Spread the love

Nicole Pollard Assembles Seamless Style at South Coast Plaza.

Written By: Marie Spada Tailor-Made Style with Nicole Pollard
Photographed By: Jessica Alexander

The Expert: Nicole Pollard
Credentials: Owner/Founder/CEO/Stylist, LalaLuxe
Fun Fact: Nicole takes clients on shopping tours—complete with Champagne.

It is not every day that you get to meet someone who works with everyone from the girl-next-door to international royal families. Nicole Pollard is a Los Angeles-based stylist who has made a name for herself, blazing a trail through the styling world over the last decade. There is no end for her or her firm, LalaLuxe, in sight. She does everything from sweet sixteen shopping parties to styling the inside of private jets and yachts, yet has remained one of the most fun, down-to-earth people you’ll ever meet. She has taken her love of shopping and undeniable ability to connect with people and used it to give her clients the most luxurious styling experience with top notch customer service. Her client list is both extensive and impressive, and it’s no wonder why; Nicole Pollard is the true Queen Bee of style.

Q: How did you get your start as a personal stylist?
Nicole Pollard: Funny you should ask! I grew up in a family that was very artistic, and my grandmother loved fashion. She was a divorced woman in a time when people didn’t get divorced and women didn’t work. Because she had to work, she never really got to fulfill her love for fashion. As a child, she would take me shopping at Loehmann’s and various other places then she would teach me things. She would say, “Oh, this is gabardine, ” “This is 100 percent cashmere, ” and “This is what a hem should look like.” Through these little weekend shopping excursions, I got an education in the world of fashion from like five or six years old. Then, in my early 20s, I was working in a movie studio and didn’t know what I wanted to do in life. I went to work at a school and realized I didn’t love that, but what I did love was summer vacation. I spent my summers traveling the world, specifically through Europe. I shopped my way through every city. After a few years of blowing a month’s salary at Roberto Cavalli, I came back and decided that I needed to work in the world of shopping and fashion. I thought I’d be doing European shopping trips, and when I came home and told my friend my idea. She was like, “Nicole, you’re from LA and know it like the back of your hand. Why don’t you just do shopping trips in LA?” and it was one of those “Oh yeah!” moments. I had a really lucky opportunity because the school that I worked for had a lot of high-profile parents who became my first clients, like Marcia Cross. I was able to have a client roster from behind the desk of a preschool. My first clients were people like the owners of Lions Gate’s wives and people I probably wouldn’t otherwise have access to as a new stylist.

Q: How long have you been working as a stylist?
NP: It will be ten years in July! So, since I was four (laughs).

Q: At what point did you know styling was for you? What was your big “Aha!” moment?
NP: I think I’ve always been so influenced by art in general — whether it’s the interior of a home, a piece in a museum or my grandmother’s clothes. I come from a very artistic and creative family, and my mom is an artist, so it’s just in my nature. “Do what you’re good at” is how I live my life; I can’t do my own bookkeeping, but I can style anybody!

Q: What services do you offer to those looking for a personal stylist?
NP: Our firm is really versatile. We obviously offer personal styling and we do sourcing, which is cool. We help clients get hard to find items, such as over half a million dollar watches and the rarest Hermès bags. We do shopping tours where we take people to places like South Coast Plaza and work with the stores to have their clothes available, their size in the fitting room, and Champagne among other special treats in the stores. We also do fun excursions — teens love this. We’ve had a lot of fun on spring break and sweet sixteens, doing that sort of thing. We also really go into people’s lives and help them curate their style from their own wardrobe to the interior of their private jets. We purchased a lot of the interior decor here at South Coast Plaza.

Q: So you offer interior design services as well?
NP: Mostly for yacht and aviation, which is so much fun. It’s light; there’s only so much you can do, but who knew Loro Piana does upholstery for private jets? How cool! So it translates from one thing to another. We start in someone’s closet — I think that is the most intimate place you can be with somebody because it doesn’t matter who the client is. When they have their clothes off, they’re all the same — everyone has the same insecurities. Once we’ve done that, they want us to style everything else in their lives. I’ve even picked out the cards for birthday parties!

