FASHION INFLUENCER: ELIZABETH SAVETSKY
Elizabeth Savetsky is a self-confessed accessories addict. When she began her blog, Excessories Expert, back in 2014, she had no idea her life and passion for fashion would turn into the robust brand that is has.
By keeping it real and raw with her large (and extremely loyal!) social media following, Elizabeth posts about the latest fashion and accessory trends, discusses how to wear and rock bold statement pieces, and how to rework various items with different outfits to suit a variety of occasions.
A country music lover, retro fashion enthusiast, and the definition of a style maximalist, Amuze caught up with the social media influencer to talk motherhood, what it's like to live in New York City, how the fashion industry is changing, and of course, her obsession with accessories.
Tell us about your blog, Excessories Expert, and what inspired you to start it?
I had been working for a fashion public relations company for about five years and I was working with style influencers during my time there. It was at the time that the whole blogosphere was just starting and before Instagram existed. I was able to watch the whole influencer/blog/social media world develop right before my eyes.
I was always very passionate about accessories. I had worked with the world renowned jewelry designer, Erickson Beamon, and had loved accessories my whole life. Case in point: my Batmitzvah theme was ‘shoes’! I wore a uniform to school so I always expressed my passion for fashion through accessories. I immediately thought that this could be a cool niche for me and I saw nobody else working within the accessory realm at that time.
In 2014, I started my blog just as a website because Instagram wasn’t a ‘thing’ yet. It was also not high on my list of priorities. I had a child and was pregnant with my second, but for some reason I'm a masochist and don't know how to sit still! So on top of juggling full time work and a growing family, I started my website too. The truth is, I always loved to write. At the time, I was doing freelance writing for fabologie.com, StyleWatch Magazine, and Womanista. I thought to myself, “If I’m writing about accessories for other platforms, why not just write for my own?!”. In the beginning, it was just articles. It wasn’t featuring myself at all. I was talking about trends and up-and-coming accessory designers. But I quickly realized that people wanted to see what I was doing and what I was wearing. It was all about being relatable. That's why social media has taken off, because people are interested in what real people are doing. So my blog organically transitioned over the next two years into being more about me, my life, my kids, my family, and of course, accessories, which is still the central focus along with fashion. It’s just all much more personal now because I realized that that’s what worked.
About a year and a half ago, I quit my job and have been blogging full time. I never thought that this would be a career. But it’s cool to be able to use my platform to do good things now that I have a following.
How would you describe your own personal style?
My personal style is bold, fun, and colorful. I like to play with over-accessorizing and embracing all of the over-the-top aspects of fashion.
What do you splurge on?
It’s always made sense to me to spend on accessories and go more practical with my clothing. If you have an eye-catching bag, statement pair of shoes, or bold piece of jewelry, your outfit can be more low key. In my opinion, a great bag is the best investment piece because shoes will wear out after a season or two but a bag will stand the test of time.
What inspires you to create?
Whatever I’m working on has to be equal parts accessible and aspirational because if it doesn’t have an element of fantasy, then it’s not interesting or inspirational to others. I’m lucky that I live in New York City so I have access to some of the most gorgeous settings. Whether it's Central Park, The Plaza Hotel, or the cobblestone streets of Soho, it’s pretty easy to curate a beautiful photo when I have access to such stunning surroundings.
How did you get into the business? What made you decide to start blogging for a living?
Partnering with real people is the new direction brands are going in. It’s much more relatable for someone to go on Instagram and see an influencer they like wearing and rocking a particular brand's products than it is for a someone to see an airbrushed magazine model in a highly stylized editorial. The fact that brands are budgeting for influencer marketing as part of their advertisements is proof of this shift and I’m so honored to be involved in my own way.
What has been the most surreal moment for you?
My ultimate goal with my platform has always been to inspire people. I just did a call to action for prostate cancer awareness and was amazed by how many people participated by posting photos of the men in their lives to promote prostate cancer research. I was blown away. Recently, I was overseas at an event and I had a number of women came over to me to tell me how real they feel I am over Instagram. That person-to-person interaction and to get to feel like I’m really making an impact is so much more satisfying than any pay check.
