Made in Italy: Q&A With Luxury Buyer Alexandra DiSarro


Sweater and skirt by Zara. Shoes by Emporio Armani.

Nickname: Alex, Ale
Job title: Luxury & Beauty Buyer
Age: 27
Generation: 1st generation born in Canada. Mother born in Caserta, Napoli & Father from Vinchiaturo, Campobasso
Speaks: Italian, English & French
Raised in: Saint-Léonard, Montreal
Favorite designer: Prada
Fashion idol: Olivia Palermo
Best restaurant: Bottega in Little Italy, Montreal
Favorite dish: My mom’s Cavatelli & Sunday sauce
Best pizza in Montreal: Bottega (trochetto) & Pizzeria Napoletana (#28)
You know you are Italian when: You talk with your hands and don’t know what a carb free diet is.
Best Italian song: Andrea Bocelli – Vivere
Best memory growing up Italian-Canadian: Food & family gatherings


Sweater and skirt by Zara. Shoes by Emporio Armani.

What do you love the most about being a buyer at BTR?
Luxury is my baby, I’ve been doing it for 3 years and recently took over the buyer position. It’s a great category with great vendors. You get to go to their warehouses and be in luxury heaven – what more can a girl ask? I enjoy picking the selections and coming up with creative ideas for banners. We have an amazing team to help us in every aspect of each event.
For beauty, we get to try on most of our beauty products for our buyers’ picks events so we know what we are offering and the benefits behind it. We love to select the products for our MakeoverMonday events. We enjoy pampering a deserving employee every week by giving them a beauty or wardrobe makeover and a 2 hour break in our busy and hectic fashion life.

How would you describe your fashion style?
On an everyday basis I usually stick with a casual chic style. I love a pair of skinny high-waisted jeans paired with nice tucked in sweater. To top of the look I would add a blazer or layer it with a statement necklace or chunky knit scarf. On a colder day, I would add my favorite leather jacket. A classic pair of snakeskin Emporio Armani pumps, an oversized watch, and Gucci aviator sunglasses are my favorite finishing touches.

When I do go for a dressier look you might catch me in a skin tight pencil skirt and a tucked-in flowy blouse paired with statement pumps or over the knee boots. You’ll never catch me without my Prada Saffiano Tote as well as my delicate crystal studs and Alex & Ani style stacked bracelets.

Insta Winners

#Winning Wednesday: Canadian Thanksgiving Edition

The suspense is over! Thanks to everyone who participated in our Canadian Thanksgiving Instagram contest – your likes, shares and tags really spread the love. A special congrats to all of our winners listed below:

Knife Set: @kganten

Black Handbag: @dashnaks

Gloves: @mayoubo

BTR Gift Card: @josephinerose0

Please email us at to claim your prize, and include the following details:

Your full name
BTR account email
Shipping address

We hope you had as much fun as we did – be on the lookout for more fun contests and giveaways in the future for more chances to win!

Day to night makeover

#Makeover Monday: Step-by-Step, Day-to-Night

Welcome to the latest installment in our Makeover Monday series! Today’s makeover takes one outfit from a day at the office to a night out with the girls in the blink of an eye.

Daniela, Project Manager, Styling
We started with a simple black top and a bold pink skirt for a fun, versatile look that can be dressed up or down for any occasion with ease, depending on the shoes, accessories and layers you choose.

Daytime Look

For the daytime look we paired semi-sheer black tights with a pair of heeled leather booties for an office-appropriate style. The Katherine Barclay jacket adds an extra layer of interest with its tonal texture contrast and zipper accents.

We kept the makeup simple, using a sheer foundation to even out her complexion and an SPF-rich day cream by Brilliance New York to accentuate her natural glow. For hair, we went with a light curl and a low ponytail for a simple, classic style that’s posh and polished. You can achieve the look with a curling wand, or you can even make waves by using a flatiron!

Nighttime Look

For the nighttime look, we ditched the tights and switched out the booties for a strappy pair of pumps. To accessorize, we exchanged the delicate triple pendants for a solid statement necklace. A quick smoky eye and dab of foundation adds a fast finishing touch, and a conditioning pink lipgloss completes the look with a fun pop of color. Lastly, we let her hair down in loose waves for a carefree girls’ night adventure.

