Dione Davis is a woman of many talents. Her day job is as the in-house stylist at Tibi, an über-chic, under-the-radar designer collection that’s favored by fashion insiders and C-suite executives. Davis is like many of the brand’s core customers, who tend to be successful women in creative fields: She pivoted into fashion after suffering an injury as a ballet dancer, and for laughs, she does stand-up comedy at night. The Glow Up caught up with Davis to learn the graceful steps she took to make her new hustle flow.
The Glow Up: I want to hear how you started your journey into fashion.
Dione Davis: I had a very unconventional start in the fashion industry. I was a ballet dancer. I got injured. Since I had a degree in PR, I decided to move to New York. I worked retail seven days a week at Tibi. I became a stylist through a case of mistaken identity. A major magazine editor, whom I was only supposed to be delivering samples to for a shoot, mistook my email for someone else’s and booked me as her assistant for the day. The rest is history.
TGU: What drew you to styling instead of staying in dance?
DD: I’m actually from Alabama, and when I still lived there, when you go to the mall, your options were a handful of department stores and then Forever 21. I would always go and dig at random vintage stores and find interesting designer pieces from the ’80s and early ’90s. I really loved trying to style things together and make something out of nothing, essentially.
TGU: What’s the most challenging part of your job?
DD: You know, I don’t really think about it much because I love it so much. It can be a challenge to kind of figure out where to focus my time and energy on any given day. I feel like sometimes it’s hard to switch gears, to go out of town and give a talk at a department store, and then I have to come back downtown and start on something completely unrelated.
TGU: OK, on the flip side, what was the most fun part?
DD: I mean, the most fun thing for me is always when the collection comes out and we finally get to go in and play with the clothes. That is my absolute favorite part. It’s basically like playing with dolls, you know. Even just kind of imagining where the person is going in the outfit. It takes a lot of, like, using their imagination, and that’s my favorite part of my job.
TGU: Advice for someone starting a career as a stylist now in the age of Instagram? What are some of the best avenues they can take in order to enter the business and become successful?
DD: So especially since the market has changed practically overnight with Instagram, I really do think that just having that desire and also not being afraid to reach out to stylists that you admire is so helpful. I have people that randomly DM me on Instagram or contact me on the weekend and ask me, “Hey, how did you get started?” And it really does help you kind of iron out your path and get your foot in the door. I think starting small is important, too.
TGU: What do you do for fun? It’s important to give people a slice of life.
DD: So, actually I do stand-up comedy as my hobby, which is the equivalent of skydiving because it is terrifying but it’s so much fun. It is probably the hardest thing ever but I absolutely love doing it. I have really funny parents, so it was always something that came to me; like, my dad was one of the funniest people ever.
I also have a writing background. And so I just kind of turned that into something as my hobby. I also really, really love karaoke. Like, any time I can get more than 10 people together in the same night, karaoke is going to happen.
TGU: What is your go-to foundation and lipstick?
DD: So I actually use Giorgio Armani foundation; it’s amazing and they have a color that’s the perfect match for me. For lipstick, I usually just do a classic red. I have a Chanel wine. I want to go buy this Fenty one, actually, because I’m obsessed with everything she’s doing right now.