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A Fashionable Q&A with… Marina Albright, of the Albright Fashion Library

In NewsWhistle’s weekly question-and-answer series, Clara Morgan speaks with some of the world’s top influencers and finds out more about their lives and careers.

This week, Clara speaks with fashionista Marina Albright who runs the Albright Fashion Library  with her mother Irene Albright.

Think of the Albright as a book library, but instead of checking out hardcovers, those in the know can source fashion items from the Albright’s extensive collection, which features over 20,000 dresses, plus thousands of stylish accessories, including designer shoes, luxury bags, and jewels.

Before joining her mom, Marina started as a fashion assistant for Glamour magazine. Now she’s focusing on the Los Angeles addition to the family business – Albright Fashion Library LA – which, apart from all the features of its New York namesake, also includes an all-new on-location fashion shoot space.

Marina’s mother, Irene Albright, a former stylist, founded the Albright Fashion Library in 1990 because she felt that other showrooms in the city couldn’t satisfy her creative imagination. The Albright Fashion Library is an essential stop for the fashion elite.

Every day, stylists, editors, and designers visit the 7,000-square-foot showroom to make use of a comprehensive yet impeccably edited collection of fashion items. Offering an archive of classic pieces — from Chanel suits to Dior gowns, from Gucci belts to Manolo Blahnik pumps — as well as contemporary looks by some of the most exciting young designers working today, the Library’s encyclopedic holdings dazzle and inspire.

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Marina Albright

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1. What was it like to be born into the Albright Fashion Library world? Did you always know that you, like your mother, wanted to work in fashion?

I think I was born in the Manolo Blahnik section of the Albright Fashion Library… So one could say I always loved fashion, but I definitely never thought I would end up working with my mom. But here I am ten years later, and loving every minute of it (for the most part).

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2. Albright Fashion Library recently opened up a new location in Los Angeles. Tell us a little about how this came about, and what is different about this location compared to the New York Fashion Library?

Albright LA is our exciting new venture – we knew there was a need for us to open it with all the events that take place in LA. LA has a typical jeans and a t-shirt culture so there was definitely a need for high-end fashion, red carpet gowns, and chic cocktail dresses.  The difference is NY has a much more sophisticated take on fashion, while LA is all about the sparkle.

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3. What are the biggest fashion trends to look out for in the fall?

Paris Fashion Week was beautiful; runways that until recently were filled with grey and black have been replaced with sequins, patterns, and color. It is a flashback to the 90s – nothing will be too bold or daring next season. But the key to not overdoing it will be to pair your bold pieces with your more classic staples.

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4. Where do you get your style inspiration from?

I ask people all the time who they think my style takes after and everyone always says Me… I definitely don’t follow trends. I think I have a Parisian schoolgirl look I adopted from my uniforms at my all-girl school growing up, Spence.  

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5. How would you define your style? Can you give an example of what you would wear on a workday versus on a night out?

I have almost created a new uniform for myself; it’s very Saint Laurent meets Miu Miu. I think of it as an edgy school girl look – and I can’t live without a mini skirt.

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6. What is your best style advice for those on a budget? Any specific shops/markets that you recommend, or maybe a signature piece that one should invest in?

I always tell my friends to invest in special pieces, and go to Zara or sample sales for your trend pieces.

If you’re going to invest in one thing, it should be something you will keep and could possibly appreciate in 10 years. I personally have a major Celine bag addiction.

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7. Can you tell us about the worst fashion mistake you ever made?

I can’t think of one particular thing that was awful, but I can say that I am the worst person at taking fashion risks for myself – I know what I’m comfortable in, and if I leave that comfort zone I end up being miserable all night. Inevitably the biggest mistake!

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8. Best international dining experience you’ve ever had? 

I love a good homemade pasta… There is this little restaurant in Paris named Cibus with the most amazing truffle pasta I’ve ever had. We have an “American in Paris” meal every time we are over there, with lots of wine and great company.

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9. Favorite vacation spot and hotel?

St. Barts, hands down! I love renting villas or homes, especially if I’m going to be away for a week or more…. But if your vacation is on the shorter side, I love the Christopher Hotel. I have been traveling to the Island with my family since I was a baby–my father used to shoot for Victoria’s Secret back in the 80s.

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10. Which three items must you always have in your purse? And why those three objects?

My friends laugh, but I always have Wet Ones, my Jo Malone mini perfume, and my Nars lip stain pencil. I feel like it’s my way to go from day to night, and I’m a bit of a germaphobe.

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What song can you listen to on repeat? Why?

I have a secret obsession with Justin Bieber. I love his new album, especially Love Yourself.

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12. If you could meet anyone in the world, who would you want to meet? And why?

It would have to be Pete Sampras. He was my first boy crush when I was a kid.  I remember watching him play and thinking he was so dreamy….

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13. Where will we find Marina Albright in five years? What are your goals and dreams?

Five years! Oh boy (I remember writing this letter in high school and receiving it 10 years later and nothing being correct ). I can’t complain, my full time job is every girl’s dream – I shop for a living!!!  I would love to see Albright International, with offices in Paris and London one day.

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All Images Courtesy of Marina Albright and Photographer Marc Kayne