Bonobos launches capsule collection to benefit gender equality

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  The Capsule Collection Promundo Maryland Plaza Central West End Bonobos

Just in time for warmer weather—and for CWEnders looking for more retail options for women—Bonobos has launched a We’re for Women campaign featuring a collection of breezy shirts, dresses and a great-looking jumpsuit, shown above, $148. The collection includes men’s styles in matching fabrics.

Forty percent of sales from the capsule collection—up to $100,000— benefit Promundo, a global leader in engaging men and boys in promoting gender equality and preventing violence. This campaign is an example of CEO Micky Onvural’s effort to create a purpose-driven brand. To learn more about her efforts, there is an interesting interview by journalist Emma Lord you can find on the Bustle website. To further the company’s mission, 8 Steps Men Can Take to Support Gender Equality is posted on the website.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  The Capsule Collection Promundo Maryland Plaza Central West End Bonobos

The all-cotton collection, which was created by Bonobos’ female designers, features short-sleeve blouses (1 and 4th item above), $88, and two Riviera Shirt Dresses, shown in the middle, $128, sizes XXS to XXL. The entire collection is shown on the website.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  The Capsule Collection Promundo Maryland Plaza Central West End Bonobos

The loose-fitting dresses close with a simple tie.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  The Capsule Collection Promundo Maryland Plaza Central West End Bonobos

I was pleased to learn from Joshua Johnson, the Lead Guide at the CWE location, that women have been snapping up men’s shirts for themselves all along. The button-down shirts from the capsule collection are also $88, and sized from XXS to XXL.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  The Capsule Collection Promundo Maryland Plaza Central West End Bonobos

You better hurry in to take a peek, as the capsule collection is only available through April 30.

Thanks to Bonobos for its contribution to gender equality and the prevention of violence. It would be lovely if this campaign was also a trial balloon of sorts, and that women’s fashion would become an ongoing feature of the Bonobos brand.

Bonobos Flagship, 52 Maryland Plaza, Mon. – Sat. 11 to 7, Sun. 12 to 6 (hours may be shortened on Easter), (314) 365-2366.

A visit to Fresh & Co. Studio and Fresh Art Photography in The Grove

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Services Shop News  The Grove St. Louis Jodie Allen Fresh&Co.Studio Fresh Art Photography Elizabeth Freshour

There are plenty of event spaces in St. Louis, some of which are located here in the CWE—Mahler Ballroom and The McPherson come to mind. But what Elizabeth Freshour and Jodie Allen have created with the opening of Fresh & Co. Studio and Fresh Art Photography, at 4366 Manchester in The Grove, takes a slightly different approach.

When Freshour and Allen stumbled upon the dark and dreary 1200 s.f. space across from Urban Chestnut, it had been vacant for a couple of years. They saw the potential for what they envisioned as a “spin on a co-working space,” two businesses sharing one storefront, not as partners but as “studio mates.”  Since opening last April, they have accomplished what they hoped for. The eye-catching storefront and type of business fits right into the increasing vitality of The Grove, and they have been booking events in the space ever since.

Elizabeth Freshour’s Fresh & Co. Studio can be leased for bridal or baby showers, craft workshops, pop-ups, small meetings, etc.  While I was interviewing Freshour,  I kept picturing an all-white dinner party that’s been on my mind for years.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Services Shop News  The Grove St. Louis Jodie Allen Fresh&Co.Studio Fresh Art Photography Elizabeth Freshour

Photo courtesy of Untamed Heart Photography

Studio-mate Jodie Allen, above, uses the space for her business, Fresh Art Photography, and in addition, the white canvas of a space is available for other photographers to lease for shoots as well.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Services Shop News  The Grove St. Louis Jodie Allen Fresh&Co.Studio Fresh Art Photography Elizabeth Freshour

Photo courtesy of Fresh Art Photography

Elizabeth Freshour, above, her husband and their toddler moved to St. Louis from the Bay Area 7 years ago. Now there are two kids, ages 6 & 9. Freshour hired Jodie Allen to take their family portrait each year, and they became friends.  As the friendship blossomed, they decided to blend their business ideas together in The Grove.

In the past Freshour has worked in data storage and in sales operations for a natural food company. Now she not only manages the event space—and repaints the studio’s white floor several times a month (which she says she has down to a science),  she also finds time to work for a non-profit and to work in elder care.

