‘E! News’ Fashion Correspondent and Wardrobe Stylist Stacee Michelle Talks Careers in Fashion

Fashionista extraordinaire Stacee Michelle shares how she got her start in the fashion industry, and advises how others can do the same

Fashion
(Image: Ray Thomas)

Lights, cameras, action!

Fashion correspondent and wardrobe stylist, Stacee Michelle, has explored neatly every professional facet of fashion. She has penned beauty blogs, contributed to fashion magazines, forecasted trends as a retail apparel buyer, moonlighted as an art director, and even graced the catwalk as a runway model.

As Stacee continues to build upon her successful career, she is currently vying for a chance to represent North Carolina at New York Fashion Week as the next E! News Fashion Correspondent. Out of over 300 national submissions, Stacee was selected as one of the top-four contestants to move on to the next round at Miami Fashion Week this month.

Black Enterprise had the wonderful opportunity to find out a little bit more about Stacee Michelle, how she got started and what lies ahead for the budding fashion industry star.

BE: When did you first become interested in fashion and style?

Stacee: Before I was old enough to buy my own clothes, I was into fashion! The youngest of three, I was often the recipient of hand-me-down ensembles from my older sister. In order to make them look new, I had to be creative. I developed a distinctive personal style of my own, turning worn pieces into one-of-a-kind looks. I was constantly in awe of the creativity and art in fashion magazines.

How has your experience in the E! News Style Challenge impacted you? 

Getting that first email from E! News that, out of 300 plus national submissions, I was selected into the top-15 contestants, then top-eight, and now top-four, made me realize that my dream could actually become reality. I never knew that a simple tag on an Instagram post would put me in the amazing position that I am in today. I am thankful and appreciate all of the support from people I know and [those I] haven’t met yet. I am humbled by the opportunity to represent for my community and be an inspiration to others in the process.

Who inspires you in style and fashion?

My biggest inspiration in fashion is icon, Diane Von Furstenberg. She has been a trailblazer in the industry, empowering women of all ages to be strong, embrace their individuality, and understand that confidence is the best accessory. She uses her platform to uplift women who are advocates for change, along with supporting the growth and education of fashion by serving as President of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).

Why is it important for you to give back to aspiring young fashion enthusiasts? 

“The success of every single woman is the inspiration for another.”
– Diane Von Furstenberg

It is important for me to give back to aspiring fashionistas, because I want them to know someone has their support during their fashion journey. When I am able to provide a job-shadowing opportunity, I get the chance to share my passion with young men and women, giving them a better idea of what it is like to work in the industry. Most students think that being a wardrobe stylist and red carpet host is all about the glitz and glamour, but there is a lot of preparation, hard work, and patience that comes with the title.

As a published wardrobe stylist and fashion correspondent, what three key pieces of advice do you have for women looking to break into this industry?

1. Get a Mentor or Internship.

Reach out to those people that you may admire or professionals that are doing the job you want to do, to better understand the industry and find out exactly what it takes. Having a mentor is like having a road map, even though certain circumstances may have happened to others along the way, at least you can prepare yourself before they happen in your journey to success.

2. Create Opportunities.

Identify what you are passionate about and create opportunities for yourself. There are hundreds of people that are interested in being a wardrobe stylist or correspondent; what is going to set you apart is your portfolio. If there isn’t a job posting for what you want to do, don’t just sit around and wait for someone to give you the opportunity—make one for yourself!

3. Build Relationships.

The relationships you build in the industry are so important. It will be your network of resources and community of support for your own business when opportunities become available. As a wardrobe stylist, you must have relationships with retailers, boutiques, showrooms, designers, as well as media editors, hair stylists, makeup artists, photographers, and models. Attending industry events, on-site projects, and being active on social media can help establish these relationships.