Caitlyn Mahaffey: Fashion Stylist

Spotted: near Union Square, SF

Occupation: Fashion Stylist

How did you know that being a stylist was something that you wanted to do?

I've always loved fashion. I grew up with a fashionable mom and grandma but I ended up in a really small town in Idaho and so I kind of had to work with what I had, which really broadened my horizons. With fashion I was into making stuff interesting because I didn't have access to high end pieces. Then I came out here two years ago to study fashion at the Academy of Art and now I'm freelancing.

What are some examples of ways you had to be resourceful when you were starting out?

I got a lot of inspiration from being casual. In Idaho no one dresses up and so I took what I thought were casual pieces and tried to dress them up. I wear a lot of basic t-shirts, but I'll throw on a fancy necklace over it just to add something to it. Right now I'm just wearing whatever because I'm going to class but I always like to throw on something that's unexpected. So what I'm wearing is casual, but then I throw a bandana just to add something different.

Style-wise who are your current inspirations?

People-wise I really like Blake Lively because she always looks so natural and put together with whatever she throws on and it just works for her. So I aspire to be like that—no matter what I'm wearing, always look put together. As far as other inspiration, I look at a website called Trend Tablet a lot. It's not all fashion—its more like trends happening in the world—but not politic-wise. It's kind of hard to explain. They have this thing called Nomad which has plate pieces that people have made, different textiles, and food and so it kind of incorporates everything—show

ing that you can find inspiration no matter what.

So what are you up to today?

I just went to American Apparel and got a basic t-shirt. [laughs] Now I'm heading to class. I'm taking a digital photography class because I love being behind the camera styling-wise, but it's also nice to know how the camera actually works.

You sort of answered this earlier, but how do you define your personal style?

It's definitely casual. Most of the time people ask me if I just worked out or if I'm going for a jog or something because I really like dressing up sweatpants. I'll wear leggings, but then really cute boots with it, or baggy gray sweatpants with cute running shoes or something like that.

Is there a particular challenge that you've recently overcome?

Probably branching out from dark colors [laughs]; I've been known to gravitate toward blacks and grays. Recently I'm working on wearing brighter colors or things that make my eyes stand out.

What is your favorite part about your job?

That it's never the same. It's always the same aspect of styling, but the concepts are always different, the people I'm working with are always different and it always keeps me on my toes which is fun.

Tell me about what you're wearing today. I see a lot of tattoos here too. Any stories

on how those came about?

I was actually mugged in San Francisco and beaten up and it was a really traumatic experience, so I got this one—“we live with the scars we choose”—right after just to tell myself, you'll get through it, you just have to live with the scar of it. This other tattoo is the "om" symbol, I'm really into yoga. And I actually just got this one (points to eye tattoo on arm) on Halloween.

I was going to say, that one looks pretty brand new!

That's why my sleeve is pushed up, because I have lotion on it.

What inspired the eye tattoo?

I was just walking through Haight Ashbury and I walked into one of my favorite tattoo shops and it was a flash tattoo. Which means they just draw up these little tattoos and then they do them for really cheap. So I just felt compelled to get it done.

I like your tattoo anklet as well, that's pretty cool!

Oh yeah, my whole family is Catholic because we're Italian, so I got the rosary around my ankle.

So where did the rest of your outfit come from?

The converse came from PacSun, sweater and jeans from H & M, sunglasses— CVS pharmacy [laughs]. The bandana I actually use for snowboarding to cover my face from the wind. I just had it in my apartment and was like oh, I'll try it on!

That's a great backpack too!

This is from Urban Outfitters. But it's the brand Herschel.

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