The Sit Down: Stylist Victoria Trilling

She’s been at my side for 15 years and counting, making sure I’m suited up and respectable for my mornings on GMA and my afternoons and evenings on Fox … and looking sharp for red carpets, like at the Oscars this year when she convinced me a velvet tux was the way to go (she was right). She’s the person I’ve chosen to HELP create my Collection by Michael Strahan and MSX by Michael Strahan for JCPenney collections with because her gut instinct for fashion is second to none. (She also occasionally dresses some other people, too like Aloe Blacc, Charissa J. Thompson, Kobe Bryant, and Erin Andrews, to name just a few.) But one of the things I love best about Victoria is her outlook on life: “If you feel great in your outfit, you’re going to exude incredible confidence and kill it for the day.

Her first fashion oops: “Wearing my brother’s Lakers gear as a little, young thing. I eventually realized the other girls weren’t really dressing like me, so I knew I was definitely doing something wrong.”

Her career was … “The result of a happy accident. I was supposed to be a special-needs elementary school teacher. I had a friend in high school whose mom was a stylist, and in my senior year of college, I went to work for her as an assistant. I fell in love with it.”

She’s really having fun when … “I get to do the Oscars for Michael because it really forces me to look outside the box. I always want to be a few steps ahead for him and not like everybody else. Michael and I both get a little anxious, like this year when he wore a tuxedo entirely made in velvet. Most people can’t pull that off well, but Michael is amazing. He definitely lets me do my thing.”

Her latest collaboration: “Creating the JCPenney Collection with Michael has been really, really fun. It was very surprising to me in the beginning what an extraordinary and exceptional eye he has for even the smallest detail. Ninety-five percent of the time we’re definitely on the same page and not questioning each other. I love men’s fashion and he’s one of my favorite human beings, so to be able to do this with him has been a dream come true.”

Her favorite 2018 Collection pieces: “I’m a gigantic fan of ombré and there are a few pieces in the line you don’t really see [in men’s fashion today]. Stuart Billingham [JCPenney Senior Design Director for Men’s] did some color blocking I love and added some subtle details in Tokyo red, which is going to be very big color [this season] that just makes the line look so elevated.”

Her personal style: “I’ve got to be honest: I’m a bit of a creature of habit. I definitely know what works for me and what doesn’t, so I don’t try a lot of new things. I put most of my energy into my clients; I get more excitement from other people’s joy about what they’re wearing. But I really feel that it’s all about what makes you feel comfortable and good, because your whole attitude shows that confidence.”

Her must-haves: “An amazing pair of jeans. A great sneaker—I’ve become quite the sneaker head. And I buy from the kid’s section of MSX because I love rocking a great jogger and T-shirt.”

She’s happiest when she is … “Making someone feel amazing. Seeing a client with that extra pep in their step is truly the most rewarding thing as a stylist—the transformation and the confidence that someone gets behind looking and feeling great.”

Her fashion guidance: “The beauty of Michael’s line is, with every season, it’s very cohesive: a lot of things work with each other, which makes it easy for the average person to come up with great looks. You can be very clean and simple, but there are plenty of pieces where you can really have some fun with your look, too.”

Her best advice: “My Dad always said to me that if you love what you do, you’ll never feel like you’re working a day of your life. I feel like the luckiest human being to do what I do, to dress the people I dress, to work on this line with Michael. I really just hit the mother lode of lotteries.”