The fashion world has gained a much-needed dose of black girl magic thanks to Stylist, Shoe Designer and all around ‘it’ girl Ade Samuel. With a career spanning from red carpet to editorial and advertising, Samuel styled the 2016 February cover of Essence magazine featuring Chi-raq’s Teyonah Parris, Black-ish’s Yara Shahidi, and Social Activist Johnetta “Netta” Elzie.
She’s worked with Nicole Richie, Christina Aguilera, and Miley Cyrus to name a few. And recently, Tracee Ellis Ross donned a pair of her Italian made shoes for a Bust Magazine photo shoot. If these boss moves aren’t enough, her fashion footprint can be seen in VOGUE, Teen VOGUE, W Magazine, CR Fashion Book, ELLE, Glamour, The Block, Populartv.com, and StyleCaster.com.
Beyond the glitz and glamour that comes with the title of fashion stylist & shoe designer, there’s a lot of hard work—and Samuel is here for it. There’s no such thing as a typical day for the native New Yorker currently living in L.A. Her days can include anything from prepping for a photo shoot to lugging around garment bags for a fitting, picking up samples, and packing up boxes for shipment, all while meeting tight deadlines.
As a creator and hustler, Samuel was greatly influenced by her parents challenging upbringing in Nigeria. “I come from a big family of six siblings. For me, being a part of the Nigerian culture but living in America, was a huge influence in my life. My parents childhood stories of fetching water (which was not close to where they lived) in order to take a shower before going to school or the trek from the village afterwards to make it to school on time and realizing their lack of mobility, allowed me to understand as a child living in America that I was truly blessed. I knew [I] was going to become something bigger than what my parents imagined for me as their child. My ability to work hard and continue to be persistent is what continues to drive my creativity today as a stylist and designer.”
Hot off the heels of the launch of her shoe line, affectionately named Ade Samuel, a sassy luxury contemporary line that’s not only glamorous but daring, BlackEnterprise.com caught up with the multi-talented trailblazer to learn more about her journey.
BlackEnterprise.com: How did you break into fashion styling?
Samuel: I’ve always had a love for fashion and knew that I was going to be a creator in the industry. I just never realized until interning and learning through my many experiences that styling and designing would be the path that I fell so deeply in love with. I started in editorial before becoming a stylist and now today, a designer.
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
To be recognized as a shoe designer, I always had a passion for designing and a love for creating art through accessories. Secondly, working with Christina Aguilera and being able to do shows with her was a big accomplishment for my career. She has always been a musician that I admired growing up and being able to dress her and be a part of her career through styling has been amazing.
Lastly, being featured on BlackEnterprise.com. I have to be cheesy and say as a fan of Black Enterprise.com and the content that’s written to motivate, encourage and highlight the success of our culture and generation, this goes down in my book as an amazing accomplishment.
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