Girl in Menswear

Not just for girls. Not just about menswear.

Who’s that girl (in menswear)?

Wednesday

14

May 2014

3

COMMENTS

Elizabeth Fraser-Bell Fashion Editor at Dazed & Confused

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I have a little X that pops up in my calendar on a monthly basis. It marks the arrival of the fashion magazine drop – I live in Stockholm, so it’s circa a week after local readers get their copies delivered. Nothing makes me happier than a zen filled Sunday sipping coffee and gorging a cornucopia of advertising, the written word and beautiful imagery. I am frequently caught sniffing the pages and stroking them fondly – my boyfriend thinks this is bizarre, but as much as I love an online binge, I harbour a soft spot for print.

I’ve always wondered what it must be like to create these pages from start to finish, to form those beautifully crafted fashion editorial pages that inspire and delight a loyal readership. I was chuffed then, when Dazed & Confused’s Fashion Editor Elizabeth Fraser-Bell agreed to chat to me about her career, a penchant for menswear and her thoughts on the British fashion industry.

Please introduce yourself. Elizabeth Fraser-Bell, Fashion Editor at Dazed & Confused. From Liverpool, live in London.

Where can we find you? @efraserbell on Twitter and elizabethfraserbell on instagram.

What does a day in the life of a Fashion Editor look like? There is not a typical day in the life. There are days where you wake up at 5am to get to a shoot location somewhere you’ve never been before in England, there are days where I get into the office at 9am and without realizing don’t leave again until 9pm after staring at a credit sheet all day. There are entire days you spend on a plane just getting to a location. days all you do is run around on press days all over London. days that you get to meet the most incredible and inspiring people. There are days where you get to go to a really fun party at the end of a day full of research and meetings. It’s a real mix and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

dazedWhat’s the most rewarding thing about your role? Getting the issue back from the printers and being able to look through the past few months work within a few minutes.

What’s the best advice you received early on in your career? Pipe down and get on with it.

Where do you source your inspiration for shoots? Everywhere. I personally am quite drawn to film and childhood but inspiration can come from anything from cultural events to walking past someone in the street.

You style for both Dazed & Confused and Hero Magazine; to what extent do you tailor your styling to a publication? I don’t really consciously change my style for each publication. It really depends on what the issue is about, what photography suits that issue theme and in turn, which styling suits the photography and of course which credits you are given to shoot.

page-000168 copyI loved the “Skate of Mind” feature you did for the Dazed x Selfridges collaboration, which brands are doing the sportswear trend right?The originals like Adidas, Nike, Supreme etc will always do it best but I do really love what Hood by Air do. They have such a unique vision coming out of a city that is so known for celebrating commerciality.

Rumour has it you have a penchant for menswear, where does this interest originate from? I guess it comes from working with Robbie Spencer for 4 years. He started out mainly doing menswear and as that time was my education, I lent more towards it. It was something I had never really considered doing when I was younger and so didn’t know as much about it, which must be why it kept my attention. It wasn’t boring to me as I wasn’t being shown something I already knew about. I do really enjoy womenswear, but that enthusiasm for menswear is instilled in me.

LCM seeks to make London the menswear capital of the world, what do you think differentiates British menswear from other capitals? First and foremost its our creativity. Maybe its because at the beginning London labels do not have as much money as Milan, New York and Paris, they have to be much more creative in their approach to design. Or maybe its because we have such a great set of schools that push boundaries here like CSM, RCA etc that constantly churn out our newest talent. It could also be the history of tailoring we have that has influenced our menswear into the shape it is now. Whether that’s Burberry Prorsum’s strong sense of heritage and tradition, Casely Hayfords gentle nod towards Saville Row or Martine Rose’s complete aversion to traditional tailoring. Whatever the reason behind it, you can always tell a London menswear show from the rest.

topmanWho is your favourite British menswear designer and what makes them stand out? Christopher Shannon. He has always stood out to me because he does that amazing thing that only a handful of designers can do which is take the banal and every day and make it desirable and interesting. The past few season’s especially have been great for him, I feel like he has really found his place in menswear and cannot wait to see what he does this season.

Is womenswear fashion’s current fascination with menswear a passing trend or a timeless style? A bit of both really. There will always be parts of menswear that appeal to women. Brands like Saint Laurent, Celine, Prada etc continuously refer to menswear classics in their collections. But then there are always pockets of a particular component of menswear that makes its way into a trend, which will then blow over.

What objects do you have on your desk and what stories do they tell? My desk is full of rubbish. Mainly magazines and press releases. Numerous notebooks that I get half way through and never use again. I also have a large collection of pens and key rings that are traditionally brought back by each member of the fashion team when they go on holiday. Then there’s my little stash of hand written thank you notes from designers. I often appreciate them much more than a bunch of flowers.

 

Thursday

10

April 2014

2

COMMENTS

Filippa Hallstensson aka Fifi of GANT Rugger

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Fifi is Head of Design at GANT Rugger

A few days ago GANT Rugger announced the launch of their debut womenswear line. Yes us girls can abandon scouring the aisles for XS menswear sweaters, and shop the Americana aesthetic in our own size from July – hooray! The lady ensuring that the womenswear line oozes as much cool as its menswear counterpart is Head Designer Filippa Hallstensson, aka Fifi.

