A slew of style experts, fashion fiends and famous faces swarmed Simply Stylist‘s debut seminar and shopping soirée in Los Angeles earlier this year. The event, founded by stylish PR vet (and one of Forbes‘ female founders to watch) Sarah Pollack Boyd, was developed to offer a unique forum where fashion influencers could compare notes and fashion hopefuls could absorb industry advice straight from the pros. Here, I chatted with Boyd to learn more about the concept and what we can expect from Simply Stylist New York taking place at the W New York on Sunday, September 9.
How did you get your start in the industry?
"I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania and always had big dreams to move to Los Angeles since my first visit here in high school. I was so inspired that I decided to study Fashion Merchandising at Philadelphia University and at the University of Rome. After realizing I didn’t want to be a buyer, which is what I originally went to school for, I set off to Los Angeles to pursue a career in fashion. I’m extremely lucky to have an older sister who also worked in fashion and launched her own PR & Marketing company shortly after I moved out. I started working with her and began building strong relationships in the media, with stylists and other key players in the entertainment world."
What inspired you to create Simply Stylist?
"Years ago, before Bravo’s The Rachel Zoe Project and all the reality shows about stylists, I realized that stylists were the driving force behind today’s trends. They were all so uber cool but didn’t want the attention, so they would tell their clients (celebrities) what to wear which, in turn, would end up in magazines, get produced by clothing lines and sold in stores across the world. A trend was born. Other trendsetters include fashion designers, fashion editors, and fashion bloggers. With the rise of reality TV and the transparency of today’s culture, I saw the want for consumers to really see how trends were born and learn about them directly from these fashion trendsetters. People have gotten smart and realize that most celebrities don’t dress themselves and the consumers want to know more about the people behind it all."
What was your top highlight of Simply Stylist’s debut event in LA?
"I exceeded my expectations in LA! I think the top highlight would be selling out of tickets (650 of them) two days before the event. That is an amazing feeling. I took a huge risk by leaving my day job in December and going for my dream. People seemed to love the concept and I hope to continue growing it year after year. I strongly believe that ‘without risk there is no reward’ and ‘when one door closes, another opens.’"
What can we expect from Simply Stylist New York?
"A killer panel, for one! I’ve got Catt Sadler of E! hosting again, and celebrity stylist Joey Tierney (styles Ashley Madewke of Revenge, Jenna Ushkowitz of Glee, Julie Benz of Dexter and more), fashion blogger Lindsey Calla of Saucy Glossie, style expert Lindsay Albanese and a few other surprises, including a Marie Claire editor and fashion designer. See the full schedule of events here. We’ve also teamed up with an amazing charity, I Am That Girl, which we’ll be donating a portion of our proceeds to. We’ve got a lot going on and I couldn’t be more excited."
What’s next for Simply Stylist and Simply, Inc.?
"I want to continue branching out to different cities – next year I plan to tackle Dallas & Chicago in addition to Los Angeles and New York. I also plan on launching Simply Beauty – which will be identical to Simply Stylist but with beauty experts. I’ve got much more in the pipeline including brand collaborations and more divisions, too!"
To purchase tickets and learn more about Simply Stylist New York’s schedule of events, click here.