Elizabeth Jeffer is looking for the woman who wants to stand out — quietly.
This was Jeffer’s vision when she launched Roztayger, a highly curated, online retail store spotlighting international designers.
The former Chappaqua resident — she has since relocated to Los Gatos, California — wished to dissolve the notion of fashion being a chore. Dressing should be a freeing experience, she says, rather than an exhausting pursuit of the latest trends. So, she decided to ease the process by offering a selection of products — including women’s clothing, accessories and perfume — that are appropriate for everyday wear but incorporate a splash of personality. Jeffer refers to this as the “uniform.”
“We’re all busy, so who wants to bother? You find out what works on the periphery and you try to experiment,” she says.
The uniform doesn’t represent work wear. In Jeffer’s world, it refers to a daily go-to outfit — a look that communicates individuality, delicately without overkill. And one that hardly requires any thought to put together.
“The main thing is to figure out your body type, your lifestyle and how you feel, what you feel most confident in,” she says. “It’s really about feeling confident and not thinking about what you’re wearing.”
For Jeffer, this uniform is usually a boyfriend-style jean paired with a neutral-colored blouse and accessories that may include bold shoes, statement jewelry or a timeless handbag.
It may sound simple, but this uniform is the byproduct of years of experience devoted to perfecting that personalized effortlessness.
Jeffer has worked in the fashion industry since she graduated from the University of Berkeley in California with an art history degree. After stints at several boutiques, she became interested in opening her own brick-and-mortar store but grew weary of the challenges of retail. Instead, she worked as a representative for small, high-end accessories designers and later as the co-owner of the Metropolitan Design Group, an accessories showroom in New York City. But in September 2011, she decided it was time to pursue her dream of opening a store, opting for the web in order to reach more clients.
And with that, Jeffer began sourcing hard-to-find items.
“I often find designers that don’t show in the United States or designers that don’t market to the United States,” she says.
In her pursuit of these designers, Jeffer travels — a lot. Every year, she makes the trip to Paris Fashion Week, which is her favorite part of the job, she says. But she also uses social media to leverage communication with designers who are under the radar, such as German handbag designer Tsatsas, North African handbag designer Anne Grand Clément, Japanese shoemaker Le Yucca, French cashmere designer Douce Gloire, and Chimala, a jeans company based in New York, which creates its garments in Japan and is known for its exclusivity.
“They don’t want to look like they’re wearing the trend of the moment,” Jeffer says of her clients. “I like designs that are a bit left of center but not way out there.”
Nearly all of Jeffer’s clients are based in the United States, she says, mainly from urban areas, such as New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Miami and Boston, but recently she’s been experimenting with pop-up stores in Los Gatos, something that’s been long anticipated. (Having relocated from her home state of California to New York after college, Jeffer was only planning to stay for a year or two, which eventually turned into a 20-year stint.) But she still dreams of owning a brick-and-mortar store, which she hopes to open in California.
Along with Jeffer’s love for (and need to) travel, she’s devoted a portion of her website — which is appropriately named “Travel” — to busy gals like herself.
“I have a travel-luxury link that pulls up my favorite pieces on what are helpful in travel on the page,” she says. “I think you want to bring various pieces that work in various situations. You want to make your life easier when you’re traveling.”
And even though Jeffer’s brand has brought her around the world (and back), her main source of inspiration, and the company’s namesake, has remained her grandmother Rosalind Tiger. Jeffer recalls her grandmother, a style icon in her own right, in hats and stylish clothes from the 1920s and ’30s.
“I would pore through her stuff looking for vintage gems,” Jeffer says. “She would laugh at me in her big hats and have me take whatever I wanted.”
But most of all, she recalls her modesty.
“She always had great style without exertion and a very humble attitude,” she says.
It seems the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree.
For more, visit roztayger.com.