It has been my professional pleasure and honor (yes indeed!) to work with — the one, the only, stylist to the stars — Zerina Akers on some amazing broadcast and digital projects. Zerina is so talented and professional but also so fun, humble, beautiful, and smart. Hanging out on set with her — even if we had to power through a 14-hour day — was always the best experience. So when she launched her latest Icons of Style collab with Macy’s, I was beyond excited. Kudos to Macy’s for working with these five Black visionaries to move the world of fashion forward. I’m just happy I can play a small part in this amazing, empowering movement. Brava, Zerina!
Some of you may already know that I’ve been a Copywriter/Creative Director for decades. I’ve worked at some of the biggest global Ad agencies, on some of the biggest (mostly beauty) brands, with some of the biggest (like super model!) talents. But I met Zerina once I went full-time freelance after my last Ad agency closed its New York Office. (Thanks, Leo Burnett. Not). Then, when I started collaborating with Tag Creative, a woman-owned agency in New York City. It was an eye-opening experience to work with such a powerhouse, woman-centric team, from concept to final spot, and we all owned it. Check out our work here: https://mpallegaert.com/pages/web/dark-and-lovely/dl-anthem.php
Without lambasting an industry I loved, and still love, the world of advertising is/was overwhelmingly controlled by men. It was always so crazy to be presenting creative concepts aimed at women consumers to a group of men who if they didn’t fall in love at first sight, would at best pooh pooh your ideas, at worst rip them apart. And then proceed to lecture you (a woman) on what women wanted, what resonated with them. Frankly, it was like a nightmare scene in MadMen. Today, only 11% of executives awarded the title of Creative Director are women.
But as you grow, you grow in confidence and grow a thicker skin. And learn your way around the nonsense to sell good (great!) work. I always loved when media testing results proved us right. Not to mention sales. And as a Boy Mom, I easily found my way around a mostly-male shoot crew and knew how to hang with them. But I can honestly say that 8 years into my career as a freelance consultant, not enough has changed. Here’s hoping.
Which is why meeting, and working with such a shining star as Zerina, was like a gift from Advertising heaven. I would be remiss if I didn’t credit my frequent photog Kristin as the one who introduced us all to Zerina. Thank you, KMG! Now more about Zerina. She is a New York-based Stylist most known for working with Beyonce. She’s also worked with Niecy Nash, Chloe x Halley, Sweetie, and so many more hot artists. Zerina is gorgeous and does gorgeous work. In 2020, she founded Black Owned Everything. A medium for creating meaningful and long lasting participation for Black-owned businesses in global commerce with a focus on fashion, beauty, design, and lifestyle brands. To learn more, visit https://blackownedeverything.co/.
But I can’t sign off without talking about this outfit! This eye-catching bandanna printed jacket and pants are two of the key pieces from Zerina’s latest capsule collection. Of course, I had to style them as a suit, but how great would each of these pieces be paired with other wardrobe options. I just wore the blazer with a white tee, dark wash jeans, and Gucci loafers. And it looked swell! The boot-cut pants would look great paired with a chunky black turtleneck and black booties. And they have a comfy, body-flattering elastic back waist!
As for accessories, my tee is a fave, and I love its SUPER LOVED message no matter what I wear it with. This fab white tote is from Telfar. I wrote more about this much sought after, Black-owned brand in this post. My advice is subscribe to the brand, and treat yourself when they have the next drop. My boots? A score when Coach had their designer sale. And heads up that Coach has the BEST sales.
Blazer: (sold out, Zerina Akers for Bar III x Macy’s, but check out the rest of the collection!)
Pants: (Zerina Akers for Bar III x Macy’s)
Tee: (old, Current/Elliott) Love this (under $16!), this and this.
Boots: (old, Coach) Similar here and here.
Photos by Kristin Moore-Gantz @artdirectthis. JC Mural by @Mr. Mustart.
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4 thoughts on “Star Powered Suiting”
Love your dress and boots especially! This is also such a good idea. Thank you so much for sharing.
Thanks so much for your kind comment, Mariann. I always love hearing that my blog followers are enjoying my posts. Cheers!
The question is are you the mural or is the mural a part of you? Are these casual looks reflecting the art or are they directing it? Something to consider because everything comes together just perfectly. Art, fashion and the all important “eye” that pulls it all together!
Wow, thank you, thank you. Love to hear this!