Inspired Profile: Promise Harvey
Promise Harvey is a creative director and eco conscious stylist based in Los Angeles. We met when she attended our LA Design Festival Open Studio 2016 at the invite of fellow designer Jordana Howard (Echo + Air). Promise styled our clothing for shoots with Cake Magazine, her work is pictured here, and her own portrait is below. Her eco - conscious take on styling is the forefront of fashion's new direction, and paves the path as our industry grows.
Jill: What woman living today do you find to be the most inspirational?
Promise: Astrud Gilberto. I just love her story. She was a Brazilian singer from the 60's who was discovered after her husband's (João Gilberto's) producer overheard her singing while doing the dishes in the background of a phone call. He demanded that she come to their next recording and the rest is history. She later divorced João, but ended up touring her own music, which was mostly written about all the flings and adventures she had while on the road. Her music is so bold, passionate, and truly ahead of its time. I can't go a day without listening to it! She is one of my biggest inspirations because of her authentic and independent spirit.
Jill: What were the roots to your creative career?
Promise: I grew up in a boring suburb town and was very isolated. My only connection to the outside world were the fashion magazines I would buy at the 7-11 around the corner from me. I would read each magazine cover to cover, and sometimes I would even make collages out of them. I remember reading the credits one day when I was 14 or so and realizing that being a fashion stylist was an actual job. I decided then that's what I wanted to be. I started dressing up in my own runway re-creations and wearing them to school. I would go as far as to wear elaborate hats, lipstick, and stiletto's. This was the early 2000's, and the look was a simple t-shirt and jeans. So looking back it seems ridiculous, but I didn't care at all what anyone thought, I wanted to live my passion! I eventually started taking pictures of my outfits and posting them online. This connected me with other creatives and a community of people with similar dreams. By the time I was out of high school I was contributing to some of the first online fashion magazines. I edited, wrote, modeled, and art directed. I got to wear many hats and I loved all of it. Eventually I got the opportunity to style a shoot. Even though I didn't know where I was going to get the clothes I took a risk and styled the shoot with clothes from the thrift store. The model for this first shoot ended up being Ally Ertel who now models for Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and more, and the photographer was Raul Romo who now shoots for magazines like Cosmopolitan, and Vogue China. Eventually I moved into eco conscious styling because I learned the truth about how most products are made. I realized if I wanted to stay in this industry, I needed to be true to my personal beliefs. Overall it was synchronicity that led me to this path, my willingness to stick with it even at times when I felt like giving up, and an overwhelming amount of faith.
Jill: Can you describe your creative process in a couple of steps?
Promise: I like to spend a lot of time outside in nature on long walks just thinking and dreaming. Usually random ideas will pop in my head and I'll go home and make a mood board. When the mood board is finished I start putting feelers out for the perfect talent and team to be involved. I also put out intentions to help everything come together. For some jobs I have to incorporate a company or designer's own moodboard and talent so I get to focus more on the clothing. My favorite part is doing the pulls, which is pretty much rolling up on all my friends and raiding their latest creations. I love all of the handmade, ethical, and natural dyed clothing that is coming out of LA right now.
Jill: What did your parents do for their job, and did it have an impact on the path your chose for yourself?
Promise: I didn't have a good relationship with my parents, which actually ended up having a huge impact on the path I chose for myself. I learned how to be strong and independent and how to take care of myself at an early age. I did a lot of self help and therapy and have learned how to overcome these challenges by loving myself 100 percent. When you learn to love yourself, it connects you with others and the world around you. If you can truly love, appreciate, and embrace you authenticity, it opens you up to possibilities and your life purpose. This is how I found the strength to continue towards my vision.
Jill: What is your dream project?
Promise: I would love to travel to exotic locations around the world and do shoots with top models, actors, friends, and people who inspire me. I've been dreaming about doing a shoot in the rainforest with huge trees, giant lilipads, butterflies, and enormous couture gowns. Probably for Vogue because that's the first magazine I ever read and it's iconic.
Jill: Tell us about how you styled the piece you chose
I love the color of this forest green dress so I had to take it out into nature. The photographer, Mandi, helped capture the shadows on the dress to show off its texture. I pulled the dress a little off the shoulders and up my leg because I was really feeling myself in it- it makes me feel so beautiful and confident!