Thursday, March 29, 2012

Small 4 Style Interviews Tammy Theis

Me with Tammy Theis
 Tammy Theis is a powerhouse in the Dallas fashion industry.  She’s a stylist and the owner of Wallflower Management, a premier modeling agency in Dallas that’s all about discovering unique beauties.  She will be speaking during SMU Fashion Week.  I was lucky enough to talk to Tammy about her experiences in the fashion industry, as well as some of her fashion favorites.

Just a year after graduating from the University of North Texas with a degree in Journalism, Tammy Theis started working for The Dallas Morning News’ Fashion Dallas, a weekly fashion section in the newspaper.  During her 21 years with The Dallas Morning News, she focused on styling while “covering the local fashion beat and the shows in NYC, Milan, London and Paris each season.”  She has always a good eye for casting models.  She loves discovering and mentoring “New Faces” (younger models that can be molded, aren’t “posey”) who still have an “innocence and joy in modeling.”  Tammy says, “It was a natural progression to finally open my own agency.”

In 2009, Tammy Theis started Wallflower Management with Brenda Gomez, her business partner and former Neiman Marcus stylist.
  When choosing a name for the agency, she says, “Wallflower was a word I always identified with--I was one growing up for sure.”  And according to Tammy, a lot of models can identify with being wallflowers too, “they are tall and gawky in school and usually don't quite fit in with the cheerleader types.”  The Wallflower brand developed quickly, with girls writing in saying "I want to be a Wallflower" not "I want to be a model.”

As an industry insider, Tammy’s best advice for those wanting to get into fashion is “to be obsessed with it.”   She emphasized the importance of studying fashion because “the more you know, the better you are prepared to compete in this business and the more seriously you'll be taken.”  At the age of 13, Tammy started reading magazines, “shopped non-stop,” and styled outfits.  Stylists have a particularly physically demanding job carrying “lots of merch and long hours where you are on your feet.”  She adds that internships are extremely important for making connections and contacts with industry professionals.  Two interns from Wallflower now work for the styling department at Neiman Marcus.  Very impressive!

Tammy says, “I've always liked girls dressed like boys--the whole androgyny trend has always been one of my favorites.”  This spring, her favorite trend is “sports inspired fashion” from designers like Alexander Wang and Stella McCartney.  Some of her other favorite designers to use for styling shoots this season are Prada, Miu Miu, Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Balenciaga, and Celine.  Tammy describes her style as “minimal and black, with a touch of punk.”  Her style icon is the sharp minimalist Tilda Swinton.

Make sure to catch Tammy Theis during SMU Fashion Week to hear her talk more about her life in the fashion industry at the Styling and Design Panel.  Join us tonight at 6:00 p.m. in Umphrey Lee Room 241.
The Wallflower Office
Model Headshots... Cool!

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