1. How old were you when you became obsessed with wardrobe design?
As cliché as it sounds, I started creating outfits and being interested in clothing in pre-school. While growing up, my outfits were always a source of conflict with my fellow students, schools and teachers. There were so many dress codes that it became a form of rebellion and a game for me. At home I would always go into the basement and dig out my grandmother’s kimonos and rummage through my mom’s wardrobe.
2. When did you decide “okay, this is it, I’m going to be a professional wardrobe stylist?”
Who were some of your mentors or inspirations when you got started? I officially registered as self-employed in March 2014, throwing all caution into the wind. It was one of my scariest moments but exhilarating and freeing at the same time. My friend and fellow stylist Julia Quante showed me the ropes in the beginning and I will never forget that. I learned so much! All I knew was that creating stories with fashion was what I loved most and that I didn’t want to do anything else but when you don’t understand how this entire system and business works, having a guiding hand is invaluable. My styling inspirations are Olivier Rizzo and Tereza Ortiz.
3. What were the early days of your career like? Did you have to test a lot in the beginning to build your book?
My early days were full of naivety with the only thought being that I just wanted to create art and stories. I had no idea where this would take me and frankly I didn’t really care. I was occasionally shooting small stories for fun on weekends with my own clothes and those of friends while still working in PR. I had no idea how an actual stylist worked. These shoots eventually led to me receiving more and more shooting requests until the point came where I had to make a decision on whether I would put all my energy into styling or not. That’s when I started assisting.
4. Looking back, is there anything you would do differently in your journey as a stylist? Any decisions you made when you were younger you would not make today, knowing what you have learned so far?
In a way absolutely not as mistakes are part of the process. My aesthetic and systematic approach have developed immensely since then. Styling is truly an example of learning by doing. The more you shoot, the more you evolve, develop and hone your sense of aesthetic and your personal signature. Without mistakes you don’t develop as an image maker.
5. How do you communicate with the photographer you’re working with on a shoot to achieve his or her goals?
As a team, you communicate from the very beginning. I have veered away from adopting finished styling boards for shoots because nobody knows styling better than the stylist. I prefer to create a concept together with the photographer and client, therefore creating my own styling moods, of course always in discourse with the photographer so that the concept is fluid and in unity in the end. You can achieve far more powerful images and stories if both individuals are involved in the creative process and work together very closely from beginning to the end, each bringing in his or her expertise.
6. What skills did you learn early on that you still use today?
Perseverance, creativity and positivity. There are so many stories being told that it is hard to have your voice heard. Therefore, try harder and be the best you can be on every shoot. Try to go beyond your creativity limits every time and never do it less than 100%, otherwise you’re not just wasting your own energy but that of the entire team.
7. Tell us what a dream job is for you?
I would love to style an editorial for some of my favourite magazines such as BON or Dust.
8. What are the three tools in your wardrobe kit that you can never, ever be without?
A steamer! Wrinkly clothes are unacceptable. A lint roller and clips to cinch in clothing are also used on every set. Otherwise, double sided tape and safety pins and a needle and thread are basic necessities.
9. What advice do you have for young wardrobe stylists who are just starting out and want to be where you are, at the top of the industry?
Well I’m also still climbing the ladder leading to stylist heaven but the best advice I can give is be meticulous and thoughtful about the stories you shoot. It took me a while to realize that less is more! Take the time to create something truly unique rather than pumping out one story after another. Concepts are key. Pick extraordinary clothing, support young designers and focus on details. Do a lot of research regarding designers and collections, read a lot of alternative magazines (never stop reading!), go to art exhibitions and talk to others in the industry. Instagram is also a great source of inspiration but you probably already knew that.
10. What is your favorite quote?
It is a German one that I have tattooed on my arm, which my favorite actress/singer Hildegard Knef once sang. It has always helped me through more difficult times. “Das Glück sollte sich sanft verhalten, es soll mein Schicksal mit Liebe verwalten.” Translated it means that luck should be gentle and handle my fate with love.