Home 2013 February

Marco Italiano

Upon the launch of Marco Bicego’s new Murano collection, the Italian designer chats with Town & Country’s Stellene Volandes about the country that inspires them

Town & Country Style Director Stellene Volandes and Italian jewelry designer Marco Bicego have quite a bit in common. Of course they both have a deep appreciation for fine jewelry — who doesn’t love an eye-catching new gem? But they also share an intense affection for Bicego’s native Italy. For Bicego, it was the tiny glassmaking island of Murano that set the scene to inspire his latest collection, available only at Saks. For Volandes, it is a place she admires, adores and cannot wait to travel to again and again. When I think of Murano, I think of… Marco Bicego: When I was a kid, I remember traveling there with my family to see the glassmaking process. When I was there as an adult it…

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Town & Country Style Director Stellene Volandes and Italian jewelry designer Marco Bicego have quite a bit in common. Of course they both have a deep appreciation for fine jewelry — who doesn’t love an eye-catching new gem? But they also share an intense affection for Bicego’s native Italy. For Bicego, it was the tiny glassmaking island of Murano that set the scene to inspire his latest collection, available only at Saks. For Volandes, it is a place she admires, adores and cannot wait to travel to again and again.

When I think of Murano, I think of…

Marco Bicego: When I was a kid, I remember traveling there with my family to see the glassmaking process. When I was there as an adult it was a different experience for me. Murano is so modern, but also so timeless, much like how I see my designs. I discovered something more intense — the deep colors, the organic, natural way of the glass. I imagined the yellow gold mixed with these deep semi-precious stones. The collection is a mix of everything put together — the organic, irregular shapes. I’m very happy with the way this collection came out.

Stellene Volandes: Murano really is a unique, special place. You arrive in Venice and take this little boat to Murano where you can see this next generation of artisans literally creating magic out of fire. It truly is a place where the modern mixes so beautifully with tradition.

When I think of Venice I think of…

S.V.: A place that is preserved in the past, but where people live such modern lives.

M.B.: Romance. In summer or winter, but for me the winter in Venice is very special. In just one hour there you come away with such energy and inspiration.

While in Italy, I love to…

M.B.: Discover new places whether it’s in the city or in the country, there’s always something new to see.

S.V.: I absolutely love going to Rome to sit outside at a restaurant and have lunch — pasta, prosciutto and wine — and watching how well dressed everyone is. I also love the pool at the Villa d’Este. I have yet to find another place where I am so happy.

My best advice when traveling to Italy…

M.B.: Rent a car and explore all of those little out of the way places. It’s a perfect way to discover something new and have that true local experience.

S.V.: Pack lots of gold jewelry. Pack whatever you have. In Italy, they know how to wear it and wear it well in a very casual way. I wear jewelry every hour of everyday, but when I’m in Italy I always discover a new way to wear my jewelry. What I love about Marco’s designs is that you can mix them with things that you already have in such a timeless, beautiful way.

 

MORE:

Shop Marco Bicego at Saks Fifth Avenue.

 


What Lies Beneath

Finding three perfect underthings to go under three perfect Little Black Dresses

In honor of Wacoal’s Fit for a Cure campaign with Saks (where Wacoal will donate $2 for every person that gets fitted for a bra to Susan G. Komen for the Cure for breast cancer outreach programs), I picked out three amazing LBDs — a staple in every woman’s wardrobe — and show you just the perfect bra to wear underneath each. Rebecca Taylor Lasercut strapless dress: Show off those shoulders! A strapless bra allows you to show more skin up top and supports what needs supporting. If you’re self-conscious about revealing so much skin, no worries — just add a coordinating bolero or shawl. Alexander Wang Crepe V-neck dress: Perhaps you’ve been wanting to channel Jennifer Lopez, with her famous navel grazing looks (we can…

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In honor of Wacoal’s Fit for a Cure campaign with Saks (where Wacoal will donate $2 for every person that gets fitted for a bra to Susan G. Komen for the Cure for breast cancer outreach programs), I picked out three amazing LBDs — a staple in every woman’s wardrobe — and show you just the perfect bra to wear underneath each.

