Last week I went on vacation with my best friend of twelve years. We had a very in depth conversation about the way women dress and the one statement that really resonated with me is when he said, “It’s all about being effortlessly elegant.” Now by no means is he into fashion (at all), but it really made me stop and think. Women dress fashionable for other women, but when you are dressing to attract a guy, they (and I mean most, there are always exceptions) don’t want the ripped up jeans, liquid leggings, jumpsuits, neon dresses, etc., etc. They want simple, classy, chic. So for today’s Sale Spotlight, I wanted to highlight three lines that I think really fit this description. DVF (my first real “splurge” other than on designer denim), Cynthia Steffe and Maisonette all offer stunning styles that flatter a woman’s body and are appropriately stylish. And most of them can effortlessly seam the gap between 9 to 5 and 5 to 9. Below are three styles I’m loving right now. What are your thoughts on my new “revelation”?
Posts Tagged ‘Cynthia Steffe’
So excited to announce a new feature, Store of the Month!
Each month we’ll be spotlighting one of our favorite retail partners, bringing you the inside scoop on new trends and products and upcoming events directly from the buying and management teams – in other words, from people who seriously know their stuff and love to shop for what’s hottest, newest, and the best bang for your buck.
June’s Store of the Month is the newly re-launched chickdowntown. Since its founding in 2007, chickdowntown has become one of the fastest growing women’s contemporary sites on the web. They’ve been honored as Lucky’s “Boutique of the Week,” and Elle.com called them one of the “Best New Sites in 2008.”
This February, the brand name and website were acquired by a new company; the site re-launched in March 2010. We think the new site and content have never felt fresher or stronger, so we were especially excited to chat about all the recent and upcoming changes with our buyer, Kim Jones…
Cynthia Steffe: How did you get your start at chickdowntown?
Kim Jones: chickdowntown.com began as Chick, a trendy brick and mortar clothing boutique in downtown Pittsburgh owned by a woman named Amy. I had my own boutique at the time, where I carried Cynthia Steffe, and I kept bumping into Amy at trade shows and fashion events. Unlike a lot of competing boutiques owners in this industry, we were always friendly and shared a mutual respect for each other’s efforts to bring cutting edge fashion to Pittsburgh. When I decided to close my store, Amy asked me to help manage her website and I have been with the company ever since!
CS: What initially drew you to Cynthia Steffe, and how do you see the clothes fitting into your customer’s wardrobe?
KJ: I had carried Cynthia Steffe in my store four years ago, and I have always loved the line. However, in the past I felt like it resonated best with a slightly older customer. Well, that changed two years ago, when Shaun Kearney took over as the creative director. I feel like new life has been blown into the line. It’s fresh and young and a perfect fit for chickdowntown. The pretty pastels and chic army green pieces that we received for spring have been amazing, and I can’t wait to get in the fall collection. The great thing about Cynthia Steffe is you can buy “itemy” pieces or you can buy the full outfit. There are so many options to mix and match within the collection, and the dresses are always adorable!
CS: What’s your favorite current piece(s) and how do you recommend styling it?
KJ: I LOVE the Cynthia Steffe teal ruffle dress with purple belt and the Monet-esque pastel blurred floral jacket. We used them in our last shoot, so I’ll let the pics do the talking. They are such great pieces that, as far as styling, they really just need some subtle basics for contrast. For example, I would style the dress with a neutral pump – preferably a patent nude. For the jacket, I would wear a basic white tank dress underneath and, again, a neutral pump. I am also obsessed with wearing it as a little set with the matching shorts that were shown in your runway show. It looked amazing!
CS: Thank you! Love those suggestions. What are the major trends you’re excited about for fall?
KJ: One of my favorite trends for fall is all the leather – as detailing on outerwear, full leather dresses and skirts, and of course leather jackets. I vividly recall ordering a great Cynthia Steffe tweed jacket with brown leather detail. It is such a statement piece. We also ordered this great suede wrap dress with leather detailing at the shoulders. Fall is hands down my favorite time of year for fashion and I think this season is going to be particularly amazing!
CS: Being a fashion buyer is a dream career for so many people. Could you tell us more about your job?
KJ: Currently, it’s mix of a lot of things. We’re a closely knit team and all help each other out with everything. I assist with the buying, but I also write for the blog, oversee photo shoots, add new product to the web, and occasionally help pack and ship orders to customers (amongst a plethora of other things). So technically I don’t have a definitive title as that simply depends on the day and the week!
For example, one recent week we had a photo shoot in Pittsburgh on Monday. Then, on Tuesday I worked with our team to choose the photos, and developed “stories” to accompany the pictures. On Wednesday, we uploaded all the product shots and descriptions to the web site; although this sounds easy, it’s quite the process! On Thursday, I went to New York with our head buyer for some showroom appointments. Friday, I went over the orders and plugged in the numbers to make sure we are on track for the fall/holiday seasons.
CS: We find that interacting with and hearing directly from our customers is invaluable. As an online-only store, how do you interact with your customers?
KJ: Social media has been a major part of our business for well over a year now. In fact, The Wall Street Journal wrote an article on our success on Twitter in July 2009. We try to use Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms to differentiate ourselves from our competitors, get to know our customer and vice versa.
In our blog, we incorporate fashion posts with personal stories, and we regularly feature “Chick’s Picks,” which consists of items that we are loving at the moment. We also feature the stories behind the brands that we carry. It’s important for our customers to feel like they know our team and the clothing lines that we represent.
We recently started a new Twitter account and plan for it to be just as popular as our previous one. Twitter is amazing for connecting to customers – it enables us to ask for their opinions on new pieces, trends they are loving, and so on. We also tweet behind the scenes pics at photo shoots, as well as fun things going on in the office. We use Facebook in a very similar way.
Above all, we want the customer to get know us – our brand, our team, and our story – and, in return, for us to get to know who they are, what they want, and what they think. Ultimately, it is all about them having an awesome experience at chickdowntown. We want to hear any suggestions that our customers have for improving that experience!
Prior to working for chickdowntown, I owned my own boutique. One of the first lines that I carried was Cynthia Steffe (this was about four years ago). I have always loved the line, however in the past, I felt like it resonated best with a “more mature” customer. Well that changed two years ago, when Shaun Kearney took over as the Creative Director. He completely repositioned the brand, adding a fresh and young twist on classic, staple pieces. The pretty pastels and chic army green pieces that we just got in are amazing. I am particularly loving the teal Leslie Dress and the Monet Pastel Floral Jacket. And of course the Sam Ruffled Dress that we sold out of – but now have restocked – is adorable.
I am also highly anticipating the arrival of their fall collection. Bold colors and a mix of textures are a hot trend for next season and Cynthia Steffe did a fantastic job of showcasing this. I vividly recall ordering a great Cynthia Steffe tweed jacket with brown leather detail. It is such a statement piece. We also ordered this really cool leather and wool sleeveless dress that will be perfect for layering and a beautiful tulle and organza chocolate dress. Fall is hands down my favorite time of year for fashion and I think this season is going to be particularly amazing! Here is a sneak peak at some pieces we have coming in: