By Emily Taylor
Photos by Victor Ren
Personal. Intentional. Innovative.
Three words Ms. Toi Sweeney used to describe the Sun Devils Wear Prada fashion show that took place on Feb. 17 at Arizona State University’s Downtown Phoenix campus.
Before the show, I sat down with the executive image consultant to discuss her journey through the world of fashion. She was a fountain of wisdom throughout the interview, spitting out opportune advice for girls around the world left and right.
I’ll disclose four of her lifestyle tips that struck me most of all; but before I do, let me tell you a little bit about this inspiring queen.
Toi grew up with a passion for fashion. She viewed her mother as the most beautiful person in the world and strived to emulate her chic ways.
“I’ve always loved fashion. There wasn’t a time in my life when I didn’t,” said Sweeney.
She graduated as a fashion marketing major from the Art Institute of Philadelphia and returned to school two years later to pursue fashion design studies. Toi strutted her way up the professional ladder through various positions and titles, starting in retail – as most in this industry do.
Her resume is long and oh so impressive. She completed the executive training program at Bloomingdale’s in New York, was a senior stylist for QVC and founded a design firm called Her Majesty the Queen… and those are just a few of the experiences she has up her sleeve.
Toi’s style and marketing input at QVC granted her a Telly Award, an award honoring the very best in TV and cable. Her work also landed her two cover features – one in The Inquirer and the other in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
“I was working The Lisa Robertson Show and PM Style. I was the one to introduce them to branding…I started feeling myself a little, thinking, ‘hmm…I might be on to something,’” she said.
Her latest project was with ASU’s very own Sun Devils Wear Prada club. She was a “style director from a distance,” working out of her Philadelphia home to create looks specific to each model. Sweeney was sent pictures of each student and styled them according to their dream job.
“It really gave me the greatest joy. It was so much fun seeing the students and all they want to accomplish. I’m so impressed with all of you at this school,” she stated about her time in Sun Devil territory.
As promised, here are the top four lifestyle tips each girl should implement into her daily routine:
Tackle whatever it is you want to do in the world with your core values and passion.
Build your own personal brand to merge into other brands. You can fit in and stand out at the same time.
Think about who is a fountain and who is a drain – who makes you feel your best and who makes you feel your worst. Knowing this about yourself will allow you to communicate at your highest level.
Everything is about the story and tugging at those heartstrings. Finding your own voice is going to separate you from everybody else.
It was an absolute pleasure picking the brain of this style genius. Not only was the fashion show personal, intentional and innovative, but so was Ms. Toi Sweeny herself.