Elisa Goodkind is a native New Yorker that has long been a fixture within the fashion industry. She has held editorial posts at Glamour and Self magazines, and her fashion styling has been featured in Interview, InStyle, Vanity Fair, Vanity Fair Italy, L’uomo Vogue, Marie Claire, Tatler, Harper’s Bazaar Spain, Stiletto, Elle France, Gotham, Glamour, and City.
Elisa's daughter, Lily Mandelbaum, is currently an undergraduate filmmaking and anthropology major at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. After taking a life-changing trip to Nairobi's Kibera slum in 2009, Lily made a documentary film that gives a voice to the struggles faced by slum orphans. She hopes to one day help create opportunities for these children to become educated and attain a brighter future. After growing tired of the rampant commercialism permeating the fashion industry, the mother and daughter team began StyleLikeU in 2008 to give individuals a platform to express the stories and inspiration behind their incredible personal style.
This year, our head video editor, Andrea Cruz, and I (Lily Mandelbaum, StyleLikeU co-founder) hopped a plane to Austin and slept at a friend's house in order to talk to some of the most uniquely stylish musicians at this year's South By Southwest.
For our quick,...
"My has store developed into this fabulous fantasy world because I always believed in the limitless possibilities of dreaming with my son, Ricky, who was born deaf, and whom I continually told: You can be anything you want to be," says single mom Madeleine Kirsh.
As her leopard kaftan and bright red hair scream, Madeleine is a one-of-a-kind whose experiences of raising her deaf son, and confronting her own progressive deafness, lead to the decade-spanning Miami vintage store, C. Madeleine's. "This is my passion," states the impeccable curator, who can't go anywhere without being asked about her signature glasses. "I built this store on my heart and passion. The day that goes away is the day I close up shop."
With the resoluteness of her Jackie O canary ensemble, Madeleine has faced hardships that'd make Whatever Happened to Baby Jane seem like a family comedy. From her high-school days of changing in the bushes outside of her house into the flower-power clothes of her choice, to the terrifying loss of her hearing over a period of 25 years, Madeleine has turned adversity into gold. When she was born, her mom left her in the hospital for ten days in order to make sure she that was perfect, with all ten toes and fingers. After her own son was born deaf, the quiet warrior, whose backbone is equal to that of her don't-fuck-with-me black Chanel business suit, never let her son witness her tears over his handicap -- heading for the bathroom every time she cried.
Rearing her child "before closed-caption TV," Madeleine, completely on her own, spent close to 24/7 trying to bring normalcy to their outsider, isolated lives: "I sat on the floor feeding and feeding him language. I was his best friend." On weekends, in order to survive, she planted the roots of her business, and started to sell her grandma's Great Depression glass at the flea market. "I got so popular that I started to sell jewelry out of my car, across from Saks to their employees," Madeleine remembers. "I was in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral. The cops would come and tell me to move my car, so I would circle around the block and then come back."
In the spirit of her own self-creation, Madeleine says, "When you walk into my store, you leave all your crap outside and you start to become the person that you want to be." Her courageous vulnerability allows her to form such a deep connection with the stories behind the clothing that people bring her that she feels as if their previous owners have been reincarnated in her. Possessing senses sharper than a razor, the visually-explosive ecstasy of her store is Madeleine's pot. "It's been a real trip," she reflects. "If I had to trade in all of my torments, then I wouldn't be the person that I am today. I'd be a little robot, not Madeleine."
For more Madeleine, visit our site,
Since StyleLikeU began (2009), we've always struggled to show just how personal the site is to us. We are 1000 percent aware of the selfie, social media culture and talking about ourselves is about as natural to us as chivalry is to Terry Richardson. However, we know that the story of StyleLikeU will never evolve if we don't open up.
Basically, StyleLikeU is a synonym for us. We live and breathe this. From dreaming incessantly about what muses to introduce each other to, to being invigorated weekly by a refreshing take on a style detail or life lesson, to brainstorming hashtags, answering emails and coming up with ideas 24/7/365 (holidays and weekends aren't a part of our lives). We interview and shoot everyone ourselves, and we do so not because of their Twitter following or because we're getting paid to promote them, but because their lives inspire us to such an extent that the idea of not being able to share our endless revelations with the entire world would feel akin to suffocation.
So, this is our dilemma: How can you have an uber personal website without revealing the persons for whom it's so uber personal for?
In the past, we've made some attempts to get ourselves out there -- a video on Mother's Day or a post about body image -- but now we're trying to up the game. We're posting articles, creating informal Monday chats (these are beyond painful, as they are unedited and impromptu, and we are acutely aware of how much we need to get at these), and, now, monthly videos that take you behind the scenes of StyleLikeU in a way that our grainy, Photo Booth updates can't.
