EILEEN FISHER Videos
A deeper look at our clothes, our employees and our social responsibility practices.
EILEEN FISHER – Fall/Winter 2013Back to top
EILEEN FISHER Behind the Label – How It's MadeBack to top
EILEEN FISHER How To'sBack to top
Eileen & TeamBack to top
Real Style, Real People
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Meet the women who wear our clothes
Shiva Rose One thing everyone can do to make the world better: "Try not to use water. Water is the next oil crisis. Terrifying. Be mindful of laundry and how often you wash towels."Holistic Lifestyle Blogger Shiva Rose
Shiva was raised by bohemian parents in the countryside of Iran until the revolution. Suddenly she went from a childhood nurtured on imagination and nature to life as a refugee. As she assimilated to a new life, Shiva sought solace in old films, fashion and books, which led to work as an actress in TV, film and theater. After having her first daughter in her early twenties, Shiva was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition. This diagnosis, along with a yearning for a healthy planet for her children, propelled her on a path as a naturalist and activist. Her blog,
The Local Rose was born out of a desire to celebrate a holistic, healthy, authentic lifestyle without sacrificing taste and glamour. Shiva and her two daughters now live with their cat, rabbits and chickens nestled by a creek in the Santa Monica mountains, where they raise most of their own produce.
Family dinners: "I go to the farmer's market and buy for the week. I wish I could say that I had menus planned. I make it up as I go. We've been a vegetarian family but now we're eating some ethically sourced meat."
Stress buster: "I've been doing a lot of study about ayurvedic medicine and the healing effects of oils. When I'm stressed, I take a spoonful of coconut or sunflower oil. Or I rub sesame or sunflower oil on my body after a bath. These oils are good for the skin and the hair and the hormones."
Sleep secret: "I take Rescue Remedy [made with Bach flower essences] and put magnesium oil on my feet. Or I'll take a bath with magnesium salts. It's really relaxing and great for kids before bed. Sometimes I add essential oils such as lavender or dried rose petals."
Kim EF Style Pro and Visual Display Expert
The creative force behind our store windows and showroom displays, Kim researches trends and is inspired by urban landscapes, nature and photography. "When I create a look or design the showroom, there is a moment when things start to layer naturally into something extraordinary." Her formula for art--and clothes.
Can't live without: Berry-colored lipstick.
EF style: "I feel like me when I wear a simple cardigan and let my camisoles take over, cool lace details peeking out, adding just the right necklace, a man's tweed hat."
Morning routine: "If you go for that quirky artistic way of dressing, you're gonna go through a few outfit changes. I stop when it feels cool. You'll see my looks in our stores and advertising."
On her desk: "A tumbleweed, twigs, river rocks and photos by Scott Irvine."
True loves: Obsessed with music, dancing and Pilates.
Lives in: "My Mo-Air cardigan. I wear it as a coat on cool nights and live in it at home. When my friends see it, they want it. I covet the new one each fall."
Rebecca EF Core Concept Team Member
"I don't like to match, I forget to brush my hair. I like the cool edge of thrown together." A key editor of our line.
A dancer who took a day job at our 9th Street store, she's modeled in eight of our ad campaigns. "From the start, I loved Eileen's clothes because they were so incredibly simple and felt so good on the body. Decades later, they make me feel the same way."
EF style: "I mix unexpected fabrics: linen with ponte, textured silk with a jean jacket and a little red knit hat. I never accessorize. For me, it's about subtraction. When I change my style, I keep it simple and make sure a piece feels great when I move."
Chris EF Color Designer
The artist who designs and choreographs our color palette. Trend savvy, she starts each season with an inspiration collage, a technique borrowed from her fine art work. "Color shifts depending on the material. Each collection becomes a challenging puzzle, all the pieces have to look good with each other."
Can't live without: Exotic travel. "In places like India, I make thousands of discoveries—about color combinations, architecture, human behavior."
Play with grays. Find ones with the right undertones for your skin. Add white to brighten your face.
Ignore your hair. Don't worry about your skin or hair color--you can mix warm tones with cool as long as one of the tones looks good on you.
EF style: Short pencil skirts, cropped cardigans and vintage wide belts. She likes shrunken jackets ("I'm short--sometimes I shrink them myself") and garments worn inside out. "Not too feminine--a little bit rough and ready. And imperfect."
Lives in: Black, gray and dark blue with touches of white. "It's my art world uniform. I add edgy tones even if they're not 'my color.' The neutrals make it work."
