With New York Fashion Week safely in rearview, we caught up with R29 editor-in-chief Christene Barberich, our own in-house style guru, for the scoop on how she stays effortlessly chic. We suspected it had something to do with her prized Chloé Baylee bag — it's always in her hand, slung over her shoulder, or worn across a covetable getup — and we were right. So, we snuck a peek inside that beautiful bag — because, hey, we could — to see what essentials keep her going through endless meetings, runway shows, and all the pavement-pounding in between.
We don't know about you, but we're taking notes.
"I'm the editor-in-chief and oversee all original programming on Refinery29. I really have to pinch myself sometimes — that I get to be so inventive and try new things every day. It's definitely a balancing act of being strategic and solution-oriented and letting my creative ambitions guide me and my team. I love the unknown and riding a wave of inspiration, and that's what we get to do every hour, every day. It's a dream."
How would you describe your personal style?
"Always curious. Forever young but still refined. I know it when I see it."
What about the outfit you wore on the shoot? Was there a feeling or a character it evoked for you? Did it incorporate any favorite trends or go-to silhouettes?
"The white vest is vintage Chloé and one of my favorite things in my closet...in my life! It's classic Chloé and will never, ever, go out of style. This outfit is all about the vest with that pop of pink, courtesy of another favorite designer, Rodjeber. I like to keep things simple but still forward-thinking."
We're all looking to stock up on a few statement pieces to make our fall wardrobes pop. How do you create a standout look?
"I'm a creature of habit, and I like to dress simply, but coats and shoes are where I tend to make a statement. Big, crazy prints, embellishment, shine, and insane proportions are my go-to, paired with simple, slouchy cropped pants and a white tee.”
Speaking of pieces we love, we’re kind of obsessed with your Baylee bag. What makes it the perfect pick for your everyday routine?
"The Baylee is pretty wonderful in a lot of ways, but mostly because it's practical and still incredibly chic. It's the perfect marriage of fashion and function. I love that it's just big enough to carry all my essentials and still have a gorgeous, refined form…I don't like sloppy anything! Since I don't believe in trends, I love that the structure and shape won't ever go out of style. I could wear this bag for decades.”
Any go-to beauty products in there?
"I'm one of those gals who never likes to be caught empty-handed! My Caudalie Beauty Elixir makes a quick pick-me-up face spritz. And I'm never without my red lipstick. ILIA's Wild Child is my go-to shade. It's the perfect red, and keeps my lips moisturized all day."
What do you read, watch, or do to keep up with the world (fashion or otherwise!) and stay inspired?
"I read British Vogue, The New Yorker, old classics like The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, see movies, take epic walks around the city, hunt around thrift stores, and always listen...listening and being in the moment is my daily meditation."
Finally, what advice would you give to someone looking to get into the fashion industry?
"Real, true self-expression is like gold in this industry...heck, in any industry. Create from your heart, be smart about who your audience is and HOW you connect with them, speak your truth — and of course, work hard — and it'll happen."
Hair and makeup by Ashleigh Ciucci.