To know me, is to hear “I’m cold.” And so for more than half of the year I don a sweater. I have a real thing for turtlenecks but truly, I’m equal opportunity. As such, it is a search that happily never ends. Duffy Design Group, named for Ed Duffy who is credited for bringing cashmere to the masses via L.L. Bean and Eddie Bauer, is one of the oldest import-manufacturers of Cashmere in the US with unparalleled quality. Duffy NY began in 2010 as an exclusive brand for Barney’s with a goal of designing versatile, contemporary silhouettes with thoughtful details and construction. Their success led them to sell to other companies while keeping their price points very competitive.
I recently went to their Bryant Park showroom to see the Fall ’17 collection first hand and chat with the design duo. The Cashmere Whisperers, designers Nicole Retting and Ann Yee, said their inspiration this fall was the boundless and unconfined spirit of abstract art. Yarns for the season focus on the softest cashmere, cashmere blends, cash felt, Mongolian fur and vegan leather offered in an harmonized mix of pop and neutral colors. Needless to say, I’m going to be living in Duffy. And you can too! Duffy and I have partnered to offer exclusive access to their full collection – so if you see something you like click here with your order.
I wanted an up-to-date wardrobe that was age appropriate. I needed a person I could rely on 2-3 times a year to help me make informed decisions and find the right clothes. Thanks to Katie, my entire wardrobe – from hats to shoes and formal wear through weekend country casual, has been replaced.
It feels massively liberating and she has brought wonderful continuity to my wardrobe. Now I have half the amount of clothes I used to but but more options because every piece is just better and they work together in a much smarter way. I really like her thought process. She works with your personal taste to come up with a nice combination of what you like and what she knows will look flattering. She has this wonderful way of letting you choose the right answer. And she’s engaging and a joy to be around. Initially, the process was fairly intense because we were trying to determine what my look should be but now we’re ruthlessly efficient. I love being able to say to her ‘I’m looking for jeans, t-shirts and a lightweight spring jacket,’ then I get to a store and she has a changing room full of items. Within an hour, we find what I want. Plus she respectful of my budget and alerts me a great sale I would not know about and by the time I get the discount, I’ve basically paid for her services. So I get her fantastic advice and insider knowledge about sales. It’s a win-win situation.
I found Katie a few years ago. What ultimately made me hire her was the personal connection. She’s so wonderful and warm. Katie understands that choosing clothing is incredibly personal and emotional, and I’m so grateful for all the times she’s helped me work through my wardrobe hangups.
The truth is that I don’t like to shop at all. I don’t have the time and I find it boring. But I am now in the public eye, photographed regularly, and have to travel a lot to big events. Sometimes I have less than a week to find an outfit for a black tie or formal cocktail party. I want to look my best but I don’t want to agonize about it. Katie understands what’s required at certain events so I don’t have to think about it. All I have to do is give her a few details and she makes everything as painless as possible. She puts all the looks together for my travel itineraries as well.
Because of Katie, I don’t really have to shop any more. We meet in person about 4 times a year now, plus she’s always available on the phone for last minute issues. She knows my tastes, really listens and she’s able to read my tone and body language to make sure I’m feeling good. She’ll do the shopping and the first edit and then stop by my house with the absolute best options. I know she’s selected the best fit—and price point—for whatever we pick. She just figures life out for me so I’m confident in any situation. I also love that she looks at the entire wardrobe—not just clothes for fancy parties. She has helped me buy beautiful gowns and comfy pajamas.
It feels like a joy to be in my closet now versus when I used to stand there and think ‘I don’t have the right outfit.’ She’s helped to elevate my day to day dressing, to build a wardrobe that’s casual but also cool and fun.
Men’s fashion choices can be challenging, especially for men my age. Everything is primarily targeted to twenty and thirty year olds. I’m 54 and don’t want to look like I just stepped out of a boy band. Finding the right clothes can be a difficult but with Katie’s guidance, it’s fun not frustrating.
