Sharon Haver of FocusOnStyle.com
When you take a look at Sharon Haver’s work in the fashion industry, you have to ask yourself: What hasn’t she done? As a stylist, TV fashion expert, syndicated style columnist and creator of FocusOnStyle.com, it’s hard to find anyone who knows more about the fashion world than Sharon does. Check out what the fashionista has to say about her top style advice, her awesome Macy’s commercial and her unbelievable amount of closet space!
I-ELLA: You’ve been in the fashion industry for more than 20 years. Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got involved in the fashion world.
Sharon: I was probably born and raised in Loehmann’s. My mother used to take me shopping with her from the time I can remember. My mom was very clear that I was not going to go to school for fashion. She just felt that you need to have a solid background that can take you anywhere. And my degree is in business and marketing. I started out in PR, which I realized I didn’t like quickly. An art director friend asked me to be a stylist on a three-way photo shoot in St. Martin, and I’m like, “Sure!” And the next thing I knew, since I had all the friends in the business, they kept hiring me and I became a stylist. I was a stylist for over 15 years.
I-ELLA: You’ve dipped your feet into all different facets of this industry – styling, editorial and television, just to name a few. What have been some of your favorite projects so far?
Sharon: I’m not really project-based. This is my business; it’s a company, a corporation. So that’s my project. One of my favorite things I’ve done besides create this business is I’ve done a lot of spokesperson work. I’ve been on TV a lot, and one of my favorite things is my Macy’s commercial, which was kind of cool. I got to star as me, with my name on it, as a style guru for a national Macy’s commercial.
I-ELLA: What kind of projects are you hoping to get into in the near future?
Sharon: I have a lot of little projects in the works now with Brad Boles. We started out together – he was a makeup artist when I was a stylist, and we’ve been old friends. He’s on “The Real Housewives of New York City.” We’re starting some other little ventures and we have a book we’re developing right now and some other things I can’t really talk about.
I-ELLA: How do you approach fashion and your job as a stylist?
Sharon: I’ve always kind of approached fashion from a different viewpoint. … I’ve always looked at it as a way of dressing the other person to look good. That’s sort of how I was trained, and it served me well for over 20 years. So it’s not really about me; I’m not a personal style blogger. I’m kind of old school that way. It’s not a matter of how gorgeous I look at that moment. As a stylist, you look pretty cruddy and it’s to make the model, the actress, the person in front of the camera look great or the clothes look great. I come from that background.
I-ELLA: Being a style expert, you’ve obviously got loads of fashion advice. What are some of the most important style rules you tell your readers, listeners and viewers to follow?
Sharon: To wear what flatters you and looks the best on your figure and in your lifestyle. A lot of people get carried away with fantasy outfits that they see somebody in on the red carpet. But honestly, how often are you wearing an evening gown in your life? Unless you’re on the social circuit, it’s just fantasy. I think it’s deciding things that are realistic for you, and I’m all about what I call “can-do chic.” I’m also not about wearing the latest trend. I’m about staying modern – trends come and go. If you want to spice it up with something trendy here and there, that’s great. But if you want to look pulled together and you want to look like an individual, it’s not trend. It’s great pieces that you just put together in a more interesting way.
I-ELLA: Who are your favorite designers/brands, and why?
Sharon: Martin Margiela because the line is always a little avant-garde, yet very classic. So whenever you buy his [clothes], you can wear them for years, and they have the most comfortable shoes in the world. I’m a sucker for their boots. Jil Sander, the same thing – the classic lines, never goes out of style, always looks clean and modern. Hermes – can’t go wrong with a Birkin or a watch or a bunch of of scarves. And for skirts, Yves Saint Laurent. Dolce & Gabbana jackets. They all kind of share a thread in well-cut, not boring basics.
I-ELLA: Do you have any advice for our members when they’re editing their closets?
Sharon: I have a huge closet and several storage spaces. I have three supplemental closets, so I move things around. I have a closet of stuff I don’t even go near. I don’t believe in this whole thing, “If you haven’t worn it in six months, throw it out,” because for six months you can get sick of something and pull it up six months later and it’s like an old friend. Whenever it’s a constructed piece, buy the best you can afford. Buy it on sale or put it away.