Aces Interview with Jess Estrada. A glimpse of my journey and life in LA.
Photo Credit: Business Of Fashion. Click it to read the story that started it all.
Until January of last year, I associated DKNY with outdated rhinestone baseball caps and baby tees (think Bebe-esque logo). Why? Because that’s the kind of brand that DKNY still was? Absolutely not! It was only because I had not really been exposed to the brand since those items were “in” (Bebe, maybe you can take a cue regarding the evolution of a brand). But that’s beside the point. I digress.
For some reason in early 2011, CBS agreed to feature me on a live morning show to talk—fashion, what else? In the midst of my research for the segment, I came across several articles featuring the top Twitter handles to follow in fashion. Three names seemed to stand out over and over. At first I thought nothing of it. What does a brand rep from NYC that is “tweeting” have to do with me, a girl in Richmond, Virginia? I would soon find out: a lot!
The stories of @dkny, @bergdorfs and @oscarprgirl began to intrigue me. They were not just a brand; they were personalities, with stories to share and conversations that were fun to join. They were witty, insightful, and they actually respond to normal people like me all the way in little Richmond, Virginia.
I joined this Twitter thing, never expecting it to become part of my daily life, but it seemed fun. At the very beginning of my Twitter days, I came across a tweet about Lucky Magazine’s FABB conference. I did not realize it then, but I was incredibly “lucky” to be one of the first to get in on this amazing event. One thing led to another and I found myself in NYC having a convo with none other than Erica AKA @OscarPRGirl. She dished out tips on branding, fashion, and life in the city that never sleeps. Cannon (@Bergdorfs) was also in attendance at FABB and I got a quick “hello” but she was busy running between the event and the store! Needless to say, after this event, I became THAT much more aware of the power of Twitter and what these “brands” actually had to do with me. Aliza (@DKNY) was still anonymous at this time so a personal meeting was not an option. Although, I did ask Erica if she knew this fabulous Twitter personality. “Yes, she works in my building—you should just tweet her!” Tweet her I did, and she—to my surprise—tweeted back?! Needles to say, I no longer have the same view of DKNY. I know it’s long past the rhinestone logo days and well onto amazing pieces worth obsessing over. Hello cape dress?
It’s been just a little over a year since I joined this Twitter world that at times can seem more like a community. Some are like extended family, always supporting me, while others are like friends, dishing out advice on everything from fashion to tech. Then, there are those that I can always count on for a good laugh! I have met so many of these “strangers” in real life (or should I say, IRL?) and I never would have had the privilege of making these friends and connections without Twitter. People who don’t tweet, still don’t get why I take pictures of my food, care about what attire @dkny thinks is acceptable or why I got so exited by a tweet that included #IETT from the legend herself (my ultimate Twitter moment I must say). But that’s ok! If you get it, you get it.
Without Twitter, (specifically: @bergdorfs) I would not have known who Linda Fargo was nor had the chance to say hi to her outside of the Chanel fashion show in Paris. I wouldn’t have realized the power of a top knot or Bikram yoga (thanks @OscarPRGirl). And last but not least, I would not be in LA living out a dream had I not found the book Secrets of A Stylist by @SashaCharnin.
One year ago, I was the shy girl researching Fashion for a TV segment in Richmond, VA. Doing pulls from a local mall was big for me even though it may have been nothing to anyone in the fashion world. That local mall and my newfound Twitter obsession had nothing yet everything to do with each other at the same time. Last September, I ended up co-judging Project Style for Fashion’s Night Out at that same local mall with Alexis Bellino of The Real Housewives Of Orange County and Richmond’s coolest DJ, Melissa Chase. I am now a brand ambassador for Shoptopia. I’ve attended a school for styling in Hollywood . Lately, I’ve been assisting stylists on photo shoots (oh, you know, just Ali Lohan and Lucy McIntosh to name a few), had the privilege of attending FABB AGAIN, I’ve received personal advice from Brad Goreski, and the list goes on! There have been so many amazing opportunities it’s unreal. A dream come true or should I say, coming true. It’s not easy and it’s not always perfect but I’ll take it! Just thinking… Had I never looked into this Twitter thing… No—I can’t even go there! Oh yeah and I guess I owe you a little thanks too, @jack! :)
How has twitter impacted your life? I would love to hear!
