July 24, 2024


Youth trendy style

Confessions of a Design and style Fanatic: Local stylist, designer bear in mind their initial encounters with trend

Confessions of a Design and style Fanatic: Local stylist, designer bear in mind their initial encounters with trend

Confessions of a Design and style Fanatic: Local stylist, designer bear in mind their initial encounters with trend

Christen Johnson is a personal stylist whose brand names, Black Females Who Fashion and Undertaking Fashion University, are aimed toward wardrobe stylists who require an additional thrust and awareness in their subject.

By Tonaé Lee
Unique to the AFRO

Hey Fashion Fanatic viewers, pleased trend thirty day period! September is a thirty day period of runway shows, collection launches and a plethora of other stylishly geared exhibitions and occasions. With the growth of Baltimore’s manner scene over the earlier couple a long time, it was only appropriate to listen to about all things design and style and fashion from some gurus deep in the game. Streetwear, couture, prepared-to-have on and sustainable fashion brand names are all in excess of the metropolis, hidden in basic sight, alongside with wardrobe styling companies. 

I was able to sit down with Individual Stylist Christen Johnson and Style Designer Damien Villanova to converse about their to start with style encounters and what they’ve uncovered in the field. Showcasing and helping with important events like Baltimore Trend 7 days, these two would know greatest when it arrives to speaking style and the business.

Born and raised in Baltimore County, Johnson has pursued her personalized styling small business, Refined Chic Manufacturer, for in excess of the previous 8 decades, recently adding “Style Coach” to her resume. She produced academic brands named Black Women of all ages Who Style and Undertaking Fashion College, which are aimed in direction of wardrobe stylists who will need an added thrust and knowledge in their field. I train them all about attitude shifting and organization fundamentals, which is anything most stylists do not consider about,” Johnson stated. 

AFRO: Why Manner?

Johnson: Style is a kind of art that lots of people today fail to realize and can span from many various avenues like drawing, modeling and singing, which are all skills I’ve explored although developing up. Trend was anything I began to gravitate in the direction of at a young age. At any time since the third grade when my mother allowed me to start off buying out my personal clothes for college, I had an obsession with putting outfits alongside one another. And that obsession grew bigger and even bigger as I obtained more mature and started off getting much more control above my appearance. 

AFRO: What is a stylist? What sets you apart from other stylists in the marketplace?

Johnson: A stylist is an individual that makes use of their vogue expertise and know-how to curate an outfit or many outfits for a specific viewers. There are so several different sorts of stylists that exist, from editorial and industrial stylists to private and wardrobe stylists. I started off in the editorial styling sector in 2014 and transitioned into particular styling in 2016. I’ve learned so considerably from that transition by itself, which has made me the stylist that I am these days.

For me, styling has always been far more than just dressing folks in sweet outfits. My mission has generally been focused on educating my clients, reworking their life, building their self confidence and really aiding them to see on their own for who they ended up produced to be.

Streetwear, couture, ready-to-wear and sustainable style brands are all about the town, concealed in simple sight, together with wardrobe styling services.

AFRO: Wherever do you go for inspiration?

Johnson: My adore for style was also motivated by my father and sister. My father received finest dressed in large faculty and grew up performing in retail. My sister was the initial style influencer I could relate to. I utilised to normally steal her garments and wear them when she was not about. But over-all, social media has been a significant inspiration for me. Getting equipped to see how other individuals place outfits together and what they are shopping for or investing in unquestionably influences me. Social media tends to make it so considerably simpler for stylists and style creatives to entry brands and get their palms on designs that may perhaps not be available in their city or hometown. 

AFRO: With the Tumble year approaching, what developments do you appreciate the most?

Johnson: I believe I’m speaking for absolutely everyone when I say I really like boots! Drop is the great period to bring out your boots and fashion them in a wide variety of means. I love booties and knee large boots with dresses, denims, shorts, leggings, biker shorts and honestly something. Right here are some of my favored traits of the period: 

  • Leather jackets and leggings 
  • Trench coats 
  • Turtlenecks 
  • Chunky sweaters 

AFRO: Wherever are you at this time buying?

Johnson: I really like a very good department retailer for the wide range of models and items. Nordstrom is my go-to for procuring for myself and my shoppers. I’m also receiving far more into designer models since I’m genuinely massive on high quality. 

