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Lisa Martinez

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

I feel most attractive when I'm confident. And I feel confident when I'm put-together; my hair and make-up are done and I'm wearing a great dress, jacket, and heels--that's my go-to uniform.

2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?

I'm a fashion editor, so I am always looking at what people wear; the stories they create; the styles they emulate. I admire women who have an individual sense of style. I like when women are polished and make an effort. I tend to notice accessories.

3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?

I notice grooming--hair, nails, also posture. With clothing, I look at the silhouettes, palette, and fabrications they choose. With personality, I admire strength, confidence, kindness, warmth, humor, and sincerity.

4. Was there a moment in your life when something “clicked” for you about fashion or dressing or make-up or hair? What? Why did it happen then, do you think?

I've loved fashion since I was a little girl. Although, I wasn't completely aware as a (shy) teenager, fashion was a form of self-expression. I began shopping in thrift stores and at flea markets, mixing pieces to create a unique look...

5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?

I have a bad habit of non-buyer's remorse, that is to say, I've found some AMAZING buys over the years and returned only to find that (sadly) they've already been sold... Now, if I see something I like, I at least put it on hold... And if I LOVE it; it fits in my lifestyle; I can afford it; and I have several pieces with which to pair it, then I buy it, especially if it's something special, unique, and one-of-a-kind!

6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?

I think rules can be a bit dangerous; everyone is different, i.e. a silhouette or hue that's flattering on one person may not work as well for another. You have to be true to your inherent sensibility; otherwise, it will just be a trend that you wear once or twice, only to be discarded. You have to find what works best for YOU!

7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?

One of the most memorable talks I attended while living in New York was with Andre Leon Talley and Tom Ford (after he left PPR). Tom Ford said you should only buy what you love. That really resonated with me and I remember those works every time I am shopping. Growing up, I always admired my mother and grandmother. My gram was very feminine, ladylike, and polished. She was quite tall; she wore pearls and pants like Katharine Hepburn. My mom was bold, wild, and adventurous. She wore bright colors, prints, bold jewelry! I inherited my love for all things classic from my gram and my sense of drama from my mom!

8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.

I am very consistent, loyal, and genuine. Chances are if I loved something five or ten years ago, I still do today. I recently had my high school reunion and every commented on how I hadn't changed much. I like process, procedures, systems, rules, and checklists. I work hard, but I also believe in treating myself. I don't believe in delayed gratification or putting things off. I'm not the most patient person. I'm never one to say, "maybe someday..." I think fear can hold us back; I'm courageous about some things; other less so, but I feel like I am better about taking risks and being more spontaneous; I just have to push myself a little...

9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?

I buy A LOT of jackets. I always feel SO polished wearing them. I am petite and curvy, so they pull together a look, whether elevating a pair of jeans or pairing with a dress--I LOVE JACKETS!!! I also love shoes. I always look for something with an interesting toe box.

10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?

I remember the first present I bought my mom when I started working, I bought her a pair of ruby earrings; my mother loves jewelry. I was SO excited to give her something with her birthstone.

11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why? 

I'm not one to follow trends, especially if they don't work for my lifestyle or body type. Athletic pieces are very popular just now, but I prefer more sophisticated, tailored pieces. I don't like neon!!!

12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?

My mother is also curvaceous; but I'm more petite in stature. I inherited a sense of drama, but prefer more classic, investment pieces. My mother loves bright colors and bold prints. I tend to wear more neutrals and not as many patterns.

13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?

I used to raid my mother's closet all the time. My favorite items in her closet were dramatic capes, oversized necklaces, and jumpsuits! My gram always carried a handkerchief and wore a lot of scarves and wraps. I do the same!

14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?

When I was in my early 20's I tended to follow trends and I couldn't afford much. I didn't yet have a signature look, but by my late 20's/early 30's and as I advanced in my career I developed a sort of uniform.

15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?

I believe that there is a direct relationship between a woman's style and her sense of empowerment. I'm not necessarily looking to make a political statement. I think there have been great advancements with eco-conscious clothing.

16. Please describe your body.

I am 5'2.5" with an hourglass figure.

17. Please describe your mind.

My mind is very active; I tend to multi-task. I am very thoughtful and deliberate; I probably overthink things. I am very creative and visual.

18. Please describe your emotions.

I am very sensitive and emotional. I am very passionate. I tend to be very optimistic and look for the best in people.

19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?

It's nearly 2:00 a.m. EDT. I'm wearing a bra, panties, diamond studs, a diamond necklace. My make-up is done from earlier (smokey eye), because I haven't yet washed my face. My hair is pulled back in a chignon. It's hot, humid, and raining. I'm in town for NYFW and this was the best option for a look that was still elegant, despite the climate!

20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?

I think fashion if a form of self-expression. The right hair, make-up, and clothing can make a woman feel confident and empowered. It's psychological. When women feel confident, they're not distracted and can do anything and everything they put their minds too!

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

My mom, my friends, my peers, my co-workers, and anyone else who wants to hear me go on and on about fashion.

22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

At this point in my life, I am pretty independent. I am inspired by what I see on the runways; in editorials; and in visual merchandising. I think sometimes, I might be reminded of something great I already own or get an idea about how to put together pieces in a new way!

23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?

I do think I have a great sense of style (at least people often tell me so) and a very sophisticated taste level.

24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?

Fortunately, I haven't had too many of these, because I am an exceptional bargain-hunter. Years ago, I bought designer jeans, which is kind of ridiculous, especially considering I don't wear jeans very often. That was the first and last time I did that!

25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?

Not necessarily getting away with anything, but I do love belts; you can belt anything--a jacket, dress, sweater, coat...

26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?

I also enjoy home decor; I think my home is also a great reflection of my style. I mix textures and it feels very glamorous. And just as I mix high and low in fashion; I blend antiques and modern pieces in my home!

