In the tumultuous world of fashion, there are some who have cultivated their personal style over decades of insider access to the industry—and then there are those who ooze head-to-toe chic right from the start. You know the ones—always in the loop about the hottest up-and-coming designers and under-the-radar trends that everyone will be wearing next season. To say that we’re envious is an understatement, but then again, we’re lucky enough to poke around in their closets and get all the inside intel right from the source.
So, when we discovered stylist and producer Jessica Wu via Instagram, we couldn’t help but admire how sophisticated, innovative, and undeniably *cool* the 23-year-old’s work and personal aesthetic are already, despite having graduated from FIT just a few years ago. “When I first started, I was like, ‘Ooh, I want to be a fashion designer.’ That was the biggest thing,” she explains after gamely crawling onto her Upper West Side fire escape (girl has got a KILLER view). “Then I was like, ‘I want to be an accessories designer!’ ‘I want to do jewelry!’ ‘I want to be an interior designer!’ [laughs] So it was phasing in and out of all of these different things.”
With an exceptionally fashionable family to reference (it seemed like everything she wore during our shoot was from an aunt or grandmother), word of Wu’s enviable wardrobe soon got around to her industry friends and prompted her to fall into styling almost by accident. Now everyone from cult-favorite label Pamplemousse and vintage e-retailer Either And to Models.com and Nike have tapped her to help style both editorials and e-commerce shoots, with a new design collaboration launching next month. “You really have to hustle,” she reminds us after pulling out the kind of incredible vintage Escada blouse we’ve always dreamed of finding from the back of her expertly curated closet. “That’s the only word for it.” You gotta love a girl who understands the hustle.
Click through to learn how she started booking gigs before she even graduated, her go-to spots for affordable vintage shopping in New York and L.A., and the reason why you really should be putting some thought behind that latest Instagram post. Also, shop her closet here.