With an ingrained love of clothing and an expert’s eye for couture, Stacee Michelle kickstarted her own business as a wardrobe stylist and fashion insider nearly eight years ago. Since then, she has grown into a force to be reckoned with, bringing her work ethic and multifaceted talents to all aspects of the fashion industry. As she puts it, sometimes to achieve success, you have to create your own opportunities.
What started your interest in style and fashion? Was it always a dream of yours to pursue a career in fashion?
Before I was old enough to buy my own clothes I was into fashion. As the youngest of three, I was often the recipient of hand-me-downs from my older sister. In order to make them look new, I had to be creative so I developed a distinctive personal style. I was constantly in awe of the creativity and art in fashion magazines. At one point, I covered my entire bedroom wall with fashion editorial clippings not knowing that soon I would be creating editorials of my own.
How did you launch your business?
When I moved to Charlotte, I got involved with styling lookbooks and marketing campaigns for local fashion designers. Even though I do a lot of work with brands and companies, I still find time for my personal styling clients. Whether it’s revamping wardrobes, styling for a special event, back-to-school, vacation, family or bridal shoots, it is always fun to have that one-on-one interaction with my clients.
What is your day-to-day work like?
In most cases, my mornings begin with checking emails and responding to clients, PR offices, brands, networks, editors and producers. Usually, I am out shopping the stores, looking for the latest styles and what might work for my next client or project. Every day is different for me which is what I love about working in the fashion industry. One day I could be working on coordinating looks for a magazine spread and the next I could be hosting an event for a corporate brand or non-profit organization. I love the variety of work each day!
What have been some of the biggest milestones for you in your work?
The biggest reward for me recently was being selected from over 300 submissions to be the next E! News Style Contributor. Working with E! News has always been one of my goals and to see it manifest so quickly made me realize that this was only the beginning of my fashion journey!
Tell us about your training in the field.
Hands on experience has been the best training I have ever received. My Bachelor’s in Fashion Marketing helped me learn how to transform from being a creative individual into becoming a creative business woman. My first internship was working in the Celebrity Marketing division for Tommy Hilfiger in New York so I assisted styling celebrities like John Legend, Fergie, Diane Kruger, Tricky, ZZ Top, and more.
What inspires you? How do you find new ideas?
My biggest inspiration in fashion is Diane Von Furstenberg. She has been a trailblazer in the industry, empowering women of all ages to be strong, embrace their individuality, and understand that confidence is the best accessory. Even though she isn’t a stylist or a fashion correspondent, she is a great example of the type of business woman I aspire to be. I strongly believe that when building your career, you should have a mentor. I am constantly learning from others in the profession, feeding my brain daily with the newest in fashion on a local, national and global level.
What’s “on trend” right now that we should know about?
There are so many trends to try this season, but please don’t wear them all at once! Velvet has made its way on to everything from apparel and accessories to shoes and handbags. Find out where it fits for you in your wardrobe. A bomber jacket, in a sporty letterman style or feminine with embroidery and sequins, will transform any minimal outfit into a fashionable ensemble. Finally, everyone needs at least one statement choker going into fall. It is the ‘cherry on top’ complimenting any look.