At Harbor East boutique Sassanova, new owner Angela Tandy carries an ever-changing collection of fun clothing, shoes and accessories, perfect for the Baltimore woman who keeps up with fashion trends but also appreciates the classic look of preppy wardrobe staples. Angela bought the store last year from former owner Sassy Jacobs, who still owns the Bethesda store.
We spoke with Angie just after she returned from a post-Fashion Week trip to New York, where she was scouting looks for next season. Here’s what she had to say about owning a shop in Baltimore, her favorite classic pieces, and the top trends in fashion this fall:
You’re a relative newcomer to Baltimore – and new owner of Sassanova. What were you doing before your move here? How did you get into the fashion business?
I spent over 15 years in Washington, DC, before moving to Baltimore three years ago. I worked as a investor relations and marketing executive for technology companies prior to having children. I was a frequent shopper at Sassanova’s Georgetown and Bethesda locations while living in Washington and knew one of the owners because our children went to school together.
Shortly after moving to Baltimore, I received a call from her asking if I was interested in getting involved with the Baltimore store. The rest is history. Owning Sassanova is the most fun I have ever in my life had (while working). I love every part of being a boutique owner from the daily interaction with customers and employees to analyzing financial and performance metrics, meeting designers and of course buying for each new season.
How would you describe “Baltimore style”? How does Sassanova fit into that description?
Baltimore rides the wave between redefined preppy and sophisticated feminine – by “redefined preppy,” I mean the sensibility of preppy combined with better silhouettes and more fashionable. Baltimore isn’t overly trendy and cutting edge but we are mindful of the forefront of fashion. We’re cognizant of trends but use them in a subtle way.
What one item in your wardrobe could you not live without?
Really, just one? If I had to choose, I would say my knee-high, black leather Gucci boots that I bought many seasons ago. I can’t wait for fall to pull these bad boys out. They are perfect paired with skinny jeans or leggings and they are absolutely timeless. I will definitely be wearing these for several seasons to come!
The item I am currently obsessed with though is a black ponte and leather jacket by Yoana Baraschi. I’m embarrassed to say how much I wear it and I really don’t know how I survived this long without it!
What are your favorite three trends in fashion this fall? How can people incorporate those trends into their everyday wardrobes?
Booties: Sleek, chic and totally on trend. This essential item is your go-to for dressing up and stepping out. Booties are really the new pump. They can literally be “dressed” up or worn with leggings or your favorite pair of jeans for a more casual look. There are so many amazing options for fall – skinny and chunky heels, flats for every occasion, wedges for comfort, perforation for an urban edge, metallics and embellishments for fun, suede to suit any mood and beautiful leather options.
Leather accents: A trend we’ve seen before and it is back bigger than ever. Everywhere you look you see leather accents – it could be on your leggings, a leather tassel or trim on your blouse or dress and even leather patches on your sweater or blazer. Dresses with leather accents are perfect for work and play or you can pair a blouse with leather accents under your sweater or jacket that will easily transition from desk to date.
Chunky sweaters: in addition to being a cozy, cool-weather staple, this item is everywhere and it is hot. You’ll see it in bright, bold colors, rich varied textures and big chunky stitches. Since chunky sweaters have a lazy, cozy feel pair them with something sassy like leather leggings or a little leather skirt.
Sassanova is located at 805 Aliceanna Street in Harbor East.