What happens when a Stitch Fix super fan meets her stylist

The interview wasn’t going very well.

My opening line was something along the lines of “Oh my god, is this Ishara?!?” I began stumbling over my questions, my nerves getting the best of me as my voice became increasingly high-pitched.

So who is Ishara? A famous musician? An actress? Nope — she’s my Stitch Fix stylist.

Stitch Fix allows women like me — who find shopping exhausting — to get a box of personalized clothes and accessories in the mail once a month. Or less frequently if you choose.

Opening those boxes is like your birthday and Christmas wrapped into one. I kept everything in my first box, stunned at how well everything fit and how precisely it matched my style.

That brown purse I had coveted so much that I put it on my Pinterest board? Stitch Fix sent me a similar version. When I needed a cute dress for a Valentine’s Day dinner, Stitch Fix sent me one that month — even though I had never asked for it. Half my closet came from Stitch Fix now, and I rarely have a reason to go to a store anymore.

One of my favorite aspects of Stitch Fix is the paint-by-numbers style guide that comes with each box. I don’t have great styling instincts, so having a fashion instruction manual really helps.

As I kept ordering more boxes, I noticed that I was getting the same stylist every time: a woman named Ishara.

My box came with notes from her that were consistently cheerful, informing me why she picked a certain blouse or dress, and giving advice about how to style it. Because the clothes always fit my style so well, I thought of Ishara as magical mixture of fashion savant and mind-reader.

I started wondering about Ishara’s life. I pictured a woman in her 20s who wants to be the next Rachel Zoe — a celebrity fashion stylist — and is learning the ropes through Stitch Fix.

The great thing about being a journalist is you are able to explore your curiosities, which is how I found myself on the phone with my Stitch Fix stylist one day last fall.

She sounded just as intrigued to meet me, and at least acted like she remembered styling for me. (Later, I realized she was probably terrified of meeting an obsessive Stitch Fix superfan.)

Ishara, whose full name is Ishara Haas, said she went to college for fashion design and her goal was to work in the fashion industry.

“I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do design, and I had some retail experience and I always loved working with the customer,” Haas said. “I came across a job post by Stitch Fix and was very intrigued by the company.” She started working for them in summer 2012 as one of the first stylists.

Haas said she used to work for Stitch Fix’s San Francisco office but then moved to Santa Cruz and began working remotely.

Then we got down to what I really wanted to know. How, exactly, does the styling thing work? I pictured online styling like a scene from the 1990s movie “Clueless,” when Cher’s computer rifles through her clothing and selects an outfit for her.

It turns out Stitch Fix is a little bit like “Clueless” in that an algorithm is used based on your style preferences, and your feedback from previous Stitch Fix boxes, to recommend merchandise for that particular client, Haas explained.

“From there (the stylist) goes into the inventory and chooses what we think is best for the client,” Haas said. So there is human intervention involved. “We just choose based on our own judgment,” she said.

Haas couldn’t divulge how many clients each stylist is assigned to. But she did offer some behind-the-scenes tips for Stitch Fix users:

  • The women who are toughest to style are the ones that say they like every type of style equally — ranging from a more refined, preppy look to a torn-jeans and tank-top style. Try to favor some styles over others when filling out your style profile.
  • Update your Pinterest page. If you tell Stitch Fix the name of your Pinterest clothing board, the stylists will check it for inspiration.
  • The stylists like hearing from you. You can send a message to your stylist every month. Haas said they like the messages and getting special requests.
  • When you keep everything in your Stitch Fix box, it increases the chance of getting that same Stitch Fix stylist again, which explains how I kept getting Ishara.


A few months after that interview I was startled to open my Stitch Fix box and see a note from a new stylist.

What happened to Ishara?

I reached out to my PR contact at Stitch Fix to find out what happened. She confirmed that, indeed, Haas had moved on from the company. Her LinkedIn page offered few clues, and I hope that means she’s busy working on her own fashion collection.

Now I have a new stylist: Sahar. So far, she’s doing a great job.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Lifestyle

Man dies after eating raw oysters at Florida restaurant, report says
Man dies after eating raw oysters at Florida restaurant, report says

A man died from a Vibrio vulnificus bacterial infection after eating raw oysters at a Florida restaurant, health officials say. The 71-year-old man reportedly died two days after eating the raw oysters in a Sarasota restaurant. Health officials have not said which restaurant. "We have an individual that consumed some raw oysters and to the...
Austin360 recreation list, July 20-26

Markets Barton Creek Farmers Markets. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. Parking lot of Barton Creek Square, intersection of South MoPac Boulevard (Loop 1) and South Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360). 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays at 2323 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-443-0143,bartoncreekfarmersmarket.org. Bastrop Producers Market. Indoor farmers market. 11 a.m. to 7...
5 places in Austin perfect for hanging out with your co-workers
5 places in Austin perfect for hanging out with your co-workers

Happy hours are nice, but sometimes what the office morale needs is a fun activity to do as a team.  Luckily there are plenty of spots around Austin offering enough space for groups of all sizes to be active, try something new and bond outside of the workplace.  Looking to do a little more than lounging for a happy hour? The three-story driving...
Dell Children’s becomes 11th hospital in the country to earn highest level for surgery
Dell Children’s becomes 11th hospital in the country to earn highest level for surgery

Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas is the 11th children’s hospital in the country to be verified by the American College of Surgeons as a Level I Children’s Surgery Center. It earned the certification by meeting the highest criteria in the college’s new Children’s Surgery Verification...
5 signs your relationship is hurting your mental health
5 signs your relationship is hurting your mental health

Everyone in a relationship knows how easy it is to accuse a partner of something they didn't do. It's their fault, you tell them, whether the spat is about towels on the bathroom floor, an angry mother-in-law or a missed restaurant reservation. Sometimes you know you're wrong the second these words leave your mouth; other times you recognize your mistake...
More Stories