Samantha Brown is a world-renowned professional and celebrity stylist. She has been working with men and women to refine their personal style for over a decade. Although based in New York, Samantha will travel to meet clients as needed.
Her styling credits include Nylon Magazine, Badgley Mischka, Fox, Real Simple, The NY Post, OK!, Closer, Westfield Style, Fort Lauderdale Magazine, Gold Coast Magazine, Minnie Rose, Newsday and many more. Samantha’s other partnerships and collaborations include Vogue, GQ, Glamour Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Folli Follie, Simon Malls, Westfield Malls, Empire Beauty School, Quintessentially Lifestyle, Match.com, Gilt Group, Nikon and Joe McNally Photography.
Samantha stays immersed in the fashion industry as the Video Director for B Live, shooting New York Fashion Week shows including Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan, Michael Kors, Narcisco Rodriguez, Oscar de la Renta, Proenza Schouler and many more.
I am a NY based wardrobe stylist, dressing people of all ages, body types and lifestyles. My goal is to help my clients cultivate a unique personal style that makes them feel confident and ready to achieve their personal and professional goals. Each styling project is as unique as the person I am dressing. I also work on everything from runway shows to trend presentations, ad campaigns to commercials. I’m in the business of getting people dressed, no matter the occasion.
Can you ask my clients this question!? Ha.
I’m a big communicator…so I never leave a text or email hanging and I always find a solution if there’s a problem. I very, very rarely drop the ball. I think that’s one of my greatest strengths.
In short, I work my ass off. I also try to be compassionate, understanding and approachable to everyone. Hopefully people who have met me professionally will feel that way. I also try to make things fun! I love to laugh and at the end of the day, styling isn’t brain surgery. We have to have a laugh in the fitting rooms.
If I can keep doing what I’m doing I will be very, very grateful and happy. It’s been a labor of love and I feel like my business is in a very solid place. There are certain clients and teams that I work with and my true desire is to keep these people in my life consistently and with regularity. I love to travel for work (I’m writing these responses on an airplane back from a job in France!) and am always hopeful for more opportunities to work outside NY.
In my personal life, I want more time with my family and friends. Great meals, new places, experiencing new cultures and travel…my tastes are simple, but I like the best 🙂
My biggest success is building a business and a life that I used to dream about. The first five years of my business were brutal and scary—always stressing the next booking and how things would work out. Years 5-7 got a little easier with more consistency and years 7-9 have been a dream. They say it takes 10 years to become an overnight success. Damn, is that true or what?!
Leaving my secure job to start my own business was one of the scariest leaps I’ve ever taken. Power to the freelancers out there—you all deserve a medal! The work has been hard but the rewards are above and beyond.
A quote by Steve Martin always resonates with me: “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”
Oh my gosh, there’s a lot here…
My parents for being my sounding boards for literally everything I’ve ever done. My sister for being my best friend and the one to encourage me to launch my own business. Stacy London for changing the entire direction of my life when I took her styling course. And a producer I work with named Lynn DelMastro for being one of the most thoughtful, competent and gracious people I’ve ever worked with. Lastly, my grandma for being tough as nails and having been called a “bad bitch”. To know her is to understand.
I just went to the Amalfi Coast and French Riviera and that trip was pure magic. I love to travel near and far—LA, Singapore, Istanbul, the Greek Islands..I’ve been told I was born with my bags packed.
There are so many but I’ll give you my top 5 things I couldn’t live without: L’Oréal Voluminous mascara in carbon black, my Louis Vuitton day planner (I write everything down-no digital calendar here), my IPhone aka my life source, coffee in the morning and evil eye jewelry (I’m so superstitious I recently had one tattooed on my wrist). Wait, one more—my Maui Jim sunglasses. I always have a pair on me.
I love hiking and am constantly dreaming of day trips upstate to spend some time in the mountains. I also love spending time at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and getting lost in the work there.
Professionally, new brand collaborations get me super excited! There’s so many great companies and designers and I love to develop new partnerships.
Stress less and don’t procrastinate. Also, get a workout in.
“What you seek is seeking you.”-Rumi
Reach out to a friend or client just to say hello and that I’m thinking of them
Be responsive and don’t keep people waiting
Take the time to put yourself together in the morning. Looking good is feeling good, and feeling good means accomplishing more. It’s a fact.
My Pic of the Day: This photo was taken in St Tropez last week. I am so genuinely happy and relaxed in this photo! I had just given a lecture on the History of Italian Fashion and was completely high on life.
How did you get into the industry?
My background was in editorial styling at Nylon Magazine and in design at Badgley Mischka. I was personally trained and recruited by Stacy London of TLC’s hit show, “What Not To Wear”.
I always aspired to be in fashion, whether it was on the design side or the styling side. There’s no real road map to a career like this, so I took some turns along the way (like launching and shutting down a clothing consignment business called “The Missing Piece”). Ultimately, dressing people and helping them feel confident in their clothes became my ultimate priority. I have the best job in the world. I also offer private training lessons to aspiring stylists to help support them in their freelance journeys.
Any emerging industry trends?
