Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Binzento’s Journal: Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Century

Binzento’s Journal
Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Century
 (photos by: Binzento)
Jack Daniel's National Brand Ambassador John Breckon

Back in November, I was invited to the Jack Daniel’s whiskey tasting event at National on 10th.

Jack Daniel's has always been Frank Sinatra’s favorite go-to whiskey. In honor of this iconic entertainer and for his 100th birthday celebration, Jack Daniel's produced the most limited Tennesse whiskies ever released, the Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Century. Bottled from only 100 hand-selected, distinctively crafted barrels, this exclusive release is packaged in a beautifully designed collector’s box along with an USB key containing an unreleased Sinatra soundtrack.

I'm not exactly a whiskey expert, but the main characteristic that attracts me in to drinking whiskey is its smoothness. Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Century carries a complex, but delicate flavor that no matter if one enjoys whiskey or not they’ll know that this is definitely a top-notch drink. The ‘secret’ behind Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Century lies within their special barrels, which “the interior grooves of the barrel coax the whiskey to a greater depths of white oak, imparting Sinatra Century with a robust and refined taste.” While some people love to create signature cocktails with this fine whiskey, I prefer it neat in a glass or with water so it doesn’t mask the hidden pleasant smokiness and lingering notes from the charred barrel.

In addition to Sinatra Century, I was also introduced to Jack Daniel’s Gentleman Jack and Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select. By far still, Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Century was the highlight of the show. Jack Daniel’s National Brand Ambassador John Breckon presented some of the most interesting facts that I didn’t know before about Jack Daniel’s products and the man himself (such as his short height :-)).

Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Century is now available in selected airports worldwide (Whoop! Go duty free!).

Do the things you love with passion; Learn from those you admire; Strive to become an expert at what you do xx
Binzento Vincente: A Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

#SavingsSecrets at CrossIron Mills - Black Friday Avant Christmas

#SavingsSecrets at CrossIron Mills
Black Friday Avant Christmas

T’was the holiday season, it’s the busiest time of year where we celebrate the most joyous moments with friends and family. To me it’s also the time for an annual reflection of all the things you’ve done in 2015.  Whether if I’ve succeeded my goals, all that matters to me is that I’ve worked hard and I survived another year.

To reward myself, I took the challenge and participated my first ever Black Friday shopping experience at CrossIron Mills. Hey, with this economy I can only justify gifting myself if I utilize my #SavingsSecrets skills!

With many holiday parties coming up, I needed to find some festive wear --- Here’s what I found at CrossIron Mills to complete my holiday party outfit for just under $250:

Nothing screams ‘old school Christmas fashion’ than an ugly Christmas sweater. Definitely not a thing when I was in Asian, ugly Christmas sweater has become of the must-have wardrobe for the festive tradition. With now more creative and colorful designs by various retail brands, it’s no longer an ‘accident’ wearing a sweater looking like it’s from you grandma’s closet. During the exciting Black Friday weekend, I got the one of best deals for an ugly sweater. Found at the International Clothiers boutique for $20. I picked this ‘Santa fails going down the chimney’ piece, as I loved the blue. There are other graphics available: reindeers, snowman, and silent night.

Next I found my pair of black skinny fit denim at Urban Planet – Their Urban Black label line is by far one of my favorite – With monochromatic, minimal and urban-sporty designs that are easy to wear and very versatile. Their Black Friday deal was buy one item from this collection and you get to pick two more items for free!! I ended up getting the black denim, an oversized sweater and shirt.

I’ve been looking for a new jacket for fall/winter – Something that’s stylish for one season. The H&M bomber-style long jacket has always been on my wish list. I was stoked when I saw it on sale during Black Friday weekend with an additional 30% off!

Hey! Did you know the new Nike Factory Store is now opened at CrossIron Mills? During their grand opening Black Friday weekend, I found this exclusive pair of metallic-green Nike for little over $100. Their active-wear and sports-tee were also on sale for 3 for $15.

This entire look, which I purchased during Black Friday weekend at CrossIron, was the perfect outfit for my holiday party event with my colleagues. Now that I’ve done a little Christmas shopping for myself, I have a couple more weeks left to decide on what to bring for my friends and family, as I’ll be preparing to spend my Christmas this year in Chicago with travel blogger Transnomadic, so stay tuned! In the mean time, I like to thank all my readers for another wonderful year. Binzento Vincente can not be what it is today without your love and support. It has also been a great pleasure to be collaborating with CrossIron Mills this year as one of their style panel members. Mercibeaucoup!! Here Binzento wishes everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday and a VERY Happy New Year to come. xo

Do the things you love with passion; Learn from those you admire; Strive to become an expert at what you do xx
Binzento Vincente: A Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

Monday, December 21, 2015

BOULEZAR SS16 - Comfy Couture Reinterpretation

A Comfortable Reinterpretation
Handmade with love in Germany, Munich-based brand Boulezar celebrates the traits of quality, comfort and style. Its latest SS16 collection mixes sport and comfort, providing the sense of lightness and fluidity while keeping in mind the element of polished quality. Minimalistic, contempoary and timless designs are crafted using Italian and Japanese fabrics, with the intention to outlive temporary vogue and seasonal trends. Simple lines and reduce cuts are used to visually and physically undelrine the longevity of Boulezar garments. It is "made for the woman or man who is ready for an eclectic lifestyle but will not sacrifice luxury, even when dressed comfortably".