Q: What do you find to be the most vulnerable thing about styling someone’s wardrobe?
NP: There are pieces from every season of someone’s life, from the highs and the lows. There are pieces from the family that is no longer around and pieces from divorces and graduations. A wardrobe tells such a story of who someone is. When you go in there, you can’t be like, “Oh this looks good; this doesn’t look good, ” you’re kind of in the patchwork of their life, so to speak. You’re in there with every emotion and every good and bad experience they’ve had. People have so many layers. I have clients that obviously have insecurities because everyone does. I have clients who just want to have fun, and I have clients who want to change — it’s so incredible to be able to create change in someone’s life when they are stuck.

Q: Who is your go-to for style advice?
NP: My mom, because she’s the only one who is honest. I went wedding dress shopping with her last year when I got married, and she’s the only person who would say, “You know, that dress makes your hips look big!” She also has great taste.

Q: How do you work with South Coast Plaza to create an elite experience for your clients?
NP: Well, South Coast Plaza in itself is an elite experience. First of all, of any destination I’ve worked with, has gone above and beyond for their stylists and their shoppers. It’s really unlike any other. They have the Access Suite that is available to my clients and me; they help me foster relationships with every brand they have here. They’ve gone so far as to take my call on Christmas Eve when I had a royal family coming in, and I might need them to open the shopping destination up for them on Christmas Day. They really just bend over backward. On top of that, they have curated the best stores in the world. On the West Coast, they are the best shopping destination, hands down. But to tell you the truth, I haven’t been anywhere else in the country that even rivals this. It’s not even a mall; it’s a shopping destination. It’s such an upscale experience. I can take my Forbes Top Ten List, a royal family, billionaire, or actress clients and give them the type of service you expect from the Four Seasons. A lot of my clients love spending time in Newport and Laguna. It’s great because it’s a one-stop shop for us, and then they get to enjoy what’s best about that beautiful area, like the ocean and the views. There are stores at South Coast Plaza that don’t even exist in Beverly Hills, and I have to go specifically to South Coast to shop. They’ve attracted the best brands in the world, and that’s very difficult to do.

Q: Do you ever do personal styling events at people’s homes for a more intimate shopping experience?
NP: Absolutely! Sometimes people don’t like to shop for themselves. South Coast Plaza has great stylist programs where I can go in and pull pieces. I send my clients a style questionnaire, get all of their sizes and meet with them in person. Then I go shopping and come back, set up racks and do a little styling shopping party in their bedroom or closet. I’ve worked with groups of women where we either partner with a brand or a few brands, and we style in their homes. It’s so much fun when it’s a group of women because the energy is so positive, and everything is so collaborative; It’s just those “girl power” moments. Girls bond over shopping — it’s so fun!

Q: Do you organize fashion shows for events?
NP: I do! It’s a completely different world to style a model whose job to fit into a sample size of clothing, versus styling an average-sized woman. It’s like painting on canvas versus collage. I prefer working with real women because when you can make somebody the best version of themselves instead of hanging clothes on a model, it’s a totally different experience.

Q: Are you able to extend your services to those who don’t live in California?
NP: My clients are all worldwide! I have brought families specifically here from the Middle East, China, Brazil, Canada, Australia, everywhere. In fact, most of my clients don’t live in LA. What’s great with technology is that I’m able to instantly send them photos. Of course, I’ve met them all in person and know their body types. But now I’m able to go to the shows in Paris for Fashion Week as well as work with the brands here and pretty much send them everything sight unseen. You get to know your clients bodies really well.

