Monthly Archives: February 2012

My Interview With Laura Lane!

When my friend Dustin messaged me a few weeks ago and told me about this girl I HAD to follow on my Twitter, because in his words, she reminded him of me, I was a little apprehensive. But! after following the adorable Laura Lane for just a few days, I knew he was right! Her Twitter feed was filled with updates from NYFW as well as sport updates! I was so intrigued, so I reached out and asked if I could interview her! To my delight, she accepted. She was so kind and gracious. I hope you enjoy hearing more about her as much as I did. She truly is Athletichic! 

Aire: You have a very impressive resume, would you mind telling me a little about how you got started?


Laura: It was a lot of things that kind of fell into place. I was lucky because the USC football team had Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart when I was there and we were winning National Championships so covering the football team for the college paper and radio station meant that I was covering the game next to top sports journalists and learning from them. I was also hosting an entertainment show for the college TV station and anchoring for news broadcast. During all of this I became Ryan Seacrest’s intern for a year in college and watching him balance E! News, American Idol, Kiss FM, stepping in for Larry King Live and producing reality shows, really set the stage for time managing and more importantly, not putting all of your eggs in one basket. When I asked him why he worked so much, he said it was because his biggest fear was not having a job. I think I have a little bit of that ingrained in myself. I would hang out at The Soup tapings every week and if there’s one person who’s had the biggest affect on me it was Joel Mchale, who is one of the most talented and kindest people in the world! He has managed to have the best of both worlds: an incredibly successful career and a loving family and a personal life.

I really wanted to move to New York and I definitely wasn’t ready to leave a big city so instead of moving to a small town to become an anchor after college, I tried to go the back route and got a job as a production assistant at E! and then became an editorial assistant and reporter. I was also freelancing for ESPN and covering Lakers andDodgers games when I wasn’t at E!. I knew how lucky I was, but I really wanted to live in New York, because I had been in California my whole life. Six months after graduation, I met a magazine editor at an event who was hiring a New York reporter and three months later, I moved to the Big Apple. The rest is history!


A: You obviously love sports AND fashion, I know from experience it’s not easy to mix the 2. Did you ever think you’d find jobs that allowed you to enjoy both? And do you find it hard to keep them separate?

L: I was always told that it was best to pick a niche, but I could never fully commit myself to just covering entertainment, fashion or sports. I’m also a science geek and political science was my other major in college so needless to say, I have a lot of interests. I don’t necessarily recommend doing things the way I did, but for me it worked. I’ve kept one foot in both worlds, whether it’s been freelancing and covering games on the weekends or at night and
interviewing celebrities in the day. When I was hosting a poker show for ESPN, I was incredibly lucky that my magazine at the time valued me enough to let me drive up to Bristol Connecticut to shoot the show and not be in the office one day a week. Of course, I’d make it up by covering red carpet event at nights or on the weekends, but I know that not every employer is going to say, cool, no worries, just go and shoot a poker show during the work week or miss a week while you go
out to the World Series of Poker.

At Life & Style, I’m also lucky to work with people who also see the benefit. I covered the Super Bowl for Life & Style and my sports knowledge and experience definitely helps when it comes to interviews and access. On the other side, working in entertainment has given me a depth of knowledge that has helps out in my sports coverage. For one thing, I already know what projects athletes are working on off the court, who they’re dating and what they might be interested in! It
never hurts when trying to break the ice! The first story I ever wrote for ESPN was an interview with Spike Lee when he was filming his “day in the life of” documentary on Kobe Bryant. That’s kind of the perfect example of how my two worlds collide and it was my first big break at
ESPN.


I noticed you’ve been tweeting a lot about NYFW. Do you prefer the shows at Lincoln Center? I haven’t been since they moved, and wanted to get an expert’s thoughts! Also while speaking about NYFW, who is your favorite designer?

