Meet The Simply Stylist NYC Breakout Speakers: Madison Guest & Amy Levin
There are so many things to look forward to with the Simply Stylist ‘Do What You Love’ Fashion & Beauty Conference, which will take place October 25th in NYC! Networking, expert panels, pampering, shopping, and cocktails — what more could a Boss Babe ask for on a Sunday afternoon! Although all of these things are great, one of the main reasons we put so much work into our conferences is to help each and every one of our attendees get their foot in the door of their chosen industry, gain irreplaceable connections, and learn from the best of the best. This year, we have enlisted Madison Guest, a Celebrity Stylist, and Amy Levin, Founder of CollegeFashionista, as two of our breakout speakers! Both Madison and Amy will speak for about 30 minutes to give you the low down on their experiences in fashion and share key advice on how to stand out amongst the next wave of industry influencers!
We can’t wait to hear what they have to say during their Breakout Sessions, but in the meantime, read on to get to know them a little better!
Madison’s calling for fashion occurred when she was a young girl in the small town of Ada, Oklahoma! After earning a degree in Merchandise Marketing at FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising), Madison got her start in the industry working at WhoWhatWear and E! Entertainment. Since then, she has taken the styling world by a storm and continues share her love for fashion as a stylist for celebrities like Victoria Justice, Brenda Song, Adelaide Kane, and more!
Q&A: Getting to know our Simply Stylist Breakout Speaker, Madison Guest
How did you get started in the styling industry?
Like a lot of stylists say, I sort of just fell into styling. I was interning at WhoWhatWear.com, and because back then it was still very small, I was lucky enough to work very closely with Katherine Power and Hillary Kerr. I think they saw something in me, because they used to ask me to help me out with any styling tasks needed for the site. After some time, they sat me down and told me they thought I would be a good stylist. I woke up the next day with a new direction in life, and shortly began assisting some of the best stylists in the business. My experience in doing that was invaluable and I learned so much. Eventually I felt it was time to go out on my own, and that’s where it really began.
What was your biggest career defining moment?
I’m still not entirely confident I’ve had THE career defining moment yet. One moment though, when I felt like I had “made it,” if you will, was when my client Victoria was about to do the premiere for the first big studio movie she was leading. We were in New York working on press, and needed to do a fitting, and I did not like any of my options. In a panic, I called my contact at Versace and told her I needed options for my fitting. I truly thought there was no chance it would work out, but I didn’t care because I didn’t have anything else I liked. They told me the press team was coincidentally in New York and that I could run over to the showroom (which is on top of the store on 5th Avenue) and do a pull. I remember standing outside, after hours, looking up at the “Versace” sign and thinking, “Wow. Here I am. From Ada, Oklahoma, walking into Versace and taking anything I want for my client’s premiere.” And that’s when I felt like a real stylist for the first time.
What are 3 pieces of advice for someone who wants to become a stylist?
1) It’s not what you think it is. For some reason people think they’ll decide to be a stylist on Monday and then on Friday will be sitting front row at Chanel next to Anna Wintour. Some day you may have that, but not at first. 2) Be ready to work and get dirty. My first day of assisting I wore my most fashionable outfit, complete with new heels. BIG MISTAKE. I very quickly realized this job is a lot of work. It’s my true passion in life, but it’s work. Never think you’re above working. 3) Cherish your connections. Everything I’ve done, and everything I’ve continued to do, is a result of connections I’ve made. Your connections are just as important as your talent. Be nice to everyone you meet, because you never know how it will come back around.
Amy Levin is the Founder, Creative Director, and Mastermind behind CollegeFashionista! Amy’s passion for trends, street style, and fashion influencers originally prompted her to launch a style blog on her campus, Indiana University, and the overwhelming interest led her to launch CollegeFashionista, a fashion blog dedicated to highlighting the latest trends on campuses around the US and sharing fashion tips and tricks for fellow students!
Q&A: Getting to know our Simply Stylist Breakout Session Speaker, Amy Levin
What inspired you to start a blog focused on college fashion and how has it evolved since its launch?
The brand has evolved a ton since I launched in 2009. It started as a single blog format and now has over 500 different campuses pages and a heavy focus on social media produced content, in addition to editorial content. College students are more sophisticated on a whole and put themselves together when heading to class or Thursday night drinks with friends. The whole messy sweatpants look tends to be a bit out on campuses as of late.
Have you ever come across any career challenges? How did you overcome them?
A constant challenge is making sure our tech supports our Style Gurus as our network of contributors grows so quickly. We are always looking at better ways to manage our Style Gurus and ensure they are getting the most of our their internship with CollegeFashionista. Because we are a small team, we are able to innovate and make quick decisions to change our brand depending on what we see happening in the college space. Whenever I am out of the office the creative ideas I have are endless and I know my girls cringe when getting my emails titled, ‘I have a new idea.'
Any advice for someone looking to start his or her own business?
Launch it. The hardest part is just starting your business. I hear tons of wonderful ideas all the time by fellow peers and Style Gurus who want to start their own business but never take the risk. Being an entrepreneur is entirely about risk, so stomach that and launch.
Don't miss Madison and Amy at the Simply Stylist 'Do What You Love' New York Conference on Sunday, October 25th, purchase your tickets HERE!