Fall Fashion from Neiman Marcus with TV Host Stefanie Jones
Our series Trend Report is a style spread featuring designers and clothing stores. They are shot on location in Cherry Creek. This month, television star Stefanie Jones of Daily Blast Live models four fall looks from Neiman Marcus at The Jacquard Hotel & Rooftop. Culture & Style Editor ANNIE BLOJ interviews the British transplant.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY CAROLINE MILLER // STYLING BY KIRI MORKEN
MAKEUP: BETH WALKER // HAIR: MEREDITH BOLES // CLOTHING: NEIMAN MARCUS CHERRY CREEK
LOCATION: THE JACQUARD HOTEL & ROOFTOP
There is a good chance that you may already have seen Stefanie Rycraft Jones on your TV, as a co-host on Daily Blast Live. A nationally broadcasted live show, filmed here in Denver, she uses her history as a TV presenter in the UK to bring us the most relevant and exciting pop culture news in real-time. I was really excited to get the chance to know her a little better, find out how she got her big break and what motivates her every day!
Annie Bloj: Stefanie, you have had an amazing and modern career. Let’s start from the beginning. You were born and raised in the UK, have you always had an interest in fashion and media?
Stefanie Jones: I think my love for fashion certainly came from my mother. She was a model and used to take me along to work to photo shoots and catwalks. I remember once coming across her modeling portfolio when I was about 12 and loved the idea that styling and makeup could transform you and express different moods or situations. I've always had a deep fascination with the media. Radio was my first passion and I used to record hundreds of ‘shows’ on my cassette player in my bedroom which I then forced my family to play on repeat whenever we were in the car much to their dismay. As I got older I learned more about all aspects of broadcasting and discovered I loved talking on camera. I never felt more at home. That was it, I was hooked!
AB: In 2012, through a reality TV show competition, you won the London Correspondent Search to become a presenter for Fashion One. What was that like? What made you apply for the competition?
SJ: Let me tell you - it was a roller coaster! I left college in 2008 and had been working multiple part-time jobs for four years whilst I was chasing my dream of becoming a host. I had a few small gigs and commercials but nothing substantial enough for hosting to be my sole source of income. I won’t lie - I had nearly given up on my dream a hundred times. I felt as though I had knocked on every door and none of them were opening. I saw the advert for the show online and said to myself it was my last chance - if I didn’t get it, it was time to get a ‘real’ job. The competition itself was incredibly hard! I was against ten other outstanding girls that all desperately wanted the job just as much as I did. I never actually thought I stood a chance but three months, many late nights and long car journeys across the UK later, I won and landed my dream job. I was lucky enough to travel the world, work with the creme de la creme of the fashion industry and make some wonderful friends - it was hard work and long hours but worth every second.
AB: I’m sure that getting that first opportunity to present on camera really kicked the door down for new and exciting projects and adventures. What have been some of your favorite moments and/or experiences?
SJ: I adored combining my two loves - fashion and television. It was exhilarating to work in two incredibly fast-paced industries with world leaders such as Anna Wintour, Valentino, and Mulberry. I remember going to my first fashion week petrified yet filled with such awe and excitement. I looked forward to each season immensely and discovering up and coming labels and which designers I would interview next. I have a passion for footwear - it's my weakness, so when I was invited to lunch with Jimmy Choo to talk about potentially shooting a new series with him it was a real pinch-me moment. He is such a sweet, kind and gentle soul. I vividly remember the first time I met Anna Wintour and shook like a leaf when I went over to talk to her. She was sitting front row in her infamous black glasses at Nicole Farhi when I asked her thoughts on the season so far. She removed her frames, looked at me and said: “Well darling, I can’t possibly tell you my thoughts until I have seen this show, can I?” She then pulled her glasses back down as a prompt cue to not further the conversation. It was only then another journalist pulled me to one side and said, "Whenever Anna wears her glasses it’s a sign to not initiate conversation - if they’re off she's fair game". Safe to say I learned my lesson quickly.
AB: Ok, so fast forward to your move to the states. What brought you to Denver?
SJ: Aside from fashion, my secondary passion is entertainment. I adored celebrity-based shows such as Extra and E! which are filmed in LA so I decided if I wanted to further my career it would be in the States. A short time after moving to LA I auditioned for Daily Blast Live which is shot in Denver and as they say - the rest is history.
