Mary Klein: Newport Stylist and Fashion Influencer

Born in Seoul, Korea and raised in the United States, Mary Klein has always had fashion on her mind. Being a “military brat”, her family moved constantly from place to place introducing her to various cultures while also cultivating her sense of style. Her travels were not the only influence on her aesthetics, however, crediting her mother to being one of her sole style inspirations growing up. “She was a fashion addict,” proclaimed Klein, citing that her mother always made sure she was dressing well and looking good at all times.

After graduating high school at the age of 17, Klein headed to the fashion mecca of the world, New York City. Although she was on her own in a foreign city, she was determined to make her mark and pursue her love of art. Working in several clothing stores in Greenwich village, Klein realized her desire to become a stylist. Her experiences there led her to encounter many types of women and what they wanted out of fashion. She met “career women, full-time moms, or women working in school that may need help with their wardrobe,” and Klein determined that it was up to her to take on that task.

Working in 1980s New York City had a profound influence on her current style today. It was the age of living on her own and being able to experiment with fashion for the first time without the guidance of her parents. Although her parents were supportive of her unique sense of style, living amongst the thick of fashion further developed her art through her love of clothing.

“I have to fill this emptiness. If I don’t fill it with art, I do not feel fulfilled.”

Today, Mary Klein happily resides in Newport Beach as a wife and the mother of twin boys. However now that her children are in middle school, she felt that they reached an age where she could be a mom and also have a career. In the summer of 2016, Klein decided to get herself out there again in the fashion industry. Balancing being a mother and also pursuing a career can be difficult at times, but Klein is determined to make it work. Creating her own blog and eventually stretching to other social media, Klein opened herself up onto these platforms with the hope of inspiring others. Via her website Haute-everything.com and @hauteeverything on Instagram, she shares her passion for fashion with her chic yet edgy style. Both sites rely heavily on visual content, providing her the creative freedom to do as she pleases while also allowing her to reach such a large audience. Through her work online, Klein has made her comeback into the industry as a fashion influencer and stylist.

Helping someone to find or evolve their personal style is what Klein finds most gratifying about the job. To her, it is all about “making somebody feel wonderful and building a trust with the client. If they’re extremely happy and satisfied, that’s all I need.” Klein’s main course of action is tackling the client’s wardrobe and establishing what their style is and where to take it from there. After sitting down and discussing topics such as their lifestyle and personality, Klein then dives into their closets and decides what should stay, what should go, and possibly, what should be added. She emphasizes to not immediately resort to buying a whole new wardrobe, but to focus on what can be salvaged.

Despite her love for the industry that has allowed her to channel her creative juices, she does believe one major topic that needs to be addressed: the lack of women in the high ranks of the industry. With the fashion world generally targeting women, the majority of designers and creative directors of the industry are in fact male. The lack of female power is the one thing Klein believes the fashion world can improve on, commenting, “I believe women know women. There is not enough women representation in an industry that is catered towards women.” However, with women like her trying to make a name for herself in such a cut-throat industry, I have a feeling that her wishes will soon come true.  

Quick-Fire Questions:

If you could only wear one designer for the rest of your life, what brand would it be?

MK: Chanel.

What is the one clothing staple everyone needs in their closet?

MK: Denim.

What current trends are overrated?

MK: Off-the shoulder tops, excessively ripped jeans, and studs/spikes.

Heels or flats?

MK: Heels, of course.

Stripes or animal print?

MK: Stripes.

What accessory can you not live without?

MK: My handbag.

What clothing store would you recommend to young women?

MK: Topshop.

What trends do you want to see come back?

MK: That would definitely be suits and bootcut pants.