Interview


Hey BP. girls! Exciting news: Last Saturday I got to interview Kendall and Kylie Jenner (and Steve Madden!) at a launch event for their Madden Girl shoe and bag collection.

Before you read the interivew, I just want to give you an idea of how die-hard the Kendall and Kylie fans were. I talked to the first people in line—Brian and Briana from Ventura, CA. They arrived at the early (or late) hour of 1am (12 hours before the 1pm start time)! Brian said, “We got here just in time. It was all worth it!” Both Brian and his sister Briana were very excited to meet the Jenner girls, “We’re such big fans! We love everything that has to do with them.”

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Kendall and Kylie both sporting shoes from the Madden Girl Collection. This new line is fantastic, by the way. I’ve already got my eye on a pair of sandals.

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Aya, BP.: Kendall, I know, you’re more glam and Kylie, you’re more boho. How did you fuse your two aesthetics together for this line?

Kylie: I think for this line we wanted to make it more beachy and fun and young. And I think our next line is definitely more glam and darker.

Steve: We really wanted to reach the Nordstrom girl, so I was able to draw the best of both out of them [Kendall and Kylie].

Kendall: I agree with what they said!

Aya, BP.: What upcoming vacations do you have planned and what are some essentials for spring travel and music festivals?

Kendall: We havent really thought of anything yet, but I think that an essential thing is obviously a good shoe and that’s where our shoe line comes in…

Kylie:.. and sunscreen!

Kendall: Yeah, a good shoe and sunscreen!

Both: You’re set!

Steve: On my vacation, I’m coming back to Los Angeles to play golf with their dad [Bruce Jenner] and get a rematch because he beat me so bad.

Aya, BP.: Why did you feel that Madden Girl resonates with your personal style? 

Kendall: I think it does perfectly. […]We take our inspiration from online or magazines or whatever and we give it to [the Madden Girl team] and then they take it, put it on paper and then make a product. So I think that it completely resonates with our style.

Steve: Yeah, and they’re coming into Nordstrom for inspiration! So we’re putting their stamp on every piece in the collection.

Aya, BP.: What made you want to pursue this collaboration?

Kylie: We grew up wearing Steve Madden—every girl in my class had a Steve Madden shoe, so we have always admired the line. We just thought it was a perfect match. We’ve done clothes and jewelry and all that, so the next thing was shoes and it worked out perfectly.

Steve: Yeah, it was good. Since it’s sort of in their DNA. […] They grew up wearing them so now we were able to work together to produce something new with our DNA and their DNA.

Kendall: Exactly.

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Aya, BP.: We all know sisters love sharing clothes—what pieces do you think sisters will be sharing with each other?

Kendall:  Hopefully they’ll be sharing everything!

Aya, BP.: In terms of design, what did you learn from this experience? And what was your favorite thing about the creative process?

Kendall: I think we’ve learned that input is very important […] because we want to wear our own line and we want people to like it. And I feel like people like it when we like it.

Steve: There it is! She just said it.”They like it when we like it.” That’s why we have to take great care with what we make together, because the girls have a responsibility to their fans. And I feel like I have a responsibility, too, when I make shoes. Because I know people really love what we do at Steve Madden.

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Check out the collection and see what you think!

XOXO,
Aya

 

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For the past couple of years, it’s been a dream of mine to become a Regional Merchandiser (RM) for Nordstrom. The RM visits all the stores in her region—a region covers several states—and helps the staff in each store make their department the best it can be in every way, from sales to displays to in-store events. So you can understand my excitement when I got to interview the RM who supports my store.

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Nicole rocking some Starbucks and looking totally on trend

Let’s talk work:

Nicole is responsible for all the stores from New Jersey to North Carolina (my home state). Specifically, she talks to and builds relationships with the managers of the different stores, teaching them selling and coaching techniques. She also meets with them about planning and achieving their goals.

Her favorite cities to visit are Charlotte, North Carolina, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She enjoys the warm weather in Charlotte, as well as the friendly people who live there. According to her, “Walking down the street, everyone smiles and says hello.” I guess it’s just that good old Southern charm! Nicole really likes Philadelphia and the Philly customer because she is very similar to the “New York girl,” who’s trendy and takes risks in the way she dresses.

