#AMOURVERTLOVE with Apartment34’s Erin Hiemstra

We’re back at it and kicking off your weekend with inspirational lifestyle guru Erin Hiemstra! We were lucky to play dress up with this statuesque beaut who is constantly on-the-go, doing what she does best for her blog, Apartment34. Learn more about this local influencer who changes lives one room, one weekend getaway and one style tip at a time. 

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How would you describe your style?

Classically casual with a bit of menswear influence. I’ve never met a button-down I didn’t like, but it must be paired with a killer heel.

How passionate are you about made-in-S.F. brands?

I love connecting with local makers, be it fashion or jewelry designers, artists, furniture makers, you name it, I’m hunting for it. Supporting the local creative community is so crucial to cultivating a bright and vibrant city. Since moving to San Francisco three years ago, I’ve found the city to be so collaborative and supportive. It’s why Apartment 34 exists today, so the least I can do is give back the best way I know how. As I always say: Those who can’t do…shop!

Besides Amour Vert, what are some other S.F. brands that you are digging? 

I’m a huge Freda Salvador fan, they’ve added to my shoe collection quite handsomely. I also love Marisa Haskell and Melissa Joy Manning jewelry, Erica Tanov blankets and pillows, Sarah Paloma ceramics, and Julia Krosteva and Heather Day art. I’m always looking for more amazing designers to add to my list.

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What do you love most about Amour Vert’s collection?

Even though Amour Vert leads with the fact that it is environmentally friendly fashion, you would never know! Eco fashion today still gets a bad rap as being too “hippie,” but there is certainly nothing obviously “eco” about these gorgeous styles. They’re sophisticated, timeless and beautifully made. I’ve been on the hunt for the “perfect tee" and I may never take this one off.

Is green living important to you? If so, how do you incorporate it into your life…even small ways count!

I do make a point of trying to incorporate green practices in my day to day life. Obviously things like recycling, composting, turning off the water and having energy-efficient light bulbs. I’m also a very big locavore (thanks Omnivore’s Dilemma). But I’m the first to admit I continue to strive to incorporate eco-consciousness into bigger things like getting an electric car! 

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What trends are you loving for Spring/Summer ‘14?

I feel like the spring trends haven’t been so “trendy” this season, which I’m loving! I wear white all year long, but it always feels fresh for spring. I’m also loving the return to more minimalist style: Simpler cuts, cleaner lines, and easier to wear pieces. I’m also a sucker for a statement coat, and I’m still on the hunt for my spring version. 

When you’re not working, where can we find you in S.F.?

I’m a big coffee shop and bakery frequenter. I’ve never met an artisanal pastry that I didn’t like! Living in the Mission, Trick Dog and Salumeria have also become regular haunts! 

When you’re looking to get out in nature, where do you go in the Bay Area/California?

The ability to explore nature in the Bay Area still amazes me. I discovered the Tomales Bay area last year and despite all the other places we’ve checked out, it’s the one I always want to get back to, even if only for a lunch and afternoon hike. There’s just a magical energy about that area!

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How To Wear Amour Vert From The Office To Happy Hour

It’s that perpetual challenge that most of us have - you’re running late, standing in front of your closet wondering what to wear for that 10 a.m. and you just remembered that tonight is dinner and drinks with your bests. Well don’t worry, we’ve got the perfect ensemble suitable for both work and play. Try our silk version of the tuxedo shirt, tucked in with a pair of slacks and topped off with an open-front blazer to sharpen your look. Once it’s time for that 6 p.m. sip, shed the blazer, unbutton the blouse, step into your trusty mules and brighten those lips. Très chic!

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1. Leah Top, $215, Amour Vert 2. Shely Blazer, $190, Amour Vert 3. Haywood Indigo Rinse, $198, Mill 4. Mixed Bent Stem Bangles, $188, Alice Roche 5. Punched Tote, $633, Rachel Comey 6. Alisha, $450, Oliver Peoples 7. Suede D’Orsay Flats, $450, Jenni Kayne

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1. Leah Top, $215, Amour Vert 2. Shine Black Metallic, $425, Freda Salvador 3. Haywood Indigo Rinse, $198, Mill 4. Black Leather Envelope, $60, Joshu Vela 5. Wild Child, $26, ILIA

#AMOURVERTLOVE With Printmaker Stevie Howell

If you’ve been checking out the Amour Vert collections of late, you’ll see we’ve gone a little prints-crazy (in the best way possible, of course)! So, it was our pleasure to catch up with one of our favorite print-happy local artists, Stevie Howell, who helped develop the standout scratch pattern used in the Amour Vert for Goop collection. (You can buy our Alicia blouse in Howell’s gorgeous print here!) Get to know the green-minded artist and hear the inspiration behind her first Amour Vert collaboration, below.

