Wednesday, February 13, 2008

BGG Speaks with eBay Style Director Constance White

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview eBay Style Director, Constance White. In that role she educates consumers about the #1 fashion site on the Internet -- ebay. She also authors a blog on eBay called "Fashion is My Life," where fashionistas can read about her take on the collections shown in NYC and L.A.

The prominent journalist's impeccable fashion sense and style expertise has landed her various appearances on TV shows such as "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "E! Fashion File," "Project Runway," "Today," and many others.

White has held posts as a style reporter for the renowned New York Times, executive fashion editor at Elle, as well as a position at Women's Wear Daily. Her work has also appeared in British Vogue, People, Essence, and The Chicago Tribune. She is also the author of "Stylenoir," a groundbreaking book on black style.

Check out our Q&A:

BGG:What were some of the most surprising fashion trends that you saw during NYC Fashion Week Fall 08?
Constance: I was really surprised that belts and fur are still so strong. The fur trend is more than four years old and belts have been around now for a year but they're both still hot.

BGG:What would you say is eBay's greatest advantage in the fashion marketplace right now?
Constance: Ebay's greatest advantage is the ability for buyers to find great bargains - fabulous fashion items at a great price. With people being cautious about spending and the real estate market at a low, eBay's a great place to save money and still get what you want.

One of the vintage gowns on display at the eBay Style Suite.

BGG:What has been the most searched eBay fashion item for the upcoming spring season so far?
Constance: Out of the fall 2008 trends seen on the runways last week, Booties are one of the most searched for trends on eBay.

BGG: I know that you've spoken out against the scarcity of black models on the runway before, how do you as a fashion expert plan to help bring more awareness to this problem?
Constance: Continuing to speak out about it in public, talking to designers, and booking models of all races are actions I will continue to take to help alleviate the problem, hopefully.

BGG: Being a fashion mogul, I'm sure you've come across many fantastic and one-of-a-kind pieces, but what is your most coveted fashion piece? Why?
Constance: My most coveted item is almost anything fabulous from Commes des Garcons. Something artistic and ingenious, but wearable.

BGG: What classic piece should every woman have in her closet?
Constance: Must have wardrobe items include: a white shirt, a few layering camisoles or T-shirts, a pinstripe pants suit, a pair of jeans, a black dress that goes from day into evening, a black skirt, diamond studs, a good watch or cellphone!, and a good hairstyle.

BGG: If you could choose your favorite fashion icon past or present, who would it be? Why?
Constance: My favorite fashion icon is Diana Ross. She's so over the top and glamorous and always cares about how she looks. She's worked with what she has. She's not the most beautiful woman in the world, but she has made herself into one of the most intriguing (not including her present hairstyle of course!).

BGG: What's the most exciting new fashion-related feature available to eBay users?
Constance: I really love the countdown feature : it
counts down auctions in real time. This way you don't have to keep refreshing your browser to see if you are winning an auction. It's perfect for helping you win that coveted fashion item on eBay.

Vintage Halston gown on display at the eBay Style Suite.

BGG: What key piece of advice could you give a woman of color who wants to break into the world of fashion journalism/commentary?
Constance: Most of the advice is the same I'd give to anyone of any color EXCEPT to women of color I particularly say - network! Get out of your own comfortable world, if you have not already. Insert yourself into the conversation (in a respectful way), invite someone out for drinks who is not your color, ask someone for advice who is white, hang out in the Hamptons, and not just with Puffy. You need the broadest possible network of contacts, if you are going to reach your goals- and they are reachable.

Advice for everyone: Get educated (preferably get a degree). Read magazines, books, the Internet. Intern. Research the career paths of achievers in the industry want to be in. Don't be discouraged.

For more inside fashion tips, visit Constance's eBay blog called, "My Fashion Life" at


Anonymous said...

Awesome interview! e-bay is pretty cool for stuff you could never find in stores, like the yellow "Cher" sweater i got for Halloween.

K-Bear said...

BGG, that was a great interview! I mean you really asked some great questions. I found myself wanting more! ahahaha Great pic too! What I love most is that you always find a BG for us to be proud of. BGG you're gonna have us walking around with the big head! Thank you for the self-esteem boost! HA!

Anonymous said...

that coral dress is absolutely studding! i just hate that you can't try stuff on before you buy it on e-bay. but for such a great deal, its worth going to your tailor.

Kitty_Vodka said...

Her job sounds fun! But I'm sure working in fashion is really hard work. I mean getting into one of the runway show to just watch was pretty hectic on its own :)

K-Bear said...

Hey, BGG, I just realized her absolute favorite star is your pick for last week! The one and only Mrs. Ross! I guess great minds think alike...or should I say you fashion freaks think alike! ahaahaha BTW, I bought an industrial coffee machine on E-bay years ago and I never got it. That woman stole my money, disconnected her phone and skipped town! Loser!

Kwana said...

Another great interview! And I just love Constance White. You are really on your way BG!

Anonymous said...

WOW! It was not until this interview that I knew that eBay had a Style Director. I am not sure why this thought never clicked, but she was intriguing, knowledgeable and, to be frank, she named all of the key fashion pieces that I think are necessary in a women's closest too! What a spunky fashionista. She is making eBay chic and actually high-fashion (which seems like an oxymoron but completely true)!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I never thought of e-Bay as a place for fashion.
You have opened my eyes to a new way for me to save money and still look
chic. Especially with our new economy scare, we can all use hints of saving
money. A few of my friends use e-Bay a lot and I'm always amazed at their
findings. Great advice from Ms. White on breaking into the fashion world-mix
it is the answer in both life and in fashion.

SolShine7 said...

Cool. I especially liked her advice for women of color on how to break in the business.

Good interview!!!

Kim said...

great interview: I love Constance's style.

Anonymous said...

I love eBay but the only negative is it can addicting!!! I love it for getting trends ahead of time... and I clearly remember scoring a full sequin Tracey Reese dress for around $125 before the trend hit a few years back. It is a great way to score steals for sure and it is my only resource for vintage since I get grossed out by vintage shops.

She has a cool job - it is cool to learn the mind behind it all!

- AZ

Ondo Lady said...

Like Sweet59185, I also had no idea that ebay had a style director. She sounds cool and everything but I would really like to know exactly what it is that she does. From what I can see on ebay, all you do is list the items and people bid. If the seller wants to make the item look more sexy then it is up to them to sort out a fancy back drop.

Brown Girl Gumbo said...

@Ondo Lady -- Good observation! I added a line to the write-up that sums up what she does. Thanks!

kbl said...

Great interview!!! Keep um coming.

Anonymous said...

I Like the ebay and marketing