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Shop4Hope Recap: Guilt-free Retail Therapy for a Cause



CEO & Founder of Ladies WHO Lunch, Maria Kritikos

Ladies WHO Lunch, a social, business, and philanthropic networking vehicle, was created in 2013 by a fierce and fabulous socialite who exists with a purpose. CEO & Founder Maria Kritikos carries the burning desire for every woman to live a life of freedom and dreams beyond their own expectations and everyone else’s.

So while the network is home to the nation’s most influential and glamorous women propelling each other to move forward with each other’s goals, the network has also proven its other mantra – making a difference in the world. In only two years of its existence, Ladies WHO Lunch has already hosted eight events, with every single one giving back to a charity of their choice.


Shop4Hope featured an array of the nation’s most influential women.

Their first gathering of 2015, the 2nd annual Shop4Hope event, was held on May 12th at the fabulous Holt Renfrew in Downtown Vancouver. I had the privilege of being present in a space filled with a group of high-energy, positive and supportive women; the energy in the room was so magnetic that I am assured every single individual left inspired! Aside from getting to network in style, guests were treated to a celebrity-infused fashion show including TV Host Fiona Forbes, CFox radio host Karen Khunkhun, fashion editor and author Marilyn Wilson and international celebrity stylist Kim Appelt to name just a few. Holt Renfrew donated 10% of the evening’s sales to the network’s chosen charity, Dress for Success Vancouver, allowing the event to raise thousands in an hour!

Fashion editor & author, Marilyn R. Wilson

Fashion editor & author, Marilyn R. Wilson

Read my interview with CEO & Founder Maria Kritikos and find out more about the Shop4Hope event below:

What is Ladies Who Lunch?

Ladies Who Lunch is a global movement of women in business, fashion and philanthropy living their dream and making a difference in the world. I created the network to assemble a community of fearless and fabulous game changers, and it’s really to inspire other women to reach their full potential. We love to wear fancy hats and sparkly shoes but that’s just one part of the network. We are business women, philanthropists, community leaders – we are women who are not afraid to dream big. And this is exactly what Shop4Hope is – this event is a manifestation of what was just a mere idea for me, a dream that I sometimes doubted would happen or at times I believed I couldn’t make happen. I am living proof that you can do whatever you set your mind to as long as you make your desire greater than your excuses.

I know first hand how incredible this network really is! Let our readers know how you came up with the idea for Shop4Hope.

This event really is to give back to women less fortunate than ourselves. I started this last year as a heart-felt response to the horrible tragedy that happened in the Philippines after a typhoon left the country in devastation. After watching the footage, my son and I were left in tears, and I couldn’t sit back and do nothing. We managed to raise just over $2,000 to donate to the Canadian Medical Assistance Teams who were on the ground there. Shop4Hope is an event that truly incorporates all the values of the network which are passion, independence, authentic self expression and most importantly, contribution. So being here in Holt Renfrew to give back is such a dream come true!

Joanna Kritikos, Founder of

Joanna Kritikos, Founder of

How did the partnership with Holt Renfrew come about?

I was at a fundraiser in the fall and Holt’s expressed interest in partnering up with the Ladies WHO Lunch Network. They have been keeping an eye on us on social media and brought this idea forward to organize something. It’s so wonderful! What a great collaboration and an honour to host an event at such a great establishment.

Why did you choose Dress for Success Vancouver?

They are an organization that the Ladies WHO Lunch have given back to at our other events in the past. They really embody the principles and values of our network which is contribution and making a difference in the lives of women in less fortunate circumstances that ourselves. It’s the perfect choice to really help empower women into the workforce to live their dreams and reach their fullest potential.

Christina Florencio, Marketing & Sponsorship Manager for Dress for Success Vancouver & TV Host Kristina Matisic

Christina Florencio, Marketing & Sponsorship Manager for Dress for Success Vancouver & TV Host Kristina Matisic

What was your objective for hosting this event? 

The intention was to assemble a community of powerful and influential women coming together to have fun, make valuable connections, and enjoy fashion all while making a difference. It’s about turning your dreams into a reality, being scared but taking action anyway, putting it all on the table even if you’re not sure how it’s going to turn out. It’s about living your passion and doing what lights you up.

