From Fleece to Fleek: Anna Bugge ’03

Anna Bugge ’03 never expected that her postcollege job at a Patagonia retail store would launch her career as a professional stylist.

Anna Bugge ’03But there, among the fleece pullovers and down jackets, that’s exactly what happened.

She had just graduated from Puget Sound with an English degree and didn’t know what to do next. “I thought I was going to go to law school like my parents did, but my friend, Anni Kelley-Day ’03, had this opportunity to live at her uncle’s apartment in New York,” Anna recalls. “She asked, ‘Why don’t you come with?’ And I did.”

Anna began working at the Patagonia on Wooster Street in SoHo. It was frequented by wardrobe and prop stylists searching for pieces for photo shoots, commercials, and advertisements, and Anna often assisted them. But the store didn’t have a system for loaning out the merchandise, so Anna created one.

In the process, she came to know some of the biggest names in styling, including a former stylist for InStyle and O, The Oprah Magazine, among others. Anna began assisting her, and soon found that not only did she enjoy the work, but clients enjoyed working with her, too. In 2008, she moved to Denver, Colo., and struck out on her own as a wardrobe and prop stylist.

In the years since, Anna’s client list has grown to include giants such as Apple, Google, Nike, Oakley, Jeep, and Subaru. “I work with advertisers and they say, for example, we want to shoot this Subaru commercial and want a fire on the beach,” she explains.

“They give me the vibe and the big picture, and in the case of a beach scenario, I pull together maybe a vintage Jeep, logs to sit on, Pendleton blankets. I see that scene and select all the wardrobes.”

Her biggest accomplishment, she says, is landing Apple as her largest client. Those photos that come preloaded on iPhones, iPads, and Mac laptops? That’s Anna’s work. Oh, and she’s worked with Lindsey Vonn, one of the world’s most decorated female alpine ski racing athletes. “She’s amazing,” Anna says.

Anna still lives in Denver with her husband, Dale Ratliff ’04, and 2-year-old son, Crosby Red. Her styling niche  reflects her own lifestyle and has come full circle to her Patagonia roots, as she now works largely with companies that emphasize family and the outdoors.

Meanwhile, she says her English degree has allowed her to feel comfortable writing everything from pitches to blog posts—a skill she calls “invaluable,” especially for someone running her own business.

“I definitely have a unique job,” Anna says. “It’s not something that in college I knew anything about, but I love living in the mountains in Colorado and dressing families in jeans and T-shirts.”

 

By Anneli Fogt
Published July 31, 2018
Photo courtesy of Anna Bugge ’03