For a twenty-nothing-year-old who has been crowned with one of the most coveted roles in menswear, Fifi is warm, approachable and incredibly humble. Cool, collected and brimming with passion for a menswear label she has put on the map, and a womenswear label bound for similar success, she epitomizes the brands energy. Notoriously hard to please digi-publication Four Pins confirmed that since her appointment under Creative Director Christopher Bastian, “home girl is absolutely fucking killing it” and this Girl in Menswear could not agree more.

Please introduce yourself. I’m Filippa Hallstensson (but everyone calls me Fifi), Head of Design at GANT Rugger. I live in Stockholm but at the moment it feels like I spend just as much time in hotel rooms in different places around the world…

Where can we find you? When I found instagram I pretty much gave up on Facebook. I love instagram, for me it’s total stress-free, you’ll find me as @fifffi. Maybe I need to pick up Facebook again, I never get invited to any parties anymore…My tumblr dreamyoxford isn’t really on a roll, but who knows one day it might explode.. haha.

You’ve been Head Designer at Gant Rugger for over a year now, what challenges have you faced and continue to face in your position? The creative anxiety, haha… Every other month it gets to you “why did I make that?”, “who’s gonna like this?”, “didn’t we do this before?”, “how am I gonna come up with a new theme” but I guess that’s just how it is, anxiety and happiness in a mess – that’s why it turns out good.

Is it a man’s world when you work in menswear, or does being a female designer bring something unique to the mix? Menswear really is a man’s world, no doubt about that – but as a designer I don’t really think it matters if you’re a man or a woman and I think same thing goes for women’s wear, creativity is gender free.

003_Gant Rugger 132What are the key differences designing for men versus women? For me it’s definitely the silhouettes, there’s so much more to take into consideration for women – titties, waist, hips. When it comes to fabrications it’s not that big of a difference really, we stand on pretty much the same ground.

You’ve just announced the launch of Gant Rugger: Women– why the decision to branch into womenswear? It feels like a very natural extension, the GANT Rugger woman has been in the back of our minds for some years now. Girls have come to our stores to buy our menswear since day one. Now it’s finally time for a collection of her own!

Describe Gant Rugger: Women in three words. “Dressy but messy”

Is there a girl that encapsulates the Gant Rugger: Women spirit? I see the GANT Rugger woman as someone who’s into details and quality and feels just as comfortable in jeans, tee and worn out sneakers as she is when crashing some fancy party in a couture dress and 5 inch heels…Hey! That’s you Sophia!

Gant Rugger cites the slow cooking movement and more latterly the “winter gardener” as its inspiration; will the Gant Rugger woman be as lifestyle conscious? GANT Rugger is all about people with passion, we constantly find inspiration in them, it just rubs off on us. Food, music, culture, travel, style, gardening, biochemistry – passion is everywhere! Who knows where we’ll find passion next?

Do you have a favourite piece from the Gant Rugger: Women collection? Besides the shirts (which you’ll find me in 99% of the time) – it’s our Baseball Jacket “The Homerun”. I see pictures of girls wearing these amazing vintage baseball jackets on my tumblr roll all the time! IRL I find it difficult to find this kind of jacket in a nice fit and they’re very often super bulky and heavy in the weight. So we made a cropped version, went with an uneven yarn body for some texture and kept the fabric lightweight, so you can actually wear it on early fall days. The sleeves are made in this suuupersoft goat leather, giving it that broken-in feeling, just like you’ve worn it for years…

Because of its heritage, people often assume Gant Rugger is purely American. How much is the brand influenced by its Scandinavian base? I really don’t think it matters where the office is based actually, we will always keep our American East Coast roots close to our hearts – it’s where we’re from and who we are. GANT Rugger is constantly re-inventing and re-defining itself, but even if we find inspiration in the Italian’s sprezzatura or the Swedish Midsummer traditions we always have one foot on the American East Coast.

You recently said that if you weren’t designing you would be taking photographs, who would your dream portrait subject be? I love photography; both my aunt and uncle are photographers and I used to spend a lot of time with them during the summers growing up, always borrowing their cameras and doing experiments in the dark room. At the moment the only pictures I take are with my i-phone, it’s a bit sad. I’d say photographing people in the spring, there’s just something about it, the ice breaks and everyone wakes up from their winter sleep. My favorite photographer Edouard Boubat took some amazing pictures of young Swedes in the Spring during the 1960’s. (I actually do have a dream portrait subject, but I think I’m gonna stay quiet about it for some time.. Maybe I get the chance to do it one day… Haha! )

What objects do you have on your desk and what stories do they tell? My desk is probably the messiest one at the office. It’s horrible, but creative chaos seems to work for me… Measuring tapes and scissors are sharing space with salsa and whiskey bottles (from our FW13 campaign with BK Salsa and Kingscounty Distillery). There’s always a bunch of vintage GANT Shirtmaker shirts that I scored on E-Bay. The E-bay scores usually end up on my desks, it could be anything from old rags to vintage safety pins. Next to my desk I have a pile of old handmade-laced handkerchiefs – I always buy them when I come across them. Most probably there will be 2 or 3 half-empty coffee cups around the desk as well..

