IBJNews

STYLE: Every week is buy week for these personal shoppers

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Gabrielle Poshadlo

An old friend from my hometown in Michigan recently asked me to shop for her. She’d lost some weight and found herself not only in need of clothes that fit, but for the first time caring what they look like.

I was happy to help her, and knew it would be easy since I’ve known her half my life. But as I scoured my favorite online shopping haunts to choose items to suit the “laid-back musician look” she’d envisioned, I wondered how the pros do it. I trust my eye in selecting things for myself and my friends, sure, but more goes into that than knowing what silhouettes most flatter which body shape. It helps to know their ambitions, their sense of humor, their penchant for, say, all things film noir. There’s some truth to that expression, “Don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want.” One’s clothes say a lot about a person and therefore picking them is no easy task.

Below, I’ve profiled three personal shoppers who possess not only a knack for dressing people but a background to qualify each as an expert in looking good. Heck, I’d trust them to dress me.

Murph Damron, MDImage

Long before she became an Indianapolis-based consultant for the U.S. Shoe Corp. conducting wardrobe seminars for brands like Casual Corner and Petite Sophisticate, Damron was modeling in Vogue and walking in fashion shows for a very young Betsey Johnson.

The transition to personal shopping came naturally, she said, because other people had been dressing her since adolescence.

“There’s a technique to dressing someone, of course, but being a personal shopper is like modeling. You either have it or you don’t,” she said. With high-profile clients such as IPL chief Ann Murtlow and Larry Bird’s wife, Dinah, Damron specializes in dressing women often in the spotlight.

She likes to start with what a client already has, and simply fill in the gaps. Damron charges $75 per hour for personal shopping services, plus double the state sales tax on purchases, as she’ll travel out of state to find that perfect item.

Sola Adelowo, ImageCube

As a certified image consultant and inches away from earning her MBA, Adelowo takes a decidedly scientific approach to personal shopping. She offers the option as an add-on for other consulting services, like devising career strategy or personal branding.

In order to select garments that align with an individual’s goals and unique traits, Adelowo administers a personality test.

“I need to understand each client on a very deep level, otherwise my advice won’t stick,” she said.

Adelowo focuses on those who work in high-stress and traditionally formal business environments, which has made WellPoint Inc. executives among her largest clients. Adelowo bills 20 percent of the total clothing purchases. As executive director and co-producer of Indianapolis-based Midwest Fashion Week, Adelowo is also applying her knack for making good impressions to the local fashion industry as a whole.

Stephen Garstang, Garstang

After studying at Tufts University and the Fashion Institute of Technology, Garstang began his career in fashion in 1996 selling his clothing line “Garstang” at Barney’s in New York City and Fred Segal in Hollywood.

When he moved back to his native Indianapolis in 2000, his first project was dressing Tamara Zahn, president of Indianapolis Downtown Inc. for the Nordstrom opening at Circle Center mall. With Zahn, and every other client, he first tries revamping the existing wardrobe, like taking out shoulder pads or adjusting hems. He says the process helps the client save money, but it also teaches him a lot about who they are and where they’ve been.

“I look at it like being a doctor. It’s important to know your patient, not just on their good days but also on their bad,” he said.

When shopping for a client, Garstang focuses largely on vintage because he says it’s the best quality for the price. If he can’t find the right blouse, dress or suit, he’s also willing to design something custom. As a base, Garstang charges $175 for a consultation and $65 per hour thereafter. Day, weekly and travel rates are negotiable.•

__________

If you’d like to share your own style ideas or know anyone who’s making waves in the fashion community, contact Poshadlo at gposhadlo@ibj.com. This column appears monthly.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

  3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

  4. Send them back NOW.

  5. deport now

ADVERTISEMENT