Fashion Stylist & Entrepreneur Shawn Michael
Nothing is going to stop this fashion 'DIVO' from achieving his goals in the fashion industry. We had a chance to interview the fashion stylist, Shawn Michael about his experience in the fashion industry and he even shows off his humorous and inspiring personality in the interview and he also tells us why he would be a perfect fit for reality television in the near future.
Travon: Hey Shawn! It’s so great to interview you today for the Fall Issue. Well, let’s get started with the interview. First off, I love your style. Great choice of interest. Where does your style come from?
Shawn: First of all, thank you for the interview opportunity and for noticing my style [laugh out loud]. My style is a directive reflection of my personality and who I am, and you know what they say 'you never get a second chance to make a first impression'. I want people to see me and know the type of person that I am. I want that to be my first impression. I want people to look at me and my style to tell them that I am confident, strong, a leader, and so much more. So, being that my style reflects my personality you can say my style comes from the way that I was raised and the morals instilled in me by to my mother making me the man I am.
Travon: What made you want to pursue a career in Fashion and what’s your favorite thing about the Fashion Industry versus other industries?
Shawn: I have loved fashion every since I was a little girl playing dress up in my mother’s boudoir! [laughs loudly]
Travon: I am screaming so loudly right now. Not little girl playing dress up. Boy, boy, boy! [laughs]
Shawn: But, no! Seriously, fashion has always been something that spoke to me. When I was younger, I would steal my sister’s Barbie and dress her up. Fashion is everything to me. Fashion is more like a lifestyle than an industry.
Travon: What sets you apart from other Fashion Stylists?
Shawn: Hmmm [laughs], that is an excellent question. I honestly never sat down and thought what makes me different from other stylists. I’d always just been like hey I’m a stylist I’m here [laughs]. But, no! Really. I think what sets me apart from other stylists is the way I like to style. Even touching on my own style, I’m one whose perspective takes to the look of the gentleman and a lady. When I style, of course, I like to make things modern and sexy but, I also like to make people feel confident and independent. I love for my clients to portray their inner gentleman and lady.
Travon: What do you like better, being a Fashion Stylist or being a Fashion Show Producer?
Shawn: WOW! This is a tough one. I don’t think I necessarily like one more than I like the other. They are really in 2 different ballparks. With being a stylist, I get to make people look and feel fabulous while being a fashion show producer I get to put on a show and create an experience for guest. Through creating that experience, I get to show a whole different side of me creatively. So, they both have are a lot of fun for me.
Travon: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Shawn: Spare time? What’s that? Honestly, I am always working in some capacity. I have so many projects that are in the works for my own brand as well as I do work for other people. However, when I do have time to just chill I like to hangout with friends and turn up. Just ask any of my friends. They’ll tell you I [would] be on [the] twerk team. Most people don’t believe it but, I am really a homebody most of the time. I love chilling at home and just watching my shows on television. [laughs]. Even when I’m just watching my shows, I’m usually getting work down at the same time.
Travon: Who would you consider your fashion inspiration and/or icon?
Shawn: You just have all sorts of tough questions for me. There are so many different inspirations and icons that I look up to. Rachel Zoe, Brad Goreski, Anna Wintour, and so many more [laughs]. My list goes on and on. But, there are some inspirations that I do have in my life currently. Julian Lark, who is Editor-In-Chief of Kontrol [magazine], is an amazing stylist and a great businessman. I love working with him and I get to learn so much from him. All of my friends and schoolmates who are pursuing their dreams and are put in major hard work are all inspirations to me.
Travon: Tell me about a time that you felt that you was unable to accomplish something, but resume to the task and then accomplish your goal within that task and/or project at the end of the day.
Shawn: Honestly, it’s hard to just point out one time where I came across obstacles. I mean, that’s what life is all about. There have many instances where I felt that I was unable to accomplish something at first but, like always I go to a mirror and give myself a little pep talk. I just remind myself that 'I am Shawn Michael' and that I can do whatever it takes to set my mind to.
