Monday, November 9, 2009

Go' Head'- Ask Me?!!!

Hey Toye!

I was wondering if I could pick your brain for a bit. I am so in love with fashion. I try to watch as many fashions shows on tv as I can, read lots of fashion mags, play around with my clothes and images that I cut out from magazines and what not. I even have a fashion vision board! I always dreamed of possibly becoming a stylist or a creative director like Jay Manuel! I've volunteered at a few fashion events and a few fashion agencies here in Toronto, but I find sometimes that the fashion scene here can be a bit pretentious- the scene here is all about "cliques" and not so much about the love or art of it, unless you're in the independent/street fashion scene, which is its whole other element. And since I didn't study fashion, I find that sometimes I am not taken seriously by some agencies/photographers/stylists that I have tried to volunteer with. It's almost as if they dismiss the passion and drive and opt for someone with a diploma or degree in fashion.

So basically, for someone, like myself, who loves fashion, but didn't study it in school, wants to know, how did you manage to keep your head up above all the pretentiousness? The American and Canadian fashion scenes are totally different, as our scene is still growing... at a slow pace... but getting there. All I want to do is learn more and be exposed to more! I guess, I am just hoping for some advice or guidance. I won't let the haters stop me, but at times, I just feel stuck.

Thanks Toye!
xxxoxo- Victoria

Hey Victoria!!!

Well, first let me commend you on having one of my favorite tools of success, a "vision board". Not only does it put the Universe on notice to the dreams you'd like to achieve but it also gives you clarity about the "look" of success. A lot of times we just repeat what we've heard success to be and don't really have a view of what that dream would look like. So a Vision Board can help guide us through the idea that we can achieve what we see. I've found them to be most helpful when they are placed in a prominent place of your home or crib so that you can see and view it on a daily basis. *So good job on that 1st step*

To speak on your comment about "not being taken seriously" I ask (humbly)... Are you taking yourself seriously when you render an approach, or are you just going through the motions? You might even find yourself getting a bit intimidated by the community...? If so, (no worries/ it's happened to me too)... But this is what I did to conquer it...

First and foremost, remember that just because a group of people may come off a "bit pretentious" doesn't necessarily mean that that's who they are. It may very well be that they just don't know who "you" are (yet) and may feel like a "get-to-know-you-phase" is in order before they open up completely. I've dealt with a lot of celebrities, managers, publicist, showrooms, and even assistants who can be a bit moody or stand off-ish at first, but I always make it a point to see to the core of who they are before I label them, and 9 times outta 10 they begin to lighten up. (Just remember even though this is a fashion industry its still a "tough" gig and no-one wants to give anyone any hand-outs!) :O) So just be prepared to show them "who" you are and be great while you're doing it!

But "still", knowing all that... (your asking) how do you get taken seriously??? Well, here's my view... Others will take you seriously when you approach the "action of assisting/styling/ (or whatever) with conviction. Even if you have to pretend like your a big-shot assistant so that people can hear your voice- then I say "do so"!

Start dressing the part (which it sounds like you already have down packed) as well as hanging out with other Fashion Heads' that support your journey! They don't have to be stylist, they could be your best friends, PE Coach, mentors, publicist, art students, aspiring models, aspiring actors etc... A true fashion stylist thrives off the energy of a diverse group of people and the Aura they give off! So make sure you find a well-rounded group that will give you encouraging feedback and stimulating motivation ( you never know what you'll learn).

Being an aspiring "big-shot" also includes having some point of references like a resume of the work you've done thus far, and maybe even a small portfolio of your volunteer shows, letter of references, and Polaroid's with some business cards to had out when your networking. These tools can be your "armor" when you feel a little unsure about how far you've come and a great way to introduce yourself.

And I know from experience, Fashion Stylist at times can be a bit competitive- but who. the. hell! cares???!!!! (They're only like that because of fear and their own insecurity) :) Fear that you'll be competition to them one day... But here's the "catch" to get you past that. You'll never be able to duplicate pure authentic raw talent- you can only emulate it... and (as I once heard someone great say) if you listen to your own "divine- blueprint" as it relates to your method of work, no other B*!H will be able to touch you! :) (believe dat)!

So here's a quick review on the rules of conduct to help you prep yourself when you feel a lil' stuck..

1.) Put that vision board in a prominent place of your home so that you can see it every day!

2.) Start looking past how people "act" and get to know (and see) them for who they truly "are"!

3.) Find a support group that will keep you current on the Fashion Scene!

4.) Get some promo tools! Resume! Business Cards! and most important, some confidence!

5.) Brand your Style so that no-one cant step on you!

And Finally, if all else fails... believe not only "in" yourself - but "too" yourself that- "This. Is. What. You. Came. To. Do"!

6.) ... And above all, Shine Victoria!

Much luv Toye*

(a vision board I made a couple years ago..believe me when I tell you I accomplished most of it)


  1. Thanks so much, Toye! So glad to hear that you have accomplished most of your vision board goals. I actually keep mine on my bedside table, so its the last thing I see before sleeping and first thing when I wake (I'm also making a mini one that I can carry in my wallet). I am going to reevaluate my approach to things. I'm really glad that I've started one thing right by creating my vision board (actually two now that I think about it: connecting and reaching out to you for advice!).Also, you hit the nail on the head with some of your points, I never realized that in some way, I have been making "connections" with people within the industry. Whether it be stylists, photographers, models or hair stylists. I probably never realized because my approach and intentions with these particular people was to make friends first, not a "something for something" type deal. I do agree that when I am around those who are deep within the industry, I should brush up on my networking skills to make sure that I get noticed in the appropriate manner and noticed for what I have to offer. My experiences within the industry began on an administrative level(which was great, I want to learn both aspects of the biz so that I can see where I best fit in) while I interned at agencies. Perhaps I've been second guessing myself and abilities (because I don't have an actual portfolio yet), that I have have convinced myself that I don't have much to offer.

    Now having a second opinion, along with some guidance on my experiences, I realize that I have accomplished quite a bit and that I do have something to offer! As you said, its just a matter of connecting in the right manner with the right people and just SHINE!

    Thanks so much!! And to everyone else out there who happen to be in the same situation as me, I wish you all the best!! xooxo


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