Style Women People

Meet Stylist Lizzy Averbeck

dreaming of the concrete jungle while living in the Midwest, it's only up from here for LA Styles

McKenna Scherer |

CHASING THE DREAM. Lizzy Averbeck had already had styles recognized by PhotoVogue prior to graduating from UW-Stout's fashion program, a step toward her editorial-stylist-creative-director dreams. (Submitted photos)
CHASING THE DREAM. Lizzy Averbeck had already had styles recognized by PhotoVogue prior to graduating from UW-Stout's fashion program, a step toward her editorial-stylist-creative-director dreams. (Submitted photos)

The message is clear just by clicking on Lizzy Averbeck’s Instagram account: she’s got style. Not just because her account type is listed at the top of her bio as ‘Fashion Stylist,’ but through the content she shares and her own looks for an array of outings: getting “Girl Dinner” in a fitted pink jumpsuit, brooch pinned to the waist, a blue baseball cap the inedible cherry on top; a fit pic centering a long denim skirt personally reworked from a pair of thrifted Rocawear jeans; celebrating her 23rd birthday in an open-knit, floor-grazing dress that requires trust in its glitter-patch pattern.

At a glance, users can see Averbeck’s personal life intertwined with her career – some posts tagged as sponsored styles with Goodwill or ads for Princess Polly Boutique, pinned posts from full production photoshoots, photos sharing bits of her trip to the 2023 Met Gala – and ‘cool girl’ is written all over it. ‘Cool’ isn’t the point though. Making it big is.

Lizzy Averbeck.
Lizzy Averbeck.

Averbeck is a 23-year-old stylist living in Wausau, Wisconsin, this year’s self-proclaimed “transitional era” for the University of Wisconsin-Stout graduate. In recent years, Averbeck has had three projects accepted by PhotoVogue, a curated platform developed for visual artists, published online as an offshoot of Vogue Italia. She has also worked with Ragstock, Minnesota Fashion Week, and co-directed the first Eau Claire Fashion Night earlier this year. But this is just the start of a long, intimidating, exciting road for her and her business LA Styles, Averbeck acknowledges.

Growing up in a small Midwestern town with Project Runway more often than not on the TV and studying Vogue in the back of the classroom instead of the day’s homework, Averbeck recalls always having an infatuation with fashion. But she heard from just about everyone around her while growing up, that a career in fashion was not realistic for her.

Thanks to a quarter-life crisis that led to a studies switch in college, Averbeck shut out all the noise from others and decided to chase her dreams anyway. So, how does someone go from ‘cool girl’ to real-life editorial stylist? Averbeck is still figuring it out, but she’s doing a pretty kick-ass job thus far.

How did you get into the fashion world?
I grew up with a love for fashion. I can remember growing up, watching all the Project Runway seasons with my dad – he just took one for the team and watched it with me because I loved it so much – and I always sat in the back of the classroom looking at Vogue, looking at the current Fashion Week. But I grew up in a super, super small town, so honestly I had a lot of people telling me that I would never be able to, you know, make a business out of (fashion).

I went off to UW-Eau Claire to study Psychology and was planning on getting my doctorate, doing the whole thing. And then COVID hit. I had what I call my quarter-life crisis and was like, ‘I can’t do this.’ I remember calling my mom in the middle of the night and being like, okay, I need to transfer to Stout for the fashion program. I’ll live in Eau Claire, but I need to do this, or else I’ll regret it for the rest of my life.

Styled by Averbeck.
Styled by Averbeck.

The next morning I applied to the fashion program and the rest has been history. It wasn’t easy, that’s for sure. Transferring to a different school, a completely different major, in the middle of the pandemic. I really just had a feeling deep down inside of me that, I guess fortunately, still drives me today: I feel like I have to work three times as hard as all of the people who grew up in places like New York, went to FIT, had a job at Chanel. I remember one of my professors at one point, looked me in the face and said, ‘You’re not doing anything impressive, if you want to do something impressive, take the semester off and intern at Chanel in New York.’ Honestly, (that) set a fire under my butt and I was like, ‘I’ll show you impressive.’

