Vixen Chat: Celebrity Stylist Misa Hylton-Brim Talks Fashion Academy, Front Row Couture and New York Fashion Week
All things fashion come to mind when you think of celebrity stylist Misa Hylton-Brim. She has worked with some of heaviest hitters in the industry, from Missy Elliot to Queen Latifah. She has served as an innovative trendsetter in the hip-hop community, as well as the world of fashion. Recently, she established the Misa Hylton Fashion Academy located in New York, where aspiring stylists and those honing their already-established craft have a chance to enhance their skills and learn the “Misa Hylton Technique.”
On the last day of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, The Misa Hylton Fashion Academy will honor and pay homage to the industry's top stylist, including Emily B., June Ambrose and Patricia Fields to name a few. Misa, alongside fashion guru Bevy Smith, will host the event.
Vixen had the chance to chat with Misa about her fashion academy and the accessories she just can't live without.--Keeley Ava
VIBE VIXEN: How did you develop the concept for the Misa Hylton Fashion Academy?
MISA HYLTON BRIM: I've been a fashion stylist for over 18 years, and during that time I've had the privilege of working with a lot of the top stylist and being apart of a lot of the lessons and knowledge that they gained to be able to excel in the stylist field. I think, innately, I've always been a teacher at heart, so I decided to make it official. I started the Misa Hylton Fashion Academy to nuture up-and-coming stylists, as well as work with stylist that may want to perfect their craft a little more and expand where they are reaching currently. When I had my company Chyna Doll enterprises, which is a fashion styling company, I managed stylists. I also simultaneously worked as a Fashion Editor, and during those times, my assistants were Wouri Vice (Alicia Keys) and Mariel Haenn (Rihanna) and Marni Senofonte (Cassie, Ciara and Mary J. Blige). They all started out assisting me. I played a part in their journey and that was the influence for me starting the fashion academy.
I love the concept of the Misa Hylton Fashion Academy! The students that finish the program, if they are qualified, are they able to advance and possibly work with or for you?
Oh yes, that's always an option.
Do you have a role in this year's Fashion Week? If so, in what aspect will you loan your creative vision?
Yes I do. I'm actually styling a show, Front Row Couture, and that is on September 11th. I'm actually the creative director and stylist. Shateria Moragne-el really has her own take on fashion and she has a strong theme, so I'm really excited to work with her. I can't reveal [the theme] at this time but I will say it is fashion forward and it is hot!
Can you give some examples of what "The Misa Hylton Technique" consists of? Of course without revealing all your secrets!
To really learn about the Misa Hylton Technique, you would have to take the course, but I will tell you this: there is a specific way to style and present images and ideas verbally, visually and on set. It has to do with those three things. Those three things always ensure that you have a successful shoot.
VV: Can you give some examples of your favorite fall trends this season?
MH: I'm not really into trends; I always thought I was apart of creating them. I love everyone that is making their own statement confidently, even if it's something I wouldn't personally wear. One of the people that is Shateria Moragne-el; her take on fashion is really refreshing. It's really clean and fashion-forward. There's a void for her type of style right now.
You have worked with some heavy hitters, from Diddy to Serena Williams, is there anyone you've wanted to work with that you haven't already?
No there isn't. Those experiences were wonderful and they helped prepare me for this moment. Now, my niche is giving back, and I really enjoy nurturing and teaching these students and helping them fulfill their dream. [I will], hopefully, help them work with heavy hitters in the industy and in the fashion world, whether it be editorial or a celebrity client or if they end up wanting to be fashion editors. There are so many avenues of fashion that you can take and have a fulfilling career, so that's where I'm at now. That brings me the most hapiness.
Name some fashion necessities for yourself.
I always have a pair of Simone I. Smith earrings. I love her hoop earrings! That speaks to my around-the-way girl part of my personality and style. Coming up in the 80s and 90s, that was a strong presence for me. It's a new age rendition of that look. She's a fan of the ghetto fabulous/urban couture look as well so I always have my hoop earrings. And hair and nails are an accessory for me; I have on some type of exotic or bright color nail polish and I change my hair color a lot. I've had every color hair so I would say those three things.
I love love love my MAC lipgloss. It's the bomb! I have a new favorite, it's the Ruby Woo matte red. I love that! Even if it wears off during the day, you can't even tell.