Last week I got invited to the opening of Ann Taylor’s new concept store, marking the brand’s first new concept store in White Plains and third in the state of New York. Ann Taylor opened two concept stores this past year. They were hosting an in-store party and styling clinic co-hosted by fashion expert Lucy Sykes. It was also a fundraiser with the Junior League of Central Westchester Wayside Cottage, a not-for-profit organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and to improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers in the area. Five percent of sales proceeds from the event were donated to Junior League of Central Westchester Wayside Cottage.
It was one of those busy days and I didn’t think I’d be able to make the event. My husband wasn’t able to come home early and the event started at 6. So, after working in the city all day, and going to back to back meetings, I made the executive decision to drag my kids to the event. I scooped up my daughter from Hebrew School, gave her dinner in the car and I headed to the mall with my children at 6:30 on a Wednesday night. Call me crazy but I adore Ann Taylor and was desperate to see what their new store was all about.
Sure enough, it’s a beautiful store and the new styles are really chic. The store carries fashion and wear-to-work styles. Lucy Sykes showed us some fabulous new styles and I have to say that I’d love to own each one.
This was my favorite garment that will soon end up in my closet. I’m planning to buy it myself.
So, how did my kids fare at this event, considering it was mid-week after a full day of school and activities? For the first half-hour while I was shmoozing with some of my blogger friends, they sat on a cushion and played on my iPhone. I even found an 8YO for my daughter to play hangman and tic tac toe with. But it was just a matter of time before the bickering started and my son felt left out. So, eventually, they ended up lying down on the cushion.
Well, that was kind of embarrassing. Thankfully, the program soon started and my son ran to the front of the program when I told him they were going to be having a fashion show.
So, there are two funny things that happened at this event. The first is that Lucy Sykes and I hit it off. She liked my business card and we connected over our British connection (my hubby is from the UK). So, when she started the demonstration, she seemed to be looking directly at me, asking my name. I said, “Holly” and she responded back “Michelle”. I said “Holly” again and she said “Michelle”. Was it the fabulous champagne I was drinking? She started talking about Ann Taylor clothes and brought up the real Michelle who was standing behind me to point out her stylish duds. Embarrassed again? Oh, yes.
But the funnier thing was my son. He was glued to her every word during the fashion demo. He sat a few feet away from her and really seemed to take it all in. He is the son who wakes up in the morning and picks out his own clothes and then tells me that they match, or rather he replaces the ones I pick out to clothes he prefers. I’m the mom who has gotten incredibly lazy in my clothing choices since the kids were born. He is my little fashionista the child who likes to go shopping to buy clothes. My other child wears what I put out of her and does not rush out shopping, much like myself.
But when I do shopping, I am admittedly an Ann Taylor girl. That was why I pushed my kids to the limit to attend this event with me.
One last note, Lucy Sykes was a darling and when I told her of my embarrassment of being mistaken for a chic dresser, we laughed. If you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?
Disclosure: I was invited as a guest to the Ann Taylor event at the Westchester, but all opinions expressed are my own and nothing was provided to facilitate this review.