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The Blog

The Blog

Filtering by Tag: Influencer Feature Series

Meet Chicago photographer, Estevansta

Zoey Bloom

On the blog today, we're talking with our photographer friend Estevan Cruz. This Chicago local is a full-time student and wedding photographer, specializing in engagements, family portraits, and lifestyle images.


Le Coeur: Who inspires your work?

Estevan: My friends inspire my work mostly! All my friends are so talented and every one of them inspire me to do everything i do whether its take pictures, work out, dance or just be a positive influence to others. Crazy thing is that I met most of my closest friends through Instagram and my photography! Here's a list of my favorite photographers, bloggers, dancers and overall favorite people that I've met and befriended: Jeanne Grey (@thegreylayers), Joel Tucker (@joelttucker), Juan Riesco (@juanyworldwide), Maricel Cruz (@maricelcruzphoto), Anthony Trevino (@trevinoanthony), Nicole Mejia (@nicole_mejia), Justine Cuenco (@cococuenco), JP Quindara (@jpquindara), Shaun Baluyot (@shaun.baluyot), and Megan Batoon (@meganbatoon).

LC: How do you spend your free time?

Estevan: Free time is something I barely have during the school year or even in-general, but when I can I love to skateboard, hike, and spend ridiculous amounts of time at coffee houses!

LC: What are your favorite spots in your city?

Estevan: My favorite places to be in Chicago are Nini’s Deli (my all time favorite place to be, you'll see me there guaranteed every week), Lincoln Park Conservatory, and Lake Shore. 

Le Coeur Estevan8.jpg

LC: What are some of your hobbies?

Estevan: I have a lot of hobbies that I can barely keep up with but I still skateboard, play drums, guitar and breakdance!

LC: What is your favorite Le Coeur timepiece and why?

Estevan: Currently I'm in love with the Toronto timepiece, the leather quality of the black strap is amazing and the silver face is essential to any outfit! But I have to get my hands on the Chicago chronograph timepiece!


Connect with Estevan on Instagram.


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Beijing
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Meet Chicago Photographer, Evan Sheehan

Mandy Lancia

Today OTB we're chatting with Chicago-based photographer, Evan Sheehan. We're constantly blown away by the imagery he creates in our hometown, uniquely capturing the city and scenes that make Chicago so vibrant and dynamic. Read on as we chat with Evan about where he most loves to shoot, and how he finds the time and space to create for himself.

What's the low-down with shooting in Chicago?  I love shooting in Chicago because the community here is incredibly supportive and collaborative. The people around me are my biggest source of inspiration. I love working with my friends and creating things together that we're all proud of.  As touristy as it is, I like shooting in Millennium Park; the Jay Pritzker Pavillion has some really nice, minimal spots to shoot.

What were your first experiences with photography? I started with video back in high school while taking a video media course that used DSLR cameras. I started shooting more photos than video and have been shooting ever since.

What does your day-to-day look like, and how do you find the space to create for yourself?  I shoot for brands during the workweek, so I really value the free time I have to create work for myself. I also try to travel as much as my job allows. I think seeing new places is one of the best ways to feel creatively refreshed. I really enjoy biking and just spending time in nature not taking photos as well. It's super helpful and mind-clearing.

What's your shooting style?  I would describe my style as calculated and planned. The majority of what I shoot is set up and posed. I have a huge appreciation of people that are able to capture real moments in real time though and have always been envious of photographers with that ability. 

Connect with Evan on Instagram and at www.evantsheehan.com.

Meet Raleigh Fashion Designer and Stylist, Leslie Medlin

Mandy Lancia

Texas native Leslie Medlin is a bossbabe all things chic and cool. Today on the blog, the Raleigh fashion designer, merchandiser, and stylist sits down with us to chat about her own personal style and how she leverages it to build confidence into other women's wardrobes, bringing an element of true innovation to clothing design. Read on to learn about how she designs for "life's in-betweens," and what else keeps her inspired along the way.

What got you into design and styling? I graduated with a fashion design degree back in 2010, and since then I've been working on a long-term goal of designing my own line of clothing and accessories. Along the way I fell in love with visual merchandising and have been doing that alongside my design endeavors[...] I've always loved helping women feel confident about what they wear, and how they carry themselves, so I do a lot of personal and photoshoot styling on the side. My umbrella company is Leslie Medlin Design House.

But here's the raw truth: all of that may sound glamorous, but let me be the first one to tell you that it's been a long six years and most days I look like a crazy woman with no goals and no progress. But I do what I do because I truly believe that I'm made to do it, and that the process it takes to get to every next level is worth the work, the hardship, and the doubts.

Back in high school, I made a huge turn from being an insecure copy-cat -- just trying to be like everyone else, because I didn't have any confidence in who I was -- to realizing that I had dreams, ideas, and a style and personality all my own. This inspired me to delve into the world of fashion and live to build confidence into women's wardrobes, bringing an element of true innovation to clothing design. I've always wanted to bridge the gap between women and the "unattainable cool factor."

