Michele Oppenheimer is a well-respected Fashion Stylist, image consultant with a career spanning three decades. Originally from France, and now based in America, Michele began her career at the Galeries Lafayette in Paris before working for Giorgio Armani in Beverly Hills, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills.
Today Michele works one-to-one with clients looking to find their own sense of style, “My clients usually need to have hit a ‘bottom’” says Michele,” where they are tired of the same old look and crave a new one. From that ego-defeated place, an amazing new look can be created, and then their own style can emerge” she goes on to explain, “Usually in one session I can determine what is needed. I have the experience, the knowledge, and impeccable taste to support that and deliver the perfect look”.
Michele’s fashion stylist career has enabled her to nurture this confidence and an understanding of her client’s needs. Beverly Young of Santa Fe, confirms Michele’s words, “I am retired and had just turned 60 years old when I found myself standing in my closet and wondering what the heck am I going to wear for this new phase of my life” she says, “I didn't know how to put together what I liked for me. It was Divine Intervention when I found Michele's ad in our local paper and decided to call. That phone call literally changed my life!” Beverley has no doubt as to the effect Michele has had on her life and relationships; “I am still amazed by the number of compliments I have received since working with Michele. I am overwhelmed at this change in my life and cannot thank Michele enough for what she has done for me. It is not only the business side of our relationship but her intuitiveness and friendship that prompts me to call her my ‘Saint Michele’."
“My first contact with Fashion was working at the Galeries Lafayette in Paris, where I was exposed to a variety of fashion designers.” Michele explains, “Working in that legendary store sparked a passion that continues to grow to this day. In America I worked in all aspects of retail, including sales, buying, creating a collection and managing stores. In 1995 I was privileged to work for Giorgio Armani in Beverly Hills. I learned everything about the fabric, tailoring, couture, and prêt -a- porter for men and women”.
The BelledeSoiree team were keen to learn more about the influence that working for such a well-respected designer had had on Michele’s career,
“Mr. Armani is a genius”, she says “and his degree of perfection and excellence has become the model for my entire career”.
“I believe that my clothes can give people a better image of themselves - that it can increase their feelings of confidence and happiness.” Giorgio Armani
“I took that quote to heart,” Michele says “and found that I have an ability to see what will make each client look their best. Then I worked for Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus and became a personal shopper capable of finding the best wardrobe, no matter what the needs of my clients. Working for those prestigious department stores gave me access to the best designers on the planet”.
Working with the elite of fashion designers and retailers, Michele has inevitably dealt with high profile names. But just what challenges had she faced in dressing them?
“It is always challenging to help celebrities”, Michele confirmed “though the challenges usually come from the entourage, who try to prove their own importance. The actors are usually wonderful to work with”. Always the professional Michele would never ‘name names’, but continues, “I had some unpleasant encounters, but too few to be mentioned!”
BelledeSoiree is aware of just how quickly fashion and shopping trends can change; “Fashion is eternal. It is always changing, and there is always some good and some bad”, Michele is keen to point out, “Do not confuse trend and fashion. Trends come from the street; the vibe is picked up by designers who then create their own take on it. Chanel, Dior, Yves St Laurent, Lagerfeld, Oscar de La Renta were incredible icons, and their legacy and influence will be felt for generations to come. Giorgio Armani is still influencing the world of fashion and staying true to himself”.
For many, the idea of engaging a stylist to help in their search for the perfect pieces is just a dream, but for those lucky enough to work with Michele how does the process start?
“It all depends if I do a total makeover, or just a new style for a new job or a new love interest” Michele explains “If time permits, I usually give my client some homework, such as cutting out pictures from magazines, or clipping looks on Pinterest. Then we shop together”
Many people still consider French women to be the epitome style, and as a French woman working in America, Michele is perfectly positioned to give her opinion on the France v America debate – the first part of the statement she readily agrees with, “Being French gave me a sense of sophistication” she confirms, “but American women can be extremely sophisticated and capable of wearing what looks good. They are very educated in fashion trends”.
Even after 30 years in the industry, it is obvious that Michele’s enthusiasm and love for the world of fashion show no signs of waning.