I’ve seen so many companies attempt to mass market the private styling experience and not a single one of them seems to have the formula for this. Ultimately, working with a stylist is one of the closest and most personal relationships you can develop with someone. The attempts to duplicate and package the service may be possible, but it’s the individual stylist and the collaboration with their client that leads to success. I’m honestly not sure you can replicate this digitally.
I do put a lot of thought into what this might take, though 😉
Any industry opportunities or challenges?
I’ve seen everything from digital closet apps to subscription boxes come to the forefront of styling. These products, coupled with retailers branding sales associates as “stylists” had lead to a ton of confusion in the consumer. Conversely, they have brought a lot of awareness to the idea of personal styling and outsourcing for your wardrobe needs. Regardless of new trends and offerings, my business has been built on relationships with my clients. No technology or box of dresses will ever really compete with that. If anything, I’m always grateful for an additional resource if it’s executed well.
Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?
I was, and still am, incredibly inspired by my clients. The way they act and the things they accomplish when they know they look good is such a source of inspiration! I love to know their stories, their struggles and their style goals and help execute a plan for them to achieve all that they aspire to. When I work on a photoshoot, runway show or commercial, I love the opportunity to collaborate with a team. I’m in such a lone wolf profession that it’s a great change of pace when I’m surrounded by other creatives. I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the most creative and talented people in the world. They keep me on my toes, and striving to be an even better stylist.
What’s next for the Business in the near future?
I’m constantly recruiting new stylists to be a part of my team. Hiring and managing is by far the biggest challenge that I’ve faced in my near-decade in business, but I am on the lookout to grow with talented, compassionate, creative and driven individuals who share my vision. When I’m already booked with a client, I love having stylists to lean on and make sure that all clients are given adequate attention.
I also have some ideas up my sleeve, but they’re still very much in the works. Stay tuned!
Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?
I’ve spent a lot of time and energy on networking over the years. One mistake that people make it to look at networking as a transactional relationship. It’s really not. Networking is about developing real and meaningful relationships so that you can become a resource for your community. When you own your business, you never know who will refer a new client to you.
My other advice is to say yes. Always say yes. Some of the worst jobs I’ve ever had have lead to best jobs I’ve ever had. Go the extra mile. I know this sounds like I’m speaking bumper sticker, but it’s true. Nobody goes the extra mile, so be the one to do it. Oh, and be on time. Better yet, be early.
Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)
When you’re a business owner or freelancer, finding a balance between your work life and personal life is pretty much impossible. I still struggle with this every single day because I work 8 days/week. I am really trying to slow down and take some time off, but ask me again in six months and I’ll let you know how that’s going!
Ideal experience for a customer/client?
I want my clients to feel heard, understood and free of the burden of getting dressed. I will take care of all the details so that they can enjoy experimenting with new clothing. They walk away feeling lighter, happier, confident, attractive and powerful. I also want them to have fun!
How do you motivate others?
Seeing is believing! We can talk about style all day long, but showing my clients how to put it together, what proper fit and proportions are for their body, and how to enjoy life in their clothes—this is what leads to a successful appointment. I don’t have to say much to motivate them when they see how great they can look.
Career advice to those in your industry?
I’m sorry to say that there’s no short cut to success. This is an incredibly grueling career path and you have to love it, every single day. It takes years and years to develop a client book that will sustain a business. Styling is such a rewarding job that encompasses so many things from personal relationships to flexing artistic and creative muscles. If you’re passionate about it, go for it!
A Day in My Life:
What do you love most about Your City?
I’m such a NY girl. You can do anything at any time. You can have your cake delivered, and eat it too!
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
Toasted everything bagel with cream cheese. Iced coffee. Done and done! The best bagels are actually in a town near where I grew up in Westchester. Sunshine Bagel.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – Getting out of bed, groggily. I am not a morning person, but I need to be.
10:00 AM – Either on set for a shoot or en route to a store to prep and shop. If I have a late client, I’m probably on the peloton bike.
12:00 PM – Favorite Lunch spot/meal?
Sweet Green if it’s a rush, Grey Dog if meeting a friend, Saks fitting room if doing pulls. I tend to be on a salad kick these days.
7:00 PM – In a store or in a closet, usually.
Many of my clients work during the day so I see them in the evenings. If I’m not working, I’ll be meeting someone for dinner or drinks downtown.
11:00 PM – Watching one of the many shows I’m addicted to and fighting sleep. I hate going to bed at night and giving up on the day.
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
2 Coffees in the morning between waking up and lunch, 10-12 glasses of water throughout the day, tequila soda at night. A glass of wine or Prosecco works, too! How many will depend on my company!
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
Instagram is my most used app, by far. I don’t have a favorite IG, but I’ll think on that one!
Doing something that requires bravery and really, really scares them. That will mean something different to everyone who reads it, but dig deep and let go. Use your heart over your head every now and then.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
I like to get lost in great stories—an amazing movie or book will always suck me in and transport me. I’m pretty type A, so I don’t usually get lost when I’m walking!
What Else to Know?
Visit me at SamanthaBrownStyle.com for more information on my services and follow on IG @samanthabrownstyle for a peak into my day to day life.