V. Smith remained faithful through harsh trials and tribulations which afforded him a First Assistant position with talented Stylist, Kollin Carter. His story of speaking it into existence is inspiring.
“Assist. Don’t let your pride be more significant than your experiences, or you won’t get many of them.”
– V. Smith
What inspired you to become a stylist?
Inspired by the lack of men’s fashion that I saw growing up. I found myself jealous of how creative a woman could be with her outfit as well as how many options women had to create a look.
It bothered me so much to the point where I decided I wanted to change it, and since I didn’t take the time to learn how to sew and to make my clothes, I figured I would learn how to build my looks with what I had.
How would you describe your style?
Effortless. I’m all about being comfortable now, whether I’m comfortable in a baggy sweatsuit or fitted trousers depend on the day. I try to never think too hard on what I’m wearing, and when I do, I never end up loving what I put on. So I’ve decided to trust what I feel comfortable in at that particular time.
Who are your style influences? I honestly don’t have any. My influence of style comes from art or everyday things around me. I may see a flower, but my mind sees a garment. BUT right now, I’m really into @iampatrickmason on IG. I love how true his style seems to be to his identity.
How did you come to start working with Kollin Carter?
February 6, 2018, I was sitting in my friend Jeremy The Director’s apartment chatting with him and our mutual friend Patrice. I was down and depressed. I HATED (at the time ) my current job, I had recently lost my aunt, who was like a second mother to me, and I didn’t understand why life wasn’t going the way I wanted it to go.
I had been praying for literally MONTHS for God to shake this off of me, to give me peace with where I was in life . I had been working, interning, freelancing, trying to network to get to where I wanted to be, but nothing was moving me from where God had me.
I received a call from Kollin literally in the midst of me making up my mind that I was giving up, giving up a dream that I had been dreaming for YEARS. “Heeeyyyy, I was just calling you to tell you to quit your job because I’m hiring you.” – Kollin. This sentence changed my ENTIRE life.
I had been telling Kollin for MONTHS that I wanted to work under him and learn from him. My best friend, designer Olivia Anthony introduced us, and I was in his ear every chance I got.
After that call, I hung up with him and sent my resignation letter via email to my employer at the time and signed right up to work for who I feel is one of the most talented Black Stylist that I’ve ever encountered. I can’t begin to thank Kollin for these past two years of amazement. I’ve learned so much from him. I’ve grown so much because of him, and I’m WAY better at my craft because of him.
From the Grammys to the Met Gala, styling has taken you so many places and afforded you many opportunities. What has been your favorite moment so far?
My favorite moment was sitting front row at the Mulger show when they showed in Paris in 2018. I’d admired Mugler since I found fashion and honored to have been included in such a moment. Right after that, it would, of course, be me being on the MET Gala carpet with Kollin and Cardi. Literally, a moment that I shall never forget!
If you could style anyone of your choice, who would it be and why?
Well, I can’t tell my wishes, or they won’t come true right?
Ugh, it’s so hard for me to follow trends because I don’t study them as I should. I love to create from what inspires me, BUT if I had to pick something, it would be how acceptable athleisure is now!
What’s the craziest situation you’ve encountered so far in your styling career?
Lol, try styling a photoshoot and two music videos in one day. Talk about crazy.
How do you feel about the label “Celebrity Stylist”?
There isn’t anything wrong with the label, but I know that I do not want that to be a label that defines me. I want to expand past celebrity in a way that will create a legacy for me years past my time on this earth.
What’s next for the V. Smith styling brand?
I want to step into Creative Direction. I want to tell more stories.
What advice would you offer to a beginning stylist?
Intent and assist. Don’t let your pride be more significant than your experiences, or you won’t get many of them.