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Meet Lisa Smedley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa Smedley. 

Lisa, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Born and raised in Cinti, Ohio. I grew up with a mom who was a professional model doing commercials, editorial and fashion shows so I was around fashion since I can remember! I always loved fashion and being able to be backstage at fashion shows was always exciting to me. I was always excited to look at the fashion magazines and see the latest fashions. I knew early on that was my passion and that I wanted to pursue a career in fashion. 

When I graduated from HS, I went to Los Angeles to attend college and to get a degree in Fashion Merchandising as well as a certificate in Fashion Consulting. Once I graduated, I was offered a job at Saks 5th Ave in Beverly Hills. My goal was to work at Saks 5th Ave and eventually work in the Saks 5th Off Club where they had exclusive clients. While at Saks 5th Ave because it was in Beverly Hills, I came into contact with many celebrities that I would help find looks for as well as building a clientele that became my regulars. One day a person in management saw how well I worked with celebrity clients and suggested I call a new agency to see if she could help me start the path on styling celebrities. Me coming from Cincinnati, I had no idea such a job existed! I called the agency,” Crystal Hair, Makeup & Wardrobe”. We met and spoke for a long time about goals and the work I had to do if I was serious about being a Fashion Stylist . She immediately took faith in me and had me assisting her top costume designer. I also started assisting other fashion stylists, doing free photo shoots to build my portfolio and learning the business. Eventually after Crystal saw my hard work ethic , drive, and creativity. She then felt like I was ready to style my first album cover & music video. The first artist I styled was a new artist Chuckii Booker. He loved my work and started telling other artists about me. 

I started doing more work on my own. Getting recommended by other artists , directors and record labels. I eventually was getting calls to style A-list artists like Whitney Houston, Color Me Badd, Boys to Men, Celine Dion, Bobby Brown, Ralph Tresvant, D’Angelo, most of the top pop and R&B groups, directors, and record labels. I was styling their music videos , red carpet, award shows ,tours 

and eventually styling big budget commercials. Then at the height of my career as I was starting to get offers to work on films, I took over a 7 yr break to care for my sick parents. However, I left the industry having formed great relationships with production companies and directors. After the unfortunate passing of both my parents, I reinvented myself. I focused more on not only what I did before, but started focusing more on movies and TV series. It was hard work. Much had changed in the fashion industry, especially me having to learn about social media. I remained focused, humbled and worked very hard to start again. Due to my relationships I kept, I was able to call many of the same productions and start working with them again. I was also getting referred to other people they knew. I have now worked on movies and TV series with A-list actors. I have also worked with productions like Lions Gate, OWN TV (Oprah Winfrey), Warner Brothers , Sony and Paramount , just to name a few. 

Has it been a smooth road?
I would say the struggles in the beginning when I first started was building my portfolio with work that was worth showing. I did many shoots for free so I could keep my work fresh and updated. There was no instagram then, and no emails to contact someone I wanted to work with so I did tons of leg work , calling people, and dropping off my portfolio to every record label and production company. I worked at it constantly while also assisting. 

I would also say reinventing myself after taking a break at the height of my career wasn’t a smooth road as well. I had to learn the world of IG, social media and the fact that some potential clients no longer wanted to meet you in person but see your website first. I had to learn this new way of presenting myself. It changed constantly. However, to stay on top I know I have to always be willing to learn and grow. 

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am a Costume Designer and Fashion Stylist so I have experience from styling cd covers, music videos, red carpet , music tours, commercials to film and TV. I would say because I did style so many iconic artists many people know my 

name from doing that era in the 90s. I am known however in all genres as extremely hard-working, passionate and dedicated to each project I am on. I give over 100% and I pay close attention to details when shopping and creating for projects.I do this while adding my own detailed creativity that sets me apart from others. 

I have many projects lined up that I am excited about! I am also working on a special project that I will announce soon. 

Another passion of mine has always been to give back and help others. I have started doing many webinars where I am sharing my story of getting started and reinventing myself. In between my projects, I have also allocated out time for those who are looking for advice & help in getting started in the fashion industry. They can email me to get information on how to set up time to speak with me directly. 

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
COVID , I believe, will change in the future how we move forward in creating and communicating in the industry. Even with a vaccine, I think we will rethink how we set up fittings, do more online shopping, and even more now than ever we are connecting with fashion industry people via social media. I see the industry actually growing even more because now people feel they want to spend more time with their family and friends, doing simple things like going to the movies, and watching the next episode of your favorite show. Therefore the need for more movies and TV will be needed giving us creatives in the industry more opportunities to show our talent. Which will keep us busy! 

Pricing:

  • 30 min / $25.00 This is for someone who may only have 1 or 2 questions
  • 45 min/ $35.00. This is for someone who has 2 -3 questions, wants detailed information on what it takes and how to start as a Fashion Stylist
  • 60 min/ $45.00 This is for the person who wants very detailed information, names of sites and industry related companies to call. Correct ways on emailing potential clients and building relationships so you keep getting called back. Learning the correct fashion terms so you understand when on a shoot.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Mr. Jeno Uche Photography

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