ejh-elisabeth-jones-hennessy-style-blog

Welcome.

A digital diary dedicated to fashion, beauty and culture, edited by Elisabeth Jones-Hennessy, a former buyer living between NYC & Paris.

Elisabeth is also the founder of L'AGENCE EJH, a consulting agency specializing in brand collaborations.

Catherine Smith of Plan de Ville: The 20

Catherine Smith of Plan de Ville: The 20

When I first met Catherine Smith, the founder and CEO of Plan de Ville, I was thoroughly impressed...

For those of you who don't know, Plan de Ville has become THE "in-the-know" online destination where discerning customers can find chic, emerging brands from all over the world. Fashion Group International (FGI) gave Plan de Ville the "Rising Star in Retail" award in January 2016 and since then, Catherine and her business have hit a new and fast-paced stride. Between attending Columbia Business School and running her business, Catherine is one of those women who seems to just do it all effortlessly. She's both intelligent (obviously) and sincerely charming which all translate seamlessly on her site and in her imagery. 

From a fashion standpoint and, most important for her business, she's got a great eye. From brands that she carries such as Stephanie Rad, Tosia and Houghton, just to name a few, Catherine clearly understands quality, great design and what a woman needs in her wardrobe. Unlike major department store buyers (I used to be one so I understand!), she has the freedom to take risks and the courage to invest in small brands, giving them a launchpad where many retailers will not or simply cannot. 

I caught up with Catherine and asked her to be my very first guest of "The 20." I hope you will enjoy getting to know Catherine as much as I have!

ElisabethXx 

1. Where I Am...

I’m on the Upper East Side somewhere in the 60’s – my new neighborhood since I moved this past spring! Well, I should say I’ve moved back to my original neighborhood, because I lived in a townhouse on East 81st Street when I first came to New York City in 2008!

 Slip dress by  Voz , Leather jacket by  The Row

Slip dress by Voz, Leather jacket by The Row

 Slip dress by  Voz , Leather jacket by  The Row

Slip dress by Voz, Leather jacket by The Row

2. What I'm Wearing...

Since I’m heading to an early holiday event I’m wearing one of my favorite looks – a silk slipdress by Voz and my leather jacket by The Row. I love a leather jacket to toughen up a feminine piece and add just a bit of an edge.

3. What I'm Up To...

Lately I’m busier than ever (which I love!) because I just started an Executive MBA at Columbia Business School. When I’m not working on financial accounting problem sets, you can usually find me working on my business Plan de Ville, which I launched in November 2014 with the goal of becoming the online destination for luxury fashion by emerging designers. I also spend time consulting for the brands that I work with directly as a strategy and e-commerce expert.

4. Peek Inside My Bedroom...

I’m a homebody and I love when I have a night off. I travel often for work and pleasure, but I really enjoy getting to spend time at home. I really believe in the power or restorative time, and with all the things on my plate I’ve been trying to prioritize that lately.

 Shoes by  Chloe Gosselin

5. Something That Will Surprise You...

Something that tends to surprise people is that I studied political science and decided to pass on job offers I had after graduation to intern at W Magazine. I love elections and campaigns, and I wrote my undergraduate thesis about methodologies for measuring political freedom. My bookshelves are an interesting mix of my political science education (Sun Tzu, Plato, a signed copy of Robert F. Kennedy’s To Seek A Newer World) mixed with books on fashion and the mind.

6. Personal Style...

My personal style is a mix of tried and true staples, and much like Elisabeth, I love a Veronica Beard blazer. You can usually find me wearing a pair of skinny jeans and a form fitting top like a bodysuit or silk sleeveless blouse paired under a tailored jacket or blazer. For off-duty moments like weekends or trips away I love wearing feminine wrap dresses by brands like Reformation.

 Catherine wearing tried and true style staples in Paris (photos by Brandie Raasch)

Catherine wearing tried and true style staples in Paris (photos by Brandie Raasch)

7. Favorite NYC Neighborhood...

I love the energy of Soho. I lived in Tribeca in my mid-twenties and I spent lots of time walking the iconic streets of Soho and taking in all of the iconic architecture and great street style.  

8. Necessary Luxury...

A great organic lip treatment (like La Neige’s lip sleeping mask), access to a big bathtub, and a glass of wine in the evening.

9.  Sexy is...

Confidence and effortless style. Someone who knows who they are and is comfortable in their skin with their own unique sense of serenity.

 Slip dress by  Voz

Slip dress by Voz

10. Style Ethos...

Be authentically you. Create a sense of style that you can rely on to feel beautiful, confident and prepared. I always encourage women to spend some time figuring out what works best for their body types. If you’re in a fitting room, always take photos of yourself in each outfit you’re trying on, and then make the decision by looking at the photos on your phone. Not only can you find clarity about what fits best, you’ll often also see the difference in the expression on your face, too.

11. Dream Vacation...

Five days on a beach I’ve never been to before.

12. New York or Paris...

Paris with my New Yorkers. Some of my favorite memories are nights in Paris during fashion week when I get to spend time with some of my favorite people in the most beautiful city in the world. I lived in Paris as a student at the American University of Paris in 2009 and ever since the city has felt like an extension of me. To paraphrase Hemingway, if you’re lucky enough to live in Paris when you’re young, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you…

 Travel essentials include shampoo by  Oribe

Travel essentials include shampoo by Oribe

13. Favorite Time of Day...

Nighttime when I let myself put the work aside.

14. Best Virtue...

I am fiercely loyal, and very decisive. Just ask the people who have hurt the ones I love. #Scorpio.

15. Biggest Vice...

Not believing in myself enough.

16. In Front of Camera or Behind...

In front of it – I was the co-host of a teen issues talk show when I was in high school, and ever since then I’ve loved being on camera! Love me a teleprompter (and a Lumee case!).

17. Artist Muse...

My friend Miya Ando. Her paintings and sculptures define serenity for me.

18. Advice I Try to Follow...

To worry less. When I started business school I was full of anxiety: worrying about deadlines, how I sounded in class, if I raised my hand enough, if I raised my hand too much, if I’d fail. After my first statistics exam, I thought I failed. I felt like such a fraud. That is, until I found out I did better than half of the class. Since then I’ve tried to stay calm and remind myself that I’m prepared and ready!

19. Favorite Position...

Chief Executive Officer.

20. Boys, Girls or Both...

Boys, and there’s only one for me.

Cordelia de Castellane: Baby Dior & Dior Home

Cordelia de Castellane: Baby Dior & Dior Home

MoMA in Paris: Great Minds Think Alike...

MoMA in Paris: Great Minds Think Alike...