This story is part of Image Issue 10, “Clarity,” a living document of how LA radiates in its own way. Read the full issue here.
“We give birth to everything, so I think we deserve the world,” said stylist Denasia Sutton about women on Revolt TV last year. People have embraced this sense of worldly ability with Sutton styles, moving towards it with open arms and great energy. She is dressed as Saweetie, Megan Thee Stallion, Kiersey Clemons and Ciara, who shows off her naked, 10-month-pregnant belly in every outfit in the music video “Roted”. In Sutton’s view, the body is as important as the clothes, or the body is more than the clothes. His work always has a royal glow. She calls her inspiration Diana Ross (“Mother”), Naomi Sims (“Queen”), and Nina Simon (“Monarch”).
Sutton was 6 when she discovered she had “eyes.” On a trip to Flea Market in New Jersey with his grandmother, he saw a sewing kit. “Did you know that a 6-year-old grandmother asked for a sewing kit?” She says laughing in remembrance. When she got home, she immediately started making costumes for her Barbie doll. It was the beginning of what she thought she was wearing. Then his mother stopped dressing him.
Sutton thought of becoming a fashion designer, but while working at VFiles in New York, she observed stylists and changed course. “It’s hard work, but it’s the best thing I can think of,” she says. He eventually began styling for a Los Angeles-based artist. That was four years ago; She no longer works for the artist but decides to stay. “Honestly, the weather is unbeatable.”
Although Styling has been Sutton’s call, she’s honest about the less-than-perfect industry, which can sometimes make choices about “who talks or who progresses or who gets whatever customers.” In 2019, she launched the Instagram account @coolgirlsdothings which helps other women in the industry to relax and gain confidence. You’ll find self-care routines, inspirational quotes from Maya Angelo and Audrey Lorde, and simple reminders for drinking water. Sutton says, “I created that platform to encourage myself, but I knew other people needed encouragement. Like, get rid of self-doubt.”
Sutton carries this generous energy in his work as a stylist. She describes herself as a source of support for the artists who support her. For her, the key to being a good stylist is to be a good listener.
Elisa Vok Almino: When you get dressed, where do you start?
Dancia Sutton: I start with my makeup. For the most part, I go for comfort. But still, I like to be a little glam. I can wear sneakers, but then I’ll wear a jacket with feathers. I like to be sexy It really depends on the day and how I feel and how I look at myself.
EWA: What is your favorite assistant and why?
DS: Sunglasses. Honestly, it may have started when I moved to LA – I always wear sunglasses. Every time I look at websites, I always look for sunglasses first.
I don’t know if it’s something I’m hiding behind, like, I don’t have to face everything head-on. It’s a shield of safety for me, in a way, because sometimes I’m shy. However, this is a glamor statement. This is the first thing people see.
EWA: You are a proud Capricorn. Does it manifest in your work?
DS: It’s fun because when most people see me, they don’t realize I’m a Capricorn. I think this is a mix of my three big ones – I am in Capricorn, Virgo and Aries Moon. But being Capricorn, we are brave, and I am able to show that in my work because I am such a shy person. I think my work speaks more for me than for me.
EWA: You are given a lot of clothing items to work with. How do you choose them with purpose?
DS: I always classify: shirts, jackets, pants, skirts, dresses. Then I take out my favorite pieces from each section. And then I go in and style myself from that selection of things. It’s always about trying things out, because something can be seen Wonderful Not so big in the hangar and beyond. But then there’s something else that doesn’t have much hanger appeal, and you put it on and it’s amazing. It’s about trial and error – put in something, remove it.
EWA: How do you feel before you dress up your subjects?
DS: If I don’t know them, most of the time I scan their Instagram or watch other videos of them. And I ask them: Who are you today? Because, at least for me, I’m a different person every day. I can be chill, I can be super glam, I can be the road. I can be this, I can be that. We all have different moods. I just listen to them and try to figure out who they are, because most people don’t listen.
EWA: What is special about you as a stylist?
DS: I always strive for a glam moment, no matter what. If it’s streetwear, I still want it to look luxurious. So, I don’t know, “street-rich”? “Rich-road”? There needs to be an exquisite, luxurious kind of vibe for me.
EWA: Would you like to go there to see people in LA and gather ideas for your work?
DS: For my work, I am always out shopping. I like Dover Street Market. I like Departamento. High-end streetwear stores are my vibe, like H. Lorenzo. I’m always in the store, so I get a lot of inspiration out there, because most of the “big” kids are there because LA is so comfortable – most people spend most of their time just playing. , But when you are in such shops, there are many people who go out dressed.
EWA: Saturday night, where are you and what are you wearing?
DS: If I’m out with my girls, we can go to Shabbos. I don’t like going to many parties, but Shabba is one of my favorite parties. There are so many things I can wear: miniskirts, miniskirts and maybe even short jackets and sneakers – I always wear sneakers when I like parties like this, because I like to dance. But if I wear heels, I’m definitely wearing my Tabi boots.
EWA: What happens on a Sunday afternoon?
DS: Honestly, I can be at home on my couch. Last Sunday afternoon, I went to Central Flea Market, and I was wearing an old Watanabe harness and some leather pants. It was hot too, so what am I doing outside? It was a skin look. With some sneakers – but they were Vivienne Westwood Asics. Glam.
EWA: What about the style that people ignore? In other words, what do you want more visibility?
DS: The hard work that goes into style as usual. People think we can get things right away. And it’s not like that. It’s a whole process – it’s not all joy, happiness, happiness, happiness all the time. As we sometimes find these brands struggling to respond to us, or whatever. It just seems like a lot of fun, but there’s a lot that goes into it.
EWA: When can a glance appear?
DS: Does anything ever appear? I think it’s in the eye of the beholder. I don’t need to reveal to anyone else what might be revealed. When you see it for yourself, it’s like: Oh, that’s amazing. But there may be others, no … the girls who get it, get it, and there are no girls who don’t.
EWA: What stories do you want to tell with your outfit?
DS: I want to tell the story of a beautiful girl.
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