Be Who You Are and Be Comfortable

According to its definition, the word “ambition” means a strong desire to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work. Generally, ambitious women fall under a general stereotype of being “bossy,” “not family oriented,” etc.

We, women, are constantly measured by the way we look and the way we dress. We are constantly measured against unrealistic standards of beauty created by media. Unfortunately, we often measure ourselves against those standards too. And when we do, it becomes difficult to feel good about ourselves, as we don’t always “fit” the standard. Today, I want to focus not on the women’s career ambition, but simply ambition, to be who you are and feel comfortable with it.

Every woman has her own background, religion, culture, and her own story. Whatever that story is, every woman should feel absolutely beautiful about herself. Unfortunately, there is this perception that the more skin you show, the more beautiful you look. Many women and especially girls don’t realize that it’s not about how much skin you show, it’s about knowing your body, knowing what flatters you and feeling confident in it. All high fashion is somewhat modest even though the word “modesty” is rarely associated with high fashion. It’s typically associated with something cheap and old. Nevertheless, every woman has her own reasons not to show skin. Whether it is religion, cultural beliefs, scars, or simply feeling more comfortable with something over your shoulders, there are options to dress beautifully and fashionably for every woman.

I have conducted a survey for one of my projects, and the results show that men find elegantly dressed women more interesting than women who show a lot of skin. That makes sense because by showing all your cards, you are not leaving anything to imagination, not leaving any mystery behind. And today’s world could use a little more mystery.

My passion is to educate women that to feel beautiful and sexy, it is not necessary to show your skin. While looking good is important, looking good doesn’t always mean deep décolleté and short dresses. There are ways to look beautiful, mysterious, and covered. But there is so much more to it, it’s also about how you present yourself and how you wear your clothes. If you put on a short dress and don’t feel comfortable in it, it will show. When you put a dress that covers more skin but makes you feel more comfortable, it will also show in the way you carry yourself, your confidence. So, be who you are and wear what reflects it because regardless of what your story is, you are absolutely beautiful just the way you are!

What do you wear to feel ambitious and confident? Tell us, we love to hear from you!

My Personal Story and What's Behind La Demure

I took a blogging sabbatical if you will to reassess my vision and reevaluate the future of my brand and where I was going.  Through this phase of self-reflection, I realized that I jumped straight into the brand without divulging my background.  

So today, I’d like to unmask the woman behind the words, and tell you a little bit more about me, and how La Demure came to be.

My Journey to La Demure:

Born and raised in Ukraine, I hail from a small entrepreneurial family of four. My brother and I were raised from the ground up with the core values of integrity, determination, and a strong desire to be “self-made.”  My father was a shining example of making ends meet on his own terms.  And my brother and I were to learn those lessons early on, beginning to shadow him at a ripe young age during school breaks.  As part of the family, I was expected to help run the family business of hand-crafting fur hats.  I still have a small battle scar from sewing straight through my finger.  I wear the manufacturing wound proudly, as it serves as a reminder to never lose sight of my roots.   

From as early as I can remember, I’ve always had this burning desire to do something big, and make the most out of this life I have been given.  I have always envisioned myself making a major impact, even before I knew exactly what that would look like.  And it didn’t stop me from dressing the part, as I was the only kid in class regularly suited up in business attire.  While most girls dreamed of being a princess, I wanted to be a CEO. And a runway model.  But, after years of modeling school, and thousands of my parents hard-earned dollars down the drain, I came out more refined, and more resilient about my desire to break the barriers of business.  As it turns out, I decided I’d rather make money moving mountains than being constantly measured up as a model.

Fast forward to my days at the University.  Three years in, I realized I might need to set my sights a little higher, and be willing to branch out a little further in an effort to put myself in front of the right opportunity.  So, after countless hours researching the possibilities, and even more spent to convince my parents, I packed up my entire world, and headed across the globe for a three month cultural exchange program in the United States.  Soon after, I realized this is where I belonged, and made the decision to stay.  The journey was never easy, but I didn’t take a moment of it for granted.  It was six long years before I was to see my family again.  To make ends meet, I took a job in Housekeeping, where I barely saw the light of day, and spent the end of it holed up in a one-bedroom apartment with 5 other students. 

After three months of this, I knew I wanted a better life for myself.  So, I promptly enrolled back in the University to complete my Bachelors Degree.  It wasn’t long before I earned my MBA in Finance (paying my way through to avoid student debt) and set my sights on Corporate America.  Looking back, I feel like I succeeded in this because I refused to give myself any other option.

Somewhere along the way, I also vowed to do something to be even more impactful on the world.  Coming from a diverse background and surrounding myself with a vibrant cultural mix of friends, I suddenly found a niche in the wedding arena.  Initially wanting to start a gown rental company, I realized this would require an immense amount of education in the market to make it happen.  Then, in talking to my prospective clientele, I stumbled upon something else that caught my interest. There was a desire for a versatile, stylish accessory that would provide modesty and coverage without compromising the design of special occasion dresses.

So I decided to bridge the gap and create a solution. La Demure makes wraps, jackets and boleros for bridal and formal wear. For women who feel more comfortable having something over their shoulders, La Demure accessories not only enhance dresses, but also make the women wearing them feel comfortable and confident.

I hand choose the fabric for La Demure wraps and jackets on European markets, mostly Italian and French lace. Most wraps are handmade as well. I am also happy to accommodate custom orders. Whether for a blushing bride, her mother or a bridesmaid, my passion is for her to feel absolutely amazing on that special day.

Lace Bridal Wrap " Angelic", handmade with Czech stones.

Lace Bridal Wrap " Angelic", handmade with Czech stones.

La Demure is my way of making a difference for women who strive for elegance, beauty and demure fashion. I feel that no matter what their story is, they deserve to feel and look fabulous, whatever that means to them. La Demure is my way of communicating to women of all ages that showing skin is not necessarily the way to look and feel attractive. Sometimes leaving a little mystery behind is even more captivating. Simply put, La Demure is my way of helping women express their style and individuality, and to “wrap” themselves in fashion!

Truly Yours,

Anya Puzankova

 

 

Outlook on Kansas City Fashion Week (Spring 2015)

Last weekend it was the Kansas City Fashion Week where local designers showed their fall collections. Being a fashion blogger, I can’t stop myself from providing my unbiased feedback. I have to say that my review is based on my first time being at KC Fashion week.  The success of the show is very dependent of the quality of fashion pieces that each designer is showing, models, and of course a general event setup, stage, music, light, etc. Let’s talk about each component separately.

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