Martha Stewart of fashion?

Media Watch 

MARTHA STEWART OF FASHION?

Yvonne Saldate-Auld is working for the betterment of society through shopping. And to spread her message, she's becoming Tucson's fashion queen of all media.

Less than a year and a half ago, she launched a Web site, tucsonfashionista.com, and now e-mails a daily shopping tip to nearly 2,000 subscribers. Then, she landed a slot Thursdays on the Johnjay and Rich morning show on KRQ, where she raves about, for example, finding a $2,000 pair of Gucci boots for $250 at the Off Fifth/Saks Fifth Avenue outlet at Foothills Mall. And this weekend, she's launching a TV show, airing at 10 p.m. Sundays on KWBA, Channel 58.

"I think that I'm making Tucson a more beautiful place to live," she asserts by cell phone as she pulls into the parking lot at La Encantada. "Also, a lot of people are like, 'There's no shopping in Tucson.' But I went to the Grammys, and, omigosh, Martina McBride was wearing the same dress I was wearing, and I bought mine in Tucson at Pour Moi."

Saldate-Auld, 41, has been consumed with fashion and shopping since she was a kid. When she was 18, her father handed her a credit card, and she spent $900 the first day. More recently, her husband of two years, Scottish-born financial analyst and soccer nut Allan Auld, may have had second thoughts about the marriage. "After we got the first couple of credit card bills," admits Saldate-Auld, "he was like, 'Yvonne, how much money did you think I made when you married me?' You don't see the money going on a credit card, so it's easy to overspend. But you can shop responsibly. I'm working on it, and I think I'm doing a better and better job every day. And so I like to help people be fashionable at all price ranges."

In her show on the local WB outlet, Saldate-Auld will tour local boutiques, looking at what's in at a variety of price points. As on her Web site and radio appearances, she'll be dealing with more than women's clothes; she promises, for example, to call attention to some dessert she's found at a local restaurant, a great place to work out, even a good day care center (that used to be her line of work; now, she says, "Sweetie, shopping is my day job"). She also promises on-air giveaways, which she already does on KRQ. And, of course, she'll recommend cool places to show off your wardrobe. How great is that?

She says she gets her fashion-trend info from a variety of sources, not just by reading every fashion magazine in existence (which she claims to do). "One of the best tellers of trends is the Wall Street Journal," she says. "I've been able to foresee so many trends because of what businesses are opening up or closing down." Who knew?

Tucson Fashionista is only the beginning. She's negotiating to move the concept into Las Vegas and Hollywood. "My goal," she says, "is to be like the Martha Stewart of fashion."

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