Tell me about yourself and your career so far, how did you become a fashion stylist?
My name is Lissa Brandon, I’m 24 years old and I’ve been working as a fashion stylist for almost 5 years now. I began by doing TFP (unpaid) shoots to build my portfolio. After a while, I started assisting another stylist on the side. By doing this I wanted to make extra working hours and learn more about the craft and industry. A year later, I took a leap of faith and started focussing a 100% on my own business. Instagram has helped my business a lot. It’s been a handy way to display my creative expressions and build a social network.
Did you study styling in an academic sense ? Do you think having an academic background gives you an advantage as a stylist ?
I never studied styling in an academic sense. In 2013 I started at a private school where I studied tailoring for a year. I also took a regular job to pay for tuition. In the end I actually saw it as a waste of time and money. So afterwards, I became more critical about finding an education that suited me. When I couldn’t find that for styling, I decided to gain practical experience through assisting.
I can’t say that an academic study doesn’t give you advantages, because I don’t know if it does. I’m also not saying that you shouldn’t go to school, but I do think that you should really get all the information you can before you apply for any course. It’s important to have a clear vision of what knowledge and skills you can gain.
For me, styling is about intuition. I really follow my gut when it comes to connecting shapes, colors and materials to an idea or mood. Becoming successful as a stylist is also really about entrepreneurship. Your drive has to be unstoppable and it’s important to build and maintain a reliable network.
What trends are you feeling at the moment ? Are there any trends that need to die?
I don’t really try to actively follow trends, but sometimes trends match my style naturally.
At the moment I really have a thing for latex/vinyl clothing and chunky shoes/big soles. I’m feeling punky vibes but I’m also really into bold colors. Also; puffer jackets have been saving my life this winter.
I wouldn’t say that there are trends that need to die in my eyes. I see clothing as a form of expression and everyone should just wear whatever they want. Besides, there can be styles that I might not like right now, but which I can grow to love in 2 years. I’ve seen it happen before :). But if I had to name a trend that I’m personally done with right now, it’d be ripped/destroyed skinny jeans.
How would you describe your personal style?
I think my style is very diverse and adaptable. I like to switch it up every once in a while, and I also like to look for uncommon combinations of styles. Most of the time I find my way to look bold, with a feminine touch.
What is your favourite type of event to style celebrities and clients for? It seems a lot of stylists love award show briefs because they gain the most press. Is this the same for you?
Styling celebrities for award shows is always nice because brands are happy to see their clothing on the red carpet. Other than that, it’s often easy to find a lot of nice content afterwards. I’d love to style for The Met Gala or other events where you can go extraaa. But I’m also really into photo- and videoshoots, because I like to work with outfits that aren’t really wearable in “real life”. I also like to create a full look, environment/background included, to make the whole thing come to life.
At Mannase we focus on showcasing the best independent brands globally? Do your clients always demand designer brands or are you able to convince them to try a brand they have never heard of before?
It really depends on the client, but I personally don’t always care about the name that’s attached to an item. I have to like the item on it’s self – and then the branding can add to that. I think you can definitely see that when you look at my portfolio.
Finally, for some fun – please select your three favourite items from Mannase (they don’t have to be for you they could be for someone else?) and describe what type of day/event or mood the item would be perfect for
This’d be perfect for a summer night out. I already see the outfit; this matched with some sassy open toe heels and some s&m accessories.
This’d be perfect in another life where I’m not (striving to be) vegan, I’d wear it with matching chaps. Or when Rihanna calls me I’ll make her wear it for her next music video (maybe then with chaps covered in pearls & a pearly headpiece).
I’d style Sevdaliza (also when she calls me) in this for her next magazine cover. She’d just wear her birthdaysuit underneath, with accessoires and some iconic shoes. Actually I’d also wear that outfit myself for a suitable photoshoot!
Make sure to check out more of Lissa’s work on her website