stylish

CONVOS WITH CLAIRE NYC 2018 RECAP! MAJOR NETWORKING VIBES AND INSIGHT FROM THE INDUSTRY'S BEST

WRITTEN BY SHARRA GREENE & PHOTOS BY LAURENCE JAMES

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So, this past weekend, I attended the well-anticipated Convos With Claire fashion networking mixer. I’m pretty sure most know who trailblazing fashion media maven Claire Sulmers is (especially if you follow posts on here because she’s my role model) , but for those of you who don’t know, Claire is the founder and editor in Chief of Fashion Bomb Daily, one of the world’s most influential fashion websites. She also maintains her own lifestyle blog called The Bomb Life, while serving as an influencer and brand ambassador for the likes of Verizon, Martini & Rossi, and more.

I finally met Claire during fashion week back in September, so I was definitely excited to link with her again! At her mixers, Claire is known for bringing together the stylish and ambitious discuss various topics in fashion and business with some of the industry’s best. For this particular event, Claire brought out a star studded panel to drop gems on us, at the Flat NYC on 24th Street. Panelists included Celebrity Stylist, Designer, Instructor, and Global Creative Partner of MCM, Misa Hylton, Television Personality & Entrepreneur Bevy Smith, and Designer and Furrier to your celeb faves, Duckie Confetti. The event’s theme was animal print.

Starting with a BOMB VIP Brunch and red carpet welcome featuring DJ JFK, the atmosphere was intriguing and inviting as fashion creatives settled in to vibe and shop. Claire typically uses her events to bring awareness to dope brands that many may not be familiar with already. Vendors included: Black Tag ApparelMess in a BottleNroda SunglassesRed Eye Luxe, Boutte Rouge BoutiqueYvonne JewnellLaMonique Cosmetics, and Vanity Storm.

I instantly connected with a few fellow bloggers as we helped each other flick it up while bouncing our creative ideas off of each other. Not long after, the panel began as my photographer arrived to help me get content. I literally gained so much knowledge and insight but a few of my main takeaways included…

“MAKE STRATEGIC MOVES WITHIN YOUR BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS THAT WILL LATER ON BE PROFITABLE IN THE LONG TERM” -via DUCKIE CONFETTI

Talking about doing “work for free”, so to speak, is often a topic that is considered almost taboo in the fashion industry. As fashionistas questioned what type of “free” work was the right move, Duckie gave insight on how he strategizes when it comes to this. He shared how he gave Meek Mill’s stylist a leopard sleeve hoodie free of charge, knowing that seeing the very well known rapper in his merch would influence people to shop (he was right, this one move alone made him 6 figures). He stressed to us the importance of making sacrifices for your brand that will likely have a high upside, financially.

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“THE STRUGGLE IS GOOD FOR YOU, IT GIVES YOU CONFIDENCE, SUBSTANCE & GRIT!”- via BEVY SMITH

Though Bevy is now a very well established professional, she shared how there was a 7 year era where she would have to “go out and hunt and kill” for work. She stressed how though this was one of the most difficult times of her life, it was the time in her life that built her character the most. Bevy encouraged those on the quest to manifest big dreams to not be in the rush for “success” or “stardom” and to embrace their current struggles because quite often the struggle itself is what’s propelling you toward the life you dream about.

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“YOUR VISION IS CLEAR, NOW JUST CONTINUE TO EXECUTE” - via MISA HYLTON

Upon me asking iconic stylist Misa Hylton what moves I should make to continuously set me apart in my craft, she asked what makes me unique. Once I told her how it’s my passion for who my clients truly are and using that to create looks that speak to their highest self, she reassured me how clear my individuality already is.

Misa shared how it took her a while to gain confidence as a stylist being that she first got into the business with her then boyfriend. But it took for her to keep going after they ended to really recognize who she was and what she wanted to achieve as a stylist. She let me know that from here on out, its all about using the knowledge I gain from each experience to move forward and do what works for me because the path for everyone is not the same.

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“KEEP GOING, YOU NEVER KNOW WHO YOU’RE POSITIVELY INFLUENCING “ - via CLAIRE SULMERS

While sharing with us how she felt so close to giving up lately due to the challenges that Fashion Bomb Daily had been facing as a business, she simply didn’t. She got emotional looking at the AMAZING turn out of the event, saying that was just what she needed to reassure her that she was doing something right. She inspired us to keep going because we never know who we’re motivating and influencing. The mixer’s turn out was living proof of that!

