Stylist and personal shopper, Donyale Walton is someone whose work we’ve been following for several years. From her launching a fashion blog several years ago to her impressive portfolio within the fashion industry, Donyale is an expert in all things fashion. We got a chance to catch up with the young entrepreneur this month and ask her a few questions about her role in the fashion industry and what the future holds.

So Donyale, tell us a little bit about your background and what you do?

It’s very hard to sum up my background because I’ve had many different experiences within the fashion industry. I appreciate that I’m able to see many sides of the industry to see what really interests me. But briefly, I’ve lived and worked in New York City in a variety of roles from intern, stylist assistant, merchandise coordinator, and consignment buyer. Currently, I am a stylist and personal shopper at Saks Fifth Ave. in Troy, MI.

How did your love for fashion develop?

My grandmother had subscriptions of W magazine when I was a child and I watched House of Style on MTV, and Fashion File on E! I believe it was that combination that sparked my interest.

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How did you break into the fashion industry?

I got into the industry by creating my own magazine in 2007 and blogging for a few years after that. I applied for an internship at Marie Claire magazine and that solidified my journey down this road.

What is an average day in the life of a personal shopper like?

My average day is part stylist, part psychiatrist, part logistics and problem solver. I have to creatively put looks together, be able to encourage clients who may feel self conscious about their size or shape and also be able to make the impossible happen when clients are crunched for time and NEED a dress today. They always need it today.

What are 3 staple pieces that everyone should have in their wardrobe?

A black turtleneck, classic loafers in black or brown, ripped jeans.

With Winter around the corner, what are your winter must haves?

Every winter I like to make sure I have a nice pair of boots and a great coat. An amazing statement coat allows you to have style when you don’t care about style and are just looking to stay warm. A mix of style and function is important.

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Where does your style inspiration come from?

I like a classic aesthetic with a twist and very feminine silhouettes. Pencil skirts, peplums, fit and flare these are all very feminine shapes but I enjoy a mix of classic American style, oxford shirts with sweaters, collegiate colors and lots of stripes.

What are your future career goals?

To be happy. God will provide opportunities for me and I simply want to be happy in my career. How many people do you know that hate their job? I don’t want to be one of those people.

Any advice for people wanting to break into the fashion industry?

Open your mouth (email or DM) and ask for opportunities. Internships, assistant jobs, etc. these things probably won’t fall in your lap so don’t be afraid to reach out to people and ask for opportunities.

The Fashion Collective’s Intern Writer is always wearing neutral colors. She is obsessed with 90’s aesthetics, loves NYC, and collects fashion magazines. Her journal is always in hand and her curly fro is always intact!