Now that’s a quick turnaround! Shop these looks and more versatile day-to-night ensembles on our site now!

breast cancer bra

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Makeover + Q&A with Nalie Agustin

Blogger and breast cancer survivor, Nalie Agustin, is sharing her story to give hope to women worldwide who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Read on to check out her BTR wardrobe makeover, as well as in-depth Q&A about her personal struggle with breast cancer and how she became a survivor.

Nalie Makeover1

We kept Nalie’s hair sleek and her makeup simple to highlight her radiant complexion.

Q. How did you feel when you first found out you had breast cancer?

A. At 24 years old, I was in disbelief! I was young and healthy, with no history of cancer in my family. I felt absolutely lost and confused when I was called in for ultrasounds, mammograms and biopsies. But the moment my oncologist said it was official, survival mode kicked in and I was ready to do whatever it took to beat this.

Q. What kind of obstacles did you encounter over the course of your treatment? And how did you overcome these obstacles?

A. Breast cancer treatments change your body completely. I went from being that fit girl with long black hair to becoming completely bald with a bloated body. It was difficult to look at my reflection in the mirror and not see me, but at the same time, it forced me to find my inner beauty and love myself for who I am and what I’ve accomplished beyond just my looks. The main obstacle was becoming physically weak, but I overcame it by setting goals and achieving them, like running 5K during chemotherapy in 34 minutes and raising $30,000 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation in 2013. I learned to turn my weaknesses into strengths.

Nalie Makeover2

We chose a bright pink dress to highlight a great cause and add a pop of color, as well as a statement necklace for a pretty, polished touch.

Q. What would you say is your biggest support system?

A. #TeamNalie – my large group of friends and family who supported me through the entire process. But especially my boyfriend Vee, who could have easily walked away at this point of our relationship; he chose to not only stay, but go the extra mile and take me to every single appointment and treatment. Even when I was bald, without eyelashes or eyebrows he never failed to make me feel beautiful.

Q. How did you maintain a positive and hopeful attitude during the worst moments of your treatment?

A. I blogged! Writing and recording videos allowed me to release my thoughts and emotions, whether they were negative or positive. It was my way of living in the moment and letting it all out. Authentically sharing my story gave thousands of other young women fighting breast cancer something they could relate to. Realizing that I was helping and inspiring others with my cancer was my motivation during the worst moments.

Nalie Makeover 3

We finished the look with a delicate pair of black pumps as well as a fierce leather jacket to give Nalie the boss look of a woman who can handle any crisis – including cancer – with strength and grace.

Q. How has your body image changed since beating cancer?

A. As previously mentioned, my body image drastically changed due to treatment and only 2 years later am I starting to see real change! My left breast is reconstructed. Still nipple-less with a scar, but perkier than ever, haha! My hair is growing back nicely and I’ve lost a bit of the chemo weight. But despite the body image changes, I think what has changed the most is my perspective. I have developed an utmost respect for my body. I am no longer ashamed of it, because I am proud and in awe of its ability to heal.

Q. What message would you like to provide women in the community?

A. For one, with my social media campaign #Feelitonthefirst. I made it my mission to remind women to regularly self-examine their breasts on the 1st of every month, in order to catch any potential problems as soon as possible.
My biggest mistake was finding the lumps, and not thinking it was anything serious. I procrastinated and waited a full year before getting checked. Because I waited so long, my tumors grew and spread to my lymph nodes. Hence why I required 16 rounds of chemotherapy, a full mastectomy and 29 rounds of radiation. Had I waited any longer, who knows if I’d still be here today…

I want to empower women to take control of their lives by shamelessly getting to know their bodies! Should they ever find something abnormal, it’s up to them to get checked right away! For my kind of breast cancer, early detection is key to survival.

Lastly, I just want women to remember that life is not defined by what happens to you, but more by how you react to it! Don’t let anything that happens out of your control, control you! Your attitude is everything.

You can check out Nalie’s blog here, and shop to support on our site today – all events marked with a pink ribbon will offer 10% of proceeds to breast cancer research through the Québec Breast Cancer Foundation. Now that’s something to feel great about!

Insta Winners

#Winning Wednesday: Congratulations to our Instagram contest winners!

If you’ve been following us on Instagram, you probably know that last month was absolutely chock-full of exciting giveaways! Well, the suspense is over – we want to thank everyone for participating, and offer a special congrats to all of our winners listed below:

Prada Handbag: @patriciakathy

#ShoeAddict Booties: @nadinemelouki and @ibibenz

Schott Zwiesel Wine Glasses: @chelseaeam

BTR Makeover: @synelanguage

Please email us at for more details on how to claim your prize.

