Mariel Haenn has been styling for eight years. So this half-Puerto Rican fashion expert knows a thing or two about how clothes create an image. “At first I thought I wanted to design clothes,” says Haenn, “but styling turned out to be more exciting. It allowed me to design the overall look and help create distinguished personalities for musicians and celebs.”
Though she’s made her name working with Jada Pinkett Smith and Rihanna, she’s also worked with beauty queen-turned-spokesmodel and actress Susie Castillo. Her favorite designers come and go depending on the season, but she is drawn to Christian Dior, YSL, Zac Posen and Givenchy. “My favorite Latino designer would be Esteban Cortazar, who had his own line and is now creative director for Emanuel Ungaro,” says Mariel.
Can she do for us what she did for her celebrity clients? Here is Mariel's list of the top ten basics that every chica should have in her wardrobe:
1. “A black blazer makes any look edgy and fashion forward,” says Haenn. “You can wear with it jeans or a pencil skirt, or even a dress, with the sleeves pushed up.”
2. “A thin cashmere scarf in a bright pop color,” says Haenn.
3. “A trench coat is a great, classic way of dressing up any look.”
4. “An oversized sweater is both comfortable and chic with a pair of leggings.”
5. “Black leather leggings by Helmut Lang” are a must-have, according to Haenn.
6. Her favorite brand of denim: “J Brand skinny jeans are great for getting dressed up and wearing with boots.”
7. Every girl needs a vintage belt, says Haenn. “Anything vintage is usually a great bargain, as well as a special piece that you know no one else will have.”
8. “A pair of leather driving gloves from LaCrasia Gloves in red or purple will add instant style to any look,” says Haenn.
9. “A cashmere cardigan by Theory is good to throw on over any outfit and cashmere always adds luxury,” says Haenn.
10. “A men’s white button-down by H&M is cheap but always classic,” says Haenn. “Throw a belt over it, and that’s an easy way to look timeless and chic.”