The MNY Spotlight

Meet Laura Katherine Sawyier, Stylist, Confidence Coach, Speaker and Consultant

Introduce yourself!

I’m the founder and CEO of LKS Consulting. As a style expert and confidence coach, I work with Fortune 500 companies, non-profits, and individuals using evidence-based research within the Applied Psychology of Fashion. Originally from New York, I now live in Saint Louis and work with clients across the country.

Laura Katherine Sawyier

Laura wears the Elle Barong Top and Camila Skirt

Tell us more about your journey becoming a successful stylist & consultant!

I had a previous decade-long career in experiential design, production, and marketing prior to launching my business in 2018. It was and still is today, my mission to inspire at least one person to feel really good about themselves through the medium of fashion. It’s such a powerful tool that can create ripples in how you feel about yourself. I go beyond the surface. It’s been my philosophy since before all this dialogue about how clothing makes us feel became popular as a result of the pandemic. It’s fantastic that it’s part of the zeitgeist. The conversation needs to be integrated into our lives regularly. 

How do you approach working with clients, when everyone’s style, shape, budget, and aesthetic varies so widely?

This is the best part of my job. No client is alike and no day is alike. I work with a wide range of clients in all of these areas. And my aesthetic is not your aesthetic. I celebrate an individual's multi-dimensional attributes instead of trying to fit a mold.

A common misconception is that I only work with a certain type of luxury client, but this is not always the case. Working with a stylist is definitely an investment, but it’s one that’s very targeted and I personalize my approach around each client. It’s why going deep and sharing vulnerabilities are so important to me. I, in turn, invest in getting to know my clients really well; what their daily schedule realistically looks like, what triggers them, what makes them smile, what drives confidence, their self-dialogue when getting dressed, the parts of their bodies they celebrate or want to hide, their comfort level with spending on specific items, and what they’re going through in their personal and professional lives.

Our relationship is the key ingredient here. There are so many variables that come into play when helping a client show up as their best self. Nothing is off the table, but we have to have a relationship so I can best serve their individualized needs and goals.

You contribute to many causes and organizations in the St. Louis area, one being Pink Ribbon Girls, who we work with as well! How do you incorporate your charitable values into your work?

Community is very important to me. As a transplant in Saint Louis, I've come to learn over the years that this is an extremely giving place, in many facets. It’s given so much to me. I’m grateful and it’s an ongoing lesson for life. I feel compelled to pay it forward to organizations and institutions that I’m passionate about and where I can provide value. Whether that’s unloading boxes, helping steer development, or chairing a fundraiser. We all have something to offer and to learn. I’m not afraid to roll my sleeves up, whether for a small or big task, in volunteering and in business.

Favorite fashion hack:

Fit is everything. It makes sense that you would want something purchased immediately off the rack to fit your exact physique. But this isn’t the case most often. I teach this everyday.

It’s absolutely worth buying something and having it altered to fit your body and cut in a way to be worn well with other pieces in your collection. Tailoring is becoming more attainable through services from brands and retailers, and there are many talented seamstresses who can make a piece just right for you. Don’t dismiss fit. I’d spend money on making sure my latest purchase fits my body before allocating those funds to the next item on my wishlist.

What advice do you have for young women looking to level up their wardrobe and define their personal sense of style?

Be curious. Don’t be afraid to try something new. I’m often asked what style archetype someone fits in. Let’s break down the boxes and look at personal style as a venn diagram. You can be five aesthetics if that’s who you are. As long as they feel true to you, then own it. Yes, we all want clarity, but clarity doesn’t mean stifling parts of you for the sake of simplicity or only outward affirmation.

How do you find out? Learn from trying and making fashion faux pas. We often get clear when we know what we don’t want.

Stylist Laura Katherine Sawyier

Laura styles the Sabina Scarf (coming soon!) as a top with the Gigi Pajama Set bottoms. Follow along on Instagram @lauraksawyier for more styling inspiration!

What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned while working in the fashion industry?

Fashion can be intimidating for many people. But it’s really not. I aim to make it approachable and welcoming for all. I have always appreciated fashion and design but told myself the story that I didn’t have the pedigree to work in this field growing up. That’s a false narrative and I chose to change it. Fashion is my language, and it’s a part of every single person's daily life; it has the power to bring joy, evoke memories, reflect you and your values, and bring people together. Like working in many industries, you have to put the work in and not let fear or intimidation, or competitiveness get to you. I love hearing “no,” because it pushes me to double down and keep moving upward, to keep growing, and keep being challenged for more impact in the industry.

I’d also add that fashion can be very collaborative. From a brand perspective, partnerships are smart. And the partners you work with know the benefits of coming together is a win-win for everyone.

How are you styling your Mestiza piece?

Transitionally! I love the shift from summer into autumn. It’s my favorite time of year. It’s also when I’m asked the most about dressing for chilly weather in the morning while being prepared for the high sun and warmth midday. Play with sleeve lengths, throw on a boot or bootie with a short sleeve top and a skirt of any length. And don’t reserve florals for spring ;)

I went for a heritage vibe in this look. The pearl button details on the Elle Barong Top coupled with the tonal embroidery are drawn from the important clothing marker of the Filipino identity. Tucked into the floral Camila skirt with suede boots and a belt give it a wearable flare. I added the Geometric Jade earrings to touch on the blue tones in the skirt, but not too matchy-matchy. This little nod with the suede and separates gives off an elevated western vibe, which my style leans towards on occasion.

What draws you to the Mestiza brand?

Precision, and sheer joy with moments of glam in all of the designs that Mestiza creates! And their commitment to women. Louisa and Alessandra are so passionate about uplifting and empowering women. Through their thoughtfulness in creating garments based on fit and functionality, to the craftsmanship in their creations, all the way down to partnering with the women of the Habi Philippine Textile Council, and their unwavering commitment to gifting excess product through their Heirloom Project. There’s genuine thoughtfulness that goes into every stage of their business - they walk the talk.

 Laura Katherine Sawyier, Stylist, Confidence Coach, Speaker and Consultant

Check out more styling reels with Laura at @mestiza_ny

How does wearing your Mestiza piece make you feel?
Feminine and fun. I’m no stranger to mixing up my aesthetic and style archetypes. This look from Mestiza gives me floral, flouncy, heritage, and conversational, all tied up with my own twist thanks to the accessories. This is an everyday statement look and I relish in this kind of outfit.

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