Photography: Ashley Batz
With eight years of blogging under her belt Kim Mitchell Stokes has a great grasp of her personal style and what makes her fashion taste tick. After visiting New York Fashion Week for the first time in 2004 her love for writing about fashion was unavoidable and she cultivated her blog J’Adore Couture. She forayed her love of everything chic into a career as an art director and designer for Gap Inc’s outlet division, where she works today. Her fashionista personality also translated itself into the San Francisco Fashion Film Festival. Kim’s love of style and her dedication to pursuing that love in all aspects of her life makes her an ideal Glitter Girl!
When did you start blogging?
I started blogging way back in 2004! I was working at an advertising agency and I was attending graduate school working on my thesis. As part of that, I went to New York Fashion Week for the first time in February 2004 and it was incredible. I thought working on my writing would help my thesis and give me an outlet for my love of fashion.
“Some of the first bags I got into were by Balenciaga. They have so many different styles, colors, and hardware for every occasion.”
What inspired you to start J’Adore Couture?
The blog started out as more of a fashion and design site, with more articles and reviews of magazines, ad campaigns, etc. Gradually I started seeing what was getting a bigger response, and last year I started doing outfit posts on Facebook, and this year I’ve added them to the blog. Having the blog has been an amazing experience that has afforded me some cool opportunities and where I’ve met some great people in the blogging community and those that are fans of the blog.
What do you do full time?
My “day-job” is an art director and designer for Gap Inc’s outlet division. It entails brainstorming seasonal concepts, working on photoshoots, picking models, working with prop stylists, plus designing in-store signage, packaging, direct mail and more. It’s been such a pleasure to do what I love for a fashion brand that I also love. There are so many talented people there…I’m constantly learning. Besides fashion, graphic design is definitely a passion of mine.
How do you juggle blogging, working, and SF Fashion Film Fest?
Don’t forget spending time with friends & family! It’s definitely a challenge and over the years, I have worked much harder to prioritize my time and sometimes sacrifice something if it isn’t working. I don’t force myself to do a blog post every day, or I may pass up a freelance job or skip an event. It’s all about finding a balance.
How would you describe your style?
I love mixing things up and doing unexpected pairings…like fancy heels with a pair of distressed jeans, or a pencil skirt with a graphic t-shirt. I also like wearing typical “evening” pieces during the day, like chandelier earrings, sequins, or velvet.
“I love that when I work from home, my desk is by the window. The magnetic board and frames are constantly changing sources of inspiration.”
“I don’t wear nail polish (on my hands) that often, but Chanel has the best colors and formulas.”
Can you give us three tips to women who are trying to find their own personal style?
1. Don’t feel like you have to try every trend. Find what works for you and your body type. I don’t wear a lot of pants because it’s hard to find ones that are flattering on me. I’m more known for wearing skirts and dresses; it’s become a signature.
2. Listen to compliments. Being from the Northeast, my wardrobe used to be mostly black and greys. But when I started to wear certain colors, people would compliment me on how flattering it was. I thought there must be something to it.
3. Experiment! Don’t worry about feeling silly…if a piece speaks to you, wear it.
What’s your beauty routine?
I don’t splurge on skincare…I’ve found that drugstore brands work for me. I do wash my face twice a day and always moisturize with a SPF. Ponds wipes are the best because you just swipe and you’re done. Makeup wise, I use an oil-free foundation or tinted moisturizer and I love playing up my eyes with mascara (I love trying out new formulas!) with a more natural lip. I’ve recently started trying brighter colors on my lips, though, like Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Bonheur and Nars Pure Matte Lipstick in Valparaiso.
How does living in San Francisco affect your style?
On the East coast, you have a summer wardrobe and a winter wardrobe. Here you have one closet you utilize year round—you could wear ankle booties in June or a miniskirt in November. Having a great pair of rain boots is key (I have navy Hunter ones), and I also have a big collection of cardigans, blazers, and scarves.
Top trends you’re loving right now?
I love the return to minimalist dressing, like the aesthetic of designers like Raf Simons (at Jil Sander and hopefully at Dior), Narciso Rodriguez, and Phoebe Philo (at Celine), which is something I’ve always loved. It’s modern and not androgynous.
What items should every woman have in her closet?
A pair of jeans that make you feel great, a black blazer, pointy toe pumps, and a pencil skirt.
How do you sparkle?
Having a passion in life, no matter what it is, and wearing something sequined!
“I can’t resist a colorful shoe…the first pair I bought for the FashFilmFest VIP party.”