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November 30, 2023
If there is one fashion maven who sprinkles a dash of sophistication and style wherever she steps, it's undoubtedly Marissa Galante Frank, the Fashion Director for Accessories and Beauty at Bloomingdale's. With an unerring eye for detail and an innate sense of style, Marissa has translated her love for fashion and accessories into a thriving career selecting the trends for bags and beauty for Bloomingdale’s season after season.
In this interview, we have the privilege of peeking behind the curtain to see how Marissa finds the balance of a fabulous career and a young family (hint: it involves ice cream). Her very honest and relatable discussion of mom guilt, the importance of therapy and, of course, her favorite bag this season. What better way to kick off the holiday season than with her! Thank you for speaking with me Marissa!
First of all, congratulations on your beautiful baby boy John and the newest big sister Rose! How have you been managing 2 babies and returning to work from maternity leave?
It’s been hard! I love my job so getting back in the groove of being creative in a different way again has been fun and rewarding but mom guilt is also so real. My kids and my husband had my undivided attention while I was on maternity leave for 4 months so it is definitely an adjustment. I have been trying to focus on the positive moments and all of the things I am able to share with them and teach them by example due to my job. The other night as I was leaving for a work gala dinner my daughter Rose had the most incredible reaction when she saw me all dressed up. She ran up to me and said “wow mommy you look so beautiful” and then played with my sequin skirt and we sort of danced around for a bit before I had to leave. It was insanely magical - one of those movie moments you have as a mom. It was one of the first times she didn’t cry or whine when I was leaving and I think it’s because she’s getting more independent and as a family we do so much pre-talk about schedules so she knows exactly what to expect. The next day my son John was teething and Rose had a meltdown about slime - and that’s just how the cookie crumbles as a mom. One night you’re dancing around in black tie and then next night you’re not sleeping and rubbing teething gel in your kid’s mouth.
Between your career and momming of your 2 beautiful babies, how do you keep yourself sane and organized?
I stay sane by speaking to a therapist, eating ice cream whenever I want and accepting the fact that sometimes I don’t feel sane and that’s okay. I stay organized by getting everything I possibly can ready from the night before. In the mornings I like to give my daughter as much attention as I can whether that is snuggling with her in her bed or having a karaoke concert at 7am. I can’t do that while picking out my outfit for work and packing our bags.
You have the very enviable position as the fashion director at Bloomingdales for Accessories & Beauty, what recommendations would you give to anyone looking to break into the fashion industry?
Be honest with yourself and be self aware. There is no right answer when it comes to your career. Too often I speak to people just starting out who are looking to get certain jobs because they think it’s the “cool” job - but they aren’t paying attention to what truly brings them joy and what their strengths are. Once that part is sorted out I would recommend volunteering and putting yourself out there in the space you want to be. For example, If you want to prove to the visual director that you belong on their team - put the work in: start pulling together mood boards, ask questions and show up to help on upcoming projects. No one can read anyone’s mind so it is your job to put yourself out there and more importantly put the work in.
Favorite part of the job?
Meeting incredibly interesting and talented people from all over the world.
Favorite mom hack?
There is no such thing as a mom hack. If anyone has one please let me know. So far my mom hack has been living close enough to family/friends so they can help watch the kids. It takes a village.
Favorite phone app (besides social)?
Bloomingdale’s of course!
Go to weeknight dinners?
Sushi, Greek, Thai, anything seamless is pushing I love to cook but it has fallen to the bottom of my priority list now that I am back at work full time and have a baby and toddler. My husband is a great cook so when he is not working late he chefs it up for us.
What products do you love for a new baby?
The snoo! We’re such snoo people. Highly recommend.
Favorite fall purchase so far?
My Loewe puzzle tote
What is one piece you have been eyeing but haven't purchased yet?
I’ve been on the prowl for the perfect vintage Cartier watch.
A timeless trench coat. I’m also obsessed with this oversized charcoal car coat that I bought last year while I was pregnant - I’m still wearing it and now it’s even more oversized and perfect.
Favorite trend you are loving?
I’ve always loved being comfortable while looking chic so ballet flats are the ultimate trend for me.
Favorite gift you've ever given?
I had my first child during the height of Covid in April 2020. Due to a variety of reasons we moved in with my parents for what ended up being 6 months. As a thank you gift I created a photo book with memories from our stay there and wrote it from the perspective of my daughter. My parents were so touched and it brought me so much joy to see them so moved by it.
What’s on your Black Friday list?
Christmas gifts for my kids
Go-to baby gift?The LL bean tote with the baby’s initials or family last name
In my freetime, I like to go for long walks and bake. What's your favorite pastime when you aren’t working or momming?
Pilates, online shopping, binge watching real housewives or RuPaul’s Drag Race while drinking a huge iced coffee
Are you team sweet or salty?
sweet most of the time
Educated by Tara Westover
Favorite Worthy Threads piece?
this is such a hard question. The sushi dress? The farmers market dress? The puff sleeve denim jacket?! These are all items in Rose’s rotation.
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