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Ajit Berg, Published October 13 2011

Berg: Stylish, affordable fashion not limited to 90210

A couple of years ago, a typical work day for me might have included shoe shopping for Victoria Beckham or picking out gifts for Hollywood movie studio execs.

I frequently worked with celebrities such as Katie Holmes, Cameron Diaz, Kate Beckinsale and Sandra Bullock, as well as some of the world’s most elite designers: Alber Albaz from Lanvin, Tom Ford from Gucci and sexy shoe designer Christian Louboutin.

I even did Christmas shopping for the families of Harrison Ford, Tom Cruise and Ben Stiller.

I was happy with the hustle and bustle of my busy fashion life and couldn’t see myself ever doing anything else.

But then something happened. I moved to Fargo.

How does a successful celebrity fashion stylist working in Los Angeles end up halfway across the country? Believe me, it’s a question I asked myself when my husband and I decided to move here in 2010.

I was a personal shopper and stylist for the high-end clothing store Barneys New York, located in the heart of Beverly Hills. I had a luxurious private office as well as a personal assistant to cater to all the shopping needs of LA’s VIP clientele.

In 2007, I married my wonderful husband, Chris Berg, a native of Fargo. We were blessed with a beautiful baby girl two years later. When I first found out I was pregnant, I started to slow down my busy life. My priorities were changing.

But something started changing in Chris, too. Shortly after Isabella was born, my husband made a trip back home to Fargo. He called me during this trip and said he had gotten a job offer in Fargo.

What? How could I go from the sunny, warm weather in California to the extreme cold in Fargo … and what about my career?

He was offered a job with the North Dakota Republican Party and felt this would be the beginning of him having a voice in politics (and it was … he now hosts a radio show on AM 1100 The Flag). It was important to him to try to make this a better world for our daughter, and I was proud of him. So to the dismay of my clients, family and friends, I quit my job of 14 years and decided to make the move to Fargo.

Upon arriving, the first thing I noticed was how friendly the people were and how safe it felt. The people in Fargo were calm and seemed to really take the time to enjoy life.

At first, I didn’t like the feeling of just sitting still, and I was trying to figure out how to reconcile my previous life of high fashion with my new life as a stay-at-home mom.

I wondered how I could still look fashionable in the winter? Then there were questions like where I would shop and how I would handle my new budget with us moving to one income?

So I decided to do something I never did in Beverly Hills. I decided to find clothes that looked like designer clothes but at an affordable price. I remembered that stores like Target periodically launched limited edition designer collections at inexpensive prices. Target collaborated with high-end designers Rodarte, Calypso, and Missoni to develop amazing discount designer collections. I found out that the Target in Fargo would be carrying all of these lines. I managed to get some great designer looks for affordable prices!

Turns out, you can be stylish anywhere and at any price. I quickly realized that all women have the same desires, no matter where they live. They want to look and feel their best. And that’s what fashion does. It can transform you. Give you confidence. Truly light up your whole world.

My goal has always been to empower women. I believe I was blessed with my job in Beverly Hills, not only to keep women looking good but also to empower them to feel good. And that’s what I hope I will do for the women in Fargo.

I realized that’s something that Los Angeles and Fargo have in common. It is not just about looking your best on the outside, but feeling your best on the inside.

The big lesson here … a true fashionista shines from the inside first. It doesn’t matter where you live.

Ajit Berg lives in Fargo with her husband and daughter. She can be reached

at abenepal@yahoo.com.