You will love working with her. Katie opened up my thinking process as a consumer and educated me about how clothes hang on your body and fit. She said something that really stuck with me, that your closet is a reflection of who you used to be, not who you are or will be. I promise she will help nail the look you want for yourself going forward. Because of her, you will take control of your look and reputation.
After working with Katie, I can walk into any room, any setting and have no doubt I am going to make a good first impression. If you hire her, here’s my advice. Get good at taking compliments. I have already received 3 today and I’ve only been in the office for 90 minutes. Don’t be surprised if things get a little physical too. I was at a meeting recently and realized the woman next to me was rolling the fabric of my jacket between her fingers. She apologized but couldn’t help it. She just loved the jacket so much. People are going to pay more attention to you. It’s all positive.
Seriously, I can’t say enough about Katie. She’s professional and puts you at ease. Her approach is to be intentional, instructive, respectful of people’s uniqueness. Her listening skills are amazing. She’s incredibly efficient at getting things done. She does not waste your time.
I needed Q the Stylist for professional reasons. I’m a consultant with my own business and in the last few years I started to get bigger clients—many of them fashion brands or based in New York City.
People used to describe me as quirky. Let’s just say my clothes had a lot going on. I’m also a small person—5’4” and 126 pounds—and the outfits I chose would overwhelm me. I worried my style wouldn’t help me in work situations. At first I was embarrassed at the thought of hiring someone to help me pick clothes but then I decided it’s like hiring an accountant to do your taxes. My life is complicated enough. Why not let an expert make it easier?
The process Katie has you go through is not intimidating. She never tries to force her style on you. She’s very intuitive and brings out the best of who you are. I also love her unique ability to find wardrobe staples I didn’t even know I needed. When you first put them on you think ‘when will I wear this?’ and then you never want to take the piece of clothing off. Now my clothes are proportional and people compliment me on how polished I always look. She makes you look crisper, sharper and cleaner. And she can do that within your budget!
I no longer have any fear about having the wrong clothes for a situation. And nothing in my wardrobe makes me unhappy. I’m even a much smarter shopper now but I still turn to Katie often, especially when it comes to big investments in my wardrobe. I actually save money going to her. So it’s a much more valuable use of my time.
Working with Katie Quinn hasn’t just transformed my sense of style. It’s transformed my life. How I feel has changed even more than how I dress. It’s given me confidence in myself and my body.
I first hired Katie because I needed outfits to wear to a business presentation and a separate work cocktail party. I had nothing to wear even though I owned a lot of clothes. Nothing in my closet made me feel good or like myself, let alone awesome. There was just no cohesion in my closet and I was at the end of my rope.
Katie’s program was incredibly helpful. I realized I had never thought about clothes in terms of who I am and what I want to project. Plus, Katie is so kind and straightforward. And she’s sensitive so I could tell her what I always felt vulnerable about when I went shopping—yes, I mean the parts of my body wanted to hide. She made me feel safe and I knew I could trust what she told me. She had me trying on clothes I would never have tried on before, but I was shocked because I looked good in them!
She also works with great salespeople at the stores who are non-judgemental like her and this helps . Shopping with her felt like being a queen for a day. And she’s conscious of my budget. We started with basics at off-price and high-street stores and found fabulous summer bargains the most fun with the selection at Bloomingdales. She has a good eye and knows exactly what she’s looking for, which really maximizes your time with her.
The first two outfits she helped me buy were great but ultimately became the least important part of the process. It’s nice to have those outfits but the biggest outcome was the transformation of her working with my closet and entire wardrobe. It transformed me on the inside in a way that’s much more important. Its given me this confidence in myself, in my body, in my presentation of me. My outside feels aligned with my inside. We got rid of 80% of my wardrobe and I haven’t regretted one purchase. Now I can always find a go-to outfit that’s appropriate in my closet. People I know say I always look so pulled together now. And I always feel polished. I’m even starting to take some risks.