Orly Shani is one of those style trailblazers that every girl wants to be when she grows up. She's a self-made fashion designer who shot to fame after a successful stint on NBC's Fashion Star, and operates her own innovative fashion brand Tuc+Wes. And when she's not busy dreaming up trendy new designs, she lends her talents to E! as a fashion expert.
From shooting Who Wore It Better to acting as her own personal stylist, there's never a dull moment in Shani's day. But don't take our word for it—read on to find out what a day in the office is like for the style pro!
What was your very first job?
I was a hostess at Sagebrush Cantina, a Mexican Restaurant in my hometown, of Calabasas, California. Yep… I'm from Calabasas, aka "Kardashian-Land." I interviewed there as soon as I got my worker's permit and then stalked the manager until she hired me! I started as a host and worked my way up to a waitress until I left for NYC at 19 years old. I loved it there.
Who are some of your career heroes?
I look to men and women who carve out a unique creative space for themselves. I think Sophia Amoruso of Nasty Gal changed the e-commerce game and opened the playing field for boutiques like mine. Plus she's a hardworking, humble chick. "Fortune favors the bold who get shit done."
Elon Musk of Tesla Motors. His brain thinks so far outside the box, he didn't even know there was a box. He's a true innovator and his plans for our future are amazing and wild. "Failure IS an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough."
I think Diane Von Furstenberg is a wonderful example of how you need to change with the times. She's had the most incredible highs and lows but she crawled her way back to the top by embracing the young generation and things that are important to us. She's a bad ass. "Life is very short, insecurity is a waste of time."
What's a typical workday like for you?
Most days are a balance between my clothing line, Tuc+Wes and my job at E!. I spend a lot of my time acting as my own stylist, which requires lots of driving around town, lugging returns and pulling new options from showrooms. Sometimes Daniel Musto will bring red carpet options to me and we'll do fittings anywhere and everywhere we can.
Then I head to E!, where I usually end up in hair and makeup for an hour or two— poor me, huh? Then I'm off to shoot Who Wore It Better or whatever fun fashion and style content they've got for me today.
Then I usually head over to Tuc+Wes, where we shoot new product in our studio, go over the new patterns and samples for my convertible capsule collection, edit the website and answer emails, etc.
Jennifer Cooper, E!
Describe your office décor. What was your inspiration?
Oh god. Cluttered would be the style. There is no style! One day I'll be one of those women whose office belongs in Vogue, but for now, it's more of a closet, sewing room, filing cabinet…. situation.
List five things that are on your desk right now.
My sewing machine, paintbrushes and sponges for my Tuc+Wes monogram shawls, the new Tuc labels that just came in, my photo packet to prep for E! Live Countdown to the Oscars and my Voluspa candle in Baltic Amber.
What do you typically wear to work?
I'm way more of a street style chick than a fancy chick. I love ripped denim, moto boots, oversized tee and a beanie, and lucky for me I can wear that stuff to work!
What are your favorite stores to shop for work clothes?|
I love Buffalo Exchange! You can bring in clothes that you haven't worn in forever and get cash or store credit for some new goodies. They only take clothes that are in great condition so you end up with amazing pieces. They have a huge variety and it's cheap!
What's the best piece of career advice you've ever received?
When I was on NBC's Fashion Star, one of the judges told me to always think about 'hanger appeal'— how the clothes will appeal to the customer while it's just on hanger in the store. It has to grab your attention so much that you will stop, grab it and try it on. It's important for me to remember that for Tuc+Wes, but also as a TV host. She was basically telling me to make sure that at first glance, my brand and my identity are so clear, consistent and focused that they will speak for themselves and stand out from the crowd. It's great advice for anyone breaking into a competitive market.
Jennifer Cooper, E!
Finish the sentence…
Today for lunch I had… A breakfast burrito from the café downstairs, add avocado sub whole wheat tortilla and a berry smoothie.
The first website I log onto every day is… Instagram.
The beauty product you can always find in my purse is… my Dr. Perricone concealer. I squeeze a few pumps into one of those little plastic sample containers they give you at Sephora so it fits in my little makeup bag. Plus, if I ever lose it, I won't be devastated that I lost the whole thing.
My must-have work gadget is… phone. Dead without it.
My usual Starbucks order is… skinny vanilla latte with an extra shot of espresso.
If I need a quick break during work, I usually… go for a quick beer with Amanda. She works with me at Tuc+Wes and my whole world would fall apart without her. I love beer, any and all beer.
If I wasn't doing this job, I would… probably still work in the bar industry. I bartended for 10 years and I loved my job. I made a boat load of cash, I loved the people I worked with and my customers rocked… but every minute of every day I dreamt of working in fashion and entertainment. I hit the jackpot with Tuc+Wes and E!
The best part of my job is…That I get paid to create and talk fashion