She’s styled all of your favorite stars — from Heidi Klum and Alessandra Ambrosio, to Bruno Mars and John Legend — just to name a few. Now, celebrity stylist, Cat Tapper is taking her hard earned success and recognition in the fashion industry and setting her eyes on a new prize as the founder and CEO of the next big fashion start-up, Styleguise. Styleguise is an online platform offering personal styling services, unlike anything the market has seen before. With a roster of top tier professionals who have years of experience in styling, you can definitely say these are NOT stylists from your local department store. Her stylists have careers working with celebrities, as magazine editors, and image consultants — essentially people most shoppers would never have access to in the real world.
Cat is also working hard on adding a carefully curated shop of fresh and sophisticated pieces by brands she knows her and her stylists’ clients will love. While her stylists are only available in New York and Los Angeles at the moment, the online shop will be available worldwide!
Seeing artists and creatives use their talents to launch into the business world is often admirable and inspiring for so many of us. In order to find out more about Cat and how she started Styleguise, I sat down with her for a quick interview, where we talked about everything— from the exact moment she conceptualized her business, to her favorite designers and, of course, style advice! To check out Styleguise for yourself, please head on over to http://Styleguise.com.
Lauren Farnoosh: You’ve had a very successful career as a fashion stylist. What inspired you to start down a new career path as the CEO of your own company?
Cat Tapper: After working for so long as a stylist, I saw the holes and challenges in my industry, and that spoke to me. I saw retail failing, fast-fashion dominating, and clients frustrated with how to shop and dress themselves. I knew there had to be an easier way for stylists, clients, and brands to get what they needed from each other.
LF: How has starting and running your own company differed from being a stylist? How has your experience as a stylist helped you in business?
CT: Being a stylist takes a lot of interpersonal skills, research, and physical stamina. I’m very free in the sense of my time, but on the flip side that also means no job security; I have to hustle for myself.
Running Styleguise requires a more structured day-to-day routine than before. Having my own company definitely adds more weight on my shoulders than ever, but I like the challenge! I’m
waking up each day excited and inspired to help change my industry little by little, and that’s been the biggest reward so far.
My years of experience as a stylist is my secret weapon to making Styleguise a success. Only a stylist can know what another stylist truly needs in order to help their clients. In addition, my
experience and network in fashion have allowed me to curate our online store and stylist roster to the highest standard in my industry. No tech wiz can do that!
LF: What was the inspiration behind Styleguise? Was it a bit of an “Aha moment” or did it develop more gradually?
CT: It truly was an “Aha moment!” I was coming off of starring on a styling related TV show on the E! Network (House of DVF) and was getting an influx of styling requests; not only from companies but from everyday men and women. I saw there was a huge demand for it and a willingness to pay. I thought there had to be a great on-demand solution that was easy to use! I even thought of the name Styleguise on the same day! It was a lightning bolt moment and I’ve been working on building it for over a year now.
LF: What type of woman or man is Styleguise geared toward? Is your customer the simple everyday person who wants to spruce up their look? Or do they already shop the hottest designers and labels?
CT: The Styleguise client is anyone— from the fashionistas to the fashion fearful. We cater to all types of people— their lifestyles, their tastes, and their closets. That’s the beauty with Styleguise; we can work with whatever the client’s budget may be— big or small, while also giving them the valuable help and insight of a professional who can show them new brands, how to dress for their body shape, ways to develop personal style, curate a wardrobe, etc.
LF: What’s the feedback been like from Styleguise clients so far? How have their lives been impacted?
CT: We have seen Styleguise users get dates, job promotions, boost their confidence, and in their own words, “change their lives”. They feel more organized in what they wear, how they view their closet, and most importantly, how they view themselves. You have to check out our before and afters, and our testimonials; they speak for themselves.
LF: I noticed you have an incredible roster of personal stylists. What do you look for in a stylist in order for them to become a part of the Styleguise team?
CT: Initially, I look for taste level. Then I look at years worked in the industry, and what kind of high profile clientele they have had— whether celebrity or advertising. And finally, we meet in person to see if they have the kind of personality that is both discerning and professional. I would rather have a quality roster of stylists than an inexperienced one.
LF: Being the fashionista you are, I’m dying to know some of your favorite labels to shop? Which collections are you always looking forward to seeing each season?
CT: For new, fresh, cool designs, I like to see what Vetements and Jacquemus produce. For over the top beauty, I love Gucci! For trend setting pieces, always Chanel and Dior.
For soft and glamourous— Rodarte, Zimmerman and The Attico.
LF: What are some of your favorite trends of the moment? What trends are you looking forward to for fall and winter?
CT: I love the easy slip-on, backless loafer shoes. So nice and chic! I am looking forward to more 70’s vintage inspired corduroy— like in Prada’s latest collection, glitter boots and western inspired moments, deconstructed classics, and Victorian collars!
LF: How would you describe your personal style? Who are some of your fashion icons?
CT: For colorful and over the top inspo, I have always loved Anna Dello Russo. For a classic yet badass style, I love Emmanuelle Alt. And for incredible street style, I love The Attico designer, Gilda Ambrosio. For fresh and cool style— young Italian street star Patricia Manfield. My favorite Instagram style icon is @styleheroine, Evangelie Smyrniotaki. I guess you could say my personal style is a mix of tomboy and all the women mentioned above.
LF: What advice would you offer to those who are wanting to develop their own sense of style?
CT: What clothing makes you happy when you look at it or put it on? What makes you feel alive? What color looks good against your skin? Fashion can be comfortable. Fashion can be sexy. And above all, fashion must work with your body shape— not against it! Looking your best shows pride and attention to detail, it draws great confidence in oneself and attracts the right audience to you.