In this series, WeWork’s director of digital community selects a WeWork member to get to know better, sharing her fun findings with the rest of the community.
Helping others find their sense of style is an innate calling for Modnitsa Styling’s Dina Scherer. Incredibly curious as to how she started her own personal shopping and styling business, I spoke with the WeWork FiDi member about her fashion must-haves, the importance of authenticity when dressing yourself, and how to feel more confident.
What inspired you to create Modnitsa Styling?
I’ve worked in a few different industries—including advertising and fashion in varying capacities—and all the jobs I’ve had were creative, but they didn’t offer me the ability to really make a significant impact in the lives of the people that I worked with. In the meantime, I was always very interested in fashion and knew that was something I wanted to explore more.
So in 2008, when I was laid off from a job in a corporate ad agency, I was essentially given the opportunity to take some time off to get clarity on what I wanted to do. I realized then that I really wanted to focus on helping women look and feel stylish in a way that’s authentic to them, that helps them to be more confident and to project that confidence into the world. So after I did a lot of training at FIT—and through smaller programs that were more concentrated on specific areas, like personal shopping and wardrobe editing—I started Modnitsa Styling. I really think that all the jobs I’ve had led to this because I was always passionate about style and fashion, but didn’t yet know the right path to put all these concepts into action.
How would you describe your own personal sense of style?
I’m a firm believer in authenticity, so I think my personal style reflects who I am. I’m a very colorful person—I definitely choose clothes that have vibrant colors in my color palette. (I’m a “spring.”) I also think my style is always changing in a way—there are different elements that stay the same, but other things change as I go through different experiences. So I would describe my style as eclectic and evolving because one day I could look very feminine, wearing a tulle skirt and stilettos, and another day I might be more urban, wearing distressed skinny jeans, flats, and a moto jacket.
Because my world is so focused on fashion and shopping, it allows me to experiment with different concepts and trends in my own style. I’m inspired by the people around me, by the changing seasons, by designers that create unique collections. I’m also inspired by other stylists, bloggers, and NYC women, and I love being able to interpret all that inspiration into my own style and also into tangible help and style advice for my clients.
What are some of your favorite stories of how your work has inspired clients?
I love hearing from my clients after we work together about how they’ve received compliments on their new look—which, as you can imagine, always increases their confidence! My favorite recent experience was working with a lovely young lady from Belgium who was visiting NYC for a medical internship. Her boyfriend bought her one of my style and shopping packages as a gift, and she was so inspired by learning about her style, redefining her style formula, and getting some exciting new outfits and pieces for her wardrobe. She was really impressed when she realized how wearing the right colors truly made her skin glow and her eye color stand out, and how the ideal fit of her clothes really showed off her figure in a balanced and flattering way.
Can you list your five fashion must-haves?
Definitely a great pair of jeans—one that fits you well and is not necessarily trend-based, but flattering for your body type and fits with your lifestyle. A great pair of flats as well because heels are not very practical, but you can put a lot of cute outfits together with flats and still look polished. A well-fitting blazer—something that pulls a look together even if it’s a casual look otherwise. A handbag that you love—preferably one with structure, in a color and material you love, that makes you happy because you’ll see it a lot every day, as most women, myself included, carry our whole lives around in our handbags. And one other thing would be a great foundation garment because without it, your clothes may not fit you properly. So getting a good quality bra that fits you well, that won’t be destroyed by the first wash, will help you feel more confident.
Photos: Katelyn Perry