Rebecca Taylor Lasercut strapless dress: Show off those shoulders! A strapless bra allows you to show more skin up top and supports what needs supporting. If you’re self-conscious about revealing so much skin, no worries — just add a coordinating bolero or shawl.

Alexander Wang Crepe V-neck dress: Perhaps you’ve been wanting to channel Jennifer Lopez, with her famous navel grazing looks (we can agree that it all began in 2000 with the iconic Versace look at the Grammys). With that in mind, I suggest seeking out a demi bra, for a bit of oomph. I wouldn’t go as low as she does when it comes to the deep V, but the demure cups should help show off your cleavage without giving your undergarments a cameo appearance.

Grayse Studded Sleeveless dress: A body-hugging and shape-flaunting look like this makes the ideal case for a “t-shirt” bra. The bra’s seamless, smoothing features are designed to handle those extra-clingy fabrics that show no mercy.

 

MORE:

Get fitted for a Wacoal bra at your local Saks Fifth Avenue and Wacoal will donate $2 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure for breast cancer outreach programs.

 

 


Altruism and Artistry

Iconic designer Michael Kors chats philanthropy and spring fashion

We’re celebrating Saks Loves Your Cause month at Saks in February, a charitable initiative in its second year that donates a percentage of purchases with a Saks card to certain charities. For this month, Saks has partnered with the Robin Hood Foundation, The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the American Red Cross, which just received a generous gift from Michael Kors. We got the details! SaksPOV: How did you become involved with the American Red Cross? Michael Kors: We’ve turned to them several times in the past few years. We donated a million dollars to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund after Hurricane Sandy. Also, following the tsunami in Japan we donated the proceeds from a limited-edited handbag to the Japanese Red…

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We’re celebrating Saks Loves Your Cause month at Saks in February, a charitable initiative in its second year that donates a percentage of purchases with a Saks card to certain charities. For this month, Saks has partnered with the Robin Hood Foundation, The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the American Red Cross, which just received a generous gift from Michael Kors. We got the details!

SaksPOV: How did you become involved with the American Red Cross?
Michael Kors: We’ve turned to them several times in the past few years. We donated a million dollars to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund after Hurricane Sandy. Also, following the tsunami in Japan we donated the proceeds from a limited-edited handbag to the Japanese Red Cross.

SaksPOV: You recently made a million-dollar gift to the Red Cross!
M.K.: That was in response to Hurricane Sandy, a natural disaster that hit very close to home for me, literally. So many of our employees, our customers and their families were affected. I’m a lifelong New Yorker, born in Long Island, and I was totally heartbroken at the devastation. We knew the Red Cross was on the front lines of the disaster and that our donation would get to those who needed help quickly.

SaksPOV: Spring is near. What was the inspiration for your collection?
M.K.: My spring collection was inspired by the effortless glamour of California in the Sixties and Seventies and by the Modernist architecture of that time created by the likes of Richard Neutra, Eero Saarinen and John Lautner. The palette is pure L.A.— pool blue, grass green, sun yellow. It’s very strong and optimistic.

SaksPOV: For those shopping during Saks’ charity month, what items in your collection are absolute must-haves?
M.K.: Something striped, like my deck-stripe three-button jacket, a striped pant or a striped crewneck tee. They’re sharp and graphic and you’ll wear them forever. An easy but glamorous dress, like our chain-front shift, that you can just throw on and head out the door looking fabulous. A cut-out gown in black for evening. A Miranda tote.

 

MORE:

Shop Michael Kors on Saks.com.

 

 


NYFW, The Outtakes

Saks’ Official New York Fashion Week Street Style Photographer shares some of her best shots!