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After a little more networking and connecting, I left the event SO ready to execute on the new insight. It’s crazy because this past week, I hadn’t been feeling well at all. A couple days before leaving for the event, I came down with the worst cold I’ve had in a while so I was feeling so drained. Honestly, as excited as I was for the meet up, the last thing I felt like doing was going out. But this weekend definitely taught me that you never know what blessings and great opportunities you give up when you only focus on what you feel like doing.

I wanna encourage you to also push past your comfort zone, even when you may not feel like it. Take time to invest in your craft and don’t be afraid to seek out experiences that will contribute to your growth!

Shop My Look: I am wearing a  snake print mock neck top  and  faux fur coat  from Boohoo, Missguided burgundy wrap faux suede mini skirt,  Miss Lola thigh high boots ,  House of Rehab bag , and Forever 21 drop earrings.

Shop My Look: I am wearing a snake print mock neck top and faux fur coat from Boohoo, Missguided burgundy wrap faux suede mini skirt, Miss Lola thigh high boots, House of Rehab bag, and Forever 21 drop earrings.

Sharra,

“The definition of walking art.”

P.S. There will be many more Convos With Claire meet ups for those who wanna attend in the future! Keep your eyes peeled on the @convoswithclaire Instagram page and Fashion Bomb Daily.

Want more recap content? Check out this recap on Style With Sharra: The Podcast Series.

A FASHION FINESSE: 3 TIPS THAT I GIVE MY CLIENTS TO QUICKLY LEVEL UP WHAT’S ALREADY IN THEIR CLOSET

WRITTEN BY SHARRA GREENE

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         First rule of searching for a bomb look: SHOP YOUR CLOSET FIRST! Though each client that I work with has different needs, there are always a few life hacks that I often give them to help make their life easier with what they already have at home. In this post, I'm sharing some of the simple yet major keys that I give my clients by sharing a few ways to flip your go-to pieces in your wardrobe! 

SWAP OUT YOUR COMFY TEES FOR A SEXY TOP TO GO WITH YOUR FAVE DENIM

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This one is the perfect compromise, especially if you're a jeans and flats type of girl. If comfort typically comes first for you when it comes to dressing, going with the v cut top with spaghetti straps or ruffles that we typically save for date night with bae, can add more of a dressier take to your everyday denim ensembles.

My client Wanda (below) recently took this approach. As a busy mompreneur, comfort is super important to her. She's now starting to incorporate ruffles and sultry designed tops into her wardrobe and to say it's working for her would be an understatement!

 

SPICE UP YOUR SWEATS WITH COLORFUL SHOES & ACCESSORIES

     This closet hack is the perfect way to upgrade those faded sweatshirts and bottoms that you've considered throwing away! By pairing a worn out, faded, stretched out piece with another sexy-fitting separate and eye-catching accessories, you'll give your damaged goods a fresh and presentable look. 

 

GET MORE WEAR OUT OF YOUR SPRING SHOES WITH TIGHTS THAT MAKE A STYLE STATEMENT

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Before you say goodbye to your favorite spring heels for a few months, don't forget to try them out with a pretty pair of sheer stockings and tights to keep your legs warm while you slay in low cut shoes all year long. Floral tights or ones with a lace design typically go nicely with open toe strappy heels or pointy toe pumps.

     I hope you enjoyed these closet hacks!

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You can always send outfit pic mail to me if you use the advice I offer to styleadvicebysharra@gmail.com! I love seeing what you all put together!

     P.S. if you found these tips useful and would like more, be sure to subscribe to my weekly style advice newsletter to receive exclusive style advice from me every week, the inside scoop on my brand, blog post alerts, and more! New interviews, photo shoots, and outfit inspiration coming to The Walking Art Blog very soon! Stay tuned!

Sharra,

"The definition of walking art."

SHE LEFT THE CORPORATE LIFE FOR HER LIFE'S CALLING: MY INTERVIEW WITH EDITORIAL STYLIST + BLOGGER KRYSTAL J. BENSON OF #INSPIREDBYKRYS

SHARED BY SHARRA GREENE

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Back in May, I met stylist Krystal Benson while attending a fashion networking event. Pretty, poised, and dressed to kill, Krystal delivered major keys concerning business, networking, and the power of spirituality, while serving on the panel. I had to catch up with her during the intermission. I instantly vibed with her... It could be a stylist thing, or maybe a Leo thing, or both. Needless to say, I had to bring her wisdom and knowledge to The Walking Art Blog! Check out my Q&A session with her as Krystal weighs in on how she stays motivated, how she deals with different demands and personas in the industry, what trend she's had enough of, and more!

