Amy Soderlind lives outside San Francisco, on a farm with 13 chickens, dogs, llamas, cats and the list goes on. As she shared with us, it’s “the best way to raise a child – wild and free.” It’s this approach to living that we see reflected in her work.
MalenDyer: We came across your work via Brixton. Share with us some insight into working with them.
Amy Soderlind: They are one of my favorite brands to work with. They are so chill and mellow, yet [one should] expect the utmost from all they create with. They just “get it” without trying. It’s always a good time with that team.
MD: Did you always want to be a stylist?
AS: No. In fact, honestly, I didn’t know it was a job until I was studying for my Masters in fine arts. I come from a deeply rooted family of painters, potters, singers and the such. I’ve always loved clothing as a form of expression. The fact that wearing something can alter a mood or make you feel more like yourself than you did without it or like a complete stranger in an instant – like if I look at myself in sports gear – has always been fascinating to me.
MD: When working with a new client, how do you get ready for that first meeting, first shoot?
AS: Part of every stylist’s job is to understand marketing and branding. Yes, you have your own style and you have your favorite designers, favorite music and favorite photographers, but your job is to understand what that brand needs for THEIR market of buyers and how to put together a room full of separates into a full and cohesive story, an identity. Most of this requires for you to pack your aesthetic with you always, but also be ready to leave it at the door, if need be.
“The fact that wearing something can alter a mood or make you feel more like yourself than you did without it has always been fascinating to me.”
AS: Before new meetings, I simply brush up on everything that currently moves me and everything that always has and always will move me. I also look at their past brand campaigns and who they have worked with. After the meetings, it’s important to walk away understanding what has worked for them in the past and what they are reaching for in the future.
MD: What about existing clients. How do you work to consistently keep the looks fresh and new?
AS: By not being afraid to try new directions, to push the boundaries of our comfort and to make sure it still feels like the client.
MD: Do you find working on an editorial shoot is different than an ad campaign?
AS: Very! One is technical while the other is conceptual. One is lucrative, while the other is not. One has no creative ceiling while the other does. Although, one is not better or worse, as each uses a different skill set and a different adjustment to your creative eye.
MD: What advice can you offer those who want to become a stylist?
AS: Find a mentor and study, make connections, know your own sense of self and extension of style, get weird, be playful and always say “yes” in the beginning. You never know what seemingly “shit” project could land you a big gig five years later.
MD: In a social media and “blog” driven world, any advice for how an aspiring stylist can stand out among the crowd?
AS: Styling is like any art form, stick to your vision, know what you are moved by and stay true. If you can do that, work will come, peers will become family and creative magic will ensue.
“Always say ‘yes’ in the beginning. You never know what seemingly ‘shit’ project could land you a big gig five years later.”
MD: We love that boho vibe that is often seen on your Instagram and in your work, what are your go-to brands?
AS: I love all and everything – Chloe, Gucci and Etro. Lately, I can’t do the over the top boho [look], but a good vintage print and high waisted Levi’s 501s I will wear everyday. I only buy vintage from small designers that produce in the USA.
MD: And accessories, what accessories can you not live without?
AS: The river rock engagement ring my man put on my finger, which was made by his great grandfather in internment camp.
MD: Lastly, when you make it into the city (San Francisco), how do you enjoy spending your day?
AS: When I do find myself in the city (not working), it’s museums, Golden Gate Park and a ferry ride with wine always make me happy. Music at The Fillmore is also the way to go.
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