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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The City Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 award is a well-known honor that has been bestowed upon some of El Paso’s most talented and ambitious residents, those who have made an impact on the community despite their young age. I’ve always been hesitant to participate in any kind of contest like this, but to my surprise, a few close friends nominated me this year. To my greater surprise — I won!

I’m incredibly honored to be named amongst the Top 30 Under 30, especially since my journey has been full of risks, adventures and pushing myself to my limits. In 2010, I started my career as unpaid intern, just so that I could be a part of the retail industry. Years later, after I was hired as a stylist, I took another unpaid internship as a Buyer. I proved my mettle, learned from my mentor about how to run a high-end retail boutique and grew ready to take on my own store.

During this time, I opened up the first blow dry bar in El Paso, and along side my partners, created a new phenomenon in the city. Staying true to my vision of contributing to the growth of El Paso, I stepped away from the blow dry bar in 2016 to pursue my dream and open GAL Fashion. My vision was to cater to my clients as though they were my friends (and most have become friends!), to do away with commission-based sales, and to style with honesty and integrity. To this day, I tell everyone who I style that if I am working for them, they are representing GAL, and therefore they will always leave looking and feeling their best.

After our first successful year, we expanded space and services to closet organizing and consultations. It was then, after seeing countless gowns that had been forgotten after one wear, I was inspired to create a 501c3 nonprofit organization called The Cinderella Foundation. The Cinderella Foundation accepts donated gowns at GAL, and where underserved girls can visit and enjoy the same styling experience as other customers at no cost. This is a cause close to my heart, since I felt insecure and out of place in high school.

The City Magazine asked a few fun questions during my interview that I feel are worth sharing:

Q: What is your favorite karaoke song? A: Hotel California by The Eagles

Q: What is your favorite TV show to binge? A: Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Q: What do you love about El Paso? A: I truly feel it’s the land of opportunity! Although I will commute eventually, I will never leave the place I call home.

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Stuart Weitzman has been synonymous with quality and stylish for more than 30 years. The American luxury brand is sold in over 75 countries and boasts over 70 retail stores. The designer’s philosophy is fashion and function, aiming to create a shoe that feels as good as it looks. Last year, Stuart Weitzman stepped down as creative designer from his eponymous line, handing the reigns to Giovanni Morelli, the former creative designer for brands like Chloe and Marc Jacobs.

That said, Fall 2018 is a cause for celebration for fashionistas worldwide. Morelli’s fresh eye and knack for innovation has given rise to a unique and truly exciting line of footwear, from combat boots, to mink slides, to crystal embellished mules. I had the privilege of seeing these beauties in person on my most recent Market trip, and I remember leaving the showroom inspired. GAL Fashion is thrilled to be the exclusive retailer of Stuart Weitzman shoes in El Paso.

Now, let’s talk trends. Spring 2018, Weitzman’s last season at the helm of his company, was all about casual comfort. This Spring, enjoy flats or a blocked heel (your sky high stilettos and wedges can stay on your shelf!). The lower the better — What a relief, considering the retail world can be brutal on your feet.

We’ve seen a great response to flat shoes and sneakers in the store. Some clients want to know, “How do you style sneakers?” or, “How can you dress up slides?” There are many ways to style your kicks, and here, I show you how. Pictured below, I styled my top 3 picks for the Spring 2018 Weitzman collection.

The “One” Crystalized Mule: A perfect example of how you can dress up or dress down with the same shoe. The Gaming: A rose gold metallic sneaker can be paired with a day dress or a casual Sunday outfit. The Sandbar: My all-time favorite. Here, I’ve styled a chic outfit and travelwear.

I’m always happy to answer any styling questions and comments at gesuina@galfashion.com. Remember, GAL Fashion is the exclusive Stuart Weitzman retailer in El Paso. You can pre-order your favorite pieces at shop.galfashion.com.

Stuart

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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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It’s most wonderful time of the year: the blistering summer months are coming to a close and fresh, Fall trends are cropping up in stores. One of the top trends for Fall, I’m happy to report, is florals: bright, happy flower prints are gracing runways from Gucci to Céline. This is great news for the budget conscious consumer, since Spring prints can be transitioned into the new season with the addition of cashmere sweaters, boots, or bomber jackets. The prints are now a staple of every wardrobe that can be paired with almost any bottom and accessory. Shockingly versatile, florals are here to stay, so pull them out of your closet and freshen up those flowers with tights and cold-weather accessories come winter.

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