We hope you had as much fun as we did – be on the lookout for more fun contests and giveaways in the future for more chances to win!

Mommy Truths: Q&A With Working Mom Annie Moralli

Juggling work, life, and motherhood is never an easy balance to strike, but with the right mindset, it can be oh-so rewarding. We asked for some helpful tips from one of our most fashionable buyers, Annie Moralli, on how she manages her career, newborn, and personal blog for new parents and moms-to-be.

Annie & Baby

Q. What inspired you to start your blog?

A. I started my blog, The Mommy Truths, because there were so many things I discovered during my pregnancy, and after I gave birth I felt the need to share with other new parents. We are told the same things over and over again about pregnancy and parenthood such as: “sleep now, because when the baby comes…”, or “your life will never be the same” and other similar remarks. None of these are actually helpful of course, and more often than not, they are connected with a bit of negativity. I wanted to help those who may have questions or be nervous about becoming parents. I want to provide real information, but in a positive way. A positive outlook can dramatically change the way you deal with life’s hurdles, so I want to encourage people to do their best and not sweat the small stuff.

Finding a Work and Life Balance

How did you find balance with work, life & motherhood?

A. I am lucky that I am able to take a maternity leave and spend all my time with my baby, but just because you become a mom it doesn’t mean life stops for you. In fact, it’s the opposite – it seems things have gotten crazier since I’ve given birth. Although I am not yet back at work full-time, I do have my hands full. Between taking care of my daughter (a full-time job in itself), tending to the home, and working on my blog, it definitely takes some time management skills to give everything my 100%. The way I find my balance is simple. When I do something, I give it my all, and I don’t worry about the million other things that need to get done. I don’t give myself the chance to get stressed out. Keeping that type of mindset is what helps me keep it all balanced. Of course, having the help of a great partner, my husband, is key to all of that. As far as going back to work, I am both excited and nervous at the same time. I can’t wait to get back in the work force, to be challenged, meet people, and travel – I miss all of it. I’m sure the dynamic will be slightly different given that I’ll have a little one running around but I will adapt. Until then, I am enjoying absolutely every second I get to spend with my daughter.

Annie and Baby

What are the most important qualities you hope to pass onto your baby girl?

A. I want my daughter to grow up believing in herself, to be driven and confident but humble, to allow herself to learn by hearing what others have to say and by making mistakes, to smile and laugh all the time, to find the good in every situation, and most importantly, to be a caring, genuine person.

What are must have staples in your wardrobe now that you’re a mommy?

A. I have always loved fashion and it’s definitely a part of my life. I always want to look presentable and fashionable, even when I’m dressed casually.
The staples in my wardrobe have definitely shifted a little since I’ve given birth. What were my 5 inch heels are now my black sneakers which I strongly believe go with everything (even when they don’t). I’d say my top wardrobe items on a daily basis are:
Plain black yoga leggings. They are very forgiving and go with everything.
Simple thin strap tank tops that are ultra-comfy and cost less than $3 each.
A cute, trendy crew neck cut off to make it look like I tried to look put together, or an oversized plaid blouse.
Black Adidas pure boost sneakers. They look sleek but are so comfortable, or if I want to be extra crazy one day, I’ll wear my white Converse sneakers.


What’s the best piece of advice you can give moms-to-be?

A. The best piece of advice I can give moms-to-be is: follow my blog. Kidding! Really, though: STAY POSITIVE. Absolutely everything passes, the good and the bad. So take the time to enjoy the good, and don’t worry too much about the bad because it’ll be over sooner than you think. Enjoy the moment, embrace it, and don’t forget to take care of yourself, because happy mommy = happy baby!

Check out Annie’s blog and Instagram, and shop great looks for working moms and moms-to-be, as well as the cutest apparel for kids of all ages – on sale today!

Makeover Monday Wardrobe Edition

#MakeoverMonday Wardrobe Edition + Instagram Contest

Mondays just got a lot more fun! Makeovers are a great way to break out of a fashion rut or to simply try out a new look. We treated three employees and gave each of them a unique spin on their day-to-day style – read on to find out how you can steal the look, plus how to participate in our Instagram makeover contest.

