SZA’s Stylist Shares What It Was Like Working on SOS
Can you tell me a little bit about how you started out and eventually found your way into both parts of your fashion career?
I grew up in L.A., and I always knew I wanted to be a fashion designer. When I was a kid, I didn’t know what being a stylist was. We had a family friend who was a costumer, and she was my childhood hero. Because that was the closest thing I knew to what I wanted to be.
I always wanted to be a fashion designer, and my goal was to go to FIT in New York City right after high school, but September 11 happened, but that derailed my moving to New York City.
I did a semester at SMC [Santa Monica City College], and then I went to FIDM. I went for fashion design. I had a teacher—I even remember her name; it was Mrs. Owens—and she was a designer. She actually had just gotten a job as head designer of Apple Bottom jeans.
She was portfolio teacher, and I remember she told me that I would be a good stylist. She had previously worked at MTV as a stylist, and she introduced me to what that was because I didn’t really know what it was. I interned for her at Apple Bottom after I graduated. Then I interned at a few different denim companies. I eventually got a job with a small L.A. brand as women’s designer, and I was there for four years.
There, I met stylists, and I started assisting. I did freelance design after I left, but I focused more on styling.