There’s no denying that the past year has forced us all to reimagine our lives: from how and where we work, to how we view and utilize our home, to how we define ourselves and the luxuries in which we choose to indulge.
But at Moda Operandi, an online fashion retailer, reimagination and change has always been at the core of the company’s values.
Founded in New York City in 2010 by Lauren Santo Domingo, Moda Operandi has revolutionized the way clients interact with fashion and designers and ultimately how they shop for themselves.
“Lauren really wanted to take the fashion from the runway to the clients,” says Danielle Chock, 34, a private client adviser for the company. “She would see these magnificent fashion shows, but the stores would not have an accurate representation of the show. At Moda, we work directly with the designers. Clients can partner with Moda to watch the fashion shows online and then preorder those pieces through our online trunk shows. We help designers identify top looks and pieces in sizes that our clients really want to buy.”
The trunk shows last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, when clients can preview collections and preorder pieces by putting down a 50 percent deposit on items.
“Lauren was really the first to get the idea of the trunk show and the preorder out there to the public,” Chock says. “The whole thrill of it is being on the cutting edge of fashion.”
Chock has worked for Moda Operandi for more than two years but has always specialized in the luxury market.
She graduated on 12/12/12 with a master’s degree in international business management from the University of Bologna, Italy, where she parlayed her degree and fluency in Italian to land a sales job at Italian jewelry store Buccellati in Aspen. Over the course of the next eight years, she worked for Ralph Lauren, Gucci and Tesla before finding her home with Moda Operandi.
Born and raised in Woody Creek, Colorado, and currently living in Basalt, she serves as the company’s representative in the Central West but has clients as far-flung as Mexico and Italy whom she contacts regularly through WhatsApp.
“I was offered the remote stylist role [at Moda Operandi], and it was my dream to live in Aspen and work with remote clients and designers,” Chock says. “It doesn’t get much better than that.”
We sat down with the private client advisor for a question-and-answer session to better understand her unique services and the company that has truly redefined the virtual shopping experience.
Tell us about your role within the company and why our readers would benefit from working with you.
My services are complimentary, so it’s like having your own stylist to help really tailor the experience to you. As we are going through this pandemic, it’s nice to have this personal connection. I give my cell [phone number] to everyone. You don’t have to spend a certain amount to get assigned a client advisor. You can just ask to have one. We want to have a personal touch and interact as much as people want to interact with us.
I send clients updates and exclusive promotions; I send information on sales before they go public so you have the opportunity to shop before everyone else is shopping.
If I look at how I shop, I’m not confined to a certain style. Your fashion can vary based on your mood, the weather, the seasons or your friends. I heard from a client the other day who had received my emails and said she was really impressed by whatever algorithm I was using because she always liked my shopping suggestions. I said, “Well, that’s me. I look at your history and your shopping and give you a tailor-made experience.” That’s what makes us unique.
Tell us about the Colorado client and what it is like to shop for her?
I love the Colorado clients because we really get to shop for the four seasons instead of just, say, a client in Miami who is only shopping for warm weather. There is a really cool aesthetic in Colorado. We have a really fashion-forward woman who puts a lot of care into her appearance, but she’s also really athletic and goes all the time. She is very involved in her community and gets to plan for great events. You can tell a Colorado girl because she shops intelligently. She shops for her day-to-day life but also for where she is traveling. You wouldn’t say, “Oh, that girl is from Colorado,” you’d just say, “Oh, that girl looks fantastic.”
Who are some of your most popular designers?
Johanna Ortiz is one of our company’s darlings. Brandon Maxwell is huge because [his clothes] are very easy, but he is a sexy and sophisticated designer who sells for women. No matter where you go or who you are meeting, you will be dressed well in his pieces. Gabriela Hearst and Victoria Beckham are great for our girls because they both have an elevated denim look with beautiful coats and sweaters.
During COVID, we have had interactive Zoom calls with various designers where they could talk about their collections and clients could ask questions. Victoria [Beckham] did one from her home. We are working on doing interactive experiences since we can’t do as much in-person at the moment.
What is currently in your shopping cart?
The Bottega Veneta Padded Cassette bag has been on fire. It’s made from beautiful, supple leather that you just want to squeeze.
Proenza Schouler does a great boot as well that I’m looking into. It has good traction on the soles but still looks good. I invest in pieces that are going to be higher quality and are going to fit really well. I’ve never regretted buying something that I love.
Stephanie E. Richards has a master’s degree in journalism and has written and edited for various newspapers and magazines in Colorado. She is also a nationally competitive equestrian who operates a private horse facility in Greenwood Village.
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