Los Angeles stylist Alec Lopez is a fashion powerhouse whose niche is lifestyle and branding. He works mostly with entrepreneurs and professionals who are looking to feel like the most confident version of themselves and embody what their business and mission are truly about. Most of his clients have been women who have dealt with difficult past experiences, such as a great loss or overcoming an illness.
He talked to The Click about his work and why he enjoys helping people achieve their perfect look.
The Click: Tell me a little bit about your childhood. Where did you grow up?
Lopez: I grew up in the suburbs in Orange County. I think one of the most important things about my childhood was that my family and I went back and forth to Mexico a lot and we would usually spend our whole summers there. I’m also the youngest of eight children, and my siblings were a huge part of my inspiration growing up.The Click: When did you know you first wanted to be a stylist?
Lopez: When I was in high school I sat down with my counselor, and I told her I wanted to study fashion, and my counselor said I shouldn’t because “There’s not a lot of money in the arts.” So I ended up being a BioMed student. Then I realized I didn’t enjoy it, so I switched over to business marketing, but deep down I knew that wasn’t my passion either. I eventually apprenticed with a lot of shops and boutiques and was able to start pursuing my dream.
The Click: How did you get to where you are now?
Lopez: When my sister was 21 she went through a divorce, and she wasn’t feeling very confident in herself, so I did the best thing I knew how and gave her a makeover. I took her shopping and completely transformed her wardrobe. Seeing the joy in her eyes, I realized I had a passion for transforming people into the best version of themselves. So I took a job working side-by-side with someone who was styling [in Los Angeles]. I eventually met one of her clients [Andrea] who owned a spokes modeling agency who did tradeshows, like Nissan, Audi, Nintendo, in Los Angeles and across the country. [She] connected me with some photographers in Los Angeles, and since then it’s been quite a journey.
The Click: Was it hard entering the fashion world as a Latin gay man?
Lopez: It was a bit hard in the sense that I felt like I always had to work harder than everyone else. I actually worked completely for free for a whole year as a stylist and assistant for photographers, while also maintaining a full-time job, in order to gain experience in the field. Though it was difficult, I was always extremely humble and just happy to be there, and [that] eventually paid off. I also always felt extremely accepted by the fashion community as a gay man and as a Latino. I’ve always felt like the fashion world is usually always ahead of every other industry when it comes to inclusivity.The Click: What would you recommend to someone who’s also trying to get into the fashion industry?
Lopez: Networking is huge. You don’t have to live in any major city in order to be a stylist, but you should be networking with your neighborhood boutiques and shops. I would suggest you also do a lot of research, and learn about styling like how to translate European sizes to American sizes, and how to measure men and women, things like that.
The Click: Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers?
Lopez: If you’re reading this and you’re interested in fashion, really invest in giving yourself that space. Invest in your business and invest in your dreams because that helps you visualize what you want, so that it’s more tangible.