En route to revel in the glory that is cool-girl mecca à Paris—yes, the Isabel Marant show—we bumped into one of our favorite great Danes, Nadja Bender. We started to tease her about her instagram (@NadjaBender), which seems to exist only to taunt us with photos of recent shopping excursions and recently acquired shopping bags—think Céline and Givenchy—with captions like, “ Barneys sale is mean...! :)” , “ Bad, bad girl...:) :)”  “ What to do when your suitcase is lost. :/” and “ Yeaaaaaah, more presents. :)” [9,10]. Turns out, that was just the tip of the shopping iceberg. We asked Nadja for her whole retail ethos, as well as a few pro-tips:
“I do a lot of sales shopping, actually. A lot of it. Because it’s—like, when we were in New York, there was the Barneys sale and I was there four times. Four times. It was insane. I was buying Lanvin sandals, Givenchy pants, Phillip Lim pants—I can’t remember—Derek Lam, and something else, and it was like, $400! So I was like, “Ah! I’m gonna go back!” So we went back because they restocked so many times, I was getting updates telling me when. [Laughs] I don’t shop online, I’m so bad at sizes. I don’t know what size I am, how anything will fit. I don’t think I’ve ever bought anything online. Barneys has everything. When I go shopping, I’ll go to one place and then just buy a lot, so I don’t go shopping that often. I really like this one store called Holly Golightly in Denmark. It’s really nice. They have everything. And they give a really good discount. But a lot of the stuff you get is stuff you wouldn’t buy normally, like, ‘Oh, I wouldn’t normally wear this, but it’s cool,’ and then you wear it. So that’s really nice. Like the kinds of things you get from designers—I got a pair of blue leather pants which are really cool, and it’s almost like you would never wear them, but I do.
I always liked clothing but before I started modeling it was more black, black, black. I was always like, “It’s so expensive, if you buy it in black, you’re going to wear it forever.” Whereas now, I’m more into color and stuff like that. It’s more fun. I love leopard, I really do. So, everything in leopard I think! The jacket I’m wearing now is a Danish designer called Heartmade. The shirt was a present from Balmain, and the pants are by Phillip Lim— from that Barneys Warehouse Sale! They’re so comfortable. I’m wearing sneakers, but that’s only because when I packed, I packed mostly sandals, so this is the only pair of actual shoes I have. I never wear tight clothes, I don’t like to feel uncomfortable.
Normally, for styling, things go best when you’re not thinking about it and you just wear whatever you feel like wearing. Sure, sometimes everybody has a crisis and says, like, ‘Oh, this looks terrible,’ but most of the time I think you should just wear whatever you want. I hope that makes everything look better, but I think it really does.”
—as told to ITG
Photographed by Emily Weiss in Paris on September 28th, 2012.