We are so excited to host the stylist show as part of this year’s Artistry in Fashion. Sarah Bunje, our accessories stylist, sat down with us to discuss some of the fun she has at Artistry. As a stylist, Sarah arrives early in the morning and pull items from designer booths to show in the Stylist show. The designers love this part because any items shown almost always translate into sales.
Cañada Fashion Department (CFD): What is your background in fashion and how does that help in preparing the stylist show?
Sarah Bunje (SB): I majored in Home Economics at Oregon State University and then taught Clothing Construction, Fitting and Fashion Image classes both in High School, Adult Education and at Cañada College. I retired from Cañada to open Meyer-Bunje in Burlingame, an Art to Wear boutique showcasing both local and regional designers. Scouting out unusual accessories and clothing is an exciting business.
CFD: What is the most rewarding part of the experience in your job and as a stylist?
SB: Helping both designers and customers. It is a joy to find a new designer or help one be able to showcase what they have designed and have a customer excited about buying it.
CFD: Are there any tense moments? Or humorous ones?
SB: Of course, but you forget the tense ones and you chuckle with the humorous ones. Like the time the back of the store caught on fire or the time we were flooded. Those things get cleaned up and you go on.
CFD: How do you decide what to select?
SB: I think it is just instinct, when you see something new and fresh it just calls out. Or you see something and a customer comes to mind and you know that she will enjoy owning it.
CFD: How is it working with the other stylist? How do your ideas work together?
SB: We really work independently collecting items, but it seems to all come together and work. We have just a very small window to do the collecting. We arrive when the designers are setting up their booths so there isn’t much time to interact when you have to gather the items, do the fitting etc.
CFD: You have many Cañada fashion students as volunteers, from models, to runners and more. How are the students prepared for the task?
SB: They just seem to be ready to get the job done. It has been a pleasure to work with both the students and the volunteers. We have about 2.5 hours to get the clothes/accessories selected, fitted and then presented. A fun job!
CFD: How does this experience help students expand their fashion education?
SB: They get a small taste in seeing what happens when a buyer goes to market to select accessories and clothes for a particular situation whether it is a store or in this case a fashion show.
CFD: After the stylist show what is your favorite activity at Artistry in Fashion?
SB: Well as a stylist I get to be the first to “grab” what the designers have created before any of the public has arrived, but afterwards I get to go around and really enjoy the different designers. Of course the show in the theatre is always interesting but I really think it is the designers who have spent the last year figuring out what they would like to create, what fabric, notions, beads, dyes, patterns etc that they are guessing that the public will buy and enjoy.
CFD: Thank you, Sarah. We look forward to your help in the stylist show again this year and to enjoying Artistry in Fashion with you!