Italy native Egle Schnellinger’s multicultural experience — including working directly with fashion icons Gianni Versace and Roberto Cavalli — inspires her work as a buyer and store associate at Dugo at the Edina Galleria. Her sophisticated style and refreshing European philosophy elevate fashion in the North to a whole new level.
How would you describe your style?
My style is very feminine with bohemian accents. I’ve always celebrated being a woman; heels, silks and fun prints are a huge part of my wardrobe.
What are your summer staples?
Simple tunics: They are easy to transition between day and night by playing up the right accessories.
How did you get into fashion?
Growing up in Milan, I became interested in fashion from an early age. I studied fashion in college. After graduation, I set out to work for one of the most inspiring designers, Gianni Versace.
What were your experiences working for Versace and later Roberto Cavalli?
My experiences in the industry can be best described as a fashion fairy tale. Through my work for Versace, I was able to travel all over Europe and then eventually to the United States. My role was to analyze the American markets so Versace could introduce storefronts successfully.
This shift was significant for many Italian designers because they were introducing themselves to a new American business model focused away from centralized buying showrooms and more toward personalized customer-service storefronts. It was important for these Italian labels to make this shift without losing their cultural identity.
In my late twenties, I decided to move to New York after being hired by Roberto Cavalli and again helped with a storefront transition, specifically with the opening of the Rodeo Drive store.
How does your multicultural background influence your ideas about fashion and your work at Dugo?
It has been wonderful being able to work in a store that represents so many established brands: Missoni, Versace, Armani. As a buyer, I am partial to these designers because of my past experiences and knowledge of the market.
What do you miss most about living in Italy?
There is a very important saying Italians live by that is so often overlooked in busy American culture: “A tavola non si invecchia” (At the table, you don’t get old). Italians live a wonderful lifestyle in that they are very happiness-oriented; they find a distinct balance that allots plenty of time to truly enjoy life.