How I Became a Fashion Stylist: An Interview With Claudine DeSola

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No one would dare try to kill the vibe of Caravan Girl Claudine DeSola. Good thing too, because DeSola would be too busy to be bothered. As the Head-Stylist-In-Charge at Caravan Stylist Studios, DeSola builds stylish wardrobes for some of the world’s biggest film and music celebrities, and fashion lines—-including Alice + Olivia, Nanette Lepore, Nicole Miller, Carmen Marc Valvo, if one only wants to name a few.

Let’s get inside her mind, shall we, glamniacs?

Growing up…I read every fashion magazine I could get my hands on, I would clip pages and make inspiration boards/ books, and of course I loved putting outfits together. I knew I wanted to do something in fashion, so I went to Marist College who has an excellent fashion program.

The idea of being a fashion stylist first occurred to me…At my internship I worked in the men’s design department and I loved watching them put everything together and I loved being involved in the Marist College fashion show. Then out of school, my first job with YEOHLEE was an amazing experience because sometimes I had some fun ideas and she cared enough to listen. I then went onto handling PR for one of the most amazing stylized companies—Anthropologie. I loved the way they styled their catalogs- I would save them like pieces of artwork and I knew one day I wanted to do something like that. I continued on the path of PR, and in 2005 while still owning my own company I was able to open my first Caravan store inside a RV and then opened two stores. I was able to do a ton of styling here from buying to putting outfits together to trend forecasting. I loved it. I really wanted to just be involved in fashion and in 2011 – my dream came true. I was really able to do what I love so much which get to work with designers and talent on red carpet looks, fashion shows, look book production, television interviews and so much more. I was so happy. I have been able to learn everyday new tricks and get better at the trade for the last couple of years. Every day is so much fun.

They call me Caravan Girl because…I started the first-ever store in a RV and we would drive around the city selling everything from party dresses to Converse and I thought the name was suitable. We were taking fashion on the road. I also love traveling and exploring. My dream one day would be to take a caravan and drive around the country but I don’t think that will happen until I am retired one day.

My first break…I always give a lot of credit to YEOHLEE– she really believed in me and she will always be someone who gave me the confidence to talk up and share ideas. I think everything is hard work and you just have to always continue to forge ahead.

Most people feel…the stylist is behind the scenes – the talent and the designers are the glamorous ones. I always laugh because sometimes I am just running around the city from showroom to showroom in my Catherine Malandrino jumpsuit and my New Balance sneakers…yes Catherine Malandrino is very glam and New Balance is made in the USA, but at the same time I am not running around in heels and all styled…my goal is to get the most ground covered. I always joke on the days I host a party for some of our talent and designers we love to work with – I am always the last one to get ready. I have to stop what I am doing whether it is talking to catering or helping move mannequins to get my own hair & makeup done. It is important at events to show that I know how to style myself. But it is very hard on shoots to wear high heels when you are carrying clothes from one set to the next and are constantly jumping up to fix the talent. I try to dress smart for my everyday duties as a stylist.

My work days are…a mix from writing emails to designers we work with for talent or discovering new talent. I also am supported by amazing partners at the studio such as Sexy Hair, Kryolan, Volvic Water, Zoya and Fake Bake tanning bronzer. These partners are my lifeline to keep my studio alive. I not only style with clothing, but I employ a celebrity beauty stylist Valerie Star, who works with all my talent—so together we can create a cohesive look. I also work with photographer King Perez de Tagle from Kimatherapy as an official photographer of the studio. Together we are a team coming up with shoot ideas and other fun projects. We also have Karmela and all our interns that help make everything possible. It is a lot of work to get in clothing, to inventory it, to figure out what is missing and then to send it all back. We are constantly on the hunt for more and more designers to work with as well.

My day usually starts with…trying to make sure I answer all my partners questions and working with their PR teams on more appointments for the studio. Then we are always looking for additional partners and designers to grow the studio. From there I have to see what I am working on from finding gowns for a specific red carpet event or finding pieces for Cat Greenleaf for a specific segment she has coming up – every day is totally different. We also produce at least ten events a year so some days are dedicated to making that event great from organizing beauty for our ten actresses hosting an event to finding a really cool musician to be a part of the event. I am constantly cool – hunting and trying to find new trends and ideas to bring into the studio.

