VIP Interview: Denim Experts Chip & Pepper


Hello, my fabulouses! How many of us truly hate trying on and shopping for jeans? I know I do! However, when I slipped into my first pair of Chip & Pepper jeans in the dressing room, I immediately fell in love. I am not much of a “jean-wearer,” but the luxurious feel and fabulous fit of Chip & Pepper denim made me feel like I was not even wearing jeans. Now, THAT is good-quality denim!

The VIP with Chip (on left) and Pepper (on right) at Belk College Night in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Chip and Pepper Foster are totally awesome twin brothers that not only have a splendid passion for creating exquisite quality denim at an affordable price, but also have super spunky and fun personalities that make me wish I had an identical twin!

Abby: Y’all are so fun! Y’all make me want to have a twin!

Chip: You can!

Abby: Can I be y’all’s twin?

Chip: Yeah!

Pepper: Yeah!

Chip: He’s Salt (pointing at Salt) and he’s Pepper–so you have to pick a condiment. You can be like ketchup or mustard.

Abby: I’ll be mustard.

Chip: She’ll be mustard! Now, it is Chip, Mustard, Pepper, and Salt!

Pepper: It’s great!

Chip and Pepper picking out jeans for the VIP.
Chip and Pepper picking out jeans for the VIP.

“We want everyone to have our brand, not just boutiques…and that is why we started this exclusive launch with Belk. If these jeans were on the West Coast, it would cost about $200, but here [at Belk] you can get a pair [of jeans] for about $70….It was a really good choice for Pepper and me to make a change where everyone could have our brand and experience good quality denim at a fair price,” explained Chip Foster as he was picking out jeans for the VIP.


“From clothing lines and music videos, to barbecue sauce and cartoons, identical twin brothers, Chip and Pepper Foster have done it all with energy that makes most heads spin.” ( Oh, my head was spinning as I learned more about the spectacularly  twin brothers and their hot, traffic-stopping denim brand during the VIP interview.

Abby: How would you describe the Chip & Pepper brand?

Pepper: Hot.

Chip: Yeah, yeah! I would definitely say “hot!

Pepper: Hot, sexy, delicious, soft, and the-right-price.

Abby: What makes the Chip & Pepper brand stand out?

Pepper: It is 100 percent us. All of the energy that Chip and I have put into it has been awesome!

Chip: We have been doing this for like 24 years, and we believe in giving our customers unbelievably good quality.

Abby: Chip, describe yourself in five words.

Chip: Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!

Abby: Pepper, describe yourself in five words.

Pepper: I have no idea…that’s a crazy question, Abby! Hm….Well, I am crazy but never lazy…I am energized like the Energizer Bunny…I am also energetic…anything can happen, if you let it.

Pause in the interview as we all put on funky glasses to take silly pictures.


Abby: What color best describes you?

Chip: I am kind of like a light blue…but I like to wear pink too…So, I don’t know! I cannot decide!

Pepper: I’m tie-dyed!

Chip: He is mixed-up tie-dye! I like that, Pep!

Abby: *laughing*

Chip: Your laugh is the best! You have a great laugh!

Abby: Well, thanks, Chip! *laughing again*


Abby: What is your favorite guilty pleasure?

Chip: I love roasted almonds covered in dark chocolate.

Pepper: I love that. I have never had a chance to eat that!

Chip: You have to get them in Northern Canada or in England. I am telling you that they are the best there!

Pepper: I like the richest pistachio ice cream.

Abby: I like pistachio ice cream, too!

Chip: Me too!

Pepper: I love it! It’s my favorite!


Abby: What is one item in your closet you would never toss out and why?

Chip: My Van Halen rock shirt with cut off sleeves!

Abby: I have an REO Speedwagon shirt like that! I love it!

Pepper: I have lots of good rock shirts!

Abby: We could totally have fun in each other’s closets!

Pepper: Oh, yeah!

Chip: He [Pepper] has great stuff!


Pepper: I would never toss out these boots [pointing at his shoes] because they will never go out of style.

