As a Portland shopping boutique we feel it’s our responsibility to help our readers get to know some of Portland’s most fashionable residents. Therefore we’re kicking off a new bi-weekly Q & A column that features an active member of the Portland community, whose style we’ve admired and shares insight into the inspiration behind their own personal fashion.
Our first guest is Crave Portland Partner Kimberly Brandt! She is responsible for the production and management of the second edition of the CRAVE Portland city guide of local woman business owners and leads the monthly business chats, the buzz parties, and all other CRAVE Portland events. She also has worked as a commercial portrait photographer and now freelances as a photo stylist with Billede Design. When she’s not working, she spends time with her scientist hubby, greyhound Lazlo and tuxedo kitty, Marzipanda. They can usually be spotted hiking or running on the trails (or, let’s be honest…shopping!) by their house.
- Shop Adorn (SA): How would you describe your personal fashion?
Kimberly Brandt (KB): I like to mix high and low pieces together. I’m not afraid of discount clothes and thrift store finds. I love the juxtaposition of something really classic and traditional paired with something a bit more gritty. I like wearing silk with some amazing (sometimes over-the-top) accessories.
- SA: Who are your biggest style influencers and why?
KB: My favorite designers are Alice+Olivia, Celine, Chole, Dries Van Noten, Jil Sander, Lanvin, Ports 1961, Thakoon, and Kate Spade. I also look up to Resse Witherspoon, Blake Lively, and Cate Blanchet.
- SA: What is your go-to piece of clothing and why?
KB: My skinny, dark denim Matchstick jeans from J.Crew. They dress up with a silk tank, or can be paired casually with a flannel and boots.
- SA: Where do you turn for fashion inspiration?
KB: I’m really influenced by real-life people spotted on fashion blogs like The Sartorialist, Garrance, and Portland’s own Urban Weeds. I like seeing how real people wear clothes in everyday life. I also rely pretty heavily on Honey Kennedy to educate me on more independent and European designers. I also love following Style.com during fashion week. I like looking at the runway shows before they’ve been dissected by the editors, and forming my own opinions on designer’s newest looks.
- SA: What’s the one item you’ll splurge on and why?
KB: Accessories! A good pair of shoes and a handbag totally makes an outfit. Nothing is more beautiful then a simple grey v-neck tee paired with jeans and killer leather goods.
- SA: How would you describe Portland Fashion?
KB: Portlanders want to stand out as individuals. I think the city looks back at traditional influences and translates them with a bit of an ironic twist. Take the flannel for example…it first landed in Portland by the loggers that settled our city. We still wear it today, but with modern denim and accessories. There are so many creatives in Portland, and that comes out in the way we dress. It’s a laid-back city, a little rough around the edges, but sure can clean up nice! You’re going to find the best-dressed people at dive bars and rock shows…not in office buildings or at the Ballet. It’s all about the juxtaposition.