The Other Must-See at This Years Car Shows: Style from Veronica Beard, Vince Camuto and More

Product specialists at car shows aren't just friendly and knowledgeable; dressed in designer brands available at your favorite department store, they set the tone for each car brand's lifestyle.

What The Product Specialists Are Wearing
What the Product Specialists are Wearing. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Designer Styles Set the Tone for How You Live Life in These Cars

Walking through a car show — this week it’s the New York Auto Show — you’ll see a lot of design. And not all are cars.

It’s on the product specialists — the highly trained and knowledgeable people at the show who can answer any and all questions about the cars on display. And, surprisingly, they are wearing top brands such as Veronica Beard, Armani, AS by DF, L’Agence, Rag and Bone, Theory, Club Monaco, Paige, Cinq á Sept. And these designs are not exclusive; you’ll find them at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus, as well as at brand boutiques.

Infiniti Product Specialists Are In Head To Toe Veronica Beard Suits

Infiniti product specialists are in head to toe Veronica Beard suits. Photo: Scotty Reiss

They Love to Shop Where You Do

In fact, Neimans, Bloomies and other department stores are where these fashions are sourced, says Hedy Popson, president of Productions Plus, one of the companies that hires, trains and dresses product specialists for car shows. Her company works with buyers at department stores to identify trends, assemble outfits and secure the inventory to ensure that each brand she represents has a fashionable, modern and cohesive look; that each piece holds up to the thousands of hours each specialist will wear it, and that it looks as good on day one as it does on day 100.

Related: Car Coats: Look Your Best In AND Out of the Car

Armani At Toyota At This Year'S Car Shows

Maggie is dressed in head to toe Armani at Toyota. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Modern, Approachable Style On Display at Car Shows

What the product specialists wear serves a few purposes: These outfits are designed to put the customer at ease with an approachable but elevated feel; they reflect the lifestyle values of the brand and they tie together the overall design philosophy of the brand, connecting the vehicles to the people who will spend time in them.

And, the idea creates a distinctly un-sales-y feel. You don’t feel like you’re being directed into a deal, but rather, invited to shop and explore.

Related: Comfort and Style in the Car: Our Top 5 Women’s Activewear Picks

Product Specialists At Ford In Jeans An Boucle Blazers At Cars Shows

Product specialists at Ford in jeans an boucle blazers. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Fashion Sets the Tone for the Human-Machine Experience 

The idea of product specialists, how they share information about cars and how they’re dressed was the brainchild of Margery Krevsky Dosey, founder of Productions Plus. She was inspired when she attended an auto show and saw a friend standing next to a car posing in a couture gown. The car maker had posed the woman next to the car to create an image of elegance and luxury. Margery, a department store fashion buyer, immediately thought it might be a good opportunity to sell dresses to the models.

But soon she realized that the models could actually talk to auto show guests and tell them about the car rather than just standing next to it looking pretty. Soon her company was helping car brands better communicate information to shoppers at auto shows, and through her sharp fashion merchandising eye, setting the human tone for the metal, plastic and glass machines on the show floor.

Related: What Drives Her: How Margery Krevsky Dosey Changed The Auto Biz Forever

Hyundai Goes Sporty For The N Line But An Elegant Dress Represents The Brand At Car Shows

Hyundai goes sporty for the N line but an elegant dress represents the brand. Photo: Scotty Reiss

So, What Are the Product Specialists Wearing this Year?

I walked the floor of the New York Auto Show and talked to female product specialists about their outfits, noting how the ensembles reflect each brand they represent. Some trends became quickly clear: Leather and leatherette are a huge trend, both in jackets and pants; comfortable shoes and boots are a must and many outfits are designed to incorporate them; jeans continue to be a staple, both dressy and casual.

Product specialists, both men and women, typically have a rotation of two to three outfits per show, so they are not wearing the same thing every day. And they are offered a limited edit of items, including shoes, belts, jackets and pants. Comfort is important for 12 hour days on the show floor, and many will wear fashionable sneakers or boots with good support.

Here’s what they’re wearing at this year’s New York Auto Show.

