Seamless in Seattle Winner: Malia Peoples

This local designer channels the lights of Tokyo in her whimsical designs, which took "Most Playful
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Malia Peoples

Line: Lady Konnyaku
Available at: ladykonnyaku.com, ladykonnyaku.etsy.com

The creative spark: Though she grew up in nearby Olympia, Peoples’ formative design inspirations are Far East, not West Coast. While living in China during her teen years, she became fascinated with her Japanese pals’ closets. “They always had the weirdest, coolest things tucked in there and would wear them in wild pairings,” she says. Thus goes her lively, colorful wear that channels the streets of Tokyo, pairing kooky vintage patterns with out-of-the-box details like balloon sleeves or bell bottom pants.

The collection: A former nonprofit worker, Peoples, 29, often looks to the tube, citing eye-candy shows like Soul Train (hence, the bell bottoms) and old kung fu movies as her inspiration. “I really like to play with color, texture and pattern. I find all my fabrics at thrift stores or through estate sales, and  throw it in a pile, looking for pieces that shouldn’t go together at first glance, but then actually do.”

First garment ever made: “Before I went to fashion school in 2007, I had never sewn anything, and I’ll tell you, learning to sew was harder than learning Chinese. So my first garment was for a class project, a little black dress with an appliqué of a cloud on the skirt.”

Biggest fashion faux pas: “When I was living in China, the fad was to braid your hair, bleach it, perm it and let it all out in this frizzy Afro. It looked so, so cool for four months. But then it grew out, and I was left with 8-inch grow-out with horrible silver tips and just flat on top. I had to wear a bucket hat for an entire summer.”

 

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.