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Mary Alice Stephenson on Real Women, Her Favorite Young Designers and the State of American Style

LOOKBOOKS contributor Stacey Cunningham helms the regular feature, Kit & Kaboodle, taking a look at what makes stylists tick and keeps them sane. This week she profiled one of the busiest and most successful stylists in the industry, one Ms.  Mary Alice Stephenson:

Mary Alice Stephenson wears a lot of hats!  Her Facebook followers are in the five figures, she is a media go-to for her red carpet commentating and heart-filled fashion segments, a world renown stylist who has styled for icons such as Avedon, Hiro, Demarchelier, Lindbergh and Richardson as well as serving as a brand ambassador and spokesperson for many Fortune 500 brands.   Oh, and we can’t forget to mention how cool it is that she and Barbie are talking fashion in her “dream” closet for next week, while still making time to be the national fashion ambassador for the Make a Wish Foundation.  She gives her time and love for fashion to many charitable organizations all while being a single mom.  She’s our new hero and we think soon to be yours, too!

Mary Alice Stephenson on Real Women, Her Favorite Young Designers and the State of American Style

As a fashion consultant, you get to do something different every day- which days are you favorite?

Every day is different and I love it that way!  It’s such a mix — from red carpet commentating to consulting behind the scenes for Fortune 500 companies, to creative directing, to styling editorial shoots with top photographers. Each week it’s high fashion to mass fashion, it keeps me happy to be in both worlds!  I can reach so many real women all over the world via social media, my followers love that they can get a look into the real world of fashion and learn how they can apply that glamour to their lives in a realistic way.  One day I’m shooting for a European Vogue, doing a fashion segment for the Nate Berkus show or styling a supermodel for Estee Lauder and the next day I could be helping real women get their glam on in a mall in middle America!

Who are young designers that we should be looking to for the future of fashion?

I just had lunch with the talented designers of Cushnie et Ochs, I try to support as many up and coming designers as possible.  I know how tough this business can be and how much support they need to make it.   I love Flora and Alexa from Ohne TitelJuan Carlos ObandoJoseph AltruzaraChristian CotaSunoFrank Tell….  There is so much talent out there right now.  I try to shoot their clothes, or get them on the red carpet as well as talk about their clothes in the media to help get their point of view out to mass America.  The American public needs to know there are more options than just the big brands that can afford to advertise.  It’s still a struggle, for example, there were a wide range of luxury brands seen on the Golden Globe red carpet but where were Erdem, Prabal GurungThakoon, Alexander WangProenza Schouler?  I was happy to see GivenchyNina Ricci and Jason Wu, though —  so that is some progress!

For the rest of the interview, click on over to!

Contributed by Lester Brathwaite

I was center square from 1969 to 1978, during which I perfected the art of the zing as well as a crippling cocaine addiction. Bea Arthur was responsible for both. @LesFabian lester dot brathwaite at gmail