Abby: Those are so cool! I saw them when we were first introduced–I think they are totally awesome boots!

Pepper: These are hand cobbled. I love the way they round at the top…kind of like Popeye!

Abby: They are fantastic!

Pepper: Thanks, Abby!

Chip: You are so cool, Abby!

Pepper: Give us a hug!

Chip: Yeah, yeah! Give us a hug!


Best. Jeans. Ever. The VIP LOVES Chip & Pepper denim!
Best. Jeans. Ever.
The VIP LOVES Chip & Pepper denim!

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In addition to the Belk College Night event and the mega exciting interview, I got the twins to sign my new Chip & Pepper jeans…not on the inside pocket like everyone else…but on the outside. So, Chip and Pepper autographed the flare of the jeans as well as the booty of the jeans right below the belt loop. (See slideshow pictures above.)


Years from now, I can see these jeans framed and hanging on a wall in my house somewhere–what a fabulous keepsake from a spectacular interview!  I love y’all, Chip and Pepper! Come back to Alabama anytime–the VIP will make sure you are treated to a fun time:) Y’all stay fabulous!

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Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn


Project Runway: Season 12 Episode 5


Hello, my fabulouses! Do y’all remember those group projects in high school where the teacher “randomly” picked the members?  Yeah, me too…I can remember getting placed on teams that were…not so great. I don’t know about y’all, but I am glad a TV crew was not there filming my facial expressions, comments, and blurts.


Project Runway Season 12 Episode 5 reminded me so much of a “poster board, PowerPoint, in front of your class presentation” project.  Let’s take a look inside the classroom…

Teacher: “Abby, Susie, and Alex are in a group together. You have two class days to complete the assignment.”

Abby: *rolls eyes*

Susie: “Are you going to help me design the PowerPoint from scratch? I have no idea how to work that program on this computer.”

Abby: “Sure, Susie…but you really need to learn how to do it yourself.”

Susie: “Well, I know how to…just not on this computer.”

Alex: “We need to make sure we get this done as quickly as possible because we need A’s–we need A’s!”

Abby: “Okay, we do need A’s, but we also need to make a plan on how we are going to do this–who is going to do what–create a schedule so we manage our time well.”

Alex: “We just need to make this group project fun and get A’s”

Susie: “Yeah, I totally agree!”

*later that day*

Abby: “Susie, have you even started working on the PowerPoint yet?”

Susie: “No, I do not know how to use the PowerPoint program on this computer.”

Abby: *rolls eyes*

Susie: “Stop rolling your eyes at me. That is rude.”

Alex: *whispering to Susie* “Abby is like dealing with a fashionista diva.”

So, what has this cheesy dialogue taught us? That we have all experienced an Episode 5 “group project disaster” at some point in our lives…and if you have never participated in graded group work…consider yourself blessed.


Instead of blogging a recap of episode 5…mainly because it reminds me too much of my freshman year in high school…and the movie Mean Girls…and Easy A, I am going to talk about the importance of a budget, the sweetest moment, and the most ridiculous thing I have quiet possibly ever heard.

Image provided by The Weinstein Company.
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.

Now, let’s talk budget. Tim Gunn explained to the designer teams that they were to create a luxe, high-end mini collection with a suggested GoBank spending budget of $1,500 to buy the materials for this unconventional challenge. If my math serves me correctly…that is $500 for each individual. The designers were to choose two out of the three following shops from which to purchase their items: Second Hand Rose (a vintage wallpaper store), Surprise! Surprise! (a home décor and party store), and Garden of Eden (a specialty food store).

Designers Kate, Jeremy and Karen using GoBank card to purchase some of their materials for episode 5.
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.

Speaking of working with a budget…Ken Laurence has been a very conscientious spender on the first four episodes of Project Runway. I highly admire designer Ken for managing the $4,000 season GoBank budget because in “the real world” there is not an endless cash flow for up-and-coming fashion designers.

After reading the article “What people are saying about Birmingham’s Ken Laurence on Project Runway” by Mary Colurso and checking out the #designerKen tweets on Twitter, I decided that I must contact Ken to get HIS point of view.

