Chic is the first word that comes to mind as I scroll through Summer Miller’s Instagram feed, though she’s way more than that. Impossibly chic, maybe, especially considering she’s still in her twenties. Women in their twenties aren’t supposed to be so…together, are they? She mixes Margiela runway with vintage Levis, Theyskens with Adidas— her style is totally effortless but you can tell she gets so much joy from dressing herself. Not to mention that spun-gold hair and dewy skin. Major #girlcrush alert.
While she’s currently up in NYC killing it as a Senior Stylist at the flagship Isabel Marant store in Soho, Miller called RVA home for years before heading north. I was dying to know about her journey so we chatted about the most surprising part of her job, her personal style evolution and wearing pink overalls to a wedding.
Richmond magazine: I know you’re living in NYC now but were in Richmond for a number of years previously. What first brought you to RVA?
Summer Miller: I was actually born in Williamsburg, Virginia. I moved to Richmond after high school and studied History. I loved it but I always knew I wanted to live in a big city. I just didn’t know how I would get there or what I wanted to do.
RM: What made you want to move to NYC?
SM: When I first moved to Richmond many years ago I went to a psychic with my mom just for fun and she said I would one day live in NYC and I remember laughing because I had never once thought about living in New York. I’ve never told anyone that before.
RM: So, you work at the Isabel Marant Flagship store in Soho— very cool. She’s definitely known for her effortless, modern boho style and I love how you interpret that vibe in your own way. Can you tell me a bit about what you love about working there?
SM: I’m the Senior Stylist. I’ve always been a fan of Isabel Marant. She has this incredibly sexy, effortless, functional vibe which I’ve always been fond of. When she’s designing a collection, she’s dressing herself. I feel like a woman when I’m in her clothes.
RM: What’s a typical day like at Isabel Marant?
SM: There’s no typical day for me. For instance, this month we’re having our sale so I’m running around the entire day. I work on consignments, merchandising, send 100 emails, and then I order lunch from Seamless.
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“I get my energy from knowing people are whispering asking each other what the hell I’m wearing.” (Photo by Troy Avier)
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“I miss how relaxing Richmond is. I was never stressed. I used to come home from work in Richmond to read, make tea and take a bath. I can’t imagine doing that here. I don’t leave work until after 7pm and then I go out don’t get home until 1am.” (Photo by Troy Avier)
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“I’m still a jeans and tee shirt girl. I’ve just changed the fit of jeans and tees. I consigned all my skinny jeans and now have 10 pairs of 501s and 505s that I rotate.” (Photo by Troy Avier)
RM: I feel like fashion houses are still kind of mysterious— especially when it comes to working at one. I’m curious to know what it’s like working there.
SM: It’s a lot less serious than people imagine it is. We have fun. I have celebrity clients but I have many who come bring their dogs or their kids and we just hang out. My clients share so much with me. It’s very womanly - there’s this great energy when you’re working with beautiful garments.
RM: What would you say is the biggest difference in your style after moving from Richmond to New York?
SM: I definitely wore heels a lot more when I lived in Richmond because I didn’t walk 5 miles a day.
RM: What do you miss most about Richmond?
SM: I miss the food - I loved Stella’s and Saison and Can Can. It’s nice though, I have Balthazar in SoHo just a few blocks from work and its the restaurant twin to Can Can. It feels like home.
RM: Do you have any favorite RVA shopping spots?
SM: I always liked Need Supply. I shopped there when I was in high school; it’s been fascinating watching them grow and change. I feel like they’ve grown with me - like we grew up together.
RM: I imagine you’re constantly helping women choose clothes that are right for them for many different life stages and events - what’s your one piece of style advice for our readers?
SM: I’m a big supporter of making a statement. Wearing something loud that no one else will be wearing. I saw one of my clients this week and she is going to a wedding in Boston and she’s a stunning girl, very cool style. I knew she would die before wearing an simple dress to a wedding. So, she’s wearing light pink Isabel Marant overalls from our runway. It’s so chic.