Q & A With Crystal Berry From Obsessions Now
Starting November off with a bang here at Go French Yourself as I introduce you to one of my favorite NYC girls. It's also Wednesday and she totally is my #WCW for life. I have been following Crystal for quite some time and am always so inspired by the way she puts things together. She could publish The 37 Commandments of Dressing Like a New Yorker--that's for sure. I want every single thing in her closet. EVERY SINGLE THING.
Happy to have a little ode to NewYork too in a positive way after yesterday's terrible attack. It's just devastating. Our world seems as though it is crumbling around us.
So thrilled for you to get to know her so grab a glass of wine, put your feet up, and scroll down.
Q & A With Crystal
-Your first fashion moment ?!
My interest in fashion started at a young age. I grew up seeing my Grandmother perfectly put together from head to toe. She’s a natural born stylist. I took close notice and aspired to have her sense of style as an adult. Then, when I was around seven or eight my mother enrolled me in some local modeling classes, which helped me land some gigs modeling clothes in a local mall. Then, when I was 15-years old I found myself back at the mall in a modeling competition. I ended up winning and the prize was a trip to New York City to go on modeling agency go-sees. After that, my eyes were open to a whole new world.
I returned home with a crazy haircut and some new streetwear. I had zero interest in going back to my small town high school. I wanted to pack my bags and go wear high fashion all around the world. However, my mother said no. She made me finish high school and turn down a deal that I was bitter about until after I graduated college. Looking back, it was a smart decision and I’m very thankful that she did what was best for me. I know that it crushed her to watch me struggle with her decision.
-Fave places to shop ? And why ?
I prefer to shop at a brick and mortar because I like to feel the clothing. Quality fabrics are important to me. Nothing bothers me more than ordering a garment online that looks luxurious and then a low-quality item shows up at your door. I see this a lot with the affordable, fast-fashion sites that carry trend-led clothing.
Since stopping in each of my favorite individual stores in New York City could easily take an entire day, I tend to turn to the larger department stores when I need to pull together an entire outfit at once. I’ll either go to the Bloomingdale’s on 59th or the Saks in Brookfield Place. I try to stay away from fast-fashion stores, (if you haven't watched the documentary, 'The True Cost', you should) Still, I often find myself inside of Mango and Top-shop picking up affordable on-trend pieces that will complement the higher-priced, classic wardrobe staples that I find in designer boutiques and department stores.
I do online shop often though, but mostly at the international retailers, like Asos, Harvey Nicolas, Moda Operandi, River Island, and MatchesFashion. Well, that’s not completely true because I’m obsessed with Net-a-Porter and am on their website at least once a day. I’ve also found an amazing deal on a pair of Saint Laurent booties that were on their sister discount store, The Outnet.
-A beauty mainstay that hasn't changed since your teen years ?!
I watched my mother use Oil of Olay every night as a child, so there is always a bottle of their moisturizer on my vanity.
-Fave things in your closet right now ?
1.I bought a pair of green Gucci shoes last spring and wasn't sure if I had made a smart purchase decision or not, but my heart belonged to them at first sight. As it turns out, these ended up being my favorite item in my closet and I've actually gotten an incredible amount of wear out of them.
2. My Pinko bag in bright yellow is another item that’s close to my heart. Pinko was the first brand that I discovered before other bloggers in NYC took notice of their contemporary Italian designs, so the bag is more like my personal trophy for being first to make the fashion discovery.
3. The third highly-coveted item in my closet is one that I actually wear daily. It’s a hoodie that I bought at Coachella. The inside is so super soft and I literally put it on (along with loungewear and a ponytail) as soon as I walk in the door of my home. It makes me feel cozy and it's also the best reminder of my amazing girls trip.
-Oldest thing in your closet ?!
I’d have to say it’s probably a pair of leather knee boots from Stuart Weitzman. They’ve been put through a lot, but since they were my first nice purchase in NYC I can’t get rid of them. To be honest, I give a lot of clothing away each season since my storage space is limited (the NYC apartment size struggle is real). I’ll pass down my designer stuff to my family or gift to a friend or people will come into my life that I know would be thrilled to have certain pieces so they find new homes.
