Redefining Style: Interview With Erik Zamudio

I recently caught up with Erik Zamudio, the Creative Director for the #MyStyleStory video, which was featured in The Huffington Post last month. The video explores individuality and depicts students who have found empowerment through their style choices.

With the industry experiencing a shift from high fashion to individual style, we asked Erik a few questions about his take on things.

Final_for_Interview (1)How did the idea for #MyStyleStory come about?
I actually had the idea for #MyStyleStory a long time ago, like back in high school. It wasn’t until this past year that I was able to shoot it though, and I owe a huge thank you to WeStyle for believing in the idea and giving it the right platform.

But anyway, the idea itself…as a straight guy who happened to care about his appearance, a lot of people automatically assumed I was gay (still don’t understand this logic, by the way). The way that I was treated had a really big impact on how I would engage and interact with people. It made me feel like I couldn’t be myself and that feeling stayed with me for a long time.

Eventually I realized that I was happiest when I dressed how I wanted, and I wondered how many other people had similar experiences. Turns out a lot of people went through the same stuff, so this video ended up hitting close to home for a big group.

How did you select the people to interview?
Every person in the video is one of my friends. They did an amazing job in this project and they deserve a huge amount of credit.

Just to put things into perspective, I literally called these people one day and said “Hey, I have this really crazy idea and I want to help change the way people view style. I can’t pay you but I want you to come in and do an interview.” It takes a really special kind of person to say yes to that phone call.

Love those people.

What was your favorite part of shooting the video?
I love this question. So my favorite part of the shoot was actually something that most people will never see (unfortunately). The way that everyone interacted while not being filmed was amazing. When you watch the video you see people from every different background talking about their stories; at the shoot, these people genuinely interacted with each other and enjoyed each other’s company. We all loved learning about each other and we understood each other. People were choosing to talk and listen instead of watching the movie we had on the projector. I couldn’t believe it.

It was like seeing a real-life version of the app. We promote inclusion and embracing others for their style, and this was a prime example of how we should all be able to get along no matter what we look like or dress like.


What was your reaction to being featured in The Huffington Post?
I freaked out. We had been hoping for a feature in HuffPost for a long time and when we started to see views coming in through their URL…it was insane. I remember calling everyone I knew and telling them about it. It was like midnight at that point.


If you had been interviewed in the video, what would your story be?
I actually was interviewed for the video initially, but opted to have my parts removed so that there was more time for others. My story has been a pretty twisted path with a lot of times where I questioned whether or not I should listen to what others said about me. At the end of the day, I’m happy that I kept being myself. And to be honest, my story is far from over.


So the video was made for an app called WeStyle, talk about the app.
Yes! So I work for WeStyle right now and it’s amazing. The app is a social platform that allows people to ask for style advice, get inspired, and discover new looks. Our community is really positive and supportive, which is a big difference from most fashion apps.

We also have some great features in place that help make us better than basically any other app in the world (I’m a bit biased). For example, if you download the app and connect it to your ShopSense account, you can make money on WeStyle simply by posting your looks. You can also shop for specific clothing items in-app, which is amazing.

We’ve been having some great success since we launched back in January and there are some big moves coming up in the future.

If you haven’t checked out the app yet, go give it a download:

Do you have any plans for more videos like #MyStyleStory?
Definitely, I’m a huge fan of art that makes you think. Whether that art will be done with video as a medium, I’m not sure. I can say that I have always wanted to do a video that shows the variance in what the term “fashion” means to men. It’s often viewed as a feminine quality if you care about style and fashion, but lately I’ve seen a big change in that idea. Plenty of guys are realizing that you can be masculine and still love clothing and the beauty of design. I’d love to make a film about that.


What’s your best advice for people looking to do what you do?
Live in the moment. There’s always so much going on around us these days and I think a lot of people can get lost in all the noise. My best advice is to just live in the moment and celebrate the small victories. It sounds so cliché, but I swear it’ll make you happier and you’ll be more inspired in your life.

Another one of my more recent realizations is that you have to know where to draw the line between business and personal life. It can be hard to separate the two, especially when you get so involved with work. When that line starts getting blurred, you lose focus on what really matters. For a long time I built products solely because I knew I could turn that idea into a big house or a fast car, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized those things mean nothing. I think that’s a tough step for a lot of people out there. When you create to inspire, that’s when you really find success.

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