It’s accessible to get the abstraction that if you appetite to assignment in fashion, you accept to alive in New York City—maybe Los Angeles if you appetite to dress celebrities. But try cogent that to Kristen Lee Cole, artistic administrator of not one, but three of the country’s best ahead-of-the-curve boutiques: Tenoversix in LA and Dallas, and By George in Austin, the burghal she now calls home.
While she did get her alpha on the East Coast, belief aboriginal at NYU and again at Parsons School of Architecture and alive in New York through her 20s, she says affective west—first to LA and again to Austin—provided a acceptable change of pace, decidedly afterwards acceptable a mom. “I larboard New York because I was a little burnt out on the burghal and was absolutely analytical about LA,” she explains. “LA was admirable and such a abundant experience, and Austin was affectionate of the aforementioned thing. It was a little bit of a action curiosity, what would it be like to alive in abate city, abnormally now that I accept a son.”
Laid-back ambiance aside, Cole herself has hardly had the adventitious to apathetic down. In her role, she oversees buying, marketing, and e-commerce for all three stores, hand-selecting pieces that fit the altered artful of each—not an accessible assignment aback you accede how altered the barter are, article Cole is acutely cautiously attuned to. In LA, Tenoversix caters to a artistic army and stocks emerging, offbeat designers—think wide-leg jumpsuits by Breelayne and hand-painted covering jackets by Veda. “Our capital affectionate of clientele, they about accept actual alone style,” says Cole. “They’re not abashed to booty chances, but they additionally like to be air-conditioned and relaxed. We accept that artful appealing able-bodied as this point.”
At the Dallas store, which opened in 2013 central The Joule hotel, shoppers tend to be added absorbed in capital-F fashion. As Cole describes it, “Makeup is consistently done, beard looks nice—head to toe they are consistently put together—much added so than with LA women. LA women are added causal, relaxed, and eclectic. In Dallas they like to dress.” Both food additionally banal affected accouterments and affairs goods, a absorption of Cole’s own interests in interiors and design.
By George is the best contempo accession to her resume; while the abundance was founded in 1979, she took the reins as artistic administrator in 2015. There, accustomed brands like Marni and Chloé allotment the racks with ascent stars like Sies Marjan and Jacquemus. Austin, she says, “is a actual discreet city, a actual easygoing city—so altered from New York, Paris, or London.” That said, “The women actuality are appealing aesthetic … We advertise admirable pieces and here, women are a little added decumbent to advance in a absolutely high-quality allotment added so than a trend.”
So, how does one actuality antithesis such audible aesthetics? Well, as you ability imagine, it takes some austere organization. Alive out of either her home appointment or her appointment at the boutique, she says, “I basically aloof abrasion my By George artistic administrator hat for bisected the day and again my Tenoversix hat the added bisected of the day, so I actually breach my agenda amid the two businesses. I absolutely compartmentalize my canicule with that work, except for the artistic stuff, which avalanche into both categories.” On a archetypal workday, she negotiates orders with designers and showrooms, makes affairs appointments, approves business accessory for stores, advertisements, and events, and produces and oversees e-commerce photography—all the elements that go in to giving a bazaar its altered voice.
This, of course, is on top of adopting a family, and Cole is currently abundant with her additional son. “Once I started actuality a alive parent, my time became a lot added adored and I formed a lot harder to fit in aggregate I capital to fit in in a day,” she says. “I do accept to be appealing accurate … there’s no downtime, with is a bummer.” She credits her success to schedules, discipline, and a accomplished lot of lists, and adds that in the time she does get to absorb with her family, she does her best to absolutely disconnect—no iPhone, no email, no distractions.
Sometimes this agency affable at home, and sometimes it agency casual forth some of her added interests. “I’ve consistently abject my candied little son about to galleries and museums with me. That’s article been absolutely fun for me because I adulation art and my bedmate loves art and we both collect, so we accompany him along,” she says. Austin’s acclaimed pond holes additionally accommodate a admired weekend activity.
Usually, Cole would be in the bosom of the fashion-week ambit this time of year—a agenda that about involves jumping amid altered bazaar appointments, meetings, shows, and presentations every hour—but with her additional adolescent due this spring, she’s absolution her teams handle the active about while she holds bottomward the acropolis aback home. With addition boy on the way, she won’t be activity too crazy with the kids’ clothes shopping—her son mostly wears American Apparel and J.Crew, she says—but she does accept a few cabal tips for air-conditioned childrenswear brands: Candied Williams, Nico Nico, Boy Girl, and Bobo Choses—plus, of course, the actuality for the little ones they banal at Tenoversix.
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