Name: Franklin McKoy (@poshmckoy), 27 years old.
Hometown: A tiny town called Fuquay-Varina, NC (population: 30,000. Bonus to anyone who can find it on a map).
Education: North Carolina Central University with degrees in Communication Studies and Spanish Linguistics.
How did you get into styling? Growing up in North Carolina, I had no idea that styling could be a career. I only realized this could be a real career when I worked at Nordstrom as the Topshop / Topman manager for a year and a half in Durham, NC.
When did you move to NYC? March 15, 2017. This sounds crazy but I moved because my college bestie had a spare room that was FREE for 6 months (long story short, a wealthy roomie was moving out with the rent already covered). I took the chance and immediately packed my bags for NYC.
How did you get your foot in the door? I was working as the menswear designer stylist for 6 months at the Saks on 5th avenue for 6 months. A good mentor of mine knew the first assistant to a Conde Nast / Vogue stylist, Patrick Mackie. I scored an internship (unpaid, sadly) and after 6 months, was promoted to second assistant. I learned the ropes from Patrick and eventually started branching out on my own. Now I’m an editorial, celebrity and personal stylist with my own clients.
Any big names? Naomi Campbell, Migos, Cardi B, Linda Carter, Bryson Tiller, SZA, Uma Thurman.
What do you like most about your job? I love seeing the end result. This sounds cheesy but at the end of the day, this job is all about the clients. When my clients are happy and satisfied with what I’ve done, I couldn’t ask for more. I love pushing the envelope. I especially love when clients let me do my thing and be as creative as I can be.
What do you dislike about your job? There’s definitely an oversaturation of stylists, especially wannabe stylists. Not surprising given the low barrier to entry. You have to work really hard and be very good at what you do to be noticed, with a healthy dose of luck, of course. The other part I dislike is that I’m essentially a small business owner. I despise the day-to-day tedious operations like chasing payments, making invoices, etc. etc. I would much rather focus on the creative aspect of being a stylist!
Any style tips for plus women? Ladies, do not be ashamed of shapewear. I firmly believe everyone should have one of these for smoothing purposes and to give that seamless, sleek look. I wear them, all the celebs wear them regardless of size. No big deal. My other tip is, take the time to understand your body shape and colors. Be aware of what you consider flaws and either enhance them or dress carefully. Hiding your body never looks good. Know your shape and what looks best on your shape. (Shameless plug: if you really don’t know your body type or how to dress, invest in a stylist. That one investment will help you for the rest of your life!). Also, everyone should have a style inspiration – a look that they aspire to. Instagram is a huge resource. See how plus influencers and celebs dress and what looks good (and what looks horrendous). Lastly, be CONFIDENT! Confidence is the best accessory and makes EVERYTHING come together.
Words of wisdom for folks just starting out? Where do I start? Study the greats (Patti Wiilson, Patrick Mackie, Edward Enninful). Don’t be afraid not to know everything. It’s OK to take breaks - you don’t have to be booked all the time. Burnouts are the worst and will kill all your inspiration. And of course, be inspired and find inspiration everywhere around you. Lastly, network, network, network. Whether you’re trying to get your foot in the door or building up your book: network, network, network.