San Jose Crossroads buyer Michael is a fashion stylist and papa to a “bear of a dog,” not to mention a European fashion enthusiast who thinks Courtney Love is the next celebrity to come out with a line. Meet Michael!
How long have you been working at Crossroads?
This December would make it 5 years now. It’s crazy that I’ve been with the company this long. I started working for Crossroads as a part-time job. Just to have a bit of cash flow from when I was in college. College is over now and I’m still here. I must really enjoy it. Haha. A lot of us at my store have been working there for many years. We’ve grown to be a family and we can’t get enough of each other…or It’s like a cult, so we can never leave (just kidding!).
What are 3 memorable moments in your life?
Graduating college, the day I came out to my friends and family *cue Diana Ross track*, and the day I met my dog, Kobey.
If you could take a trip anywhere, where would it be?
Well since I have a thing for clothes coming from the Netherlands or surrounding countries, like Norway, Denmark, or Belgium, any one of those would be amazing. It definitely would be somewhere in Europe. I’d land in Paris first, because symbolically it’s like a French door threshold which you have to pass to gain entree to all the European countries. I absolutely must stop through Antwerp and Copenhagen, then probably end the entire trip in London. Oh my God! Let’s go right now! I think I just figured out my backpacking trip to Europe Summer 2012.
Good answer! What about your home…how would you describe San Jose to someone who hasn’t been there before?
The city is up-and-coming with all new attractions and places to check out. It’s the third largest city in the Bay Area and the tenth largest in the country. (Thank you Wikipedia, but who knew!?) The best way to describe San Jose to someone who hasn’t been here before is to experience it for themselves. I make a great tour guide! It’s funny, if you’d ask me this very same question 10 years ago, I’d say San Jose sucks, but I was going through the rebellious teenage phase living in suburban hell. I guess I grew up.
You have a Visual Communications degree from FIDM in SF. Tell us what that’s like? Why did you decide to do that?
Well I always knew I wanted to do something with fashion. I didn’t know at the time what that job would be, so I went to FIDM and they helped me figure that out. I knew I didn’t want to design garments. That required way too much work and everything I did would be overly criticized by the masses. I knew I wanted to work alongside the people in the industry, like the designers, editors, and photographers, in a field like marketing, styling, branding, and such. The Visual Communications degree was broad and open to different career choices in marketing, styling, or art direction.
You also do styling for photo-shoots. How did you get into that? Are there any cool projects you’d like to tell us about?
Well go back to the previous question – that’s pretty much how I got into styling. It’s like playing dress up as a kid. Instead of dressing Barbie and Ken dolls, you get to dress beautiful women and gorgeous men. You’re able to create and tell a story, visually through fashion. Potential photo shoot ideas in the near future would be doing a series of fairytales or nursery rhymes inspired photoshoots, retelling familiar stories with modern apparel and a different outlook. Perhaps a darker twist at the end.
How do you spend your days off?
I live the simple life on my days off. Most of the time it’s looking after my bear of a dog, Kobey. He’s a black Labrador and golden retriever mix, so he’s BIG and very playful. He sometimes has the mind of a Pomeranian, but he doesn’t quite get that he’s built like a bear. I love him though! When Kobey isn’t around, you can find me either hanging out with friends, working out, watching movies, wandering around a museum (which reminds me that I want to see the Ralph Eugene Meatyard: Dolls & Masks exhibit at the deYoung) and sometimes I just like to sleep in all day, haha.
I actually haven’t been baking as much lately, but since it’s nearing the holiday season I may start baking again. Pumpkin or apple something, I don’t really know yet. My parents have a persimmon tree in their yard and persimmons are in season now, so I’d like to try making something with persimmons. Once I figure it out, I’ll drop some by to you guys
Yes please! As a stylist, do you have any tips for anyone seeking to get into styling?
Network with friends or people who share the same interests, like other stylists, makeup artists, hair stylists, and photographers. Collaborate with them and see what story you all can create. Most importantly if you choose to be a fashion stylist, educate yourself! Research up-and-coming designers, trends, and collections. Always be open to inspiration. Inspiration is all around us…it could be anything from bundles of fallen leaves to a broken street lamp. Take photos, write ideas down immediately, look through magazines and blogs, and save photos you like! They may become very useful for a photo shoot . I put them all on my blog so they’re easily accessible. If you ever wanted to know what I’m inspired by, just go to my blog!
How do your styling skills come into play at work?
Since we work with clothing all day long, customers all the time seek us for our opinions and suggestions about what’s new, current and trendy. I’ve had many customers ask me to create an outfit for them for a particular occasion or just to help them make a fresh new wardrobe. Styling a customer and styling a model are two very different things. You work with customers in all different shapes and sizes, and you have plenty of different options of clothes and styles for them to keep trying until they find something they’re comfortable in and look great.
I’m our store’s window designer as well, so every time I put up a new window display I get to dress up our mannequins. Our store will also be doing the winter trend report, so that means I get to put together outfits based on this season winter trends.
How would you describe your own style?
Neoclassic industrial minimalist from the future!? Haha. I’m really into just the simplicity of the shape, classic styles, and crisp clean solid hues of color.
Do you have a style icon? If so who is it?
Raf Simon, Raf Simon, Raf Simon!!!! Marry me, Raf Simon!?
Who do you think is the next celebrity to come out with a line?
Courtney Love, enough said!
Do you have any selling tips for our readers?
Keep it current!
Thank you for your time, Michael!