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    The Prancing Leopard Blog

    • Organic is a Rocky Road

      Or Why the f*** did I start with Organic?

      Person-in-Fog

      A rocky road

      by Sevda May 10, 2017  -  Organic production is a rocky road! Selling an organic product is even harder. Sometimes barely possible!

      So why should I care?

      Why the f*** did I start making organic clothing?

      Instead, I could just do beautiful plastic pants made of polyester and nylon.  I could print anything I want on them, with brilliant colors.  I could make them nice and tight - skinny - for beautiful people.  I could shape my polyester super durable pants for curvy chicks and make them super sexy with see-through mesh and play peek-a-boo with the legs of beautiful people.  I could form those beautiful yogi butts with less fabric than a paper towel with my special patterns. I would make tiny sport bras with plenty of straps.

      Or I could just go to alibaba.com, order some “white label” leggings and customize them with my logo and palm tree prints for between 1 and  2 Dollars each. I could market them with an army of beautiful instagram bloggers on the beach, beautiful yogis doing yoga on idyllic yoga beaches . . . .

      Why should I care that those pants will wind up in landfills spreading harmful chemicals for thousands of years?  Why should I care that they are made of petroleum byproducts and their manufacturing heavily pollutes the earth in myriads of processing steps?  Why should I care if some of these chemicals leach into the skin during sweaty exercise and disrupt the delicate endocrine systems of my consumers?

      Why should I care? It’s just fashion. I wouldn’t be the only one if I just let go. It’s the norm - just follow the market trends.  What good is a conscience in this crazy world anyway? What difference would it make if I, a tiny company, whose footprint is quite small?

      But then

      But then I look over at my two teenage girls - young girls full of hope and lust for travel, life, camping, outdoors, seeing beautiful places, etc.

      They deserve a beautiful earth - at least as beautiful an earth as we have known it. They deserve clean water wherever they travel to, they should be able to breath clean air anywhere in the world and enjoy tasty natural organic food - all without concern for their health or the health of others.

      And suddenly I understand why I am so stubborn on being organic.

      I guess, I am selfishly conscious.

    • The Colors of Fashion

      the lovely Toni Melaas wearing the one-shoulder Carmaugue Pink Jumper the lovely Toni Melaas wearing the one-shoulder Carmaugue Pink Jumper
      - image by iconic photographer Bjorn Iooss in 2010

      While both politics and weather keep getting wierder around the globe, we find ourselves, oddly, thinking pink! Is pink a good color for yoga or dance or just having fun? Is pink really the color of romance, compassion, faithfulness, beauty, love, friendship, feminism?

      Or what does it mean, if we wear black instead of pink? Are we then yearning to be powerful, serious, elegant, bold, formal, mysterious? When we wear black are we suddenly unromantic, discompassionate, unfaithful, unfeminine, insensitive... ?

      We need romance, we need . . .  Those must have been my thoughts when we launched our pink collection in 2009-2010, see above image with our lovely Toni Melaas wearing the Carmaugue Pink Jumper - image by iconic photographer Bjorn Iooss. Although the pink was a very difficult color to sell, it was a joy to deal with: the fabric, photo shoots and even stocking the clothes! It made everything brighter. You just naturally had to smile when wearing pink!

      Doing business with something like fashion which is definitely related to art and can be art itself (you must see the exhibition Jean Paul Gaultier "From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk").

      Fashion is a constant debating with yourself while you are designing. It is like you want to offer something that your customers would like to wear, but at the same time you also want to add that fun style and color that puts a smile on faces. We need that.

      We don't need to repeat what we know and find everywhere in the world - OK we are not running so fast in the direction of Jeremy Scott (I love his Spring/Summer Moschino collection and Jeremy Scott's own brand - but preferably in small doses) but uniqueness is very important in this global world - defining your personality rather then your nationality.

      We definitely have our timeless classics like: Xingu leggings, Aix-en-Provence Jumpsuit, Bahia Logo Tunic, Pasha Harem Pants ...

      But we also have our colorful best sellers like: Seychelles Capris, Omora tops and Tjapukai Shorts

      Have a colorful weekend; Namasté!     - Sevda

    • Thoughts on striking a balance in the New Year!

