This Stylist Ditched The Traditional Fashion Route to Be Her Own Girl Boss
For those who don't know you, can you tell me a little about yourself?
I was born and raised in the Bronx. Since I was younger my main passion was clothing. I love the feel of it, how it looked on people, matching different colors together and I really started expressing myself in high school. I went to the The High School of Fashion Industries and that is when I really began opening up and becoming more authentic with my style. I would wear heels all the time, which is when the knee sock and high waisted pants trend came in, so my friends and I would just be obsessed literally going to school everyday like it was a fashion show.
That’s when I really started getting familiar with Tumblr and that’s where people started to notice me and my style. And always asked me ‘What should I where here or to the concert?’ and I would always tell them wear this and wear that. I really like helping people, so when I help them with fashion, which I also love, it makes me feel like this is something I could do for the rest of my life.
After that phase I went to the Fashion Institute of Technology and that's when I got to know the business side of [fashion]. My major is production management. I got to know what it takes to build an actual collection with a factory, pattern maker, sewer, the whole cycle of the fashion industry. Through there I got a lot of internships. I worked at Nylon Magazine. I worked an Marc Jacobs and that’s when I really got in-depth with how the industry works like a day to day. The beginning of this year I realized I don't want to work for a company I want to work for myself. I want to help people dress themselves daily.
The beginning of this year I realized I don't want to work for a company I want to work for myself. I want to help people dress themselves daily.
What made you realize you wanted to work for yourself versus working with a big brand like Marc Jacobs?
I realized that a lot of the people that are already there aren't going anywhere. It’s hard to work your way all the way up and eventually that is where I want to be but now that I market myself and I have a big following behind me, it is more than likely possible that I can work for myself and just use my brand and my style to profit off of that. I realized having this following and having this eye for what pieces look good together that I feel like I need to use it. I feel like it shouldn't go to waste working for someone. It’s very frustrating working with companies that have this one specific way of styling and clothing and it’ll make me happier to just work for myself. And working with the people around me as well that are creatives like Selangie and Diana is definitely going to help us all just branch out even further than if we were working for a company.
You talk a lot about branding yourself on Instagram, what advice do you have to keeping your branding authentic?
One thing I would definitely tell a lot of girls is to make sure that it's all of you that you're putting out there. That it is not fake. Because now a days Instagrams are very curated. Wear something that you would literally wear all the time. Don't just throw on heels and take pictures because you wouldn't wear that if it wasn't for an Instagram picture. Make it so much about yourself that people will start gravitating towards you because they're like, 'oh I can see myself wearing that.’ There is almost like this formula to having a popular Instagram, you take [pictures] of specific looks and backgrounds and it's like almost guaranteed to get likes but it doesn't mean anything because it's not real. It's just a look. But to make something yourself and so you is what I feel like makes its very popular. Don't ever try too hard. Don't make things perfect, make things real.
Don't make things perfect, make things real.
One thing I really hate is when captions don't match the photo, it just says something really general like 'believe in yourself,' no, put a caption that’s like what happened to you today or what made you choose that outfit. I feel like that’s very authentic.
What's your biggest struggle right now?
Consistency. I feel like I have all these goals and ideas but work and school does get in the way of that and I kind of lose myself in that so much and it's like I need to focus on myself and what I actually want to do in life. So I feel like consistency with doing outfit posts or working with brands and reaching out more to people or even responding to people is so important to me. Before when I used to get so many messages I would read them and not respond and I feel like I am losing out on a lot of opportunities. I am losing out on people that I can connect with if I don't do that.
What’s your biggest goal?
Being on my own and working for myself, having a clientele that is low-key but in the scene, that's my aspiration. I want to work for myself in my own studio and just meet with clients on a day to day and style them for things like any event or if a woman doesn't know what to wear on a date I would love to help people like that.
How would you style a woman if she didn't know what to wear on a date?
It depends on where they're going. If it’s a really fancy restaurant I would style them with a closed toe heel, Alexander Wang heel and black sleek dress and hair slicked back and minimal makeup.
If there is anything you could do differently again what would it be and why?
If there was something I could do different it would be just taking more advantage of the audience that I had years ago. When Tumblr first started I felt like I had a really broad audience and I didn't take it as serious, I just took it as fun because it was fun to me and I didn't want it be like this has to be my career. I didn't want it to be so much pressure but I feel like I should have taken that more seriously and maybe more opportunities would have come, but I feel like now because I have done it so authentically and had fun with it that people are seeing that I don’t take myself too seriously and that’s why it’s easier for people to relate to me and like me.