We’re pleased to introduce stylist, author and entrepreneur, Stacy London as this month’s FRĒDA Woman! Notably known for her appearances as a stylist on What Not to Wear, Today, Access Hollywood and Rachel Ray, Stacy is currently working on her latest endeavor, State of Menopause—a platform and marketplace for women going through menopause.
We sat down with her to talk about dressing to empower, co-founding State of Menopause and more.
How did you get your start in styling?
I loved fashion from a very young age. I only wore purple for a few years and was Dorothy over and over again for Halloween (not for the gingham but for the ruby slippers!) I have always loved and gravitated towards anything sparkly.
My 1st job out of college was a REALLY lucky position as an assistant to Andre Leon Talley, Phyllis Posnick and Brana Wolf at American Vogue. The rest is kind of history when you learn from the greats.
Talk to us about the power or confidence that comes with a killer outfit.
In my opinion, a killer outfit is like visual Prozac. Knowing you look good in a way that pleases YOU is going to give you a bit of a mood lift. Push yourself on the hard days, even when you don’t have a ton of energy. Wear what speaks to you. When I’m down, I always try to dress in bright colors or patterns to give myself a sense of armor that protects the fragile me from the rest of the world. Even when I don’t always feel confident, I can project it externally.
How can women dress in a way that empowers them?
Listen, I’ve told a lot of people what not to wear over the years but as I’ve aged, I really believe that what we taught people was about fit and styles that flatter. We taught people to dress in a way that might ensure success in the workplace or in one’s dating life. To REALLY empower yourself is to creatively and freely wear what feels like the most authentic version of yourself. There may be consequences that the outside world is not ready to accept but it is your choice about how much you want to conform to societal standards.
Closet editor or builder? And why.
Both. I love building my closet because my style is an evolution. But for every piece I put in, I try to take one or more pieces out: the ones that no longer feel like me even if they once did. I am not nostalgic about clothing. If something looked great on me 10 years ago, it doesn't mean it looks good now.
Do you have any tips for building a responsible closet? How do you navigate responsibility within the industry?
I think we have a long way to go as an industry to be more transparent about fair wages and the amount of clothing we are putting in landfills, absolutely.
But personally, I try to buy from smaller brands, promote bipoc and lgbtqiap designers and wear a ton of vintage. Check out FASHIONKIND, where you can shop for the causes you care most about. Events like A Current Affair are amazing to shop an array of vintage dealers.
Tell us about your new endeavor, State of Menopause.
I didn’t see anyone talking openly about menopause and my personal experience was quite a difficult one. I didn’t want to do fashion makeovers forever but I still wanted to impact people’s lives in a way that would amplify their self-confidence and self-acceptance. I lost both during menopause so I felt it was a stigmatized topic I should do something about.
Aging, in general, is such a taboo topic for women STILL and the menopause experience is sort of the definitive beginning of middle age. (Not necessarily if you come to it through surgical or medical menopause.)
What advice would you give to someone looking to start their own business?
I acquired a nascent brand that was going to be sunset before it really got its start. To that point, ALWAYS look under the hood of any company you might look to acquire. Make sure you have advisors that can help you navigate waters with which you may be unfamiliar. Always hire people who are much smarter than you but always listen to your gut: about people, about decisions, about the direction in which you want to grow your company. Have the vision but make sure you have the best team to execute it.
Describe your style in three words.
Fun, fierce and fashionable.
Who are your style icons?
Kate Moss, Kristen McNamemy and pretty much anyone who Karla Welch styles .
Who are your all-time favorite brands?
- Yves Saint Laurent and Yves Saint Laurent under creative director Alber Elbaz
- Yohji Yamamoto
- Alexander McQueen and Alexander McQueen under creative director Sarah Burton
- Dior and Dior Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri
- Valentino but especially under creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli
- Isabel Marant
- Veronica Beard
Who are some of the brands (both big and small) you’re following closely right now?
- Autumn Adeigbo
- Duro Olowu
- Sewit Sium
- Silvia Furmonich
Absolutely love this feature! Well done.