We had the good fortune of connecting with Julia Perry and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Julia, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
That’s easy! Teamwork is what it’s all about. On any project, big or small, there are so many talented individuals working together behind the scenes to create what we all see. Often a great deal of planning goes on beforehand in respect to mood and direction, location and setting, lighting and other important elements between producers, photographers, art directors or creative directors, stylists, hair and makeup artists. Coordination between publicists, managers, agents and clients are fundamental in finalizing details before a shoot date or event. As a fashion/celebrity stylist, teamwork with their assistants before, during and after each project is so crucial. This involves contacting various resources that fit the mood/direction of the project including designers/brands, showrooms, stores, prop houses and such to request and schedule appointments to pull options. Stylists and their assistants run to several showrooms and designers selecting pieces from head to toe to fulfill the stylist’s vision. It should be noted that they are responsible for those pieces while they are in their care, which is why a good team is so essential. Good organization skills are needed to keep track of each piece so that all of these pieces can be returned on time to where they were loaned out from. On set, a fitting happens early in the day where final decisions are made as a team between producers/clients, photographers, art directors or creative directors and stylists, hair and makeup artists and can even involve publicists or managers with celebrities. It’s a magical feeling when everything comes together through the infusion of creative individuals working together in the moment. After years of hard work, pounding the pavement and paying my dues, seeing my art coming together in front of a camera still gives me the same excitement it has since starting this journey years ago. Understanding all facets of the fashion and entertainment industry was crucial in getting me where I am today. I have built and maintained so many great partnerships and working relationships over the years and that’s what makes my career so rewarding.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am grateful and proud to say that I am still here creating new work after over 20 years in the industry and remain passionate about my art. Whether it be an edgy editorial, a commercial advertising campaign, a custom design for an artist or a red carpet appearance, the ubiquitous challenges keep me jumping from project to project, knowing that I have fulfilled my client’s vision and stayed true to respective brands. Simply put, it’s what I do and still do, year after year, because I LOVE what I do. I can honestly say that it wasn’t always easy. It takes a lot of focus, dedication and hard work and to be honest, it is a far cry from the glamorous life that most people assume being a stylist actually is. My brand, Forever Timeless™, has allowed me to work with legends ranging from “Baby Face” to Carole King, from Kate Hudson to Gary Oldman, from Drew Barrymore to Al Jarreau and Jane’s Addiction just to name a few. My strong work ethic, integrity and artistic eye are part of who I am as a person and as a stylist. I’m known to bring plenty of amazing options and tend to go above and beyond my client’s needs and expectations. My client’s deserve the very best, and that’s what I provide. My experience combined with a consistent on brand, fresh approach and fulfilled vision each time makes that possible. Of course there have been challenges along the way, but it all really depends on your outlook on life. I have found that taking a step back, and looking at the bigger picture often gives one the clarity to best approach whatever is in front of you. It’s always helped me get though even the toughest of times. The one most important thing is, believing in yourself, and knowing that you can handle whatever obstacle you are facing, is just the first but most important step you’ll ever make. Understanding that you are really part of a team, and that it isn’t all about you, is everything. My daily mantras are “You’ve got this” and “Take it one step at a time”.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This would generally be an easy question to answer since there are so many amazing places; however, with these unprecedented times we are all facing, not all of them are open or might not make it back when things go back to normal. With that said, these are some of the places I would take my best friend who hasn’t been to LA in years during their visit if things were under normal circumstances. We would definitely check out the latest exhibits at the Broad, Getty or LACMA or events at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Maybe grab a bite to eat at Café Gratitude, Carmine’s, Bossanova, Firefly or Jones and a cocktail at the recently remodeled Formosa or a margarita and taco at El Coyote or even Petty Cash. We would have to stop for a coffee and slice of heaven at Sweet Lady Jane’s, or a late night bite at Swinger’s or Canter’s Deli. It is a must to have an espresso and check out Eataly, then do a little shopping in Century City. Another day, I would want to show her how much downtown has changed, with a quick stop in the Arts District at Angel City Brewery or lunch at San Antonio Winery. I’d insist that we stop in the Last Bookstore to pick up a few good reads or check out Grand Central Market and then swing by La Luz De Jesus for nostalgia. Since it’s something we always loved to do, we would have to do a little thrift shopping at Animal House or Wasteland on Melrose and catch a live show at the Hollywood Bowl, Rainbow, Palladium or the Greek Theatre. I’ve always been interested in art and music, fashion and style, and hanging out with interesting people. Growing up in LA, was fun and my friends and I shared many of the same interests, so we were always out and about, hanging out at amazing places that have come and gone like Jabberjaw, Al’s Bar, Smalls, Beauty Bar, Pappa Willy, King King, Pik Me Up, Dragonfly, Cosmos and Ace Gallery. Thank you to Voyage LA for featuring me and allowing me the opportunity to share my story with you. I’d also like to thank Los Angeles for being such an amazing city filled with so many wonderful people and fantastic places!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
That is such an important question, because the story of my life and career has been made possible by all those who have touched it in various and meaningful ways, and we come to realize how important it is to take a moment to acknowledge their stories, the ones that so often never get told. It warms my heart to have this opportunity to share mine with your readers. Although there are so many amazing people that have contributed to my success in so many different ways, family and friends and assistants and agents, the one person who undoubtedly deserves a special “shoutout” is my mother, Catherine Perry. She was my rock, my support, my love – and her guidance and encouragement through difficult times was a testament to her integrity and the principles of kindness and appreciation that she chose to live by. She was the epitome of style, grace, and strength, and raised me to be resilient, hold myself accountable, and value hard work. I hold fond memories of the remarkable ways that she navigated and balanced a very busy life- between her career as an accountant for 20th Century Fox and then MGM, as well as motherhood. Somehow, she always found time for me, and was able to nurture her many creative hobbies like design, sewing, knitting, cooking, and baking. In fact, the floral velvet blazer I am wearing in my personal photo was one of her designs; a stylish and timeless example of the kind of pieces she made, one that I am proud to have inherited. Some of my fondest memories are with my mom in her sewing room and the creative process of designing. I recently learned that she had dreams of moving to New York and becoming a designer when she was young. I remember she would always tell me to “be true to yourself and your art”, and “pay attention to the business of your art”- I consider these to have been wise words, and I proudly continue to live by them today. Simply put, she was an extraordinary woman and I am truly grateful to have had the privilege to call her “mom”.
Personal Photo: Mario Barberio; Hair/Makeup: Michelle Vanderhule
Styling Images: Michael Pool, Kimberly Metz, Kimberly Metz, Todd Tyler, Mario Barberio, Kimberly Metz, Daniella Hehmann, Giuliano Bekor, Mario Barberio, Marta Elena Vassilakis, Fidel Gonzalez, Mario Barberio