Always on the hunt for a deal, not a day goes by that we don't obsessively check the sales on Rue La La. We're continuously amazed at the shockingly-low prices we find on designer fashion, beauty products, home goods and more. Our closets and wallets are much happier thanks to Rue La La.
So, for our latest edition of Trendsetters at Work we caught up with Jacqueline Nasser, Rue La La's fashion director extraordinaire. Keep reading to find out how Jacqueline landed her dream gig, her savviest career tips and her fashion must-haves.
How did you get started in your career?
I got an internship at Elle magazine. I initially had a hybrid role working for both the beauty and the features departments. I got to test out hundreds of new products, learn the science and technology behind beauty products, go to press events and, most importantly, I learned how to write (it's harder than you think!). Interning is the best way to work out if a job is right for you or not. I knew immediately that I wanted to be in the editorial world. When a fashion position opened up at ELLEgirl magazine I jumped at the chance.
What is a typical day like for you?
Part of the beauty of my job and why I love it is that there is no typical day! Sometimes I'm in the office all day long in creative meetings, brainstorm sessions, curating products, directing our stylists and makeup artists, and then there are days that I'm all over the city at market appointments, trade shows and press events.
Describe your work environment.
Rue La La is a very creative and fashionable environment. Everything is very "Rue" right down to the tables and chairs. One of my favorite things is that we have an open office floor plan which really sets the tone of the company. Even our CEO sits in the middle of everyone. It's amazing what we can come up with together when we bounce ideas off of people in different fields. The office atmosphere is truly one of collaboration and fun.
What's your office décor like?
I have a beautiful view of Bryant Park, and at any time of the year there's always something going on—whether it's yoga in the park during the summertime or ice skating in the winter. Tearsheets and mood boards have a solid stake of real estate across on my desk and cabinets. I used to be worried about being absolutely tidy, but now I have learned to embrace the chaos!
What do you wear to work?
I typically opt for dresses—for their ease and versatility. Add a statement piece of jewelry and a great shoe, and you're done. If something pops up and I have to run out to meet a designer or go to an event, I always feel more put together in a dress.
Where do you shop for work clothes?
I do a combination of stores and online. Everything from J.Crew for basic cashmere sweaters, and I love their Everly suede pumps, Zara for more fashion-y pieces, Les Nouvelles for all the cool brands. I reserve my designer purchases for Rue La La. We have an incredibly diverse selection of designer bags and shoes that I really splurge on. I justify it somehow because I work here!
What are your favorite brands for accessories?
Tom Binns, Alexis Bittar and Lulu Frost for jewelry. Proenza Schouler and Chloe for bags. Ray-Ban for sunglasses. Jennifer Meyer for hair accessories. Lanvin for ballet flats. Louboutin for heels. Next on my wish list is to customize my own pair of Vara shoes from Ferragamo.
One thing you can always find on your desk?
Fresh flowers. I mix it up every week. They smell good and they are nice to look at.
Five things you never leave home with out?
My iPhone, iPad, lipgloss, a scarf and sunglasses—even in the winter.
All the Real Housewives shows.
What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?
Collaboration is key. My boss at Lucky magazine told me that if I do one thing it should be to collaborate and loop people into your ideas and projects. Don't be territorial. It helps to keep things moving forward and allows you to tap into different points of view. In the end, your work will be stronger.
What are your travel must-haves?
I'm an expert traveler. I'm from Australia, so I'm used to flying 20-plus hours to get anywhere. I start planning days ahead of time. I'm obsessed with the Next Issue app on my iPad so I can read all my magazines. I always bring my Kindle, a cozy wrap and Bose noise canceling headphones.
What are your beauty must-haves?
I love everything Josie Maran—especially her Light Argan Oil for my face and hair and the Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter; Jurlique's Rosewater facial spray and Rose Hand Cream; Laura Mercier's Foundation Primer, Tinted Moisturizer and Loose Setting Powder; La Mer's eye cream and Radiant Serum; Maybelline Falsies Mascara; Cetaphil's Daily Cleanser; Ted Gibson products for my hair—I especially love his Hair Sheets for traveling and his Build It Blowdrying Agent. And I try to remember to use my Clarisonic brush daily. I can "do my face" in 3 minutes in the morning. I keep it simple: primer, tinted moisturizer, powder, blush (Stila's Hint), mascara and lipgloss (Rosebud Perfume Co. Minted Rose Lip Balm).
What's your go-to lunch?
I try to mix it up every day because I get bored quickly. For lunch, anything that's fast, easy and healthy. Right now I'm loving anything from Sweetgreen on Broadway and tartines from Le Pain Quotidien.
Rue has a fully stocked snack closet (which is both good and bad) with everything from Twizzlers to Goldfish to Snackwell cookies, so I pretty much snack all day.
Morning beverage of choice?
I drink a green tea every morning.
My husband and I are obsessed with Apple products—it's an addiction. We have everything: shuffles, nanos, iPads, iPhones, iPods, Apple TVs, MacBook Airs etc.
Websites you visit daily?
WWD, Style.com, Fashionista, Refinery29, New York Magazine, Daily Mail (it's so bad, it's good!), The New York Times, Net-a-Porter.
If you didn't have this career, what would you be doing?
Something with food. I love to cook, I collect recipe books and I am addicted to cooking shows. I read a lot of food books too like Heat, The Man Who Ate Everything, Kitchen Confidential, Blood, Bones & Butter, and right now I'm reading From Scratch: Inside the Food Network.
What's the best part of your job?
The inspiration I get through seeing all the amazing designer products that come through the office every day. I love how I am able to think of creative ways to present these new products and trends to our members, and provide them with style inspiration. Plus, I get to see everything beforehand, so if I have my eye on something, I make sure to mark my calendar! I also love looking for pop culture opportunities. This year we did a Kate Middleton boutique as well as The Great Gatsby, Mad Men, Downtown Abbey, Bonnie & Clyde, etc. It's fun to recreate these worlds in our own way.
Advice for aspiring career girls?
Don't be afraid to network. Reach out to people that you'd like to learn from and see if they'll meet with you. Ask for help along the way--you'll be surprised to find that people are usually likely to lend a hand or an ear. Stay in touch with people from past jobs—you will never know when you may work with them again.