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Fashion Lessons with an Expert: Ali Levine

The fashion stylist that lives between NY and LA reveals the secrets of her success


Photo: Steven Starr

In an interview with Ali Levine, she tells us how she made it to the top and what fashion means to her: "I am fashion because I eat, sleep and breathe it. Fashion never turns off for me, and I wouldn't want it to.”


Who wouldn’t want some fashion lessons from a personal stylist that helps you to be at the best of your possibilities? And what about having a celebrity stylist all for you? Many times we just wear the wrong stuff and with some changes every type of body can result beautiful in its own way. I am constantly looking around on social medias for the best of the best and I had an amazing opportunity: to encounter one of the top celebrity stylist on the planet and have her tips. Not only that, I can share them with you.

Thank you so much Ali Levine for this amazing and inspiring interview.

Ali Levine is New York’s hot shot turned Hollywood it girl for fashion styling.  Beginning her career working with such brands as Target and Coach, Ali quickly progressed and is now a top contributor with USA TodayThe LA TimesThe NY Times, Racked and many other national media outlets. Known for her on set styling for L.A.’s hottest television shows, she can also be found dressing the A-list stars heading to the biggest red carpet events. Ali Levine is an influential fashion blogger, on-camera fashion expert, TV personality and has her own digital channel through Own Zones. Ali can also be seen each week hosting Southern California’s local broadcast “Fashionista’s Now Boarding” as L.A.’s fashion correspondent on channel 63. I am totally impressed by this amazing woman and I am such a lucky girl because she styled me too!

Here’s the interview I’ve had with Ali Levine.

What is it like to dress other people?

“I love dressing other people because I am always exploring new body types, different styles, vibes and looks. It’s so creative and the possibilities are endless.”

What is it like to dress celebrities?

“At first it was surreal. Dressing celebrities is magic in its own way. Now, that has become my every day work and a job that I love. A celebrity carries themselves a certain way. They want to feel that way when dressed. I love helping my celebrity clients to find clothing they may not be trying but, then, fall in love with, discover colors they didn’t use to wear before, different silhouettes for their body. Celebrities always have a certain power about them especially when walking a carpet. I love to be a part of the magic they exude at an event.”


Photo: Rocco Cesslin

How did you become a celebrity stylist?

“I became a celebrity stylist after many years of working in the entertainment industry. I started as production assistant to the great Oliver Stone and then worked with the famous costume designer Ellen Mirojnick on the set of Wall Street Money Never Sleeps with Michael Douglas and Shia Leboeuf.

I then moved onto other amazing shows in NY, where I am from, and worked as a shopper. I also worked on many different MTV and Vh1 projects as I learned costume design.

From there I met an amazing crew of LA costume designers and supervisors, on a movie, Big Mamas House with Martin Lawrence. The amazing team was composed by Scott O’Leary, Leah Katchnzelson & Amanda Riley. As soon as I met them I knew I was destined for LA. I pursued my dreams, left NY and went to Los Angeles to continue costume design with some amazing designers such as Colleen Atwood, Brenda Cooper and others.

I then had the realization, I loved the aspect of costume and everything I had learned, but fell more in love with styling.

I went on to assist for Kanye West’s stylist, Kardashian’s, B Akerlund, Monica Rose and much more.

Over time after much assisting, I started gaining my own celebrity clientele and now years later, have my company: Ali Levine Design. And that is only the short version of the story!”

In your opinion, what is the relationship with social media and fashion?

“I think social media plays a huge role in fashion these days. Trends can quickly spread or die because of social media and what you are seeing in them. As well as influencers, bloggers, stylists showing what their celebrities are wearing on social, it all influences the everyday fashionista and every day person.

I think it dictates trends as well as ends trends. It also can help a no name brand to blow up overnight.

Social media has played a huge role in fashion and I think this is only the beginning.

Even runway shows and designers are posting and showing their projects, latest designs, collections so everyone can feel a part of it and connect!”

How do you use Instagram?

“I use my Instagram mostly for my business. I like to post some personal pictures to keep things exciting and grab my audience on a more personal level, but always pushing my brand, which is fashion between my clients and what I style them in. In my blog posts I show inspiration and what I am wearing, that is what most of my Instagram consists of.”

Do you use other social media? How? 

“I do use other social media, like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and much more. I wish I could just post to one, but that is not the case! It’s important to share your inspirations on different outlets as you build up different fan bases in different spots. Or some followers like one social media outlet better than the other. You want to have something for all, right? Options, options! That is what I always say as a stylist.”

How do you think fashion changed the web business and vice versa?

“I think fashion heavily changed the web business! People can shop online now and find there their perfect dress, shoes etc.

Customers expect to shop online. If they see something on social media or on a website they expect to be able to purchase it. The web has made it so seamless for the everyday person to shop and find what they need.

They no longer have to go to the mall, wait in line, it is all from the comfort of your home, and most people love that idea! I mean, shopping is so chic in your pajamas, why not?!”

What is fashion for you?

“Fashion for me is your own style. It is a way of saying what you want to say without having to say it. Maybe it is your mood that day. Maybe it is your favorite look, whatever it may be its your fashion.”

What are your fashion trends that one must follow?

“I absolutely love stacking! I get all my clients into it and friends too. It is such an easy but fun way to dial up your look. Stacking rings, bracelets, necklaces it gives your look a different vibe.

I also love to mix and match with contrast. Playing off the right colors with your outfit is a great way to break things up.

Texture! I love details, I love seeing dresses with a textured vest or cool leather jacket, a top with the perfect vest. These I would say are my go to.”

What do you suggest to a young girl or boy that wants to be a stylist?

“I would suggest that girl or boy to work hard in whatever they are doing. I studied business before fashion and I worked in retail and corporate before even getting into this world. Everything in life teaches you something especially when it comes to working.

Take every experience you can get your hands on and put 150% into it. Work hard, and show the person you’re working for that you want to learn everything and more from them. Be determined but respectful.

Be passionate. Find your own path in interning and assisting the right people, look to see what you love in different opportunities. This is your time to figure out what you love and don’t love. Embrace it.”

What is your fashion mantra?

“I always say to all my clients: ‘Confidence is your best accessory’.

I truly feel this way to this day. You could be wearing couture or Target, if you feel amazing in it, you will carry it like it is worth a million bucks. As I always say: ‘chic for less’. If you can’t afford it, you don’t have to be discouraged by the designer fashion. Create your own looks by finding what fits your style and you feel confident in.

That is when you’ll stand out and look like that celebrity or role model you’ve been admiring.”

I am fashion because… Finish the sentence.

“I am fashion because I eat, sleep and breathe it. Fashion never turns off for me, and I wouldn’t want it to.”

A final message for our readers

“Follow my stylish adventures on my various social media @alilevinedesign on Instagram and Twitter, my Facebook page and my fashion blog where you can view my work and constant ideas and inspirations.”

Thank you so much Ali for this amazing interview and please do follow her, she is the best!

As my friend and top stylist Ali would say, Fashionably Yours.

Simonetta Lein The Celebrity Wishmaker


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