Q: I know a lot of your inspiration came from seeing your grandmother travel throughout the world. What is the most valuable thing about styling and travel that you’ve learned from her?
NP: I’ve learned that passion doesn’t take you far enough; it’s passion and hard work that create success. I’ve also learned that life is short, and it’s important that you see the beauty in every moment of it — whether it’s your outfit for a workout class or time with your family. It’s important to see the beauty in all of it. She also taught me that style does not mean following the current trends. She was a woman who kept pieces of clothing up to 60 years, and they still looked like they walked off the runway from that season. So I think cultivating a wardrobe that is timeless is a really important attribute. Lastly, she taught me to break the rules. I have some heavier clients who think they can’t wear horizontal stripes or patterns, and I think you should wear what you love. Break the rules in a way that benefits you, like put horizontal stripes of different sizes in the right place, and you’ll look like a million bucks. I have clients who have been told they can’t wear black just because of their eye color, and that’s BS. Wear what makes you happy, just do it right.

Q: What would you say is your specialty as a stylist?
NP: My specialty as a stylist is working with real women. I’ve done editorial. I’ve styled the Red Carpet. I’ve produced fashion shows. The moments when I’m most content are when I’ve looked into a woman’s wardrobe and helped her create the best version of herself. We all have layers of history and things that have happened to us, and it’s the most beautiful part about being human. To help people take what’s inside of them and showcase it through their clothing is such a beautiful and touching thing for me. When they do it well, it’s a lot of fun. I love helping women mix clothing from their current wardrobe with new pieces from the season, too. I think it’s quite boring when people are one season from head to toe. When you can take key pieces and mix them with your current wardrobe, that’s style.

Q: What do you focus on the most when styling a client?
NP: There isn’t one thing I focus on the most because there are so many aspects that go into someone’s look. I’d say the top things would be their lifestyle. If she’s a new mom and her body has just changed, she needs to figure out what’s going to fit her. She needs something she can pick up her children in, and an outfit to a red carpet gala or family vacation. I think many people don’t know their style, and it’s really about what makes you feel good, honing in on who you are and being able to show that to everybody.

Q: Can someone use your services for one-time special events?
NP: People can absolutely use my services for one-time special events! We love to get clients who have something big coming up, like a wedding or a big charity gala. But what tends to happen is it’s not ever a one-time event for us. We’re very lucky that clients hire us one day to help them get married or attend a large event, and the next day we’re dressing their everyday look.

Q: How do your services differ from other styling services in the area?
NP: My firm has been around for ten years now. We’ve worked with many different people from many different cultures. Our versatility is unparalleled; we’ve worked with Orange County Moms and international royalty. We are familiar with a lot of different lifestyles and cultures. We are so connected to the brands that we work directly with a lot of the fashion houses in Paris. So, I might go meet Alber Elbaz of Lanvin, which has a boutique at South Coast Plaza at the show in Paris, and I get to see the pieces for next January before anyone else. We take that, share it with our clients, and order it for them seasons ahead. We have access to many larger collections than a lot of stylists. That being said, there are a lot of great stylists. I think it’s a great club to be in, so to speak.

Q: Do you offer your services to both men and women?
NP: I do! I work with a ton of men. I love working with them. We also end up working with a lot of families, which is fun. We work with the husbands, their wives, and their teenage children — it’s fabulous!

Q: What is the most valuable thing someone can learn from a personal stylist that they would not otherwise learn?
NP: I tell my clients to break the rules, follow their own trends and create a style that is truly theirs. Great style gives a confidence that cannot be bought.

Q: What was your proudest moment as a stylist?
NP: Every time I see the smile creep onto a client’s face after I dress them I feel proud. My proudest moments are the simple ones — watching my client’s 3-year-old daughter tell her she’s the most beautiful woman in the world. Also, dressing my clients for their weddings and special moments in their lives.

Q: You travel around the world consistently; where do you find your biggest inspiration as a stylist?
NP: When I travel, architecture and art are my two biggest inspirations as a stylist. I also get a big kick out of people watching. You could place me on a bench in any city center, and I would sit there for hours examining each person that walked by, admiring how they put something together or wondering about their story. I find how people choose and wear clothing fascinating.

Q: Who is your style muse?
NP: Is it bad if I say myself? No? Ok, then let’s stick with that — myself! Heck yeah!

LalaLuxe
800.261.0429 | www.lalaluxe.com

South Coast Plaza
3333 Bristol St
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
714.435.2000 | www.southcoastplaza.com