      Watch for Dr. Cooper's Corner on Prancing Leopard Dr. Cooper welcomes the New Year

      We started the new year with this little guy! Didn't have time for a big new years party, the whole family was melting away with the cuteness of our little dog, Dr. Cooper. A real prancing dog!

      I had no idea that this tiny thing would keep us busy night and day! Still working on this blog which should be about New Years resolutions, since four days. Goes to show that no matter how deeply I think about and how well I plan my New Years resolutions in my mind, (something like: have a more structured work and private balance), life takes over.

      Things don't change overnight! Not always!

      And why are we constantly trying to change everything anyway? Sure I love change, and I am much happier/less bored when I can effect change. But things change all by themselves when you wish for them to change anyway, sometimes slower and sometimes much faster, or all at once unexpectedly!

      We, human beings are mostly super hard on ourselves. We always trying to change the people we love around us - unsuccessfully- or change ourselves to fit in, trying to change / challenge ourselves; our mindset, our behavior, our appearance and inner self, to be an even better person. We change our environment from time to time, just not to be bored.

      And at the same time we want to create good habits, have a daily routine, have life long friendships/partners, be happy and confident in present moment without thinking the future or the past. Be content, be calm and at peace and be very kind to everyone while doing all this.

      It is like, I am very creative person but at the same time I am trying to be orderly and structured. Doing two opposite things at the same time!!!

      Ohh, I think, we have the same challenge of keeping the balance in Prancing Leopards product offerings.

      Things are strange right now in the fashion business. Almost every noticeable trend becomes an Instant Classic.

      Keeping the balance. The balance between, on the one hand, keeping your core styles ( best seller styles) constantly in stock - because your customers love them and want to purchase the same style again and again in different colors, and on the other hand offering new styles / cuts and new collections to create change and excitement. Striking this balance is so challenging for a small company like prancing leopard. We apologize for the compromises this brings.

      Yes.... This could be the New Years resolution for Prancing Leopard: try to better balance creation of new styles and keeping up the stock of the classic, core styles like: Arguellos, Istanbul and Corsica pants or having more colors in Aix en Provence or Toulouse jumpsuits.... Ohhh the list is too long.

      What is your favorite style? What would you like to see more of? In several different colors?

      Thanks for your time reading this to the end, we love you and are so thankful for your support, business and loyalty.

      We, from the bottom of our hearts, wish you a fantastic new year.

      Dr Cooper (our new puppy, see the picture above) also sends all his love.

    • Last Minute Shopping

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      Are you a spontaneous last minute shopper? or do you plan everything, who gets what, long in advance? How do you decide exactly what to get? It is obvious why, because you love them -- but how do you decide what? Logically or emotionally?

      Do you decide according to what you would like to receive as present or think your loved one would like / love it? Do you buy things according to their needs / necessary items or choose gifts to create beautiful memories?

      Or are you a spontaneous last minute shopper? Sometimes these are the best gifts - you shop with a sudden inner impulse and without premeditation or external stimulus.

      If you are still not done with your Christmas shopping you might as well be more spontaneous! There is not much time left for further planning.

      Take advantage of our Holiday special with code Holiday15. 15% off on everything -- a yoga outfit or a Mala or a even a gift card for your yogi loved ones!

      For you and your yogi friends or loved ones practicing yoga or any kind of fitness, Xingu or Seychelles leggings and yoga tops, like the Omora top, or the super popular Jumpsuits would be perfect presents! Prancing Leopard Malas can also be customized. And of course the Gift cards and Gifts under 50 are great.

      Namaste...Wishing you a very joyful Christmas time, stay healthy. Be good, do good and feel good.

    • Cherryl's Corner: Urdhva Dhanurasana or wheel pose

      cherryl-Neuchatel-blue-altai-sweat-9-800

      Hi!  I'm Cherryl Duncan and I'm a full-time yoga teacher, author and Prancing Leopard.

       

      Whenever I think of Urdhva Dhanurasana I think of my teacher training in India. Once, we were asked to measure our blood pressure before, during and after an asana.

