The Kilduff file | December 2002

Like it or not, ‘tis the gift-giving season. And while you should probably be out braving the mall for your loved ones, let’s face it; you could use a little sprucing up yourself. Especially your clothes. But what if you just don’t have a clue? Or the time? that’s where someone like personal shopper Micki Turner comes in. After assessing your personality and lifestyle to determine your clothes type, Turner will pre-shop stores and select items. You just show up and try on her finds. She’ll also help you weed your closet of undesirables and take digital photos of you and your new getups for future reference. Of her many clients, most are professional women with a sprinkling of highly successful men. What they all have in common is a need to make a good first impression.

Paul Kilduff: Who uses your services?
Micki Turner: My business is mostly women, but I do have several men. I like to work one-on-one with clients and the kind of person that would use me is someone that has very little time. That’s usually a professional woman. Another type is somebody that just hates to shop. I can think of another woman, she’s got great taste and style, [but] she has four children. She doesn’t like to shop, so it’s my job to kind of get into her head.

PK: Do you actually go with people to stores, holding their hands?
MT: Yeah, what I do is–not everyone has me do this–I come over and we go through the closet.

PK: That must be painful. The sheer embarrassment.
MT: But I try to be really nice. It’s like calling a therapist. I try to be diplomatic. I make new outfits for them with their own clothing and I take digital pictures so I send them the whole little portfolio of them in their own clothes mixed up in new different ways that they love. But then, what I really want them to do is to hire me to go shopping. I figure out by their lifestyle, budget, and who they are, what the best stores are for them. Maybe it’s Banana Republic; maybe it’s Macy’s; maybe it’s Armani.

PK: What’s your shopping philosophy?
MT: I believe in less is more. I’d rather them buy a little better garment and maybe forgo one. A lot of people buy what I call “orphans.” They buy things on sale or they buy something they love and they bring it home and they have nothing to wear with it. It just sits in their closet. So, it’s my job to correct that. I haven’t done a good job if it sits in their closet.