When it comes to sustainable fashion, the element that generates the most longevity is genuine energy. Being personable, making connections, and truly wanting to see others flourish helps any wardrobe stylist succeed.
Malaika Iyok fulfills her role as wardrobe stylist and designer with a calm and dedicated mindset. She is calm when getting to know one’s preferences, but goes crazy when it comes to piecing an outfit together. Malaika has been the owner and wardrobe stylist of Iyok Styles since 2020.
We took a moment to see what the talented wardrobe stylist is up to. And to create a dialogue about her respective brand efforts.
Learning more about wardrobe stylist Malaika Iyok
Kulture Hub: Who are you? What’s your brand ? Where are you from ?
Malaika Iyok: I just officially made my website so that you can go online and book my services or hit me up in the DMs for collabs. I do wardrobe styling which is everything from editorial, photoshoots, personal styling, closet cleanses – anything that is wardrobe worthy.
I also do a lot of creative directing – I genuinely like visuals so creative directing goes hand in hand with wardrobe styling which gets me into interior design. I’m really into visuals so wardrobe styling, creative styling everything flows from there.
Born and raised in 518, I was born in Albany Med, lived in Albany for a little bit. I grew up in Latham and after high school, I moved to literally every city in the 518 except for Saratoga. I like Albany.
KH: Where are you from origin wise?
Iyok: I am Cameroonian and Tanzanian American. Dad from Cameroon, mom from Tanzania.
Malaika focuses on increasing self-confidence through expression
KH: How does your brand contribute to the concept of Ballin on a Budget?
Iyok: Since I am young, my budget is not high, so I could literally find coupons anywhere especially online. There’s no way I am paying full price for anything. I think the most important thing is making sure that you’re buying items that coordinate with your closet.
So focus on the essentials – if you’re buying a T-shirt, know that t-shirt is about to go with like three different pairs of pants. Maximize your closet and then you’re also cutting down on how much you’re buying so that’s a way to maintain your budget as well.
Tips from the forever fly gal
KH: For someone that wants to get fly, but doesn’t really know how… Take us through the process of where you come in and how you can affect that change.
Iyok: First off, I will ask you an array of questions just to get to know who you are. Because your fly and my fly are going to be different based on who you are internally.
I really like to get to know my clients and get to know the person I am styling and figure out what is truly fly to them. My fly is everything especially loud but someone else’s fly could be subtle in the sleekest, sexy way.Malaika Iyok
Iyok: Whatever way they want to do it – it’s really a personal thing. Styling to me and what I help others with is making it a personal expression of yourself at all times and increasing your vibration.
So that way you walk out and whatever you’re wearing is fly because you feel like it’s fly and you feel like your greatest self in the spiritual realm of how my process works.
Loving the skin you’re in
KH: How do you incorporate body positivity into a styling session?
Iyok: I definitely have the knowledge of what works with a lot of men and women’s bodies in all types. I think fashion focuses on people who are very slender and people who have a certain type of build. I am very flexible and I understand how clothes are going to hug you or how they should just be loose sometimes.
So, in the realm of body positivity it’s important to make you feel comfortable in your body and where you are right now. I’m always breathing positivity into people no matter where you are in your journey – this is where you are and this is how you are going to look great in that.
KH: What type of opportunities has the collaboration with Dwtn Lush afforded your brand? How is that going?
Iyok: I’ve created my entire career off of meeting creatives. I never leave anybody out and I try to meet as many people as I can. I network my ass off but to me, I don’t consider it networking I just like people.
So I go around and meet a bunch of people, give them good energy and they give it back in opportune ways. It’s really a blessing to be honest, but just be open and genuine to people so they can be open and genuine to you. Those are the ways that I have gotten a lot of work.
Putting on for the city as a wardrobe stylist
KH: You made a magazine, too. What was that like?
Iyok: That was amazing. I felt like I wanted to do something really big for my editorial portfolio. In my mind, I was like if I was going to give this portfolio to a magazine – wouldn’t they want to see what it was like if it was in a magazine?
So I figured I would just make one. That week went by – I hit up all the creatives I know and we made it happen. That’s what’s so beautiful about having community, is that people really come together.
I’m super conscious sometimes so with making this magazine I wanted to do something and say something. So I incorporated that part and curated a small platform to put other creatives on.
So we mixed and matched all these things to make a beautiful masterpiece of creatives. As long as it’s giving the right messages with the right images, it is just the right formula that will work out much better.
KH: Tapping into the workplace – how can bringing spice to the workplace through your wardrobe increase your chances at promotion?
Iyok: I think if you bring some spice to your workplace by your wardrobe it will increase your confidence as a person and high vibrant frequency. People are going to see that and start paying attention to you and think “I want to hear what he/she has to say.”
High confidence and high energy automatically get the attention of the higher-ups in your work community.
Raven Symone’s brand influence
KH: How has the show, “That’s So Raven” contributed to your vision as a brand?
Iyok: You know what’s crazy? I was just talking about this show while I was on vacation in Miami. I relate to Raven as a person because that’s my inner brain.
I think the normalcy that it brought to having visions resonated with me as a child because I had a big imagination. It showed me that I can be a crazy calm person who has visions.Malaika Iyok
KH: What is sustainable style, and why be basic when you could be extra?
Iyok: Sustainable style is being mindful about what you’re buying and if you really truly need it. I think sustainable style deals with minimizes [sic] the way that you shop. It is also about buying quality articles of clothing that last longer and don’t end up being thrown away in landfills. Being mindful of your purchases helps the world and your budget.
Why be basic when can you be extra is the idea that why would you try to conform to things when you can do your own thing?Malaika Iyok
KH: Definitely – people are so concerned with what other people think – but those things don’t matter. We are who we are and we have to embody our own.
Iyok: Essence at the end of the day. I think those are the things that make individuals so influential. To embrace your uniqueness, your flaws, and where you are in your journey will always make you a better person.
In reflection, wardrobe stylist Malaika Iyok is just getting started
We thank the ultra-talented wardrobe stylist Malaika for her time. And we urge anyone reading this to help support her sustainability efforts.
Iyok Stylez is just getting started, and we can’t wait to see what Malaika and her brand does next. Support your local wardrobe stylists; the world always needs more creativity.