Do the things you love with passion; Learn from those you admire; Strive to become an expert at what you do xx
Binzento Vincente: A Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

Saturday, December 19, 2015

MERRILL + FORBES SS16 - Defining The Modern Man On The Go

Defining The Modern Man On The Go
"The modern man on the go is always after clothing that is functional, stylish and uncomplicated", that is what New York based brand MERRILL + FORBES has definied, according to their vision, in the latest SS16 collection.

"Urban and sophistication" is the inspiration - The ready-to-wear collection is tailored for active working class men, as evident with the sporty appeal of the designs. Pieces such as the 'Inside Out Pocket Trousers', 'High Cuff Joggers', 'Harem Shorts', 'Cropped Jumpsuits' and 'Turtleneck Lab Top' are created for jet-setting gents who aren't shy being fashion forward and making a personal style statement where ever they go. It is something that defines the works of MERRILL + FORBES, the brand that "goes towards the contemporary and creative spaces and has no plans to slow down".

Do the things you love with passion; Learn from those you admire; Strive to become an expert at what you do xx
Binzento Vincente: A Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Binzento News: Enter To Win $20,000 Shopping Experience via CrossIron Mills

Binzento News
Enter To Win $20,000 Shopping Experience via CrossIron Mills 
(photo courtesy: Collins Industries LTD)

Not often that I would promote Black Friday sales, but 'saving' seems to be the word I hear alot recently perhaps due to the economic downturn we are facing here in Alberta. But hey, if that 'gifting desire' for your loved ones is still within you and you are working on a tight budget, here's something for you!

CrossIron Mills is gearing up for one of the busiest shopping days of the year. The shopping centre welcomes shoppers to experience the mall wide Black Friday Frenzy deals through extended shopping hours starting at 8am and staying open late until 10pm. The Black Friday gift card sale and Shop ’Til You Drop contest are 2015 initiatives introduced by CrossIron Mills to entice shoppers to take full advantage of Black Friday deals. 

As a reward for early Black Friday shoppers, CrossIron Mills will offer their first gift card sale of the year to the first 250 shoppers that arrive at the Guest Services desk located in the Ranch Neighbourhood near Entry 2. Shoppers will have the opportunity to purchase a $100 CrossIron Mills gift cards for only $75 therefore receiving a bonus of $25! 

Furthermore, on Friday and continuing over the weekend, CrossIron Mills will be giving customers a chance to win a $20,000 shopping experience, including a six-day tour of three Canadian cities of their choice to shop at three IvanhoĆ© Cambridge shopping centres. To enter the Shop ’Til You Drop contest, customers will need to snap a photo of themselves with their shopping bags at one of the two Black Friday in-mall displays and simply upload it to the CrossIron Mills Facebook page. 

Due to their overwhelming popularity in the past few years, CrossIron Mills is happy to bring back the celebrated Black Friday Blitz bags. The first 500 shoppers to show up at Guest Services on Black Friday on November 27 will be given swag bags that will include promotional vouchers, gift cards and product samples to kick start their shopping day. 

“We are tremendously excited to welcome customers on what has become one of the most exhilarating shopping days of the year. We hope that our initiatives will enhance the shopping experience,” says Neha Khare, Marketing Director at CrossIron Mills. “Our retailers are stocking up, staffing appropriately, and offering some of the very best sales."

CrossIron Mills will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Black Friday. For more information, please visit: http://www.crossironmills.com/en/

Do the things you love with passion; Learn from those you admire; Strive to become an expert at what you do xx
Binzento Vincente: A Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

#TiesToLove - An Interview With Jack Jackson On The Importance Of Transgender Awareness

An Interview With Jack Jackson On The Importance Of Transgender Awareness

We’ve come to an age where technology has brought people closer together than ever before. Ideas and information are spread rapidly through social media platforms. We’ve also become more opened for discussions on topics that we would've once kept inside a shoebox. Ironically, I think there is still a sense of hesitation when we talk about transgender people. We are grateful to live in the part of the world or society where all walks of life from different ethnicity background, cultures and sexual preferences are (or should be) embraced. Yet, I felt we could do better in terms of bringing transgender awareness to our communities.

According to research by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 41 per cent of trans people living in the U.S. have attempted or considered suicide, compared to 1.6 per cent of the general population. Pledged to make a change, Jack Jackson established Alljackedup, a fashion conscious shop and community for the queer, androgynous, transmasculine. To celebrate and support Transgender Awareness Week 2015 (started since November 14th and until November 20th), Jackson had designed a one-off, limited production of commemorative bow tie. The unique feature of this bow tie design is decorated with names of transgender role models and heroes that inspired Jackson. The bow tie is currently available on Alljackedup online shop. Fifty per cent of the proceeds from the sale of the bow tie and all other Alljackedup products purchased during Transgender Awareness Week will go to Supporting Our Youth (SOY), an organization that is dedicated to improving lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, transsexual and intersex youth. I had the opportunity to interview Jackson, to find out how we, can also support bringing transgender awareness to the rest of the community.
Jack Jackson

How did you come up with the idea of putting transgender role model names onto your bowtie? 