This week, we ask ourselves, what am I thankful for? I am thankful for the men in my family who I can’t imagine my life without. My husband’s uncle (to the left of me in the photo), Dr. Eliott Abramowitz, has been fighting stage 4 prostate cancer for almost 5 years. We want to see him, and every man diagnosed, beat the disease completely! 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed in his lifetime. In an effort to raise awareness for prostate cancer, I challenge @adiheyman @eishesstyle @elizabethsuttoncollection @remytowear @brookecarriehil @lainyhedaya @estherandsasha @khammerman @mbliving @bridget @fashionisha @sashafraenkel @elizabethsuttoncollection @rachel.ostroy @hustlechiclife @arielpeche @thekosherskinny to: 1. Post a photo with a man or men they can’t imagine their lives without. 2. Share why this man/men are so important to you. 3. Use the hashtags #StandByYourMen #ProstateCancerAwareness 4. Challenge at least 3 friends to do the same within 48 hours. Each person completing the challenge must challenge 3 more people, creating a call-to-action ripple effect. You have 48 hours to complete this challenge. Additionally, you can donate any amount you choose to the Prostate Cancer Fund page link in my bio. Every dollar goes to prostate cancer research! #StandByYourMen #ProstateCancerAwareness
What are your favorite fashion brands and why?
I love how aspirational Gucci is. Since Alessandro Michele has taken over as head designer, maximalism has returned to the fashion industry. I had a hard time when minimalism was ruling the streets! It’s just not my personal style. I have always stayed true to myself even when the fashion industry was in a state of flux. I was always still a maximalist. I’m in heaven and total awe with everything I see coming out of Gucci. I also have a soft spot in my heart for retro fashion. Because I love the Mod 1960s and bohemian rock 'n' roll of the 1970s, I’ll always love Emilio Pucci and Missoni.
Favorite fashion magazine?
No matter how invested I am in social media and the digital space, touching and holding a magazine will never be replaceable for me. For that reason, I read Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, and Elle. There’s something about those highly produced editorials that’s so inspiring.
What are some of your current fashion and/or accessory obsessions?
I’m obsessed with the newsboy cap! I’ve been wearing a lot of them lately. I love the nostalgic nod to the 1960s. Just like wearing your boyfriend’s jacket or blazer, the masculine newsboy cap is so cool. I’m also very into combat boots. I’m a mama on the go so I’m all about being practical and comfortable. I have these glittered Dr.Martens and I can’t walk down the street without people stopping me to comment on them. I love the return of the 90s grunge culture right now in fashion.
What was your first job?
I went to NYU for music and then I got my masters in education with the intention to pursue a career in teaching. But when I first started doing my field work, I realized it wasn’t for me. I felt creatively stifled. So my first job out of grad school was actually working for Seventh House PR, the marketing, public relations and event planning firm with clientele that spanned across the luxury, fashion and lifestyle industries. And that's the only job I had until I quit to work on my blog full time. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be where I am without having earned my stripes in the fashion PR world. I really learned how the industry worked even though there were long hours and it was not nearly as glamorous as people think.
Best fashion tip?
Be true to yourself no matter what’s considered 'trendy'. If you feel good in it, wear it!
What is your must-have beauty product?
Ardell fake eyelashes.
What's your morning beauty ritual?
The mornings are really about my kids and so while they’re eating their breakfast I literally have about ten minutes to get myself in order. I moisturize my face, put mascara on my lashes, and apply under eye concealer and chapstick. If I'm really tired, I'll wear big sunglasses.
Do you have a secret beauty tip?
The puppy filter on Instagram!
Do you have a secret hobby?
I grew up singing country music and I love to sing and yodel around the house! I also love listening to traditional country music and old jazz. I’m basically always singing.
What's your favorite piece of clothing to wear?
Right now it’s this very retro 1970s-looking mix of fur and shearling jacket because it makes me feel like Penny Lane in Almost Famous. I feel like it doesn’t even matter what I'm wearing underneath it. I don’t even have to get dressed and I’ll still feel amazing.
Can you describe your style in one word?
Who's your style icon?
I’m really inspired by women of the past. I love Marisa Berenson’s use of accessories, her big hair and tanned skin. And the copious amounts of pink she wears. Edie Sedgwick is another icon. Her statement earrings and heavy eyeliner is killer. And I love Twiggy. Her mod minis and 1960s styling is incredible.
What's the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
It’s from my dad. He always says: “Take life one hour at a time.” I tend to get overwhelmed very easily so I’m trying to just focus on the task at hand.
“When you’re 20 you care what everyone thinks, when you’re 40 you stop caring what everyone thinks, when you’re 60 you realize no one was ever thinking about you in the first place.” — Winston Churchill.
I love it. With social media and everyone watching, there’s a lot of jealously and a lot of fear around being judged. I think it’s important to feel confident in what you’re doing, and if you feel like what you’re doing is right, then go for it.
What is one thing your readers would be surprised to hear?
I sleep in old t-shirts, the least fashionable thing you’ve seen in your life! If you saw me between 11PM and 7AM, I am the farthest thing from a fashion blogger.
THE QUICK FIVE:
Subway or Taxi?
Burger or Salad?
Sweet or Sour?
Heels or Flats?
East Coast or West Coast?
East, of course!