I grew up in London and moved to Manhattan when I was 19 years old. It was a huge move for me. London was relatively quiet and conservative – I grew up in the suburbs – and New York is full of character, bright lights, and energy. Especially true when you spend most of your time downtown in the East Village as I do. Both cities have had a huge impact on me personally, as well as my career.
When I moved to New York, technology companies were starting to become more influential. Facebook launched in my second year at NYU, changed student life, and was part of a wave of incredible game-changing tech companies (PayPal, Twitter) that were doing similarly innovative things. I wanted to be a part of the wave.
I started thinking about what could be a useful tool for people. Having grown up in fashion capitals and living in Italy for a year, the influence of fashion was clear and profound. All students wore suits to the high school I went to in London and most went on to corporate jobs in the city. In the East Village, everyone has a unique sense of style. Dressing well gives you an incredible sense of self-confidence. It’s about finding what you think is unique and interesting, and having the confidence to pull it off.
My sister, a corporate lawyer at the time, shared this vision and we decided to build a platform called LookLab that allowed anyone to connect with professional fashion stylists for personal advice. If you want a suit for a wedding or a new look for summer, users can ask stylists who respond by putting outfits together from a combination of online stores.
After launch, we found that bringing in stylists was actually relatively easy. They loved the idea they could provide advice and help people with their style issues. We’ve seen the stylist community grow and are now re-building the site to give them more ways to provide advice for users.
In terms of my personal style, I tend to dress more formally and I like clothes fitted – I think it’s the London influence – but to accentuate the look with an interesting piece (that’s the New York coming out).
Jeans: I like the Jean Shop in Soho and have a pair of Slim-Fit Stretch that have lasted me a long time. I love the worn and ragged look. I would also recommend Uniqlo. Both use Japanese denim, which is very durable.
Pants: I just bought a couple of printed linen pants from Zara and love them. They are perfect for the summer.
Accessories: My dad bought me a silver Omega Constellation for my 18th Birthday and I’m lost without it.
Outerwear: I love my Burberry Trench and I own about five jackets from Zara! My favorite is a green leather one with a grey hoodie.
Sleep Cycle – an app that tells you how well you’ve slept the night before and wakes you up in your lightest sleep state. I’ve improved my sleep immensely using this and wrote a whole blog post about it here.
Favorite piece of technology: Apple Macbook
Next tech purchase: iWatch