Interview Style

Interview with Marlien Rentmeester

Today’s interview is with the beautiful and talented Marlien Rentmeester, the West Coast editor of Lucky Magazine. I’ve read Lucky ever since it started in 2000 – it was one of the first magazines I ever subscribed to (Highlights doesn’t count) and I still receive it today. I have to admit that it’s one of the only fashion magazines that I actually can read entirely – the fashion is aspirational but still relevant to me, aka not just filled with $8,000 neon “must have” vests for fall.

Marlien was also a part of one of my favorite shopping/closet books of all time The Lucky Shopping Manual, and I’m so glad to have here here today. Enjoy meeting Marlien!

via Noa Griffel

Who are you? What do you do, and where do you live?

I’m Marlien Rentmeester, Lucky Magazine’s West Coast Bureau Chief and founder of LE CATCH. I live in LA.

You have an amazing career, and I’m sure your job is a dream job for many out there. How did you end up here?

I started interning at People Magazine’s West Coast Bureau when I was at Occidental College in LA. When I graduated I was offered a job, and I worked there for about two years. Then I moved to New York to work at Seventeen Magazine, which was a great learning experience. I was still low on the totem pole but because I was close in age to the readership, I had a real voice not only in meetings but in the magazine, itself. I wrote features on various subjects ranging from my most embarrassing moments to celebrity profiles.

Four years later, I landed a job at Conde Nast Sports for Women, editing the fitness and beauty content. When that magazine folded several years later, Lucky was just launching. I had seen a prototype of the magazine, which was circulating around the Conde Nast building, and knew I had to work there. Through human resources, I scheduled a meeting with Lucky’s editor in chief and asked her if she needed a West Coast Editor, because I wanted to move back to LA. She said she wasn’t really sure yet because the magazine was barely up and running but she offered me a trial run. It ended up working out and here I am eleven years in!

Can you share some career advice that you’ve learned over the years? 

Do what’s asked of you and then some. You will get noticed and rewarded. And it’s so cliche, but if you can do what you love, you will succeed. I thoroughly enjoy what I do and am excited to work at it everyday.

What are some of your most worn items of clothing?

My green army jacket, a vintage lace top, Christian Louboutin black stilettos, and a Helmut Lang black cashmere crewneck.

How about any favorite, treasured items in your closet – that you may or may not wear that much – but that you just love and will hold onto forever?

A black Chanel quilted bag, which my husband gave me. My Hermes “H” watch, which I wear everyday and a diamond-encrusted Cartier watch that my husband gave me as an anniversary gift.

You are the West Coast fashion editor for Lucky. What are some items or looks that you think really exemplify West Coast style?

Relaxed, languid dresses, unstructured tops, and of course, t-shirts and jeans!

What items/categories in your closet do you splurge on – vs. save on?

I tend to splurge on bags, shoes, jackets, good-fitting jeans, and one or two really nice dresses every year. But that being said, I still save on all those items at stores like Zara, H&M and Topshop.

Can you share a piece of advice about shopping/style/budget that you personally have learned (maybe the hard way!) over the years?

A lot of people in fashion preach quality over quantity i.e. you must spend a lot if you want a nice piece. I disagree. We are living in the Golden Age of shopping: there are so many amazing pieces out there today that look fantastic and are also very affordable – you just need to be on the lookout for them. Don’t get me wrong…I love designer clothing and there is no substitute for the real thing.  But, given how great some of the fast-fashion quality and design is today, I am quite happy buying 10 pieces of beautiful clothing rather than just one high-price item. Full disclosure: I am a total shopaholic and prone to impulse buying, but I have to say I don’t regret much!

Twins! via

Finally – please share something surprising about yourself!

I have an identical twin sister, who is six minutes younger than me.

I wear two engagement rings on my ring finger–both given to me by my husband. One ring was a family heirloom and the other we designed together.

 

Marlien is so beautiful! I love her Palisades home, I could stare at photos of it (and her in it) all day long. I also thought her piece of advice about buying 10 pieces of affordable clothing versus one splurge item particularly intriguing. Like Marlien mentions, I’ve been inundated with advice to just “save for that one special piece.” But I’ve often struggled with this guidance, as I try and build a complete and affordable wardrobe. I’m glad she offered another viewpoint.

Thank you Marlien for being with us here today. For more of Marlien, check out her blog, Le Catch, here.

 

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  • Sonya
    September 26, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Thank you for this interview. I’ve enjoyed Marlien ever since reading about her in an Indonesian magazine (translated for me as I cannot read it). She’s gorgeous.

