How she got there: “I moved to New York from Tennessee with a suitcase and no contacts,” said Surrett, who got her start as an executive assistant to the publisher of Marie Claire. Determined to make her mark in the media world, she launched her now uber-popular fashion blog, a-listed. These days, Surrett oversees all social media content for the magazine’s e-commerce store, ShopBAZAAR, as well as partnership developments for the brand.
Levo: Leather jacket, lace skirt, and platforms—talk about making a great first impression. Why does this outfit make you feel in charge?
Alyssa Surrett: To me this outfit—Sandro skirt, Vince top and bag, Nasty Gal leather jacket—epitomizes pulled-together and polished, but the platform brogues add an unexpected finishing touch. I gravitate toward skirts and dresses for the office and add my own twist—typically in the form of a funky accessory like these Elizabeth & James ear crawlers or a statement piece of jewelry. In this case I went for a series of Vita Fede, David Yurman, and Rebecca Minkoff bracelets. The most important piece of a power outfit is self-confidence—own it no matter what.
One of your bangles has sentimental value, right?
AS: My boyfriend got me a Coordinates bracelet for Christmas last year with the location of our first date engraved on it. It’s special for two reasons—it’s very chic, plus I was so impressed with him for picking it out. Boys, take note!
Overall, is this an everyday outfit or for special occasions only?
AS: I work in an office of very stylish women, so I wear something along these lines every day. I would wear this to coffee with one of our partners, then to meetings with the ShopBAZAAR team, and then on to an event or dinner with friends in the evening. I think every woman can appreciate the beauty of a one-and-done outfit that works from morning to midnight. I don’t want my desk turning into a closet.
Talk to me about your day-to-day schedule.
AS: We have an incredible team at ShopBAZAAR creating content every day, from email creative and on-site shopping categories to trend stories on our blog, The Fashion Feed, and on BAZAAR.com. My job is to get eyes on all of the great work our team is doing. Tactically this means lots of photo research, writing clever and concise copy, scheduling posts, and working with our art team to shoot all of our amazing products in interesting ways for our Instagram account.
Are you an outfit pre-planner?
AS: Funny you should ask. I used to wing it (which I definitely don’t recommend, #chaos), but these days I’m writing about trends all day, and I find myself thinking about my own outfit choices for the next day. It’s like I’ll write about the modern military trend today, and subconsciously plan to wear my military jacket tomorrow. Practice what you preach, I guess…
What are your go-to beauty products?
AS: I love when I actually have time for a sheet mask and a gel eye pad session after a long day (preferably over a glass of red wine and Empire). My morning beauty routine can be described in one word—fast. I start with Chanel sunscreen, foundation and concealer, and then swipe on Nars Blush in Orgasm and fill in my brows with Anastasia’s Brow Wiz. I’m so on board with the bushy brow resurgence. I would die to have the Olsens’ eyebrows, but faking it will have to do.
A professional no-no or line that you never cross?
AS: I’ll never be a mean girl.
Everyone thinks they know the fashion media world because of The Devil Wears Prada, but what don’t they know?
AS: It’s not all playing dress up and going to fashion shows. There are incredibly smart journalists, marketers, and innovators shaping the industry—just like any other business. Fashion is a multi-billion-dollar industry that everyone on the planet is involved in, whether they are reading their Harper’s BAZAAR cover-to-cover every month or shopping at their local mall.
Lastly, do you have a motto or mantra for success?
AS: Hustle and collaborate. Doing it all on your own is no way to find success.
Photos: Sam Teich / Levo