Get to Know Our Lender, Marina Dobreva!

Meet our lender Marina! She’s a stylist and jewelry designer in NYC, and she gave us an exclusive look into her life (and amazing closet).

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WHEN DID YOU START RENTING/LENDING FROM STYLELEND AND WHY?

I started renting and lending from Style Lend in the summer of 2015, immediately after meeting the phenomenal woman who started the concept, Lona. Why? Because the model and idea is so exceptional that NOT to join Style Lend would be a loss and a shame. I immediately fell in love with the platform, and the only question I had was why weren’t we all doing this earlier!?

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SHOPPING HABITS (DO YOU SHOP ONLINE, FLASH SALES, IN PERSON, ETC.)

Coming from a background in fashion and retail, I shop in the most intimate way available, which usually means in person. I love touching the fabric, seeing the colors with my own eyes, examining how it is assembled, etc. With that being said, when there is a trusted brand that I am familiar with, I do take the chance of buying things online. What I like about renting on Style Lend is that the team is so talented at sifting through fashion and selecting in a way that you can know everything you get on the app is even more amazing in person than it is online.

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FAVORITE BRANDS/DESIGNERS AND WHY?

I am not particularly partial to one designer, as every designer has their strong seasons and strong pieces. I find that a well balanced outfit has a variety of aesthetics within it, which usually come from different designers. For the moment, I do have some faves in terms of current collections. For shoes I am very into Sophia Webster, Sergio Rossi, Pierre Hardy and Aquazzura. For my dresses, I always gravitate towards Valentino, as I enjoy how timeless his pieces are. For bags, I find it’s always good to have some Chanel in the mix, preferably not a bag that everyone else has. But I also love contemporary designers such as M2Malleter and I’ve always been a fan of the simplicity of Sophie Hulme.

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WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE THINGS TO DO IN NY?

Where do I start? I love just being a part of the ecosystem, and part of the movement. I don’t try to re-invent the wheel of things to do because the reason I moved to the city is precisely because the lifestyle it provides is exactly what I desired. Which basically means work harder every day than you did the day before, create and accomplish as much as you can, and decompress at night by spending time with other incredible people, enjoying the infinite great cuisine the city provides, the engaging nightlife, the music scene, culture, and overall creative stimulation. Though my top 3 ingredients to a good time outside of work are: people, music, and food.

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CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BLURB ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND, JOB, AND HOW LONG YOU’VE LIVED HERE?

In a nutshell, I was born and raised in Bulgaria, with a 10 year stop-over in Portland Oregon. I did ballet professionally in my first years of my 20s, and following an injury that ended that, I got into fashion. I had a 4 year run with J.Crew as a stylist, and launched my own business styling for private and commercial clients after J.Crew. My latest venture in fashion is jewelry design, which is my next big focus. I’ve been in NYC since 2012, and have little to no plans to leave anytime soon.

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WHAT IS YOUR FAV PIECE OF JEWELRY YOU’VE DESIGNED?

That’s a tough question! I suppose looking back on it, the biggest risk I took was with the Sahara cuff, and I’ve enjoyed seeing how that’s been perceived by the public. I recently gifted one to the lead singer of Thievery Corporation, Nat Clavier, and have been seeing some incredible photos of her on stage in front of thousands of people rocking it and looking stunning in it. That brings me joy.

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WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING A STYLIST/JEWELRY MAKER?

The intimacy I have with my work. The greatest thing about being a designer for me is having the creative freedom to make exactly what you want without having to take anyone else’s view on your creation. I started my line with climbing rope from REI, and whether people thought that was ridiculous or not, it was mine to do, so I pursued it. I still do work as a stylist, but with styling, one always has to make the client happy even if it means sacrificing some of your own creative integrity. With jewelry design, I don’t have to sacrifice anything. At least not during the design stage of the process.

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HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?

I always have different answers for this question. One constant however, is that I’ve always deemed myself eclectic. If I really had to break it down, I would say I have nuances of ethnic influence, modern edge, always with something classic and timeless within the composition, and usually heavy on color and texture. I try to take really unique pieces that inspire me, and find a way to make them wearable with everything else around them, which usually fits the description above.

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ONE THING THAT WOULD BE YOUR “DREAM ITEM” TO RENT ON STYLELEND?

Being a stylist, I am fortunate enough to have access to most of my dream items on loan through clients and designers, so there isn’t anything that I am anxiously waiting to see on the app. However, if we could create “confidence” as an accessory that women could rent, I would say that should be the most rented item on the platform. I believe that a great outfit is nothing, unless a woman wears it with extreme confidence. It’s the one thing that everyone looks great in, and it doesn’t come in sizes, so everyone can have it!

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WHY DO YOU LIKE THE CONCEPT OF RENTING VS. BUYING?

Renting is such a better strategy than buying, because to me fashion is a way of self-expression. How you feel today is not how you will feel tomorrow. And as much as we all wish we could afford to dress all of our moods and whims in designer clothing by buying it, most of us don’t have the exuberant amounts of cash and closet space to do so. Renting allows you to be best dressed at any moment of your life, without causing a financial catastrophe to an already pricey life in NYC (and elsewhere).  

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Thank you Marina for letting us see your incredible closet and crazy cool jewelry!  Go to our app to check out and rent all of her pieces!

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