From The Sidelines To The Streets: Khalilah Williams-Webb Brings Vintage Style To Brooklyn
Baltimore, Maryland native Khalilah Williams-Webb is known for bringing style to the sidelines. She styles some of sports’ biggest names in the game (and fashion), most notably Carmelo Anthony. But Khalilah is more than that, much more. When she’s not hunting for size 14 shoes and extra-long trousers she works as a stylist for power players like Carol’s Daughter founder Lisa Price, and an image consultant for brands like Samsung and Foot Locker. Most recently she took on the role of shopkeeper at her new boutique, Shirley + Alice, (named for her fashionable grandmothers) in the legendary neighborhood of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. She’s come a long way from cocktail waitressing and working the floor at Express and Tommy Hilfiger.
We caught up with Khalilah to learn more about what propels her success and the motivation behind her new retail venture.
Madame Noire: Where does your love for fashion come from?
Khalilah Williams-Webb: My mother and my grandmothers. As a young child, they use to bring me along with them as they shopped; shopping and dressing me up as a child! It honestly came so naturally because I grew up around it!
MN: You’re widely known for styling Carmelo Anthony, but you have a lot going on! Describe what your brand entails and what guides you when pursuing new ventures.
KW: My brand entails styling, imaging consulting, and running a my new boutique. But most importantly, maintaining my image as a great mom, wife, and family figure. When pursuing new ventures I love to be challenged.
MN: With so many ventures pulling from your creativity, how do you stay inspired to come up with fresh ideas?
KW: I strongly believe in taking time out to refresh and rebuild! But I also do a lot of research and draw inspiration from old movies, magazines, etc. I also have to give credit to my great team. We collectively come up with creative ideas to be ahead of the game.
MN: What prompted you to make the move into retail?
KW: It has been a dream of mine to open a vintage store since I moved to NYC two years ago.When my husband Richard and I found out we were expecting a baby, I made the decision to slow down with styling, and to put my energy into my love for vintage. I began hosting trunk shows, first in my husband’s gallery, “House of Art”, then in a mansion converted to a school (the ambiance was perfect). I started to realize with the amount of inventory I amassed and the demand, I needed a storefront.
MN: Do you approach styling men differently than dressing women?
KW: My approach to styling is no different. I make to adhere to what the client is looking for, and put my own twist to it.
MN: How is Shirley + Alice different from the other vintage boutiques that populate Brooklyn?
KW: I wanted a boutique that had a cozy and homely feel; as if you are playing dress up at your girlfriends house or your mother’s closet as we all did as a kid. A place where you could feel welcome, have a glass of wine, conversation and do what women want to do most — shop! I want it to be an experience, not just a place to buy a piece of clothing.