#YemziGirl Feature 24 (February) - Rhona, Fashion Stylist & Editor In Chief

#YemziGirl Interview

 

 Rhona, #YemziGirl Feb, one of London's most exciting fashionistas

Rhona, #YemziGirl Feb, one of London's most exciting fashionistas

1. Hey Roe, please introduce yourself

R: I'm Rhona, I'm a fashion stylist, the editor in chief of the print publication THIIIRD, a very passionate person and a Sagittarius

 

2. How did you career as a fashion stylist begin?

R: I had a bottoms up entry into styling. I interned, then assisted as a first and after that I started producing my own work.  I didn't study fashion or styling and am a English Lit grad. 

 Chanel jewellery styling by Roe, yass to the afro!

Chanel jewellery styling by Roe, yass to the afro!

3. What to pull, do trends play a huge role in your work and if so where do you 'discover' them?

C: Shows really. I love all the excitement that comes with a new season.  I think my attention to the catwalks and presentations is where trends enter my work as a whole,  aesthetic and research is where my inspiration mostly comes from. I tend to make use of trends most in client work where it is important to make sure you are creating work that feels relevant to the moment - as a stylist even if you're not for all the trends that come out of the season, an awareness is important. But I try not to let trends dictate my aesthetic. I'm really inspired by style cultures of the past, and things like caricature, story telling and how you can attach meanings, feelings and messages to visuals.  

 We are appreciating the complimentary tones of yellow and feels in this pic, stunning work!

We are appreciating the complimentary tones of yellow and feels in this pic, stunning work!

 

4. Are fashion weeks really important?

R: That's a interesting question. I think in some ways they are super important, they provide a massive platform for brands, young designers and big fashion houses to present their new collections. They're where the buzz is created around new season collections, buyers take note of things and writers give brands pr; but on the flip side to that, we are entering an age where social media means you don't have to rely on participating in a fashion week to connect with people. So it still is important but, things are becoming a lot more accessible, which is great for young talent, or brands who don't want to produce to seasons schedules. 

 THIRD Magazine, issue 2 cover girl Pippa Melody

THIRD Magazine, issue 2 cover girl Pippa Melody

5. You styled our very first ready-to-wear collection 'Down And Out In London And Lagos' (SS16), it feels like a while ago now, would you say the fashion industry has changed much in the past two years?

R: Yes! I remember styling that colleciont, it was great! I remember you were adamant that you used a model with natural hair for the campaign, today I think the industry understands that stance a bit better, but in that moment it wasn't something that was being said or could be said and understood easily.

 Yemzi SS16  lookbook  styled by Rhôna, modelled by Ayisha

Yemzi SS16 lookbook styled by Rhôna, modelled by Ayisha

I feel like the fashion industry now is starting to pay attention to diversity. In SS16 things were starting to change, but in SS15 or SS14, I could probably name most the brands who were featuring models of colour consistently on my fingers, this is especially true when it comes to womenswear. I'm probably even being nice by just mentioning brands, the same could be said of agencies and publications. In this moment, I think we probably can take that for granted, but that is down to the work of a lot of people who have taken it into their own hands to show that diversity in fashion is important, desirable and needed. Then after, some of the big guns have followed. 

Yes! I remember styling that colleciont, it was great! I remember you were adamant that you used a model with natural hair for the campaign, today I think the industry understands that stance a bit better, but in that moment it wasn't something that was being said or could be said and understood easily.

 Music artist Not3s styled by Rhona for Notion magazne

Music artist Not3s styled by Rhona for Notion magazne

I feel like the fashion industry now is starting to pay attention to diversity. In SS16 things were starting to change, but in SS15 or SS14, I could probably name most the brands who were featuring models of colour consistently on my fingers, this is especially true when it comes to womenswear. I'm probably even being nice by just mentioning brands, the same could be said of agencies and publications. In this moment, I think we probably can take that for granted, but that is down to the work of a lot of people who have taken it into their own hands to show that diversity in fashion is important, desirable and needed. Then after, some of the big guns have followed. 

6. As a stylist, apart from the clothes and accessories what else is necessary to have on set?

R: Lots of things! I always have a kit with me which has in it things like clips, double sided tape, spare socks, pins, a lot basically. If I'm doing a shoot samples, might not necessarily be perfect fit for the model or musicians or actor I may be working with and these things help to tweak little things. 

I also personally have a little seperate kit case thing of just pieces I've picked up, or bought to style with, or made that. The stuff in there is pretty random though and can be anything from a princess tiara, or beads or a durag. 

Not quite a 'thing' but I think it's important to recognise the work of people in your team; if you have an assistant who is working with you or a good intern with the right attitude to learning, they are always great help on set.

 Singer-songwriter Mahalia styled for Notion

Singer-songwriter Mahalia styled for Notion

7. What's been your greatest styling achievement?

R: I don't think I can really place that. I really love doing what I do and I've been part of loads of amazing projects that have left me really psyched when I see come together. I think the continuous feeling I have when I'm in the process of doing a job and its going the way it should is the best but if I had to single it to one thing though, I would say launching THIIIRD magazine through my work has been one of the most important things for me.


8. Now you are Editor-In-Chief of THIIIRD, congratulations! Tell us all about the magazine...

 Rapper Ms Banks styled by Rhona for Hunger, photography Derrick Kakembo, April 2017

Rapper Ms Banks styled by Rhona for Hunger, photography Derrick Kakembo, April 2017

R: Thank you! THIIIRD is a fashion, arts and culture publication but we concentrate on socially engaged content. The magazine has three sections: Mind, Body and Soul; the mind section is interviews, the body section is editorial and the soul section is creative pieces which can range from art, to poetry and personal writing. The magazine explores topics like cultural heritage, diversity and activism. Core to the ethos of THIIIRD is that we are intersectional and so we concentrate on representing marginal communities which are underrepresented in the mainstream, as a constant to what we do. 

9. Tell us your dream shoot for THIIIRD - designers, models, photographer, MUA, set design/location...

R: Oooh.. A lot of the dreams I have with THIIIRD we are very slowly working on so I wouldn't know where to begin but I can tell you, a high point for me would be seeing the day where  I'd be able to work with Viviane Sassen on a cover shoot. I love her work! Its so thoughtful and provoking and challenging and I really LOOK at her images if you get what I mean? In terms of designers and models, whoever and what ever would work for what we were doing. 

A model I'd really love to one day see on the cover is Duckie, I'm such a Duckie stan. She has what Devon (Aoki) and Adowa (Aboah) all these other awesome models I've been obsessed with in the past have had for me. 

 #Dreamcollaboration Viviane Sassen's work inspires Rhona

#Dreamcollaboration Viviane Sassen's work inspires Rhona

10. What's next for Roe?

R: Exactly this, what I'm doing right now - progressing in that. Letting that unfold. Smashing every project, is what is next. I'd also love to do some work in other cities as an international stylist, as I'm mostly London based, so I'll see how that develops! 

 Rhona and and carnival friends at Notting Hill, August 2017

Rhona and and carnival friends at Notting Hill, August 2017

11 And finally what is your favourite quote?

R: I'm a bigger  love aphorisms, but one that has stuck with me is a quote by Osho "let life be a dance of love." There is something very me about that quote, I've always got so much joy from dancing; and I think love is a very powerful emotion, but not just in a romantic sense. I'm a sort of person with a lot of love in me, so I tend to let that guide me and so far it's working out alright. 

IG @roena

www.rhonaezuma.com