How Fashion Represents a Person: With Helen Lee Schifter

As many of us know, fashion has been a deciding factor of many aspects when it comes to individuality and creativeness. Many people choose to represent themselves based on what clothes they wear. With quarantine and remote work starting to develop a lounge aesthetic for many fashionistas, lets’ go back a few months before sweatpants were a fashion statement. Helen Lee Schifter, a New York City fashion icon, has shown off her beautiful physique and luxurious taste at many fashion events. According to her Crunchbase, she was an editor for Hearst and Condé Nast. If anyone knows a thing or two about New York fashion, it’s Schifter. As many can assume, her pictures are everywhere because of her collaboration with major fashion brands and magazines. This includes Vogue, Estee Lauder, Self, Glamour, and many more. She has remained a pillar in New York socialite communities for fashion advice. In 2010, she was even spotted doing a cameo with daughter, Storey Shifter, in world-renowned television series Gossip Girl. Due to her high status, she has all the insider knowledge on fashion and most importantly how it represents her.

Schifter believes that wearing something out of one’s comfort zone is the first way to represent a person. She shared the first time she wore something daring and it had frightened her. With the spotlight constantly on her, looking presentable was almost like a job. Recalling the white dress draped in feathers is now a pleasant memory. At the time, back in 2009, Schifter was terrified that once she stepped foot at her event, people would stare. Yet, the opposite reaction happened. Helen was being approached by major fashion designers, celebrities, and other Manhattan socialites to tell her how stunning she looked. With that, her confidence skyrocketed and to this day, it’s one of her favorite memories. 

As we change, our fashion changes. It is very important to adapt our fashion to our mind and body as they shift. It’s very rare for someone to have the same sense of fashion their whole life. Why is that? Many people don’t think of fashion as a sport or activity because it is highly incorporated in our day to day lives. Choosing an outfit to wear to work doesn’t always take as much thought and can easily be brushed aside as a task, not an achievement. In collaboration with Elle Decor, Schifter tells us about how she transformed her chaotic house into something more sensible. 

While growing spiritually with the Zen Buddist faith, Helen started feeling crooked by all the colors and patterns found throughout her home. Although at the time, having tribal textures, busy wallpapers, and fashionable side table was in style, it didn’t represent her personality. So, she worked with an extraordinary interior designer that pushed her to get rid of pieces that were no longer representative of her. After months of thought and work, she finally minimized her home. She included colors such as white, black, grey, wood accents, and lots of greenery to complement her Zen vibes. Prior to the pandemic, having house guests over was common for her. It was important for her to not have to explain the changes in her home to everyone who was shocked by the difference. Apparently, everyone knew that her new peaceful design was finally a full representation of Helen so not many questions were asked. As the world changes around us, it is important to remember to be flexible with it. Always remember to do what you, as an individual, want to do. Fashion has so been an outlet for millions of people because clothes never judge. The quarantine can be must more enjoyable if a few things are changed around. Is there an old coffee table that no one likes? Paint it, get a new one, or find something else that better suits the needs of family members. The whole point is to do more things that represent individualist qualities. Helen is keeping up with platforms such as LinkedIn, to stay in touch with young fashion business owners. She wants to help new businesses be successful during such an uneasy moment in history. Always remember, no matter what the world is going through fashion will always be in style.

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