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Meet Celebrity Stylist DaMara Altman

Styled by Celebrity Stylist DaMara Altman
Model styled by Celebrity Stylist DaMara Altman

In your own words, what is the responsibility/duty/function of a stylist?
My job as a stylist is to  not only dress the client but dress their image and brand as well. It is my responsibility to protect it.

Can you tell me about some of the celebrities, PR companies, publishers that you have worked with?
I have worked with so many amazing people thus far on my career. I have designed for or styled such celebrities as Naima Mora (ANTM winner), Keenyah Hill (ANTM), Gretchen Rossi (RHOC), Elizabeth Minett (Canadian Lingerie model and celebrity blogger, and Playboy Playmate Ashley Doris to name a few.

I have an incredible publicist, Lindsey Walker of PR Mentality, that has gone through great strides in making sure my dreams come true, and my mentor and friend, celebrity makeup artist Jami Svay who is my voice of reason and inspiration. I mean the list could go on and on. I have been so lucky to have been able to meet such talented and creative people.

What sparked your love affair with fashion and what did you do to turn that interest into a career?
I have been in love with fashion ever since I started sewing at the age of seven. I knew without a doubt in my mind from then that this was something that I wanted to do forever. It gave me life. Still does.

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I read somewhere that you had your start working with several retailers as a visual merchandiser.  How did you make the shift from visual merchandiser to celebrity stylist and when did you realize that styling was something that you could do for a living?
I still work in the visual merchandising field. Much of what I do today has progressed into retail design. But the “shift” was so natural. Working at Macy’s and dressing over 50 mannequins on one floor alone gives you much practice in creating a look with a specific theme or concept.

When you work with a client do you select their wardrobe based on their personality, body type or the image/brand that they would like to project?
All of the above. And it takes patience and understanding to communicate that to your client. Many people have an image of a desired look but it is our job to make sure their desire lines up with the reality of  their body type, personality, and image.

As a stylist, do you freelance or do you work with a network of other stylists, designers or PR companies?
All of my jobs have been freelance. But I am keeping an open mind to the other avenues available to me for work.

How crucial is networking in the fashion industry for stylists and what’s your approach?
Networking is key to get to where you want to be in this industry. It is vital to build strong and honest relationships with those you work with, it could make or break your career.

What advice do you have for women who are trying to find their own personal style?
Know yourself. It’s important to know who you are and not who you want to be like. Research for inspiration. There are all different types of styles of dress. Maybe you feel at your best when you wear earthtones and natural materials, check out the bohemian looks. Next look for items that help you to accentuate your assets. I am a firm believer and teacher of this. Not only will it make you look better, it will make you feel better and more comfortable in your skin. Do inventory of your closet. Toss that items that you no longer wear or can no longer fit. Most importantly, buy pieces that make you feel comfortable. The purpose is not to change who you are, it is to ENHANCE who you are.

What’s next for you? (i.e. tell me about your online boutique)
(Laughs)  Someone has been doing their homework. I do have an online boutique launching in March/April.

Stiletto Shoe Lounge, a luxury online fashion lounge and e-zine. The new face of fashion, shopping, and editorials. We have created an atmospheric online lounge and present a fashion haven for shoe and accessory lovers. Each month we will feature celebrities, bloggers and industry guest editors, revealing the hottest trends and favorites, behind the scenes footage of shoots, interviews, trade shows, new collections, and fashion stories. A direct connection between you and what the most stylish fashionistas you love are buying. My PR team and I are also in the works of putting together workshops, seminars, and I also have a book coming out soon.

What advice do you have for aspiring stylists?
Research the industry. Know it’s ins and outs. Have a passion for it. Network. Intern and DON’T LIMIT YOURSELF!

About Natasha Samuels

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