Caution: Proceed with Fashion - Opé the Style Artist
I have been fortunate to have met the coolest and most creative people on Twitter. Yes, some people really do network via Twitter and there are some exceedingly hard working and incredibly talented individuals -- take for instance Opé, or Opéthestylist depending who you ask. I have to admit it was the name that drew me in first because Opé is a Nigerian name and like me she is of Nigerian parents.
For this self-taught artist who has been drawing literally since she could hold a pencil, (she has sold some of her works) styling is simply another artistic outlet on real-life canvases. Hold on to your sketch pads when working with this artistic dynamo Opé comes with her own warning label: “When cut, I bleed fashion…”
BEAUTY SCHOOLED! How long have you been in the industry?
Opé: Too long not to be a worldwide name yet... lol! I have been on my own styling for about 3-1/2 years longer for other assistant experience.
BEAUTY SCHOOLED! When did you know you wanted to be a stylist?
Opé: When I could not be a fashion designer... and that is a long story, I went to work for Betsey Johnson and worked for her for 9 -1/2 years and while I was there met up with people who were styling at BET and pulling from the store I managed and I thought... "Wow, I would love to do that."
BEAUTY SCHOOLED! I’ve seen some of your work, you’re an amazing stylist you definitely have a good eye for fashion, did you receive any formal education or training?
Opé: Thank you, I have always loved fashion, I did not go to school for it but I have been drawing since I could hold a pencil. Everything else was a blessing from God. I did not choose fashion, fashion chose me.
BEAUTY SCHOOLED! When was your first big break?
Opé: Haha and lol! I have not seen it just yet... perhaps soon.
BEAUTY SCHOOLED! What inspires your work?
Opé: I pray to God for him to bless my creativity and I believe that my prayer life inspires me the most but I am inspired by art I most love Pablo Picasso and the work of some of my favorite fashion photographers.... Richard Avedon, Ines Van Lamsweerde, Michael Thomspon, Craig McDean, Steven Miesel, Sebastian Kim I really could go on for a while. I love great photography. I am a visual person and I am also inspired by my surroundings and conceptual ideas that come in my head late at night.
BEAUTY SCHOOLED! What would you say are the biggest misconceptions about the industry and fashion styling?
Opé: That it is completely glamorous. There is a lot that goes into styling before a stylist gets to the shoot. The research, actual pulling and the returns... it is not fun and is completely outside of the actual shooting. People forget that you have to actually get all the clothes and therefore don't anticipate the work. You actually need to be in shape and have good stamina.
BEAUTY SCHOOLED! Do you style for individuals or do you mostly style for print work?
Opé: I do both equally.... money is green, lol, need I say more?
BEAUTY SCHOOLED! What advice do you have for someone new who is trying to break into the industry and wanting to work with celebrities?
Opé: People always ask... the best way is to work as an assistant and then conduct your own tests because as an assistant you can't use the pictures you can only use the credit on your assistant resume. So by testing you get to exercise all that you have learned and build your book. I still assist as much as possible. I am humble enough to understand that I can learn from anyone.
Thank you Opé!
To view more of Opé's work and booking information be certain to visit Opé's website, Or follow her Twitter.
Ciao for now... Class is dismissed!