Behind the Creative Mind of Erin O’Brien!

Erin O’Brien

Today marks the BIG UNVEILING of holiday window displays for two major Department Stores in NYC: Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue (other Department stores with holiday displays include, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Barney’s, and Bergdorf Goodman). This delightful tradition announces the beginning of the holiday season and I thought it would be fun to re-post my interview and a chance to once-again meet the amazing creative mind of freelance window designer and prop stylist, Erin O’Brien. This feature was originally posted on December 23, 2016 …

What is it like to be a freelance window designer at famed department store, Bergdorf Goodman? What is it like to have your heart in New York City but to have found your fashion inspiration in London? What are the consequences of leaving home at age 17? Erin O’Brien knows the answers to these compelling questions because they make the story of her life and journey. Here is Erin, one-of-a-kind style originator, sharing it with us …

I was always interested in fashion but it wasn’t until I traveled to London when I was young, that I found my true fashion sense. At 13-14 I visited my family in Ireland; while there, I begged them to take me to London. Being in London affected me enormously; the edgy style, the music influencers – I felt myself being drawn in to it all and that has stayed with me to this day …

Being a window dresser is not as glamorous as you might think. It’s a lot of grunt work and hard labor. I have been working with Bergdorf Goodman as a freelance window designer since 1997. I work on the windows at Holiday and for special windows throughout the year. For creating the Christmas windows, the process is year-long and begins as soon as Christmas is over. This Holiday, I helped install and style the window on 58th Street – a “Bird’s Eye View” of a dog maze – highlighting the most wanted luxury handbags. I selected the handbags for the window, and I also decorated and installed the Holiday Shop on the 7th floor of Bergdorf’s …

I am a prop stylist, window designer, and prop master; my passion is working with props and designing windows (rather than work with people as a fashion stylist). The essence of window designing is to keep people looking. Windows have to be eye-catching but you have to do more than have people look; they have to keep looking so much that they are willing to enter the store. This is where most windows fall short – when they don’t enter the store. Designing windows is an art; looking at a well-designed window is like looking at a piece of artwork … Continue reading

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Shocked, At Bloomingdale’s!

I have always thought of Bloomingdale’s as my go-to department store – my store for my entire life. But today, I was truly shocked in Bloomindale’s. As I paid my bill I asked the young sales person if she could point me to the Diane von Furstenberg department (I was intrigued to see more after my last post). She looked at me as if I had three heads and asked me who that was – a designer? “Yes, a designer,” I said. She then suggested that the department might be found upstairs on the 3rd floor. I looked at her, seriously dumbfounded. And said, “No!” Still shell-shocked, I asked another salesperson where I could find DVF, and she told me that Bloomingdale’s hasn’t sold the Diane von Furstenberg line for at least two years. That came as a surprise to me but it wasn’t the shock. The real shock was that the first sales person didn’t know who Diane von Furstenberg was. Really? Are you kidding me?? Shame on you Bloomingdale’s for letting this happen!

I just had to share …

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The Original Athleisure: Juicy Couture Tracksuit

As more people embrace the athleisure fashion trend it is good to remember that there was an original – the Juicy Couture tracksuit. There can be no denying that this velour staple was the first to take the concept of casual-as-day-wear to the next level and it took off like wildfire – with celebrities leading the trend. Even though it reached its peak of popularity in the 2000s, there is news that it is making a comeback; in fact, the Juicy Couture tracksuit is alive and well. Last July, Bloomingdales introduced the Juicy Couture Black Label for an exclusive capsule collection of the classic tracksuits – famous J-zippers and all. And just as it was in the early 2000s, celebrities have embraced the comeback with a vengeance. Celebrities, and me …

I purchased a Juicy tracksuit in classic pitch black. There is something so cozy about wearing velour and I love the simple high style of this casual go-to which I will wear for exercise and beyond. Says Brooke Jaffe, Operating Vice President, Fashion Director, Women’s Ready-To-Wear at Bloomingdales, “Current fashion trends are about elevating casual sportswear…and velour is velvet’s casual antidote.” Go Juicy!

Photos by Abrina Hyatt

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Nothing Says Spring Like Kate Spade!

LGH_150401_6344LGH_150401_6343Nothing says Spring to me more than my vintage Kate Spade New York straw handbag. I can’t remember where I bought it – Bloomindale’s, perhaps? I can’t remember how long ago – at least 15 years. None of that really matters to me. I do know that I bought this handbag before I had ever heard of Kate Spade, and certainly before she became the well-known designer that she is today. That could be one of the reasons that it is a favorite of mine and the first thing I pull out when the weather warms. The combination of the colors and the texture are at once classic yet modern. It carries a timeless quality that translates to every occasion and every opportunity to take it out for a stroll.

I bought this handbag simply because I liked it. And that is what really matters when we buy and certainly keep, our treasured pieces.LGH_150401_6387

Photos by Lauren Hagerstrom

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