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Meet Sheera Thomas of Pave the Runway in West Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sheera Thomas.

Sheera, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
It all started when I was two. Just kidding, no but really it did, but we can talk about that later. I moved to LA right out of High School at 17 and studied Fashion Design at FIDM.

At 19, I graduated with a degree in Fashion Design, and while appreciating my new skill sets (pattern making, sewing, fabric sourcing, Art History as it pertains to Fashion time periods), I had the full realization that I was going to pursue Styling to Design.

I thought FIDM = Kim Kardashian’s stylist. I was wrong. Instead, FIDM = Sheera Faris’ stylist because I was the only person I was dressing for the next two years. Fast forward 14 years, I style models, actors, chefs, extremely powerful men + women, very rich men + women, my friends who make great money, and my other friends who make “not so great” money.

My philosophical view:
Fashion is a cult; its a way of life. I do feel that style is something you are (or aren’t born with) and I have always considered myself a trendsetter because I dress in what I like, what feels good, what exudes confidence and not what’s “in” and trendy. I let my clients know when to appreciate a trend (from afar) and when to invest in one. Not all trends are universal and created equal!

My strong suit is that I strive to help you find and create your personal style, based on your lifestyle needs, and help showcase it in a way that you wouldn’t be able to on your own. Style-is-Personal. You don’t have to fall into one fashion category! You can be a little bohemian, a little rocker, a little tomboy and a little Parisian. This is a fresh take on fashion and allows me to bend the rules to suit you; I bring a feminine, unexpected and modern approach.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Hell no! I have schlepped my way through LA assisting well-known fashion stylists on-set, during fittings and on photo shoots, UNPAID!. Let’s just say, I was at the bottom of the totem pole. It was emotionally draining (being someones b*tch) and physically draining (carrying loads of garment bags, rolling racks, dropping clothes off to fashion houses, driving to Timbuktu, etc.) although I did have the most sculpted and toned arms, ha!

I have also worked every aspect in retail: Operations at Lisa Kline, a Showroom in DTLA selling to retailers, Visual Merchandising for a store in the Bay Area, Buying, and Managing. I have styled for top fashion retailers: Elyse Walker, Stella McCartney, and Intermix putting my mark on each client by styling with my candid and intuitive approach.

If you’re looking for a way into the styling world, retail is an amazing way to meet prospective clients. You can show them a glimpse of what you do in the fitting room, by giving them a new perspective and by getting them into something they would not have chosen on their own. I achieved the loyalty of my clients by being honest about the good, the bad and what looks ugly.

Please tell us about Pave the Runway.
I specialize in styling or adding a style perspective to any creative project. Whether thats outfits, lifestyle, event styling, tablescapes, food styling, decor, flower design, etc. I can make anything beautiful.

One of my favorite clients, who I met at Intermix, is Elana Horwich, an LA-based cooking teacher, and celebrity chef. I dressed her for the first time, in-store for a first date. The next day, she called the store to tell me that when her date picked her up to take her to Manhattan Beach (casual date in mind) he was floored by her appearance and said, “you look too beautiful, I have to take you somewhere worthy, lets go to the Bel Air Hotel.” She told me I would be her forever stylist!

And she wasn’t kidding, when she penned her first cookbook “Meal and a Spiel: How to be a Badass in the Kitchen,” she asked me, a fashion stylist, to be her food stylist!! This was one of my favorite styling jobs to date. To channel my fashion mind into food and table decor actually came as second nature. You’re essentially creating a “look,” so you accessorize, mix ‘n match, work with tones and colors, and create a statement.

To say I was proud of my work is an understatement, the book turned out more beautiful than we all could have imagined and the denim cover really steals the show! I can also do a mean Tablescape and have styled a ton of Dinner Parties for Elana and her clients. I can style you and your dinner party!

I am known for my witty banter, and my keeping it real and infectious personality. I have no problem telling my client if they look like Whoopi from Sister Act (aka “lose that nun-like dress”) or a kindergarten teacher (aka “I don’t care if that beaded charm necklace is Marni, get rid of it!”)

I also like to nickname my client’s articles of clothing. I could tell a client to wear “the cat jeans,” “the babushkas,” “the Jesus,” “the balls,” or “the bearded woman” and they know EXACTLY what I’m talking about, it’s like we have our own language.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
As I mentioned before, at the ripe age of two, I refused to let anyone dress me. I would wardrobe change every hour, my bedroom would look like the backstage of Victoria’s Secret fashion show minus all the sex, clothes everywhere!

Once I hit grade school, I had my first client, my mom aka “Peggy Bundy,” aka “Jungle Tights,” aka “Mrs. still trapped in the 80s somewhere in the Midwest.” I guess you could say my first style mission ever was to make her a little less “Peggy Bundy” and a little more “age appropriate room mom.”

Every time she would come to my school to volunteer she would let me dress her. I won a lot of battles, but seeing her now I def lost the war! I never thought about dressing barbies as a little girl, I was too busy trying to dress real people.

Contact Info:

  • Phone: 408.425.0915
  • Email: sheerathomas@gmail.com
  • Instagram: Pavetherunway

Image Credit:
John Schell, Elana Horwich

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.

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