Welcome to the Luxury Shoe Club interview series where we introduce you to seriously-styled women with serious shoe closets. In today’s interview, we take you to Venice, California to meet our fabulous new COO Elle Werlin (IG: @ellewerlinstyle) – an entrepreneur, marketing genius, former stylist to the stars from Catherine Zeta Jones to Lenny Kravitz.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background. What would someone be most surprised to learn about you?
I grew up in New York City, obsessed with fashion since I was a little girl. My career started at 17 when I designed a dress for the clothing company Kenar. I worked during Business School at various showrooms and magazines. After graduation I landed my first job with Patti Wilson, one of the best stylist in the world. At 23, I founded Elle Werlin Style, and never looked back. For the following 16 years I was a Fashion Director and Celebrity Stylist. My work has appeared in countless editorials, advertising campaigns, e-commerce sites and on the red carpet.
Something people don’t know about me, I love Words With Friends.
What led to your unparalleled success?
I understand and harness the power and potential of collaboration. I’ve had the fortune to have worked with some of the most amazing talent across industries that have also led to long lasting friendships. I am dedicated to helping luxury and fashion brands retain their edge. I strives to create value, inspire trends, and drive growth in everything I embrace including branding and communication strategy. Known as a fashion world staple, the best of Hollywood have been laced in my vision, including: Emma Stone, Lenny Kravitz, Catherine Zeta Jones, Daniel Craig, Vanessa Hudgens, Caitlin Fitzgerald, Abigail Breslin and more.
When Did You Realize You Love Shoes? Why Are You So Passionate About Them?
I fell in love with shoes at 2 years old. Trips to Tip Top Shoes felt like a day at the candy shop. It was the way the shoes made me feel, at that time it was Cinderella, later it became Madonna, and so on. Unlike other accessories, a beautifully crafted shoe is an artwork. It can change the look of an outfit in an instant, it is powerful. I am drawn to that strength.
Who Is Your Favorite Designer and Why?
My favorite this season is Rene Caovilla, every shoe is unique; crafted beautifully, combining elegance with edge making them the chicest shoes and boots of the season. I love Manolo’s when I want a classic look… perhaps pair them with jeans or a cocktail dress. Chanel makes the best boots, I tried on these AMAZING cream mountain boots with orange detail, only Chanel could do that. My thigh-high black velvet Aquazzura boots are divine, and they make my legs look flawless. Jimmy Choo booties are my dance all night stiletto’s. Roger Vivier’s classic flat, I could wear everyday, adds sophistication to every look. I wear Giuseppe Zanotti’s exclusively for events and galas. Always a Dior Lady, for my ladies who lunch look, Chloe for my boho chic days, and Gucci when I want a vintage cool gal look.
How Many Pairs Of Shoes Do You Own? Which Is Your Favorite Pair And Why?
My favorite pair of shoes, are my Chanel Leather Booties. Chic with an edge, I can wear them casual or dressy and could run a mile in them. I probably have 45 pairs of shoes in my closet right now, the rest are neatly packed away in storage. (sneak peak at one side of my closet)
What’s Your Perfect Shoe + Clothing Combo? Why?
To me, the shoe defines the look, studded bootie add a rock twist, a suede pumps adds sophistication, a thigh-high boot adds drama, a sneaker makes it daytime, a flat makes it classic. In a nutshell, we need a lot of variation to create a perfect combo.
Last Question… Shoe Goals: What is your focus for the company?
Our motto is to be sustainably chic! I am beyond excited to build our community of amazing women who can shop designer shoes from each others’ closets, and also share their shoe stories. Every shoe has a story, every step leaves a trace, and those moments need to be shared. Also, our dedication to promoting sustainability and collaborating with like minded members and influencers.
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