Ingo's career started in 2001, assisting established fashion stylist for 2 years.  In 2004 he successfully began to work for international magazines such as; TUSH, L'Officiel Russia, QVEST, Vanity Fair, and GQ.  His unique work is in high demand, splitting his time between Hamburg, Berlin, and Paris.

Exclusively Fashion Magazine: Can you tell me what made you want to become a fashion stylist; and why did you choose this career?

Ingo Nahrwold: To be honest it all started when I was a child. I was always fascinated by fashion...dressed my little sisters Barbie dolls and loved the style in 80s music videos, the batman series with Adam west from the 60s....He-man and She-ra..  Amazed by the costumes and the characters they created the moment that really made me want to work in fashion was George Michaels' video "too funky" in 1992 the überwomen....the amazing costumes....everything was just wow and from that moment on I decided to work in fashion.....first I wanted to become a fashion designer.......but I had no interest in going to school again...so I started to work in a Club Wear Shop in the red light district.  In 2000 a friend was going to a party with a fashion show and asked me if I and a friend would like to organise, that's the only thing I knew from "high fashion" was magazines......and the TV shows I collected since 1993 on video style with Elsa Klensch fashion television by Jeanne Beker the pulse and stylissimo on MTV.

 A real fashion show was new for me.  The designer came, we made the show and it was a huge success.  Sunday morning, after a long party night, he asked me and my friend to come over to Milan to work for him.  I was like yeah, right old man, what a funny joke! Two weeks before the men’s shows in Milan I received a phone call saying that flight and hotel is booked....so we ended up in the big fashion circus. A year later, still working in the shop, but already going all the time to Italy where I was assisting him, with doing castings, etc. I decided to start to create a portfolio and doing test shootings.  It was the year 2001 and at the 11.9. the economies went down.....it was the worst timing to start a freelance business and assist other stylist.....no work ,no jobs, no money...everybody was suffering!   After a lot of hard work, in the worst situations, I ended up where I am now!!

EFM: You have an agent; what advice can you give to a new fashion stylist who’s starting out on how to approach an agent to sign them on?

IN: Difficult, I guess everybody should find their own way.  You have to trust your agent and he has to believe in you., of course sometimes u have problems with them and arguments regarding style, etc. but I guess u should always be strong and believe in yourself....and sometimes they are right with their critics.  Sometimes you don’t see that your work wasn’t that good or too strong for clients, at the end its a job and u want and need to make some money, so listen to what they are saying!!

EFM: It seems like everyone wants to be a fashion stylist; do you think that
it is even harder now to become a fashion stylist?

IN: I think it’s very hard right now, economies are crashing, the budgets are low and there are far too many stylists around and like I said before, it’s a job!  The client gets what he wants!  Of course it has to be your own style in a way, but you only did a good job when the client is happy and books you again!  The personal style is only half of the rent.  I guess it’s more a personality thing; the whole team has to like you.   For example, when you are on a trip for two weeks or in the studio and the atmosphere is shit, and then it’s going to be a long, long horrible job!!

I guess the time is over that you play the diva on set you have to work hard and every minute! It takes a long time to build up the name.

EFM: Describe your personal style?

IN: You have to describe my style!!  What do you see?

EFM:  The photos you provided, I see sophistication and sexy.

EFM: It has been said, that in order to become a fashion stylist, you have to assist an established fashion stylist, basically with ‘no pay’.  What do you think about that and why is it important to train under an established stylist?

IN: I think in every job you have to learn.  Also, when you work as a fashion stylist, I think the "no pay" rule is kind of unfair, of course, there are jobs (editorials) where you have to pay everything.  The crew, the catering, sometimes the models, the location, but there are also money jobs, at the money jobs. I always pay my assistants.  I know how it is to have no money and the beginning is really, really hard!!

I guess it’s really important that you do that.  I realized that you learn more when you really want something!  You have to be open for everything and absorb everything like a sponge and this business have some rules you have to learn!!  It’s like every other job, learn from the beginning step by step.

Also, style wise, it is good to assist, to see what other people are doing, .how they see things!  Learn from them and find you own interpretation of that!  Don’t be scared of making mistakes!!!

EFM: Before you launched out on your own, who did you assist, and what did
you learn from him/her?

IN: I was assisting a few German stylists and I learned how to behave on a set, how to talk with clients and to treat my assistants better than they did :-)  Most of the stuff I learned by myself.  When I look back there were so many things I would change now, but it’s good to make these mistakes!!

EFM: What advice can you give to aspiring fashion stylists?

IN: 1.Work hard!!!!

2. Always believe in yourself.

3. Be always nice and patient!

4. Look at what other people are doing.

If you haven’t seen something and you think that could be an idea, always remember “there must be a reason why you haven’t seen that!!!"

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Interview by Rochell “E” James


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