So, what has inspired your career as an editorial stylist + content creator and what motivates you during the not so sexy parts of styling? 

     I've always loved to create and be creative. From doing DIY projects at home to making my own clothes, being creative is one of my favorite pastimes. Since I was a child, I would play store and draw sketches of clothes and sell them to my family members. As I've grown, my love for fashion has also evolved. At first, I wanted to be a personal stylist or a stylist to the stars, but I soon realized that my joy came from digging deeper. 

When it comes to fashion, I love telling a story with clothes, which is why I chose to go the editorial route. After 3+ years in Corporate America, I decided to quit my 9-5 and follow my dreams of being a freelance wardrobe stylist in New York City.  This avenue allows me to have fun and create a story that can spark a conversation. 

     When it comes to styling or content creating, what motivates me to keep going is the finished product. I know that nothing worth having is going to be easy. But the end result is always great when you push through! 

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"The Girl Next Door" styled by    Krystal J. Benson   . Photo by    Dominique Guillaume   .

"The Girl Next Door" styled by Krystal J. Benson. Photo by Dominique Guillaume.

So you’ve just recently wrapped a major campaign with Nike + Amazon.. what was your experience like with this campaign? Were there any challenges along the way and if so, how did you push through to deliver? 

Yes!!! The Nike + Amazon campaign was my biggest job to date. I was the main assistant for the head stylist on the job which meant I was with him for the duration of the entire project. I knew all of the ends and outs and did a lot of the leg work. One of my biggest challenges was dealing with his type A personality. He was very demanding and overthinking throughout the entire campaign. The way that I pushed through was by praying each morning before I walked on set and staying organized! Organization is key!!  

You’re currently working with Brooks Brothers on some online content.. is working with this brand teaching you anything new about the styling / fashion industry? 

     Yes, I'm definitely learning a lot about the e - commerce side and what all it takes to get content put up on the site. Some may think that you just take a picture and post it, but there is a science to all of the webpages that you do your online shopping on. You'd be surprised, all the work that goes into it. Aside from that, when we shoot mens clothing, I'm learning a lot about mens tailoring and the different terminology for the essential garments that make up a man's wardrobe. 

"Like a Boy", styled by    Krystal J. Benson   . Photo by    Pierre Walker   .

"Like a Boy", styled by Krystal J. Benson. Photo by Pierre Walker.

I personally think that styling as a skill / profession that is really slept on or underrated.. have you experienced people sleeping on your skills personally and if so, what do you do when in this situation?

     To be honest, no. Thankfully, my friends and family have all been supportive of my career choices thus far.. and on the days when I find myself questioning my abilities, I'm reminding by my circle that I am the shit, and that I shouldn't doubt myself for one second! I can't lie, when your peers are becoming doctors, lawyers and dentists making 100k out of college, you can find yourself thinking you picked the wrong major. Trust me, I've done it. But when I sit and think that each day, I get to wake up and do what I love and that means so much more! 

      Now, let’s talk style for a moment! What is one trend that you think is slept on and one trend that you think is highly overrated and/or won’t be around much longer?

The trend that I think is slept on, in my opinion, is minimalism, which is an overall vibe. I think in today's society, people love to be extra. Extra with the colors, extra with the prints, extra with everything and sometimes that's cool! But nothing can beat a classical, minimal ensemble. They always say that "less is more" and I agree!

I am OVER the fanny pack trend, especially for men. I think it has ran its course and it's time to get into some new statement accessories! 

"Fearless Brown Girl" styled by    Krystal J. Benson   . Photo by    @torrij_

"Fearless Brown Girl" styled by Krystal J. Benson. Photo by @torrij_

There are a lot of aspiring stylists / fashion creatives who struggle with what their daily /weekly grind should look like. As a wardrobe stylist myself, I’m constantly revisiting my to do list and adding and taking away certain tasks to make sure my focus is where it needs to be. I know this process is different for everyone but could you give just a little insight on how to stay productive and not just “busy” as a wardrobe stylist? 

I think we all struggle from time to time with staying focused. As creatives, our minds are forever thinking of ways to create and evolve. That's the fun part of doing what we do but it can also be one of the hardest things to manage. First, I would say to write out your goals, short and long term. Then, devise a plan that will help you attack it in pieces until you accomplish your goal. And finally put that work into action. Like I said earlier, organization is key so be sure to write everything down and give yourself deadlines to hold yourself accountable. 

Also, whatever you do, remember that you are your own person. Don't compare yourself to the next person. Your journey is different. Your ideas are different. Nobody else can be you and that is your super power. 

