How to Look Fashionable When it’s Freezing Outside

How to look chic when it's freezing outside

Hello lovely readers, today we’re bringing you an exclusive Q&A along with urgent freezing-weather dressing tips with the founder of Kokuun London. Never heard of Kokuun? Let us get you acquainted. Launched in 2013, Kokuun London is a bespoke luxury personal shopping service, sourcing the perfect product for an elite set of clients. When we say product, we don’t just mean off the rack from a local boutique, we’re talking luxurious and super exclusive! Ideal for fashion-conscious individuals that simply don’t have the time in their busy schedules to go hunting for that dream dress.

We caught up with founder Priscilla Mensah to get to know more about Kokuun, how to dress for winter (because we need HELP) and Priscilla herself!

With a background as an executive assistant working with organisations such as British Airways, Priscilla found herself also working on a freelance basis as a stylist for private clients. In 2011 she was appointed as head of operations for luxury fashion company Wish Want Wear.

Priscilla Mensah of Kokuun London

It’s fair to say Priscilla’s background is both impressive and intriguing, and the YCB team couldn’t wait to find out more. As well as her professional life, we’ve also picked Priscilla’s brain on all things cold weather dressing! We don’t know about you but when it’s raining and dreary outside, our outfits definitely suffer. What does one wear for minus 5 degrees? In need of some serious inspo, we couldn’t wait to get a few top tips from a styling guru…

Priscilla Mensah founder of Kokuun London

Hi Priscilla! We’d love to know how you got into fashion – could you tell us what was your first job in the industry?

Aged 17 during my A levels I had experienced my first ever job, I was a proud Sales and Stock room Assistant for French Connection!

What did you do before starting Kokuun London?

I have an Executive Assistant background working with MD’s for organisation’s such as British Airways and Hitachi Capital. However, I still found the time to freelance as an Image Consultant and Stylist for various Private clients and Personal Development Services. In 2011 I was appointed to be a Stylist and Head of Operations for a Luxury Fashion Company named Wish Want Wear.

In 2013 I took the brave but profitable step of branching out on my own. I now run a bespoke Personal Shopping and Styling Service. My Clients are mainly International HNWI’s, London’s Elite and Media Personalities. However I work with all budgets, my satisfaction will always come from making all women feel confident and beautiful.

We’re sure our readers would love to hear about your typical day-to-day, could you give us an insight into a day of the life of Priscilla?

No day is ever the same in the world of Kokuun London! However, a typical day starts very early, I am replying emails and double checking my scheduled appointments for the day. Most days will consist of making sure my International VIP’s are well catered for when they arrive to shop with me in London, private viewings at Super Brand Stores and Fine Jewellery boutiques are always at the centre of my clients bespoke requests for the day. Other days consist of building seasonal capsule wardrobes for clients, preparing and styling for photoshoots and general personal shopping requests.

We’re suffering a major cold snap here in the UK at the moment, what are your top 10 staple items for the professional woman’s winter wardrobe?

My recommendations are:

– Long Black/Camel Wool Cape coat

– Over the knee boots (Heeled or flat)

– Black leather/faux leather slim fit trousers

– Black/Metallic pleated midi skirt

– Fitted long Sleeve/off-shoulder jumper midi dress

– Colour block tote bag

– Classic Turtleneck

– Cropped jacket/blazer

– Classic white tailored shirt

– Wide Leg trousers

We definitely agree with these suggestions! Staple items are always a necessity, and we’re strong advocates for basics such as the classic turtleneck. Thinking about warmer temperatures, what big trends are on your radar for Spring 17?

The season will be full of tulle, asymmetric hem lines, floral and oriental print bomber jackets, Mini Bags, and Kitten heels.

oriental print bomber jacket for 2017

We’re already dreaming of bare legs and lighter jackets, but how can we stay chic when it’s currently freezing outside? All tips welcome!

I love winter wear! My trick to stay chic and warm is using the layering trend. I use Monochrome as my base strong black and white contrasts with a pop of a primary colour (even if it’s just my favourite red Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick).

Monochrome layering SS17

Amazing tips! How about for office workers, is there any way we can stay warm and on trend without wanting to work in our onesie?

I love the effect of what a faux fur stole can do for your look while keeping you warm during this cold season.

Kokuun London

My favourite way to wear this accessory is draped over just one shoulder. Secondly I suggest a wide brim hat, this look creates automatic sophistication which a beanie hat for example; cannot provide.

Beanie hats and faux fur aside, are there any exciting projects you’re working on? Go on, make us jealous!

Yes! 2017 is going to be such a great year for Kokuun London. I am currently in talks to be a part of an amazing TV series, focusing on business women in the luxury industry. I have also recently joined Fashion Collective as a Stylist and Marketing Consultant. Our first Celebrity fashion show event for the year will be in February, it is an exclusive televised event. Officially Partnering with Lux Afrique has also been a great business step for 2017. Lux Afrique is the gateway for Luxury Brands into Africa and I will be heading up their Personal Shopping Service.

And finally, where do you see Kokuun London in the next 5 years?

A standard aim for any healthy business is growth and expansion, so I do plan to successfully grow my team both in numbers as well as skillset. However, most of all I am excited about enjoying the journey. The idea of using my passion to assist women from all walks of life to express their individuality and confidence through fashion was just an idea that I had at the age of 15 and this is when Kokuun London was born. Since then, the model has evolved to cover a range of services relating to fashion, however the initial concept has always remained at the heart of every client consultation.

Now that I have taken the step to run my own business and see the rewards of my hard work, I am keen and enthusiastic about Kokuun London being a strong brand for Personal Shopping and Styling services.

Thank you for your time Priscilla! We’re feeling a little less concerned about braving the minus temperatures yet still remaining chic, although we’d be lying if we said we weren’t counting down the days for warmer temperatures! Classic turtlenecks, plenty of layering and a slick of dark lipstick are our new go-tos.

We always love to chat to fellow girl bosses and business women who are paving the way for themselves. We feel totally inspired after our chat and wish Priscilla the best with her exciting new ventures! If you’re interest in Priscilla’s services – visit http://www.kokuunlondon.net/ to find out more!

Kokuun London Priscilla Mensah

Tilly-Jayne Kidman

Tilly is a graduate in fashion marketing and currently works in social media. She writes for various publications including the Huffington Post as well as her own fashion and lifestyle blog tillyjayne.com. In her spare time she's usually wandering around her home city of Cambridge, making travel plans or finding a new restaurant to try out.

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