The Haute Happy Stylist - Toye Adedipe
This week’s Image Maker Toye Adedipe is one HAUTE Fashion Stylist. Though his work screams TALENTED... he's quiet and humble. His six-word bio simply reads: "I'm a Fashion + Wardrobe Stylist... Happily"
Our introduction was a little different than the others. I was following him -- okay kind of “stalking” his page (twitter) checking out some of his work getting a feel of his style. Then one day while reading TheYBF I stumbled across these pictures from a Derek Blanks photo shoot of Chilli formerly of TLC, I instantly recognized the “signature aesthetic” so I sent him a tweet “is that you?” and sure enough it was him. If you’re on Twitter be sure to follow Toye’s tweets where he posts pictures of both low and high fashion on trend pieces that’ll make any stylnista swoon! Check out my interview with Toye, I’m telling you – you can feel the love and passion that he has for his craft through his words; I didn’t edit his quotation marks, exclamation points or his caps because I wanted you to feel that energy as well. Yes, the name is also Nigerian - total coincidence this time… Enjoy!
BEAUTY SCHOOLED! How long have you been in the industry?
Toye Adedipe: I started working on my portfolio about 7 years ago when I interned with another celebrity stylist- Big Learning Lesson! When it ended I jumped started my career by focusing on developing a book and surrounding myself around like-minded talent and my work started to "jump off" soon after college.
BEAUTY SCHOOLED! When did you know you wanted to be a Stylist?
Toye Adedipe: LOL When I read an article on another Stylist that was doing "big things" but I didn't fall in LOVE with styling until after my third shoot or so... Styling takes a lot out of you and in a lot of ways, it is really "blue collar" work so when you get to the point when you want to quit and your soul won't let you; that’s when you know you've found your true calling!
BEAUTY SCHOOLED! I’ve seen some of your work, you are an amazing stylist and you definitely have a good eye for fashion, did you receive any formal education or training?
Toye Adedipe: Wow...Thank You! Yes! A lot of Stylists like to explain that they've had no formal training or education but -- I have! I graduated at the top of my class with a degree in Art and Design, Interned with a stylist while I was in college and read a lot of comic books as a little kid LOL. So my imagination and creative eye are both "CRAZY"!! My foundation is based on esthetic and art principals and I take advantage of it every chance I get. (As a Stylist) I apply it to the models and celebrities I work with and turn them into my own works of Art!
BEAUTY SCHOOLED! When was your first big break?
Toye Adedipe: Believe it or not it's when I declared "it" for myself and the universe just opened up for me! Photographer Tommy Chung was a big influence and so was another Fashion Stylist, Taneshia Alexander. They were my first big support group within the Fashion/Wardrobe Styling industry and they truly helped me to understand how the game works!
BEAUTY SCHOOLED! What inspires your work?
Toye Adedipe: "Normal" People, Art, Kids, Music, Pop Culture...
BEAUTY SCHOOLED! What would you say are the biggest misconceptions about the industry and fashion styling?
Toye Adedipe: That you get paid a lot of money when you first start out or that it's a glamorous lifestyle... Yes, it’s true that if you stick with it and you’re good at what you do - these things will come but there may be times when you'll have to rely on other talents to carry you through the ritual of "paying your dues". Just remember that you’re "blessed" and that you’re “worthy", and what has been bestowed upon you is a unique opportunity to live and stand in your greatness! Push through!
BEAUTY SCHOOLED! Wow! That’s some great advice. So are you available to style for individuals or do you predominately style for print work?
Toye Adedipe: I'm a "round the way" Stylist so I style for EVERYONE! I love people and people love me - I'm a bit of a quiet force, I don't have a loud or over the top personality and my demeanor is very laid back so when it comes to styling I truly let the creative forces out into the clothing and concentrate on being a service provider that lets my work speak for itself. Whether it’s a Model, CEO, or Celebrity that I'm working with I put the creative energy into the development of their look and personal style.
BEAUTY SCHOOLED! What advice do you have for someone new who is trying to break into the industry and wanting to work with celebrities?
Toye Adedipe: Study your craft and incorporate a signature style of your own into it. Don't be afraid to let the "Art" of your work have a presence- You are a “co-creator” of style and the competition is steep, so keep in mind that BRANDING your work will help you have a competitive edge over the next!
Also try to find a mentor or someone you feel has similar skill set to you and observe them. Notice what they do right and most importantly notice what can be improved upon.
I'm learning just how powerful and important it is to keep your thoughts shifted to positive outcomes even if you haven't quit reached the place you want to be yet. Thoughts of success are so much more powerful then thoughts of spiraling turmoil so shift the way you think into the way you want to become and I PROMISE YOU ... it will come! And if you need me, I'm here...Shine!
Check out more of Toye's work or check his Twitter.
Ciao for now… Class is dismissed!