From left: Eve Cardona, Lydia Seo, Eunice Liriano, Tamara Bullock
“I love a suit!” declares Tamara Bullock, 30. “They make me feel powerful.” Bullock happens to be starting a new job, one that the Jamaican-born, New Jersey-based administrative assistant hopes will segue into a role in the company’s human resources department. Lucky for her, there are plenty of suits to choose from in Joseph Altuzarra’s new Target collection, which arrives in stores September 14. The designer, known for sexy clothes that are also authoritative and elegant, has designed a nearly 50-piece line that includes lingerie, accessories, and plenty of slinky-but-not-scandalous dresses, all priced between $17.99 and $89.99.
Today, Bullock has been invited by Altuzarra, Target, and Dress for Success to try on a few looks for size. She, is after all, one of the non-profit organization’s many success stories. Bullock first sought out Dress for Success in 2010 after immigration issues forced her out of employment for several years. A new job meant new clothes, as well as a new need to develop her professional skills. Bullock immediately signed up for DFS’s Professional Women’s Network, and has been involved with the organization in one way or another ever since. (Along with providing suits to women interviewing for jobs, Dress for Success also offers classes and support groups focused on professional development and personal finances.)
On Eve: Wrapdress in Red, $39.99; Jimmy Choo: Anouk Black Suede Pointy Toe Pump, $595, jimmychoo.com
On Eunice: Oxford Shirt in Banker Strips, $29.99; Trench Coat in Military Green & Black, $89.99 ; Stuart Weitzman: The Nudist Sandal, $398, stuartweitzman.com
It was through the Professional Women’s Network that Bullock met Harlem-based mother-of-two Eve Cardona, who also joined Dress for Success in 2010. Cardona, an administrative assistant currently working toward a degree in social work at Fordham University, is also on hand today to browse the collection. She is immediately drawn to the designer’s berry-colored wrap dress with fringe detailing. “I’ll wear this with a nice blazer to work,” says Cardona, 36. “I feel gorgeous.”
Obviously, that’s exactly how Altuzarra wants women to feel—wherever their day might take them. “I think it’s very easy to dress up a sexier dress with a tailored blazer or outerwear pieces, such as [our] trench for everyday,” says the designer. “The greatest thing about being a woman today is that fashion is not antithetical to being taken seriously. I really think that it’s important women are able to express their style and personality in life and at work.”
On Tamara: Peplum Blazer in Black, $54.99; Tuxedo Ankle Pant in Black, $34.99; Bow Blouse in Black/White, $29.99; Manolo Blahnik: BB Patent 105mm Pump, $595, Neiman Marcus made-to-order
On Lydia: Bow Blouse in Black Swiss Dots, $34.99; Pencil Skirt in Black Jacquard, $34.99; Ankle Boot in Black, $59.99
After choosing their respective looks, Bullock and Cardona join Dress for Success marketing and communications vice president Eunice Liriano and volunteer Lydia Seo for a Yahoo Style photo shoot. (Stylist Christopher Kim offered sartorial guidance, while the gurus from on-demand hair-and-makeup service Glamsquad polished the looks.) It was an opportunity to model—and take home!—some beautiful clothes, but also a chance to further promote an organization that has meant so much to both of them, professionally and personally. “Aside from all the wonderful things that we’ve gotten to participate in, I think one of the most important parts of joining Dress for Success was the friendship Tamara, and have formed,” says Cardona.
Altuzarra, for one, looks forward to reaching more inspiring working women like Bullock and Cardona via Target. “I’m so excited that women across all ages and backgrounds will be able to experience the collection,” he says.
Photography Roy Beeson
Styling Christopher Kim
Hair Brenton Diallo, Devonnie Brown for Glam Squad
Makeup Kelli Bartlett, Elyssa Rivera for Glam Squad