Nicole is, in many ways, a rare stylist. Unlike others, she likes to do the whole process herself, from casting to styling. It’s all about creating the perfect world that the photographer just can’t get enough of. At 28, she lives and works in the German capital Berlin and is the co-founder of the creative platform Amaze.
Edited by Robin Douglas Westling Photography Fredrik Andersson Andersson Berlin, Germany
Could you tell us about your background?
— I’m from the dreary west coast of Sweden, my least favourite place on earth; Gothenburg. Ever since I was a kid I’ve had this big interest in clothing and fashion. I’m one of those cliché examples of a person who always knew what they wanted to work with. The only thing that has changed along the way is that I first wanted to be a designer. I later realised how extremely hard it is to make collection after collection. So, I became a stylist instead. I moved to Stockholm when I was 20, and lived there for almost eight years. One year ago, I moved down to Berlin.
Why did you move to Berlin?
— I wanted to get away from Stockholm, not because I don’t like it, but it’s too safe. Everything runs too smoothly, and that kind of environment makes me feel unstimulated. Plus, I moved to Berlin to widen my perspective on life and to have bigger parks to ride my bike in. In Berlin, I only work with art and creative projects so it’s very rewarding.
How important would you say your profession as a stylist is to the fashion industry?
— I still think stylists are underestimated, but change is in the air. I do everything by myself; casting, booking the models, thinking about the set design and directing the models on set. A lot of people I know think that every stylist works the same way I do, but that’s not the case. The stylist creates the world which the photographer can capture. The perfect scenario is when the entire team is involved in creating the world.
How would you describe your own styling aesthetic?
— Hard vs soft, feminine vs masculine and clean vs dirty. I like contrasts. I always start with what inspires me. It could be a garbage on the street or expensive art. Right now, it’s mostly things I nd on Instagram to be honest.
What projects are you involved in at the moment?
— Right now, I’m finishing a big project for a big Swedish company where I’ve worked as the casting director and stylist. I am also working on the next issue of Amaze 2018, #6.
Tell me about your work with Amaze.
— I felt bored with how limited the creative fashion is in Stockholm and wanted to create a platform for free minds, which later became Amaze. Ever since the start Amaze has changed shape and that’s why I want to keep working with it. Amaze can be anything as long as fashion, creativity and art is involved.
What is the hardest thing in your line of work?
— Ridiculous, ancient stereotypes about how fashion should work, the quest for power and the lack of understanding beyond the tip of peoples noses.
Describe the work environment in the business.
— I think everyone who works in fashion are generally pretty nice. About 5 years ago I was a lot more concerned with how people perceived me. Nowadays I feel a lot more secure about myself and can function in pretty much any fashion environment and not panic. Even, at the most uncomfortable event in Swedish fashion: the Elle-gala at Grand Hotel in Stockholm, I was sitting at the ’meat table’ right next to a dead lamb and still kept my cool. For me that’s a sign of feeling self-secure, reaching new heights. Most important is being kind to one another, but Elle needs to update itself and live with the times. Let me know if you need any help with that!
Is there anything you would like to change in the business?
— I think it’s about creating your own manifesto and sticking to it. To get people to open their minds and ideas about what fashion actually can be. Things are changing and a broader view of what fashion can be is emerging. I don’t believe in revolution, rather open dialogues about what feels OK.
What is the most exciting thing happening in Scandinavian fashion?
— I’m hoping for a fresh breeze in Scandinavia, above all in Sweden where a lot of people with talent don’t get the attention and room they deserve. New winds are blowing all over the world and soon the Swedes will catch up. Take me for example, you choose to feature me! The future is looking bright!
And your thoughts on the Swedish menswear scene?
— The Swedish menswear scene has to be a little more daring. I do however love Our Legacy. I’ve tried to make every previous boyfriend into some kind of Our Legacy-guy. It’s pretty LOL. I love Martine Rose for example. It would be fun to see if the people of Sweden would dare to broaden the menswear look a little more. Truthfully, I think Swedish men dress quite well in comparison to the rest of the world.
What do you hope to achieve with your work?
— Transformation and entertainment.Nicole Walker