The pandemic has completely changed everyone’s lives. It’s been a rough adjustment for me and just about everyone I know.
Tell us about yourself.
I would describe myself as a very hardworking person with a lot of discipline, in terms of the world of fashion. I’ve been a fashion stylist for many years, but my introduction into fashion was as a model when I was 15 years old. I modeled for a variety of local and international brands, and I found my passion in modeling. The thing about modeling, though, is that it comes with a shelf-life and tends to be brief. After my modeling career ended, I knew I had to stay in fashion, and I did. I started to do everything from helping friends and other models with their portfolios, to coordinating schedules and wardrobes for shoots. In the end, everything I do isn’t so far removed from what I did early on in my own modeling career. It takes discipline and dedication to succeed and look good in front of the camera, and it takes that plus focus and a vision to work behind the scenes to make the clothes look good and to bring it all to life.
What are a few words to describe your personal style?
I would describe my personal style as versatile, simple, comfortable, and sophisticated. It honestly has everything to do with occasion for me—it is very important to dress for the occasion.
What would you consider your “signature look”?
There’s only one me, and I’m a unique, distinct individual. You can pick me out of a crowd of people and just by looking at me, you get an immediate feel for my sense of style. I like to stick with an overall sophisticated look, and the two things that make or break this are shoes and accessories. You won’t see me without a good shoe and a good watch to complete my look.
Who influences your style? Who are your style icons and WHY?
I think that when someone is a student of fashion, trying to learn from all the big personalities, there are clear legends that stand out and come to mind. This would be someone like an Yves Saint Laurent, a Valentino, a Gianni Versace—they have built empires, they were each catalysts in the transformation of the fashion world. Saint Laurent brings a sober elegance, and Versace brings modern design and a touch of color, making things fun. There are definitely elements of both in my own style, because you need to be able to pick and choose your moments. There are occasions that allow for more fun with your outfit, and others that call for more sophistication. A more contemporary influence for me is Tom Ford—he brings the elegance, the modernity, and the sobriety. Those are all elements I try to incorporate in my own style, but more than that, I try to take the best of everything I like and make it my own.
What are your favorite brands and why?
I don’t have favorite brands in and of themselves. I believe each brand has something good to offer the consumer. For example, Moncler is a brand I love to wear when I travel. Their jackets and other items are really high quality and so lightweight that they’re not much of a hassle to travel with. If I’m going to a really nice dinner or a red carpet event, I’m going with a Valentino suit because it offers complete elegance and class. For comfort and utility, I love Calvin Klein because you can’t go wrong with a white cotton t-shirt and a pair of jeans—it’s a classic.
If you could trade closets with anyone who would it be?
I don’t know that I’d want to trade closets with anyone, but if I had to I’d choose Tom Ford. As far as his style, I think Tom Ford’s elegance is very sober, and I also love the masculinity and the clean lines he brings to his designs. He has some incredible neutrals that are great for mixing and matching. I could put a blazer over a cotton t-shirt with a good pair of shoes and have a great outfit. That isn’t to say I love every single item of his (I’m biased towards the collection I’ve built for myself over the years) but he is someone I do admire very much.
What are your favorite colors, patterns, styles, trends?
I love colors, all the colors! I don’t have a favorite color per se, but I do love blues and vibrant colors. I generally don’t shy away from using and trying different colors, and they definitely don’t scare me. I like keeping patterns in my wardrobe, whether it’s a floral print or a logo monogram. I also pay attention to different textures and materials, which I try to adapt to my surrounding climate. Living in Arizona, it’s important to stay fresh so I love linen and cotton to stay cool. Jeans are also great because they don’t wrinkle easily and they’ll look good all day. It’s hard to pick favorite styles or trends because I don’t always dress the same. I dress myself according to the occasion and my mood, and that’s always changing—I’m like a chameleon. But as much as I change what I wear and experiment with styles and trends, I adapt it to make it original and my own.
What is your must-have item when it comes to fashion/style and WHY?
