On one of my last warm, winter-break days in Miami, I had the pleasure to reconnect with two super cool people, who also happened to go to my same middle/high school. I won't pretend like we were best friends, granted they're two years older than me, and in MS/HS, those years seem more like centuries - but we did share a chuckle about similar references and the fact that we've all really put the clichéd "finding ourselves in college" to good use.
Nostalgia aside, I present to you this glorious day filled with fashion, humor, and tips & tricks across the map. And, in order to foster this new platform of reconnecting and exploring the opportunity to meet/mingle with interesting people on a more frequent basis, here you'll find a new segment to Mod & Bean: Cool Beans. Overdone pun yet?
Anyway, for the launch of Cool Beans, I spoke with Yashi and Danielle over a quick coffee at Threefold Cafe (Miami traffic landing us there right as it was about to close...) and then a little adventure around the streets of Coral Gables. It honestly worked perfectly as a reminiscent, lets-laugh-about-high-school ice breaker pre our quasi-photoshoot in a little Gables neighborhood. Followed up by a bulk purchase of alfajores and casual, quick-fire question conversation.
As a brief intro to these extraordinary beans, I'll let you in on a sneak preview more personal than a cursory glance at their LinkedIn profiles. Danielle, senior at LIM College has been interested in fashion ever since she interned in NYC during a high school summer. She cultivates her personal instagram with stunning shots of trend & travel, and has snagged really neat internships with fashion and PR companies in New York ever since! Yashi, fellow pun lover, runs her own blog The Hip Nip! She started it as a joyful side biz, yet has managed to partner with some brands and even start her own line with a few of her friends - you can check it out at LYNK Studio. I've also included handwritten notes about both of their ventures at the bottom of this post if you are interested in ~educating yourselves~ further!
Now, for the good stuff: Post hastily sipping on drinks (of the lemonade and latte varieties, of course) we piled in Yashi's car and drove to one of her favorite neighborhoods in Coral Gables. "Don't worry, guys, the stains in my car aren't scary - they're from beet juice" Yashi shouted as we hopped in her car.
We parked and stopped to talk in the middle of the street - slowly shifting to the curb as cars rolled through, and waving at the drivers because they probably thought we lived there. Typical of the down to earth nature and relaxed vibes of both Danielle and Yashi, they both giggled and joked about being hounded by the paparazzi as I stuck my camera in their mugs while they talked. At one point, Danielle remembered the sweet specs she had in her purse, whipped them out, and said, "It's Wednesday my dudes" as an homage to the Vine that features similar goggle glasses.
Following photo courtesy of those who put Danielle on blast for this comparison:
Though we mostly spent this portion of the day laughing about running into fellow high schoolers at Publix or at the mall, here's what we discussed over crumbly and powdery alfajores at Pasion de Cielo:
Go to outfit: What's your uniform?
Yashi: "This [jean jacket]! I wear it all the time - even on Thanksgiving. My mom was like, 'Really? A denim jacket?!'"
Danielle: "I always want one article of my outfit to be unique - to stand out. Like flared pants, culottes, or a top with an open shoulder. One part has to be weird, and then I build the rest of the outfit around that. This was definitely hard to do in the winter. I would just freeze instead."
What's the soundtrack to your life?
D: "The Good Vibes playlist on Spotify. It's full of super old songs like 'For Once in My Life' by Stevie Wonder. It's perfect for driving on a sunny day, it just makes me happy!"
Y: "I love random one liners in songs that just make me laugh, and are just funny or cute. Like there's this one song that goes like "treasure every beating heart that sets your soul on fire." *imitates folk instrument, complete with air guitar motions and twangy noises*
What's one piece of jewelry that's iconic you?
D: "I always have these three rings, which I realize have become an inconvenience in NYC with gloves, but I just feel naked without them. This [purple gemstone] one was my grandma's. This [middle] one I got in a market in Peru. It's cool because the silver of these two rings is exactly the same. And this one is so weirdly cool because it's so big and people always say, 'Oh you could knock someone out with that!'"
Y: "I always have a bunch of gold bracelets. Well now I mix gold and silver because silver deserves a chance. These two rings I never take off - look, I'm white underneath. And then I always have these bracelets like this one with a little eye from Lebanon, and this Brazilian wish blanket. Oh and this ankle bracelet is from a neoprene swimsuit. And this one is a friendship bracelet but it's too big for my wrist - it just kept falling off."
What's a trend you're envious of right now?
*They confer with their Instagram feeds as a quick refresher*
D: "I'm really into headbands and ribbons. I had to pick them up for a Man Repeller article and then I just asked my dad to bring some of my mom's old headbands when he came to visit me in New York. I wore my mom's mink headband to work one day - but some couple kept whispering and looking at me on the subway, so I figured it had to be the headband and I just took it off."
