(LOS ANGELES, Calif.) – “I don’t know what to do,” a young Cierra Zacchaeus-Bachore told her boss the day she arrived to style a room full of TV actors.
At the age of 19, Zacchaeus-Bachore was asked to co-style Omari Hardwick and Rotimi for the Starz series “Power.” What she thought was a mere assisting gig turned into a swim or sink moment and the start of her wardrobe styling career.
Zacchaeus-Bachore, 25, is a wardrobe stylist located in Los Angeles by way of The Bronx NYC.
“She’s achieved quite a lot of success in a very small amount of time,” says her mentor, Anthony Manfredonia.
However, this success did not come easily.
“When I first started, I was alone in NYC, I was paying rent by myself, I was going to college and I had three internships. I was kind of navigating myself and my own way. Plus, I haven’t had many nurturing bosses – besides Danny, my first boss – who know what a team should really be. It was like you’re assisting but still competing, and I don’t get that,” says Zacchaeus-Bachore.
Danny Williams, a New York based stylist, was more than Zacchaeus-Bachore’s first boss, he’s the first person who saw her as a stylist; even before she did.
As a public relations intern at an NYC fashion showroom, Zacchaeus-Bachore found herself inviting friends to the showroom to dress them as they modeled for her pictures.
“In my head, I’m still not connecting the dots of what I’m doing, I was just bored and needed something to do. Stylists would even come in and check out clothes for their clients…I still didn’t put two and two together,” Zacchaeus-Bachore says as she laughs at her younger self.
One day Williams came to the showroom and asked her if she was a stylist. After explaining she was not but bored at her internship, Williams invited Zacchaeus-Bachore to a shoot with him the following day. Upon arrival, she notices the entire cast of the Starz series “Power.”
“When Danny told me to style them I told him ‘No, I don’t know what to do,’” says Zacchaeus-Bachore.
With a cast of people waiting for her to dress them, she quickly figured it out.
She nervously picked out clothes from the rack and hoped for the best.
After co-styling the actors Hardwick and Rotimi, Zacchaeus-Bachore blurted out, “This is my first shoot!”
While everyone was shocked at Williams trusting the 19-year-old with such a major project, her styles were a success.
Over time, Zacchaeus-Bachore became so passionate about her work that she began styling superstars like Cardi B.
“She was a little rough around the edges,” her mentor Manfredonia said of her early days as a stylist.
“I don’t think anyone expected me to end up here,” she said.
At the age of 13, Zacchaeus-Bachore was placed into a foster care system.
“I bounced around a lot in my childhood,” the usually upbeat stylist said in a sorrowful tone. “ I was awkward so I was bullied … until my aunt told me to stand up for myself, ” she said.
It’s a lesson she carries with her as she builds her career, one outfit at a time, beaming with a witty Bronx-like confidence.
The trick, Zacchaeus-Bachore says is creating a mental bubble around herself to stay focused and turn down the noise in her life. She respects what she does and she loves her job; but at the end of the day, she says, it’s just clothes.