Posts Tagged ‘Oakland fashion’

I have many of my late mother’s dresses from the 70s. Some are unraveling, but I feel close to her when I wear them around my house. There’s a red floral one that reminds me of summers in Oklahoma.

Sherri McMullen – boutique owner.

Originally from Oklahoma, Ms. McMullen owns the fashion boutique McMullen, located in downtown Oakland. Offering luxury clothing by designers from around the world, McMullen has been named among the top American boutiques by Vogue and Women’s Wear Daily.

I also own much of my mother’s clothing from the 50s to the 70s and I can relate to what Ms. McMullen is saying. These vintage pieces of fashion are woven with memories and images that connect us to our past. I think that’s of great value.

Sunday, May 9th is Mother’s Day. ODFL wishes all the moms out there a very happy day!

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Tyese Cooper, a woman for all seasons.

Tyese Cooper, a woman for all seasons.

Tyese Cooper is what I call a real go-getter. Just to list a few of her accomplishments she has worked in the tech industry, pursued a MBA, lived in Paris, and started her own handbag line. Currently she is a style consultant based in Oakland while also taking fashion design classes at Academy of Art and she does all she does with grace and fabulous style. At a recent talk that Tyese gave I realized my readers need to hear from this woman. So here we go …

What inspired you to become a stylist? 

I became a stylist because I found that I had a talent to envision looks for people who don’t know what works for them. I remember one evening, getting ready for a gallery reception I was pulling out all my clothes to find a look that expressed how I was feeling. I was unsatisfied and couldn’t bring myself to wear the “same ole same ole” so I invented a new look. It took awhile and by the time I got to the event, it was almost over. But I felt so fulfilled and satisfied. People came up asking who my designer was and where did I get the garments from. I dress solely for myself and self-expression. It lifts me up and makes me happy, even if that day I am not. I wanted that for other people – they wanted that for themselves. People talked about my services by word of mouth and that’s how I started.

What do you enjoy most about what you do? 

I love helping people see what I see in them. Most people don’t realize how amazing they are and how to express that to the world. I enjoy helping people realize themselves. Getting dressed every day … it can truly change people’s lives.

What are some of the challenges in your work? 

Finding locally made garments in the time the client needs, under budget. I would love to shop only indie or even vintage boutiques for example but the fact of the matter is that they don’t stock every size or color, make every size I need for my clients. As a designer, I completely understand the situation. Unfortunately, it would cost me more time to search and search all over for indie garments (even at a trunk show) than the client wants me to spend. So, I shop mostly online and in mid-large stores.

Who is your client? 

Everyday men and women who shop once a year or every month. They have budgets from $100-3000+.

Do you notice a trend in what your clients are looking for? 

No – mostly everyone wants to be on-trend and not trendy; wants garments to fit perfectly and to self-express through what they are wearing.

What is the one piece of advice that you repeatedly give to all your clients? 

Retailer sizing is only used as a guide. Let’s get 80% of the way regarding fit and then if needed let the tailor take us the other 20% way there.

How do you see style in the Bay Area? Do we have it? What is it for us? 

Style in the bay is fragmented. I would say only 10% of people are truly “expressing.” These are people generally residing or hanging out in Mission/Valencia; Upper and Lower Haight; West and Central Oakland; Laurel Heights; Hayes Valley and maybe one or two other places on the Peninsula. There is another 30% of people who want to express but are not sure how to do it so they wear what everyone else does and in the same way, i.e. mall clothes, etc.

What do you love about the fall fashion season? 

Generally I love the renewal. Sometimes the renewal is a style change, new routines, etc. People clean out their closets more and expect a more immediate temperature change than even in the spring. This season, I love the velvets and richness of reds and blacks and ruffles together. I love anything that exudes passion and will help people climb out of their shell and self-express with intensity.

Me too, renewal. Thanks, Tyese.

Hey readers, if you’d like some guidance finding your sartorial way click here and discover how Tyese Cooper can help.

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Stylist Tyese Cooper. Photo courtesy of Tyese Cooper.

Stylist Tyese Cooper. Photo courtesy of Tyese Cooper.

Listen up designers! On July 16th Local stylist Tyese Cooper will lead a workshop for the Oakland Fashion Network about the missteps designers take in creating clothing for their customers. In this workshop called How Designers Go Broke Slowly: 10 Business Sins Seen from the Retail Floor, Ms. Cooper and Noelle DeLaRosa, manager of In House Boutique will discuss the common problems seen on the retail floor that trace back to the design process. Key points will include:

What is quality
Why you need a fit model
Why a sample should not be sold at retail
Retail branding sins
Styling your own line before it goes to retail.

“I have become very frustrated shopping for clients at local boutiques because of things like irregular sizing, quality and price discrepancies among many other things I know can be fixed,” says Ms. Cooper who is also attending designs classes at the Academy of Art.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to get some straight talk from people who know.

How Designers Go Broke Slowly: 10 Business Sins Seen From the Retail Floor, Thursday, July 16 – 6pm-8pm
JEAJA Design Studio, 319 14th St. Oakland. Free for OFN members. Discounted $10 advance tickets via Eventbrite, $15 tickets at the door.

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