They say that style is a reflection of your attitude and your personality but for the award winning Celebrity Stylist, Costume Designer and Director Sophia Banks, style is a lifestyle. In an exclusive interview, the beautiful Celebrity Stylist shares her story regarding her rise in the fashion industry. She also, explains how it is to dress the biggest names in Hollywood from Amber Heard to Priyanka Chopra and reveals her relation to Greece.
From ‘Satine’ to ‘walk of fame’
After moving to Los Angeles, Sophia Banks founded a fashion boutique called ‘Satine’ which set her up as a trend ‘forecaster’ from which started her career as a fashion consultant. “At ‘Satine’ I launched the careers of many top designers and won many awards from ‘Harpers Bazaar Style Leaders Award’ for several years, ‘La fashion awards’, ‘Vogue retail store of the year’ etc., and we got a licensing deal to open a store in Japan and a contract to design shoes for an Italian Fashion house. During the time at ‘Satine’ we would work with Celebrities every day from Cameron Diaz to Nicole Richie, I was able to style people daily” she adds “I enjoyed the designing so much at ‘Satine’ that I decided to take it one step further and launch my own fashion line, ‘Whitley Kros’. It became an instant success and established itself as a celebrity favorite with talent such as Katy Perry, Blake Lively, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez and Kate Hudson. I was featured in Forbes as ‘Top ten Undiscovered Designer of the Year’ and I was nominated as ‘Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation’ and was the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week sponsored show”.
The rise of a fashion phenomenon
Sophia Banks, says that celebrities wanted her to create a vision for themselves. “I was asked to create an entire image for them (celebs), creating there performance looks, red carpet, and even casual looks. I was able to tie in my creative, storytelling and my marketing skill to whether for a Fashion Brand, Company or Personality, creative a cohesive look that fit in with what message it or they were trying to convey”.
Sophia’s eye for fashion design has greatly inspired her creatively as a Costume designer and director. “My success in fashion and costume design for performances and commercials, also lead to bigger opportunities such as film. In 2012 I Costume designed, ‘Syrup’, starring Kellan Lutz, Amber Heard and Brittany Snow, produced by Academy Award winner Barrie Osborne (Lord of the rings trilogy, matrix, and the new Great Gatsby) and was invited into the costume designers’ guild”.
Styling the global sensation actress Priyanka Chopra
The charismatic stylist opens up about styling the Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra who started her international career in Hollywood. “I have been working with Priyanka for several years and helped her build her look for the USA. She is amazing and we had so much fun working together, I have worked with her in LA on set in Canada and even in NYC”.
The process of styling
Dressing celebrities has a lot work and definitely a detailed procedure. The beautiful Sophia explains in depth the procedure. “It’s a very detailed process before I start with every client. I have a full questionnaire of everything they like and don’t, looks they have loved, looks they have hated. I also spend a lot of time talking with them about what career they want, how they want to be perceived to the public, what type of image we are trying to build”.
She adds “I always make it about the actor or actress and how to make them shine. I look at what colors look good on them, there body shape and then look at what dresses will gain international attention and run across the world in all the magazine and papers. It’s a very detailed process and one that I spend a lot of time on to ensure that we get results like Priyanka Chopra’s Oscar dress that was seen by billions of people and gets. There is no room for error on a red carpet”.
Trends, styling tips and special projects
Fashion trends constantly change and can be difficult and time-consuming to follow. Each season, a new color or style will become the must-have look. Luckily, Sophia follows her instincts. “Since my beginning time in fashion I have always had an instinct for trends it’s a very big strength for me, I just know what’s happening next”. She also states that “you always have to make sure you feel amazing; if you feel amazing you will look amazing “and reveals that is working on a new project. “I will be directing my first short film project and lots of fashion film and commercials as well as working with some amazing new talent”.
The Greek roots
The insanely talented stylist reveals that she has roots from Greece. “I actually have Greek blood. My name is Greek and my great grandmother is Greek” and continues “I love Greece I have been twice and I also love Greek style. Plus they were the original creators of draping”.