Nicole’s favorite thing about the position is seeing people get promoted. Because she meets closely with the managers, she gets to watch them fulfill their goals. She also gets to travel, meet lots of different people and see trends all the time.

The hardest thing about being a regional merchandiser, Nicole says, is gearing merchandise toward the different customers up and down the coast. For instance, the “Charlotte girl” is different from the lady who lives in Washington, D.C. Because she approaches her job store by store, it can be difficult at times to pinpoint what each woman wants.

Nicole’s advice for someone who wants to be a regional merchandiser? Always be open to feedback. According to her, there are always opportunities within the company to grow and improve. Keep an open mind and ask tons of questions!

Although she loves her current position, she hopes to one day be in the buying office as an accessories or dress buyer.* Good luck, Nicole!

Let’s talk fashion:

When I asked Nicole how she defines her personal style, she simply said: “All over the place.” She can wear the “girliest pink dress you’ve ever seen” one day, and she will wear a boho cut-out top the next. Her style really depends on her mood when she wakes up the next morning.

Her wardrobe staple? Anything and everything chambray. In her own words, “It can go with anything you could possibly ever own.” It’s become a definite go-to item in her closet.

I had so much fun meeting and interviewing Nicole. Because she travels from store to store, maybe you can meet her, too!

Stay beautiful,
Samantha

*Read Brittany’s interview with an assistant accessories buyer here.

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Sam Howard’s Must-Haves

In my last post about BP. Assistant Accessories Buyer Sam Howard, we talked about the logistics and technicalities of her very cool job. This time we discussed fun and personal things like up-and-coming trends, easy ways to accessorize and how YOU can get more of the things you love into your local BP. department.

Brittany: Why do you think accessories are so important to an outfit? Can they really make or break it?

Sam: Accessories are the easiest and cheapest ways to change or update an outfit. They give you the final ‘oomph’ to make your look about more than just clothes.

B: Where do you look for inspiration?

S: I look at street style to see how people wear clothes and accessories. I look at blogs like FashionToastMan Repeller and BLEACH BLACK daily. I also look at independent designers to see what they are doing…designers like Pamela LoveVanessa Mooney and Concrete Polish. Another great website is BaubleBar because it showcases really trendy pieces.

B: Which statement do you agree with: Less is more, or more is more?

S: MORE! More is more. I am really into layering accessories right now.

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B: With whom would you like to trade closets?

S: Alexa Chung. I’m crushing on her ombré hair too.

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B: What trend are you loving for spring/summer this year?

S: Pendant necklaces, especially natural stones.

B: Finally, what are the three accessories every girl should own?

S: My favorite jewelry accessories are rings, and I think sunglasses can make you look cool even if you are not feeling great. Oh, and fringe bags—they’re great.

Before our meeting ended, I asked Sam if there is any way for BP. customers to request certain accessories be made available. Good news! She said that the buying team is in close communication with all the stores. So if you tell your local BP. manager about something that they should get (or get rid of), there is a very high chance that the information will make its way back to Seattle and to Sam.

So, fashionistas, what should the BP. accessories buyers consider bringing to Nordstrom?

~Brittany

Sources:
The Glamourai
Haute in Miami
BeaBeQu

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Person of Interest: Aaron

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I recently had the pleasure of meeting Aaron, a past BP. Teen Fashion Board Member and current Nordstrom employee. He came to talk to my Fashion Board about the opportunities that the Board opened up to him, and we later sat down to talk some more. I thought I’d share some of his experiences because it might be helpful for any of you who are interested in a career in the fashion industry.

Aaron is currently a senior in high school and works in the t.b.d. department of his local Nordstrom. He got his start at Nordstrom by being on the BP. Teen Fashion Board, and then he became an assistant personal stylist! After a year spent as an assistant to the stylists, he transitioned to the sales floor. But Aaron’s achievements aren’t limited to Nordstrom; he also started a fashion magazine at his high school that showcases prom and homecoming style. As well, he was the teen correspondant for our city’s fashion magazine and attended Teen Vogue‘s Fashion University.

So what are Aaron’s keys to success?

1. Networking. “We are so involved in technology that we are afraid to network—to talk to people,” he says. Aaron stresses the importance of making connections in the fashion world, because many of the opportunities he’s had are the result of meeting photographers, designers, stylists and publicists.