National icon Ingmar Bergman was said to eat the same lunch every day: sour milk, strawberry jam and cereal. Do you have any daily routines or rituals? I actually didn’t know that – I love sour milk, strawberry jam and cereal! I would love to say I’ve got a similar ritual it sounds very pleasant. At the moment I don’t really have a daily routine. I think I need some more routine in my life. Starting every morning with a coffee, croissant and the newspaper sounds like a plan!

Thursday

6

March 2014

0

COMMENTS

Sara Weston of Eastie Empire

I stumbled across Eastie Empire, when a friend of mine sent me an image of an impeccably dressed lady with the lines “You will love this”. She was right, love I did. Said photograph was of Eastie Empire founder Sara Weston wearing pieces from the brands recently launched womenswear collection.

Originally a menswear brand specialising in tailoring, Eastie Empire expanded into womenswear as a result of a female clientele buying from their mens collection. I caught up with Sara to find out more about Eastie Empire, what its like to launch a menswear fashion brand, and shared notes on how to wear the ubiquitous menswear for women trend.

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Please introduce yourself. Sara Weston, London, Founder of Eastie Empire

Where can we find you? Shop: www.eastiestore.com, Follow on Facebook: Eastie Tailors, Follow elsewhere @EastieEmpire

Eastie Empire launched as a British menswear label in 2009, why menswear before womenswear? I much prefer menswear over womenswear. To me it’s more iconic, more timeless – the cuts are both elegant and strong at the same time. Also menswear fabrics bring these cuts to life in a bolder more substantial way. I am not a fan of lots of the fabrics used in womenswear as often they look too flimsy. In 2009 I hadn’t realised that there was a big enough market for menswear tailoring for women.

What inspired you to expand into womenswear tailoring? More and more women were buying our brand of menswear but often it wasn’t quite the right fit. At the same time the demand for more unilateral fashion is growing rapidly but there doesn’t seem to be many brands actually offering gender neutral styles.

Describe the womenswear line of Eastie Empire in three words. Too tricky!! It’s menswear tailoring cut for a woman. It’s vintage and modern. It’s refined and worn in….Okay here goes: Unconventional, sexy, tailoring.

Why did you choose the tagline “Manners Maketh Man”, and what does it mean to you? It is about modern day manners. Being worldy wise, cultured, enjoying the good things in life, starting with how you take care of yourself and your appearance, right through to how you are day to day.

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Is there a girl that encapsulates the Eastie Empire spirit? Elliott Sailor – the name alone is perfect! There are many girls who inspire us….women who are making, creating, innovating, pushing boundaries and changing the world. This is who we make clothes for.

You are a self taught designer, does this present challenges or opportunities? Both. Technically it means that I have to rely more on the team around me, but i’m relaxed about that – you can’t do every job yourself. You need to surround yourself with great people and let them get on with it. However I have a strong image of how I want each piece to look, and a clear image of the overall brand and each collection. Keeping this clear in my head helps direct everything else.

Is it a mans world when it comes to menswear, or does a woman’s touch help? I think it helps to be able to relate to the product/look you’re designing as much as possible. If you wouldn’t wear it – it makes the design process a bit more of a leap of faith.

What challenges have you faced and continue to face launching Eastie Empire? Any tips for those trying to launch a brand of their own? Trying to do too much to quickly. Work out what you want to be famous for, and perfect that first.

There has been a fascination with menswear in women’s clothing this season, do you see this as a passing fad or something that is here to stay? 

I think lots of women enjoy wearing menswear tailoring, because it’s classic and cool. It is becoming increasingly visible because it’s increasingly acceptable for people to express themselves and wear what they like. Fashion is responding to demand.

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Do you have a favourite British designer (mens and womens)? Can i go further afield?! Junya Watanabe & Dries Van Noten are two of my favourites.

Any tips for girls trying to wear the masculine chic look? I think it’s interesting to mix up your look – tailoring with sportswear, fitted pieces with more relaxed pieces, traditional fabrics with contemporary ones…this is the essence of our label – an eclectic contradiction.

Name one piece of clothing you could not live without. Our Eastie white Dress Shirt – a traditional mens tux shirt cut for girls – it looks great on everyone.

What objects do you have on your desk and what stories do they tell?

Dark chocolate is a permanent feature…! A wall of images to keep me focused and inspired. A few quotes scribbled out – to keep the belief and energy flowing.

Wednesday

20

November 2013

0

COMMENTS

Jennifer Allen of Reiss

Over the last few months I’ve gotten to the know the team over at REISS HQ quite well. We worked together to create my recent tuxedo feature and now for my most recent “Who’s that Girl (in menswear)” interview, I’ve had the opportunity to catch up with a member of their menswear design team.

The charming and very talented Jennifer Allen is responsible for some of the brands most beautiful menswear jersey’s and knitwear. In this interview she talks us through how she entered the world of menswear fashion, offers advice to those who aspire to do the same, and hints at what REISS might have up their well-tailored sleeves for us next. jenniferPlease introduce yourself. I’m Jennifer Allen the Menswear Knitwear and Jersey Designer here at Reiss. I’m from Rochester in Kent.

