Stylist Lori Goldstein pretty much has an all-access backstage pass to the fashion world, and now she’s about to take 97 million QVC viewers along for the ride.
Instead of staying behind the scenes at the New York shows, as she does at Carolina Herrera, Vera Wang and others, Goldstein will be up front on Sept. 12, miked, showered in klieg lights and kicking off what will be QVC’s first three-hour show in the tents. Models wearing Logo Instant Chic, the apparel and accessories collection Goldstein has recently ramped up for the home shopping specialist, will be the first of six QVC resources to hit the runway. And viewers and showgoers will be able to order those catwalk styles as they pass by.
The overtly public setup is an unlikely one for Goldstein, who until not long ago was content to stay under the radar. During a preshow shoot last week in the Flatiron district, the stylist insisted her latest career move is rooted in egalitarianism. “Everything has kind of crescendoed, from my moving from Ohio 30 years ago to loving high-end fashion. Women of all sizes and income levels want fashion to be as exciting. And what’s so great about this is it’s so instantaneous.”
During last season’s New York shows, Goldstein offered a more compact Logo collection on air and it promptly sold out. QVC’s chief merchandising officer Doug Howe declined to give specific sales figures or projections for Logo, but noted there are plans to have more live feeds during fashion week for a variety of initiatives. “Our customers really respond when we take them on a journey. It’s real and Lori is the real deal,” he said.
In terms of this business agreement, Goldstein said her agency, Art + Commerce, which is part of IMG Fashion, the organizers of New York Fashion Week, approached her since QVC was searching for an authoritative voice who was grounded in the industry. Having worked with myriad designers, photographers, fashion editors, makeup artists and retailers over the years, she clearly met the shopping channel’s qualifications.
The Cincinnati native entered the fashion world via a job at Fred Segal in Los Angeles, but was won over by the East Coast after seeing the Manhattan skyline for the first time on a buying trip. She relocated in the late Seventies, manned the cash register at Fiorucci, a frequent weekend hangout for the then-aspiring Marc Jacobs. A few years later, Goldstein opened a downtown showroom, where she helped Anna Sui, Vivienne Westwood and others get rolling in the U.S. Ironically, Goldstein said she never envisioned herself being a stylist.
“I never really had this goal. I knew what I loved and I knew I had to do what I loved,” she said. “When you know what you want to do, you know you are not going to compromise. It kind of takes you there.”
A hairstylist friend pointed her in the right direction by telling her, “There’s a job for you. It’s called a stylist.” Before long, she was one at Macy’s, back when prized photographer Albert Watson was calling the shots for its ads and campaigns. Goldstein’s friend, the performance artist Ann Magnuson, later introduced her to Annie Leibovitz, who was just getting started at Vanity Fair and asked Goldstein to work on a Rose’s Lime Juice ad campaign. That collaboration launched scores more, including a 10-year run capturing celebrities in ads for American Express. Goldstein has also done extensive work with Steven Meisel, including last year’s much talked about Italian Vogue issue that featured solely African-American models.
“I am a teacher. I do want to give back. I want to empower women. My whole life has been, ‘Where did you get that?’ ‘How can you put that together?’ ‘Can you do that?’ and [my] wanting to give back that permission of ‘Go for it in how you dress. Don’t think about rules. Try different things,’” Goldstein said. “Clothes are really about how you put them together; they’re your little painting and you get to play with them. They are an exciting part of our lives. There are a lot of downers and clothes are not one of them.”
Logo’s hangtag, a cheerful childish portrait of Goldstein done by her artist friend Maggie Vitagliano, seems to be a testimony to that. As for the fall collection, there are waterproof leopard-patterned boots, a brocade ruffled jacket, riding pants, T-shirts with chiffon underlays, long-sleeve shirts with detachable floral pins, a derriere-covering cardigan and other interchangeable styles. Several designs, especially in the accessories collection, are multifunctional, such as a hobo bag with a detachable clutch that also has a shoulder strap, a bejeweled bracelet with a detachable broach and a sweater with a detachable pin. All 31 styles that will be featured in the Sept. 12 runway show will retail for $100 or less.
Regatta Pacific Alliance USA, the proprietary brand group of LF USA, is producing Logo. The group is also behind two Kohl’s collections, Simply Vera Vera Wang and Daisy Fuentes, as well as American Classics by Russell Simmons for Wal-Mart.
Goldstein, who along with Bobbi Brown, Suze Orman and Jillian Michaels is appearing in QVC’s fall commercials, will host a one-hour show for Logo on QVC on Sept. 23 andanother hour-long show at some point in November. Her line will also be featured in the Oct. 9 holiday gift preview show.
“To me, fashion should be fun and everybody deserves to have it. Fashion is not elitist,” she said.