Mary Gonsalves Kinney is a private stylist for celebrities, political figures, and Silicon Valley influencers and much of her work includes traveling back and forth between the East and West Coast. With COVID-19 affecting businesses all over, here’s how the stylist dealt with the effects of the pandemic, the BLM protests made her reevaluate her actions, and the year helped her reflect.
The San Francisco, Bay Area’s resident stylist Mary Gonsalves Kinney has taken up the responsibility of adding class and flair to wardrobes in Silicon Valley. Her regular trips between California and New York allow her to pick up on the latest trends and curate pieces that fit in with the corporate-tech vibe.
She also lends her private styling services to big wigs in the Hollywood industry, sports world, and political arena with the California Governor’s wife Siebel Newsom particularly favoring her fashion advice for important galas and spotlight events. The story of how MGK found herself propelled into the world of creative styling is an interesting one.
After majoring in political science at UC Berkley, Kinney spent a few years working in the government as a lobbyist. Her years of experience working in a professional setting has given her insider’s fashion insights for specialized environments. Marriage and motherhood convinced her to take a step back and focus her efforts on her family.
But a few years later, she was itching for a creative outlet, and the world of fashion seemed like the obvious choice. She juggles her styling commitments, social life, and designer appointments with four kids and finesses everything with the grace of an adept multi-tasker.
The Coronavirus, Lockdown, and Economy Halt
Like all business owners, MGK has also not been immune to the CoVID-19 pandemic, and it has affected her services. Kinney requires extensive travel to and from her clients’ cities, and she visits designer stores and boutiques to put together an ensemble.
The lockdown and travel restrictions put her at a disadvantage, and she has had to say no to clients for their well-being. According to Kinney, during these times of uncertainty and mass outbreak, it would be irresponsible to put fashion over safety.
Mary Gonsalves Kinney has been advocating for wearing masks, maintaining a six-foot distance in public, and holding meetings over Zoom rather than in person. Even now, she practices social distancing, carries a large bottle of hand sanitizer, and incorporates masks and other protective gear into every fashion choice.
Kinney says she was grateful for the time she had at home with her kids and took the break as a welcome sabbatical to update her vision board. She continued to work from home and provide styling tips and fashion advice to her clients through video calls. Her justification behind keeping herself busy is to remain a role model for her children and instill an enviable work ethic in them too.
The fashionista also wants to prove to them and the world that a woman can have it all. All being a healthy relationship with her kids, a thriving business, and the resources to contribute to local causes in the capacity of a conscientious citizen.
Raising a Voice Against Systemic Racism
The wave of protests sparked by the wrongful murder of George Floyd in May was an eye-opener for MGK too. Even though she has always supported businesses and brands by black, indigenous, and other people of color, the rampant, systemic oppression of the non-white minorities made her resolve to become actively involved in the cause.
Kinney joined Black Lives Matter protests and lent her voice to the movement on social media and the streets. She has a massive presence on Instagram and used her influence to educate followers on the cause by linking charity organizations, creating awareness, and addressing many deep-seated issues.
Kinney shared that she has many charity and non-governmental organizations she regularly donates to as a show of her solidarity and support. She believes in taking accountability for the widespread injustice and using actions to renounce the perpetrators completely.
She also released her line of MGK Style sweatshirts and hoodies, the proceeds of which go to various social causes. Her monthly contributions go to ACLU, NAACP, The Loveland Foundation, BLM, and ACT BLUE, to name a few. Kinney is glad she can do her small part in furthering the movement and encourages her admirers to follow suit.
The celebrity stylist is making conscious choices in her daily life to better herself, and she has carried that tenet over to her professional sphere as well. She interacts with many influential figures in the public and political arena and uses her position of trust to initiate meaningful conversations with them as well.
When creating an outfit or revamping her client’s wardrobe, she seeks to uplift underprivileged women, people of color, and new businesses. The jewelry, shoes, accessories, and other items are sourced from hardworking individuals to give them the encouragement and exposure they need to make it in the world of fashion.
MGK has considered herself lucky to have the support of her family during these turbulent times. She believes her children are the guiding stars that keep her moving forward even when the going gets tough. Her financial and social resources are also an asset to her, which she can dispense for those who deserve them.
Her advice for everyone is to back small businesses as consumers, get involved in local organizations, and do not feel guilty for taking a break whenever it gets overwhelming. Kinney has a positive outlook for the upcoming year not only in terms of fashion but also with the new Presidency, she believes things are going to change for the better.