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
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 https://blogs.ebay.com/constance.white