Y: "This isn't really a trend but I'm just really into hand tattoos. Like lil baby ones. I want to get one for my birthday. My mom and I have this inside joke that started when I was 8. I would say 'It's 1pm!' and my mom would say 'Oh, 1' like as in 1:01 too. She's really into meditation and spirituality --
D: "I remember her being the happiest person!!" Danielle interjects
Y: "Haha yeah she is the happiest. She even has this thing called the Gaia minute where she thinks if people just emitted positivity into the world for a minute, the world would be a better place. She does it at 9:09 because she likes 9's and because of our inside joke. So I want to get that tattoo, and I wanted my mom to get a matching one but she's too much of a free spirit to be tied down by a tattoo so I might get her an engraved bracelet."
What's a trend you want to die?
Y: "Adidas Superstars, even though I wear mine all the time. They're just done. Like when I wear them and it rains it doesn't even matter to me."
D: "Bandage/body-con things. I don't need to wear them anymore to get into clubs. Now I just go to loungy clubs and last time went in my mom's high school jacket and jeans."
Do you have a signature phrase?
Y: "It's not so much a signature phrase as its the noises I make when I see animals. Like my friends will be like, 'Look, Yash! There's a dog!' and I get really excited."
D: "I also get really excited about dogs!"
*Cue digression on Danielle's friend who breeds french bulldogs*
Y: "Oh God a chocolate mousse. Danielle I feel like you'd be a dessert inside a dessert inside a dessert."
D: "Haha yeah, I'd say Oreo inside of a chocolate chip cookie for sure. I even made some and brought them to work and silently put them on the counter and smiled while they were gone in seconds."
Do you have a favorite conversation starter?
D: "I'm not good at talking to people, so no haha."
Y: "I usually just compliment people to start a conversation. But then I can't talk a compliment, so it doesn't work on me."
D: "I got called out for not knowing how to small talk. Like when someone says, 'Oh, you're from Miami?' I'm like, 'Yup.' and then they just stare at me like, 'and??'"
Last question: How would you describe yourself as a human bean?
Y: "I'm a bean!!"
D: "What if we describe each other?"
Y: "Aww yeah! Danielle, you're effortlessly cool. Probably because you're not intimidating which is cooler than being full of yourself. Like you travel and you dress well but you're also hilarious."
D: "This is funny because I've known you since the 6th grade, but even back then you were super open, friendly, and down for whatever. Now it's the same, but different. Like now you're so entrepreneurial. You have your life together."
Y: "Lol really?!"
Note from Danielle:
I think my personal style first started evolving when I spent an early high school summer in New York interning at a PR firm that represented lifestyle, fashion, and beauty brands. I was exposed to a creative environment at a relatively young age (15), which really inspired me. I spent every summer after that back in New York interning at different companies within the industry from Editorialist to Michael Kors. For college, I knew I wanted to be in New York and study fashion business, so LIM College was the perfect place for me. While attending LIM College I worked at Brandy Melville, and interned other semesters and summers. I studied abroad in Paris for a summer and then for a semester during my junior year. It was by far the greatest experience I’ve ever had. During that semester I was documenting a lot of my outfits and travels on my Instagram as a form of creative expression, which I really enjoyed. I don’t consider myself a fashion blogger, but I do like to share my outfits occasionally, and hope it inspires the people who follow me. I don’t have a specific style or aesthetic that can be characterized, to me it really depends on the day. As I said in the interview, I can’t get myself wear a plain top with jeans. Something just needs to be weird.
Note from Yashi:
I came up with the idea for The Hip Nip in the summer of 2015. I was on the beach in West Palm Beach with my friends Belle and Kristen and we were talking about how I should start a blog. Kristen has a fashion blog of her own and was really encouraging about starting my own. So we started coming up with “blog/blogger names” and they helped me come up with The Hip Nip! I’m always making weird jokes about, let’s say, anatomy so it seemed perfect. Everything on my blog revolves around “the nip” so I call my readers “boob troop” and my blog sections are sort of punny titles that relate to nips as well.
I started blogging as a hobby but my blog and Instagram @yashmula have started to gain some attention. I’ve worked with a few local companies and boutiques to host events and promote their brands as well as photographers to be featured in their portfolios. One company I worked with a lot last year is called The Makers Collective, a company that hosts Trend Walks every 2-3 weeks in different places around Miami like The Freehand, The Hall South Beach, etc. It’s cool because I’ll get paid to host these events and promote them and get people there. Recently I was contacting by a media company whose client is Coach to promote a purse from their pre-spring collection so I don’t get paid but I get to choose and keep the purse!