BR native Caitlin Saucier-Perrone finds her fashion niche in South Florida
Caitlin Saucier-Perrone is a born fashionista.
“Ever since I was a little girl, my mom, my aunt and my grandmother all dressed me up. We’d spend the entire day shopping at Cortana (Mall),” recalls Saucier-Perrone. “I was always telling my mom I was going to New York when I grew up.”
And that’s exactly what she did. After graduating from the former Bishop Sullivan High School, an 18-year-old Saucier-Perrone headed for the Big Apple to realize her dream of becoming a fashion model/actress. Only thing was, she soon discovered she was much more interested in the clothes and styling aspect of fashion than posing for the camera or running lines. And, as she explains on her website, saucistyle.com, “Modeling provided me just enough money to pay for my overpriced apartment and my dinner of Ramen Noodles but not my cravings for the new fall line!”
With experience from her high school days, Saucier-Perrone got back into retail, hooking up with the high-end boutique Alice & Olivia.
“It was my first taste of high-end, up-and-coming business,” says Saucier-Perrone, daughter of Jackie and Sam Higdon. “I actually helped open their fourth store, and I learned how to help a high-end client.”
Clients such as mega-star fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, who just sauntered in one day to shop for his daughters. Saucier-Perrone kept her cool but in her mind she’s hunkered down behind the checkout counter calling her mom to tell her the news. “Lots of celebrities and their kids were always coming in to shop with us,” says the now-seasoned personal shopper. “I realized I really enjoyed helping clients build a wardrobe, putting looks together and teaching people how to style things.
“It’s my calling; I can’t imagine doing anything else,” continues Saucier-Perrone, who three years ago moved with husband Justin Perrone to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She found her “Mr. Big” in New York City through a mutual friend only to discover they were both from Baton Rouge. Justin is the son of Julie and Bernie Perrone and a graduate of Parkview Baptist School, “which is only about four miles from Bishop Sullivan.”
Fashion in New York and fashion in Miami are two distinctly different looks. In a sea of tank tops and flip-flops, Saucier-Perrone’s pulled-together ensembles stood out in the crowd. “People were always asking me where I got this, where I got that,” she adds. “The South Florida casualness is contagious but I stick to the more modern black, navy and gray of New York and throw in a pop of color for South Florida. Of course, I can always go back to my southern roots and rock a T-shirt, denim and heels.”
To help others find their fashion identity, Saucier-Perrone started Sauci Style — a website, blog, personal shopper service and, just recently, weekly YouTube posts on fashion finds, hints, do’s and don’ts. Saucier-Perrone also writes a monthly column for Miami’s Think magazine. She must know what she’s talking about because she’s caught the eye of some very important clients.
Just recently Saucier-Perrone styled interior designer Thom Filicia of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” fame for a photo shoot for his latest project, Style Network’s home makeover series, “Tacky House.” “He’s hilarious and he’s coming back soon for another photo shoot that I’ll be styling,” says Saucier-Perrone.
She’s also gotten to, literally, rub shoulders with famed Argentine polo player Nacho Figueras, who’s often called the “David Beckham of polo.” As a member of the Black Watch Polo Team, Figueras represents the entire line of Polo fragrances, and Saucier-Perrone got to style him for a recent photo shoot.
“Fashion to me is expressing your personal style and one of the best parts of my job is the relationships I build with my clients,” says Saucier-Perrone. “I have some I call Sauci addicts and I love it when they text me that someone complemented them on an outfit, and there’s always a fashion emergency.”