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NYFW #MILLENNIALTakeover Day 1: Melissa Urfirer Gottesman

We are thrilled to kick off our #MILLENNIALTakeover of AW18 with Melissa Urfirer Gottesman - the designer behind our favorite handbag line, Riley Versa!
Melissa Urfirer Gottesman of Riley Versa
Melissa grew up in New York City, where her passion for fashion was fueled from a young age. She explored the fashion industry working in fashion PR and interning at Saks Fifth Avenue and Condé Nast’s W Magazine before leaving the city to attend The University of Pennsylvania. After graduating, she spent two-and-a-half years working for Edelman Berland, a global market research firm, before founding Riley Versa in late 2015. No matter where life has taken her, Melissa has always held firm to her New York roots – and the belief that the only rule in fashion is that there are no rules at all.
1. What does being a millennial mean to you?
    That your phone is “legit” attached to you, you’re entrepreneurial, and you’re always ready to try the next big thing. There are so many opportunities out there to pave your own path, and many of the old barriers to entry have been broken.


      2. It's no secret that the fashion industry is in a changing period right now. Where do you see the fashion industry going next?
        I think the fashion industry is becoming much more egalitarian. NYFW used to be exclusively for fashion’s inner circle, but now anyone can check their Instagram feed and see what’s happening on the runway. Fashion is now open for everyone to see and experience in a way it never was before, which I think is really exciting.  I think more brands are going to interact directly with customers, and stores are going to have to focus on offering “experiences” for shoppers because everything is online. Customers want convenience, and they can buy what they want, whenever they want it online. I think stores are going to become more creative and entice people with special events and perks that they can’t get online. It’s a really exciting time to be a new brand, because our generation is re-shaping the retail industry!


          3. Describe MILLENNIAL in your own 3 words.

            Sassy, fresh, daring.


            4. What's your favorite MILLENNIAL piece?

            My “le duh” shirt! I’m obsessed. 


            5. How do you like to style MILLENNIAL?
              MILLENNIAL is really so versatile. Since it is a loose fit, I typically pair my “le duh” shirt with skinny jeans and either heels or my loafer slides depending on where I’m going.


                6. What is your favorite part about NYFW?
                  The energy. No matter what you’re doing in the city during NYFW you can feel it.


                    7. What is your go-to NYFW outfit?
                      My Levi’s, a turtleneck, heels or sneakers depending on my mood, and always lots of accessories!


                        8. Favorite restaurant during NYFW?
                          Café Clover. An airy, healthy haven during a crazy time!


                            9. Top jams on your NYFW playlist this season?
                              I’m one of those people that gets a song in their head and then plays it on repeat until they never want to hear it again. Right now, I can’t get enough of Sofi Tukker. It’s just so catchy!!


                                10. Who is your style icon for this season?
                                  I have a quite a few…Anine Bing, Pernille Teisbaek, Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert, Olivia Palermo, and Lauren Santo Domingo.