Sunday 10 January 2010

Could she get any cooler?! It's Cindy Whitehead!!

"I was one of the first female professional vertical skateboarders (skated pools and 1/2 pipes). The only girl to be featured in a skateboarding magazine centerfold. I decided to turn my styling career into a new niche and created and coined the term 'sports stylist' which I trademarked. Now I style celebrity athletes like Tiger Woods, Mia Hamm, Kobe Bryant and Michelle Kwann, etc, etc for commercials and print ads and editorial spreads. I am also the fashion director for HER Magazine. I find information on the latest trends in the sports apparel industry. I am currently working on a book about my experiences as a teenage female skateboarder." 

These are the words of Cindy Whitehead. She is so impressively amazing, I loved doing this interview and finding out more about her incredible life. Check out her blog and her website, I strongly recommend that you do! Cindy Whitehead is fabulous!

Firstly tell me 3 facts about yourself.
I will do almost anything on a dare. I am a 3rd generation native of Los Angeles (which seems to be rare!). I traveled and lived in Mexico and Guatemala for a year in a VW van with my mom and brother when I was a kid.

What do you do, i.e. work. What has got your name out there?
I’m a fashion stylist and I specialize in pro, Olympic and everyday athletes – male & female.Various articles, promo’s and referrals from clients, athletes, agents and photographers who enjoy my work is what keeps my name out there and gets me hired

How did you get to where you are today?
Hard work, a positive attitude, being reliable, keeping up with what’s happening in fashion and sports and anticipating and expanding on my clients needs as well as the athletes wishes. It’s a fine balance keeping the client happy as well as the athlete, in some situations

As a skateboarder, how did you get in to styling sports stars?
I started out as a fashion stylist doing celebrities and fashion shoots and then met a photographer who specialized in only sports shoots and decided that I would make   
athletes and sports the main focus of my styling business as no one else was doing this. I then created and trademarked the term Sports Stylist.

What has been the best experience so far, as a stylist?
Meeting and working with athletes & photographers I admire and traveling the world to do it. Also creating a look for someone that makes them smile ear to ear & feel great when walking onto a talk show, down a red carpet, etc – then I know I have done my job well.

What are your next goals and ambitions for the up and coming future?
I am working on a book and some other projects that I can’t divulge quite yet.

Why do you love skateboarding so much?
I was one of the top ranked female vert skaters back in the day. I love skateboarding because its freeing and exciting and it makes you push your limits.

You must have to hang out with guys a lot whilst skateboarding, normally the stereotype for a sport loving, 'one of the guys' kinda girl would be a tomboy, not a girly girl, do you feel you fit in to that stereotype?
I always thought I was a bit of a tomboy growing up skateboarding with all guys, as I could hold my own in conversations and skating, but I did not realize at the time that my guy friends never really viewed me as a tomboy – they saw me more as a fun girl who could skate – it was really only other girls who would categorize me as a “tomboy” as I was doing what was considered a “guys” sport. I was always very feminine when I skateboarded.

Have you always loved fashion?
Absolutely! Not all my “fashion” choices in life should be talked about as some choices in the early years might be considered questionable, but even when I skated I had a “fashion style” that was unique

How would you desribe your style?
I would say that my style now is “gypset” or “boho chic” – I am very much into layering and having fun with it all without the obvious exterior labels so you never know if its an expensive piece or inexpensive as I feel that fashion is really all in the way you put something together, not what it costs

Who has been the best celebrity you've met?
I really can’t name just one as there are so many I have enjoyed meeting and working with over the years. But I do always have a soft spot for the female athletes I work with. (-:

Are you happy with where you are in life right now? Do you ever wish you'd taken another route in life? Done something else maybe?
I absolutely LOVE what I do and every day wake up thankful that I get to do what I love – its basically a dream career and I couldn’t ask for much more.

What piece of advice would you give to anybody aspiring to do what you do?
Do your homework, be willing to pay your dues by assisting a stylist to learn the ropes, work hard, listen and learn, and never give up on your dream.

Have you ever come across a sports star that's had a bit of a 'diva' stop, and refused to wear what you've picked for them?
Sure, it does happen, but that’s when we work “with” someone to find a look that we are both happy with – it’s a give and take some days but that’s all part of the job.

Do you ever feel intimidated by the big names you come across? It must be pretty nerve racking styling famous people.
They are really just like you and I so my experience is if you treat people the way you want to be treated and don’t become all star struck it all goes well.

