When Rachel Schostak was a little girl, she changed her outfit multiple times a day. “I always loved fashion. There are pictures of me with these crazy shorts on with a skirt,” Schostak says. “I always wanted to change, try something different. Now my own daughter does the same thing — it’s funny, because I want to say, ‘Let’s stick to one outfit.’ But I end up letting her do her thing.”
After studying art and design for a year at the University of Michigan, Schostak realized that she wanted to pursue a career in the fashion industry. She transferred to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City to study fashion merchandising and marketing, while at the same time working in the industry — she interned at Cosmopolitan magazine, Theory and other fashion companies and also worked at seasonal trade shows. “I really got my feet wet at a young age, learning the ins and outs of the business,” she says. “When I first got there, I wanted to be a buyer for a big corporate company like Ralph Lauren or Chanel, and work my way up. As I worked for different companies while at school, I shifted my mindset of what I wanted to be doing.”
She also worked as a personal assistant for a luxury marketing brand consultant. “She really opened my eyes to fashion entrepreneurship,” Schostak says. “Just being exposed to all these opportunities changed my path.”
That path eventually led her back to Michigan, where she worked for Denise Illitch Designs, continuing to learn about owning a business, before launching her own fashion tech company, Styleshack. She also helped launch Seen magazine in Metro Detroit, becoming its fashion director and overseeing all things regarding fashion content.
Now a mom to three young children with her husband in Birmingham, Schostak is aware of the evolution of her life and place in the world. “Having kids has given me clarity and made me take a look at my priorities and how best to manage my time,” she says. “I’m really grateful that I can be present right now, and consider my next projects in my career.”
Throughout her time at Seen, Schostak simultaneously curated her business, Styleshack, which was acquired by Seen in 2018. From there, she created another company, SchoStyle (@scho_style; schostyle.com), her own brand of styling, fashion musings and consulting in the fashion space. In addition to its website and Instagram, followers can sign up for a monthly newsletter.
“I’ve always been working on my SchoStyle brand on the side, but now I can focus on it a bit more,” Schostak says. It features local and national must-have fashion items, mostly for women but sometimes I’ll throw some menswear, kids and accessories in there. It’s my mix of what you should be paying attention to on a very relatable level.”
There are some higher-end items side-by-side with pieces from Zara and Target. “I think that’s the way people shop,” she says. “They might splurge on a high-end item and mix in basics from the Gap.”
At her core, Schostak loves styling. “Putting an outfit together for someone, from start to finish, head to toe — this is what I really enjoy, whether it’s the creative process of producing an editorial photo shoot or creating aspiring yet relatable content, putting together a team to create aspiring yet relatable content,” she says. “I also really love the idea of sales, the experience of creating a relationship by working with a person. This is what I’ve been doing, but now I’m focusing on putting out fashion content on my own terms and doing creative projects in the community.
“I’ve always wanted to do fashion, but it was always evolving,” she says, “like a kid with a blank palette, drawing my way through it.”
RACHEL’S PICKS FOR LOCAL INSPO
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“Cool, cool style and owner of local store Coup D’Etat.”
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“Where to go and what to do with your littles, in style.”
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“Great style. I love how she shares authentic moments and inspires other women to find the best version of themselves.”
Lindsay Roberts Schey
“Go-to for gifts and style stuff.”
Christine T. Colman
“Gorgeous jewelry and great eye.”
Jessie Abrams Hodari
“Amazing local artist.”
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Marina Pia Goldi
“Photographer, trendsetter and sharp. Her eye is always on the cusp of something inspiring and beautiful.”
RACHEL’S FALL FORECAST
“The main trends on the runways this season are Luxe Minimalism, Layering, Leather, Tailoring, Classic Cool Basics and Elevated Athleisurewear,” Rachel Schostak says. Subtle, muted monochromatic tones pair perfectly with these mix-and-match looks, but, she says, “I think it’s ok to add color — you have to adapt every trend to what looks good on you.”
Elevated athleisurewear: Elevate the comfort by pairing chic sweatpants or leggings (look at Steele Angel in Birmingham) with a button-down (check Isabel Marant or Favorite Daughter) or layering a sweatshirt or sweater with a black blazer (try SHE in Bloomfield Hills). A tank or T-shirt by Perfect White Tee (at Guys N Gals in West Bloomfield) pairs perfectly with leather pants. “Leather is big for this season with comfortable, cool sweaters,” Schostak says. “The mix of comfortable and classy exemplifies this look.” (Look for sweaters at Found Objects in Birmingham or Hersh’s in West Bloomfield.)
High-waisted or wide-legged jeans (Guys N Gals) feel classic but trendy with a black blazer. Pair them with sneakers for daytime — “I’ve been really into the New Balance sneakers, they’ve got fun colors for fall,” Schostak says. “Elevated casual is a vibe right now, so pairing a blazer with a sneaker is totally OK.”
Classic Cool Basics: This trend is all about updating the classics, like a pair of jeans with modern loafers (check Sundance in Birmingham), a hoodie or button-down with blazer. “We’re seeing a lot of ’90s-style platforms now,” she says. “I like an in-between — not platform, not flat.” A beautiful trench coat or elevated raincoat (check Ralph Lauren or Amazon) or coat (Favorite Daughter, Hersh’s, SHE) looks great with leggings and New Balance sneakers. “For fall weather, you can throw a trench or coat on over a T-shirt, in creamier, warmer, subtle colors, like camel,” Schostak says.
Look for leggings by All Access online at Bandier — “they make a great variety of leggings, including faux leather. It’s best to stick with easy black leggings, you can throw them on and it doesn’t look like you’re going to the gym, but it’s still comfortable,” she says. “If you’re going with a color, pair them with a black blazer.”
Tailoring: “Tailored vests are very in right now,” Schostak says (check SHE or the Gap). “The Gap is great for basics. It’s easy, quality and affordable — you don’t have to break the bank for easy pieces.
“What I like about taking a classic low look and changing it into elevated is that it’s so easy. The blazer elevates the jeans or leggings — switch out sneakers for classic black pumps or a bootie for an instant new look.”
Accessory-wise, Schostak loves layering necklaces. “Tapper’s has a great variety for layering and lots of cool, modern pieces,” she says. “They don’t have to be super-expensive, just easy pieces to wear together.” As a mom, Schostak prefers little backpacks for throwing in kids’ stuff and still looking cool (check Oliver Thomas, whose founder is based in Birmingham). For a splurge purse, she loves La Roe.
Luxe minimalism: Again, harkening back to ’90s style, when going out or for a party, “strapless dresses are very in right now,” Schostak says. “It becomes more modern by layering it with a sweater or turtleneck underneath, for a minimalist monochromatic look.”