Petite, powerful and passionate: these are some of the adjectives you may use to describe this fashion industry vet, and today’s Boss Babe.
Laura Zapata is a fashion stylist and digital strategist that has worked with big time brands like Topshop, Calvin Klein, and The Cools. The most recent line-item on her already impressive resume has her styling the pages of Cosmopolitan For Latinas, serving as fashion editor of this quarterly magazine that focuses on Latina empowerment through style, relationships, pop culture, and so forth. (Represent!)
We wanted to get to the bottom of what keeps our favorite fashion editor inspired and constantly looking her finest. Meet Laura Zapata, shop her style below, and follow her fashionable journey on Instagram and her personal website here. Trust us, you’ll want to.
Big thank you to ISA Restaurant for lending us your space for the shoot. You guys make a mean breakfast pizza!
Fashion editor & stylist
I have a photographic memory. Is that a talent? It’s crazy, I’ll see a friend’s outfit and say “the last time you wore that, we were at this place, at this time” and I can also remember most tangible objects: the configuration of how the item was placed the I last time saw it, the exact colors, a little bit of everything surrounding it. As you can imagine, my past roommates were incredibly amused by this and would always put it to the test. I can hear them now, “Hey Laura, where’s my red notebook that I almost threw away but decided to keep, and haven’t used since last month?” And I’d always find their stuff!
Tinted moisturizer, a great concealer and a goopy, berry-colored lip gloss. And I can’t survive without oil-absorbing sheets in the summer.
You would think after all these years I would have some sort of beauty brand loyalty, but I kind of just use whatever I end up with. When you work at a magazine, the beauty gals load you up on some pretty epic goodies. But there’s a downside: You get spoiled by the luxury brands and lose all sense of reality of how much it really costs. God forbid you fall in love with that fancy eyeshadow! You get that harsh reality-check when you run out. Oh! It’s $75 and only sold at Bergdorfs?! You really start to think twice on what’s a legitimate must-have.
Fill in the blank: I would die to trade lives with ____ for one day.
Sadly, of all the dreams I know are possible in my lifetime, I don’t think my being a Dutchess would be one of them. So I’d have to say Kate Middleton. Can you imagine the number of amazing and inspiring people she meets in one day, the clothing options for her high-profile functions, the whole Princess experience, and chilling with The Queen? I don’t think I could handle the amount of scrutiny she undertakes day after day, so I think one full day would be enough for me. But it would be pretty cool to bask in it for a cool 24-hours.
Spotify or Netflix?
I’m obsessed with music and film so it’s a tough call, but I’d have to go with Spotify. Could you imagine riding the subway without music? Urgh, torture!
Tell us something only your close friends and fam know about you.
I love sports. Most people don’t realize I’m a die hard college football fan. I’m from Texas, my entire family and I all went to the University of Texas at Austin (Hook ’em!) Football is a way of life down there, you can’t shake it. Sometimes I’ll see someone on the street wearing a Longhorns hat or hoodie, and I’ll make eye contact with them and smile or nod my head. It’s like a lifelong club. As Tim Riggins would say: TEXAS FOREVER.
Who are three females you look up to and why?
Oprah – she never said die and she built an empire.
My Mom – she raised my sister and I as a single-parent, and I know that was no easy task!
Anna Wintour – people think they know, but you have no idea how influential she is in the fashion industry. As much as you think, think more. That’s power.
Current restaurant obsession:
I’ve been obsessed with Lovely Day for as long as I can remember. Their downstairs restaurant/bar is one of my favorite spots in the city.
If you weren’t working at C4L, what would you be doing?
I think I’d be consulting on more fashion tech projects and dressing celebs for red carpet events. I’d also love to style a few new designers collections for NYFW.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself being way busier than I am now, which is part terrifying and part motivating. I’d imagine having made long-term, life investments in startups and real-estate. I would’ve consulted on one of the hottest fashion tech wearables on the market. I’d have an executive title, overseeing a team on a project that doesn’t exist currently. I’d have a namesake capsule collection or a kick-ass collab with a brand that I really admire. And the one I really have my eye on: dressing the first Latino President and his family. I have a gut feeling this is a reality. I’m putting it out there in the world!
Words of wisdom to aspiring Boss Babes:
Don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want. Someone told me that once and it really stuck with me. Listen, I’ve worked in all sorts of environments over the years: conservative, a startup scene, casual, uber trendy, snobbish, competitive. And although the dress codes have been different, the concept is still the same: Everyone will notice your personal style and genuinely appreciate the effort you put into your look. When has anyone ever complained that someone was too well dressed? Never. So really make that effort to cultivate your personal style and learn how to evolve it as you get older.
Photography by Vanessa Granda for Taste The Style