Sinoun, Image Retoucher
Inspiration: Glam Night Out
Sinoun's Makeover - Sweet to Sultry
Sin went from sweet to sultry with a beaded black mini-dress featuring a sleek bodycon silhouette and open back detailing. The wild suede heeled booties accentuate her killer legs and the perfect pink Kate Spade handbag adds a pop of color for the perfect finishing touch. After a few swipes with a hair wand and coat of bold lipstick, she’s ready to hit the town – a perfect look for date night!

Melanie, Sample Manager
Inspiration: Urban and Edgy
Melanie's Makeover - Cute to Urban Edgy
We took Mel’s cutesie casual look to the edge with fall-ready layers. Starting with on-trend denim, we paired it with a zippered vest by Insight and all the right accessories, including a cozy oversized printed scarf and some sexy leather lace-up booties. We let her hair down and kept her makeup simple for a sleek and chic look that is totally office appropriate, yet casual enough for weekend wear!

Holly, Blogger
Inspiration: Chic and Sophisticated
Holly's Makeover - Dumpy to Sophisticated
Holly’s style went from dumpy and frumpy to polished and put-together with just a few small changes. We paired a sheer black top featuring open sleeve detailing with a periwinkle pencil skirt, both by Figl. The strappy heels elongate her short silhouette, and a classic pair of YSL sunglasses give it a timeless touch. Finally, her hair needed a bit of magic to tame that frizzy ponytail, and with a bit of lipstick and concealer, she’s ready to take on her next meeting.

Instagram Contest: Win a Makeover!

With fall in full swing we could all use a little pick me up! Here is your chance to treat a deserving friend to a BTR hair, makeup, and wardrobe makeover by a team of expert stylists.

Follow the steps below and your friend could be thanking you:

☆ Follow @Beyondtherack
☆ Tag a good friend who you think deserves it!

What are your makeover tips? Leave us a note in the comments and don’t forget to shop all of your favorite looks on sale now!

Holiday Place Setting

Step-by-Step Holiday Prep With Our Head of Home

Home_Blog_CourtneyThe days are getting shorter, darker, and cooler, which can only mean one thing: it’s the season for feasting and friends! We asked our in-house design guru and head of our home department, Courtney Hughes, for some tips to help spice up your space – it’s never too early to start prepping for the holidays!

“You don’t need to renovate your entire home to impress your guests – a fresh new area rug or piece of accent furniture can change the dynamic of any entrance or living space, and the right finishing touches can really set the mood.”

Check out her charming décor picks that also double down as excellent gift ideas!

Cozy Holiday Place Setting

Serving Up Style

A posh place setting is oh-so-inviting. Indulge your dinner guests with small elegant touches from candlelabras to tablerunners, stemware, and colorful linen napkins.

Serve it all in style with festive dinnerware, such as this impressive 16-piece set with gorgeous subtle detailing and pair with the perfect set of luxury flatware – this 72-piece Bastille set is perfect for holidays or everyday!

Tasty Treats

Sweeten the Deal

Spice up the table with a sweet treat! Whether you’re whipping up a warm pumpkin pie or a tray of brownies, homemade baked goods are always a hit when company’s coming.

Choose Nordicware & Cake Boss for quality baking essentials that will make all your favorite recipes shine. Serve them up on a charming cake stand for an extra special touch.

For Guests Who Stay Awhile

Flannel Sheets

Beyond Basics

Choose Turkish cotton flannel sheet sets for unmatched comfort. Your guests will love cozying up in style with trending florals and menswear plaids.

Gorgeous Guest RoomGive Them the Royal Treatment

Holiday traveling can be stressful, and a great rest at the end of a journey is worth its weight in gold. Go the extra mile with luxurious guest room bedding, from down duvets to comforters and more.

Stock up on high performance Egyptian cotton towels, as well as bath robes, bath mats and more luxurious touches to pamper your guests.

We’ve got you covered for all your guest essentials – shop these sales today and so much more on BTR Home!


Tricks of the Trade: #MakeoverMonday

It’s Makeover Monday! We treated four lucky employees to a celeb-inspired beauty makeover by hairstylist Ashley Biggs, makeup artist Amy Klein and manicure pro Krystal Jolkowski. Read on for some tips, tricks and insider info on the top tools to achieve the perfect look.

Elise, Customer Service
Inspiration: Blake Lively
Elise_Before_and After
Get the Look
Hair: Starting at ends, use a wide barrel curling iron to wrap 1” sections of hair. Hold for 5 seconds and let go. Tip: The wider the barrel of your curling iron, the looser the finished wave, so feel free to experiment.
Makeup: One of fall’s top trends is a flushed cheek, replacing the harsh contouring of the past few seasons. Apply a warm, rosy pink to the apples of your cheeks and blend it in for a soft and subtle glow. Use the Boxx soft dry palette to define your brows for a punchy finishing touch!