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Tell us a little about your work and how long you’ve been doing it.

"I am an artist and textile designer and produce my own line of scarves and robes. I’ve been painting and designing exclusively for about four years and launched my line a year and half ago."

Why does printmaking appeal to you?

"I started printing as a way to combine my interests in painting and photography. When I started turning the prints into textiles, my interest in fashion was added to the mix as well. I love creating patterns because I’m thinking about many of the same things I do when painting (like color and form), but it’s also a way to relate to a greater audience and connect to the surrounding world."

Tell us about the inspiration behind your scratch print for Amour Vert. 

"It is rare that I begin a piece with the same concept that I finish it with, but that was the case for the scratch print. It began from the lumps and patterns left by scraping paint off my palette, and after some molding it transformed into this Damask-like print, heavy in texture and symmetry. It freezes intricate etched scratches and accentuates their nice imperfections." 

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How thrilling was it to see your prints appear as part of the Amour Vert for Goop capsule collection?

"Loved it! The top sold out in a few hours, so by the time I got to the site that morning it was already gone!" [Ed note: It’s been restocked!]

Who are some of your favorite local designers and artists?

"Amour Vert! Other great local brands include Taylor Stitch and Freda Salvador. In terms of artists, I love Leslie Shows' work. Also, Ruth Lasky and Tauba Auerbach (technically she doesn’t live here anymore, but is from here). I’m a big fan of Jessica Silverman Gallery and also the amazing projects that FOR-SITE puts together.”

Is green living important to you? If so, how do you incorporate it into your life…even small ways count!

"Yes, green living is important, so I incorporate it in many ways. For example, I have green eyes, wear green sweaters, drink green juice, and spend green money. Ha! A little more seriously though, I think about it a lot in terms of the textile industry, which is one of the top polluters in the world (check out this story from the New York Times)! I strive to keep my scarf line as eco-friendly as possible. I source natural fabrics, use inks that are GOTS approved, produce in small limited editions, and print digitally to save water and energy. Outside of work, I volunteer in the parks with a group called FOGG (Friends of the Golden Gate). We do fun monthly events such a planting native species, hikes, and beach cleanups.” 

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5 Things You Might Not Know About…San Francisco

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1. Creeper Status

Known for his majestic and enchanting qualities, the SF fog is no stranger to its dwellers. In fact, he’s practically our resident celebrity. Meet, Karl the Fog.  His witty comments have gained him popularity and more Twitter and Instagram followers than most of us could ever imagine. Check him out and see for yourself @KarltheFog 

2. Making The Cut 

Well, if you browse the internet to search the most eco-friendly cities in the world, SF seems to be up there on the list as one of the kindest to Mother Nature. With sustainable practices integrated more and more in our daily lives, from our composting and recycling programs to our zero tolerance for plastic bags and bottles, we are definitely on the right track to achieving our goals of reducing our collective carbon footprint. High-five San Francisco!  

3. We Like It Local

San Francisco has always been a place of creativity, innovation and progression. Luckily, we have SFMade, an awesome non-profit corporation that recognizes the importance of entrepreneurship by focusing on local manufacturing. Being a member allows these local businesses to identify themselves as well as raise consumer awareness for locally made products; an overall great network to be in for a stronger SF economy. Pretty sweet, huh? Oh, and did we mention we’re a member ;)

4. We Hold A National Treasure

And no, it’s not gold! The Haas-Lilienthal House is the only Victorian-era home to survive the 1906 earthquake, and still open today since its construction in 1886 by Jewish immigrants. The National Trust identified this as one of the thirty-four National Treasures in America symbolizing the special role of Jewish pioneers in the development of this city.

5. Make You Do A Double Take

If the Golden Gate Bridge had a doppelganger, it would be have to be The 25th of April suspension bridge in Lisbon, Portugal. But if you look closely, aside from the orange color, it’s structure is much more like the San Francisco Bay Bridge. That’s because they share the same builders. Nonetheless, nothing can take away from the iconic and breathtaking elegance of our Golden Gate Bridge.

