Celeb image maker Monica Rose has been in the news lately, and not necessarily for her style sense. Rumors and tweets have been flying over Monica's abrupt split with Khloe Kardashian and the entire Kardashian-Jenner family, to the point that Kim Kardashian weighed in on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen.
That aside, we did a deep dive into who Monica Rose is as a person and a stylist. While you might recognize Monica's influential modern-meets-'90s aesthetic, as seen on all the It-Girls who've embrazed chokers, oversize jackets, over-the-knee boots, and athleisure. Here are 10 interesting tidbits to know about the woman herself.
1. Monica's a California girl through and through
Even though her style might read completely Los Angeles, Monica grew up in the Northern California town of Santa Cruz. “As beautiful as Santa Cruz is, it’s a really laid-back environment, so there’s not much glam going on there,” she told Santa Cruz magazine.
2. She has two style icons: her mom and a major '90s supermodel
"I was inspired by my mother—she was always so classy and chic. We used to watch Dynasty together when I was a kid. Until this day, I still live for a fab fur, big shoulder pads, and one-shoulder dress," she said in an interview with Complex. "Another inspiration growing up was Cindy Crawford circa the’90s MTV’s House of Style. I wanted to be her; I would paint a fake mole on my face just like hers."
3. Monica's interest in fashion began at a very early age
She started changing her mom's wardrobe before she hit first grade. "I would always organize her closet and told her that she was not allowed to use wire hangers. I made her change all her hangers to the same color. I believe I was 5 or 6 years old," Monica told Harper's Bazaar.
4. She took styling her friends incredibly seriously
In the same Harper's Bazaar interview, Monica said: "Another thing I would do is call my friends the night before school and tell them what to wear the next day. If they did not wear what I suggested, I would get upset and not speak to them for the entire day. It would really upset me because I just wanted them to look good and be put together."
5. Monica's a self-made entrepreneur
According to Santa Cruz magazine, she started her very first job at Wet Seal in Santa Cruz at age 15, and then she worked at Express. When she moved to Los Angeles, she worked at boutiques on LA's famous shopping street Robertson Boulevard and got the idea that she could one day make a career dressing celebs.
"I had no idea where to start—it was a very scary feeling," she explained to Complex. "I never assisted or interned for a stylist so I had to learn everything on my own. I didn’t even know what a showroom was or that you could actually borrow clothes for a shoot. I was testing and working for free so I would just borrow clothes from some of the boutiques on Robertson since I knew so many of the managers from working on the block. I was even pulling [product] out of my own closet and vintage shopping a lot to create looks for my shoots. I basically had to learn fast and I made a lot of mistakes along the way."
6. She got her big break when she met Kim Kardashian in 2007
It was for a Complex photo shoot for Kim's very first magazine cover, and Kim liked Monica's style so much, she hired her on the spot. "She said, ‘I’d love for you to come over to my house and look at my closet and let me know what I need to do to get on those best-dressed lists,’” Monica told Marie Claire, and that closet cleanout involved getting rid of 30 of Kim's Herve Leger bandage dresses.
7. She's dressed an A-List roster of celebs
Besides Khloe, Kourtney, Kim and Kris Kardashian, Monica's clients over the years include stars like Kendall and Kylie Jenner; Gigi Hadid, and Giuliana Rancic. (The Lookbook reached out for comment from publicists for Kendall, Gigi, and Giuliana).
Another longtime client is Chrissy Teigen, who Monica just dressed for the Tony Awards. (PS - is Monica also a proponent of The Secret or what? She said in 2015 that her dream client to style would be Gigi Hadid and she made it happen.)
8. She's obsessed with tailoring
This is one Monica Rose tip that anyone could copy fairly inexpensively. "I take everything in at the waist and I always use my tailor to fix everything. I think that’s why my styling can translate as very polished. I try to perfect every look with my tailor," she told Nylon.
9. Monica named her daughter after the designer Azzedine Alaïa
She explained the story to Racked: "My mom was sitting down in the hospital room reading a magazine and asked 'Do you still have that vintage Alaïa belt that I let you borrow?' It finally clicked. I looked over at my mom and said her full name: Alaia Rose Barbier." In case it's not obvious, Monica's daughter Alaia Rose is a fashion plate too: she dresses her in ridiculously cute clothes. Monica also has a son, Salvador Lukas Barbier Jr., with her partner/former professional skater Sal Barbier.
10. While her clients wear super-sexy dresses, Monica says she's a tomboy
Her daytime uniform is skinny black distressed jeans, grey tee and a moto jacket or Re/Done white tees. "I'm not a dress girl," she told Harper's Bazaar. "I always think I'm going to wear one to an event, but I'll gravitate towards a sexy jumpsuit instead. I just feel good in it." Jumpsuits for the win, always.
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