13 Things You Might Have Never Known About Stacy London

Like so many girls of our generation, I spent weekends lounging on the couch watching What Not to Wear and secretly wishing Stacy London would magically appear and transform my wardrobe (preferably without gathering an audience to watch that embarrassing bit of "secret footage"). As an adult, I'm no less enamored with the snappy, witty, impeccably dressed woman, who's gone from TV host to author and back again, while doling out fashion — and life — advice all along the way.

But how did Stacy become the style guru she is? Not surprisingly, she's got some roots in the industry, though her story isn't exactly typical — and TV certainly wasn't in her original career plan. Inside, we're breaking it down to get to know the truly talented Ms. London — who turns 47 today! — a little better. Read up and get inspired.

  1. She didn't go to fashion school: Stacy graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Vassar College with an independent degree in philosophy and German literature.
  2. She got her start at Dior: While in school at Vassar, she interned at Christian Dior in Paris. She started on the PR side and quickly realized she wanted to move into editorial.
  3. She was enamored with Parisian women and their style: France is still her favorite country to visit.

  1. After graduating college, she landed a job at Vogue: She started as Phyllis Posnick's assistant and later organized shoots for André Leon Talley.
  2. From Vogue, Stacy moved to Mademoiselle: She worked for a time for the fashion director and later as the senior fashion editor.
  3. She found her groove freelancing: Stacy spent time freelance assisting stylists, like Grace Coddington, and shooting with models like Kate Moss, before moving on to her own wardrobe styling gig.

  1. She got into TV by accident: While doing wardrobe makeovers for private clients, Stacy got a call from her agent and began screen testing for What Not to Wear, never thinking the transition to television would be full time. They started in 2003 with 11 episodes, then ramped up to 26, then to 50, as it grew more and more popular. The series ended after 10 years on the air and hundreds of style transformations in the books.
  2. She's done Oprah: During the show's third season, Stacy appeared on a segment for Oprah Winfrey — and styled Oprah herself.
  3. She founded her own styling company: Stacy believed so strongly in the power of personal styling that she founded her own venture in 2012, Style For Hire, which aimed to make styling services more accessible.

  1. She's an author — twice over! Stacy cowrote her first book, Dress Your Best, a guide to dressing for your body type, with cohost Clinton Kelly in 2005. She debuted her second book, Truth About Style, in 2012, which chronicles the makeover of nine clients and shares her own struggles with style and self-esteem.
  2. She's back on TV: Since January 2015, she's been hosting a new TLC style series, Love, Lust or Run, which, like What Not to Wear, seeks to empower women by reevaluating their fashion choices. You can catch it on Fridays at 10/9 p.m. CT.
  3. She's dressed some big names: Stacy's styled celebs like Kate Winslet, Katie Holmes, and Liv Tyler.
  4. She's never watched Sex and the City: As she revealed on Man Repeller's podcast in 2015, she's never watched an episode — don't hold it against her!