Entrepreneur Laurie Ashley with friend Amelia.

Entrepreneur Laurie Ashley with friend Amelia.

What’s next for Ladies WHO Lunch?

I want women to know that there is a very powerful force at work in our lives right now, and it’s called the Law of Attraction.  It really is attracting people, jobs, situations and relationships into your life – with not all being good. As a certified Law of Attraction facilitator, I teach the 3 step formula that you can use in any situation in your life whether personal or business that will turn you into a magnet attracting easily and effortlessly whatever it is you desire. This was the exact secret I had when I started the Ladies WHO Lunch Network from nothing into what it is today, as well as how my dream for Shop4Hope became a reality.

Shop4Hope did just that – it showed the world that when you overcome your fears and organize a community of like-minded, influential women together, powerful things can happen for the greater good.

And don’t be disappointed if you missed the event, as you can still get to know the women who graced the runway with the Ladies WHO Lunch Speaker Series. Starting June 1, 2015, you can get free access to this virtual training event that features 10 game changing women who reveal what it means to live your passion and make a difference. You truly are who you choose to surround yourself with, so if you’re looking to be a part of a network that will support, motivate, inspire and encourage you to make your dreams a reality, then Ladies WHO Lunch just might be the right place for you.

Maria Kritikos with Krystele Chavez, Communications Representative of the Ladies WHO Lunch Network.

Maria Kritikos with Krystele Chavez, Communications Representative of the Ladies WHO Lunch Network.

Krystele was born and raised on the beautiful island of Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands. Although from a tiny community, she was already traveling to North America at the age of 12 to compete and champion international public speaking competitions. Her global perspective has helped her branch out to discover new opportunities when she moved to BC seven years ago. At just 21, she has received a B.A. in Communications from SFU and has already worked for numerous organizations including Metro Vancouver, Canadian Cancer Society, Special Olympics BC, and the BC Non-Profit Housing Association to name a few. She is an entrepreneur, and handles social media for reputable brands. Krystele's passion is to help others find their voice and be heard, as well as inspire others to make the world a better place.


8 Best Beard and Hairstyle Combo For A Men



The combination of hairstyle and beard is necessarily not acknowledged by every guy but in order to have perfect look, you need a combination that gives you a leverage look. Your look turns attractive only when you have the right beard and hairstyle combination. In this article, we are going to come across various combinations that will help you in finding the one that you need. Your beard and hairstyle choice should be based on your hair type. If you have thin hair then you would need an attractive beard that suits your hairstyle. On the other hand of your hair are thick then your beard should complement your hairstyle.

  • Contrast and Style: You can complement your hairstyle shade that can complement your beard shade. It is quite trendy. It is an interesting way to try different looks and look different and handsome with different tones.
  • Military Haircut: A short and trimmed beard is the best compliment to your military hairstyle look. This is the best way to balance your hairstyle look with your beard.
  • Light Beard with Medium Hair length: A light beard style suits the hair with volume and medium length. You would get a cool look with such contrast.
  • Beard and Long Hair: Long hair is ideal for those who carry a rigid look. However, the long hairstyle might give those with a thin face an awkward appearance. Although if you are quite inclined towards long hair look then you should keep your beard growth towards the jawline. Your long hair and manly look come hand in hand when you try this out.
  • You can try on various looks irrespective of the length of your hair. The best Panasonic electric shavers can provide you with the type of clean shave that helps you look your best. You can try on many hairstyles and beard combos. You do not wish for any unnecessary bumps on your head post head shaving. If you are an enthusiast who likes to try different looks on his face then you also need to carry the best grooming material. Your head needs a shaver that provides fine changes without any cuts. It should go smooth on your head surface. These were some basic tips.