Where can we find you? www.reiss.com, Twitter: @Reiss, Instagram: @Reissfashion, Facebook: Reiss

How did your career in fashion begin – with a love of menswear or womenswear? I began designing womenswear when I first started studying at uni but when the opportunity for a mens/womens combined group project came up I thought I’d try another discipline. I really enjoyed the different thought processes involved as a female designing menswear, I liked the challenge, so I continued along this route.

Is it a man’s world when you work in menswear, or is being a woman an advantage? Our team is actually an equal split of men and women so the world I work in isn’t really a man’s world in that respect.  However, I always really appreciate my male colleagues’ view points and opinions on my work as this helps to flag up anything that I might not have thought of as a female. I feel it’s an advantage being a woman working on menswear, as I can draw inspiration from a highly creative and influential womenswear world and bring this into menswear, to push boundaries and hopefully come up with some innovative ideas!jennifer2What is/are the biggest challenges you have faced in becoming a fashion designer? Time/cost restrictions and a need to work within constraints relevant to the market level are always a challenge, although with the endless possibilities this is also a positive…to have some boundaries to work within! To be able to cast a critical eye over your own work and not get too personally attached to an idea is also a challenge, it’s important to remember who the customer is and what the brand is all about.

What advice would you offer aspiring menswear designers? The best advice I could offer is to keep your eyes and ears open! Be aware of who and what is out there, visit shops regularly, understand market levels intently and just soak it all up! I’m a magpie for images, fabric swatches, books, colours, vintage or anything that’s interesting to me, so build up an archive and see how you can bring these things into menswear to create the most innovative menswear collection you can.

Who inspires you in menswear? I’m inspired by many brands for different aspects of menswear but currently I love to look back over old Gucci, Hermes and YSL collections. The luxury fabric and trim combinations in such intelligently thought-out classic pieces is so inspiring. I’m also influenced by different Reiss stores and seeing who our customer is – this always come into the equation when designing.

Although Reiss is a global fashion brand, its roots are in English tailoring – what differentiates British fashion from other style capitals? I think British fashion is very fast and often a ‘look’ can be re-created from designer to street level or visa-versa very quickly. There is more of a blur between high street and designer looks. However, I think there are some definite key pieces in the British wardrobe that will always remain part of the British look. However a look is styled, in whichever country, I think these pieces would be recognized as having a British look more than any other fashion capital, an obvious example would be the Burberry/Burberry-style mac.jennifer3If you had to pick one item from Reiss’ menswear AW13 collection for women to wear, what would it be? The HARP or HERALD cashmere jumpers are the perfect slouchy jumper with a boyfriend look and soft touch.

Men are becoming increasingly style conscious and daring to dress more adventurously, what impact does this have on you as a designer?I think when designing, I can always consider the more adventurous guy and include a couple of boundary-pushers in the collection. Over time I hope these ideas will be adopted and can be part of the menswear fashion revolution!

What are the key trends we should be looking forward to for SS14? Specifically in knitwear and jersey as these are my key areas; colour blocking and tipping, ombre/bleach dying effects, colour plating and mixed colour yarns, ‘sports luxe’ and 1950s-inspired resort wear.DSC07208

You can shop Jennifer’s designs on the Reiss website.

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Monday

28

October 2013

0

COMMENTS

Jennie Weglin and Razi Kantorp

A little while ago I featured a unisex t-shirt as part of an outfit post which was created by design collective Teeeshit. Started up by entrepreneurs Jennie Weglin and Razi Kantorp this Stockholm based duo are creating a collection of unisex pieces of fantastic quality, green consciousness and beautiful design. Girl in Menswear caught up with them to find out a bit more about where their inspiration comes from, why Sweden is championing gender-neutrality when it comes to fashion, and what their personal tomboy tale looks like and how its influencing their brand moving forward. edit3Please introduce yourselves. Razi Kantorp CEO and Designer and Jennie Weglin Creative Director and Designer for TeeeSHIT based in Stockholm, Sweden.

Where can we find you? www.teeeshit.comfacebook.com/Teeeshit, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter: @teeeshit

Jennie, you’re a fashion designer and Razi your background is graphic design – how did the idea of joining forces to start a clothing label come about? The idea started one and a half years ago when we first met. We spent a whole weekend drinking beers on Razi’s dads balcony and discussing endless possibilities for creativity. We came to the conclusion that we should create a unisex clothing label, and after about a year we finally decided to go ahead with it, and so we printed a few t-shirts with our illustration designs. As Razi could make our webshop it was pretty easy to just get started straight away.

Why did you decide to create a unisex label, rather than an exclusively womenswear one? We are both very passionate about tomboy styling and are both inspired by it. We decided to order our prints on menswear tee’s and not exclude men wearing our stuff too. But our focus is more for women with a tomboy flavour. We both shop for clothes in the menswear sections and we felt underrepresented in womenswear stores. People seem to get more and more non-gender conscious and we aspire to present and push this trend with our brand.

What does it mean to be a design collective versus a brand? One important thing for us is to promote the talented designers we work with and give them credit for their great work. Being a collective also makes all parties more engaged and passionate about what we are doing and so we all play an essential part in the brand itself. There are so many great designers and artists out there that will never even get the chance to do anything, sadly mainly due to a  lack of funds, or just the fact that some artists find it difficult to brand themselves.

