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A Fashionable Reunion

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A Fashionable Reunion

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It’s no surprise that Rebecca Rawlinson and Alyssa Short became fast friends after meeting at Holt Renfrew eight years ago, one worked for the legendary Oscar de la Renta and the other for designer Kelly Wearstler. “Every time Alyssa was on the floor we would have amazing conversations,” Rebecca shares, “we connected on fashion and styling.” Fast forward to today, Rebecca now runs her own namesake boutique, Rebecca Bree and Alyssa is Highstreet’s Guest Services Manager, a familiar face in the Abbotsford community. With Alyssa leading the styling for Highstreet’s upcoming Fashion Show & Social, it seemed like no better time to reconnect with her stylish friend. “I remember mostly, her smile,” Alyssa tells us about Rebecca, “she was super vivacious, confident and warm. Really approachable with a great sense of style.” The same grin greeted her as the two friends exchanged hugs at the top of the escalator at Highstreet, a reunion after three years.


As Alyssa toured Rebecca around, (it was her first visit to Highstreet), they reflected on their time at Holt Renfrew and working with clients. “I love people and styling. I love making them feel great,” Rebecca tells us, “it gives me so much pleasure and happiness.” A veteran of fashion retail, Rebecca first started her career in Montreal, where she managed a store of fifty employees at the young age of 24. After relocating to Vancouver, she landed at Holt Renfrew, where she honed her skills over five years, working for brands including Elie Tahari, Dolce & Gabbana and the aforementioned Oscar de la Renta. “I got to go on buying trips to New York with Oscar de la Renta, I learned how garments were made and got to attend runway shows, I even had to the opportunity to sit beside Barbara Walters at one of the shows!”


As the two flipped through the racks of clothing pulling looks for the upcoming show, the conversation turned to Spring trends, perfect timing with Rebecca’s recent visit to New York showrooms on the heels of New York Fashion Week. “The black and white trend is huge for Spring,” Rebecca comments, “and a neutral palette of pastels, it’s all nudes, baby blues, petal pinks and pale teals mixed with black and white.” Alyssa nods as she tells us about her creative process, “it starts with research, looking at sites like Style.com and magazines. I always do pulls from magazines, the 16 year old in me always wants to do that. Before Pinterest, there was masking tape.” Sharing Alyssa’s eye for fashion and beautiful things will become a Highstreet staple, with the upcoming launch of the A List. “The A List will be a sneak peek of my favourite things from all our Highstreet retailers,” Alyssa divulges, “there’s nothing better than when a friend makes a recommendation, girlfriend-to-girlfriend.”


The conversation carried over to coffees at Starbucks, where the two laughed about their first forays into fashion. Rebecca shares, “mine was playing in my Mom’s closet with her bright cobalt blue and purple pumps in the 80’s.” And Alyssa’s? “I was six in 1986, there were a lot of pink jelly bracelets, jelly shoes and jelly purses. I remember loving that and mixing them all and my Mom would say ‘just three accessories at a time’, it was my earliest memory of fashion styling.”


Asked if she had any styling tips to share, Rebecca tells us simply. “Be yourself. Be comfortable. Wear a smile. That’s my style guide. Every woman should be comfortable in their own.” We couldn’t agree more.


See the Spring fashion and beauty trends on April 17th at Highstreet’s 2nd Annual Fashion Show & Social.


Photos by Tanya Goehring, Post Photography


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