New York native Brookelyn Styles has worked in all facets of fashion styling and creative direction for over 15 years and boasts a client list that includes Cardi B, Will.I.Am and YG among many others.
We caught up with Brookelyn over email to learn about how she became a stylist, the connection between music and fashion, plans to expand her brand and how living through a pandemic might impact creatives.
Snobette: Where do you call home?
Brookelyn: “I have called Los Angeles home for seven years now, but will forever rep Brooklyn and my city of Nueva York.”
Snobette: What was the path that led you to become a stylist? Brookelyn: “For as long as I can remember, I have loved fashion and creative direction. As a young girl I was rearranging my back-to-school clothes or taking hand-me-downs and reinventing them. In high school I used to make money on the side by creating custom pieces for all the fly girls, and the boys everyone wanted to be like. I knew then I wanted to feel that feeling I got when I saw people in my looks for the rest of my life.
“It became a smooth transition after that I started doing visual merchandising for a couple of stores just by word of mouth. The next step after that was assisting other stylists. I did that for no pay for three years, as just a fly on the wall. Along the way, I was able to build my own client list. It’s been 15 years now and I’m blessed to say I’m still doing what I love, which is styling, creative direction, fashion direction and designing.”
Snobette: Being a creative do you use the services of an agency or management?
Brookelyn: “I am an independent contractor I have been my own manager and public relations rep for 15 years. So far, all my jobs have come through word of mouth.”
Snobette: A lot of your work is connected to music. What are some of your favorite genres and artists?
Brookelyn: “I love music! I definitely feel music and fashion go hand in hand and inspire one another. Some of the artists I’m listening to now include Griselda, Pharrell, Tyler the Creator, Nina Simone, Diana Gordon, Rosalia, Jay-Z, Ozuna, David Sabastian, MGMT, Kanye West, Wu-Tang Clan, Pop Smoke and Khalid to name a few.”
Snobette: What songs are currently on replay?
Brookelyn: Songs on replay right now are Westside Gunn’s “Versace” from Pray for Paris, Tyler’s “Earfquake” from IGOR, Diana Gordon’s “Once a Friend (Unplugged),” MGMT’s “Electric Feel,” Khalid’s “Know Your Worth” and David Sabastian’s “Believe In Yourself” from We Are God.
Snobette: One of the realities rarely discussed in styling are the various opinions offered on set, whether from the talent, the client or the entourage. How do you manage input?
Brookelyn: “For the most part I do my thing freely. I have dealt with the managers and entourages that have opinions or ideas that go against an idea or vision I see for the artist. I get through these moments on a case by case basis. I definitely stand by my ideas and visions. However, I strive to also be flexible and open to others inputs. I’m happy to say most of my ideas have been well received.”
Snobette: You have beautiful images of yourself online. Do you think it’s possible in 2020 to be a fashion creative and be incognito? Brookelyn: “I definitely think you can be incognito in these times. For me personally being recognizable is definitely a plus. As much as social media has connected us on a grander scale, it has also made it easy for people to copy and paste your work. Putting a face to the brand has definitely been helpful to me. I feel it allows the audience to connect with you on a deeper level. I also think whatever feels organic to you is what you should go with as the authenticity of what you put out is how it will be received.”
Snobette: We saw hints of pieces you have designed like ankle bags and some crystal-studded Nike sneakers. Is there a Brookelyn Styles collection in the works?
Brookelyn: B by Brookelyn is my brand. It’s been on the back burner for the last two years as I have been working non stop and I haven’t had the time necessary to develop it the way I want. I have created a few pieces here and there for clients. The first wide release were my B by Brookelyn diamond braids last year, which sold out within a few hours.
“I do plan to focus on B by Brookelyn in 2020 into 2021. I’m excited to share my collections with the world. I will be putting a shoe out in the near future as well as collaborating with a few brands.”
Snobette: Do you think there will be an upside for fashion creatives after quarantine?
Brooklelyn: “Definitely! I think the world has changed and new ideas will be birthed. After dark times the art world reemerges with new visions and new ideas. A change to move the world forward.”