From the juggles and joys of mothering to the ever changing fashion landscape, Barneys NY Fashion Director, Marina Larroude’s life is full and her perspective is one of passion. Her editorial beginnings at Style.com and Teen Vogue helped her cultivate an impeccable eye for style that she has since brought to the retail sector. In her multifaceted role as Fashion Director, no day is the same, and Marina continues to champion new designers and introduce Barneys customers to their best personal style.
What do you love about fashion?
I love how it’s constantly changing. How one item can be “In” one season and “Out” of the next. I love how a new season can present new ideas to wear and excite our shoppers.
You’ve been in the industry for a while – what are the major shifts that have occurred over the course of your career?
I pretty much started at Style.com, back then, in the mid-2000s, Style.com was pretty much the only website for fashion. There was no The Cut, no Fashionista, no Into the Gloss, no Business of Fashion, no bloggers, and so on… can you imagine that now?! Seems like a different time.
Then the other major changes that I am seeing are in e-commerce as it continues to grow as a major factor in the retail environment, and as magazines shift to digital. Overall, technology and fashion together are changing and shaping the industry.
After years at Style.com and Teen Vogue, do you miss anything from editorial?
Not really. The part I loved the most at both places was discovering new talent, promoting them, and launching their careers. I do that now at Barneys, both in sales and editorial.
What does the fashion director role at Barneys entail? What does an average day look like?
My job is divided into three:
1st- I’m looking for new brands to bring into our matrix and working with buyers to select the best products for the stores.
2nd – Product development for Barneys Private Label. This includes ready to wear, accessories and shoes.
3rd – I produce the seasonal mailer which entails selecting products and managing all related photo shoots.
The job is very dynamic; I can start my day at a designer’s showroom, then at the office for a mailer run-through, or at a Private Label meeting…
Were you looking for something new when the Barneys opportunity came up?
I was open to change. I was ready for a change and I was looking for a change in my life and career. It couldn’t have happened at a better time.
What new brands have you introduced to the store since you’ve joined? Who should we get excited about?
Blaze is a jacket line made in Italy, and each blazer is a dream. It comes in various colors, but also in the classics like navy and black. Paul Andrew is now designing Ferragamo shoes! We are very excited for those and Ferragamo did a special capsule just for us. Samuele Failli, the designer behind Alaïa shoes, just launched his own brand and we have it exclusively! You can buy the collection online here!
There is an exotic skin handbag collection that I’m dreaming about, called LLora. The clutches are to die for! And speaking of bags, we currently have Jeffrey Levinson’s evening clutches… and they have been a success!
For Fall, I can’t wait for Biennen Davis, a brand new evening handbag line we are launching, all handmade in Italy. It’s to die for… the list is long, and this is just a few highlights.
How is fashion week different for you now?
I don’t need to attend every show on the calendar. I prioritize the ones we have in our matrix, plus new ones. And market appointments are buying appointments, that takes longer, and we are there for a while selecting the pieces we believe in.
Best show you’ve ever attended?
Chanel show is always OTT! Nothing beats that.
Let’s talk about kids! When did you become a mother?
Mid-2009 to my daughter Gloria. I was working at Style.com then.
Did your career trajectory or goals change when you had kids?
I was more patient with my career. I had other priorities at home. So I wasn’t looking for a big change in my job too. I had Gloria and after a while I was ready for a new challenge. And then Style.com gave me more opportunities and a promotion.
How did your style change when kids came into your life?
I would say I dress more casually over the weekend with sneakers and track pants, but that’s also on-trend. So I’m not sure that has to do with my kids.
It’s a constant juggle – managing kids’ schedules and your work with family time – what has made the juggle easier for you?
Being organized is key. I have all birthday parties and play dates in my Outlook. I have an amazing nanny who does so much for me. My mother-in-law helps me lots, she comes and stays in my house during the European collections. We have a system in place… everybody helps!
When do you feel most fulfilled?
I feel most fulfilled when I feel accomplished as a working mother. When I feel I can juggle both in a balanced way is the best for me.