We had the good fortune of connecting with Jared Depriest Gilbert and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jared Depriest, we’d love to hear about a book that’s had an impact on you.
I recently finished reading “The Queen Advantage: conversations with LGBTQ+ leaders on the power of identity” by Andrew Gelwicks! I love this book because it tells the stories of leaders who have experienced trauma from their childhood, adolescence years, to their adulthood as working professionals and how they were able to process it. How being authentic and self-accepting has allowed them to walk in their light in an unperturbed manner! Many of those stories resonate with me as a Black Gay male, whose pronouns identify as he/him. Initially, I struggled early on with my sexuality as I was raised Baptist in Southern Louisiana, and being gay wasn’t necessarily the most accepting, which attributed to certain insecurities. I often felt that I had to work more diligently than everyone else as a way to overcompensate for what I was experiencing on the inside. While I’ve always been very strategic and driven this book, T.Q.A reassured me that I too can accomplish great things while being Gay in America. As I continue to evolve both personally and professionally, I’ve acquired a level of confidence that allows me to not view my sexuality as a weakness, yet as a superpower! Reading through each story I was moved and inspired by the community leaders across all sectors. This page-turner reminded me that being apart of the LGBTQ+ community, we are special and remarkably different! “I mean… who wants to be like someone else?” As I continue to navigate through the fashion industry, I am always reminded that there is no one else like me, and I must continue to be my most authentic self, be proud of how far I’ve come, and not allow the opinions of others to dictate my narrative. Remaining true to myself has impacted my career positively thus far as I always say, “Lead with love, but don’t take no shit!”
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I work in the fashion/entertainment space as a wardrobe stylist, specializing in celebrity press and red carpet and a strong understanding of editorial, commercials, music videos, and advertising. I’ve dedicated my time in NYC to studying various body types, colors, silhouettes, fashion brands, jewelry brands, & tailoring. Additionally, I’ve fostered relationships with industry insiders and PR colleagues. Through my hard work and consistent dedication, I’ve been blessed to work alongside some of the Fashion Greats, such as Cristina Ehrlich, June Ambrose, Jason Rembert, Inez & Vinoodh and others.. With each opportunity, I bring my authentic self to work and deliver! It is truly an honor to meet and work with such talented and genuine people who continue to champion my work and create spaces for me and others that look like me. Sadly, that wasn’t always allowed…Thank God for CHANGE! I must say it has not been easy, the saying “blood, sweat, and tears” all reigns true! It is my passion and fire that keeps me focused and my “Always a Student” approach. I’m always willing to listen and learn in each opportunity! I didn’t enter the fashion industry through a traditional sense, but some great people saw potential in me and afforded me several opportunities to work and grow as a stylist. Over the past 7 years, I’ve been able to work directly through assisting with a number of celebrities. To name a few (Christine Baranski, Issa Rae, Natasha Lyonne, & Uzo Aduba) those relationships came while assisting the stylists mentioned above! I would probably say I am most appreciative of June Ambrose for allowing me to shop for her clients, including THEE Mr. Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter on several occasions and assisting with wardrobe and costuming for Missy Elliott 2019 VMA performance where she received the Vanguard award, Cristina Ehrlich for entrusting me to shoot her for The Coveteur and servicing her long list of A-list clients, Inez & Vinoodh for trusting me to handle Alexandre Vauthier’s Fall 20 Couture and Spring 21 RTW collections, Jason Rembert for allowing me to market edit & travel to LA to assist in dressing Issa Rae for the cover of “The Hollywood Reporter” as well as styling his Aliette resort collection- Summer 2020 in Montauk, NY and recently THEE Iman for reaching out to me to style her latest Spring collection “Iman Global Chic via HSN”. I would say those are a few of my career highlights! Over the years I’ve also worked with my own celebrity clientele (Iman, Connie Orlando, Margot Bingham, Mark St. Cyr, Odley Jean, & Kristina Tonteri Young). My personal street style has been seen via Vogue.com, WWD, and formerly style.com; photographed by Tommy Ton, NYTimes.com; photographed by Marcy Swingle, Getty Images, & BFA. I would say my style is a combination of southern hospitality, mixed with my knowledge of the industry from a fashion and business perspective, stirred up with my keen ability to adapt quickly and a splash of my can-do outlook that’s the recipe for what separates me apart from others. This is a business based on relationships, reputation, and integrity. You always want to do a good job and keep your best foot forward! I want people to know I took a chance on my myself and moved 1,700 miles away from family and friends to a city where I knew no one to chase a dream and it has lead me to this point! You can do it too, keep dreaming, believe in yourself, be confident, be kind, and do the work with integrity!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend was visiting NY for a week Monday- Sunday Monday – arrive at my charming studio in Midtown, Manhattan; chat, cook my famous creole succotash and a bottle of my favorite Sancerre sauvignon blanc while watching reruns of Sex And the City. Tuesday- sleep in, breakfast, manicures & pedicure, shopping via Soho, West Village, UES, dinner via Lure Fishbar which is my favorite go-to. Wednesday- morning stroll over to Bryant Park for hot chocolate and ice skating, lunch via Burger and Lobster, nap, outfit change, then wine and dinner via Mercer Kitchen. Thursday- FREE DAY- Anything they may have wanted to do (Times Square, World Trade, Central Park, Hop on Hop off bus tour, etc) Friday- Facials via Exhale Spa or massages via AIRE ancient baths, lunch via Odeon rest/nap, outfit change, and an evening of drinks and appetizers via Monarch Rooftop! Saturday – MET Museum and maybe a day party (pre-covid) Sunday- breakfast in bed, stream church and listen to gospel, late brunch at Poco in East Village, and aimless wandering in downtown Manhattan. I arrange car service for their departure ugh this is the saddest part of the week. We give long hugs, shed lots of tears but the memories carry us through until the next turn up!
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’d love to dedicate my shoutout to God for always guiding me, my family & friends for always cheering me on, and all the wonderful people who’ve helped me along my journey especially celebrity photographer Stephanie Diani for sending SHOUTOUT LA my way! Oh and myself for working my ass off and remaining dedicated.
The first photo of me sitting photographer credit is Malachi Smythe Fashion Credits: Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Nike x Jordan, RayBan, Louis Vuitton, HM