How I Shop: Grace Elizabeth

"Your style makes a difference when you're able to take your personality and mix it with something people don't expect."
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Grace Elizabeth walks the 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai. Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Victoria's Secret

Grace Elizabeth walks the 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai. Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Victoria's Secret

We all buy clothes, but no two people shop the same. It can be a social experience, and a deeply personal one; at times, it can be impulsive and entertaining, at others, purpose-driven, a chore. Where do you shop? When do you shop? How do you decide what you need, how much to spend and what's "you"? These are some of the questions we're putting to prominent figures in our column "How I Shop."

With just a few short years in the business, Grace Elizabeth is a bona fide supermodel

Just a refresher: After being discovered in a local North Florida mall, she booked her first campaigns — Guess and Ralph Lauren — in 2015. Since, she's walked the most prestigious runways in the world, from Alexander Wang to Versace. She booked her first Chanel runway with a bang, closing out the iconic French house's Spring 2018 runway show to then open its Fall 2018 presentation a season later. Or, of course, you may also know her from two Victoria's Secret runway shows, as well as the face of Victoria's Secret Pink. Nevermind the numerous Vogue covers from editions across the world, including two Vogue Italia covers shot by the legendary Steven Meisel. Finally, she scored a blue chip beauty contract with multiple Estée Lauder campaigns under her belt. 

But my point is, despite her über-impressive and impossibly glamorous portfolio (and presumably considerable airline mileage), Elizabeth is truly the nicest, sweetest, most down-to-earth person ever. It's like you can take the sporty, chill, Lake City girl out of Florida, but can't take the Lake City out of the New York City supermodel. Of course, when Elizabeth jumped on the phone with me, she was also still enjoying some post-vacation zen — with fashion month still a fair month out on the horizon. 

I caught her at the perfect time to discuss how she preps for a month of international fashion weeks (yes, supermodels do shop in anticipation of the frenzy, too), why off-duty outfits after runway shows are carefully strategized business propositions and where she finds the best street style pieces when she's in her Florida hometown. Read on for the highlights.

Grace Elizabeth after Michael Kors's Fall 2018 show during New York Fashion Week. Photo: Timur Emek/Getty Images

Grace Elizabeth after Michael Kors's Fall 2018 show during New York Fashion Week. Photo: Timur Emek/Getty Images

"I just recently met with a stylist for this [fashion week] season and we're still working out the kinks. You try to pack light, but there is absolutely no way to pack light during fashion week, because you need to have street style changes for each show and you want to sort of mimic the brands that you'll be working for or walking for, so it's a little difficult. You have to plan on the [shows] you did last season: 'Okay, I've done these and now I think I have my foot in the door, so I'm going to plan an outfit specifically for this.'

You'll get your schedule that night — or possibly in the morning — depending on when they confirm what shows you're trying to do, and I try to plan my outfit to go with the flow of the shows that are clustered together. If I get a break, then I'll switch up the outfit. You don't want to overdo it, but at the same time, you want to show up. You're never off-duty.

For Chanel, my mother and I actually went to a vintage place in Paris and rented a Chanel coat from '66 or '67, and I just mixed that in with some leather jeans, a T-shirt and some cool boots. Because if you show up to a Chanel show dressed in complete Chanel, it's expected. If you come with a really amazing piece and a very simple outfit, it just puts emphasis on the brand, but it shows that you can relate to it in a cool way.

Then you also always have to bring extra, because people have parties at night. You always have to have a look on hand. All of fashion month, I probably have a giant suitcase that I could fit in — and bring a friend in there, as well — and another medium size suitcase. I also am a pretty good packer. I have these vacuum-fill bags. I fold up the clothes and vacuum-seal them, and when I get to the hotel, I lay them out and have them steamed and dry-cleaned, so that everything is ready to go.

As for accessories, you just have to think: You have to have a nude heel, you have to have a black pump, you have to have a boot, you have to have cool sneakers. Those are automatic. Then, depending on what you're wearing — if your dress is simple or you're just wearing jeans and a T-shirt — you always want to have some cool shoe on hand, something spicy or edgy to just pump up an outfit if you're on the go and don't have time to think about it.

Grace Elizabeth after Fendi's Fall 2018 show during Milan Fashion Week. Photo: Melodie Jeng/Getty Images

Grace Elizabeth after Fendi's Fall 2018 show during Milan Fashion Week. Photo: Melodie Jeng/Getty Images

I've kept my style the same since growing up. I've always been into denim and vintage T-shirts, and I just learned how to elevate it: Add a leather jacket or a cool shoe with it. I would say, very elegant, but also quite casual, at the same time. Where I come from, fashion's not really huge. Each day, every time I'm on set, I take pictures of the outfits. I learned how to mix and match different pieces with one another. I have a grip on my style, but I'm in the process of elevating it and being able to step out of the comfort zone. Your style makes a difference when you're able to take your personality and mix it with something people don't expect.

When I'm home in Florida, my toes do not get in a heel. I make sure to stay in tennis shoes. I dress quite relaxed anyway. I always wear a good denim short or pant. What I love to do is go to vintage shops in Florida, because what we find fashionable in New York, sometimes it's not fashionable in other places. People get rid of their old Levi's, their 505s and their 501s. They think they're junk, so they just throw them out and I get them and have them tailored to fit. The key to any successful wardrobe is a good tailor.

I actually go to the Goodwill, believe it or not. There are quite a few in my town and they're massive and they have a plethora of stuff. I have this old Levi's jean jacket — and on the inside is wool — and I found it for $12. You can tell it's been worn and I also found this leather jacket. It seems like somebody threw it over their motorcycle and forgot it there for a few years; it's all cracked leather and it's so beautiful.

I've actually been in vacation mode for so long that I haven't even updated my wardrobe. When I get back to New York in a couple weeks, I'm meeting with the stylist and we're going to shop for a few days. In New York, Barneys is always a good one because they just have such a range of things. I love What Goes Around Comes Around in Soho, because there are always some good finds. You can always find a good Chanel bag there, as well. I love Acne for very simple basic things that you can mix in. But I work in Sweden a lot and it's 40 percent cheaper there than it is in America, so I have actually stocked up on quite a bit of Acne.

Grace Elizabeth at a "CR Fashion Book" launch event. Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images 

Grace Elizabeth at a "CR Fashion Book" launch event. Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images 

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How I Shop: Emma Chamberlain

I'm really bad about retail therapy. Anytime I get free time, I'm like, 'Mmm. I wonder what Net-a-Porter or Barneys got going on right now,' which gets me in trouble sometimes. I know when I have too many packages, that's a sign. I love going to the store, but my biggest thing is I have to feel good, so I have to dress up. I have to do my hair and my makeup before I can go shop. I have to see the complete look, like how it's going to be.

I'm definitely an impulse shopper, too. I see it, I want it and I can't get my mind off of them. 'Yep, throw it in there right now. Throw it in the buggy.' Then I get up to the counter and I'm like, 'Dang, did I really need that?' Yes, I did. My mom is [often] like, 'Do you really need this?' 'Mom, it's part of the job. It's a write off or something.' I just bought this beautiful red Givenchy suit — and it's to die for — and I can't wait to wear it this fashion week."

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