Shop UO UO Blog

Employee of the Month:

Sibel Pistar

Sibel Pistar went from ballerina to shoe buyer, and she might get a Chihuahua and name him Bill Murray. She's the best, basically.

Interview by Ally Mullen

Introduce yourself!

I'm Sibel Pistar. I am originally from outside of Washinton D.C. and I currently live in Fishtown in Philadelphia. I'm an associate buyer in women's shoes.

How did you get started at Urban?

I moved to New York on a whim and I used to be a WAC [Women's Accessories] manager at the store on 5th Avenue. One thing led to another and now I'm here!

You're not a trained designer? So what did you go to school for?

I went to school for communications and sociology. If you would have told me five years ago that I would be buying shoes I would have told you that you were crazy. I've always loved fashion and shoes but I never envisioned doing a job like this. I feel lucky every day.

Where do you find your inspiration for buying and designing?

I find it from everywhere really. Trips to New York, looking at old photographs, blogs... I feel like Australian blogs are great. They're in a different climate than us so it helps how they're wearing their fall looks since on our calendar we're already in October. I'm also really into Pinterest. I pin in line, on my phone, in my bed. Pinning is really fun. And I have a whole board for my shoe inspiration.

When did your interest in shoes begin?

I think it was from living in New York. Moving to New York made me realize who I really was—I "grew up" there. So walking around, living in Brooklyn, every day everyone is really inspirational, so you just kind of fall in love with everything. I was in the stores, meeting people that worked there and it just kind of naturally happened. It was really organic.

How big is your shoe collection?

Really big.

Like, how big? How many do you think you own?

Oh god, it's embarrassing. A lot. I give them away too, and wear a lot to death or until they break. I think I have over 100 pairs.

Who are some of your favorite shoe designers?

I love Alexander Wang, I love Marni, I love adidas. I just bought a pair of Swedish Hasbeens.

What about your favorite brand we sell at UO?

Jeffrey Campbell. He's doing a wonderful job.

Do you own a lot of JC?

I own a lot of vintage, but I think for branded I own a lot of Docs, Vans, Converse.

What's worse: Crocs or Uggs?

Oh god that's the hardest question you asked me so far. I'm going to have to say Crocs.

Why?

HAVE YOU SEEN THEM? They're awful! Uggs at least keep you warm, I guess.

What were your favorite shoes growing up?

Jellies and white Keds—I made my mom buy me them.I really liked these Steve Madden crazy platform sneakers that had butterflies all over them. I was obsessed with them for too long.

If you could, would you buy them for UO?

They would actually probably be perfect, with this ‘90s trend going on right now. I think it's time to bring back those platform sneakers covered in butterflies!

How good are you at walking in heels?

I'm really good at walking. I was in ballet—I was a dancer—so I have pretty good balance. Plus, when you live in New York and wear high heels, you can walk anywhere.

A ballerina? Can you stand on your toes, like full on, on pointe? Like Rose in Titanic?

I can!

What kind of music do you like?

I love the new Daft Punk album! I went to Coachella and saw The xx live and they blew my mind. They sounded BETTER than the album! I need to buy it on vinyl. I finally got a record player about a year ago. Collecting records is my new hobby. I only had four records and now I have a lot, and it's like a fun game.

What is your most prized record?

I just got this awesome Tchaikovsky album. When I danced, my ballet teacher used to play music on vinyl, which I forgot until recently, and I was just like, "Wow this is such an awesome way to listen to it!" So I found that album and it took me back to those days as a kid hating ballet class, but loving the music and being inspired by it.

So do you dance around your bedroom, listening to Tchaikovsky, as you get ready?

(Laughs) Yea, drink wine and dance around my apartment by myself. I have solo dance parties more often than I probably should admit. It's fun!

Do you live alone?

Yes! Living alone is probably the best thing that's ever happened to me.

Any pets?

No pets but I am in the market for a puppy! I think it's time.

What kind?

I've been looking at Chihuahuas! I didn't think I was going to get one, but I met one recently and it really touched me.

Do you have a name picked out?

Bill Murray!

Tell us about your personal style (aside from your shoes!).

I love finding vintage things, thrifting. I think finding unique, one of a kind vintage items is a big part of my personal life—I can find such beauty. I love rings. I love dresses. I love denim. I'm trying to get a little more feminine but it's hard. It's my little project—to dress a little less tough.

Ok, back to shoes! What would you wear to:

Work:

I usually wear black, with some height. Strappy boots. High heels.

Outdoors in the woods:

I don’t really go into the woods! (Laughs) I don’t do a lot of hiking, but if I were to take a nice stroll or go to the park I would wear Converse or Vans.

To the beach?

Sandals. Or huaraches. I like showing off my feet.

What about a hot date?

Something strappy with a little height, a little sexy. Show some toe cleav. Black usually.