Stylist Amber Renae is no wallflower. From engineering to fashion design and now fashion styling, this twenty-something woman possesses an impressive business acumen combined with a formidable drive to succeed.
The Sydney-based celebrity stylist has more than a couple of projects on the go at any one time. A genuine multi-tasker, Amber is currently the Fashion Editor for Women's Health and Fitness magazine, the resident stylist at Southern Cross Austereo and a designer for PushPlay underwear. Recently, she also launched her 'Style to Succeed' corporate seminar program.
Amber's impressive client list includes celebrity personal trainer Michelle Bridges and Logie winners Deborah Mailman and Firass Dirani.
Editor, Michelle Larin, interviewed Amber for Part 2 of our Fashion Stylist Series.
Q: Tell me about yourself.
A: I studied a Bachelor of Civil Engineering and then went on to work for Leighton Contractors building roads. That wasn't making me happy, so I decided to follow my dream of becoming a fashion designer. I launched a label that was featured in fashion events all around the globe and dressed some of the biggest celebrities, including Paris Hilton. I then sold my brand and moved to Melbourne where I was selected as a designer on Project Runway Australia.
Following this, I landed the resident presenter role on Fashion TV and travelled around Australia interviewing some of the biggest names in fashion. Now, I work as a celebrity stylist, I'm the fashion editor for Women's Health and Fitness magazine, I design for an underwear brand and I also run corporate styling seminars.
Q: How did your career as a stylist begin?
A: I woke up one day after Project Runway and knew I needed a break from design, so I made the decision to start styling. It's a lot of hard work, often for little to no pay.
Q: Describe your signature look.
A: I love everything that’s glam, sexy and covered in bling. Being a Queenslander at heart, I also love colour.
Q: Who are some of your clients?
A: I've dressed actors Deborah Mailman, Firass Dirani and Todd Lasance and TV personalities Leah Purcell, Maude Garrett and Sharri Sebens. I’ve also worked with celebrity personal trainer Michelle Bridges.
Q: Describe a typical day in your job.
A: There’s nothing typical; every day is completely different! I could be doing pulls for Women's Health and Fitness magazine, have a fitting for one of my Southern Cross Austereo talent, design some pieces for Push Play or be attending a meeting with corporate clients to discuss my Style to Succeed program.
Q: What's your 'Style to Succeed' Program about?
A: It's a program tailored to corporate clients who are looking to reinvigorate their style and motivate their people to think about their personal brand.
Style to Succeed guides employees on how to dress in a business environment and how to present a professional, confident approach to clients.
Q: Tell me about a recent styling assignment.
A: I was recently commissioned by Swarovski to make over their entire retail staff and develop and implement a new corporate clothing policy. That was an extremely big task as it involved giving a three-hour presentation to staff from both national and international offices, unveiling the team's new look and inspiring them to implement it across the organisation.
Q: What has been your most unusual styling assignment?
A: I once had four miners' wives fly in from WA to do a personal styling session with me. They were all fabulous plus-size women who lived in a mining town and never wore frocks, but all of them needed one for an upcoming event.
Q: How do you prepare for a shoot?
A: Pre-production and planning is critical to producing a slick shoot. I find that the more time I spend with the entire crew plotting out exactly what we’re hoping to achieve, the better the result is.
Q: Whose style do you admire?
A: I admire the style of all those effortless hipsters who look cool and chic wearing things like lo-slung tracky-pants and baggy-tees.
Q: What items do you think it is necessary for women to spend big bucks on?
A: Shoes and bags. If selected correctly, these will never date, plus they will always fit you!
Q: What's your best styling tip for women?
A: Invest in a session with a personal style consultant to figure out your body-shape and skin-tone. Once you have this knowledge, it’s pretty much impossible to go wrong.
Q. List three key pieces every woman should have in their wardrobe.
1. A killer pair of heels. I prefer to wear Sirens.
2. Some serious bling to brighten up your day. I put all of my celebs in Swarovski.
3. Some fun underwear that makes you feel hot, like PushPlay!
Q: Who are your favourite fashion designers?
A: Tom Ford and Karl Lagerfeld are my heroes
Q: Which celebrity would you most like to dress?
A: I would love to style Ellen DeGeneres. Styling her would make for one hilarious fitting no doubt.
Q: Who do you consider the ultimate fashion icons?
A: I admire the styles of Anna Della Russo, Olivia Palermo and Diane Kruger. I love their courage and fearlessness when it comes to dressing.
Q: How would you describe "Sydney style"?
A: Sydney style is effortless and relaxed, especially when compared to Melbourne where I lived for four years.
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