Fashion Forecast: Stylist Zerina Akers Has Got Your Color

Veronica Webb at the 2018 Dove Studio Styling Session
Veronica Webb at the 2018 Dove Studio Styling Session
Photo: Dove/Unilever Brands

Fashion is one of my favorite conversations—I say, the more the merrier. So when imaging expert Zerina Akers says, “Hey, come meet me and let’s talk spring trends,” I say it’s time to get your chat on, ladies.

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Akers’ client list currently includes Ava DuVernay, Yara Shahidi and Niecy Nash, to name a few. But her regular gig is as curator of Beyoncé’s personal wardrobe, meaning that when Queen Bey slings Sir and Rumi on her hips and grabs Blue Ivy by the hand to board her private jet, Akers has a hand in dressing her.

Akers and I met for the first time for a styling session, sponsored by Dove and fashion forecaster Fashion Snoops. Akers has a sweet, unassuming manner; there’s a genuine warmth to her that instantly puts the entire room at ease, yet also makes you ask yourself the uneasy question, is my #ootd as on point as hers?

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Besides having a keen eye for proportion and silhouette, top stylists like Akers share inside info with trend-forecasting companies like Fashion Snoops, which predict fashion’s mood—sexy or slouchy—and what colors designers will choose to cut collections in for up to two years in the future.

Akers and Lilly Berelovich, president of Fashion Snoops, greeted me at the door of a “breather room”—a kind of by-the-hour Airbnb arrangement for business suites. Both women were wearing boxy, double-breasted crepe de chine suits—Akers in powder blue and Berelovich in power red.

As we sank into a couch while tea, sushi and macaroons were served, Berelovich, a gently authoritative woman who looks a bit like French first lady Brigitte Macron, pulled out an iPad.

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“Color trends come from cultural needs,” she said. “Red,” she continued, “represents power.”

I then noticed that Berelovich was evoking Hillary Clinton in her red suit as she cited the Women’s March and Times Up movement as motivating factors in designers’ use of primary red on the recent Fall/Winter 2018 runways. Gender identity and #MeToo are topics hot on everyone’s lips right now.

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Blush pinks will also be prominent this spring through winter 2019. “Blush,” she said, showing me on the Fashion Snoops color chart, “represents sensuality.” Fashion Snoops’ color chart forecast is the same one that major design houses pay small fortunes for. But in collaboration with Dove, it is currently available to everyone via an interactive page on the website.

Illustration for article titled Fashion Forecast: Stylist Zerina Akers Has Got Your Color
Graphic: Fashion Snoops (Dove)
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Part of that collaboration was this event for editors and influencers, to play with 2018’s color trends. To make the color experiment fun, Zerina had sent a preliminary questionnaire asking for our favorite four designers—mine were Balmain, LaQuan Smith, Pyer Moss and Tracy Reese—so that we could all be styled in a different way than we normally see ourselves.

Fashion Snoops’ 2018 forecasting indicates pinks moving to purples, as well as more shocking colors like fuchsia and marigold yellow, as trending for the next few seasons. After I took a quick turn at the makeup table, Akers whisked me over to a rack hung like a rainbow with the colors of the season.

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As much as I love putting together my own outfits, it’s also a real treat to have someone style you. After thousands of fashion shoots, for me, it never gets old. Sweaters with sleeves that stuck up as stiff as the fins of marlin, paired with asymmetrical skirts and shirts with plunging necklines in rose and hot-pink silk, screamed, “Pick me! I’m waiting for you!”

But the one I was waiting for was a marigold double-breasted power suit from Zara (there’s a lot to be said for the influence of the tribe, since both Akers and Berelovich greeted me in power suits).

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Veronica Webb, styled by Zerina Akers for the Dove Studio Styling Session
Veronica Webb, styled by Zerina Akers for the Dove Studio Styling Session
Photo: Dove/Unilever Brands

You can check out Akers’ style guide for the shopping looks of the season and for updating the clothes you already have here. But what were my three fashion-forecasting takeaways from our styling session?

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  • Replace your pricey athleisure look with a relaxed, double-breasted suit in a bold color.
  • Get clear with acrylic heels and details on shoes and accessories—think chunky heels and clear bags—to update any look.
  • To avoid white marks transferring to your clothes from deodorant, Dove has the ultimate beauty hack for you: Dove Invisible Dry Spray is specially formulated not to leave white marks on over 100 different colors.
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So as we roll into summer and look ahead to fall, go bright, be bold, have fun and let us know: What colors give you your glow up?

Veronica Webb and Zerina Akers
Veronica Webb and Zerina Akers
Photo: Dove/Unilever Brands

Veronica Webb loves Detroit, speaks French, is addicted to French fries, French fashion, runs an 8 minute mile and can never find her keys. www.webbonthefly.com

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DISCUSSION

theroo
Rooo sez BISH PLZ

I’d say “one day I hope to be the facing picture for my own column”, except that I’m never going to look that fabulous

I’m glad I do have that blush pink and that lavender in my nail color wardrobe for spring, though

#HardWorkToBeChic