We ran into a super hip luxury haven in Harlem, Trunk Show Designer Consignment, and couldn’t resist interviewing their stylish and passionate owner, Heather Jones:
Why did you decide to leave your corporate job and begin a consignment store?
I decided to leave my corporate job because I’m truly a bit of a maverick at heart. A nonconformist, especially when there is something that I am truly passionate about brewing inside that I’d much rather be pursuing. Another reason for leaving and starting my own business was the inefficiencies I saw at hand with many business when it came to customer service. With the big businesses, 9 times out of 10, its about making big bucks. With a small business, I thrive off a close relationships and consumer happiness. I have a close rapport with almost all of my clients and that is so important to me. I think this is what inspired me to offer pick-up and closet overhaul services. I have made my clients feel so comfortable, that they have invited me into their homes to conduct business. It’s such a gratifying feeling.
Because no one else dared to, as if there was some sort of “fashionista deficit” above 110th street. (Haha) Harlem is beautiful and so rich in culture. I wanted to set the tone for something wonderful. There are a gazillion consignment stores flooding downtown Manhattan and the Upper East side, I wanted to create my own market.
What’s your favorite spot in Harlem?
Melbas Restaurant for the soul food of course, and Beir International for their amaaazing beer selection and german cuisine. Corner Social is a great nightlife scene and has decent food and drinks. As for my favorite stores, I’m such a foodie, so I’d have to go with Best Yet Market and if you’re looking for a reasonable mani/pedi check out Lilac Nail Spa.
What do you love most about running a consignment store?
I meet a great deal of people with incredible style. It’s a great avenue for connecting with different people who both work in and love fashion. Some of our clients range from super wealthy “fashionistas” who don’t necessarily work in fashion, but relish it, and in other instances, we’ll have consignors who are fashion stylist, buyers, and designers. I also love running my own store for the flexibility. I am in charge of my own creative direction, and if I want to change something, I have to go to no one for approval. That means a lot to me.
Can you share a fun episode with your clients?
Although we get a lot of great customers and clients into our shop, we also get our share of “characters”, for lack of a better word. There was one instance where a woman came in and tried on a pair of shoes. She was completely normal, but unconsciously put each shoe on the wrong foot and walked right to the mirror to check them out, sharing how great they looked on. It was an awkward moment for me because I didn’t know how to tell her that she had the shoes on the wrong foot, but when I did, we both laughed hysterically. It was so funny!
Adrianna Barrionuevo started her career in the beauty industry in Los Angeles, then moved to New York City to pursue fashion, successfully climbing the ladder from intern to assistant, and now Associate Fashion Credits Editor at Lucky Magazine. Basically every girl’s dream.
The coolest thing about working at a major fashion publication is getting to work with “creative people who love fashion as much as I do,” and “checking out what brands are out there and seeing how the designs evolve every season.”
“I keep in touch with PR people regarding the availability of the products we are considering for placement, make market appointments, and write for luckymag.com,” said Adrianna.
“I’m a West Coast girl at heart and am inspired by my beloved Orange County,” said Adrianna. “I’d like to think that my wardrobe reflects that kind of mellow California lifestyle with a touch of NYC chick - I’m obsessed with my growing Manolo collection and Olivia Palermo’s style.”
Stocked with Paige jeans, Manolo Blahnik, Marc Jacobs, 3.1 Phillip Lim, and Timo Weiland, Adrianna’s closet on Material Wrld “represents me so perfectly.” If that isn’t your chance to explore the coasts, we don’t know what is.
Ever been seduced by the color and interior touches of a car? The person responsible might just be automative color designer, Alexis Senter, who brings her strong color theory background to the industry.
“I research and forecast appropriate colors, materials and paint palettes for major automotive manufacturers. I work directly for the automotive studios - Ford, Toyota, Volvo and Mazda - creating proposals for production vehicles and show cars. These materials include cloth, leather, paint and interior trims such as wood and metal as well as any “soft” material you see on the interior such as seat belts and flooring.”
The 4 year timeline for bringing a car to market begins with trend research through trade shows. Alexis then creates interior and exterior graphic designs, sources samples from suppliers, and presents to internal marketing, product planning, and purchasing departments. The final step, once supplies are ordered and assembled, is a full-year of paint testing.
Given her pulse on design trends, what’s her style forecast for fashion next seaon? “After the explosion of color seen in several seasons past, with so much mixing of color and print, I think we will see head-to-toe variations: black (even in summer), navy, gray, white and other neutrals,” said Alexis. “This past spring saw intense Yves Klein blues and top-to-bottom greens, including shoes, at Gucci and that will continue to manifest itself.”
“There will be head to toe mono- and duo-tone prints and laces will evolve to less-delicate - but no less ornate - crochet constructions,” said Alexis. “Knits are going to also become increasingly important, adding a casual textural interest to dressier looks. For shoe direction … let’s just say I never thought I’d see hi-top wedges. My blue velvet Zanotti trainers are cringing in the corner right now.”
Come discover and shop Alexis’s closet on Material Wrld.
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