NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
Britt Marie is an up and coming
fashion stylist. She has learned a lot by working
beside Fashion Stylist Tinna Laakkonen. With that
great opportunity she has worked on publications such as
Vogue China, Vogue Italian, Teen Vogue, Vogue Nippon.
Print and commercial: Jimmy Choo, Valentino, Cover Girl,
Revlon. Photographers: Terry Richardson, Patrick
Demarchelier, Arthur and many more.
Exclusively Fashion Magazine:
What made you interested in becoming a fashion stylist?
I think my interest was a bit roundabout.
I had spent my entire four years of college studying
Chinese language and East Asian History. But it
was all becoming so tedious and void of creativity.
I had the opportunity to finally take an elective course
during the last semester of my senior year, which was
costume design. It was literally a dream. I
remember Brooke Magnaghi had been a graduate of
Middlebury and she came to speak to our class. She
was then working at W Magazine and was talking about her
experiences. She is now the Accessories and
Jewelry Director there. The professor
encouraged me to look into design school and within
months of graduation had applied to Parsons and FIT for
post grad studies in fashion design. That was the
path eventually lead to my job as an assistant stylist.
It is an amazing job, the elements of which eclipse just
merely fashion itself.
When did you decide to
launch out on your own as a fashion stylist?
I only recently began working on my own
freelance jobs this year.
I have assisted under a freelance
stylist for four years.
It is tough for a freelance
assistant to transition from assisting to working on
your own. We jump from publication to publication,
work with so many different advertising clients, and
the team is always changing.
You don’t have the opportunity to
work for just one magazine that might support you
and help you build a foundation.
am super ambitious, so have worked hard building my
book with test shoots, as to give people an
understanding of what I could do in the industry.
At some point you just have to make
that leap and hope for opportunities.
How did you become Tiina Laakkonen's assistant?
It all happened a bit serendipitously.
I had just finished a design internship
after completing my fashion design degree at Parsons.
I was on Craigslist searching for a new
apartment and had also decided to browse the design jobs
I saw a posting for a job as an
It sounded amazing, but they didn’t
reveal who the stylist was.
I had zero experience, but have always
been a fast learner.
Somehow I got the job, amidst a sea of
things do happen on Craigslist!!
What lessons have you learned by assisting fashion
stylist Tiina Laakkonen?
guess the more appropriate question would be what
haven’t I learned from assisting Tiina.
She has taught me basically everything I
It is extremely important to trust your
instincts and be totally confident.
As a stylist you are often put into a
leadership role on a team.
People are looking to trust you, and you
have to sell your vision, your ideas and inspire people.
It is not an easy job.
It is not just liking clothes, or liking
You are rarely able to do just anything
you want on a shoot.
It is a team effort and you are under
the constraints of the editors, the advertisers, the
clients, the photographer, etc.
It is often about compromise, but you
somehow have to maintain your vision.
Do you think assisting an established fashion stylist is
necessary; if so why?
I think it is not only important, but essential.
Like I said before, styling is not just
about someone liking fashion.
You need to learn the rules of the game,
and appreciate how much work it is to do this job.
I think maybe years ago it was not
necessarily always the way it worked. But now there are
many people who want to make it as a stylist.
I think it important to pay your dues.
If I had the opportunity to assist Grace
or Camilla, or Alex White, Katie Grand, Panos Yiapanis,
Nicoletta…. You better believe I would do it, even after
so much experience.
You can never learn enough.
You also interned for designer Zac Posen; what was the
Long, grueling hours….. but I probably learned
more there in that studio than in design school.
EFM: When on location, what do
you carry in your kit?
Always the usual in my prop kit, double stick tape,
clamps, sewing supplies, everything.
I have the heaviest prop kit ever.
In addition I always have a generous
supply of Mokuba ribbons in every color, and black
bondage tape always comes in handy!!
EFM: Describe your personal
I am playing so much with clothes on other people,
that I keep my style pretty easy.
I wear a lot of Comme, Rick Owens,
I tend to be attracted to draped,
deconstructed pieces that have something “off” about
I like artsy clothes, with that kind of
I also occasionally have a penchant for
a tough Victoriana vibe, a la Ann Demeulemeester.
I definitely don’t dress for men.
be your idea celebrity to style and why?
I would have to say Tilda Swinton, but she
definitely doesn’t need a stylist!!!
She is fearless, and wears designers I
Everyone else (with the exception of a
few) look exactly the same, with a different Louboutin.
I think Catherine Keener could go there
with fashion as well.
I would like to work with this type of
She definitely wouldn’t have to be the
“next it girl” or anything, just someone fearless.
Who isn’t afraid of some “worst dressed”
Who is your favorite designer and why?
I wish you wouldn’t make me answer this question!
Here are my favorites: Rei Kawakubo, Ann Demeulemeester,
Haider Ackermann, Dries Van Noten, Rick Owens, Meadham
Kirchhoff, and Alber Elbaz at Lanvin.
It would be hard to say that Rei wasn’t
Because she is a genius, and the only
EFM: What accessory can you not live
A few years ago Tiina gave me an old Balenciaga bag,
that is unrecognizably Balenciaga.
It is the most beautiful soft distressed
I love most that no one can place the
designer, just a great bag.
EFM: Where do you see yourself
in five years in the industry?
Working as equal parts freelance stylist, consultant
to designers, and having a few amazing celebrity
EFM: What advice can you give
to aspiring fashion stylists?
I would say assist as much as you can, with
different stylists, and to strive to be a great
assistant first and foremost.
Learn your craft.
Interview by Rochell “E” James