I can’t begin to tell you all how excited I am about this post.
I had the honor of interviewing Kim Leone Olenicoff Castellano author of “The Dirty Side of Fashion” and THE expert on fashion malfunction fixes.
As a fashion stylist there are certain fashion problems that pop-up on set that need to be squashed on the fly! Deodorant skids on a runway piece? Say it ain’t so! Blisters from those red bottomed must-have shoes? Stop it! Low cut slinky dress nip slips? Can’t have that! Models with stinky icky feet? Yeah it totally happens! Actor’s sweat pitting out a shirt? Someone get a blow-dryer! And let’s not even discuss the awkward problems that come up on swimwear and lingerie shoots.
This is my life and if you could peek into my bag of tricks you would see it stock piled with fashion fixes that Kim designed and invented!
Her website FashionFirstAid.com is a virtual ambulance of fashion first aid supplies. From button gape solutions to camel toe and lady crust fixes FashionFirstAid.com is a fashion stylist and fashionista’s lifeline.
So without further ado, here is my sit-down with the Queen of Fashion Problem Solving.
Q: What inspired you to go into the business of Fashion First Aid?
K: It was pretty much a healthy dose of OCD and an extreme aversion to practicing law. I have always loved clothes and shoes, think of them as investments, and hate to see them get ruined. It all started with one product, Garment Guard disposable underarm shields, back in 1999 when I was sick of my $35 Juicy white fitted t-shirts getting ruined by my yellow armpit taco stains. Armed with my new legal research skills, I had some samples made of a beige cotton adhesive layer that could stick on the shirt to protect it. I sent samples to the department stores and Nordstrom said they would carry it. Once I had one product, I started tackling the next. Now, over 40 products and a book later, I am pleased to report that I haven’t slowed down. And what makes it all worthwhile is having people tell me that one of my products saved them at a job interview or let them dance the night away or helped their favorite clothes last longer.
Q: Some of your products deal with topics many are embarrassed to admit– icky undies, stinky bodies underarm stains–how do you convince your clients that it’s ok to talk about and address these issues?
A: For some, that is a big hurdle to get over. But the more people hear about it, the more they feel like it is OK to talk about. I like to give the disclaimer that it is natural and happens to everyone, which takes some of the embarrassment factor away. Plus, keeping it light and upbeat helps, too.
Q: Your website touts that you are an expert in boobs, sweat and farts.. How did you earn this.. Ahem ..prestigious title lol
A: When you talk about that stuff every single day for 15 years, it would be hard NOT to be an expert. But I have also studied and done experiments (my poor husband!) to prove certain theories and to debunk common myths.
Q: What is your best DIY fashion first aid tip?
A: It is hard to narrow it down to one! My current obsession, mainly because it is time to start putting away some sweaters, is teaching people how to wash cashmere. Don’t waste time and money on the dry cleaner, especially when those chemicals are harsh on your delicate cashmere and washing is better for it. Use Soak Wash, which gently cleans by soaking for 15 minutes- no rinsing, scrubbing or wringing required. Then lay the garment flat on a clean towel and roll into it to absorb the excess moisture. Lay flat to dry. Then use Sweater Comb to remove all the pills (fuzz balls), which takes about 3 minutes. Finally, place Garment Guard in the armpits just before your next wearing to keep sweat and deodorant off the cashmere and increase the number of wears between washes. Voila!
Q: If my readers could only buy 1 of your products what would the most important one be?
A: Tough call! Everyone has a different fashion dilemma that doesn’t seem to be as big of a problem for the next person. The Fashion First Aid kit (purse-sized) is $9.95 and has 5 different products in it, so that seems like the ticket. Otherwise, I would strongly recommend Flatliners for all the sock-less girls who love their flats but hate the flat stench or Heel Seals (recently improved with better adhesive) for anyone who wears down their sandal/flat/boot/loafer heels and hates the time and money of going to the shoe repair.
Q: What’s more important, fresh panties or a fresh bra?
A: Fresh Panties, without question! (unless you are lactating) Protein, Bacteria and Smell- oh my!
Have a Fashion First Aid Dilemma? Visit FashionFirstAid.com to check out Kim’s products and advice for even the messiest of problems!
This week ONE lucky reader will receive a copy of Kim’s fab-u-lous book “The Dirty Side of Fashion”
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