The Productivity Secrets of One of Fashion's Most Important VPs
In honor of Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power's new book, The Career Code: Must-Know Rules for a Strategic, Stylish, and Self-Made Career ($17), we're running an interview series featuring questions about the work lives of the most inspirational female leaders in the fashion industry. So far, we’ve tapped Sarah Rutson, Sally Singer, Jennifer Fisher, and more. Up next? Taylor Tomasi Hill.
Taylor Tomasi Hill has long been on our list of admirable women in fashion. Aside from the fact that she is quite literally one of the most inspiring street style stars in the world (proof here, here, and here), she also has an impressive résumé that includes roles at W, Teen Vogue, Marie Claire, Moda Operandi, and now Forty Five Ten—a boutique in her hometown of Dallas, Texas, where she holds the title of creative vice president and women's fashion director. She was brought onboard to help relaunch the store last year, and in her time since has successfully worked to curate a selection of products that have a distinct point of view at diversified price points (aka stylish pieces with price tags that won't make you squirm).
Now that she's settled into her new digs, we couldn't wait to pick her brain about her career, where she finds inspiration, and even what's on her lunch menu.
Scroll down to read about our latest installment of Career Code with Taylor Tomasi Hill.
"As the VP of creative and women's fashion director at Forty Five Ten, I work closely with the buyers and oversee the selection of all of the women's products from the lines I think fit both our brand and customers best. Simultaneously, I direct the creative voice and point of view on everything a customer sees from us—photo shoots, styling, ads, branding, social media content, and much more."
"I am not wining and dining when I travel, sadly. I rarely have a moment to see the cities I visit. I am most passionate about being in the showrooms versus the show and about what is offered at Forty Five Ten. I am committed to offering a distinct point of view along with a varied range of prices."
"I wore a bright blue vintage floral dress to my first interview at W magazine. I got the job, so when the next one came along, I just chopped it shorter for my interview at Teen Vogue three years later."
"Diane von Furstenberg—I met with her shortly after leaving Moda Operandi, and in a brief period of time, she directed me in the path I have since taken. She got to the bottom of what I am passionate about and what I enjoy and told me never to sway from that path. I would take another 30 minutes with her any day!"
"Knowing one's worth isn't usually something that comes easily. It’s very important to have mentors around you to help you negotiate and understand your value. Nina Garcia helped me recognize my worth, and I will always respect her for helping me navigate my future in the industry."
"Someone who is…
- Enthusiastic and excited by a challenge.
- Not afraid to ask questions, but the right ones are key.
- Able to see the big picture, but also be mindful of the details and can think 10 steps ahead.
- Unwaveringly passionate about the industry.
- Tech savvy—I always seem to be needing this around."
"Visit museums, look through old photography books, and visit interesting stores unrelated to fashion."
"Figure out what it is you want to do next, and once you are wholeheartedly signed on to your next position, go to your direct report and explain why you have decided to take on another role. They will respect you for going to them directly and not hearing rumors from others."
"@jacquemus—Simon is always posting something interesting and or shocking.
"@crystalball1111—I see Crystal Renn as more of an artist than a model, and I love to see how she posts images, which are often somewhat dark.
"@kulestripes—I adore stripes and this collection; it's my go-to tee.
"@sawkillecompany—They have some of my favorite furniture.
"@goop—It's great for all my must-dos when visiting a new city and foodie advice.
"@putnamflowers—They're the best in the business, in my opinion."
"Morning: a scalding shower. A friend once told me that he comes up with the best ideas in the shower; ever since, it's become a ritual. It really does work!
"Evening: a glass of red wine and essential oils."
"Do you. It works." — Lauren Santo Domingo
"We just opened the Forty Five Ten flagship on Main Street in Dallas; seeing everyone's hard work come to life is incredibly rewarding."
What piece of advice from Taylor Tomasi Hill most inspired you? Tell us in the comments below.