And In case you can’t get enough, here’s five more… 

Bohemian Rhapsody The official musical instrument of San Francisco since 1990, after the 1989 earthquake, is the piano accordion. As accordion player Big Lou said, “we’re a lighthearted and bohemian city.” We now celebrate this Italian import with a festival day at Fisherman’s Wharf, and June being National Accordion Awareness month. Good Herb San Francisco’s original name was Yerba Buena, Spanish for “good herb” or what we know as spearmint, which commonly grew around Mission Dolores. Hump City There are a total number of 43 hills in San Francisco. You may have already heard of the major ones like Twin Peaks, Russian Hill and Nob Hill. Flower Power Check out San Francisco’s official flower at the Dahlia Garden in Golden Gate Park. Hop On There are about 8.8 miles of cable car track. And no, we do not take them to work.

How To Wear Amour Vert From The Beach To The Streets

Spring is in the air and the outdoors are calling your name! So, to celebrate the season’s arrival, we’ve got the perfect outfit to take you from kicking up the sand at San Francisco’s Baker Beach to roaming the streets of Paris on the Boulevards of Saint Michel and Saint Germain. Just slip on our wear-everywhere Jessica maxi dress, an easy transition piece (day to night) and excellent travel companion. When the wind picks up, throw on our Kelsey biker jacket for a no-fuss solution. And of course, no look is complete without the right accessories. Check out some of our eco-friendly picks to get you out and about where ever you are!

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1. City Walk Panama Hat, $58, Cuyana 2. Amour Vert Jessica Emerald Maxi Dress, $120, Amour Vert 3. Roots Sampler, $45, Pressed Juicery 4. Friendship Bracelet, $18, Abacus Row 5. The Sandal - Cognac, $105, Everlane 6. Baggu Leather Basic Tote, $160, General Store

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1. Amour Vert Kelsey Biker Jacket, $214, Amour Vert 2. Amour Vert Jessica Emerald Maxi Dress, $120, Amour Vert 3. Luna Necklace, $149, Marisa Haskell 4. Envelope Bag, $129.95, Paper Thinks 5. Marcos Hi, $89, The People’s Movement 

#AMOURVERTLOVE with Complacency Kills’ Lindsey Louie

It’s that time again! We’ve tapped one of our favorite local influencers to show off her #AMOURVERTLOVE by styling some favorite pieces from our collection in a truly personal way. This week we played dress-up with blogger, S.F. native, and former Google gal Lindsey Louie from Complacency Kills, who also brought her Instagram star puppy, Biggie Griffon, along for the ride. Learn about the beauty…and her beast…below!

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(Pictured: Riley Herringbone Jacket; Liv Tee)

How would you describe your style?

"Wearable and minimalist with an edge."

Tell us about your blog, when/why you started it, and how it’s grown.

"I created Complacency Kills in 2010 during my senior year in college as a way to document what inspired me online. It was a Tumblr of sorts for the first couple years and I started introducing personal style posts in 2012. I love how blogging connects me to my favorite brands and bloggers and I can’t think of a better creative outlet for expressing my passion and point of view."

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(Pictured: Riley Herringbone Jacket)

How passionate are you about made-in-S.F. brands?

"As a San Francisco native who grew up in NoPa, I always try to support local brands whenever I can. They were born and raised here like me and I’ve really enjoyed seeing the local fashion and design scene develop over time."

Besides Amour Vert, what are some other S.F. brands that you are digging?

Cuyana and Everlane are two that immediately come to mind. Both share a strong emphasis on quality, design, and art, which is something I truly admire.”

What do you love most about the Amour Vert pieces you wore in the shoot?

"They’re easy to wear! Everything can be mixed and matched in such an effortless way."

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(Pictured: Kelsey Khaki Jacket; Livia Blouse)

Is green living important to you? If so, how do you incorporate it into your life…even small ways count!

"Living in such an environmentally conscious city, you can’t help but want to embrace living green in some way. I always try to buy for the long-term and purchase clothing with quality and longevity in mind. I’ve also completely switched over to natural household cleaning and hair products in recent months."  

What trends are you loving for Spring ‘14?

"Black and white, light-wash denim, and sporty details."

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(Pictured: Colee Black Blazer; Bette Colorblock Blouse)

When you’re not working, where can we find you in S.F.?

