By Kimberly Rae Miller
Borough/Neighborhood: Upper West Side
Profession: Fashion Stylist
Leila Wolford started her styling career by assisting the top stylists of NYC at the age of 19. After three years in print, she worked on the first “Sex and the City” film as a costume assistant, as well as costume coordinator for “New York, I Love You” and a pilot for ABC. After her tv and movie work, she plunged into the world of styling on her own with ARTISTS by Timothy Priano (ABTP) and has never looked back. She is based in NYC, but loves to work in LA, Miami, and abroad.
How would you define your personal style?
I am someone who doesn’t care if something is a designer label… I like colors, nice shapes. I am very girly with my clothing, lots of delicate fabrics and mixing tons of patterns together. For example, I like to mix leather flats with studs with a silky top for some edge. Getting dressed is supposed to be fun, not stressful or wondering if you have the newest top or the coolest jeans.
When you’re working with a client, what’s your process in creating a signature style for them?
The client needs to feel comfortable, that is my #1 priority. We first go throgh their previous look, or the clothing they’ve been wearing for a few years. We want to throw out what doesn’t fit or flatter, keep the staple pieces (like a trench coat, cashmere sweaters, and nice fitting denim), then we want to take the style they feel good in and pump it up so it is modern and well-fitting to their body.
What should those of us without a stylist take into consideration when trying to create a defining look for ourselves?
Don’t try to be too trendy. You can always mix classic pieces with one trendy piece to stay modern, but ultimately you are going to look good if you FEEL good in your clothes. It’s all about confidence, so if you are wearing a gorgeous dress that accentuates the stomach youre not too fond of, everyone will be able to tell you are uncomfortable!
Favorite Five: What are your favorite stores in any of the five boroughs?
1. Loehmann’s! The clothing is marked down so much, the stores are BIG for being in Manhattan, and even though they’re not the current season, you will always leave thinking about how much you’ve saved.
2. Barneys New York. Do I even have to give a reason? They carry my fav handbags, they have an incredible shoe selection, and you are always treated like royalty!
3. Lola’s Boutique: Vintage, current clothing & jewelry, home goods! This place has everything you want in order to be the coolest girl in Brooklyn. Ask for Marianna, she will style you like a celeb!
4. J Crew– normally, my personal style doesn’t reflect the more conservative look, but with all the colors bursting from J Crew’s racks in the past 2 years, I cannot get enough of the gorgeous sweaters and fun, poppy tee’s. The prices are very reasonable, and if you really want to stand out, take a look at their jewelry! How can you go wrong with the espadrilles and flats in all fabrics and colors? LOVE!
5. Housing Works– this is a store where people donate clothing, furniture, and jewelry and part of the sales goes to the Housing Works foundation. Luckily, this is not just any “thrift” store- the people who donate here like to drop off Pucci dresses, Bergdorf handbags, and classic pairs of Ferragamos… all at a discounted price! I’ve found some funky Noir jewelry, too, for as little as $3 each. You must check these places out!