Claire Haranda

It’s time for part two of my profile of Claire Haranda, styling coordinator for Nordstrom/the coolest person ever.

Claire Haranda

Claire strikes a serious pose in a photoshoot with a photographer friend.

In part one, I told you about Claire’s fashion career. Now I’ll tell you how she got there, other awesome things she does and her advice to people who are interested in working in fashion.

Claire’s island-y upbringing in Honolulu, Hawaii, drove her to wonder what else was out there, fashion-wise. Casual, comfortable beachwear and sandals just weren’t cutting it. So this savvy fashionista scoured the internet for any glimpse of fashion she could catch—a lot of which was on eBay (this was pre-Etsy). This was the first place she discovered creative clothes that people were making themselves and selling online.

When she went off to college on the mainland and needed a job, Claire was inspired by all the creative people she saw on eBay and decided to start her own eBay shop. She would go to crazy, big estate sales and the Goodwill bins and pick anything she thought was cool to sell online. Claire says she’s still addicted to “the adrenaline rush you have when you know you’re gonna find something”—like cute vintage slouch boots for $6, for example, which she could sell for $100 online.

Once her eBay shop took off, Claire started making little sets to photograph her merchandise. Soon she was working with photographer friends to put on full-blown photo shoots. She told me about their process:

  1. 1. Think of ideas.
  2. 2. Work together to cast models, scout locations and get props and clothing.
  3. 3. Plan your shoot.
  4. 4. Get out there and have fun!

When I asked Claire to name her number one tool for creative collaboration with other style mavens, she said, “An iPhone. It makes it so easy to share ideas and images, and to talk to each other on the fly.” She’s also a huge proponent of immersing yourself in a “local artistic community that supports your need to create.”  She suggests looking everywhere for styling inspiration—but especially music videos (which makes sense, since she’s a part-time DJ with a deep passion for music).

It’s obvious that Claire Haranda loves what she does. There’s nothing better than that. Bravo, Claire!




Friday Dance Party

Remember Claire Haranda? In addition to being a styling coordinator, she also happens to be a DJ whose personal style is totally influenced by her favorite jams. So when we asked her for recommendations for the Friday dance party, she was all over it:

The Miracles Club is from Portland and is a great house throwback. I’ve gone to almost every Miracles Club show ever played in Seattle, and I always end up having an incredible time. They have a guy who vogues on stage with them (he’s the one in red in the video)!”

“Every day on my walk to/from work, I listen to the album World Clique by Deee-Lite. It’s like recharging my life essence whenever I listen to it. An absolute essential. A major style influence, too. Lady Miss Kier [from Deee-Lite] is my spirit animal forever.”


Claire Haranda went from the relaxed island life in Honolulu, Hawaii, to the fun-filled, fast-paced fashion world. As a styling coordinator for Nordstrom, she takes care of and organizes merchandise for photo shoots. How cool is that?

Claire Haranda

Check out Claire’s hair!

She says her two favorite things about her job are (1) she gets to learn from and work with experienced stylists, and (2) she gets to see clothes before they’re even on trend. That’s right—one of the perks of Claire’s job is having an omniscient view of the future of fashion! Fabulous? Claire thinks so, too. She says, “I hope to eventually work with Red Godfrey [vice president, Nordstrom Fashion Office] and her team of trend forecasters, traveling the world, people-watching and searching for the trends that are brought back to Nordstrom for fashion direction/research purposes.”

In addition to being a styling coordinator for Nordstrom, Claire also works as a freelance stylist. Here’s a rundown of her styling process:

  • • First, she gets details about the overall vision for the shoot.
  • • Then, she asks questions like “How many shots will there be?” and “How many outfits do I need?”
  • • Finally, she selects clothing that fits the design of the shoot and “keeps it fluid” by making sure everything runs smoothly and the models are comfortable.

In the fashion world, where the styles are forever changing, Claire says she doesn’t like to pigeonhole herself when it comes to her personal look, which is influenced by whatever kind of music she’s into. Lately, she’s been mixing it up with retro mod style. One constant, though, is that she loves to wear black. She makes it super-cool by adding different textures and types of black—and, of course, a red lip. When it comes to her fashion philosophy, Claire says it’s important to “stay very true to myself and what inspires me and leaves me with a sense of fulfillment.”

I had a blast interviewing Claire. Maybe she’ll style me sometime?


P.S. Look out for more about Claire soon! That’s right, Part 2 is on the way!