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Conversations with the Inspiring Stefanie McKim

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stefanie McKim.

Stefanie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Fashion has been a passion of mine since I was in the fourth grade. It started when my dad brought home my first fashion magazine from Paris after being there on one of his business trips. There was something about how beautiful the women looked in the colorful, detailed clothing. From that moment, I had a clear direction of what I wanted to do “when I grew up.” I didn’t know exactly which area of fashion I would be working in, but I knew whatever I was going to do, it was definitely going to be in fashion.

After attending FIDM (The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) in Los Angeles, CA, I started my career in fashion as a Fashion Brand Coordinator. As the years passed, I became a Brand Manager and then hit the mecca of my fashion dreams and became a Creative Director. I was lucky to have worked with smaller brands in the early part of my career because it gave me a chance to work in different departments (I basically wore different hats, so they say) which really shaped my career and creativity.

Fast forward 11 years later and along the way of living my corporate life, I found out I had serious health issues and had to make one of the most difficult and challenging of decisions, to leave my job. It was heart-wrenching because I loved the company so much and my creative managing role.

It took a few months to figure out what the next chapter of my life in fashion was going to be, but slowly, I began to organize and find my new normal. My routine, everyday tasks of looking at fashion news, doing market research and fashion trending, having alerts on my phone still continued. It was so hard for me to turn it off (and didn’t I want to), so I really wanted to figure out a way to keep up with the creative side of myself and continue doing something in fashion. I honestly never thought that I would become a fashion blogger after working in the industry, but the opportunity just presented itself. Fashion has always been such a huge part of me and I felt ready to take on a new personal creative challenge in my life, so I decided to take everything I had learned and accomplished in the industry and apply it to a platform in my own unique way. That is when Style Truly began, as an outlet to creating well-styled imagery and fashion editorial content.

So here I am now, two years later, my health is back on track (I am in full remission), and I am so blessed to have this opportunity to share my love for fashion with you all.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I believe in any industry, there are personal hurdles as we work to achieve our own goals. For me, working in fashion, one of the largest industries in the world was not easy. It was a lot of hard work. I worked 12-hour days, I pulled all-nighters to meet deadlines, and I worked weekends. It took a lot of perseverance and dedication to try to stand out and overcome new challenges.

My advice to anyone who is starting their journey is to really learn from the people around you that work within your organization or reach out to someone you admire… to be open to learning and growing. I still have amazing mentors today that were my bosses when I first started, I looked up to them because I admired where they were and truly loved learning from the best. I believe there is always something new to learn. I am still learning new things after 11 years and it’s so wonderful to get insight from others or sometimes see a fresh, new perspective on things. Remember that everyone has to start somewhere and if you love what you do, in the end, everything will be worth it.

What should we know about Style Truly? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Style Truly is a blog that is all about incorporating fashion, beauty, and lifestyle inspiration along the way. This blog will give you insight into my personal daily life, beauty trends, and fashion ideas.

From the time I began working in the corporate world in fashion, I learned the importance of creativity in areas such as brand development, brand management, and creative/art direction. I then had the opportunity to launch new product lines, re-brand products, and run creative departments which included casting models, and directing photographers, copywriters, and graphic designers. I learned a great deal and I am definitely proud of the work I did during that time. Today, I am a fashion blogger and I still use the skills I developed during my corporate years by incorporating editorial fashion content and teaming up with different brands for Style Truly. I style their pieces and bring them into a content story, my style story. I think what sets me apart from others is my understanding of trend market research, my creativity, and my fashion industry experience.

Looking back on your childhood, what experiences do you feel played an important role in shaping the person you grew up to be?
I would have to say my biggest influence that came early on as a child, believe it or not, was actually Barbie, which really made fashion and my imagination come to life. Then, in my teens, working at the mall in major fashion outlets and creating window displays really opened my eyes to styling with clothing and accessories. I also had an amazing art teacher from high school who encouraged my art projects around fashion drawings and she is who introduced me to the college I ended up attending, FIDM. All of these things in my past definitely had an impact in shaping who I am today and explains how fashion and being creative became an important part of my life since my childhood.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
John Guira- profile picture, David Tonelson, Lauren Scott, Sophia Liu

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Jerry South

    January 15, 2019 at 03:51

    Hi Stefanie,

    Your second photo with light robin’s egg blue and matching shoes, coupled with the dark green slacks and muted kelly green round purse is absolutely the most original color combination
    I have ever seen. So subtle……and the sleek slacks, so classic. Che Bella!

    Grandpa Jerry

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