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The Stylist's Hit List with...Victoria Sanchez-Lincoln

StrandAlign with Victoria Sanchez-Lincoln

Victoria Sanchez-Lincoln, Fashion Director and Stylist

After the big fashion month of September, we are featuring style expert Victoria Sanchez-Lincoln to see how she stays organized and prepared for celebrity and editorial photo shoots. Try her go-to secrets and behind-the-scenes tricks for anyone aspiring to get into the fashion world! 

What magazines, fashion brands, and celebrities you have styled as a fashion editor and stylist?

I have been a Fashion Director in magazines for 18 years, most recently at Real Simple, and have formerly held the same position at Latina magazine and InStyle, which included InStyle Weddings, InStyle Makeover and InStyle Hair. Currently, I am contributing at Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and The celebrities I’ve styled include Shakira, Eva Mendes, Eva Longoria, Daddy Yankee, Pitbull, Brooke Shields, Christina Hendricks and Leighton Meester, to name a short-list. 

What are 3 must-have products you stash in your stylist's kit at all times for last minute fixes & behind-the-scenes style secrets?

The must-have products in my stylist kit are double stick tape, mini clamps from the hardware store (they are stronger than binder clips) and nude and black seamless undergarments. I can’t tell you how many times the model/talent doesn’t wear the right undergarments for the photoshoot. And now I will be adding StrandAlign, which will make my fashion assistant very happy! No more detangling necklaces with safety pins!

Do you have a favorite pat-yourself-on-the-back moment where you thought everything on the photo shoot was falling apart but your fashion experience or quick-style thinking saved the day? 

I did a 2-day swimwear shoot in Malibu, CA. The first day went great, the second day we had unexpected SNOW. It hadn’t snowed in L.A. in over 10 years. We had to cancel the shoot as we couldn’t be on the beach and have snow in our pictures. And on top of it all, our models were freezing. When I came back to New York and said to my editor, “why don’t we compliment the story with still-life images of the swimsuits and have it be like a workbook at the end of the story with a ‘body type’ service for the reader? I’ll get the images from swimsuit vendors.” And THAT’s how the story ran!

Have you ever received a piece of advice from a fashion mentor or have personally learned to handle and work through certain fashion politics that you would share with aspiring stylists and fashion industry dreamers?

I have mastered the process for the way I style for fashion stories. It goes like this…I begin 4 days before the photo shoot, whereas most stylist/editors style the morning of the shoot. 

Day 1  Styling I style head to toe all the looks for the story, including 2-3 extra outfits for wiggle room. (I like going home and thinking about the story overnight and even thinking about it in the subway on my way to the fashion closet/office). 

Day 2  Review & Prepare I come in and review all the looks and do some tweaks. I like asking my fashion team, art directors and photo editors for their feedback (it’s very important to listen to others' point-of-view). I make tweaks based on feedback and perfect the looks. I create a mood board with all the looks and their credit information.

Day 3  Run-through & Packing I like presenting the full story to the editors, art and photo editors. This way everyone is on the same page, no surprises after the shoot and the story gets mapped out correctly with all concerns addressed. We pack everything up. This means I end up taking to the shoot one trunk or less and it’s completely organized per look. And the best part, especially for fashion assistants, no late night packing and no overwhelming accounting of too much merchandise.

Day 4  Photo shoot day!!! Since the fashion trunk is so organized, it takes less than 30 minutes to set up in the morning. Then we have a meeting with the photographer, hair and make up team to discuss the direction of the story. I spend the day art directing the shoot, dressing the model/talent and making sure everything looks GREAT!

To contact Victoria Sanchez-Lincoln for press,styling, or additional fashion inquiries, please visit her website at, or click her LinkedIn profile: Victoria Sanchez_Lincoln. And remember to follow her on Instagram @victoria_sanchez-lincoln