Hi everybody! Today’s interview is with a dear friend of mine, Hera – who I have been wanting to feature for some time because she not only has an amazing designer collection of Hermes, Van Cleef, you name it – but also because she is a super duper sale hunter. She’s that girl that tells you she bought her amazing Alaia coat for 75% off while you clutch your heart because you just paid full price for it last season at Barney’s. To top it off – she is beautiful and a sweetheart, with amazing taste. So read on…and have fun getting to know Hera!
Who are you? What do you do, and where do you live?
Hi! You can call me Hera. I don’t have a regular job and am just working on a few personal projects. I mostly live on the East Coast but I travel a lot, most of the time to Hong Kong and Europe.
You have a lovely accessories collection. Can you share some of your favorite brands?
Sure! I love, love, love Van Cleef & Arples the most. I have other pieces from Cartier, Chopard and Tiffany but honestly, Van Cleef is my all time favorite. No one can work diamonds as well as they do.
How did you first start collecting accessories?
My dad was the one who got me into designer stuff. He bought me my first Dior and LV bags and started the whole bag thing. To no one’s surprise, I just started my journey pursuing Birkins last year.
What particular clothing items do you like to buy?
I love to buy dresses. I feel like 90% of my closet is dresses. I love Dior – I love their cutting, it is very form fitting. When in doubt, I go to Dior.I find dresses from Fendi and Zac Posen very chic and feminine too. Otherwise I go back to my sweaters from Loro Piana, paired with plain skirts. Silk/cashmere blend sweaters from Loro Piana are my biggest weakness.
What was the first bag you ever purchased?
I got my first “real” designer piece – a bag from Dior – as a gift. It is the classic Lady Dior bag in pink lambskin. I am surprised to see it around, my bag has to be from at least 14 years ago!
What is your current favorite item? What about your most worn items?
I wear hoodies and tees a lot when I am by myself, and I always have my Hermes Kelly Long Wallet, a pair of Chanel slippers and a few pieces from VCA. I try to trick myself into thinking that I am actually very casual and down to earth…ha!
What is a holy grail item that you are saving up for one day?
I am not saving up for anything right now. But if there is something that I would break an arm and leg for, it would be these Van Cleef butterfly earrings! Aren’t they just divine?
Can you tell me what the best deal you’ve gotten on a designer item is?
I got a few Valentino dresses for $120 each, that look drop dead gorgeous. There was a Pucci skirt that I got for $5, it was unreal. I got this beautiful corset from Dior for $100, some Louboutisn for $200 and Rene Caovilla for $250. I can go on and on about it.
What about the best jewelry deal that you’ve ever scored?
Van Cleef. I was taking a plane to Asia and I was just walking around in the airport before boarding. I first spotted an Alhambra watch… I thought the black satin strap was quite cute. But then my dear husband said I that should go with the Socrate ring instead, if they were around the same price. It so happens that they put the wrong price tag on for the Socrate ring and it came out to be around $2500 or so. So no brainer – I got the Socrate ring.
It was a while ago and I can’t remember everything that was there, but they had everything 40% off, and I saw some Alhambra pieces. I even got some diamond Alhambra earrings. I’m not too into anything other than diamonds, I didn’t really get mother of pearl or turquoise… which I also remember seeing.
That was seriously the craziest jewelry batch that I’ve seen, and it didn’t last long. I went back again and bought a few more pieces when I was travelling again, and there was nothing left. I should have bought literally all the pieces (they had about 20+ pieces), but who knew?
What about something that you really wanted for a long time – and now that you have it, you wish you hadn’t bought it?
I have to say a Chanel suit. These suits are just so gorgeous, especially the ones from cruise collection. I have some seriously thought about the pink ones especially, though I feel like I am a little too young for a Chanel suit. I should stick to their tops/dresses.
Can you share some fashion/style/shopping advice that you’ve had to learn the hard way that you’d like to pass on?
Oh yes – be true to yourself. If something doesn’t feel right/good on your skin, don’t get it. You need to love and enjoy what you are wearing. Women look their best when they are confident, and buying the best fitting and most comfortable clothing. It shows when I wear something that I am not comfortable in – like I keep fixing the shoulder strap, or fixing the skirt, whatever. Don’t get anything that is not comfortable or something that you think is weird on.
What % of your items do you buy full price, vs sale? How do you figure out what to wait until sales to buy?
I would say 95% of everything I buy is on sale. I am more of a plain person and love plain colors, so it doesn’t matter if it is 10 seasons ago or current, it’s still going to be the same darn cashmere/ silk sweater. I still get my sexy Gucci top…just a few months later and for 60% less…I am happy.
To me, it is all about how the clothes fit on the body, not how trendy/ up-to-date my clothes are. I even got my wedding gown on sale for $1000 at Saks. The question then was, should I wait for further reductions or just stick with 50% off?
What are some of your favorite affordable brands and what do you buy from them?
I love Abercrombie and I buy their tees, hoodies, and sweatpants. They feel good and I feel very down to earth when I wear A&F. I also like Ann Taylor a lot. I get dresses from them. The dresses are simple with some twists and their cuts are actually quite good.
Finally – tell us something surprising about yourself 🙂
I secretly listen to tons of rap and pop music when I am alone (because my husband only listens classical) and I read the lyrics out loud!Haha isn’t she adorable? I love Hera’s delicate sense of style and her amazing bargain hunting skills. An inspiration to us all – to avoid paying full price when possible. Thank you Hera for sharing your lovely clothes, bags, shoes and jewelry with us.