Live from the American Express Skybox: Brandon Holley
Brandon Holley has revived shopping bible Lucky Magazine during her three year tenure as it's Editor in Chief —transforming it into a go-to for great fashion finds. Holley chatted with us in the American Express Skybox, in between the Spring 2013 shows, about how her experience in digital media has helped revitalize the magazine and the shopping experience for all women. Within the chaos that is New York Fashion Week, it's tough to sometimes remember what real women want, and Holley helped us target in on exactly that. Guiding us on what's hot for the upcoming season, she makes dressing to impress exciting, fun, and most importantly, attainable.
Before coming to Lucky, you were editor in chief of Shine at Yahoo. As worlds collide between digital and print, would you say the experience at Yahoo has prepared you for the world of media right now?
Absolutely. At Yahoo I was an odd-ball because I was a content person, so it was neat to be at a tech company that was learning content, and I learned tech there. What I really learned was how women share online. So when I came back to Lucky, I wanted to bring that element of sharing. When you’re shopping, you want to show and share that with your friends even before you buy something to see if they like it. Shopping online can be a little bit lonely, so [I'm] trying to infuse that with more social [media]. What if you could actually go in the dressing room with each other? The bloggers have been an amazing group to harness in that space.
What's your style inspiration right now?
I love that blog “Tomboy Style.” I love it because it takes [inspiration from] all the old tomboys — from Coco Chanel, Lauren Baccall — and I look at it every day when I get dressed. I was getting into a dress rut because they’re so damn easy to put on, but I thought no! I’m at Lucky! I have punk rock roots and was a drummer in a band, and all of a sudden I looked like Audrey Hepburn. So I’m forbidding dresses right now for myself: I have to wear separates and I have to put them together. So Tomboy Style helps me to get inspired.
Lucky has been stated as the Shopping Bible, so as we begin to shop for fall, what are some of the must-haves for the seasons?
A cocoon-coat is great: if you haven't bought a winter coat in a while, that cocoon shape is really lovely. Kick flare pants — I’m going to wear them later today. It’s a new silhouette, which is great, because if you pinch the pants right here (she demonstrates, behind the mid-thigh) it makes your leg look super skinny. They just do a little tuck and it makes your legs grow six inches! Kick flare pants and a shrunken blazer, I think, is a great look. I’m going for a more masculine thing right now.
Bright colors and cut-outs are a fixture right now. What would be the best way to incorproate that?
Bright tops are the easiest way to get color. A bright yellow pant with a white shoe this fall makes a lot of sense, and it didn't in previous seasons. Another way to get color in is to look at your black pumps and give them a vacation. Go for oxblood, cream, or navy instead. Wherever black works, those colors work. It's kind of a fun little swap out and it works for bags too — it goes with absolutely everything you have.
What's a comfortable item I could have that will still make me look cool?
I think pants — Palazzo pants, the kick flares, and gauchos are even back. There's a really great, new cargo pant (not the harem pant!) and it almost acts like a sweatpant. It's really chic with ankle boots so it allows you the freedom to run around without having to wear sweatpants.
What do I do if I'm just not sure what to wear to work?
Move things to the front of your closet that you haven't thought about wearing in a while. And you'll start thinking and putting things together in a fun way and you won't be stuck with the “same old” every morning. Or arrange your closet by color. Everything works now. There are no rules!