Clos-ette Case: Sam Allen

Posted on September 07, 2016 by Kathleen Harris

It can be said with certainty that Sam Allen was born with good taste. The Connecticut-based interior designer was just 19 years old when his career skyrocketed, being tapped to participate in the late Albert Hadley’s “Room With a View” show house. From then, he has been infusing his impeccable style and love for design in his work at his company, Sam Allen Interiors. Here, he shares his style icon, his inspiration, and what his dream closet looks like.

How would you describe your personal style?

I’d say that it’s “fresh traditional.” I like crisp, modern neutrals with a personalized edge, nodding toward trends without being a slave to them. My personal style idol is Brunello Cucinelli; his clothes are so luxurious and beautiful, but there’s strong substance behind his style.

What’s your daily uniform?

As a designer of course my presentation is very important to me, but I’m always so busy that everything has to be streamlined and functional, so I lean towards neutrals. On an average day you’re likely to find me in white APC jeans, cream Common Project sneakers, a white Cucinelli oxford, and always my Rolex Daytona. In the event of a chill I may throw on a v­neck with suede elbow patches.

How does the way you dress inform or inspire your business?

A strong personal style is definitive—it determines your dress, your business, your interiors and your lifestyle. So I’d say it’s more that my personal style influences both my dress and my business. I always pay attention to details, I always try to keep things fresh, and I’m always influenced by the classics. Beyond that .... The color orange is a bit of a signature of mine.

Where do you find inspiration when designing your spaces?

Everything begins with my clients; I get inspired by their lives, their personalities, and their needs. Once I have that information, inspiration is never far behind. I can’t always pinpoint where inspiration has come from—I draw from everything around me. I’m very visual, and I keep a mental catalogue of images from travel, culture, and art. [See one of Sam's projects below.]

What’s the most cherished item in your closet?

Everything by Brunello Cucinelli. His pieces are simple but not plain. Luxurious, but not showy. Understated but lovingly created. You can sense his business philosophy from those details; it’s rooted in humanist philosophy, invested in giving back and making the world a better place. And what would we never find in your closet? I love things that are fun and show personality, but I really just don’t have time for things that don’t work seamlessly into my life.

Finish this sentence, you can never have too many...

Minutes of the day!

If you could design a no­-holds­-barred, no­-budget dream closet for yourself, what would it look like?

I’d model it after a beautiful tailor’s studio in Italy, with lots of Loro Piano men’s suiting fabrics and luxurious suede. I’m visualizing rich wood, natural light and high ceilings.

Whose closet would you love to raid?

Bradley Cooper, JFK, and, of course, Brunello Cucinelli.

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Clos-ette Case: Lauren J. Solomon

Posted on August 03, 2016 by Kathleen Harris

“Dressing people is not about the clothes, it’s about what it does to the person,” says Lauren J. Solomon, owner of the global fashion consulting company LJStyle in New York City. “And when you look and feel good, your energy changes and you attract all the things you want in your life.” It’s why her clients flock to her. And, the fact that Solomon has militant-like penchant for organization and love for pushing fashion boundaries to create a dream wardrobe that's individually yours. From closet audit to personal shopping, Solomon is there every step of the way. Here, she talks about her own personal style, how to find confidence through what you wear, and the one closet organization tip everyone needs.

How would you describe your personal style?

Elegant, sophisticated with some over-the-top, embellished, fabulous statement pieces. I’m a big believer in investment basics and staples, and throwing on a pop of something.

What's your daily uniform?

I’m really into statement jackets. Like any New Yorker, I will wear head-to-toe black and then throw on statement jacket. But every day is different, depending on my mood! In the fall, I’m usually wearing leather pants, booties, a silk blouse, and a fab jacket. I try to be a little more colorful in the warmer weather.

How does the way you dress inform or inspire your work?

I put my spin on every client, however it’s each individual person’s spin. I don’t dress anyone like I dress myself. I believe in dressing people to be the complete best version of themselves, combining their personality and what looks best on them. I will create an entire capsule for that person and choose silhouettes and colors based on what looks best on their body and shape and what’s appropriate for their career and lifestyle. Then I add finishing touches that represents them as a person.

What are your favorite type of clients to dress?

