We’re almost 5 months into 2012, and we’ve yet to have a Breaking into Fashion interview!
Well, I decided to end the drought by profiling celebrity stylist Becca Alexis:
The University of Florida and Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising graduate has worked with everyone from Trey Songz, Mary J. Blige, and Ne-Yo to Janet Jackson, Marlon Wayans, and Jamie Foxx, styling music videos, commercials, editorials, and print advertisements. She was nice enough to take a few moments to tell you aspiring wardrobe maestros a bit about her story, and offer advice on how you can follow a similar path into the bright lights and action of celebrity styling.
She says, “My primary experiences in fashion were as an illustrator and designer. I made clothes for the various performance organizations at my college. After graduation, I decided it was time to develop those talents into an occupation, [so] I enrolled at FIDM and began working with the costumers for various TV and film productions. I knew this was something I wanted to do 3 years later while working at a costume shop where several stylists came and had costumed pieces made. I realized I wanted to combine both worlds and turn it into my brand.”
“The celebrity aspect happened by chance. My first celebrity client was Nelly. [I styled] a commercial promoting his album. I had worked with the commercial’s producer on a local LA fashion shoot and she asked me if I would come in as a stylist.”
Now, you’ll find her running to and fro, pulling items from showrooms, attending fittings, sifting through e-mails, and attending to her long roster of clients.
If you want to follow a similar path, she advises hopefuls to start small. She says, “Intern. I recommend interning for one person for at least a year to build a good foundation. The key to a successful styling career is a combination of talent, commitment, and reliability.”
“[Don’t attempt ] to microwave the path to success. Experience is not something you can hustle. Allow yourself to develop and build a foundation. Work at a magazine or a retail shop. Learn the business well and how to brand celebrities with the right looks. “
If you specifically want to work with celebrities, she says, “Be super super confident about your work. Know your fashion and develop relationships where you can call a major fashion house and get the hottest runway looks. Every vision should integrate the client’s likes and dislikes, what fits and what’s pertinent to the brand being projected. It’s a synergy of both. Perfecting it requires listening attentively and staying a step above the trends. Celebrities dictate many trends and you want your clients to convey that. ”
Speaking of trends and fashion, we had to ask Becca about her ten wardrobe must haves! She divulged, “An amazing black blazer. I have 3: Dolce & Gabbana, Zara, and DKNY. A classic black dress and a classic white dress. DVF wrap dresses have been ‘in’ for decades. They’re totally worth the investment. A statement necklace. Toss it with jeans and a tank top for automatic chic! Wear it with a basic dress to be noticed!”
“A great hat. Bad hair days are inevitable. Sexy pumps. I’m a total shoe fanatic because its the punctuation point to an outfit. One set of sexy lingerie. The bedroom can become a runway to show off to your special someone. Pants that fit impeccably! A classic white button down shirt that can be worn with jeans, a mini skirt, and shorts with the sleeves rolled up. Spanx because great fashion needs a smooth foundation. And celebrity style shades! Some of us have dark circled eye days or just hangovers. When you want to disconnect, a great pair of dark eyewear does the trick!”
Got that? Get a few pieces here:
In closing, Becca says, ” I still feel like my career is growing. Everyday is an introduction to another layer and discovery. I have seen and accomplished many things that I am really proud of as I work towards [leaving a great] legacy. I consider mistakes a learning process and grow from there.”
And to those who are in the trenches, working towards your goals, she says, “I believe we create our own destiny. I start my day visualizing everything I want to accomplish in my life. [Also], happiness is a decision not a destination. There is so much to be happy about in the moment. [Don’t] ever lose sight of all the small things that make life amazing.” Wise words!
Keep track of Becca by following her on Twitter @Beccalexis. Also, be sure to check out her video series, Five Minutes to Fab, on HelloBeautiful.com.
What do you think of today’s Breaking into Fashion subject?
*See past Breaking into Fashion interviews here.