Danielle EF Senior Merchandiser
Loves fashion, craves simplicity. This merchandising pro chooses clean lines so she can play with trends.
"If it isn't comfortable, I don't care how cool it is." A key editor of our line, dresses with equal parts poetry and simplicity.
EF style: "Black will always be the new black. Short skirts, slim pants, leggings and tunics are my uniform. Layered with a cool cardigan and a belt for some shape or a fabulous scarf. I love feminine details and a twist of the unexpected."
Time saver: "If I want to sleep late, I hit the snooze button and pick out my outfit in my head. Most of the time it works because I have go-to things."
Katie Yamasaki Mural Artist, leader of Voices Her'd
Groundswell Community Mural Project
"Girls have the floor. And the wall. And they're going to take it."
"Girls are very rarely the creators of the visual media that is about them," says Katie. Since 2004, she's changed that equation by teaching sixty young women to think big—on a brick wall next to a Hess station, a steel fence surrounding a Bronx school, a women's shelter and other city spots.
Katie works through Voices Her'd, a program run by the nonprofit arts organization Groundswell Community Mural Project, that has received two EILEEN FISHER grants, the second one through our Activating Leadership program.
As part of the review process, we watched Katie and crew climb scaffolding and create a mural on consumerism. The topic, though close to our hearts, was chosen by the girls. Katie designed a curriculum and connected them with experts—including Eileen and our staff. "The girls asked about labor practices and the supply chain," says Katie. "They said, 'I'm sixteen and if I were born somewhere else, it would be me working in that factory.'"
When she's not working with Voices Her'd, Katie teaches middle school art, paints in her studio and illustrates children's books—she's finishing her third. Her true love: murals. "I like being active and engaged in a community. I'm not the solitary artist type."
Cecilia Clarke Founder and Executive Director
Sadie Nash Leadership Project
"Young women are in the strongest position to be a voice for social change."
Sadie Nash started out in 2001 at Cecilia's dining table. "I was a single mom with a sixteen-year-old daughter and I didn't like the messages she was getting from the culture," says Cecilia. "I didn't feel she was being empowered."
She decided to start a leadership program for girls that focused on creating change where it matters most—at home, in schools and in communities. Nine years later, the institute works with more than three hundred girls in New York City and Newark, New Jersey, carrying on the spirit of Cecilia's grandmother, Sadie Nash, who brushed aside convention and led by example.
Our relationship with Sadie Nash , which began in 2005, goes beyond grants and donations from our shopping philanthropy programs. When Eileen was starting her own summer leadership institute for girls in Westchester, New York, she turned to Cecilia and her staff as thinking partners. Eileen also spent a day talking to the girls at Sadie Nash's summer institute. "We invited her," Cecilia explains, "to show that there are women interested in shifting the paradigm and creating a way to have a corporation with a conscience."
In addition to founding a nonprofit organization, Cecilia married and had two more children, Josephine, eight, and Simon, five. "It's been a very generative time," she says. "I think it's a sign that when you're doing what you love, you have boundless energy."
Jessamyn Waldman Founder and CEO
Hot Bread Kitchen
"I wanted to advocate for the rights of immigrant women. And I loved food."
Since 2007, Jessamyn has taken an altruistic idea and turned Hot Bread Kitchen into a hot New York brand. Restaurants, famers' markets and stores such as Dean & Deluca carry the company's melt-in-your-mouth Moroccan breads and handmade corn tortillas, based on recipes immigrant women have brought from their homelands.
We've known Jessamyn since she was running Hot Bread from her kitchen. She came to our offices, armed with fresh focaccia, for an interview that led to a Women Entrepreneur Grant. "More than the money, EILEEN FISHER gave us credibility," says Jessamyn. "Very few organizations grant to early-stage businesses, especially social enterprises."
Jessamyn seeks out immigrant women with a passion for food. They are paid during their training, which includes classes in English, math and business skills. Some go on to restaurant jobs, many remain on staff. Hot Bread is growing so fast, it needs all the skilled help it can get.
The company has a new store and a custom-designed facility in a city-owned building in East Harlem. "The goal is to train eighty women a year in New York and then expand to five other cities," Jessamyn says. "This is a replicable, scalable model."
Marcela Christophorou Partworks and Add-Ons Associate
Disney Publishing Worldwide, NY
Buzz Lightyear watches from a shelf as Marcela and a team of five make sure that Disney's children and teen titles—Winnie the Pooh, Captain Fact and Percy Jackson and the Olympians—get where they need to go.
