I met stylist, Anna Maria Diaz-Balart at a photo shoot for the catalog I work at and decided that we would all benefit from hearing from this fashionista...It's funny how we never really hear about the fashion jobs behind the scenes...we just hear of people like, Rachel Zoe who make themselves a celebrity at what they do...which is not wrong by any means... (to each their own) but I wanted to highlight a real deal stylist that I met that intrigued me.
1. How did you get into the industry as a fashion stylist? ....well I’ve been doing fashion as long as I can remember, in many ways I feel it was all up to this, after college I opened a small boutique with a friend of mine who was a stylist. It wasn’t long before I started styling too.
2. How much would you say you travel in a year? Where have you been in the last month? Its funny, it goes in waves. I split my time 50/50 between Miami and New York. For the longest time I was just working in those two cities. All winter in Miami, all summer in New York. All I wanted was to shoot on location. Starting a year ago, I think I’ve been away about 2-3 weeks a month! In the last month, I’ve been in Charelston, SC, Miami (for 12 hours) New York, Los Angeles, and today I am in Santa Barbara, CA.
3. What did you go to school for? I went to a great public high school in Miami called Design and Architecture Senior High, I majored in Fashion design. I majored in Cultural Anthropology in college. As much as I’ve always loved fashion, I wanted to study something broader, I loved traveling and meeting new people, so anthropology was a great match.
4. Where do you see yourself in this career in a year? I strive for balance in my career and in my personal life. So in a year,I’id like to have work that is balanced between catalogue, advertising, musicians, and editorial equally. I’d also like to balance my time working on and time off a bit better. When you’re totally self employed, sometimes is hard to say no to work. But when you’re working 16 hour days, sometimes you really need a few days off here and there to rest and keep yourself healthy and happy.
5. What do you think is the BIG trend for Spring 07/Fall 07? Trend is one of those words that gives me the chills....I'm just happy that big purses are still somewhat fashionable.
6. What is your fashion motto? Well this relates to the question above. I think the most important thing anyone can do with regards to clothing is cultivating a defined personal style. This means finding what works for you, your lifestyle, your body shape, your personality, and sticking with it. Even when it’s out of style’ it is your style. Trends are a time to stock up on necessary items that are part of your style. Being a slave to which ever trend pops up makes you look like just another worker bee in the hive. If you’re a bohemian, or a prep, or a girly girl..that's you! It doesn’t change when punk or powersuits come back in style!
7. If you could style anyone, who would it be? Brittney Spears. The woman needs me. But seriously, in an ideal world id have a show on TV where id show everybody how to pull together amazing outfits for less than 100$. I think fashion is there for everybody, that every woman should feel like a goddess when she walks out her door. Fashion isn't just for the very wealthy or celebrities!
8. What item do you think should be in every woman's closet? The most important things a woman can have in her closet are great fitting, simple, nude underwear and bras. Jeans that fit like a glove and are hemmed to the perfect length. A few pairs of great, high end shoes (expensive shoes can dress up an 18$ skirt, but cheap shoes always look cheap) and one dress that makes men weak!
9. Which stores do you rely on for great finds? I love Target!!! I love all the big couture names doing accessible pieces for everyone. I went crazy for the Proenza Schouler for Target collection, and the Luella Bartley collection was amazing too. I stock up on soft tees, winter tights, and nude undies there as well. But my absolute favorite store on earth is Foley and Corina in the Lower east side in Manhattan. On top of selling the most amazing vintage on earth, they remake vintage styles in fabulous luxurious fabrics When ever I have big events to go to, their my only choice!
Anna is doing what a lot of us dream of doing...but, she shows that it is a personal choice that you have to make to aggressively take control of your control and do what you want.