We had the good fortune of connecting with Vincent Smith Jr. and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Vincent, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
In my opinion “taking risks” is just a more adventurous way of saying “moving by faith” . I’ve been known to take risks when it comes to my career and my life and each risk has pushed me forward for the better. I’m from Birmingham Alabama where a career in fashion wasn’t even an option. So facing little exposure and access I was dead set on finding where I belonged and where I could make strides in the career that I wanted and not just sit and take what was available to me. My best friend, Deisgner Olivia Anthony , was the first to leave our city and it took ONE visit to NY for me to set things in motion. Lol I moved to NY with $800 and the uncertainty of having a retail job as a merchandiser at Banana Republic. I will not say that it was the smartest move but it was the move that pushed me to go after what I wanted , which was my career. A year and a half later I was there, working in fashion. Continuously moving by faith, taking risks because I knew I wouldn’t fail myself,

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
It was definitely NOT an easy process . There were sleepless nights, endless video shoots, about 1,000 trucks full of couture that will prove the road to success would NOT be an easy one for me. I interned, I assisted, I learned . I never thought I was bigger than I am and I still don’t. I knew my worth, and I knew what was for me and what wasn’t. Working in fashion isn’t in any way the glitz and glam that people want to make it out to be. It’s all about getting the job done whichever way the job can get done. There’s nights where you just won’t sleep because you’re in New York pulling wardrobe from Paris , considering the six hr time difference. There’s shoots that have lasted 16 plus hours and not the mention the physical labor involved. But it all is full filling, Every time you see the end result, knowing that you gave your best it just reminds you of why you’re doing what you’re doing and gives you the energy to do it again.

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.
I am such a homebody, my idea of a great time is having all of my friends over with a bottle of red wine watching movies and fashion films.

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 have several people that believed in me and contributed to me being where I am. First, E.L.I.T.E model troupe of Alabama State University led by Derricius Chambers helped ignite my love for fashion and to be able to see myself in spaces that cater to fashion and creativity. Secondly,my best friend Olivia Anthony who always encouraged me and showed me by example that our goals are achievable through hard work, faith and dedication. Olivia also introduced me to Kollin Carter, stylist to Cardi b, Naomi Campbell, Kelly Rowland and many more amazing women. Kollin took me under his wing as his first assistant which led me to being who I am now and being able to work for myself as a key stylist with my own clientele.

Instagram: @v.msmith

Image Credits
Tiana Major9 Fucking Young Mag KashDoll Normani for Rolling stone

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