27. Can you recall some times when you have dressed a particular way to calm yourself or gain a sense of control over a situation that scared you?

I tend to wear a lot of black and whenever I go on an interview, I keep it very classic with a black pencil skirt or navy dress and jacket. On a date, I might wear red to convey confidence.

28. Would you say you “know what you like” in the area of fashion and clothing? If so, do you also know what you like in other areas of life, that is, are you generally good at discernment? Can you say where your discernment comes from, if you have it? Or if you don’t have it, why or why not?

I am very discerning. When I love something, I tend to have a visceral reaction. I tend to gravitate to similar silhouettes and hues if they're flattering on me, i.e. I feel confident wearing them...

29. Did your parents teach you things about clothing, care for your clothing, dressing or style? What lessons do you remember? Or did you just pick things up?

My grandmother and mother taught me A LOT about style and caring for garments. I always liked to dree up and my mother warned me that I would have a hefty dry-cleaning bill. I'm also good about laundering delicate items by hand.

30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?

When I want to feel sexy, I might wear a smokey eye or red lipstick. I will wear a provocative dress, but men seem to prefer a more natural look, hair down, and just jeans and a t-shirt. Feeling sexy is more about an inner confidence and ambiance. I can feel sexy with a glass of wine, some Justin Timberlake, and great conversation!

32. If dressing were the only thing you did, and you were considered an expert and asked to explain your style philosophy, what would you say?

My style philosophy is classic, with a hint of sexy. I like pieces that are original, well tailored, and feminine. I also love pieces that are somewhat avant-garde. I also like mixed media pieces.

35. Are you generally a good judge of whether what you buy will end up being worn? Have you figured out how to know in advance?

Yes, I am a good judge. This has definitely improved with age as I've gotten to know my body better. I sell, donate, and discard fewer pieces each year, because I am investing in a classic wardrobe which suits my boy type and lifestyle.

37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?

I look at the weather. I think about my activities. Sometimes, it starts with a shoe, a hue, a silhouette--then I build upon that foundation.

38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?

I also want to look and feel good/confident.

39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?

Dressing up would be a cocktail dress or evening gown, which is usually reserved for a semi-formal event, or night at the ballet, theater, or opera!

40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?

I do wear "a uniform" daily. It's usually a dress with a jacket; a skirt top, blouse, and jacket; or pants (skinny or flared) with a top and jacket! I love jackets! Oh and I usually wear 4" heels.

41. What would you say is “you” and what would you say is “not you”?

I like feminine, ladylike, and classic. I'm not one for grunge, bold color combinations, and baggy/oversized clothing.

42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?

I am Hispanic. Hispanic women are taught from an early age to embrace and leverage their femininity and beauty.

50. Do you ever wish you were a man or could dress like a man or had a man’s body? Was there ever a time in the past?

I LOVE BEING A WOMAN!!! We have so many more choices and can take more risks!

51. If there was one country or culture or era that you had to live in, fashion-wise, what would it be?

I love the fashion from the late 40's to early 60's, think Hitchcock Heroine! I love Italian fashion!

54. Are there any figures from culture, past or present, whose style you admire or have drawn from?

I admire Jacqueline Kennedy's style the most.

56. What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try and achieve?

I think a plunging neckline can be very sexy on someone with a more modest bust than mine. There are pieces that are AMAZING on someone who is taller and less curvy that just don't work with my body type, but I find garments that do work instead!

57. If you were totally comfortable with your body, or your body was a bit closer to what you wish it was like, what would you wear?

I am totally comfortable with body and fortunately can already wear exactly what I want.

60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?

I do, but I like clean scents, nothing too heavy or musky.

61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?

I love my body, but I think it's important to start with the proper foundations. Tailor your clothes to your body!

62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?

Beauty is an extension of your look!

63. Is there a certain look you feel you’re expected to like that you have absolutely no interest in? What is it? Why aren’t you interested?

I think people might expect me to like cropped tops; I don't hate them, but they're not my favorite look.

64. Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing and jewelry-wise?

My clothing tends to be very classic with some avant-garde pieces. My jewelry is very classic. I mostly wear fine jewelry, not many costume or fashion pieces.

65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?

I don't think I can pick just one. I wear diamond studs, necklace, and rings everyday. I have a lovely vintage fur coat that I bought on my first trip to Rome. My first Hermes scarf is red with 10 horses. When I lost it, I was devastated; luckily, I was able to replace it!

66. Tell us about something in your closet that you keep but never wear. What is it, why don’t you wear it, and why do you keep it?

I don't keep items I don't wear. I sell, consign or donate them, to make space for pieces that I do wear!

67. Looking back at all your purchases over the past five to fifteen years, can you generalize about what sorts of things were the most valuable to buy?

The most valuable pieces are the ones that I've worn most and feel best in! I believe in investing in great shoes and handbags that I will wear/use most!

71. What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?

The first designer bag I bought was a Prada bag and yes, I still own it!

72. Was there ever an important or paradigm-shifting purchase in your life?

I think when I started to purchase fine jewelry pieces and wearing more jackets and blazers, I felt more sophisticated, mature, and polished.

74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?

My closet/dressing room is my happy place; it's organized by garment type, then color!

75. Were you ever given a present of clothing or jewelry that especially touched you?

I have my grandmother's pearls!

77. How and when do you shop for clothes?

I hate malls/crowds; I prefer small boutiques. If I'm going downtown, I try to shop Monday evening when there aren't too many shoppers or Thursdays, if that's when they receive new shipments!

80. How does money fit into all this?

I have a gift for finding amazing deals!

81. Is there an article of clothing, a piece of make-up, or an accessory that you carry with you or wear every day?

I wear the same fine jewelry pieces every day.

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