Designer Apparel Buyer

ALL POSTS Fashion Week Style

What Our Designer Collections Buyer Is Packing for Paris Fashion Week

Our Designer Collections buyers are great resources when it comes to predicting what celebrities will wear to awards shows, recommending where to grab a coffee in any international city, suggesting what to pick up at our Anniversary Sale and, of course, telling us what we’ll see in stores after they’ve seen it on the runway.

Turns out our buyers are also excellent advisors when it comes to travel packing. We spoke with buyer Sahar Sokhandan about some of the things she’s bringing to Paris and why.

Paris Fashion Week packing list


Fashion Week Street Style Style

What Our Designer Collections Buyer Packed for Milan Fashion Week

Our Designer Collections buyers are great resources when it comes to predicting what celebrities will wear to awards shows, where to grab a coffee in any international city, what to pick up at our Anniversary Sale and, of course, what you’ll see in stores after you’ve seen it on the runway.

Turns out our buyers are also excellent advisors when it comes to travel packing. We spoke with buyer Jennifer DeLuca just before she left for Milan Fashion Week about some of the things she’s bringing to Italy and why.

Jennifer DeLuca's MFW picks.


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Anniversary Sale Picks: The Designer Edition

The first rule: Buyers know best.

The second rule: See the first rule.

When it comes time to shop our yearly Anniversary Saleand in case you missed the alerts: it’s time!—it just makes good sense to check in with the men and women who curate our top designer merchandise. They strategize these steals and deals with you in mind, and we do mean strategize; read on to find out what iconic Alexander Wang handbag was reinstated specifically for us, and for you.

OK, ready? Let’s do this—from the ground up.


Alexander Wang’s Kenze boot: $484.90 during our Anniversary Sale, $725 after sale

Says our designer shoe buyer John Langston of Alexander Wang‘s Kenze boots: “They have all the elements of fall’s best trends and they’re so identifiably Wang! They personify Alex’s spirit of individuality and the playful, romantic poet.”

How to wear them? Glad you asked. “This season, short boots act as a new alternative go-to option,” says John. “Skip the pumps and pair these with a myriad of looks—from a cropped carrot pant to an ankle-length straight-leg denim jean or a sleek pencil skirt.”



How to Shop for the Holidays Like a Pro

“Yes, since I ‘shop’ for a living the assumption is that the perfect gift is always available and around me,” admits Sahar Sokhandan, Nordstrom’s buyer of designer fine apparel and evening collections.


Call it a job hazard for Sahar (above), but it’s a win for you; today we’re sharing her pro gift-giving insight as well as tips and trade secrets from fellow buyer Jennifer Sabenorio.

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Designer Pre-Fall ’15: the Five Best Trends

One could argue that the highest art of seasonal dressing is found during the transformative periods; those breezy weeks between sun-laden summer and full-on fall (and later, as the days grow longer, those days when winter draws to an end and spring busts out all over). This year’s pre-fall collections have finally arrived, and we’re sharing some of the best transitional pieces complete with commentary from venerable designers and the wise sages over at our designer buying office. There’s nothing quite like updated classics, a little retro fever and impeccable craftsmanship to put a little high-gloss on the in-between zone.

Pre-fall means pre-order, so ready your fingers for those irresistible buttons and check out our complete guide to Pre-Fall ’15.

The Flare-Leg Pant

Akris Punto flare-leg pants; pre-fall 2015. “This silhouette illustrates the modern spirit and style of artistic muses.”

—Akris Punto Creative Director Albert Kriemler

Shop: Akris punto pants


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Fashion Week

Showroom Appointment: Prabal Gurung

Fashion Week isn’t just about runway shows and late-night parties. For our buyers, directors and VPs, the majority of the week consists of showroom appointments with various brands. This is where we make item selections, talk about upcoming projects and catch up on business.

Read on for a glimpse inside the Prabal Gurung showroom with our designer apparel buyer, Sahar Sokhandan, as she examines the spring 2014 collection.


Located in New York’s Garment District, Prabal’s showroom is bright and airy, with racks of clothing lining clear glass walls.

A mood board leans against the wall showing factors that influenced the spring 2014 line, from Marilyn Monroe to blooming roses.

Prabal walks our team through the mood board, citing “the preservation of elegance” as a driving force behind the collection.

Sahar makes selections for the fit model to try on and takes photos with her iPad Mini.

“I love Prabal’s take on modern femininity,” Sahar says.

Retro touches appear everywhere, from mid-calf hemlines to cat-eye sunglasses.

Pastels and floral prints both made a big splash on the spring runways.

It’s helpful to see the collection as a whole, for a clearer idea of its overall aesthetic.

We hope you liked this peek inside our process! Stay tuned for more snapshots from our showroom appointments.

