This article originally appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of SMU Look.
By: Samantha Klaassen
Fresh off the plane from her sorority sister (and Bumble founder) Whitney Wolfe’s wedding in Positano, Sarah Bray (’09) is at the Cooper Hewitt Museum for Tory Burch’s New York Fashion Week Show. The following days are filled with brunch at Adam Lippes, photo booths at Michael Kors, and sparkly dresses at Caroline Herrera, not to mention shipping Town & Country magazine’s November issue off to the publisher.
Surrounded by a sea of Louis Vuitton Speedy bags and Ralph Lauren polos at Southern Methodist University circa 2007, Bray and her classmate Christina Geyer launched the school’s first fashion blog, SMUStyle. Geyer, now the Editor-in-Chief of PaperCity magazine in Dallas, says the site was innovative in a time before social media was relevant.
Today, Bray spends her time keeping up with fashion’s biggest power players, jet-setting around the world to locales such as India and Sweden, and sporting midi skirts around New York City as a style writer for Town & Country. But even when moving a million miles a minute (in a killer pair of Tory Burch slides), her drive has never faltered.
Determination paired with a passion for storytelling is the trait to which Geyer credits Bray’s success. “She has always marched to the beat of her own drum,” Geyer says. “She is confident, outgoing and an expert at self-branding — all the while staying true to what she loves: telling important stories.”
How would you describe your personal style?
Sarah Bray: For me, fashion is never about what something costs or what brand it is. I do love Prada, Chanel and Gucci, but half of my wardrobe is vintage and they’re unbelievable finds I’ve uncovered at Housing Works, the Goodwill, Etsy, and other random stores. The most important thing is quality of materials, craftsmanship and how something fits your figure.
How is fashion in New York different from Dallas?
SB: In New York, at least in the media and fashion industry right now, it’s really less about fitting and more about standing out and getting noticed for being different. Unique personal style is celebrated and looking and acting like everyone else on the street goes, well, unnoticed.
How did you time at SMU influence your career?
SB: Everyone at SMU was so stylish and into fashion. I had never seen so many well-dressed and put together people my age in my life. It was heaven. I covered the walls of my tiny McElvaney dorm room in fashion spreads I had ripped out of magazines.