Shorteez ~ a Fashionistas take on Bloomers for Girls
Its a sunny, chilly spring day and I sit opposite an old friend at the local coffee shop chatting over lattes and her latest fashion venture. Crystal Martin, a stunning former Redskin cheerleader, Diva employee and self taught fashion designer, is gushing about her latest fashion venture. Since leaving my employ years ago and making the leap to fashion designer in New York City, her Crystal Jo collection of vintage inspired, elegant women’s dresses graced catwalks from our very own Strut & Sip for Autism to the Polo Classic in Miami, and was carried in boutiques in the Hamptons and, of course, Diva.
Crystal Jo is on hiatus, however, while she develops Shorteez, a children’s clothing concept inspired by her two active, young daughters. Her daughters were decked out in darling party dresses for a special occasion and had ugly gym shorts hanging out beneath them. She could not find anything suitable and made them each a pair of cute, fitted shorts. Her girls asked why she didn’t just make them for everyone, like her dress collection and thus, Shorteez was born. The collection, she explains, is soft, breathable, biker-like shorts that come in tons of colors to wear under dresses and skirts. I am immediately intrigued as my little one has an enormous habit of ‘flashing’ whenever she is in a dress and I am always on the hunt for slim fitting shorts to cover things up. When I was a girl, we called them ‘bloomers’ or ‘knickers’ (when we were pretending to be British) but they were so voluminous they just added bulk (and did not look cool by the way, mom). Hanes makes an ‘under short’ much like Crystal’s Shorteez, but they are very flimsy, come only black or white and are not cute at all. Crystal had the same bad luck finding something slim and cute that would not detract from their dresses but that would give them the freedom to cartwheel away and enjoy themselves while still looking adorable. She brought a sample to show me and the fabric is extremely soft.
Crystal is more stunning than ever and lights up when she talks about her girls, her travels and of course, fashion. We have always kept in touch over the years and she agreed to sit for a Q&A about her sense of style (fabulous) her travels (enviable) and her new company (a home run).
MD: How do you describe your sense of style?
CM: Its based on my mood so it changes. Sometimes I dress in a classic way inspired by Jackie O or bohemian like Kate Moss or Sienna Miller. Than of course, I have my sexy side and I love a well fitting Herve Leger with 5″ heels for a night on the town.
MD: And you wear it well! Since you do travel so much with your significant other (an international business man and elite Polo player) what are your go to pieces that you always throw in your suitcase?
CM: I never travel without my JBrand jeans with a zipper on the back ankle ~ they fit so well and go with any top so they are my go to for sure. It may sound funny since I do love designer but I actually have not found any better LBD than a David Lerner I have had forever! I can roll it in a ball and it won’t wrinkle. I really do live in jeans so I throw in another lighter pair for day with my flats and I love a flowing, printed maxi if heading to the warmer climates like Miami or Dubai.
MD: Speaking of travel, I live vicariously through your Instagram since you are always going to the coolest spots. What are some of your top travel destinations?
CM: I do love the time we spend in Miami for the Polo matches and although we have spent some amazing time in Aspen which I also love, I really can’t take the cold anymore so more of my faves are renting a place in Southampton for the summer and staying at the Ritz in West Palm. Of course I can’t forget my second home in the Financial District of NYC!
MD: I am getting jealous just listening to you right now! Seriously though, you must know all the best places to shop?
CM: I love Zara for cute finds at great prices, Bergdorf’s is my absolute favorite department store, Soho boutique, Kirna Zebete where I score amazing Charlotte Olympia shoes, Hu’s Wear in Georgetown, Boutique 1 in Dubai, Michelle Farmer Boutique in Bridgehampton and Net-A-Porter online.
MD: Favorite labels, other than your Crystal Jo collection of course?
CM: D Squared, The Row, Isabel Marant and Red Valentino come to mind – there are so many!
MD: So, when will the Shorteez be in production and where?
CM: We hope to have them ready in time for the Play Time Trade Show in New York this August and in stores this Fall. Target would be my dream Retailer but we are also talking to Kohls and JC Penny. We would really like to mass produce them and make them readily available after I had such a hard time when shopping for my girls.
MD: How much will they retail for?
CM: A package of three will be $26.99 so they are a great value.
MD: I will buy stock in the company because my Lydia will be a number one client for sure!
MD: Let’s switch gears. Tell me about your double life as a DJ.
CM: Yes! I am taking lessons in New York and just playing around at friends clubs and parties. I have always had an affinity for music and everyone tells me I should do it. Do you know how much the female DJ’s make at the better clubs? They are killing it!
MD: Again, jealous! You know I moonlight as a DJ to my fashion shows so I may need to be your partner.
CM: For sure!!!
We wrapped up and decided to catch up at the Lukes Wings Runway Show and Gala at the Ritz in DC where she was showcasing the Crystal Jo collection in support of wounded veterans. It was an amazing evening for an amazing cause and of course, she looked stunning as ever!
Happy Shopping & Travels!