#HerLifestyle: Devon Milan

Puma and DTLR team up for this line-up of amazing women. | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Who or What inspires you to work?

I would say I’m inspired by everything to be honest, but as far as me, I’m not your typical stylist. Most people and most stylists, they look at high-end fashion magazines and other designers look at what’s the new drop. I’m inspired by movies. I actually grew up in the rag business. My parents were designers, dating all the way back to the 80s, in the Dapper Dan era. I pretty much grew up into it. They opened up a boutique around me, and from there I was introduced to the fashion industry.

How long have you been in business or working in your industry?

I’ve been professionally doing it on my own for 4 years.

How would you describe your job/business?

Honestly, I would say one of my gifts is that I can look at somebody and I just see the beauty in them. When I was trying to figure out my way in fashion and what I really wanted to do, I mean there’s so many different genres and jobs you can choose from, styling best suited me because I can look at people and see their full potential, and I know with a tweak here, a twist here, a pop here, we can elevate and take someone to a totally different level. If they always wanted to be a character, I can bring that to life, that vision to life. I’m a story teller. Styling helps me tell stories by using people as my canvas and clothing as my brushes.

When and how would you describe your big break?

I would say my first big break was the Meek Mill Monster video. I got presented with the opportunity from my god-brother Spike Jordan. I had no idea, I had no budget, I had no experience, and I literally did not know what I was doing. But sometimes when you have an opportunity, you have to rise to the occasion. You’ll step up. That’s what I did. I literally utilized every resource I could think of. I overcame my fears and went out on a limb and reached out to everyone. When I got on set, I brought on 20 interns of young, inspiring stylists just like me, and I blew the production team away. I came to set with $10,000 worth of glasses, I had over $200,000 worth of fur as original pieces from the movie. I reached out to Dapper Dan; he made a couple pieces for the film. Literally, they stopped the entire production and said, “Why do the extras look better than the artist?” I literally had to switch the entire video around and style everyone.

What advice would you give to other women interested in your industry? What advice would you give your younger self?

If I could give advice to other women that want to be in the fashion industry, especially with trained direction and styling, even giving this advice to my younger self, is facing your fears. One of my biggest fears was going after it. I was always scared of rejection. I was always scared of not being good enough, even though I knew I had the talent. I knew I had the drive. I was holding my own self back. One of the biggest things, and one of the mantras I live by, is trust your hustle. You know that this is something you want to do. If this is something you eat, sleep, and breathe and you can’t get over it, you just have to go after it. And it’s not going to be easy. You are going to get doors slammed in your face. You are going to be told no. You are going to be pushed to the side. You are going to have people question you. You just have to toughen up, tighten your boot strap, and go even harder. Every time I got turned away, I turned my pain into power. Instead of me using that as discouragement, I went harder. Those same people that once slept on me, now want to work with me. That’s one of the craziest feelings ever. I would say face your fears and trust your hustle.

My name is Devon Milan, and this is HerLifestyle.