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The three biggest lessons I’ve Learned so far…Get back to people and be on the ball. Learn about new designers and new trends every day and embrace new talent. Someone that is new to the entertainment world today might be huge tomorrow – I have seen this happen so many times. There are not many things that drive me crazy about the fashion industry but there are a few. They are: Sometimes publicist don’t look at an actress’ bio – they don’t see how amazing that person is. They just care about who is being printed in particular entertainment magazines. They should look at the bio and look at the opportunity more. I have gone to tons of publicists and designers and sometimes they will say – that person isn’t “edgy” enough or they aren’t in my “target market” and I totally get that. I come from a PR background – we all need to have goals and strategy and an aesthetic but sometimes they don’t even give that person the chance until all of sudden everyone is talking about them. I see this all the time. I like to say I told you so!

Then why doesn’t talent that is already established give more chances to the emerging talent. You hardly see this happen – every once in a while you will see someone where someone new on the red carpet and it is usually still someone that has buzz and is being featured in Vogue but what about the young designer that doesn’t know how to get into the media or doesn’t have the budget for PR. They might have incredible dresses too. I think that it would make award shows like the Golden Globes more exciting if we started hearing new designer names and not the same ones over and over again.

Some of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe are…A Nanette Lepore scarf she gave me for the holidays, a Walter Baker top and harem pant in this very bright pattern, a vintage Chanel skirt, a Lanvin top I scored at Century 21 that has these incredible birds on it, a Raina Gill neon dress, a Mara Hoffman caftan, a bobi jumpsuit – I adore Kara Lusardi, the designer behind bobi, a necklace from Tiffany & Co that my boyfriend bought me for Christmas, and bracelets from Morocco I bought from the desert. Oh and gold bracelets that one of my favorite icons made – Jade Jagger – they are the perfect gold bracelets. I have a lot of designers I love so much.

My ideal intern…is sharp, has questions, is thoughtful and efficient & effective and has creative style.

Fashion school is great…I love there are schools out there to teach the trade and I love hearing about all the new discoveries and innovations that students are learning about these days.

The biggest work-related fashion emergency I have had occurred when…I worked with talent that had specific silhouettes they only like on them and I pulled limited of that style – while they were in hair & makeup – I ran around to designer showrooms and I found those silhouettes and we winded up having an amazing shoot.

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When a client approaches me I…Research research and communicate with them to make sure I am hitting the target.

My favorite color…it is cliché but black – I love black but I also love color and patterns but if I had to pick one color unfortunately it would black or maybe cobalt blue because I just love how that color looks on me

Someone who wants to be a stylist…needs to start interning for a stylist or magazine now or even a big cool store like a Century 21 – they have amazing stylists on their team.

I’m highly accomplished, but among the things on my bucket list of triumphs-to-be-executed includes…I would like to style someone for the Golden Globes or Academy Awards – I am working with someone amazing who is nominated for Independent Spirit Awards so I am excited and another actress for Satellite Awards. I hope to grow with the talent I work with so media follows their looks each time and they can see their style evolution – constantly introducing them to new designers. I also want to be able to be hired by a styling agency as a team effort with my photography and beauty team – together we can create great work I believe.

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I can’t live without… My Sexy Hair products,“Claudine” Zoya nail polish and my Samsara perfume and feel like everyone should carry water with them and my favorite is Volvic and I can’t leave the house without giving my boyfriend and dogs a kiss goodbye each day. Continue reading…

How I Became A Fashion Stylist: The Nazy Meknat Interview

nazyNazy Meknat belongs to the class of fashion stylists, who fashion school graduating seniors would gladly give their right eye for in exchange for an underlingship, er, or internship. Based in Los Angeles, the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising alumni was trained by none other than the overly famous Luke Storey.

Here is an insider’s look at how she got to where she is!

Growing up, fashion-wise I was…Aware of fashion. I always liked clothes, but never followed it too closely.

The idea of being a fashion stylist first appealed to me when…I went to intern for a stylist to learn more about that side of fashion business after working in different areas of fashion and realized that is what I am best at and I enjoy the most.

My first break….There has not been a specific event in my career that I can call my first break, however, my career is made of great moments. Styling an NFL player for a photo shoot, helping a fashionista actress launching her clothing line, getting handpicked by Stacy London to work with her styling company or dressing an up and coming actress for the Golden Globe.

Most people feel as if being a fashion stylist is the most glamorous job ever. But my work days are…Anything but glamorous. Filled with running around the stores pulling cloths for a client, for a film, music video or a photo shoot, or returning everything I have pulled.

