A Chic Chat with a Fashion Insider: Hollywood Stylist Anya Sarre
Celeb stylist Anya Sarre has a resume as glittery as the many high-profile clients she styles.
Currently the Chief Accessories & Handbag Stylist for Kim Kardashian's Shoe Dazzle site - devoted to fab footwear & bling - Anya was formerly a fashion correspondent for Entertainment Tonight and The Insider. She has been featured in LA Confidential, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Inside Weddings and 944 and is a frequent guest expert on The Rachael Ray Show, CBS’ The Early Show, TV Guide and STYLE Network - which hosts her popular “Looks for Less” and “Anya’s Trend Tracker” segments.
She also puts together insider tips for Ok! and UsWeekly on how to look like an A-list'er without needing a celeb-sized bankroll, plus she is currently working on a style handbook, a fashion line and a signature fragrance.
1. When did you realize you wanted to be a stylist?
When I was in Kindergarten the principal called my mom because I changed my clothes five times a day and then I got in trouble because at recess I would be making the other kids change and giving them makeovers. True story!
2. How does your own style differ from the way you style others?
I love dresses, accessories, and color! My personal style is California-chic-meets-glam. When I style other people, it's based on the occasion, their personal style & what looks best on them, but of course, my personal preferences will always diffuse in any look.3. What is a typical day like for you as a stylist with high-profile clients?
That’s why I love what I do, because every single day is different. One day I could be on a plane with 17 suitcases headed to London to dress people for the Royal Wedding and another day I could be going to jewelers on Rodeo Drive searching for the perfect emerald cocktail ring for a photo shoot. Each day brings excitement and challenges.
4. Which projects do you feel have really defined your career?
Being head stylist for The Insider/Entertainment Tonight was an amazing ride; absolutely crazy and never a dull moment! I did it for 8 ½ years, learned so much and enjoyed every minute of it. In 2005, I did a CBS network special called “Celebrity Weddings Unveiled.” It was a ton of work doing two celebrities weddings at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, but so rewarding, as I discovered I truly love designing weddings and everything about them. In 2010, I dressed 14 different people for the Emmys. That was a huge deal because I knew if I could do that, I could do anything. I was lucky enough to be the recipient of the “Visionary Fashion Stylist” Award at the Bel Air Film Festival in 2008. That was a true honor and defining moment I will always remember. I have also really enjoyed doing my “Must-Haves” by Anya Jewelry line for Shoedazzle because it established me as a designer as well as a stylist.
5. What are you currently working on?
Its such an exciting time because I am working on a lot of amazing projects right now. I am about to shoot a holiday gift guide with all of my favorite holiday products, I just finished my Celebrity Style spread for Inside weddings magazine for the winter issue, and I am working on the coolest makeup line with a huge celebrity makeup artist and a natural beauty expert. And I have a 3 month old baby which is a project in itself!6. Los Angeles fashion...discuss!
I live in Malibu and the style is very laid back but in a beachy glam kind of way. I spend most of my days in Los Angeles, where the style is anything from dressed up workout wear and big sunglasses to skinny jeans and a preppy sweater. You'll see very different styles if you’re in a Starbucks on Montana Ave versus a Starbucks over on La Brea. There is not just one prevalent style in Los Angeles, it's more of a melting pot of so many different styles, which is why it's such a great place for fashion. Also, because trends and styles now really emerge from the Red Carpet rather than the runway, I think LA is really becoming known worldwide as a fashion destination.
...places to shop? Malibu Country Mart, Robertson Blvd, The Big Three: Neimans, Saks, Barneys.
...locations to visit? I’m a big fan of Greece and Turkey, I had an amazing time on safari in Africa and I am always down for a trip to Mexico.
...books? I love everything and anything by Emily Giffin, big fan of Michael Lewis, and I read a lot of inspirational books by Abraham-Hicks.
...people watching? I love seeing what the students at FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) and USC are wearing because they are on top of the trends. You can learn a lot by visiting college campuses.
...style inspiration? I draw inspiration from not so much people as places I have visited, patterns I see in fabric stores, color combinations, and I am very inspired by fabulous vacation looks and resort wear It’s about achieving that effortless style of being on vacation or on a yacht.
...item you can't live without? My Oliver Peoples "Sofiane" sunglasses. I have them in 3 different colors so I don’t have to go a day without them.
Riller & Fount, District Clothing, Houghton, Dean Quinn & Of Two Minds.
9. Who would you love to style and why?
I would love to get my hands on Britney Spears.10. What advice can share about being a stylist that you wish someone had told you?
That it is a TON of work! I am always thinking, planning, pulling, confirming, etc. When you take on a project, it is a nonstop process. People would be surprised to find that there is also a lot of paperwork involved. You have to be super organized and keep track of every last detail. The hardest part is finding enough hours in the day to get it all done. I don’t stop until I’ve found the perfect look, so sometimes that can entail going to twenty different stores until I find exactly what I’m looking for.
- interview by Kelly Croteau
About Kelly: She recently interviewed fashion insider Laurie Pike of mystyle.com for Fashiontribes. Her work has also appeared in Ask Miss A, Project Lena & Malibu Magazine. She recently interviewed Pose co-founder Alisa Gould-Simon, one of Refinery29's Top 30 Under 30.