"I like exploring different neighborhoods and am not tied to any one part of the city, except for when it comes to food. I always end up eating in the Mission! Other than that, I like visiting Chrissy Field, Baker and Ocean Beach, Hayes Valley, and Fillmore Street pretty regularly."

When you’re looking to get out in nature, where do you (and Biggie) go in the Bay Area?

"Muir Woods, Point Reyes, and Mount Tam. Biggie Smalls is always up for a good hike!"

Answer this: Happiness to me is….

"The ability to do what you love and be yourself while creating memories with those who matter most."

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(Pictured: Orange Ophelie Scarf)

Inside Amour Vert: Our Collaboration with Goop

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Earlier this year, we partnered with Gwyneth Paltrow’s cult-followed site, goop.com, for an exclusive and very exciting capsule collection. Admiring our chic and eco-conscious ethos, goop tapped us to create four limited-edition designs, including our butter-soft all-organic Trisha t-shirts (made out of wood pulp fiber) in classic oatmeal and heather grey hues, and two of our gorgeous silk tops: our classic Bonnie blouse featuring grey contrast piping and our Suchi version in a vivid scratch print, developed by Bay Area printmaker Stevie Howell.

“This capsule reflects the essence and unique styles of both Amour Vert and goop and we could not be happier with the final product,” says Amour Vert designer and founder Linda Balti. “Goop’s philosophy is a perfect fit for Amour Vert, and we were very excited when they approached us.”

A major bonus: When you buy either of the mega-comfortable Trisha tees on goop.com, Amour Vert will plant a tree in the Tahoe National Forest to honor your purchase, as part of AV’s Plant a T(r)ee initiative, in partnership with American Forests. Just hurry up and shop on goop.com before it’s all sold out!

Spring Cleaning! Amour Vert’s SAMPLE SALE

It’s time to purge your closet and make room for a whole lotta new, because Amour Vert’s Spring Sample Sale is just around the corner! Expect deep discounts of up to 80% off retail prices on past and current seasons. It’s all happening right here in our San Francisco headquarters in the historic Dogpatch district: 1278 Minnesota Street Suite A, San Francisco, CA, 94107. Come from 10am-7pm on Friday, March 21, and 10am-4pm on Saturday, March 22. This event is open to the public, so bring your friends and shop away! We accept Visa, Mastercard and cash. We suggest you get here early before the best of the best flies off the rack! For more information and to confirm your attendance, please click here. See you there!

#AMOURVERTLOVE with Refinery29’s Angela Tafoya

Who better to kick-off our new #AMOURVERTLOVE column than local fashion influencer  Angela Tafoya of Refinery29.com? The San Francisco Editor of the famed fashion site is a lover of all things fashionable, local, and green. Sounds a lot like us, eh? We were lucky enough to spend the morning with the brunette beauty, playing dress up in her favorite Amour Vert pieces in her colorful Mission neighborhood. Find out how to get the looks for yourself, and read up on this S.F. gem, while you’re at it.

How would you describe your style?

“I tend to lean toward tomboy-inspired items. I love the functionality of ankle boots, slacks, and a cute top. I also definitely like vivid and bright prints and try to inject color whenever possible. But overall, I think quirky and tomboy best describe my style. I love taking risks with accessories.” 

Tell us about your involvement with the local San Francisco fashion scene.

“I’m always on the hunt for new names in design and retail in the city. I think my role as San Francisco Editor of  Refinery29 has really allowed me to explore the local fashion community in a really intrinsic way. There is so much happening in the Bay these days, so the discovery element is really exciting to me. I feel like the fashion hub has really grown and it’s nice to see that collaborative energy and support here.”

How passionate are you about made-in-S.F. brands?

“It’s really hard to ignore the ‘shop local’ ethos that permeates the city. I try to shop and support Bay Area makers whenever I can!”

Besides Amour Vert, what are some other S.F. brands that you are digging?

“I love  Marisa Haskell. I wear her necklaces practically every day. I also really love  Ali Golden’s whisper-thin pieces, as well as Everlane’s basics. There are so many great designers in the Bay, but if I had to narrow it down, those are the faces.”

What do you love most about Amour Vert’s Spring ‘14 collection?

“The printed  peplum top and matching pants is beyond! I love that the garments feel like vivid spins on basics. Every piece is super cool.”

Why did you pick these pieces to style?

“I’m a huge fan of trousers and I thought the  printed suit was really unique, as well as the  striped pants. The color in these pieces really stand out to me.”

