Written by Sharra Greene & Jayne Do'
If you stop by The Walking Art Blog often, you're quite aware by now that I love to mix it up and bring guests who have a unique journey, a fresh perspective, and amazing wisdom gained from building their own personal and business brands from the ground up. Whereas some creatives tend to shy away from interracting with others who work in their field, I am completely inspired and fueled by it, always looking to learn something new and apply it for myself.
My most recent interview with editorial and celebrity stylist XO Jayne Do' was nothing short of an insightful exchange. Her indentifiable styling skillset can be seen on the likes of Timbaland, Draya Michele, ANTM's Marissa Hopkins, just to name a few and on gorgeous models in Nylon, Complex, and the list goes on. She's also about to make her debut as an author, with her book "Edi-tutorial: A Guide on Upgrading Your Next Editorial" set to release Winter 2018. Upon us following each other on Twitter, I instantly peeped her work and I was super impressed to say the least. Furthermore, I related to her honest, "no frills" take on the wardrobe styling experience, documented in her #StylistFromScratch social media videos. In our interview below, she offers up the real on her experiences, her favorite clients, her biggest challenges, and more.
What inspired you to pursue a career as a stylist and how did you get your start?
I didn’t initially want to be a fashion stylist, I wanted to be a fashion designer. At 14 (when I started), I had NO clue fashion styling was even an occupation. I got my start my 9th grade year of high school. A local Kansas City musician asked me to style him alongside his then girlfriend (because he thought I was fly).. but I had one day to do it. After school, I took my two best-friends with me to Sharpstown Mall. I shopped, overnighted his clothes and I’ve been styling ever since.
What is one myth about the life of a stylist that you feel is the furthest thing from the truth?
That it’s easy or glamorous. I mean it is glamour, but not for the stylist. Many starting stylists don’t just wake up with a million pieces in their closets. If they did, that’s just the easiest part. There is SO much paperwork and politicking before the styling portion even starts. And even more paperwork and headaches after.
Who are two of your favorite clients and why?
I’ll do two different types of clients, brand and celebrity. My most favorite client is Whitney Brown, she’s the CEO of W Entertainment. She is ABOUT HER BUSINESS. I love that in a client. I also love that she allows me to be the creative, trusts my judgement and is always honest. She is the A-Client that us stylists need. I would say Timbaland is my favorite celebrity to work with. He just has this energy that isn’t intimidating and keeps you comfortable. He was one of the easiest people I have ever worked with. He’s just great overall.
What would you say is the biggest challenge you've faced so far in your career?
Figuring out your worth. That’s the stage I am in right now. Having to “fire clients” and walking away from situations that isn’t conducive to my growth as a business woman. It’s a challenge because it just looks bad. Having to choose between having a bad rep short term vs. long term because you can’t make everyone happy is a challenge. Saying no when you want to save the world is a challenge. It’s nothing personal, but of course it doesn’t feel that way when it’s you.
The fashion industry is such a competitive field. Many seem to have a "crabs in a barrel" mentality and would rather not help others along the way while they themselves are on a similar journey. What particularly inspired you to want to " groom the next generation of stylists"?
I have experienced that “crabs in a barrel” mentality you speak of. On many levels. I started this journey in 2007 at 14, before social media, before this course was offered at college campuses. I had to blindly find my way. I don’t feel like all aspiring stylists do though, especially since there are resources. I have reached out to other stylists in an attempt to humble myself and have been shot down, too. I am not that stylist, I genuinely believe it’s enough money, jobs and room for us all in this industry.. if I can help you move up, perfect. Let’s all win and be great. Plus, I would love to see better stylists flourish now more than ever.
Speaking of the next generation, what do you feel has changed about the wardrobe styling industry that may not have affected stylists in past generations (or vise versa)?
SOCIAL MEDIA ! Social media and reality television has changed the way stylists are perceived and handled. It’s crazy. As time surpasses, the respect a stylist receives diminishes a little.
What are some words of wisdom from you on how to not only survive, but how to flourish as a creative entrepreneur?
It sounds cliche, but KNOW YOUR WORTH, not only as a creative but as a business person as well. Literally everything will fall into place. You will attract the type of client that identifies with you. You will attract people that don’t want to haggle your prices, or negotiate what you offer. It’s a domino effect after that.
Keep up with Jayne Do's grind via her social media (@xojaynedo) and look out for her #stylistfromscratch videos as well as her new book, set to release Winter 2018. Jayne Do', thank you so much for dropping some insight on The Walking Art Blog. I'll be watching the glo. ✨
Hope you enjoyed this interview as much as we did! Stay tuned for new projects coming very soon to The Walking Art Blog!