I recently made a mother-daughter trip to Mexico City. I came back to El Paso fully inspired by all the food, ambiance, and music. It was all truly just top-notch. As soon as I got back to the store, I immediately told Ambar Chavez, my right hand at GAL Fashion, how eager and excited I felt after this trip. I just felt the need to do something great and innovative in El Paso that would transmit the huge lively experience I had just lived. Her response to my excitement was just what I was looking for; “Why don’t you create a fashion market here? Clients always want to travel with you to the Market. Let’s just make one here”… And So, the Il Mercato experience was born.

I shared the news with my grandmother. She was the one who suggested naming this new experience ‘Il Mercato,’ taking pride in our Italian roots, our name, and our culture.

Once I had the name laid out, I immediately reached out to Adriana, my visual artist. Not only am I obsessed with her creative work, but she’s great at transforming my visions into reality. It’s always fun collaborating with Adriana to make my creative ideas come to life, and this time was no different. I showed her several pictures of my recent trips to ‘The White Show,’ one of the largest market shows in the world that takes place in Italy, as well as pictures of my inspiration and recent trip to Mexico City. Before we knew it, we were bouncing ideas back and forth and the project started taking life.

Our marketing for Il Mercato was very low-key and discrete. We did very little to get the word out. It was just part of the exclusivity of the event. We wanted to make sure you all were the ones who reached out to make an appointment. This event was intended to be one of a kind from the beginning, and we wanted to make sure that those who attended the event were as exclusive and fabulous - our GAL followers, blog readers, and lovely loyal clients. The whole thing was .. IYKYK.

I met with the stylists to empower them to pick and choose the names of the showrooms that would shape Il Mercato. We talked about what each showroom would carry and which brands would be showcased.

Nich and Co: This was Vivenne’s vision. This showroom carried some of the most original and expensive brands from Italy and Ukraine. Every piece was high-end, custom, and of course, one-of-a-kind.

Backstage by Victoria: Unique and high-end jewelry and accessories. This showroom featured a recently launched jewelry brand from India along with another luxury jewelry brand.

Intemporelle Fashion: A showroom that featured high-end ready-to-wear. Think casual meets fur. Here you would find cashmere and comfortable cotton.

Element’s Showroom: The place for all things leather, coats, and dusters from all over the world.

All pieces in the showrooms were strategically hand-selected to bring a curated mix of one-of-a-kind treasures to Il Mercato. I can assure you, some of these pieces will never be seen again. Not even on social media. That is just how exclusive everything was.

Within the first week, we were fully booked! Our clients were ready to get the unique and true market experience with food, cocktails, gifts, and models at Il Mercato. When the big day finally arrived, our clients were able to have one on ones with the showroom reps and get an exclusive look at all the pieces in the showrooms. In the end, they took home what they loved.
We had a greeter ready to meet our guests, explain to them the rules for the day and greet them with a cocktail. We had our creative film crew capture every second, and our photographer captivate every moment. Our favorite DJ brought a special beat and kept the ambiance and magic alive throughout the event. Every appointment with the showroom reps was full of magic and the event was just something worth remembering. We can’t wait to live it all over again.

That’s a wrap. The first volume of the Il Mercato pop-up was over. It was absolute bliss. A jungle of elegance where happiness and adrenaline filled the air. By all means, the most successful and amazing event GAL Fashion has hosted to this day.

A special shout out and thank you to my dream team, as well as to those who made an appointment and had the experience to share this first volume with us.

Where shall we pop-up next? Email gesuina@galfashion.com if you have any ideas for the next volume of Il Mercato. We can’t wait to do it all over again!

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In October of last year, I came up with an idea to create an adult lounge where customers could enjoy a good time in an elegant and stylish space. A place where good music was a focus and guests could feel comfortable in an upscale atmosphere. Nothing really fit the bill in El Paso, but after much market research, I realized it was an undertaking I wasn’t prepared for — on my own. As luck would have it, things changed in January, and I was fortunate to connect with a great group of partners (including an existing restaurant owner!) to forge this new adventure.

We developed a pop-up restaurant and bar experience that services a high-end clientele, while maintaining a distinct flavor and edge, with curated music from greats like George Michael, Pet Shop Boys and even Spanish artists like Timbiriche.

My new partners let me know that I’d be considered a promoter — a term that was entirely new to me, so I turned to Google to figure out exactly what a promoter does, and what makes a great one. A great promoter, I came to discover, is a hard worker, a hustler, someone with their finger on the pulse of the city. Someone like Troy Gordon from @Troygordonnyc, a New York City-based real estate mogul and restaurant and club promoter.

On a whim, I reached out to him to see if he would serve as a mentor for me, and to my surprise and delight, he responded. Coincidentally, I was heading to Manhattan that weekend for Fall Market, so we made plans to meet. When he asked to meet at 12, I assumed he meant the afternoon — but I should have known — he meant 12 AM! Typically in El Paso, I’m asleep by 10 p.m., but this late night intrigued me so I eagerly accepted. We met at 1OAK, a New York City nightclub, and he immediately introduced me to a fellow fashionista from Canada who also owns a contemporary boutique. The entire evening was surreal, packed with beautiful people, beautiful places, good vibes and great music. Troy’s passion for people and nightlife was palpable, and I am happy to share same spark.

