Project Manager at Oak Street Design
Amanda and I first met while working together for the first annual Style Down the Aisle! We were also friendly competition at this year’s Fashion’s Night Out at the Shops at North Bridge.
JS: Tell us about your background.
AW: I began in Fine Arts at the University of Colorado studying drawing and painting. After moving to Chicago in 2002, I started with Saks Fifth Avenue, which is when I first took notice of the displays, mannequins, and visual team cruising around the store with their tool cart. I thought, “that’s what I want to do”!
JS: What is Oak Street Design?
AW: Oak Street Design is a visual resource for hotel, retail and corporate clients. We act as an extension of a company’s PR or Marketing team providing 3-Dimensional displays, branding, integrated marketing programs, styling, and special event decor. We truly are a niche group, customizing everything we do to create unique programming for business, education and the community. We are a small group and always remember to have fun with what we do. Remember, there is no such thing as a “display emergency”!!!
JS: What do you do for OSD?
AW: When I first started at OSD in 2004, we were doing mostly window displays and holiday decor. Over the years my job has evolved to include not only visual merchandising, but styling for local TV stations (ABC7, WGN, Windy City Live, and NBC), as well as editorial styling for local magazines, fashion show production, and the development of signature OSD programs like our Columbia College Collaboration, PROJECT windows, and Style Down the Aisle.
More recently, I have written an article on Visual Merchandising for Retail Minded magazine, a trade publication for independent retailers, offered contributions to articles in VMSD magazine, the leading resource for retail designers and store display professionals, and have given numerous presentations on Visual Merchandising and Design.
JS: You definitely have a good eye. What is your favorite fall trend?
AW: It’s always fun to get back into layering once the cold weather is upon us, and mixing funky prints and patterns is one of my favorite trends. I am loving my new pair of cobalt blue skinnys from J.Crew, they seem to go with anything and everything. I also love to mix a menswear inspired piece with a feminine floral print or super feminine high heel, and my geek chic eyeglasses make me feel smart, sophisticated and a little nerdy all at the same time.
JS: Who inspires your style?
AW: My Danish cousins definitely inspired me. They have always been one step ahead of the curve, showing urban sophistication at its best (think riding a bicycle around Copenhagen in 4” heels). I love a combination of artsy and edgy, with the feeling that a look comes together effortlessly. Kate Moss and Sienna Miller do this well, with a combination of glam with just the right amount of “I don’t care”. Although I’m no longer in high school (a far cry!), I am still hooked on Gossip Girl and can’t wait to see what S and B will be wearing next…
JS: I am just as smitten as you Amanda!