Ooh La La Blog has the honor of interviewing the up and coming celebrity stylist, Ryan Christopher. Ryan currently works as the assistant to celebrity stylist, Shun Melson. This opportunity has afforded Ryan the chance to style the likes of Fantasia, Nene Leakes, Kim Zolciak, SWV, and Jeezy. It was such an inspiring experience to speak with Ryan Christopher, an individual who is making his mark in the fashion industry.
Ryan graduated from Miles College with a degree in Business Administration. It was at Miles College, where Ryan laid the ground work to launch his career. Ryan says he put on fashion shows at the college. He says, “ I was amazed at how HBCUs students dressed up going to class, it was truly shocking! So I wanted to create something to show students you could be fashionable for all aspects during your college career.”
Through this experience, Ryan began producing fashion shows left and right. His expertise took him all the way around theglobe and back. He produced shows in Africa and for Saks Fifth in Birmingham, Alabama.
While Ryan says he enjoyed producing fashion shows, his passion was solely in styling. Eventually he broke away from producing fashion shows, and starting styling full time. It was as Ryan calls it, “the beginning of a new beginning.”
Ryan is making his presence known in the fashion industry, and his style is certainly the one to watch,especially on your favorite celebrities since he’s dressing them.
Continue Reading to read Ryan’s complete interview, where he gives us the ups and downs of the fashion industry and advice for anyone tryng to break into the business.
Ooh La La Blog: What exactly does a fashion stylist do?
I’m sure everyone has their own definition of a “stylist”. A stylist, to me, is someone who has an “eye” for style. An “eye” that everyone doesn’t have. Take for instance you go into the mall and you look at a dress on the rack and it may not look cute on the rack at all, a stylist sees beyond the rack, it’s the gift of the “eye”. A true stylist knows just because its fabulous doesn’t mean it’s for everyone! A stylist should be able to dress their clients starting from their personalities, adding a little touch of their “eye” and style to create FABULOUSITY!
Ooh La La Blog : How did you train for this kind of work? Where did you get the skills? school? apprenticeship, or GOD given talent?
No one can train or teach you how to have an “eye”…..it’s truly God Given!!
Ooh La La Blog: How do you like the fashion industry as a business? Is it different then what you were expecting, or is it exactly what you pictured?
Of Course it’s not at all like I pictured, but because I LOVE Fashion & Style I LOOOOOVE everything about the business! It has its beautiful and ugly sides, but it’s just like a relationship, you can love a person but you might not like them all time….lol!
Ooh La La Blog: We’ve seen TV shows and celebrity stylist that have glamorized fashion styling. Do you think this paints the true picture of a fashion stylist? Is it all glitz and glamour, or have you seen the grit and grime of it all?
I think that TV can glamorize it. There was a show entitled “House of Glam”, it showed the business in a true sense. I actually had a chance to interview the star Crystal Streets and that’s one of the things she expressed in the interview, that you really got to see all aspects of a stylist.
Ooh La La Blog: What’s the best perk of being a stylist?
Good clients give great gifts……lol
Ooh La La Blog: What’s the most difficult part about being a stylist?
That’s a good question. It’s a very hard industry to break into and it’s very easy to get discouraged, so I’ll say staying encouraged through the bad days, for there are many, it’s the most difficult part.
Ooh La La Blog: What’s some advice you can give to anyone trying to break into the fashion industry?
Have patience. Everything happens in due time. One of the things Crystal Streets said in the interview was how so many people want it so bad and fast that they forget to intern and assist so you can truly learn the business! I took heed to what she said and anyone upcoming, for I’m still up and coming as well, should take heed to that.
Ooh La La Blog: What’s your fashion philosophy?
My philosophy is “Fashion is my life; live it, wear it, show it” Yes this actually came from me, with the help of a friend.
Ooh La La Blog: I’ve heard stylist say that this market is over saturated and everyone wants to be a stylist now, with that being said how do you separate your self from other stylist?
The market is over saturate,d but not just in styling there are a lot of things that are in the entertainment industry. My theory on this is just to always stay true to me and let my work speak for itself…There’s plenty of work out here for everyone.
Ooh La La Blog:Who are some of your favorite designers major and independent?
LORICK, Hernan Lander, Bensoni, Tracy Reese, Monique Lhuillier, Carolina Herrera, DSquared, Dolce&Gabbana…..and the list goes on & on…Oh I loooove Nicholas Kirkwood and Camilla Skovgaard…they are great footwear designers!
Ooh La La Blog: If you could have your way, who would you love to style?
I would love to style Kerri Washington, Charlize Theron, and this may be a shocker but Rocsi from 106 &Park!
Ooh La La Blog: Who is the most fashionable celebrity right now?
The most fashionable celebrity HANDS DOWN is awarded to Victoria Beckham! There are several others who don’t play either!
Ooh La La Blog: Your from the south, do you think we get enough props when it comes to fashion? A lot of people think that since we’re from the south, we don’t know a thing about fashion. What’s your take on that?
That is so true!!! I will say this, we can show them better than we can tell them! EVERYBODY that’s from the south isn’t behind. There’s plenty of talent in the south and I think our recognition will come, we just have more walls to knock down than the average, I’m up for the challenge.
Ooh La La Blog: Any fashion role models?
Rachel Zoe. I admire her ability to establish wonderful relationships with wonderful designers, that’s half the battle!
Again, this was such a wonderful interview. Ryan Christopher is a Birmingham, Al native, who spends quite a bit of time in Atlanta. Ryan is only 26 years old and is already making major moves in the fashion industry. To connect with Ryan you can contact him on TWITTER , FACEBOOK, or on his BLOG .
In the mean time check out this video of Ryan at work. This is behind the scene footage from a recent shoot, where he worked his styling skills.