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Me: I read the article “What people are saying about Birmingham’s Ken Laurence on Project Runway“…I found some of the statements in the write-up to be a tad bit harsh and overstated–I do not see you as a villain nor Kanye West. How do you feel about the comments made about you in this Project Runway Season 5 recap?

Ken: Honestly, it almost hurt because I TRY so hard to be nice to people and remain humble…but, I’m human! And when I’m frustrated, I voice my opinion. I would be “acting” if I didn’t voice my opinion. It’s reality TV!

Me: You have been so responsible and aware of each challenge’s budget in episodes 1-4…How did you feel with your team members disregard of the budget?

Ken: I was bothered, and I wanted to use our money wisely. We were put on a set budget of $4000.00, and once that money was gone – it was gone! I didn’t want to be standing in the long run with no money left.

Okay–enough about budget! It is time to chat about the sweetest moment…and the most ridiculous moment!


The sweetest moment thus far on Project Runway Season 12–besides designer Brandon proposing to his boyfriend on episode 4, which that was totally amazing…I cried…a lot–Anyway, the sweetest moment on episode 5 was when designer Justin video chatted with his super precious family and began to cry. Justin…I was crying right there with you, buddy! It was such a lovely moment, and I am so glad Lifetime included it. The scene added a tad bit of peace to the overall spicy episode.


The most ridiculous moment I have witnessed on Project Runway Season 12 thus far was when designer Alexandria made a testy comment in response to Project Runway judge Nina Garcia’s (Creative Director at Marie Claire) question.


Nina:  “Did you have a problem dealing with Ken?”

Alexandria:  “…There’s no time for the drama, there’s no time to argue…you just want to pet the cat and make it calm.


After the judges dismissed the designers from the runway to get a closer look, Ken voiced his opinion of this “pet the kitty” comment.

Ken: “…I’m just going to sit here in silence. I do not want anyone to feel uncomfortable or feel like they’re walking on glass or like they have to pet the kitty…”

*Pet the cat and make it calm? Really…is that the best you could do, Alexandria? Come on, girl…watch Mean Girls and Easy A to gain some new sly comments.


Okay…it is time to get back to Abby, Susie, and Alex’s group project. Did they get A’s or F’s? You guessed it–epic fail.  Why was this group project an epic fail?  This group project was an epic fail because Susie lacked the skills, Alex wanted an “A”–but did not want to work for it, and Abby was left to save herself and salvage what she could.  At the end of the day, every collaboration project failure can be summed up with a scene from one of my favorite movies ever–Cool Hand Luke. “…What we’ve got here is failure to communicate….”

*School bell rings*

Teacher: “Okay, class is dismissed. See y’all tomorrow.”


Y’all don’t forget to vote for Ken Laurence to be Project Runway Season 12’s Fan Favorite by visiting!

Check out Ken’s blog “Behind the Seams” for a behind the scenes look of a designer’s life!

Also, like Ken Laurence on Facebook to keep up with everything Ken!

I am so excited to see what episode 6 has in store for us…putting fashion designers in the woods…? This should get interesting! Y’all come back next week for more VIP Project Runway chat! :)

Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

The Local Fashion Advantage by Renowned Fashion Designer Hilton Hollis


Renowned fashion designer Hilton Hollis, a proud Mississippi native, was born in Natchez and brought up in Carthage.  He attended elementary school at “The Old School” in Carthage.  When Hilton received word of its possible destruction, he was devastated and knew that he had to do something to help preserve it.  His connections to not only his home state, but also to his hometowns run deep.   Hollis has incorporated his Southern roots into his chicly tailored designs ever so perfectly.  “The architecture of Natchez is very Gothic, and I take a lot of inspiration from that….When I am designing, I look at [the process] like creating a garment to sit on the body…how it is structured to accentuate areas of the body—just as the wraparound porches and stained glass windows [in Natchez] compliment the structures of antebellum homes in my hometown,” explains Hilton Hollis. With his Southern accent and love of fried apple pies, Hilton joins the ranks with Mississippi’s finest stars. “I am so proud to be a Mississippian,” exclaims Hilton Hollis. “Things can get fast-paced and hectic…whether I am in New York, Paris, or Hong Kong, but a little piece of Carthage and Mississippi goes with me to each of those places.  It brings things into perspective and helps keep me grounded, which I truly appreciate,” states Hollis.

