A native of Sacramento, Isabella moved to Long Beach to study Fashion Merchandising and Fashion Design at Long Beach State. The first conversation I had with her, I knew I liked her. She is so personable, friendly and approachable, and her smile can light up a room. She's so good at talking to people I once told her she could talk to a wall! She’s crazy about music and fashion and loves any opportunity to intertwine them. When Isabella isn’t working the boutique or chatting up a customer at one of our pop-ups, she’s collaborating with rad brands like Kids of Immigrants and interning with celebrity stylists on the side.
You study Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising at Long Beach State. Tell us about how you first got interested in fashion and what led you to it.
In high school, I found fashion to be empowering. I grew up in a small city where culture, diversity, and good clothing stores were hard to come by. Growing up, I was lucky enough to travel with my parents to places like South America, Australia, and Mexico. I noticed while traveling, I was intrigued by what everyone was wearing. My favorite thing to do was to immerse myself into their street culture and experience all the clothing stores they shopped in. Ever since then, I saw fashion as a creative outlet to express culture, emotion, and personality. I was always watching fashion shows in class and catching up on Vogue Street Style pictures from fashion weeks around the world. I started working in retail at fifteen and got an internship with Sacramento Fashion week and the Nordstrom Fashion Board. It has never really felt like a job to me, but it has always required hard work. I love the sense of urgency that is necessary for the fashion industry. I am so excited that I decided to dedicate my life to it and hopefully make a successful career out of it one day!
You work at the boutique but you’ve also done some styling and designing on the side. Tell us about some of your favorite freelance projects.
The past summer I interned in New York at a cool Turkish shoe company, Sabah. That was rad because I got to live in New York, one of the most inspiring places I have ever been to! Lately, I’ve been styling photoshoots and putting together lookbooks., which is really fun working with my super talented friends who are photographers and models! I style the shoots with clothes that I sewed, vintage clothes, and other brands.
I’m also always working on a design project and I try to sew when I have free time. I sew at this super awesome brand Kids of Immigrants, whose clothes are sold at Opening Ceremony - my favorite store in LA. I also just recently started interning for Dianne Garcia, Kendrick Lamar’s and SZA’s Stylist. This internship has been an eye opening experience, really amazing.
Sounds like you’ve interned and worked with a ton of cool brands. What makes you decide to take an opportunity and how do you know if it will be a good fit?
I really try to take every opportunity that comes to me. When I first came to Long Beach/LA area I was so thrilled to be able to do anything that involved fashion, even if I didn’t know the brand. So I would say ‘yes’ to pretty much anything and I just applied to everything because back home, there weren’t many opportunities. I did learn over time to intern for people I actually want to work for. I am still very grateful for all the jobs that I have done because I learned from everything and it definitely beefed up my resume.
Where do you find inspiration? What do you do to stay creatively inspired?
I find inspiration within culture and real life behavior -- public transportation is where it’s at! Fancy neighborhoods don’t really inspire me, it’s the beaten up alleys and underground music venues that really intrigue me and leave me excited. Music is probably my biggest inspiration. Whenever I am drawing or designing something, I am listening to music. I try to attend as many music events, art shows, and go to new places as much as possible. I also surround myself around people that believe in themselves and believe in me!
How would you describe your personal style?
I have a very eclectic style. I like to be comfortable so I’m not going to wear anything that isn’t realistic -- I like to be able to walk and move! I’m super inspired by 60s French music and I love masculine fits -- the sexiest thing a woman can do is sport an oversized men’s coat, sneakers, or oversized jeans. My style is just me. It changes all the time with my mood and my new found inspirations.
You’re currently living in Long Beach. What are some of your go-to spots in the neighborhood? What do you like to do in your free time?
My favorite Taco Tuesday spot is Lola’s for sure! The zucchini mushroom taco is legit. I am super active so I love doing Yoga on the Bluff and barre at The London Method. (Shout out to my London Method Barre gals!) Also Steelhead Coffee has thee best avo toast.
How did you come to start working at Prism Boutique? What’s one of your favorite things about working there so far?
I started working at Prism because my best friend used to work here and told me Prism was hiring! I interviewed when I got back from my internship in NYC and got hired! Yay! My favorite thing about Prism is my coworkers. They are top notch people. I love them.
What are some of you favorite brands at Prism and what do you like about them?
My favorite brands are right now Rollas, Faithful the Brand, and Zulu & Zephyr. Rollas really embodies a laid-back, tomboy girl who is still sexy. Everything fits really well, too! Zulu and Zephyr’s lookbooks are amazing. I love their masculine fits as well and their high hipped swimsuits. So cute! Faithful has been putting out some rad flowy, cropped pants and cute blouses. They’ve really been killing it.
If you could pick five things from Prism Boutique as your summer must-haves, what would they be?
The Shoe String Tank from Rollas, The Natives One Piece from Zulu and Zephyr, 90s Blue High Rise Dusters from Rollas, Black Amelia Bloomers from Lacausa and The Citrine Winnie Blouse from Tularosa.
Many of you might not know that Prism is run by a very small team of girls, who you can find working the boutique, setting up our in-store events, fulfilling orders and just about everything in between. They also serve as the inspiration behind a lot of my buying and what I stock the boutique with -- if I don’t see one of my girls wearing a particular piece, I don’t buy it. My staff is something I take great pride in. They’re a reflection of the brand and make lasting impressions with every customer that comes in our door. When you have a small business, having the right employees is very important. I'd like to introduce you to one of our newest members of my Dream Team at Prism, Isabella, who we followed around the neighborhood for us in an impromptu shoot.