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What are the biggest challenges you have faced, and continue to face launching Teeeshit? Working from home has been the biggest challenge so far. Firstly, living in a small one bedroom flat and liking a LOT of stuff (!) means our house is very crowded! Secondly, it is easy to continue working all night long, rather than dividing time for work and time for rest. This can be  positive too though, as working with something that you love is great; There are many late nights, but with with a lot of fun too! Another challenge has been when girls ask for the “girl version” of a tee for example. This isn’t our core customer, and we need to reach a smaller and more niche crowd that likes the concept of pure unisex clothing.

How would you describe your personal style and to what extent is this reflected in the clothes and accessories your create? Razi has always been a tomboy at heart. I think she’s worn a dress once in her life. Jennie has a great interest in girls in menswear (!) and keeps a regular inspiration page on tumbler called black-smith.tumblr.com

The result is that all the clothes we decide to make we would wear ourselves, and we try to fill that hole in the market that we think is missing.

You’ve both travelled and lived in numerous countries, do you draw inspiration from these experiences when designing your range? Living abroad for some time and experiencing other cultures has definitely opened our eyes to the different androgynous ways of dressing, which looks different in Sweden than in other places we have lived. It feels like the unisex way of dressing goes hand in hand with the social matureness of the location.

Everyone is talking about Swedish brands and designers at the moment – what do you think makes Swedish fashion (in particular menswear) different from other countries? The high level of equality between sexes in Sweden, is reflected in what people want and wear. Its ok for women and young girls to be tomboys in many parts of the world, but if boys are feminine it is seen with more conservative eyes. Sweden recently introduced a gender-neutral pronoun for people and objects that don’t identify with a specific sex, this word is hen (not he/han, not she/hon). One of our friends from England was shocked by “all the lesbians in Stockholm” when she first came here. Now she knows they are just Swedish (probably straight) women! edit1Who are your favourite menswear designers and brands? Any Swedish menswear labels we should keep an eye out for? Hope is one of our favourites, for both menswear and womenswear. Others include Local Firm, Whyred, and the more affordable Cheap Monday. We also love London based Peter Jensen’s quirky prints.

What are the origins of your love of menswear and tomboy style? Razi was often taken for a boy growing up because of her tomboy style and interests. For Jennie the love for menswear clothing came later in life when she did her fashion degree and started to think more about what she wore. Being gay probably also plays some part in the equation for both of us.

Do you read blogs? Any we should stop by? We mostly read  blogs web and graphic design blogs (we are true nerds). But for style inspiration we generally just find things on the internet and store it on our tumblr: black-smith.tumblr.com

What’s next for Teeeshit? Our winter collection Original Vintage will soon be available in our webshop. The focus is now to create a wider collection of pieces, rather then only t-shirts.We are also about to present a really exciting collaboration with Realstars, Fashion for fair sex- against human trafficking. We have been working on their t-shirt and web design. And finally, we are moving our head quarters away from our small flat to a real office.

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Monday

7

October 2013

0

COMMENTS

Ayishat Akanbi

I’m ashamed to say that I have been neglecting my weekly “Who’s that Girl (in menswear)” interview duties of late, as other projects such as London Fashion Week and a relocation to Scandinavia have taken precedence. However, “Who’s that Girl (in menswear)” is back, and its back with a big boy bang.

Relaunching the section is Ayishat Akanbi a girl in menswear figurehead if ever there was one. Stylist to the likes of Labrinth and JLS, this little lady is responsible for styling some of the best dressed men out there. She is also a regular contributor to menswear hub Individualism and rocks a menswear ensemble to rival some of the best dressed dudes out there. She champions the tomboy trend and is never afraid to challenge what it is to be feminine, in this interview she talks us through her love for boys clothing and her personal journey into styling.

ayishat3Please introduce yourself.  Ayishat Akanbi- Stylist & Image consultant. From Southampton currently living in South London.

Where can we find you? Of course its 2013! Twitter: @ayishat_akanbi, Instagram: @ayishat_akanbi, www.ayishatakanbi.comwww.individualism.co.uk

How would you describe your personal style and to what extent is this reflected in the way you style others? My personal style is literally a mix of everything that has inspired me from being a child right the way up until now. It’s quite an eclectic style but a menswear aesthetic is the heart of all of my looks.

Growing up I was exposed to quite a wide variety of popular culture in terms of music, books and films. Describing my look as “Spike Lee meets Saville Row” probably sums it up the best.

I don’t know how and why but there is an element of my own personal style in everything I style. I like so many modes and styles of clothing its hard to not style someone in a look I sometimes do.

You have styled the likes of JLS, Labrinth and Cher Lloyd, how do you find the balance between being true to your clients style versus projecting your creative vision for them? Upon styling all of my clients, there is always an initial meeting where I can establish their goals and what they generally want to communicate to the world.

I never ever forget this when styling each client; whilst developing a style that I feel suits them I have to make sure I’m constantly communicating my clients message across about who they are and more importantly who they want to be. If I just throw on a client any old thing that I think is cool they wont wear it properly, it will look forced. The ideas have to come from what I know of their personalities.

I had dreams of becoming a stylist through my love of clothing and more accurately the psychology behind fashion and style- how you can transform ones perception based on the change of a shirt. This fascinated me.