In her native Honduras, Marcela worked as an architect. Then she moved to Barcelona to pursue a PhD in architectural restoration. There she was courted by a very persistent New Yorker. Conveniently, the subject of her thesis, Rafael Guastavino, made his mark doing arched tile work at Oyster Bar at Grand Central Station, the Boston Public Library and other Beaux Arts buildings in the United States. Move to New York? She loved the idea—and married the man who proposed it.
Marcela still hopes to practice architecture in the United States, though accreditation involves more schooling and a test. Meanwhile, she's finishing her thesis and thinking about Mickey T-shirts—tiny ones for her new baby.
Biola Odunewu Co-owner
Pillow Cafe-Lounge, Brooklyn, NY
"We are all part of a neighborhood."
Steamed milk. Reliable espresso. Cocktails in mason jars. Six days a week Biola and her partner, Robin Richardson, prepare food and drink for their neighbors in Clinton Hill, a diverse section of Brooklyn with a dearth of chic eateries.
Being urban pioneers suits their values and their budget. They started with $4000—$2000 for the rent, $2000 for the security deposit—and a vague semblance of a plan: Robin would cook; Biola would do coffee. Together they'd escape the rat race of their careers—Robin's as a Manhattan bartender and Biola's as journalist and new media producer.
In 2005, after a year of ups and downs, they moved to a larger space, with the help of Myrtle Avenue's business development program. "We wanted to stay in the neighborhood," says Biola. "It's like family here. Everybody looks out for each other."
Friends drop by for happy hour, Pratt Institute students fuel up with coffee. If she doesn't see someone for a while, she worries—and they know it. "I just got an email," she laughs, "that said: 'Just in case you're wondering—I know how you guys are—I moved to Arizona.'"
Jessica Mazzetti Second Grade Teacher
NYC Public Schools
"I want the girls I teach to think of themselves as capable and smart."
To reach this gifted and talented school on New York's Lower East Side, Jessica takes the bus across town. Her second graders often have much longer commutes—they trek from the Bronx, Brooklyn and neighborhoods all over the city. "It's a real mix of incomes, religions and ethnic backgrounds," says Jessica.
Specializing in technology, this K through 12 public school is open to city kids who test in the ninety-ninth percentile—or above. Not everyone is a science or math genius—including Jessica. "I remember numbers backward," she says. "I think it helps my teaching because I understand what it's like not to 'get it.'"
Showing your flaws, she says, is all part of being a role model. Kids struggle with so many issues. Part of helping them be confident in themselves, she says, "is letting them see that adults aren't perfect."
Jessica is married to a New York City firefighter. "I tiptoe past him in the morning," she says, "if he's been on a twenty-four-hour shift."
Ilyse Dolgenas Real Estate Attorney
Withers Bergman LLP, NYC
Never mind how the other half lives. Ilyse focuses on the top one percent, negotiating contracts for haute couture showrooms on Madison Avenue and twenty-million-dollar pieds-á-terre at the city's hottest addresses.
Most real estate law is pretty straightforward. At Withers Bergman, an international law firm specializing in wealth planning, Ilyse is equal parts attorney and strategist. "I like watching the deal unfold," she says. "Making the offer, thinking about everything that could go right—and wrong. I might work on the sale of a trophy property for months before a contract gets signed."
Ilyse started her career working as a litigator. "I didn't enjoy arguing for a living," she says. In 2005, she was hired by Withers Bergman (she just happened to be five months pregnant). Though she's cut back on marathons and triathlons, Ilyse combines work and motherhood with a passion for running. Mornings you'll find her at the gym putting in five or six miles before her daughter Campbell wakes up for school.
Melissa Picheny Founder
declutter + design
First you declutter, then design. "My goal is to help people get to the truth of who they are and what's important to them," Melissa says. "I teach my clients that you can't simply buy something to get organized, you have to go deeper than that."
She knows because she's done it. While working as an Emmy Award-winning producer for the YES Network, Melissa pared down her apartment and found that letting go of what she no longer needed allowed her to create a rewarding, stress-free environment.
Transforming her life in more ways than one, she started working as a professional organizer nights and weekends and then realized it was time to let go of the biggest item in her life: her job.
Since 2004, declutter + design has grown into a successful organizing and staging company that works with a variety of clients from individuals and real estate professionals to corporate clients including Newsweek and Smith Barney. Melissa also contributes to Real Simple, donates her services to Step Up Women's Network and has created two "Transform Your Closet" events for EILEEN FISHER stores in New York.
