Julia Schnabel of JWS Fashion Consulting is cool. The kind of cool that enables her to work with high profile clients just as easily as high stress ones like yours truly. After spending nearly a decade learning from the likes of Jeffrey Kalinksy and Lisa Perry, Julia launched her business, which provides closet organization, wardrobe editing and shopping services to women and men from New York to Atlanta and beyond.
Of course having a refined sense of personal style comes with the territory, as does her sage advice. “I say splurge on shoes and coats and save on basics. When in doubt, you can always wear jeans, a white t-shirt, and a fabulous pair of shoes or coat and look put together.” From her favorite stores (Kirna Zabete, Jeffrey, Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman) to her favorite trend (mules and the various shades of pink on the runway from Balenciaga, Celine, and Valentino), Julia is one to follow to know the brands everyone else will be obsessed with next season. On that note, be on the lookout for Malone Souliers and Francesco Russo. You heard it first!
1. Have you had any memorable mentors? If so, how did you meet? What advice have they shared that’s stuck with you?
My first mentor was Jeffrey Kalinsky. I went to him in high school and told him I wanted a job in fashion and wanted to work for him. He took me seriously and let me start working in his store in Atlanta. I was in charge of shipping and receiving (unpacking, steaming, and tagging new merchandise, as well as packing and shipping customer purchases). While it was not the most glamorous fashion position, Jeffrey made me feel empowered and purposeful at a young age. He always advised me to follow my dreams and that there are endless opportunities in the industry and you have to find your niche. Jeffrey has continued to guide me through my fashion career, even introducing me to my other mentor, Lisa Perry. Lisa, a true visionary, taught me to have fun with fashion, a guideline on which she built her company.
2. You’ve worked in the fashion industry for almost a decade, both in a corporate role and and now, as a consultant with your own business, JWS Fashion Consulting. What advice can you share for women trying to break into the industry?
I will pass along the same advice my mentor gave me- Have internships and try a lot of different roles until you find your passion. Study fashion history (even if it is just flipping through books) in order to understand the inspiration behind fashion today.
3. What are your favorite sources of inspiration?
The streets of New York. Walking around New York is like a living Instagram- millions of people from all cultural backgrounds expressing their unique styles in one city. Bill Cunningham was onto something well before Instagram.
4. Any NYC musts?
Wow. That’s a tough one, the options are endless. These are new things I have tried and loved since being back.
Workout: Lifted with Holly Rilinger at Bandier
Restaurant: 4 Charles, a new speakeasy steakhouse with only about 20 tables. It is so cozy and intimate and they play jazz music. The atmosphere makes you feel like you are living in the 1920’s.
Facial: Joanna Vargas
Hotel: The Greenwich Hotel is a hidden gem in Tribeca
5. Last thing you do before bed?
Tell my husband I love him.
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