Who is your idol?
Anyone who gives 150% at what they do, kicks ass and makes no excuses

What's your secret, as a stylist you must have lots of tips and tricks up your belt, care to share some?
Yep – use binder clips to cinch in an outfit fast when on set, sharpies can double as shoe polish if a boot or shoe is scuffed (if you have the right color), wrinkle free is a stylists best friend if there is no time for a steamer. Oh yeah – and always have a lint roller!

Do you still skateboard now? You say you're now a stylist, do you skateboard now as much as you used to?
I skateboard occasionally – I should find time and do it more often as I love it. But in order to be good enough to be happy with myself (skating a park) - more than once a week would need to happen and time doesn’t allow for that right now.

What was your fashion like growing up?
Pretty much the typical “California” hippie/surfer girl look

Which 5 things in your life could you not live without?
My family & friends
My dogs
The beach
Blackberry & computer

Have you ever considered styling celebs not linked to sports, for example singers or actors?
I used to do that and still do from time to time but now I am able to pick and choose who I wish to work with. I enjoyed working with Lyle Lovett as well as Felicity Huffman and James Denton from Desperate Housewives

What's the wildest thing you have ever done?
That’s probably not something I would want to share here. (-:

What's the most nerve racking thing you've ever done?
Flying into the Canadian Rockies in freezing weather and being dropped off by helicopter with all our gear + food, then all 5 of us being roped together with our guide to hike up to do a shoot as it was so dangerous. The helicopter left as the air was too thin and they radioed us every 20 minutes to make sure we were Ok. Having to pee while roped together with 5 guys isn’t fun or easy during a 6 hr day!

What was the happiest moment of your life?
Meeting Ian (now my husband) on a photo shoot in Cozumel, Mexico and bantering with him over dinner and just knowing this was a cool guy who could hold his own with me & “got me” and someone I would love to share my life with.

What was the happiest moment of your career?
When Michelle Kwan (the Olympic ice skater) was asked by INSTYLE Magazine what was the one fashion item should could not live without and she said my name on the red carpet of the Teen Choice Awards.

Who inspires your fashion decisions?
I find inspiration everywhere – the street, books, movies, magazines. So not really any one person but more the people and things around me shape my desires and decisions.

Are you happy in your own skin? Do you ever feel pressured to look a certain way, for example pressure from the media can cause women to feel down about themselves. Do you ever feel that pressure?
I feel lucky that I don’t really buy into that pressure. I think it really has to do with growing up athletic and being happy with who I am. Picabo Street (Olympic Skier) said it best in her autobiography – something about she was built to be bigger and strong so she could win races – we all have bodies that were meant to do something great for us. Be happy with that and stop comparing yourself to everyone else

Do you think you have to be skinny to be beautiful?
I wished people realized that only something like 1% of people in the world “look” like models. That means that they are the “different or odd” ones, not the rest of the girls out there… So the answer is absolutely NO, you do NOT need to be skinny to be beautiful. To me beauty is who you are as person – how you treat people, contributions you make, the way you live your life – its not a “physical” thing. I love Emme who broke barriers as a plus sized model years ago – she is gorgeous on the inside and out – that’s what its really about.

What does fashion and clothes mean to you?
I view fashion as art. For me it’s more exciting to look at amazing fashion than to go to an actual art museum. I crave it and feel a bit deprived if I do not have visual resources at my disposal.

Who is your favorite designer?
Wow – this will be a long one… I really like Maison Martin Margiela, I also love Marni and was lucky enough to meet and speak with Consuelo Castiglioni at a party, Rodarte is another fav and I love that those girls are from Pasadena, CA.
For everyday wear I am a big fan of easy pieces like Alexander Wang, The Row, Rick Owens, Isabel Marant, Helmet Lang, Thomas Wylde, A.L.C., Golden Goose (I live in their boots), Alexander McQueen, and Vanessa Bruno – things that layer well and look edgy.

Do you feel that music can influence fashion? What are your favorite bands/artists?
Absolutely! Music and fashion are very intertwined, There are so many musicians that you can look at and see how they have influenced fashion– think of the rock and roll look of Pat Benatar, the over the top fashion of Lady Gaga, the “kinder whore” look of Courtney love years ago, the androgynous look of Adam Lambert, The list goes on and on...I am all about listening to what fits the mood I am in at the moment – on my way to a shoot it may be something like “Paisley Pattern Ground” by The Black Hollies or “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga, or anything by the Foo Fighters gets me pumped up for work.

Read more on Cindy :

Isn't she just A-MA-ZING! Lovely woman, such a cool life style and she has been fabulous to interview, I have loved each and every one of her fabulous answers. I will deffinately be reading more about Cindy on her super cool website. Very interesting woman indeed! 

xx A xx


Fashion Wh0re said...

Yeah she is Amazing..Loved her interview really cool