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From Fashion Valley to Fashion Icon

Armed with a Nordstrom styling job and an Instagram account, Chula Vista native Linda Waisbord became a national force
San Diego-based Mexican-American fashion stylist Linda Waisbord sitting in a colorful closet with sunglasses on
Photo Credit: Erica Joan

After Linda Waisbord wakes up every morning, it takes a set of rituals to get the multi-hyphenate Chula Vista celebrity ready for the day. A run at Rice Canyon, with the company of either her blue-eyed Weimaraner or her husband, Robi, is first on the list. A post-workout breakfast might follow. Fresh eggs are on the menu, courtesy of Waisbord’s chickens.

Then, it’s time for her to wash up and recite her daily affirmations. A paper taped to Waisbord’s bathroom mirror offers at least 40 affirming lines, such as, “I am worthy of my dreams” and, “I have nothing to fear.”

Even after years as a stylist, TV and radio personality, speaker, and businesswoman, Waisbord still needs to remind herself that no dream is too big to accomplish.

Chula Vista stylist, designer, and fashion influencer Linda Waisbord holding one of her chickens and wearing bright orange cowboy boots at her home in San Diego
Photo Credit: Erica Joan

Growing up with the traditional values of her Jewish-Mexican-Syrian family, Waisbord was programmed to strive for a happy marriage and children. Even while studying marketing and public relations at San Diego State University, she counted the days until she could create a home of her own and raise a family.

But once she had achieved that goal, Waisbord still longed for something else.

“I was 35 [and thought to myself], If I don’t start a career now, someday I’ll be very sad and very frustrated that I could have done something with my life,” Waisbord recalls.

In 2016, Waisbord set her sights on a job in the styling department at Nordstrom in Fashion Valley—and, though the department wasn’t hiring at the time, her persistence landed her a position a few months later. There, she slowly climbed the ranks, working her way up from stylist to administrator.

A jack-of-all-trends, Waisbord began sharing style tips on her Instagram, @stylewais, first out of the fitting rooms at Nordstrom, and then from her closet at home.

She started to embrace her sexy, out-of-the-box fashion sense and her femininity, age, and outspoken personality, both online and in person. She stopped dyeing her gray hair. Then, after nearly a decade, she left Nordstrom to cultivate her following on social media and start her own business as a stylist.

“Style doesn’t happen if you’re insecure [and] if you’re hiding from the world,” she says.

This fearlessness is obvious as I tour Waisbord’s walk-in closet at her home in Chula Vista. Scouring through at least 200 pairs of shoes and vintage finds from all over the world, Waisbord shows me some of her favorite pieces: neon-orange cowboy boots she wore at Coachella, one-of-a-kind ensembles by Mexican designers like Jorge Sánchez and Alex Medina. There are luxurious items from Paulina Luna, which make Waisbord feel “beautiful and powerful,” she says. Clothes from Panuco offer drama and sophistication. Jeanette Toscano’s bold designs help her turn heads.

“[Your body] is your blank canvas,” she tells me. “You can create anything you want.”

Once she’s put together her outfit of the day, Waisbord snaps a photo of her masterpiece for her 33,000-plus followers on Instagram, sharing styling tips in both English and Spanish.

Chula Vista stylist, designer, and fashion influencer Linda Waisbord with her partner Catherine Bachelier who founded the styling company C&L Experience
Courtesy of the C&L Experience

Thanks to her steady growth on social media, Waisbord—now 49—has landed opportunities her 35-year-old self would have never imagined. She helps clients revive their wardrobes and recently became the co-owner of Mexican accessory brand Uno Mas Uno Mas and the C&L Experience, a styling and fashion promotion business founded in partnership with her friend Catherine Bachelier. She launched a YouTube channel in late 2023 and hosts fashion segments on the Spanish-language network Televisa Californias and on the radio station Pulsar 107.3.

While Waisbord’s style and career continue to transform, her message remains the same. She encourages her community to break the rules, hoping they never feel how she did over a decade ago: uninspired and unfulfilled.

“Have the courage to mess up,” Waisbord advises. “You might mess up. It’s okay. Have the courage to evolve.”

By Roxana Becerril

Roxana Becerril is a Mexican-American writer living in San Diego. When she's not traveling or checking out the newest restaurant in the city, she covers art, culture, lifestyle and Latino topics.

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