In the current day and age, everyone seems to have some sort of role in the fashion industry. Everyone is a stylist, image consultant, designer and so forth. Growing up as a first generation american, I saw my mom buy patterns and make clothing for me and my sister. There were times we would even have matching outfits. My mom always did this because she took pride in how we represented ourselves and always wanted us to look good and stand out. Of course there was also the fact that my mom couldn't afford the big brands like my other classmates. But that did not stop her from taking our looks to the next level.
So when it comes to fashion I take true pride in what I do. I have always wanted to go into fashion, but my mom wanted different. When applying for high school, I wanted to go to Fashion Industries, and she thought otherwise. At college when I wanted to major in fashion Design, she thought it best to major in something I could actually make money from and wouldn't struggle when it came to finding a job. After the many years of following her advice and following the "normal route", I still was intrigued with fashion. After graduating and 6 months as an account executive at an advertising agency, I started taking classes at F.I.T. From draping to couture to fashion illustration to menswear, I wanted to get an understanding of it all. I even started up my own brand for about 2 seconds and it was an epic failure when it came time to execute my own fashion show.
So now I am taking a different route and starting fresh. This past summer I had the opportunity to work with Shan Temuri as an assistant Stylist for Archetype Magazine. I was so excited when a client/friend of mine reached out to me about the shoot. I knew what would entail for this job, lots of heavy lugging, steaming, dressing, running around, and so forth. But this was part of the hustle and bustle of fashion. The parts that you don't always see. Now just to make it clear, I think editorial is a beautiful fantasy world that we would all love to live in. However I love more is actually turning someone into that unicorn they wish to be. But nonetheless, we all have stepping stones to take.
As for the shoot in hand. it, people don't really understand what goes into it. Yes you get to play with beautiful clothing [should anything fit you] but otherwise it is real and serious work. I am so happy to see how beautiful everything has come out, but just know that the day we shot, just happened to be one of the hottest days in the summer [literally]. We shot at The Art Beat 345, an old artist building with lots of beautiful artwork displayed, but please know that there was no A.C. in sight. Did I mention this was a Fall shoot? I think models while beautiful have so much scrutiny to put up with on an everyday basis. But on this particular day, Ajak was a real trooper because the dress she wore on the cover of the magazine was at least 30lbs of leather. For her to move around in that along with the other furs and layers of clothing was beyond me, especially while the rest of us were in shorts and tanks to get through the heat. [note to self...I will never try to be a real model].
I got to work with some great people on this shoot, who had a resume that I can only hope to have one day. Photographer Greg Swales, Stylist and Editor Shan Temuri, Makeup Artist Wendi Miyake, Manicurists Mar Y Soul and Michelle Matthews, Models Ajak Deng and Tian Yi, Photographer's assistants Tim Zwicky and Jean-Claude Levasseur.
So just an FYI, when I hear people say that they too work in the industry, it takes a lot for me to be impressed with work. I'm not saying it in an arrogant or pretentious manner, but rather I say it to mean that I hope you truly love what you do and put some passion and love into it. Don't just put a look together what you copied off of the latest edition from Vogue Italia and call it your own. Give credit where credit is due, and continue to work towards the bigger artistic picture.
In the meantime, enjoy the pictures from the shoot and get your copy of Archetype Magazine at select newsstands!
I peed a little when I saw my name on the editorial. Totally geeked at that moment [don't judge me, the little things truly make me happy].