Sharyne Wolfe – Author Interview

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

I recently wrote a book entitled, The Fashionista’s Shopping Guide to the Galaxy of Discount New York Fashion.

It’s a compilation of of stores (ranging from specialty store discounters to wholesalers, consignment shops, thrift stores and accessory stores, to name a few) throughout New York City and on Long Island. The book covers where to find the best bargains from everything from bridal gowns to jewelry and designer fashion. Each listing provides the name of the store, address, phone number, website and mass transit directions. Many list nearby restaurants because though fashion is food for the soul you still have to feed your body. The listings allow a woman to get the most bang for her buck when shopping.

Tell us something about yourself.

I was born and raised in New York City, and am a fashion design graduate of Fashion Institute of Technology. I have a master’s degree in Clothing and Textiles from New York University. I have worked in the areas of costume design for Radio City Music Hall, have designed mass market junior sportswear, sold my childrenswear to top Madison Avenue boutiques and designed custom leather clothing for the rock group, Fleetwood Mac. I have also designed shoes and designed handbags that I sold to Bloomingdale’s.

I am currently a professor of fashion design and was one of the authors of the design program at Nassau Community College in New York.

My mantra is, “I shop fashion at a discount, therefore I am.”

What inspired you to write this book?

The Guide was an outgrowth of a recent accident I had. While at work, I was moving a dress form (the ones you drape patterns on) and the wheels of the form didn’t roll, the form stalled and threw me off balance. I fell backwards on my derriere and tried to break my fall with my hand. This turned out to be a bad idea as I broke my right wrist in the process. (Luckily I’m left-handed and this guide was typed with one hand.) I also couldn’t drive for eight weeks due to the cast on my arm, since I have a stick shift car. My usual MO is that I would go shopping in my free time. I call it “sport shopping.” So to channel my shopping urge I compiled this guide as a way for me to go virtual shopping until my wrist healed. I hadn’t bought anything in five weeks and I was going through withdrawal!

How did you choose the title?

It’s a take-off on The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”.

What writing experience have you had? How did you get started?

I’ve done some newspaper writing, For a number of years I’ve co-wrote and styled the Back To School Fashion section for Newsday on Long Island.

How did you become a discount shopper?

Growing up in Brooklyn in a middle class household, my mother always looked to save when buying clothing for me and my sister. She was a woman with a mission. She wanted us to look nice, but couldn’t afford to outfit us at Saks or Bergdorf’s. To get the best for the least, my mother used to shop the sales. J.W. May’s Department store on Fulton Street in Brooklyn, held a twice yearly children’s sample coat sale, in February for Spring and in August for Fall. They used to sell sample coats from all the best childrenswear houses for $12. These coats would normally sell for $50 at the shops on Fifth Avenue. We’d take the subway to downtown Brooklyn; the goal was to get a Rothschild coat (THE coat to have) for a fraction of its initial price. This early experience got me hooked on getting great clothes at a discount price.

What types of books do you like to read?

I love mysteries and spy novels. My favorite books growing up were Nancy Drew.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

I think the concept of discount shopping can be applied to other cities and am currently working on editions for Southern Florida, Southern California, Dallas, New England.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Don’t procrastinate. Just jump right in and do it!! Writing this book was a great experience. I had a lot of fun with it.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

The perfect reader of this book is a woman with more panache than cash, those with a passion for fashion, but without the bank account or credit card limit to support it. Most women are not trust fund babies. In the current economic climate where money is tight and job security uncertain, I felt that now more than ever, there was a need for a guide for finding fashion at a discount. Who doesn’t want to look like they just walked off the catwalk, but do so at a street smart price?

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

The book can be ordered through Amazon.
I can be emailed at fashionistasshoppingguide@gmail.com