I have to admit that I’ve always been a little fascinated by the life of a “celebrity stylist,” so I thought it might be fun to feature a few of them here. Below are a few questions regarding their daily grind. Next up is Eric Santiago, one of the stylists for “Mob Wives” on VH-1.
Mob Wives is an American reality television series on VH-1 that made its debut April 17, 2011. It follows six Staten Island women after their husbands or fathers are arrested and imprisoned for crimes connected to the Mafia.
Q. Please tell me how does one become a “celebrity stylist?”
A. You start by interning with a known or established wardrobe stylist and learn the ropes or go to fashion school if you’re interested in design.
Q. Did you attend fashion school?
A. No. I attended a music, art, and performing arts school that Madonna’s daughter and many of today’s stars attend.
Q. How much does word of mouth help in your line of work or your reputation in keeping or soliciting new clients?
A. It’s everything, especially when you’re trying to get your name out there.
Q. How important is it for new or potential clients to see your “styled” clients on the red carpet and/or featured in various publications?
A. Very much so. It shows your credit of work and also your fashion style in magazines and television.
Q. Would you suggest a celebrity stylist live in NYC or LA to be taken seriously as a stylist?
A. Both, I’ve traveled to both cities for work, but I dominate NYC.
Q. What about ATL or DC… especially with all the new movie studios in ATL and the First Lady’s influence on fashion?
A. ATL fashion has not yet caught up to NYC or LA for fashion, but it has potential.
Q. How hard is it to solicit wardrobe from various designers?
A. It’s very hard if you don’t build a strong relationship with showrooms and designers.
Q. Are the designers that you solicit celebrity designers or emerging designers?
A. I use both, I personally love working with emerging designers.
Q. What’s the biggest misconception about the aforementioned process?
A. It’s not what you know but who you know.
Q. How far in advance do you solicit wardrobe for a show?
A. Usually a week but sometimes you only get a 24-hour period for a fashion emergency.
Q. What other profession most resembles a celebrity stylist?
A. A costume designer for film and television.
Q. Who is your “dream” label, brand or designer that’s always apart of your style rack for your various clients?
A. My dream label is Alexander McQueen — it’s timeless.
Q. Who or what show are you currently styling?
A. I’m styling Karen Gravano, star of VH-1’s “Mob Wives.”
Q. What other projects are you currently working on that you can share with us?
A. I just launched my very own drinking water, Escape Alkaline Water, and also my newest line, Escape Radiance for hydrating your skin.
Q. Do you have any parting words to share with the readers of the Military Press?
A. I’m honored to share my story with the American troops. Please keep safe and keep me in mind if you are ever need a celebrity stylist; I’m here for you. I have family and friends in the military. You are ALL my heroes.
Lastly, I will be revealing my new logo for the Veteran Fashionista very soon, so please stay tuned for that!
Until next time my Veteran Fashionistas, as always, stay fashionable!
Jackie Thomas is a proud Navy Veteran. She has represented designers from Project Runway, Project Runway All Stars, All On The Line, etc. She produces celebrity fashion shows all across the country and abroad. She’s also a Guest Speaker for FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising) in San Diego.