After I graduated high school, I got accepted at Carthage College with interest in psychology. This was because financial stability was not common for my parents. So along with getting accepted into Carthage College, I applied to Fashion Institute of Technology in New York to see if I would get accepted. I knew I wanted to pursue a degree in fashion, but I felt I needed to be more realistic. Once the letter came in the mail, it stated that since I did not take a fashion class in high school that I was not to be accepted in the school. After receiving that letter I was devastated and knew I had to put myself out there more into the fashion industry so that I can gain more knowledge and experience. I knew I wanted to pursue visual merchandising; I wanted to be in the background of where all the fashion magic happens. I wanted to create and interpret an image for people to show them how you can transform the meaning of a trend into so many different ways.
I transferred to a community school near home after being at Carthage for a year. I changed my major to business and got accepted into an unpaid internship with a Chicago, fashion designer. I was an assistant stylist and social media correspondent. I was beyond thrilled to have worked with such a talented and open minded designer. She recognized my work ethic and saw that I wanted to be a part of every photo shoot, pop up shop, fashion show, so I could gain more knowledge and learn from her. After styling a couple of the photoshoots, I have grown a new love for this part of the industry. I am always the person my friends and family come to when they need to piece a new skirt together or if they need advice on what to wear for a special event. I have found my niche in styling.
I have great attention to detail and always try to give my clients different options as to what they are shopping for, either if it’s for a certain event or if they just want a couple of new pieces for the new season.
My dream is to design shoes and possibly in the future, design clothing.
I have an eye for detail and can always adapt to anyone's style while trying to tweak it for the better.
Our readers would love to get to know you more Mimi. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
One thing that are unique about me is that I have always been creative and a perfectionist. Whether it is in my art work or styling, I always want to make sure that my best was delivered.
Mimi, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Fashion Stylist?
My passion and aspiration in life is to get my work noticed. With always being told that I am very creative, I want to design shoes and possibly clothing. I started as a fashion stylist when I was working at Forever 21 at the age of 16. I had to support my extracurricular activities in high school, so I worked throughout.
I was trained in every part of the store, whether it would be in the fitting room, cash register, floor set, being in charge of the jewellery department... I wanted to be able to train others with the knowledge I gained. I loved helping customers find whether it was a skirt that they wanted to pair with a top that they already had or a whole outfit for a special event.
My next retail clothing job was at The Limited. I learned how to hem pants at the proper length, gained more experience in floor sets, and styled customers for their business casual attire.
Who is your inspiration in life Mimi? How do you keep inspired?
My inspiration in life is my Aunt Gigi who took me in under her wing at the age of 8. She keeps me inspired every single day, with seeing how talented she is and how hard-working she is.
We all make mistakes Mimi; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Fashion Stylist, you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
Two people will eventually come to a disagreement when they are working together on a project. So I wish I handled the situation differently by being more optimistic and open minded about their opinions and ideas.
Mimi , when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Fashion Stylist, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?
If it is a task I know I will need more time with then, it will be my top priority. I want to make sure I can devote more of my time to a project that will take longer so I can put more thought and consideration into it.
Please tell us, Mimi, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Fashion Stylist?
While interning, the other intern and I had to collaborate and design the next photoshoot according to the designer's pieces that were given to us to incorporate into the shoot. We worked as a team to come up with an idea for the shoot and all the preparation needed to be done during a short period. I was very open to what the other intern had to offer whether it came to the jewellery, or props. Working together, we were able to compromise and agree to every piece and idea of the entire photo shoot.
Mimi, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
I remember a more specific time this happened when I was styling a friend of mine. I know when it comes to trying new things, people can be very hesitant to the idea. I gave him the idea of wearing something he already mentioned that he would never even think of wearing or picking up to try on at the store. After piecing it together in an outfit, he was stunned. He ended up falling in love with the shoe and couldn't believe that after just trying it on and seeing how it could be paired with an outfit that he is used to wearing.
Mimi, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Fashion Stylist. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
I am always proud when I can help people outside of their comfort zones. I love getting them to try new things and seeing the look on their face when they see it is all pieced together with something they are more familiar to. If they can just try on a different style coat, or shoe, then they have already altered their style for the better. I believe they will continue to try new things the next time they go shopping without me.
Mimi, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
When I was interning, there were two photoshoots where I was able to contribute to the outfits that were going to be featured. One photoshoot that was shot in a graveyard, I put together my jewelry and the designer's items. The second photoshoot, I had more authority to be more creative while still considering the designer's personal opinion. Both of these times, it was a very exciting experience to see my creative work be featured.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Fashion Stylist?
Please, do not care what other people think. People will always judge you based on what you are wearing and how you look. I think with becoming a successful stylist; you will attract others with your style. People will see what you are wearing and will always want to ask where you got it from or how you were able to put something together that looks so good. If you just be yourself, you will stand out.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
I am open to any collaboration because I can adapt to any teamwork you are willing to offer.
Now for the best part Mimi! Please upload 5-10 photos so we can get to see your work.
Photo #1, 2,6 - Photographer: Alexandria Rowlen @alexrow1
Photo # 3 - Photographer: Javier Enriquez @javierenriquezphotography
Photo #4- Erica Ogunleye @boomboombabi
Photo #5 - Roy Cases @rianbeing