Yesterday, TheBobbyPen.com had the pleasant opportunity to spend 5 minutes talking with Celebrity Stylist Olori Swank.
This Atlanta born diva has been hustling since she was 4-years-old, creating her first business selling the colored pages of her coloring book for a quarter. Smart as a whip, Swank learned to read at 2-years-old and while pursuing a degree in Psychology and Biology at the University of Georgia, she decided to take another route and follow her passion– fashion styling. Here’s a look into the mind of the focused, driven and well-calculated brand that is, Olori Swank.
TheBobbyPen.com (TBP): I see that you’ve gotten to work with a lot of music artsits. Among the list, Keyshia Cole, Childish Gambino, Tyrese, RL and Dawn Richards of Diddy Dirty Money. How is that? How do you think fashion influences music or music influences fashion?
Olori Swank (Swank): I definitely think fashion influences music and vice versa, but I also think a lot of things influence fashion and a lot of things influence music. As creative people no matter what it is, where we are and what we see we’re inspired. Different colors, feelings, styles and all that different expression, they all go hand-in-hand. They’re all just different forms of expression.
|Singer Keyshia Cole styled by Swank.|
TBP: Your hair is definitely original. Is that one of the ways you choose to express yourself? What other ways do you like to express yourself?
Swank: My hair is definitely– I wouldn’t even say that my hair is a form my self-expression anymore, my hair is an extension of me. It’s part of my brand. If I didn’t have blue hair, I don’t even think I’d be comfortable with myself at this point to be honest. Other ways that I express myself? I like to draw. I sketch randomly. I listen to a lot of music, but I don’t necessarily play any instruments or write anything, but that’s definitely something that I’m into. I like different kinds of music, Rock, Pop, everything!
|Entertainer Teeyana Taylor styled by Swank.|
TBP: So, you said you like to draw. Do you see any fashion design in your future?
Swank: No. I’ve been asked several times to design, but its not one of my passions right now. I love taking other people’s work and piecing them together and build that bridge between the designer and the consumer. I think being the designer is another whole entity in itself, and I’m so focused on what I’m doing right now that I wouldn’t want to be that rabbit chasing two things. I just kind of want to stay focused and build on what I’ve been doing. So, as of now, no I don’t see it, but we never know what may happen in the future.
TBP: Solid answer. You certainly sound like someone focused and self-assured, how important do you think having self-identity is in the fashion industry?
Swank: I think self-identity is important in any industry. You have to know who you are especially in a world where a lot of people try to tell you who you should be. It’s super important for you to have that self-identity and put that into the world, because it can be a very confusing place. When everybody wants you to be something different you end up unhappy because you don’t know who you are, so I think it’s very important.
|Entertainer Childish Gambino styled by Swank.|
TBP: What is your brand?
Swank: My brand is me. Everything about me. My brand is everything from my Twitter. my hair, my feelings that I express to people, the way that I do things, my consistency. People recognize things that I do because I’m consistent. Whether it be the screen names that I pick for my various social media, or even the way that I go about styling things. At one point in time I always used to put bracelets on the left hand of anyone I was styling and leave the right hand bare. People pay attention and I like to be consistent with what I do because it helps people identify with me and my brand.
TBP: What inspires you? What keeps you motivated?
Swank: I’m inspired by everything. I always say that I’m easily inspired, but not easily influenced. It doesn’t matter what I see. Honestly, I could see a homeless person and be inspired to take a different approach to layers. The way lights flash when buses move. I’m inspired by pretty much everything.
|Model styled by Swank.|
What I took away most from this interview was Swank’s strong brand identity and the attention she pays to detail in order to consistently produce a quality and readily identifiable product. Swank is certainly a unique individual, working hard to continue to grow and get her name and work out there. Keep an eye on this rising star. I can’t wait to watch her growth.
|Olori Swank and blogger Lauren of TheBobbyPen.com|