Misty Guerriero shares Israeli vintage fashions with the world

A fashion connoisseur and importer of vintage fashions from around the world, with a large Israel-fashion influence, Misty Guerriero of Vintage by Misty is one of the most style-inspiring people on the planet! Her beauty and spirit, adorned in the most luxurious of patterns and materials, are wickedly chic and intoxicating. With a brick and mortar store in Scottsdale, AZ, and a large online international client base through her website and Etsy store, the self-described “daring dresser” offers eclectic fashion pieces from around the globe, including vintage couture, Israeli vintage and unique items for the home.

I chatted with the ultra-chic fashionista about her travels, fashion and “fabulosity,” and her best style advice for women and men. Her replies have been edited for brevity and clarity.

What influence does your Jewish heritage play in your fashion sense?
My heritage and travels play a huge role on what influences me in fashion. I am drawn to color, prints and texture – this might have to do with my caftan and fabric obsession! Fashion is fun, you should try to influence yourself daily whether it’s from a country you love, old pictures of movie stars or your city’s street style.

How often do you visit Israel for fashion? Do you source a lot of your vintage fashion finds from Israel?
I visit once a year but love to stay for a month or so. Yes, I have plenty of sources that I collect from – the vintage scene in Israel is what I like to call “underground.”To find the good stuff you must know people and of course speak the language. The thing I think people forget is that everybody in Israel comes from another country, so the fashion is diverse. You have a lot of great vintage that comes from Russia, Morocco, Europe and Yemen. There are so many talented people in the fashion scene in Tel Aviv – it gives me goose bumps! Everyone is so different and does their own thing… which is inspiring. My favorite vintage finds are designers like Gottex, Maskit, Yitzchak Bier and Ilana Goor.

Do you have family in Israel?
Yes, my husband’s family all live in Tel Aviv. I also have plenty of friends who live there (They visit us, too). I visit once a year … my husband visits at least three times a year. I am very lucky because he knows my style so well that he shops for me – what woman wouldn’t love that!

How has the Internet influenced your business growth?
The Internet and social media are amazing tools for any business. I have an online shop via Etsy. I would say 10% of my sales are inside the U.S., and the rest go out of the country. That’s a huge demographic that I would have never reached if Vintage by Misty were not online.

What are your favorite pieces in stores now?
That’s a hard question to answer – my collection of vintage is curated. I love every piece because of the story behind it. I do love when a client sees a tag in Hebrew, because it shocks them to know that it came from Israel. Why? I think it’s because people think of religion when Israel is brought up and nothing else, so it’s nice to educate them on the fashion of Israel.

You have so many amazing pieces and have the most impeccable taste. So I wonder: Have you ever sold anything that you wish you had kept?
Everything! LOL … I love to spread the vintage love, it makes me happy to see my pieces going to good homes.

Where’s next on your travel list to source new and fabulous fashion finds?
When I travel I always try to include Israel; this year I’m going to travel through France and Italy then visit Israel. I am working on a vintage-inspired collection for my shop with a very famous Israeli designer. I am hoping to launch spring of 2015 – the line will include jewelry and dresses.

What’s your best style advice for women?
Be creative. Your body is a blank canvas – it’s fun to add color, print or texture to all your looks, and vintage is the perfect way to start. Take risks but don’t go so BIG you’re not going to be comfortable. That leads to being unsure with your look – then you’ll never wear that piece again.

And for men?
Fits and thinking outside the box. Don’t dress older or younger than you are – this can make you look dated. Also, incorporate accessories, ties, bow ties, belt buckles, cuff links and hats.

Who’s your go-to designer for everyday women’s wear?
Right now I love a mix of Rachel Pally, Nightcap and Camilla – all great designers with easy
fits for any woman’s body type!

Kira Brown is a certified personal stylist and fashion writer. Kira has interviewed many fashion icons including Tim Gunn, jeweler Neil Lane, international makeup artist Jemma Kidd and Ken Downing of Neiman Marcus. Kira also offers virtual style consultations for women and men. Contact her at kira@fashionphoenix.com.

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