Personal Style Expose Q&A: Reinaldo Irizarry

  • Tell me a little bit about yourself ( current career path, hometown/current city):

I’m a fashion stylist now but I started my career doing visual merchandising then styling and producing fashion shows for Saks Fifth Avenue. In the last two years, I’ve also taken on the blogger hat and it’s been quite a fun journey. I’m originally from New York, so fashion is in my blood and I’m happy to be able to bring that to the west coast where I reside now, in Los Angeles. I enjoy what I do very much, but I would love to expand on it and possibly become a magazine editor of sorts.

  • What do you believe makes your personal style unique?

I’m a bit of a contraction. I love wearing black, it’s my absolute favorite color of clothing to wear and you can almost always find me in it. But then on the other hand, I also love to inject color into what I wear, even if it’s just a belt or a pair of socks. I hardly ever complete an outfit without a kiss of color. I wouldn’t say that makes my personal style unique, but it does make me very happy.

  • Who or what is your biggest style inspiration?

Regular people inspire me, and yes, I know it sounds cliché, but every day people in their every day lives inspire me. I’m also heavily influenced by music. I can hear a track and my brain automatically starts gearing up ideas and concepts for a display or a photo shoot. I can close my eyes and see it all happen in my head. It’s pretty magical.

  • Who are your favorite designers?

I love the following two designers but for two very different reasons, Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs. I think Marc (whom I often refer to as just “Mark” because it makes me feel like I know him haha) is so flashy, but in a non-flashy way. He thrives on the attention he gets for the [sometimes] crazy things he does. And as for Tom (the first name situation applies here too), he’s such a creative mastermind. He has this sense of freedom about him. He knows what he wants and he does what he wants. It’s quite inspiring.

  • Where are your favorite places to shop?

I shop all over but my favorite is probably vintage shopping. I love going thrift stores and flea markets. You find such unique stuff! I love it.

  • What’s your favorite dressing philosophy aka rules you dress by?

Your style defines your character; it’s okay if one day you want to be preppy and the next day you want to be punk rock. Fashion is about having fun, about dressing up and changing characters. The most important part, regardless of how you dress, is to always stay true to your personality.

  • Are there any key pieces you find yourself constantly wearing?

This tends to change all the time, but right now I find myself wearing a lot of tie clips. Vintage ones. They keep my tie perfectly centered, which I love because I am so overly analytical when it comes to symmetry. Plus I love the metal detail amongst all the fabrics. And I also wear combat boots almost every day.

  • Which color has been your favorite this Fall?

Maroon; which is ironic because I hated that color growing up because it was my High School team colors. No one ever likes his or her High School colors unless you’re a jock or a cheerleader. I was neither. But now I love the color and I love pairing it with denim pieces.

  • What 5 items can’t you leave your apt. without?
  1. iPhone
  2. Laptop
  3. Camera
  4. Wallet
  5. Chapstick.
  • How did you know you wanted styling to be your career?

I didn’t. I didn’t even know styling was a career. I always thought that if you wanted to be in fashion you had to either be a fashion designer or a model. I obviously don’t have the chops to be a model, so I decided to go to fashion school to become a designer. That’s when I got the opportunity with Saks Fifth Avenue and was introduced by them to the world of styling.

  • What’s your advice for young stylist?

Having great sense of personal style does not make you a stylist; understanding other people’s sense of personal style does. So do your research and never try to dress someone like you – unless they ask you to.

  • How many internships have you had? or Where did you get your start in the past?

I am very thankful and humbled by the opportunities I was given coming into this industry. I didn’t do any internships; I kind of fell into it and was given responsibilities I had no idea how to solve, and had to fend for myself or lose the job. I am very thankful (and I say it all the time) for the people at Saks Fifth Avenue who saw something in me and believed I could do this. They were the people that started my career and I will forever be thankful to the company. I actually do wish I would’ve had some internships. I think being an intern is fun and I think I’d make one hell of an assistant. Who knows, maybe I’ll still take on an internship for a magazine or something. I think it’d be cool.

  • What’s your advice to other interns/ aspiring stylist?

Be passionate. If you want to get into this industry, do it because you truly love it. Not for the glitz and the glamour because there’s hardly any of that when you’re working. Yes, there are great perks that come with working in the fashion industry, but at the end of the day you will shed blood, sweat, and tears and you want to make sure it’s worth it.

  • Who is (some of) your favorite stylist?

Grace Coddington. I love that Vogue decided to put out The September Issue documentary because it shed some light into what an extraordinary woman she is.

  • 5 Favorite blogs

In no specific order:

  1. DKNY PR Girl - www.dknyprgirl.tumblr.com
  2. Tom and Lorenzo - www.tomandlorenzo.com
  3. Design Scene - www.designscene.net
  4. Lace & Tea - www.laceandtea.com
  5. And of course, mine: Reyal Fashion - www.reyalfashion.com

What else do you enjoy outside of fashion?

I love doing graphic and web design – I’m a big nerd at heart. I also really like interior decorating.

Inspirational quote:

Whatever your mind can conceive your body can achieve.

OutfitBlazer: Givenchy/ Shirt: Banana Republic/ Silk knit tie: Twenty-One Men/ Tie clip: Vintage/ Pocket square: TOPMAN (TOPSHOP)/ Jeans: H&M/ Brown leather belt: H&M/ Brown suede brogues: ZARA/ Glasses: Tom Ford/ Socks: Express