When you have a good pair of shoes and a weekend bag, you’re ready to go anywhere. The weekend bag is great for taking the essentials with me, like my cologne, moisturizer, sunblock, a hat, and an extra shirt for an outfit change. In the fashion world, it’s important to be versatile and ready for anything. I love my leather Prada tennis shoes because you can dress them up or down and go anywhere in them.
What is your #1 style tip?
Take a shower every day. Show up fresh and clean go wherever you’re going. If you want to achieve an impeccable look, fresh clean skin and good hair goes a very long way. The hair is also important—keep your hair in good condition! Sometimes the basic things that we already do make the biggest difference and will help you make the best impression.
What is your most prized possession in your closet and why?
There are so many sentimental and valuable items that come to mind. I have a box in my closet filled with my watches and other accessories, so I’d say that box. You can’t complete an outfit without accessories, and for me that’s my watches.
What is your favorite store and why?
My closet is my favorite store. I can find anything and everything in my taste and in my size for any occasion in there, which is amazing if you think about it. No real stores in particular come to mind. If I ever need an item, I can buy a good pair of pants at H&M, a bag from Christian Lacroix, and a pair of sunglasses from Versace. I really do pride myself in the collection I’ve created, though. I don’t buy things for the sake of buying things anymore. It’s really important to me to be environmentally and fiscally conscious, especially in these times. I want to help the planet and my wallet if I can, and that means making smart purchases (think quality and versatility). Individual purchases like that also help you refresh and mix up outfits you already have, because you don’t want your look to become stale or too repetitive.
How do you transition your look from work to nighttime?
My transition from work to nighttime always depends on the day and the occasion. I like to plan ahead of time to coordinate any outfit changes I’ll need to make with my schedule for the day. I take into account how much time I’ll have to get wherever I need to be, and whether or not I’ll have time to make it home. If it’s just a casual or last minute event, I’ll complement my day look by changing the accessories I’m wearing including my belt, changing my shoes, and throwing on a nice blazer. If it’s something more formal, I’ll put on a nice suit with wool in the winter and linen in the summer.
What will we see you in on weekends vs workdays?
I have a more relaxed, less formal look during weekends. I try to keep it more fun and cozy. You’ll find me in blue jeans, a cotton t-shirt, a nice pair of tennis shoes, and if it’s winter either a hoodie or a leather jacket. On workdays you’ll find me in more formal and sophisticated clothing, on par with my taste and style, of course.
How does your career influence your style (or vice versa)?
As a fashion stylist, I’m up to date on the latest trends in the industry and those trends can definitely influence my style. I try to adapt new trends into my wardrobe and my lifestyle as long as I can incorporate them into my look. When I was younger I’d try every trend indiscriminately, but now that I’m older I’m more selective with new trends that come along. I have an established image and identity, and I have a very specific look, so I have a good sense of what fits that and what doesn’t. My style has modern and classic elements, so I let trends be the modern part of that equation.
How has the pandemic influenced your style?
The pandemic has completely changed everyone’s lives. It’s been a rough adjustment for me and just about everyone I know. When the pandemic started, I wanted to be in pajamas all day, I wasn’t very motivated to put that much effort into my appearance in the first few days. Eventually I got back into the rhythm of my old routine, and started doing Zoom seminars and classes for my clients. Then, I had to figure out how to adapt my style, once again, to this new way of life. I ended up adopting my weekend look, which is many levels up from the pajama look!
What are you most looking forward to wearing once the world opens back up?
When the world opens back up and everything goes back to normal, I am putting on my party outfit to go celebrate with my family and friends. If this time has taught me anything, it’s the value of connections with other people, especially the people I love.
What would someone say if they looked at your closet?
“OH MY GOD, HOW DOES HE FIT THAT ALL IN THERE?!” I try to keep everything very organized, and I have extra racks to switch my summer and winter wardrobes each year. They would be very impressed—I modified my closet myself to make everything fit!
Photographer: Emanuel Smith and Basaca Photography