NYC transplant Estee Lieberman is the mastermind behind online accessories retailer Feminin Rascal. The jet-setter scours the European accouterment scene to bring stateside shoppers the coveted cream of the crop.
Feminin Rascal certainly rolls off the tongue. What made you choose this name?
I have always loved the French woman’s ability to mix high/low fashion and the name for me represents that same concept of juxtaposition. I love the look of an ultra-feminine woman with an edge—a true Feminin Rascal.
Is Feminin Rascal your first introduction to the fashion industry?
Yes, my background is finance. I was familiar with the industry only as a consumer.
Do you limit yourself and online inventory to Parisian designers?
Not at all. We carry Sara Battaglia bags—Sara is an incredible Italian designer/artist, Ralph Vaessen sunglasses—Ralph is a Dutch designer and his sunglasses are handmade in Germany, and LGR sunglasses—killer shades made in Italy. I focus on carrying harder to find European accessories that I think all American women should be aware of.
What made you focus on accessories? Which one really completes an outfit for you?
I think accessories really make an outfit. It doesn’t have to be accessories overload—a killer pair of shades can turn a regular outfit into a statement.
Is your selection process highly trend-driven?
Quite the opposite. We are not looking to scout the “it” item of the month, but rather something you can have in your closets for seasons to come. Again, this is a very European style of dressing, to invest in classic, well-made pieces and wear them season after season.
Do you have a favorite designer or line as of late?
Maison Michel. I have been wearing their headbands for years. I am really excited to have them on our site.
Do you see the site taking you to destinations other than Paris or places outside of Europe?
Right now the focus is on Europe, but down the line we are obviously open to other fabulous, international designers.
What is the biggest challenge you face with your business?
We try to make sure that everything we sell represents who we are as a brand, yet appeals to a variety of tastes.
Is there a brick and mortar store in your future?
Right now we are focusing on expanding our brands online to cater to our national and international customers. We aren’t against the idea; a Feminin Rascal shop could be your neighbor some day
How often are you abroad?
As often as possible, usually every other month.
Any secrets for beating jet lag?
Yes! You should jump right into the time zone you land in. I’m forced to do this because I usually go for less than 48 hours and can’t spare any time sleeping. It works.