I feel blessed to have such a wide range of clients, from people that really need my services to those who feel like already know their true style. My most rewarding clients are the ones that didn’t know how to do it themselves, and after their style makeover, they see so many things change in their lives, whether it’s a huge career jump or a new relationship.

Do you believe how you dress influences success?

Yes, I do believe in the advice, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” Some of my clients have sent me their daughters right out of college and they’re trying to get the next place in their career and it’s confusing because they have younger clothes and they’re not sure how to dress to be a power bitch. It makes such a difference when you dress a certain way. People take you more seriously. You take yourself more seriously. You carry yourself differently. 

What's the most cherished item in your closet?

When I first became successful in business, I bought a pair of basic black Manolo pumps. A classic investment. They’re not a standout piece, but when I look at these black pumps, I remember they journey and truly appreciate where I am now.

And what would we never find in your closet?

Dry cleaning hangers...I have major OCD and I always switch out my hangers so everything is organized and looks gorgeous.

Tell us more about your your closet organization process.

I have a specific process, but it's adapted to each client. I always organize by sleeve length and color, and I always roll workout gear and casual clothes that don't wrinkle. I use folding boards, dividers, and matching hangers to keep everything consistent and visually pleasing. That’s the basics. Then, it depends on the client’s preference—some clients like their wardrobe divided by category (work vs going out) and some clients like things completely visual.

What’s your best advice for cleaning out your closet?

If you find something in your closet that you haven’t worn in a year and you wouldn’t go into a store and buy today, get rid of it. And if it doesn’t truly make you happy, get rid of it—no need to have it in your energy spectrum.

If you could design a no-holds-barred, no-budget dream closet for yourself, what would it look like?

I like white, lucite, and mirrors. Think of that dream closet from Sex and the City closet. Clean, light, airy, with windows and a little bit of glamour. A big open space.

Finish this sentence, you can never have too many…

Things that make you happy!

And what makes you the happiest?

To make a difference in people’s lives, and make them look and feel great, there’s nothing better than that feeling. Also, I can never have too many statement jackets.

Whose closet would you love to raid?

I’m lucky that I “raid” my clients’ closets every day. But if there was one closet I would love to really raid, it would be Anna Wintour.

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Clos-ette Case: Poonam Khanna

Posted on July 12, 2016 by Kathleen Harris

Simple. Effortless. Surprising. These three words easily describe architect and interior designer Poonam Khanna’s aesthetic. As founder of the Unionworks, a multidisciplinary design practice in New York City, Poonam has an incredible talent for assessing her clients’ style and turning vision into reality.

Jesse Randall, the founder of Loeffler Randall, spoke of this genius in an interview with One Kings Lane, “From the second I met Poonam, I knew instantly it was a match—she has the most amazing and understated taste.” This impeccable eye translates to her personal style, too. Here, Poonam discusses her favorite pieces to wear and how fashion influences her work.


How would you describe your personal style?

I guess you would call it tomboy chic. I’m a working mom so I need things in my closet that are very easy. My wardrobe is more about fabrics, textures, and feeling comfortable and easy. An outfit that can get me through a full day, from walking out the door with avocado fingerprints on me and getting to the office to an event at night.

What's your daily uniform?

Skinny jeans with a couple of easy layers on top. My everyday favorites are R13 skinny jeans, anything Ted Meuhling, and Jerome Dreyfus bags. My current obsession is jumpsuits by NLST or 6397.

Does the way you dress inform or inspire your work?

Absolutely—there’s no formula for what I do professionally, but I like things to be harmonious in terms of composition. That’s true in how I dress and how I design spaces. I like to keep things clean, simple, but not so expected and predictable. I like a little color in my life. The real key is that it should look and feel effortless.

The Loeffler Randall Showroom

What's the most cherished item in your closet?

A shahtoosh shawl that was a gift from my father and my Isabel Marant biker leather jacket

And what would we never find in your closet?

Anything trendy.

If you could design a no-holds-barred, no-budget dream closet for yourself, what would it look like?

Just a bigger closet! I would love more space and room, but keep the design very simple. I would love it to be more than a closet—to be my little haven surrounded by some special things.

Do you have a favorite closet you’ve designed?

I’m designing one now for a project in Los Angeles. There will be tinted glass doors and incredible materials—stone and beautiful wood [see mood board below]. Best of all, there’s a skylight to let in the California light. 

Whose closet would you love to raid?

