Fashion Refresh: Meet The Lord & Taylor Fashion Team

In our ongoing series with The Style Line we've discovered a lot about how designers and tastemakers within the Brand Assembly community think about the contemporary movement. From our studio visits with emerging designers to conversations on technology and style with creative entrepreneurs, we're seeing a shift in thinking regarding the next wave of fashion. Today we're thrilled to share our recent visit with the effervescent fashion team at Lord & Taylor. As long-time supporters of fostering a fresh point of view in shopping (and beyond) we always value their approach to fashion, personal style and everything in between. Check out what they had to say and a few of their favorite pieces from our shop-in-shop at the Lord & Taylor Flagship in New York City. Also check out an exclusive second part of the interview on The Style Line.

Outside of Lord & Taylor I’m a wife,

I’ve been married for 43 years which is pretty phenomenal in this day and age. I love the country, though I live in the city. I love children, I love animals. I love to cook and I love to eat (probably Italian food the most!). So all of the good things. 

Since working with Brand Assembly, how has your definition of contemporary fashion evolved and what do you think it contributes to the Lord & Taylor experience? 

I think that the introduction of Brand Assembly to Lord & Taylor really elevated the point of view of what Lord & Taylor stood for. I mean, two years ago before we had Brand Assembly, Lord & Taylor was iconic but had no fashion image or reason to come in, except that it was a great store and we have a great assortment, but there wasn’t a point of view. As we started to develop collaborations with people such as Hillary and Alex at Brand Assembly, suddenly we became more interesting and [people had] a reason to visit Lord & Taylor and those kinds of things are the reasons that we all shop. It was kind of thinking outside of the box and came from the heart. It posed the question “What is the new landscape for retail and what are the real reasons for walking into a store?” It really comes down to curiosity and experience - an overused word in this industry, but you want to provide an experience they cannot get anywhere else. The other part is, and I use this word a lot and so do the people at Lord & Taylor, is discovery and I think that’s part of the new wave of shopping. It’s not necessary finding the luxury brand that everybody is pining after (that’s sounds like old news to me) what sounds like really modern shopping is discovering a new brand and showing it off to your friend. That to me is more exciting and a big shift in our shopping habits. Brand Assembly is at the forefront of that experience. 

What do you assemble daily? 

I have a philosophy (it might be kind of corny but that’s OK!) there’s a Japanese philosophy called Wabi Sabi which is an aesthetic that is about never being totally perfect. It’s always on the verge of evolving and transcending into something else. I truly believe in that. When I see a perfectly dressed, made-up women I don’t find that as attractive as something a little askew, something a little unbalanced or unexpected. That carries through me and the heart of my aesthetic and not just in fashion - but in reading, in film. I don’t like symmetry I like something that makes me feel a little excited and curious, I think that really applies to any of the arts or crafts (I believe fashion design is a craft, not an art) but it drives me toward fashion and art… all of it really.

What style lessons have you learned from working with/being exposed to so many emerging contemporary designers?

This is really crazy, but I remember sitting at a Marc Jacobs show really long ago when he first started and looking at a dress. It had big bright flowers and was really voluminous and I said to myself, “That’s the ugliest dress I’ve ever seen.” The next year, that silhouette became the most important silhouette out there. So what I’ve learned is that it’s about the most unexpected things and it really comes down to that same philosophy that you think you hate but you really like. They became the next hot trend, it’s so crazy but your eyes start adjusting. It’s always the thing you don’t like in the beginning that becomes the trend and that’s a crazy definition but that’s what I’ve learned. It’s always these designers, these rebels, like Alexander McQueen, Raf Simons, Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander Wang - it’s always these designers who do that to me and I say, “Boy that’s really ugly.” and then I realize it’s the next hottest thing. My job really is to say, “Let your eyes adjust.”

I’m Malory, outside of Lord & Taylor

I live in Brooklyn I have two dogs that are very cute (they are my babies!) and, unlike Stephanie I don’t cook at all, but I like to eat and spend my entire paycheck on food.

Since working with Brand Assembly, how has your definition of contemporary fashion evolved and what do you think it contributes to the Lord & Taylor experience?

I think specifically Brand Assembly has that element of newness that resonates with my generation a lot and the “I found it first!” mentality. I think Brand Assembly does a really great job of fostering that. Also just like Stephanie said, I have this feeling that the contemporary customer doesn’t care about brand names number one, and number two, they like to feel like they’re supporting something. In supporting a cause, there is a lot reward in the whole concept.

What do you assemble daily? 

I guess try not to think about other people's aesthetics, I try to challenge myself in that way - into not always being drawn to what I [normally] would like to look at or do and kind of get a perspective of what everyone else is into. I think it’s important, especially with our jobs, to eliminate yourselves and try to find other points of view. It’s never ending, but I’m working on it.

What style lessons have you learned from working with/being exposed to so many emerging contemporary designers?

I think what’s important is being stay true to your aesthetic in that a lot of people just kind of go and change and try to be this and be that. If the designer actually has their core and sticks with it, they’ll evolve while also not jumping off the deep end. It’s having a sense of self with flexibility.

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Shop Brand Assembly at Lord & Taylor online and discover what we're assembling daily @brandassembly