AFRO: What is the very best piece of tips you have acquired in the course of your journey?

Johnson: The most effective guidance I received through my journey hence significantly was really negative. I try to remember a more seasoned stylist, who did not seem like me, told me that I would not be able to make a ton of revenue as a stylist. This statement basically pressured me to operate more difficult and confirm her statement to me fake. I knew there were a large amount of profitable stylists out there and I was identified to determine out what they have been undertaking to fulfill their financial objectives. That was a pivotal second in my career due to the fact that is when I recognized, styling was extra than just styling. I was influenced to do so a lot extra in the business, like coaching, web hosting activities, speaking and educating to deliver more results to my styling company. Getting a stylist is not effortless and there are not several sources that are presented to stylists to help them be profitable. My biggest advice for stylists would be to continue being confident in by themselves and to hold pushing no subject what their present situation glimpse like.

From Stylist to Designers, these roles keep a large amount of responsibility in the manner sport. Let’s be real, where by would we be with no the direction of a fantastic stylist and the fresh concepts of designers? This leads us to our following special visitor, Damien Villanova, vogue designer and imaginative from the DMV spot!

An exotic leather-based purse producer, Villanova set up the Damien Lee model to provide illustration for African Individuals in the unique leather-based industry. Founded in 2009, Villanova and his brand have been featured in many manner publications, as nicely as proven on big runways, this sort of as New York Trend Week. Mixing his appreciate for high trend and sustainability, he has designed handbags to please just about any wardrobe. 

“I would explain the Damien Lee brand as functional, but exclusive,” Villanova shared. 

AFRO: What was your initially manner memory?

Villanova: Operating at the Diplomat in Outdated city Mall downtown, a men’s clothes retailer. It was most memorable because the attractiveness as the employee was to always embody the coveted seem. Sharing my manner sense and creating others experience their greatest was awesome. 

AFRO: How did you know vogue structure was for you?

Villanova: I basically had no strategy that it was for me. I stumbled across it. At the time I couldn’t have what other folks experienced, I desired what no a single else would have. When I was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, there just occurred to be a selection of leather-based sewers and I sketched a briefcase, they brought my design and style to existence. My spouse even needed 1.  I took it to church and many others needed just one. Damien Lee grew from there!

AFRO: Which superstar would you like to see in your designs?

Villanova: Angela Bassett. She is bold and exudes magnificence and energy.

AFRO: With the Drop season approaching, what tendencies do you love the most?

Villanova: I’m into the tailor-made knits this year but primarily I’m quite into the saturated shades for this Tumble season – the purples, reds, pinks the heat and cool tones of orange and gray. I’m also a massive enthusiast of the pale yellows and the prosperous greens. I really unknowingly strike a large amount of these shades in Sunrise/ Sunset Collection for Baltimore Vogue Week

AFRO: Tell us about your knowledge with Baltimore Vogue Week.

Villanova: The expertise has been enlightening, nothing at all but experienced and I would unquestionably love to be a portion of a further season.

AFRO: What really should we be on the lookout for subsequent from the Damien Lee brand?

Villanova: From the Beaches to The Deep. We’ll be curating a assortment thoroughly inspired from a business enterprise excursion I took to the Dominican Republic. The seashores, the waters, the sea lifestyle was so invigorating, so inspirational!

AFRO: Any previous terms ahead of we wrap up?

Villanova: It is about legacy. My best inspiration is my wife and kids. I want to depart a little something behind for my youngsters. So significantly it feels like my daughter, Lauryn, will take the torch and preserve on managing,” Villanova shares with enjoyment. 

The Baltimore fashion scene is evolving every day. With new creatives, innovating strategies and far more accessibility I am tremendous enthusiastic to see the industry in a couple of a long time!

Want to continue to keep up with these two? Adhere to Christen at @SophisticatedChicBrand on Instagram, and capture the Damien Lee Brand at @ShopDamienLee.

Adhere to Tonaé Lee, the natural beauty at the rear of the brand name, on Instagram @stylefanaticstylings, Facebook – www.facebook.com/misstonaelee and connect with her on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/organization/design and style-fanatic-stylings.

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