Styling has always come naturally to Alexis Badiyi. It’s her “gut call,” she says. “Since I was a kid, I’ve just been playing with things — seeing what hits, what works and what doesn’t.” Over her career, she’s honed that gut feeling by working on many different types of jobs in fashion — she interned as a trend forecaster, bought for a boutique, worked in textiles at Helmut Lang and Ralph Lauren, and ultimately took the leap to become a full-time, freelance stylist.
Her style veers on the classic side — with a bit of whimsy. There is usually a touch of men’s wear and an engaging, sculptural shape in her accessories like bags, shoes, and jewelry. “There’s something a bit playful as well,” she says.
We chatted with Alexis to understand the ethos behind her styling choices, how she discovers new designers to work with, and what it means to be part of the new vanguard of street style.
Do you have any style rules you live by or rules you like to break?
I feel like I don’t have any specific color rules. I love to try things differently — wear things backward, upside down, tight, or layered. Unless it’s an editorial full look that needs to be just designer head to toe.
I have a few quirks, especially for jobs or if I’m having a really busy week like Fashion Week, things need to be hung in order by day, divided, steamed, lint rolled, impeccable. If everything is organized, prepped, and perfect, then I can play and make it imperfect.
How do you find your looks for Fashion Week? What does that process look like?
I treat it like a gig and I’m the client. I want to make it as lovely as I can for myself because I know that that week can become a bit stressful. If I am scrambling to find an outfit on the spot the night of, I probably won’t make it to the event. So I have a rack. I make a schedule of everything that I was invited to. I’ll reach out to brands and see if they’re offering to let me borrow a look for the show to support and represent the brand when I go.
I’ll also contact some of my favorite designers that I want to support. From there, I’ll just build out looks for each day. I’ll do a run-through where I pull everything I’d want to wear and then try on outfits, adjust things that aren’t working, choose accessories, take a photo, and prep the look for the day. Then I will add all the images of the confirmed looks to a folder so that when I’m quickly running and changing, I can open the folder, look at it, and remember: “Okay, this is how I tied this thing; this is the shoe; these are the tights; these are the credits to tag and then these are the items that need to be sent back.”
How do you find these young designers, and how do you cultivate your relationship with them?
I feel fortunate that many of my friends make cool things. I would support them regardless, but the fact that they make things that I genuinely want to wear makes it easy. That’s one. And then two: I feel like I’ll come across other designers through my friends and being in New York. I’m pretty extroverted. I’ll just reach out and schedule a visit to the studio or see them over Fashion Week. And support their collection by wearing their clothes, or anytime I get an opportunity to do any press, I’ll mention them. It’s a special thing to connect with the designer initially and then see them evolve and grow. I love seeing our community develop in that way. It’s so exciting to see people win.
Can you name-drop a few of the up-and-coming designers you love to support?
I like: Gemsun, Zoe Gustavia, Anna Whalen, Michelle-Louise Del Rio (she had her first show this season.), and Haus Label — they make the best-fit basics that can be swimwear or layered pieces. I wore them all week because they are waterproof and fit super-well. I also really love Agmes Jewelry. She’s a good friend.
I also love Toteme, Issey Miyake, Interior, Maryam Nassir Zadeh (I’m missing her shows!), Maria McManus — her collection was really, really beautiful this season. I also Bevza. And another friend brand that I must say: Emily Dawn Long.
You’re going to Paris; does your creative process change? How do you pack for Fashion Week?
For Paris, I am going to keep it pretty mellow. I tend to wear a lot of my own clothes there as well. The weather will also be much more forgiving than New York Fashion Week. There’s something about Paris that I find to be a bit calmer, people are just really wearing a lot of their own clothes. It’s more about quiet, personal style as opposed to New York, which can feel very done up in a way.
If I can’t wear something in New York, I will save it for Paris. This season, with lots of the looks I pulled, I couldn’t really wear them during New York Fashion Week because of the weather. So I was like: “Can I keep this for Paris? I’d still love to wear it,” and then roll those things over.
Where do you like to shop, and what are a few of the last things you have purchased?
My closet is a lot of vintage, smaller designers that are friends, and a handful of really mindfully purchased luxury items. I shop a lot online. In person, I love Ending Soon. They’re a great vintage shop.
I got a pair of silver Asics sneakers to run around Fashion Week with, a camera lens for a shoot I’m working on, and a fan because I was just absolutely dripping this season. I got a silk one, but then I also got an electric one. We need both.