Kim Appelt - We recently had a chance to sit down with Kim Appelt, a personal stylist who splits her time between L.A. and Vancouver, to get the lowdown on the wonderful world of fashion. When she’s not helping her clients develop their own style, Kim is busy collaborating with brands like BCBG and Guess, plus prepping for her weekly radio segment on Mix 100.5 in Palm Springs. And did we mention she also works with celebs like Chantal Kreviazuk to get them ready for the red carpet? #GIRLBOSS.
OUR INTERVIEW WITH KIM
I started off working as a model, back when models could be short! But I didn’t like being in front of camera, so I moved behind the lens. I used to stay after my modelling shoots and dress the models for the next shoot, and then I started working with photographers.
How did you first get started working in fashion?
At the time I was modelling, stylists didn’t really exist. This was pre-Rachel Zoe. But I realized that I loved making people feel more confident by teaching them how to put outfits together. I was being asked to dress people, so I took some classes in New York. I also happened to meet Mark Fast, a Winnipeg designer, and he asked me to do a Canadian launch for him. And things just went from there.
What led you to choose personal styling?
It’s so variable. No two days are ever the same! But I wake up at 5:30 every morning to get a head start on updating my social profiles, doing writing for magazines, prepping for my radio show, etc. During the day, I will see a client or two for personal styling. And then there are my higher profile clients who need to be dressed for appearances. Often that involves pulling together outfits at the last minute – sometimes less than 24 hours before they hit the red carpet!
What’s a typical day in your life like?
I would say it is classy with a touch of edge. I like to be very classic – think Calvin Klein with an edginess.
How would you describe your personal style?
Find your personal style by looking at celebrities you like and pick out looks of theirs that you like. Then look for lower-cost items that are similar in appearance to those looks. For instance, Frye boots are pricey but Steve Madden makes lots of quality boots in classic styles that are much more affordable. Google “black riding boots” or do a search on Polyvore, and you’ll find well-priced alternatives to the high end versions. And another tip: you can also designer pieces at places like Marshalls!
What are your top “do more, spend less” fashion tips?
It’s important to buy pieces that you can wear multiple ways. Versatility is key. So I would suggest dark skinny jeans for fall, boyfriend jeans, a good scarf, a pair of Chucks or cool runners, plus black and white tees that you can buy for cheap.
What are the key items every woman should have in their closet?
I use Polyvore all the time to search for items and I love Fashionista. I’m actually going to their conference tomorrow. Shop The Trend is another site I love. It shows you pics of celebs so you can see what your fave style icons are wearing and take inspiration from that.
Fashion fashion sites?
Before you purchase a quality item, like a winter coat for instance, make sure that you can wear it at least three ways. Someone told me that once, and it is advice I continue to repeat to my clients. One example of an item working three ways is a little silk dress. You can wear it in the summer with sandals, in the fall with a leather jacket and booties, or on vacation as a cover up when you’re lounging poolside.
Best fashion advice you’ve ever received?
Running the Seawall and going for fantastic dinners. I also love meeting up with amazing designers in the industry.
When you’re back in Vancouver, what do you love to do most?
I’m looking at expanding into the Vancouver market and taking on clients here. Also, my radio show is going to be syndicated. And I have several collaborations in the works for next year, but they are top secret at the moment. [Stay tuned](http://stylebykimxo.com/)!
What’s up next for you?