Stacy Suvino is an undercover it girl. That is, undercover if you aren't following her stylish daily posts on Instagram or her comings and goings on her website, stacysuvino.com. In fact, she's so undercover that outside of the virtual world, you are only likely to encounter her observing quietly at fashion events from coast to coast, perusing hidden gems of vintage stores and insider archives, walking around in dark glasses amidst the buildings of downtown Tulsa, or burning the midnight oil behind the glass in the windows of a Tulsa style mainstay, Miss Jackson's.
"I'm a behind-the-scenes person," Suvino said.
A behind-the-scenes person who loves to set the stage.
Recruited three and a half years ago by Debbie Palazzo of Miss Jackson's, Suvino is a Fayetteville, Ark. native who initially found herself living the southern fashionista's dream, working as part of the window team at Bergdorf Goodman's in New York. She started out as an intern while attending the Fashion Institute of Technology and two weeks before graduation, was hired to do window design, table settings, decorating, and merchandising.
In the years Suvino spent studying, working, and living in New York, she took time to hone her innate sense of style and establish great relationships and resources. "My time at Bergdorf influenced my fashion direction. It's where my love affair with vintage started. My best friend and I would take trips to central Jersey to the basements of vintage stores and dig through trash bags full of clothes. While assisting with a project, I sometimes felt like maybe it was a waste of time to be running all over New York, picking up pieces. But I met people and I collected business cards and to this day, I still rely on those contacts," Suvino said.
Forever a vintage-ophile, Suvino has some favorite spots all over the country. Some favorites include Horizons in Brooklyn, New York Vintage, Shareen Vintage in both New York and L.A., and Wasteland in L.A. "Almost everything I buy is out of London or vintage," Suvino said.
COURTESY OF NATHAN PRESLEY
For newer stuff, she likes H&M and her online favorites are TopShop.com and ASOS.com. Her most recent purchases include floral oxfords with silver toes and a faux leather moto jacket and can be seen in her creative Instagram ensembles, documented by strangers that Suvino encounters on the streets of downtown Tulsa.
She also gets a great deal of inspiration from fellow fashionable bloggers such as atlanticpacific.com, cheyennemeetschanel.com the glamourai.com, tuulavintage.com, and -- one of her personal favorites -- the manrepeller.com, where the blogger started posting her ensembles after deciding that her clothes must be the reason she never makes it past three dates with a man.
Suvino hasn't gone unnoticed. The retail design world has taken notice, with Retail Design International running a feature on 2012's standout holiday window designs of Bergdorf Goodman, Saks, Barney's, and -- notably -- Miss Jackson's. What's even more noteworthy is that the larger corporate stores have holiday window budgets of $500,000 and slews of full-time window designers, while Suvino accomplish the same thing with a tiny fraction of the budget and a skeleton crew of three, including Tulsans Rachel Everette and Mary Grace Livingston.
"We try to create high-caliber designs that are low-budget but high on creativity. We would not be able to do the lavish windows we do if it weren't for the generosity of our local sources such as Dale Gillman Antiques and Charles Faudree," Suvino said.
In addition to the RDI feature, Suvino's team has also garnered press in Visual Merchandising and Store Design magazine as well as the Fashion Institute of Technology publication, Hue.
While Suvino loved living in New York and enjoyed her experience as a member of the design crew at Bergdorf's, she appreciated the opportunity for more creative control and the hands-on experience that Miss Jackson's offers. "Miss Jackson's is a great place to experiment and test the waters. I remember traveling from Fayetteville to Tulsa as a kid with my parents to go shopping at Utica Square. Even then, I took note that Miss Jackson's has really big windows. It's a good-sized canvas."
A canvas can take up to 100 hours of work -- every couple of weeks from conceptualization to construction.
Suvino has recently expanded that canvas as a freelance art director with Darling Magazine. In addition to her print editorial work, Suvino aspires to launch into movie set design. It is yet another platform from which to tell a story of her own design. "I didn't even know this was all a possibility until I went off to the Fashion Institute of Technology," Suvino said. "I didn't know that this is a viable career path. As a kid, I just knew that I liked to create. I changed the theme in my bedroom every month. My granddad built me a giant pink bookcase that I made into a Barbie House. Each room had a different decor and my Barbies always had really fancy clothes and hairstyles. Never normal clothes, only glamorous outfits."
"The work that I do know lets me merge all of my artistic interests into one," she added.
And merge many interests she does. Creativity never sleeps, and neither does Suvino. She's too busy conceptualizing how best to take design world by storm, one ensemble, photo, blog, window, set design, and editorial layout at a time.
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