Turn on your style radar—we’re unlocking the wardrobe of Miami’s go to A-list stylist who’s dressed the likes of celebrities, supermodels, and even Miami Heat players. And with a robust list of clients including Karolina Kurkova, Serena Bassil—also the brand ambassador for Net-a-Porter—is taking over the beach’s star-studded fashion scene with classic looks to kill and elevated shoe trends that are sure to amp up your style profile one stack heel at a time.
So, we’re taking a look inside Bassil’s dream closet to hear more about her favorite go-to items of the season, the unexpected handbags that are having a cool fashion moment, and her step-by-step process of curating an on-trend, personally styled wardrobe.
Serena, as Miami’s most sought after stylist, how did your journey into the fashion world begin?
SERENA BASSIL: I was living in San Francisco and I went to Europe for six weeks and traveled around, and I stumbled upon a fashion school in Florence, and I just fell in love with the city. I realized it was the sister school to FIT in New York and went back to San Francisco, saved all my money for three months and then moved to Florence and went to fashion school there. That lead me to get jobs in the future.
Did you always see yourself launching a career in the fashion industry?
SB: When I was little, I would pretend that I was working at a magazine and setting up my desk with all of the fashion magazines. I knew I was definitely going to do something in fashion. My mom was in the beauty industry, so they kind of go hand in hand, so I think I was just always leaning to the fashion side of it.
Finding your calling when you were a little girl, what was your favorite go-to outfit?
SB: White Keds sneakers with white anklet lace socks and an Esprit dress.
You recently became the brand ambassador for luxury e-commerce website, Net-a-Porter. Tell us about Net-a-Porter.
SB: It’s really about helping to gain awareness for the brand in Miami and its also so nice to be able to branch out online because all of the stores I work with, via consignment, are here locally, but it's a totally different world when you get to do that with an online retailer. It's a really nice luxury.
What’s your go-to item, featured on Net-a-Porter, currently this season?
SB: A little nude leather mini skirt by BLOUSE. It’s called the Hell Raiser Leather Mini Skirt.
And Serena, building a robust list of notable clients in Miami, what would you say your most memorable experience was?
SB: My most memorable shoot was just recently, when I styled Karolina Kurkova. She’s obviously a supermodel, and so gorgeous and like a chameleon, so it was really a dream to be able to work with her. One of the looks that stood out was a runway Loewe skirt, which is actually mine. And I dressed her in that, with a Zimmerman floral blouse, sunhat, and brown boots. We were on a farm, and I had her propped up on a fence and she said that this was like an “American Vogue moment.”
Give us the step-by-step process on how styling a client works.
SB: The process is to have an open mind. They have to try it on, even if they think it’s not going to look good on them. I really always suggest that, because it helps me see what works and what doesn't work on their body type. And sometimes they’re pleasantly surprised. And they have to feel comfortable. I would never make them wear something that even I love, that they're not 100% in love with. And I think it’s also a lot about trust and camaraderie. It really becomes like a friendship because I see my clients, most of them naked, within almost five minutes of meeting them. There’s a lot of trust involved.
You must have a dream closet. If you could describe your wardrobe in one word, what would it be?
Do you have a preferred handbag?
SB: It’s actually 100% real silver and I got it in Morocco. It was 100 dollars.
Best friend in a shoe?
SB: A stacked heel that I can run around in and still feel like it gives me a little bit of height but I’m not looking like I’m hurting.
A closet must-have that never goes out of style. Classic outfits. What would they be?
SB: In the fall, high waisted jeans with a pair of boots and a blouse, and in the summer, a white dress with a stack heel.
And for the New Year, what outfit in your closet would you say represents 2019 most?
SB: A classic trench coat worn as a dress. I actually did this recently from ba&sh. I wore an actual trench coat as a dress. I loved it!
Vintage items. Which inspires you?
SB: My favorite vintage item is an Hermès belt bag in navy blue, which I bought in Paris this summer. But when you’re speaking about vintage items, everyone has their little finds in their closet. Sometimes they have them and they don't even realize.
And becoming a top personal stylist, what are your plans for the future?
SB: I don't really know! I just take every opportunity as it comes and if its meant to be, it happens, otherwise something else will come along.