Trendspotter & Thrift Seeker-Amanda Gilbert!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I had the pleasure of meeting Amanda last year at Coachella, as we have a mutual friend who was celebrating her foray into married domesticity!  I was immediately drawn to Amanda's enviable pin thin frame, her beautiful smile, and effortless style.  She reminded me of a young Carrie Bradshaw...minus the neurosis with men.  As I  proceeded to learn more about her, I realized that her fervor towards fashion encompasses a large part of her everyday life.  She's a West Coast Correspondent for Stylesight, a trend forecasting and analytics industry publication, as well as the small business owner of Dry Vintage+Thrift,  a venture that she runs on Etsy.  I have featured an amazing floral sweater that I purchased from DRY on one of my outfit of the day posts.

I was so pleased that Amanda agreed to chat with me about what inspires her covetable style, what specific details she looks for when choosing items for her shop, and what sound advice she can offer to those interested in working in the fashion industry.  

Here's what she had to say...

You have such enviable personal style.  Where do you draw inspiration from?

Well, thank you Alex. I am a natural observer and I love people watching. I browse blogs like most of us,  take queues from looks I envy, but I never try a look verbatim. I think the key to fashion is dressing for yourself and not always following trends, a major contradiction to what I do for my day job.

You are the West Coast Trend Correspondent at Stylesight.  Can you explain what Stylesight is as well as what your specific role entails? 

Stylesight is a trend forecasting and analysis website that companies subscribe to. We provide a global pulse on what's happening. My role as a correspondent for Stylesight is to be the eyes and ears of what's happening in my region, mainly Los Angeles.  It also entails: attending events such as Coachella, photographing street style and knowing what is trending in retail.  I never thought there would be a job that would pay me to be at the mall. It's a pretty amazing job, and I never knew it existed, but I do know that I was born to do it.

Dry Vintage + Thrift is your entrepreneurial baby.  Your Etsy store is a curated collection of vintage pieces from different iconic periods of style.  Why did you decide to forge your hobby into a business? 

My cliche response is, timing. I was ready for a challenge and to create something that was mine. It's a lot of work to start anything and to do it well, especially when you have a full-time career. Selling vintage was an obvious for me. It's silly I didn't do anything sooner but I wasn't ready to put in the amount of dedication it takes to be successful.

When you're scouring the racks for vintage items to sell in your shop, what specific styles or details are you looking for? 

I do my best to compare pieces with what is happening now in fashion. My belief is most girls want a modern feel to their wardrobe but also something one-of-a-kind. I try on every piece I purchase, to make sure the fit isn't dated and it is worthy of a spot on my rack. DRY is a true representation of my style, ranging from grunge, bohemian and tomboy to classic. I am a constant evolution and so is DRY.

Street style is emerging as quite a profitable industry as independent bloggers are proving to be hot commodities due to their consumer marketability.  Your street style has been featured in the likes of Vogue, Elle, Refinery 29, The New York Times style section and Grazia UK. Why have you chosen not to start a blog chronicling your everyday style?

I actually get this question a lot, that I should share more photos of my personal style. Honestly, I don't think I am that person but I wish I were and to be frank, I am trying to be. I am quite private and don't feel the need to share every part of me, especially something that I genuinely love, like fashion. But I can tell you, I am working on it. I understand that's what people want to see and want to feel a part of the journey.

 You seem to be well connected in the industry.  What advice would you give to an aspiring fashionista, who is trying to create a buzz in the somewhat fickle world of fashion? 

Be original. Find a niche that is untapped and create something you feel is missing. Fashion is a copycat industry but those who truly succeed are authentic. In addition, be kind. This industry is littered with prima donnas and I can promise being genuine will actually get your further and make you feel good on how you got there.


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