the Pearls


Designer Highlight: LaQuan Smith

LaQuan Smith was born in Queens, New York. At the tender age of 13, his grandmother passed on her old singer sewing machine to him to use. She instructed him and instilled in him a passion and skill for sewing and pattern making.

He started his brand at age 21. Since its formal debut in 2013, the brand gained acclaim for its distinctive garments and details. His work sparked interest among fashion icons and risk- takers such as Beyonce, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Kim Kardashian, all of whom were early supporters of the gifted designer.

LaQuan has also cultivated a private order clientele which spans the globe from Lagos to London. His glamorous aesthetic has also been tapped by world recognized brands such as Heineken, Samsung, and Verizon to name a few. LaQuan and his label are headquartered and manufactured in Long Island City, NYC and deliver worldwide.

LaQuan sums up his style as “Unapologetic Sexiness”

Follow him on Instagram:@laquan_smith

Photo Credit:,,

Contributing Writer: Gail Preddy, Secretary of the Pearls






Model Highlight: Shanina Shaik

Hey Lovelies!

Our model highlight goes to the beautiful Shanina Shaik! Shanina Shaik was born in Melbourne, Australia. She is of Pakistani and Lithuanian descent! Her modeling journey began at the age of eight years old by appearing in a TV commercial for Hyundai!
When Shaik began high school, her modeling career took a pause, she was in an accelerated program that allowed her to graduate a year before her classmates. At the age of 15 years old, Shaik entered an Australian reality show called ” Make Me A Supermodel” and finished as runner-up! 
 In Autumn/Winter of 2009 Shaik walked in eight shows and opened for Yeolee. She has worked with Mara Hoffman, Urban Outfitters, Victoria’s Secret, Jason Wu, Vogue India, Harper Bazaar’s Singapore, Arabia, Australia, Vietnam, and many more!  In an interview Shaik shares her upbringing as a Muslim and states ” I was born and raised Muslim and I lived a very normal lifestyle. My father is very open to my job and understanding and he is grateful of who I have become. I’m a very sophisticated and respectful woman. I had a great upbringing and a great lifestyle with my sibling.”
Photo credit: Emirates Woman, Vanity Fair

Contributing Writer: Jeysika Henry, Fashion Show Production Manager/Social Media Manager