When she knew she wanted to get into styling…

I wanted to be a designer when I was growing up. I have the best memories of going to the mall after school with my Nonna, who was a buyer, and more often than not, coming home with something new [laughs]. I always loved drawing people and clothes from a young age, so my career path feels pretty natural.

How she broke into the styling industry…

I went to school for fashion design, but when I graduated, celebrity styling was just starting to become a ‘thing,’ and I thought, “I can do that!” Two weeks out of college I started interning for a top celebrity stylist, and then, two weeks into the internship, I got hired — so I fell right into it. Right place, right time! 

On the biggest misconceptions about working as a stylist…

That it’s WAY more glamorous than it is. Everyone (including myself when I first started out) thinks it’s just putting an outfit together for someone, and I’ve been doing that for all of my friends for as long as I can remember. There’s a lot more to it.

What surprised her most about styling…

The hours are a big one. You can always be doing something. Also, everything that can go wrong will go wrong [laughs]. A zipper will break, someone’s heel will snap, FedEx won’t show up. [When that happens,] you call FedEx and cry. They’ll come! Sometimes very late, but they’ll come.

Her favorite aspect of her job today…

I prefer working with brands and print over red carpet celebrity styling now. I loved getting my start in celebrity [styling], but the creativity begins with the brands. My dream is to have a line of my own or be the creative director for a big house.

The fashion lines she’s loving right now…

Gucci has had a whole resurgence, for sure, and I can’t get enough of the new Balenciaga. I’m also very interested to see what Raf [Simmons] does with Calvin. I really like some newer, younger brands too —

I love Khaite, which Vanessa Traina [from The Line] started. There are a few brands she is behind that are totally my aesthetic: simple, clean. I also like Gabriella Hearst and The Attico.

The ways she see’s brands adapting to the changing fashion landscape…

I love seeing young brands make it in this day and age.  A lot of designers aren’t doing shows anymore because they’re so expensive, and you don’t need a huge production when you can just do a fantastic presentation to generate buzz. I think the traditional ‘fashion show’ is outdated. Way back in the day, shows were exclusive for the press and people in the industry. Now, I feel like people don’t go to the shows to see the shows anymore. It’s very self-aggrandizing — trying to wear the craziest outfit, and so on. It’s not even about celebrating the designer. You fight to get in the door, wait an hour for it to start, it’s always too hot or too cold, and even from the front row, you can barely see anything. It goes by so quickly!

The “See Now, Buy Now” model that brands like DVF and Tommy Hilfiger have adopted for the most part came about because fast fashion is, quite frankly, ripping off everyone’s pieces. Traditionally, in September, brands show Spring clothes, even though it’s Fall. We’re always one season ahead. That was one of the exciting parts about my job [as a stylist] – getting to see things ahead of time — but with the advent of the “See now, Buy Now” movement, brands are now showing Fall Collections in the Fall. As a stylist, it’s not my favorite model because now everyone has access to the same things I have access too, which, by default, changes the dynamic of my job. But, a personal level, I think it’s really great because I’d rather be buying winter clothes in February and be able to wear them that day. I’m definitely an instant gratification shopper.

How technology is changing the way we interact with fashion…

Retail stores aren’t buying as many pieces these days because they’re scared they won’t move [the inventory]. They’re picking the basic, black, safe-to-sale pieces. To me, that makes a business like Moda Operandi —where you pre-order pieces straight from the runway — a great model. If a brand still follows the traditional model of showing a season ahead, there’s a chance stores will pass on an amazing niche coat you loved on the runway. Moda [Operandi] made it so easy to feel like your own buyer; they democratized the process for sure. 

On how her history as a celebrity stylist could give her an advantage when working directly with a fashion line…

Designers fit on dress forms and fit models — they don’t typically deal with real bodies — and even though I dress a lot of actresses who have fantastic figures, they may not be 5’10” like a runway model. A few brands, like Prabal [Gurung], started showing plus-sized models in shows this season, and it looked amazing. The clothes didn’t look any less gorgeous on the different body types, and Prabal just doubled his market. If people got on board and expanded the idea of what a runway model “should be,” it’d be great, specifically from a styling perspective, because sample sizes would be more in-line with real women’s sizing. The worst [scenario] is telling someone, “Sorry, designers don’t make samples in your size for us to try.” And I do understand from a designer’s point of view that it’s less expensive to use less fabric to make a sample, but there’s so much demand for a more inclusive fashion world that I think brands are going to start to respond.


I NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT…   Concealer! Cle De Peau is my favorite for dark circles. I wish I were one of those girls that was like, “Chapstick!” which I also do always have [laughs], but if we’re being honest, I always have concealer.

FITNESS ROUTINE…   I love the class environment [for working out]. I love Bari and AKT. I work with Anna [from AKT] and style her videos. There’s also this newer thing that I’m into right now called The Class. I was so skeptical when people were telling me about it because I’m not a hippie-dippie, “let me share my feelings” type, but I finally tried it, and it’s like therapy and a workout all in one. It’s weird at first — there’s yelling — but I swear if you just do it, you can take on your day, and then you won’t yell at anyone else after! [Laughs]


WELLNESS MANTRA…   Work-wise, “I’m not saving lives.”

GUILTY PLEASURE…   French fries. In New York, The Odeon has delicious fries.

The Odeon
145 W Broadway
New York, NY 10013

HEALTH SECRET…   Before I have coffee, I drink a little Super Elixir in water. It’s made by  Elle McPherson’s company, and if she looks this good at 50+ years old, she knows something. She has really good protein powders, too.

GO-TO OUTFIT…   Jeans, black turtleneck, and Manolos. I love Khaite for jeans, and vintage Levi’s, of course. The turtleneck I’m wearing today is Crippen, and I really like Wolford — they make a great bodysuit.

NEVER-FAIL BEAUTY PRODUCT…   I can’t keep most mascara on my eyes. Almost any formula, even if it’s waterproof, leaks down my face no matter what, which is also why I always carry the concealer! I can’t walk around with mascara running down my face [laughs]. I don’t wear mascara during the day a lot, but at night, I’ve been using this Givenchy one, and even though it bleeds on me a little bit, it’s better than any I’ve used. Recently I’ve been getting my lashes tinted, though, and I think that’s something I want to stick with.

VACATION SPOT…   I went to Mykonos for the first time last summer and it was incredible.

HIDDEN GEM IN NEW YORK…   I love New York because it’s easy to find hidden gems since you’re almost always on foot. The Line sells everything from clothes to furniture – it’s so well curated. More people know about it now, but I feel like I was one of their first clients early on.

The Line
76 Greene St
New York, NY 10012

I also shop at La Garçonne, at the store in Tribeca and online. It’s a little androgynous –they carry Margiela, Vetements – the buy is clean for the most part, but then they’ll have a few crazy fashion pieces in there that you won’t find anywhere else, which is great.

La Garçonne
465 Greenwich St
New York, NY 10013

BEDTIME RITUAL…   I have a whole nightly skincare routine; I never sleep with my makeup on! I get my cleanser from Christie Kidd, she’s an amazing dermatologist in Beverly Hills that everyone goes to. I use her Clean Wash.

Christie Kidd
9400 Brighton Way #201
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

STYLE MUSE…   Celebrity-wise, I love Leelee Sobieski. She just showed up at the Calvin show [in February] and looked phenomenal. She’s not around a lot, but when she is, I love her looks. She’s always chic and clean, but keeps it interesting.


Elena Hansen