11 Jun A DAY IN THE LIFE: MEET KIRSTEN THOMPSON, FASHION STYLIST
The San Antonio Fashion Awards planning is well under way! As things progress pretty quickly, we are honored to present a new episode of A Day in the Life. Today, we’re following the fabulous Kirsten Thompson, 2015 Fashion Stylist of the Year! I had the privilege of spending not one, but two fantastic days with her and I have to say, it was exhilarating. Running in heels never looked so good! Kirsten is kind, fun-loving and energetic.
Kirsten has been an independent freelance stylist since 2011, but prior to that she has worked in a capacity where fashion was at the forefront. What helped her overcome her fear of venturing out on her own was the realization that she has always been a stylist at heart and by virtue of the work she was doing, even if it wasn’t her official title at the time. She’s been dressing friends and family members since middle school. Prior to 2011, Kirsten worked for various companies such as: Theory, Saks Fifth Avenue, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, and Neiman Marcus. She also has an 11-year-old son, Miles. She strives to be that example that empowers him to not be afraid to break out of the mold when choosing what he wants to do later in life.
Kirsten’s preparation varies depending on what she’s doing on any given day. Her work encompasses several areas. She has private clients whom she provides wardrobing services for – everyone from professionals and entrepreneurs to college grads entering the workplace and, luckily, several people in the public eye. She sends everyone a detailed questionnaire that she keeps on file and uses as a reference. This gives her insight into their needs before they even have their first session. She works with them in their homes to build a wardrobe that truly reflects who they are, their lifestyle, and what works best for their bodies. Often, it is hours and hours of trying things on to determine what colors and shapes look best, what pieces need to be reworked through alterations and redesign, and what items simply need to be culled from their closets. She does shopping based on her initial consultation and follows up with an intensive style session where she digitally archives pieces and ensembles using Stylebook. Her assistant, KeAndreia, has been invaluable because she helps her with everything from picking up clothes and doing returns, to photography, and setting up for photoshoots. These relationships are very rewarding to her because she knows that the clients really trust her and Kirsten is sure to give them 100% every time.
On days she has photoshoots, Kirsten has to switch gears. These typically take 1-2 days of preparation and the actual shoot can last anywhere from 1/2 a day to 10 hours.
“I make an inspiration board and go from there…” She will usually pull from local retailers and designers and occasionally will create pieces herself. Kirsten tries to tell stories with her editorial styling work because “pictures are just pictures until we breathe life into them.” So, she tries to develop a point of view for each project so that whoever sees the work senses that it was more than just “pretty”. She gravitates towards interesting and compelling.
Kirsten’s personal style is “Dress to Express”. She can rock a head wrap like nobody’s business and somewhere between kaftans and pajamas, she’ll show off her favorite vintage pieces. She owns only one pair of jeans from her favorite local shop, HerStory Boutique, and several structured blazers and pencil skirts. “Sometimes, I imagine that in 40 years I will be a mixture between Erykah Badu and Iris Apfel! I love color!”, says Kirsten. I can definitely see that!
Kirsten’s clientele base tends to be largely female, but she does have a few men sprinkled in there. Many are wives to men who are prominent members of the community, others are certified Power Women who run companies or sit on boards and they don’t have a lot of time to focus on their personal presentation. There are a few PhD Professors and also young professionals who need help crafting their image. There is a nice cross-section of the population who she works with. It’s also very important to her to offer her services to people who wouldn’t normally be able to afford them, so Kirsten also volunteers with several Women’s groups and she counts those women as her clients too.
Kirsten’s vision for the San Antonio fashion community is that we all continue to grow and offer one another support. There are a lot of different ideas of what Fashion actually is, and that’s OK with her. “We are all artists if you think about it. Even if we wear a million other hats, we are – at core, creative minded people. And creativity needs love and encouragement … support … to flourish.” She would like to see the fashion professionals support one another. And if that happens the community will grow. “With us being the 7th largest city in the nation, I’d love to have more international designers coming here to show their work and it would be fantastic to have our city be an incubator for young talent, people who go on to have successful careers outside of the city but who also remember to give back.”
I already knew that Kirsten was a class act. The 2nd time we met, she remembered my name, and for some reason that really stuck with me. She approaches everyone with humility and respect. Her kind heart and warm smile are the real reason why she’s a winner in my eyes. Style Lush TV is so proud of what she has accomplished and where she is headed; and we love that she’s doing it all in our beautiful city of San Antonio!
For service, you may contact Kirsten via email at [email protected]