       

      The idea was that we were meant to see for ourselves how practicing a yoga asana - in this case the Urdhva Dhanurasana - ultimately lowers ones blood pressure. I was genuinely interested in seeing how such a strenuous and (for most people) difficult pose could lower one’s blood pressure. Anyone who starts out practicing this pose will tell you they feel anything but calm doing it.

       

      Each partner noted each other’s blood pressure and recorded a number for the beginning of the pose, then the increase during the pose, then at the end. Both my partner's and my blood pressure were actually lower than before we did the asana. The yogis were right! (again)

       

      Poses like Urdhva Dhanurasana and in fact all yoga poses should be practiced with sthira (steadiness) and sukha (ease) in order to get the desired result and avoid complications.

       

      While Urdhva Dhanurasana opens the shoulders and stretches the front side of the body opening up the chest area, it also can create an enormous feeling of relaxation and stress release. This is because it acts to open and stretch the chest area of the body which is normally closed, tight and protected.

       

      The physical act of stretching the ‘heart space’ has the potential to unlock stagnant and blocked energy which relates to our feelings of experiencing joy, warmth and love; unsurprisingly qualities associated with the heart.

       

      It’s important to go slowly with Urdvha Dhanurasana, starting with preparation poses like Downward facing dog or bridge pose.

       

      Or even better preparation, my all time favorite but entirely effective trick: lie down with your head at the end of a bed or a couch and hang your arms over your head, and carefully try to touch the floor behind you. This helps open the shoulders, which are most often the cause for difficulties in achieving Urdvha Dhanurasana.

       

      Enjoy!   - Cherryl

       

      We would LOVE to get your feedback:

       

      - Do you also notice the relaxation and stress release after the pose? How does it work for you?

       

      - Who has other recommendations for wheel pose preparation and execution?

       

      .

    • The True Cost of Fashion

      Take a look at the True Cost  http://truecostmovie.com/  — a new film, another screaming out about the dirty lies and cheats of Fashion industry, directed by Andrew Morgan, Executive Producer Livia Firth: 

      When Lucy Siegle* challenged Livia Firth** to walk on the red carpet of Golden Globes for her husband's nomination of Tom Ford’s Movie, A Single Man, Mrs Firth found her passion for sustainability and Ethical Fashion. We really like these two Powerful women: Livia Firth and Lucy Siegle.

      *Lucy Siegle:  Guardian journalist and author of "To Die For, Is Fashion Wearing out the World?" **Livia Firth: creative director of Eco-Age, founder of the Green Carpet Challenge and Colin Firth’s wife

       

      This film reminded me how we started Prancing Leopard in 2009. With the same thoughts and hopes of changing the world. How we constantly talked about rights of factory workers and farmers, Our Organic Cotton fabric, and why we use only organic cotton… I remember our meetings and discussions at the NYC, Madison Ave offices of Linda Guant PR agency. I remember traveling around in Turkey to see our Organic Cotton farmers. 

       

      After some time, how we operate and manufacture and choose our fabrics sustainably became business as (un-)usual  for us. We stopped even talking about it! 

       

      Of course, we are still super-eco, totally committed to sustainability and beyond that committed to Organic as the only way to protect the beautiful balance of nature and wild life. 

       

      One thing for sure: Gigantic fast-fashion companies are masters at handling marketing and public reputation. The consumer is not to blame when she/he consumes without questioning.  If the product or the manufacturing practices are questionable, those products shouldn't be in the market at the first place. But well… this is a different subject…. 

       

      The difference is that we organic fashion business owners don’t want to apply these tricks.  Our primary goal is doing good, saving the environment, NOT maximizing profit. 

       

      Eighty billion pieces of clothing are sold annually. How many of those are made sustainably? I assure you very few indeed!!!  

       

      Fashion — a $2.5 trillion business sector — is the second most polluting industry on Earth, right behind oil, and is in fact connected to the oil industry.  Nearly all fabrics blend oil-derived synthetics, like polyester and nylon, with cotton grown using huge quantities of oil-derived pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and usually combined with genetic engineering.

       

      Let's work together to change that!  Spread the word.

      .

