Anne Smith, Northwest Style Expert

A conversation with Filson creative manager and shop owner Anne Smith.

By Laura Cassidy July 1, 2013 Published in the July 2013 issue of Seattle Met

It might be the only case we know of where two jobs are better than one. Chicago-born, Wedgwood-raised Anne Smith handles the top-shelf production of more than a dozen Filson catalogs each year, and, from Studio Montagne, her postage-stamp‑size studio and popup shop in Madrona, she’s an interiors-focused personal stylist. In one role, she helps shape the ruggedly hip aesthetic that all but defines the entire Northwest (she calls it “Steve McQueen meets lumberjack”); in the other, she passes along handpicked, world-sourced floor coverings, upcycled furniture, and artisan-crafted objets d’art. Good style is all in a day’s work.

What are you wearing? 
My outfit is from Mona Kowalska’s line, A Détacher. Sometimes a designer just gets me exactly right and I see nothing wrong with wearing the whole look. I have a very garçon-tomboy look—influenced by the years I lived in France and my work at Filson. 

How do you define style? 
I often think of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s line from The Little Prince: “What is essential is invisible to the eye.” It’s about who you are on the inside. What is not totally visible or readily apparent—for me that can be eyelashes applied at the MAC counter, fluorescent pink Eres lingerie from France, or my semihidden tattoos—can still make you feel sexy, happy, summery, chic, and whatever else.

Summer go-tos 
R13 jeans from Totokaelo that I cut into shorts with Lika Mimika leather espadrilles and a bright pink Tibetan prayer shawl from my shop.

Lessons from the boys
I like uniforms, like a man’s suit and tie. Always the same but a little bit different; variations on a theme. I’m really attracted to that. I like good quality pieces that get better and better with time.

The lived environment 
My home mirrors my personal style; minimal, Euro, rustic and yet modern, with a tiny hint of whimsy and nostalgia—all in the highest quality I can afford. Lots of raw wood, leather, and sheepskins. Industrial furniture in midcentury architecture, with a modern Italian cuckoo clock and a French armchair covered in Paul Smith tuxedo cloth.


Published: July 2013

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