Chicago is a burgeoning city when it comes to impacting the style of day-to-day life. While it might not be big in the “fashion industry,” when it comes to shifting the needle of what is determined as stylish, Chicago has often been at the forefront of that conversation. From Kanye West and him changing the game with his backpack rap styles in the early 2000s and the impact, he is currently having on athleisure, to Law Roach who recently won the award for stylist of the year
Elizabeth Margulis better known as Big Hair Big City, better known as Big Hair Big City, is one of Chicago’s leading ladies pushing Windy City style to the masses. Liz has worked as a wardrobe consultant for the likes of Ravyn Lanae and Lido, while also serving as an editorial stylist for clients such as Nike, Splash Magazine, Sister Magazine, The Staycationers, and Sicky Mag.
Below we sit down with Elizabeth to discuss her journey to becoming a stylist, the process she has developed with her clients, and gather some advice for you other aspiring stylists who read this.
HFL: Who is Elizabeth Margulis?
Big Hair Big City: A persona of big hair: one of many 🙂 She’ energetic, loud, yet sophisticated. Always on the go but never misses a beat. Her Eyes are always dotted and her T’s are always crossed.
HFL: Why the name Big Hair Big City?
Big Hair Big City: Branding. We live in an age where branding is everything. From the packaging to the labels, the colors to the aesthetics, we all strive to have something that sets us apart from everyone else. My hair has always been what’s done that for me, even as a kid because it is big and it’s curly (laughs).
In this industry as a stylist, until you are on TOP, your name means nothing but your brand will speak for who you are.
HFL: Would you ever cut your hair?
Big Hair Big City: No, because my hair is truly a part of me and my essence. It is my brand, but it is me, it is what enables me to feel comfortable in my own skin.
HFL: Is helping people feel comfortable in their own skin the reason you became a stylist?
Big Hair Big City: I first started to style myself because I wanted to have self-expression and then it became fun because in high school I had friends that would say “you look so cool, would you dress me?” Then as I started to dig deeper with their personal style and whom they wanted to be, I was able to help them highlight express that art of self-expression.
HFL: What is some of the style advice you give to your clients?
Big Hair Big City: Well for the personal shopping clients the focus is on what works best for you and your body type. Just because peplum is trending doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Just because high neck with a lot of frills is beautiful doesn’t mean it’s going to make your body have the proper showcasing. Focus less on the runway and more on you. Find your own little outlets of joy, expressions, and flare.
HFL: What is your background as a stylist?
Big Hair Big City: My training came via assisting and being on sets. I worked with Helen Berkun for 3+ years. She took me in, and I learned how to be on high profile sets. How to work with brands, how to work with talent, and from what I saw I knew this is what I want to do.
HFL: Was there an ‘aha’ moment for you in your career?
Big Hair Big City: My ‘aha’ moment was the first shoot I was on with Helen. It was for Glossed and Found holiday editorial, and we had this bright pink bubblegum backdrop. We pulled from Saks, Neimans, and we had designers ship us stuff, and it was just something I’ve never felt before. I got home, and I called my mom to tell her about my day, and she stopped me and said, “I can hear you smiling through the phone.” From that moment forward I knew this was my calling.
HFL: What is one major misconception about being a stylist?
Big Hair Big City: That it’s all glitz and glam. It’s so much hard work; I’m a professional Schlepper. I carry bags all day every day.
HFL: What is the main difference between working with brands and being a personal shopper?
Big Hair Big City: For a brand, you’re telling their story. Either the story of the brand or the story they’re trying to tell at that moment. The ability to capture that narrative and bring that moment to life. Plus you don’t really know what is going to be in store for the day or for that moment until you get to the set and take in your environment.
For personal shopping clients, it’s about getting to know them and understanding their wants and needs. Getting to know their body shape. Find the right way to balance helping them smile and feel good about what they are wearing while also understanding everyone has parts of their body they want to hide.
HFL: Who are your favorite designers right now?
Big Hair Big City: Adam Selman
HFL: If you could style three people throughout history, who would they be?
HFL: Finish this sentence. Style is…
Big Hair Big City: Yourself
Written By: @Its_What_Ev