One of our favorite sites on the web is Style Envy! It's a must stop for great deals, fabulous steals and 'gotta haves'!
We caught up with Lorraine, who's the creator of this great "Go-To" site, and asked her to share the scoop with us!
Lorraine, tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve always expressed myself best through the visual arts, writing, and fashion. When I was in high school I used to dress in my own unique way. My dad worked for a NY designer and I had access to clothing that a typical teenager wouldn’t necessarily wear. I loved redesigning the stuff he gave me by cutting, sewing, and adding decorative details that were more in line with my personal style.
I became a go-to person for fashion advice. Friends and co-workers asked me to shop with them or recommend online shopping resources. I love the look on a friend’s face when they see how great they look in something they would never have thought of trying on.
How did you come up with the concept forStyle Envy?
When I was getting my Master’s Degree, I interned for a large cosmetic manufacturer in the area of new product research. I wrote descriptions for new products and surveyed potential customers on their opinions of the products. I love to write so I really enjoyed that part of the job. After several years working for fortune 500 corporations, I decided to combine my love for writing and fashion and created Style Envy.
When did Style Envy first appear on the web?
I startedStyle Envyin 2003 as a resource for the latest fashion and beauty trends, new designers, and money saving offers. Style Envy attracts an audience looking for lower prices on higher end contemporary designer fashions. Style Envy has sought out and promoted many new designers, provided readers with product reviews, and made Marie Claire’s list of Haute Shopping Sites.
When scouting for designers to feature, products to spotlight and sales to mention, what types of fashion sites do you look at and what specific things do you look for when recommending all of these things to your readers?
I dissect fashion magazines. I look for fashion inspiration in movies, music videos, current events, and art. I am a bit of a trend spotter. I love finding things first and posting them before they become the next big thing. I read sites likeFlavorpill, JC Report, Urban Daddy, Style.com, andLucky Magazine. It’s not only about the products, the architecture of the website matters too. I visit many websites, look through product selection, clarity of images, and sometimes even go through the purchasing process to see how easy/difficult it is.
One of my favorite spots isNet-A-Porter. It’s easy to navigate, houses hundreds of the best designers in the world, and reads like the editorial section of a magazine.
When I come across something or someone that inspires me, I write about it. Hundreds of people have contacted me about putting their products/websites onStyle Envy. I do have a discerning eye and select only those I think would be a good fit.
Can readers follow you on Facebook, Twitteror any of the other social networking sites in order to stay up to the minute with all the ‘deals and steals’ you bring us?
Style Envy is on Twitterhttp://twitter.com/StyleEnvy. I try to diversify on Twitter and not just focus on fashion. I like to share information about things I enjoy like art, food, wine, books, and travel.
What are your favorite picks for spring/summer fashion right now and who’s got the best deals on spring and summer’s latest “must haves”?
There are a few spring /summer 2010 fashions that will instantly update your look. A striped tunic top. Stripes are big this season and they’re classic. Wear the top with leggings, shorts, skinny jeans. Ruffles are still big. I love ruffles, the layered not lacey kind. The tiered, ruffle mini is adorable and looks great with a close fitted striped top and flats. Cage sandals are still big and can go with many looks. My tip is to get a pair with a platform, the extra height in the front balances out a high heel and makes them more wearable. Python in neutral colors. Get a bag, belt, sandals, flats, or platform-peep-toe-pumps. A sequin tank for day and evening. I prefer sequins that are lightly dusted on the garment. It looks so unexpected layered under a blazer or over a button down shirt.
You can find great deals on fashion and beauty at some of my favorite spots. If you’re looking for easy, every day pieces try H&M. I’ve found great t-shirts for $8-$12 with a hint of lycra that help them last. Sample sale sites are a must-shop. I am addicted toGilt Groupe, andideeli. Some of my smartest shopping moves were made here. I’ve saved hundreds of dollars. You must be a member to shop there and it’s free to join. Your readers are welcome to join through this invitation. The Outnet.com is where you’ll find items from Net-A-Porter for up to 70% off. Designers for less can also be found onYOOX.com. Your best bargain beauty site is e.l.f. cosmetics for $1. Their higher end studio line is about $5-$10. I’m still amazed how well their products work and how they cost less than a fashion magazine. My favorite is the waterproof eyeliner, mineral blush, and mineral lipstick.E.l.f.always has special offers on top of their already low prices.
Fashion-wise, what styles or trends do you wish would go away and what ones do you wish you could see right now?
Fashion is such a personal thing. There are trends that I would never wear under any circumstance; Harem pants, denim leggings and Lucite jewelry are a few of them. Shoe heights have risen to the point of looking ridiculous. It’s not sexy if you can’t walk with confidence in your shoes.
Sometimes there’s a fine line between trendy and "costumey". When you’re not sure, I think a mirror and an honest friend are your best critics.
Style Envy has been exclusively focused on women’s fashions. I recently added a girls section. It is in its beginning stages but I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes. I’d like to offer more fashion tips and personal advice on product selection. When it comes to blogs, I believe in staying true to one thing and doing it well. So many blogs try to be everything to everyone and end up closing down in a year.
What would you like for people reading about your site for the first time to know?
I am open to new ideas and collaborating with writers. I’ve had guest writers in the past. There is a huge untapped pool of talented designers on the internet. I love sharing them with my readers. If you are one and think your designs would be a good fit for Style Envy, please feel free to email me.
I am busy working on a website that will feature my TtV photography. TtV stands for Through the Viewfinder and it’s a style of photography that uses two cameras. An old vintage camera and a modern digital camera. I want to incorporate some of my more fashion related shots into Style Envy. I’ll send you the link to the site when it’s up.