An Interview With Stephanie Hayes ~ #FashionIsAStory

In Events, Fashion, Trends, Updates on September 21, 2017 at 3:51 am

A fashion followers favorite, Stephanie Hayes is the Features Editor at the Tampa Bay Times, overseeing all of the arts and entertainment coverage. She’s also one of the Deal Diva bloggers, writing for one of the region’s leading style blogs, Times Style, which provides the inside scoop on cool fashion, beauty and lifestyle finds and budget-friendly options for everyday people. In addition to her superb writing skills (she is a published author and wrote the book, Obitchuary), she has mad style game (you’ll see) and loves Beyonce just like every true style queen on the planet. Here’s a glimpse of Stephanie’s story…

What inspires you daily?
Never knowing exactly what my day is going to hold.

How did you pursue your career field?
I’ve always loved writing since I was a little kid, and I was determined to find a way to get paid for it. While going to community college and working at a record shop, I applied for an editorial assistant job at the Times. I’ve been here ever since, almost 15 years.

How do you or your organization help the Tampa Bay community?
We believe journalism is a cornerstone of democracy, and staying informed is the foremost thing anyone can do to participate in the community. In the features department, we keep readers informed about entertainment, art and fun things to do. But equally as important, in my mind, we put culture in context. Our critics and writers bring authority, thoughtfulness and experience to covering the music, movies, theater, fashion, visual art and pop culture that make our lives rich. It’s easy to tell you something exists. It’s more of a challenge to explore how and why something matters, and why you should pay attention.

How do you encourage creative thinking at the Tampa Bay Times?
In features, a team mentality is our jam. We have regular staff meetings to brainstorm ideas. Once a month, we all work within a prompt to come up with creative approaches to our work. What’s something you always wondered about? What’s a holiday story that hasn’t been written a million times? It’s amazing the connections you can make as a group if you just set aside regular time to talk. Also: snacks.

If you won a “Best Of” award, in what category would you win? (real or made-up category)
Best Karaoke Alone in the Car

A well-dressed person always has…

Describe your signature style in one sentence.
Sequins at noon are probably fine, right?

What piece of clothing do you wear every day or what item in your closet can you not live without?
My MAC matte lipstick in Russian Red. If you’re feeling a little meh, a swipe of red is the cure.

Do you have a favorite designer or which celebrity is your style icon?
I can’t afford it to actually wear this stuff, but if I’m scrolling runways on a lunch break, I stare at things that are a little extra. Zuhair Murad, Balmain. I’m inspired by women who dress like they aren’t afraid or hiding. I’d love to steal the wardrobe of Dr. Mindy Lahiri on The Mindy Project. In my own closet, I tend to have a lot of Betsey Johnson. I saw a BJ purse the other day with an actual telephone as the handle. I texted my friend: “I’ve never needed anything more or less.” One more note: required reading for anyone who wants to learn more about the roots of American fashion is Robin Givhan’s book, The Battle of Versailles.

What’s your favorite fashion trend?
I love high-low combinations. Sneakers with a cocktail dress, white tee with an embellished skirt, statement necklace with jeans. There are no rules.

Speed Round
Less or More? More!
Favorite Color? Peacock blue
Favorite Store? If I’m on a treasure hunt for some new stuff, probably Nordstrom Rack. But, secret: I get most of my work clothes at the excess inventory charity sales from Dress for Success, a nonprofit that I volunteer with.
Best spot to relax in the Tampa Bay region: Best kept secret you might walk right past: Marker 8 tiki bar in Dunedin.
Skinny Jeans or Bell Bottoms? You do you, but I’m a bit short for bell bottoms.
Heels or flats? Heels, flats in purse. Options!
Tie-dye, hot or not? Why not?
Dress, Skirt or Pants? A dress is the easiest way to fool people into think you’re fancy. It’s one and done.
Handbag, big tote, crossbody or tiny clutch? Clutch inside a big tote. Options!

Follow Stephanie on Instagram: @stephrhayes and Twitter: @stephhayes



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