We sat down with Ali Levine of Ali Levine Design to discuss styling the stars, career in styling, and how to ultimately help style YOU!
Check it out below!
Us: At what age did you start becoming fascinated with fashion?
A: Haha, I always laugh at these type of questions, because I swear I think I was 3 or maybe even younger when I fell in love with the idea of colors, designs, style and fashion itself. My mom said I always mixed up my outfits and would dress myself, over accessorize and add whatever I could to my looks. I’d spend many weekends at my grandmothers, trying on her heels, trying to walk in them, and draping myself in her clothes.
Us: How did you prepare for a career in styling?
A: I didn’t know I wanted to be a stylist to be honest, I always had a love of fashion and knew thats where I dreamed to be. I think all the jobs I did before styling prepared me for the career I am in now, without me evening meaning too. I worked in retail, product development, corporate design and even production assistant work in the movies and television before moving over to shopping, costume design and eventually wardrobe styling.
Us: What are your favorite ways to stay up to date with trends?
A: My favorite ways to stay up to date with current trends, oh this is a good one! I find inspiration everywhere. I love to go to shows and see the aesthetics of amazing designers and where there creativity lies, I read up on all my favorite magazines weekly, and online daily. I love following Who What Wear, WWD, Zoe Report, Elle UK on social media too! There are constant updates of who’s wearing what, whats trending in that moment, I love to see everyones ideas of trends and whats hot, and then make my own judgment of the trends.
Us: How important is fashion week for you?
A: Fashion week is very important in the sense of not only seeing trends come to life, but I get to network and meet all kinds of amazing people overtime! I have styled some of my clients in the most amazing designers from my fashion week adventures. I love creating and building new relationships and that is the fun at fashion week. Fashion week to me is the holiday of our industry! You’re not really off, but you get to enjoy, indulge in the world of fashion and the people in it.
Us: Do you plan on keeping styling as your lifelong career? Where do you see your career going?
A: Is this my lifelong job? Do I see a dream job? I’d like to think theres always more. Styling has endless avenues, and I plan on exploring them all. I’ve always been taught and brought up by my father to dream bigger, and never give up. I truly keep that with me. The stylist job I have now is absolutely a dream and a dream I have worked very hard for and still do every day. Will it be my life long job? I’d like to think I will keep styling but progress even further as my brand, Ali Levine Design grows even further. Keep reinventing myself. I’d love to have a shoe line and clothing line and even a lipstick line! From working in product development and design, I still design in my head every day and come up with new innovations. I’d love to style my clients and friends in my lines at some point.
Right now I have an amazing collaboration with Sterling Forever. http://www.sterlingforever.com/collections/ali-levine-celebrity-stylist. The Ceo Mike Cooke is incredible! So innovative himself, I love working with him and being part of the SF team. He allows me to create and select new collections every month at an affordable price for the customer and it allows me to be a fashion influencer to the every day fashionista! So I would love to have that further in my own lines. I’d love to see my styling house as well, for fashion events, dressing more celebrities and more! I would also love to have a styling office in NY, and be officially be bicoastal. I love LA, but NY is my heart. I would love to have the Ali Levine Design brand spread coast to coast and have styling services, personal shopping further etc.
Us: What are some current projects going on for you right now? Any in the works?
A: As far as some of the projects I recently worked on, styling press for the Vanderpump rules girls, wrapping out of Oscars I styled Jillian Rose Reed and Renee Olstead for Elton John Oscars and Nicole Arbor youtuber and comedian for Night of 100 stars and Kevin Hart Oscars after party. I was recently featured in the NY post talking about the oscars and red carpet fashion. I recently finished Orange County Fashion Week as I was a project manager this year and very excited. Our producer Kathy was amazing and we loved working together and finding incredible new designers to bring onto the shows. As well as my every day celebrity styling. Stay tuned for my new work. 🙂
Us: How do you prep for a photo shoot when styling it?
A: There is a ton of prep that goes into a photo shoot. First, I look over my mood board for inspiration. I either create this of images for what the photo shoot is wanting, or they provide a board of looks to display the looks they want. Then I source through my designers and contacts to see where I can pull pieces from to create these looks. I also explore looks like it to create my own ideas of their vision and put my stamp on it. In that, I make sure sizing is correct for that model or celebrity, and the silhouettes will flatter the body, the colors etc. Then we go out into the world and pick up the clothing, accessories shoes and so much more! After that, I start to look through what I have in front of me and build my looks before I get to set. This way when I arrive, I am somewhat prepared. Of course, things change in a hot NY minute when on these sets, but that is the skinny on my “preparation”.
Us: Name the top three things that are in your styling kit, must haves?
A: Top stick, you never know when you’ll need this and it can fix most situations!
Sewing kit, for any small tears, rips, seams snapping
Clips, clipping on set is a must! To alter the sizing in a photo shoot, or cinch a waist perfectly these are your best friend.
Us: Advice for upcoming fashion stylists?
A: My advice to fellow new stylists would be, learn as much as you can! I can’t emphasize that enough, I’ve had some of the most amazing mentors, Ellen Mirjonick, Colleen Atwood, Leah Katchnzelon, Amanda Riley,
Shawnique Hill, Monica Rose, and much more. These are the people who hold the keys to your success. Value them, learn from them, work hard! Now a days, I feel with social media, people think this career is easy. Let me tell you, it is a grind! A grind I have become very familiar with and love, but none the less a grind every day. Never take a project or client for granted, always keep your values and great attitude. These tools will help you progress in your career.
Us: A fun fact about you that the internet doesn’t know yet?
A: Hmm, this is a hard one…. well everyone knows I love my nails and my designs. Every time I get them done, I like to make them each different. Like a snowflake, not one is exactly the same. 🙂 If thats not enough for you, I hate green vegetables. I actually only started eating salad and green beans in the last couple years to start “adulting ” lol