Birmingham-based stylist Stacie Bernard on how her passion for fashion led to starting her own business, and the big trends coming in 2021 (hint: think pink!)
By Rachel Schostak
Photography by Kat Stevenson
When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, chances are you’ve promised yourself you’d eat healthier or hit the gym more often. But have you ever made resolutions when it comes to your closet? That’s where Stacie Bernard comes in. As the founder of Stacie Blair Styling, the Birmingham-based stylist and personal shopper, 32, helps clients do everything from purge and rework old clothes to invest in new and refreshed pieces.
After a decade of working in the fashion industry in Toronto and New York, Bernard launched her business in July to provide virtual style services — ranging from a one-time consult to ongoing support — to clients nationwide. “One of the biggest complaints I hear is that shopping online is confusing and time consuming,” she says. “The pandemic provided a new way to think about fashion and shopping.” We caught up with Bernard to ask about her style and the trends shaping up to be hot for 2021.
Can you share a bit about your entrepreneurial / fashion journey?
Long story short, an internship at a designer turned into a position at Michael Kors, [and] I ended up in various corporate retail and wholesale positions for over a decade. After Michael Kors I worked at [clothing brand] CAMI NYC. I got exposed to all aspects of the business: I saw it from the very early stages until launch, which definitely helped when I launched my own company.
What inspired you to start your company?
I always used to style my friends and family for fun — it was purely a hobby. One of my core competencies is being a masterly researcher. If you’re looking for a unique handbag only found in Europe, I’ll find it. The pandemic provided a new way to think about fashion and shopping; I wanted to launch a business that would meet people’s needs at this time. My goal is to utilize more local retailers when people are comfortable shopping in stores.
What big trends are you seeing for 2021?
Some of the major trends I’ve seen for spring are sporty/stylish sweatsuits, denim, bold floral prints crochet detailing and statement shoulders. I’m so not over tie-dye — I’ve loved it since before it was a big trend.
And pastels are in! Pink, specifically, is a big color this season, used in both soft and bold bubblegum shades. Chanel, Miu Miu and Molly Goddard featured pink in their spring collections.
How can people incorporate some of the seasons’ trends into their wardrobe?
I always suggest sprinkling trends into your wardrobe. Sometimes you’ll get very, very excited about a trend, buy several pieces and get sick of it in a couple months. If you can’t see yourself incorporating a trend into your weekly wardrobe rotation, consider fast-fashion retailers that won’t break the bank such as H&M, Zara and Mango. Also, a pop of color is an easy way to incorporate a warm-weather trend while it’s blizzarding outside. For example, wear a pink pastel sweater with denim and booties.
What are three key pieces everyone should have?
An “updated” white button-down — something oversized, or with ruffles or playful trim details; a leather jacket that can be worn year-round as a jacket or layering piece; and embellished sneakers. They’re the easiest way to dress up a basic outfit without much effort.
What’s your current must-have item?
Joggers. They can be worn both casually at home or dressed up with a blouse and strappy sandals. As for specific brands, for the athletic-casual look I like tkees and for dressier options I like Aritzia.
You’re never fully dressed without…A hairband! I’m a huge fan of Lele Sadoughi’s hairbands, and I have a collection that continues to grow every season. Her face masks are also in my rotation.
Three words to describe your own style?
Feminine, polished, playful.
What are some of your favorite brands?
Ulla Johnson, LoveShackFancy and H&M. Both Ulla Johnson and LoveShackFancy define my style to a tee: perfectly feminine yet polished. I visit H&M for a quick fast-fashion fix; if I’m looking for a trend that I only want to wear one season, H&M is reliable for offering stylish pieces at an affordable price.
What’s the most cherished item in your closet?
My first pair of Chanel black ballet flats, one of the first gifts my husband bought me early in our relationship.
Who or what inspires your style?
Seeing designer runways and seeing what the trends are. I love going on Vogue.com during fashion week and seeing what the designers are putting out and then putting my own take on a certain trend or style. As for my style icon: Princess Diana. She was sporty but put-together. Her style is relevant any time and isn’t trendy — it’s classic.
Do you have any words to live by?
If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
Join Stacie and fashion editor Rachel Schostak for “SEEN’s Style Night In,” a virtual styling and trend-focused event at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 26. Registration is free but space is limited. Register at seenthemagazine.com.