Often news stories on trans issues tend to be headlines about trans murders, hate and violence (which of course needs to be reported, and indeed, is probably underreported). But I wanted to also highlight some of the positive stories, inspirational characters and showcase some unsung heroes. Trans people’s lives are so diverse and I thought the tie was a perfect statement piece to start a conversation around them.

Are there colour variations of these special bowties and bowtie-shaped lapel pin?

The lapel pin just comes in one colour – I want the symbol to become representative of trans awareness in the same way that the red ribbon became the universal symbol of awareness and support for those living with HIV. The commemorative bow ties come in four different colours – silver silk on soft blue wool with blue print, orange-grey shot cotton with grey print, purple-orange shot cotton with blue print, and gold yellow cotton with black print.

How have these role models made a change in your life?

I’ve been following some of these people for years, some I am just discovering. I think ultimately that hearing others' stories, knowing trans history, seeing the successes, struggles, wisdom, humour, authenticity and courage gave me the balls to start living my life in a way that felt right for me. Many of the people named on the commemorative bow tie are working tirelessly to raise awareness of trans issues which ultimately makes navigating my day to day life easier.

What are the main issues causing the general public to not pay enough attention to the well-being of transgender people?

I think this comes down to simply not being informed. When I was at school, gender was something that was never taught or discussed – thankfully, this is changing. Fear, ignorance and misunderstanding also play a role. Issues that are believed to only affect a tiny percentage of the population are all to easily overlooked.  Unfortunately ignorance about the issues affecting trans people’s lives has very disturbing consequences with an alarming attempted suicide / self harm rate of trans and gender non-conforming individuals being around the 41% mark compared to 1.6% of the general population (in the US). 

This statistic is deeply disturbing in a progressive society in 2015 and should demand attention.  The magnitude of the problems faced by gender variant people could not be clearer with this stark statistic, but what is truly shocking is that this is a direct result of societal discrimination, systemic discrimination and violence both verbal and physical. Let’s be clear on one thing, the issues trans people face are largely caused by the daily discrimination and violence they face, they do not stem from dissatisfaction within themselves.

I think it’s also important to stress that gender stereotypes and strict gender binaries do not simply just affect transgender people, they also impact the lives of cisgender people. The notion of gender being only binary is a dated concept that often only serves to promote the well being of the ‘straight alpha male’ at the expense of all other genders. 

In addition to SOY, what other programs are out there in Canada that provide help and support to the transgender community (both youths and adults)?

I’m not familiar with the rest of Canada, but in Toronto I know the following organisations provide trans specific programs – Egale Canada, The 519 Community Centre, Thrive and the Stars Project, Delisle Youth Services, Gender Journeys at the Sherbourne Health Centre.

How can we, as a community, make changes and encourage support for transgender people in the general population?

I think we need to start the conversation around gender– with our children, our families our work place. I was at a shop recently where I was asked about my work and the Ties to Love™ Campaign and the owner told me that her 12 year old granddaughter had come home from school and challenged her to name 5 different genders!

We can push for gender-neutral washroom options in public areas, schools and the workplace (a simple yet daily concern for many trans people). We can challenge the use of transphobic language. We can ask that schools and workplaces bring in trained facilitators to deliver workshops educating people on transgender issues. If we are unsure of someone’s preferred pronoun we can ask them.
Jack Jackson and Lea DeLaria

Lets keep the conversation going!! Jackson encourages transgender people and allies alike to post a photos of themselves wearing their own bow ties during Transgender Awareness Week with the hashtag #TiesToLove.

Do the things you love with passion; Learn from those you admire; Strive to become an expert at what you do xx
Binzento Vincente: A Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Fashion Calgary Portrait Campaign 2015

Fashion Calgary Portrait Campaign 2015
 (photos by: Binzento)
The Fashion Calgary Portrait Campaign celebrates the diverse cultures of Calgary. Every year, Fashion Calgary selects incredible individuals (artists, musicians, writers, TV personalities, philanthropists, culinary chefs…) who represent and have contributed their unique talents to shape this city to become ‘cultural ambassadors’. The 2015 portrait campaign gala was recently held at Jack Singer Concert Hall, where all of this year’s portraits were revealed and displayed. This year Fashion Calgary selected 26 cultural ambassadors including Sheldon Kennedy, Jay Ingram, Kris Demeanor, Cheryl Bernard, Chad Oakes, Ellen Doty and Atsushi Ono. Portions received from silent auctions and donations goes to the Pediatric Imaging Research Program which is part of the Brain Health Division at the Alberta Children’s Hospital
For more details of the portrait campaign, visit Fashion Calgary's page HERE.

Do the things you love with passion; Learn from those you admire; Strive to become an expert at what you do xx
Binzento Vincente: A Fashion & Lifestyle Blog