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Sartorial Smarts: Interview with a Stylist

April 24, 2011  
Filed under Profiles / Interviews

wardrobe stylist photo shoot for magazine

Whether it’s a celeb getting ready for a red carpet event or a model working on a photo shoot, you can always expect there to be a stylist on set to achieve the perfect outfit. Classy, glamorous, retro, sporty, or just over-the-top chic, the stylist’s got it covered.

We got a chance to speak to skilled wardrobe stylist, Stacy Ellen, about her role and how she got into the industry. Ellen’s latest work was for a new national magazine called LOV Magazine, pictured above. You can also see her work for here.


Current Position: Independent Wardrobe Stylist

Hometown: Boston, MA

Education: Wentworth Institute of Technology and soon to be FIDM

News source: Anywhere and everywhere from TV, online, magazines

Last book you read: Tony Morrison’s The Bluest Eye

Favorite place to shop: That’s a hard one because I love local shops and vintage boutiques—but I do most of my shopping online.

Guilty Pleasure: Cheese!

Childhood ambition: Fashion Designer (I am a former fashion designer, owning my own company from 1999-2003)

Passion: Life, art, clothing, design…water

Career Journey: 1995 owner of vintage boutique “the Retro” in San Diego, CA. 1999-2003 owner/designer of clothing design business “Stacy Ellen designs” Scottsdale, AZ. 2005-2009 media sales for Santa Fe Reporter and LA Weekly. 2009-present owner/wardrobe stylist “Stacy Ellen Brand Management” Los Angeles, CA.

Pasadena Magazine: April 2011 Jet Set

CM: As a full-time wardrobe stylist, what’s it like and how did you get into that role?

SE: My typical day/week as a wardrobe stylist is getting offered a styling job which can be anywhere from a editorial fashion spread for a magazine, music video, TV commercial or promotion shots for a recording artist or other client. I then go over the concept and look that the client wants to achieve in this shoot. From there the scouting process starts where I determine which designers and boutiques I will be using for this job. My assistant or myself will do a wardrobe “pull” leading up to the shoot date. The day of the shoot we will organize and put looks together and work with the whole team on the shoot, photographer, hair and makeup and client to create the most outstanding look. My assistant or I will then return the wardrobe “pull”. My job also is to send finished product to all the designers/boutiques I have used in the particular shoot.

I got my start as a wardrobe stylist from an acquaintance, Katrine Lieberkind, who has now become a friend of mine and a very accomplished makeup artist in the United States and Denmark working with such stars as Angelina Jolie, Lady Gaga, Pink and many more. We met a few years ago and Katrine asked me to help her style a young female recording group. From there I have just kept on going as a wardrobe stylist.

CM: How do you find clients?

Styling for Pasadena Magazine: Mad Hatter March 2011SE: Repeat business, referrals, networking and some online job sites.

CM: What’s the most exciting photo shoot or styling opportunity you’ve worked on?

SE: There are two. The most recent is the fashion spread “Jet Set” in Pasadena Magazine’s April 2011 issue. The other is helping style Daniel Bedingfield for his soon-to-be released CD cover.

CM: How do you make your styling choices for each person?

SE: My styling choices start with what look/concept the client is looking for. Depending on if it is a magazine or entertainment client I also look at who the client’s reader or audience is and then I choose styles, designers and boutiques that would speak to their target market.

CM: What’s a misconception about being a stylist or being in the fashion industry that’s simply not true? (If any)

SE: It’s all glamours! It is glamours, but it is also a lot of work and you have to have an “eye” and be very organized and really understand what the client is looking for.

CM: What inspires you?

SE: Life—good, bad or indifferent… I get inspired everyday by the world around me.

CM: What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

SE: The finished product! Seeing my work in a magazine or on TV is very rewarding. Also the praise and respect of my colleagues.

CM: What do you consider to be the most difficult aspect of your job?

SE: Going with the flow… a lot of times I have to make on-the-spot decisions about what I will “pull” for a shoot because the designer/boutique/PR company will not have the items I am looking for.

CM: Do you live by a quote, mission statement or life motto?

SE: Lately it has been that everything happens for a reason. In this business, things change at a moment’s notice and I have learned lately that last minute changes usually come with the best results!

CM: Is there any advice you can give to aspiring stylists?

SE: Keep plugging away…do not give up. Take every gig/job you can and let your “eye” shine!

CM: Any secret fashion tips for the male and female readers of Collaj?

SE: Always spend your money on great quality accessories such as shoes, handbags, sunglasses, watches, etc. You will always look stylish and put together even in jeans and a t-shirt with great accessories.

To find out more or see more of her work, visit

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