Phillip Bloch is one of the industry's biggest players, the face behind many a famous fashion moment. He styled the very first issue of VIBE. Remember that dress Halle Berry wore when she won her Oscar? Thank Bloch for that, too. The sartorial extraordinaire has just released a new book, The Shopping Diet, to shed light on chic ways to cut back on impulse fashion buys. We spoke with Phillip during Fashion Week to find out his shopping secrets and talk about which celebrities he'd like to put on a shopping diet. —Adrien Field
VIBE: Talk about the title of your book, The Shopping Diet?
Phillip Bloch: Well The Shopping Diet came about because this is a serious addiction for a lot of people and they don’t treat it as an addiction; they just see as silly like “Oh my god, I just spend $1,000 on a pair of shoes,” and then they giggle. That’s a serious issue. If you’re making several hundred thousand dollars a year, $1,000 for a pair of shoes may not be bad. But if you’re making $200,000 a year and you have three different places—rents, maintenance—then you have to keep things in proportion. So it’s really about educating people to redefine their lives and their spending. Shopping [can be] an addiction like alcoholism, overeating and drugs. I wanted to be able to give people a solution, not a cure. The book was designed as a 10-step program.
Do you have favorite fashion lines that you can recommend for people who want style with affordable prices?
Well, obviously there are places like J.Crew, H&M, and Zara, which are great. Even Old Navy if you are really on a budget. You can find cute, trend-driven items. I really love outlet malls like Tangers; a lot of the different outlet malls are great. Then stores like Century 21, Loehmann's, and—my favorite—TJ Maxx. I just bought a Dolce & Gabanna shirt for $60. I found two capes for $39 and $49. Over-the-knee boots for $69, little zipper rock ‘n’ roll shoes for $39—all at TJ Maxx.
So you, Phillip Bloch, celebrity stylist, go outlet shopping?
Absolutely! I hate to pay full price. There’s a section in the back of the book that is one of my favorites and we put so much time into it. It’s a 49-page directory of how to shop online and how to find sample sales. For years, only insiders knew where to shop. It shows you where to shop if you’re pregnant or if you’re plus-sized, where to shop for your husband, where to shop if you want to go green.
What celebrities have great everyday style?
Someone like Cindy Crawford. Honestly she’s beautiful every day—she is just chic. J.Lo is another one. You can dress her up and dress her down. She’s street, uptown, and downtown. Halle Berry, definitely. Jennifer Hudson has a really great style because she is someone who isn’t super slim. She definitely lost the weight and is a success story. She’s really someone to aspire to be like. Then of the younger girls I’m loving Lea Michelle from Glee. I think she’s cute and has a great red carpet style. Of course Sarah Jessica Parker. She’s one of those girls I love because she can take the fashion and literally wear things that would look utterly ridiculous on other people. Who could wear an acorn hat to their own premiere?
What three celebrities would you put on a shopping diet?
I think a lot of these stars just shop, shop, shop. Someone like Lindsay Lohan who’s a hoarder. We’ve seen the pictures of her apartment. She needs a shopping diet. We see Paris shopping all the time. We see Jessica Simpson shopping a lot. Kim Kardashian shops, shop, shops, and she can’t even act, sing, or dance. Where’s the money coming from? She has her own clothing line, so she can buy other people's clothes. I do think Kim has a great style though. Then there are hot messes out there. Like Nicki Minaj, is life a costume party or what? Are you that desperate for attention?
Phillip's The Shopping Diet is out now. Click here to buy a copy on Amazon.