A scene from Disney's Frozen. 

A scene from Disney's Frozen

I was perplexed this past winter season. 

Every morning was a struggle trying to find what to wear for the day that would keep me warm (especially after tapping my weather app from my phone) and look stylish (I know, #FirstWorldProblems). The on-going query was, “what am I going to wear?” As I ponder what the answer to that question is, my battle against time starts because if I don’t leave soon, I'm late for work. Most of the time, I end up wearing the same sweater, same jacket, and worst, the same boots.

However, the only solution I had was to spice up the ensemble using a scarf. And according to most of my friends, that’s what they do too!

Lele Tran, Designer

Lele Tran, Designer

It seems to be the perfect accessory for this season, so, allow me to introduce to you: Lele Tran.

Mention her name in Philadelphia, it will surely be recognized. She opened her first boutique, “Lele” in 1997 and became the go-to girl for the Rittenhouse Square crowd for custom made dresses, ready-to-wear outfits and menswear. When talking to Lele, I asked her: "What or who is your greatest inspiration?" She said: "I often like to drape and play with fabric or existing garments and think of new ways of redesign and/or create something original. Fluid fabric and clean modern lines has become my aesthetic. In essence, creating something new is my inspiration." 

She is currently a Technical Design teacher at Moore College of Art and Design. Her newest product that’s causing quite the rage? A convertible Zipper Scarf that you can wear in various ways! The stunning part about the scarf is the way the Zipper (which is heavy duty) compliments Lele’s designs. And trust me, it doesn’t look bulky at all! It gives justice to her philosophy, “flawless simplicity, simple styles with a sexy elegant edge…”

When I asked her what her "AHA" moment was designing the Zipper Scarf she replied: "Originally, I had leftover 2-way zippers from a previous men's collection and wanted to create a skirt using a scarf from my collection of vintage silk scarves. That's when I discovered from the placement of the zipper on the scarf that I had just created multi-function from the two combined. Styling and purpose all in a fashion item, the scarf." 

The craftsmanship of the scarf looks impressive in itself, and once worn (no matter what way) looks really stunning and provides the warmth one needs during those cold breezy days. The last question I put to Lele was: If you could collaborate with any artist in the world, who would it be?

"I admire so many great fashion designers in the world:  such as Tom Ford, Muccia Prada, and my favorite Helmut Lang," said Lele. "However, I would rather collaborate with a modern abstract painter, a furniture designer, architect, jewelry designer, or musician.  I can't name one, it's hard to pick."

The Zipper Scarves are available on her website. Lele’s collection of custom made dresses and gowns can be found at US*U.S. in Old City, Philadelphia.

Having this scarf, I can confidently say, or even sing “the cold never bothered me anyway…”


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