Marina Muñoz, Closets
Marina Muñoz

One of the many impetuses for doing this site was working with Lauren Hutton as a fashion stylist and hearing her talk about how she wears the same woven straw handbag from Bali that cost around 33 cents with everything, even a gown on the red carpet. It is that sense of ownership over your style, free of fads for fads' sake, that Marina possesses. I admire her ability to choose essential and authentic pieces that mix endlessly, always look original and have nothing to do with being a slave to fashion. "I love being wrapped up in ponchos, scarves, capes and very cool big, baggy sweaters... nothing goes out of style for me."

Marina's says her mom made her caramel leather bag with the hand-stitching a decade ago and is "everything Balenciaga," but better because you don't see it everywhere you go. It is her mom, a quintessential original with her mixing of Hepburn classicism and native South American, who Marina most admires. Originally from Connecticut, she stood out on a trip to Argentina where Marina's dad "fell head over heels in love" with her when he saw her in an afro and cropped top, while all the other women were in Dior and Chanel. "Big on fabric and texture... and nude tones," I can see her mom's influence in Marina's signature single side braid tucked into a woven indigenous scarf with a chocolate fedora and tobacco silk blouse with leopard flats and a classic cardigan, cigarette pant and cream silk shell. It's also visible in the way that Marina pairs a high-waisted powder blue trouser with a purple billowy blouse - my mom "can wear linen like it's nobody's business" -  and in the less is more, but just right detail of Marina's bangles or her grandmother's understated globe necklace. Two of my favorite visuals are Marina's recollection of loving to stare at her mother's hand wearing her favorite mother of pearl ring that she hopes to inherit and that of her mother on horseback in the seminal bell bottoms that she would still kill to own, looking "elegant."

It is rare to see someone like Marina, who is committed to the value of quality over quantity. Her worldly and cultivated aesthetic is the antithesis to the lowest common denominator of today's pervasive homogenization. Taking the time to fill your head space with meaningful literature and other cultures has more to do with being self-assured in your taste than consuming. The volumes of books on her shelves, in addition to speaking French and Spanish with some understanding of Italian and Portuguese and having lived in Paris, Mexico, Argentina and America, including Louisiana, the Berkshires and Manhattan, reveals some of  the sources of her confidence.  But for me what probably demands the most respect is Marina's approach to being the consummate assistant stylist, which she proudly has been for ten years. Her passion for teamwork, learning from experienced mentors, researching and problem solving for the good of the whole, is commendable in a time when most claim to be something with little to no experience and being out for yourself only is the norm. With her inimitable, humble and unusual wisdom, Marina explains, "I have very little things but they all mix and match. It's like a salad. I can use the tomato today and tomorrow the tomato with the basil... It's kind of a funny way of saying I have a uniform."

If you love Marina, you may also like Ashley Wick and Karen and Sarah Brown.

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