This week, Billboard’s Stylist Spotlight gets down to the Kehlani basics with celebrity stylist Debbie Gonzales. When it comes to style, the Oakland R&B singer stands out – her look is a bold mix of tomboy, tattoos, glamor and street.
27-year-old Gonzales, whose background is in costume design and fashion consulting, likes biking L.A., pinning on Pinterest on her downtime, and is as much a Kehlani fan as she is a wardrobing collaborator. The two have been working together for two years and share a similar West Coast, down-to-earth vogue that’s hard not to admire. Check out Gonzales’ take on fashion and the tomboy aesthetic below.
How did you start working with Kehlani?
My dream job has always been to work with an artist in music, specifically hip-hop/R&B. When my friend Daniel Buezo – who was dressing her at the time – told me he needed help, I quickly jumped on the opportunity. He played me her Cloud 19 mix tape, I met Kehlani and it was a match made in heaven! The next day we were on Revolt TV and I’ve been with her ever since.
Describe her style in three words.
Sweet, Sexy, Savage… Just kidding. Effortless, sexy, cool.
What does Kehlani bring to the table style-wise?
Kehlani brings her playful tomboy aesthetic. I get the best of both worlds – Vans one day and Tom Ford heels the next.
Proudest Kehlani style-moment of 2016?
2016 Grammy’s! I was beyond proud and blessed to be a part of something that we had all been working so hard for, especially Kehlani [who was wearing a red Juan Carlos Obando gown].
What are you most excited about for Kehlani’s style in 2017?
The SweetSexySavage tour and taking more risks!
Which brands do you like to pull for Kehlani?
Opening Ceremony, K.O.I, Margiela, Alexander Wang.
Sweatpants: overrated or underrated?
We’re both suckers for sweats. Oops!
One trend you waved bye to in 2016?
Furry Gucci slides.
What’s one Valentine’s Day style gift you wouldn’t mind receiving?
The Helmut Lang knotted platform sandal.
Emerging designers you’ve got your eyes on?
K.O.I, Y-Project, G.V.G.V, Julia Seeman.
Your mantra for 2017:
Love what you do and do what you love.