STYLISH SOPHISTICATE: Talk about your career path in detail. Did you face any obstacles?
I’ve always worked in beauty, so it has been a pretty straight path. My first job was in a client-facing role at Batallure Beauty where I developed exclusive private label product lines for Sephora. For example the Elizabeth and James fragrance brand. I also had vertical-retailer clients such as Hollister, Gilly Hicks (both Abercrombie and Fitch brands), and Splendid. It was very educational, and fun, to see how different brands work and learn their creative process. Also I found it interesting to develop products for different customer bases. I remember working on a boy’s hair wax for one client, and our team was polling our dads, brothers, husbands and boyfriends about what attributes they considered in a hair product. It was a fun challenge to consider a teenage boy’s point of view on a product I would never use myself. (Although I think I did end up testing it and smelling quite boyish for a few weeks!)
I think the biggest obstacle has always been finding a way to develop products and tell stories that I am truly, personally, excited about. Working on the Elizabeth and James line was an amazing few years for me because I was so deliriously excited about the fragrance itself, the bottle design, the campaign visuals and the brand as a whole.
When I decided to explore my love of makeup, I wanted join NARS because it is a brand I have always worn and been inspired by the brand. It has this very powerful, modern edge that I just love. You can feel that NARS has such an authentic, consistent vision because François Nars has been the creative director since the brand’s inception. He even shoots all the campaign visuals. I knew I wanted to work in this kind of environment.
STYLISH SOPHISTICATE: Did you always know what you wanted to do in life? What did you want to be when you were little?Growing up, I found different ways to express myself creatively, whether in music, art or makeup. I’ve always been interested in creating characters, and exploring different time periods and cultures. When I was in middle school, I wore a lot of thrift-shop finds, and went through quite a few experimental makeup phases. I grew up on the Upper West Side so my friends and I would pour over 50’s dresses at the local schoolyard flea market, and spend all afternoon at this vintage shop called Alice Underground (since moved). Eventually I focused on exploring character and difference voices via creative writing, which is what I studied at University. I find makeup is another way of developing characters; it allows people to creatively express different sides of their personality in a visual way.
STYLISH SOPHISTICATE: What is a typical work day like for you?
I really don’t have a typical day, which I love. I could be evaluating a new eyeshadow shade, or on site during manufacturing of a product, or meeting with the design and packaging teams on a new package design.
STYLISH SOPHISTICATE: How does your career affect your stylistic choices?
The NARS environment is really about expressing yourself, but it is a luxury brand. People wear anything from 6” Louboutins to shiny motorcycle boots, leather skirts to tailored suits. It really is great fashion watching! I’m comfortable dressing up or dressing edgy depending on my mood that day.
STYLISH SOPHISTICATE: What do you do to de-stress? How do you balance work and play?
I just completed my first Triathlon in March, so now I am looking for a place I can keep swimming, it was really restorative. In the meantime, biking and running in Prospect Park is a great antidote. There are plenty of sun-spotted, hidden paths to explore. But honestly, I find keeping my place neat and comfortable, having that sanctuary to look forward to, is the most relaxing thing in my day.