It’s the newest edition of Jews of Philly Fashion, introducing you to the Chosen few who dress our city. They might mix wool and linen, but they’ve got some strong opinions on mixing stripes with florals. In this space, we’ll talk to designers, sellers, buyers, influencers, models and more. This week, we spoke to Marissa Gelman.
Marissa Gelman, 28, is already a fashion veteran. Growing up, she’d go with her mother to trade shows, and got her first taste of what it might mean to sell clothing for a living. Now, the Arizona State University grad (and Camp Harlam alum) is coming up on five years of owning Fashion Statement, a women’s clothing boutique in Bryn Mawr. Vet that she might be, she’s not about to start coasting on reputation alone.
“I’m continually learning, every single day,” she said.
What clothing trend would you like to see make a comeback?
Tie-dye has been making a comeback this past year, and I have never been happier. It’s making its way through every season, in every type of clothing. Skirts, dresses, pants, tops, even headbands. It’s fun, adds a pop of color instead of the boring basics.
And what trend are you content to leave in the past?
Low-rise jeans. Please. I keep reading that they could make a comeback, and I’m hoping that is a joke. A lot of companies are making shirts shorter and shorter, and the reason for this is because so many people are wearing a higher-waisted jean.
What’s something you can’t believe you used to wear?
When I was in middle school, anything Abercrombie was cool. Denim skirts over leggings was big — I would pair them with my bright purple Ugg boots. Two words: oy vey.
What’s the oddest Chanukah present you ever received?
My family did a Pollyanna one year, and someone got me a really large cat-themed calendar. I totally loved it, though. I love cats.
What’s the best Chanukah present you’ve ever given?
At the end of the season, I donate clothing of my own that I don’t wear anymore to local charities, as well as clothing from the store that is on sale.
What’s the most likely result for the 76ers this year?
Champions, baby. I customized our own 76ers shirts hoping each time someone buys one it brings good luck. I think it’s working.
What item of clothing should more people be wearing?
High-waisted jeans. They are super flattering. A lot of women are scared to put them on because they think they are going to fit like they did back when they originally wore them. But the trend is really here to stay. I tell my customers that trying on jeans is a commitment and a workout. There are so many different versions of high-waisted jeans, we just have to find the one that works for them.
What person’s style do you admire?
I really like Hillary Duff’s style. I think mostly because she reminds me of myself, in that she’s short and we have similar body types, so I like to see what she is wearing or how her stylists dress her. I also love Patricia Field. She is one of the stylists for the show “Younger” and is also known for her iconic styling of the cast of “Sex & the City.”
What talent would you most like to have?
I wish I was good at painting or drawing. People always ask me, “Do you design the clothes you sell?” I always tell them, “Nope, I wish I was that talented.”
What is your most defining characteristic?
Being honest with people, especially my customers, and my ability to adapt to change and carve my own path. I went to college across the country, I left a fashion internship in New York to start my own business and, when I injured my knee and was no longer able to operate a traveling boutique, I opened up my own permanent location.
What’s your favorite restaurant on the Main Line?
I love Juicepod. Whenever I forget to bring my lunch I am able to run over there and eat something quick, healthy, and delicious.
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