Celebrity Stylist Irma Martínez On Fashion and Being Strikingly Different
It’s not often someone can claim to have invented their job, but for Irma Martínez, it might just be true. Irma has done some fantastic things, from moving to the US without speaking English aged 18 to becoming one of the most prominent Latina stylists working today.
Before wardrobe styling was a career, Irma worked in a small boutique at the weekends and studied Merchandising at a fashion and design school in Miami. Customers loved the outfits she put together for the boutique’s mannequins and would often buy the complete look as it was styled.
Her career really started to take off when celebrities began to come in and ask for her style advice, and before long, she was touring with Latin singer Angela Carrasco and, later, Shakira. Later, after being let go from her job in PR at a television station, Irma started reaching out to the contacts she had accumulated and asked if they needed help styling on creative projects. For 20 years, her company, Trendy Group, has grown from an entrepreneurial start-up to a successful female-led styling and innovative concept firm. “I love to use and support new and upcoming designers.”
She states she “loves to be unique in everything I do,” which included becoming a pioneer in the fashion stylist industry and “inventing new codes of visual communication between stars and their fans,” as she puts it. Her work portfolio includes countless creative partnerships with famous names: Pitbull, Ricky Martin, Enrique Iglesias, Marc Anthony, Gloria Estefan, Thalia and Eva Longoria, to name a few; “Each person tells a story with their image and it is up to me to help them tell it.”
Throughout her career, she has often drawn on her Colombia heritage to “occupy an important space in the Hispanic entertainment industry.” She has worked on many large-scale projects, including the Latin Grammys and Billboard Awards and prominent Hispanic brands like Target and Kohls.
Her love for fashion started back in Colombia as a girl, cutting and transforming her clothes into something new and unique: “jeans into skirts, dresses into shirts, etc.” today, Irma is a style icon in her own right, with over 190k Instagram followers and a feed filled with gorgeous clothes and familiar faces. She describes her outfits as a mix of “fun” and “eclectic,” making it her mission to “show my personality and personal style with everything I wear.”
With 20 years of fashion styling under her belt, she juggles her role as Founder and Owner at Trendy Group alongside her fashion education center Trendy Academy, where she offers to teach her “know-how and experience to the new generation of stylists.” She also released a book in 2015, “The Stylist’s Manual,” a tell-all in which she shares her experiences and secrets to succeed.
Read the full interview with Irma Martínez below:
Tell me about the time you first fell in love with fashion. Since
I was little, I just loved to sit next to my mom at the sewing machine.
She loved to sew and make clothes just for us. Then as a teenager I
loved to transform my clothes into new pieces, like jeans into skirts,
dresses into shirts, etc.
What have been some highlights in your career so far? In 25
years there have been many. I’m just lucky to work with the best artists
in our industry. It has been very satisfactory. I also have become a
focused entrepreneur, growing with my company to occupy an important
space in the Hispanic entertainment industry. And now as a mentor with
Trendy Academy, I can teach all my know-how and experience to the new
generation of stylists.
Describe your style in 3 words. Eclectic, Fun, Unique.
Who is your must-have designer right now? I love to use and
support the new and upcoming designers more than the big brands. Names
like Sirapop NY and Descendants of Thieves are two of my favorites.
Lastly, the definition of Contrast is ‘to be strikingly different.’ What makes you strikingly different? I
love to be unique in everything I do, especially with my style. I love
to mix vintage pieces, secondhand fashions, new and upcoming designers
and big brands in my own way to show my personality and personal style
with everything I wear.