Souk and The Heart of Styling

Optimized-Black Prada Bag-1Optimized-Vincecamutopump-1Souk is a force of nature. Stylist extraordinaire, this Chicago-native is hitting her stride in a big way: styling clients and working on many projects, including producing fashion shows to raise funds for non-profits and working on a book. She works and speaks from the heart in all of her work.  I met Souk a few months ago when she first appeared on TFIO; we caught up again to talk about the art of styling, or in Souk’s case, the heart of styling …

MKG: How long have you been styling? Was it a natural evolution for you?

SOUK: Technically, almost 8 years. But I have to say that I’ve been styling my whole life. My friends always asked me to shop and pick out outfits for them. Just this past weekend (at a dinner party), a good friend of mine was remembering how I styled her over 15 years ago and she felt lucky because she didn’t have to pay! At that time I was in the insurance industry and even before then, I knew I was meant to be in fashion. This friend couldn’t believe that a dress that I saw off the rack, that she didn’t think was cute, turned out to look so beautiful on her. Then another friend said,’I know, Souk, you picked out a dress for me online that I had never would have picked out for myself – and I fell in love with it!’ Hearing these recollections validated I was meant to be a stylist.

MKG: What have you learned about the effect of the right clothes on a woman?

SOUK: It is amazing – once you find the right clothes! When you put the right clothes on a woman and she feels great both physically and emotionally, that is the most important thing. How you feel about yourself on the inside will always be connected with how you look on the outside. People feel that energy about you. Continue reading

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Souk, The Savvy Stylist!

Souk, wearing a sweater designed by her friend, and Nanette Lepore skirt

Souk   –  Photo Credit: Alyssa Palazzolo

In the heart of Chicago lives a 5’2″ dynamo named Souk. Don’t let her size fool you; Souk is not only a seasoned stylist (with her own personal lifestyle blog, Savvy Souk), and fashion show producer, but is also a source of tremendous inspiration to everyone she meets. With her nurturing and supportive spirit, you would never know that Souk lost her own mother when she was only five years old. Souk and I talked fashion and the importance of empowerment and mentorship …

MKG: In your blog you say, “You don’t have to be a model size to look fashionable.” At 5’2″ what is it that you would like petite women to know about dressing and their clothing choices.

SOUK:  Embrace your body! Find cuts, designs and designers that best flatter. I would love to fit into Theory, but it’s for tall skinny women! Do some research. Try on different brands that best FIT you!

MKG: Where do you like to shop?

SOUKI gravitate towards Nanette Lepore and Nicole Millermy go-to brands; they never cease to amaze me with their collections. You can also find them in the department stores. Continue reading

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Kim Naci’s LUSTY Adventure!

Kim Naci

Kim Naci

Meeting fashion therapist and stylist Kim Naci changed my life. She gave me (someone who has always loved what clothes can do for my sense of self) more confidence and understanding that I am worth the time and the effort to dress my best. Until I met Kim and had her clear out my closet and my mental cobwebs, I wasn’t treating myself the best that I could. It was her skill yes, but it was much more than that; it was Kim’s huge heart, warmth, and wit. I just wanted to hug her all the time! So last fall, when Kim told me that she was working on a secret television assignment, I knew it would be special. And it was. Kim has been working as the lead stylist on the TLC series with fashion expert, Stacy London: Love, Lust, or Run! (The show airs Friday nights at 9/8C). Yes, tune in tonight to see this heartwarming fashion ‘make-under’ experience. But in the meantime, here is Kim to tell us about the show from a bird’s-eye view …

MKG: How long have you known Stacy London?

KIM: Stacy and I met over 4 years ago during the launch of her {now defunct} agency Style For Hire. I was tapped by Stacy to execute a training workshop for the incoming stylists.

MKG: The moment you were told you would be the lead stylist of Stacy London’s new show, Love, Lust, or Run – what went through your mind?

KIM: Great question! Until then, my experience had been styling private clients and magazines, both digital and print. This was going to be my first foray into television which had been long-time goal. And what better way than to join my friend and colleague, Stacy London? Continue reading

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Renessta Olds: Life of a Celebrity Stylist

Renessta Olds

Renessta Olds

Renessta Olds, fashion editor and celebrity stylist, has a remarkable story. The fact that she has been a personal shopper for 18 years and a stylist for seven of those years, is only part of it. Because this woman is also in the process of obtaining her Master’s Degree and has visions for herself and her future. Renessta grew up in Brooklyn with strong southern ties. In fact, that is where her love of fashion and her story began …

Renessta: I always loved fashion. I grew up in the 80s, in the South, and in church; my grandfather was a minister and my uncles were preachers. At that time, southern women who went to church were very lady-like. They always came to church wearing a dress, with a hat and pearls, and a quality handbag. These were the first women who made an impression on me, and I loved it. In addition, my mother would sew; she would make my sister and me matching outfits from McCall’s patterns and fabrics that she purchased at Woolworth’s. Continue reading

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Doing a DoubleTake of Kelly Killoren Bensimon!

Kelly Killoren Bensimon with Marci Kessler, Owner of DoubleTake Consignment Boutiques

Kelly Killoren Bensimon with Marci Kessler, CEO, DoubleTake Consignment Boutique

Kelly's new book, perfume and candle

Kelly brought her new book and candles, “Baiser Rose,” for purchase

Celebrity stylist, Kelly Killoren Bensimon, came to DoubleTake Consignment Boutique in Short Hills, NJ, last night, to style fall fashions and share tips with customers. It was an evening of smiles, fashion fun, flare, and information. I, of course, remember Kelly from earlier seasons of The Real Housewives of New York, but meeting her in person at DoubleTake Consignment Boutique, a favorite fashion spot of mine, was a treasure treat and a match made in heaven. Ms. Bensimon stunned in a floral outfit and high heels (something she says she is never without!), but what became clear from the start was her warmth and her sincere interest in styling. As a stylist, she was confident and fearless, telling me it’s important to “have fun with fashion” and that “life is too short” to make fashion more than it is. Kelly gave me more fall fashion insights:

On fashion trends for fall, Kelly says: “florals, winter white, argyle, and A-line skirts are big. I like layering because it makes wearing clothes more fun. Henley’s are cool for kids, worn with chunky sweaters, plaid shirts, jeans and boots.” Continue reading

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