1 Girl, 4 Looks: An S.F. Buyer Shows Off Her Sleek, Go-To Ensembles

There’s no denying that S.F. designer Margaret O’Leary’s cozy-cool creations are NorCal wardrobe mainstays. Every time we venture to one of her outposts, we're guaranteed to find an eclectic mix of eponymous knits sprinkled in with other spot-on contemporary brands (Isabel Marant, Clare Vivier, IRO — we're looking at you!).
So, when we got the opportunity to meet one the gals responsible for this fashion-forward intersection, we were instantly wowed. We're talking about buyer Felicia Petrone. Equipped with a keen eye and hip-yet-polished aesthetic, this lady makes it all work with an impressive arsenal of personal duds. We snapped Petrone around her SoMa 'hood in four sleek outfits — and the results are ravishing. Ready for a dose of major style envy? Get to clickin'!
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Photographed by Rachelle Manning
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Tell us more about your job and what you love about it.
"I handle the retail operations and the buying for local S.F. designer Margaret O’Leary and her stores. What I love most is being able to create a story every season for our customers. We have our own knitwear collection in the stores, so when I go to buy I'm really looking for something that compliments our brand and provides our customers and stylists the opportunities to create outfits. It’s fun to see all the upcoming trends every season, but at the end of the day, our customer is always in my mind and I always try to envision what they would wear and buy."

Felicia posing on her terrace inher SoMa hood in a Margaret O’Leary sweater, Topshop skirt, Valentino heels, Zara bag, and H&M necklace.

Photographed by Rachelle Manning
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How did you get into buying?
"I had done my undergrad at Cal Poly in business, and was actually in the hospitality industry for years before I switched over to fashion. I think I just realized the hospitality industry wasn’t for me, and that I wanted to do something I loved for work. I loved fashion, but I didn’t feel like I was creative enough to be on the design side of it. But, I was very intrigued by the business side. So, I took a few classes at FIDM, started networking, and ended up with my first big fashion job as a merchandiser for Margaret O’Leary! Now I'm the buyer and retail operations manager of nine stores and absolutely love going to work every day."
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What's been your favorite thing you've scooped up while on a buying trip?
"My Valentino heels! I’ve been obsessing over the Rockstud heels for months, but all of the stores in S.F. and online were sold out of my size. So, when I was in NYC on a buying trip, I popped into Bergdorf Goodman, and they had them. I knew it was meant to be, so I bought them!"
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What's your philosophy when it comes to accessorizing?
"I usually keep it pretty minimal with jewelry on a day-to-day basis. Usually, I wear a watch and a ring or two, but I do love dressing an outfit up with big statement earrings or a necklace. As for bags, I usually have a huge bag to throw everything in during the day, and like to keep it smaller at night for going out."
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Who are your favorite designers or brands?
"The list can go on and on, but my favorites right now are Stella McCartney, Valentino, Rag & Bone, Clover Canyon, Derek Lam, Jenni Kayne, and of course, Margaret O’Leary."
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We love your printed pants — what other trends are you really loving right now?
"The boyfriend jeans are coming back — again! I'm also seeing a lot of distressed denim, which I'm getting into, as well. Graphics are pretty big this season, and bold bright colors like cobalt, poppy, and yellows."

Felicia looking fly in Clover Canyon pants, a Zara blouse, Michael Kors watch, and vintage bracelet.
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Describe your sense of style.
"I usually go for a more minimalistic look, and try to keep it simple, yet chic. I like mixing high fashion with street brands. My mom always said, 'It’s not always about the labels you wear, but how you put it all together.' I try to stick with that motto and just have fun with it!"

If your style were a song, what would it be?
"'Love Like a Sunset (Part 2)' by Phoenix."
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What items in your closet get the most mileage?
"All of my Margaret O’Leary sweaters! San Francisco is always cold, and has the perfect weather for layering and knits."

Felicia in a Margaret O’Leary skirt and sweater, Lena Bernard necklace, Massimo Dutti shoes, Funktional jacket, and Zara bag.
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What's one trend you're super sick of right now?
"Anything neon — those colors really should just be for highlighters."
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What are your go-to beauty tricks?
"Less is more! But, if you want to have some fun, put on red lipstick."
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If you weren't a buyer what else would you be doing?
"I’d probably be managing a hotel or restaurant somewhere in Europe."

Felicia overlooking the sunset in J Brand pants, a Zara sweater and jacket, vintage rings, and Isabel Marant pumps.
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Who are some of your fashion icons?
"Giovanna Battaglia is by far one of my favorites. She's always one step ahead of the curve, and her style is fearless."
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What are your local hangouts or fave spots?
"My boyfriend and I love getting together with friends at the bar Tradition. We usually rent out a booth and bring a deck of cards and order the Bathtub Gin. It always makes for good times, and they always play awesome music. We're sort of foodies, so we are constantly trying new restaurants that open up in the city. Some of our favorites are 25Lusk, Zero Zero, San Tung, Lolo, Farina, and Prospect."

Photographed by Rachelle Manning
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