What does it really take to become a successful stylist? With the number of aspiring stylists rising by the day we grab one of our favourite fashion stylists – Luci, for a Q&A session about her style and career…
FULL NAME: Luci Ellis
How long have you been styling and what challenges have you faced working in the industry so far?
I have been styling on my own since January this year, Before I was full time assisting for around three years and worked at GQ Style and Fantastic Man. Challenges I’ve faced include being in three places at once and having to rely on good assistants because I can have several shoots happening at once.
What’s a day in the life of Luci Ellis like? Talk us through your styling process…
Non-shoot days will be filled with research, a serious amount of emails, meetings, social events – these are great for meeting people you speak so much to via email but never in person. Shoot preparation, calling in clothes, arranging shoot production.
Shoot days – arrive set up, organise looks, style models, on set checks, pack down and usually a cab home.
What are the best and worst things about being a stylist?
The job is amazing, so free and creative… I love everyday. The worst bits would be: turning down jobs I can’t physically fit into a schedule. Loosing out on jobs I really want, learning to deal with a certain amount of rejection.
If you could restyle any badly dressed celebrity who would it be and how would you dress them?
Chris Brown – I’d just tone everything down, he could look so great but he just does too much.
What is your favourite shoot to date?
A shoot I recently did for Hypebeast Magazine, it was a feature on the Stone Island Shadow Project. I’m so excited for everyone to see it but it’s not released until March next year.
Getting the Adidas Originals AW13 Lookbook & campaign. I never thought I’d get something so big, so new to the game. It humbled me a lot, forever thankful.
What advice would you give to young people wanting to go down the styling route?
Assist as much as you can, test shoot in your spare time. Create a great team around you, get a great photographer, make up artist, and hair stylist you are happy to work with.
Top five tracks on your playlist for shoots?
Alchemist – Hold You Down
Scarface – Guess Who’s Back
Eryka Badu – Love of my Life
Lauryn Hill & Bob Marley- Turn the Lights Down Low
Jemini the Gifted One – Story of My Life
You do mostly menswear styling, what made you choose this route rather than womenswear?
I sort of fell into it that way. I assisted Julian Ganio, who is an amazing men’s stylist and literally learnt from the best. I felt more comfortable working with menswear because I had such good training.
Who is your favourite model you’ve ever worked with?
I recently worked with Jayde Thompson from BNTM, such a cute kid and a incredible face.
Best creative team?
My own team, who are not only my team but also my best friends… photographer – Leonn Ward, Make up – Theresa Davies. So many great shoots coming up with them.
Favourite photographer and why?
Tyrone Lebon – he’s unreal, so effortlessly cool. I have only assisted on a shoot with him, not yet had the pleasure of styling for him.
Also love this new kid on the block, photographer Ash Kingston – I think his work is amazing.
How would you describe your signature style?
I think my styling is quite simple, been styling AW for the last 6 months so got to work with lots of layers – which is always fun.
What streetwear labels do you love to wear?
Love Adidas trainers and traditional track suits, really into Cave Empt at the moment. Stussy has always been my favourite ever since I used to steal my brother’s t-shirts when I was younger.
Who is your style icon?
What is your worst fashion faux pas?
I would say I have done some pretty shocking things with my hair in the past!
Footwear of choice?
I have three on heavy rotation – black Timberlands, Adidas Superstars in white & blue and all white Air Force 1′ s low
Who is your favourite twitter follower and why?
Would be Mike Schreiber…the man’s a hip hop photographer legend
Who’s style do you admire (non celeb)?
My auntie, because she’s always had Versace on lock. I remember her Versace bedspreads as a child and the medusa wall mount.
Where do you get your influence for style?
90’s Hip hop and skaters. Baggy t-shirts, ripped jeans and superstars
What is your pet hate when it comes to fashion?
People doing too much and spikes!!
Which fashion trend would you ban forever?
One thing that makes you angry:
One thing that makes you happy:
English bulldog puppies
Describe yourself in five words…
Lanky, tall, long, clumsy, gangly
If you could pick any item to wear from the E&E collection which would it be?
What piece of advice would you give people to educate & elevate in life?
Dreams really do come true if you work hard enough…mine have so far. WELL CHEESY LOL.
Thanks Luci! Make sure you follow Luci on Twitter here to keep up with her latest projects. Do you know someone who would inspire our readers? Get in touch with our features team at firstname.lastname@example.org