What if you could be as elegant and stylish as the stars who walk the red carpet, when you’re joining the next Zoom meeting? How can you transform your fashion choices into a daily process of empowerment?
This is Leesa Evan’s mission, stylist to celebrities, CEOs, athletes and more. Her real passion is using her voice to educate and uplift those who really need it most. Evans is a true purveyor of style—from her work as a costume designer for film to her dedication as a private stylist for celebrities and professional clients alike. Her personal philosophy and professional inspiration are drawn from a lifelong commitment to fashion, individuality and the art of storytelling. We caught up with Evans for an inside look at the world of a celebrity stylist and for some insider tips to everyday style that makes you feel good and is authentically you.
Lashaun Dale: People often remark that once they achieve transformation goals, they want to experiment with a new style that better expresses who they really are.
Leesa Evans: This is fun for me. It’s something I’m really passionate about and love to talk about. Clothing should make us feel stronger, more confident, happier. It’s really always been my philosophy that clothing can help create a sense of self that gets you so confident, you can go anywhere, anytime and do anything. It’s kind of our daily armor to not only protect us but also to show the world who we are.
LD: Tell us a bit more about your work.
LE: Sure—it breaks down in a few ways. I am a costume designer, a private stylist, a celebrity stylist and a fashion designer. I do a lot of things having to do with style. From a costume-design standpoint, I have mostly done a lot of contemporary comedies like “Bridesmaids,” “Trainwreck,” “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” “Zoolander 2,” “Always Be My Maybe,” “I Love You Man” and more. I’ve been doing that for quite some time, and I really love it.
I am also a private stylist, and I work with all sorts of people—from entrepreneurs and studio executives to businessmen and women to stay-at-home moms and people who are retired, anyone who really wants to use clothing as a tool for confidence and well-being.
LD: Let’s repeat that: Use clothing as a tool for confidence and well-being. That is not the normal getting-dressed experience. Many people loathe getting dressed and shopping, even blaming it on their body and trying to use clothing to hide, which doesn’t lead to a very positive experience. Your philosophy of style is not about masking flaws but literally as an expression of who someone is.
LE: Yes, during the process of all my film work, I noticed that people were really affected by the way people dressed in films, not just the fashion trends that followed but the ideals or perceived characters embodied in the style. I understood immediately that you could evoke a certain kind of emotion by the way you dress someone. You could fall in love with someone immediately based on the way they were dressed and the ideal that you had for your girlfriend, boyfriend, best friend, the person you’d like to be, the person that inspires you, all those things. You also can dislike someone from the moment you meet them solely based on what they’re wearing. You assume they seem arrogant or they’re timid—all these adjectives of the person present and establish as they come on the screen simply by what the costume or clothes that they are wearing.
LD: I love that it is about intentionally raising the consciousness of something we do every day anyway and using it as a variable of how you can show up that day. That’s really a powerful perspective.
LE: Confidence really, I think, comes from knowing you’re a good person, and that good person is being portrayed to the world in a way that you feel good about. I started realizing that I could use clothing to feel the adjectives that I wanted to be associated with, whether that was sophisticated, elegant, calm, kind or intelligent. And it was working. Those are the things I had aspired to be. And my clothing was helping me get there. Clothing is so powerful even before you open your mouth. People are taking you in, even sometimes just very subconsciously, not purposely looking you over but just acknowledging who you are sort of from the get-go. If done in the right way, clothing can help support us in our everyday life to give us confidence and a sense of self that is sometimes only accomplished through many years of deep therapy. And even sometimes not then but just figuring out who we really are and what clothing tells our story. It’s something we have to do every single day, so it’s not even some sort of luxury. It’s as fundamental as eating. We have to get dressed every day. We have to get out of the house at some point. And how we do that can either make or break our daily experience—set a tone for our week, our month, our year and beyond.