The Luxury Channel talks to two of London’s top personal stylists about what they do for their clients.
Noni Ware has been a personal stylist for two years. Previously, she was the retail editor at Harper’s Bazaar. Before becoming a personal stylist, Camilla Yonge worked in fashion marketing.
Do you work with men and women? What is the split?
NW: I work with mainly women, but have a few male clients. Of the women, about 80% are professional and 20% are mothers.
CY: I work with both, the split is currently 70 to 30, but men are increasing. The women are evenly split between professional and mothers. Some are in the City and others are new mothers with new shapes, or got into a rut and missed a few seasons.
How do you start with a client?
NW: I go to a client’s house, do a wardrobe edit and clean it out. Then I help them wear things in a different way; I will re-jig their outfits. We have a discussion and then I take them shopping.
CY: I go to their homes, look through their wardrobes, assess what they need for the different seasons, see what basics they are missing and what they need for work. I make them clear stuff out and give it away to charity shops or I sell clothes on eBay for them, generally high-end designers – for instance, a couple of old Stella McCartneys or Alexander McQueen – and they make a bit of money.
Do you do accessories?
NW: I do clothes and shoes, but jewellery is the least important thing. l will direct mothers toward high-street jewellery, but I don’t do a tremendous amount.
CY: A lot of women struggle with how to polish an outfit, with belting it up or how to do a cuff. I think some women don’t realise you can wear a simple top or pair of trousers and change it completely with a necklace or a belt.
How has the economy changed things?
NW: A lot of people want to do high street shopping now, not just designers. The spend hasn’t changed that much, but they want more for their money, so they want high street stores.
CY: A lot of my wealthier clients know they can find quite a lot of nice things and spend less money. Zara is great and so is Topshop. Some of these women wouldn’t dream of going into those shops before, and now they find it’s quite fun. They mix and match with their designer pieces and are spending the same amount, just buying more at high street stores.
Who are your favourite designers at the moment?
NW: I am a still a huge fan of Topshop, and I talk clients through how to shop at the Oxford Circus store. I like Reiss, which is amazing and they have good prices, but also Warehouse, Oasis and French Connection. For designer pieces, it’s still Marni for me, who I think are brilliant, and Chloe too. People don’t mind still spending money. One label, Ohne Titel, has a tuxedo blazer that costs £1,500, and a client bought five.
CY: I like Zara, Topshop and Reiss — they always have consistently good collections, and Jigsaw have got a hell of lot better. I go to Joseph, and many of the boutiques on the King’s Road. I also tend to go back to Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen, MaxMara for wealthy but slightly larger clients, Donna Karan, designers with simpler silhouettes are always good. Some clients love Roberto Cavalli and will buy his dresses over and over again, even if I don’t like it!
What is the one thing in your closet that everyone should also have?
NW: I’m obsessed with coats. A really good coat, beautifully made, fairly thick. The one I have is from See by Chloe.
CY: Everyone should have decent, well-fitting jacket to go with jeans or skirts – one that works for both seasons – and a well fitting pair of jeans. I’m a big fan of J Brand jeans and Ernest Sewn —they’re my two favourites.