Bobbie Thomas has long been on the front lines of fashion. A Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week fixture and red-carpet mainstay, Thomas has been making the trends attainable and appropriate for millions of American women as the Today show’s style editor. We caught up with Thomas to get the scoop on her career, her style secrets, and the things that carry her through Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in style.
How did you get into styling?
My path into style wasn't a traditional one. My educational background is actually in psychology and therapy, and during graduate studies, I spent time as an advocate and counselor at a rape crisis facility. We would offer some women personal care packages, and this was when I witnessed the power of lipstick firsthand. I watched how fashion and beauty could truly transform someone and empower one to see the possibilities in the mirror. I realized that above all else, regardless of my path, my passion for helping women to feel their best would be at the core of my efforts. I worked with everyday women on both the inside and the outside, and organically that blossomed into offering fashion, beauty, and good ol’ girlfriend advice to teen magazines and television projects. And from there it snowballed to where I am today.
What have been your most memorable red-carpet moments?
Cate Blanchett at the 2000 Oscars in Gaultier. I will never forget it. I was in awe of her presence, slightly mysterious still in Hollywood at that time, but—powerful. From the front, as she walked the start of the carpet, you saw a sleek black gown with slicked-back hair and amazing eyes and unique jewelry, but it was after she walked past you when you couldn’t help but stare. Not because of the open sexy back, but her confidence. And to this day, she is my favorite person to watch on the carpet.
Do you remember your first Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week experience? What was it like?
Yes, I was humbled by the talent that surrounded me—on and off the runway. Powerful buyers who shaped retail, iconic editors, and trendsetting stylists were respected fixtures who filled the front rows. It was much more intimate than it is today.
What are your Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week essentials?
I’m often juggling shows, meetings, and work appointments during the event-filled week, so being mobile is key. Comfortable shoes, a fully charged smartphone, and a great handbag that can hold everything but not look like it. I’ll stash a pair of Tkees, and because there’s rarely time to sit and eat, I stash a bottle of water and some healthy snacks in my bag—Fiber One 90 Calorie Chewy Bars and organic juice blends are favorites right now. There's nothing worse than having sore feet or being cranky from starving during a show.
What are your top three style tips?
Confidence, confidence, and more confidence! It's a bit of a cliché, but it could not be more true. I always recommend that women take a little time to look in the mirror and reflect; learn to embrace your body and your style from the inside out. A warm smile, a compliment to that stranger in the elevator, and shiny hair will also take you further than you could ever imagine!
Who would you most like to style?
A few Real Housewives. Less could be so much more.
What do you do in your downtime?
I am the first to admit that I'm a huge craft and design geek! I honestly like to kick back with a do-it-yourself project, whether that's fashion or home decor. (In fact, I'm currently in the middle of giving my apartment a makeover. I just put up some amazing foiled wallpaper from BrocadeHome.com.) I think it's important for anyone who's in a creative field to stay in touch with those skills and flex those muscles. For me, it's also a great reminder of how lucky I am that I get to do what I love for a living.