Style, as inconstant as the moon, that monthly change in her seasons trends.
So how do we keep track? We asked Nancy, Jophiel’s VP of Sales and Merchandising who oversees all Jophiel stylists and organizes the floor so our color stories and looks flow, to help shed some light on how to filter through the retail of fashion to understand style and what the difference is.
How many years have you worked in fashion retail?
Time has gone so fast! Over 40 years.
Of those years how many would you say you really owned the title of, as we like to say at Jophiel, a Fashion Advocate, not just a stylist?
Twenty to twenty-one. You have to understand, fashion was my “hobby” as a teen. I attended a Seventeen magazine summer camp on style and fashion before my freshman year in high school and was hooked after that. When I was sixteen I landed my first job in fashion retail. I had been obsessed with Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar so all the previous years of my reading and interest in fashion made it pretty darn easy for me to jump into the role. I started to feel really comfortable when I had developed a fashion style of my own. At the age of 20 I was manager of one of the city’s top fashion retail stores. I honestly feel the position was offered to me because of my fashion talents as well as my work ethic.
How do you think the role of stylist has changed over your career?
Actually, I don’t think it has changed, it’s what I’ve always done. I think stylist is the buzz word of the moment, at my 20-something age and now, I worked the sales floor, whether it was clothes, furniture or housewares, the job required you to know your inventory and all of its features and benefits. Proportion, fabrics and an eye for color was as important then as it is now. Life opportunities I’ve had have afforded me the experience of amazing customer service and such experiences have greatly influenced my level of customer service and how I work.
What can Jophiel fashionistas expect from their Jophiel stylist?
A Jophiel stylist knows their inventory, and knows how to work it to their client’s advantage. Individual, well thought out selections will be made based on body type, skin tone and personal preferences.
With each season there seems to be a new trend or a new color and every designer is looking for ways to distinguish themselves from the other, what do you look for?
First and foremost, no matter how new the trend or colors is, if it does not look good on you, you will not look fashionable. What I look for, or look at, is the silhouette. I look at outlines of clothes; I look at proportion and color. It all goes hand in hand with the person’s figure. I can do a great display on a hanger, but that doesn’t mean it comes together on everyone’s body.
What are some of the hallmark classic silhouettes, fits, fabrics or items that you advocate each of your clients should have?
Silhouette and fit is going to depend on the person’s body. Items, a great jacket. A classic white shirt. Sweaters, sweaters and more sweaters. We do live in Indiana. An LBD, not that it has to be a “B”, it could be navy or brown. But a great simple understated dress. Where, as I say, you can take it from a funeral to a wedding depending on how you accessorize it. You want a great fitting pant, and that is really going to depend on the person’s body. Whether it’s going to be a trouser or a slim leg will be unique to an individual.
Does that kind of go back to knowing your merchandise?
As a stylist you need to know your inventory. That is where styling comes into play. If I know my inventory and I know my proportions, then I have a pretty good idea what is going to work.
I feel like no one ever emphasized that, I just had a realization that all the fashion editorials I read, they’d say “You need a great jacket”, “You need a great pant”. But I feel like they failed to clarify that what they meant was you need a great jacket for you! Which is different than a great jacket for me! But it comes across, “This is a great jacket get this jacket.” They’re just pushing merchandise.
And half the time that you were growing up it was probably a classic navy blazer.
Which wouldn’t have been the right jacket for everybody.
Yes, exactly. Not a good look for everyone so as a stylist, I adapt and interpret. That is the beauty of fashion right now, there’s a little cropped jacket, a blazer and yet there’s a long duster length. Something for everyone. There is definitely something that will work well for you, but not everything we are seeing right now is going to be a perfect look for you.
And that’s where the stylist part comes into play.
|Nancy’s innate sense of style is reflected in her ability to delve beyond the surface to perfect true style. With over 30 years in Fort Wayne’s fashion retail landscape, she focuses her artistic tendencies towards cutting edge, high fashion interpretations to deliver distinctive style. Her greatest reward, the glow of understated confidence her clients exude. You can learn more from Nancy here.|