-Fave photo from childhood ?
I don’t have a lot of old photos in my home because again, we don’t have the space for storage, but I did however take a photo of an old photo while I was recently visiting my grandmother in Florida. My husband and I joke that I cannot fake excitement about something that I do not like so this picture of me opening an unwanted Christmas gift is hilarious to us. I also took a snap of this one of me on a Santa’s lap… he clearly missed my memo. lol
-What are you wearing today ?
Um, I’m currently writing this while wearing activewear with one of my husband’s company tees over it. Since I work from home most of the time, I’ll write in my pajamas in the morning when my mind is fresh. Then, I’ll shower and put on activewear to run errands and workout. My ‘normal’ clothes don’t get put on unless I’m going to an event or meeting.
-A casual Sunday brunch .. what do you opt to wear ?
I’m going to sound like such a horrible New Yorker considering we’re filled to the brim with amazing brunch spots, but I don’t brunch. Weekend mornings are spent in pajamas with the husband either cooking or ordering a breakfast feast. After we are properly feeling glutinous, we end up shifting gears and working from our home offices for a few hours. It’s really the one time that I can write or do research without feeling the pressure of the clock ticking.
If I do make it out for a lunch and it’s nice outside, I like to wear tops that are perfect for soaking up some rays.
-A Friday night out with the ladies .. what are you going to wear?!
Rooftop drinks: I love midi skirts or wide-leg trousers dressed up with a blouse and a bit of edge with booties or a funky belt.
Casual dinner: I’ll turn to a pair of skinny jeans and pumps paired with my favorite blouse of the moment.
Travels/Events: I’ll turn up the heat with a contemporary dress when we’re heading out to an event or are in another city like Miami or LA.
-One fashion trend you wish would just go away for good ? And why?
Hot pants – NOBODY looks good in them
-Best campaign to date and why ?
I was asked to do a video shoot with Pinko where I would style a spring look using my favorite pieces from their store on West Broadway. The theme was a how to spend a spring afternoon in New York City. It was my first taste of shooting video and I’ve been hooked ever since. Give it a view here.
My sister came to visit me when I lived in Palo Alto, California so I rented a mustang convertible and we drove down the Pacific Coast Highway to Los Angeles. Besides the extremely narrow roads with no guards blocking you from flying off of the side of the steep cliffs, we had an unforgettable time laughing and letting the ocean air blow through our messy hair.
-Fave unexpected color combo ?
Now you’re speaking my language! I love it when pairings are unexpected. Mixing and matching your tops and bottoms is such an easy way to get more wears out of your items and also break away from being bored with your garments. I like to mix prints often, my favorite pairing was from the summer: a yellow gingham skirt with a blue and white striped top.
-Flats or heels ?
You know, about five years ago I probably would have said heels, but now it’s a solid yes for flats. I have a hard time wearing thin heels since my lower back will be throbbing after a few hours. I absolutely love how practical shoes like block heels and sneakers have become part of everyday fashion.
-Fall winter items you are coveting ?!
Boots, especially red over-the-knee ones and white kitten heel booties. I’m also a big fan of all the colorful faux furs that are now available.
-One piece of jewelry every woman should wear ?
Diamond stud earrings. My mother gave me the pair that I’m wearing now and they rarely leave my ears.
-Best advice you have received ?
My favorite piece of recent career advice has been to stay in your own lane (from Lauryn Evarts Bosstick @The Skinny Confidential). I think that it’s natural to want to take a look around to see what everyone else is doing and is important when doing a market landscape analysis, but when you start comparing it can influence your creativity. If you pay too much attention to what others are doing, it can be damaging to your own success. We live in a world where every day a new personal brand, product or service is being introduced, so people really need to provide something original in order to differentiate and rise to the top.
-Worst advice you have received ?
I’ve been told by a few bloggers with a very large Instagram following to just put all of my efforts into the platform and to forget about the blog. To each their own, but that is not my strategy. My blog is the center of my business. I own it. I control it. It will never go away unless I take it down so why would I put all my eggs in someone else’s basket?
