Could you tell us a little bit about your book, The Shopping Diet?
“I dress movie stars all the time – everyone always talks about the millions of dollars worth of jewelry, free gowns, free this and that that stars are given. I had an epiphany that regular people need a break on getting a break.”
How did the idea come about?
“I’ve been in the business over 2 decades –I’ve modeled, designed, been a stylist, done PR, basically I’ve been on so many sides of the business and felt like I had a lot of info that could be very helpful to people. I wanted to do something to put that information out there to people and be useful. 5 years ago, I came up with the idea, and no one was interested. 4 years ago, still no one was interested. 3 years ago – ehh – a few publishers were interested. And, 2 yrs ago, I had 4 publishers bidding on it!”
“The economy. We are very short-sighted. We live in moment which is a great thing and also a dangerous thing. When things were great, no one wanted to hear about saving money, but it was buy buy buy. Then we panicked.’
Could you offer a few words of advice for how to make the most out of shopping on a budget?
“Choose your retail outlets wisely. Choose your purchases wisely. Be appropriate, be wise & be conscious. This relates to where you shop, when you shop, and how you shop.
Be appropriate. If you don’t have money in the bank or money coming, it’s inappropriate to spend $500 on a pair of shoes. If you have a $50,000 check coming, that’s your business – unless you have $49,000 worth of debt! I wrote the book in a format that there’s so much information in there – I don’t say don’t go buy these shoes, but rather, “can you afford these shoes?”. It’s about personal style, and personal accountability for your lifestyle and the $$ you make. You have to be realistic. You might want fabulous brands like Gucci/Burberry/Prada. But if you don’t have the means, I give people the advice to shop places like Shop It To Me, TJ Maxx, EBay, HSN…basically different ways of being able to find what’s conducive to your lifestyle.”
So, you’re a fan of online shopping?
“The great thing about internet shopping is that you can do it on your time, in your world. When you’re not busy. As opposed to running into stores and grabbing a dress without thinking…. You can shop online when the kids go to sleep, at 2am. It runs on your time.
You can also find every brand through internet that you can find through brick & mortar. You don’t have to live in Manhattan – you can live in the tiniest town in Arkansas and still get the same Burberry and Paul Smith that you can from big cities.”
You’ve styled a number of well-known photo shoots and commercials. Is there any project in particular that stands out as your favorite? Why?
“One of most favorite is when Michael Jackson was on the cover of Ebony and Jet– it was one of the last photo shoots before he died. Another was Halle Berry winning Oscars, and all through Monster’s Ball run. All of those moments were amazing.
My 3rd favorite was in the 1998 oscars, when I styled 11 people. It was a big explosion for me in my career. It was – Sandra Bullock, Jim Carey & Lauren Holly (who were together at time), Salma Hayek (it was her 1st time at Oscars; we put her in a tiara which was a big moment), Jennifer Lopez, Gabriel Byrne, Julia Ormond, Courtney Vance & Angela Bassett (who were married at time) and Jada Pinkett & Will Smith (which was also memorable because I got to meet Mr. Versace a few months before he passed away because we put Jada in a green Versace dress). It was crazy – you couldn’t even think straight.”