How did you break into the fashion industry? Well, I’ve always been around talent, music, and the fashion industries since the 90′s. I was a model, in a few videos, and did some photo shoots. I worked for Russell Simmons when Phat Farm first came out. (God, how I wish I would have hung in there with Russ, because Kimora’s stuff is atrocious.) I left Russell to go on a short tour and hang out with Biggie Smalls a.k.a The Notorious B.I.G. (Where I met and hung out with even more rap artists and celebrities and ventured out to new horizons). Damn, I’m going to write a book one day.
What celebrities do you style? Recently, I’ve styled Akon and Jim Jones for the Black Men Magazine April 2009 issue. I assisted in styling Ashanti and Tika Smith. I also assisted with a hand full of up and coming artists and models like Angellica, True Sun Ali, and Mr. Peterson. Most of the time I’m working on fashion shows with great designers like Simon Duncan, Duroseau, La Prive, and Lexx Perry and others.
How do you describe fashion? Fashion is NOW! It’s a mixture of what your attitude and/or personality is at that moment or a season described in appearance of Wear. You can set new trends or create new lifestyles with fashion…Fashion is everywhere. The way we promote our businesses, our personalities, the way we operate in society, our cars, our homes, our foods and health, our social activities, our workplaces, and our finances. We are constantly dressing up our way of life.
Describe your day to day? I WORK! From my daily 9-5, to dealing with and planning out my business endeavors (trying to secure gigs), and running to social events to do some networking is how I would depict an accomplished day for me.
What upcoming projects do you have? I’m in the planning stages for an African Fashion show (showing contrast and comparison between American/African-American heritage), another Simon Duncan joint (Sept. 2010), and a Body Magic Fashion Show (with women of different sizes, shapes, and color).
What are some of the challenges being in the industry? There is a lot of COMPETITION! Just wayyyyyyyyy too much!
Is it harder for black women to find work than white women? Chillllllle-that is timeless…Society will always have their prejudices. But at least it is good to know that culture can be implemented here and there to help it along.
Do you take any classes at FIT or LIM? No, I’m a natural fashionista…
Is it difficult to style someone based on their personality without incorporating your own style? Yes it is! You have those that may have their own opinions about style that will always clash with your vision…For example, I wanted to dress Jim Jones in a black Versace suit and Prada shoes, and do some color contrast with the shirt and tie, since his theme was black. I thought it would really let people see him in a different light. But noooooo, he’s a RockStar. He basically looked at me and said “Sweetie I Don’t Do Shoes.” While with Akon, who’s theme was white, had no problem with being “Ris-keyyy”. With these kind of people I’m always saying “Let Me Show You Something” or “Please Let Me Work That For You” …you know…or “It Could Use A Woman’s Touch.
What fashion magazines do you read? I really don’t read any fashion magazines…I mean I will look at Vogue or a Cosmopolitan every now and then but they get so wrapped up in the theme-the looks start looking the same after a while. I’m a trend-setter, so I go about getting ideas on how people are dressed in the streets and just finesse it.
What is beauty to you? Beauty to me is everyone and everything…It could even be ugly or ugly can be beautiful…It all depends on the way you look at it. You know what I mean…
Is there anything else you want to add? Add character to your life! Whether it is in business, lifestyle, or appearance…add Flair! And, do it with a great attitude!
How can people find you? I’m on Facebook or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos provided by Keli J Cadle