Where did she get that? Why Saks, of course! As you know by now, we tapped Karen Blanchard, the uber cool, camera toting, well-shod blogger of Where Did U Get That? to capture the latest trends at New York Fashion Week for Saks.com. Karen braved frigid winter temperatures, a blizzard named Nemo and a dearth of available taxis, all in the name of fashion. Here are some of her favorite outtakes from our shoot! “The biggest challenge of shooting fashion week in February is the temperature. It’s so much colder in New York in February….and yet everyone manages to dress smart and cool and chic in every outfit.”   “There’s such troupers, they’re the fashion soldiers,” says Blanchard of well-dressed industry-types. “You see women in…

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Where did she get that? Why Saks, of course! As you know by now, we tapped Karen Blanchard, the uber cool, camera toting, well-shod blogger of Where Did U Get That? to capture the latest trends at New York Fashion Week for Saks.com. Karen braved frigid winter temperatures, a blizzard named Nemo and a dearth of available taxis, all in the name of fashion. Here are some of her favorite outtakes from our shoot!

“The biggest challenge of shooting fashion week in February is the temperature. It’s so much colder in New York in February….and yet everyone manages to dress smart and cool and chic in every outfit.”

 

“There’s such troupers, they’re the fashion soldiers,” says Blanchard of well-dressed industry-types. “You see women in the brightest sherbets, pastels, neons — and they’re leaping over puddles and sleet! They contrast beautifully with the city.

 

 Miroslava Duma, wearing Chanel Haute Couture, Blanchard’s favorite street style subject.

 

“As far as jewelry I’ve always thought that during winter it’s less seen, so I always look to those trying to work against that and work in the jewelry anyway. Perfect layering pieces to pop out of a coat sleeve!”

 

“There are a lot of people on the streets themselves that nobody knows…I call them the phantom stars.”

 

MORE:

See the complete story on Saks.com.

 

 


Shoe Obsession

Fun fact: The average American woman owns 20 pairs of shoes.  We can do better than that. We’re absolutely obsessed with shoes over here at Saks (hello, 10022-SHOE!) and apparently, so are the curators at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, which recently bowed an exhibit called Shoe Obsession, on view until April 13.  The exhibit, co-curated by Dr. Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of The Museum at FIT, Colleen Hill, associate curator of accessories and senior curator of costume Fred Dennis, features over 150 extreme, extraordinary and exemplary shoes from contemporary footwear styles by the likes of Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, and Pierre Hardy. Our shoe-loving community manager Melanie Kwong previewed the Saks-sponsored exhibit exclusively for SaksPOV readers. The Double Art…

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Fun fact: The average American woman owns 20 pairs of shoes.  We can do better than that. We’re absolutely obsessed with shoes over here at Saks (hello, 10022-SHOE!) and apparently, so are the curators at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, which recently bowed an exhibit called Shoe Obsession, on view until April 13.  The exhibit, co-curated by Dr. Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of The Museum at FIT, Colleen Hill, associate curator of accessories and senior curator of costume Fred Dennis, features over 150 extreme, extraordinary and exemplary shoes from contemporary footwear styles by the likes of Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, and Pierre Hardy. Our shoe-loving community manager Melanie Kwong previewed the Saks-sponsored exhibit exclusively for SaksPOV readers.

The Double Art

“Get an artist into the mix and and it becomes a masterpiece.”

Manolo Blahnik with Damien Hirst, Lace 2002

 

Nicholas Kirkwood/Keith Haring, 2011

 

The Abstract

“Using the form of a shoe, these are absolutely unique pieces of art.”

Janina Alleyne, Exoskeleton, 2012

 

Tea Petrovic, Shoe Prototype 2009

 

The Extravagant

“Not for the faint of heart, these shoes tell a story…or you can make your own.”

