Tai Beauchamp knows how to break barriers, and not just with her wardrobe. As the first and youngest African-American beauty director of Seventeen magazine, she took the presence of Black female editors to new levels. And when she took a break from publishing to start the BluePrint Group LLC, her influence in fashion grew even further. The marketing and communications firm was developed to help bridge the gap between fashion and philanthropy, and Beauchamp is using her smart fashion sense to give back to her community. Just like with her career path, Tai Beauchamp is a trendsetter with her clothing — when shopping for new items, she’s thinking about what will still work years from now. Here’s a look at her forward-thinking, ultra feminine style. ESSENCE.com: How would you describe your style? TAI BEAUCHAMP: I’d say my style is a feminine, flirty, and chic, but honestly, I sort of feel like a style chameleon. The way I dress is usually a reflection of how I am feeling. I love black and muted tones as much as I do rainbow brights. ESSENCE.com: What does style mean to you? BEAUCHAMP: Style is truly a behavior. It’s a value system. It’s a confidence. It’s how you move, where you dine, shop, spend your time, style your hair… clothing, jewelry, accessories, and makeup are punctuations of style. ESSENCE.com: What are your go-to, staple pieces? BEAUCHAMP: At almost six feet tall, I live for heels. Rarely, and I mean, rarely will I be seen in flats… that is, unless I’m running. ESSENCE.com: What one clothing item best represents you? BEAUCHAMP: I really love pencil skirts. They are versatile, classic and can be dressed up or down. ESSENCE.com: What items are splurge-worthy and why? BEAUCHAMP: Watches, bags and shoes, and at least one or two black-tie dresses a season. ESSENCE.com: What is your favorite item right now and why? BEAUCHAMP: Anything and everything from J.Crew and my Maybelline Falsies Mascara. ESSENCE.com: How would you suggest balancing high-end and low-end? BEAUCHAMP: I suggest investing in 5-7 key pieces a season that are perhaps a little more expensive (but definitely fit your budget), that are considered investment pieces… and 2 pairs of shoes and one bag. From there you can build a functional and economical wardrobe with staples from more economical lines like J.Crew, GAP, and Club Monaco. ESSENCE.com: What’s a must for you everyday? What don’t you leave the house without? BEAUCHAMP: Heels! I love them and really can’t imagine life without them. They take every woman’s confidence and style quotient up a notch…always. ESSENCE.com: How do you tie in your work wear with your casual going-out clothes? BEAUCHAMP: I prefer dressing up usually. But also appreciate wearing jeans with super dressy tops. ESSENCE.com: Whose closet do you envy? BEAUCHAMP: I’m thinking it’s a toss-up between Kerry Washington and Naomi Campbell. Where Kerry’s style is refined and regal, Naomi serves edge. The two combined would make a fierce combination. ESSENCE.com: How big is your closet? BEAUCHAMP: Not big enough! It’s a small walk-in. But I seriously look forward to the day when I can convert a small bedroom into a closet, not so much for the size of it but for organization’s sake. There’s nothing like having a closet that looks like a vignette in your favorite boutique. ESSENCE.com: Describe some of your all time favorite pieces and why you love them? BEAUCHAMP: I love Rubin Chapelle dresses. They are so beautiful, elegant, yet a little downtown and comfortable. A tweed jacket with frayed edges and peplum waist from Banana Republic. I wear it with jeans and cowboy boots or with a pencil skirt and simple camisole. Everyone swears it’s Chanel. And, my grandmother’s jewelry. My grandmother is the most regal and stylish woman I know. When I wear her jewelry I am reminded of my rich, blessed, and beautiful legacy. ESSENCE.com: What will you never be caught dead in? BEAUCHAMP: Anything with more than 5% spandex! ESSENCE.com: What are some of your latest purchases? BEAUCHAMP: I recently bought a pair of Elizabeth & James platform pumps, a Reem Acra silk gown, Byron Lars Owl skirt. ESSENCE.com: What are you dying to get your hands on? BEAUCHAMP: A new oversized Louis Vuitton bag. ESSENCE.com: What is the foolproof outfit that always makes you feel your best? BEAUCHAMP: A black sheath dress with statement jewelry and shoes. ESSENCE.com: How do you deal with the avalanche of trends? BEAUCHAMP: My style sensibility is a little more conservative than trendy. So I typically gravitate to trends that are easily wearable and can be worn for more than one season. I always ask myself, “Will I appreciate this trend in 3 years time?”