Ali Levine is a stylist to the stars. From Holly Robinson Peet, the legendary Fran Drescher and most recently Ariana Madix and Tom Sandoval of Vanderpump Rules-Ali knows how to make you look good. But just a celebrity stylist she is not, the former New Yorker has also added jewelry designer and television host to her resume. I chatted with Ali to discuss spring/summer trends, key pieces every woman needs in her closet and future goals.
What made her move from fashion capital New York to Los Angeles to pursue her career:
I was working as a production assistant to Oliver Stone. As I started doing different things in NY I realized I didn’t want to do costumes. I wanted more constant, on your feet crazy. And that’s editorials, commercials and celebrities. I worked on a movie called Big Momma’s House with Martin Lawrence in Atlanta. I moved to LA and realized I didn’t want to do costuming anymore, I wanted to style. So I started assisting for Kanye West’s stylist.
How she became a stylist:
I was the head manager of merchandising for Target. I realized I didn’t want to do the retail part, so I searched development/design jobs. I worked with Coach, Talbots and Fragments. I started outside of the box. If you want to start out to be a blogger, hone in on it. Commit to a certain amount of days. Build that and make that your brand. If you’re not sure what you want to do, but just want to get out there and make things happen then I say explore all avenues. Do what you think you’re going to learn from and what’s right for who you are. I didn’t know what that was till 5 or 6 years ago when I fell in love with styling. All my paths made me successful. I understand all avenues.
How she went from fashion to television and film?
Organically over time, people wanted to see the face of the person who said this should be styled that way. They loved what I was talking about. People started to wonder who was the person behind that voice. I started getting my own exposure when I started a blog 3 ½ years ago. That opened me up to the TV platform.
The items every 25-34-year-old woman should have hanging in her closet:
You always need basics. Things you can fill with other outfits. You’re going to need a blazer and a pair of flats to put the trendy items together. lack or navy pants and t-shirt and a pair of jeans. And of course a little black dress will get you through everything in your closet. Also, a pair of black or nude pumps can rebuild your look from day to night. Sometimes we don’t have time to change, so we have one outfit we gotta go with. Throw on that blazer and take your look from day to night. A good statement necklace is always great.
Key pieces ever man should always have in his closet:
Guys have a similar outlook but they’re more simple. A basic undershirt, a white or solid color to mix with jeans or trousers. A blazer to dress up for work or an event. They should have a nice pair of dress shoes and a black or brown belt. A black or navy blazer that’s neutral and can be used in most circumstances. Dark jeans for a dressy or casual look. A button up so they can roll their sleeves up for a casual look or push them down and be dressed up. Once you have the basics they can add a pocket square or a tie to complete the look.
The trends of summer:
Spring/Summer will have a lot of pale hues. A lot of ruffles, texture, flared skirts and denim. A lot of denim with fray, embellishments and embroidery. Also, denim jumpsuits and a lot of detail and color contrast this season. It looks like it couldn’t go together but it does. Its like taste the rainbow. We’re going bright, fun and different that you wouldn’t expect to play off each other!
Celebrity male + female she would love to style:
Male: Bradley Cooper. He’s got this great edge and look about him.
Female: I have 2, Zendaya because I love how she owns it and goes for it. And Reese Witherspoon
What goal(s) she’s working to accomplish:
One of my goals is that I’d love to have a clothing and shoe line one day. I currently have a jewelry collection called Sterling Forever. The pieces are super affordable because I think everyone should be able to afford some version of chic fashion. My jewelry line ranges between $8-100. Chic but inexpensive. I’d love to continue hosting and talking about fashion, helping people create outfits and find confidence.
Photo credit: Steven Starr