Andreia Chaves Invisible, 2011

 

Nicholas Kirkwood, Alice 2011

 

Masaya Kushino, Lung-ta (‘horse of wind’ in Tibetan), 2008

 

MORE:

Visit Shoe Obsession on view until April 13 at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

 

 


Home Plate

Michael Aram launches first-ever dinnerware collection at Saks

We’ve become experts at mixing and matching our wardrobes for ultimate utility. Those Christian Louboutin tie dyed platforms will look equally fetching with both skinnies as they will with a breezy summer dress. That McQueen lace vest will pair well with matching trousers for a dinner at Indochine, or on with a t-shirt and cropped shorts for a weekend shopping jaunt. Can you say the same for your dinnerware? Designer Michael Aram has it covered. The New York-based arbiter of hand-wrought tableware, furniture and decorative objects has launched his first collection of dinnerware at Saks. Like the overall Michael Aram collection, the plates, chargers, bowls and flatware are all interchangeable for a custom look for your home or party. Stuck on a deep cereal bowl?…

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We’ve become experts at mixing and matching our wardrobes for ultimate utility. Those Christian Louboutin tie dyed platforms will look equally fetching with both skinnies as they will with a breezy summer dress. That McQueen lace vest will pair well with matching trousers for a dinner at Indochine, or on with a t-shirt and cropped shorts for a weekend shopping jaunt. Can you say the same for your dinnerware? Designer Michael Aram has it covered. The New York-based arbiter of hand-wrought tableware, furniture and decorative objects has launched his first collection of dinnerware at Saks.

Like the overall Michael Aram collection, the plates, chargers, bowls and flatware are all interchangeable for a custom look for your home or party. Stuck on a deep cereal bowl? Check. In need of a delicate teacup? He’s got it. The collection is articulated in Limoges porcelain and is offered in five interchangeable patterns using the designer’s signature motifs from orchid, olive branch botanical leaves and the like. Some styles offer Aram’s metallic touch such as the Silver Smith, which has a hand-hammered platinum detail at the rims.

“We’re trying to take away the formality of dressing your table,” says Aram. “We think of it as accessorizing — it’s about mix and match.”

 

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Shop Michael Aram.

 

 

 


Chic Little Things

A preview of Oscar de la Renta’s new children’s collection at Saks!

It’s the usual morning rush – I am supposed to be out the door in five minutes (thank goodness my commute is only 3 subway stops!) and the little lady is insistent upon wearing her princess dress. As a parent, dressing your children can be fun, challenging, frustrating and comical! Dressing kids is about finding the right combination of what you like (what looks chic) and what they like (what is comfortable, and often pink and sparkly). I’ve always loved playing dress up so as a parent I channel that into dressing the little ones everyday. I’m a creative person at heart, so I like to allow them to feel creative as well — even if that means fairy wings every day for three weeks….

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It’s the usual morning rush – I am supposed to be out the door in five minutes (thank goodness my commute is only 3 subway stops!) and the little lady is insistent upon wearing her princess dress. As a parent, dressing your children can be fun, challenging, frustrating and comical! Dressing kids is about finding the right combination of what you like (what looks chic) and what they like (what is comfortable, and often pink and sparkly).

I’ve always loved playing dress up so as a parent I channel that into dressing the little ones everyday. I’m a creative person at heart, so I like to allow them to feel creative as well — even if that means fairy wings every day for three weeks.

The combination of working in fashion and being a mom is kind of perfect — especially when you work at a brand like Oscar de la Renta. This spring, we have some great playtime looks that are timeless, classic and most importantly, they are comfortable enough to wear on the playground.

For the little ladies, I love these fresh spring looks. Every little girl needs a perfect white dress (this one ties up in the back with a signature Oscar bow). I love rompers because they are an easy piece that still looks put together. I especially love the colorful liberty floral romper for this spring. While shorts are a dime a dozen, these scalloped beauties are made out of a soft cotton and the print is straight from the Oscar Runway collection. She will be ready for playtime fun while looking oh-so-chic!

For the little prince in your life there is nothing better than these classic, sporty polo shirts and crisp cotton button-ups–they’ll put together, but not stuffy. I buy them in every color and print because they are easy to layer and with sweaters and hoodies on a cool day. I opt for cargo shorts as a hip twist to the classic trouser.

Here are some more of my favorite pieces from our spring collection.

 

MORE:

Visit Marissa’s blog George and Ruby.

