Composing the Perfect Look with Jordan Figueroa


Creating a signature outfit is similar to composing music. You need intent, harmony, rhythm and sparkle. For Jordan Figueroa, a musician stylist, this is something he plays out every day.

“Styling is just something that happened to me. When I moved to New York I wanted to do the gallery girl scene and then once I was here I was like this isn’t for me,” Figueroa said.

Figueroa became familiar with styling through a friend who was a stylist at Sony Music and asked Figueroa to come work for her. After dressing new signed recording artists at Sony for six months, a certain talent took notice of him. Colombian rapper, Farina, hand picked Figueroa to join her team, which led to Figueroa traveling the world styling Farina for Latin Music awards, red carpet events and a number of her music videos.


Being a self-taught stylist, Figueroa endured some learning curves. He had to learn his own flow, the ins and outs of the industry, and how to pull choices for specific artists. Of course, music is the main source material for Figueroa’s picks. In order to orchestrate the best looks for his clients, Figueroa conducts extensive research beforehand, looking to past music videos of the artist to get inspired by the beats and understand their creative roots.

“For Farina, I always gravitated towards jewel tones for her because her music is so lively, fast, upbeat and energetic. She lived in the Canary Islands, so a lot of tropical flare involves those colors, so it just made sense,” Figueroa shared.

Further, Figueroa really takes into account the artist’s background. Figueroa also worked for Jungle Pussy, a born and raised New York artist. “I had never experienced someone so deeply in New York before. It created a fire in me to represent her the way she wanted to be represented, which is sexy and strong,” Figueroa said. “Jungle Pussy raps, and automatically when you think of female rappers there is a stigma that they are showing a lot of skin in a raunchy way. When I am pulling for her, I wanted to put a little New York club kid twist on her because she comes from the club kid days of the 2010s. For this movie premiere she did, I put her in a long mesh gown with a classy silhouette, but the back had this lacing that just showed ass crack…it was amazing.”

In terms of artist-stylist relationship, Figueroa prefers to strongly incoporate the artist’s input. “When they are making the songs, recording the songs, or coming up with concepts for videos they have an image in mind and you have to keep that intergrity,” Figueroa explained. “So overall it HAS to be collaborative.”

However, artist management is a different story. “There were points where there was no leniency for aesthetic choices. And sometimes, management would come in the room to approve something before a video and we would have to change something,” Figueroa said.

Figueroa began running into creative differences with some artist management due their primary focus on packaging the person instead of musical expression. Figueroa noted that he’s seen a growth in the amount of respect that stylists are given in the years since he started. “Stylists have multiple jobs in one, we’re like office assistants where we are constantly emailing for requests from designers, then we rush to go and pick these pieces up and take them to set or studio. Then we have to be technical: curate color and composition. But now I think stylists are in a better place.”

Recently, Figueroa joined Tyla’s team, an exciting emerging R&B star. “It’s been really fun because I’m the New York assistant who knows what brands are here and Lee Trig (the head stylist) lets me have fun with pulls. The crazier, the better,” Figueroa enthused.

There is a little part of Figueroa in everyone he dresses. “I always used to like the really messed up Barbies; dressing them up really weird and cutting up their hair. I see that reflected in my work today,” Figueroa confessed plainly. “There’s always something that has to be a little off, but feels right. Like if it is a red dress, I am going to add a really bright blue shoe in.”

After touring around with Farina for a couple years, Figueroa took a break from celebrity/artist styling to think about what was next in his career, so he became involved with editorial styling for magazines such as Paper Mag, Harper’s Bazaar Turkey and GQ. Currently, Figueroa expressed that he’s returning to celebrity styling, except this time he wants to do it on his own terms. “I think it’s always a great step for a stylist to have their own business on the side. I would love to have an archive shop where I have all things I have collected over the years from shoots and share those with people and make it accessible to stylists just starting out who don’t have press contacts,” Figueroa offered. He plans to give back and provide a mentorship service for younger stylists through this venture by letting new stylists rent pieces to accessorizing tips and advice sessions. As he finishes one track of his fashion journey, Figueroa is now moving onto the next, and it is time for him to style to his own beat as he helps to move fashion forward.

Written by Anna G. Carlson from GLITCH Magazine


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