Hilton Hollis has not let his designer celebrity status and world travels go to his head.  He is totally delightful, and his passion for community and giving back is contagious.  He recently received a commending resolution from the state of Mississippi where Governor Phil Bryant awarded Hilton for his outstanding philanthropic and fashion designs. “I am really honored and amazed that the governor of Mississippi gave me this wonderful award,” says Hilton Hollis in an interview with Abby Hathorn at Gus Mayer in Birmingham, Alabama.  “Growing up in the South and coming from a small town in Mississippi, as a kid I would never in a million years imagine that I would be standing there getting an award from the state that I call home…I give a lot of my time to my philanthropic interests…I am very proud to be a Southerner and a Mississippian! So, for my home state to recognize my achievements and to give me this award is really humbling,” states Hollis.


Hilton Hollis will be showcasing his passion for community and fashion at his “The Local Fashion Advantage” event benefiting The Leake County Foundation and The Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi on July 18-20.  The Local Fashion Advantage event was arranged, in conjunction with The Leake County Advantage, to help save “The Old School” in Carthage.  Hilton’s support of The Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi is a personal one.


What is the Local Fashion Advantage?

“The Local Fashion Advantage is about the community coming together to support two very important groups, The Leake County Foundation and The Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi. There will be a series of events for everyone to enjoy including: a trunk show and sample sale of my ‘Ethereal Angels’ spring 2013 line, a silent auction, and the big headliner fashion show,” explains Hollis.

What inspired you to create this event and fashion show?

“My father passed away from complications due to diabetes, so I wanted to give to a group committed to bettering the lives of people with diabetes.  In addition, I wanted to give back to my community of Carthage by helping to save our old elementary school, which was almost in ruins before a group took the initiative to begin renovating it,” states fashion designer Hilton Hollis.

Hilton Hollis attended elementary school at “The Old School” and was devastated when he received word of its possible destruction. The school is such an important staple in Carthage, so Hilton took action. This event [The Local Fashion Advantage] was arranged in conjunction with The Leake County Foundation to help save the school, which is a basis for many of the fashion designer’s earliest childhood memories.

What should people expect to see at the Local Fashion Advantage event?

“High energy runway fashion paired with local talent from around Mississippi. I have models from all over the South walking in this event. Imagine New York City runway fashion in the small town of Carthage,” exclaims Hollis.

What is up next for Hilton Hollis?

“We are ALWAYS moving forward! As I speak to you, I am on a train from Newport, Rhode Island where I just had an amazing trunk show. It was my first time in Newport, and I as expand across the United States, I plan to always be doing more to bring awareness to our great state [of Mississippi] and the place I call HOME,” says Hilton Hollis.


The Local Fashion Advantage is the event of the summer. You will not want to miss it!  Fabulous fashions for a great cause—it does not get any better than that!  “The Local Fashion Advantage event will be full of passion, excitement, energy, and caring—the vision has come together perfectly,” states Hilton Hollis.  Twenty percent of the proceeds from the trunk show and sample sale will go directly toward The Leake County Foundation and The Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi.  One Hundred percent of ticket sales and silent auction proceeds will go to these two charities.  What a great way to revolutionize your wardrobe and do something proactive to give back to not only the residents in the Heart of Mississippi, but also to all the Mississippians living with and battling diabetes! 

Trunk Show and Sample Sale: July 18-19 from 12 noon to 5pm at Flaunt in Carthage, Mississippi.

Fashion Show and Silent Auction:  Saturday, July 20 models will hit the runway at 7pm at the Old Carthage Elementary School located at 500 North Van Buren Street, Carthage.

For more information about The Local Fashion Advantage and to purchase tickets, please visit


Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn