Archive for the ‘African-American FashionStylists’ Category

Features: Daisy Lewellyn – Queen of Effortles Chic Talks to The CFB’s KL Style

May 25, 2010
KL’s Stylecorner: Interview with Daisy Lewellyn
by KL Style

On Thursday, May 13th, I had the pleasure of meeting fashion stylist extraordinaire Daisy Lewellyn at her book signing that took place at one of my favorite LA clothing stores, Runway Boutique. Dubbed as the Queen of Effortless Chic, she has recently unleashed all her timeless secrets about bargain shopping with her first publication, Never Pay Retail Again: Shop Smart, Spend Less, And Look Your Best Ever. That evening, I was able to learn more about the person behind this great style guide as well as garner some tips that every budget-conscious, fashionista should know.

KL Style: What are some things that you want readers to come away with when they read Never Pay Retail Again?

Daisy Lewellyn: Oh, gosh, there are some many things I want readers to learn! First of all, I want them to know that it doesn’t matter if you live in New York or LA, or a small town in Oklahoma. You can still look fantastic and feel like a celebrity even if you don’t have that celebrity budget. Just knowing that its not all about the price tag or the designer label, but more about the fit, your lifestyle, and making sure that its what you like to wear.

KL Style: Now, I’ve read different interviews about how you got your start. There are a lot of Chocolate Fashion Blog online viewers who are aspiring stylists and wanna know how can they break into the fashion industry? Any advice for them?
Daisy Lewellyn: Its funny that you asked because my website did just launch and I have something called “Career Corner” because I have a lot of girls and guys who come up to me and ask how to get into the industry. I say the best way to break into the industry is to do an internship. An internship is going to be your first step in the door so you can learn the basics. You can’t get hired until you know how to do the job and you can’t get the job until you have experience. So, the best way to get experience without having experience is an internship. Also, just be humble. Humble beginnings can go a long way.

KL Style: How did you get your start in the business? I know you were at Howard University, then at FIT on an internship program working under one of the stylists at Honey magazine, tell me more about that.

Daisy Lewellyn: Yes, I started at Howard University and it was an amazing, amazing thing to do! As you know, Howard is the fashion mecca and I did an internship/one year exchange program at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) in New York. That was really great because like you said, I went to Honey magazine which was thee “It” magazine of all time. It was great and I learned sooo much about the fashion business that I didn’t know. I was not a designer or a sketch artist, but I knew I wanted to work in fashion so I said “Ok, I’ll be a celebrity stylist, that sounds good!” And then I started to learn about editorial which involves styling and working with the clothing on photo shoots so I thought “Oh, I really like this!” So that’s how I really got my start, and I just never stopped going. I moved to New York so quickly after graduation to start at InStyle magazine and kept it going from there.

KL Style: What was your most memorable styling experience?

Daisy Lewellyn: Well you know, I style a lot for television…meaning I do a lot of real women makeovers and its more than just styling. It’s really making them over and pulling out their inner celebrity that they didn’t know existed. We think about celebrities and we always think about the OSCARS, but the celebrities go to movies premieres, they go to the grocery store, they are people just like us. So, I really want women to pull out their inner celebrity. I recently did makeovers with Rachel Ray from the Rachel Ray Show and we literally went to a rest stop which is not that glamorous and did makeovers. The women that came in there were so nice, but they didn’t pay attention to the way that they looked. They just get dressed and put on whatever they see. One woman had lost 20 pounds and she was still wearing her husband’s shirt which was big and oversized. So that was really memorable because those are the women that represent everybody. They represent regular women: she works, has a husband, a dog, kids, her feet hurt after a long day…and she’s just a regular girl. I really like working with women like that because its about more than the outer look, they get that joy back inside that they have kind’ve lost.

KL Style: I know you how have this 365D mantra (Dresses 365 days a year), so how do you do your best in incorporating that into your everyday wardrobe? I know that can be a challenge especially with the weather being “iffy” sometimes.

Daisy Lewellyn: I love DRESSES! I AM A DRESS GIRL. I love them because they are so easy. When the weather is “iffy” I have the easy solution, its called “TIGHTS!” That one word can change a life! Dresses are so great because they can go from season to season with tights, peep toes, booties. For the LA girl who wears boots in the summertime, they can go without tights during the day and put them on when it gets cold at night. There are so many ways to wear dresses with cardigans, blazers, and layering. I do a lot of unexpected layering under dresses. Most importantly, one should pick a dress that works for their lifestyle and body type. There are so many dresses out there that one dress is never the same as the next dress. You like vintage, color, a classic look, a stretch jersey fabric or a sateen fabric. Making sure it works for your body type is key because the dress won’t do you any justice if it doesn’t look good on you.

KL Style: Who inspires you?

Daisy Lewellyn: The book is a shopping guide, but I talk a lot about inspiration. I think you need to be inspired in order to feel good about yourself and to change your wardrobe. I’m inspired by smart, strong, career women whom are mothers. I’m really inspired by Diana Ross. I’ve never met her, but she’s amazing! She’s still a mom and she loves her children. I love Beyonce because she encourages women to love their bodies. When Beyonce came out, everybody was happy about their curves and that wasn’t very common. I’m also really inspired by the two women I dedicated the book to. The two women who are the original bargain babes: my grandmother and my nana. They taught me that no matter where you are going, you always look your best. If you have $5 or $500, make it look like $5,000 which is very inspiring advice. Right now, I’m just inspired by women who are just strong and into their careers, but also into their husbands and families. These are women whom don’t feel like they can’t look good because they’re busy. They work that out!

KL Style: What’s next for Daisy Lewellyn?
Daisy Lewellyn: A show. We’re definitely in talks with producers and networks about producing some fun kind of show.

KL Style: …Similar to Bravo’s Project Runway? 

Daisy Lewellyn: Well, definitely about fashion, but going beyond fashion and making sure you know that it’s a lifestyle. When you get dressed, it’s more than just a special occasion. Everyday is an occasion! If you’re going to the Piggly Wiggly, that is an occasion! How do you dress for that occasion? Never Pay Retail Again is an ideal kind of show because it embodies everything from fit, lifestyle, beauty, bargains, soccer moms…everything. So, definitely a show is in the works and products are coming soon. A line of ‘Effortless Chic’ products because I’m all about QUICK AND CHIC because that is what being effortless chic is all about. So, I’ll be working on a line of products that hopefully will be coming to you soon!

For more on Daisy Lewellyn, visit her website and pick up her new book, Never Pay Retail Again: Shop Smart, Spend Less, And Look Your Best Ever, at a local book retailer near you.

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