See us prepare for our Hasidic video launch at the Soho Synagogue, as well as our Women on Men Round Table. We also divulge the origins of StyleLikeU and what it's like to be in a mother-daughter business.
Please be patient with our shynesss and camera stiffness. We can barely watch. But we hope that the video elicits a totally different reaction from you and that it helps you to better understand the overall foundation of StyleLikeU.
Elisa & Lily
Video edited by Andrea...
The old and new guard did a lot of hypocritical slinging at each other during this past fashion week, which felt to me like the pot calling the kettle black. If you are perpetuating the same cold and distant veneer, what is the difference if you are of the print or blogger ilk? The question remains for SLU: Where is there anything innovative and genuine? Are we really breaking any ground with virtually identical blank-staring, stick-thin, often pre-pubescent models going up and down the runway? Let alone the plethora of unapproachable, overly-produced ads with this season's regurgitation of imitation images from last year or even 20 years ago. And certainly parading for attention outside of the shows in borrowed or contrived loud clothes isn't the central qualification for the trailblazing status of Diana Vreeland, Gloria Steinem, or Coco Chanel.
As a fashion stylist and editor for 25 years, I am of both the old and new guard, around in the 80s when the industry was packed with originals whose ideas were truly mind- and fashion-expanding. It feels as if much of fashion today is a watered down, karaoke version of that. It's at the point where I actually got into a cab during NYFW and starting hitting the taxi TV screen from the overload of brands shoving this season's robotic mannequins in your face in order to push their products. I, for one, would at least like to move this show an inch into the 21st c. and know who these girls are and what their opinion is on the garments that they are wearing. Some personality, substance, and, best of all, flaws, perhaps?
Don't get me wrong, I am obsessed with fashion and clothes: they are the lifeblood that enables me to express myself. I love it so much that I consider fashion to be an art and continue to look for the art season after season in its community and industry, only to find commerce and a machinery that allows almost nothing in terms of true originality or revolutionary ideas. I have a feeling that what would bring clothing back to a fertile life would be a fashion business that is aspirational and inclusive, instead of inane and exclusive.
On our body image roundtable we begin the conversation about how painful the inauthentic, unattainable, cookie-cutter norms have been to females and why mass culture accepts these (or any standards) that diminish women. We often ask our muses to tell us what they consider to be beautiful. Now I am going to answer what is beautiful to me: beautiful to me is Eve, Cory Kennedy, Venus X, Grace Lee, Megan LeCrone, Nicolette Mason, Domonique Echeverria, and Sara Ziff. Each of these women has the guts to set a new tone for what I feel is the beginning of a fresh paradigm -- one that leads to palpable, not phony, token, empowerment. Diana Vreeland, Gloria Steinem, and Coco Chanel all wore clothes -- clothes did not wear them, because their sartorial freedom and voices gave license to a needed change. Style and beauty is a self confidence that comes from a willingness to be as much vulnerable as bold, i.e. having vision and putting your money where your mouth is. The 21st c. is upon us -- time to blow up what's exhausted and doesn't work anymore.
Video Edited by Andrea Cruz.
Music: 'Searchlight' by...
After four years, my mom and I have cut the cameras to ourselves in order to begin telling StyleLikeU's story. We are ecstatic and nervous to reveal how inspiring it is to be a part of a mission that has lead us to a gold mine of visionary...
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Molly says that as a photographer she never walked around looking for something to photograph. "To be a true artist you need to be making it... it needs to come from inside your head." (Take...
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For me, Uffie defines effortless. As she puts it, she can "live the hell out of every moment," and she's so laid-back that she thought nothing of sipping a Jamba juice during the entire shoot. Uffie is so comfortable in her skin that the...
After a solid and full career as one of the most successful and "real" fashion stylists in the business, Lori is still every bit the unpretentious little girl prancing in her favorite yellow polka-dot bikini, "a tomboy who loves sparkly things." She is from Ohio, and says that her obsession...
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I was drooling while listening to Lindsey's stories about her experience in Atlanta's rich, underground music scene during the '90s. She recalls what is now, sadly, an almost extinct phenomenon: sweaty nights of dancing at low-key clubs with ratty sofas, where people...
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When I was interviewing RZA for this site, I kept thinking royalty in the ideal sense: noble, and captivating. RZA is mesmerizing, handsome, articulate, learned, gentle, soft-spoken, and humble. In his presence, you feel as if he should be on a...
Zelda was born in 1916 and is "younger" in body, mind and spirit than most people I know. During my interview with her, it was notable to me that at ninety four, there wasn't an ounce of self pity or time wasted with regards to her youth. I couldn't help...