A Chat with Fashion Stylist Jennifer Margolin

If there is one person who can be instrumental in helping with the successful exposure of an independent and emerging fashion label, it’s a stylist.  They know and love fashion and have a clientele of style- hungry individuals who are often looking for unique pieces to wear out on the town.  Getting your work into the hands of a stylist is probably one of the smartest things you can do.  But it’s not that easy, is it? Stylists are busy people, with companies to run, and clients to look after; at times making it intimidating to approach them.  So we thought we’d share with you an interview with Jennifer Margolin, the San Francisco based stylist behind Jennifer Margolin Styling and the blog Red Sole Diary.

Jennifer Margolin Styling

We’re so thrilled that Jennifer was able to take time out of her  busy schedule to chat with us about  life as a stylist and her take on the emerging fashion community.

StUF: Tell us a bit about Red Sole Diary and Jennifer Margolin Styling.

JM: I’ve always loved fashion from a very young age.  I remember convincing my mom to let me have a subscription to Vogue in elementary school.  That love for fashion has only grown stronger the older I get.  I started Red Sole Diary (which is my blog) for me and had no intention of anyone reading it.  When I started it I had no idea what social media was let alone a blog!  My site took on a life of it’s own and I soon realized that I could get paid for doing what I love…styling.  My company Jennifer Margolin Styling came quickly after I made this decision and has grown into more than just styling by offering luxury brand consulting as well.

StUF:  As a stylist, what is your day to day like?  It can’t be all glamorous.

JM: There is no day that is the same as the one prior.  I love that you pointed out my job not being all glamourous…because it’s not! There are days I can be on location at a shoot hot & tired but I wouldn’t change it for anything.  I do admin work, research & forecast trends, make returns, negotiate with clients, write, style clients, etc. but then I do get to attend some amazing events as well.

StUF:  What are some of the tools you use to say on top of trends?

JM: The Internet of course, trend analysis and research sites, evolution of past fashion seasons, news of what’s happening in the world, street style, etc.  There is so much to take in when looking and forecasting future trends.

StUF: You are the official stylist for the WWD Trade Shows.  What was your experience like in February and what are you excited about for the August Show?

JM: The February show was amazing.  There was so much happening at the same time but it was so exciting.  I loved forecasting the fall trends for the Teen Vogue lounge and working with all of the amazing fashion bloggers.  It was great to be a part of that as we have seen many luxury & big brands follow what we all did at MAGIC.  I also loved interviewing other brands on the show floor as well as doing some styling pieces on film.  It was just a great experience.

I am beyond excited for Pret-a-Porter to be at MAGIC this year.  What an amazing opportunity for French brands to show in the US and for buyers who would otherwise never get over to Paris to buy.  There are so many amazing things planned for this show and I can’t wait to share come August!

StUF: You obviously work with a lot of high profile clients who like to be decked out in the latest from major designer collections.  How do you incorporate pieces from emerging designers into their look?

JM: Being decked out in the latest major designer pieces has it’s perks for sure with some of my clients…but at the end of the day it’s always how you wear the clothes.  As we see everyday on the Internet, it’s all about how you style and owning what you are wearing.   My clients want to stand out as an individuals and not blend in with the crowd.  Emerging designers are great for this because you know 3 other people at the same party will not be wearing the same dress.  For the most part my clients are very open-minded and will try things.  I never put them in anything that does not make them feel amazing when they walk out the door.  That goes the same for emerging designers, if the quality is right and it makes sense for my client’s look or personality of course I will show it to them and we’ll go from there.

StUF:  Do you find your clients generally like to sport independent labels or is it more of an education?

JM: It’s both.  There are some clients that like to be more “safe” so it tends to be an education with them.  I love independent designers though, it’s always fun when you can say I’ve been wearing them ever since they started.  Take McQueen for example.  Lee started off with a graduation runway show and built from there to what it is today.  Stylist Isabella Blow was one of his first supporters, purchasing his entire graduation show and now there is a retrospect at the Met. Talk about amazing.

{Editor’s Note: Awesome tid bit! }

StUF:  Can you share with us some of the emerging labels that you’re really loving right now?

JM: Wes Gordon has got to be one of my favorites right now.  His collection is elegant, tailored and beyond luxe.  It’s stunning and I can’t wait to see his next collections.  For sure one to keep your eye on.

I’m also loving Mother Denim, they fit so well and the wash is so comfortable.

Whit is another one to watch as her looks are a bit preppy with a hint of 60’s mod but very fun.

StUF:  If a designer is interested in introducing their work to you, what are the steps he/she should take?

JM: Reach out and contact me, either through email or a phone call.  Send me lookbooks, if you can send a sample all the better as seeing the quality in person is very important to me before I recommend to my clients or use in a shoot. I love finding new designers so feel free to reach out!

StUF: We’ve noticed that you align yourself with labels that are working toward social good, which is fantastic!  What are some of the causes that are important to you right now?

JM: Falling Whistles is a favorite as I can relate to the cause since my husband and I had the opportunity to travel to Uganda by the Congo boarder and see first hand the devastation.  I just love what Sean and his team are doing.

I recently had the privilege of meeting Lauren Bush and love the new collaboration with Judith Leiber.  I really like that Lauren and FEEDProjects makes it possible for someone at every income level to feel like they are making a difference through the various bags they create and collaborations as well. TOMS recent product addition is going to be so exciting, they have just lead the way of cause-related products and what a success the campaigns can be.   It makes me so happy to see people get excited and so passionate about making a difference in someone else’s life.  There are so many more labels that do this and I would love to know of more so please feel free to reach out to me as I want to keep promoting more and more in the fashion industry.

StUF: What’s on the horizon for Jennifer Margolin Styling?

JM: There is a lot of exciting things coming up for Jennifer Margolin Styling.  I’m launching a new product in a few weeks and there is so much more happening in the near future so stay tuned.

You can follow Jennifer @RedSoleDiary or Like Red Sole Diary on Facebook.

Nicole Giordano

Nicole is the founder of StartUp FASHION, an online resource and community supporting for independent designers around the world with building their businesses. A deep love for the craft of fashion paired with an adamant belief that success is defined by the individual, led her to found StartUp FASHION, where she helps independent designers and makers screw the traditional fashion business rules, create their own paths, and build businesses they truly love. More than anything else, she’s in the business of encouragement and works every day to remind makers and designers that they have something special to offer the world and that they can, in fact, do this thing!

    • Nicole

      So glad you liked the post, Ashley! Thanks for your feedback.
      Yes, we think Jennifer’s socially responsible business model is fantastic, too!

      Thanks for introducing us to your line, it’s great!

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