Let us now discuss the hairstyle that is best for your beard type and gives you a signature and unique look:

1. Short Beard with wild curls
If you have been dying to carry a sexy and appealing look then putting your curls free will make them irresistible and you would be a piece of attraction for many. You can create magic with your short beard and wild curls.
2. Medium Beard for Long Stylish Hair
In this combination, you can complement your long and sleek hair by tying them at the back of our heads. The side portion of your head is tapered and cut short while moving down. You can slay it off with a fuller and medium beard to add to your manly appearance.
3. Natural Beard and short hair
Comb your short hair backwards always. The long hair stripes should be arranged backwards and the rest should be tapered on the sides of your head. Have a full beard that should be of medium length and turns thinner while reaching your ears.
4. Elegantly styled and short beard
If your style statement promotes style with elegance then this can be your major goal. You can gel and rush your hair of medium length to the back. Your beard should be short and thick. This combination is surely going to provide you with a charming and classy look at the same time.
5. Overgrown stubble for overgrown hair
If you wish to have long hair but do not want to carry a messy look at the same time then this can be your right combination. With an overgrown beard, you can complement your long hair look at your best.
6. Hair and tapered beard
Tapering is the best way to look stylish and handsome. Your personality gets an overall boost up and you get a charming and friendly look. Your beards are tapered on the edges and are of medium length. Along with your beard, your hair is also tapered on the edges. Your messy hairstyle from the front gets balanced and gives you a gentlemanly appearance.
7. Full Beard with Short spikes
Spikes can be a great styling option if you have short hair. Along with that, you can have a full beard and you will rock in your look.
8. Intense long beard with lower bun
You should embrace your long sleek hair by tying them at the back and an untrimmed fully grown beard can give you a mystical look. You would be all set to share your strong intense persona to the world.
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How Emerging Fashion Label ASELECTFEW is empowering South Asian Culture through Streetwear



An Inside look into ASELECTFEW with creator Moneey Singh about the new collection and their latest event.

By Gagan Jhand

ASELECTFEW – A new streetwear label in Vancouver is taking inspiration from South Asian truck art in their launch of their latest “Phool Patti” (truck art) Collection drop. With designs that incorporate it’s Indian roots through the use of custom turmeric dyes, hand-painted elements, and Hindi script imprinted and woven into the garments, ASELECTFEW’s new collection embodies an authentic truck art aesthetic infused with modern street culture.

In the creation of the brand ASELECTFEW, designer and Creative Moneey Singh combines his 8-year background in engineering with his passion for preserving his Indian roots through fashion. “In order for people to truly embrace other cultures outside of their own, they need exposure in ways that still connects without it feeling too foreign.” Moneey Singh speaks on the significance and story telling behind the brand

Using Turmeric dyes to create their signature bright colors, and artwork derive from truck art molded into their own reinterpretation – the line embodies premium quality through their choice of fabrics and traditional South Asian garment making methods.

The usage of Hindi script tells a story through poetic phrases that translate to popular sayings in India such as “Kismet Ka Khel “ –as fate would have it or “Pyar Ka Karz” translating to “love costs”.

“I believe that things happen for a reason. That is what led me to this direction, to create this brand. With Pyar Ka Karz – I think this phrase would resonate with many because everything has a cost, even love. I had a great career in engineering, manufacturing, and project management – which led me to learn how to process things and implement change. It gave me the foundation to build and create, to want to evolve and innovate. At the end of the day through my experience, what I learned is that it’s all about communication.” Moneey Singh shares on his journey and experience that led him to create the brand.

The collection offers a range of tees, pants, shorts and hoodies made from heavy-weight 100% USA premium cotton and custom dye processes. As ASELECTFEW® had their official launch in June 2019, they’ve been organizing exclusive local events to be able to showcase their collection as well as connect with the community.

“It’s important for us to keep a strong tie with the community and hosting events allow us to do exactly that, have people coming together to celebrate art and culture. It also allows us to showcase what we’re about – creating thought-provoking, wearable art that pays homage to south Asian heritage.” Moneey Singh describes of their Events.

ASELECTFEW® at 5X festival, Beaumont Studios, Vancouver BC –June 2019

ASELECTFEW® at 5X festival, Beaumont Studios, Vancouver BC –June 2019

ASELECTFEW® is presenting their latest event happening this weekend- September 28th-29th as they debut their first pop-up and listening party – in collaboration with their new merch collection with world-renowned artist Khanvict. The Pop-Up will take place from 11:00am-7:00pm at the Sneaker Gallery in Gastown, located at 151 Cambie Street, Vancouver BC.