They usually start off like this…Checking e-mails, answering all the requests and questions, booking future clients, head out to meet a client for shopping or Continue reading…

How I Became A Fashion Stylist: The Jordan Stolch Interview

Jordan_Stolch (2)Jordan Stolch is what is known as a boundary-eliminator in the fashion world. Splitting her time in Toronto and Los Angeles, the fashion stylist is responsible for creating the gorgeous looks that pop singer Cher Lloyd wore for her “I Wish” tour. For one of the shows, Stolch had the singer storm the stage wearing a leg-baring Sabo dress and skirt, with leather Stuart Weitzman boots, and lot of accessories, including an 80s-era bow by Tarina Tarintino.

Stolch doesn’t just dress pop stars like Lloyd. She molds looks for them that becomes their trademark. Don’t you look forward to the body and shape-complimenting Lloyd will wear every time she’s on the brink of hitting the stage?

Studying the looks that Jordan Stolch has worked up for Lloyd, demonstrates the fashion stylist’s fondness for layers, belts and accessories. For instance, for a promotional appearance outfit that Stolch put together for Lloyd, a Bryan vest is layered over a black Rag and Bone sweater and American Apparel jeans, and topped off with triangular Kate Spade earrings, and shiny Louise et Cie boots.

Celebrities like Lloyd, Pink, and Taylor Swift, aren’t the only ones who think of Jordan Stolch when they’re looking for an edgy-stylish look. Clothing brands like American Polyester and Three Dots also look to her to communicate fierceness to loyal and new customers. This is what we got from Jordan Stolch herself about how she came to be a fashion stylist.

Growing up, fashion-wise I was…always fascinated. I loved trying trends and new things. I look back on it now and laugh, because some were just terrible. In grade nine I went to school in white flared jeans and a news poor boy hat…..I thought I looked like Jennifer Lopez when in reality I looked ridiculous. I commend the younger me though – I took risks at a time in my life when it was already difficult to fit in.

The idea of being a fashion stylist first appealed to me when…I was quite young. I don’t think I understood it as a career to its fullest capacity, but the idea of helping people create an image for themselves has always appealed to me. I never saw myself dressing celebrities for red carpet and press events, that just wasn’t imaginable growing up where I’m from. I knew I would work as a stylist in some capacity though. My reality has far surpassed my vision as a young adult.

My first break...I’m still working towards it. My goals are always changing and always evolving. I don’t know that I’ll ever feel like I’ve had that moment.

Most people feel as if being a fashion stylist is the most glamorous job ever. But my work days are…long, physically intensive and exhausting. My friends think I have the most luxurious job in the world. They don’t see the running through the streets of Beverly Hills with garment bags, shopping bags and rolling racks though. They don’t see the unpacking and repacking of my car on a daily basis and the hours spent in traffic going to designers, showrooms, meetings and fittings. This is the most demanding job I’ve ever had in my life. That being said, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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They usually start off like this…very early wake up times, an hour and a half in the gym to get my mind in the right place and set the course of my day, a quick breakfast and then a meeting with my staff. This is completed by 10am, at which point we are all on the same page and ready to tackle the day.

The biggest obstacle I had to conquer in my journey was…believing in myself. I still doubt myself from time to time and get nervous for certain projects. I think that comes with high expectations. Believing in myself has really led me to reach new heights in my career while providing my clients with everything they need and more. A stylist who trusts their instinct and goes in a direction that they know will work, produces far greater results than the one who isn’t sure about anything.

While we’re on this subject, the three biggest lessons I’ve learned thus far in my line of work: never stop learning, never stop working and never give up.

Some of my favorite pieces from my closet are…a wide assortment of hats, belts and jewelry. I love accessories and can’t leave my house with at least 7-10. I don’t know how to tone down my day to day dress code. I love things a little over the top and outlandish.

My ideal intern…has an insane amount of drive in them and a dedication to their work ethic. They recognize how difficult it is to make a career in this field and want to put in the work. I love seeing hunger in people – I will always end up hiring them. These are the people you want to surround yourself with and help you build your vision.

Fashion school is…a great place to learn. Internships are equally important, if not more.

The biggest work-related fashion emergency I’ve had was…showing up to fittings or set with samples sizes far too large for the client.

And the way I handled that was…I’ve gotten quite good at on the spot alterations.

When a client approaches me for an assignment, I…research the client, understand who they are and what they like, identify their fans and their competitors and strategize a course of action for their fashion personality moving forward.

