Are you ready for the new season? Let Elizabeth Leventhal, General Merchandising Manager of Ready-to-Wear at Moda Operandi, be your style guide.
Will you go West and embrace the cowboy boots, or is your big winter purchase going to a fabulous coat? Below, Leventhal shares her wardrobe staples, and reveals the brands from the Middle East that are on her radar.
What do you look for when buying for the new season?
We focus on investing in product that will cater to our customers constant craving for discovery and something unique; we are always keeping our eyes peeled for creativity and originality from emerging talent from all over the world.
I also always pay attention to the buzz (on social and in real life) during market and fashion month to stay in tune with what editors and influencers are loving.
How are you transitioning your wardrobe from summer to fall?
For me, fall is all about layering. I like to transition my wardrobe by adding a few key outerwear pieces, investing in knitwear that pops or layers over a summer dress easily, and adding new boots that will get me around the city with ease. This season, it’s all about the cinched blazer, my go-to Margiela ankle boots and rustic plaids.
Which FW18 trends do you think will split opinions?
I love that the Western boot is making a sartorial comeback this season because it reminds me of my southern roots. But they can be tricky to pull-off when styling. I think it’s one of those trends — you either love it or leave it.
What should we be investing in now?
September is the perfect time to invest in a beautiful coat. Living in New York and always being on-the-go, my coat is usually the first thing people see, so I love to pick a style that I won’t tire of and one that also keeps me warm. You can never go wrong with a classic from Max Mara or to make more of a statement the leopard Victoria Beckham is a must have. I also love Rosie Assoulin, Loewe, and Brock for interesting outerwear. Statement boots are huge this season in a range of textures, from custom embroidery and sequins, to floral-print and velvet.
Describe your personal style.
My style has definitely evolved over the years as I have become a mother of two (ease is essential!), but I would say overall, my look is generally relaxed, timeless, and a touch bohemian. When it comes to a night out, I love to get glam and dress up in a structured power-suit, or silky slip dress.
Which emerging designers are you championing at the moment?
We’re always on the lookout to add new and emerging designers to the Moda portfolio. My favorites at the moment are Alexandra O’Neill from Markarian (a Moda exclusive), The Vampire’s Wife and Deitas.
How has the fashion scene changed since you’ve worked as a buyer?
We’ve seen a major shift in the traditional buying business model. Because we’re constantly connected and living in such a fast-paced digital world, the way we shop has evolved. At Moda, our pre-order trunkshow model gives customers the ability to buy from unedited collections straight from the runway, which gives our customers not only the access to these collections but essentially allowing them to be a buyer themselves. We, of course, have an incredibly talented stylist team who can help curate and edit your wardrobe for you, if that’s also needed. Also, convenience has become an essential service demanded from consumers– you need something in a few hours, we can deliver it to your doorstep.
What do new designers need to do to stand out?
What excites me the most when I meet new designers, and what I think elevates them to the next level, is when I can instinctually sense the story behind their collections. Distinct storytelling means it will usually resonate with our customers.
Are there any names from the Middle East that you love?
At Moda we’re constantly drawn to talented designers from around the world. From the Middle East, Dubai-based designer, Anatomi, is a go-to for silhouettes that are timeless with a modern take. We also like how All Things Mochi’s designer Ayah Tabari creates wardrobe staples in charismatic patterns and eccentric colours that transition from day to night.
Finish this sentence. Style means…
Style is innate and represents how we want to be seen to the world. It’s about evolving, taking risks and most importantly, having fun!
Biggest fashion regret?
I don’t believe in fashion regrets!
If you could only keep three items in your wardrobe, what would you choose?
A timeless black blazer, a pair of go-to denim (I love a good high-waist pair by Frame), and a classic white blouse.