The Hamptons continues to evolve over the years, whether that be new businesses, homes, or restaurants, but one thing that has always remained steadfast is the quintessential “Hamptons style.” It has inspired brands like Ralph Lauren and J. McLaughlin to create designs and entire lines that fit the Hamptons lifestyle. We all know and love it. For many of the locals and annual visitors, they dress for the occasion without even realizing.
It’s not uncommon to witness bold outfit choices throughout the Hamptons scene. Behind those memorable outfits is brand strategist, trend consultant, and stylist, Lisa Kerson Frohlich. Known on Instagram as “@HamptonsNYStyle,” Lisa hails from Manhattan and moved out to live in the Hamptons full-time a few years ago. Lisa started in the world of fashion as a Founder of Lisa K, a successful jewelry brand sold at Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and other specialty stores.
Lisa has always been entrepreneurial minded which is how her stylist and consultant business came to be. Stemming from her own impeccable personal fashion taste, Lisa quickly realized that she could help others find their own personal style and build confidence.
Whether Lisa is attending an elite Hamptons soirée, having brunch on Main Street in Southampton, socializing with friends, or hitting the golf course, she is always impeccably dressed. Her Instagram is filled with helpful day-to-night styling tips and brands you must have your eye on.
I spoke with Lisa to learn more about her career as a brand strategist, trend consultant, and stylist:
Take us back to the beginning. What is your earliest memory with fashion and when did you realize you wanted to pursue a career in fashion?
LF: I come from a family of retailers, so the apple didn’t fall very far from the tree. As a kid I remember seeing pictures of my dad with famous designers, and I knew this was the path I wanted to take. I’ve had three major stops in my journey. Right out of college, I was a dress buyer for May Company Department Stores. The second stop was opening my own jewelry showroom, Lisa K in NYC. I’ve always loved designing fashion jewelry, and I created collections for two department stores, QVC and specialty stores around the world. And finally, since moving to the Hamptons five years ago, I have been styling a select group of women out east. Most rewarding is my work as a brand consultant for 15 emerging fashion companies by helping them with growth and success strategies. Many are women-owned brands who have taken the opportunity during Covid to grow their brands. I truly enjoy working with these fierce and smart women. It’s been a very busy 26 years in the industry!
The Hamptons must spark a lot of inspiration when it comes to your own personal style as well as how you style your clients. What has inspired you most in the community?
LF: The Hamptons inspires my fashion decisions every day. When we moved out east from the city, the biggest challenge I had with my dressing was that I tend to overdress. In the city I would get dressed in the morning for both work and the kid’s activities. The style in the Hamptons in the fall and winter is casual and sportier. Don’t get me wrong, everyone still looks put together, but in a more relaxed way. I help many clients achieve that casual vibe, without looking like they’re trying too hard. My priority is helping my clients feel good about themselves.
It’s evident from your Instagram that you love color! Has that always been the case?
LF: Yes! I love wearing bright colors and rarely wear black. I am from NY so you would think it would be the opposite. My Instagram handle @hamptonsnystyle is all about showcasing vibrant colors and prints from amazing designers. Everyone can wear color, it’s just a matter of finding the correct tones.
How has your style evolved over your career and what aspects have remained the same?
LF: When I was younger, I was more concerned with form fitting outfits, and I have moved away from that over the last 5-10 years. Except for my workout my clothes, I tend to go with flowy dresses or skirts. And novelty sweaters with jeans. I am much more focused on comfort these days then I was when I was younger. I’m not trying to squeeze my feet into 5-inch heels anymore!
How do you decide what pieces to keep in your collection and what to pass on?
LF: I follow the rule that if you haven’t worn something in a year, it’s time to donate or sell it on a platform like The RealReal. Otherwise, you will have no room in your closet for new and exciting pieces. I recommend that clients hold on to key pieces for their daughters or future family members. But if they aren’t wearing them currently, store them in Sterilite plastic containers in a storage unit or your basement.
What are the hottest trends you’re noticing in the Hamptons this summer?
LF: With people finally able to leave their homes and attend events safely, there must be a lot of excitement in the local fashion scene. Smocked dresses have taken over the Hamptons because they can be worn casual to a BBQ or out to dinner at night with a wedge. Depending on your body type, you can choose smocked pieces that highlight different areas. There are fewer matching sweatsuits this summer now that people are out and about. People are wearing their fine jewelry again, and fun straw bags have replaced the leather bags that will re-appear for cooler months.
What mantra do you live by in your career?
LF: “Fashion fades, style is eternal.” Yves Saint Laurent
As a female entrepreneur, what piece of advice would you like to share with the younger generation who are also interested in pursuing a career in fashion?
LF: This is an amazing industry for both men and women, but you will have to work hard to get ahead! I recommend starting out with a larger company in the beginning of your career so that you can surround yourself with experienced mentors. People assume working in the fashion industry is glamourous, but most days are not! And remember, it’s never too late to re-invent yourself.
Follow Lisa on Instagram at @HamptonsNYStyle for more helpful fashion tips and her entertaining life in the Hamptons.