-Last thing you purchased on line ?
I just restocked some beauty products that I’ve been running low on: SkinCeuticals H.A. intensifier; SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 Cream
-Top 5 fave fashion bloggers you follow on repeat ? And why?
Besides you, of course...
- Abby @clothesandpizza - Her style inspires me to have a little fun with fashion and mix things up. Plus, her blog posts always give me a little giggle at some point during the read.
- Shalini @styledevotee – I totally identify with her classic with a twist style. Plus, I live through her travels.
- Caroline Taylor @currentlycaro She does a really good job at mixing high/low items and sharesa ton of hero pieces.
- Camille Carter @charmedbycamille She’s friendly, practical and provides valuable style tips. She’s also a good writer.
- Jasey Duprie @Damsel in Dior She is life goals for me
-Fave designer and why?
Dolce and Gabbana – they do femininity so beautifully.
-Most stylish place in NYC ?
Amazing style can be found throughout this eclectic city, which is why I love it so much. As a downtown chick, I especially enjoy the Soho and Nolita neighborhoods for their collection of shops and restaurants. The more preppy gals can be found in the West Village. However, it’s the Upper East Side where you’ll find the most luxurious ladies. Nobody does glamour like the ladies that have been on those blocks their whole lives.
-Fave things about your city ?!
New York City has the best variety of food, fashion and people. But, as the homebody that I am, I find that the best part is how you can have pretty much anything delivered to your house at almost any time of day. From designer goods with white glove service from Net-a-Porter to the tastiest dim sum out of Chinatown, it can all come to your doorstep.
-5 staples in your bag right now ?!
- My Chanel lip crayon (my favorite color is number two)
- A roll on fragrance from Bryedo (Bal D’Afrique is my go-to scent)
- Earbuds (because you never want to be stuck on the subway without them)
- Band-aids (blisters are envitable)
- Mentos gum and or Reed’s Ginger Candy
-Your skin is flawless girl .. tell me the secrets ???
I’ll pass this compliment on to my mother because it’s mostly genetic. The rest is a ton of water, serums and moisturizer. Oh, and botox. Lol I started about four years ago around the time that I turned thirty-three. Besides the injections, I have become obsessed with having a beauty routine that consists of morning and night application of my current beauty favorites:
- SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 Cream
- SkinCeuticals H.A. intensifier
- Trilogy hydrating mist toner
- Also, about once a week, I’ll use TaTa Harper’s Masque Resurfacant to exfoliate my skin. It leaves it so incredibly smooth and glowing.
-Last two pics you liked on Instagram ..
I like hundreds of pictures per day so that’s always changing. I believe in engaging with your followers and supporting those who you follow, so I try to show love as much as I can.
-Any blogging advice for the fashion blogger out there ?
Don’t be unoriginal because it’s boring. In my NYC blogger bubble, I see so many bloggers doing the same thing… styling the same items, wearing the same trends, giving the same poses, and going to the same places. Where is the creativity in that? How is being a part of the sea of sameness going to differentiate you from the others? Be original and provide value. If you’re going to put in the time to create a blog post and someone else is going to take the time to read that post, make sure they walk away some small tip or dose of inspiration. If you’re creative and resourceful, people will keep coming back for more.
-What about Instagram advice ?! So many bloggers out there are using bots and it's obvious where you are organically growing . I see how hard you work . What advice would you give to this ?
You have to put your community first and really enjoy getting to know them. If you’re expecting to just put up a picture on Instagram and have everyone come like and comment on it, that’s not going to happen. Things have changed – we all know how frustrating the algorithm updates are – so it’s more important than ever to have consistent contact with your community. I’ve had my days where it started to seem like a time suck and I was disenchanted. But then I shifted my mindset. I started waking up and thinking, “I wonder what’s new with my people. How can I support them? How can I be a resource for them?” After that the growth started to organically happen.
I cannot wait to meet her one day in real life. Linking all Crystal's social channels below so you can keep up with her and get some style inspiration. The shoes, the accessories – it all blends together to form pure perfection. A style that feels very true to who she is sartorially. Damn does it look good!!!
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