August 20th, 2012
Celebrity Style, You Should Know
You Should Know: Celebrity Stylist Sade Tavia
By Claire

While we tend to cover the style of our favorite musicians, actors, and it girls, it’s typically those unsung heroes behind the scenes who truly deserve the shine!
I recently caught up with Sade Tavia, stylist to Meek Mill, who has worked with a long roster of stars including Idris Elba, Young Jeezy, Swizz Beatz, TI, and more:

Sade’s first experience in the industry was as an intern at Atlantic records, in the A & R department. She said, “I had just graduated from high school [and] wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. At the time, I was working at Kid Robot [as a sales associate]. I knew I wanted to do something pertaining to fashion and music.”

She continues, “ My Dad had a friend who was working at Atlantic in a completely different department. He suggested I send them my resume. I got an internship at Atlantic, and ended up staying for about 2 years. While there, I reached out to Rosie Philidor who I had met on a project, and began interning with her. When you’re watching the videos, you don’t know the process that goes on behind the scenes. [Working with Rosie] really opened my mind to the industry and how things operated. She taught me the ropes and how things worked in the styling world. [The experience] really confirmed for me that I wanted to style.

Now you’ll find the Harlem native on video sets or magazine shoots, pulling and curating looks for some of hip hops brightest stars.

For those who want to follow in a similar path, Sade says, “I was always very shy and stand offish, so I’d recommend being bold. Network. Be open to meeting new people. Be nice because you never know who the person you’re talking to is or who they’re going to become. And just work hard. Have a positive attitude. I’ve always given 110% even when I felt that things weren’t going anywhere. Just stick with it. Eventually your purpose will surface.”

When working with celebs, she cautions, “Don’t be too crazy. Be cool. [Stars are] regular people who have a job, just like everyone else, so make the atmosphere as comfortable as possible for them so they’ll want to continue working with you. You’re doing a job together, so act like how you would act with any coworker or any boss. The biggest point: Don’t act like a fan. Celebs don’t want to feel like they’re getting dressed with a fan. Styling is very personal. You’re in close quarters, and you’re spending a lot of time with people alone. So, be comfortable, professional, and cool.”

In closing, she offers aspiring stylists and fashion hopefuls the following words: “Create a plan and knock it out. Intern until you can’t intern anymore, assist until you can’t assist anymore. [A lot] of people look down on interning, but there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s something you do until you figure out what you want to do. My internships were tests of character. They made me think about whether or not I wanted to style because sometimes they were a struggle. [Some may realize they really want it], and some may realize they don’t want it. Figure out if it’s what you want to do. Plan it out, intern, assist, execute, figure out how you’re gonna go to the next level. Stick to it, work hard, and don’t stop until you reach your goal.” Wise words, Sade!

Keep up with Sade on Twitter at @theservintage and on her website, SadeTavia.com.
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23 Responses to “You Should Know: Celebrity Stylist Sade Tavia”

  1. great words of advice and inspiration :-)

  2. E.Watson says:

    I love the way she dresses Meek…i believe it…i feel like he wakes up and throws his outfits on that how much the style coordinates with him… Good stuff Sade

  3. Kash says:

    I thought @Saniyyah was styling him. Maybe he has more than one stylist? Hmmm…..

  4. Kash says:

    Him as in Meek

  5. HarlemVanity says:

    Thank you so much Claire for this article.. This was confirmation for me. I was just about to throw in the towel, pertaining to styling etc. I just sent out what I would have guessed to be the final email to a very successful personal stylist here in NYC . For years I have interned at infamous public relations firms and even the corporate offices of major fashion houses. After recently graduting from my HBCU I was blessed with my recent and first real job in hr at the largest commercial RE company in thecountry.
    Anyway… I say all this to say thanks for this article it really is a blessing!

  6. Kay says:

    Huh? I thought Meek Mill was styled by Saniyaah.

  7. Lauren says:

    Great advice! Thank you.

  8. Claire says:

    @Kay @Kash Saniyyah is his old stylist, Sade is his new one. She worked on the Amen video and the covers, shots, featured above.
    @HarlemVanity @HumanityisBeautiful Glad you like, I felt she had some great words for anyone looking to make it in the industry.

  9. Kay says:

    Thanks Claire!! I hope she does a better job than Saniyaah becuase chilllllllddddddd it looked horrific. a Givenchy shirt that look like an HM shirt. and those pocket tee leave that for the regualr people

  10. Kay says:

    damn looking at her site she does a great job!!

  11. cyd says:

    SUCH AN INSPIRATION…THANKS CLAIRE AND SADE!!

  12. krystel says:

    Refreshing article!

  13. PriinceCharmming says:

    i enjoyed the atricle very much, i look forward to my career in styling!!

  14. LoudPen says:

    Very inspiring story. Thanks for sharing! And I love her advice. Off to follow her on Twitter. :)

  15. michezulu says:

    I agree great story. I love Meek’s style. Young, black and sexy.

  16. Love lee says:

    I am so proud of my high school friend we study fashion of four years and been doing her thing since. Keep up with the great work.

  17. Siyam says:

    Such a great interview! These types of posts are especially helpful to young interns like me.

  18. kay says:

    You should cover Chris Mannor, he styles the Simona girls, Monica and a host of others. We went to high school together and he is sheer genius!

  19. kay says:

    *Simmons girls (Vanessa/Angela)

  20. reesha says:

    She’s Dope!!

  21. Gee Gee says:

    Wow, what happened to the big manly stylist that use to mess with Fab! LOL

  22. Anonymous says:

    Gee Gee, Sanniyah used to mess with fab?

    *Grabs popcorn*

  23. I am very proud/relieved to see that she was shy and standoffish. Even though I have opened up a lot compared to years ago, people say im shy or quiet. But its definately something im working on. being bold and outgoing is pretty important in this industry. I have always been an aspiring stylist, and now im finding my way to break into the fashion industry to become a successful stylist. let us prosper.
    Thank you for this fab post!

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