I was lucky enough to meet Labrinth before he was signed; at the time I enjoyed styling my friends and experimenting with my own wardrobe. I offered Lab my services when I knew he was thinking of pursuing an artist career and I put together my very first styling pitch.

Labrinth and his manager loved my ideas and we’ve been working together ever since. It’s through my work with Labrinth that other record labels and the industry got to know of me, from this work started pouring in and Ayishat Akanbi LTD was born.

ayishat2What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced whilst climbing the styling career ladder? My biggest challenge has always been confidence and self-belief, everything happened for me quite quickly, maybe quicker than I was mentally prepared for. Fear is the biggest killer of any dreams, I just had to suck it up it was now or never so I took the “ fake it till you make it” approach

Do you have a favourite stylist who you admire? I don’t know if I have particular favourite stylists, I try my best to not look at what other people are doing too much.

I have a lot of respect for Celebrity stylist Caroline Watson who styles One Direction, she regularly gives me advice when I bump into her, she’s a veteran in this game too, she’s done everyone from Robbie Williams to Usher.

My ultimate style icon right now is Nick Wooster, every time I see a look he wears I want to give a standing ovation.

Do you read blogs and source inspiration from them? If so, which ones should we be keeping our eyes out for? I absolutely love:

Streetetiquette.com- one of the first fashion blogs I ever came across, these guys really inspired me on all kinds of levels, I really love their perspective on style.

Jjjjound.com- beautiful random pictures

Beautifulpicturesofhealthyfood.tumlr.com- It’s as literal as the name, but the colours are so vivid and inspiring.

You recently joined menswear community Individualism, can you tell us about what you are up to there? Individualism brings around 15 young creative from photographers, graphic designers and stylists living in London to one platform where we can all express our love for menswear. The editor Aaron Christian encourages us to show our freelance work off too. More than anything it’s a team of good natured, ambitious people who are prepared to work their butts off to get to their dreams. Everybody in the team inspires me.

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What are the origins of your love of menswear and tomboy dressing? I literally cannot remember it being any different for me, I have a vague memory of my mum trying to put me in a dress for my 5th birthday. Even then I knew that a dress just wasn’t me.

I’m not going out of my way to be a tomboy and as I get older my style is becoming more feminine than it ever has been. As well as fashion and style I’m really interested in Sociology. Dressing like a ‘girl’ is someone else’s idea of what it means to be a woman- I don’t want someone else’s idea to define who I am, I just want to feel comfortable and express who I am freely.

Who should us girls we be keeping our eyes out for in menswear? Do you have a favourite menswear designer/brand? I absolutely love Thom Browne, Mark McNairy, Comme Des Garcons, Junya Watanabe & Ralph Lauren will always be my all time favourite, he made the tomboy look extremely sexy.

If you weren’t a celebrity stylist what would you be doing? I’ve always wanted to be a DJ, music has always been my first love, I couldn’t think of anything better than having a party and playing my favourite songs all night!

What’s next for Ayishat? Haha I’ve never really planned anything so to speak, I go with my heart and lets hope my heart leads to more exciting clients and a possible clothing line one day.

Fashion aside I would love to run work shops for young people where we can do a range of creative things and I can advice about what to expect from the industry and how to approach getting into the industry to start.

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August 2013

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COMMENTS

Lucie Hugary

Meet Lucie; professional fashion photographer, global adventurer, cat lover, menswear enthusiast and generally awesome lady!

Girl in Menswear was lucky enough to grab some time with this Miami based sweetheart to get her tips on building a career in fashion photography, the current photographers we shouldn’t be missing, and the menswear brands we should be keeping our beady, boyish eyes out for. This well-dressed lady oozes swagger and is charming through-and-through, and as you can see from these pictures, she styles a mean sartorial outfit.

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Please introduce yourself. My name is Lucie Hugary, I’m a fashion photographer, I’ve lived in Miami for 5 years. Before that, I was living in Paris for 4 years. I am originally from Albi in the south west on France.

Where can we find you? Website: www.luciehugary.com, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lucie-Hugary-Photographer/152170544246, Instagram: _rayhug_, Twitter: https://twitter.com/LucieHugary

Can you sum up your style for us? Easy and comfortable, tom-boyish.

Where do you source your style inspiration from? I think I get inspired mostly from my male friends who work in fashion.

What’s the origins of your love for sartorial/tomboy dressing? I’ve always been somewhat of a tomboy, as a teenager all of my friends were skateboarders, I was taking breakdancing classes, riding a scooter etc. I tried being girly in my early twenties but it didn’t last too long!

What’s your favourite menswear brand or designer? I love Comme Des Garcons, I went to Japan recently and I was so overwhelmed at the CDG store!I also love Prada of course, Dries Van Noten, Christophe Lemaire, but I can’t exactly afford them.

How did you get into photography and what would your top tips be for those aspiring to do the same? I was involved in the photography and darkroom workshop in my high school. I went to school for photography after that, and went on to interning at different studios in Paris, then assisting.

I would say to aspiring photographers to shoot as much as they can, find their voice, that’s very important, and keep learning always. I believe that assisting is also very important (at least for fashion photography  it is) not only for the technical  aspects, but also very much so for understanding how a photoshoot and the creative process work, all the people involved, the communication between them, learning the etiquettes, witnessing the magic happen (or not!).

