[INTERVIEW] Hustle Harder: Celebrity Stylist Olori Swank Explains The Glitz & Not So Glam Side of Styling, Why She Has No Regrets And Shares Gems for Aspiring Stylists

olori swank-jasmine brand interview

She rocks blue hair. Styles everyone from Angela Simmons to Keyshia Cole and got into the game, accidentally. ‘The Game’ we’re referring to is the fashion stylist game. Some argue its an over saturated industry that folk feel they need no experience for, while folk like Olori Swank begs to differ. After all, when you’ve been into fashion since you were a baby (her mother had a LV diaper bag!) taking this industry by storm is only right for the ATL native.Recently, we chopped it up with Olori, picking her brain about everything under the fashion sun. Like what’s the biggest fashion mistake she’s ever made with a client? Or how did she accidentally create her online store Swank Blue? We even did a bit of digging in her love life (don’t hold your breath folks!!). Check out our conversation below.

Jasmine BRAND: Who are you? 

Swank: It depends on the day. Somedays I’m like what I like to call the “Blue Bandit,” super mischievous. Just doing whatever I feel like, like Drake said, ‘Not giving a ****,” and not fearing the consequence.’ Or somedays I’m a nerd, I’m at home, I’m reading books, and im cooking. Other days I’m super turnt up listening to 2 Chainz and trying to be the next member of the twerk team. It really just depends, I just like to live my life and have fun, so yeah. I am me.


Jasmine BRAND: The words ‘Celebrity Stylist’ seems so glamourous. What’s a typical day like for you? 

No day is ever the same. In my entire career I don’t think I have had the same day twice. It can be anything from showing up to a set at 5am to being there at 5am till the next day. Or it can be running around from showroom to showroom, boutique to boutique, department store to department store doing pulls. It can be a day of office work, catching up on invoices, returning emails. It can be a travel day, like if I’m going to Africa, like I’m on a plane for a day and a half.

It really just depends. A lot of people think its very glitzy and glamorous. It does have its glitzy glamorous moments. However, a lot of it is not. It’s hustling, you will learn what shopping bag handle cramp is. You think its fun to walk around with a million bags, but when your wrist starts hurting and your arms are sore you really realize that it is not a game.

Jasmine BRAND: Let’s talk style for a bit. I’m not too fashion savvy, but I’ve noticed that pieces like leather shorts are in. What else is in?

Leather was trending in the fall, and it carried over to the spring and summer. Leather tank tops, leather shorts, and leather skirts, crop leather t-shirts, leather everything. Also, a lot of black and white, and stripes. So mixing a lot of kind of stripes. Maybe if you have a horizontal stripe top, and your skirt has vertical stripes, those are fun as well. As well as the short suits, like the blazers with the shorts.


Jasmine BRAND: What’s in this season that you don’t like?

I don’t even think necessarily that there is anything in this season that I don’t like, but if I have to pick something that I hate, it would be those beaded bracelets everyone makes and very few people wear. People are like, ‘I’m a jewelry designer,’ and literally all they make are these bracelets.

Jasmine BRAND: Do you have rules, in terms of accessories or tips on accessorizing?

I dont have any fashion rules. Fashion in my language. It’s how I speak. I don’t necessarily say there are rules to fashion but what I do want for people to take home is don’t have your look be all over the place…. Don’t do to much.
Jasmine BRAND: Is tweed in or out? 
I feel like tweed is one of those fashion fabrics thats not ever really going anywhere.
the Jasmine BRAND: Will kitten heels ever return? 
I don’t see how a woman can feel sexy in a kitten heel. Either wear a flat or put on your big girl heels. I would like for all kitten heels to be abolished.
Jasmine BRAND: If you were allowed to raid another celebrity stylists closet, who would it be? 
June Ambrose has some of the dopest pieces ever. From her shoes, to her hats to her sunglasses. She’s always on.
Jasmine BRAND: What’s the best piece of advice you received about working in this business?
The best piece of advice I’ve been given is also the worse piece of advice I’ve been given. It was be patient. The reason that I say that it is the worst piece of advice is because at the time I was told that I took being patient as being stagnant.
Three pieces of advice for aspiring stylists.
Research. Know exactly what it is that we do in this business. Compared to other careers fashion styling is a very new business.  Research the industry. Network. It’s really about who you know and who you’ve met along the way. It’s a lot easier for you to go to some fashion event and shake the hand of some brand rep and then email them later. Make your presence felt. Be consistent. For example, I am really big on social media and my name is the same on everything. Instagram, Twitter, my website. If you type in Olori Swank you can find me. A lot of people take for granted what consistency can do for your brand.
I believe I read that your blue hair was an accident. Is that true?
I didnt want blue hair. I wanted pink hair with purple highlights. When the girl got done, my hair was blue. I was devastated and I cried, this was six years ago. This was at a time, when I had never seen blue hair on another person. I would have had her fix it but I had to be at the airport, literally two hours after she got done. I cried all the way to the airport and when I finally got to where I was going everybody was like, ‘Oh my god your hair is blue, we love it.’ It was an accident.
Your biggest regret? 
I don’t have any regrets and the reason why is that every single mistake that I have made in my entire life has brought me to this very moment that I’m in right now. Whose to say that if I didn’t make that mistake, that I went a different route that I’d be doing what I’d be doing today. I don’t do regrets at all.
What would you tell your 21 year-old self? 
Everything is going to work out exactly how you planned it. Be cool.
If you could ask God one question that he’d answer loud and clear, what would it be?
‘What should I do next?’ and I would just leave it at that.

Watch the interview below.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

For all things Olori, follow her at @OloriSwank, visit her online store or website www.oloriswank.com.



-@lipstickheelstv, –@pricelesseve

Screen shot 2013-06-24 at 5.53.35 AM

Authored by: tjbwriteratlanta