I am a sucker for anything that combines fashion and learning! I can’t get enough of the conferences, classes and seminars, I always leave with new friends and a notebook full of new ideas. So naturally when I heard of the Simply Stylist seminar at the W Hotel in Hollywood (which in itself is a fabulous enough reason to go) I knew it was an event not to be missed.
Black and yellow was the theme of the day for me. I always choose to wear a dress that stands out when I attend these events. People tend to remember me easier and… hey, standing out in a sea of fashionable people is quite hard to do! My outfit is featured on the Simply Stylist website, if you are feeling kind, you can vote here.
Lunch was… lite? It’s Hollywood, I should have expected it. Yummy, indeed but I’m so not a salad girl! Networking with new people is always one of my favorite parts of these events. At lunch I met lovely fellow stylists, bloggers, and even a few fellow School of Style grads! Check out their fabulous blogs:
Jamie Gaul: comedian/fashion blogger at vogueandvodka.com
Erica Paonessa: fashion blogger at styleminx.com
Elizabeth Keene: stylist/fashion blogger at akeenesenseofstyle.com
Molly Drago: Stylist at mollydragostyle.blogspot.com
Emily Moiseve: Stylist at EmilyMoiseve.com
I met up with friend and fellow Personal Styling 101 grad, Courtney Jacobs and she snapped the above picture of me in front of the hotel.
Fancy fancy… the red carpet leading to the seminar
With Jamie Krell and Catt Sadler, such sweet and inspirational ladies
The panel was moderated by Catt and included (from left to right):
LA Editor of Refinery29 and former Vogue staffer
Style expert for E! and Style network
Founders of Naven fashion worn by stars such as Katy Perry, and Emmy Rossum
Celebrity stylist to Katie Holmes who she also collaborates with for their line Holmes & Yang
- Shea Marie
Fashion blogger for CheyenneMeetsChanel
Although the entire panel had some great words of wisdom, here are my favorite pieces of advice that I took home with me that day!
I’m disheveled and I own it - Brenna
Do your job better than anyone else no matter what it is - Brenna
Take a picture, it’s so much more honest than a mirror - Brenna
Have a centered life outside of work - Jeanne
Be as positive and as happy as possible, always laugh. Keep going and it will pay off. - Jeanne
Do an idiot check (3rd check) - Jeanne
Being bitter gives you wrinkles - Jeanne
90% of successful people is because of hard work not raw talent - Jeanne
Always be a first rate version of yourself - Catt
I picked up this amazing product after the seminar, Glam Glow Mud. Can you see the difference in my hands? The one on the left is so much smoother and brighter… I was sold on the spot! This stuff is the real deal!
After taking Class 1 with School Of Style and learning the business of styling (see my experience here) I decided to take it a step further and learn the ropes of being a personal stylist. This class was held in the “Darkroom” at smashbox studios, Hollywood and taught by the fabulous, Lauren Messiah. Chic, no? Lauren is not only an experienced personal stylist, she is also an ambassador for Westfield Malls, Kohls and a part of:Style For Hire with Stacy London. Pretty impressive stuff! Not to mention her website, LaurenMessiah.com is beyond any other stylist’s website I have ever seen. On that note… go check it out, she’s the real deal!
Class is in session! Really, who wouldn’t want this to be their classroom? I met so many fabulous fashion lovers and learned so much, if you have an interest… take the class!
Why personal styling vs regular editorials, celeb styling, and red carpet?
The experience is more one on one and you are able to help someone feel better about themselves, which betters their life and THAT, is something money can’t buy. What girl doesn’t just love a makeover story? Imagine being a professional makeoverer (I know, it’s not a real word but it sounds cool) as your job? It’s like, What Not To Wear, but in real life-your life!
What do you learn in Personal Styling 101?
- Benefits of Personal Styling
- Business Plan
- Building Your Website
- Equipment and Supplies
- Marketing Yourself
- Client Communication
- Taking Measurements
- Closet Audit
- Furthering Your Education
If you love fashion and styling like me, that list is about as exciting as a shopping spree! I loved every second of it!
For a personal style class I chose to stick to my typical wardrobe of black, white and a denim jacket. I’ve tried to get away from it for years but now I’m just learning to embrace it! I added bright matte lips (MAC Ruby Woo) sparkles and some winged liner.
Will you be taking the class? I would love to hear about your experience. Sign up here