Some of our favorite designers, including Hayden-Harnett‘s Toni Hacker and Mackage‘s Elisa Dahan, share the best fashion advice they’ve ever received.
Co-founder of Hayden-Harnett
"Wear what makes you happy."
Designer of Mackage
"Invest time in your image: you never get a second chance to make a first impression!"
Founder of Ruthie Davis
"The best fashion tip that I ever received was from my big sister, Debby. She secretly bought me my first pair of platform shoes when I was in 7th grade…She taught me that an outfit was all about the shoes and that the rest of the outfit should be sleek and monochromatic. I also learned from her to suffer for fashion. I used to sneak my baby platforms in my backpack every day and switch out when I got to school with my sensible, mom-approved shoes. To say that I've followed her sage advice to this day is an understatement!”
Founder and CEO of Free Country
“Be nimble and take chances…especially with color”
Designer of Yoana Baraschi
“Shoes first! As they say, 'You can have last year’s dress but you must have this year’s shoes.' I have always lived by this, believe me — it works!”
Founder of Alekka.com
"I've taken all the styled words of wisdom that I have heard throughout the years and have come to the conclusion that there truly are no rules when it comes to fashion. I believe in dressing for myself, wearing whatever I'm attracted to and not allowing trends to dictate my style. That's why it's called personal style."
Co-founder of Brilliant Earth
“You always look most beautiful when you feel good about what you’re wearing, so I always make sure to put on jewelry with a special meaning. Right now, it’s my fair trade gold necklace because I love what it represents.”
CEO of Carolinna Espinosa
"Vince Camuto once told me, 'Enjoy the process,' and that's one piece of advice I still try to live by."
CEO/Founder of L.E.R. Public Relations
"It's not always about what you wear, what matters most is how it fits you."
Co-founder and president of Palter DeLiso
"When I worked at Barbie, I learned that 'details matter' — for everything. In dressing and styling myself, my details are my shoes. Beautiful shoes with luxe construction are the true finishing touch and can make or break a look."
Founder of Avenue 32
"Dress to your shape and never follow trends. Create your own identity over that of others and always invest in quality where you can.”
Retail director of Saturdays NYC
"Don't let the clothes wear you and don't give a shit about what anyone else thinks about what you're wearing — wear what makes you feel good."
Founder of Satya Jewelry
"The best fashion advice I ever received was to wear what makes you feel beautiful and that represents the best you. Whatever you wear should bring out the confidence you need to be your best. Adding beautiful, meaningful jewelry makes it a part of a conversation that goes beyond fashion."
Founder of Sundry
"Don't try too hard."
Founder and creative director of SHAUNS California
"A well-cut suit can hide a thousand sins."
Founder/Creative Director of Thaddeus O'Neil
"Let It Be You."
Founder of Kings of Cole
"The best advice I have ever gotten came from my mom. She always told me, 'When you are on the right path, the doors will open.' I've learned from this advice to trust the journey. There may be stumbles along the way, but you need to trust that one door will lead to the next, to the next, to the next.”
Founder of Peter Manning NYC
"The best fashion advice I ever received was being told to wear clothes that fit and to get used to a tighter feel because it would make me look slimmer and taller. It is absolutely true. It took some getting used to, but now I try to impart this advice to all our customers at Peter Manning. And now I can't bear to wear anything remotely baggy."
Creative director at TSE
"Invest in timeless, classic styles. Some of my favorites date back to 15 years ago, great Prada leather coats, original Helmut Lang jackets and coats, a classic Burberry trench or Celine shearling jacket. They never go out of style and can be restyled every season with current fashion items.”
Founder and president of BANGS Shoes
“The best fashion advice I ever received is to dress for comfort (lucky for me BANGS Shoes are canvas kicks!), but I don't think that means you have to be frumpy. Comfort equals confidence. A confident woman is one of the most beautiful things on the planet.”
Founder and designer of Posh Pua Swimwear
"The best fashion advice I ever received was that confidence is the sexiest thing you can put on. Over the years, I've found that my favorite swimwear is comfortable yet still durable and sexy, and I keep this in mind when designing the Posh Pua collection. It's amazing when I see girls sporting Posh Pua swimsuits on the beach, while exuding confidence and joy."
Founder/designer of Alon Livné
"The best fashion advice that I got was to be loyal to my aesthetic language and every season to find a new way to develop my design DNA."
Designer of NUE by Shani
"Your best fashion accessory is self-confidence, other than that, a great pair of heels and a little black dress go a long way!"
Founder of Norisol Ferrari
"Never put anything on that you wouldn't want to see a photograph of yourself in 10 years from now — a quote by all my girlfriends who lived through the 70s."
Founder of Ann Yee Collection
"Comfort is always key....a lot of times, the sexiest thing can be the most effortless."
Founder of VK Nagrani
“My grandfather said, ‘In elegant dress, a man's presence should be felt, never heard.'"
Designer and founder of Peace Love World
"I’m inspired by Donna Karan and her advice to 'wear something that expresses yourself in some distinct way.' Personal style is everything.”
Founder of SAUNDER
"'Never take a job that you need to buy a new wardrobe for.' Now, this is not advice for everyone, but for me it made total sense. Every job I've taken that required me to dress conservatively has been wrong wrong wrong on so many levels."
Co-Founder and CEO at The Hunt
"What's most important about clothing is a great fit. It's better to have a less expensive but well-tailored suit than an expensive and ill-fitting one."
Head of business development and monetization at The Hunt
"Our community on The Hunt actually gives me fashion advice every day in the advice that they're giving each other. One of the key takeaways is that you should always take a fashion risk if it's something that you've been dying to try and feels authentic to you. You may not always hit the mark, but fashion and personal style is all about experimenting and having fun!”
Founder of Rory Beca
“My favorite outfit when I was young was a soft pink dress that pleated out at the skirt. I loved to wear it with a black bow tie. One day I told my mom that someone said bow ties are for boys. She said who gives a shit, you wear what you like and wear it with confidence. And what do you know...women started wearing bow ties [like in] Flashdance."
Design director at Luxury Rebel
"The best fashion advice I ever received was, 'You should be a redhead.' This has since transformed me and defines my style."
Founder of KOTUR
“The Oscar Wilde quote, ‘Be yourself. everyone else is already taken.’”
Designer of Erin Dana
"Take risks and create an identifiable common thread throughout your designs."
Founder of Valery Kovalska
"You are only as good as your last collection."
Founder of PUNCHCASE
“My favorite fashion quote by Marc Jacobs is, ‘A dumb bag on a cool girl is a cool bag.’ Words to live by…be cool.”