Cinq Á Sept And Ag Jeans At Chevrolet At Car Shows

Cinq á Sept and AG jeans at Chevrolet. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Modern Chic Sets the Tone at Kia, Toyota, Chevrolet and Honda 

Kia: Product Specialist and fashion coordinator Olivia Tracey walked me through the variety of outfits her team wears. She wore a Rag and Bone blazer, Veronica Beard blouse and jeans from Paige, while others on the floor were dressed in Club Monaco, Banana Republic sweaters and White House Black Market jeans.

Toyota: The brand took it up a notch this year, moving away from the sporty black jeans and sneakers to a head-to-toe Armani outfit: Motorcycle jacket, leggings and boots.

Chevrolet: Sporty, modern design defines Chevrolet, and product specialists reflect that in a Cinq á Sept one-piece hoodie blazer and bootcut jeans from AG. Product specialists look ready for a fun day out — at a rodeo or Rodeo Drive. 

Honda Product Specialists At Car Shows Wear Armani And Ag Jeans

Honda Product specialists at car shows wear Armani and AG Jeans. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Honda: You have to look close to see the detail here. That’s because Armani is great at both creating s silhouette and filling it with subtle details. Product specialists are in navy Armani sweaters with a lighter blue boucle pattern paired with AG Jeans and Sorel suede booties.

Genesis Product Specialist Wear A Coat Dress By Alc At Car Shows

Genesis product specialist wear a coat dress by ALC. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Dress For Success at Lexus, Genesis, Hyundai and Infiniti 

Lexus: Always the height of design, Lexus product specialists lend an air of elegance with ensembles by AS by DF. The brand, known for the perfect leather jacket, brings a sense of responsibility to the line by working with recycled leather. But function is important, too: product specialists wear  leather cargo pants.

Genesis: You can’t not love the return of the coat dress: A dress that is at once functional and chic with a coat-like design, built to move with you, looking chic but feeling comfortable. Genesis product specialists coat dresses are by ALC.

Hyundai: With a wide offering of vehicle types, some Hyundai product specialists look ready to hop into N series sports cars, dressed in sporty N jackets (which can be purchased!), Commando leatherette leggings and Sam Edelman sneakers. Others are poised for a night out in elegant custom Rubin Singer dresses and chic black Pella Moda heels.

Infiniti: Setting the standard for luxury is what Infiniti is know for. And to set up the Uber- Luxe 2025 Infiniti QX80, redesigned with all new tech and pampering g such as rear seat passage and climate control screens, product specialists are dressed in wheat-colored double-breasted Veronica Beard blazer and matching trousers.

Vince Camuto Shirts, Liverpool Jeans And Ecco Shoes At Subaru Car Shows

Vince Camuto shirts, Liverpool jeans and Ecco shoes at Subaru. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Casual Chic Sets the Tone for Adventure at Ford, Nissan, VW and Subaru

Ford: From off-road adventure in the Bronco and F-150 to high-velocity fun in the Mustang to more practical family adventures in the Explorer, Ford’s product specialists are dressed for it all in J Brand jeans, Rag and Bone boucle blazers and suede Sorel sneakers.

Nissan: With the introduction of the new sneaker-inspired Kicks, Nissan sets the tone with black leatherette Spanx motorcycle jackets, Paige jeans and of course, a fun pair of kicks.

VW: This brand has gone all in on American design trends, both in its cars and SUVs, embracing what Americans love and demand, and in what the product specialists are wearing. Here, the brand went with American design team Veronica Beard — headed by not one but two women, sisters in law, both named Veronica Beard (what are the odds!?!). Product specialists wear the brand’s iconic cutaway blazers, with or without dickey hoodies, creased straight leg trousers and pointed toe flats.

Subaru: Ready for the outdoors — or for playing with puppies — these  product specialists are probably the most pragmatically dressed in outfits you might see around the camp fire or settling in for a post-hike coffee. Vince Camuto shackets — shirt jackets — Liverpool jeans and Ecco sneakers look great together and are a perfect complement to all of Subaru’s models.

This Nissan Product Specialist Is In A Spanx Leather Jacket And Paige Jeans At Car Shows

Nissan product specialists are clad in a Spanx leatherette jacket, Paige jeans and sneakers. Photo: Scotty Reiss

I don’t know about you, but just seeing what the product specialists are wearing has me inspired to go shopping. And, car shopping!

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss