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Racked's new lass with sass, Courtney Jacquin chatted with Cynthia Holbrook, personal shopper at Neiman Marcus Michigan Ave. about life as a personal shopper at one of the most luxurious places to shop in Chicago.
Racked Chicago: What is a typical day like as a personal shopper?
Cynthia Holbrook: Well, that's kind of a loaded question because you don't know. I work by appointment, so a typical day s many people at once with emergencies and occasions and getting all of their needs together. It's like a family. I've known many of the customers for so long, if they have emergencies or if they're just shopping for the season, it's a familiar situation.
RC: How long have you been a personal shopper?
CH: 22 years, all of which have been spent at Neiman Marcus [Michigan Ave.]
RC: Who is your favorite designer right now?
CH: Do I have to name just one? [laughs]. I think my favorites are Chado [Ralph Rucci], J. Mendel, Christian Dior, of course Chanel. I love Naeem Khan, Nina Ricci. I do like Zac Posen. Did I say Oscar? I really like Oscar [de la Renta] and Giambattista Valli When I'm dressing someone though, I don't like to dress them in an outfit. I like to mix it up so no one really knows what or who you're wearing.
RC: What's your favorite item you've recently sold to a customer?
CH: I'd have to say a Chado dress. It's a leather dress with a lot of embellishment. It's very classic style but very unusual and modern. It's unexpected, which is great.
RC: In the spirit of Whale Week, what's the most extravagant piece you've sold recently?
CH: A Naeem Khan dress. It was all sequined and fitted to the body with feathers from the hip down, like a cascade of feathers. Extravagant indeed.
RC: Favorite piece in the store right now?
CH: It's kind of basic, but still fabulous. It's a Valentino dress in brown, black and cream and it's crochet with lace. It's wearable for many people and body types and it's dressy and modern. You could go anywhere in this dress, it's quite special.
RC: What's the best event you've ever dressed someone for?
CH: A wedding actually. The mother of the bride, the bride, the whole family. It was the most exciting and most fantastic and fabulous wedding to be involved in.
RC: What makes personal shopping at Neiman Marcus different from anywhere else?
CH: I think Neiman Marcus offers so many areas – it's one stop shopping. It's so easy for personal shopping with everything at your fingertips. You can buy your jewelry, shoes, handbags, accessories, your casual wear, your formal wear, your lingerie, everything. You can dress your husband and your children, and that's where I come in. I wardrobe them, we offer everything.
· All Neiman Marcus Coverage [Racked]
· All Whale Week Coverage [Racked]
· Neiman Marcus [Official Site]