What most inspires your work? I'm inspired by the day-to-day life that women live. All the different things we do, and how we want to dress in each of those dynamics, inspires the types of things I design. I love looking at the whole gambit, from the high-fashion dressed women on the streets of NYFW to the women sitting next to me at a coffee shop. How we design for all the in-betweens -- I live for these ideas.

Real talk. What have been some of the challenges? One of the hardest things about building a career in the thing that is my number one passion, is that the lines are often very blurry. My free time is often spent doing some of the same things that I do in my working hours. Researching magazines, blogs, books for trends, ideas, the zeitgeist. But I do very much enjoy movies, and going out to dinner with my husband and our community of friends.

Time has always been something I can't seem to be friends with in a lot of ways. I've always been more of a scattered person -- I have no internal clock, and I have a hard time estimating how long I've been doing something or how long a project will take. I used to be chronically late to everything. But I've been really working on that over the years. I'm just such a believer in excellence (and at its worst, perfection), so I have a hard time wanting to sacrifice quality just to meet a deadline. We all know that's not how the world (and America in particular) works. I have had to really challenge myself to understand how time affects everyone, including myself, and work to honor it so that everyone can be successful and peaceful in the process.

How would you describe your styling? The best way I can describe it is a mix of "effortless, clean cool" and "of the zeitgeist." I love both simple, spacious design that spans trend and body changes, but I am also a lover of risky ideas and out-of-the-box styles. I enjoy being an early adopter of exciting new takes on silhouettes, colors and shapes. My closet has a lot of staple pieces, simple shapes, lots of black and grey, as well as pieces that pop, fun layering styles, and lots of red and weird yellow colors.

Favorite thing to do in your spare time? I'm actually really into history, I find so many things about it fascinating. So I spend a lot of time watching movies based on true events, and reading books about WWII, world events of the past, and even famous people of the past. I could watch and read only documentaries and be very happy. 

Raleigh has been a really fun city to discover. Lots of great coffee shops, and while I do spend a lot of time at them for work, I love going when I'm not working to hang with friends, play games with my husband, and read or write on my own. One of my favorite places to frequent are art museums, and Raleigh has a great one with lots of modern art that I could stand in front of for hours at a time. 

Explore more of Leslie's work on instagram.

Meet Chicago Photographer and Content Creator, Alex Tan

Mandy Lancia

Today we chat with Ohio native and Chicago transplant, Alex Tan. His work is inspired by community and creativity, as well as simplicity. Find Alex taking photos and capturing Chicago's community with his bold and expressive vision.

Why Photography? I started taking photographs at the beginning of 2014. I started to connect with a lot of creative people through Instagram in Columbus. They inspired me to do really cool things and ultimately are the reason for where I'm at in life now. At the end of the day, no matter what job I have or what I do, I always want to be creating something new.

Who's your greatest inspiration? I have a lot. I think the biggest creative inspiration I have is Donald Glover, who is an actor, writer, producer, hip-hop artist, etc. His creative vision and direction for everything he is a part of just makes sense to me. He's rather mysterious and is pretty far removed from "fame" even though most people know who he is. From a photo perspective, my friends and the people I surround myself with are always inspiring me. I try to stick around people I can learn from every day. 

What else are you into? Before photography all I did was play soccer. I grew up playing it competitively throughout the year and it’s what I loved, and still love to this day. I actually went to college to play as well, but it didn’t really work out as I had planned. I like to play at the local soccer fields when I have time. I also enjoy basketball as well. Sports are exciting for me. I like coffee and have gotten really into learning how to make it in different ways, and I collect vinyl when I have the extra cash or when I can find a old gem. 

Favorite Chicago spots. Go. I spend a ton of time at Gaslight Coffee Roasters to get work done, plus the coffee is great. My taco intake since moving to Chicago has increased tenfold, and my favorite spot for that is Antique Taco. The best cheeseburger in the world can be found at Small Cheval in Wicker Park. Outside of food, I like to go to the lake at Montrose Beach. 

Connect with Alex on Instagram and at alextanphoto.com.

Meet New York and L.A. Artist, Tatiana Gabrielle

Mandy Lancia

Gracing our blog today with her unique "urban minimalism with a dash of punk" style is Tatiana Gabrielle, an artist who splits her time between New York and Los Angeles. We love her taste in fashion, her work ethic, and the way she makes our Cape Town timepiece look so cool. To hear more about what interests her and who inspires her, read on. (You can see more from Tatiana Gabrielle on her Instagram account.)

My name is Tatiana Gabrielle, and I'm currently based in between New York and L.A. for work. I wear many hats as an artist, content creator, and now a personal assistant. I work on a lot of projects at a time because I'm very introverted. Art has allowed me to meet other artists and curators over the years. It's the only thing I'm willing to share with strangers.

I wish I was able to understand the importance of free time. I rarely ever have it, because I strongly believe that time is valuable in terms of work. Whenever I do chill out, I'm usually spending it talking to loved ones or studying astrology.

My friends and family [inspire me most]. I'm very lucky to always be around another artist, intellectual, or musician. Seeing their work and their drive pushes me each and every day to do my best.

[My style is] minimalistic but true to my inner-city and punk roots. Sometimes messy. Sometimes extremely clean-cut.