36, Personal Stylist, Saks Fifth Avenue Club
There’s no doubt Anna Spector holds the key to the fashion castle. Snagging one of only four coveted spots as a Saks Fifth Avenue Club personal stylist, Anna spends her days following the fashion industry’s top trends and designers, tracking down exclusive pieces and informing the style choices of the fashion elite. Call it a shopaholic’s dream job come true.
HOW SHE GOT INTO THE BIZ I started a business in one of the most cosmopolitan parts of the city, the Central West End. I fell in love with the neighborhood when I moved to St. Louis in 1999 and soon after opened a boutique on Euclid Avenue. I had no prior experience in the fashion industry, and although my first foray was a bit spontaneous, it has become a decades-long career.
EDUCATION/TRAINING I have a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Loyola University of Chicago.
BEST WORK DAY EVER I’m immersed in training every day. These designers have a history and the names they design for have a legacy. The opportunity to better acquaint myself with collections—past, present and future—always restores my interest and lust for fashion.
WHY HER JOB ROCKS Other than working for one of the world’s most respected luxury retailers in one of the most coveted positions, I also spend each day working very closely with Chanel, Gucci, Saint Laurent, Prada, Givenchy—need I say more?
TYPICAL DAY I’m up at 6am with my two Siberian Huskies for a 45-minute run; then I check emails and texts. Responses begin before I even make it to my office. I have a quick meeting with managers and co-workers and then it’s off to the races. I walk the floor to see what’s new, photographing favorites and sending pics to clients. I pull a day or two in advance of appointments, but I always spend a few moments reviewing prior to the client’s arrival, editing and adding. Time between appointments is spent preparing for future ones. I’m always on my toes, because you never know who might be stopping by.
PROUDEST MOMENT When I was asked to join the Fifth Avenue Club. There are only four rooms, so it’s quite an honor to occupy one of them.
BEST JOB PERK I get to see the latest and greatest first. Plus, I get a pretty sweet discount.
ONE THING PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO LEARN As glamorous as it seems, it’s actually really hard work. As a stylist in the Fifth Avenue Club, I dress clients for some of the most important moments in their lives. I have to be knowledgeable, as well as creative—not to mention articulate and organized. A single gown can take months to complete and I have to be on top of detailed custom orders, as well as the more immediate needs of my clients. Perhaps they will be mother of the bride this summer, but in the meantime, I also have to get them dressed for board meetings, charity events, vacations, dinners and more. I’m personally invested in making certain my clients look and feel their best, so I take my role very seriously.
FAVORITE INDUSTRY MOMENT Being a stylist at Saks Fifth Avenue leading up to “A Queen Within” was exceptionally exciting. Saks Fifth Avenue St. Louis and The World Chess Hall of Fame hosted some of the city’s most fashionably and culturally aware for an event that received international attention from the fashion world—no small feat for an area typically referred to by the fashion community as “fly-over country.”
CELEB YOU'D MOST WANT TO DRESS Yahoo! President and CEO Marissa Mayer.
MOST CHALLENGING PART OF SHOPPING FOR OTHERS Encouraging clients to step out of their comfort zones can be a challenge. Most people don’t want to take fashion risks, which is fine—I’m all about developing a signature style and sticking with it. But fashion should be fun, too. It doesn’t hurt to experiment once in a while.
GOALS FOR THE FUTURE I’m really focused on continuing to develop my clientele and my skills as a stylist. I have access to a great network of resources and limitless potential to engage an audience and enhance the role of fashion in their lives. The sky’s the limit.
Photo credit: Attilio D’Agostino