Caroline Bone Director of Operations
Every creative agency needs someone to manage project staffing, budgets and day to day operations. At the SoHo office of IDEO, a design and innovation firm that counts EILEEN FISHER among its clients, Caroline keeps the gears turning. "My brain works very logically, so I end up in operational roles," she says.
Born and raised in England, Caroline has an accent that has shifted as she's moved around the globe. "I worked in Holland and spoke Dutch for five years," she says. "Then we moved to California. Now people sometimes ask if I'm from Australia."
In 2006, while working at a San Francisco architectural firm, she was hired to oversee the operational launch of IDEO's New York office. "Typically I'd handle the construction and build-out, put in an admin team and move on to the next thing. IDEO asked me to stay and I decided to give it a go," she says.
Caroline lives near Bear Mountain, New York, in a 1970's house that she and her husband are renovating—very slowly. "We made the commitment to use only environmentally friendly, green products. Except for complicated utility work, we're doing everything ourselves."
Jean Afterman Assistant General Manager
New York Yankees
"It's about making sure your voice is heard."
Jean does not have a short answer to what it means to oversee baseball operations at the Yankees. Pro scouting, amateur scouting, international scouting. Contracts, union issues, labor and immigration rules. "A million things go into running a team on any given day." Before a game, she's in the clubhouse checking on the players, coaches and the manager. When spring training starts, she follows the team to Tampa until Opening Day.
Jean is only the third woman to hold the title of Assistant General Manager in the history of Major League Baseball. She started out as an actress, switched to film production and then got her law degree. She caught the Yankees' attention because her California/Tokyo sports agency specialized in representing international players, particularly stars from Japan. "I'm a Yankees fan, but I still love the San Francisco Giants," she says. "Fortunately they're in the National League."
Through the organization Pencil, Jean mentors elementary students at P.S. 35, a Bronx school in the shadow of Yankee Stadium. "I've had five career paths. I want kids to know the world is a big place and the future is actually bright when you have an education."
EILEEN FISHER Casting Call Contest WinnersBack to top
Michelle Seattle, WA
Working Life: Directs a doula home visiting program at Open Arms Perinatal Service, which supports low income pregnant women and their families. Studying for her masters in social work at University of Washington.
Her look: Sophisticated without trying too hard. At 5'11, she likes to play up her height with "angles that take away from the fact that I've had three children."
Style Maxim: "I want to start my day and end it without thinking,'I can't wait to get out of these clothes.' "
Her biggest fan: Her teen-aged daughter, who insisted Michelle enter our Facebook Casting Call contest. "I procrastinated until the eleventh hour. Finally, Nyasha fired up the computer. She told me 'this could be your top model moment.' "
Sherry Boulder, CO
Style formula: Brilliant jewel tones paired with sophisticated basics that roll up in a suitcase, whether she's traveling or not ("they make life so easy").
Morning routine: "I'm a consummate planner. But I usually forget about myself. By the time I open my closet door, I'm running late. What I wear depends on my day--a school event, a volunteer meeting or lunch with friends. I grab my EILEEN and go. The pieces and the colors work together, year after year."
Tip: "You have to know your shape. I love A-lines. Even though I work out every day, I woke up on my 50th birthday with a tummy."
Why she entered: "Every time I go into the stores, people say, 'You ought to model for EF.' I'm 65 and I thought that boat sailed a long time ago. But my sister saw the Casting Call contest on Facebook and told me, 'You've got to enter.' "
Yuki Santa Fe, NM
Working life: Residential and product designer. She designs homes (including her own passive solar house), working with her husband, who is a builder. Her hand-painted porcelain is sold at a Santa Fe gallery and through her website, moderngoods.com.
Style formula: Gray and black with great scarves and unusual jewelry. "Color in Santa Fe tends to be vibrant. I don't mind looking a little more avant-garde."
Morning routine: "Usually my daughter is playing in the closet so I have a small window to make decisions. With a blendable palette, I can pick anything."
Body confidence: "Like a lot of my friends, I've had kids and worked really hard to get back in shape. We may not look like we did ten years ago, but we carry ourselves with more confidence."
Favorite piece: An EF Silk Habutai tunic in Rye that she's had for several years. "The minute I saw it I wanted it. It turned out, my mom bought me the same tunic. She thought it looked like me!"