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     Krystal, thank you so much for sharing your insight! I'm glad that we crossed paths back in May! Keep up with Krystal's journey on her site and social media!

The goal was to give aspiring creatives some advice from a style pro so I hope you got something from this highlight! Comment your thoughts below! 

Sharra,

"The definition of walking art." 

6 STYLES + EXPERIENCES TO HELP TAKE YOUR SUMMER FROM 0 - 100!

WRITTEN BY SHARRA GREENE

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Summer is here and every year, everyone that I know talks about how they hope to have a fun yet productive and fulfilling summer. In this post, I'm sharing some of my fave fashion and lifestyle go to's that bring a great sense of balance to my life while I'm on my grind in the warmer months. Enjoy! 

WEARING YOUR T SHIRTS WITH HEELS

I would include links for you to shop these looks but I made these on Polyvore, which unfortunately,  no longer exists.

I would include links for you to shop these looks but I made these on Polyvore, which unfortunately,  no longer exists.

This one is a personal fave. It's PERFECT for impressing bae on date night with the perfect dressy casual look OR simply going the extra mile and showing off when you're out and about. A sexy pair of stilettos can take any ordinary tee to new heights. Throw one on with some high waist shorts or switch it up by wearing an oversized tee as a dress. Take your pic and watch your summer selfies level up! DISCLAIMER: If you're not really bout that heel life, pack some flat sandals in your bag as backup!

VISITING A NEW PLACE

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During my trip to Mexico last summer, I really learned  how crucial it is that we make time for ourselves to explore and make new memories outside of our everyday environment. For anyone who is currently feeling burnt out or uninspired by their everyday routine, I seriously suggest investing in a trip to a brand new place that you've never visited before! It can really shift your persective and help you to recharge your hustle!  My to do list is honestly super long this summer but I'm doing my best to prioritize and to make some time for a new adventure before the Fall! You should, too!

WEARING PRETTY SUNNIES

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I have a love hate relationship with sunglasses because I absolutely ADORE them but it's rare that I come across a pair with frames that fit my face shape perfectly while also going with almost everything in my closet. So far, I've found 2 pair and it's only June! So, it's safe to say I'm pressed and I'll be wearing them all summer. I encourage you to take some time out to go on a hunt for the PERFECT shades for you.

P.S.  Make sure that you have at least one pair with a UV protection of 99 - 100%! 

 

TAKING YOURSELF ON A CUTE DATE

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I'm famous for this. Whenever I have a lot on my mind or just want to get some fresh air and treat myself, I get cute and head downtown for a little shopping and a cute lunch date with me, myself, and I. Spending some quality time with yourself can really give you the opportunity to be alone with your thoughts, get to know yourself a little better, and even plan out the rest of your week. Trust me, taking yourself out is so underrated. 

PAYING HOMAGE TO THE 90'S VIA YOUR SUMMER WARDROBE

(Left)- Photographer:  Gilles Bensimon , Stylist:  Todd Oldham  | (Right)- Photographer/ Co Creative Director:  D. Rice Photography   Model:  Sophia Yeshi  | Hair Stylist/Makeup Artist:  Brittany Main  |  Styling and Creative Direction by Me    

(Left)- Photographer: Gilles Bensimon, Stylist: Todd Oldham | (Right)- Photographer/ Co Creative Director: D. Rice Photography

Model: Sophia Yeshi | Hair Stylist/Makeup Artist: Brittany Main | Styling and Creative Direction by Me

 

I keep seeing people all over social media asking when we will let the 90's go and the answer is NEVER! At least not when it comes to fashion. So STOP ASKING! The 90's will always reign (read why here). Just in case you needed it, I'm giving you permission to slay all summer with 90's inspired busy prints, high waist silhouettes,  sexy mid section cut outs, clever cleavage, and of course, statement earrings!  

CHECK YOUR PERSPECTIVE

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Whenever I'm in a state of distress, I do my best to shift my perspective. I try to scale out and look at all of the blessings in my life, whether they be people, things, or experiences. I know it sounds cliche, but in a lot of ways, life really is what you make it. Whenever I reflect on all of the things that are going right instead of everything that is going wrong, I'm almost instantly refocused and motivated. In the midst of serving bomb looks this summer, don't forget to work towards making that mindset just as beautiful. I promise doing so will make for an even more poppin' summer!

     Hope you enjoyed this curated list of summer gems! Comment the ones that you think you'll be trying this summer and stay tuned for a new interview with a style pro + some outfit inspiration coming your way this month! Thank you so much for your readership! It means the world!

Sharra,

"The definition of walking art."