Alumni Spotlight: Nicola Harrison-Ruiz

October 21, 2015



This week we're featuring Paid Stylist Committed Program alumni, Nicola Harrison-Ruiz of Harison Style. Nicola is a personal stylist based in New York. Read on to learn more about her transition from Fashion Journalism to becoming a business owner and stylist.

1) What did you do before you became a personal stylist?

Prior to starting my personal styling business, I was a fashion journalist for both men’s and womenswear. I was the style writer for Forbes, an editor at MR, a men’s fashion mag, and I’ve written style columns for Lucky and various New York-based publications, so I was pretty ingrained in the fashion industry. Friends always asked me for tips on what to wear and how to wear it, and it became clear that this was the next step for me. I still love to write so blogging about my work comes easily to me.


2) Where in your city is your favorite place to shop with clients? Any hidden gems you'd like to share?

For staple pieces, I like to start off at Saks, Barneys or Bloomingdales, or even the new Brookfield Place down by the Freedom Tower because we can accomplish so much without having to take taxis all over town. But for the special statement pieces and accessories I love to go to boutiques in the Lower East Side like Yumi Kim or Reformation, or Darling in the West Village. For my male clients I absolutely love Rothman’s in Union Square.


3) What are your favorite styling tips or tricks? 

About half of all my clients are men, and the concept of a personal stylist is often new or unfamiliar. The trick is to get them into an outfit right at the beginning of a shopping trip that wows them. If they are looking for business attire, I find an awesome-fitting suit, shirt and tie combo in a color scheme they’ve never tried before and all of a sudden I have their attention.


One thing I’ve learned over the past few years is that my clients want to enjoy this process, they are usually looking forward to it. In the past they’ve hated shopping or felt overwhelmed but now they can feel relaxed and cared for knowing that their wardrobe needs are in the hand of a professional. For many people this is a luxury, some have taken the afternoon off work to indulge in this shopping and styling excursion so I try to remember that. I don’t make them feel rushed even if I know we’ve got two more stores to visit and we haven’t even looked at shoes yet. I bring really good salted caramel chocolate or almonds and try to make this not just a functional necessity, but a fun day out.

Follow Nicola on Instagram here.

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