    • The designer trend of lace leggings comes to the yoga studio

      Yoga leggings ought not to be boring.  And some definitely are not - like the new Daluis lace yoga leggings:

      Daluis Yoga Leggings with Berangér Yoga TopDaluis Lace Yoga Leggings with Figuera TopDaluis Lace Yoga Leggings in Dark Olive Green

      "Prancing Leopard is a fashion-forward brand, and we strive to stay out ahead of the trends", explains designer Sevda Holland. "The Daluis lace yoga leggings are perfect for the yoga studio, but are in the same wave as the leggings from the great designers being shown right now."

      Our Daluis lace yoga leggings from the Summer Collection 2015 feature not only great looks but also maximum comfort and freedom of movement in 95% organic cotton stretch.

      "Squeezing yourself into spandex is not a very yogic idea," remarks Sevda Holland, who co-founded Prancing Leopard in 1999. "Natural organic cotton has a wonderful liberating feeling on the skin, it makes you want to go out and dance!"

      Styled with a vintage diamond pattern of perforations and executed in the coming season's dark olive green tone which goes with practically anything, the Daluis lace yoga leggings attract the right kind of attention with a short skirt for around town but also provide the coverage to move with abandon in the yoga studio.

      Master yoga teacher Cherryl Duncan ("the Muse" from Johannesburg, South Africa) prefers the new yoga leggings because they add style and grace to any outfit. "I decided to order more for my friends cause they move with you so gracefully but in true style," she explains.

    • The New Cosmo Pants

      At Prancing Leopard, it's obvious that we love our organic natural fabric yoga clothes. They just fit with the holistic practice of yoga and they are the most comfortable to practice in...and it got our owner and designer, Sevda Holland, thinking - Why stop with activewear?

      Why not carry this love of organic cotton through to EVERY facet of our life? Thus, born were the Cosmo Pants.

      Painstakingly hand-made at our Munich location, these organic satin cotton pants boast an asymmetrical pleated front and tapered leg. Pair them with heels and a statement necklace for girls night out - with a blouse and blazer you're set for the office - with a tucked tee and cardigan and you are ready for casual Sunday brunch.

      True versatility. You’ll find yourself living in and loving the new Cosmo Pants. Let us know how you are wearing our Cosmos!

    • New Summer Styles - Tasman Sport Dress

      This new sport dress has already garnered the most likes we have ever had on Facebook for a new style. Production will be limited, so watch our site for availability starting the beginning of April!!!

    • Get Ready for Spring with the Harem Pants

      Get ready for Spring with the Harem Pants - Now in Stock!

      Go here to see them! https://www.prancingleopard.com/index.php/women/pants-capris-shorts/harem-pants.html?param=menu1

    • Workplaces - is yours inspiring?

      We think it should be! Browse around here and find some new ideas - its time to change it up . . . .

      See this! http://webdesignledger.com/inspiration/beautiful-and-inspiring-workspaces

    • Our water is running out. It's time to conserve.

      From National Geographic: "Our daily consumption of fresh water is depleting rivers and groundwater around the world, including the iconic Colorado River. You can help save the Colorado, and other freshwater ecosystems, by taking a pledge to conserve water." Share the infographic! http://sphotos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/c0.0.403.403/p403x403/21893_10151760477994676_1287945899_n.jpg

    • Tunic Antibes is Back - and in new color Combinations!

      Tunic Antibe is Back in stock in two new color-combinations! Grey with Orange Lining and Cloud Grey with Turquoise Lining. Get them while they last!

      http://bit.ly/djB8JT

    • Toulouse Jumpsuit

      Our Toulouse Jumpsuit remains at the top of our sales charts. Must be something special!

    • What exactly is in Beijing's polluted air?

      What exactly is in Beijing's polluted air? Here is the hazard Level recorded by US embassy. This keeps happening, and who is doing anything about it?

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/graphic/2013/jan/15/what-in-beijing-polluted-air

    • More Evidence Meat can be Unhealthy - and Why!

      The American meat industry relies on Anti-biotics to help fatten farm animals. And now there is more laboratory evidence that low-level antibiotics - at the levels approved by the EPA - cause obesity - and why.

      Most of us don't need any further motivation to avoid fast-food and supermarket meats. But in case you know someone still sitting on the fence, guide them to this article: Can Antibiotics Make you Fat?. Thanks Mother Jones!

