The typical question: how did you first get into fashion and being a stylist? Who or what were your biggest fashion and style inspirations?
I started out working with celebrities, but found that coming home and working with everyday people was more rewarding, so I decided to build a dream of becoming a television host who could empower people through fashion. I moved to L.A. when I was 24 and have never looked back since. My inspirations have been my mom for confidence, Ellen Degeneres for humor and for reminding us to have joy, and Betsey Johnson for the reminder to be childlike always.
I’ve previously read your blog iheartjeanniemai.com and found the “Wearapy” tips (ex. wear yellow to attract energy) to be extremely useful as someone who loves colours herself. How did you originally create these guidelines and how have you seen them aid individuals in their everyday lives?
During my show “How Do I Look?” on The Style Network, I applied Wearapy daily. People don’t realize the great potential of color, texture, and of intentionally putting together outfits in order to achieve a goal. I see this not only through the show but also in everyday life through the people I work with, clients, and myself. I share it through my YouTube videos and fashion advice all the time. Plus my followers are very honest and tell me all the time how different things they have worn have helped them, from job interviews to first dates.
Mai on the “Today” show as a fashion correspondent
In terms of your personal style, what are your favourite brands or stores? And what are your “go-to” outfit pieces?
I love anything high-waisted – it helps me feel like I’ve got legs better than Gisele. I feel great in bright pops of color – yellow is one of my favorites. Karen Millen always makes me feel really good about my body and nobody makes a pant like Jason Woo.
AX3 Battery runs a weekly “Trendy Tuesday” post, so it follows that we would ask: what is your favourite trend of the moment and why?
My favorite trend is mixing patterns. I used to get bummed that I could only wear one outfit and have to wait for another occasion to wear the next. Now, with the latest trend of mixing patterns, I wear what I love altogether in different ways.
You lead such a glamorous lifestyle travelling and attending star-studded parties. How do you stay grounded and not let that lifestyle overwhelm you?
My faith keeps me focused and reminds me what’s a job and what’s life. I also have a super supportive husband who helps me to take care of myself and give myself the personal time I need. People don’t know this, but I’m actually an introvert and I like to spend time in quiet areas so that once I’m able to “fuel up,” I can come out and be better for the people around me.
Style Awards Red Carpet Commentator
In regard to your makeover show, were you involved in creating the particular format of the show itself? How do you keep inspired in terms of keeping your show fresh and energetic?
The show was an original format that had been going strong, so when I stepped in, I shared ideas with an amazing team and the network in order to update it and to infuse a more lively atmosphere into the show. Being around people inspires me, especially hearing about their journeys and stories. I’m more inspired about people and their life goals than I am about trends and celebrities.
Mai hosting the show “How Do I Look?”
What would be the top tips you would give to someone who feels that they’re stuck in a style slump? Or any of your best style tips in general?
I would tell them to first take a look at their wardrobe and see if they’re incorporating bright energetic colors. Citrus tones are some of my favorites. Pink is quite empowering for women, and white is refreshing and healing. And it doesn’t have to be clothing as you can also make little tweaks in your makeup to give you a fresh look at yourself as well.
Thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed by our publication, we deeply appreciate your willingness to share some of your experiences with us and our readers. It’s wonderful to be able to connect with Asian celebrities who have been successful within the North American hemisphere- it keeps the rest of us inspired and motivated to be our very best selves!