Vancouver, meet Kim! She is former model turned fashion stylist and consultant trained by some of today’s top leaders in the fashion industry. She believes that through fashion, women can gain the confidence to change the world! Check out what Kim has to say about her busy career, fashion on the West Coast, and what every fashionista needs in their closet!
As a little girl was fashion something you were always interested in?
I grew up in Africa until grade 4. Even then living in a totally different environment I loved fashion. I drew inspiration in what I saw. Coming back to Canada I remember loving all of the options, so much more clothes to choose from, and I would constantly be changing my outfits..5-6 times a day according to what I deemed suitable for my activity.
What led you to become a fashion stylist?
I started in the modeling industry, after a while I realized I actually really liked being behind the camera and dressing the models so I started working from there. A years later I met a A fashion designer in London that asked me to work with him. I did his Canadian launch, and it was really successful. During the launch I met women that really wanted help with their wardrobe so I started taking them on as clients. It really has been a series of events that have all lead into each other.
What does it take to be a stylist and fashion consultant? I think it takes skill in being able to visualize outfits, creativity, time management, passion and an ability to connect with people.
What is your favourite part about being a personal stylist and a fashion consultant? My favorite part of what I do is the feeling that I get when my clients see themselves differently. I love changing
Describe a typical work day for you. I often get asked this, I think because my day to day can vary so much people try to get a grip on what I am doing or where I am! I typically wake up at 6am. Catch up on email, take care of the days morning social media, write a blog then I am usually out the door by 7:30 or 8:00am to meet a client or catch a flight. I spend about 1-2 days a week away shopping with clients. Either in LA or Vancouver. You may catch me having a skype meeting with a designer at the airport to organize a launch etc…it can be a bit crazy but I love the pace!
What is your driving force? What motivates you? Good question! I think change motivates me. I desire to change the way women think about themselves one woman at a time! I suppose it can be a slow and arduous goal but for each woman that I touch it makes a difference in her life and everyone that she connects with. I am satisfied with that.
I love your message about empowering women and hoping that women are able to empower others around them. How are you able to do this through fashion? I feel that if you can help change the way a woman feels about herself you can change her world. She holds her head higher, asks for that raise, has more confidence with her partner perhaps has more grace with her children. Fashion can play a role in increasing that self confidence. When a women feels like she looks good she feels good and when she feels good…she can conqure the world ;)
How can a person come to discover or understand their own personal style? I always ask my clients what they were like when they were children. Did you love to wear jeans and tee shirts, fancy dresses with sparkles. I try to take it back to the beginning, the essence of who you are. So my suggestion to discover your style is think about what you were like and what you did like when you were young.
What are your favourite trends this fall?
I am loving the plaid, army jackets and funky booties that are out there.
What clothes or accessories should every girl own as building blocks in their closet? Leather Moto Jacket, black purse ( my personal favorite is Chanel), black pumps, nude pumps, the LBD, silk tanks and a pair of skinny jeans.
What is the best piece of fashion advice you have received in your career? Make a LIST before you shop!
Who has been your favourite person to style? Why? Tough question. I meet so many great people and I love all the different personalities. My favorite person to style to date has to be one of my clients that just wanted to change so bad you could taste it. Her passion and drive for change was inspiring. The clothing for her was just the tipping point, after that she went on to realize her dreams of starting her business that she had dreamed about. So I love her, she embodies the change that I hope to give my clients.
Where does your fashion inspiration come from? My inspiration comes from everywhere. I am one of those people that takes in all of my surroundings. I notice the little details everywhere and I feel that those little details inspire my fashion choices.
What are your go-to brands?
Anine Bing, BCBGMAXAZURA and Jbrand.
How does style on the West Coast vary from other parts of the world? I like to describe the West Coast as casual chic, a little more laid back, a little more funk and a little less structured.
Visit Kim at http://stylebykimxo.com/
Follow her on twitter @stylebykimxo
Check out her Instagram at @stylebykimxo
By: Micaela Monk