Sometimes the fashion industry gives us mixed signals that equate our wardrobe to our self-worth. Thankfully there are women across the industry determined to change that narrative. Meet Melissa Chataigne. As a fashion expert & TV personality who regularly appears on Access Hollywood, CBS, Good Day LA and more, Melissa has a unique outlook on style... and it's personal. Her desire to help women feel empowered while nurturing both their body and mind is her way of honoring her baby sister who died by suicide. This tragic event made Melissa realize that it is important for women to feel confident in their skin, no matter what they were wearing. As a stylist, she works to build her client's confidence AND closets! Labeled as the “EveryBody’s Stylist” by The L.A. Times, Melissa's makeovers change lives through style and all while enforcing her message that clothing is just a costume without confidence!
MJ: If you had a “fashion uniform” what would be be? Describe the look from head to toe.
MC: Daytime my black Frame jeans, with a button down blouse, silk scarf and Jessica Leoné bolero hat and my tassel loafers from Loeffer Randall. At night a curve hugging dress and my Stuart Weitzman ankle boots.
MJ: What person, place or thing from the past inspires your style today and why?
MC: My mother's style. She was born in Haiti and came to the states in her teens. What inspired me most was her ability to play with colors, patterns and style while remaining elegant. Her most important lesson was to rock whatever you want, but always lead with confidence and class.
MJ: Explain why opening your own doors is sometimes the ONLY way.
MC: I believe if you don't see yourself represented then don't just try to squeeze in a chair at the table. I have done that in the past. After years in the corporate healthcare and Hollywood, I believe the best way to exist is it to create. Create the table then your own damn board room! Once you have leverage opportunities will come to you!
MJ: Why is it important that someone that looks like you be represented in the fashion + beauty industry?
MC: I grew up wanting to see someone like myself represented on television. There was only Oprah. Black people are more than Oprah and African-American. I hope to inspire a little girl to show her it is possible.
MJ: To anyone struggling with feeling comfortable in their own body, what would you like them to know?
MC: You can't be confident all the time, but you must love yourself. Embrace where you are today. Stand naked in front of the mirror and praise yourself. If you don't love your body and are comfortable in your skin how can you expect anyone else love you? I'm a firm believer in positive affirmations. Our bodies have imperfections some people mispronounce as flaws. Celebrate what makes you, you! Love your full tummy, thick thighs, strong arms and so on... Say, I am thankful for my thick thighs that allow me to be strong throughout the day. Find the gratitude in your pain. You will feel more confident!
MJ: What are 3 pieces of clothing and/ or accessories every woman should invest in?
MC: A structured handbag, a tailored blazer and a power dress that makes for feel like a million bucks!
For more on Melissa follow her on Instagram