On a very news slow day in the middle of July, Styleite‘s fearless leader Verena discovered that designer Whitney Port has never eaten pasta. Yesterday, we figured out why.
Port was helping style real people on the street to celebrate the launch of the eBay Lookbook, which went live today. It’s a user-curated shopping experience (not entirely dissimilar to, ahem, StyleSheets) in which you can upload photos of yourself, tag what you’re wearing and show off how fabulous you are. But instead of an amazing package of Guerlain cosmetics, the eBay Lookbook is giving one lucky person with great personal style a $5,000 eBay shopping spree, a photo shoot with Lucky’s Michael Waring, and a consultation with Lucky editor at large Elise Loehnen.
To get the Lookbook started, Port, Loehnen and Waring set up shop on the corner of Cooper Square and Astor Place in New York, and helped people select outfits from clothes, shoes and accessories pulled straight from eBay Fashion. Celebrity stylist Annabel Tollman and eBay’s own Karen Bard offered advice to the public before Waring took their pictures and uploaded them to the new site.
All of which was cool. But we wanted to know about the pasta.
“I’ve always had a really big aversion to it,” Port said with a laugh when we managed to pull her away from people asking for her advice. “Like, the texture — I’m really weird about texture. It’s just slimy to me.”
Once we had that settled — and once Tollman had made a joke about refined carbohydrates — Port told us that finding clothes online is good way to get great personal style on the cheap.
“I thought it was important that people are able to reflect their own personal style through finding it online,” she said. “It’s a such a big way to find fashion trends these days at affordable prices.”
Clad in a vintage 80s dress she found — where else? — on eBay and a new jacket from Rebecca Taylor, Port helped people find the looks that expressed their personal style best. They could choose from big brands like Christian Louboutin and Michael Kors to clothes that didn’t even have labels on them. Tollman told us that the mix of high and low in street style is incredibly important to the fashion industry.
“Fashion works in two ways. It works from designers down and from the street up,” she said. “You look at how so many designers now are influenced by street style. It’s wonderful that there’s something like the eBay Lookbook that curates and shows what people actually wear.”
Tollman, who’s made her name as a stylist to the rich and famous, said it was no harder to style people on the street than it was models.
“I style an average, everyday person myself, every day, being myself,” she said. “Yes, actresses are gorgeous and everything, but every single person has things about their body that aren’t 200 percent perfect. Everybody has good parts and bad parts … I think fashion is for everybody.”
We couldn’t agree more. Interested in winning the eBay Lookbook prize? There’s more info here.