Amina Akhtar, fashion director at Fashion Etc (and former fashion editor at New York Magazine) isn’t afraid to shout her love of caftans from the rooftops. (You gotta love a girl who wears her caftans loud and proud.) Dig deeper into her list of obsessions and you’ll find pieces running the gamut from trench coats to gold chokers, an eclectic mix that makes her particularly well-suited to cover all things fashion (and we mean all) for Fashion Etc. One visit to the site will have you up to speed on all the current style scoop faster than you can say “Christian Louboutin.”
Barneys New York: Give us the lowdown on Fashion Etc.
Amina Akhtar: We’re a one-stop shop for all things fashion and style. Our target audience is women, so unless, say, David Beckham is doing his own underwear line, we tend to stick to the ladies. I pretty much have my perfect job—I look at clothes all day, I meet with designers, I shop, I write about what I want.
BNY: Which Barneys New York items are on the top of your holiday wish list?
AA: I’m a bit obsessed with this fox fur vest, so if anyone fancies getting me a gift, now you know. The seamed trench is gorgeous—I’m on the hunt for good trenches just about year round but the funny thing is, I have almost none in my closet. And the fur collar adds a little glam touch. Need! Like everyone else, I have a huge bag and shoe problem. Frame bags are everything for me this season. This pony-hair version is stunning. And it can go with almost any outfit.
BNY: What’s a chic alternative to the LBD this holiday season?
AA: Caftans!! I could live and die in a caftan. Get me some Zero + Maria Cornejo and stat. A little volume, a little flow, some bright colors and some killer heels—your outfit is done. Besides, who wants to suck it in during the holidays? It’s about food, family and fun—live a little!
BNY: If you were accidentally locked in Barneys overnight, what would we find you wearing in the morning?
AA: Ooooh this is dangerous! Also, can we make this happen? Obviously, you’d find me wearing some Zero + Maria Cornejo with a Rick Owens jacket to keep warm. (It must get chilly at night after all! Plus, a little leather is always a good look.) I love the Ampe tunic and the Alphie dress, so I’d have to try both to see which works best with the Owens. I’d definitely throw on some boots—I can’t live without my moto boots, and Marc by Marc Jacobs has an over-the-knee pair that sexes up the look a bit. And I’d top it off with jewelry by House of Waris. Normally I’d go straight for the ruby plumage pendant (you can never have enough rubies) but hell, if it’s overnight, I’d just pile everything on for a luxe, Dynasty feel. Then I’d raid Fred’s champers supply and nibbles—but I’m so not cooking in that outfit.
BNY: What’s the best fashion advice you’ve ever received?
AA: This isn’t so much fashion advice as it is fashion-career advice. I was working somewhere I didn’t quite love, and I ran into my old boss, Candy Pratts Price, whom I adore. I told her how things were going, and she replied, “Well, it’s a stepping stone.” And she was completely right. Everything leads to something else.
BNY: What’s your favorite piece in your closet?
AA: A Vivienne Westwood tuxedo jacket I got almost ten years ago—I’ve worn it to tatters. It kicked off my crazy obsession with tuxedos. (If you’re keeping track, I’m obsessed with tuxedos, caftans, trenches, shoes and bags.) My other coveted items include the amazing Pakistani gold jewelry my mother keeps giving me. I like finding excuses to wear it (Brunch? How about a gold choker?).
BNY: Where is your perfect winter wonderland?
AA: A beach in Central America that’s not too crowded and where my phone and email don’t work. Nicaragua or Panama. (Costa Rica’s a bit packed these days, no?) Shall we?