A pillar in the Los Angeles fashion scene, stylist Nevena Borissova’s boutique, Curve, is known for its edgy-chic assortment from brands of all aesthetics, price points and levels of notoriety. Now fifteen years strong with additional locations in New York, Miami, Sag Harbour and San Francisco (plus, an e-com site on the way), Curve continues to thrive thanks to Borissova’s business sense, buying skills and commitment to VIP-worthy customer service. Meet this ultra-stylish and inspiring entrepreneur (and mom too!) in today’s Women of Style interview.
Women of Style: Nevena Borissova
Her First Job Ever
"When I was 17 I worked at a clothing store on Melrose Ave called Last Stop. The owners were young and Israeli and it was pretty much "fake it till you make it" but I learned how to sell and dress different body types."
How Styling Has Effected Her Business
"When I was working as a stylist I saw that there was so much that was missing in retail. It was frustrating. Nothing editorial was ever in the stores. I approach all my buys as a stylist. I have a certain amount of money in my budget for things I don't care if I ever sell."
How L.A. Fashion Has Changed Over The Last 15 Years
"Los Angeles has a much more of a French streetwear vibe now, not just boho or (worse) sweats and active gear. The Isabel Marant look is a staple in LA now and Curve is definitely a part of that."
"Also, a lot of people are moving to LA from New York and Europe so I think there will be a cool new look emerging here very soon. I think rock will be at the core of it. After all, Hedi Slimane lives and works here now."
How She Runs Stores In Multiple Cities
"I stay close to the buy, merchandising, everything visual and the consumer. All operations are handled by our amazing corporate team- I couldn't do it all alone."
"I have a ‘modern family’ (we're very gypsy-like) so we move around a lot. I mainly live in NYC but have a place in Miami and Los Angeles. I try to visit each store at least five times a year. Skype and all the new technologies are amazing and my window to the world. It's brilliant that you can see and connect to people in four places at one time."
Key Fashion Items In Each City
"Oh, this is hard. In LA, it's all about jewelry and the bag. New York; the coat and accessories. San Francisco; the cocktail dress and a dinner jacket. Miami; the sexy dress (more Cushnie et Ochs or Dion Lee than Herve Leger) and high heels."
Lessons Learned About Women And Shopping
"Confidence is the key to great personal style and it’s our job to get the client to that place. The new luxury is what one can afford; you can find great pieces at any price point."
Her Role Models And Mentors
"I don't have a mentor but I’m looking for one! I am jealous of people saying, 'Diane [Von Furstenberg] is my mentor'."
"On a fashion level, I LOVE Mira Duma! She gets it on every level. I think she is not only a trendsetter but quite a smart business woman."
"I also admire the business sense of Mickey Drexler and Andrew Rosen. I would love for either one to be my boss."
The Best Career Advice She's Ever Received
"Stay focused on your passion and don't let anything or anyone take that away."
"Don't go online before you're ready."
"Stop using your own money to grow."
Plans For Expansion
"I plan to open our first lifestyle store in 2015 at the new Hayden Track in Los Angeles. The goal is for the business to expand across more categories like Curve Homme, Curve Mini and Curve Maison and also hopefully go international at some point. I would like for us to become an even larger platform for young, emerging designers but still remain an extremely well-curated boutique."
Favorites From The New York Fall 2014 Shows
"Proenza Schouler was on fire! The outerwear is by far the biggest thing going on for fall 2014."
How She Gives Back
"I support various charities including Falling Whistles, a non-profit organization campaigning for peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Founder Sean Caruso and the problems in the Congo are what inspired me to connect with this charity. I love Africa immensely and would love to see it become a conflict-free place in my lifetime."
Life & Style
Her Personal Style
"Fashion forward with a bit of an edge...rock 'n'roll meets Deco."
On Her Shopping Wishlist
"David Koma, Dion Lee, Ellery and Gaultier are killing it right now. I always love Givenchy, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Dries Van Noten and Comme Des Garcons. Junya Watanabe, vintage Chanel and Hermes have been on my mind again lately as well."
Her Night Out Must-Haves
"Sequins or something beaded or embroidered over a starched white button down and my diamond Repossi or Givenchy ear cuff."
Shop Curve On Farfetch
Her Beauty Essentials
"Rescue by CosMedix healing balm and Terri Lawton's cranial skull massage. It's a mini face-lift."
The Spring 2014 Essentials Every Woman Should Own
"A midi-length lightweight trench coat and white pumps."
Her Spring Break Plans
"Easter vacation with my kids is more like it! I'll pack boyfriend jeans, simple t-shirts, a Forte Forte trench, Jenni Kayne flats and my iPad."
On Balancing Work And Personal Life
"I found balance by marrying the two and not fighting it. Treating both with equal importance. I work efficiently put make sure to always include personal time on my schedule. And God bless my iPhone! I am not pinned to a desk…everything can be done on the go."
Three Things We Didn't Know About Nevena
1.) "I grew up in communist Bulgaria without any access to fashion."; 2.) "I am a high school drop out."; 3.) "I am a vegetarian."