With a career that’s spanned across the globe - and included partnerships with fashion powerhouses like Armani, Burberry, Cole Haan, Gap, J. Crew, Neiman Marcus, North Face and more - former Charming Charlie Vice President and Executive Creative Director, Eric Samuel Green, has earned a stellar reputation for being a visionary within the industry. And he’s not done yet.
After spending over two decades (including five years at Charming Charlie) helping bring the visions of others to life, at the top of the year Green turned his sights to an entirely new venture: creative and interior design. Known for decoding style, he’s now sharing a few things he’s learned along the way courtesy of his new book, “Style Made Simple: The 10 Tips to Decorating With Style” where he demystifies the world of decor for those easily overwhelmed by styling and design. This admittedly includes myself, who sat in awe as Green broke down concepts like aesthetic, decluttering and more during a recent sit-down with Houston Style Magazine.
With an obvious joy for his craft, Green shared a few tips from Decorating With Style as he gave us a glimpse into his well styled world. Read below for more from the Style Connoisseur himself:
Houston Style: For those that may be unfamiliar with how you got your started, what brought you into the industry?
Eric S. Green: The interesting thing is I was into magazines. While most kids were playing sports I was collecting catalogues and newspapers. I was just really obsessed with visuals. From the age of five to 13/14 I would read and look at visuals inside of them. What I realized later in life was that I was educating my eye. My family actually owned a grocery store, so I spent a lot of time merchandising, helping customers around the store, enticing them to buy more. I learned to be responsive to client needs early on.
Style Mag: Style seems to be in your blood! How did you transition from fashion being a hobby to a career?
Green: I decided to go to school for marketing, so that I could pull fashion and art together with experience and my understanding of how retail works. My first job was in visual merchandising, just doing things like lighting a mannequin, learning to attract and convert customers through silent techniques, studying signage, etc. Over the course of my career I’ve done in-store visual merchandising to corporate merchandising to creative direction.
To this day I reference things back to that grocery store: How you engage people, restocking, etc. All of those skills are really transferrable, so I made a conscious decision early on to learn all aspects of the industry and not just focus on a specific market or women’s apparel. Once you understand what a brand is about, you are able to carry a lot of those tools and tips over in a really fascinating way.
Style Mag: What advice would you give to those looking to follow a similar path?
Green: The idea of being humble, being hungry; which is always really to learn and take feedback. You also want to stay inspired and be curious. Once you leave that industry, you can’t be successful until you’re ready to learn. Anytime I’ve stopped being curious about the business or opportunities anymore, I knew it was time to move on.
Style Mag: What finally made you take the leap and become an author?
Green: After 20 years of trying to solve things for consumers and other people, what I realized is it doesn’t have to be as difficult as people make it. I know style and I know it’s less about aesthetic - some of these tips are transferable regardless of what your personal style is. I felt like writing a book was a great opportunity for me to help a larger population understand how to live a more stylish life.
Style Mag: This is just the first in what you hope will be a series that includes style, traveling, etc. Can you share a few tips essential tips from “Style Made Simple?”
Green: Here are two from the book. 1)Choose your impact color. Color has so much emotion around it, so when you think about what you want your home to be, think about do you want it to be cooling, joyful, romantic, etc. Color is one of the easiest ways to deliver what the intent of that emotion. Color is confident. You can infuse an impact color for example, to set the mood.
2)Collect something you love and put it on display. Your home is one of the biggest billboards for who you are as a person. It’s one of the most intimate views of who you are, what you love and what experiences you’ve had. Some of the things that inspire you can be used to display throughout your home, on a shelf, on a wall, etc. The idea of having something that brings you joy. There are so many things that you can collect and I give a few examples in the book.
Style Mag: What would you consider an easy decor fix for those with limited time or skill?
Green: I would say decorative pillows. They’re some of the easiest things that have the biggest impact very quickly, and they’re also an item that can be updated easily. If you have the discretionary income, you can always do seasonal updates. There are so many affordable resources, including having them delivered right to you, that are quick ways to change your space, and it grounds and anchors the room.
Style Mag: What’s something that people don’t know about you?
Green: I don’t think most know that I’ve been a vegetarian for over 17 years and a yogi for 15 years. In the last year I’ve started each day using mindfulness cards because it really sets the tone for my day. The mindfulness cards have a positive affirmation about joy, curiosity, positivity, etc. Then there’s an explanation of what this thought provoking thing is and I try to focus on that thought throughout the day. It’s something that’s very helpful and when I have friends that are going through things I’ll share a card with them. It makes you pause, reflect and apply.