Jasenya McCauley – Wardrobe!
Written by Staff on December 19, 2023
Jasenya McCauley – Wardrobe! – interview by Liam Sweeny.
I connected with Wardrobe Utilization Specialist Jasenya McCauley. Among other things, we learned what a ‘wardrobe utilization specialist’ is. See below.
RRX: You [responded to my post] and mentioned that you are a wardrobe utilization specialist. That was interesting to me right off the bat, because it’s a type of ‘practical creativity’ that really makes the creative world ingrained into the needs of society. So can you tell us what wardrobe utilization is, and how you got started in it?
JM: A wardrobe utilization specialist is a professional that treats wardrobe issues from a consumption-based approach. The practice fuses the psychology of fashion and fashion styling in an effort to decrease environmental waste and increasing circular fashion efforts while aiding to awakened society to the power of enclothed cognition.
RRX: You showed me a list of your past work, and it’s massive, and impressive. Trans-Siberian Orchestra, “Mean Girls” on Broadway, a good number of interviews, work for great causes like National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) and you have been in and around the stage kind of full spectrum. What gig is on your hit list?
JM: Right now, Styld N’ EMRGD is excited about aligning itself with private and government organizations committed to providing services to individuals experiencing a lifestyle transition such as students preparing to graduate and Adults making a life change. We also would love to continue to serve productions such as movies and stage plays with storytelling through costume. Specifically, we have been building relationships with local school districts and non-profit who see the impact of Styld N’ EMRGD workshops and speaking engagements as well as working with local municipalities to organize community clothing swaps. We also started building relationships with local Film and Theater communities canvassing for productions interested in a Costume designer or Wardrobe lead.
RRX: When people think of wardrobe, they think of something that, in a way, is temporary. An outfit isn’t like a painting. You don’t wear the same shirt forever (unless you’re me,) you change. Wardrobe is a creativity of change. How do you find a consistent style when your artistic implements never really stay put?
JM: I love this question because it exemplifies how unimportant society views our clothing. Wardrobe is a product used every day around the world to from protecting us while earning a living or to attract a new mate. Consistency in my treatments by focusing on function and feelings.
RRX: You do wardrobe utilization. That must be different from fashion, because fashion’s easier to say. When your work is at its peak, is it on a runway? Does it intersect with fashion? Complement it in any way? Or is it more like ‘wardrobe’ in a theatrical sense, making someone into a new person through the right garments?
JM: Styld N’ EMRGD will be at its peak it is in front of the designers, industry decision makers, and those society appoints as influencers with the companies work (consulting or workshops) persuading a call to act toward a more sustainable and stylish future. In addition, we would not forget consumers and have self-help products available for home use. In short, this company is curated as a complimentary service which highlights our clients artistic expression and conserves environmental waste.
RRX: You do a ton for the local community, Albany, but elsewhere too. And you seem very passionate about NAMI and mental illness. I struggle myself, and I know that what I wear can affect my mood and my outlook, and sometimes it can be that simple. And sometimes not. How do you does what you do foster good mental health?
JM: It is no secret that the work environment in production/ entertainment spaces is high stress and takes a higher toll on industry workers mental health so I also struggle. But, Over the first 3 years of operating Styld l N’ EMRGD I’ve found that well the planned and prepared productions such as Kidz Bop, Wakanda Forever Fashion show, and Wendy Willimas show provided a fun and creative work environment that we all walk away from with a dopamine boost. This experience encouraged me to tap into my bachelor’s in business administration to freelance business administrative services. I believe that having a management team that can agree on the importance of taking time (as much as the project will allow) to consider all factors and possibilities is key to a mentally healthy working environment. Doing so keeps the shared energy in a creative space as opposed to everyone operating in survival mode.
RRX: Creativity doesn’t sell itself. You have a business at this; moreover, you have to sell what you do as an idea to people. You have to pitch a term that isn’t in the lexicon. How do you do to someone and convince them that your work is needed beyond just the strength of the work itself?
JM: Selling personal creativity is something I struggle with doing as I believe art is subjective and therefore experiments are needed to find an aesthetic that my audience collectively appreciates other than my own personal style. I find that the company’s ability to enhance the client’s creative expression and our commitment to being a champion of slow and circular fashion has been our biggest selling points at this time.
RRX: This is where you answer the question I didn’t ask. Remarks? Comments? Educate, enlighten, emote – the floor is yours.
JM: First, I would like to that Liam for takin the time to form such thoughtful questions. Then, It’s important to know that the companies C-suite is comprised of young people ages 11 months to 9 years old who active support and feedback to the company. Next, I’d love to clarify that the services offered by Styld N ‘EMRGD are Wardrobe Utilization Services (Styling, costume design, personal), consultations, and wardrobe workshops. Jasenya can be contacted for freelance creative direction and administrative needs. Lastly, please take a moment to check out my website (Www.styldnemrgd.com), IG: @styld_n_emrgd, and/or FB: Styld N’ EMRGD for updates or opportunities to work together.