Just because someone is successful doesn’t necessarily mean they look successful. Working long hours in any profession can mean giving up on the latest trends in style and fashion.
Enter Lilya Yasmina Chair. The personal shopper and style consultant will replace haute couture victim of the media. Working around the world from her London base, Chair, 40, is proud to let her clients feel and feel better.
Trained for years as a buyer and scout in the fashion and beauty industry, Chair is in charge of keeping track of the latest trends, the hottest designers and the most popular looks in casual, business and night fashion. She brought her insights and experience into private practice, healing the fashion evils of individual clients seeking professional help to update and maintain their personal style.
PENTA: What does a fashion consultant and a personal shopper do?
Lilya Yasmina chair: If you are my client, my most important job is to understand your needs. In the end I want to make your life easier by building the right wardrobe according to your lifestyle. I work to evolve, match and adapt your personal external style to your personality. I can show you brands and looks that you may not know yet because it is my job to be aware of those.
What was your path in this career?
I have always been attracted to art, beauty and luxury in general. After graduation, I worked for big names in luxury such as Lancôme and St. Laurent. I realized very quickly that my consultancy work in the fields of beauty and fashion could have a very strong impact on people’s trust and how they see themselves. That realization led me directly to personal image consultancy and personal shopping.
How did you get started after switching to a shopper and image consultant?
When I started my journey, I was new to London. I had no connections or networks to rely on, but I had a passion for what I was building. The beginning was difficult and finding customers was difficult. I didn’t have a clear path, but I had a strong intuition on how to connect with people.
Who became the first customers?
They were busy moms from my daughter’s kindergarten. Most of them didn’t have time to shop or explore new trends. They didn’t have the opportunity to take care of their wardrobe, but they still wanted to look elegant. The transformations they have experienced lead to lasting relationships. They still call me every season to freshen up their wardrobes. Now, their husbands and children are also asking for my help.
I went from building new wardrobes for my friends to exploring luxury stores for new customers to getting invitations to high fashion shows alongside Anna Wintour, Ines de La Fressange and other big names in the fashion world.
When and why should someone contact you as an expert advisor and shopper?
My services are generally triggered by change: a change of season, a change of career, a change in social life. However, sometimes I get involved just because a client wants higher self-esteem.
My clients want change, transformation into something more in line with their identities. They’re also trying to save time spent designing and purchasing that change, knowing we can get right to the point together and meet their needs. Finally, in cases where customers are more in touch with their style, they come to me when they are looking for specific or exclusive pieces, understanding that I know how and where to find such things.
How is a day as a style consultant?
My days vary between meeting clients to discuss what they are really looking for; stopping by their homes to explore their current wardrobes; plan all brand meetings for my clients; and looking through the line with new brands so you can judge if they are suitable. I look at what they have available in terms of styles and sizes and discuss with them my very specific needs for current customers.
Now that you work with famous and successful people, your clients have ample resources. What do they miss that brings them to you?
They need organization and self-confidence. They may be successful in business, but that doesn’t mean they have an idea of what they want to project or what they want to look like. Let’s work together to find it. Also, in some cases, they don’t really have time to give fashion due consideration or to go out and shop for the required items.
What are the most common mistakes you see your customers make?
One of the most common mistakes is shopping. Once back home, they struggle to match items or create clothes. Some beautiful items end up hanging in their closets with price tags still on. My role is to check it out and make sure what we buy works as a whole with the older pieces they like to wear.
How does your work as a consultant and image expand into other aspects of your clients’ lives?
Over the years, I have observed the impact of style transformation on my clients’ self-confidence. Looking better was certainly helping them feel better. I find my clients trust me and my abilities, so they end up asking for more help and changes in other aspects of their life. I have developed a lifestyle coaching service where I organize everything for the client with the help of the best experts in multiple areas from fashion to fitness to mental health.
This article has been edited for length and clarity.