#CASHMERETALKS… FEATURING AMBER GORDON
Amber Gordon | Founder, Tailored Styling
Amber is the founder of Tailored Styling, a personal shopping/styling and image consultancy based in London/Surrey and fellow girl boss. I reached out to her after being impressed with everything she’s achieved with her brand in such a short period of time and believed she would be a great fit for the Cashmere brand.
After shooting in Chelsea and a quick stop in the Chanel store on Brompton Road to pick up a pair of espadrilles for a client, we sat down for a late lunch at Aubaine and chatted about everything fashion.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I run Tailored Styling, an image consultancy that offers personal shopping and styling services to men and women. I deal with a vast range of clients ranging from those who aren’t confident with the way they dress, those starting a new job, or those who have had a huge change in their life, e.g. new mums. Some people are able to see what works for them and what doesn’t, however some people might pick an item because they like how it looks on others and because it doesn’t work on them, it puts them off shopping. I help those people feel more confident so that they are able to go out shopping on their own.
The other side of what I do is shop for people who are very on the ball about what they want and how they dress but are very time poor. For example, a client could send me a message requesting a black dress for a particular event and because I have their sizes available, I can provide them with different options. I also source items that are very hard to find. There are quite a few angles to the business but that’s a quick summary of what I do.
What got you into fashion blogging/becoming a style consultant and who are your biggest inspirations?
I always knew I wanted to work in fashion. I remember when I was about 10 and being really excited to go to the dentist because they had the fashion magazines on the table. As a 10 year old, I used to love looking through Vogue at the dentist and checking the prices of items and was like ‘Oh my God, this shirt costs £1,000. That’s so exciting!’ So I always knew I wanted to work in fashion.
I also have a degree in Fashion Journalism. When I graduated, and lots of people experience this, I really struggled to find a job in fashion and I spent years interning even while I was at university. When I got my first job and with subsequent jobs, even though I loved and learnt so much from them, I always had this feeling of unhappiness and I think deep down it’s because I’ve always wanted to work for myself. About a year ago, I impulsively decided that I was going to set up my own business. My boyfriend really helped me, he works for himself and was really supportive because it is a very scary decision.
Shop Amber’s Aquazzura shoes here
The blogging came in hand-in-hand with the business. When I started, I did so much research on how to grow a business, how to get clients, etc because I was literally starting from scratch. Everyone was saying to me that to drive traffic to your website, it’s really good to have a blog so I started blogging. Now it has become part of the business rather than something to help the business and I actually really enjoy doing it.
Shop Amber’s Tom Ford sunglasses here
I’m very inspired by Natalie Massenet, founder of Net-a-Porter. I love when she talks as she’s so calm and collected and really knows what she’s saying. I really love the idea of being innovative and being the first one to do something and she, essentially, was one of the first, if not the first, to combine luxury with digital. Part of buying luxury is the experience of going into the store and being very well looked after; it’s not ‘in and out’ like you find in high street stores which is why luxury and the internet has struggled to merge really well. But she was able to make luxury fashion readily available online and she grew the business into something that’s so much more than that. This is what I’m trying to do with my business – you have the main core of what you do and then you branch out to other ventures that are closely aligned and interlink with your main core. She’s just amazing.
How would you describe your style?
When people ask me this question, I find it really difficult to answer. I think I’m a bit of a chameleon. A lot of girls have one go-to style and that’s their thing but I just love fashion so much that I can’t restrict myself. Like one day, I want to be in ripped jeans and trainers and do the whole ‘undone-Rihanna-cool-thing’ and then another day, I want to wear a pencil dress with heels and want to be like Victoria Beckham. I literally can’t pinpoint my style; I love dressing up, I love dressing down. I just love fashion.
Where do you shop for clothes and accessories on a normal basis?