Nikita, Event Receiving
Inspiration: Selena Gomez
Nikita_Before_and After
Get the Look
Hair: Wrap small pieces of hair away from face using a 1” barrel; start at the roots for a truly voluminous look. Hold each curl for 5 seconds. Smaller, tighter curls relax more slowly, so your look can last up to 4 days.
Makeup: The brows make the look! Defined but soft brows are in, and powder brow palettes are a must-have. Use wet liner for corrective purposes and soften with powder. Use the 4-way palette while wet for a structured look, and emphasize with a highlight under the eyebrow to really make your features pop.

Lesley, Copywriter
Inspiration: Taylor Swift
Lesley_Before_and After
Get the Look
Hair: Choose a very small barrel for this look – think less than a 1” barrel. Take random, piecey sections of hair and wrap around the barrel, concentrating on ends for an edgy take on Taylor’s throwback style.
Makeup: We gave Lesley Taylor’s signature cat eye with the 4-way palette dry and wet – simply dampen your brush before applying for a gel-liner effect. A classic bold lip completes the look!

Stephanie, Assistant Buyer
Inspiration: Kendall Jenner
Steph_Before_and After
Get the Look
Hair: Start with a smoothing cream to protect your tresses. Using a wide tooth comb, separate hair into 1” sections and smooth with a hot flat iron. Wider plates covers more surface area – a must-have for ladies blessed with thick hair. Finish with an oil, concentrating on the ends for a sleek ‘do that shines.
Makeup: We highlighted Steph’s gorgeous bone structure with a bit of contouring. To get the look, use two shades – one lighter and one darker than your natural complexion. Apply the highlight shade on the cheekbone, bridge of nose and cupid’s bow, and a darker shade in the hollows of the cheeks and on the sides of the nose. Don’t forget to blend, blend, blend for a natural finish. When you’re all done, grab your selfie stick – this look was practically made for photo-shoots!

Nailed it! The right manicure can really take your style – and confidence – to the next level. Get your best nails yet with DYI gel manicure tips:
Trending Nail Colors
☆SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE – make sure the polish is well mixed before application
☆Polish the base and top coats on the tips to form a sealed-off surface
☆Avoid lifting around the edges by applying the polish just to the cuticles – not over
☆Nail primer is a must to ensure optimal performance by increasing the bonding between natural nails and the gel polish
Trending colors for fall: milky whites, deep wines, electric blues, and delicious caramel nudes

Get your fave look with Boxx Cosmetics and bestselling hair tools – on sale now!

Emmy Awards

Top Trends of the Emmys: 2015 Edition

This year’s star-studded Emmy Awards showcased TV’s finest talent, who rocked some of the hottest designs we’ve seen this season – check out a few of our favorite trends from the red carpet!


Left to right: Amanda Peet, Taraji P. Henson, and Amy Poehler. Image courtesy of Vogue

All-Black With Cut-Outs

Basic black is anything but with unexpected, eye-catching details – we loved the cut-out trends in all three dresses. Amy Poehler makes the look her own with her minimalist halter neckline dress paired with wooden accessories, Taraji P. Henson’s gown featured unexpected contrast with chain and lace detailing, and we loved the classic glamour of Amanda Peet’s subtle pop of tapestry texture.


Left to right: Kerry Washington, Jamie Alexander, and Cat Deeley. Image courtesy of Vogue

Mad for Metallics

You simply can’t go wrong with a whole lotta sparkle and shine when it comes to red carpet events. We loved the understated tonal geometry of Cat Deely’s beaded gown, Kerry Washington’s dazzling mid-calf flapper inspired dress, and Jamie Alexander’s bold multicolored long-sleeve dress.


Left to right: January Jones, Sarah Hyland, and Emma Roberts. Image courtesy of Vogue

Vintage Hollywood Throwback

Retro is back! January Jones looked as cool as her name with her ’70s turquoise jumpsuit with asymmetrical detailing, Sarah Hyland stunned in an on-trend mono-color burgundy gown, and Emma Roberts went old-world glam with a champagne colored gown featuring subtle shimmer and a plunging neckline.

We’d love to hear your favorite red carpet look – leave us a note in the comments!