Los Angeles-based Alejandra Hernandez is an up-and-comer in the styling biz. With an FIDM background, stints at Rojas and telemundo channel mun2, plus the boutique Virgo under her belt, Alejandra has taken on high profile styling work including Iggy Azalea and campaign work for Palladium, Levi’s, and Puma. We discuss her 90′s influences, fashion internships in LA, and which celebs she would love to style.
Has growing up in LA affect your decision to work in fashion? Do you think there were particular resources or influences pulling you into the industry or away from others?
Yes, definitely. I grew up in the 90′s and lived off Melrose and Fairfax. Melrose in the 90′s was insane, stores like Redballs, Nana, Retail Slut, Atomic Garage, Too Cute, Golfpunk, and X Collection were all in business then. I was exposed to all sorts of LA subcultures. It was like a melting pot of skaters, graf writers, girls in creepers with dreadlocks, breakdancers, and cholas from Fairfax High School. It was eye candy to a little girl like me who went to school all the way in the San Fernando Valley where everyone looked and talked the same. To this day I think my aesthetic is a product of everything I was influenced by back then.
How have you linked up with celebrities like Eve, Mayer Hawthorne, and recently, one of our Karmaloop iKons, Iggy Azalea? When styling such well-known figures who or what do you turn to for inspiration?
I am not represented by anyone, so really I get all jobs by word of mouth. Every job leads to another one. When dressing anyone I always try to get to know them a little before I tell them what they’re wearing. Dressing Iggy is so much fun because she is truly a visual artist so her and I draw inspiration from anything as random as old Elizabeth Taylor photos to photos from 90′s Versace dinners. Also, I always like to a display a presence through the clothing. I idolize women that are nothing less than boss bitches. So, I love to incorporate pieces that are strong and classic. I’m not into things that “characters” would wear, I want my girls to look powerful not funny.
Post-FIDM and pre-Virgo you worked with Rojas. Studying in LA, I imagine that the internship and entry-level opportunities for fashion students are very broad. Any advice for navigating the network out there?
I always tell kids to look for internships with small local companies. LA has tons of them! Working with a small company is where you are going to really get the best learning experience. You learn a little bit of everything because there aren’t a million people doing only one thing. You aren’t just cutting swatches, filing papers, and getting coffee. With a small company you’re most likely helping the designer shop for fabric, with first fittings, picking up production from independent contractors, helping with sales, etc. It’s way more hands on.
You worked for a while as a network stylist for the Telemundo cable channel mun2. As a Hispanic woman, do you feel empowered by your contribution to media targeting young Latinos?
It was a really fun job! I don’t know if I felt empowered, but I felt inspired by all the people I worked with. The creative director for the network is Ricardo De Montreuil, who is not just an amazing well known Latino film maker, but is just a well known and respected filmmaker period. I also worked with Shari Scorca, who had been at MTV News for years before that. She had the craziest stories about going on tour with Wu-Tang and even stories about Kurt Loder. The whole team behind mun2 are some of the coolest, young, progressive minded, and yes, Latinos, in the TV industry. They all really inspired me as a woman and opened up my eyes to a lot about the entertainment industry. I was just happy to work among all of those people for as long as I did, and to work for a network with such a great message to young Latinos.
Which Karmaloop brands fit your sartorial taste? Are there any guiding principles or trademark looks you like to employ?
If you could style anyone on Earth for any publication/movie/show possible, who would it be?
God, I’d love to work with Madonna, I know everyone does, but she is god. I used to own the VHS to her Blonde Ambition tour when I was a little girl, I just wanted to be her so bad. Also, I watched In Living Color religiously and I would obsess over the Fly Girls. I heard that the show is coming back to television I would DIE if Ii could be the costumer for a 2012 edition of the Fly Girls. Literally DIE.
What does 2012 hold for you?
I have a few exciting collaborations in the works and plan to keep building with my clients and doing my thing.