Workwear Edition: Julee Wilson
As a journalist, Julee Wilson is clear that she’s incredibly conscious about the people and brands she works with. As the Fashion and Beauty Director at ESSENCE, she’s only about truly authentic collaborations – ones with real customers who really love what they’re rep-ing and have been buying the brand regularly for months or years. Julee herself said that when it comes to ELOQUII, “It’s a love affair. It truly is.” Needless to say, it was clear to us all that Julee was best person to kickoff Spotlight Series: Workwear Edition.
Julee Wilson Fashions Life on Her Terms
Family, fluidity and fashion are all central to this magazine maven’s full life. Probably in that order, if we’re being honest. Julee spills on how her ability to prioritize what’s important to her drives her to be a better editor, mother and (very fashionable) friend.
Julee Wilson bucks the idea of fashion faux pas. She dresses for the piece she’s writing or the meeting she’s attending. She pairs pencil skirts with sweatshirts and sneakers. She wears false lashes. As the Fashion and Beauty Director at ESSENCE, she’s redefining what it means to be a woman working in fashion. It all starts with one thing: Being authentic.
Hey, not all women in fashion are self-actualized in three-inch heels. Actually, none are. It’s not about molding to one way of acting, posting or dressing. “I can’t prescribe to one type of style. I’m just me,” she responds when asked to outline her personal style. Some days she’s in ultra-feminine styles like a gold, sequined dress. Other days, she’s in more masculine looks like a black and white button-down shirt.
The same goes for fragrance and shoes, she shares.
When she heads into “Black Girl Magic HQ,” this member of National Association of Black Journalists (NABG) admits to having 80 scents in her vanity and over a dozen shoes under her desk for however she feels that day. Think: red pumps for writing a Beyoncé costume review. Day in and day out, she covers her greatest inspiration: black women. It’s a responsibility she cherishes to celebrate them and tell their stories.
Whether she’s in editorial meetings or writing features on head wraps, It Girls or awards after parties, the key is style and comfort. Layers become her best friend to still look polished.
The saturated blue blazer adds energy to her playful look and the gray suit blazer brings structure. Depending on her mood and her day, she’s down for either. Every layering piece is styled with office-friendly looks including the go-to black pant, pencil skirt, button-down and A-line dress.
“Whenever I’m in one of those (ELOQUII) pieces, I look at myself and I’m like ‘I’m feeling myself,’” says our model, who reminds us all not to allow the world to define who we are or what we should wear.
What was your first ELOQUII purchase?
A neon yellow tea-length skirt. I got it in 2015 and still wear it. Anytime I wear it, people stop me and ask who makes it.
Who are your style icons?
Josephine Baker (a 1920s entertainer/activist) for her old school glamour. Cardi B because she makes me dream more. Tracee Ellis Ross can do no wrong. And of course, Andre 3000.
What’s your daily matra?
I’m dope. Like, Julee, c’mon – you’re dope. This world will tell you all the time that you aren’t and it’s up to you to not let the world or any individuals tell you who you are.
When do you feel your best?
I feel beautiful when I’m surrounded by people who I love and who love me back in a very genuine way.
What got you most excited at New York Fashion Week?
Head-to-toe looks like all the printed power suiting. It’s unexpected and safe because it’s a silhouette people can identify with and once you hit them with the print it’s like, Huh! and gives a whole other moment.