I went on to really figure out how I could become a stylist in Wisconsin. I started reaching out to local photographers, kept making my little network larger and larger with every person I met, and built my portfolio, which was a lot of free work, but it’s definitely worth it. You have to love it, and I definitely do. I’ve had the time of my life. By the time I graduated college, my styling work was in Photo Vogue three times, and we can talk about that too.


What program were you in at UW-Stout and what was the biggest thing you took away from it after graduating?
I went down the fashion marketing route. Looking back I would have taken a little more of a design emphasis, but I taught myself things like sewing, even if it’s not the perfect, technical way. So, yeah, I was a Fashion Marketing concentration student and minored in Graphic Media in Print Management.

At the tail-end of my senior year, the new chancellor, Chancellor Frank, was inducted and I ended up styling her for a ceremony. She changed my whole perspective and was great, she really advocated for me. I also worked with alum Erin Hogan-Braker, and they really made my Stout experience.

What was your first big career milestone?
My first group shot that I styled with probably 12 models was my first big project figuring out to really even style like that, and I’ll remember that forever. There were just so many wonderful, kind women who all were so encouraging, between the photographers and models and assistants.

My first milestone is definitely my first PhotoVogue publication. I didn’t even know the photographer was submitting it, and I literally launched out of my bed (when I was told the news). It was crazy, like, how is this possible? Then with the same photographer and makeup team, I have had work in PhotoVogue three times.


Can you describe the creative path you took with each of the three PhotoVogue styles?

My first PhotoVogue publication was a very bedazzled theme with skin-toned, illusion-like clothes, and was very centered around the headpiece. I also modeled the whole collection, but this super awesome shot that was selected definitely centered around the headpiece. I made the top that’s worn (in the photo) from an upcycled dress that I thrifted and bedazzled, so that was fun to see my first PhotoVogue featured a shirt I reworked. It was supposed to be high glitz, high glamour.

The second was called “Field of Dreams” and it’s probably one of my favorite shoots to this day. This was actually taken in a field in Eau Claire, which I had first seen while working on a previous branding shoot and knew I had to go back. I asked the farmers if we could go on their land for the shoot and I think they were sort of confused, but they let us. I found the designs from a U of M graduate, Isabel. I duct-taped the bottom of the shoes that I sourced for the shoot in prep for lots of cow poop, and we went on our way. It was magical. At one point the cows were sort of running around us, the sun was setting, and it was just super magical. It holds a special place in my heart.

The third equally holds a place in my heart. The gloved top that you see across the model’s chest, I actually made, so that’s fun to see as well. Then the tulle skirt I sourced, vintage, and the blue top is from BarbaLynn’s Vintage over in Menomonie. I’ve worked with her a lot in shoots and she’s great and has a great collection I recommend checking out.



What does the creative process look like for you, in terms of styling?
I’ve always loved to build or present a concept with a good Pinterest mood board. I’d say 98% of the time I start with a Pinterest mood board, just describing the silhouettes I’m going for, the general vibe, any specific colors, and the feeling I want to invoke. I do a lot of my styling based on how clothes make me feel. I would say I have always been an empathetic human and somehow I find empathy with the clothes that I put on others. I really pride myself in putting focus on making sure the model feels fully safe and confident because if they aren’t feeling confident in the pieces, they’re going to look confident. I want it to shine all the way through. I also love emphasizing vintage not only because it’s beautiful and timeless but also because it’s part of my help in the crisis of fast fashion and what is happening to our climate.

Success started speaking to me when I turned down those self-doubt voices of, ‘No, this is going to be weird’ or ‘What if people find this weird?’ I’m at this point in my life where I’m chasing the weird. I love to play with things that don’t necessarily make sense but together is art.

