A Conversation with Celebrity Stylist Cary Robinson

Updated: Sep 25, 2020

Meet STYL advisor and celebrity stylist Cary Robinson, fashion and personal stylist extraordinaire. She’s the woman behind the looks for world renowned Oscar winners, Grammy artists, NBA MVPs, World Series Champios, Victoria’s Secret Angels, including Josephine Skriver, Lais Ribeiro, and Jasmine Tookes (who also happens to be her daughter). In addition to being a power celebrity stylist, Cary is the mother of two daughters. We’re incredibly fortunate to work with her in developing STYL so that everyone can receive honest but kind outfit advice and dress confidently, together!

STYL Advisor and Celebrity Stylist Cary Robinson

STYL: Growing up did you aspire to be a celebrity stylist?

CARY ROBINSON: I did not. My original plan was to become a court reporter. My father is a successful attorney and wanted me to follow his footsteps into law so that was my focus in college.

While studying to become a court reporter, I also worked at a hair salon, Sculpt, as a receptionist. One of my colleagues showed me a lookbook, and that was the first time I was introduced to the role of a personal stylist. So, Neeko, my colleague and hairdresser at the salon, gave me a recommendation for an internship position with a renowned celebrity stylist.

After multiple phone calls, my persistence paid off and I landed a job as an intern for a personal stylist to Hollywood’s biggest stars. For two years, I worked in a garage office out of her Beverly Hills home. At the time, I was living in Orange County and every day I had to wake up at 4:30 AM so that I would be at work by 6:00 AM to bring her coffee and walk her dog. It’s tough work breaking into the fashion industry, you must be persistent and persevere through the pain if you want to become a personal stylist.

That takes drive, dedication, and passion to get up at the break of dawn to drive from Orange County to Beverly Hills. So how did you get your big break?

CR: Mine came to me when a celebrity client, (Psst! She's an actress and Oscar winner), realized I was the one styling her. Once she realized I was the one handling her account and pulling all her outfits, she asked me to be her personal stylist. I’ve now been a professional stylist for 19 years!

What an amazing confidence booster that must have been to have an Oscar winning actress gain your trust and choose to work solely with you!?

CR: It validated every single time I wanted to hit the snooze button at 4:30 AM and didn’t, every morning commute, and every single delivered cup of coffee and dog walk!

Once you landed your first celebrity client did the rest just roll in?

CR: Nope, not right away. It’s an interesting thing but many high-profile celebrities don't want to share their personal stylist, hair, and make-up artists with other celebrities. They want you and your fashion sense exclusively for themselves!

Cary Robinson promoting the Sexy Illusions Strapless Bra by Victoria's Secret
Cary Robinson promoting the Sexy Illusions Strapless Bra by Victoria's Secret

I never would have thought about it from that angle and yeah, I agree I wouldn’t want to share you either! What other segments of the entertainment industry were you able to break into?

CR: Professional sports, TV, and film. Working as a personal stylist in the film and television industry was probably the most challenging as I didn’t have as much creative freedom instilling my fashion insights and style direction with outfits.

Can you please share your ideal client?

CR: I don't have one mold. I work very well styling both men and women. However, my dream clients are the ones who trust your fashion sense, let you do your job and don’t push back too much.

I’m picking up on a pattern here. You do your best work when a client puts their trust in you and enables you to make confident decisions. Do you seek people out or do they come to you?

CR: Both. A lot of my clients are from word of mouth. But if I see someone on TV, social media, or online, I’ll find a way to reach out to some clients to say I’m interested. Just the other day, I came across an actress I really want to style so I sent her a DM on Instagram. And if she doesn’t respond then I’ll contact her publicist.

Model Jasmine Tookes at the Vanity Fair Oscars Afterparty 2020 styled by Cary Robinson Celebrity Stylist 
Jasmine Tookes at the Vanity Fair Oscar party 2020, styled by Cary Robinson

So, with your skills and sharp eye, it must be incredibly easy shopping for yourself?

CR: I LOVE to shop and pull outfits for other people. But when it comes to myself, I dread it. I can never find anything and always wonder how do I look. So, I stick to the basics, it’s my uniform. If I need to dress it up, I’ll throw on a blazer. My closet is full of gray, navy, white, and black t-shirts and sundresses. That’s why I was drawn to STYL, like everyone else I’ve had my issues deciding what to wear and I’ve needed outfit advice when getting dressed, and this is another opportunity for me to help others with their outfits so that everyone can dress confidently, together!

- Krissy Lloyd is a Co-Founder at STYL