Today we’d like to introduce you to Francesca Roth.
Francesca, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
After working in the art and fashion-retail world in New York City, I moved back to Los Angeles (where I am from) in 2009 to finish my undergraduate degree. While studying creative writing, I created My Grandma’s Closet, an online vintage store named for my Grandma Sylvia’s amazing fashion sense. My Grandma’s Closet selection of vintage was spawn from my eye for fashion and personal style choices, but I became even more eager to pursue its success once becoming environmentally conscious and aware of the positive impact encouraging others to purchase recycled clothing could have on the environment and our society. I grew the business to accommodate wholesale orders naming Urban Outfitters as my biggest client. It has since evolved into a hand-picked, curated collection of novelty and designer vintage that I find and love, naturally reflecting my taste and style.
Having inventory on hand naturally lead to my styling career. In 2012, I shifted the focus of my work from running My Grandma’s Closet to wardrobe styling. After styling featured editorials in various independent fashion magazines, I was brought on to instruct photography students at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and I also began to forge a relationship with ELLE Magazine, where I worked as an assistant stylist on numerous editorials and cover shoots.
I am no longer assisting much and have been able to continue my creative passion styling fashion editorials regularly. I also work as a contributing fashion stylist for Regard Magazine. And now… I am on my way to Hollywood! Haha. Having just completed my first feature as assistant costume designer, I am currently preparing as key costume designer for an independent film.
Has it been a smooth road?
The life of a stylist can be far from glamorous frequently resulting in physical and mental exhaustion. However, my tireless passion for styling is what keeps me motivated, and my incredibly strong work ethic and detail-oriented way of working has built my reputation in the industry. As a result, I have been very fortunate having encountered rare opportunities with incredible people. But — my biggest struggle has been with myself. Through the years I have had to battle my own confidence in such an extremely competitive industry.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I am venturing into the feature film world! I am very excited to be the key costume designer for my first indie feature film – “Unlovable,” about a woman’s struggle with sex and love addiction developed by Mark Duplass and Charlene deGuzman. The filmmakers are currently raising our final funds on Kickstarter (shameless plug – feel free to contribute here before August 28th: After having recently finished my first feature as assistant costume designer, I have discovered that the motion picture world is very different from the still-photography fashion world. I am excited to experience designing first hand and create each character’s story by way of their clothing. I also have plans to start designing clothing, but that is currently in the works – top secret!
Let’s go backward a bit – can you tell us about the most trying time in your career?
An experience that was difficult for me was in the last couple of years working as the second assistant on big advertising campaigns. I am a self-starter, a doer, and when I see something that needs to be taken care of, I like to do it before anyone even notices it needed to be done in the first place! It may sound funny, but as a second assistant, I had to learn to control my self-starter tendencies. I had to learn how to wait for direction. This drove me crazy! But it also taught me such a valuable lesson about my job and myself. I learned that my job as an assistant is to do the best job I can for the stylist, not just to satisfy my ego as being the best. Because of this I have become a better listener and have learned how to do so many things differently than I would do them instinctively. This has become a treasure to my work. I believe that the ability to see various sides of all scenarios expands the potential for creativity and collaboration, which can enable everyone to be their best at their jobs. I have since become more open minded, I think more critically and I take direction constructively. I am so grateful to have had the experience assisting for top stylists in highly stressful environments! I have become a more well-rounded person because of it.
Are there days when you feel like you’ve done everything you wanted to, careerwise – the “I’ve made it” kind of moments?
That moment when you have to internalize your fan-girl because you are working directly with someone you’ve admired for so long. I was dressing Tim Heidecker (of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!) and had to suppress my urge to start singing Casey and his Brother’s “Cops and Robbers” aloud.