You’re an in-store Stylist and Visual Lead. What does that mean?
I’m responsible for all AE forms, windows and displays. It’s a very creative role that definitely has its perks. I’m constantly inspired and I’ve learned so much by being here.
Is this your first styling job?
I came to the company with experience, [but] the creative freedom this position allows me has been great.
How long have you worked at American Eagle?
I’ve been with company since April of 2010.
What’s your favorite trend for Fall?
The urban rockabilly is a look that seems to be staying around this fall. I’m a huge fan of leather motorcycle jackets, chambray, flannel or woven shirts over a dark rinse, hard, slightly tapered or cuffed denim. Paired up with statement boots, loafers, Chuck Taylors or Vans . It’s a winner. Especially in downtown New York, which feels like my birth place.
How about color?
Black is my favorite color all year round. You can’t help but pull off the ‘I’m cooler than you’ attitude when you’re wearing all black. [Laughing] Sorry I’m a New Yorker!
What about your favorite Fall accessory?
I’m a big fan of layering. I pair pretty much everything with a denim jacket or a light weight military jacket. You can also never go wrong by pairing a gray pullover hoodie under any jacket or over a plaid woven. And a gold watch. Always own a gold watch. Fall to summer, that should always be a statement piece.
Aside from a gold watch, what’s your personal style secret?
The simpler, the better. I think it’s the best way to keep it cool and classic. I do appreciate that men’s fashion has become bolder and more risks are being taken. Though there is a fine line with all of that. Your look can easily become something so trendy that it looks like it’s wearing you and not the opposite.
Speaking of style secrets, you recently had the chance to meet one your idols, celeb stylist and author, June Ambrose, during the Secrets of Stylists book signing in your store. Tell us about that.
I never get star struck, but I have to say the nerves kind of kicked in a little! It was great to meet her. She was very humble and kind. Having someone that you’ve idolized look around and say ‘The store looks great!’ knowing that you had a hand in that, really leaves no room for complaints.
Wow, what a great introduction to your idol! What did you talk to her about?
We spoke about how she was the reason I went to school for fashion merchandising. She was touched by that. And when we went on to discuss my future, I told her of my plans to make writing my complete focus. She gave me some great words of wisdom. Its funny how others can say something a million times, but when someone you admire says those same exact words it all seems to click. Needless to say, she was very supportive of my transition into writing.
What has she taught you?
Two things: Build a brand and create a lifestyle. In order to have success in any industry, you need to be more then just your name and you need to have more then just a talent because everyone has one. There has to be a reason for others to not only take notice, but also believe in what it is you’re selling. In recent years, I’ve moved away from assisting and styling to follow my passion, writing. June has written two books of her own, so it’s very inspiring to me to see her continue to be so successful with the multiple facets of her career.
What’s your favorite look from June?
She has styled many of my favorite artists, but I have to say nothing will ever top the giant latex bubble suit that she styled Missy Elliot in for her music video “The Rain.” If a stylist can create not only a look, but something so artistic and eye-catchingly buzz worthy that it’s still talked about years after, that’s completely inspiring.
How does her style inspiration influence what you do at AE?
She loves for things to appear effortless. I keep that in mind when dressing our forms here at Time Square. I want them to always feel lived in, but such easy looks that both the ‘fashionista or fashionisto’ and the ‘jeans and tees’ customer feel they can pull them off in their own way. Add a scarf, lose a layer, change the color. But in general, make the outfit you’re looking at on the form work for you.