As a stylist for Emma Watson, Elizabeth Olsen, and more, it’s safe to say that Sarah Slutsky has a pretty cool job. Even cooler? The girl herself. She’s got a million side projects going on, from learning to play the ukulele to exploring NYC block by block. Sarah, who can’t fall asleep unless she knows exactly what she’s wearing the next day, shows us around her go-to neighborhood haunts…on a skateboard, naturally.
How did you get into styling?
It mostly started with editorial work. Right after college, I began interning at Vogue. I’m so lucky that I got introduced to many of my clients from that experience. I was able to form this friendship and understanding with them very early on. Growing up, I didn’t really know what I wanted to be. I just knew I wanted to tell stories through fashion, and it turns out I can do exactly that as a stylist. I love it. I still pinch myself every day.
What’s your mantra?
Be damn nice. It costs nothing to be nice.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone who wants to “make it” in the fashion world?
Be open and even a little vulnerable—those are the keys. Listen to constructive criticism and develop what you know is already inside of you.
Personally, if I had listened to the standard ‘here’s what you do when you grow up’ speech, I’d be working in an industry doesn’t make any sense for me. When I think about my career path, it’s certainly unusual, but I’m so grateful I took the road less traveled and got to where I am today. So I think my all-time piece of advice would be, as cheesy as it sounds, to just keep taking risks.
Walk us through the process of styling your clients.
It’s a conversation. We understand one another. They feel comfortable saying, “Wait, I’m actually thinking about this,” and I feel comfortable saying, “Okay, but here’s why I think you should consider this.” I love finding unexpected solutions.
How would you describe your personal style and how it relates to the LR aesthetic?
Well, first of all, I rarely go shopping just for the sake of going shopping. It’s more about an idea. I’ll know that I’m going to see this show, or I’ll know I’m going to this place on vacation, and all of a sudden, I have this vision, this portrait, and that moment kind of comes together like a painting, and an outfit starts to form. But even then, I have much more fun working with the wardrobe I already have—repurposing, moving things around, layering. I like pairing a classic outfit with funky, modern jewelry, or a grungy outfit with girly makeup. And I have to be honest: I can’t go to sleep that night if I don’t know what I’m wearing the next day.
LR designs really set you up for a versatile and dynamic wardrobe. I think about the Isla boot, and that boot is just as compatible with a jean and a blouse as it is with a sexy slip. And that ability to dress up or dress down speaks volumes about the brand.
Is there anything you’re excited to experiment with as it gets colder?
I love layering. I love when unexpected pieces of clothing peek through. Recently I’ve been wearing all of these vintage tees underneath my dresses, and gothic tights underneath ripped jeans.
What do you do when you’re not working?
This summer, I embarked on what I now call the “Summer of Sarah.” I realized that due to my profession, I didn’t really make time for myself to have hobbies. So I started taking ukulele lessons, and I took up skateboarding. I also started this project called @BlockedNYC. It’s an Instagram account. And basically, I plan on going to every city block in Manhattan and pick one thing on each block to highlight. I just finished SoHo. It’s made me realize that when your eyes are open, you start to notice things.
On what makes NYC magical:
I think a really beautiful thing about this city is that you have the freedom to experiment and try new things, not only with fashion, but with just about anything. I would love to see that kind of can-do, why-not attitude make its way throughout the country.
On Crown Heights, the neighborhood she calls home:
My neighborhood is the bee’s knees.
Little Zelda – a coffee shop right down the street from my apartment. Delicious coffee. I love that I run into the same people every day.
Park Delicatessen – a flower and skateboard shop; tons of knickknacks to suit your fancy.
I also like to skate on over to Bar Corvo or Barboncino; those are my favorite restaurants in the neighborhood. Sometimes I’ll go all the way to Doris late at night and do some disco dancing.
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