Travel is life for Olori Swank, a celebrity stylist for artists like Rae Sremmurd, owner of Swank Blue boutique, author and all-around boss entrepreneur. If she’s not flying to China to meet with vendors, you can catch her in Los Angeles styling clients, in Atlanta managing her empire or somewhere exotic like Costa Rica turning up and living her best life – all without her signature blue hair—or outfit—out of place.
It’s safe to say that Olori is well-versed in travel style, and if you ask her community of nearly 300,000 followers, they’ll tell you that they find fashion inspo in every outfit she wears. So, how does she do it? ESSENCE chatted with Olori to get the scoop on her unique style, what she never jetsets without and most importantly, where she’s off to next.
Tell us about you! Where are you from, and how did you fall into the business you are in now?
Olori Swank: I’m a celebrity fashion stylist and entrepreneur. I originally was headed towards becoming a neurosurgeon, but a chance encounter with the V.P of A&R for a major record label caused me to detour into the world of fashion. I’m from Atlanta, GA but have lived in Los Angeles, CA for the past 8 years.
How would you describe your travel style?
My parents always made us get dressed up to take flights. There was no traveling in pajamas or sweats for us, so I am typically well-dressed when I travel. Even when I travel in sweats, I’ll still wear heels and a ton of jewelry. I can’t help it. It’s a habit.
Does your destination inspire your wardrobe?
The destination usually dictates what I pack, but doesn’t always necessarily determine the outfit I travel in. I definitely pack according to the climate and sometimes I’ll pack some traditional garb if I have access to it.
What’s your favorite suitcase to travel with?
As far as travel luggage, I am obsessed with my Rimowa’s. The more trips I take, the more worn out they become and they look cooler as time passes. It’s almost like each piece tells a story of the different lands they’ve seen. Not to mention, the more stickers I add, the more unique my luggage becomes.
For my carry-ons, I use Goyard roller luggage and a Goyard tote. The tote is small enough to pass as a personal item but big enough to hold my purse, computer, slips slippers (if I’m traveling in heels), and a bunch of other random items.
Where have you traveled to recently?
I’m currently in Seoul, South Korea. I was in Guangzhou, China yesterday. Who knows where I’ll be tomorrow, lol.
What are the seven items you always pack in your carry-on bags?
I never catch a flight without:
- Antibacterial wipes and/or hand sanitizer.
- Mophie Powerstation to charge multiple devices simultaneously
- A journal to write. My current fave is the “Thou Shalt Secure The Bag” Journal I created.
- My Apple MacBook in a ChicGeeks protective croc skin case.
- One complete outfit in case my luggage is ever lost or delayed.
- Candy/snacks (I have a sweet tooth).
- Hand lotion, lip balm, and a travel scent. Right now I’m loving Savoir Faire Beau Noir Eau De Parfum by Chris Classic.
I am typically well-dressed when I travel. Even when I travel in sweats, I’ll still wear heels and a ton of jewelry. I can’t help it. It’s a habit.Olori Swank
What’s the one souvenir you always leave room for in your bag?
It varies depending on the state or country. I typically like to bring back items indigenous to the location.
What is your biggest packing tip when it comes to flying?
Make space inside space. I’m notorious for rolling up a tee or leggings and putting them inside sneakers. For me, it’s all about maximizing my space.
Where are you headed next?
This question is always tricky for me. I have plans to visit Nigeria next but I won’t be surprised if I end up in a few other places before this trip happens. We’ll see!