Being a Personality and a Personal Shopper: Bettina Looney

All imagery by Danny Qazi @shotsbydq

Meet Bettina Looney: at first glance, she's one of a new breed of 'micro-influencers' changing the way brands and audiences look at social media. But what happens when you throw a large proportion of high net worth women who not only shop from her, but also rely on her company, Bettina Looney Ltd, to acquire the pieces they desire? A personal shopper with the power to sell and the following to boot. We sat down and asked her a few personal career-led questions.

What do you love most about your job? Does the influencer aspect add another dimension
to the personal shopping?

The women I meet! When it comes to the personal shopping side of things, I love being
able to give women a safe and easy experience while shopping for all things fashion
related. It’s such a personal and intimate thing, and I enjoy being able to offer a service
that is completely bespoke towards whichever woman I am working with.
The influencer aspect of my job allows me to show my personal creativity when it comes to
styling and collaborating with brands and also enables me to showcase these products on
social media. I believe this part of my job instills confidence in my clients, knowing that the
person assisting them is also fully involved in the industry and knowledgable about the
product that is being released each season.
I have really loved seeing how these have both evolved and how they work hand in hand
together. It has been fun being able to showcase my own personal style, the pieces I like,
and the amazing people I work with. I feel so grateful to everyone who has supported me
and to the people who continuously support throughout this journey of mine.

In a way, influencers are personal shoppers in the sense that people buy what they’re
wearing (albeit minus the bespoke element.) Would you say it was a natural progression
for you for that reason?

Essentially, any influencer has the platform to assist potential clients with their requests.
However, there’s a whole other side to personal shopping, which revolves around brand
partnerships and logistics. These two other aspects may not be as relevant to the
traditional influencer.
In this part of my career, I prefer to keep the clientele I work with quite niche and to only
accept new clientele via word of mouth or referrals from a client that I have known for
some time. I started as a personal shopper and doing a bit of styling so it was the opposite
for me in this case, influencing came after.

You must see the weirdest and wonderful pieces through what you do: how do you
decipher what is worth putting out there?

It all depends really. What I may like, some of my clients may not like, so it really depends
on who the item will suite best and who it would be relevant for. It all comes down to
knowing the woman you are working with and truly understanding her needs.

Are you often tempted to buy requested pieces, or has it made you a more shrewd
shopper for yourself?

I wish I could say that it has, but when you see so many beautiful things all of the time,
your bank account says no but your eyes and heart say yessss!!

As an influencer, are you acutely aware of what you’re wearing, in case it should influence
your requests, or do you treat them as separate entities?

It’s always important that the content I produce and the pieces I wear be representative of
my style. However, I am aware that sometimes that can influence clients. It is my job to
showcase new pieces and trends, but also important to stick to what I love and what
represents me.

Do you get clients finding you via your instagram?
I do, but again I try to be careful and selective about who I take on. It is super important to
me that my clients feel they are getting the best service and know we are going the extra
mile for them.

You wardrobe is very well curated. Do you often let go of things to keep it digestible?
You girls saw when you came over, I am so ocd when it comes to my wardrobe. When you
moved my shoes around for this interview, I ended up liking the way it looked and changed
everything once you both left. Everything has a place and I tend to get rid of things all of
the time to make room for new pieces. I always give the things I no longer want to friends,
family, or co workers. I actually want to find a place or organisation that I can donate the
remaining pieces to, versus giving them to a local charity shop. Any suggestions?

If you had to give your clients (or anyone) tips on how to buy well, what would they be?
Buy the things you need and that are missing from your wardrobe, never start by buying
things that you just “want” and like. I always ask clients if I can go in to their wardrobes
with them to see what it is that they have, what they no longer need, and what they are
missing. From there, we can then begin to replenish and curate a list of pieces that would
work well in their wardrobes.
Jewellery, watches, and a rare bag are the best type of investment, as you’ll have these
pieces forever.

What trends are you seeing in personal shopping just now: are there any particularly
requested pieces?

Loewe gate bag
Anything in perspex
Balenciaga Triple S trainers
Gucci classic logo trainers
Dior classic monogrammed bag

You have some incredible vintage pieces. Any tips on buying vintage?
I am such a sucker for vintage stuff! There’s something better than finding something that
no one else will really have or still be wearing.
Vintage store tip, if you stumble upon a random vintage shop that no one has really heard
of, this is generally the best one to go in to! The trendy ones that everyone knows about
pretty much charge you current retail pricing. Also, if you are ever in Amsterdam, they have
the most amazing vintage shops and pieces and price points!!

Favourite bag. Favourite shoes. Favourite piece of jewellery.
Bag - My green Staud sude bag
Shoes - My brown Ganni cowgirl boots
Jewellery - My favourite piece of jewellery at the moment is my emerald green Shay
jewellery ring. Emerald green is my favourite colour and it was a gift from my boyfriend
Carlos for Christmas so wearing it reminds me of him every day.

Which of these would save in a fire, and why?
I may just keep all three of them together always so I can grab them all at once

What Are The Ten Accessories That Will be Big This Year?
Oversized bags, preferably ones you or someone else can fit it. Anna, I’ll be carrying you
around in here next fashion month.
Boiler sutis
Cowgirl boots
Hair clips & big scrunchies
Babydoll dresses
Oversized cardis
Bucket hats
Oversized earrings
Sweaters with embellishments