It’s 5:30 on a Wednesday evening, the sun wants to set, the 9-5ers are making their way home, and I’m late. I finally snag a parking spot and dash to Gusto 101 on Portland Street, where I will meet the VP of Gap Accessories, Reina Meucci, for an intimate dinner.
An intimate dinner. Oh boy. I don’t know any of these people, but it sure looks nice in here. I sit at a large picnic table in the private basement of Gusto, surrounded by wooden barrels and talented fashion journalists, the walls decorated with Gap accessories for Fall 2012.
Reina hails from the Big Apple, and she was invited to Toronto to talk to the Canadian media. Seven delicious courses later, I’m making friends with great people, and producing a large food baby.
I speak to Reina a couple of days later about the accessory trends for Fall 2012. Of course, there is always more to a collection than meets the eye, so I ask her about styling, accessories and autumn. Here’s what she had to say.
What is your favourite item from the fall collection?
This season, it became more about the colour. It’s such an important thing for the brand. Gap has essential beautiful staples for your wardrobe in multiple colours. Right now I’m obsessed with the smoking slipper. The whole menswear influence is really fun right now and I love mixing masculine and feminine details. I also love our conversational scarves. We work with a great design team in-house and some of the designs are hand-drawn, or sometimes we buy vintage prints. These conversational pieces bring wit and personality to the outfit.
What are some style do’s and don’ts?
I think the most important thing is to find out what looks good on you. If you had me as your friend, I would tell you [laughs]. You need a friend that’s honest, or even a Sales Associate you feel comfortable with, who can help you pull something together that really looks good on you.
People don’t accessorize enough, so try to work on layering that added accessory at the end of your outfit. Sometimes people are uncomfortable bringing attention to themselves, or they don’t know how to in the right way. Whether it’s a coloured watch, a bright handbag, the iPad case or the cover of your iPhone, those things can really personalize your style and it’s important you have fun with that.
I think too many accessories are not good. Focus on two great items or maybe three. It’s not a good look to have too many accessories. When someone matches their accessories, it’s a big don’t, like a pink watch, pink lipstick, pink shoes and a pink bag. Think about what complements pink. I may try orange with it or mix in khaki.
What draws you to accessories so much?
I just love accessories. Since I was a little girl, I’ve always loved how happy they can make you feel. I don’t get that same level of excitement with my t-shirts. Well, maybe my great-fitting jeans. It’s not as fun for me as accessories are.
What do you think about Toronto’s style?
From the short time I was there, I actually thought Toronto’s style was pretty creative. People were not afraid to take fashion risks in putting together their individual styles, which I really like because it could have been conservative, but I didn’t see that all. It was almost like European-influenced with a lot of individual style which is great. Hopefully they’ll come to Gap for the great, amazing staples they can find at our price point.
~ Erin Pehlivan