Designer to Watch: Michael Cepress

Well-known for his dapper and tailored men’s wear designs, this talent is now doing women's wear.
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Michael Cepress wears many artistic hats: The Capitol Hill-based, 30-something designer is well-known for his dapper and tailored men’s wear designs, a sublime talent he juggles with costume design, teaching fashion courses at the University of Washington and curating fashion exhibitions. Now he’s adding women’s wear designer to his résumé.

After a two-year design hiatus, Cepress will make a grand re-entry this month with a capsule collection of women’s, men’s and unisex garments inspired by the hippie styles of the 1960s and ’70s. But the road from dandy to flower child is not as long as it might first seem. “What is so inspiring about the countercultural perspective of the 1960s is people were not only investigating their style, but themselves,” says Cepress, whose designs are ever rooted in cultural and historical perspectives. “Exploring this period has given me the freedom to expand upon traditional tailoring.”

The new collection maintains Cepress’ tailored hand in trim vests and neatly tucked pants, but then jaunts toward more flowing, mod styles with warm, earthy tones and rough textures. Bridging the gap between dresses and suits are his self-described “shape-shifters” creatively cut pieces that can be layered and styled differently by men and women, much like Japanese kimonos or South American unkus. “I think Seattle has just seen a sliver of what I can do,” he says. “I’ve still got another hat to throw in the ring.”

Available at michaelcepress.com

New Skincare Company, 3B, Delivers Beauty by the Boxful

New Skincare Company, 3B, Delivers Beauty by the Boxful

A Seattle-based skin care company brings beauty breakthroughs to your door
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Goodies from a 3B beauty box

Ke Chen, cofounder of 3B (Beauty Beyond Borders), says skin care in Asia is approached the same way the French think about food. “It’s an art form,” she says. Chen, whose Seattle-based subscription beauty box company launched last year, says this “art form” can include a 10-step cleansing ritual and feature innovative, exotic ingredients like bee venom and snail mucus to soothe and repair skin.

 

Chen has found that obtaining these elite Asian skin care products stateside takes time and research, which is why she’s offering them via a home subscription service ($15/month), which delivers a collection of Korean, Taiwanese and Japanese skin care samples, such as the Neogence Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Lotion from Taiwan and Leaders’ 7 Wonders Amazonian Acai Anti-Pollution Mask from South Korea. When subscribers find a product they can’t live without, they can shop for the full-size product on 3B’s website (the3bbox.com).

Local and national focus groups of bloggers, YouTubers and beauty influencers help Chen keep up on Asian skin care trends and determine what ends up in the boxes. You could say that 3B has skin in this game.