February 22, 2009

Fiesta Fashion

Every August, the historic State Street in downtown Santa Barbara, California fills with dazzling parades, mariachi music, authentic Mexican mercados, rodeos and thousands of rowdy people wearing jumbo sombreros dancing and chanting, “Ole, Ole, Ole!” The weeklong Fiesta Celebration draws thousands of spectators to party in honor of the rich cultural heritage of the American Indian, Spanish, Mexican, and early American settlers of Santa Barbara. At the end of the largest horse parade in the country, where the horses once trotted through Pasqual’s Bar, lifestyle apparel company Horny Toad made its move to Santa Barabara. To honor this 84-year-old tradition that welcomed Horny Toad to it’s home base seven years ago, they’ve dedicated their spring 2009 collection to the Fiesta.

Staying true to Horny Toad’s tagline of “everyday is an adventure,” their casual outdoor inspired spring line is exceptionally comfortable, functional, well-designed, easy to wash, and incredibly cute. Perfect for a backyard barbeque with buddies, their fun and flirty collection includes sassy skirts, flattering v-necks, bouncy sundresses, and adorable tanks. The elaborate Mexican tiles decorating Santa Barbara inspire the bright and lively colors of watermelon, swimming pool blue and lemonade. Each piece is woven with thought, integrity and has a unique attention to detailing. They’ve even provided directions on how to mix the perfect margarita sewn into the label! Horny Toad uses high quality, eco-friendly materials that are innovative, durable, and oh so soft. This year, Horny Toad is expanding their collection of sustainable fabrics and will introduce the high performance, fast drying, and odor controlling Dri-pulse, made from 85% recycled polyester and 15% organic cotton.

What I appreciate most is Horny Toad’s genuine, innovative and non-flashy approach to traditional business models. They continue to lead the industry in sustainability because they realize every decision they make is as critical as the clothing they create…and they know to have fun along the way. Green-e certified wind farms and other renewable energy sources such as solar, geothermal and low-impact hydro facilities power their HQ and two stores and they offset their employee’s daily commutes and business travel. They’re also involved with local communities and non-profits through their Search for Adventure program, a not-for-profit based in Chicago that supplies positive change with opportunities for developmentally disabled adults to work, live and play.

With the spring equinox only a month away, I can’t wait to trade my wool socks for flip flops and slip into my Mexican tuxedo style Baile tank, made with the light and airy Firefly fabric (100% organic cotton) and detailed with a button front and crocheted rainbow striped bust. Horny Toad’s spring line is available online now!

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