This story is part of Image #10, “Clearness,” a vivid document of how LA radiates in its own right. Read the full issue here.
Stylist Danasia Sutton said of women on Revolt TV last year: “We’re born with everything, so I feel like we deserve the world. Suttonians embrace this sense of being worthy of the world, moving toward it with open arms and great energy. She dressed Saweetie, Megan Thee Stallion, Kiersey Clemons and Ciara, who in the “Rooted” music video flaunted her 10-month-old belly through each outfit. In Sutton’s eyes, the body is as important as the clothes, or maybe the body is more than the clothes. There is always a regal glow in her work. She calls her inspirations Diana Ross (“Mother”), Naomi Sims (“Queen”), Nina Simone (“The Monarch”).
Sutton was 6 years old when she discovered she “had one eye.” On a trip to a flea market in New Jersey with her grandmother, she discovered a sewing kit. “Do you know any 6-year-old who is asking their grandmother for a sewing kit?” she said, laughing about the memory. When she got it home, she immediately began crafting her Barbie doll’s outfit. That’s the beginning of her having an opinion on what she wears. Her mother gave up dressing her soon after.
Sutton thought she would be a fashion designer, but while working at VFiles in New York, she observed stylists and changed direction. “It was hard work, but it was the best I could think of,” she said. She eventually started styling the hair for an artist based in Los Angeles. That was four years ago; she no longer works for that artist but has decided to stay. “Honestly, the weather is unbeatable.”
While styling turns out to be what Sutton calls it, she’s honest about the less-than-perfect industry, which can sometimes feel “picky about who to talk to or who’s progressive or who gets any clients.” any”. In 2019, she started the Instagram account @coolgirlsdothings to bring comfort and confidence boost to other women in the industry. You’ll find self-care habits, inspirational quotes by Maya Angelou and Audre Lorde, and simple reminders to drink water. “I built that foundation to encourage myself,” says Sutton, “but I know others need encouragement. Like, get rid of self-doubt. ”
Sutton brings this generous energy into her work as a stylist. She describes herself as a source of support for the artists she collaborates with. For her, the key to being a good stylist is being a good listener.
Elisa Wouk Almino: When it comes to getting dressed, where do you start?
Danasia Sutton: I started with makeup. Mostly, I go for comfort. But I also like to be a little glamorous. I might wear a pair of sneakers, but then I’ll wear a jacket with some feathers. I like to be sexy. It really depends on the day and how I feel and how I look at myself.
EWA: What is your favorite accessory and why?
DS: Sunglasses. Honestly, it may have started when I moved to LA – I always wear sunglasses. Every time I search the web, I always look at the sunglasses first.
I don’t know if I’m hiding something, like, I don’t have to face everything directly. It’s been a protective shield for me, in a way, because I’m a bit shy sometimes. But other than that, it’s a seductive statement. It’s the first thing people see.
EWA: You are a proud Capricorn. Does that show in your work?
DS: It’s funny because a lot of people, when they see me, don’t realize that I’m a Capricorn. I feel like it’s a mix of my three great signs – I’m Capricorn, Virgo and Aries. But as Capricorns, we are bold, and in my work I can show it because I am a shy person. I feel like my work says more for me than for myself.
EWA: You are provided with many items of clothing to work with. How do you screen them on purpose?
DS: I always categorize: shirts, jackets, pants, skirts, dresses. Then I pull out my favorites from each section. And that’s when I went in and styled my hair out of that. It’s always about trying things, because something might look amazing on pylons and then not so great. But then there’s something else that’s not very appealing, you put it on and it’s amazing. It’s about trial and error – put something in, take it off.
EWA: How do you get a feel for your subject before getting dressed?
DS: If I don’t know them, most of the time I’m just scrolling through their Instagram or watching other videos they’ve made. And then I asked them: Who are you today? Because, at least for me, I am a different person every day. I can be cool, I can be super sexy, I can be street. I can be this, I can be that. We all have different moods. I just try to get a feel for who they are by listening to them, because a lot of people are not being heard.
EWA: What is special to you as a stylist?
DS: I always try to have a glamorous moment, no matter what. If it’s streetwear, I still want it to look classy. So I don’t know, “rich street”? “Rich Street”? There needs to be an excellence, a kind of chic vibe to me.
EWA: Is there a place you’d love to go to see people in LA and get ideas for your work?
DS: For my job, I always go out shopping. I love Dover Street Market. I love Departamento. Streetwear stores that also sell haute couture are my vibe, like H.Lorenzo. I’m always in a store, so I get a lot of inspiration there, because that’s where most of the “cool” kids in LA are because LA is so laid back – a lot of people are just doing sports. a lot of the time, but when you’re in stores like that, that’s where a lot of people dress up and go out.
EWA: On Saturday night, where are you and what are you wearing?
DS: If I go out with my girls, we can go to Shabba. I don’t like going to too many parties, but Shabba is one of my favorites. There’s so much I can wear: a cute miniskirt with a revealing top and maybe a little jacket and sneakers – I always wear sneakers when I go to such parties, because I likes to dance. But if I wear heels, I’m definitely wearing my Tabi boots.
EWA: What about on a Sunday afternoon?
DS: Honestly, I could be at home on my couch. Last Sunday afternoon, I went to Central flea market, and I was wearing a Junya Watanabe belt and some leather pants. It’s also hot so I’m like that, what am I doing outside? It’s a leather look. With some sneakers – but they are Vivienne Westwood Asics. Very happy.
EWA: What about style that people overlook? In other words, what do you wish were shown more?
DS: Hard work is devoted to styling hair in general. People think we can get stuff right away. And it’s not like that. It’s a process – it’s not always fun, jubilant, fun, happy. Like we’re sometimes struggling to get these brands to respond to us, or whatever the case may be. It looks like a fun job, but there’s a lot involved in it.
EWA: When can a look be pleasurable?
DS: Has anything ever been revealed? I feel like it’s in the eye of the beholder. What can be revealed to me is not necessarily revealed to others. When you see it with your own eyes, you’ll feel like: Oh, that’s amazing. But someone else might be like, no… Girls who get it, have it and girls who don’t get it, don’t.
EWA: What stories do you want to tell with your clothes?
DS: I wanted to tell a story about a girl who was great at doing it.
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https://www.latimes.com/lifestyle/image/story/2022-04-21/styling-myself-danasia-sutton-key-to-style-is-listening Danasia Sutton knows key to style is being a good listener