Purple Magazine
— Purple 76 Index issue #29 S/S 2018

Reid vanessa

style has to be relevant
i try to surprise myself

portrait by VIVIANE SASSEN
interview by OLIVIER ZAHM

OLIVIER ZAHM — How would you define your style? 

VANESSA REID — It’s hard to define what my style is as a stylist. I don’t like being put in a box. I like to have the freedom to experiment. I don’t like having “style” boundaries. It feels good to be open to everything and to never feel restricted. So I mash it up. There are lots of different influences and a crossbreeding of references. I’m constantly questioning, challenging myself, taking risks, surprising myself. Fashion doesn’t stand still, so you have to keep moving and evolving. As long as there’s a point of view and a vision of what you do, then you can do anything. I need to have an emotional connection. I need to feel excited, otherwise I can’t do it.

OLIVIER ZAHM — What’s your main source of inspiration?

VANESSA REID — Travel, art, interiors — I’m big into music and film and other subcultures, but travel is the secret.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Are you nostalgic or do you only care about what’s happening now?

VANESSA REID — It’s important to have some knowledge of the history of fashion. I like looking back, but I’m not nostalgic. Fashion is cyclical, but I’m not into it when things feel too derivative or referential of the past. It needs to be relevant, from today.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Who is the best stylist of all time in your point of view?

VANESSA REID — That’s hard to say. Anna Cockburn was very inspiring when I was starting out.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Do you find ideas on Instagram?

VANESSA REID — No. I don’t research on insta! My advice is get off your phone and go explore. Go feel it for real.

OLIVIER ZAHM — You lived in London, you worked a lot with English magazines, you love the UK: Is there a difference between France and England in the approach to styling? Do you feel like you’re mixing the two cultures?

VANESSA REID — I’m really into the contrast between France and the UK. That’s been very important in my work, to have roots in both places. Subconsciously the influences are always there.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Is there still room for experimentation as a stylist today?

VANESSA REID — The day I can’t experiment is the day I hang up my boots and do something else. The minute things become too formulaic for too long, then it’s time to move on.

OLIVIER ZAHM — How has the fashion industry changed since 2000?

VANESSA REID — In so so many ways! It was a lot more about art and a lot less about commerce. Of course you need both, but there seems to be an imbalance now. You had more time! The digital revolution has played the biggest role in the industry becoming so frenetic.

OLIVIER ZAHM — What do you like about the new context?

VANESSA REID — I like that the demographic has changed. It’s not so elitist. You can be anyone and do anything. There are lots of opportunities open to everyone.

OLIVIER ZAHM — What do you dislike ?

VANESSA REID — There’s too much stuff, too many images, content, products, etc. The choices we have are overwhelming, but everything feels very diluted, and the quality is compromised. It gets harder to filter through it all and stick to a pure vision. But you have to move with the times, there’s no escaping it. Transcendental meditation is the way forward. You have to disconnect to reconnect.


[Table of contents]

Purple 76 Index issue #29 S/S 2018

Table of contents

Purple Index 76

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