  • adele
    September 26, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Wow! That walk in wardrobe is amazing! Another great interview Katherine. I always look forward to reading them on a Wednesday.
    Happy Wednesday Hun xoxo
    http://www.intotheblonde.com/

  • Chic 'n Cheap Living
    September 26, 2012 at 9:13 am

    I definitely share the same splurges that she does. I struggle with her advice about buying many pieces over one splurgeworthy piece. It is great to have variety, but I am unfortunately still limited to sharing a closet with my husband (but of course will still buy multiple of an item if I love it!)

    xoxo,
    Chic ‘n Cheap Living

    • Katherine
      September 26, 2012 at 9:27 am

      Yes I love that she was so honest and gave a different point of view!

  • Aki!
    September 26, 2012 at 10:43 am

    I so agree with her fashion philosophy on quantity over quality. The other way doesn’t always work!

    • Katherine
      September 26, 2012 at 10:45 am

      You hear the opposite so often…so interesting to see that so many agree with Marlien’s philosophy. Thank you Aki 🙂

  • Anouka
    September 26, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Love her house! I don’t agree with her advice though. I prefer quality over quantity.

    LUXESSED

  • Ammu
    September 26, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    I am not a fan of big closets – I used to be, but now that I have given away most of my wardrobe I can’t imagine going back. It’s so much easier to dress or pack for a trip with a small closet. The flip side is that I do end up spending a bit on dry-cleaning and clothing maintenance.
    Also, I don’t actually believe that one needs to spend a fortune to acquire quality clothing. At least in India, I have found so many beautiful and durable items for less than ten dollars. Whereas I have had a bad experience in recent years with many expensive brands – Isabel Marant, Steven Alan, APC, to name a few.
    That said, I think it’s best to buy cheap until you have a sense of your “look” – fast fashion allowed me to experiment with silhouettes in my early twenties. Now that I have a pretty clear-cut aesthetic, I rarely venture into those shops.

    • Katherine
      September 26, 2012 at 8:06 pm

      Thank you for sharing your perspective Ammu – that is a great point about not having to spend lots of $$$ for quality clothing. I am always jealous of friends who return from India – the clothes they bring, the jewelry, everything! And totally agree about the less than desirable quality of clothing from much more expensive brands being shaky.

      • Ammu
        September 27, 2012 at 1:43 am

        Sounds like you need to visit me in India!
        To be honest, I even have a few fast fashion pieces that have totally survived the test of time – including a great Vivienne Westwood-esq jacket from H&M which I have worn for six years now.

        • Katherine
          September 27, 2012 at 7:42 am

          With care, some of my fast fashion pieces have lasted years as well.

  • Anonymous
    September 27, 2012 at 4:47 am

    Always a treat to find one of your interviews to read in the morning. Thanks!

    • Katherine
      September 27, 2012 at 7:41 am

      thank you 🙂

  • New Petite
    September 27, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Loved this interview Kathrine! I’m a little like her when it comes to buying exp vs inexp pieces. All my exp stuff sits in the closet as im scared i’ll ruin them but its my inexp pieces that have served me well and after 10-12 wears if they get ruined im not that worried as ive got my value and i can now go out and buy something new 🙂

    • Katherine
      September 27, 2012 at 5:37 pm

      Aww you should be going out and wearing your pieces! No use having them otherwise 🙂

  • chocolatecookiesandcandies
    September 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    I really like the intricate intertwining strap of her heels! Hmm….I’m with Ammu on this one. I know that with the burgeoning demand for cheaper clothes, the result was the massive explosion and success of High St stores (think Topshop, Zara etc) all over the world. The problem is I see a lot of wastage. Clothes have become so accessible that most would wear once or twice and out they went. Secondly, I find that I’d much rather have 1 instead of 5 pieces. My wardrobe in NZ was easily twice or 3 times the size of my current here in the UK yet I often have nothing to wear because things fell into a bottomless black pit. The trick is to buy pieces that work well with the rest of the wardrobe.

    • Katherine
      September 27, 2012 at 5:37 pm

      Great perspective as always – I think my dream is to be like Marlien with a huge wardrobe filled with things that I all love and wear!

  • Prêt à Porter P
    September 27, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    I remember seeing her on Closet Visit, and I loved that she “big up-ed” Dixie Highway. 🙂 I agree that quality isn’t solely for 4 figure and up clothing. Quality and crap can be bought at all price points.

  • Elle from Elle's picturebook
    September 28, 2012 at 3:28 am

    Wonderful interview! I too enjoy this magazine – I have stopped reading Vogue now, like you say who needs expensive bizarre one off pieces that won’t be relevant next season?!

    Elle x

    http://www.mstylepicturebook.blogspot.co.uk