by Leonidas Agnes
Usually business and creative minds don't go hand in hand, but one thing Stylist, Phil Gomez, and Knorts' Founder, Eleanore Guthrie, oddly have in common is just that. Guthrie says she "loves Phil because he has a mind of his own and thinks for himself. He also challenges me creatively. A go-getter who thinks big picture with everything he does is rare to come by in this city. It's refreshing to be around someone like that." It's apparently so refreshing, Guthrie took Phil on a solo beach house retreat out in Oxnard, California to relax (of course), work, create art, and bounce creative vibes off each other in general. Lots went down at the retreat, but I'll only share the part where Guthrie dove deep into exposing Phil's career path leading up to his current successes. Continue reading the Q&A below to learn the juicy deets about Phil and his styling house, Styled by Phil. Videos from the retreat will be shared on Instagram stories and IGTV. Tune in to watch Phil in action.
Phil, where are you from?
Los Angeles, CA
Did the city you grew up in significantly influence who you are today?
The neighborhood block I grew up on had lots of my family living there, so life was very communal. In other words, it was my cultural background that influenced me more. I am Mexican-American and I incorporate aspects of my culture into my work.
How did you get into fashion?
Subconsciously, I was always into fashion because I grew up surrounded by clothes (not necessarily designer clothes, though). My parents liked to shop, especially for bargains, so being raised by parents like this and by my mom making a lot of my sister’s clothes made me feel comfortable around this type of thing. It was never necessarily a career I ever thought I’d pursue because as a Mexican/American, it’s not a career my family would have ever supported. It wasn’t until college that I started experimenting more and understanding myself better. I used to play dress up with my roommates and we would take photos after dressing up. At the time, I didn’t know styling was a career, so I went to school for communications. A lot of my initial styling work was done through building a portfolio for my roommate who was pursuing modeling at the time. I would dress her up and take photos of her. I’ve otherwise worked in retail my whole life, which further supported my interest in styling, photography, and fashion in general. I really enjoyed styling the customers and mannequins.
It wasn’t until I was watching the Rachel Zoe show that I realized styling could be a viable career. After watching her, I realized that what I do for fun could be used to build an empire, so I left school and headed to NY. NY is when I started styling under the moniker, “Styled by Phil.”
How did you get introduced to Knorts?
Instagram – when Lady Gaga wore her full Knorts outfit. Then I hit up the brand to pull for a shoot I had with Rose McGowan.
As a frequent collaborator of Knorts, what inspires you about the brand?
What I like about Knorts is that no matter what the styling project or concept is that I’m working on, I can always incorporate a Knorts piece. My styling is very fluid and organic in the way that I base it off my mood and feelings. Fortunately, Knorts has the flexibility to be molded and styled into so many different types of personalities, ideas, concepts, etc. There’s just so much you can do with the designs, which makes my job a lot easier. Not many brands today design with that flexibility…they, at times, make their designs so style specific that it causes me to lose my personal style influence. Knorts gives you flexible, comfortable, fashionable, statement, staple pieces, that you can make your own and mold to your personal style.
Are you a big fan of denim in general?
Yes, I love denim for the same reason I love Knorts – It’s universal. It can be styled in very different ways and show different personalities, which reflects my styling.
What's your favorite Knorts garment and why?
I have a couple, but my ultimate favorite is the Elongators…but really, all the Knorts bottoms. They’re comfortable, wear well, and then once you wash them, you start all over again. The outfit evolves with you throughout the day and how many times you wear it.
If you could have a Knorts-version of anything what would it be? (e.g. Wedding dress! cell phone case?)
I would have a giant Knorts beanbag!
Do you have an all-time favorite stylist you idolize or admire?
I can’t just give you one!! Grace Coddington, Mel Ottenberg, Nicola Formichetti, Patricia Field, Diana Vreerland.
What's your favorite exhibition you've ever seen at a museum? (Can be fashion related or not. King Tut at the science center or Alexander McQueen at the Met, for example.)
Alexander McQueen at the Met because it was just breathtaking and then I saw the Bodies exhibit at the Arizona Science Center. That was breathtaking as well.