News & Runway

An Intimate Chat with Stylist Leslie Fremar: Closed Set with Julie Bensman

For someone whose client roster includes the likes of Reese, ScarJo, and Charlize, stylist Leslie Fremar is refreshingly relatable and down-to-earth, which probably explains why her collaboration with Fruit of the Loom is such a spot-on success: laid-back pieces from a laid-back (albeit uber-talented) lady.

Form her days assisting Anna Wintour at Vogue to her current status as The Hollywood Reporter’s #2 Most Powerful Stylist (and cover girl!), Fremar’s next move comes in a slightly softer form: a line of basic tees, sweaters, leggings, and dresses for one of America’s most recognizable brands. The 2012 collection will hit Bloomingdales stores nationwide later this month but in the meantime, I caught up with the sought-after stylist to chat, well, intimately.

Julie Bensman: How did the collaboration with Fruit of the Loom come about?

Leslie Fremar: I source the market all day long for a living and I found myself spending so much money on t-shirts. Who makes the softest? Who makes the most expensive? The t-shirt market is saturated, sure, but something was still missing, I wondered why a larger company couldn’t produce the same product at a more reasonable price.

I’ve worn Fruit of the Loom my whole life. I used to buy those 3-packs of men’s t-shirts and layer them under everything. Being familiar with the brand, I approached them to start a capsule collection and it took off from there. I feel like I need this product in my life and there aren’t many things I say that about.

JB: How important was price point to you?

LF: It was everything. It’s the entire strategy, the concept of making these pieces affordable so you can save money and buy something else…like expensive jeans [laughs].

JB: What are some of your favorites in the collection?

LF: Besides the tees, we have pieces to create an entire outfit but nothing spirals outside the world of basics. I wear the oversized boyfriend cardigans all the time. When I was pregnant, I’d always want to wear the leggings, too.

JB: The Hollywood Reporter just named you the 2nd Most Powerful Stylist in the industry. How do you define success?

LF: It’s so nice they brought recognition to a field of people who work really hard and don’t always get proper credit. All of the people on that list are so talented. When you love your job, it doesn’t necessarily feel like work and I feel lucky in the fact that I truly love my job. I don’t overextend myself and only take on jobs I know I can really focus on. I guess you could call me controlling in that sense but at the same time, I think that’s what’s given me longevity.

JB: What advice do you have for an aspiring stylist?

LF: It’s not about loving clothes or shopping or the fact that you like to read magazines. This is a real business and it’s important to recognize the time and effort that goes into it. I would recommend interning and assisting, setting yourself up behind people who are willing to teach you. And then take it all in and don’t rush.

JB: What’s the best fashion advice you ever received?

LF: Don’t follow the trends. Dress for your body type.