Travon: How is it like working for Kontrol Magazine, one of the hottest and most popular magazines in the South?
Shawn: I love working at Kontrol Magazine. I learn so much and get to meet so many amazing people. Yeah, it’s a lot of hard work and a lot of long hours but it’s all worth it.
Travon: What’s one thing that irritates you about how people dress in Atlanta?
Shawn: Lord, let me tell you.
Travon: Preach! [laughs]
Shawn: One of the biggest things that grinds my gears about how people dress in Atlanta is how ratchet a lot of the fashion is. For instance, lets talk about leggings. I need for these females to realize that leggings are not pants. Granted I will let leggings slide in certain ways but, females need to learn what leggings those are [what they are for]. Shear leggings cannot be worn as pants and the sooner females learn that the happier I will be.
Travon: Who’s your favorite designer and how has that designer made a big impact to your style?
Shawn: Favorite designer? Well now, let me think. I honestly can’t say that I have a favorite. There are so many designers whose work I just love. I really don’t think I can say that I have a favorite.
Travon: Who’s the most interesting person you’d met in your life that keeps you smiling and laughing?
Shawn: Again, I can’t just pick one [laughs]. There are so many different people that I have met that I have just clicked with and I have a great connection with and that when we’re together it’s all smile and laughs.
Travon: What are your plans after graduating from Bauder College, which is not long from now?
Shawn: YAS [yells excitingly]! Finally, I am coming to the end of my time in school. I have really been in school my entire life and I need a good break to just live life and really pursue my dreams full force. So, when I do finish, there will be big things in store. I will be doing a lot more styling, more shows, and I will have my clothing line in production. My clothing line is definitely something I am excited about. I have always wanted to do my own clothing line and to be in a position where I can make my vision come true is absolutely amazing and a true blessing from God. My plan is to actually launch my clothing line, Luxe, in February which is 2 months before I am done with school. I also am planning a Cancer Gala for the Fall/Winter of next year. So, if people think that I’m really doing stuff now, then when I finish school my calendar is just going to fill up even more.
Travon: If someone was to give you a talk/reality show, would you take the offer and if so, what would you name the show and how would you vision yourself [such as your lifestyle] on the show? Would it be funny, shady, mean, drama-ish or just plain fabulous?
Shawn: Now, everyone who knows me knows that I was made to be on reality television. As for a name for the show, I’m not sure but, I do know what I want it to be about. I want to be on a reality show [with] about a few select individuals who are coming up in the fashion industry. I don’t really want a show that is all about me. I feel like that's too much me even for me [laughs]. This show would be a mixture. There’d be lots of fashion but, of course, there will be a little drama - there always is [drama] when you have different personalities. And you know, if I’m in the mix, there would be so much "SSSHHHAAAAAAADE!!!" [In my Tamar Voice]. Lastly, the show would be nothing but, plain fabulous because 'I am Shawn Michael'. A talk show would be fun also. I don’t know that I would want a talk show all to myself, though. I would want to do something like The View, The Talk, and The Real only with men both gay and straight. I want to be able to debate my opinion on different topics fashion, politics [laughs], even sports.
Travon: What would you tell those that are trying to follow your footsteps?
Shawn: This is one question that I think about all the time. One thing that will always be important to me is being able to inspire others. Those who are trying to follow my footsteps I want to tell them not to be afraid to pursue your dream. I used to be so afraid to go after what I want in life because, I was afraid of failure but, those same feelings are what helped push me. I have come to realize that I can do anything that I set my mind to which leads to another thing I want to tell people. You don’t want to limit yourself. I remember when I first decided to pursue my dream in fashion and I said that I wanted to be nothing more than a Stylist. That has changed so much. Now, I’m a Stylist, I do production, I’m becoming a designer, I creatively direct, and I’m the Location Coordinator [at the time of this interview; Shawn had received a new promotion as the Production Coordinator] for Kontrol Magazine. There are so many different avenues that I plan to pursue. Never limit yourself to anything but, just make sure that you don’t overwhelm yourself and you clearly map out your goals and when you want to achieve them.