 

 


Downtown Girl in an Uptown World

Style blogger Lainy Hedaya takes a spin in the latest from Helmut Lang in NYC

Lainy Hedaya’s style is decidedly downtown, even though her address isn’t. The New York City style blogger of Haute Inhabit, is known for her edgy looks — Helmut Lang is one of her favorite designers — but perhaps surprisingly, she spends much of her time in uptown Manhattan, where she gathers inspiration for her blog, takes in world class art and sketches fashion looks. Here, Saks spends a day uptown with Lainy, as she wears her favorite new look from the Helmut Lang spring collection, which Vogue called the “fashion equivalent of fashionable surf and turf,” with  boxy jackets and short suits inspired by all things nautical. The “urban ocean”-themed collection is a departure for Lang designers  Nicole and Michael Colovos, who took inspiration from…

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Lainy Hedaya’s style is decidedly downtown, even though her address isn’t. The New York City style blogger of Haute Inhabit, is known for her edgy looks — Helmut Lang is one of her favorite designers — but perhaps surprisingly, she spends much of her time in uptown Manhattan, where she gathers inspiration for her blog, takes in world class art and sketches fashion looks. Here, Saks spends a day uptown with Lainy, as she wears her favorite new look from the Helmut Lang spring collection, which Vogue called the “fashion equivalent of fashionable surf and turf,” with  boxy jackets and short suits inspired by all things nautical. The “urban ocean”-themed collection is a departure for Lang designers  Nicole and Michael Colovos, who took inspiration from the drawings of  nineteenth-century German biologist Ernst Haeckel and tapped tattoo artist Thomas Hooper to recreate his drawings as seen on the jacket in this story.

“I love Helmut Lang because their designs are very sexy. Not sexy in a sense that they are revealing, but the edge and cleanliness of the design is what makes it so attractive. I like this outfit because it’s very comfortable — I can run around in it all day and feel good.”

“Art and fashion blend in a sense that the materials and composition in a garment can be applicable to art.”

“The innate foundation of what I am inspired by comes from my childhood, James Bond films, 18th Century and modern architecture.”

“When I design something I am mainly focused on the construction of the garment. I like things that are complex.”

Photographed by KSWFashion credits: Sea Horse Print blazer, Spectra Jersey Sleeveless top, Glossy linen pants, all by Helmut Lang. Shoes by Jimmy Choo, bag by Christian Louboutin.

 

MORE:

Ready Lainy Hedaya’s blog Haute Inhabit.

See the Spring 2013 Helmut Lang Collection on Saks.com.

 

 


Scarlett Johansson talks about Desire

(the new Dolce and Gabanna scent) and desire (the pulse-pounding want)

Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce aren’t playing coy when it comes to their new perfume. Dubbed Desire, the scent is unblushingly sensual and seductive — but would you expect anything less from this Italian powerhouse? The designers have long traded in sex appeal and Desire, launching this month exclusively at Saks, is no less appassionato. There are top notes of mandarin, lychee, bergamot and lily of the valley enveloping a rich core of caramel-infused vanilla, sandalwood, tuberose and musk — with a soupçon of sweet plum nectar and jasmine thrown in, too. The scent is flirtatious, confident and sultry all at once. If this were a woman, she’d be, well, Scarlett Johansson, who’s currently playing the steamy Maggie in Broadway’s Cat on a Hot Tin…

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Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce aren’t playing coy when it comes to their new perfume. Dubbed Desire, the scent is unblushingly sensual and seductive — but would you expect anything less from this Italian powerhouse? The designers have long traded in sex appeal and Desire, launching this month exclusively at Saks, is no less appassionato. There are top notes of mandarin, lychee, bergamot and lily of the valley enveloping a rich core of caramel-infused vanilla, sandalwood, tuberose and musk — with a soupçon of sweet plum nectar and jasmine thrown in, too. The scent is flirtatious, confident and sultry all at once. If this were a woman, she’d be, well, Scarlett Johansson, who’s currently playing the steamy Maggie in Broadway’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and is the face of the Desire campaign. Here, we talked to the actress about Desire (the scent) and desire (the pulse-pounding want).

