Thursday, February 24, 2011

Retail Therapy: Gigi Mortimer

Fashion week has just ended and we couldn’t resist recruiting Gigi Mortimer for our Retail Therapy hot seat. Gigi is best known among friends for her sharp sense of style and relaxed attitude. Most people, however, don’t appreciate her knack for spotting great deals.

Gigi tells the story about how she fell in love with Baccarat’s black chandelier collection. She was unsure of the lofty price, so she decided to hold off on its purchase. Everything changed when Gigi received a phone call about an upcoming Baccarat price increase. She just couldn’t resist the opportunity to save money on the showpiece and swooped in and purchased it for her foyer.

In addition to her great shopping skills, Gigi has a design resume that could overshadow even the most decorated garmento. She has held senior design positions at some of the world’s most recognized brands, including Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang and Tory Burch. Um, the woman even designed the Vera Wang Barbie with Mattel. Talk about a dream project.

Most recently, Gigi and long-time friend Courtney Moss started Glamourpuss NYC, a playful accessories brand. For fall, the company produces rabbit fur hats, scarves and hoods. This summer, the company is introducing the most delicious watercolor caftans and beaded jewelry. We love the fact that most of the items in the Glamourpuss collection are under $200 and can be found locally at Saks Fifth Avenue and Calypso.

What's your most prized deal?
Ten Years ago, while shopping deep in the corridors of the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, I stumbled upon a magnificent pearl and semi precious stone tassel necklace. I bought the necklaces and gave one to my mother, grandmother, and best friend. For the last decade its timeless style has been a staple in my wardrobe. I love wearing it with traditional pearls and a suit to a ladies lunch or pair it with a white tank and a tan and wear it to a beach party. For our Glamourpuss NYC spring collection we are recreating this necklace in five fabulous colors. Cultured pearl with shocking pink quartz, Turquoise with cultured pearls, gold nuggets with pearls and navy quartz with pearls for $475. We recently saw a similar necklace in WWD from Van Cleef in Paris.

Biggest regret that you didn't purchase?
No regrets. I always find something new to fall in love with.

This season you are looking for...
After this long cold dreary winter, I am looking for COLOR.

What's your number one shopping tip?
Never buy two of the same thing even though you think you need two. Never buy pants loose they always stretch. One more thing, Saks Fifth Avenue's Fifth Avenue Club has fantastic service and elegant changing rooms.

What's your biggest weakness?
Organic Avenue juices they are a healthy luxury. I'm also obsessed with chocolate drizzled popcorn from Greenberg Bakery, two-inch T-bones from Leonard's grilled with truffle salt and olive oil which challenges Mario Batali's finest.

Is there an item for which a shopper should never mind paying full price?
If you love it and it will become a part of your seasons uniform, its worth every penny.

Photo Credit: Joshua Bright for Vogue

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