(See also: Our runway photos and front-row photos from Prabal’s spring 2014 show)

Mary O’Regan

Fashion Week

Sahar’s Travel Essentials: New York Fashion Week

Our designer apparel buyer, Sahar Sokhandan, shares her must-pack items and favorite hotspots during NYFW–with more to come for London, Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks.

Step into the shoes of a designer buyer–from checking in to grabbing an evening cocktail–and see all the recommendations for her NYC itinerary in Sahar’s New York Fashion Week Essentials.


House Call: Sahar Sokhandan, Designer Apparel Buyer


We took a peek inside the Redmond, WA, condo of our designer apparel buyer Sahar Sokhandan to kick off an ongoing series detailing her travel essentials for New York, London, Paris and Milan Fashion Weeks.

Born and raised in Norman, OK, and of Persian descent, Sahar moved to Seattle during high school and graduated pre-law from the University of Washington. After some soul-searching, she realized that she couldn’t picture herself as a lawyer, so she decided to merge her analytical side with her love for fashion by studying merchandising and marketing at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City. That led to internships at Chanel, Christian Louboutin and Bergdorf Goodman, where she ended up spending five years as an assistant buyer. Sahar’s now back in Seattle, working as one of our designer apparel buyers—an action-packed role that sends her on regular trips to Europe and New York.

“My husband and I live in a condo on Lake Sammamish, just east of Seattle. We’re right on the water—it’s very calm and peaceful.”

“We love having our boat docked just outside our back door. The local crew team rows here in the morning. It’s fun to pour coffee, sit outside and watch them.”

“If I had a uniform, this would be it. A great pair of heels, slim jeans and an oversized, masculine-inspired shirt.”

“I always start my outfits with the shoes. I love statement colors and textures, whether it’s python, calf hair, studs or any hardware details.”

“These Alexander McQueen slingbacks are the oldest shoes I own. They’re from 2006, when McQueen was still alive. I’ve repaired them quite a few times because I love them so much.”

“This Chanel dress is amazing. It has the most beautiful, hand-shaped Lemarié feather peplum along the waist, making it truly couture.”

“I collect fashion books. All of these were either gifts to me or else I was a friend of the designer. The Lanvin, Ralph Rucci, Manolo Blahnik, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and Narciso Rodriguez books are all signed.”

“I got this silver beaded skull at Z Gallerie, this quirky little store near us that sells modern art and furniture.”

“I always try to wear one big ring on my right hand. Many of these were gifts.”

“I collect Hermès collier de chien bracelets, which translates to ‘dog collar’ in French. They’re incredibly hard to find, so when I see one, I have to buy it.”

Dior is everything. These boots are just amazing. I love all the buckles and hardware. I’m drawn to anything that’s feminine but edgy.”

“I’ve had these Balenciaga shoes for a few years. They’re really rock ‘n’ roll and look great with something more feminine up top.”

“This is an amazing flocked velvet jacquard Gucci blazer. I love the structured shoulders and enameled buttons on the sleeves. It’s a longer jacket, hitting below my hips, which is hard to find.”

“I moved home to Seattle from New York two months before my husband and I got married. We did five years long-distance. Our wedding felt a little New York and a little Seattle: we got married on the water in Denny Blaine Park, and the reception was at Pravda Studios, a huge loft on Capitol Hill.”

“A good friend of mine got married in Anguilla with a black-tie dress code. I’d had this Michael Kors dress forever and was dying for the right occasion to wear it. That seemed like the perfect one.”

“I got this Bottega Veneta python clutch as a gift. I like that it’s navy instead of black—it adds a bit of depth to it.”

“This Lanvin tassel necklace is a great statement piece. I wear it with a blouse, but it would also be fun to turn it around and let it drape down an open-back dress.”

“This is totally a ‘me’ look—Alexander Wang’s ‘Rocco’ duffle bag with Lanvin pumps. My bags are all pretty neutral because I wear so many colorful shoes.”

– “Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille Eau de Parfum is my everyday fragrance.”
– “NARS eye shadow has really rich pigments. They’re great in quality but also affordable.”
– “I layer my mascaras because I’ve never found one that does everything. Diorshow thickens my lashes, and Armani ‘Eyes to Kill’ lengthens and separates.”
– “I put NARS eye cream on first in the morning. It makes my under-eye concealer smoother and not so cakey.”
– “M·A·C highlighter helps to accentuate my brow bone.”
– “I use Chanel eye shadow as my liner when I’m doing a smoky eye.”
– “Dior lip gloss has this amazing pigment that pulls out the color of your own lip—it changes based on the person.”
– “I also like Dior lip maximizer—it actually plumps up your lips.”
– “I love this neutral Chanel lipstick. It has a sheen to it, so it feels like a lip gloss.”

Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse inside Sahar’s home, take a look at what she’s packing for New York Fashion Week, which starts next Thursday.

—Mary O’Regan