boffoSHOP was lucky enough to get to talk to personal shopper and stylist Dina of Modnitsa Styling. We learned that for Dina Modnitsa Styling is more then just styling and shopping! Dina's wide range of knowledge and expertise in image and style consulting allows her to really encompass the needs of each client to have them feeling comfortable yet fashionable!
What inspired you to start your image consulting and personal shopping business?
“I’ve always loved fashion & style, and started my career with a few different roles in the fashion industry over the years – from working at a trend forecasting company to assisting a sales manager at a swimwear showroom. I didn’t feel like those jobs gave me the creative expression I was looking for, but I always knew that I wanted to have my own business in the fashion world – you know, “working in Fashion on my own terms”.
In 2008, I was part of a massive layoff at my corporate job, which allowed me (or rather forced me) to get some mental clarity and space to soul-search. I realized that the real direction I wanted to go was to take my passion and intuitive eye for fashion and use it to help other women dress with intention and authenticity, teaching them style principles they can apply to look their best and most confident every day.
So in 2009, after completing courses and certificates at FIT and a few other smaller programs, I started Modnitsa Styling – with the mission to help women dress with polish, love what they wear every day, and be proud of their unique style that is a visual reflection and representation of who they are.”
What is your favorite part about being a personal shopper/style influencer?
“My absolute favorite part is seeing my clients’ smiling faces when we create outfits they love and feel confident in – or when we snag that perfect clothing find on a shopping trip. It really makes me feel inspired to help someone find their true style – one that’s authentic, and expresses who they are to the world, in a way that makes them feel confident and comfortable.”
How would you describe your personal style and what influences your style?
“The best way to describe my personal style would be “eclectic and colorful”. I love mixing classy/structured pieces with urban and preppy clothes. For example: a pretty sheath dress with a leather jacket and booties, plus a statement “it” bag. And yes, color is key – it’s what inspires all of my outfits. I probably own just 3 black items in my entire closet – the rest is made up of colors in my Spring color palette, along with tons of prints and textures (I consider this highly unusual for a New Yorker!)”
As the seasons are changing, what is a style staple for this fall/winter?
“This season, the 2 pieces that I’m adding to my own wardrobe are a pair of frayed hem, ankle-length skinny dark jeans and a duster sweater/cardigan. They both look so chic (and comfy!) – they happen to be on trend, but also have “staying power” – so I’m not worried that they’ll be out of style or feel dated next year. They are also rather universally flattering, and many stores carry a variety of options at different price points, fits, brands, colors and fabrics.”
If you could pick one of your favorite local boutiques to shop, which one would it be and why?
“My absolute favorite store is Anthropologie, and I love shopping there season after season – I always enjoy discovering new items and getting outfit inspirations from their carefully thought-out, unique store layouts and creative window and mannequin displays. I’m also a big fan of Rebecca Taylor’s feminine silhouettes and Kate Spade’s fun, colorful accessories. I’ve also recently started taking some of my shopping clients to a concept store called Bene Rialto, that carries a nicely curated line of brands - most of them unique to the store. My favorite designer there is Nora Gardner – she has a line of fun, but structured (and work-appropriate), impeccably-fitting dresses for modern women.”
Where is your favorite place to shop in your town/city (New York City) and what makes that part of town/neighborhood special?
“There are many areas I love, but the Flatiron District is my favorite. It’s a strip of 5th Avenue spanning from around 23rd Street down to 14th Street. Both sides of the street are peppered with my favorite stores to take clients to (and to shop myself): Kate Spade, J.Crew, Club Monaco, Intermix, Banana Republic and, of course, Anthropologie. It’s also just a quick walk from the Meatpacking District – which is another shopping hot spot I often go to with my clients – with stores like Rebecca Taylor, Theory and more.”
If you could shop anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
“I would have to say – right here in NYC! I love to travel, and find exciting new shops around the world (the colorful styles of Barcelona and the hip leather cuts and styles from Argentina, for example), but I still always come back home knowing that my favorite city in the world has the best shopping available.”
Where is your next destination you will be traveling too?
“I’ve just returned from three almost back-to-back trips, so I probably won’t be leaving NYC for a while as it’s shaping up to be a busy Fall. I do have a few destinations on my radar though – one of them is Greece, and I’m also flirting with the idea of a cross-country drive to explore parts of the US I’ve never been to before.”
Do you have a favorite app you use while shopping? If so which one?
“I use several clothing store apps – to save and catalog items for my shopping lists for reference. Anthropologie has a pretty cool app that allows you to scan the bar code on the tag, and the item pops up in their online shop, so you can directly add it to your wish list or virtual shopping cart. Another great app I use is a Color Fan app, which acts as a convenient way to carry your color palette – allowing you to compare the colors in your palette (Spring, Summer, Winer or Autumn) to those you’re looking at in the store. I usually recommend it to my styling clients after my Color Analysis Service – it serves as a very handy reference tool.”
What is one item in your closet you can’t live without/throw away?
“My denim jackets! I think as far as trends vs. classics go, I’m a big fan of investing in items that have “trend longevity” – that may reincarnate season after season in updated silhouettes, but are still relevant many years after. I currently have four denim jackets in different washes and cuts – and I love to throw them on top of a dress or pair of cropped pants to add an instant “cool” vibe to the outfit. One quick styling tip: to ensure your denim jacket doesn’t become a style mistake after a few seasons, invest in quality from a good brand, and pay special attention to finding the right length and ideal fit for your body type – this way it will always look good, regardless of season or trend. Contact me if you need help with that”
To book an appointment with Dina or to learn more about Modnitsa Styling visit www.ModnitsaStyling.com, or head to the New York Page and click on the local links button! For more information on shopping New York City click the button below!
all photos via Photo: via Rachael Doughty http://www.doughtyphotography.com/