Please introduce yourself. What do you do? Why? What do you want people to know about you?
My name is Jiovani Cervantes and as a wardrobe stylist I literally change peoples lives everyday. I’ve worked as a freelance stylist for 5 years now, creating images in LA and ATL for artist development agencies like Wealth Nation and Artist Rewards, working on set for Karl Kani and Vogue and personally styling everyday people helping them find confidence through style.
What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?
One of the qualities that make me different from the others in my industry is; I know how to find luxury items for a great price. High fashion for low prices is a concept everyone deserves to indulge in and I’m the guy that can introduce you to it.
Secondly, I pride myself on my “welcoming” and “adaptable” nature. For as young as I am I have been exposed to many different kinds of characters, environments, atmospheres and levels of pressure that allow me to work on set and get along with fellow creatives to get the job done.
Kindness goes a very long way in the fashion industry so being kind and accepting of everyone is key. Thirdly, this may be more of a curse than a blessing, but I have an obsession for perfection.
From the curation of the outfit, the set location, to the images photographed I do everything in my power to make sure every detail of the story line and direction in my mind are properly conveyed and captured.
I firmly believe if there is no story line for a photoshoot, than there is no opportunity for the viewer to properly resonate and connect to the brand and say “they get me, this is how I want to express myself through clothing”.
Describe THAT moment when you realized you’re doing what you were born to do.
Steve Harvey once said “your gift or talent, is the thing you do the absolute best with the least amount of effort”. Keep this quote in mind.
There was a point in time when I had first moved to California in hopes of pursuing a promising music career.
I was sure that this was my life’s path because of all that I had previously accomplished with music in Washington state before moving and after all my heart and mind has been all in since I was 7, at least so I thought.
After moving and trying to make some what of a decent track in the 7 months I had been out in LA with no success, I sat outside for hours one night and reflected on how I could make the biggest impact on the people around me, contribute to their passion projects, make money and still do what it is I love to do.
Music was moving slower than it ever had, so I decided in that moment I was going to take my path in fashion serious and see what comes out of it, sure enough within 3 months I had successfully revamped the wardrobes of the creatives around me, landed a style assistant gig for Karl Kani and was featured in my first article since I had moved.
At that moment I realized that getting dressed & teaching others about the power of presentation was what I did best with the least amount of effort and headaches.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to go through and how did you grow through it?
I actually love telling this story.
In 2018 I attended Eastern Washington University, here I would be focusing on furthering my education and my passion projects music and fashion. I’m actually someone who enjoys schooling and always learning, so ultimately I was passionate about getting a degree.
Other than studying and attending lectures I often found myself performing on campus and helping students I met clean out their closets and giving them tips on how to elevate their current image.
This was my campus life all the way up until sophomore year, i’d like to say I had my first midlife crisis, I have felt as though my fiery passion for schooling was extinguished, found myself failing my classes accumulating academic strikes, just unsure of what I really wanted to do with my life.
I took it upon myself to drop out of EWU before they had a chance to revoke my scholarships, this was an extremely tough time for me because I had worked so hard for the opportunity to be the first in my family to go to college and I felt like I had let everyone down.
It was two weeks after I had dropped out where I found myself wondering if what I had done was my own wrong doing or something that was in God’s plan, I specifically remember bringing my hands together in prayer and I asked for the a clear mind and direction on what I should do next.
In this prayer I had essentially asked God to show me a blue unicorn with wings, seemingly impossible, yet the very next day I hopped on a phone call with a couple of mentors of mine where they had offered me a chance to be a part of what they had created out in California allowing me to do what it is that I truly love to do.
With the catch being I had to move out three days after the call, leave the only life I’ve ever known in Washington to start a new one in a place that I was totally new to, to take a chance on making a dream become a reality.
Without hesitation I said yes and booked my flight the same day of the call. I flew back to my hometown to see my family one last time, gather the overwhelming support they showered me with when they heard of my new endeavor and soon enough I was headed to Los Angeles with $600 in my pocket and a suit case full of clothes.
The biggest leap of my life so far, three years later I’ve done more than I could’ve imagined, worked on many sets meeting so many brilliant and talented creatives, launched my own styling business, networking and connecting with some of the figures I’ve always looked to for hope and inspiration, yet this is only the beginning.
Was taking that risk worth it after all? Hell yes.
Who are the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could elevate your career or business? Why these specific individuals?
Bad Bunny, Kollin Karter and Sydney Rose Thomas are the three influential figures I’d really like to work with.
Kollin and Sydney are established stylists, I’d love to work with Kollin to gain some pointers on what it’s like to work with a celebrity client you know inside and out and his formula on how to authentically dress them for who they are while adding such cohesive “wow” factor every time.
Sydney I’d love to work because I am a huge fan of her styling approach and the liberation, expressionism, emotions and moods that are conveyed when viewing her work.
Now with Bad Bunny, aside from making amazing music, becoming one of the most prominent fashion icons, the young man shattering records just so happens to represent the island my family is from Puerto Rico. There is love already there for him as fellow Puertorriqueño, but the respect comes comes from challenging the toxic masculine culture within PR.
From painted nails, wearings skirts and making hit records about love & heartbreak I’m all on board. Shoutout to Bad Bunny’s stylist Storm Pablo, they’re doing everything I dream of doing in terms of outfit curations.
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