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Professionally you photograph fashion editorial, what do you enjoy snapping when you are off duty? I don’t really shoot outside of work, even when I travel, I just prefer to enjoy and not worry about taking pictures. I’ll use my iphone or a small  camera to snap a few things but that’s it. Other than that I usually take pictures of every cat I encounter :)

With apps like Instagram, it can seem like everyone is capable of producing a beautiful photograph – is this enhancing or damaging to your craft? Instagram is a toy for people to play with, certainly nothing that can compare to what we do at a professional level. The only issue we encounter now is some clients are asking for an “instagram feel” from times to times, which is really annoying.

And what about the rise of Street Style? Can a street-snap compare to a curated editorial shoot? They are two complete different things, I don’t think we can even compare them.

Who are your favourite photographers ? One of my favourite fashion photographers at the moment is Venetia Scott, who actually was a stylist at first, I also love Alasdair McLellan, Tim Barber, Chadwick Tyler. My favorite non-fashion photographers are Ryan McGinley and Gregory Crewdson. I recently purchased a book of birds photographs by Luke Stephenson that is absolutely amazing.

You are from France but live in Miami – what took you there and what keeps you put? I met my husband in Miami while I was on an assisting job and moved there a couple years later. Somehow I find my balance living here, it’s a beautiful quality of life. I travel quite a bit which makes me appreciate Miami when I get back.

Can you share some of Miami’s hidden treasures with us? My favourite restaurants are Izakaya in Coral Gables (Japanese) and Gabose in Lauderhill (Korean). I don’t really go to bars that much but Woods Tavern is a really cool one. Some of the best shops here are The Webster and The Alchemist, also the vintage store C Madeleine’s which is basically like a museum of fashion.

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Sunday

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August 2013

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COMMENTS

Emma McIlroy

“We are tomboys. But like you we are also friends and sisters, heroines and hellions, rascals, rockers, shapeshifters and trendsetters. We’re here to liberate menswear one bowtie at a time and we’re doing it ourselves because we want it done right.” – Wildfang

It’s hard to read the WILDFANG manifesto and not do a little whoop, fist-pump type dance, because it’s not only inspirational, it’s also incredibly sincere.

Back in March this year whilst browsing The Guardian I came across their launch video, featuring some key faces in the tomboy trend (remember Nadia Sawalha from an earlier post?) and a beautifully improvised story from co-founder Julia Parsley’s 86 year old grandmother. I was hooked and it’s been incredible to watch this unique brand expand (their first store opens this year) and create a following of fellow menswear enthusiasts.

So, Girl in Menswear caught up with Emma McIlory, WILDFANG CEO and co-founder, lover of football and all things sport, and dedicated leader of the tomboy fashion movement – I think you will agree, she’s a pretty fly lady.

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Please introduce yourself. I’m Emma a.k.a Irish and I’m the CEO @ Wildfang, home of badass women and tomboys everywhere

Where can we find you? @wearewildfang on tumblr, insta, FB and twitter www.wildfang.com

How would you describe your personal style and to what extent is this reflected in WILDFANG’s collections? I like to think my style is halfway between Keith Richards and Patti Smith. I’m a rock and roll chick @ heart. The rebel has always been at the heart of tomboy style – Blondie, Agyness Deyn, Joan Jett – and we have plenty of stuff to make her swoon – from our blood red Modern Vice Jett boots, to our Black Out Blazer.

You and co-founder Julia Parsley met whilst working at NIKE, how did the idea of starting WILDFANG come about? It was about four years ago and we were in the men’s department at Urban outfitters. I was looking at a men’s graphic tee which had a barely clad Kate Moss on the front. Jules was staring at a men’s blazer with patches on the elbows. She looked at me and said “Why don’t they make this shit for us?” And I didn’t really have an answer. We thought about it a lot, did a ton of consumer research and fast forward two and a half years later – here we are.

What is the hardest challenge you faced when launching WILDFANG? Being a start up means you never have enough money or resources. That’s tough. We have an incredible team of Wildfangs who eat, sleep and breathe tomboy clothing and culture. Each and every one of them is working their ass to create a really special brand. We hope you love what we’re building. EMMA2

If you weren’t running a kickass fashion company, what would you be doing? Honestly I’m sports-mad and I’m a brand marketing nerd, so I loved working at Nike. As far as I’m concerned it’s the best brand in sports. If I wasn’t here @ Wildfang, I’d probably be working in Nike Football, building the world’s sexiest football brand.

Search ‘tomboy’ online and it’s defined as “A girl who enjoys rough, noisy activity traditionally associated with boys” – what does being a tomboy mean to you? Tomboy is just as much about spirit as it is about style. Tomboy is an attitude and a way of life. Wildfang thinks about a tomboy as a woman who is confident, independent, driven to be her best, but still knows how to have fun. She is the chick who is paving her own way, and also the chick you want to go for a beer with.

Tomboys comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s a spectrum. There’s everything from the more tailored and buttoned up sophisticate, to the prep, to the more rebellious roll and rock tomboy on the other end of the scale who is a little more liberal with their styling.

WILDFANG encourages its followers to take part in the brand and contribute – is WILDFANG more than a fashion destination? Hell yes!!! Wildfang is an attitude. And it’s hopefully a community. We hope our Wildfangs love hanging out with us. We hope our content and social banter are just as rad as our clothing.

