My Style: Inside Style Editor Heiji Choy Black’s Posh Pad

If you've ever wanted to get friendly with your favorite style editor, you're not alone. Heiji Choy Black, style editor at Chicago Magazine, is pretty much our dream BFF. She's tackled the style world from every angle, whether it's editorial, personal styling, or owning her own boutique, Heiji knows her way around looking good. We're giving you the chance to be a virtual fly on the wall in her gorgeous home, without the pesky trappings of breaking and entering or trespassing. Read on for a look at what happens when one of the city's coolest fashion editors brings her work home with her—literally. Heiji's soothing space will get your head right, and you might even learn a trick or two to try in your own abode.

What professional projects are you most excited about right now?
"I am really enjoying my position as style editor at Chicago Magazine. I love bringing to light notable Chicagoans, their passions, their inner workings and styling them for the magazine. I also love putting together items for features like the one in the August issue on coffee and tea. It reminds me of the old Hejfina days of curating and bringing together exciting new products in a thoughtful and visually interesting way."

"I am also the business manager for a clothing line called Bodkin. Bodkin is designed by my friend Eviana Hartman. Eviana is so talented and thoughtful—every piece from the line is covetable, but she also puts incredible thought into the materials she uses and the end impact on the environment in every one of her business choices. The fall collection is full of cozy sweaters and beautiful blouses. I particularly love the Argonne jacket—it's my eco version of the Chanel jacket."

Has anyone in your life influenced your personal style?

"My mother was a huge inspiration for me. She loved fashion as much as I do, and maybe even more. As a child I would spend hours perusing and trying on pieces from one of her four walk in closets or from her huge collection of costume jewelry. I remember times when I didn't understand her fashion choices, but now I realize that she was fearless and dedicated to trying new fashions despite the fact that we lived in a fairly unfashionable Southern Virginian coastal town."


What 3 things from your wardrobe do you wear most often?
"There are a pair of old Isabel Marant harem pants I have from spring '05 that I pull out every spring. They are a lightweight blue cotton and they are so comfy yet chic. This is the essence of most of Isabel Marant's pieces—they dress you up in French chic, but are wondrously comfortable. I can pull them on in the morning to drop off my son at school, but not feel frumpy. Also a dark grey cashmere cardigan from the Row. I remember being so skeptical of The Row when it first came out, but then I tried some of the pieces on and fell in love. The fabrics that they use are so luxuriously soft and the silhouettes are sexy yet not overly feminine. I take this cardigan with me on every flight and it's my go-to piece when I need just an extra layer. And my Comme des Garcons x Converse. Of course like any good fashionista, I love Comme des Garcons, and I love a good pair of Converse so this collaboration was love at first sight for me. I heart CDG hearts."

Where do you find your inspiration for your home?
"It's hard for me to point my finger at one source of inspiration. I think it's a combination of my travels in Europe, my love for old modernist masters like Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Charlotte Perriand, Charles and Ray Eames, Marcel Breuer, and certain fabrics that I've obsessed over from my own wardrobe."


If you could describe your personal style in 3 words, what would they be?
"French-inflected, subtle sexy, and neutral-toned (sorry that's 6 words)."

Do you have any tips for our readers when shopping for fall '11?

Spring and summer's neon colors are moving into jewel tones for the fall. I love the bright and vibrant reds, blues, and purples I saw at Balenciaga and Proenza Schouler. Leather and (faux) furs, or even leather-trimmed pieces are key and are worth every penny as I know I'll be wearing them constantly.
A longer pleated skirt (hitting mid calf) is a key piece this fall and you easily can find this at any good thrift store. I love the Annie Hall feel of pairing this with a great fitted blouse, a thin belt, thin wool tights and either stacked heels or ankle boots.

What music is always playing in your house?
"We are listening to the new Bon Iver a ton, and we always go back to Radiohead, Fleetwood Mac, Grizzly Bear and Bonnie Prince Billy."

What do you love about living in Chicago?
"I love the luxury of space, driving on Lakeshore Drive and seeing the lake meet the sky, the history of architecture that was born here, and the great cocktails that can be had at almost any good restaurant in this city. We just recently went to Aviary and made it downstairs to The Office—the whole experience was uplifting and enlightening."

What is your most prized possession?
"My most prized possession in my closet right now is a silk cream Vanessa Bruno collection jacket. It's from two springs ago. The silk chiffon is micro pleated all over, and the tailoring is perfection. It is very Vanessa Bruno in its shape, but the fabric reminds me of Hussein Chalayan in its complexity. The fabric is incredibly delicate—every time I wear it, I'm super careful not to ruin it's gorgeousness."


What is the best piece you ever found while thrifting?
"I must admit, I'm not a great thrifter. With two young boys under the age of four, I don't have the leisure of time to browse all day at a thrift store. I have a two great old Japanese dresses that I thrifted from years ago that have tiny shoulders and are very '70s. I'm sure I'll put one of these on with some boots for the first time in years this fall as I'm finally back to my pre-baby waist."

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