I explained to him my concept and asked him his advice on how I should execute, and his advice was succinct: “Trust me — do a brunch.”

I came back to El Paso so inspired and ready to unleash what I had learned. I called my partners and pitched a brunch, and now. Within that same week of my return, I implemented all I had learned on my trip and mobilized my friends to have a trial run. GAL clients were invited and shopped for brunch outfits, got dolled up, set the ambiance, queued up the DJ and opened the doors. The mood was set and I was in my element. To see our clients dressed to the nines, with the florals, fashion and food. My vision had come to life and I was ready for more. So goes the birth of the GAL Brunch. We hosted our recent event at local hotspot, Gusto. All of our readers and clients were invited, dressed to impress and ready for a good time. Where class and elegance met for a party in the city of El Paso.

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Hooray! It’s officially been two years since we’ve opened the doors at GAL Fashion. As I write this, I am holding back tears reflecting about what it’s taken to create and upkeep this beautiful sanctuary. GAL is more than just a store to me, it’s more than fashion — it’s my identity, my creation, my vision, my dreams realized, and my life lessons, all in one place. It’s where I get to meet new people, meet new opportunities, new friends and ideas.

On April 11, 2018 we celebrated 2 years of GAL Fashion. Themed “THE GAL-LERY,” we created a small art gallery of fashion, with live mannequins curated as art, and Warhol-inspired paintings as decorative elements. I wanted this year to be better than last, so we ordered ornate thrones, ice sculptures and glitter cakes. (Yes, I can be a little extra, but you only turn 2 once!) We were honored to have special guest Scheana Marie Shay from Vanderpump Rules join us at the party.

Special thanks to Mesa Street Bar & Grill for providing the food, Bttrmilk for the sweets and treats, and Thousand Grams Club for the amazing custom art pieces created for us. A special shout out to Ladonna Apodaca for always throwing a great party, Viva + Impulse Creative Co. for bringing my ideas to life, Dav Anmed, for great photos, Tony Cedillo for our recap video, Bazaar Models for always providing the most gorgeous models in town, and most of all, a sincere THANK YOU to my staff for always sticking with me, being loyal, uplifting me in the hard times, and for helping GAL Fashion grow!

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A couple weeks ago, I had the distinct honor of being invited to participate in a fundraising event hosted by my friend, Cinthia Arriola. As the the owner of Funki Monki (a neighbor of GAL Fashion), Cinthia was this year’s Chair of the El Paso Diabetes Association, a disease which affects 50% of the patients admitted into our local hospitals. The “Shades of Blue” Diabetes Association Gala will be held on September 9.

Cinthia’s passion for the community and philanthropy despite her young age is inspiring, a quality she has inherited from her mother-in-law Yolanda. Yolanda founded the Southwest University of El Paso, an institution that helps educate those who can’t afford a 4-year university.

In anticipation of the Gala, the Arriola’s hosted a morning brunch event at their home, which challenged guests to wear all-white outfits. Attendees savored a spread by Mesa Street Bar and Grill, while the Dior Make-Up Counter offered makeovers to both models and event guests. A GAL fashion show was the icing on the cake!

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After years of retail, I’ve noticed that a common question I received is, “will you ever carry swimwear?” In the past, I have been hesitate to carry swimsuits at GAL, probably because of my own personal experience and fear over trying on bathing suits. Since I am in the business of helping others and making them feel confident and beautiful, I was happy to discover that confidence and finding the perfect swimsuit aren’t mutually exclusive.

It’s a no-brainer that the summertime is the ideal time to shop for a bathing suit, so I recently reached out to Kari Ruben from Sunsplash, a high-end swimwear store in San Diego, to ask about the do’s and don’ts of selling swimsuits.

Kari referred me to her #1 selling line, Bananna Moon, and after doing some digging, the brand referred me to their sister line, Livia.

I’m happy to announce that these two lines will be featured at GAL now through June 10. What I hadn’t realized before is that shopping for swimsuits is a lot more technical than shopping for regular clothing. There are certain tips and tricks to get the best outcome, and I’ve assembled the top five:

Shop in advance for your trip. You don’t want to go swimsuit shopping the day before you hit the beach, because out of desperation you will inevitably buy something your not happy with.

If you’re not comfortable enough to come out of the fitting room in your suit, chances are you’re not feeling confident, and if you’re going to a beach or a public place in your suit, you will feel even less confident. The winner is the one you will show off loud and proud outside of a fitting room.

Buy according to your body. If you are busty, stick to halters; if you are tummy conscious, buy a one-piece or high waisted bottom; if you are narrow in the bottom, try a print or a boy short; if you are hourglass you can wear anything!

Don’t be cheap with swimwear. Invest in a suit you can use for the next 3-5 years. Banana Moon is made with SPF, chlorine resistant and made in Monaco; suits retails $120-$180, but they boast all the features that can last you many activities, trips, and years.

Buy true to size. I admit I was freaked out purchasing a “size 40” in swimwear but its true, no one has the perfect body. The sizing in swimwear is based on centimeters and most separates are made to mix and match sizes and prints. It’s okay to buy two different sizes! Remember, it’s about the ultimate outcome of confidence and fierceness!

Join us on Thursday JUNE 8, from 4-7pm for our Swim party or come for a private fitting June 5-10 and email info@galfashon.com for more info!

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