I spent ALOT of time in my grandmothers closet as a little girl; playing dress up and acting out, it was my favorite passed time. Later on as a teen I discovered my ability to reinvent my wardrobe in a matter of minutes without spending a dime.
I have always loved to and still shop at goodwill's, consignment stores and vintage boutiques. However, I always saw fasion as a hobby instead of profession. It wasn’t until I was in college that I realized it was something I could take seriously and dedicate myself. I have immense respect for Fashion, I consider it a form of art and expression.
2. What’s your background? Where do you live now?
I am product of a Cuban father and Colombian mother, born and raised in Miami, Florida. Right now I live... between hotels, airplanes, tour buses, and recently I got to stay on a beautiful yacht. I’m constantly moving from place to place so basically you can label me a Nomad :)
3. We heard you were into the performing arts tell us a little bit more about that...
Yeah I was one of those artsy kids, between dance, acting, singing and modeling, hardly a dull childhood and adolescence. I loved it (T.V Shows, commericials, Print ad's and dance competitions), it gave me fundamentals I use to this day, discipline and the courage to perform in front of whoever, whenever.
4. How has it been working with the multi Grammy winning singer and composer Alejandro Sanz?
It's amazing; I am Alejandro's personal assistant and stylist. The truth is it is a very demanding job, especially at first when you have no idea who and what you’re dealing with. What most people don't realize is that being the assistant to a person like Alejandro is more than just interaction with him. I also work closely with his family, friends (including fellow artists), his company Gazul, management RLM, record label Universal and of course his fans that are international! You really have to position yourself in the middle of all those people and make sure everyone has the correct access and attention they deserve. Aside from his entourage and following, he is the most down to earth individual. He is super talented and centered, much more than just the musician everyone knows. He is a smart business man, painter, writer, photographer, among his many hobbies the man is a genius constantly creating and sharing his visions. "Estar rodeada de tanto arte" Being surrounded by all this art, is incredible I have learned sooooo much from Alejandro it feels like I went back to school and got a Masters...haha seriously though in order to succeed next to Alejandro or someone of his caliber, you ALWAYS have to be on point. Since the first day I started with the Sanz group they have pushed me to excellence and because of that I have discovered things about myself I never imagined I could do. My favorite part of the job without a doubt has to be styling him, I love shopping and creating looks for him that later on get analyzed and critiqued by many, via photo shoots, red carpets, editorials, directors and producers worldwide. Oh wait one more! Watching him perform live! The way he transcends to millions of people at the same time, each word lyric and verse is pure love. I am always very close onstage at all performances, my view of the audience is ever-changing but the effect is always stunning!
5. I know your job sends you to a lot different locations, tell me a little bit about your travels and what’s your favorite destination?
It's crazy! In the past 2 years I have been to so many countries it’s hard to compare and remember. LOL To name a few the majority of Spain, South America, Central America, Mexico, and the US. My favorite... whoa that's tough! Could be Rio de Janeiro, Brazil or Buenos Aires, Argentina, or Barcelona, Spain or Lima, Peru of course Los Angeles ... can't decide sorry!
6. What is it like being on tour?
It's a huge experience kind of chaotic, extremely fun, and tiring. You have to imagine being on the road with approximately 50 people who eventually become a big weird family, and although you are surrounded by many; everyone is doing their own thing so technically you are alone. This is by far the emotional challenge, spending time with your family and loved one is sacrificed and accommodated to vacations, emails and Skype! On a brighter note it is very interesting to watch & learn the logistics of big tour, especially the responsibilities of each member and the importance of working as a unit. Emphasizing on the professionalism everyone must carry out on an international level. Without a doubt adventuresome and before you know it you done been everywhere and back.
7. Currently what are some of your favorite designers out of Miami?
There are a couple... Maya swimwear, amazing shoes by Alejandro Inglemo, everything Gold Saturn by David Jon Acosta, jewels by Mar y Soul, NK designs, two sisters making the cutest jewelry, and Priscilla Jade Lingerie.
Check them out... @Maya_Swimwear @InglemoShoes @Gold_Saturn @NKDesignsOnline www.lingeriebypj.com
8. How did you hear about Mina Miami Beach?
Well I've know the Minagorri sisters since high school, they have always been very fashionable and beautiful girls, naturally I always kept up with their projects. When it came to Mina, Facebook played a huge roll; friends of ours would constantly brag and post hot pics with clothes and looks of their pieces. Since we all love to be fabulous on a budget it was a no brainer for me to check it out their boutique and fashion shows.
9. Do you speak Spanish fluently? How has this helped you career wise?
Claro que si! Of course I do, ever since I was little, but you know what? I swore I was fully bilingual until the day I arrived in Spain and quickly noticed my "Spanish" was substantially different to the REAL deal. After various embarrassing moments, I encouraged people to correct me. The language has definitely helped my work since I am constantly in communication with Spain, Mexico and Latin America; the benefits of being bilingual are priceless.
10. What is you fashion pet peeve?
When girls wear clear bra straps and VPL (visible panty lines). Guys please keep your sneakers crispy clean, and NO more baggy pants with no belt and your underwear all out, can’t even take two steps before you got to pull up... mess!11. Where do you get your fashion inspiration from? What tips do you have for us?
Depends what I'm in the mood for... perhaps a combination of some of my favorite artists Audrey Hepburn, Janis Joplin, Marilyn Monroe, Gwen Stefani and Jennifer Lopez. Plus it’s nice to have a great group of fashionable girlfriends. Every time we get together its fun to see what each is wearing and how they made it their own.
As for the tip, I'd like to go straight to the beauty department; I think it is essential when completing a look. My 3 musts are... Hair that is nicely cut and styled, a fresh mani pedi, and for the face a good moisturizer is key also daily makeup = less is more :)
12. Tell me about the fashion designers and fashion shows you have worked on?
Back when I was on the fashion grind, I worked production on runway shows (i.e.: Miami Fashion Week, Oscar de la Renta, Zac Posen) and PA to celebrity wardrobe stylists, as well as assisting Venezuelan haute couture designer Nicolas Felizola. I really wanted to learn different angles of the game having one thing clear I did NOT want to sit behind a desk all day. Some people love the daily routine thing, and that's awesome for them but I need constant change. I love the challenge of trying new things just to see how eclectic I can be.
13. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
14. You just came out of a worldwide tour, what are you working on now?
I am currently in Mexico D.F. styling Alejandro for the TV show La Voz Mexico, where he participates as one of the coaches alongside Alex Syntek, Lucero and Espinoza Paz. This show was recently in the states as The Voice with Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Ceelo Green and Blake Shelton as coaches. I am also working on a very cool emerging clothing line as a designer; unfortunately I cannot release more info, but stay tuned we are hoping to launch fall 2012.
15. What general advice would you give young girls today?
The same words I tell my younger sister...
*Treat others how you want to be treated; Karma can be your BEST friend.
*Capitalize on your natural talents.
*Don't be lazy! If you are not satisfied with anything in your life YOU have the power to change it, formulate a plan and EXECUTE it. Don't wait for any handouts if you want something you MUST work hard for it!
*Once you graduate school DON'T stop learning! Whenever you’re bored go to a Barnes & Noble’s or whatever bookstore and walk the isles... you will discover interests in subjects you never imagined.
*Independence is a virtue. Being alone at times is not scary, uncool or boring... Get to know you, just you without anyone around, this can also help you appreciate the ones who surround you. The most efficient, creative and mentally evolving moments of my life thus far have been when no one is around.
Follow Nat Perez on Twitter @NatPerez9