Among many of her North Shore friends and colleagues, Erica Granado is considered a fashion expert. Need suggestions for what to bring on your next vacation or Saturday night gala?
Call Granado. She always knows where to get the best looks (for the best prices … luxury consignment, anyone?). But it isn’t until you meet her in person that you begin to understand where she got the “gift” of style.
Even when growing up in Ohio, Granado says she looked forward to an annual back-to-school shopping trip with her grandmother. The styles of the time included skirts with knee socks and chunky heels, a style the young teen embraced with a passion. However, it’s a savvy sister-in-law that Granado credits as the influence that helped her cultivate a more sophisticated eye—embracing high-end investment pieces in lieu of the fast fashion of her youth.
“For many years, I focused on quantity over quality,” says Granado, a busy mother of three who’s always on the go. “But there’s something so special about an amazing luxury piece in terms of craftsmanship and design. The CELINE Cabas Phantom tote is a splurge, but it’s also a workhorse that I use every day, so it’s worth every penny. Although, I like to mix splurges with saves, too.”
As far as trends go, she says people should choose fashions that suit their lifestyle and personal style.
“Fashion is whatever suits your personality,” she says. “The industry is moving away from being so full of rules and is meant to be an expression of who you are. I love to experiment with various designers and styles to find what works best for me without being too cookie-cutter.”
Granado’s other fashion favorites include Veronica Beard, Alexander McQueen, Saloni, Golden Goose, Gucci, and North Shore-based Mother denim. This summer, she’s updating her wardrobe with great sneakers, wide leg denim, flat sandals (or at least those without a high pitch), and comfortable dresses that easily transition from day to night. While she’ll always favor her CELINE tote, she’s also craving a bag that she can easily sling across her body or around her waist, a necessity while running after three boys.
Granado recently rejoined the workforce, specializing in luxury consignment, after staying home with her sons—Andrew, 11; Alex, 9; and Liam, 6—for the past decade. Before children, Granado worked in sales and taught fitness classes at Orangetheory Fitness and The Dailey Method. And while she’s not from the North Shore originally (she’s also lived in Huntington Beach, California and in central Illinois), she chose Lake Forest as the place to call home to provide the best opportunities and community for her family.
Supporting that community is important to Granado, and she recently served as the co-chair for The Spirit of 67 Foundation’s Opening Doors for Education Home Tour, on the executive board for the Association of Parents & Teachers at Deer Path Middle School, and has been a member of the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago’s Lake Forest chapter.
“I love to give back to others,” explains Granado. “I struggle to turn anything down because I enjoy being involved. I’ve always loved helping our schools and look forward to doing more with other nonprofits, as there are so many fantastic causes that need our help and support.”
Granado says it’s important to her to teach her children those same values. Her oldest son, Andrew, recently led a fundraiser at his school in support of victims of Hurricane Michael. “I’d like to think he has found a passion for helping others through my example,” she adds.
But when she’s not volunteering, Granado also loves to watch her sons play sports, to grab margaritas with friends (“any new taco joint is a draw”), catching a Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field, and is looking forward to warm evenings at her family’s lake house this summer with friends.
She’ll even cook, too. She and her husband are part of a “gourmet group” with eight other couples, all friends from college, who meet every other month to cook together and catch up.
However, when it comes to the quest for the perfect “find,” Granado is never on vacation—especially when it comes to high-end resale.
“Resale is the gateway to some really great treasures. These are not just cast-off items but often lightly worn, if not, new with tag options below retail,” she says. “My favorites sandals, favorite jeans, and favorite handbags are all finds on the resale market. But the best part is that if I continue to maintain their condition, they have a chance at yet another life. That’s the beauty of a strong luxury resale marketplace. Invest, enjoy, resell and repeat in a circular economy.”
Her Ohio grandmother would be proud.