Lauren Hutton

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Clos-ette Case: Alicia Adams

Posted on April 28, 2016 by Kathleen Harris

Living in the country doesn’t mean you sacrifice style. In fact, for Alicia Adams, a family move from Germany to Hudson Valley, New York, in 2006 to start raising and breeding Suri alpacas was the decision that led to the birth of her luxurious fashion line, Alicia Adams Alpaca.

With a background in fashion PR, it’s no surprise being surrounded by the rare aplacas inspired Alicia to start designing handmade baby booties and hats from their wool. “Then my girlfriends came to me and said, ‘What else do you have? How can I have it? I want to wear it, too!’” Alicia says. She tried a few throws, capes, and soon began producing more and more chic, cozy wear. Now, her throws, soft sweaters, accessories, and darling baby rompers are sold at Barneys and her Millbrook, NY store.

Here, the designer talks about her fashion-forward country look, her closet favorites, and how life on the farm influences her design. 

Alicia Adams


How would you describe your personal style?

Since I live in the countryside, I tend to dress casual but still fashion conscious. I’m a very practical person; I have 4 children, ages 13 to 20 months, and am always on the road. High heels or stilettos are not going to work for me; they’ll get stuck on every piece of gravel. But I still dress stylishly—wedge boots, skinny pants, and cozy tops—I love to layer. I like bigger scarfs that you can wrap yourself in. I also add in a bit of Bohemia with my accessories.  

What's your daily uniform?

AG jeans with an Alicia Adams Alpaca sweater or cape with boots or sneakers. Layering is key for me—it’s freezing in the morning and then gets warmer throughout the day so I live in the capes and scarves that we make. My favorite from the latest collection is the Alana scarf (see photo below). And I love to accessorize with jewelry. I always have a long necklace on and tons of keepsake bracelets.

The Alana Scarf 


How does the way you dress inspire your work?

I like to conceive and design products that are practical and effortless but at the same time chic, which reflects how I prefer to dress. Luxurious, fuzzy, warm. I admire women who dress up in pant suits and dresses for work, but it’s just not me.

Where do you find inspiration when designing your line?

In my everyday life. Living in countryside is inspiring, but I also look at my friends who are very chic, classy, cool girls from the city. When they visit the farm, they all look fabulous in their weekend look. I listen to then, we brainstorm looks over wine, and I try to find out what feels most comfortable for them.

The Alpaca Farm


What's the most cherished item in your closet?

I have so many beautiful things in my closet, but I really love the vintage pieces I have inherited from my mother and mother-in-law: vintage Hermes scarves, vintage handbags, and fur jackets. These are precious hand-me-downs with a story behind each piece. I love listening to the stories—it makes me feel nostalgic and like I am part of the time that they wore it.

And what would we never find in your closet?

Birkenstock shoes!

Finish this sentence, you can never have too many… scarves, capes—easy-to-layer pieces.

What’s the best way to hang or organize capes and scarves?

I like to fold and store alpaca products in breathable cotton clothing bags.

If you could design a no-holds-barred, no-budget dream closet for yourself, what would it look like?

A walk-in room with a lot of natural light, beautiful wallpaper, and every piece hung or folded properly. No double rows for shoes or handbags. and a puff or table in the middle to sit and lay out clothes. Lastly, I love accessories, so an incredibly organized dresser for my jewelry would be ideal. But I have 4 kids so it’s hard to stay organized!

Whose closet would you love to raid?

My friend (and interior designer) Emma Jane Pilkington! She is always so feminine and beautifully dressed as if she’s from another era.


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Clos-ette Case: Mary McDonald

Posted on May 12, 2015 by Linley Taber

 The glamour girl decorator dishes on her trademark approach to design and dressing –and shares the details of her fantasy closet plan.

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Posted on May 01, 2014 by Melanie Charlton

 Melissa Meyers features Clos-ette Too's Travel Jewelry case in her Mother's Day roundup!

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Posted in Clos-ette, clos-ette case, clos-ette headlines, closet organizer, jewelry storage, jewelry travel case, Organization, Packing

clos-ette case: Jaclyn Shanfeld of Shop-Hers

Posted on July 18, 2013 by Linley Taber

  As self-professed consignment connoisseurs, we welcome any chance to trade our closet cast-offs for cold hard cash. And the new designer resale site Shop-Hers might just offer the sweetest deal out there...

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