Chi Ilochi is a 20 year old Nigerian-American fashion stylist based in Pittsburg, PA. She created the company “Styling By Chi” where she helps to heal, inspire, and share insight through her life and fashion. Her story is one of passion, pain, and art that can be seen throughout her work. She turned her pain of being introverted and afraid into a passion for creating. She was in love with fashion from a young age of 7 and the rest is history. Fashion is what completes Chi and allows her to help others with own personal style. She’s recently been styling for people that suffer from illnesses and other conditions, so that they feel beautiful and stylish.
Something that every creator faces are the thoughts of giving up; however, Chi said “this is [her] calling” and will stick with her dreams. Her advice to people who might’ve had similar ideas cross their mind is not to rush anything. To trust yourself and talents, to do what you dream of, out of love, and not for the likes and followers. Just never stop creating, we at bndts couldn’t agree more. Be consistent, be humble, be persistent, and be grateful and things will eventually fall into place. You will carve your place out in the world if you never stop creating. Like we say here at bndts CREATE MORE.
Chi’s unique style is very eclectic and versatile, and her style inspirations come from SZA, Jeremy Scott and Pharrell Williams. Chi’s favorite piece is a pants created by Blu Boy called “Art Is War”. Be sure to read our article about Blu Boy here. Chi’s favorite projects were working with “A model, actress and therapist named Danielle Tyisha Anderson ( Instagram.com/danies_grammy ) and a brilliant musician and artist named Charlie G ( Instagram.com/whoischarlieg )”. They were able to trust her vision and create something amazing out of almost nothing.
Some upcoming projects Chi’s working on include another edition of her “StylingByChi Magazine” coming June 20th. You can get the first edition here. Her upcoming work includes styling for two celebrities, a few magazine features and fashion shows. In the future she sees herself celebrity styling, community styling, taking part in fashion shows, creating magazines and holding styling sessions for children in Nigeria. She hopes to continue doing what she loves while living in Brooklyn, NY.
See the full interview below:
What’s your story?
“Hmm. Wow what a question. I believe my story is a story of calling, pain, purpose and light. Growing up I wasn’t the way you see me now. I was afraid, introverted, and anxious. I was that way because I was teased for how I was, so I didn’t know my value because I was made to feel like I didn’t have any. I knew there was a way to channel my pains, to feel heard, seen, appreciated, so I did just that. I was ALWAYS creating. In the midst of my love for fashion I also entertained visual arts, whether that be manga, painting, cartooning, even Origami.
That translated and was the reality I had created where I could dress however I wanted. I must say I always dressed in wacky, colorful clothing because as an introvert that was my way of speaking. Dressing up was my way of letting people know I was there without saying I was there. Without being the center of attention. I had a deep love for fashion since about 7 years old but didn’t know how to pursue it until I was 16 years old. I had a friend who asked me “Have you ever thought about being a stylist?” I was nervous by that question but did the research and found out it was everything I loved. From that point on I never looked back! I started my own styling company “StylingByChi” that specializes in wardrobe, virtual, editorial, celebrity and community styling!”
Who are your style inspirations? What’s your favorite piece?
“My style inspirations are SZA, Jeremy Scott and Pharrell Williams. My favorite piece are these pants from created by one of my favorite designers ‘Blu Boy’ called ‘Art is War’.”
How would you describe your style?
“I would describe my style as unique, eclectic, versatile and original.”
What made you get into fashion and become a stylist?
“I got into fashion and became a stylist because I’ve had a deep love for it for so long. If I’m not doing something fashion related, something feels missing. Fashion is the piece that completes me and allows me to help complete others through it.”
What made you want to aid and assist individuals with illnesses and other conditions?
“Seeing the way individuals with illnesses and conditions are treated has always bothered me. We tend to look at those who are different from ourselves as less than and I won’t accept that. I don’t care what your condition or illness may be, you deserve to feel beautiful, you deserve to feel stylish. Seeing the smile on their faces is one of the best feelings ever, and it’s so rewarding.”
What was your favorite project?
“My favorite project was a recent project I did with 2 amazing creatives. A model, actress and therapist named Danielle Tyisha Anderson ( Instagram.com/danies_grammy ) and a brilliant musician and artist named Charlie G ( Instagram.com/whoischarlieg ). I styled them for Charlie G’s soon to be released EP Cover. The two are brilliant and so easy to work with. They loved my vision and trusted my vison. It was awesome to see the end result. To create art out of seemingly nothing is one of the best if not the best feeling ever.”
Where do you see yourself and your brand 10 years from now?
“I see myself Celebrity Styling, Community Styling, Fashion Shows, Magazines and hopefully styling sessions for children in Nigeria. As for myself I see myself in a great place mentally, spiritually, and financially doing what I love living in Brooklyn New York.”
Have you ever thought about quitting or giving up on your dream as a fashion stylist?
“Absolutely! There have been so many times I’ve considered quitting but this is my purpose. This is my calling. So I have to stick to the plan and trust God’s timing no matter how tough it may get.”
What’s the best advice you would give someone who’s struggling to follow their dreams?
“I would tell them to not rush anything. To not be discouraged by what other people may be doing or how many likes or followers they have. Everything happens In God’s timing so trust yourself, trust your talent and trust in God. There’s room for you and any time you feel there’s too many people in the field you’re in just think about the credits at the end of a movie. If there can be a 1,000 directors working on just one film, why can’t there be room for you. Continue creating, stay thankful, humble without self-deprecation, focused, and keep God first and everything will fall into place. What’s meant for you will be and no one can get in the way of it. If you’re persistent you’ll get it, if you’re consistent you’ll keep it, if you’re grateful you’ll get more of it. Again just never stop creating.”
Any other information, upcoming projects, comments, so on?
“Hmmm. My Second Issue of my magazine “StylingByChi Magazine” comes out June 20th. I will be styling two celebrities very soon and I’m so excited about, and a few magazine features, fashion shows, and styling work coming out.”