“I met Lela in 2004 in Monmouth College where we studied together for a while. We became very good friend as we had our passion for Luxury & Fashion in common. I have always been amazed about her determination to achieve her goals. We have recently met several years after college & I am very glad to count Lela as one of the successful person we interviewed on the blog of Epykomène. Thank you & I wish you all the Best darling.” – A. Kabla

What is your position at at Mark Shale?
I am the women’s divisional manager in Chicago Mark Shale department store.

How long have you been working for this brand & how has your career evolved through the time?
I started with Mark Shale in November 2011.  Prior to Mark Shale, I worked for Nordstrom.  Through this time, I’ve managed everything from designer clothes to designer handbags and accessories.  It’s taught me a lot about fashion all over the world and what people are looking for before the invest in a designer piece.

What are the skills you think are mandatory for the position you have within this company?
You definitely need excellent people skills in order to be in retail management.  It takes a lot of patience to balance the different needs and personalities of your customers and your employees.  You must have excellent customer service skills.

Luxury & more especially Fashion is different from one culture to the other one. What are the big trends on the American & more particularly Chicago market for this spring?
The big trends in Chicago this Spring/Summer is color.  Neon colors are being shown all down the Avenue.  Whether its colored denim, or a bright blouse the look this season is adding color to your wardrobe.  The other big trend in Chicago is floral prints.

What is your clientele?
The clientele at my store is woman 30 and up.

To you, what is the uniqueness & the strengths of the company you work compared to its competitors?
Mark Shale carries a wide variety of designers.  What sets us apart from the competitors are the pieces we buy.  We buy pieces that aren’t seen at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, or any other big name stores.  We are a specialty store, therefore, we have the luxury of carrying luxury vendors that will only sell to small boutiques.  Most pieces you buy at Mark Shale you wont see on any one else with the exception of celebrities.

If you could compare the company you work for with a Luxury services brand (hotel, event, gourmet food, design etc) what would it be?
I would compare Mark Shale to Four Seasons.  We service the same clientele.

Lets talk a little bit about you now! Where does your passion for Fashion come from?
My passion for fashion comes from my parents.  Since before I was born, they have been in the fashion industry.  They are sales reps for women’s and children’s work out wear and apparel.  From a young age, they taught me the value of a luxury piece of clothing or accessory.  It really is an investment in your wardrobe.

How do you plan your career to evolve within the next 10 years?
I plan to continue my path in the fashion industry and see where it takes me.

Which character real or imaginary, death or alive, would you like to have as a client?
Michelle Obama, she is classic, yet, sophisticated.

If you could move to another country, which one would it be?

What is your favourite dessert?

If you were to anticipate the end of your career book, which would be a good epilogue?
As I sailed out of the Windy City, and docked in the fabulous Paris.  I created, to date, the most luxurious handbag line Lela Saint Rose.

Check Mark Shale website

Audrey Kabla