Passionate about helping women find their voice in fashion, Kristen Robertiello, owner of KR Wardrobe Design, LLC advocates for the often overlooked in fashion media; women over 35. She has had a career styling for TV shows, commercials and celebrities and now brings that experience home to Bergen County.
From the time she was a young child Robertiello loved clothing and figuring out what went with what. By the time she was a teenager and through her twenties, she was styling for socialites on the Upper East Side and working in retail stores. Along the way, she found that women were regularly asking for styling advice and if they could borrow her outfits.
As it turns out, one of these women was Jennifer Pearlman, successful award-winning film and TV producer whose credits range from “The Real Housewives of New York,” to the new feature, “Sunny Daze” and countless national and international commercials and promotions for Disney, HBO and Nickelodeon among other stations. At a dinner event in town where they first met, Pearlman was impressed with Robertiello’s look and love of fashion and almost instantly offered Robertiello an entry level job as an assistant stylist at Pearlman’s company “Pic 2 Productions.” This was going to be a big break for Robertiello’s career, and she jumped at the chance.
“The job was a lot of hard work in the beginning and far from glamourous. I ran for coffee, held actors’ and models’ babies during photo and commercial shoots, and did the most embarrassing thing; returned thousands of dollars-worth of unused clothing to stores like Old Navy. Those store managers hated seeing me and practically ran for cover when I walked in” says Robertiello. She went on to explain the common protocol when producing TV shows and commercials; stylists are expected to provide scores of clothing options. The clothes that don’t make the cut are sent back to the stores they came from.
Working diligently as an assistant with Pearlman’s company, Robertiello found herself 6 months later being asked to take a position as co-stylist for a commercial to air on the children’s TV station Nickelodeon. As fate would have it, at the beginning of the project, the other stylist moved on. So, Robertiello got the chance to be the one head stylist for the commercial. Backing out of a scheduled family vacation, she took the gig.
“This was a lot of hard work. One 30 second commercial takes about 12-14 hours to shoot! There are so many things to consider. You must please the client, the client’s advertising agency, the producer and her budget, the legal department, the director and the actors. As a lead stylist, you also make sure that every detail of everyone’s clothing and look is congruent throughout the shoot, so the commercial clips can splice together smoothly and without wardrobe inconsistencies. Any little change in someone’s appearance during the entire 12-14-hour shoot can ruin the commercial for the viewers and therefore for everyone involved. You even have to consider competitors’ colors and refrain from using those in the client’s commercial.” says Robertiello.
Before long, Robertiello was receiving requests from many different production companies to serve as their head stylist on sets. It was time for her to form her own business entity so she could manage and properly fulfill all these different jobs that were coming her way. She says that KR Wardrobe Design, LLC, since its inception 12 years ago has been her professional identity. It’s been how people have known her in the industry and for a long time was focused almost solely on working with film and television production companies.
In recent years, however, Robertiello has been noticing many shifts in business trends in her industry, including something practically everyone knows; the move away from traditional TV and on to social media and the internet. She has also noticed that fashion marketing and styling on the internet generally focus on women in their late teens and 20’s. There’s little out there for women over 35. And, so, while still working with many of the production companies, with the times, Robertiello decided to branch her business’ focus.
“I want women over the age of 35 to know that they CAN wear the latest fashion trends; in an age appropriate way. All it takes is a little tweaking,” says Robertiello.
Robertiello was recently interviewed for “Bella TV” and was asked about spring fashion trends. Originally, Bella gave her two models in their 20’s to work with. But Robertiello wanted a generational shoot to show how a 25-year-old and 50-year-old could wear the same style but worn differently depending on their age. The Bella TV producers happily accepted the idea.
Additionally, she is proudly serving as a brand ambassador for the app “Liketoknowit.com.” Here, she models age-appropriate trendy looks that women age 35+ can easily imitate and buy directly from the app. She is also offering her services as a personal stylist.
“Most women just don’t have the time or the right information to make fashion work for them. Therefore, they spend the majority of their days dressed in workout clothes.” says Robertiello. (In fact, she believes that the closing of Saks Fifth Avenue in Bergen County may have been in part due to so many women shying away from fashion).
“But, first impressions depend on how you look and the confidence you exude. People form an opinion of you before you open your mouth. How you dress is your statement. Be it good or bad it’s a reality. When you put something on, it will carry you through your day and you feel good. I want to instill that in women.” She encourages women to step outside their comfort zone, slow down a bit, and take some time to think about their presentation to the world.
To that end, here are some fun and practical tips she shares with women over 35 who want to present their best look and a dignified image:
Kristen Robertiello resides in Upper Saddle River, NJ with her husband Ed, her 17-year-old daughter Mia, her 16-year-old son Luke, and two dogs. Check out her website www.krwardrobedesign.com.