>> Sarah Rutson, the Hong Kong-based fashion director of department store Lane Crawford (who was recently rumored to be under consideration for the Barneys fashion director position), has hit the streets of Manhattan running for New York Fashion Week, bringing her disarming wit and covetable wardrobe with her.
This New York Fashion Week, she's graciously agreed to give us a window into her thoughts as she zips across town from show to show, making us privy to the workings of not only an influential international buyer, but well-loved streetstyle star. (Speaking of: in the pipeline, we've got details on the makings of her Fashion Week wardrobe.)
But before we serve up the goods, get to know Sarah a little better — both professionally and personally. Her thoughts:
On the shows: "People always see me [at the shows] on my own but they don’t realize — obviously we’ve got a big team [at Lane Crawford]. Normally [my team] comes in a lot later. I have to do the shows, but that’s because someone has to represent the company. Shows are important, of course, but the most important thing is the showroom."
On her job: "It’s a brutal schedule to do work like this. I was at one stage traveling six months a year, but that was when we were in the rebranding stage, so I had to make sure everything was consistent across the board."
"I’m not a really uptight person, I’m a really laidback person, actually. At the end of the day, I’ve got a f*cking great job. I love what I do, I’m really good at what I do. Great people in different cities . . . the best cities in the world . . . what’s there to be miserable about? So I’m not going to start griping."
On becoming a streetstyle icon: "I don’t feel I’m on show for my job; I’m doing my job. People take pictures and all the rest of it, but I’ve been doing this for 20-odd years before then, when no one knew who I was."
On how the streetstyle attention came about: "The streetstyle bloggers, and then everyone’s into reality and in a way, it was like we are the reality stars. I think what was interesting — where I was lucky — is so few retailers other than [Net-a-Porter’s] Holli [Rogers] and Natalie [Massenet are photographed]. As a retailer, I was always put in with the editors. Like when you flip through all the Japanese magazines, there were all the editors, and then there was . . . me! And I think that’s really interesting, the majority of people that work in fashion for the stores who are buying it for the general public never hit the list."
Her Fashion Week essentials: "Absolutely I will not live without my single-breasted blazer. I cannot live without Crème de la Mer — that holds me, a big dried prune, together. My BlackBerry — it’s not so much to be constantly [connected], but it’s all the pictures of my daughter and my animals. It’s my walking picture of home."
On life beyond fashion: "I just don’t want people to think it’s only about fashion. I think if there’s anything that I can say to anyone — whether it’s a woman or a man — going into any industry, let alone the fashion industry, that takes you away from home so much for travel, [it's] do make sure you have the balance. [Otherwise] you won’t be as creative, and you won’t be as fresh, and you won’t be as open. You get jaded. I’m not jaded. I come out really excited every season, because I’ve got the balance."