Trendsetters at Work, LOFT

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

A great sense of style can't be taught in a classroom—at least not in Amanda Kraemer's case.

LOFT's style director didn't enhance her fashion education at design school; instead, the creative found inspiration in real-life experiences and world cultures. It's no surprise that her vision is so relatable to millions of women across the country. How did she get to this dream job, you ask? By refusing to do what she hates.

Keep reading to find out more about this New Yorker's awesome career.

What was your first job?
I was a team leader at a riding stable, a.k.a. I led horseback-riding trail tours through a state park. I love horses, so it was pretty perfect…for a summer.

How did you get started in your career?
It took me awhile to "find my way" you could say. I always knew I wanted to work in fashion and in a creative sector but didn't know to what extent. After I entered (and abruptly quit) fashion design school and then spent some time working in International Sourcing, a friend mentioned I try styling. It's worked so far. Some days I still can't believe I get to do this for a living. I love what I do.

Trendsetters at Work, LOFT

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

What is a typical day like for you?
It totally depends if I'm at a photo shoot or in the office. If I'm on set, then I start the day by pow-wowing with the entire crew. If I'm in the office, my day starts (and generally continues) with lots of emails. But a majority of what I do is working closely with cross-functional teams, so communication is a must.

Tell us about your office décor. When did you last give your office a makeover?
I need to have a window view—lots of natural sunlight. I recently did a mini-makeover and added some new books, updated inspiration boards and did some serious de-cluttering. I'm a bit of a pack rat and had to do a deep clean to breathe and reset.

What's the best part about your job?
A few things come to mind: 1) Being able to bring a fashion fantasy to life. I love being one part of a bigger creative process. We start with a single garment and create tangible, translatable and inspiring imagery. That never gets old. 2) I work with incredibly smart, talented and considerate people. Beyond important. 3) My position is constantly evolving. Working at LOFT has given me the opportunity to go beyond the expected and broaden the styling scope. I consider myself very lucky.

What's the most daring career risk you've ever taken?
I quit my first job out of college cold-turkey. I had no backup plan, but sometimes that's what you have to do—it forces you to hone in on what you really love and stay far away from what you've learned you could never go back to.

Trendsetters at Work, LOFT

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

What spring trends are you most excited for? And which trends are you ready to see go?
I'm still loving flares. From full leg to cropped options, they're still looking very cool. Because I'm so over wearing a parka by this point, I'm already on the hunt for the perfect spring jacket(s) and layering options. Lastly, I'm ready to let minimal jewelry go away for awhile. I want to make more of a statement with pieces where organic meets graphic. It feels most relevant right now and a way to reset for the season.

When you're styling a shoot, what's your creative process like? And what unexpected factors do you have to take into consideration?
I'm particularly inspired by India right now. In fact, LOFT's entire spring collection was inspired by the sights, colors and florals of the country. Styling is not a 100 percent free-for-all. I need to consider current business and market initiatives, represent accurate aesthetic and ensure my styling has a "learning" of sorts—I want to inspire and show women something unexpected.

Who are some of your career heroes?
Anyone who actually pursues their passion, continues to learn and refuses to do what they hate.

What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?
Be confident in your own skills and always treat others as you would like to be treated.

Trendsetters at Work, LOFT

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

Finish the sentences below:
Today for lunch I had… Chop't. I'm a sucker for it. Bonus, it's right across the street. A handful of Jelly Bellies was dessert.

The first website I log onto every day is… It used to be, but now it's a tie for Instagram, Pinterest or

My usual Starbucks order is… Depends on the season. But I'm still going strong with my iced Red Eye and scone combo.

If I wasn't doing this job, I would… Probably be a florist, travel journalist or custom furniture maker (just like my dad).

My favorite place to visit is… This is a tough one. I have so many favorites for different reasons, but if I had to pick just one it'd definitely be back home during summer.

List five things that are on your desk right now… Layers of swipe, fresh flowers, my Jil Sander wallet, a pile of my favorite fashion books and a Diptyque candle.

The book I'm reading right now is… It's actually a four-way spread between The Outliers, Women in Clothing, Don Quixote and Mother Teresa: In My Own Words.

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