ASELECTFEW® at the Leisure centre, Vancouver BC – August 2019

ASELECTFEW® at the Leisure centre, Vancouver BC – August 2019

ASELECTFEW®’s pop-up viewings are appointment only and bookings can be made through their website at All guests that book an appointment will receive 30% the entire collection on any purchase made in-store, an ASELECTFEW® custom tote bag, two tickets to the evening listening party (RSVP here), as well as entered to win a raffle prize. Guests that book an appointment will also receive a 100-dollar credit towards any sneaker purchase at six hundred four. The evening listening party is from 7:00pm-11:30pm and is invite only, however all guests that book an appointment through our website are entitled to two tickets for the event which will offer free drinks, our new collection preview as well an opportunity to hear Khanvict’s new Kahani EP release.

To find out more about the brand, visit their website at To book an appointment for their latest event – register at

Instagram: aselectfew_official
Contact details:

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Highlights: South Asian Fashion Week 2019



Vancouver B.C. | For a city that’s usually not known for its sense of fashion, South Asian Fashion Week is here to save our fashion impaired city.

Once again, co-founders Cindy Khella and Farah Hassan have come together to host an event that celebrates and recognizes South Asian designers success locally and internationally.

Compared to last year’s event, this year’s show included a larger range of diverse contributors including, designers, stylists, models, artists, photographers and filmmakers.

The show was filled with collaborations from all artistic walks of life.

This year’s designers included Falguni Shane Peacock who A-list celebrities such as Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Priyanka Chopra Jonas have worn designs custom made to them. By popular demand, Falguni Shane Peacock was asked to walk two out of the three nights for their jaw-dropping designs.


Baynes and Baker, a dominantly male fashion line, used the SAFW runway to showcase their new women’s line. Many guests were in “awe” and excited for the numerous pieces they could wear day to day to work. Guests took to Instagram to say how much they loved and needed to own pieces of this new collection.

Show stoppers, Masters in Leasure by Dontdoze took the stage to uniquely display a fusion of paintings, sculptures and clothing. The stage was used to display the artist’s fashion and costume design project. Their designs symbolized and connected to the works of artists such as Banksy who had painted, “Love is in the Bin.”

Dontdoze has also produced and curated an art showcase that was displayed outside of the runway where guests had the opportunity to take look at Dontdoze’s and local artists work. The artists curated in the showcase included work from Sandeep Johal, Ricky and Rajan, Sunroop Kaur and Paint to Paper Studios.

Local Surrey designers took the stage as well, just as much displaying their collections besides international and national designers.

SAFW included many other surprises including Canadian influencers that sat within the audience. Influencers included MangHoe Lassi a Canadian-Pakistani drag queen, Pooja Patel a social media influencer, and Wanting Qu Chinese singer-songwriter.

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UP! Pants new Spring/Summer 2019 collection available now! Let your ‘Spring Romance’ bloom with face of the brand Niki Taylor



Celebrate the warming weather with the incredible pants that blend fashion, function and fit, with UP! Pants’ new ‘Spring Romance’ (S/S ’19) collection available now! Enjoy a multitude of colorful and fun new styles in the pants that make every woman feel fabulous.

The Montreal-born brand is also thrilled announce that supermodel and icon Niki Taylor will be returning as the face of their Spring/Summer ‘19 collection. A real-life embodiment of what UP! aspires to achieve: inner beauty, warmth, and confidence; UP! is honored to share their efforts in making every woman blossom with confidence this Spring with Niki.

Let your Spring Romance bloom and blossom with UP! Pants and Niki! The Spring/Summer ’19 Collection is an amazing mix of bold and fun colourful prints, combined with geometric and textured jacquard patterns. From bright orange sunflowers, to soft black & navy toiles,

pastel floral arrangements and vibrant micro florals, the choices are endless! This collection places a greater emphasis on color and prints that pop, while also including the styles UP! is known for with side slits, petal slit detailing, boot cuts, straight legs and more!

