Kristal Howard Loves a Red Lip

As the head of corporate communications for Kroger, Kristal Howard knows how to make a statement. “Fashion is a language,” she reminds us.

Occupation: Kristal Howard, Head of Corporate Communications, Kroger
Style: Professional, but make it fashion

Photograph by Marlene Rounds

What sparked your interest in fashion?

My grandmother was a really poised, polished, well-put-together woman and I spent a lot of time with her in my childhood. I think observing her, being in her presence and her energy inspired me.

How would you describe your style?

I say it’s undefined. For me, I really like the ability and the flexibility to define myself by time and place. I’m drawn to earth tones and clean, simple designs that have a bit of a twist. But I also like bold patterns and vintage clothing. It’s a full spectrum for me.

How do you balance businesswear and bold trends?

Fashion is a language and I will always be professional and poised for the moment, but fashion isn’t something that I can turn off simply because I’m going to work and I happen to work for a corporation. I always look for ways to integrate my style, whether it’s a red lip, an emerald-colored pump, or a cool vintage jacket that I’m pairing with a pantsuit.

What are some of your staple pieces?

I love a red lip; I think it makes such a great statement. Also, having a great duster or blazer that’s simple really elevates the look. And I’m a big hat person. I think hats are something that add more texture and dimension to an outfit.

How would you encourage someone to be bold with fashion?

What’s so important about style is that it’s true to who you are, and it amplifies your personality. It’s also important to have the confidence to experiment. Bold colors and patterns and prints are not for everyone, but there are different ways to incorporate color through nail polish, lipstick, or shoes. There are so many unique ways that you can integrate patterns and textures and colors without overwhelming yourself.

Photograph by Marlene Rounds


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