August 1, 2013

This is for all my aspiring fashionistas who are trying to break into the fashion industry or maybe you have a big love with New York (really who doesn't?!). Let me introduce Vanessa Spencer, the Melbourne born Vanessa is now living her fashion dream in NYC. Visiting New York recently I caught up with my...

This is for all my aspiring fashionistas who are trying to break into the fashion industry or maybe you have a big love with New York (really who doesn’t?!). Let me introduce Vanessa Spencer, the Melbourne born Vanessa is now living her fashion dream in NYC.

Visiting New York recently I caught up with my beautiful talented friend in her gorgeous apartment located on the corner of broadway and bleeker st in Noho, such as luxe location and apartment to match. Vanessa shares her favourite hangouts, cafes and shopping finds. She also takes us through her ridiculously fabulous wardrobe, which is overflowing with high-end designer labels whilst also giving us insight into how to make it in the competitive city of New York.


Ness, you have always worked in the fashion industry from your days as a Stylist at Fashion Journal, moving onto Design Co-Coordinator and Buying roles at Myer and currently working as a Buyer and Product Developer at renowned multi fashion brand retailer INTERMIX in New York. What are the differences between working in New York from Melbourne? Everything in NYC is bigger, faster and more intense.  I guess I am in amongst it all and more on the pulse always looking ahead rather than watching from afar or working behind the seasons.  The day to day working duties are much the same, it’s just the intensity and opportunity that differs.  I’ve always worked hard in any job that I’ve had its how I’ve gotten to where I am today but here I work harder, longer and faster.   It can be a tough city at times but thankfully I love my job and I couldn’t think of doing anything else!

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 Tell me about your role at Intermix? I started with the company buying for RTW fashion and now predominantly work on heading up our Private Label business developing across all categories.  I work incredibly close to the product, looking at upcoming trends, what’s working in the market place and what we are missing in our stores and develop into our Exclusive for Intermix brand.  I work closely with factories to produce high quality product using some of the best fabrications.  I am constantly getting inspiration from blogs, magazines and the market place and work incredibly closely with our other departments to bounce ideas off of and be inspired by.  We have a team unlike no other here at Intermix and I’m incredibly fortunate to work with such great and talented people.

 What advise can give you to other Aussies wanting to break into the competitive fashion industry in New York? How did you make the transition? NYC can be pretty tough and finding the perfect job can prove to be almost impossible, my advice would be to have persistence, stay positive and put yourself in every networking situation as you possibly could.  The opportunities here are endless and you never know who you are riding the subway with or ordering coffee next to in Starbucks, always be on your game and always get up no matter how hard you may have been knocked down.  Experience is vital and putting yourself in front of key players in the industry is a must, LinkedIn was a major tool that helped me find my perfect job.

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What key trends do you see coming through in the next few months? Although I’m already working ahead to Spring14 my biggest trends for Fall13 are as follows:

Black and White Monochrome – Every women’s core wardrobe dressed head to toe, colour blocked, used in mixed print’s or paired back with camel for chic fall look.

Green – starting early with bright ultramarines then going into olives and camo for a more casual military inspired look and emeralds for perfect holiday dressing.

50 shades of  blue – from vibrant pops of colour to cool hues and then going into rich navy and sapphire, a huge colour trend for fall.

Prints – don’t forget the classics with houndstooth, tartan and plaid a huge player this fall as well as wild graphic animal’s from zebra to cheetah and anything in between.  And for a more casual look anything camo inspired is a definite winner.

Leather – everything and anything leather! Black always a staple but exploring into chic new Bordeaux, navy’s and green’s.  A great moto biker jacket and soft jogging pant a core piece this fall.

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Intermix holds all my favourite designers from Proenza Schouler, A.L.C, Givenchy, Helmut Lang, Alexander Mqueen and Rag & Bone to name a few. Including a few Australian designers in Nicholas and Zimmerman, which is great to see. Which designers do you hold close to your heart? The great thing about my job is working with so many great brands, I have too many fav’s to count but some of my go to labels include IRO, A.L.C, Rag & Bone, Phillip Lim, Proenza Schouler  and Stella McCartney.  I also can’t help stay true to my roots and love all of the Aussie labels infiltrating the US market especially new comer to Intermix Nicholas.

 Three key pieces to buy this season? Moto Jacket, leather pants, over the knee boot

What’s your last fashion item you have spent big on? IRO leather jacket, a great staple and such a good investment for fall.


How would you describe your style? My style is a little bit of everything and very much determined by how I feel in the moment.  I prefer a more casual but more refined look, not over worked but not understated.  It has to look effortless even if it’s not always comfortable!

Vanessa’s favourite day/ go to boots by Rag & Bone. 

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Some of Vanessa’s favourite items..

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Best Coffee in New York (which we know is hard to come across) I miss Melbourne coffee!! Good coffee is few and far between here and I have sadly succumbed to a daily Starbucks coffee for pure convenience.  Great new coffee spot just launched by fellow Aussie’s is Bluestonelane, their coffee is by far the best in town it’s everything I miss about Melbourne.

Favourite restaurant and why? I love L’Artusi in West Village, it’s my fav Italian restaurant the food is to die for and venue is beautiful.  I’ve never had a bad meal here.

Best brunch spot?  Rosemary’s on Greenwich Avenue, it’s my regular weekender brunch spot.

 If you could name one, what is the best street for shopping?  Too hard! So many good spots around town, I tend to shop mostly in Soho as it’s my local but Madison Avenue always a great shopping strip and home to our flagship Intermix store.

Best night spot? It’s summer here right now so I’m loving a rooftop party, Jimmy at the James, Le Bain rooftop and the Jane hotel some of my fav spots.  For a regular indoors spot I love heading to Rose bar.

Most memorable NY moment? Getting featured on Bill Cunningham’s NY times ‘on the street’ blog

09STREET-popup(Vanessa is located on bottom row 6th from the left)

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