    • Pump up the Trends! Episode 4: 305 Fitness

      by Zoey Zimbicki

      To read about my previous experiences, click here for Surf Set, Aerial yoga, and Hot Yoga.

      Do you love dancing, but hate strange men grinding on you uninvited? Do you dance while you’re home alone, but once out in public you’re too embarrassed to show off your moves? Do you dread the ringing in your ears at the end of a night out from the terribly loud speakers? Do you wish your favorite hot spot would have a “pajamas and flats night” so that you wouldn’t have to squeeze yourself into that oh-so-short dress and those blister-inducing heels? Are you going to SCREAM if your Zumba instructor plays “Waka Waka” one more time? I love Shakira as much as the next, but pick a new song already!

      Introducing, 305 Fitness. It’s everything your night out on the town is, minus the pain-in-the-ass parts, with a super-sassy friend leading the way. Twenty-three year old founder, Sadie Kurzban, brings her Miami roots to the gym, to make sure people are having fun during their workout, and “sweatin’ sexy”.

      305 is held in a few different places, the night I went, it was at a swanky loft in Flatiron. Fred, the bartender was there serving just-made smoothies, and DJ Jeff Haze was spinning the 1′s and 2′s while the lights flashed and strobbed around the room. It was definitely a fun, party atmosphere.

      The dancing is a mix of Zumba, club and burlesque. No reason to be shy here. Sadie lets her freak flag fly, showing off her cleavage, humping the wall, and booty dancing on the photographer. That was probably my favorite part of the class, Sadie’s interaction with everyone individually. There is no correcting your posture, only coming over to shimmy in your face. She shows that she’s just another gal pal dancing the night away with you, showing you some new moves.

      So go grab your fiercest workout outfit (I wore the strappy Corfu top and my favorite capris) and get to sweatin’ sexy! This is a class you can’t miss!

    • Environmental Health Series: U.S. study links the chemical BPA to obesity in children

      A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that children and teens who had higher levels of the chemical bisphenol A in their urine were up to 5 times more likely to be overweight or obese than children with lower levels.

      We at Prancing Leopard believe it is absolutely crucial that we as a society take it upon ourselves to eliminate chemical toxins like bisphenol A, phthalates and other endocrine disruptors from our world, because like mercury or lead, they spread through the ecosystem wrecking havoc with all varieties of life forms including humans and animals. We believe public and private water systems must be tested for these types of toxins and they must be filtered out.

      For example, most water-cooler bottles are still made of 100% Polycarbonate, which is BPA combined with phosgene. What are we thinking???

      Another example: most eyeglass-lenses in the US are manufactured of Polycarbonate, too. While we don't eat with our eyeglasses, the use of polycarbonates containing about 100 million tons of BPA per year winds up spread around the world through the whole food chain.

      What you can do? Avoid the use of plastics as much as possible. Period. We do.

    • Womens Artisan Sale

      New artisan items just arrived! They make great stocking stuffers, secret Santa gifts, or a little present to yourself to keep cozy this winter. Get ‘em while they’re hot, we have a limited amount.

      Each item is hand-knit by women from the Womens Artisan Project in Turkey. Our designer, Sevda gives the women in this underserved community design and fashion guidance, and the women are free to go from there. It’s empowering the women there to gain self-confidence, independence and their own income.

      The women added new colors this year; we now have the vibrant purple and emerald green toe socks, beenies and infinity scarves.

      Because we’re giddy off peppermint sticks this time of year, we’ve added a couple more items to the sale including: our favorite, fabulous Cocoon Knit Shrug, the sleek Cremona jacket and more. Don’t wait, there aren’t many left, and this sale ends Tuesday, December 4. So, get to shopping!

    • Ai Weiwei Does Gangman Style

      We love Ai Weiwei's dance moves and his clear intentions!

      Chinese dissident activist and artist Ai Weiwei shows off his moves to the worldwide music hit Gangnam Style, by South Korean rapper Psy. Ai, 55, who recorded the video with office colleagues, says the video has been blocked from Chinese video sites. He says the international meme phenomenon is an expression of individualism that should be allowed in China!

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