“I feel very excited and lucky to have started this business with Jodie,” she said, “Creating a place for people to succeed while making their art or hosting a workshop is a joy to watch.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Services Shop News  The Grove St. Louis Jodie Allen Fresh&Co.Studio Fresh Art Photography Elizabeth Freshour

Fresh & Co. Studio is used for rehearsals too. An indie rock band practices there, and because why not. theater co. has been rehearsing for a performance of Fair Youth which will be presented, April 18, 19 & 20Crafters and yoga instructors also rent the space, you can find out about these events on the website too.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Services Shop News  The Grove St. Louis Jodie Allen Fresh&Co.Studio Fresh Art Photography Elizabeth Freshour

To see the types of events that have been held at Fresh & Co. Studio, click Tour on the website. The studio is open by appointment between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m., 7 days a week. There is a kitchenette, free wi-fi, an outdoor area, and tables, chairs (for 40), and linens for rent. Freshour maintains a list of party stylists and caterers on the website, or you can provide your own. Entry to the space is concierge-style, so after you key in the entry code, you are completely on your own.

When Freshour moved to St. Louis, she had no professional contacts. Now, with the creation of Fresh & Co. Studio, she says she has built incredible relationships with many entrepreneurs, which has added to the reasons why she is so happy they moved to St. Louis.

Fresh & Co. Studio and Fresh Art Photography, 4366 Manchester in The Grove. For photography studio/event pricing information contact Elizabeth at info@freshandcostudio.com, (314) 722-8812.

A peek at April 5th’s gallery openings in the CWE

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Peter Pincus Nancy Newman Rice Lesley Richmond Judith Ernst Jordan McGirk Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery

In an oft-repeated suggestion from these quarters, there are so many reasons to attend neighborhood gallery openings. They present an opportunity to get out for an evening, see old friends or perhaps meet someone new, and most importantly, be exposed to a variety of artists’ work that will challenge your imagination with their creativity.

Last Friday evening, two galleries in the McPherson Arts District, Houska Gallery and Duane Reed Gallery,  held openings that should not be missed.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Peter Pincus Nancy Newman Rice Lesley Richmond Judith Ernst Jordan McGirk Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery

Houska Gallery is exhibiting St. Louisan Jordan McGirk’s, above, They Will Not Leave Wanting, which will remain on view until May 11.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Peter Pincus Nancy Newman Rice Lesley Richmond Judith Ernst Jordan McGirk Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery

McGirk’s 84 x 96″ oil on canvas, Endless Noise, is shown above. 

The artist’s most recent paintings “investigate fantasies of power and privilege performed at hardcore and heavy metal shows by posturing young men.” Read more about his thought-provoking exhibition here.

Houska Gallery, 4728 McPherson, (314) 496-1377, Tues.-Sun. 11 to 4 or by appt.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Peter Pincus Nancy Newman Rice Lesley Richmond Judith Ernst Jordan McGirk Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery

At Duane Reed Gallery, CWEnder Nancy Newman Rice, above, greeted many friends and former students at her exhibition titled My Reflections, another example of mind-bending creativity.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Peter Pincus Nancy Newman Rice Lesley Richmond Judith Ernst Jordan McGirk Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery

Rice’s Illuminated Path, a 24 x 24″ oil on canvas on panel, is shown above. Whenever I attend one of her exhibitions, I find myself studying Rice’s paintings trying to figure out how in the world she executes them.

Rice says of her current paintings: “They are compilations of geometric patterns that the winter sun produced as it was filtered through horizontal blinds on a blank wall, thus defining spatial limits.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Peter Pincus Nancy Newman Rice Lesley Richmond Judith Ernst Jordan McGirk Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery

Proprietor Duane Reed was pleased to announce that Lesley Richmond, whose stunning work, Two Poplars, is shown above, is exhibiting at his gallery for the first time. The Vancouver-based artist’s work looks sculptural, but begins as a photograph printed on cloth. To learn more about her process, click here.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Peter Pincus Nancy Newman Rice Lesley Richmond Judith Ernst Jordan McGirk Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery

Ceramic artist Peter Pincus’ beautiful work includes 10 x 5 x 5″ Bottles Tryptych, left, colored porcelain and gold luster.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Peter Pincus Nancy Newman Rice Lesley Richmond Judith Ernst Jordan McGirk Houska Gallery Duane Reed Gallery

Also included in the current exhibition is glazed stoneware by Special Guest Artist Judith Ernst. The ceramicist’s 15.5 x 17″ Autumnal Equinox 2 is shown above right.

The current exhibition will remain on view at Duane Reed Gallery, 4729 McPherson, until May 4. Open Tues. – Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by appt. (314) 361-4100.

You’ll find announcements of future gallery openings on this blog’s calendar.