I’m still wanting more as always and I haven’t had my “I made it moment” yet but I’ve had moments where I had to step back and was surprised and impressed with the people I was in a room and working with.
Ambitious, confident and innovative could be one of many words used to describe Fashion Stylist, Tatum Pia. Bahamian born, she is continuously amazed by the strides she is making in her industry. When she’s not busy styling some of the most fashionable celebrities, she’s shopping, looking for the best deals or dabbling in photography.
We caught up with Tatum and she shared advice on fashion, bargain shopping and the latest styles.
Tell me about your career so far, how did you end up as a Fashion Stylist?
TP: I started interning with different designers in New York every summer, since I was 16. DVF gave me my first intro to fashion and I loved everything about it. My last internship was at ELLE Magazine for my final credit of university. Shortly after I graduated, I landed my first job in the United States at the Martha Stewart show.
When the show ended, I missed fashion and went back to the magazine as a freelance fashion/styling assistant for the Creative Director and an Editor at ELLE. For the past two years, I’ve been assisting and working with them mostly and have been recommended to different stylists/publications in the industry. From there, it kept moving; I still freelance and assist for various stylists and magazines and occasionally do some shoots of my own on the side.
What do you enjoy the most about your career?
TP: Its creativity and flexibility. Freelancing gives you the freedom to create your own schedule and work at your own convenience. It’s essentially being your own boss. Being on set is thrilling, it’s fast-paced, it’s colorful and ever-changing. Each day is different and when the end result is published, it’s awesome to see your name in ink. I also love the freedom in being able to decide when I want to work and when I want to travel.
If you could give one piece of styling advice to women, what would it be?
TP: Be comfortable. If you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing, you will expel confidence. Confidence is a huge factor in style. I think people take more fashion risks when they are comfortable. and confident in what they are wearing and that’s where style really evolves.
If there’s one piece of advice you could give your younger self, what would it be?
TP: Have patience. I was always in a rush to get to working and to start a career. I probably missed out on some youth and college things but I can’t regret it. Now, I still battle with having patience because once you start to get in the rat race, you just want to keep running but you have to put in your time and keep pushing.
What is your most favorite item in your closet?
TP: My favorite piece I own is a gold necklace with building block letters that spell my name. My grandfather got it for me when I was a baby and I wear it every single day. Otherwise, my Isabel Marant sneakers; they were one of my first big purchases once I moved to New York.
I’m sure you’re a bargain finder, give us some secrets. Where are some places you can always count on to have bargains?
TP: Thrift and vintage stores are my go-to’s. I love that you find pieces a lot of people aren’t wearing today and they’re priced pretty low. I also shop online tons at the Outnet, LXR & Co, Nasty Gal, Shopbop and Barneys Warehouse – they all have great sales year round.
Who is one person, you’re dying to style?
TP: Drake, I’d love to work with more guys. I think you don’t really see that crazy fashion from him so it’d be fun to push the limits with high fashion pieces and basics in a fun editorial.
Is there a style or pattern you would love to stay in, forever?
TP: I’m obsessed with prints and colors but basics are a guilty pleasure, recently as well. I love the fact that fashion changes so much. There’s always something new happening out there, so I wouldn’t want to stay in the same pattern or style ever. It would get boring.
Is there a style or pattern you love working with more than others?
TP: Every person I assist or work with is different so you have to play up their strengths. So nothing is every really the same pattern or formula. I do however, usually start with shoes to put together a look and go from there. I like to mix low and high-end pieces – not just straight off the runway.
Describe a time in your career where you felt as if you had made it?
TP: I’m still wanting more as always and I haven’t had my, “I made it moment,” as yet. But I’ve had moments where I had to step back because I was surprised and impressed with the people I found myself in a room with. I’m from this small island and to look around and have people I used to read about or see on television calling me by name, is truly an amazing feeling because it had felt so unobtainable. Seeing my name in print for the first time was pretty cool too!
I’m very happy with the opportunities I had achieved by the age of 25, but I’m always down for more and/or a change. I’ll probably venture into other industries as well. To be continued!
Photo Credit: Danielle Wallis