Olori Swank: Blue Hair Don’t Care

Originally published on Visionary Artistry Mag with photos here: http://www.visionaryartistrymag.com/2016/05/olori-swank-blue-hair-dont-care/

With one look, the first thing that stands out about Olori Swank is her stunning blue hair. Take that away and what you see next is a girl who’s got clear talent.

She picks the right accessories for the right clothes and has the track record to prove it. From music videos, to fashion spreads in your favorite magazines, Olori Swank has quite the portfolio.

“Everything I know about being a fashion stylist (from the creative end to the business end) is self-taught through observation, research, and trial-and-error. I kind of like to think of it as an independent study course at your choice University,” the stylist said with style websiteBeauty Schooled.

All of this self-taught wisdom paid off for the stylist. She has worked with rapper Childish Gambino, singer Dawn Richard, singer and actress Keke Palmer and Miss Georgia USA 2011Kaylin Reque. She puts together outfits appropriate for the setting, and showcases this in her personal wardrobe. Swank will use a few accessories, like a necklace and maybe a few bracelets with a flashy dress. For daily wear, she will toss on a Hanes v-neck and denim shorts paired with eye-catching heels, large earrings, a necklace as a chain draped across the shorts and, as always, her signature blue hair. You can even purchase some of her clothing and accessories through her website.

Though Swank didn’t formally study fashion, the Nigerian-American stylist graduated from the University of Georgia with honors. However, even at an early age, Swank already had a sense of fashion. While attending UGA, Swank decided to turn her love for fashion into something advantageous. She took time off from school when she met Mickey “MeMpHiTz” Wright, Jr., who was the VP of A&R at Jive Records during the time. He needed her to style a new artist he had just signed to the label, so she jumped in.

At that point, the accounting department of the label needed all of the particulars like tax information, which Swank hadn’t considered yet. “I wasn’t privileged enough to intern or assist anyone,” she says in the “About” section of her website. “It was like taking an independent study course in the fashion styling business, and my instructor was life.”

These days, anyone could be a self-proclaimed “stylist.” For Swank, this isn’t just about tossing some clothes together to make her outfits look good. This is a working art for Swank.

“I’d say the biggest misconception about being a stylist is that it’s an easy job [and] you just put a bunch of clothes together. It’s actually more complex than that. Being a stylist requires a whole lot of research. You must not only be ‘in the know’ on current trends, but you must follow the designers to predict what trends are upcoming,” the Atlanta-based stylist told Beauty Schooled.

Other than the blue hair, Swank is well-known for mixing and matching different brands and styles to create something of her own. Because of this, she’s been known to pair a plain t-shirt from Wal-Mart with more high-end accessories and clothing. Swank said in an interview that she’s known as “edgy and rebellious,” hating all things that are “predictable” and “appropriate.” She admires asymmetry, avoids matching and always has her eye on the prize. “I draw motivation from my strong will to win and my will to always be improving as an individual,” Swank explains on her website. “I believe my only competition is the person I was yesterday. What everyone else around me is doing doesn’t distract me.  I just want to be better today than I was yesterday.”

Aside from styling, Swank is also the Fashion Director for Kraze Magazine and occasionally writes for other publications. She’s authored her own book, “101: The Blueprint for A Swank Life,” where she answers questions and gives advice on topics from fashion, entrepreneurship, health and relationships. From researching and styling other people, to making sure her own outfits are top-notch, to writing about fashion and her life, Swank is surrounded by the fashion world. She keeps in mind that inspiration is everywhere and certainly uses it to her advantage.

-Geneva Toddy


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