"I'm at this point in my life where I'm chasing the weird. I love to play with things that don't necessarily make sense but together is art."

What was it like starting your styling business and growing to where you are now?
Honestly, it has been intimidating as hell. Being in a small Midwest community starting in the fashion world is intimidating and a lot of people around me aren’t in the same shoes and can’t relate. Building a company from the ground up has been a lot of trial and error, a lot of asking advice from Erin Hogan-Braker who has really been a mentor to me in the last few years. She runs quite a few companies and is such a badass woman, and surrounding myself with badass women in my community has been huge in my learning.

Ber, musician, styled by Averbeck.
Ber, musician, styled by Averbeck.

It’s a beautiful thing to be surrounded with creatives and there’s a huge community of creatives in Minneapolis that I feel lucky to say I identify with now, but honestly, it all started in Eau Claire. I was working with Jack Orta and he was one of the first photographers that I worked with, and we learned how to do it together. I branched out to Sawyer Brice and Charlie Flatten too which helped me dip my toes into the musician world of styling music videos, concerts, and tours. But yeah, it’s been a grind since I started this in my sophomore year of college. If I’m going to go down I’m going to go down with a fight, but hopefully, I don’t go down. I was and still am ready to work my butt off, and it helps that I genuinely love doing this. I get so much joy and serotonin from it, it fulfills me.

I always have to tell myself, your younger self would slap you if she heard you complaining about this. I’m living my little self’s dream.


How can people reach out to you and for LA Styles business?
People can reach out and book directly through my website, but you can always message me on Instagram or email me too. I love to work with people and expand my clientele base, though I definitely focus my work on editorial styling. I love to get weird with it. I also style musicians, like Bear for her North American tour, and regular people who have needed help building out their wardrobes.


What is the big-picture dream? Is there a dream job for you?
Growing up, I remember watching Bold Type and Grown-ish, and they really made me want to do this. I would love to work at an Editorial publication as a stylist or as a brand stylist for advertising and editorial shoots. Gucci is my dream dream that I’ve been manifesting. I would also love to do creative direction, which I got my fingers into with Eau Claire Fashion Night.


What are you doing right now for other work?

Styled by Averbeck.
Styled by Averbeck.

Right now I am working with 7th Bone Tailoring as the lead booking agent. We work with a lot of VIP clientele and celebrities, and it’s definitely a great stepping stone for me. Like I’ve said multiple times, my boss, Erin, is the best mentor in the world. I’ve talked to a lot of industry professionals and I’m hopeful connections made (will get me further). Honestly, this is my year of bringing myself back together, mentally and physically. I worked myself to the bone in college. At one point I was taking 19 credits and had five jobs, and I graduated burnt out. The majority of my styling work is in Minneapolis but I still love Eau Claire and will not be shutting that door.

To you, what is style?
I love that question. I think style is a self-expression of how you are feeling that day, and how your soul feels. That honestly changes for me very day, and I love that. I think style is super fluid and is true self-expression. Being fully confident, feeling beautiful, letting your inner self shine through with style.

"I think style is a self-expression of how you are feeling that day, and how your soul feels."

What would you say to other young creatives who may have also grown up in a small/Midwest town and are looking to get into fashion?
Don’t stop dreaming and don’t let people tell you that your dreams are unrealistic. I believe everyone was born for something different and that’s what makes our world so beautiful. A lot of people go through life not being fulfilled and satisfied with their careers, and you don’t want to be stuck in a career that doesn’t make you happy. Go for your dreams. Don’t let people say ‘no,’ and when people do, show them what they’re missing. There will always be someone that says ‘yes.’ Your dreams are not unrealistic and I’ll be cheering you on from the sidelines even if no one else is because I know how that feels. Let it light a fire under your booty and show the world what you can do.

Get in touch with Lizzy Averbeck or inquire about business opportunities through her website, LA Styles. Keep up with LA Styles on Instagram (@la.styles._).