athryn is a freelance stylist.  She has worked as an assistant for five years for former W Magazine Fashion Director, Alex White.  For a year and a half now, Kathryn has recently established herself a solid career in the fashion industry and is definitely one to keep an eye on.  Kathryn shares how her career started, the W Magazine photo-shoot, "Behind The Muses", how important it is to have an agent, and giving advice to aspiring fashion stylists.

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

Kathryn Typaldos: I initially thought I was going to pursue a career in the art world but when I was at my youngest sister's high school graduation dinner I met this woman who was the headmistress of a school in Manhattan; I told her I had just graduated college and was interested in art and fashion (the day after I graduated college I worked at a J. Mendel sample sale!).  She ended up being the headmistress of the school that Alex's son was attending and ending up introducing me to Alex.  I started interning for Alex for a brief period of time and ended up being hired as the accessories assistant at W and ran the W accessories closet for one year before becoming Alex's assistant.

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

KT: I went to Wesleyan University and graduated with a degree in art history and studio art.  I was always interested in the relationship between fashion and art/music/culture, in particular how it was expressed editorially.  I think how I ended up in fashion was quite serendipitous and dependent on the circumstances at the time.  But, I have always been seriously immersed in fashion via magazines, movies, music, vintage, etc.  And have a firm commitment to self-expression through wardrobe, hair, make-up and styling as a whole.

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

KT: My most memorable moment was when I was sent to Detroit on my first major shoot for W Magazine in 2006.  Bruce Weber was shooting a major editorial with Kate Moss, who was styled by Camilla Nickerson.  I was so honored to be in the presence of such iconic people.  It was a really magical and surreal experience that solidified the fact that I wanted to work in the industry - to watch how story unfolds and evolves and how many different people shape, collaborate and participate in the aesthetic process is truly amazing.

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

KT: I think that the original definition of "fashion stylist" is changing due to the explosion of celebrity culture and the internet.  I think that the term "fashion stylist: is more vast and vague now which, in a sense, offers more opportunities.  I think that the world of editorial and print in particular is evolving at a rapid speed which is exciting and scary at the same time.  I think that if you know which aspect of the industry you want to participate in, than it is quite feasible and manageable.

EFM: You assisted one of the best in the industry, Alex White; what lessons have you learned from her?

KT: Alex was such an influential person in my life.  She served as a real mentor to me within the context of W and outside of work.  Her commitment to her work was inspiring.  It was very clear that she sincerely loved what she did, which I think is extremely important considering how much work is involved in this craft.  She was immersed in all degrees of the creative process which I think has become an important element in my work ethic.  It's not just about clothing and particulars.  It is about the larger picture, the collaborative process with other like minded people.





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

KT: I think it varies case by case.  For me, it was extremely important and significant.  You learn so much and I think it helps to shape your own aesthetic voice.  It's also important because you get exposed to amazing productions and meet other creative people to collaborate with in the future.

EFM: Your work was recently seen in W magazine 'Behind The Muse'; can you tell what was the preparation like?

KT: The preparation was amazingly stress free, one I got to work with incredible wardrobe from designers who's work I beyond admire so it was quite effortless.  It was a really cool experience.  I've been a fan of Max's (Fashion Photographer) work in addition to all the designers and the musicians who were involved, so I felt really honored to be able to participate!

EFM: Do you think that it is important to have an agent?

KT: I think it depends on personal preference.  I don't have an agent yet.  I wanted to forge my own relationships and work before pursuing an agency.  I think having an agent is like being in a relationship.  It has to be the right fit and both people involved have to be really committed!  I'm going to start looking for an agent at the end of the summer as it's difficult for me to balance everything at the moment.

EFM: Describe your personal style?

KT: Such a hard question!  I go through such phases so I guess eclectic would sum it up best.  Right now I'm obsessed with grandmas and sportswear (i.e. mesh sports, sneaker and track pants) so I guess you could call me a sporty granny right now!  I also found that boys go bananas for girls in sneakers so I'm in a super sneaker phase right now.  I just custom made my own NIKES which are hot pink, purple and orange with a silver swoosh.

EFM: How would you describe your work ethics?

KT: I'm hyper organized and a bit OCD which I think you need to be since stylists have so much merchandise to keep track of!  I used to run the closet at W so I am a firm believer in neatness and visual organization.  I also strive to respect the work of my peers.  I think a work environment founded on mutual respect is key?

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

KT: I think that working with one or multiple stylists can really help to shape/define the type of stylist you want to be.  You should always be open-minded, flexible, humble and committed to working hard.  My favorite part of my job is being able to collaborate with other people, finding a great team of creatives who constantly push and inspire you is supremely important.






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Interview by Rochell “E” James



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