Are you a fashion thief? Think long and hard before answering. Fashion thrives on stealing style ideas from those we consider icons and trend-setters. Advertising and marketing cannot compete with celebrity sightings in a fashion rag or scenes from the red carpet. Brand legacies are born when the masses grab hold of a look and make it their own or become simple carbon copies. When you’re searching for inspiration or just want something you can pull off the rack that is fashion ready, pop into Heist. Nilou Ghodsi is the proprietor and she is setting the style trends in Venice Beach, California, in a high-end women’s designer boutique. Her shop is located on famed Abbot Kinney Blvd., which GQ ranked as “the coolest block in America” in January, 2014.
Nilou is known for her choice style, and in the summer of 2004, decided to share her wardrobe savvy with the retail market and opened Heist. She later expanded and launched shopheist.com, so it’s not required that you live in Southern California to take advantage of her good taste. She turned her intuitive fashion sense into a full-time career after leaving the financial industry to spend more time with her family.
Copycat or Trendsetter
Being a fashion copycat is easy when you know where to look. Nilou is a trendsetter who has women everywhere mimicking her style. She is the sole buyer for her boutique and her taste is impeccable. Heist stocks elite designer clothing labels that will impress the style-conscious shopper. The overall style can be described as “understated chic.” She says, “I was amongst the first retailers to bring designer Isabel Marant stateside, and I credit Marant as one of my biggest influencers over the years.”
Nilou takes the time to make each of her in-store customers feel special. She sends thank-you notes to customers after every purchase and don’t worry about a hard sell, she won¹t let you buy anything if it doesn¹t fit just right. It’s all about the experience. A little insider “secret”: all models on the website are employees — clothing on the website is photographed in the all-white space upstairs. And if you love the boutique’s furniture, purchased from Denmark50, she might sell it to you. Shhh…Heist is a celeb favorite, but she won’t name names.
If clothing and accessories were not enough for Nilou, she also has a passion for jewelry and likes to spend her free-time cultivating her collection of costume jewelry.
We asked Nilou to put together some of her favorite style tips for our readers. She encourages you to steal any of your favorites to incorporate into your own wardrobe this fall and holiday season.
Heist features both international designers, such as Isabel Marant, Jerome Dreyfuss and Vanessa Bruno, and domestic apparel including Gary Graham, Inhabit, NSF Clothing and Raquel Allegra. www.shopheist.com
Style Tips from Nilou
The one piece that is a must-have for every woman’s wardrobe.
A crisp white slightly oversized button down shirt, because it always looks chic no matter how it is worn. It’s an absolute no-brainer on those days that you can’t seem to find anything to wear…unless of course it’s in the dirty bin, so you may want to have two or three!
My favorite accessory is a scarf by Faliero Sarti. Not only do they feel amazing on the skin, it’s the easiest way to instantly elevate any ensemble and add a touch of luxury.
The designer who everyone woman shouldn’t live without.
Nili Lotan…no one does wardrobe staples like her! Rather than reinventing herself each season, she consistently offers up her classic tried and true shapes in novelty textiles. She appeals to every woman, regardless of age or body type.
The label to watch.
Ulla Johnson, a designer who is inspired by all the places she traveled with her archeologist parents. She’s evolving and elevating her brand beautifully; definitely one to watch.
The most sought after designer at Heist.
Raquel Allegra. We just can’t keep it in stock no matter how deep we go. Her pieces are at once relaxed and refined…hitting a sweet spot with our Venice clientele.
Favorite piece of jewelry.
My oversized index ring…I feel naked without it, and besides, it’s a great conversation starter.
Designer with the most staying power.
It’s a tie between Humanoid and Nili Lotan. They do the best job in staying true to their sensibility and at the same time enticing us with new materials. Their consistency garners a loyal following that comes back season after season.
Must-buy splurge for Fall.
The thought of having to select only one piece is scary, but it would have to be a fur vest – I mean if it must be just one piece, it would have to be something amazing!”
Images courtesy of Heist.