Fashion Crowd

Nakita Banger – Fashion Stylist

Nakita is an inspiring and passionate individual who clearly has a love for fashion and writing. I met Nakita at Radio Plus where I tutor and present a radio show and was really encouraged by her zeal for life and the industry she works within. I thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to interview her to inspire all you fashion guru’s out there who are looking to collaborate with an incredible stylist or just get some insight into how you can get a foot in the door working in a similar role. If you would like to contact Nakita, please email her on nakitabanger@gmail.com. Check out what she had to say to the creative crowd below.

1. How long have you been interested in fashion styling?
It’s been an evolving and developing interest, which began around the age of 13. A curiosity and fascination for fashion stemmed from poring over the glossy pages of editorial shoots and I always knew that I had an eye for detail and style. More of a hobby or area of interest to begin with; I found real focus whilst completing a short course in Fashion Styling at Central Saint Martins University at 15.

2. What kind of projects have you been involved with lately?
I’ve been working with a magazine to promote diversity within fashion – whether that’s size, colour, height or just challenging the associated norms of beauty. I work on photo shoots with plus size models and celebrities and women of colour to prove that the fashion industry’s general dismissal of these groups doesn’t have to be accepted indubitably. I believe it’s an important issue to tackle and, as much as I adore fashion, the whole industry needs to undergo a deal of progression in terms of diversity, equality and balance.

3. What’s the ups and downs of working on set with photographers and models?
Oh goodness, the ups are easy: you get to interact with other creative people and all work together to realise your vision and ideas. Shoots take a lot of planning – from finding the right model and photographer to calling in samples and organising outfits – so when it all comes together and you can discern that you’ve got the shots you planned, it’s an extremely satisfying and delightful feeling.
And the downs? Well you’ve got to be able to stay calm and think on your feet, things can easily go wrong. I’ve had clothes that didn’t fit correctly but you learn to improvise. I’ve had models who don’t take direction but you learn to put your frustrations to one side and communicate in another way. And you have those moments when your vision just doesn’t come alive through the lens of a camera but you learn to use your judgement and adjust the situation. I never sleep well the night before a shoot!

4. For someone interested in styling as a career – where can they start to get a foot in the door?
Gaining hands-on experience really is the best way. Unfortunately, you often have to work for free to start with but if you show dedication and flair, it will all pay off. Twitter is a great tool for unearthing opportunity. Get in touch with photographers or magazines that need stylists or assistants for their shoots and make sure you come away with compelling shots for your portfolio. Networking is utterly important – be professional, friendly and absorb all the knowledge and advice that is thrown at you. Just get yourself out there – what are you waiting for?

5. What do you do in your spare time?
You’ll likely find me in the kitchen baking cakes, buried in a book or drinking wine with my wonderful friends and family. I do tend to indulge in some terrible TV to relax – RuPaul’s Drag Race is forever on my TV (watch it now, if you haven’t already. It’s fab-u-lous) and I’ve never missed an episode of The Apprentice.

6. Favourite quote / saying?
I’m not usually one for quotes but recently my car speakers have played host to the speeches of Martin Luther King Jr. and a particular saying has stuck with me all month:
“If you can’t fly then run,
If you can’t run then walk,
If you can’t walk then crawl,
but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

7. Who is your biggest inspiration creatively?
My belief is to absorb inspiration wherever you find it and I can’t pinpoint a single source. It’s important to take an interest in all that’s around you and never narrow your view. Take everything you can from this world, you can’t reclaim missed chances.

8. What magazines do you purchase for inspiration?
I consume magazines like you wouldn’t believe! I buy a lot of fashion magazines like Wonderland, i-D, Stylist, Pop, Oh Comely (the most wonderful magazine I’ve recently read), Vogue and Elle. I read plenty of online magazines too – The Rumpus, Vice, Hunger, The Skinny. I will never turn down a free magazine – I pick up supermarket mags, car magazines – everything!
Issuu.com has been a game changer for me. You can stumble on some amazing, independent gems with riveting material and innovative graphics.

9. Name some of your personal favourite high street retailers?
Zara slays it season after season – I would have a fatter bank balance if it wasn’t for Zara. H&M is great and manages to cater for everyone without losing individuality and quality. Topshop is so hit and miss but I adore their daring approach. M&S will forever be a gem of the high street.

10. Do you have any other creative hobbies?
I’ve been painting and drawing a lot recently – I’m downright terrible but I enjoy it nonetheless. My skills, first and foremost, lie within journalism and I’m always writing. Words are my creative release and open a spectrum of expression for me.

11. Do you have a favourite item of clothing?
Oh, that’s like asking a parent to pick a favourite child. Okay… maybe not but it’s a tough decision. I have a vintage, A-line, suede skirt that gives me (an imaginary) license to believe I’m in the 60s – the era that I should have been alive for.

12. Where can readers find you on the world wide web?
You can find my personal musings at nstylebeauty.blogspot.com, professional musings at Curvaceous Inc magazine and Old Tat magazine. If you can only handle <141 characters at a time, it’s @nakita_sian. Please don’t try and find me on Myspace, it will only end in embarrassment for both of us. Thank you and bye bye now.

“Hailing from Coventry, Nakita Banger moved to the chilly North to study Journalism at the University of Leeds. With a penchant for beautiful objects and a serious addiction to stationery, she loves good (veggie) food and people with odd laughs. Nakita writes for magazines and blogs and is currently the stylist for Curvaceous Inc magazine.”