Stylishly unstylish

“Stylishy unstylish” is how Bethany describes her look. She’s all about finding her comfort zone, which starts with a great pair of sneakers and a great pair of jeans. She has about 30 pairs of jeans, but finds that she only wears the same 3 pair. It’s AG denim in blue, black & white.

Bethany Nagy in a gray jumpsuit

“Stylishy unstylish” is how Bethany describes her look. She’s all about finding her comfort zone, which starts with a great pair of sneakers and a great pair of jeans. She has about 30 pairs of jeans, but finds that she only wears the same 3 pair. It’s AG denim in blue, black & white.

Bethany stays true to her comfort zone, even in the harsh Minnesota winters. You’ll see her wearing all white and open toe shoes when it’s 20 below! That’s partially because she can take the skyway to work and partially because she loves wearing white in the winter.

When she’s shopping for clothes, she invests in key pieces and then mixes in Zara & Target for basics. She prefers shopping an edited collection like Bergdorff 5th floor or D.Nolo, over digging for clothes (like my sister) at TJ MAXX or Off 5th. She wants to express optimism and open mindedness in her style. When she’s presenting work, she wants to appear cool and confident. “Clothing should never distract from the work. You should look like you know what you’re doing.”


One of her first memories as a kid was knowing that she wanted to do what her dad did, but better. Her dad had a graphic design studio and she remembers holding down silk screens when she was only 2 years old.

Her roots are in the midwest, she’s from St. Louis, but has spent a majority of her time in New York City. She went to art school at Cooper Union and studied under some of the greats: Paul Rand, Milton Glaser, Massimo Vignelli, Jessica Helfand and Lou Dorfsman.

Paul Rand was 81 years old when she was in his class, but she still carries some of the best advice that he shared. He would always tell the class to get off of the computer and get back to sketching because something gets lost between the hand and the computer. This advice was specific to Typography class where his philosophy was that type should just fall together like salt and pepper. When you start designing on the computer, you lose the opportunity to make mistakes and some of the best work comes from making mistakes.

Lou Dorfsman talked about being aware of culture. He would tell her to think about what’s happening in the world and infuse it in her work. It’s difficult to be that overt in your work when you’re creating for a mass retailer, but the spirit of that sentiment resides in brainstorming sessions.


Bethany spent the first part of her career working in the luxury market. One of her first jobs was at a design firm with clients like: Gucci, Yves St. Laurent, Cole Haan and Coach. Then she shifted to mass retail with a position at Global Brands Group, where they built brands for companies like Kohls. Have you heard of JLo for Kohls?

Then in 2015, out of the blue, she got the call for a dream job at Target, which is where she is today. Bethany is a Creative Director on the style business. Specifically, she directs the TV advertising. Ads that make you pause your DVR like this one and this one.

Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest
Ina Garten. She seems so fun! I would cook for her and maybe get some tips!

Would you like to be famous?
Not really. I like my life and don’t yearn for popularity and recognition. If I was famous, I’d like it to be for doing what I do best – good, fun, optimistic creative direction.

Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say?
Yes, especially if it’s something I don’t want to do. I want to be as prepared as possible. I don’t, however, rehearse to order a pizza.


What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
Waking up at a beautiful place like a vineyard or on safari. My boyfriend, friends and family are with me. We have a long lunch under a tree and drink rosé. I don’t even like rosé, but it sounds romantic. I’m wearing something casual and incredibly chic. Maybe we wind down by a stream. Just having time to reflect on the day would be perfect.

When did you last sing yourself? To someone else?
This past weekend. We went to the Hollywood Bowl. My boyfriend and I sing in the car.

If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
I want both. I want the mind to figure out how I can have both.


Do you have a secret hunch about how you’ll die?
I hope it’s sudden and I hope people celebrate and have a party.

Name 3 things you and your boyfriend have in common.
We’re both Cardinals fans, food (I cook, he eats) and we both love outdoor adventures.

If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
I wish my family would have been more open. I grew up Catholic and so they were really reserved.

If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
To be more relaxed without medication! I’d also like to be more organized. I’m not good with paperwork. I need help!

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