Doria Santlofer is a freelance stylist, creative consultant and writer. She is of the rare breed we like to call "native New Yorkers", and she's got the "cool girl" style to prove it. She's one of those people that you see at an event or restaurant and you just know they are in the creative industry, because they look so effortless in what they're wearing. Her extremely impressive professional roster includes Teen Vogue, Wonderland, Details, Refinery 29, Target, Nordstrom Rack, ShopStyle, Clark’s and Gap (just to name a few). She also recently successfully funded a very personal project on Kickstarter. Needless to say, Doria is a very awesome lady and I really look up to her.
Continue reading to learn about where she likes to shop, how she keeps her head up when things get tough, and what makes her proud to be her!
Follow Doria on instagram @doriasantlofer
Where do you find your inspiration?
Documentaries, making playlists, city walking, and lots of phone-free dinner conversations with my friends.
What’s your special sauce? That little trick you do before walking out the door to perk you up and make you feel your most you?
I put on some of my perfume oil, play whatever song I’m currently obsessing over (Drake), and kiss my cat, Norma Jean.
Who are your mentors? Who do you look up to?
My dad! He’s an artist and a writer. Not only is he one of my best friends, but he’s always been my creative mentor. All around, a pretty cool guy.
What makes you happy no matter what? Like if you’re having one of those no good rotten days where everything is terrible, what’s the thing that pulls you off the ledge?
Yoga, wine, pasta and the company of my best girl friends, they are very wise and have pulled me off of a few ledges. Professionally, though, when it feels like everything is falling apart, the one thing that truly helps is working on a creative project. When I get lost in something that is just for me, as hard as that can be on a dark day, the world is usually set right again.
Where do you shop for closet staples?
I wear a lot of vintage Levis. The 512s, which were only made in the 80s and 90s, are my favorite style so I’m always searching for pairs. For black and white tees I love Acne and Barking Irons, and Brandy Melville is my secret source for cheap ones.
Where do you go to find your special thing?
Vintage scouring and Maryam Nassir Zadeh for shoes.
What’s your formula for a killer outfit?
Jeans and a black tank, tee, or turtleneck depending on the season plus white sneakers, oxfords or pumps, depending on where I’m going. I dress people everyday as my job, so I tend to stick to a pretty classic uniform when dressing myself.
Tell us a story. What is your earliest memory of making a conscious decision about your style?
I played dress up non-stop as a kid. I’m lucky to have a very fashion-forward grandmother with a walk-in closet the size of studio apartment. When I was younger, I’d spend hours in there putting outfits together. She is probably the reason I ended up becoming a stylist.
What’s something you struggle with in your career?
Enjoying my time off. As freelancer, my work schedule is always in flux. Some weeks I’ll have three jobs at once and then I’ll be off on a random Tuesday. I always try to fill my down time with personal projects, but I do think its important to rest and recharge when I’m not on a job and I often struggle with letting myself truly relax.
Tell us about a time when you hit a breaking point, a fork in the road? Have you ever wanted to quit and run away to Bali?
Can I leave tonight? I am not a big fan of New York winters…
What is the skill you picked up as a kid/teen that you still rely on today (i.e. teaching yourself html/powerpoint/etc., getting what you want from mom and dad, making a great sandwich)?
I have a theory that my parents forgot to teach me a lot of the 101 stuff- telling time on a clock, for instance, or tying my shoes the right way. But, I am blessed with lovely handwriting. I take all of my notes in an actual paper notebook and I send a lot of postcards to friends. I firmly believe that a pen on paper is the key to creative note-taking and expressive thought.
What are you most proud of thus far in your life? Can be career or non-career related.
I worked full time as the fashion editor at New York Magazine for several years and when I left to go freelance in 2010 it was definitely a really hard transition. I’m really thankful that I stuck with it because it only gets better and better. Within a couple of years I got an agent and now I get to work with so many amazing clients. On a personal level, I recently raised over $32k on Kickstarter for Food City, a book my mother had been working on when she died just over two years ago. I had no idea how involved the Kickstarter would be when I started and it was a very emotional process, but the outpouring of generosity, press and love was truly incredible. I feel very lucky that I had something tangible I could do for her- it was cathartic in a way- and I do feel very proud that I’ll be able to have a part in bringing her work into the world.
What is the one thing you throw on when you head out the door that gives you that warm glow from deep in the tummy that says, “I know I look good”?
Lip balm for sure. Anyone who knows me knows that I get a little stressed if I don’t have lip balm or water close by! A 100% battery charge on my iPhone gives me a warm feeling, too.