Have you ever wondered who is the fashion mastermind behind Rihanna's constantly evolving sense of style?
That creative genius is celebrity stylist Rob Zangardi and he's our Featured Style Expert today! His high profile client list not only includes Rihanna. Zangardi, along with Mariel Haenn, styles everyone from Will and Jada Pinkett Smith to actresses Rachel McAdams and Kerry Washington. The colorful look he created for Rihanna was even in the news this week! We caught up with Rob to find out more about him and where he gets his creative inspiration:
Why did you want to become a stylist?
I grew up in Ohio and was working as a visual merchandiser. I didn't even know what a stylist was until I went to visit my brother in NYC and he introduced me to a fashion stylist who worked in the wardrobe department at MTV. I loved putting together outfits on mannequins and in store windows, but the stylist opened up my eyes to a whole new career. I liked the idea of teaching people what "I see" when putting together looks -- color, fit, silhouette, attitude -- what really looks good on them, plus teaching them about designers and watching their fashion evolution. It's so rewarding to see people feel good about themselves, and clothes can do that!
What's been your career highlight or favorite professional moment?
The fashion industry is demanding and we are moving so fast sometimes you forget to stop and smell the roses. I've been really fortunate that my career has allowed me to to work with such high profile talent. I've worked on film sets, in television studios, on sets of music videos, live performances and styled clients for the Oscars and the Grammys. I've seen some really amazing things. But, I'd have to say my career highlight was my first Paris Fashion Week. Seeing Lagerfeld in action at the Chanel show, the theatrics of a McQueen show and then going backstage and seeing the true clockwork of European fashion -- the whole week was pretty fantastic.
Who do you get your inspiration from or who are your favorite designers?
My favorite designer is always tricky question as a stylist. My first thought is to ask for what and/or who are we styling? Honestly, a lot of my inspiration comes directly from the clients themselves. It's always fun to see what these celebrities are like and create images based on their personalities, projects and events. My personal favorite will always be Alexander McQueen - always so inspiring. Valentino for the past few seasons has been so good and Marchesa always at the top of my list, too. I'm a fan of Balenciaga and Givenchy accessories and bags and Louboutin and Atwood shoes are always also at the top of my list. But i can go on and on about a
What advice would you give to aspiring stylists?
There isn't enough room on this page to answer this question but if I had to pick just one piece of advice, I'd say to assist as many stylists as you can. There are so many different facets to styling and so many areas to choose from -- TV, theater, movies, commercials, celebrities, editorial etc. -- and then so many different jobs within each of those areas. If one doesn't work for you, try another. Try them all!
Got more questions for Rob? Ask now!