Lisa Kornman Avila Honed Her Fashion Sense In a Gucci Factory
A new generation of tastemakers in Palm Beach is truly doing it all. Their passions and careers are as diverse as their personal style ethos, yet they all use fashion as a form of self-expression. Forget that outdated perception of Palm Beach style as strictly bright florals, pearls, and beach attire! Now, the fashion M.O. is less boardwalk, more catwalk. This new chic guard epitomizes modern Palm Beach style, whether in a meeting, on a flight, or at school drop-off — and, of course, at the Esplanade Palm Beach, the haute one-stop destination anchoring Worth Avenue for superb shopping, dining, and more, all just steps from the ocean. Ahead, meet the next wave of Palm Beach notables redefining the social and style scenes. Meet Lisa Kornman Avila, co-founder of Buko, LLC.
How do you define Palm Beach style?
I have always loved the mix of vintage with new, and Palm Beachers know this the best. You’ll always see someone in their grandmother’s old Pucci or Chanel mixed with some Levi’s or a beautiful old pocket square of a special grandfather. The memories behind them are a great conversation piece.
How aligned is Palm Beach style with your personal aesthetic?
I’m a touch more rock ’n’ roll than this town is used to, but it’s been fun and seamless living in warmer weather and relaxing into more comfortable everyday fabrics. I like a pair of vintage Levi’s, and a white tee mixed with a statement shoe or jacket.
What essentials should every Palm Beach woman have in her closet?
Great-fitting ankle-length white jeans, white sneakers, a vintage leather jacket, a statement bag, a printed maxi dress that always fits and flows, and a Pucci jersey long-sleeve shirt. Most of the locals travel a lot, so you need a perfect white tee. I love Stateside, which is made in L.A. and has the best fabrics and fit. A great wide-leg pant; I love Louis Vuitton’s white ones for spring. It can be black tie with a silk top buttoned up or a white tee for lunch. I’m loving the statement dresses that you can wear with sneakers or vintage heals and a leather jacket. I love that fashion is becoming so versatile day-to-night and a little less fussy.
Who are some of your favorite designers?
I’m drawn to seasonal Gucci and Chanel pieces; they are super fresh, fun, and not too serious. I’m always traveling and love to meet friends after work so anything that can be simple, comfortable but a statement piece, always catches my eye. Levi’s for jeans, Hermès for belts, collectible bags, and scarves. Heroes Motors and Louis Vuitton for leather jackets.
What do you look for when shopping for a bag?
I was trained in the Gucci factory to make one-of-a-kind bags when I graduated from college. Ever since then I’ve been drawn to vintage and rare bags. I love Birkins for the one-of-a-kind craftsmanship and sewing. For vintage, my aunt owns Marlene Wetherell, which is my forever go-to for Chanel and everything vintage.
What is your favorite fashion era?
The 1960s and ’70s. I think women felt free, happy, and adventurous, which is how I like to live. I still see my mom as that woman in time.
What was the first luxury piece you ever bought?
A vintage Chanel metal belt, and I wear it at least once a season. I’ll save it for my daughter, Gabby.
Who is your favorite person to go shopping with?
My mom has always been my shopping partner. She taught me quality over quantity. I remember her teaching me about feeling fabrics when we were in a dressing room when I was 5 or so.
Who is the quintessential Palm Beach fashionista?
My close friend Renee Gozlan from Toronto has the most effortless fun glam style. She is no fuss and always on point. I love her Comme des Garçons tees; she plays on the beach with her grandkids or tosses on a vintage Pucci for dinner. Her son and daughter-in-law have been secretly styling all of us for quite some time, finding the rare pieces from the ’60s and ’70s or new limited-edition sneakers I’m always craving.
What is the best fashion advice you’ve ever received?
What do you love the most about Palm Beach?
I love the authentic community of female friends I have cultivated over the years. My group is unique and diverse in both style and personality.
Where is your favorite place in Palm Beach to get dressed up?
Swifty’s! Feels like the perfect old-fashioned cozy New York diner with a cool global crowd.
What do you love about shopping in a store versus online?
I like to layer pieces and roam; sometimes I need an old-fashioned dressing room and glass of champagne.
Lisa’s Esplanade Musts
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