Who are you? I am an artist; wardrobe stylist, creative director, and designer. Wardrobe styling is my bread & butter, my 9 to 5; my main man. Usually, what follows this statement is being asked what being a wardrobe stylist means, and it means so many things. Some days I’m booked on an E-Commerce project, which allows me to create outfits and style every look on set with a photographer for a given retail or brand client. This entails a lot of manipulating the clothes on the model for a better fit. We could shoot anywhere from 25 to 100 looks in a day. The main goal is to feature and highlight the clothes and overall sell the product. Other days I’m working on a commercial to sell anything from baby bottles to cheese. On those days I’m supplying all the clothes for every actor as well as being on set making sure everything is reading well on camera. The goal is to complement the product being sold without drawing too much attention to the wardrobe. My favorite shoots are creative fashion editorials for publication. I find this work the most challenging and open-ended. My current side piece right now is my e-commerce shop, which focuses on sustainable fashion and rare 1of1s. What started as a small shop on Depop has snowballed into my own brand and company. It has been time-consuming and terrifying but also thrilling and I’m so excited to finally launch next month!
When did you find your style? Thanks to the internet, I started to explore my style in junior high school. I would wear honestly anything in all different ways. Jeans under dresses, pounds of vintage jewelry, cut up shirts that I attempted to sew back together with other shirts to create something new, an apron as a dress; I was weird. I had no interest in mainstream trends and hated on anyone that dressed in the preppy popular manner. Seventh grade found me fully immersed in the MySpace scene. I had crazy colored hair, a mullet, baby clips, and the studded belts. I felt endless creativity when it came to my look. I remember wearing skinny jeans for the first time and everyone thought it was so different. I was even asked if I “was a skateboarder now.” since only the skater guys wore skinny jeans. Fast forward – two years later, and skinny jeans are the only cut of jeans you can even find.
What defines your look? This one is very, very hard for me to pin down. Instead, here are some Cloina style facts –
If I am wearing a sneaker, it is very chunky. Cool > sexy;
I dress for the “cool” factor, not what best flatters my figure.
Skincare > makeup.
My nails are always extra.
I love deconstructed garments.
Pastels have been my recent go-to.
If you had to wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Culotte pants, chain belt, chunky sneakers, a peep of a sock and a layered hoodie. Small gold hoop earrings, nameplate necklace, and all the rings.
“If I am given a challenge from a client, with a limited budget that seems almost impossible – that’s when my best work comes through.”
Excluding fashion references, what inspires your style? Challenges truly inspire & pull out ideas I wouldn’t have been able to find without. (I’m one of those people that perform best under chaotic stress.) If I am given a challenge from a client, with a limited budget that seems almost impossible – that’s when my best work comes through.
What is the best decade in fashion? Today. Today’s fashion draws inspiration from all eras. There are some great vintage wear and remakes. It is a compilation of all eras into one. Very little things are out of style once another decade turns over. Trends quickly become irrelevant, which in a short time can make them relevant again. The only things I consider out of style are very recent trends or things that are at their peak of trending. For example, my best friend who lives in LA called me to tell me how sad she was that fanny packs as over the shoulder packs blew up and how she feels lame wearing hers now. (r.i.p chest packs and rigs.) I still wear and love mine, but I’m just not as confident in it as I used to be.
Do you think fast fashion has had a positive or negative effect on people cultivating a personal sense of style? For many people, fast fashion has a tremendous positive impact. Throughout high school I worked constantly, making a whopping $6.75 an hour. A $20 sweater from Forever 21 cost me almost four hours of work. Could you imagine if fast fashion wasn’t an option and I had to find $100 for a sweater? If your argument is to skip fast fashion and shop resale… thrifts and resale shops are stuffed full of fast fashion. Without it, people wouldn’t be consuming so much and so eager to donate their items later. If these stores weren’t flooded in donations, then their prices would be much steeper as well. And you know what, fast fashion allows all financial backgrounds to get a fit they feel like that bitch in. Everyone deserves to feel confident and explore their style. Your student loans aren’t going anywhere, and neither is fast fashion. Let me let everyone in on a little secret. Those super “hypeboy” sneakers you just spent $250 on? They were made in the same factory, by the same workers, with the same quality control as those fast fashion sneakers that cost $30. Fast fashion can be very, very expensive. Fast fashion is determined on the quality and turn-over time, not the price point. Brands that are known as “fast fashion brands” just have less of a markup on their items than other secret fast fashion brands. We all are just paying for clout, not the actual product. Overall, my answer is yes, fast fashion benefits some people. But the fashion industry is also detrimental to our earth. We are talking about the second most polluting industry, beat out only by oil. Oh, and those $250 clout sneakers? Their company had a factory collapse a few years ago, thanks to laughable quality control and working conditions. This same company underpays its workers after establishing dangerous working conditions. The list of retail factory horror stories continues, with laborers resorting to sewing words like ‘help’ into clothing, and leaving desperate notes in pockets of the garments they are sewing. In this sense, fast fashion is truly evil.
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