Michele offers a full consultation service including image consultation, wardrobe makeover, personal shopping, and closet intervention and would be happy to discuss your needs further – whether you have a fashion emergency, need help to pull an outfit together or simply some shopping support to identify the perfect gift, Michele can help.
Please contact BelledeSoiree for more information and an introduction; Michele works on the phone, via email (with photos, ideas, etc) and online.
Michele has amassed an impressive list of contacts and suppliers during her years in the industry. Perhaps most impressive are the testimonials she has received.
“Michele Oppenheimer has impeccable taste and it is a true pleasure working with her. She gave me specific recommendations for what to purchase and also helped me decide what should stay and what needed to go from my closet. She is caring, practical, efficient and knowledgeable. I have saved a lot of time and money working with Michele and I highly recommend her services.”
Stephanie Palmer, pitch consultant, Good in a Room
"As the author of literary crime fiction, I needed a sophisticated look -- with maybe a hint of tough-girl aleather! Over the many years we worked together, Michele consistently created eye-catching and practical wardrobes for my book tours and speaking engagements. She is a terrific gal with an original eye and French flair. I always felt confident wearing her clothes -- and they are still the most wearable and fun in my closet. Highly recommended! "
April Smith, author of the FBI Special Agent Ana Grey Mysteries. www.aprilsmith.net
“I am retired and had just turned 60 years old when I found myself standing in my closet and wondering what the heck am I going to wear for this new phase of my life. Living in Santa Fe is wonderful, but I had become very casual in my dress and I even thought a boxy shirt over baggy pants with a scarf wrapped around my neck was "chic."
I began to look at women my age and saw what I liked and what I didn't like. But I didn't know how to put together what I liked for me. It was Divine Intervention when I found Michele's ad in our local paper and decided to call. That phone call literally changed my life!
Meeting Michele is like meeting a best friend who brings the best out in you. I was awestruck at how quickly she evaluated my needs and led me gently to the land of good fashion sense, style and confidence. She was sensitive to my budget limits and guided me like a fashion angel to make wonderful purchases that took me from confusion and doubt about my style, to now knowing what looks good, what does not look good and what is appropriate for me. My husband was very pleased as I came strolling down the hall wearing each new outfit one by one. He sees a new me and he likes what he sees. I am still amazed by the number of compliments I have received since working with Michele.
I am overwhelmed at this change in my life and cannot thank Michele enough for what she has done for me. It is not only the business side of our relationship but her intuitiveness and friendship that prompts me to call her my "Saint Michele."
Santa Fe, NM
“Michele was my Personal Shopper at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills. She is terrific, and it was a pleasure to work with her. One of her strengths is the time she takes getting to know her clients and their needs. I am a professional with a very hectic work schedule, and Michele put together outfits for me so that I did not have to spend time in the morning trying to decide what to wear. Additionally, when she saw an outfit that would look good on me, she put it aside for me. I always received compliments on what I was wearing, and I truly miss working with Michele. She is a dynamite Personal Shopper and a good friend.”
“Michele has a real sense for her client's personal style; she helps you become more of who you really want to be. Combine that with her up to the moment fashion sense, and you've never looked as good as you do when dressed by Michele - and that goes for men as well as women - my husband loves to shop with her too!”
21st Century Energy Medicine Program
"Four years ago, as I prepare for my second wedding, I realize it won't be easy. I have three bridesmaids with vastly different figures and a mother who hates to shop. In a panic, I call
Michele for help. Michele is not scared. She gathers LBD's (little black dresses), jackets, tops, shoes, and bags for all of us.
Within a few hours, we are decked out from top to toe.
She makes the impossible become possible. What should have taken days takes less than a full afternoon. My bridesmaids and I go out to celebrate!
The next challenge I give her: make me look like a picture in a magazine. I've clipped of actress Lisa Rinna rushing through an airport.
Michele finds the right jeans (always a tough task), the proper shirt, the right belt. Suddenly I am transformed into the hip look I crave.
Michele has impeccable taste. She has an artistic, European sensibility with realistic limits. She can ferret out the season's top trends while she keeps her clients looking timeless. She knows what works, and how to work it. She gives her clients a sense of confidence that they are going to look their best in any situation."
Erica Gerard Di Bona
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