Alana Kelen is a fashion stylist, and sometimes Life & Style uses her as a source for style quotes. When they asked her to comment on little Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, she was happy to oblige. Then she saw the story.
Here's what appears in the mag:
"Shiloh is pushing the boundaries of a tomboy look and crossing over to cross-dresser territory," Alana Kelen, senior fashion stylist at VH1, tells Life & Style.
And here's an email we received from Kelen today:
I just wanted to write you a personal note regarding your post on Jezebel.
I have lost sleep these past 2 nights due to the horrible thoughts and comments they included and attributed to me in this particular story for Life & Style, as they were taken completely out of context. They use me often for style quotes, so I had no idea they would twist my words, and they always contact me for final approval, which they did not do this time around.
I left this post as a comment to your story:
My career has been all about personal expression through clothing, and I am the biggest believer that any person should wear anything they choose, regardless of age or sex.
The quote I did provide to Life & Style actually praised Shiloh's parents for letting her be who she wants to be, and included that she has two cool older brothers who she is probably trying to emulate, and that she looks up to, and that there is NOTHING at all wrong with it ... quite the opposite. I was hoping it would influence other parents to let their children do the same.
Again, I am sorry that my words were misinterpreted, and please be assured that I would never say anything bad about any person, especially a child.
Really, I am in tears right now because this just makes me sick. In the past, L&S have often used me for style quotes, and they always give me final approval, so I trusted them for this piece, mistakenly. The actual quote began with "Some might think ..." but they conveniently took that out to make it seem the thought was my own, and did not contact me for that final approval.
Many of my friends in life & at work are in fact lesbian, gay & transgendered, and that is why this is most upsetting to me. They can vouch that I would NEVER say such things. It's just not the person I am.
Would love if you could include my thoughts, less about restoring my reputation, but more for helping people believe that is is natural and right to let children and people in general express themselves any way they choose, in clothing & in life.
Update: Life & Style has responded via email. Publicist Lindsay Ferraro says:
In response to this morning's post, "Stylist Quoted In Life & Style's Shiloh Story: "I Had No Idea They Would Twist My Words", I would like provide some clarity, as we have documentation of the e-mailed interview between stylist Alana Kelen and the Life & Style reporter who conducted the interview.
In response to the question, "Do you think she looks too boyish for a 3 year old girl?" Alana Kelen answered, "I definitely think that Shiloh is pushing the boundaries of a tomboy look and crossing over to cross-dresser territory. The neckties just put it a bit over the edge, mostly because boys themselves rarely sport ties."
Life & Style printed the quote that the stylist provided to us and was not misquoted. We value the expert opinion of stylist Alana Kelen and have used her often in the magazine for commentary on fashion and trend stories.