I met Anne-Marie at my Charlotte Tory Burch store where she works maybe what, a few years ago….I forget. I just know when I decide to visit Tory, she will usually be there and when she is, I know my visit will be fun, inspirational and we’ll be laughing a lot–love this girl.
Anne-Marie’s got the most incredible skin and I can always count on her to have a strong lip that makes me wish I had the look and nerve to pull off such a statement. She’s gorgeous–and every time I see her, I take thorough note of what latest Tory Burch ensemble she’s wearing, always to beautiful effect on her petite frame. (She and I share yoga in common and of course we talk about that too!)
I asked her recently when I visited Tory, if she’d mind me interviewing her for The Hip Report because I admire her fashion sense so much, she’s got such a polished look and her personality is just really quite all that. When she said ‘yes,’ I was so thrilled. I’ve been waiting for this moment to publish her interview. So enjoy. (And can you imagine the closet she has, working as she does for Tory…)
Your Hip Reporter: How would you describe your style to the rest of us?
Anne-Marie: My style is about as eclectic as they come. I enjoy designer items and I enjoy Target items. I’m drawn to pieces that are comfortable, feminine and occasionally edgy.
(Above, Anne-Marie’s favorite Bond perfume, her Grandmother’s cherished ring and the perfect YSL pink lipstick for summer)
Hip Reporter: Favorite perfume? Why?
Anne-Marie: Bond #9 High Line. It’s a floral based scent with a touch of sweet and musk. Bond fragrances are incredible, plus they are based on boroughs and special locations in New York City (love it). There are over 50 to choose from!
Hip Reporter: Who’s inspired your style the most and why?
Anne-Marie: My outlandishly fabulous Grandmother, Betty. She’s no longer on earth but I’d like to think she watches over my shopping adventures. She was an out-of-the-box fashionista that loved bright colors and embellishments. She lived for pant suits, big jewels and believed nothing was too bold if you loved it. I currently have all her vintage furniture in my house–blonde wood with black and gold finishings and it looks like it jumped off the pages of a ‘Design Within Reach’ mailer! I feel very lucky to have had a person who let me rummage through her closet at my leisure and teach me that style is so much more than what you wear.
Hip Reporter: Your favorite lipstick–because every time I see you, you have the coolest colors on!
Anne-Marie: My all-time favorite classic shade is MAC Russian Red (above). It’s sexy, classic and cool. My newest favorite is Yves St Laurent #49–literally the best pink I’ve seen for spring. I had to have it!
Hip Reporter: You’re stuck in an elevator with a fashion designer. Who would you pick?
Anne-Marie: Marc Jacobs. There’s no real reason behind my choice other than I think he’s fabulous and I would like to be his friend. He’s unique. I enjoy everything he’s had his hand in, from the Stephen Sprouse LV collaboration to his new cosmetic line. It would be a blast to chat with him, get career advice and inquire about his tattoos.
(Photo of Tory Burch’s father, Buddy in the 1950′s in Cannes)
Hip Reporter: Since you work for Tory Burch, what is it that you’d love about the brand that you’d like to share with us?
Anne-Marie: Having worked for so many retailers, I can say that Tory Burch is a very special company. Although just 10 years old, there is a rich history and set of values behind the brand that is unlike any company I’ve worked with in the past.
For example, at Tory Burch we adhere to a special code of conduct called ‘Buddy Values.’ These are eight traits (kindness, loyalty, humility, compassion, warmth, integrity, honesty and passion that Buddy, Tory’s late father believed were important to being a successful and a good person.
Tory herself is a philanthropist and believes in giving back. She has exemplified this in her newest loan program that partners with Bank of America. Not only is the company spectacular, the ladies I share the Southpark (in Charlotte, North Carolina) with, are wonderful. I consider my coworkers more than just ‘people I work with’ –those women are some of my best friends. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve celebrated birthdays, engagements, pregnancies and of course, sold many, many pairs of Reva ballet flats. We are all educated, intelligent and share a love of people and fashion.
Every day I go to work I feel pride knowing I work for a company that is warm and continues to rise about what can be a harsh and cutthroat industry.
Hip Reporter: What is your best style advice?
Anne-Marie: Wear what makes YOU happy. Don’t dress for your husband, your girlfriends or to impress anyone. Create your own fashion rules and be your best self. Everyone can embrace little bits of trends to their taste and everyone can look incredible without spending a million bucks.
Hip Reporter: Favorite piece of clothing in your closet?
Anne-Marie: I have a love of outerwear that is trumped only by my Mom. One of my favorite pieces in my closet would be a poncho I purchased at Anthropologie this past fall. It’s army green with stripes and a faux fur collar. It’s the perfect item to throw on over a dress or jeans. I’m a little sad to retire it for the season!
