Dressed in a black Ted Baker cocktail dress, Jules Wilson opens the door to her home in Little Italy with a sweet smile and friendly disposition. The place is what you'd expect from an award-winning interior designer: lots of open space, clean textures and natural light.
Standing beside her walk-in closet, Wilson models hats, scarves and a purple rabbit-fur shrug she purchased at Downtown boutique Goga by Gordana.
"It made me feel happy when I put it on," she says, "which is how most of my apparel decisions are made."
The shrug stands out from an otherwise black and grey, solid-colored wardrobe-a simplicity in keeping with Wilson's fashion inspiration, famed French designer Givenchy, whose muse, the great Audrey Hepburn, donned a minimalist palette and simple accessories. For Wilson, that look translates to wearing skirts and dresses with classic silhouettes and little to no patterns.
While she adores big-name brands, Wilson prefers lesser-known labels with quality craftsmanship.
"When I was in Italy, I was introduced to so many awesome designers that sold good, quality items," she says. "They weren't as popular as Gucci, but their stuff had leather soft as butter."
Now a brand herself, Wilson has outfitted the interiors of FIT Athletic Club in East Village and Emerald City surf shop in Coronado. Her innate eye for design may stem from a childhood love affair with her own outfits.
"My mom put me on a monthly shopping allowance, so I wouldn't drive her nuts begging for new stuff all the time," she says.
These days, Wilson gets her shopping allowances from a growing roster of clients. And the doors keep opening.