Kylie & Jonathan: Dynamic Duo of Style
Regarding this crazy business of personal style, these two have discovered that two heads are better than one. FSB catches up with the GTA’s up and coming stylist duo, Kylie and Jonathan. The aptly dubbed “Clothing Confidantes” share their insights about how they got started, the importance of style, establishing a healthy relationship between you and your wardrobe, and working as a team.
- Team Members: Kylie Martin and Jonathan Bluks
- How they met: Improv classes. They also pursued Image Consulting at George Brown at different times, neither one aware of the other until they reconnected one year later at an Image Consulting party.
- Claim to Fame: Professional chemistry, client care, teamwork. It’s rare to find personal stylists that work in His & Her pairs!
VH: You both studied Image Consulting at George Brown. How did that impact your decision to become wardrobe stylists?
JB: For me, it really empowered me in an area I was struggling in. I had already started to understand the power of clothes to look and feel great, but I wasn’t clear how. The program at GB brought that all together for me. I have always liked helping people, and prior to GB had been studying Psychotherapy. Seeing the power of clothes to transform people led to a natural fit, with a dash of fun.
VH: What’s the difference between an Image Consultant and a Wardrobe Stylist?
KM: An image consultant works with more than just clothes. They can assist with how to give presentations, etiquette in social situations, and cross cultural awareness. Image consultants will have their specialities, based on their experience and interest.
JB: Kylie and I currently focus on clothes primarily and enabling clients to see themselves in empowering ways that they may never have before.
VH: You’ve noted that your professional partnership works because of great chemistry. To what do you attribute said chemistry?
JB: That’s a bit of a mystery. It just works and it came about organically, almost accidentally. We’re different in our personalities, the skills we bring to the table, and being male/female bring two complementary energies to our work. I probably wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for Kylie.
VH: What are the advantages to working as part of a duo instead of working solo?
JB: We bring two perspectives to our clients. We can offer a very pampered experience with someone always available to the client while the other pulls clothes or works with sales staff. And, on the whole, it’s a lot more more fun since the two of us play off of each other and share that heightened energy with our clients.
KM: Shopping should be a fun and uplifting experience for people, but often it’s not. Together we make sure that for each of our clients it’s a really fun, uplifting experience.
VH: How much do current trends influence your styling decisions?
JB: Not that much. When we work with clients, we focus on what works for them. However, since we are shopping with clients, the stores will carry the trends, which means there is overlap and as a side effect clients may purchase clothes that are on trend. But trends are not the starting point. We don’t fit people into trends. We start with the person, their lifestyle, their goals, their personality and how they want to feel.
VH: What would you say is the number one reason people seek out your services?
JB: People are feeling stuck in some way. They know they can feel better, they know they can look better, they just don’t know how.
VH: Do you personally seek out clients? If so, how?
JB: It’s a mix. We have promoted our services to our social network, and when we’re talking with people, it comes up naturally. A person who is intrigued or interested will naturally want to find out more and potentially work with us. And of course we get Referral from clients who had a great experience and their friends want to work with us.
VH: Have you ever had moments where you saw someone you really wanted to “rescue”, as in, “wow, that person so needs our help?”
For me, no. That’s not how I operate. I don’t feel the need to rescue people, but if someone takes the initiative to ask questions or expresses interest, I will help them on the spot and of course suggest they work with us more extensively if they want.
VH: My compliments to your positivity and lack of judgement!
JB: In my view, a person, their life and their journey is sacred. Clothes are a part of their self image and I would only help if it was clear they were open and seeking changes.
VH: What are some of the lessons you’ve learned from your clients that make you better at what you do?
JB: The biggest lesson is the power of clothes that can be leveraged to bring more confidence and joy into a person’s life. It was sort of theoretical for me until I saw the shifts in people. That has brought more belief and confidence into our work.
The Kylie & Jonathan Experience
Eager to get the real feel for what a style session would be like, I offered myself up as a client. The duo were only too eager to take me under their wings! Below, Kylie & Jonathan’s step-by-step process:
- Online Questionnaire
Getting a feel for the client and understanding their goals and needs starts with their “Client Discovery” survey. They’ll then contact you to schedule a time and place for your style journey to begin!
- Briefing Over Refreshments
Once at the meeting, the duo eases you into shopping mode by sitting down and going over your questionnaire. This is a great opportunity for everyone to get acquainted with each other and for the client to shed light on any questions or reservations about what’s to take place. For those of us that are nervous, the refreshing beverage totally helps!