The upcoming collection also marks the return of their luxury Cavalli twill fabric, designed in pastel tones including; dusty rose and blue – injecting a soft feminine feel into the design. Furthermore, the brand’s luxury Roma fabric will now come in a gaucho, the perfect trans-seasonal pants! Lastly, with the popularity of their denim collection, UP! Pants has added a white crop! It’s safe to say that there’s tons to look forward to this season!

Spring/Summer ’19 will be UP! Pants’ second collaboration with Niki. As creative director Jacqueline Harris explains: “Niki is a timeless beauty she is just as beautiful now at 43 as she was at 16, 22, and 32! She never goes out of style which epitomizes exactly what UP! Pants is all about. We, like Niki, are not a fad.”

Since its development in 2014, UP! Pants has been revolutionizing the fashion world, by merging function and fit with its transformative pull-on pants. A brand designed to empower women and make them feel confident in who they are, UP! Is now available in over 600 stores across Canada.

UP!’s pull-on pants breakthrough THINCREDIBLE FIT technology works by using materials that stretch perfectly and comfortably to conceal any imperfections. The contour stretch waistband gives everyone’s middle the most flattering look. It’s built-in front panel slims and flattens in comfortable ways. Whether it be to a meeting, a night-out with friends, or a casual weekend at home, enjoy the look and feel that makes every woman feel perfect in her pants!

The company that manufactures the best feeling and best looking pull-on pants for women, UP! Pants continues to make women feel beautiful inside and out with their new collection. Let your Spring Romance bloom in all its shapes and sizes with UP! Pants’ Spring/Summer 2019 collection!

Additional Information:

Website | InstagramFacebook | Find a store near you

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South Asian Fashion Week second walk will bring more surprises



Vancouver, B.C. | The second annual South Asian Fashion Week has finally arrived in Vancouver, and this year’s event coordinators and designers are coming in with all they’ve got.

This week, Feb. 21, SAFW hosted a media launch in Yaletown’s exclusive and hidden gem, the Pierre’s Champagne Lounge. Media was invited to mingle alongside the co-founders of SAFW, two of the show’s designers, as well as a few models of the show who wore the selected designs that introduced this year’s collection.

The designers invited to display their line Thursday evening were House of Raina representing women’s fashion as well as Baynes and Baker, representing men’s fashion. Both designers walked the runway last year and both have big plans for this year’s runway.

SAFW’s co-founders Farah Hasan and Cindy Khella, believe that Vancouver was an obvious choice to display South Asian fashion for its diversity and fashion scene.

“Vancouver may be known for it’s Lululemon and love for yoga, but Vancouver also loves fashion,” said Hasan.

After their first attempt to display South Asian fashion, the show captures major international attention which caused Hasan and Khella the ability to let the show grow.

This year numerous vendors will be displaying their work prior, during and before the showcase. Guests can also expect to see designers such as Falguni Shane Peacock whose designed for celebrities like Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Priyanka Chopra Jonas.

Models from around the world have been invited to walk the runway and are flying in from locations such as Burma, Toronto, Los Angles and New York.

According to Khella, just like last years run, the stage is open and is meant to be diverse and representative.

“We’re really honoured to have these people come aboard and be a part of South Asian Fashion Week. For us, South Asian Fashion Week is almost like a melting pot, not only for cultures but also for different ideas,” said Khella.

Apart from the clothing and jewellery that will be displayed, Khella and Hasan have introduced an art lounge that is open to young and upcoming artists. The space is not only open to South Asian artists but is an opportunity for anyone.

Khella said that giving opportunities to young and upcoming artists is important to SAFW and she hopes to continue to incorporate the art lounge in coming years.

Details included in the graphic can be found on South Asian Fashion Week’s official site.

This year’s show includes a lot of firsts and numerous opportunities for young artists. According to Khella, young people interested in fashion, photography, videography, makeup and other artistic abilities can have the opportunity to join a new mentorship program.

“We want to create a platform where (artists) can come in and they can experience firsthand how it is to do makeup and to take photos,” said Khella.

This mentorship gives young people the opportunity to use showcase their talents. With Khella and Hasan behind them, they will also provide equipment, if needed, to those selected.

To kick the mentorship off, five artists have already been selected.

South Asian Fashion Week will run for three days during the first week of March.

To Khella, the success of fashion week can be credited to their guests.

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