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You curate the collection from over 30 international brands, how do you discover these hidden tomboy treasures? We actually curate from over 80 brands now. We worked really hard to find them. Some are tiny local designers, some are from as far away as Australia. Some we find at trade shows – we walk every floor of the men’s shows AND the women’s, sometimes a designer will reach out to us, sometimes we find one actually in a men’s store eg Zanerobe, some we get sent by our Wildfangs. If you ever have any ideas for our collections please drop us an email at hello@wildfang.com

What’s next for WILDFANG and Emma McIlroy? Well Wildfang has a bloody busy summer. We launch our next brand campaign: Show Us Your Wildfang in August, along with our first ever Wildfang product collection. Not to mention our first physical store will also launch in August, here in Portland. It’s gonna be a hell of a summer ;)

Wednesday

31

July 2013

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COMMENTS

Donya-Patrice

This week’s “Who’s that Girl (in menswear)” features Donya-Patrice Campbell, one of the most stylish ladies bowling around London Town. You may have caught a glimpse of her on The Sartorialist, or perhaps spotted this well-garbed woman in the pages of Elle magazine. With impeccable taste and a flair for masculine tailoring she’s one of the most effortlessly chic gals styling her way through this city.

Girl in Menswear was lucky enough to catch up with Donya-Patrice for an interview, and find out a bit more about her unique look, her career as a stylist, and her take on the upcoming menswear trends.

Image: Dapper Lou

Image: Dapper Lou

Please introduce yourself. My name’s Donyapatrice I’m a freelance stylist/designer from London

Where can we find you? Twitter: Donyapatrice –  Instagram : Donyapatrice - Blog coming very soon: Donya-Patrice.com

Describe your personal style? I would describe my personal style as masculine/feminine, very clean and smart.

Do you read blogs and source inspiration from them? Which ones should we look out for? I enjoy image focused blogs as the likes of The Sartorialist  and Dapper Lou, its always inspiring to see fashion across the world. Blogs to look out for are Park and Cube and Songs of Style.

You’re a stylist, where do you source your inspiration? It depends really, I get inspiration from films, art, designers, musicians from the past and present, it really does depend.

Styling is a notoriously hard career to get into, what would your advice be to aspiring stylists? My advice would be to intern and assist on photoshoots. You can gain so much first hand experience and knowledge interning and assisting stylists, and learn so much about how the industry works. Also don’t be afraid to network and go to events, this industry is based on who you know so don’t be afraid to network.

Also, my first venture into styling was styling my own shoots, I had no portfolio and at the time I was designing t-shirts, so I styled the photoshoots for them. That was the first start to my portfolio.

You style your brother Mr Flyy, how did that come about and have you always been his style advisor? I don’t actually style my brother he styles himself. He is his own personal stylist lol. Although I’m heavily involved with his style projects, we work together as a styling team on shoots and we also design as a team, but he takes full credit for his personal look.

A love of hats seems to run in the family, where does it originate? Who are your favourite hat brands/milliners? My interest in hats stem from my mum and brother. My mum collected accessories, which include bags, scarves, hats, back in the 80s. My bro also has a massively huge hat collection, from a very young age he began collecting all sorts of different styles from many brands.  My favourite hat brands are Christy’s and Bates.

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Image: Camilla Treharne for Oliver Sweeney

You’re also a designer; tell us a bit about your work? I specialise in print design, and at the moment I’m working on my men’s accessories line Dlyle Treasure, I’ve created all the prints for the accessories which is coming out very soon. There’s also a few other collaboration projects coming soon too. Will keep you posted.

Who are you favourite designers?  I have a few, they are Balmain Paris, Saint Laurent, Rad Houroni, Paul Smith, Thom Browne and Canali.

You often feature in street style photography, what do you think makes you stand out from the crowd? Erm I think the photographers photograph me because I’m just being myself.  I’m doing me, staying true to what I do.

You recently attended LCM, what menswear trends should we be looking out for, for 2014? The menswear trends to look out for are the   recurrence of prints; all over prints for men and printed suits, and the bare leg trend which is cropped trousers to the knee. Shorts with blazers.

What makes the London fashion scene unique? Londoners on the fashion scene are not afraid to express themselves. They are very free, and express themselves through style.

Any hidden gems around London you can recommend? I would say a hidden gem is Kingston market, its a massive house and inside it has some vintage treasures.

 

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Image: Silvia Olsen for ELLE

 

Wednesday

24

July 2013

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COMMENTS

Jayne Min

Apparel designer, personal style blogger and skateboard enthusiast, Jayne Min has been sharing her photography and inner musings with followers of stopitrightnow.com since 2009.

An early adopter of blogging culture, expect beautiful photography taken in inspiring locations, most of which are in and around L.A. Her style is one of clean lines, relaxed and breezy fabrics (think denim/t-shirts/light weight outerwear) and shoes that punch some serious panache (check out her Celine furry sandals). She may not be in menswear, but her look is one of carefree tomboy etiquette with just the right amount of masculine tailoring.

Describing her killer look as ” A tomboy who finally discovered she is a woman,” she is all California casual with a boyish bluster, and this Girl in Menswear can’t get enough of her.

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