Stacy London helps everyday people get their looks in check on the hit TLC series, "What Not to Wear." Her experiences on the show have run the gamut from turning fashion victims into trendsetters to helping self-conscious, unhappy hermits transform into social butterflies. We love anyone who can change lives with a new pair of jeans and the right shade of lipstick. Stacy's own personal style tends towards the classic -- lots of pretty wrap dresses, impeccably tailored slacks and perfect-fit jeans. So what does this style-savvy shopaholic have on her own personal wish list? She sat down to talk to us about her shoe fetish (it's a good thing), an "it" bag even she doesn't own yet and a recent gift that has her feeling a little bit guilty.
Best gift you've ever received?
Well, there are two. For my birthday one year, my friends and family all asked me what I wanted. To deter anyone from buying me anything, I chose an outrageously expensive item that no one should ever buy for someone else unless you are loaded: an Hèrmes collier de chien (translation: dog collar) bracelet. To my utter and complete surprise, my boyfriend presented me with it the night before my birthday. All he said was "I knew it would make you happy." The second present was given to me by my make-up artist, not for any special occasion, but simply as a token of affection: a travel cell phone charger. I can’t begin to tell you how useful it’s been.
Not one but two different people gave me a cake server in the shape of a high heel. I love shoes, not cake. Well, I do love cake, but shoes have fewer calories.
(London, an admitted shoe addict, remodeled her apartment to accommodate her more than 300 pairs -- and counting!)
Most memorable gift?
My stylist adopted a leopard for me from the World Wildlife Fund endangered species list. You sponsor an animal to help save it and they send you adoption papers and a stuffed animal that looks just like the animal you have adopted. So I went and adopted 12 more for my friends last Christmas. My fave was the pygmy marmoset!
(London often participates in charity events and auctions, like the African Well Fund, which raises money to build wells in Africa. London auctioned some of her precious shoes for the cause.)
Your top 3 wish list gifts?
1) A prefab cellophane house. I just saw it at the MoMA Home Delivery exhibit. The Polycarbonate walls are the bomb.
2) An Hermès Birkin bag. A big one!
3) "Delirious New York," a book by Rem Koolhaas.
Which one will you most likely get?
I just ordered the book on Amazon. Happy birthday to me!
(London celebrated her 40th birthday on May 25th.)
Last gift given?
I bought six of the same Toy Watch from their new Strong Collection to give to my girlfriends. They all loved mine and were so psyched to get their own.
Last gift received?
I'm kind of embarrassed to admit this. I got to keep a pair of diamond earrings from a campaign I just shot. I've never owned a pair of REAL diamond earrings and these are so insanely beautiful, I haven't taken them off in a few of weeks!
(London has been a spokesperson for many brands including Calvin Klein, Longines, Hanes and Swatch USA.)
Favorite gift holiday?
I do love Christmas. I love running around trying to find presents for lots of different people. I love wrapping presents. I love the sentiment during that time of year. But honestly, my favorite time to give a gift is for no particular reason. If I find something I know someone I love would love, I buy it and give it to them. Why wait for special occasions?
What's your policy on throwing a gift away?
Actually, I have no problem throwing a gift away if I absolutely hate it. Clutter sucks. I think re-gifting gifts is kinda tacky unless you really think the gift is perfect for someone else.
What makes a bad gift bad?
Look personally, a bad gift is one that has no connection to the recipient. I mean, it's always fine to send a mass gift across the business board. (I like to send bottles of Dom) But the more impersonal a gift for a person is, the less likely it will be a good one.
What makes a good gift good?
Just the opposite of what makes a bad one. A great gift is one you KNOW another person will truly love, even if they never thought to buy it for themselves! Best gift to give someone in need of a fashion makeover? That depends. Buying clothes as gifts can be hard unless you are shopping with the person. I like to stick to fun accessories like sunglasses, scarves, bags, even things like a new lipstick can propel people into a new look!
(London gives out countless pieces of fashion advice, but the one thing she said is most important to everyone is: "Make sure your clothes fit.")
What gifts should you splurge on?
I used to say spend on bags and shoes. But now I think bags are the things worth splurging on. Great shoes come in every price point now, so you don't have to only buy high designer. But bags are trickier. While there are some great mid-range bags in terms of price, I feel like the high design ones pack the most punch and remain in style forever.
What to get on the cheap?
Honestly, almost everything. God bless American knock-offs! But I always say buy the super trendy items on the cheap. Wear them for one season and be done with them. Don't spend oodles of money on something you wouldn't be caught dead in next season. Where's the style savvy in that?
(London has worked as a personal stylist to celebs like Kate Winslet, Katie Holmes and Liv Tyler, dressing them in a mix of high-end pieces from Gucci and Versace and basics from H&M.)