- Shopping Phase 1: Key Pieces for Sizing
After nailing down the clients style goals, the duo sets to work leading you to the best store to get started. It’s there that they choose an array of pieces to start creating your potential looks and determining your sizing and fit. This is also the point where you can expect your comfort zone to start being pushed, so be open to it!
- Shopping Phase 2: Creating and Completing Your Look
If you’re not enjoying yourself at this point (and I guarantee you will be), this is where the real fun begins. Once the basics of size and fit have been established, it’s playtime! Kylie and Jonathan are a veritable tag team, with one catering to you at the change room while the other whisks off to bring back more fabulous options to try on! The duo will walk you through a variety of clothing pieces and accessories, putting together full outfits now and showing you the do’s and don’ts of putting your best self forward. Welcome to your new-found style!
- Debriefing, Review & Assessment
Once the excitement has finished and the dust has cleared – and hopefully you’ll have a few bags of brand-new-YOU perspective hanging off your arms – it’s time to go over what was learned about through the session. Comments and questions abound as notes are taken on your very own assessment card! This is a handy keepsake for you as you go forward with your new look, proud, confident, stylish. Happy shopping!
My professional style journey (I’m light in the office clothing department and needed a “professionalism revamp”) took place at Banana Republic. Interesting, since I don’t normally go there. But after seeing the variety of versatile blazers and printed pants they had on hand (BIG fan of the printed or textured pant now!), it was clear why my office attire was nearly non-existent. Man, they’re good!
Rules of Thumb for a Kylie & Jonathan Session
- An average session lasts about 2 hours and spans about 2 stores. Says Kylie, “That’s about the average time before the energy starts to wear off and it becomes tedious instead of fun.”
- They throw budget out the window! “Too often our clients are shopping based on budget, so they overlook and even avoid choices that would otherwise look great on them,” says Jonathan. Though budget is key for any shopper, this team prefers to look at your style choices as an investment first and an expense second. “Ultimately it’s up to the client to spend what they feel comfortable spending. But at least now they have broadened their options,” Kylie adds.
- They NEVER take clients into the sale section! Says Jonathan, “Because we want to elevate our client through an elevated shopping experience, we want to get around the idea of ONLY shopping for sale items. If an item is on sale, great. But that shouldn’t be your prime deciding factor.”
- They’re not cheap, but they are a bargain! “There’s a general idea that a personal stylist is SUPER expensive, and that the average person can’t afford them. We want to get around that ‘exclusive’ stigma by offering ourselves as a more affordable alternative,” says Kylie. Not only are you getting 2 stylists for the price of 1, but you have the advantage of the male AND female perspective when shopping.
- Fun is important and rewarding for all! “The average client that comes to us views shopping as a headache. So it’s important that we show our clients a good time, and that they come to enjoy this part of the process in putting their best self forward,” states Kylie. “Exactly. If you don’t have fun with us, then we have failed miserably,” Joanathan adds. “So far we have a 100% success rate in the fun department!”
With one part feminine vigor and one part masculine charm, the Kylie and Jonathan styling experience is all parts excellent!
Kylie & Jonathan's Top TIps for a More Stylish YOU:
1. Accept that style matters. Style is inevitable because clothes are inevitable. You wear clothes everyday, so you might as well have a good relationship with your clothes, and use them to project the best you into your environment. Realize that there is a difference between wearing clothes, and having style.
2. Build outfits. Instead of just putting clothes together randomly, understand that each clothing item relates to the the others creating a whole outfit. Every piece of clothing that you put on your body should have a clear relationship with the other items. Clothing items relate through colour, pattern, texture, structure and style.
3. Think about your intentions in your day to day life and the big picture. Who do you want to be? What makes you excited? What are your personal and professional goals? Think about your style in the context of these intentions to connect your clothing to your life purposes.
2 hours flew by in a flash! It wasn’t until we completed the whole experience that I truly understood the Kylie & Jonathan term, “Clothing Confidantes”; they really do feel like your best friends through the whole session. You know, the kind that lay waste to your insecurities and inhibitions; the kind you don’t mind sharing certain things that you would otherwise take pains to hide from the rest of the world; and the kind that let you know you’re worth it. (Yes L’Oreal, totally borrowing that right now.) The whole process was invigorating and, dare I say, therapeutic! Though I’m no stranger to retail therapy, I will say this: after a session with Kylie and Jonathan, not only are you more stylish, and not only have you gotten to know them, but you’ve also gotten to know yourself.
Thanks guys! And I think I will go back and buy that navy blue blazer. (Wink!)
To learn more about Kylie & Jonathan or to book a session with them, please visit http://www.kylieandjonathan.com/