Ever wonder who makes important creative decisions for major department stores, such as Bloomingdale’s; and do you ever wonder what his/her advice and sense on fashion are? Lucky for you, your speculation ends today. We tracked down Bloomingdale’s Senior Vice President of Creative at Bloomingdales.com, Sophia Tang, and had her answer questions that every woman should know the answers to – especially when it comes to your closets.
Get to know Tang’s insight on must haves and the way she would go about dressing for fall for various occasions by continuing to read.
AM: Can you first introduce yourself, what you do, and your background to Audrey readers?
ST: My name is Sophia Tang, and I’m the SVP of Creative for Bloomingdales.com. I was born in Taipei, where I lived for 9 years, then moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, where my parents still reside. Growing up, I never even knew about careers in the creative field, so I set off to MIT to pursue a degree in engineering. While I loved my freshman year experience, I missed the creative outlets I had in high school. So after much deliberation and very supportive parents urging me to pursue my passion rather than worry about a steady salary, I transferred to Harvard and concentrated in Visual and Environmental Studies. This still felt like a big risk, because there’s no defined job when you study painting or documentary filmmaking. Luckily, upon graduation, I landed an assistant designer position at J.Crew and have been in graphic design for retail every since! I’ve been at Bloomingdales.com for about 3.5 years and it’s the best job I’ve had thus far. I hesitate to even call it a job, because I catch myself sometimes during the day, thinking that I’m playing rather than working. I’m tremendously lucky and my dad was right: if you love what you do, success will follow.
AM: If we could only buy one or two items of clothing, what would they be specifically?
ST: Wow, that’s a tough question, as I probably buy at least 2 items every month! But if I absolutely had to edit, the 2 things everyone should own this fall are something in leather and leggings. Leather is a huge trend, and comes in all incarnations, as trim, or as full-on coats, leggings, dresses, skirts, and of course, jackets. I’d choose a leather jacket in a jewel tone to add to the collection I already own in more neutral colours. And leggings come back in prints, leather, shine and tuxedo stripes. I am obsessed with tuxedo-striped leggings!
AM: How could we pair those must-have items with our existing wardrobe?
ST: The leather jacket is a staple and will go with everything in your closet. I usually wear mine over a dress to add a little edge. And in my field, it’s a good blazer-alternative for the office. And the legging is another versatile piece, so easy and comfortable. Just throw on your coziest sweater from your closet; the tuxedo stripes will instantly dress it up!
AM: What is the must-have shoe for fall?
ST: High-heeled ankle booties! I’m investing in several pairs, because booties go with EVERTHING, from jeans to leggings, skirts to dresses. They’re a great pump-alternative to wear with dresses.
AM: Must-have bag for fall?
ST: I’m a Chanel girl when it comes to bags and have started a collection from our 59th Street store assortment. I justify it by saying that my almost 3-year-old daughter will have amazing vintage Chanels one day! But I’ve also been coveting some of the new handbag silhouettes I’ve seen around the office, especially the dome-shaped satchel, which looks so fresh and chic. I love shopping our hallways piled high with samples; it’s like getting a glimpse into your fashion future!
AM: Must-have jewelry or other accessory?
ST: Statement jewel necklaces! Freshens up the lbd that’s already in your closet.
AM: Spring was all about ladylike pastels and 50s inspired. Is there a must-have look that everyone will want this fall?
ST: In general, the palette has shifted to jewel tones, and leather is a big trend, as is shine. I don’t like to prescribe a single look that works for all. Rather, pick a trend that works for you, personalize it, and OWN it when you wear it.
AM: What will the working woman be wearing this fall that’s new and fresh?
ST: Half of my closet consists of dresses; they’re so easy in the mornings when you’re in a rush…just throw one on with a great pair of heels and you’re good to go! So imagine my excitement when I saw all the dress trends for the fall: coloured lace, leather, shine, jewel-tones, and my favourite, the peplum dress! The form-fitting silhouette is sexy but not overtly so, and the peplum adds a feminine and polished touch.
AM: What is a new and fresh look or item we can wear on a date this fall?
ST: Depends on the date. But I love the Aqua look our print team put together for the HOT catalog. It’s a sexy but edgy little black sequin and stud mini skirt, paired with a black chiffon blouse. Or if you’re transitioning straight from work to a date, I’ve been eyeing this black Theory dress with leather trim down the side; we featured it in our online Theory look book.
AM: What is a great weekend/casual look to update our wardrobes this fall?
ST: There are so many new denim options out there this fall. I still love the skinny silhouette, but there’s a fresh take with ombre, prints, shine, colour, and again, my favourite, the tuxedo stripe! Your new weekend uniform could be a pair of bright jeans, paired with a denim jacket in a different bright hue! And by the way, if you’re shopping for new jeans and need some help, excuse the plug here, but do check out our online Denim Seeker, named the best online denim fit guide by People Style Watch in 2011! It helps you shop by body type, shares 5 universally flattering jeans (they do exist!), as well as the latest denim trends.
AM: We can’t wait for fall! What is something we can buy now that will transition well from summer to fall?
ST: Am I getting too predictable if I say a dress again? My year round wardrobe is essentially the same, so I’ll wear my dresses with sandals in the summer, and then come fall/winter, I just throw on a pair of tights and boots/booties.
AM: I’m broke! What are some wallet-friendly must-haves that everybody should have this fall?
ST: Everyone simply must check out our exclusive Aqua brand. You’ll find the latest trends at amazing prices. There’s a whole spread showcasing Aqua in our September HOT catalog, and we’ll be doing an online look book as well. Aqua also has some great cashmere sweaters; we just did a multi-day shoot with them and I swear, everyone on set was shopping.