Kristia Franklin AKA TiaClothesGirl is known for her fashion-forward street style and appearance, as well as her style influence on others. From selling clothes while studying at the University of Technology to now, styling some of the most fashionable socialites and celebrities in Jamaica, Kristia Franklin, has become one of the best stylists in Jamaica.
PANACHE spoke to the woman responsible for making everyone else look good about her personal style, Jamaica’s fashion industry, designers and more.
PANACHE: How did you get your start as a Stylist?
Kristia Franklin: I started selling clothes in University and while selling people would ask me to put pieces together for them. I would say this was my first encounter with styling; even though I didn’t really have much experience, or even knew if my way of ‘styling’ was actually the right way, people seemed to have faith in me and they kept coming back. To gain more knowledge I started to research styling and became an assistant for a popular local commercial stylist. I quickly learnt that though commercial and fashion styling have similar basic rules, they are very different. Fashion styling drew on my creative side, it peaked my interest and it kept my mind active. So I left commercial styling behind and started to push my ‘fashion stylist’ label more and just kept asking my customer to try new things and to trust me. Slowly but surely more persons started coming to me about me styling them and that is how it took off.
PANACHE: Over the years, who are some of the celebrities that you’ve styled?
Kristia: Over the years I have mainly worked with Jamaican beauty queens, the ones you may be familiar with are Kaci and Yendi. I worked with J’Capri, Ishawna, Sevana, Tanto Blacks, Elaine Thompson and other socialites.
PANACHE: What is the process of styling someone like? What factors do you consider?
Kristia: When styling someone I first ask them to go through the clothes and then I observe their reaction to the different pieces; here I will notice what styles they like, dislike and which ones interest them but they would not wear. I find out the occassion, I ask their vision; how they want to look for the specific occasion, while doing all of this we have conversation about fashion and sometimes wear off into other topics and this really gives me a better sense of your personality. Then I get to work! By getting to work I mean I start to pick out pieces, this is when I truly get to see the customer’s body shape and then better access what styles and cuts are suitable for the person’s body, not every style fits every body type. As soon as I have figured that out that is when the fun begins, I start to give the customer outfits to try on that I know is testing the waters for them but I use my words to convince them that they should try it out and I meet them halfway on the accessories, telling them they can tone it down with knobs or something like that. This process can take up to three hours, while playing music and breaking for drinks or snacks.
PANACHE: What more do you think can be done for Jamaica’s fashion industry to thrive?
Kristia: For our industry to thrive we need more manufacturers; there are tons of designers and potential designers on the island that just need the manpower to turn their visions to life but they don’t have the resources to make this happen. If there were more garment factories out here, that designers could carry their designs to and get them produced at an affordable rate then the industry would truly flourish. Our industry right now is semi stagnant because on one hand; designer have to be sewing themselves and that slows down the production process because there is so much one person can do and no more. On the other; there are people out there that have these great designs but cannot sew and cannot afford to be carrying all their designs to dress makers who charge so much. I believe this is the biggest challenge facing the industry; not enough garment factories. For it to thrive, this needs to be fixed.
PANACHE: How would you describe your personal style?
Kristia: My personal style is moody, it changes with the mood I’m in and the person, or the side of my personality I choose to show the world on that given day.
PANACHE: Favourite local designer?
Kristia: Honestly cannot choose a favourtie, I like too many, but I do own YC pieces, Gavotey pieces and Vain Glory pieces.
PANACHE: Your 3 essential Summer fashion essentials?
Kristia: Summer essentials are shorts, high waist jeans, crop tops. Dress them up dress them down, dress them around town, I kid I kid. But yea, those are my essentials; very practical pieces of clothing that can be worm a ton of times in a ton of different ways.
Kristia Franklin can be found on Instagram at @Tia_clothesgirl or @myrepeatoffender. You can also visit her website at tiaclothesgirl.com |P