Although primarily what I do is luxury, for my own style I love mixing and matching high street with luxury. Fashion is not about how much something costs, it’s about how it looks. You can make a shirt from Topshop look like it costs £1,000 if you accessorise well with a good quality bag, or dress up a pair of jeans by wearing with a really gorgeous pair of heels. I don’t really shop in specific places but for accessories, I tend to splurge. I would rather save and buy less but good quality items. Usually, I’d probably buy one bag a year and make sure that it’s really good quality. I’ve probably got about 10 luxury designer bags, all of great quality and I’ll always buy something different every time – a different colour, a different shape so that I’ve got something for every occasion. I do the same with shoes; I’d rather invest in really good pairs of shoes, right down to the trainers I wear almost everyday. I do sometimes buy slightly cheaper shoes but in general I would rather spend more money on shoes, because you can then pair them with items you’ve bought on the high street and just make your entire outfit pop! For every day clothes, and I think everyone does, but I really love Zara. I also love &Other Stories.
Shop Amber’s dress from House of CB here
What’s the go-to fashion item in your closet that never fails to complete your outfit?
I don’t know if this counts but it’s my watch. Sometimes I really want to dress up and sometimes I really want to dress down so there’s no one item I can say that goes with all my outfits. But the one thing that always elevates my outfit the minute I put it on is my watch. I think if you’re going to invest in something designer, it has to be a watch. I could be dressed really casual wearing jeans, a t-shirt and Stan Smiths but the minute I put on sunglasses and my Rolex, it instantly takes my outfit up a notch!
Shop Amber’s Hermes Birkin handbag here
If you were given £1m to spend on clothes/accessories, what luxury stores would you splurge that cash on?
I would probably go to a big department store like Harrods. Because my job involves shopping everyday, when I do shop for myself, I find it a bit of a headache and not as fun as it used to be. Even when I’m with clients, I mainly take them to department stores. I really like the convenience of having all the brands under one roof and I would just work my way up through all the floors! I would splurge in Aquazzurra for shoes, Balmain for some stand-out pieces like a really statement leather jacket and Chanel for accessories.
What is one item of clothing you won’t be caught dead wearing?
Like I said, I’m one of those people that really likes to try everything. I love fashion so much that there probably isn’t anything I won’t try on and try to make it work for me.
Where do you look for style inspiration?
Pinterest! I never really used Pinterest properly until I started Tailored Styling. I use it to get ideas for shoots. For example, if I’m doing a still-life or I have a very vague concept of what I want to shoot, I go on Pinterest and search for it and use it as a reference. I’ve also started doing that with my outfits. For example, sometimes I’d buy something and won’t be sure of what to wear it with so I’d go on Pinterest and look at what other people are wearing it with and see what works for me.
If you had to own one person’s wardrobe, whose would it be, and why?
It would be Anna Dello Russo. Half of it is down to the way she dresses and the remaining half is down to her attitude. I think she has an amazing attitude towards fashion and style. She will wear anything, anywhere. She’s the type of person that would be in head-to-toe sequins to go grocery shopping and I absolutely love that. I think nowadays not enough people dress up anymore. I think people choose to ‘fit in’ and feel more self-conscious. Looking around, everyone here is in jeans and maybe 5 years ago, I would have felt ‘ Oh everyone is looking at me because I’m too dressed up’. But now, I don’t care. I love outfits that make you stand out and I love statement pieces and she just has so many in her wardrobe.
What luxury items are you currently lusting on right now? (Fashion and/or beauty)
I really want Charlotte Tilbury’s Instant Look In A Palette. I love buying buying palettes; I don’t know why but they really excite me. I think they are so cute and pretty. I’m a bit of a perfectionist so I always like to top up my makeup during the day. It gets really heavy carrying your makeup bag everywhere so I really want to get that because it makes it easier to top up your whole face. I also really want the Gucci Dionysus bag. I know it’s becoming a bit of an ‘it-bag’; like every blogger and editor has it but I’m really obsessed with it. I want one of the printed ones because it’s slightly different and I love the shape.
Once Cashmere is launched, what luxury items will you be saving for?
I am going to save for a Louis Vuitton holdall. I usually steal my boyfriend’s when I’m going away but it means when we travel together, I never have one. I love going to the gym and I want to save for a one of those 90s Prada rucksacks to use as a gym bag They’ve re-released it and it comes in some really cool colours and I really want to get one!
For expert advice on image styling, item sourcing, wardrobe editing and lots more, visit Tailored Styling. Follow Amber/Tailored Styling on Instagram – @_ambergordon_ and @tailoredstyling.