1. How old were you when you became obsessed with wardrobe design?
There is not a specific age at which I specifically became obsessed with wardrobe design. Rather, fashion has always played an integral role in my life. I am 34 and there’s countless videos of me a toddler, especially from the holidays, wherein I just have to try on whatever gift I was receiving. I’d literally rip off whatever I was wearing at the time and put on my new panties or any other garment in front of everyone. At school, I recall being very competitive with my wardrobe and with my looks in general. I would wake up an hour before I had to in the mornings to make sure that my hair was perfect and that my outfit was on point. My underwear had to match my jean color and so forth. I also dabbled in modeling as a child and I always wanted to be THE BEST at everything, whether that be academically, my fuzzy stickers collection or my denim wardrobe. I have always had a keen eye for color and I have always been a visionary, so I think it’s fair to say that wardrobe design was in many ways inevitable. Perhaps, it was in my genes (pun intended).
2. When did you decide “okay, this is it, I’m going to be a professional wardrobe stylist?” Who were some of your mentors or inspirations when you got started?
My path to becoming a wardrobe artist was unique. I studied print journalism at Boston University, graduating in 2005. Then, in 2006, I went to New York University for my Master’s in Media, Culture and Communication Studies with an emphasis in luxury consumption and social media. I was able to study abroad in several countries, The United Kingdom, Ireland, China, Australia, New Zealand, France and Switzerland. I really see the world through a different lens than most because my life experience is so vast. Once I finished graduate school in 2008, I stayed in New York City, where I lived in NoMad, which is literally two blocks from the garment district. I then started an activewear company called BodyRock Sport after I was unable to find a fashionable sports bra with a pocket whilst training for my first marathon. I started that company on shoestring budget from a family inheritance, and was able to truly revolutionize the once bland activewear market, creating “The World’s Most Expensive Sports Bra,” which went viral and many other gorgeous pieces that became staple items in the wardrobes of all walks of life. One of my designs, The Sophie Bra, even made it on Oprah’s O List in August 2012. It was through BodyRock that I really found my essence and discovered my WHY. I worked with so many women and my chief objective was always to make them feel as beautiful as they looked, and I really think that this is what makes me unique as a wardrobe artist. I really like to get to know my clients before I put something on them. I am very sensitive to people’s auras and I have a natural gift in making others feel comfortable in their own skin. That coupled with my insane creativity and my love for the luxe life made segueing into fashion styling very natural. I have never really idolized anyone other than my Mom and Dad, of course. But there are several brands that I have followed religiously for years, which greatly influence my perspective, including but certainly not limited to Chanel, Dolce and Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, and Roberto Cavalli.
3. What were the early days of your career like? Did you have to test a lot in the beginning to build your book?
I have been very blessed. Fashion has come very naturally to me and opportunities in this niche have always been abundant. With BodyRock, I was more or less a one man show, so I did EVERYTHING, from customer service to design to shipping and photography. Aside from the fact that virtually every day was nonstop, I learned so much and this knowledge has served me very well and provided me with all of the assets needed to build a gorgeous portfolio.
4. Looking back, is there anything you would do differently in your journey as a stylist? Any decisions you made when you were younger you would not make today, knowing what you have learned so far?
Hindsight is 20/20. I cannot recall any specific experiences that I would redo, so to speak. I like to believe that there’s no losses, only wins and lessons, and I apply this mindset to every facet of my life.
5. How do you communicate with the photographer you’re working with on a shoot to achieve his or her goals?
Before working with clients, I ask them a lot of questions, including their horoscope sign and where they are from. Their answers truly dictate the looks I put them in and the ultimate objective in each shoot. This information creates the DNA for each shoot, if you will, which makes communication with the photographer very simple. We are all able to benefit one another by understanding the depth of the model, the experience of the photographer and his/her shooting style, and overarching objective of the shoot. Mood boards are also an effective way to convey the goals for each project.
6. What skills did you learn early on that you still use today?
I have an abundance of skills in this field, but I like to credit my attention to detail and my intuition for helping me churn out my best work. I am extremely OCD in many aspects of life, which has served me very well in fashion, for no detail goes unnoticed.
7. Tell us what a dream job is for you?
Britney Spears has been a customer of mine for years. A dream job would be to be her wardrobe artist for an entire tour, such as her current gig in Las Vegas.
8. What are the three tools in your wardrobe kit that you can never, ever be without?
A lint roller, lotion, and translucent powder.
9. What advice for young wardrobe stylists who are just starting out and want to be where you are, at the top of the industry?
Take as many opportunities as possible, even those of which are unpaid. This is an industry in which experience and connections are GOLD, so go for the gold. It is often at the most unexpected moments that you will find a diamond in the rough. Also, try not to get discouraged. With the right mindset, you can literally do anything in life. Silence the voices of your naysayers, stay in your lane and have fun!
10. What is your favorite quote?
I am not attracted to people. I am attracted to energy. I am not attracted to things. I am attracted to energy. Energy is what makes the world go round, so be careful who you share your energy with.