Hip Reporter: Favorite accessory.
Anne-Marie: A ring that was my grandmother’s. It was given to her by a boyfriend in the 1940s. She didn’t end up with that man but she kept the ring. I get compliments on it often but moreover, it makes me feel connected to her and the past.
Hip Reporter: You’re transported back in time required to wear the fashion of the day. What decade would you land in?
Anne-Marie: ALL my girlfriends would say I should be transported back to the 1950′s. Every time I try on a dress or skirt at Tory, they say, ‘You look so ‘Mad Men!’. I take it as a compliment. I however, would love to land in the 1700′s: corsets, ball gowns, and pale skin. It would be an interesting change of pace and oh so romantic for at least a weekend!
(Anne-Marie asks that you kindly walk away from the Bubble necklaces, above.)
Hip Reporter: What do you see as the biggest, most consistent fashion faux pas in women who come in to the store–and you’d like to banish it forever? What advice would you give?
Anne-Marie: Bubble necklaces, chevron and don’t kill me for this one–but monogramming. I wis all the little boutiques that sell overpriced polyester would spontaneously combust. While in college I might have thought differently, now I believe the bubble necklaces and chevron prints have seen better moments and they are tired. While I still believe fully believe in a giant statement necklace, the little multicolored ‘bubble’ ones have got to go.
Branch out and try a scarf! Go for an infinity scarf (my favs are from American Apparel) or a silk one tied in a loose bow. If you still must have a necklace, try one made of other materials. I’m currently loving the mixed media pieces that use wood, shells and leather. Especially great for summer.
As for the monogramming, I know we live in the South but I find it a bit gimmicky and overkill to have it on your pants, top, jewelry and handbag. Let’s pick one piece and stick with that. I’m all for the tasteful and occasional handbag or wallet monogram and I think even the small initial necklaces are nice but simplicity and moderation is sometimes everything.
(Tory Burch Reggie gladiator, above, $295 and Tana, $275 at Tory Burch stores and toryburch.com)
Hip Reporter: What do you see trending for spring and summer?
Anne- Marie: Block heels, mules, neon handbags, sport-themed clothing items, perforated and woven leather, neutral, simple basics, floral prints and backpacks.
Hip Reporter: Favorite place to shop other than Tory Burch?
Anne-Marie: Nordstrom, J Crew, Anthropologie, Marshalls–I love a good deal on my favorite name brands. They are always fully stocked on designer jeans, Joie and Vince are usually half priced.
Hip Reporter: Three things you’d buy if you won the lottery.
1. Balenciaga Bag in Jaune Poussin (above)–A perfect, perfect chartreuse pop of color kind of bag. –To die for. (May have to happen before I hit the lottery.)
2. Black Range Rover–Maybe not a fashion item or accessory but I’ve always wanted one.
3. Lululemon ‘Run Inspire’ crops in every color made. These crops are the only ones I’ve found that do not fall or need to be adjusted while running. I’ll be honest, I am that girl that wears yoga clothes when I’m not working. I am not ashamed. I do actually work out in them but they are so incredibly comfortable. Again, my mantra is wear what makes you happy. Yoga pants and a baggier Piko top make me happy.
Hip Reporter: Something you wouldn’t be caught dead in.
Anne-Marie: This is difficult because I honestly say, ‘never say never.’ I’m kind of an open book when it comes to trying new things so it’s hard to unknowingly veto something but I would choose Crocs. They look like alien footwear and I can’t get in to that.
Hip Reporter: Best dressed woman in Hollywood?
Anne-Marie: I’m a fan of Emma Watson. She always looks put together and so pretty. Her style is rather minimalist, classic and feminine. SJP (Sarah Jessica Parker) will always be a favorite as well.
Hip Reporter: You’ve been nominated for an Oscar. Who will dress you for the red carpet?
Anne-Marie: Oscar de la Renta. Preferably a ball gown style with a a bow or something wild on one shoulder. I would want to look and feel like a princess–no slinky, tight dresses for moi.
Hip Reporter: One beauty item you can’t live without.
Anne-Marie: My Clarsonic facial brush. Literally changed my skin.
(Tory Burch Sandra jacket, above. $995)
Hip Reporter: Favorite piece from the Tory Burch Spring/Summer 2014 Collection.
Anne-Marie: This season without a doubt, I would choose the Sandra jacket. A classic take on the moto jacket, the Sandra jacket is in buttery soft leather in a perfect neutral, clay beige hue. It’s on my list.
Stay tuned for more women who inspire me with their style and attitude…