AB: You bring so much experience and sparkle to Daily Blast Live, the team seems to have so much chemistry. Do you have a favorite subject to cover, what inspires you?
SJ: My favorite subject has to be celebrity entertainment. I have a segment called “What Up Wednesday” which is the highlight of my week. I work closely with my producer Taylor Brim who picks trending topics which we then discuss and I throw out my rather outrageous ( her words not mine!) comments and thoughts to add to the script which Taylor then reels promptly in. I love bringing a bit of British humor and sass to the show. I'm inspired daily by Taylor's writing, we are a live show but for some sections, we read a prompter to get the facts and headlines into the story. Taylor has a wonderful knack of writing in my voice and has such comedic timing - I’d be lost without her.
AB: Daily Blast Live seems to be pioneering how we get our news. You guys are so nimble by using social media platforms to stream your content and make it easy for everyone to have access, no matter where you are. How do you see social media changing the TV game?
SJ: Daily Blast Live is an incredible show - we are live six times a day across multiple time zones across the US. The digital aspect of our show allows us to connect with the audience and respond to them in real-time. Our viewers are a huge part of the show and we interact with them constantly reading their comments and finding out what matters most to them. These interactions mean every hour the show is at the forefront of the broadcasting industry and is constantly evolving. Television as we know it is changing, viewers expect much more involvement and we are the only show that delivers that to our audience every single show, every day.
AB: Your “Coming to America” segments are hysterical. As a MAJOR anglophile myself (Made in Chelsea and Love Island are two of my favorite shows, don’t judge!) what has been some of the biggest changes and differences you’ve found between the two countries?
SJ: I never realized just how many differences there are in culture between the USA and the UK. Moving to the States made me realize this and the saying is SO true - everything here is bigger and better! Over the past 10 months whilst filming Coming To America I’ve seen your nation at it’s finest, going to rodeos and sampling the cuisine - it’s been mind blowing, sometimes very confusing but always hilarious. You guys know how to put on an event that is for sure. I love your patriotism and discovered just how much you LOVE coffee. However, one thing I've discovered is that Americans cannot make a good cup of tea! Getting my hands on a decent brew is hard work! Sort it out guys! Something that I cannot wrap my head around in any capacity is the combination of fried chicken, waffles and syrup - seriously?!
AB: Travel also seems to be a major passion of yours. In fact, Esther told me that you recently visited her home of St. Lucia. What are a few of your must-see recommendations for those of us with a bit of wanderlust?
SJ: I had the most wonderful time in St Lucia, it was a bucket list destination for me. The rain forests were incredibly beautiful however what I loved the most about the island was underwater. I’m a keen scuba diver and can honestly say it was the best diving I’ve ever experienced. From shipwrecks to turtles and the coral reefs - it was some of the most colorful and beautiful I’ve seen, a must-do. For the hikers out there I highly recommend climbing the Gros Piton. It’s a four hour round trip and well worth the climb for the view of the entire island from the peak. You also cannot head over to the island without taking full advantage of the cocoa plantations. I learned how to make chocolate from bean to bar and can safely say it was delicious.
AB: How do you see your career moving forward? Do you try to stay open to the opportunities that come your way, or are you a planner?
SJ: Working in the media industry means it’s incredibly hard to plan. A lot of shows are renewed yearly and are based on multiple factors such as viewing figures and ratings. You never know what is coming next so it’s incredibly important to remember to enjoy the journey at all times. I’d love to say I am a planner but that would mean having a working crystal ball! If you know where you can get one, let me know!
AB: We are so glad that you have found your way to Colorado, what are some of your favorite places to visit here? Do you have some favorite boutiques and shops that you check out often?
SJ: I won’t lie, boutique it is not but a store that I love in Denver is Neiman Marcus which is where all of the clothes from my shoot for Cherry Creek Fashion are from. I adore high fashion and enjoy seeing which trends are in-store and, of course, the shoe section is to die for there. I enjoy Pinks Denver for more affordable, casual yet stylish outfits and I could spend everything I own in Goorin Bros. Hat Shop on Larimer Square. They have the most amazing selection and I desperately want everything! Dreamy!
AB: Stefanie, Thank you so much for taking time out from your busy schedule to speak with me. I love watching you on Daily Blast and it was so amazing to get to know your story a little bit better!
Stefanie Jones: @steffrjones
Shoot Producer: @estherleeleach
Cherry Creek Fashion TV’s 24 Questions with Stefanie Jones