Photo credit: Christopher Beyer
After taking classes in both New York and Los Angeles over the past couple of months, I finally graduated from School of Style two weeks ago while I was out in LA. School of Style was hands down the most fun and enriching school experience I’ve ever had in my life. Plus, I got to meet and be taught by someone I really respect in the styling industry, renown stylist and School of Style founder Luke Storey. Being a big music fan and having worked in the music industry for over the past decade, I had seen a lot of Luke’s work as a stylist on music videos (Hello! No Doubt & Marilyn Manson!!), album and press shots, etc. Little did I know that I would be sitting in his classes a few years later. I really like Luke’s eye for styling, his penchant for edgier looks and his rad and positive attitude about styling, entrepreneurship and life in general. It was a real pleasure to be taught by him (and of course his School of Style sidekick Lauren Messiah!) so I’m thrilled to have him featured on the blog this week. Here are my 5 Questions With Luke Storey:
1) Can you talk to us about how much the job as a wardrobe stylist has evolved since you got into the industry 16 years ago?
The main thing about the industry that’s changed is that there are so many more stylists out there working now. Thanks to schools such as School of Style and even some of the larger, traditional fashion schools adding styling programs, there is now a way for people outside of the industry to learn about styling and make their way into the business. When I started out there was absolutely no way to get involved unless you knew someone already in the industry.
One of the other major changes is the fact that a lot of New York fashion stylists are now doing celebrity styling and a lot of LA stylists are now doing editorial styling. The gap between the world of celebrity/entertainment industry and the fashion industry is getting smaller all the time.
2) Who are some of your go-to brands and/or designers when styling?
The brands that I use of course depend on the nature of the job that I’m working on at that moment. I do a lot of work in the music industry so some of my go to brands tend to be ones that are a bit more edgy and rock ‘n roll such as Saint Laurent, Givenchy, Rick Owens, etc.
However, if I’m working on a commercial or an advertising job I might be pulling from Old Navy, J.Crew, or stores like that so my choices are really determined by what’s needed on the job. Of course if I had my way I would only use all of the fabulous high fashion brands and have unlimited budgets with which to do so. Not holding my breath on that…
3) You’ve had the chance to style countless musicians over the past couple of years, what are some of your most memorable experiences to date?
Having been a musician years ago and having played in bands myself, going into styling musicians was a natural progression. I’ve always been such a huge fan of music and a fan of how music has influenced fashion that almost every job I’ve ever had has been a great creative expression for me.
4) In addition to being a wardrobe stylist, you are a big music fan. Who are some of your current favorite artists?
Most of the music I like is pretty old. You know, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Neil Young, classic stuff. So most of the newer artists that I tend to listen to are very derivative and retro. I never could really get on board with very techno, inorganic sounding music. So hip hop, rap, and pop music are definitely not on the menu.
I love bands like The Black Keys that take rootsy music and turn it into something new. I like Jenny Lewis, Conor Oberst, Wilco, Ryan Adams, Beck – stuff like that. I also listen to tons of classical music when I’m working in my office. That really keeps me focused and positive.
5) If you had one piece of advice to give to aspiring stylists, what would it be?
That’s a very easy answer: Learn who all of the fashion stylists, wardrobe stylists, fashion editors and costume designers are. Learn all about the agencies and which stylist they represent. After studying stylists and agencies extensively, begin to systematically contact them (any means necessary) and offer your services as an intern or assistant, based on your level of experience. In other words, if you want to be a stylist you must get to know some stylists. The interesting thing I’ve learned over the years of teaching people about this industry is that so very few aspiring stylists have any clue who the great stylists in the world actually are, or have been. They generally only have an awareness of the stylists on reality shows, which is of course a minute fraction of the many talented people who have been working in the industry for up to 35 years.
If all of that sounds like too much work, of course you can invest a few thousand dollars and about three weeks of your time and become a School of Style student and we do most of that work for you. Sounds like a bold claim I’m sure, but that’s actually the truth. We are the fastest, most efficient way to become a stylist.
What’s next for Luke Storey?
I have many interests outside of the fashion industry. In fact I would say other than being an entrepreneur, my biggest passion would be in the health/wellness/spirituality realm… I’m in nature lover, yogi, meditator, and health fanatic, so I’m working on a couple of different projects within those industries, which will at some point turn into a business just like School of Style has. My first step in that direction will most likely be starting a blog to put some of my research and experience in those areas out for people’s benefit.