thesalting: how did you get started in the world of styling?
ann caruso: I was always interested in styling while I lived in boston after college, but there was nothing there for me. I moved to NYC to work in fashion and started in design at ralph lauren as an assistant designer. I always wanted to work at a big fashion magazine and my dream came true when anna wintour hired me as an assistant in the fashion department and I was promoted through the years to be an Associate Editor and the Accessories Editor. after I left vogue I was consulting and started styling and the celebrity thing just worked for me and I worked a lot for vanity fair, instyle and I became a contributor fashion editor at tattler and then harpers bazaar. I was one of the few people styling celebs in the late 90’s to early 00’s in NYC.
ts: what is your most memorable moment as a celebrity stylist?
ac: there are so many. what comes to mind first is, I think working with icons like liza minelli and working on george clooney's wedding. I received the stylist of the year award from the fashion daily in LA. It was such an honor and incredible night.
ts: any favorite memory or story to share from your time at ralph lauren?
ac: ralph lauren is such an incredible place to work. I remember when we moved our design offices from 40 west 55th street to the big move to 650 madison ave everything had to be perfect for the ralph run-through of our work areas. also, the late work nights before the fashion shows with the celebs and at the time all supermodels. That last time I did it I was in charge of dressing cindy crawford. we went home for an hour to dress and had to come right back for the early morning show.
ts: how would you describe the changes happening within the fashion industry over the past few years?
ac: we don't have enough time. lol
ts: we applaud your tireless work and dedication to breast cancer awareness. can you please highlight 2 organizations you most admire for their work?
ac: thank you. It is so near and dear to my heart. every person experiences breast cancer in a different way, and it can affect the way you live the rest of your life. It is too difficult to just name two organizations, but I will name 4 that I work with:
BCRF, susan g komen, breast cancer alliance, and 5 under 40 for women who get breast cancer under the age of 40 which is happening more and more.
ts: best advice you've received?
ac: you can only ever do your best. however, taking it one day, one minute at a time is probably the best advice I have received. it helps me stay present in the moment and the day and allows me to stay grateful.
ts: what has surprised you most about yourself as you've explored the world of wellness?
ac: that there is always so much to learn. I was super into the wellness space in the 90’s while working at vogue in order to keep my health up from burning the candle at both ends. I was unicorn then. but, there is always something new to learn about, new data, etc but it really comes down to having a spiritual life, eating right, the right amount of rest, exercise and releasing your fears, stresses and hopes with someone you can trust and hopefully have supportive friends, partners, and family. that is not always the case so it is important to love and respect ourselves and be our own best friend and embody those qualities you want from a higher power. look for those qualities not only in yourself but in those you want around you.
ts: latest obsession?
ac: venetian slippers, and seven clinics amino acid powder
ts: 3 favorite NYC restaurants?
ac: casa cruz, la grenouille, le bilbouqet, saint ambroeus.
ts: style icon?
ac: oh a mix of these women monica belucci, princess caroline, ali macgraw, jackie o, sophia lauren
ts: favorite flower?
ac: I love so many kind of flowers, but peonies, roses, tulips, and ranunculus.
ts: most cherished article of clothing?
ac: my white shirts, jeans, my fisherman knit sweaters, my collection of chanel in storage.
ts: how do you erase hate in your everyday life?
ac: I try to not listen to it. I turn off the tv or I try do not read the article or engage.
ts: please tell us about your role as a brand consultant and brand collaborator/influencer.
ac: I have always worked with brands to help design/edit their collections. Especially smaller brands that need to elevate their look. I like to figure out what is going to work for each brand and help give them lasting power and to increase their sales. I studied business so I not only think about fashion, I put my business sense to it.
as a brand collaborator/influencer, I am working with brands on my social media and promoting their products with my engaged following. I love learning about different products not only in fashion, but in the wellness, and beauty space which has been important as I continue my wellness journey after cancer.
ts: please tell us about your recent italian travels? was this for a specific client? which cities did you visit and why?
ac: I was invited to italy to explore the marche region to visit some of the artisans, designers, and manufacturers of shoes and handbags in this region to show others how amazing, intricate, and special their workmanship is. not only do they do this for their mostly family-owned businesses but for our most loved luxury brands that we covet. then I went to rome, and a very special place called palo laziale, italy.
ts: can you offer any advice to us?? we'd love your impression of what we are building and creating thus far?
ac: I love that your brand is very focused, well-edited, and merchandised. your attention to detail is special. every piece from your collection is identifiable as thesalting when you pick it up without reading the label. there is a secret sauce to success and that it is one of them.
ts: favorite summer spots?
ac: italy, greece, france.... I love anywhere I can explore, rest and where the sun shines.