Styled By Me: Tamala Clarice
Born and raised in Mississippi, stylist and self-taught entrepreneur Tamala Clarice exemplifies a young talented creative with a passion for fashion. It started as her love from a young age, purchasing and reading fashion magazines before she interned for renowned stylist J. Bolin (Emmitt Smith, Morris Chesnut, and more). It was a big leap for Tamala who spent a bit over a decade in dance but served as an amazing opportunity to work with creatives and express her love for fashion through clothing choices.
Tamala Clarice has styled everyone from models and artists to actors and actresses such as Ashley Featherson, Eric Bellinger, Letoya Luckett, Ebonee Davis, Angie Thomas, and many more. While her journey may have been filled with different learning moments and challenges, Tamala continues to show that stylists can be confident and bring out the joy in the clients they work with. “Once you begin to prove a point, things will prevail and flourish,” she shares. “People will gain respect seeing that you’re confident and hungry!”
For our latest interview, we had the pleasure of chatting with Tamala Clarice in regards to working with Eric Bellinger, longevity as a stylist, working with designers, and much more! Read below.
Tell me what are some of the most exciting things about your field of work as well as some of the more dreadful parts about it?
The most exciting thing is seeing the results after the whole look is curated. After they get dressed, it’s no longer about me, it’s about seeing how happy and confident they are. You see the joy and they want to take pictures and selfies. When you really put your all into it, you can really see the joy in the client. Building up to that moment can be very tiring because you have to get so many pieces just to get that one look. Getting the pieces is definitely the dreadful part but once you get them, dressing them is the easy part.
Earlier this year, you got style Eric Bellinger for ColorBloc—what was that experience like?
I got the call 72 hours before I had to style it; I had no clothes, no direction, no nothing. So I looked at his past work and pictures from Instagram to get a vision of how I wanted to style him. It turned out so bomb in the end! He was super professional and relaxed so once I ended up getting the creative direction, everyone was applauding. Eric was definitely an amazing talent to work with and one of the best that I’ve worked with.
Speaking on the fashion industry as a whole, do you think there is anything missing or maybe something that may need to be changed?
I don’t think I’d want to change anything in fashion! I would like to educate more young people on it because a lot of things that we’re seeing are repeated. Now, skinny-leg jeans are no longer in season. So now we have the chunky fat-form punks and wide bell-bottom jeans. So maybe in a few years, we’ll make go back to skinny jeans. Fashion repeats itself and is elevated. That’s probably the only thing I’d want to do is educate fashion more and strengthen the knowledge behind it.
Which item or thing are you most likely to start with and then work the rest of the outfit around?
Yes! I try to have a mood board intact, because a as stylist, it helps me execute things better. It helps me execute the project better versus going there and throwing things together. Even a color scheme or inspiration from the makeup artist, I can base my direction on that.
Towards the tail-end of last year, you also got to style Olay Noel—can you walk me through that styling experience?
Olay is such a vibe! She’s such great energy, she’s a normal girl with such positivity. I wasn’t expecting her to bring so much energy and she already knew what to do. After that, we sort of cliqued and created more projects besides the one that we did last year. I’m excited to see the aftermath of that but she’s definitely a rare gem.
What does longevity look like to you in this line of work?
As a stylist, yeah I do! Well, until I’m old enough obviously. I feel like in the end, you will grow old and you have to take into consideration that you have to figure it out. I think that’s why so many stylists branch off into being a designer because it’s not as much labor. You probably won’t be able to move around like when you were young as a stylist.
What advice do you have for emerging designers or stylists that are looking to break into the fashion industry?
I would tell stylists to believe in themselves. No one believes in you more than you; it’s going to look like no one is watching or supporting you. But once you begin to prove a point, things will prevail and flourish. People will gain respect seeing that you’re confident and hungry! That gut feeling that you have? Take it, go for it.
For designers, I would say reach out to stylists because they are the ones who put the pieces on clients. They are the ones who will publicize your brand and especially if you’re an emerging designer. Reach out and say hey I would love to gift you something for your client. A simple tag is better than a resume and social media is today’s generation’s version of the news. People will catch on, you just have to believe in yourself.
If you enjoyed our interview with Tamala Clarice, check out our convo with stylist Kevon Square!