Alexandra Suzanne Greenawalt
New York based personal stylist, artist and author. Worked as a personal stylist with various professionals and celebrities such as Jennifer Hudson and Antonia Bennett. Known for collaborations with photographers including Shu Akashi and Alberto Rizzo. Alexandra’s portfolio includes Elle, InStyle, Surface, Vogue Nippon, Lucky, Marie Claire, New York Times, and many other publications.
The Fashiongton Post: Alexandra, let’s start from the roots, when did you first fall in love with fashion?
Alexandra: My first loves were ballet and the mirror. After a ballet injury I discovered the theatre but later realized that my fascination was more specific to the clothing and what would be worn. I studied photography and french and had my first fashion internship in Paris for a small fashion press agency. I’ve always since birth been obsessed with image but in a deeper way than skin deep.
F.P: Can you recollect in your memory when was the first time that you decided to make fashion as a job of your life?
A.: In high school if you would have asked me I would have said that I wanted to be an actress but that changed after it stopped feeling like a good fit. The fashion internship in Paris was a critical turning point for me. My first job just out of college was in wholesale apparel sales. I had answered an ad in WWD and didn’t realize the difference between ‘fashion’ and ‘apparel’. I found the job not creative enough so I got color and shape certified and then started styling my friends in Boston. I also started an online fashion/nightlife magazine called Prove Real which enabled me to have a vehicle to produce fashion shows and fashion events. Once I realized that I didn’t want to live in nightlife I decided to move to nyc to pursue fashion as a career. I arrived a month after 9/11. So october 2001 I started my mission to style full time. I moved to NYC with a job for an outlandish decor/event biz which I did for about 3 months before embarking on my own. I got lucky with a Pantene national campaign the first month. The rest is history and a long story! There have been many twists and turns in my career.
F.P: What responsibilities does the work of a fashion stylist usually include?
A.: Varies for every stylist. I have found that every stylist I know has different business and clients than me. For me these days the majority of my work is one to one with private clients. I now have clients from all over the world who fly in to consult with me and shop in New York. I work with my clients usually a minimum of 2 months to transform her style and build a working wardrobe. There are many steps to the process-style prescription to closet clarity and mapping out a wardrobe master plan, shopping sessions, photographing looks, and also keeping a record of everything bought and what is in her closet. My keyrole is to inspire, empower and guide my client to a new level of style. Sometimes there is a disconnect between what they think their style is and how it is actually perceived. I help them see themselves without judgement but objectively so that changes can be made. It’s about aligning the outside vision with the outside manifestation. Often times there is an emotional part of the process because change isn’t always easy so I have to be part of the support system. I’m in the process of launching a global and virtual style program for the woman who is looking to elevate her style. My book Secrets of a Fashion Stylist goes into more depth of the details of an on set photo fashion stylist.
F.P: As far as we know, you not just create stylish looks for other people but also dress in a stylish way yourself. What does your wardrobe consist of?
A.: These days my day to day staples are great dresses which can go from day to night depending on how they are accessorized. I have some statement pieces which make the basics sing. For me it’s about layering amazing things and the mix. Not just one thing. I also avoid wearing black. During more casual times I wear very interesting knits (like an updated cooler version of sweatsuits-cause I like to be cozy).
F.P: What is for you a “well dressed woman”?
A.: Has a good sense of her own style. Turns heads when she walks in the door. Appropriate to her lifestyle. Seems at ease. Filled with confidence.
F.P: Can you describe your own style if in a couple of words?
A.: Sophisticated reality. Chic but not fussy. COLOR COLOR COLOR (only ones which make me look amazing)
F.P: What irritates you the most in nowadays fashion?
A.: That we have oodles of fashion magazines showing looks which are unwearable to the everyday woman. That we have lots of stylists but so many poorly dressed people. Harem pants and other unwearable and ridiculous trends. The lack of education of how to develop your own style without labels. Logos (they should pay us to wear their advertisement).
F.P: You had an experience of work as a stylist for Vogue Nippon. How did you get that assignment?
A.: I am very close to the talented and amazing Robin Narvaez who was a muse and a partner to Alberto Rizzo. She knew I was hungry and would work my ass off for the job so she helped me get hired on the project. It was his final published spread before passing and I feel honored to have worked with one of the greats.
F.P: How to create an image of a stylish fashionable person with minimal (or without any) expenses, and what details to highlight key points on?
A.: Study your own body and face to find out what looks best on you as an individual. Color and shape analysis is very valuable information. Make your own accessories or shop vintage and second hand. Use visuals to pinpoint your own personal style and then follow it through. Avoid trends because they pass too quickly. Invest in quality not quantity.
F.P: What would you advise to ‘The Fashiongton Post’ readers for the winter season?
A.: Fuzzy furry scarves in a color which sets off your eyes is a great weapon. Be comfortable and cozy. Dress for your lifestyle. Stay away from flatbed boots like UGGs as you can ruin your feet in flat shoes just as much as heels.
*Official site of Alexandra Suzanne Greenawalt: www.alexandrastylist.com