The career path of fashion retail managers is often interesting and varied which is most certainly the case of our first Women of Style for this year. Meet Missy Juarez – the Manager of BCBG at Uptown Albuquerque. A tall striking blonde you will not be surprised to hear that Missy enjoyed a modeling career in New York City after graduating from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor’s degree in Theatre and minor in Costume. Missy also held a buyers position at Buffalo Exchange in Albuquerque. For those not familiar with Buffalo Exchange it is an Aladdin’s cave for vintage/designer and trend orientated items. Buffalo staff are experts at finding second-hand accessories and garments that satisfy todays trends and are sought after designer pieces. The success of the store depends on the expertise of the buyer – and thus Missy’s love of the vintage and natural ability to find treasures was born.
A common thread with the Women of Style feature has been a New York influence, which in Missy’s case proved to be hugely transformational – “I got to be a part of the outrageous fashions of the model scene and really took inspiration from the extreme creativity surrounding me”. Aside modeling Missy worked for boutique agencies and eventually secured a stylist position with BCBG in the fashionable Soho District. Further experience and style savvy came from the influences of stylish New York fashionistas and talented work associations. Missy eventually returned to Albuquerque in 2009 to plan her wedding. Another stint working at Buffalo Exchange was followed by her return to BCBG in the well deserved Position of Branch Manager. Missy’s passion for the brand is only equalled by her love of fashion which is evident in the professionalism and energy she has bought to the Albuquerque branch. To find out more about Missy’s Style read on:-
CL. Thank you so much for agreeing to speak about your fashion and style ethos. As manager of one of the most fashion relevant stores Albuquerque has to offer you have a unique view of current and future trends yet, we live in the cultural Southwest where perceptions of trend and style are somewhat skewed. You have found a way to successfully marry the contradictions to platform your own brand of individuality. How would you describe your personal style?
MJ. Electric retro-chic. I like to mix vintage with modern pieces creating a unique and adventurous personal style. I like to throw in a little Albuquerque/Southwestern style as well.
CL. Would you say that the Southwest is the main influence on your style?
MJ. I take inspiration from everywhere! I live in Nob Hill (trendy area of Albuquerque) and love the funky styles all around. I also read fashion magazines and study the BCBG product knowledge book which is always current and fashion forward. I also draw inspiration from the knowledge of clothing and costume history I minored in college.
CL. Which designers do you veer to ?
MJ. Catherine Malandrino, Diane Von Furstenburg and of course Max Azria. I love John Varratos for Menswear and Paul Smith is an amazing brand all around.
CL. New York is the “education” mecca for many fashion careers including yours. Often it is the finer details such as accessories that give a style relevance.Do you have a favorite accessory?
MJ. Accessories are huge in New York – you would never leave your apartment without at east one necklace, a hat …….and some rings. My husband always buys me the best jewelry – really unique and funky pieces from various places. I would have to say my most loved piece is my wedding ring from Lily Barrack in Nob Hill, but I also love the costume jewelry I inherited from my great aunt. I guess I really love jewelry.
CL. You have an obvious love of vintage as well as current trends. What was the last garment you bought of either genre?
MJ. Last vintage item was a coat – I have a huge problem with vintage coats. I love the fur, the big old buttons. I probably have seven of them which takes up a lot of space in my closet. From this season I have recently purchased a black eyelet dress from BCBG. It has a cinched waist and a full skirt which is 50’s styled and classic. Its short enough to be sassy but not stuffy.
CL. Versatility and style should go hand in hand for the perfect wardrobe. What do you consider to be your most versatile piece?
MJ. My BCBG cardi-wrap. I can literally tie it in a thousand different ways. Its like having 100 outfits in one piece. I love it and wear it all of the time.
CL. Versatility is also key for packing for vacations – what are your top three vacation must-haves?
MJ. 1. My grey cardi-wrap – (seriously , I wear it all the time) 2. Black leggings (from BCBG of course). 3. Heeled boots, they go from day through to night.
CL. What do you “Splurge” on?
MJ. I always splurge on denim. I am 5’10” and when it comes to length, cheap jeans just won’t cut it – I find nothing wrong with paying a couple of hundred dollars for jeans.
CL. Denim is definitely worth the investment – for the budget conscious what is your best “save” purchase?
MJ. One of my best bargains of all time was a turquoise necklace I found at Buffalo Exchange. I paid $20 for it and it is worth hundreds. Its heavy, beautiful and was the steal of the year. I also found a vintage Burberry trench coat there and paid $35. My sister says that finding a super bargain is my talent in life!
CL. Working in the fashion industry can help prevent too many fashion disasters but we all suffer from them at some time. What would you consider yours?
MJ. Oh God! There’s been so many (ha ha). If you want to be a fashionista you have to take risks and sometimes it doesn’t work. My biggest no no – I wore a black mini skirt with a red garter belt purposely showing out of the bottom of the skirt. I wore matching red shoes. I was 19 what else can I say!!
CL. We have all been there – its good to maintain a sense of humor too! What advise, if any, can you offer Scene of Style Readers?
MJ. Think outside the box! Don’t get stuck in the “I can’t wear that” mindset. You have to try things on – everything fits differently . Don’t expect to wear the same size everywhere you go. It’s ok to buy something bigger or smaller than your usual size. Love the body you have!
CL. All great pieces of advise that we need to be reminded of. Finally do you have a style mantra that you live by?
MJ. Work with what you’ve got – there is nothing sexier than confidence!
Check out the fabulous new season at BCBG, Uptown, Albuquerque, New Mexico where Missy will happily introduce you to BCBG’s latest styles.