From football to fashion

Football players aren't usually known for their fashion statements. Gibran Hamdan is hoping to change that with his new line of men's polos -- Alial Fital.

When the former NFL quarterback "hung up his cleats," he had an idea for a solution to a perennial problem: "Guys want to be comfortable, but ladies want them to be dressed up," he said.

Using his wife's sewing machine, Hamdan created a super-soft cotton polo shirt topped with a more formal collar in contrasting pattern. After devising the prototype, he had the hybrid polos produced in Los Angeles. (Though he was never a Viking, Hamdan moved to Edina last fall to be with his wife, Bud Grant's granddaughter Jenny Grant.)

Hamdan's football friends have been supportive of the new line. In fact, Matt Hasselbeck of the Seattle Seahawks was spotted in one of the shirts.

Naturally, Hamdan wears his own designs. "I go to my the closet and I could wear these expensive dress shirts, but they're uncomfortable compared to my shirts," he said. They work quite well with Hamdan's personal style, which he calls "classic with a twist." Despite his love of "English style, with vests and well-tailored clothes in different textures," Hamdan keeps it casual. "I never wear socks," he said.

Alial Fital launch party: 8 to 11 p.m. Fri., 110 North Loop Loft, 801 Washington Av. N., No. 110, Mpls. Full collection ($68 to $88) is available online. Trunk show: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat., Guild, 4414 Excelsior Blvd., St. Louis Park, 952-378-1815.

Now open: beauty boutique

Hairstylist and makeup artist Julie Swenson has had a mobile bridal beauty service since 2006, but she recently decided to open a lounge where brides -- and anyone who wanted to dress up -- could come to get gorgeous and shop for top products.

The new Smart & Chic Beauty Lounge is open by appointment for consultation, styling and makeup services. (On weekends, the lounge offers regular retail hours.)

The boutique features items by local designers, including Nelle handbags and Betthany Lorelle hairpieces, and carefully edited selection beauty products such as Tokyo Milk bubble bath, Jouer cosmetics, Love + Toast hand crèmes, and Malin + Goetz skin care products. Plus a private label line of products includes everything from brushes to plumping lip gloss for $10 to $30. They'll gladly put together a "touch-up" kit for your night out.

Starting this week, you can drop by for Happy Hour. On Wednesdays through Fridays (5 to 8 p.m.), you can make an appointment for a blowout (regularly $35), manicure (regularly $25) or makeup application (regularly $35) and get $5 off each service plus a sparkling beverage. Coming soon: A group makeup lesson on March 8, where you bring in whatever you have in your bag, whether it's Chanel or CoverGirl, and the team will teach you how to use it. "I'm not a hater of the Target makeup," said Swenson, who is a huge fan of Maybelline mascara. "We don't care what it is, we'll show you how to use it based on spring trends."


Where: Smart & Chic Beauty Lounge, 20 University Av. NE., Mpls.,

When: 7 to 11 p.m., Feb. 16.

What: 1940s-theme, feel free to dress in costume.

Regular retail hours: Noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Services available every day, by appointment only.

PICK OF THE WEEK: Chelsea Baby shoes


Chelsea Geenen of Minneapolis designed a whimsical line of shoes for little feet under the label Chelsea Baby. Bright colors and patterns are embellished with removable tulle for girls and bow ties for boys. Bonus: The washable fabric is made from 100 percent recycled fibers.

Sizes 0 to 6 months and 6 to 12 months, available online, Fleurish, 240 Minnetonka Av. S., Wayzata, 952-476-2296 and UberBaby, Shops at West End, 1628 West End Blvd., St. Louis Park, 612-869-0930.



Guy's Night Out: At Flirt, men can relax with scotch and beer tastings and shop the selection of lingerie. Women can call or e-mail ahead to register with their sizes.

5 to 8 p.m., 177 N. Snelling Av., St. Paul, 651-698-3692,

Second Debut's spring preview events: Browse spring fashions, footwear and accessories and enjoy spa treatments

7 to 9 p.m. Thu., 4300 W. 36 1/2 St., St. Louis Park and 7 to 9 p.m. Fri., 1825 W. University Av., St. Paul, $5 tickets at or $7 at the door.


Re4mer launch party: See the results of Re4mer, a new treatment that will add texture and volume to hair for up to 12 weeks. Then enjoy a consultation and receive 20 percent off a future booking for the service and 20 percent off select products.

5 to 7 p.m., Details Style Lab, 346 St. Peter St., St. Paul, 612-251-8700,


Promopolis model call: A March 12 event is looking for males and females, ages 13 to 24. No experience necessary and all candidates will be eligible for a drawing to win a $1,000 modeling school scholarship at Caryn International.

Noon, Mall of America, Macy's Court, Bloomington.

Gift with purchase: If your purchases from any combination of the retailers on the corner of Selby and Snelling (A Michele, Allez Metro Chic, Patina and more) total more than $100, stop at the "Kissing Booth" for a free gift and treat.

During regular store hours, N. Snelling and Selby Avs., St. Paul.


StyledLife's sale: Fall and winter accessories are 30 to 70 percent off and new spring merchandise is 20 percent off.

Through March 6, Galleria, 952-928-8888,

Sara Glassman • 612-673-7177 •