People 18 January 2018
Sophia Hyacinthe, Stylist & CEO of Immaculate Wardrobe, is all about changing how women show up in the world. For her, what you wear is as much about how you look as about how your look makes you feel.
Born and raised in the Bronx and now lives in NYC, Hyacinthe earned her bachelors in Fashion Merchandising Management from Berkeley College. Hyacinthe says she's always been interested in music and fashion. “It's always been and will always be what I live for." She describes herself as spiritual, creative, and unique, and says her friends and family would call her funny, stylish, and passionate. In other words, she's a natural for creative endeavors.
Hyacinthe began her stylist career as an apprentice to celeb stylist June Ambrose. These days her styling expertise has been featured on SiriusXM and in the New York Post.
Over the past thirteen years, she's built quite the business, working with women CEOs of Fortune 500 Companies, publishing industry powerhouses, and girl bosses all over New York City.
Here's the wild part. She's not only a highly sought after stylist, she's also an equally sought after DJ known as DJ Soda Pop, spinning for brands like DVF and Rag & Bone and at queer and underground parties at ACME, the Museum of Sex, and Kinfolk. She says her style is all about blending 90s hip hop with hot sonic house beats, while also adding in musical influences inspired by her Haitian roots.
Here's a look into how Hyacinthe combined the seemingly strange pairing into an impressive career that is all her.
Sophia Hyacinthe. Photo credit: Sebastian Melendez
Sophia Hyacinthe. Photo credit: Sebastian Melendez
How would you describe your childhood, and who you were as a kid growing up?
I grew up the youngest and only girl with three older brothers in a hip hop household. I can clearly remember all the guys in the neighborhood gathering at my house to listen to Jay Z's reasonable doubt. Being the “pesky" little sister, I was, of course, banished from the gathering, but hid and sat on the top of the stairs and memorized every word as if my life depended on it. My taste in music expanded beyond hip hop when I got exposed to different cultures from going to middle school in Greenwich Village and later frequenting iconic NY hotspots like The Beatrice Inn and The Kenmare.
How did your venture into styling begin? Is there something you would consider your “big break" in terms of launching your work as a stylist?
I was fortunate to have a clear understanding on what I wanted to do in life from an early age. For example, I was so obsessed with fashion that I would sleep with Vogue fashion spreads under my pillow so that I could wear the outfits in my dreams. Music and fashion worked hand in hand as the music set the tone for everything and acted as the soundtrack to my life. In high school, a counselor introduced me to the amazing stylist/writer/activist Micheala Angela Davis who took me under her wing and later got me my dream job a styling internship with style architect June Ambrose. Upon graduating college and through my consistent interaction with female professionals in retail, I founded and tapped into a niche market. It took one client believing in me and hiring me to build my confidence and clientele.All of my clients are extremely successful, not only excelling at work but also in their personal lives. Being around them not only keeps me sharp as a stylist but also as a business person. I've learned to gain and leverage my contacts to make partnerships with fashion power houses such as Moda Operandi and Barneys New York.
How did your venture into being a DJ begin? Is there something you would consider your “big break" in terms of launching your work as a DJ?
Music was so important in my house whether it was listening to Charles Aznavour on Sunday after church or riding around with my brothers blasting Biggie in my parent's Jeep. I craved it and always needed to be surrounded by it. I started creating playlists for my job and I took them very seriously.
My co-workers were always impressed by my selection of how I could have Pat Benetar, Sade, and Little Wayne in the same set.
I carried my secret passion for DJing for a long time until my best friend Eddy paid for my first class at Rock N Soul and it went from there. Along the way, I've met and continue to meet really cool DJ's along the way that support and inspire me. My big break so far would be me going out to an Acme party and meeting party planner extraordinaire Deryck Todd then spinning one of his parties where I met and built a relationship with the Museum of Sex's event coordinator which lead to my Thursday residency at their club.
What inspires you?
I like multi-dimensional music. Music that has texture and makes me feel. Artists I admire include Onsulade and Bonobo. With fashion I am inspired by things that are quirky and aren't classically beautiful. I love how Miuccia Prada approaches fashion and beauty, especially in her women's tales. I find inspiration in common things and everyday people. I keep myself visually stimulated by surrounding myself with art I love Austrian artist Egon Schiele and street photographer Jamel Shabazz.
How do you spend your free time?
I love thrifting and finding treasures at vintage stores in Madison Ave. Curating street style photo shoots in local areas like the Bronx. Listening to music, discovering new songs, and old gems. Spending quality time with my best friends and family.
Do you see a connection between your work as a stylist and your work as a DJ?
There is a direct correlation between my work as a stylist and DJ because the way I style clothes is very similar to the way I mix music. I consider myself a musical stylist. The way I pair contrasting prints is very similar to the way I blend different music genres.
What is your dream for your future career wise?
I see myself as an International Stylist and Fashion DJ. I want to further increase my client base and work with other industry heavy hitters such as Sheryl Sandberg and Bozoma Saint John and continue to build strategic brand partnerships with luxury brands. I'd love to create a career outreach program for young girls in the Bronx. I'd love to partner with fashion houses with luxury hotels to curate unique dynamic audio experiences.
If you want to catch DJ Soda Pop live, you can find her with Okayplayer on January 17th and her residency at the Museum of Sex begins January 28th.
3 min read
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Help! My Friend Is a No Show
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.
Dear Sadsies,I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.
I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!
- The Armchair Psychologist