In the ever-evolving tapestry of fashion and self-expression, few threads are as vibrant and compelling as those woven by Lindsey Bernay. A paragon of style, substance, and transformative storytelling, Lindsey is the lead stylist at a renowned high-end department store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. With a career spanning over 20 years, working for iconic retailers such as Neiman Marcus, Chanel, and Bergdorf Goodman, she has become the go-to fashion connoisseur for the city's elite, from dazzling socialites to indomitable corporate leaders to busy, bougie moms. Her days are filled with curating looks that do more than just flatter; they tell a story, echoing each client's persona, achievements, and aspirations.
Her current role is more than just styling; it's about crafting a narrative for each client. She seamlessly blends her keen fashion sense with an empathetic understanding of her clients' lifestyles and personalities, creating ensembles that are not only visually stunning but also intrinsically representative of each individual's character and journey.
Lindsey's own story, though steeped in the glamorous world of fashion, is one that transcends mere aesthetics. I recall our conversation, almost a decade since our paths first crossed in the Chanel handbags department at Bergdorf Goodman, and we reflect on her evolution from a career-driven persona to rediscovering her individuality. "I felt like a stagehand in my own life," she confessed, underscoring the transformative power of self-reflection and the courage to show up authentically.
Her personal growth, self-discovery, and profound understanding of the human psyche all influence her latest book, You Can't Leave the House Naked: Uncover Your Power by Living and Dressing on Purpose, is more than just a guide to fashion—it's an invitation to reframe your outlook on life through the lens of your wardrobe. Her book is a result of introspection and inspired action. It presents a 10-day challenge to reshape your relationship with your closet and self. It's a journey from self-doubt to self-celebration, encouraging you to dress not just for the day but for the life you aspire to lead. Through exercises like 'Closet Full of Compliments', Bernay promotes a mindset shift, showing how clothes can be a conduit for empathy, confidence, and self-discovery.
One particularly stirring chapter, 'Stop Disappearing', delves into the psychology of color, particularly black, and its use as a cloak for invisibility. Bernay urges readers to choose colors intentionally, embracing them as expressions of their inner selves rather than as shields from the world.
Styling for major retailers forces stylists to be a sales person, a fashion expert, and in many ways even a therapist or life coach. Lindsey has been able to reject much of the sales side of her career, or rather, approach sales very differently. In a candid moment, Bernay shared insights from her mentor, Marla, emphasizing the balance between personal integrity and professional success. "If you come from a genuine caring place, the money will follow," she recalled, an ethos that has guided her through her career's ebbs and flows. This mantra has allowed Lindsey to focus on helping people find what they truly need and desire. Clients come to her for her advice and industry wisdom. You'd never find her pushing or advocating for items that don't make sense or fit in your budget.
Lindsey Bernay is not only a stylist; she is a storyteller, a confidante, and a visionary. Through her book and her daily work, she continues to inspire a renaissance of personal style that is as much about the clothing one wears as it is about the life one leads in them. In a world often swayed by fleeting trends and superficial allure, Bernay's voice resonates with a message of enduring authenticity and purposeful living. After all, as she profoundly notes, you can't leave the house naked.
Order your copy of her book here!