In the luxury designer resale world, it is no longer enough to provide clients with their fashion designer needs. A good sales associate always strives to "wow" clients by exceeding expectations and providing them with designer products beyond what they thought they may need. Couture USA Assistant Retail Manager, Amber Patrick, understands the power of exceptional customer service and has served Couture USA clients for many years. "Before I joined Couture USA, I had a solid experience in customer service and once worked in a large fashion retail company for two years. I have always been passionate in helping people shop because I love to shop myself, so I took a chance and pursued a career in fashion retail," Patrick says. It proved to be one of the best decisions she has made professionally as, she not only followed her passion, but has also built enduring friendships with Couture USA clients. In this latest Q-and-A profile highlighting the Couture USA team, Patrick shares the fashion lessons she has learned, the shopping trends she has seen and how she helps build relationships and help her customers.
How would you describe your personal style?
My style has changed so much in the past few years. I’ve always liked a little edge in my wardrobe but it has definitely toned down as I’ve gotten older. My go-to look is a leather jacket or band t-shirt with a fun floral skirt and sneakers or booties!
Who is your idea of a fashion icon?
Iris Apfel. Aside from the fact that her personality is larger than life, I love how she embraces her quirky fashion sense and is unafraid to mix and match high-end fashion pieces with thrifty finds. She perfected the art of stacking accessories and never shies away from stylishly drawing attention to herself by wearing bold colors. Above all, I love how she hasn’t allowed her age to change her unique fashion sense; instead, she celebrates it with every statement piece she wears.
What's your first-ever designer brand purchase?
My first designer splurge was a pair of Pedro Garcia black platform wedge. They are the most comfortable pair of suede strappy heels I’ve ever owned!
Follow Amber on Instagram @amberatcouture for updates on all of the latest items that come in-store before they hit the website!
Who are your top three favorite couture designers of all time?
This is a tough one as I love several designers. But if I have to narrow it down, my top three designers are: Alexander McQueen because of his daring yet highly artistic designs; Valentino because he infuses edginess into classic looks, and Gianni Versace for his intricate designs and genius in the use of luxurious prints.
In your years working in the fashion retail industry, what's the most important fashion lesson you've learned?
The most important fashion lesson I’ve learned is to always invest in classic pieces. In doing so, you’ll be able to mix and match them with other trendier or in-season items and still look polished and sophisticated.
What's the one fashion item you will never be caught wearing?
I don’t think I can ever get with the big chunky sneaker trend. I think they are so unflattering.
Scroll down to shop Amber's favorites!
As far as what's trending within Couture USA, what shopping or fashion trends are you currently seeing among clients?
Everybody is wanting a designer belt! EVERYBODY! I also am seeing a lot more people opting for a bag with a fun color rather than your typical black or tan. Red for instance, is such a pretty “neutral” that goes with just about anything!
Can you give shopping tips on how to find and snag the best designer brand deals?
Shop with resale value in mind. It is a savvy shopping idea to get a designer product that holds its value over time. In doing so, you are guaranteed of your return of investment the next time you choose to sell your item so you may be able to afford another designer product when you decide to update your designer collection. Shop around but keep in mind that in the designer resale world, great fashion finds sell quickly—so don't wait too long so you won't miss out on a great find!
What's the most challenging and rewarding parts of working in a customer service role?
Because we are dependent upon the types of products we receive for resale, one of the most challenging parts about my job is learning to find similar or, even, better recommendations for clients when a particular product they want is not in store or online. Often, our clients come into the store with a specific product in mind. It is my job to "wow" them by exceeding their expectations and letting them see the benefits of expanding their choices by recommending other designer products with similar designs, silhouettes and better features. On the flip side, the most rewarding part is the friendships I've built with our amazing customers throughout these years.
How do you create and maintain a relationship with your customers?
I love getting to know people which in turn helps me figure out each person’s taste. We all have such different style and preferences so asking a lot of questions about a person helps to create the initial relationship. In order to maintain these relationships, I’m always staying in touch and keeping a look out for what I think people will like. I’m so lucky to have had so many customer relationships turn into friendships here. It’s so fun helping my friends shop and I cherish that they value my opinions and honesty.
Shop Amber's Top Favorite items here:
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