What industry-wide trends are you loving for Spring ‘14?

“White tennis shoes, pink coats, and jumpers!”

Is green living important to you? If so, how do you incorporate it into your life? Even small ways count!

“It definitely is important. Many people don’t know this, but in college I actually started a green club on campus — called Sustainable Action! I really do try to think about the planet every day and the ways I can lower my carbon footprint.”

When you’re not working, where can we find you?

“Anywhere on 20 th Street. I love my hood! The new Sightglass Coffee and Green Heart have been my hangs lately.”

What about when you’re looking to get out in nature?

“I love Point Reyes and Big Sur. Those are my happy places and I try to visit often. There’s something so rejuvenating about immersing yourself in nature’s bounty. It’s really powerful and for me, very meditative. ”

Answer this: Happiness to me is….

“Reflecting on life’s beauty, staying healthy, and enjoying time with friends and family. Those moments are so important!”

HOW TO WEAR AMOUR VERT TO THE PARK

Want to plan the perfect outfit to take you from San Francisco’s epic Dolores Park to Paris’ own Parc des Buttes Chaumont? Our suggestion starts with three casual-cool pieces from our spring ‘14 collection: Our super-soft heather grey Kerri t-shirt in a flirty peplum silhouette, our boldly striped Rania pants, and our hand-loomed Ophelie colorblock scarf. Just add some eco-friendly picks from some of our favorite brands (including S.F.’s own Kayu and Blu Kicks), and you’re ready to hit a big patch of grass…no matter which country you’re in.

1. Amour Vert Kerri Heather Grey Peplum Tank, $75, Amour Vert  2. Amour Vert Rania Pink Stripe Pant, $155, Amour Vert  3. Amour Vert Ophelie Coral Scarf, $79, Amour Vert  4. Kayu Gaya Natural Bamboo Sunglasses $80, Kayu  5. Josie Maran Argan Hydrating Lipstick, $22, Josie Maran  6. Commune Linen Blanket, $200, General Store  7. Keds Champion Originals, $45, Keds 8. Blu Kicks Beach Bag, $95, Blu Kicks 

5 Things You Didn’t Know About…Jane Birkin

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A long-standing French style icon, it’s no wonder Jane Birkin is a huge inspiration for Amour Vert. She was born in London on December 14, 1946, to an actress mother and Royal Navy officer father. The brunette stunner went on to become an actress, singer (speaking in both English and French), and fashion figure, known for her namesake Hermès bag, sex kitten-meets-tomboy style, and choppy, cool-girl bangs. Here, 5 things you might not know about Jane Mallory Birkin.

1.) Although Birkin went on to record many French songs and star in French films, she barely spoke the language when she went in for her screen test for the movie Slogan (opposite Serge Gainsbourg) in 1969. She ended up scoring the role based on her ability to cry in front of the camera.

2.) Birkin is no stranger to controversy (or nudity!), appearing naked in Michelangelo Antonioni’s scandalous film Blow-Up in 1966, and recording the chart-topping song ʺJe t’aime… moi non plusʺ with her then-lover Serge Gainsbourg in 1969. The song was banned by the Vatican and eschewed my many others for its frank sexual lyrics combined with Birkin’s moaning. The actress also recorded a saucy sex scene with fellow icon Brigitte Bardot in the 1973 film Don Juan (Or If Don Juan Were A Woman).

3.) Birkin is the mother of three girls. Her first daughter, Kate Barry (with John Barry), was born in 1967. She was a photographer who died in late 2013 after falling from the window of her Parisian apartment. Birkin’s second daughter, born in 1971, is actress and singer Charlotte Gainsbourg (daughter of Serge Gainsbourg). Her third daughter, actress, model, and signer Lou Doillon (with director Jacques Doillon), was born in 1982.

4.) In 1981, Birkin was on an Air France flight to London when she was upgraded to first class, landing her in a seat next to Jean-Louis Dumas, the CEO of Hermès. After he noticed the contents of her basket falling out, he suggested she get a bag with pockets. After some conversation, she sketched a carryall for him on a motion-sickness bag. That design became the now-famous Hermès Birkin.

5.) Birkin spends much of her current time giving back to humanitarian causes, namely supporting famed political prisoner and Burmese Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi and victims of the tsunami in Japan.

Photos via  FuckYeahJaneBirkin

(Source: atphoto)