Stylist Spotlight: Monica Rose

If you’re addicted to E! Entertainment, then you might have seen Daily 10 host Catt Sadler on a particular episode wearing a bold, graphic print minidress in black and white, or another time in a ruffly sleeveless frock. Catt--and her cohosts Debbie Matenopoulos and Sal Masakela--must all be dressed to the nines in the latest, cutest clothes because of the nature of their job: reporting on celebs.

It's thanks to their professional stylist, Monica Rose that the cast of Daily 10 always looks their best and brightest. Reaching out to designers and getting their looks on the show's hosts is tough, sometimes backbreaking work--but this 30-year-old, Cali-bred chica still found time for a frank discussion with Latina.com about how she gets it all done. Wearing a pair of J Brand black skinny jeans, black flats and a white bubble top by Development, Monica settled into her desk and let loose.

What should Latinas shop for right now if they want to look cute this summer?

One-pieces, like all those rompers, are really popular now because it’s going to be a really hot summer. Something loose fitting is definitely what they should look out for.

Where do you shop?

I love Forever 21. They have the best, easy clothes. Development has great stuff, and Corey Lynn Calter makes great rompers. She’s one of my favorite designers because of the vintage inspiration in all her collections.

I don’t really spend a lot of money on fashion because it moves so fast. You buy one thing for $500 and it’s out the next week!

What are some professional stylist tips that real Latinas can incorporate into their own daily, get-dressed routine?

Just don’t try too hard. When you put too much thought into getting ready, that’s when it just goes wrong. Make it effortless and put on what feels right.

When did you fall in love with fashion?

I would just watch my mom get ready all the time. She had all these fabulous clothes. I was never really into school or an A student, and my mom would always be like, "Find your passion, and you’ll be fine." When I moved to L.A., I had this itch for fashion but I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with it. I worked in retail at different shops, like Parallel and Poleci, and met stylists. I was like, "What is it that you do exactly?" I studied them like a book and that's when I thought, "This is what I want to do. I can’t believe I can get paid to do this!"

So how did you transition from retail to styling?

I learned everything on my own. I made up business cards,went to modeling agencies and said, “I’m a stylist. I’m looking just for tears. I’ll work for pictures. Just let me know if you have great models.” Then I started testing and working with different photographers...and one thing led to another.

Wow! You never went through an assistant phase?

No, I never assisted anybody until I met this photographer, Lionel Deluy. It was so funny because I had actually clicked on his website to get inspiration and said to myself, "One day I’m going to work with this photographer." We ended up crossing paths one day, and he said, “You have your first two editorials, one swimsuit and one fashion for Ocean Drive.” I was like, "What?!?" But I gave 110 percent on everything--I acted like I was styling for Vogue--and he loved what I did.

How did you overcome that intimidation?

You still kind of always get intimidated in any situation. Like my second job was with Paris Hilton, then Nicole Richie. At that point I was like, “Whoa, this is going really fast.”

We love Nicole Richie at Latina.com!

I didn’t want to work with her at the time--this was four or five years ago--because of the way they portrayed her on TV. But then she turned out to be the nicest person I’ve ever worked with. And I will never make that assumption again. That was so wrong of me to judge somebody because of their press.

So a retail job is definitely not a dead end job?

Definitely not. No school could have taught me what I learned from those boutiques. Especially in L.A. or New York City, you’re working with stylists and clients that live for shopping. I think working retail really set me up for this job because I worked with all different women, all different sizes, different personalities. It's the same thing with what I do now, but I take my store with me.

Being a stylist is really hard physical work too, isn’t it?

Girl, you don’t even know. We're lugging around rolling racks and garment bags and constantly going, going. I’m like, 103 pounds, and I am always hurting myself. I had to take off a week from work because I tore tissue out of my back muscles and was getting spasms. There are so many people who are like, "I want to be a stylist," but it's not just about looking cute. There's so much more to it.

What's the other stuff to it?

Working with other personalities and being able to adapt in any situation. I did a Daniel Powder video and they said they wanted all suits. I pulled suits, but I also pulled everyday clothes because I had a feeling that they would change their mind. When we got to the shoot and they said, “Now we want everyday clothes,” I said, “You know what, I have some in my car.” You always have to have a plan B or a plan C.

It's also always about complimenting people. You're with a person every single day getting butt naked, you develop a relationship. If a client is going through something, I don’t want them to go on camera upset because it shows. I want them to feel confident and love what they are wearing. The outfit can’t wear them.

Serena Kim

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