We had the good fortune of connecting with Jozzi Rainey and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jozzi, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
Most people are unaware that fashion styling is a real job and can also be very high paying and rewarding for a highly skilled stylist. Another big misconception is that stylist always have all types of clothing on hand or in our own personal closet. Although, its every stylists dream to have all the luxurious clothing and shoes of all sizes its just not our reality for a lot of us. Before a project even begins we have to start the process of “Pre-Production” which is when we contact various designers, showrooms, boutiques, department stores for clothing “Pulls” which is a term we use for the process of traveling to different stores to get clothing. Most showrooms charge you a ‘Pull fee” which is usually 15-25% percent of the retail price of the clothing. Nothing is free unless you get lucky or you have build a great rapport with designers, showrooms etc. borrowing and returning could be an option. There is a lot of labor in wardrobe styling, what you see as the finished product may be effortlessly glamorous but the process leading up to that outcome is the complete opposite. From Pulling loads of clothing sometimes by yourself if you don’t have an assistant to help you is tiring in itself. This job is no joke and can be very stressful that’s when your passion has to be stronger than anything in this field for you to go far. Not to mention all of the traveling and gas money you have to spend before the project. Next to the photographer wardrobe stylists we are the most important on set without the stylist there is not clothing. Before we can do our job efficiently, We have to have a good steamer, multiple clothing racks, hangers, garment bags,mood boards, a stylist kit that should have everything you can think of you will need to give the illusion of well tailored clothing without an actual tailor (clips, sewing kit, lint rollers, safety pins, double sided tape, shoe polish, measuring tape) the list is endless. A great stylist is over-prepared to insure you have everything you need for the client. I personally have learned to keep Tylenol, allergy medicine, socks strange things you wouldn’t think a stylist would have in their kit even snacks its just that deep as funny as it may sound it looks amazing when you are over-prepared.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have accomplished a lot and still feel like I am just touching the service I haven’t hit my prime yet which is exciting because with every project I continue to grow and enhance my skills so I look forward to my future. I know I didn’t want to be a stylist that couldn’t at least hand sew so I taught myself how to sew and use a machine, I think possessing designer and tailor like qualities as a stylist is impressive and shows people you are serious about your craft and you aren’t one dimensional. Nothing about styling is easy but its worth it when you really have a gift and passion for it. I remember crying in my car at Lennox mall parking lot before a big shoot with my first celebrity because his clothes I pulled from a different state didn’t arrive on time leaving me to hustle around Atlanta looking for last minute looks. It was very stressful but you wouldn’t be able to tell because I arrived on set with a positive and helpful attitude you really have to gather yourself and persevere. I have faced many personal challenges along the way that would make anyone give up or move back home but that thought has never crossed my mind. Styling is one of those things I’ve always known was my calling from a very young age when I started sketching in elementary school during recess. What people may not know is how intuitive I am almost psychic but I’m still learning about my “eye” I have for the world and also my idiosyncratic “eye” for style. I use the eye symbol in my name because its meaning is deeper than just having good taste and quickly putting things together. Your eyes can tell and show you so much if you really open them figuratively speaking. I am able to help people with their thoughts and feelings and giving people some sort of energy boost that’s something I recently discovered about myself so styling is really about making you look great of course but I also want people to feel great on the inside, the entire package to feel amazing in whatever they are called to do.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The weekend is long enough for me I’m quite introverted to be honest and love spending time at home a little too much or at work. There is a really neat and creative Tiki bar here the atmosphere is just fun and unique to be in & maybe the sugar factory, Another popular attraction is the Trap Museum, Slutty vegan, and Juicy crab…..those are my favorites or a nice lounge sipping wine and looking fabulous of course. I’ve always wanted to go hiking and take some amazing photos it would be a fun way to burn off those wine and alcohol calories.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There is another wardrobe stylist who is from Kansas city also like me (IG: Risque_nique) who I met through a mutual friend before I moved to Atlanta. Within a few months I assisted her for a music video for a well know artist. She even took me along with her to one of the biggest celebrity showrooms to meet the owners. Sometimes its hard to get an appointment unless you know someone who already has access. She has given me advice, and tips we root for each other and we are always recommending each other for different gigs. Moving to a new state to pursue your career further can be scary so I really appreciated having someone that does what I do that didn’t mind bringing me on the scene with them. Also, an organization that I have been following for a couple of years that helps a lot of wardrobe stylists especially on the business side of styling is Fashion mentor created by Celebrity stylist Brittany Diego. She is so helpful and gives all the in’s and out’s to become a successful wardrobe stylist. I consider her my virtual mentor.
Tavarus Saul – photographer Erica Singelton – model/client