Yes, I love fashion week! The first fashion week I covered, my magazine’s offices were literally two blocks from Bryant Park. It’s was the perfect location! I could zip down to the chaos and excitement of fashion week, rush back to file a blog and transcribe celebrity interviews and then head back out for the next show. Bryant Park will always be synonymous with fashion, but the reality is, fashion week had outgrown the tents. Lincoln Center is known for so many other arts
outside of fashion — the opera, music, dance and theatre. It’s fitting that fashion week takes place in a space under that creative umbrella. And now that I’m at Life & Style magazine, which is located in New Jersey, Bryant Park isn’t any closer than Lincoln Center so selfishly speaking, I have no preference!


As for my favorite designer, Marchesa blows me away every year. When I attended my first Marchesa presentation, it felt like walking into an art gallery or a museum. Every piece is a work of art and absolutely stunning. I remember seeing the gold dress that Sandra Bullock ended up wearing when she won the Oscar for best actress. Up close it looked like liquid gold and I told my friend, if I went to the Oscars, I would wear that. Sure enough, someone did! Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig’s collection this year is to die for! There are two bronze-colored dresses that are just stunning and a cream and silver fitted dress with a ruffled organza and tulle bottom that would be a dream wedding dress.


When we’re not talking ball gowns, I also have to give a shout out to Tavik Swimwear. My best friend Nicole Hanriot is the designer and the suits are so badass. She just had a bunch of them in the new Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Celebrities like Rihanna wear them all of the time. She is beyond talented.


This is a question I get a lot, and my answer is always changing, who do you think has the most fashionable uniforms in the NFL? I can’t wait to see the Nike jerseys!


April can’t come soon enough! The NFL seems to be downplaying how much change Nike will actually make aesthetically by saying it’s more a technological change than design, but if the concept sketches are anything like the final product, it’s going to a more futuristic gladiator look and I dig it! Right now, I’m a sucker for the Patriots and the Jets jerseys. It’s hard to make red white and blue look bad and let’s be honest, Tom Brady will look good in anything. I know some people say the Jets green and white can be a little boring, but green’s one of my favorite colors and they’re my New York team. I went to USC so I’ve got to support my boy Mark Sanchez.


 And last but not least, with starts like Sean Avery, Baron Davis and Amar’e Stoudemire do you see the connection between fashion and 
athletes continuing to grow?

Absolutely! When I was in L.A. covering the Lakers, Lamar Odom would put on a different colored tailored suit after every game. It was hilarious and he definitely did it for the comedic factor. Style says a lot about a person’s brand. Athletes aren’t just getting endorsements and signing their name away to be slapped on a product anymore; now they’re helping design the products that they stand
behind. I’ll always think of Michael Jordan as setting the stage with the Nike Air Jordan shoe. Now you have Maria Sharapova designing clothes for Nike and shoes for Cole Haan. I hate the idea of
pigeonholing people in their careers. People can have interests and passions outside of sports. Fashion has really embraced athletes and welcomed them into their world. Sean Avery interning at Vogue is a great example of that. There’s also a natural connection when athletes start dating people in the fashion world — Tom Brady and Giselle, David and Victoria Beckham, Andy Roddick and Brooklyn Decker. This year at fashion week we had New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz at the Tommy Hilfiger mens collection show. It’s great and I’d love to see more athletes in the front row next year!

What an honor….

I was recently nominated by my friend Kerry to be interviewed and featured on the site, Yinzpiration. Thanks Katie for this opportunity!

