“Designing Windows is an Art”

Erin O'Brien

Erin O’Brien

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 … Continue reading

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Is the pressure to conform hurting the way American men dress? This Brit thinks so ..

 

Steve Nicoll

Steve Nicoll

I am often in search of the male perspective and point of view. That changes today, with my interview with Steve Nicoll. This fashion-forward Brit has made his life with his family in The United States. In this eye-opening exchange we talk about his background, his relationship with fashion and why American men are aging themselves before their time. Here is Steve

MKG: Can you share a little about you, where you grew up and how long you have lived in The United States?

Steve: I was born in Chiswick, a borough of West London, England, but I am 3/4 English and 1/4 French. My paternal grandmother was originally from Paris. We stayed in and around the London area until I followed in my father’s footsteps and moved to Grasse, France, at age 19, to apprentice as a Perfumer. After my training I returned to England and spent five years working in Manchester where I met my wife Deborah, before returning to work in London. We spent two years on assignment in South Africa shortly after that. We then transferred permanently to the US in 1993 and started our family. Life is hectic but good; I stay fit by exercising and playing competitive soccer regularly. Once a year I take a few days of personal time in the outdoors to decompress with the guys.

Today I work as a Perfumer for functional products with International Flavors and Fragrances, which means that I create the fragrances that are sold to customers who Continue reading

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Creative Ambassador at Large …

Simon Doonan  - Photo Credit: Getty Images

Simon Doonan – Photo Credit: Getty Images

… of the New York store, Barney’s. That is Simon Doonan. Cheeky, charming Simon Doonan. Last night I was lucky to be in the audience in NYC at the 92nd Street Y for his interview with Fern Mallis, as part of her ongoing series, Fashion Icons with Fern Mallis. Simon has written a book called The Asylum, which he describes as a love valentine to the fashion industry and its crazy but ever-so-fiercely loyal community. Continue reading

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