2. Staying current. Aaron recommends reading as many publications as you can. “You must be current if you want to succeed.”

3. Being patient. “Be patient and nice. Don’t operate on a timeline.” The fashion world is all about interpersonal communication, so it is really important to be friendly and patient.

I ended our interview by asking him about some of his fashion favorites:

Fashion must-have? “Smoking slippers—I have three pairs.”

Favorite designer? “I would live in anything Burberry. And I’m currently obsessed with Jason Wu.”

Which celebrity closet does he covet? “Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl.

So where does Aaron want to end up in the fashion world? Publishing. With his initiative, passion and people skills, I have no trouble imagining him in the offices of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar or Vanity FairGood luck, Aaron!

~Brittany

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Claire Haranda went from the relaxed island life in Honolulu, Hawaii, to the fun-filled, fast-paced fashion world. As a styling coordinator for Nordstrom, she takes care of and organizes merchandise for photo shoots. How cool is that?

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Check out Claire’s hair!

She says her two favorite things about her job are (1) she gets to learn from and work with experienced stylists, and (2) she gets to see clothes before they’re even on trend. That’s right—one of the perks of Claire’s job is having an omniscient view of the future of fashion! Fabulous? Claire thinks so, too. She says, “I hope to eventually work with Red Godfrey [vice president, Nordstrom Fashion Office] and her team of trend forecasters, traveling the world, people-watching and searching for the trends that are brought back to Nordstrom for fashion direction/research purposes.”

In addition to being a styling coordinator for Nordstrom, Claire also works as a freelance stylist. Here’s a rundown of her styling process:

  • • First, she gets details about the overall vision for the shoot.
  • • Then, she asks questions like “How many shots will there be?” and “How many outfits do I need?”
  • • Finally, she selects clothing that fits the design of the shoot and “keeps it fluid” by making sure everything runs smoothly and the models are comfortable.

In the fashion world, where the styles are forever changing, Claire says she doesn’t like to pigeonhole herself when it comes to her personal look, which is influenced by whatever kind of music she’s into. Lately, she’s been mixing it up with retro mod style. One constant, though, is that she loves to wear black. She makes it super-cool by adding different textures and types of black—and, of course, a red lip. When it comes to her fashion philosophy, Claire says it’s important to “stay very true to myself and what inspires me and leaves me with a sense of fulfillment.”

I had a blast interviewing Claire. Maybe she’ll style me sometime?

XOXO,
Aya

P.S. Look out for more about Claire soon! That’s right, Part 2 is on the way!

 

 

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Style Spotlight: Allison

By Samantha

Allison’s style always catches my attention. I admire her outfit pretty much every day I go to school. She has an amazing fashion sense! I love that she doesn’t stick to one “style” of clothing per se. Instead, she experiments with lots of different things!

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Let’s talk a little fashion with Allison:

Who or what inspires your style?

Well, I don’t think that I have a specific person that has directly inspired me, but what does inspire me is the opportunity to be different. Style is a way to branch out from the mundane and really stand out. I like the challenge of trying something new; it gives you confidence.

What are your favorite trends right now?

I absolutely love collar necklaces right now! Especially the mesh kind, and of course with a little sparkle. I also love the military trend that’s been cycling around. I am just dying to get an army green heavy coat for the winter.

What does fashion mean to you?

To me, fashion is a way to express myself without words. I can put on an outfit and I just automatically channel the style I’m wearing that day. I love how certain outfits can make you appear a certain way. It says something about you, whether you want it to or not. For me, fashion is a way to step over the boundaries, cross the lines and express yourself.

How would you define your personal style?

I love trying all different things. I’m very open-minded when it comes to what I wear. It also depends on the season. In the fall and winter, I prefer equestrian/classic or city style with bold colors, and in the spring and summer, I prefer a more soft, romantic look or bohemian. My personal touch is usually a mix-match. I always like to add glitz to a more earthy look, or I’ll go less-is-more on a glam look. I like to add or do something that’s the opposite of what someone would expect.

Elements of Allison’s Outfit:

1. A chiffon printed blouse

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2. Lace-up wedge booties

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I think she looks adorable. Don’t you?

Stay in Style,

Samantha

 

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