By: Kalika Hastings
TVM: How did you become a stylist? And why?
I studies fashion marketing at Lasalle College and one of my teachers told me about a styling agency that styles regular people called Les Effrontes. I applied for the personal stylist training program and then I asked to do my internship there. Then I was hired by the owner of the agency Marie Claude as a marketing director I worked there for a year and I also followed her around (since she is a male stylist also) and a year later she hired me as a personal stylist.
TVM: Where do you get your inspiration?
Well, I’ve been raised by a man and I used to take care of my dad’s transport company, so I was always dealing with men. So dealing with men is easier for me. I also read a lot of magazines and I watch a lot of movies, I think that many trends come from movies. Also, the inspiration comes with experience, by having fittings with clients you can see what works with what or that type of guy is gonna like this or that.
TVM: Did you always want to be a stylist and when did you realize you were really
good at it?
When I was in high school I always said I wanted to be a buyer, and my teacher laughed at me and said ‘there’s no such thing as a buyer, people can buy their own things’ but I told him I wanted to be a store buyer. That is what I wanted to do and that’s why I decided to go to Lasalle College. I had no idea that this job as a stylist existed but when I discovered it, that’s when I knew I wanted to do it… About a year later, I became a fashion stylist.
TVM: Who is your clientele?
It’s so wide. My youngest client is 17 and my oldest client is probably 65. So the client that is 16, does not work and the client that is 65 years old is retired. I also have lawyers, 3D artists, architects, all sorts of guys. I even have a janitor from the Montreal Subway. So many people use our services, not only rich people.
TVM: Would you like to work with any male singers? Do you think it would be different?
I would love to work with artists. I do think it is different, ‘cuz when you dress for a CD cover you have to be trendier. Whereas my clients have to be dressed for the regular life, they don’t want to look different. I believe that even for a singer, he should be dressed differently for regular life than on a CD.
TVM: Do you follow any particular fashion trends when styling an artist?
I love to incorporate some of the trends. But I don’t like to dress my clients like they are going on the runway if that is not what they want. If it is what they want, then I will do it. I want them to feel comfortable. There are certain things that are impossible to do, for example hot pink from head to toe, no guy is going to wear a suit that color but I like to add a touch of color in his outfit. If his skin tone doesn’t suit hot pink, then I will just use it as an accessory for example with a pocket square. For example the military trend- I love it but- I am never going to buy a suit for one of my clients to go and work in a lawyer’s office. So I do follow trends but I don’t think that all trends are for everyone.
TVM: What advice would you give to up-and-coming stylists?
To be yourself. And to be inspired by other people, we can never stop learning from others.
TVM: What does fashion mean to you?
It’s a way of expressing yourself. I think fashion is so wide, I’d like to talk more about style as a way to express you. There are so many different aspects of fashion there are trends, the marketing of it, style… Fashion to me is a huge industry. Fashion is fun.
TVM: How would you define great style?
Style for me is from head to toe. But it’s also an attitude, Even if you are wearing the right clothes but you don’t have the attitude that goes with it then it’s going to show. I mean, Someone can be wearing a black suit with a white shirt and nice books and look awesome in it, and another person wearing the exact same thing, with the same body type may not look good. When you feel comfortable in what you wear it shows. Also people that are not trying to look like something that they are not. I don’t like people that look like they are disguised.
TVM: What does a stylist/ image consultant’s job typically consist of?
I meet with clients, then I go shopping without them, I go to different stores and bring the clothes to the agency or I’ll just put some clothes aside. Either we go shopping together or they come to the agency and try on the clothes. There is a lot of interpersonal aspects, you have to deal with people a lot. There is also a lot of marketing, I have to promote myself through social media, go to networking events. I attend events from the fashion industry but also other industries. For example I’ll go to an art show here and then I’ll be at a charity event or a wine tasting event, just to meet different types of people that could be potentially interested in my service. I have to spread the good news that this service exists. I also have my blog so I have to write articles-well not articles- but style tips and I like to create outfits at least two or three times a week just to create interest.
TVM: How would you describe your personal style?
I would say I am classic with a touch. Chic and casual.
TVM: Are you the type of person who changes your style depending on your mood?
Not really. I would say I am very conservative with my own style. Well… Sometimes I’ll go with bold colors; I would say I am a very colorful person. I try to incorporate some trends here and there, I am more the type of girl that is always going to wear a dark pair of jeans with a shirt and a blazer. So my shirt can be leopard print…I would say classic with a touch. Sometimes I feel more rock on the weekend (laughs), but always very conservative. Which is kind of funny for someone that is a stylist…
TVM: What do you love about being an stylist?
Umm… Everything (smiles). I love to be able to meet with people and help them feel better about themselves, you can see when someone tries on something that fits them, they just feel much better about themselves. So that is a very rewarding part of the job (the human aspect of it). Of course I love shopping, like most girls (giggles).
TVM: How important is a stylist for an artist and how soon should an artist seek one?
It is very important because it’s the first thing people are going to see. So many pictures will go online, so you don’t want to have a bad style because it will follow you forever. A lot of people will just go to Versace and say ‘go ahead and dress me, I’m paying a lot of money for my clothes so for sure it’s gonna suit me nicely’ well no that is not true. Just because you pay a lot of money for your clothes, it doesn’t mean you are going to look good in them. Everyone has a different body type and you have to dress according to that.
TVM: Give your top 5 styling tips for aspiring male artist?
- Wear clothes that fit you (try a size smaller, most when wear clothes that are too big)
- When standing, always button your jacket
- Know how to roll your shirt sleeves
- Always dress for the occasion
- Dress for your body type
Most people tend do me underdressed, I think you should always be dressed a little nicer than everyone else. They say that great leaders are a little bit better dressed then other people, but just a little bit. So you know, your shoes are nicely shined, your shirt is whiter than other people. So I think that’s what it takes to be a great artist or pop star.
TVM: Can a style make or break an artist?
Yes because people are going to judge you unfortunately that’s how it is. People do judge a book by its cover. People would think that you are not as good as an artist that dresses nicer. There has been a lot of statistics about that,. Let’s say two people have the exact same resume and they go to an interview, the person that is dressed better is going to get the job over the person that is not. I am not saying to dress flashy, just dress nicely.
TVM: What can we expect from you in the future? Any artist you would like to work with?
I want everyone to know that our service exists (smiles). I think that is one of my main goals. Eventually I would like to go and give some style tips on TV. I wouldn’t mind working with a major artist, not only for a photo shoot but also helping them with their daily life.