I sat down with Georgia Makely, fashion plate and girl with tons of experience in the industry, at Shop 857. While she is now one of my closest friends, I can honestly say that if you are looking to go into fashion, this interview is for you.
When: January 22nd 2013
Where: Shop 857, on Armitage
ALEX: So how did you get your start in fashion?
GEORGIA: Well, my mom is a designer of shoes and accessories, and my older sister has always been involved in fashion, so when I was 16, I started my first job as an assistant stylist at a large fashion company in San Francisco, and our most well recognized client was the mayor of San Francisco’s wife, and then she brought me onto her team at another large company called The Real Real and it’s kind of the same type of thing as I am doing now at e Drop-Off. So yeah, now I work at e Drop-Off as a copywriter, and I love it.
ALEX: That’s pretty cool, gaining experience so young. Where do you want to go from there?
GEORGIA: Well I would love to move up at e Drop-Off, but my ultimate goal is to own a company that can combine e-commerce with fashion…so fashion and technology.
ALEX: You have such a unique, cool, sense of style. Where do you get your style inspiration from?
GEORGIA: Mostly from street style blogs, and I love VOGUE. But I really love seeing street style because I think it’s more daring then what you would see in magazines.
ALEX: Where can we find you shopping in Chicago? What are your favorite stores?
GEORGIA: Realistically, I love ZARA, and TopShop, and of course Shop 857.
If it was unrealistic, I would probably be doing all of my shopping at Barney’s New York.
ALEX: …And knowing you, Chanel.
GEORGIA: Yes. Lots of Chanel.
ALEX: So what would your dream shopping experience be?
GEORGIA: Chanel…Chanel…Chanel. But I also really love some more contemporary designers.
ALEX: Have you been following the couture shows that just started?
GEORGIA: Yes! I just saw the Chanel Haute Couture show today and that was…insane.
ALEX: What is your absolute favorite piece in your closet?
GEORGIA: You want me to pick that right now? That’s hard. Do you mean of clothing? Or can it be accessories? Well, I have a cobalt blue Chanel sweater set that I bought after my first paycheck at The Real Real so I guess it would have to be that. I am obsessed with it, but I’m just too afraid to wear it.
ALEX: What?! I haven’t seen you bust that out yet…you’ve got to do it.
GEORGIA: Well…I don’t want to sweat in it.
ALEX: Anyway…so what are you studying at DePaul?
GEORGIA: I am studying communications. I like that it’s broad. One of my old bosses gave me the advice to go to business school and not just fashion school, because she thought fashion would be too limiting. I am very grateful she gave me that advice, because in this day and age and where things are going, having a specialty in media will be very useful.
ALEX: So any last parting words for us? Any words of advice?
GEORGIA: Everyone has the potential to be fashionable, and be daring. You just have to follow your own style and do your own thing. I feel like when I go to class, everyone looks at me like “Why are you wearing that?”
ALEX: Trust me, you know I feel you on that one. Today to class, I wore a shirt with laser cats embroidered on the back. What are some of your favorite trends?
GEORGIA: I am a huge black and white person. I also love peplum tops and dresses a lot because it can give anyone a great shape. It gives you a very feminine figure. I’ve also always really adored leather, so seeing leather everywhere all the way from last spring, is very exciting for me.
JOSEPH: What trends do you hate?
GEORGIA: Ew…neon. I mean obviously I have a few neon pieces hanging in my closet, but I hate the whole “neon on neon” trend right now. It’s too much. Sometimes it’s okay, a pop of color is usually a good thing.
JOSEPH: Is there anyone that you kind of look at as a mentor or that inspires you?
GEORGIA: Yes, actually one of the reasons I was so excited when I got a job a E-Drop-Off is that I think Corri is a really good role model, she worked hard and got so successful at such a young age.
ALEX: If you could go shopping with anyone, who would it be?
GEORGIA: Karl Lagerfeld. I wish that one day, I would just be the girl he was obsessed with, like Blake Lively.
ALEX: What is, hands down, the weirdest thing you have ever had to do working in fashion?
GEORGIA: At The Real Real we had a pretty huge celebrity closet cleaning. We were flown out to LA to do it, and she had literally 500 pieces to consign. It’s really hard to say no to a celebrity who is standing over you, demanding to know why you don’t want to take something, [to consign through the company] so we wound up having to take some very disgusting things, just because you can’t say no.
ALEX: So how did you handle that? Sounds like a sticky situation.
GEORGIA: For the most part, we were just saying “oh, we don’t think this would get the price you would like.” Communication is key. If you say something in a well worded way, it will go over way better. So, I guess those would be my words of advice.
*DePaul’s Hottest 22 Under 22 is not being released in any particular order, just as we get them done.*
*photos by Joseph Kerins
* A special thanks to Kelli and Shop 857