When she’s not strolling through the Botanic Gardens with her two dogs, grabbing a cup of coffee at Atlas coffee bar or having lunch at Dempsey, this fashion stylist in Singapore goes shopping. But mind you, it’s all part of a day’s work for Julia Blank, who swapped a brief stint on Wall Street for a career revamping wardrobes.
Here, she talks about life in the city-state, and what’s on the horizon.
Tell us a bit about yourself and being a fashion stylist
I’m originally from the Ukraine but I lived in New York for 17 years.
After my first son was born, I decided to follow my true calling as a fashion stylist. I started offering fashion styling services in NYC in 2001, right after the banking industry got rid of formal business attire and people had no idea what to wear. At first, I worked with major banks by defining a new dress code, then with TV stations and eventually private clients.
In 2007, I came to Singapore after my husband landed a role at Citibank. From the start, I realised that dressing up for a hot climate was challenging. This, coupled with unfamiliar brands, many of which did not carry Western sizes, made dressing up difficult, so I decided to continue with my business venture.
As a fashion stylist, I help busy professionals and parents. I make them fall in love with shopping by making styling a step-by-step learning process. Getting dressed becomes something they look forward to every day because they will have choices and a well-built capsule of clothes.
What do you enjoy about living in Singapore?
I love Singapore for its sunny days, predictable weather and amazing coffee shops. We are so spoiled for choice when it comes to good coffee here.
My friends are important to me and the fact that I can see them without driving for hours like I did back home is comforting.
I also love how quick and easy it is – outside of COVID times, at least – to hop on the plane and be on the beach in Bali or somewhere in Borneo.
What do you like to do here when you’re not too busy?
I love to entertain at home with good food and wine – so much so that I often create themed nights when I get my guests to dress up! I also decorate flats as a side business.
What would you never wear?
I’m quite selective – I wouldn’t wear a lot of the new trends that youngsters can pull off. I don’t think you’ll ever see me wearing socks and sandals! Knowing what works for you is the key to a true style.
Who are some of your go-to fashion designers for fashion styling?
I absolutely love the vibrancy of Dolce & Gabbana. I also wear a lot of lesser-known fashion designers from Eastern and Central Europe. My recent favourites are Aleksander Terekhov, Yulia and Alisa Ruban, Vika Gazinskaya and the Russian brand Marchelas.
What has this last year and a half taught you?
One of the most significant moments in my life was learning to let go of the things I could not change. I accepted the fact that the lockdown might last a long time but I did learn how to adapt my life around it. For example, having a routine and sticking to it really helped me; I formed an exercise group online and trained with them three times a week.
Any exciting plans?
I’m starting my own YouTube channel. I’m also in the process of creating an online programme called “Be Your Own Stylist”. This programme will help me reach over 40s who live outside of Singapore but who are unable to afford their personal fashion stylist.
What’s one place or service in Singapore you’d recommend?
I recently discovered a leather craftsman, Jason & Sherron, in Far East Plaza. Since then, I have made custom belts to match my outfits, replaced old bag handles, and have had customised leads and collars made for my dogs.
To find out more about what this fashion stylist is up to, follow her on Instagram at @juliarblank or visit her website at julia-blank.com.
Need to get some new clothes? Have a look at our round up of 30 local designers in Singapore