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The color I can’t do without is definitely camo and leopard. I know they aren’t colors [Laughter] because in my wardrobe they go with everything. I’m obsessed with print and anything interesting. Life is way too short to blend in.

My biggest piece of advice for someone who wants to become a fashion stylist would be…ensure you are willing to put in the work and dedicate everything you have to succeeding. This career is only available to those who really want it and those who are ready to take the necessary steps to get ahead.

Regardless of the client or the job, I have to have coffee on hand.

When all is said and done…I wouldn’t trade this job for anything. It is my life, my passion and my drive. I’m in love with what I get to do on a daily basis. As grueling and tiring as it is…as little sleep and social time I get, I have zero complaints. I’m so fortunate to have been able to make a career out of this.

Jordan Stolch’s Website | Twitter |Pinterest| Instagram Continue reading…

The Fashion Stylist Interviews: Jennifer Eve Eisner

jennifer eve eisnerHow did you initially get interested in fashion, and styling?

Jennifer Eve Eisner has style, and she didn’t buy it over the years. It was something she was born with, thank you very much. An Emory business school graduate, Eisner also attended Parson’s The New School for Design, and has had clients on both coasts. She is known for giving attention to the slightest bit of detail.

I’ve always had an interest in fashion…for as long as I can remember I’ve been opinionated about what someone should wear. I don’t see clothes and accessories the way most people do—or so my mom tells me. I see proportion and color and layers. It’s because of this that I’m able to tell if an outfit is making a person feel confident and beautiful or if it’s totally overwhelming or not right.

Who taught Jennifer how to dress?

No one… everyone…I Continue reading…

Glampreneur: Jessica Rae Anderson of Miami Fashion Network, The Interview

jessica rae andersonBeauty maven Jessica Rae Anderson is one of those high-achieving, heavenly heights-reaching entrepreneurs who will never rest on her past accomplishments, no matter how stellar. The Fashion Institute of Design and Miami Fashion and Merchandising (San Francisco) graduate, has worked as a stylist and fashion trend reporter. And now, ladies and gentlemen, she is into something rather different: The Miami Fashion Network, LLC. It’s unlike anything else she’s ever done, but when has Jessica Rae Anderson ever gone for the norm? Certainly not when she was hosting Fashion TV segments, or when she put her all into Jesarae, her accessories line.

What drew you to fashion and beauty entrepreneurship?

My vision for the company begun after relocating to Miami from NY in 2009. Immediately, I recognized a void in the Miami market for a true garment center. There was not one collective place where a designer could source local trims fabrics, trade events, sample rooms, cutters, industry jobs, etc. After my frustration with lack of growth in the industry, I decided to launch Miami Fashion Network in November 2013.

Do you think it’s essential for a fashion entrepreneur to have a support system?

Yes. This is why I Continue reading…

The Wardrobe Stylist Interviews: Anna Katsanis On The Craft

katsanis3Anna Katsanis. Her name rings so many bells, if you were to utter it in New York’s fashion elite circle, you’d swear you were on the rooftop of a dome-topped church at mass time. She’s the fashion stylist who’s done it all—all as in Elle, Harper’s Bazaar,  Vanidades, among other publications.  The Greek-born, US-raised, and New York-operating style can be pointed out on fashion ads. There is something almost gothic about the final looks of her clients.

How The Glamniac rejoiced when she agreed to let us into her little world.

Were you the glamorous type growing up?

Absolutely not. I was a tomboy and all I wanted to do was play sports and listen to green day.

Take us back on the road that took you to your present career as a wardrobe stylist.

I began by interning at different magazines from Interview, Elle, Spin, etc, working in the fashion department, checking in samples, prepping for run-throughs, helping editors on day to day tasks. From there, Continue reading…

Want to Know How To Take Better Care of Yourself? See How A Certified Holistic Coach Does It.

Hey there glamniacs! Are you spending as much time taking care of your body and soul as you take care of your body and flesh? Jenny Martineau the author of the book The Feral Ache, and holder of a degree  in Health Arts and Sciences does. In addition to being a personal trainer, Martineau is a Holistic Lifestyle Coach through the CHEK Institute and is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner through the Nutritional Therapy Association.  In  her spare time, she enjoys healthy cooking.

 

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How did you get interested in wellness?

It’s hard to remember a time when I wasn’t interested in wellness.  I’ve been a massage therapist, yoga instructor, vegetarian, vegan,—-neither one of these eating choices is a great for sustainable health—supplement buyer, personal trainer, Continue reading…