Last weekend, celebrity fashion stylist, J. Bolin, brought his outstanding fashion tips and stand up personality to Chicago to help aspiring designers and stylists for this year’s Chicago Fashion Week. If you haven’t checked out this iconic figure’s resume, allow us to enlighten you.
The Mississippi native has styled some of the most influential and stylish celebrities in the industry. His client list includes a plethora of A-Listers such as: “Real Housewives of Atlanta” Star, NeNe Leakes, Erica Campbell from the group Mary Mary, Boris Kodjoe, Lance Gross, Vivica A. Fox and so many more!
This past weekend, he offered an 8-hour class to a group of designers and professionals with his keen knowledge on the fashion industry. “J. Bolin’s Stylist Boot Camp was truly inspirational and mind blowing, to have such a prestigious professional give me years worth of fashion knowledge through this course was amazing,” said one of the participants in the class. J. Bolin is definitely a force to be reckoned with and I was blessed with the opportunity to sit down with him. Read on for what he had to say.
What inspired you to become a fashion stylist?
I was literally tired of working for other people. I was bored working for others, so I started looking at a lot of fashion stuff online. I really wanted to work with integrity, spirit and excellence; I didn’t feel like I was doing that at my current job. I didn’t want to discredit myself or the company I was working for, so I went to follow my passion. You can say I went into survival mode, because at that moment I left my job and I needed to learn and teach myself the fashion game so I could be the best [that] I knew I could be.
With you having years of fashion industry experience, how do you see the industry evolving?
I feel that what I’m doing is creating a movement in this industry. I love to see more of us in this industry and I’m here to help make that happen. Deep down, I feel the more of us [there are], the better opportunities we will have to educate ourselves in this fashion industry. I love when I encounter stylists that don’t mind being servants; they haven’t forgotten where they’ve come from and sincerely want to serve others and make sure they’re OK. I love that feeling. I definitely want to see more African American stylists succeed in this industry and that’s what I’m trying to do. I want to help others in our race get more recognition and rise up to all occasions. That’s truly want I’m looking for and I’m working so hard to see that happen.
What are J. Bolin’s key ingredients to success?
Integrity, consistency and faith. Of course, integrity has taken me farther than anything. I literally care about people and I definitely don’t want to be the guy that uses people or take advantage of anyone. I don’t try to step on anyone’s toes, by taking other stylists’ clients or their gigs. I make it a point to make sure I don’t do that, so if a client contacts me and I know that a specific stylist is working with them, then I won’t work with that client. I don’t want to take food out of anyone’s mouth. What God has for is for me. Consistency for me is also a big characteristic to have, because being consistent with your personality, with your clients and just making sure their overall look is consistent can definitely mean a lot. With me being who I am as a person and genuinely caring about others around me is another way to soar in this industry. Also, you being in control of what’s around you can contribute to you being a consistent person. Lastly, faith is really what drives me. Being able to have faith in whatever I’m doing, knowing that I will constantly get more jobs and any problems that I face will have a solution, all because I have that faith. Faith is very important to have.
What does it mean to be an African American stylist in this industry?
I think it says a lot, because there are a lot of us stylists out here. But, being an African American stylist I feel is smiled upon in society. This industry has been saturated with so many other cultures. And, people aren’t aware that there’s a movement for African American male stylists. We’re finally a part of that movement and I think it’s absolutely awesome.
For more information on this phenomenal stylist and to get some hot fashion tips visit www.stylistjbolin.com
~ dana williams