The Creatives: An Interview with Rachel Ahrenhold

Rachel Ahrenhold is the Fashion Account Executive at People StyleWatch magazine. She started her career as an assistant at Lucky Magazine and then at InStyle. She currently handles East Coast based contemporary fashion & accessories advertisers.  And, she is fabulous!

Gaby:  What do you see trending now in fashion?

Rachel:  Booties with a great platform and high heel aren’t going anywhere- which is a good thing considering I’ve invested in a bunch of them. Larger, bold statement pieces, such as necklaces and earrings, are still very prevalent, and can add just the right amount of bling to any look and take you from day to night. I’m also seeing tight legging-style pants with leather paneling worn under larger pieces like a knit sweater or flowy top with a well-cut blazer. I recently attending some press previews with one of our fashion editors, and I was thrilled to see that bright colors are back for spring. That always cheers me up, especially being in NYC where it’s very easy to get stuck in the ‘all black, all the time’ rut. Big, bold, bright colors are fun to mix and match, and always easy to toss on over a pair of white jeans once summer arrives.

Gaby:  What are your top 10 timeless must have items for a best dressed closet?

1. A black blazer. Theory and Elizabeth and James are my go-to’s.

2. Jeans that make you look and feel great (DL1961 is my favorite brand- they have a 4 way stretch that NEVER goes away, so they keep their fit and complement every body type. I’ve converted my entire office!)

3. Invest in a good handbag…people notice.

4. A nice watch. I own an oversized gold Michael Kors one that I toss on with anything- or a diamond Michael one that I wear for nicer events

5. A pair of black pumps that are comfortable and easy to walk in. It doesn’t matter how beautiful the shoe is- if you can’t walk down a hallway without tripping, you’re going to look (and feel) like an idiot.

6. A great piece of jewelry with a good story behind it

7. Under garments that fit you well. It’s worth a trip to the bra experts for a personal consultation. You’d be surprised at how many women wear the wrong sized bra- and are going out looking larger than they really are because of it.

8. A dress that you know fits you perfectly- it’s worth investing in and will pay off in the long run

9. Nude color heels. The rumors are all true- they make your legs look longer and thinner when worn with skirts or dresses and bare legs. Perfect for summer.

10. A best friend in your size to borrow from when all of the above fail 

Gaby:  When was the last time you had a fashion epiphany?  

Rachel:  I pride myself on being the best, most strategic packer ever. For trips I stick to one or two basic colors that go well together, like black and gray, and build from there. It’s such an easy way pack and you just remix and restyle certain items during the trip. Also, (and this isn’t exactly an epiphany) but I’m finally at the place where I know what looks good on my body and what doesn’t. It can take awhile to get there, but once you have a firm understanding and confidence with your body type it makes choosing pieces much easier and a lot more fun. Another secret of mine- dry shampoo and eyelash extensions are my new fave thing to splurge on. No eye makeup? No problem! Running late in the morning with no time for a shower? Sprinkle in some dry shampoo and put your hair back in a chic chignon- problem solved. Looking good doesn’t have to take long!
Gaby:  What is your favorite High brand?  And your low brand?  How do you mix high and low?
Rachel:  I have my aspirational brands: Chanel, Prada, Chloe…things I just lust after but don’t buy unless they’re on some sick sale. Miu Miu and Lanvin are both brands I’ve started to invest in for shoes- they’re gorgeous AND comfortable. My fave go-to’s are Helmut Lang, DVF, 3.1 Philip Lim, Elizabeth and James, and J. Crew. For more price-friendly brands, far and away it’s Zara and H&M that take the cake. Without fail I always find great staples (tanks, leggings, sweaters) or a fun dress or pair of heels at either one. It’s important to realize when certain items are worth investing in and to not feel like you have to have all high-end or all fast-fashion. I’m literally wearing a 3.1 Philip Lim dress with a pair of booties I bought at DSW for $60 as I write this. I’m all about the high/low pairing, and so is my office. ‘Where are those heels from?’ ‘Gucci’ ‘What about your jacket?’ ‘Esprit’ It happens all the time.

Gaby:  What is your go-to uniform for a day of work?  The weekend?

Rachel:  Heels during the week. Every day. I love them and feel weird when I’m not wearing them at the office or in meetings. A simple dress with a sweater or tight pants with a cute top and blazer. It’s my ‘down town’ chic look. Classic and pulled together but always with fun, standout jewelry and a little bit of edge. On the weekends, I’m in leggings with either flats or sneakers, depending on what I’m doing that day. An oversized sweater or long sleeved shirt with a scarf on top. Comfort is key, especially in NYC where you’re walking all over the place. The heels go back on at night though J

Gaby:  What is your favorite Ilsa Loves Rick piece and why?
Rachel:  The Interlock in 14k Gold Filled. It’s such a simple, classic, and dainty looking piece that you can wear anytime, anywhere. It’s not something you would have to think about before you wear it. “Will this look ok with what I have on? Does it make sense?”. Who has time for that?  I just want to put on my fab jewelry and walk out the door!

Gaby:  Who are your style icons?

Rachel:  I’m inspired on a daily basis by the women I work with. I worked for a women for 3 years who was the Associate Publisher at InStyle and then the Publisher of People StyleWatch…she had the best clothes, bags, and shoes out of anyone else I know and I took cues from her on a daily basis. I also think Sienna Miller, Cameron Diaz, and Rachel Zoe always look incredible.