Atiba Newsome: Supreme Style
When we see the costumes and clothes in magazines, on TV or in interviews, it simply looks like someone got dressed this morning. A t-shirt is thrown on with some generic jeans and sneakers. An occasional bracelet or hat is added to accent, but an actual style or image is missing. There’s not much attention to the fine details. However, there are people like Atiba Newsome who live to make sure every shirt, button and hat coordinate perfectly to match a person’s style and vibe. What looks like another day of getting ready in the morning to us is actually a very carefully planned out wardrobe that takes a lot of time and money to cultivate.
What sets Newsome apart from the rest is his ability to prepare and predict. Newsome takes everything into consideration. Personal style, comfort and taste all have to be accounted for to make a client happy.“The smallest things matter, the right belts, underwear, clips, under garments, spanks etc. I even bring hand warmers for the client if they are cold, panty liners, and double stick tape. If they ask for all white, you bring all white and black because clients change their mind all the time and you must be prepared! Just be prepared for anything!” the stylist told Concrete Loop, a website dedicated to fashion and music.
That kind of attention to detail and dedication to customers isn’t something that just happens out of nowhere. Newsome has had an attachment to fine clothing for most of his life.“My mother is very demure and classy, so I was really into labels in middle school and I was in her closet and that’s where I started learning about labels. I remember being in fourth grade wearing sharkskin suits from Saks. When you are a kid, you don’t realize what you have till you don’t have it anymore,” Newsome said with Concrete Loop.
Originally from Brooklyn, New York, this gave Newsome a head start. Aside from being a mecca of fashion, New York is also immersed in many cultures. This gives anyone a new perspective in any art.“Growing up in Brooklyn, we always kept up with the latest trends. I can look at someone and tell what borough they’re from by their style. I think we just think outside the box and our swag is different. Also, there are lots of West Indians in Brooklyn – all of my stylist friends are from the Islands. I’m the only American! Brooklyn was a huge melting pot with Jamaicans, Haitians, Trinidadians, etc. and I think we all influenced each other,” Newsome explains to men’s fashion blog Fresh, Fly & Flashy.
Even though a love for fashion began early, Newsome didn’t realize he actually wanted to be a stylist until later on in life.“I didn’t know I wanted to style until a friend let me tag along with him while he pulled from a showroom. He finally let me assist for a video and afterwards I was paid in wardrobe. After that I was hooked!” Newsome told Fresh, Fly & Flashy. While Newsome enjoyed styling, he didn’t think it could be turned into something lucrative. Working with celebrities gave the stylist the notoriety and the confidence to pursue a risky career.
“It wasn’t until I was styling Mary J. Blige and she told me, ‘Your confidence threatens people,’ and how great and talented I was that it finally hit me that maybe I wasn’t just bulls***ing around and maybe I was actually doing something right. She had also had another stylist at the time and since Puff was producing her album, and also he was my agent, he really pushed for me to work with her…. Honestly, I did not think he was pushing for me because I was talented, I thought he was pushing for me because he wanted that check, but that was not the case,” the stylist said with celebrity interview blog JeremiahCopeland.com. Newsome was able to get these clients by starting out low – he interned first. Something you associate with college kids fetching coffee for office workers can actually be useful. Interning is something Newsome advises that all aspiring stylists do. He interned with June Ambrose and Eric Archibald and realizes the value of his opportunity.
“Working for them, watching them and seeing how they operate taught me how to work on a job and be professional. It wasn’t until after they groomed me and I felt I was ready to step out that I went out on my own and left from under their wings,” Newsome told JeremiahCopeland.com. From his personal experiences all the way to interning and working with celebrities, Newsome has taken each opportunity as a learning experience. He constantly observes fashion and his clients to get an idea of what works best for everyone. Personal taste, comfort and cut are all reviewed to make the perfect wardrobe.