Our “I Am Her” series features the female movers and shakers of the industry to learn how femininity and power coincide beautifully and seamlessly together.
The label 'It Girl' always comes with a level of intimidation. On one end, it's a persona, a social status, an image to keep up with that comes with its own perks and prestige. But on another, it's never achieved without a string of headlines and controversies — true or not — that comes with the so-called badge of honour. Known celebrity stylist Liz Uy is not a stranger to this cycle, being one of the Philippines' modern-day 'It Girls', whether we're talking about style or entertainment.
Given her many endorsements, hosting stints, TV appearances, and features on Harper's BAZAAR and Vogue, Liz is truly embodying what it means to be a force in fashion. But what else would we expect from this former editorial-assistant-turned-fashion-editor-turned-global-influencer, especially when even straight out of college, it was a path she strongly pursued and helped elevate (despite graduating from a hotel and restaurant course)? Still, beyond just modelling outfits or talking about them in writing, Liz' face especially lights up when talking about her actual passion: styling and fashion curation.
At the sidelines of R.A.F's first flagship store opening late last year, Clozette spoke with Liz Uy at her brightest — not as an "It Girl," not as a TV host, not as a celebrity, but as her true, genuine self: a professional stylist.
We already know Liz Uy as the stylist and the influencer. But how would you sum yourself up in three simple words? Fill in the blanks: I am ___________, ________________, and ______________.
“I’d say I’m fun as a person, polished when it comes to style because I really love classy, crisp, pieces. And as a stylist, I’d say hardworking. That’s me!”
Do you remember the first time you actually fell in love with fashion? Like that actual ‘AHA’ moment that made you want to pursue it as a career?
"I thought you we're going to say, 'the first time I fell in love with a person'. That's complicated!
Anyway, for fashion, when I was in grade school, I remember constantly reading YM — it’s a magazine called Young and Modern. Everything that a teenager is supposed to know, like shaving, waxing, dressing up, it’s all there. But I remember browsing through the fashion section and just looking at the models, the pieces, the styling and that’s when I was like, 'When I’m a grown woman, I’m going to experiment on these pieces.' And that’s what I ended up doing."
We’re sure that your wardrobe is already enviable. But if you were to swap or cop any other celebrity or personality’s wardrobe, who would you choose and why?
"That’s easy. Cher! She’s so fun and even before social media, she was that star. She’s bold and fearless and I just love her style.
And if I were to choose my icons, I’m thinking of Bianca Jagger… then there’s Princess Diana. There’s just a lot of women I look up to that I can’t choose one person, but those are some. Oh, one more! Diana Ross if I want to go extra."
Can you remember a fashion emergency that happened to you that’s so bad? What did you do and how did you fix it at that particular moment?
"I can’t remember anything. I don’t think I’ve ever had any because I have a great team with me. If something goes wrong, usually just one call to Stylized (her team, which is also a play on her name Liz—Ed.) and they’re there to the rescue. It really pays off to have a dependable team working with you."
What’s one bad fashion choice you committed when you were younger?
"You know what, just look at all of my old photos! Even just a few years back, I look back at some of my outfits realise, ‘what was I thinking?’ But you know what, for me, fashion is supposed to be fun. You shouldn’t take it seriously and it’s okay to have all these bad fashion choices. At least at the time, I had fun at that moment I was wearing these outfits — especially old Halloween costumes, oh my God."
A stranger comes up to you and asks you for fashion advice. What would you tell them and how would you help them out?
"We’d like to think that fashion is very complicated but it’s really not. First, it’s all about knowing yourself, knowing your style, knowing what you feel good and confident and beautiful in.
Number two, you have to know what fits you. We can’t always get tailored pieces, but knowing what fits you, what cut or measurement looks best in your body, you have to know it. It also cuts time whenever you’re shopping.
Lastly, you have to know what your strengths and weaknesses are. In fashion, everything is and can be a classic fashion piece. For example, a pleated skirt. It’s a simple piece but it can glam up every outfit. You can pair it with heels, you can wear it with sneakers. It’s all about knowing what you’re comfortable with and again, it’s all about having fun with what you’re wearing."
Name five Clozette (closet) essentials.
"Shades, a good blazer — a really, really nice, crisp blazer — a pair of jeans, definitely, a pair of sneakers, and a pair of stilettos. All the basics that you can pair and style with anything. You’re all set from there."
Inspired? Check out stories of other exceptional women here.