Maris Collective’s LeeAnn Sauter has made a business out of dressing (and shopping) like the locals.
Some women vacation in style like it’s their job and for other (extremely lucky) women, it kind of is the job. LeeAnn Sauter is in that jealousy-inducing second category as the CEO and founder of Maris Collective, a retail brand that has location-specific shops in luxury hotels and destinations in more than 12 different countries around the world. With a just-opened store at the Carneros Resort & Spa in Napa Valley, Coop, and last-minute preparation being done on Maris Collective x Fred Segal at the retailer’s Los Angeles flagship, there was no time like the present to pick Sauter’s brain on all the stylish lessons she’s learned throughout her career.
Courtesy of LeeAnn Sauter
1. Focus on the little things.
“Nothing makes me feel more put together than layering on my favorite jewelry, from vintage Chanel to Hoorsenbuhs gold link chains to one-of-a-kind Kimberly McDonald geodes (available at Market in Dallas’ Highland Park Village). Every piece I wear has a story. Nothing we do at Maris Collective is ordinary—neither is our work space nor the way we dress at the office. If I have an outside meeting, I may keep it simple with a navy silk dress from Chloé, but there’s always an element of embellishment, like an oversized sleeve detail, and then I accessorize with statement pieces.
Kimberley Macdonald earrings.”I find that a fast way to elevate a look is to add a pair of fabulous shoes, an amazing handbag, and, of course, jewelry. Depending on your mood, accessories can make your look more serious, expensive, or fun. I recently traveled to Miami and wore the Céline mismatched boots, one red and one white, and it instantly added an element of fun to my look. It was a great conversation piece.”
2. Take style rules with a grain of salt.
“The best advice I’ve ever received was to get outside the rules you created in your head about what should go together. Live outside the make-believe rules someone put in your head along the way.”
3. When in Rome—go big.
“I’m constantly traveling to our properties in some of the world’s most beautiful warm-weather locations where chic resort dressing is key. My favorite go-to items are caftans from Australian designer Camilla—they make for a wonderful transition from day to night—and the luxurious bohemian style of Figue, where my current favorites are the tie-dye jacket with beaded embellishment, embroidered silk blouses, and silk pants with pom-pom details. [I also love] Gucci: I live in my silk bomber jacket, Marmont mules, and embellished slippers.”
Figue tie-dye jacket, Gucci mules.
4. Think logically while packing.
“Oversized Ziploc bags are the key to separating outfits: They keep everything folded perfectly and fit more in your suitcase while still allowing you to easily see what you’ve packed. Just squeeze out the air and toss them in. Use the dust bags that come with your shoes. After all, if you stop to think about the bottom of them…!
“Pack the heaviest item in your checked luggage last, in case your bag is overweight and you need to transfer something to your carry-on—it happens to me more than I’d like—and always pack at least two chic outfits in your carry-on. You never know what might happen to your checked bag. Save a little room in your suitcase too, and don’t feel bad if you ever have to buy an extra one during your trip. There’s always time for shopping while you travel.”