Never one to shy away from a unique look, bold trend or simply a classic silhouette, Tootsies (tootsies.com) store director Nerissa von Helpenstill creates her look with a hint of audacity here and a dash of excitement there. Our only question is, when are we invited to take a peek inside your treasure trove of a closet?
PHOTO COURTESY OF TOOTSIES
How would you describe your approach to style? I’ve always been a bit rebellious and headstrong, so I don’t believe in ‘fashion rules.’ I encourage our clients to wear what makes them feel beautiful and confident rather than adhering to rules and trends. My first taste of fashion came at the heels of my glamorous Nana who still (at 94 years old) dons her incredible turquoise jewelry on a daily basis; I always cherish adding a piece of jewelry gifted from Nana’s legendary collection to complete my look. More is more!
In my bag currently... This summer has taken me on multiple camping, hiking and glamping excursions, so my current bag rotation is pretty utilitarian: a Baum & Pferdgarten fanny pack (much to my children’s chagrin) and a small Ganni crossbody. Aside from the bare essentials, I am typically toting a variety of Glossier lip colors, a colorful beaded keychain made by my daughter Stella and various pieces of jewelry that I add and subtract from my stack depending on my outfit and mood.
I know that you are in the process of a huge store revamp. What can we expect of the new space? The terrible February winter storm and ensuing flood in our store brought us a lovely silver lining via a complete head-to-toe Tootsies makeover. Our new Droese Raneydesigned store will be a meditation on modern glamour and seamless shopability. We plan to welcome shoppers to the new store early this fall, and I can’t wait!
I know that you are involved in many philanthropic endeavors, including Fashion Group International. How did you first get involved? FGI has been such a wonderful part of my professional life; I am so thankful to my friends Ken Weber and Dawn Mellon for encouraging me to join years ago! I have served on the board since 2018 and am currently the director of the Dallas chapter. My favorite part is working with our talented board members to plan all of the many events we host for our members each year, particularly the star-studded Night of Stars gala. This year’s Night of Stars gala on Nov. 19 at The Thompson Hotel will feature amazing honorees Carolina Herrera and Gray Malin. Getting to meet former honorees Angela Missoni, the Veronica Beards and Bob Mackie were all thrilling moments I experienced at Night of Stars.
Any secrets we might not know about you? People are typically surprised to hear that I am an outdoorsy person. I’m originally from Alaska and grew up around the Pacific Northwest, so I feel equally at home in hiking boots or heels. Activities like hiking, snowboarding and mountain biking with my husband and kids all refresh my spirit and keep me grounded.