Stylist Andrew Michael Says Phoenix's Fashion Scene Is "Sort of Embarrassing"
Andie Flores Andrew Michael knows style is all about how you carry yourself.
Phoenix native Andrew Wesson -- or as he's known in fashion, Andrew Michael -- says he didn't come into his own style until he left the city.
Now that he's back, the 26-year-old stylist is ready to make a big impact.
Wesson's moved around a lot. During his undergrad in Boston, Wesson interned with designer Zac Posen, an experience he calls "a dream come true." The opportunity to be behind the scenes during New York Fashion Week taught him that while fashion is glamorous, it's also a lot of work.
Another internship with designer Ronald Shamask put Wesson on the production side of things. "I helped create the color story for one of his lines. I'd go to the fabric store and help with picking swatches. At first I was really nervous, but he actually liked what I picked out. He told me I had a great eye and was going to go far."
Shamask was right. More recently, Wesson has worked with brands like Thriftqueened and has taken his expertise to L.A. Fashion Week. Now, with his image-consulting company, The Look by Andrew Michael, in its beginning stages, he hopes to make an impact here in Phoenix.
"In order to be successful, you have to brand yourself," he says. "Surviving on your résumé alone is not enough. You need to build your empire, and imaging is part of that.
"Phoenix is the fifth-largest city in the country, and for us to only be three cities behind L.A. and four behind New York in size and for our fashion scene to be what it is now is sort of embarrassing. We're so close! We should have no excuse."
For styling inspiration, Wesson turns to old Janet Jackson, Cameo, or Chaka Khan videos. He is also a big believer of mixing high-end and low-end pieces to create a great look.
"Growing up, people used to think I had money cause of how I dressed," Wesson says, "But it's all about how you carry yourself."
That, he says, is the main thing he wants to teach people through The Look.
"Money doesn't make you fabulous! It's not about the money. It's about the look. That's people's first impression, so you have to come correct!"