Check out the site! Nominate someone that inspires you! And last but not least, check out my interview…
Charming Aire Plichta makes friends fast. After sitting across a table from her for five minutes, I felt like I had known her for years! 
Aire is super personable and sweet. Her mantra is to sparkle everyday—she takes it quite literally by wearing sequins clothing and accessories. But, in my opionion, her delightful disposition is what glimmers the most. 
One thing I like about Aire is how enthusiastic she is to pursue all that Pittsburgh has to offer. She packs her weekends full of fun things to do! She has inpired me to try new things, instead of always going to my favorite places.
After our chat and drinks at the Quiet Storm, we headed over to Pittsburgh Glass Center for some photo fun. It was such a treat to tour their spacce and gallery! The exhibit they have currently is all about Garfield. Check it out:
Many thanks to Aire’s friend Becky Smith who gave us the tour. Be sure to check out Pittsburgh Glass Center’s many events and class offerings!
Enjoy Aire’s Q and A! And let’s throw on some sequins and sparkle today in Aire’s honor!
***
Name: Aire Plichta
Job title: Fashion Press Specialist at Modcloth
Twitter: I have a few! My main ones: @Aireeeeee  and @athletichic
Blog: I have 2 blogs, both with unique visions behind them. :)
I started this one to show off the styling work that I have done with Pittsburgh Fashion Magazine, photographers and clients of mine. It has also become the perfect place for me to show off my sparkles: sparkleeveryday.tumblr.com.
And this one began when ModCloth was looking for a female sports blogger to  talk about a dress we were carrying. After searching for 2 weeks my co-worker and I could not find the right fit. So it inspired me to combine my 2 loves, football and fashion: athletichic.com
Neighborhood you live in: Bloomfield! It’s stolen my heart.
Coffee Shop Drink of Choice: Iced coffee. Specifically 21st street iced coffee!
Current Shampoo Preference: Organix Cocoa Butter
Why do you choose Pittsburgh as your home?
I moved out of state when I was 18 for college then directly to NYC after graduation to peruse my career in the fashion industry. I was lucky enough to land a great job with Macy’s Corporate office live with my sister, something we had not done since we were children, and make some amazing friends, but as I got older and came back to Pittsburgh more and more for weddings, etc. I kept getting drawn in more and more to the amazingness the city held for me as an adult. I’ve been blessed to find an great job, make new friends and stay connected with old all the while continuing to discover parts of Pittsburgh I adore.
Who do you spend your time with? 
My adorable boyfriend, Matt, who is kind of enough to go with the crazy flow that is my life. My parents recently moved back from Florida and I love spending time with them, making up for the years we were apart. And of course all of my wonderful friends when our schedules line up!
What are your favorite aspects of your job? 
This is going to sound really cheesy but I kind of love everything about my job. The position I currently have is a more updated version of one I wrote about as my dream job when I was a sophomore in high school! One of my favorite things about working in fashion is that it’s always changing, sometimes whether I want it to or not! I love that I am working on securing placements in Fall issues of magazines already. Being a season or 2 ahead is always so exciting to me. I really get inspired by the story behind our company and how we have been able to help so many small designers, bloggers or musicians get exposure. I also handle the donations on behalf of ModCloth, which is part of my job I really love and I try my hardest to never turn down a donation request.
Do you have a soul food? 
Egg rolls, pieorgies and mac & cheese. I could never pick just one!
What are some of your recent personal goals? 
I recently started training for a 5k, I’ve been into spinning for a few years now, so I’ve decided I needed a new fitness goal! I also want to work on securing more styling clients and jobs in 2012.
What are your favorite Pittsburgh restaurants? 
Oh where do I begin? I pretty much add a new one to this list every week. :) But at this moment, Smoke BBQ Taqueria, Braddock’s in the Renaissance Hotel, The Grand Concourse (specifically their brunch), Burgatory, Habitat, Reyna’s Taco Truck, Penn Avenue Fish Company, Sugar Cafe, and last but not least, Sheetz.  
Describe your ideal day. 
It would start with a spinning class taught by my friend Zach, then head to fabulous brunch with my boyfriend. I would do some thrifting, get a mani/pedi, watch the Steelers play and end the night at an event at the Pittsburgh Glass Center with free champagne. I try to live my weekends to the fullest!
What is the most memorable live show you have seen in Pittsburgh? 
The Bob Marley Live Forever Tribute Concert. Stephen Marley, Damian Marley, Julian Marley, Marley Girls, and The Original I-3′s – Rita Marley & Marcia Griffiths were all there. It was honoring the last live show that  Bob ever put on, which by Pittsburgher’s luck, happened at that very theater! I went with my mom who is a huge reggae and Bob fan. It was a once in a lifetime kind of night.
What do you think Pittsburgh will be like in ten years? What do you love most about the city?
Don’t get me wrong, I love that we keep making all of these “best” lists, and being honored with “most livable” but my hope for Pittsburgh in ten years, is that it is just part of the list of cool cities, like Austin, or Boston. etc. I love the friendly, genuine people. And I love the direction and motivation that so many people have to make this city a better place, no matter how big or small their ideas may be.