Elyse Walker knows fashion. As the founder behind one of the biggest retail sites and one of LA’s most prominent fashion boutiques (a favourite haunt of Kate Hudson, Cindy Crawford, and the like), Elyse has created a name for herself that few are unaware of. Since opening 20 years ago, she’s been stocking her shelves with all your favourite names in fashion: Alaïa, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen. She’s also branched out to create the Elyse Walker Private Label and a new store, Towne By Elyse Walker. When Elyse Walker talks fashion, you listen. And that’s exactly what we did when we met up with her at her namesake boutique.
How do you start your day off?
I start my day off with two little doggies giving me kisses! Then I run into the kitchen and have two cups of coffee. I then spend about two or three hours every morning responding and checking all my e-mails from the day before. I respond to 95% of my e-mails within 24 hours.
What’s going on in the background when you are getting ready?
The dogs are barking because they’re hungry; but other than that, it’s pretty silent- no news, no music, nothing.
You never leave home without…
Lip gloss and a nail file.
What are your closet essentials?
Sneakers, leather jackets and big long cozy sweaters.
What is your biggest fashion regret?
Probably not saving all the wonderful pieces I’ve collected throughout the years. I keep my closet very tight – as soon as it gets full, I give away or sell my old pieces. I am so sorry I didn’t just get a storage unit or something. There are so many pieces I wish I still had today.
You always splurge on, and you always save on…
I always splurge on handbags and face cream. I always save on pretty much nothing.
What is one piece of clothing you wish you could steal from your 16 year old self?
When I was 16 years old, Madonna was my fashion idol. I was sneaking into Studio 54 with all my friends. We were good kids – we didn’t drink and we certainly didn’t do drugs. We had no idea until years later that that was all going on around us. We truly went for the music. I had these white wrist gloves, and I cut off the fingers. That was my Madonna influence. It would be nice to just have those, to remind me of those days.
What inspires your style most?
I am inspired by art and architecture. I think of getting dressed like a well decorated room or home. I like to mix designers. It’s all about the mix. I also want to find my balance for that day and the mood I am in. I am usually more casual than people think. I’m usually in a t-shirt, leather jacket and my boy boots.
Your #1 style tip is…
If you love fashion, read about it, soak it up, follow who you love. But in the end, don’t try to totally emulate anyone. Make it your own point of view and don’t wear anything you’re not comfortable in. If it doesn’t feel like you, you are not going to pull it off.
*First photo of Elyse Walker provided by Elyse Walker
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