SaksPOV: Desire — what it is and how would you describe it?
Scarlett Johansson: I believe Desire to be something unique to each individual. It could be that someone’s personality is desirable, or their looks or sense of humor — it’s something which is not just skin deep and cannot be quantified or defined easily.

SaksPOV: What are some qualities you find desirable in a person?
S.J.: I don’t think there are any specific characteristics that make a person more desirable. We are all different and have our own unique qualities and traits; however, for me humor and intelligence are very attractive qualities.

SaksPOV: What attracted you to this collaboration?
S.J.: I’ve always admired Dolce & Gabbana’s focus on femininity and the way the designers portray women in passionate, audacious ways in their campaigns. For me, the Desire campaign completely encapsulates the emotion of those unique moments you remember for a lifetime. Wearing Desire is that final accessory — it’s the must-have element of your look or outfit that fills you with confidence and that air of magnetism, which is so powerful.

SaksPOV: What was it like working with Dolce and Gabbana — the designers, I mean?
S.J.: It’s been fantastic. I feel so honored that I get to take a look into their world and understand how their minds work creatively — and I love the concept for Desire. Stefano and Domenico are extremely inspiring; from the level of detail they apply in all aspects of their work to the way they work so seamlessly together. It’s incredibly apparent that their personalities complement each other in such a brilliant way and I love how we can see Stefano’s penmanship of the word “Desire” on the bottle. It’s amazing to see the level of involvement and the care and time they put into all their work.

SaksPOV: Should a scent relate to what you’re wearing?
S.J.: I think that it’s important to wear a scent that reflects the way you’re feeling, just as you choose clothes that project a certain attitude or occasion. For example, I would wear Desire with beautiful, elegant clothes to make me feel really feminine and sensual. Having said that, I would also wear Desire with my jeans and a casual top when I am spending time with my family, for example.

 

MORE:

Shop Dolce & Gabbana.

 

 

 


Menswear Runway Report

Our globetrotting Men's Fashion Director Eric Jennings shares his top runway picks

The world of men’s wear recently descended upon Europe for the semiannual exhibition of the men’s collections at Pitti Uomo in Florence and men’s fashion weeks in Milan and Paris. Having just taken in dozens of runway shows and presentations, Saks Fifth Avenue’s intrepid VP and Men’s Fashion Director Eric Jennings distills the season to his five favorite looks. Think of it as your sartorial Cliffs Notes for Fall 2013. 3.1 Phillip Lim “A fantastic patchwork military jacket with a jacquard knit sweater.”   Paul Smith “The bomber jacket is the must have piece next fall. I love the fur lining on this bomber as well as the intarsia knit sweater, and printed shirt and tie.”   DSQUARED “Astrakhan is a runway favorite this season and I…

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The world of men’s wear recently descended upon Europe for the semiannual exhibition of the men’s collections at Pitti Uomo in Florence and men’s fashion weeks in Milan and Paris. Having just taken in dozens of runway shows and presentations, Saks Fifth Avenue’s intrepid VP and Men’s Fashion Director Eric Jennings distills the season to his five favorite looks. Think of it as your sartorial Cliffs Notes for Fall 2013.

3.1 Phillip Lim

“A fantastic patchwork military jacket with a jacquard knit sweater.”

 

Paul Smith

“The bomber jacket is the must have piece next fall. I love the fur lining on this bomber as well as the intarsia knit sweater, and printed shirt and tie.”

 

DSQUARED

“Astrakhan is a runway favorite this season and I love it paired back with denim in this look.”

 

Valentino

“I love Prince of Whales plaid and how Valentino used the black leather detail to make this look very modern.”

 

Viktor & Rolf

“I’m calling fall 2013 the the season of the coat, as I’ve never seen so much outerwear on the runways. Brown is an important new color for tailored clothing, which is why I love this head to toe brown look from Viktor & Rolf. This topcoat has a removable fur trim collar and the cable turtleneck sweater has an interesting resin coating.”

 

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Read more stories featuring Eric Jennings.