Behind all great entertainers, is an even better stylist. Inspired by her days as a dancer, Howard University alumna Sankara Xasha Ture began her styling career in New York City, under the tutelage of legendary costume designer and professor, Reggie Ray. Since then, she has taken the styling game by storm; working with the likes of Mama Durant, Phylicia Rashad, and Yandy Smith. Recently, Sankara won the Reebok Style Suite competition, naming her one of the best stylists in the DMV.
Stunned by her ability to balance motherhood with her demanding career, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Sankara to discuss her upcoming projects, as well as gain a few style tips!
KB: How did your career in the fashion industry get started?
SXT: My career in the fashion industry started when I was working with my college professor, Reggie Ray. He was the costume designer at Howard University, and one day he came up to me on the steps of the Fine Arts building and asked me why I attended Howard University. He said I did not belong here and needed to chase a bigger dream. I started to do my research and realized he was like the top five costume designers in America. Then I started to beg him everyday to let me shadow him, be his assistant, or intern. Reggie Ray had just accepted the Head Costume Designer position for the Broadway show ‘Stick Fly’, produced by Alicia Keys. That led to me assisting him on that Broadway show. I was in school full time and traveling back and forth to NYC every week. Every week turned into me eventually taking a hiatus from school and moving to New York.
KB:Where do you draw your fashion inspiration?
SXT: I would say my inspiration comes from training in dance for so many years. I love tulle, tutus, a-line dress and skirts, and really girly things. Also, I hate to see people in the same things I wear, so I might do crazy things like cut the crotch out of a pair of jeans and make it a top. I pair economically friendly pieces with girly things.
KB: What do you think is the most essential item in every woman’s wardrobe?
SXT: The most essential thing a woman should have is confidence. You can turn a trash bag into a Givenchy dress in your mind if you rock it. In school, I used to wear crazy things. I remember one year I cut caution tape off the side of the building at Howard University and glued it to my shoes. I was going through campus killing it! You wear the clothes, the clothes shouldn’t wear you.
KB: What trends are you loving right now?
SXT: I’m loving the reconstructed shirts; everyone is on the eco friendly thing. Chokers and dad hats when my hair isn’t done.
KB: Name your most essential items for styling?
SXT: Safety pins and clamps. I love to thrifting and turning items into avant garde pieces. However, sometimes the items are really big and I use safety pins and clamps to give the illusion.You can take a sheet off of a bed and if it’s safety pinned correctly, it’ll turn into a gown.
KB:What projects are you working on right now?
SXT: My main client is Wanda Durant, Kevin Durant’s mom. I also go back and forth to New York a lot. I just did something with Love & Hip Hop. Also, I worked with Roger Mckenzie. He worked alongside June Ambrose in the 90’s and did major things with celebrities like Busta Rhymes.
KB: Do you have any advice for a career in fashion styling?
SXT: Never accept the word NO for an answer because whatever you want, you can achieve. If you have a Plan A there should never be a plan B, go hard at plan A.
Keep up with Sankara on Instagram @sankaraxt