Words by: Steven Michael and Alexis Lockhart
June Ambrose’s climb to the top of the food chain was unprecedent and full of gut renching risks that catapulted her to become one of the most influential stylists in the fashion industry. From Missy Elliot’s blow up suit to Jay-Z’s Tom Ford suit at Carnegie Hall, Ambrose has done it all!
With all her accomplishments, Ambrose remembers to give back and share the knowledge that she has acquired through her experiences in the industry. Here are a few tips that has helped her along the way:
Take advantage of every opportunity
When Ambrose graduated high school as salutatorian, her principal got her a job at investment banking. After she realized that this was not what she wanted to do, she left her job with benefits and interned at Uptown MCA Records where she met Sean Combs (A.K.A Puffy) and the rest was history. “Puffy was interning and he was starting his career, I jumped in and said ‘you’re doing a video, let me get involved’. [I was in a] great place at a great time [and I] took advantage of the opportunity.” Access picture Here
Find a need and formulate your business around it
Working as an intern at Uptown MCA Records, Ambrose wasted no time finding a way to be irreplaceable. “I was inside so I could see that there was this void and this space where there were artis who needed development and wardrobing. There weren’t any costume designers or stylists at that time.”
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Understand the fundamentals of business
Ambrose realized that styling was more than just putting clothes together, one has to understand all aspects of the artist and their brand. “I was in the marketing world so I understood where they were trying to place the artist and who the consumer was. All these things I kind of used as collateral to help build in the artist’s development but from a costume designer’s approach”
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Start off working for a Magazine
A great way to get access to exclusive events is through a magazine. It pays the bills and gives you the experience you need. Don’t limit yourself to one stream of income, open your mind to different opportunities that can pay well while you get your business off the ground. “Editorial really helps because it gives you access to showrooms and designers whereas freelancers will go in cold turkey. Magazines legitimize you in a sense to the designers. They wanna see their clothes in print. Advertising pays a lot of money, celebrity styling with musicians not so much. Commercial work is another great place to be. Different pay scale, different way of working.”
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Use different approaches and mentalities to attract a specific clientele
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Be well informed and skilled in your craft and exude confidence when you approach potential clients. “They say ‘how did you do it? how did you transition? how do you get treated like youre one of them?’ and it’s because I came with a corporate and a superstar mentality.I know who I am and when I work with my clients I say ‘let’s collaborate’ because my approach was artist-to-artist it was just very different.”
Value your brand and be smart
“People want what they can’t have. You don’t do every job, you do what you can to get you to the next level. Be as smart as you can. A smart, artistic and articulate individual will always get you far. Don’t get distracted with what everyone else is doing, focus on what you want to do. Focus on one thing and really work towards that.”
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Use social media to your advantage
Don’t underestimate the power of the thumb. Social media accounts can be a major asset to your brand. “Your Social media platforms are your brand. They are your voice. You’re the CEO of your life. You’re the head at large of all your social branding. Use that to tell your story however you want. Share with others what you want to attract. Google when’s the best time to post and what are the best algorithims to use.”
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Understand the clinical aspect to styling
“There’s a clinical aspect to styling. Understanding that this is a human being. This is a person who has wants and desires so dealing with the physical which affects you emotionally is the clinical aspect to styling. That’s the thing, understanding the dynamic of someone’s body, length, opening up or maybe they need volume those are all clinical aspects of styling.”
WHAT’S NEXT FOR JUNE AMBROSE?
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Ambrose is planning a tour to give informational seminars for aspiring stylists! You can call it the #Juniversity! “I am going to do a seminar because there’s so many of you that need to truly understand that you don’t necessarily know that there’s these things that are important to what you’re pursuing.” What are some of the “important things” she plans to discuss? “The ugly stuff. People tell you the stuff that’s almost obvious. No one’s telling you to secure a certain amount of funds, to have a retirement, or to think about insurance because you’re going to be free lancing, or incorporating your business because you can’t be paid this way. How internships work or how to acquire interns. It’s the Juniversity! There’s so many things that I’ve learned through the course of my career that I think could be helpful.”
A few other topics that will be mentioned are:
- Develop an Iconic image
- Understand a career concept
- Understand the dynamics of all the other creative aspects of style
Ambrose says “To be hands on and to throw yourself into it is the best experience.” So expect a rollercoaster of adventure when the #Juniversity comes to town!
LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!
How did you like the words of wisdom from June Ambrose? Are you excitede about the #JuniversityTour ? What else would you like to know or experience from June? Comment and let us know below!