anna is one editor and stylist to keep an eye on.  Her recent work has been seen in W Magazine, "Behind The Muses" featuring the iconic Fashion Designer, Donatella and singer sensation M.I.A.

We love how her career began, with just her persistence and a cold phone call; she is now living her dream.

Exclusively Fashion Magazine: Can you tell me how your career as a fashion stylist began?

Hanna Kelifa: My career as a fashion stylist really began once I met Edward Enninful.  I phoned i-D and got his office number, called his office and thankfully they happened to be looking for more help and took a chance on me.  I had never really done any assisting before him, bar assisting on one shoot for Tank Magazine, so I literally couldn't believe my luck when I started assisting Edward and realized that my first ever shoot was going to be a Steven Miesel Italian Vogue shoot in Los Angeles!

EFM: How did you know that working in the fashion industry was something that you wanted to pursue?

HK: I think having worked with Edward, on that level, with the people that he works with, Paolo Roversi, Steven Miesel, Craig McDean, Mario Sorrenti, they were like celebs to me and I was absolutely in awe!  I knew that this was exactly what I wanted and although it was really hard work it was really fun and bloody worth it.  The canalot studio days were some of the best and physically exhausting times I've ever had.

EFM: So far, what has been your most memorable moment?

HK: That's quite a hard one but shoot wise, I think the first Paolo Roversi shoot I assisted on was a pretty big moment for me.  I have always been such a big fan and like SO HAPPY to be going on this shoot.  We were shooting Stella Tennant in Paris, in Paolo's studio and Paolo (my idol) was right there shooting 10x8 Polaroid's on one of his massive wooden cameras.  I mean, it was exactly how I'd imagined it, if not even better.

EFM: Your work was recently seen in W Magazine, "Behind The Muses"; can you tell me what was the preparation like?

HK: Sure, the preparation included speaking with W and M.I.A's agent to find out what kind of accessories and clothing MIA would be into and sourcing them.  Then on the shoot day working with MIA and Donatella to decide what they would wear for the shoot, etc.  It was really a fun day.  We had a really great team and I'm a big Donatella Versace fan and really like MIA's music, so I was really pleased to be asked to do it.

EFM: You are also i-D Magazine Fashion Editor; how long have you been Fashion Editor of i-D?

HK: Well, myself and Caroline Newell (who I worked with assisting Edward) are both Women's wear Editors at i-D and Elgar Johnson is Menswear Editor.  We have all been there for 2 years.

EFM: 'Today' do you think that it's hard to become a fashion stylist?

HK: Yes and no; in a way I think it's incredibly hard and if you don't assist I feel like it's probably near impossible.  Although, that being said; there are so many magazines now, so many blogs, tumblers, and online magazines, so it could be relatively easy to get published.  I guess it depends on the stylist, and in what capacity they want to work in.

EFM: How important do you think it is to assist an established stylist?

HK: I think it's incredibly important, for me it gave me such a clear understanding of how the industry works, how to make a story, how to refine my taste and my eye, how to research and how to work incredibly hard.  I started assisting at 21 and it was literally the best thing I think I've done.

EFM: Describe your personal style?

HK: I'm a little messy, a bit disheveled, I tend to wear black (although I am trying to now wear more colour) and I love wearing hats.  I think Amish is a very good look.  Ha ha.

EFM: How would you describe your work ethics?

HK: I'm a grafter.  I work hard and don't like giving up or doing a bad job.

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

HK: I would say, make a list of whom you want to assist (if you do want to, contact them, start at the bottom and work your way up.  You don't always have to know someone, cold calling can work!  You will get there.  I'd say be yourself, work hard and be nice.  Also, chill out a bit and just absorb as much as you can.  Try not to step on anyone's toes.  Most importantly, don't be in a rush, take your time and learn.  It's good to realize it will take years.


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Interview by Rochell “E” James


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