For personal shopper Sonya Benson, there’s no such thing as a typical client. “I don’t have just one age demographic or a certain type of client who shops with me—other than the fact that it’s about good taste!” So when we asked her to pull a round-up of the new arrivals she’s most excited to dress her clients in this season, she had a wide variety of options to choose from.
“It’s about building a wardrobe of fabulous, timeless, versatile pieces,” Benson said when asked about how she narrowed down her choices from the breadth of styles currently available at our Madison Avenue flagship. “Even when summery collections come out early you can still wear these pieces now if you’re smart about how you layer them. That’s why versatility is so important when you’re investing in your wardrobe. You should be able to wear them multiple ways to get the most out of them.”
As she walked us through her rack, Sonya showed multiple ways to mix these pieces together to create a wardrobe any woman would be thrilled to sport from through spring and into summer. Scroll on for a closer peek at some of her favorite looks, then head to Barneys to see all of the season’s new arrivals and give your own closet a refresher.
“I buy a Dries Van Noten coat every season and so do most of my customers. You can never have too many coats, in my opinion. Sometimes, leaving your house is harder than getting dressed in the first place, because you have this really great outfit on, and who wants to put a plain, ordinary coat over the top of something fabulous? You just felt so great about what you had on, and then you’re going to cover it up with some schleppy coat? No one wants to do that! Buy coats. Keep them forever. Never get rid of them. Take this beaded Dries coat and throw it on with a t-shirt and jeans—have fun with it!”
“I’m a crazy Céline fan, because I think you can pull the pieces out again and again, and they’re just really beautiful clothes. It’s so simple, but the fabrics are beautiful and the lines are so clean. You can wear this outfit with a lucite pump, and you’ve got something you can wear to a party if you don’t feel like wearing a cocktail dress. Or for the really cool girl, I’d pull out these embellished Margiela sneakers.”
“Because I can be a little more aggressive in the way I personally dress, people wouldn’t necessarily guess that I like very lady-like clothes. But I’m wild about them. This is something that I want every single one of my clients to wear—I love a good neutral outfit, and playing with the textiles gives this so much visual interest. I’d love this top with jeans, or paired back with the cream pant from the previous look. It’s about offering options and mixing and matching within everyone’s comfort zone.”
“These are new Céline deliveries, and they’re stunning and unusual. I’d put something like the one on the left with a black shoe—it’s about the fabulous detail in the front, so I’d go with a black strappy sandal or booties. Even a little flat like a sneaker would go with this. Clothes like this are so beautiful that they need to be worn—you shouldn’t let them just sit in the closet waiting for a specific cocktail event—so if wearing a sneaker makes them more wearable for you, go for it. Incorporate them in your life and don’t save them, or else you’re going to look back in a year or two and wish that you’d gotten more use out of a dress like this. My goal is to make sure that doesn’t happen to my clients.”
“I’m into really top-quality fabrics, textures, and clothes that can be worn all different ways. The client I’ve pulled for here is someone who is fashion-forward and willing to take risks.”
“I always love to pull an everyday, funky, unusual, nobody-quite-knows-what-it-is Margiela piece for my clients. This isn’t going to suit everybody, but you’d be surprised at the number of my clients who would wear a dress like this as long as we style it correctly—with a loafer or a little slide shoe. This is a really great silhouette and such an easy look for summer. Or, I’d wear a long-sleeve turtleneck under this, add black tights and a black boot, and wear it now.”
“This is the most coveted bag of the season. It’s the highest quality of bag from one of the oldest leather manufacturers in the world, but it’s not a piece that everyone else is wearing. And to pair it back with something like these funky embellished Margiela sneakers keeps it feeling modern and fresh.”
“This is the silhouette of the season. The slip dress is really evolving, and this version is from The Row. Their clothes and fabrications are always impeccable. I always like to add something very simple and clean like this when pulling for a client. And what’s to stop you for wearing this around the house? I don’t care if you put on a button-up chambray shirt over this to make it suit your body more. It’s a great dress and something you can take with you everywhere you go.”
“This the newest Balenciaga collection from Demna Gvasalia, who also designs for Vetements and is killing the fashion world right now. The dress is very fashion-forward, but I’d put a really cool denim robe coat over the top of it and pair it with the oh-so-coveted white Delvaux bag and fierce booties. The whole idea is that you have the fabulous, lady-like bag with more aggressive clothes. You can mix it up—the bag doesn’t have to go with a suit or something super pretty.”
“Denim is a wardrobe staple for every single person on the planet—if you don’t have good denim that you can throw on any day and feel good in, you’re missing a huge part of your closet. These 3X1 jeans, I’d mix with every single piece on the rack. And I love a good Canadian tuxedo, so would definitely wear these with the denim robe.”
“Another item that almost all of my clients own is a fabulous Mark Cross bag. They’re like a work of art to me. I could see traveling with my jewelry in this and sticking it inside my carry-on, then still having the chicest bag that works for either day or night. For people who collect handbags, this is a bag for them.”
“I go all the way from ‘pretty’ to ‘totally aggressive, rock-n-roll, killing it at the club.’ These leather pants are perfect for that girl on the scene in Manhattan, even for great restaurants and not necessarily just clubbing until 4:00AM. She could wear these to walk the dog. But I also have that 40-year-old client who’d wear these with a great T-shirt and a blazer and be a powerhouse. But here, to keep the vibe going, I’d pair it with a T-shirt that has great details like this one and a sweater.”
“Lastly, I had client wear this dress already, and Vogue covered it. It’s from Dries Van Noten, and this print is the star of this collection. If you want a dress that not everyone else has, this is the one—you just have to like orange! It’s a piece that people either love or hate, and I happen to think it’s fantastic.”
To book an appointment with Sonya, please call our Madison Avenue flagship at 212.833.2800, or you can book online.