We had the good fortune of connecting with Brittany Diego and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brittany, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
When I started out as a wardrobe stylist I had a lot of aspiring stylists reaching out to me with questions about how I got my start and how they could get their foot in the door of the industry so I decided to create my website, Fashion Mentor to blog about all of the things I wish I learned in fashion school but instead learned through my work and internship experiences. In addition, I realized that the traditional fashion school curriculum taught me how to do the job but not how to get the job. Many of my peers as well as myself graduated with no job lined up due to poor “real-world”preparation by at our University. Even though we had a career center, the fashion industry is so unique in itself that typical job interview tips or general career advice did not apply. There was nothing just for us, so I decided to create it. Now that I’ve established in the fashion industry I want to help the next generation of fashion students enter the industry with the with the tools, resources, and knowledge to lead successful careers in fashion.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
When I first started as a stylist, no one was willing to share tips and advice so now that I’m in the industry I made it my duty to help as many people as I can see that their dream can very much be a reality. I’ve been able to personally help aspiring stylists and fashion designers who are in the place I once was, a place of uncertainty and being lost and help them turn their careers and lives around by pointing them in the right direction from someone who is still currently working in the industry. Since establishing myself as a celebrity fashion stylist I’ve made it my mission to open doors for creatives especially creatives of color to achieve their dreams and leading by example, showing them that no matter where they came from they can absolutely make it in the fashion industry, which is known for capitalizing off of ideas generated by Black and Brown people, while excluding us from opportunities. As a result,I’ve taken the initiative to create an empowering community called Fashion Mentor™, focused on giving creatives of color an insider’s perspective into this industry, which they wouldn’t normally have access to. Fashion Mentor™ provides them with the knowledge, tools, and resources they need to flourish in the industry through online courses and workshops. I’ve had a lot of success in the fashion world but my I am most proud of my students who have been making waves in the fashion industry since I kicked off my classes and workshops in March of 2019. Since then: Las Vegas based stylist Jeremie has had his styling work published in multiple magazines and styled his first celebrity client for the Soul Train Awards red carpet. Los Angeles based Crystal was recently offered a Creative Director position at an LA-based fashion brand. Los Angeles based stylist Marcus has had his styling grace the Critics Choice Red Carpet and had his work featured on countless magazine covers. Houston, Texas based stylist Cynthia is now a sought after wardrobe stylist in the TV/Film space. And this is just the beginning. It was not easy at all I had a lot of people, especially other stylists doubt me and said I was giving away the “keys”. A lot of people in fashion have this mentality that “because I had to struggle so do you” but I say, why not offer guidance and a helping hand? On top of that, I came from a fashion school background so I had no business or marketing skills whatsoever. I learned everything from trial and error and by studying what other successful businesses did right and applied that to my own. I pushed past those struggles and challenges by reminding myself that my purpose is bigger than any of my fears. That purpose is to guide and provide Black and Brown millennials with career opportunities and resources to lead successful careers in the fashion industry. Along with workshops and online courses we hold an annual conference, called Fashion Career Con, for millennials of color to have the opportunity to connect directly with industry professionals and recruiters, in order to take their careers to the next level. Since launching Fashion Career Con in 2019, we have empowered over 500+ aspiring stylists, designers, merchandisers, and buyers on the necessary steps to gain professional opportunities in the fashion industry.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
What I love most about living in LA is the melting pot of different cultures and neighborhoods. You can be shopping at the trendiest shops on Melrose and 30 minutes later be hanging at Venice Beach watching street performers. If I could plan an itinerary for a visitor, here’s what it would look like. Monday-Start off your week with a coffee at the Art’s District Urth Caffe, my order is a Spanish latte granita. After that walk around the area and take in the local street art. Tuesday- Do some window shopping at the shops on Melrose Ave and get ready to take lots of photos, this is where all of those Instagrammable walls are, including the famous Paul Smith pink wall. If you’re feeling fancy head over to Rodeo Drive just a few minutes away in Beverly Hills. Even if you don’t buy anything it’s worth walking down the block and seeing all of the high end shops. End the day with a dinner at Mastros, make sure you get dressed up for this one. Wednesday- Come to my neighborhood, Inglewood and walk around Market Street and support a local business. The Rusty Pot Cafe is my favorite-I live for their chicken and waffles. Coffee craving? Grab a latte at Sip and Sonder and later on that day, check out one of the events or concerts happening at the Forum. Whatever you do, don’t leave Inglewood without grabbing a bite at Brolly Hut, it’s our neighborhood landmark. Thursday-Take an Uber or Lyft to Downtown LA-do not drive there you won’t find parking anywhere. It’s the type of area you have to walk around to appreciate. While you’re there visit the Broad Museum to take in the work of artists ranging from Basquiat to Jeff Koons. Since you’re there already, and if you want to see more art head directly across the street to go to MOCA (The Museum of Contemporary Art) and have lunch at the on-site Lemonade. If you’re in the shopping mood, head over to the Fashion District’s Santee Alley to find super amazing deals you can’t resist. This is where all of the boutiques and shops get their inventory but you can cut out the middleman and get it yourself here, oh and it’s not a visit to the Fashion District without a street hotdog (my fave). Friday- Wind down and chill at Manhattan beach (stay away from Santa Monica it’s a tourist trap) and have a bite at Manhattan pizzeria just a few steps away. Some other great beaches are Hermosa Beach and Zuma Beach in Malibu.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’m a huge fan of personal development books and my close community of people who believe they can manifest anything they want through positive thinking and inspired action encourage me, so shoutout to them for keeping me inspired and motivated!